Monthly Archives: December 2008

January Credibility Crunch Looms

JANUARY will decide.
It will decide where we are going as a club, whether the small town cloth cutting, getting the team we can afford model of prudence can provide us with a team that can survive and flourish in the Premiership; it will decide whether the management team have the nouse to jiggle the assets and reshuffle the squad to fill the gaps and make it stronger on a credit crunched budget; and, crucially, it will decide whether Gareth Southgate can retain the support of a Riverside crowd now very close to pressing the panic button.

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Transfer Window Dressing

BLIMEY. Gareth is taking down the tinsel and comical flashing Santa from the shop window at the Riverside and putting up the signs announcing the Blue Cross sale.
As Boro edge towards what could be the most significant transfer window in a decade it is quite clear that every player has his price, that any player who wants to leave and has a buyer ready to stump up can go and that the boss and the club are determined that wheeling and dealing is the only way to fund a reshaping of the squad.
Roll up! Roll up! Everything must go.

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Gunners Spiked By Battling Boro

WELL I’ll be honest: I thought Boro were going to get battered. With impressive Justin Hoyte (currently the most potent attacking outlet) under the knife and Andrew Taylor strutting out of a fitness test Boro were already in trouble. Having to draft in Robert Huth after seven weeks out and just two days full contact training plus rush Chris Riggott back after three weeks sidelined just compounded the problem as injury ravaged Boro used their tenth back four combination of the season.
A makeshift defence and a lightweight striker-come-flanker in an unaccustomed lone role up front against a Champions League team that really needed to win, had a point to prove after last season and had brought back five first teamers rested in midweek? My daft quid was on 3-0 – and I feared that was laughable foam-handed optimism.

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What’s It All About, Alfie?

ENIGMATIC Afonso Alves is a striker crying out for a goal – if only to appease a fidgeting faction anxious to get on with the lynching.
Some have already made their judgement: the Brazilian is a lightweight no-hoper, a latin Lee Dong Gook who freezes in front of goal, a dopple-ganger for Massimo Maccarone who, weighed down by a record transfer pricetag, is quick to tumble under a challenge, who can’t head the ball and who is not up to the hurly-burly of the Premiership. Get shot!

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The Fog Of Wor!

CRY HAVOC! And let slip the fogs of wor…. Boro banished the Bolton blues with a red hot derby display of pride and passion that had a Riverside rocking.
They battled, chased, tackled and surged forward with an urgency and intensity from the first whistle that helped restore morale after the previous lack-lustre surrender. The tempo, work ethic and mental strength of the team was in marked contrast to the sluggish side that were booed off against Bolton.

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