Striker Light Boro Aim For 92 Club

CAN Boro treble their strike rate? Looking at the powder-puff efforts of the toothless team’s flaccid frontline last term – a unit that for all its obvious costly failings is still in place – you would have to say: “No, don’t be daft.”
Yet that is the testing target being set by the boss.

Gareth Southgate told the Gazette that next season he expected his team to play “exciting, attacking football”, get into a winning habit and rattle in the goals if they are to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
“We will have to score two goals a game to get out of this division,” he said. What? Is he for real? Last season Boro scored 28 goals in 36 league games – the lowest tally in all of English and Scottish football. They had been neck-in-neck with Elgin City but the Scottish third division Mcbasement boys had a late spurt to finish on 31.
Now he expects the same team – and with less than a month to go to the big kick off the fatally flawed outfit remains fundamentally unchanged – to suddenly bang in 92 goals. That is a staggering 228% increase in productivity, suspiciously Stakhanovite output figures not seen since the demise of the Soviet five year plans.
It requires a major leap of the imagination and/or spectacular self-delusion to see such a dramatic transformation taking place without a complete overhaul of the strike-force.
Boro’s cow/banjo interface ineptitude became a national embarrassment. No match was complete without a string of missed sitters from a bewildering array of angles and distances. Even from the spot. And everyone was equally guilty.
Alves was a lightweight and increasingly lost missing machine more likely to hit his own banner than the net, Mido descended into a familiar spiral of injury and ego-driven petulance, Jeremie Aliadiere buzzed around ineffectively without ever threatening to turn into a deadly goal-getter and ‘project’ Marvin Emnes warmed up promisingly and had three starts late on but has yet to score in the league and remains a mystery.
Top scorer Tuncay aside, the midfield also failed to deliver. Gary O’Neil chipped in with a few but Stewart Downing – ten in the previous season – had a distracted and barren campaign while Julio Arca, Didier Digard, Adam Johnson and the rest could not live up to the ‘goals from everywhere’ hype of Southgate’s mooted model of expansive football.
Now Southgate expects the same fragile team playing the same soft-centred Arsenal-lite football to flourish in the harsh and unforgiving environment of the Championship? No chance. Alves and Aliadiere struggled against the more robust sides last term and at the lower level the game is tougher, more physical, more combative, more direct, more compressed and more populated by bruisers like Chris Morgan. It is no place for the faint hearted – and that is exactly what Boro’s strike force is.
The two goals a game figure is an arbitrary one plucked out of thin air. You don’t need to score two goals a game to get promoted. Wolves were champions last year and they scored 80. Birmingham went up in second place with just a meagre 54 which suggests a rock solid defence could be just as important. In fact in the last five years only one of the 15 promoted teams has hit a two goal a game average – Reading in 2005-06 scored 99 – and only one other has even come close, West Brom two years ago with 88.
That two goals a game figure is inflated with unrealistic expectation and has the political potential to explode in his face. It will certainly be used against the gaffer if Boro fall short. Which they will. By raising the bar and setting such a high goal standard he has handed a stick for the simmering anti-Southgate section of the crowd to beat him with.
It is a figure that this blunt Boro do not have a hope in hell of getting close to without major surgery on the team. MIdo and Alves – and possibly Aliadiere too – will need to be shipped out to raise funds for a radical rebuild. But who to bring in? Danny Webber is a seasoned campaigner in the Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday grind of the Championship and possibly a better bet than Alves at this level but unless he can be refashioned as a combination of Torres and Ronaldo he won’t fill the yawning 64 goal deficit.
That means Boro need two new strikers who can do the business in the Championship, who have the power and stamina to cope with physical well organised defences over a gruelling 46 game campaign and preferably who know exactly what it takes to succeed outside the rarified atmosphere of the Premier League. We need nouse, needle and desire. We need strength, steel and spirit. And we need players who are hungry and available and would jump at the chance to come to Boro.
We probably can’t afford £6m rated Jermain Beckford and there are Premier League teams sniffing around now anyway. And we missed out on Ross McCormack (Boro quibbled over the small print on an all but complete £250,000 deal last January) who scored 21 for Cardiff last year but let me throw a few names in.
Tommy Smith, a tough Teessider who knows all the tricks and got 17 goals in a patchy Watford side last term. He is available and wanted by Sheffield United who have reportedly made a £1.8m approach.
Kevin Doyle, another 18 last year for Reading and maybe looking for a fresh challenge and a better route back to the big time after a couple of frustrating years there.
David Nugent, a sensation at Preston two years ago now well down the pecking order at Portsmouth and looking to reignite his career and who may be available on a loan.
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, the biggest name in football is available after being released by Celtic, is only 30 and doesn’t want to go home to Holland just yet. He has had talks with Bristol City but if we can’t make a more attractive offer and don’t seem a better prospect then we really are up the creek.
Rob Hulse, 15 goals for Derby last year and can put himself about in the box. Both clubs denied stories of a move last week but hey, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
I’m sure you have your own candidates. Whoever, we need to move quickly. We can’t afford to be still bedding people in come September. We’ve got 92 goals to find and we need to be giving it both barrels right from the off.


48 thoughts on “Striker Light Boro Aim For 92 Club

  1. AV, You are right this will be used againsT GS by the ‘half empty’ society of Middlesbrough!
    Personally I set very high goals for myself in life and at work. If you aim high enough one might and usually reach them. If you set the goal low you just become lazy and reach just that level. Simple as that. SO I like Southgate’s philosophy and management style (BUT not results yet).
    Perhaps GS should have set this two goal a game target privately to his team.
    But I think we need more power in midfield to create the goals and help out our defence. Jonno, Didier and Yeates are OK but we need more there if Downing and Tuncay leave.
    Up the Boro!
    **AV writes: To be fair I suppose it would be odd if he demanded the scientifically more correct 1.625 goals a game.

  2. ” We will have to score two goals a game to get out of this division,” he said. What? Is he for real? ”
    Nope. This is the very same man that told us he was building for last season and asked to be judged on that season and then refused to go declaring that it wasn’t really his team but the collective delusions of the count and Sir Steve. The pass the parcel spectacle of who was to blame was particularly nice to see and so was the fact that at this club we love to reward failure by keeping people in their jobs.
    It was also a nice touch that Gareth made when he said he would be bringing in a new backroom team or at least some new people as. More pass the parcelling by the great Houdini where no one ever takes the blame and he emerges with what is the greatest bit of spin I have ever heard, ” it wasn’t my fault guv, we are all to blame “…… yeah right…….
    It’s rather refreshing to see you talk like this. The holiday must have done you a world of good AV – haha! Hope springs eternal but I really can’t see this team even reaching the play offs this season.
    This division is as hard as they come and to get out of it you really have to claw your way out of it with all the blood and guts you can muster and I really don’t see this in this team.
    Hope springs eternal though…….

  3. ‘By raising the bar and setting a goal standard he has handed a stick for the simmering anti-Southgate section of the crowd to beat him with.’
    Or, another reason for Gibson bin him after 10 games.
    Good article which shows just what limited insight our manager has. His striker recruitment record does not suggest he will unearth two diamonds to meet his unrealistic target. We should also remember that investment is needed elsewhere in the team – esp. central midfield.

  4. Well said AV but the other major question that remains unanswered is who is going to create all these opportunities to score?
    The midfield is barren to say the least and lightweight to say even more. Last year we needed at least two more midfield players and we didn’t get them, we sold players instead. So at the moment we’re EXTREMELY light in the centre. What happened to all the extra tough battle hardened players we were going to get ?
    Apart from the Corporal I have every confidence that no matter who we put in defence (possibly Hoyte and Pogi aside) will be good enough for this league. Out wide we have options who should be more than adequate for this league so we’re going to need at least four more players – two in midfield and two up front – plus to replace anyone that leaves. So let’s say Ali leaves (please, you aint gonna cut it), Tuncay and Stewie, we have four weeks to find seven players and bed them in.
    Personally if we keep Alves I think we’ll see the benefit but he’ll need someone mean to play off. We’ve paid a shed load of cash for him to score goals, let’s play to his strengths – he needs to start with confidence so give him a break guys.
    What also concerns me is we have not picked up someone like the Magic man who galvanised the fans and made the team tick last time and carried it through the hard games – Swindon and Port Vale away spring to mind.
    To get out of this league we need to be a mean, tight unit that scores goals home and away, can put together win after win twice a week and we need to be better than everyone else bar one other team. So far I see nothing that bodes well. Buying even lower level players than the Championship isn’t going to help with this goal.
    No disrespect to the two new guys, they seem keen and want to be here but I’d prefer someone with something to prove who drops out of the PL rather wanting to be out of League One. What we don’t need is a whole new bunch of crap underachievers on the books, we’ve plenty of those from last year !
    Come on SG, you didn’t say anything about signing lower level players than we had in your fire side chat with Ali and you didn’t say we needed to have a fire sale for Tuncay and Stewie to fund it. Given the prices quoted this summer, I’d think 12-15mill each would be about right and if Ashley Young is work 20+, then Stewie is worth a heck of a lot more & I know who I’d rather have in my team.

  5. AV, Kevin Doyle went to Wolves a couple of weeks ago. Do you have the confidence in GS or our scouts to actually find a striker that can score goals in this league. I don’t, and I think he believes the addition of Webber along with the rubbish we have (minus mido) is good enough for this league.
    Only time will tell but I suspect GS will be sacked before the end of October if this is his thinking…..92 goals in a season, this team would be lucky to get that in three seasons.
    **AV writes: Doyle gone? Ah, that must have been in the information blackhole of my holiday. Why didn’t anyone tell me. Now I have to rejig my spending plans.

  6. A straight swap involving David Nugent and Gary O’Neil would seem sensible yet Nugent is a bit of an enigma. He has abundance of talent and was even picked for an England squad yet he has vanished from the face of top-flight football. Could he be another Michael Ricketts? Anyway, we need strikers and fast. Hesselink would score goals and add experience to the side.

  7. We will need three ‘proven’ championship strikers to thrive this season I reckon, assuming our man from The Blades is ‘The Third Man’ then we need to buy two very good championship strikers asap.
    My worry is that GS still sees Alves as one of his main strikers for this coming season. I hope though he has learnt his Yakubu lesson and doesnt leave it too late, otherwise we’ll end up with the championship version of Mido (whoever that may be)
    The clock is ticking, its time for decicive action from the Boro.

  8. There is no need to beat up Gate with his own words, one suspects that he has little control over what is going on.
    Remember that Iraqi spokesman who talked of the Americans being destroyed whilst behind him the US tanks were rolling through Baghdad?
    We were told the war chest was not dependent on selling players, now we cant even bring in Webber (luckily).
    Watched some Toon fans on SkySports talking about their concerns with the first match looming. Dont know who is going out, dont know who is coming in. Sound familiar? The difference is they dont have a manager and have question marks over the backroom staff. Mmmm.
    There was never a snowballs chance in hell that we would have a settled side for the start of the season but very few teams will.
    My concern is that we are being promised exciting, attacking football yet again. we are having to offload the attacking flair that didnt do it last season so where on earth is it coming from in this thud and blunder league?
    The reserves and kids had shocking seasons in keeping with the first team so at least we had some consistency through the club. Not the sort Sir Alex and Wenger have but at least we know what to expect!
    There is an awful lot still to be done in a few short weeks. Luckily non of the Championship teams will have noticed our flaws and lack of gumption so thats ok.

  9. ‘There is no need to beat up Gate with his own words, one suspects that he has little control over what is going on’.
    If that is the case, what purpose does he serve?

  10. I agree that Vennegoor of Hesselink could be got free of charge to replace Mido. If Aliadiere goes then we need Nugent, for example.
    But still my first choice up-front would be Emnes and Alves. If they both scored 15 goals then that would be 30 already. In recent years we beat the C’hip sides ‘easily’ if I remember correctly.
    As I said earlier we need midfielders to make the goals for the forwards.
    Up the Boro!

  11. So now we’re in for a 33 yr old midfielder from Hull, who only made six appearances for the first team last year.
    Oh how the mighty have fallen…… If this is the best we can do, the only people in the ground next season will be the stewards.

  12. I’d have to disagree with John about Lita. I know a Reading fan quite well and he reckons Lita is a cracking player but just fell out with the management (which may well be a reason for not going after him in itself) – I don’t think his talent has ever been in question. However, I’m sure I heard his agent is asking for silly money.
    I had no idea Tommy Smith was a Teessider – I think he’d be a great buy.

  13. Patrick Steele:
    Gate serves the same purpose as any other manager in the situation he is in. At best, he is there at the beck and call of the club, he is good with press, he doesnt create waves, he does Gibbo’s bidding.
    At worst he is fully involved in the relentless search for a new iceberg.
    Moving on, the problem is we are in limbo, the communications from the club create confusion amongst the fans. We just dont know what is going on. We just dont know what actions have taken place behind the scenes.
    For all we know there may have been the deep, incisive review of the clubs situation that was so necessary but we can only make judgements on the tangible elements we know about.
    For a good part last season the writing was on the wall. We could see it and debated it and we thought we would go down if nothing changed. We are now pre season and there is little evidence of any change other than Gate waiting for someone to take players off our hands so that he can try and rebuild the squad, by the look of it with chuff all funds.

  14. A.V, I think Beckford’s price in the press was £2.5m which I think is reachable for us when we have sold. I like the thinking of O’Neil for Nugent but then we’ll have lost another midfielder and if Tuncs and Downing go too we will need at least three new ones.

  15. Hmm, 92 goals means we’re probably going to need to buy a striker or two. In comparison Jarkko will be happy if Abject Alves and Project Emnes get 30 between them leaving us over 60 short – plus how many shots would Alves need to score 15? At least 300 I would guess.
    So for who’s benefit has this target from Spingate been declared? The wavering fans? Quick let go out and buy a season ticket Gareth has promised us another goalfest of a season.
    OK so Gareth is ‘raising the bar’ but he may have to also move the goalposts and shrink the opposition keeper if we’re going to see our current strikeforce create a deluge. Or maybe he’s just calculated we need two goals to win a game as we always let in a last minute howler.
    We definitely need a 30-goal-a-season striker to have a chance of promotion – though I’m not aware of a target that meets this criteria – perhaps what his name, Jammy Freud Hesselink will be the man.
    Well better get a move on then Gareth – only three weeks to prepare now – hopefully we won’t have just finished with the sales and not the purchases by then.

  16. AV I totally agree with your sentiments in the response to John Bowman’s post above.
    I would imagine the club could do with somebody spending £7m or so on Tuncay so that they can get their own ball rolling. It seems to me that 14 days into the window there has been very little going on across the board[unless you are a Madrid or Man City fan] so as frustrating as it is we need to be patient.
    I was quite amused with Ian Gill’s post on the last blog where he referred to Boro as a brochure with the implication that we did not get what was advertised therein. I’ve followed this team for a lot of years and if ever there was a more inappropiate comparison of what following Boro was all about I have not seen it.
    Whilst I sympathise with his long journeys home I did the same in my youth with many miserable trips to away matches.There are times we have exceeded expectation and delighted and times when we have been left bitterly disappointed. There has never been a brochure guaranteeing what we were going to get or am I missing something.
    Also, although it has nothing to do with us I’d love to know what is in the brochure of Leeds, Newcastle,Forest, Southampton etc

  17. Try not to laugh, but I’m coming round to Bryan Hughes now. What more can you ask for than a Windass seal of approval? We do need someone experienced in the middle ala Robson in 94-95 and Townsend in 97-98. Maybe Hughes could be that man? Maybe?

  18. Hughes and Webber! Why not bring back Deano and Higgy?
    What is a huge concern is that, alledgedly, we cant bring in a couple of cheap players until we sell Downing or Tuncay or Mido. The concept is terrifying. Just as well we are ‘well placed’ to compete financially in this league.
    AV, obviously you didnt like my duck analogy.
    **AV writes: You were quackers to thing you would get that through.

  19. With Southgate still in charge and the players Boro are getting linked with (even though GS keeps saying we need to be better this season than last season) which of these odds would you take?
    Boro to win the league 7/1
    Boro to be promoted 9/4
    Boro to be relegated 40/1
    It is going to be another long hard season. Shame there is no spread betting on GS saying ‘we are a young team’ or ‘we have to learn from our mistakes’
    C’Mon Boro!

  20. John – I agree, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he scores a few goals wherever he ends up. Same applies to Alves, if we let him go.

  21. ‘exciting, attacking football….’ I assume GS is refering to Boro and not the opposition?
    Hughes cant be a serious option surely? He’s never going to be a Townsend or Robson who were ageing but had been very good and world class respectively. Hughes is not the man we need to be this seasons midfield lynchpin, Digard and Bates are my current first choice midfield combo.

  22. How about another swap in addition to Nugent for GON, Kenwyne for Mido!
    Instead of Hughes from Hull how about bringing back the Boat!
    Is the thought of Marlon Harewood so bad now after we see who we are really being linked with?
    I think our most urgent requirement is for a Captain, a leader on the pitch. At the minute we have no leadereship on the park (or off it for that matter). Chris Morgan is who I want to see yelling instructions at our sensitive prima donnas.

  23. I wish Southgate had done us all a favour and resigned 15 mins after the West Ham game then we might have had cause for a bit of optimism for going back up.
    But to even mention the likes of Webber and Hughes, who cannot get in the Hull side because of Boateng, is beyond a joke. Just go now Southgate for everybodys sake, Im sick to death of him.

  24. Just got back from holiday, re-charged and looking forward to a new season and a push back towards the Premier League and what do I find? Two uninspiring lower league signings and links to signing players that nobody else wants! Hardly sounds like a team who will be candidates for promotion.
    I sincerely hope I’m reading all the signs wrongly but we still look like a club in decline. Lets pray Gibson has the guts to act before its too late this season if we fail to get the start we need to challenge for promotion.

  25. I recall GS stating a few weeks ago that the squad for the upcoming season would be stronger than it was last season if we are to achieve promotion at the first attempt. No disrespect to Yates and Coyne, but if we sell Tuncay and Downing and possibly others, how on earth can GS say he is building a stronger squad?
    I take anything GS is quoted as saying with a huge pinch of salt. It is all so cringe worthy and is contradicted within days.
    I like many many others have no faith in Gareths ability as a manager. He is unable to alter the course of a match in Boro’s favour. I did not see a single game last season where his tactical intervention won us the day. GS has perfected the art of making a football team add up to less than a quarter of the sum of its parts.
    Steve Gibson should be applauded for backing Boro managers the way that he does, however, Gareth should have done the right thing and walked last season.
    Boro will not get promoted under Gareth Southgate so fans better face up to the reality of being a championship side for as long as he is in charge.

  26. Stockton Red
    The point is I can change the hotel I go to but not the team I support.
    I have endured many promotions and relegations following Boro, many an end to a promising cup run. In many ways our capitulation to Cardiff and then in the premier league were the worst of the ones I can remember. It was the gutless nature of what took place that annoys me.
    But make no mistake I will still be supporting them. I am hoping that we see some positive moves in the transfer market, I hope Gate will rise to the challenge, I hope that behind the scenes there are moves afoot to take us forward.
    At the moment it is hopes rather than expectations.
    If it looks like…. No, I wont go there.
    **AV writes: Best not…

  27. I’d agree with Redcar Red that Chris Morgan would be an excellent signing. He’s just the sort of player we want – he demands as much of himself as of the players around him.
    Just wait for the rockets to fly after a dead ball defensive error allowed us to concede yet another soft goal. All our defensive coaches, season on season, have been unable to rectify this recurring problem. When the goal is scored Boro heads drop and then there’s no response. Chris Morgan would probably sort it out in the first couple of games by clearly defining defensive responsibilities, making people look to them and giving a good roasting to those who didn’t/couldn’t.
    Another Morgan plus would be as a mentor to David Wheater who seemed to suffer ‘Second Season Syndrome’ last term. He was very uncertain at times and didn’t receive much help or encouragement from Huth who was always busy looking after his own game. Morgan, as an experienced hand and team player, could rebuild Wheater’s confidence and unleash his undoubted skills.
    With Bates, Pogatetz and Riggott all potential centre backs ‘old china foot’ Huth would be surplus to requirements and sold on with little overall risk. The more I think about it the more I like Redcar Red’s idea.

  28. I am not going to join the “striker” debate, at the moment I dont see anything to talk about
    One thing that seems to have crept under the radar is young Bates’s comment about never having spoken with Gibbo before he was talked into staying!
    Now I know he is a busy man, but even in a large organisation its usual for the “grande frommage” to know the stars of his organisation. I have it on better than “bloke downthe pub” information that my favourite guy at the club (Lambie) is the main driving force and basically runs the club, this comment rather backs it up.
    Lambie has made more mistakes than you can shake a stick at, he is the guy that got us relegated last time, its his “small business” mentality that has lost us targets and lost us committed players, his ego and small minded almost sulky arrogance is the main reason Boro are thought of as a joke. Yes I have only met the man twice but thats my opinion. He is in a fantastic position that he is relatively invisible being able to quote Chairman and Manager instead of himself, when your next stood in the queue wondering why its so long for, tickets, burgers or socks, or wondering why the sunday dinners arent as good as they used to be, or why the access issues havent been sorted while the ground lurches towards the end of its second decade, or that there is never an honest respectful PR response from the club then its down to the guy who runs the club, the silent not so benign dictator.
    You can talk about the football as much as you like, but until we get a proffessional in to run the club the current situation will remain.

  29. AV, I think you should have a ‘positive-comments only week’ here. The negativity is excessive even by our standards!
    **AV writes: The floor is all yours…

  30. John Bowman – Surely we need to keep Huth if at all possible? He is Boro’s best defender by a country mile isn’t he? A player of Huth’s quality may make the difference between promotion and failure.
    Wheater is good, Pogatez is championship class, Riggot I’m not sure about and I suspect Bates is earmarked for midfield. I cant see that we have a surplus of good centre backs/defenders.

  31. BoroPhil
    I am POSITIVE that Boro will not be challenging at the top end of the table next season. Southgate and his coaching staff are totally clueless.
    Also as Uxter said Lamb is hopeless. How has the club fallen so quickly from European Finalists to the Championship? Take a bow Southgate and Lamb.
    C’Mon Boro!

  32. ‘when your next stood in the queue wondering why its so long for, tickets, burgers or socks, or wondering why the sunday dinners arent as good as they used to be, or why the access issues havent been sorted while the ground lurches towards the end of its second decade.’
    I didn’t realise cooking the food and seeing to the development of land and infrastructure around the stadium were also part of Lamb’s remit. He must be one busy fella. Gibson has the final say on the key positions, and it was his gamble to appoint yet another unproven manager.

  33. While I am not exactly thrilled by what I have seen from the club this summer, I would add a slight cautionary note.
    If I was half way through an overhaul of my car & Steve Gibson barged into my garage & told me that all he could see was a pile of old bits that would never work again, I would not be best pleased. Similarly, I would imagine our Chairman would be unimpressed to hear such vociferous criticism of a squad that is only a couple of weeks into it’s “overhaul”.
    Personally, I will reserve my judgment until the transfer window is firmly shut for 2009. I put that as the deadline, because I wholly expect player transfers (both in & out) between the first game of the season & deadline day.
    One thing I do find incredible, is the criticism of some fans of “the type of players we’re linked with”. Surely none of us are naive enough to believe that there is any truth in more than a handful of the rumours that are reported in the press.
    We only have to look at Shefki Kuqi, who a few weeks ago was failing to attract the attentions of any desirable new employers. So off he goes to drum up some interest, by getting hold of the nearest journo & blurting out “Newcastle & Boro both want me”. Next day the “Kuqi heading to the North East” stories are inside the back pages of the tabloids, & every Championship manager has taken the hint that the lad is available. Cue Boro fans up in arms, but hardly the fault of anyone at the club !!

  34. Uxter’s comments about Lamb is something we’ve suspected for years, but it seems to have been highlighted in the last few months.
    Linked to the comment about the way the club is run, an additional concern was Gibson’s comments re potential sale of MFC as ‘he owns the club and we will never sell’. Well, why not?
    Is anyone bothered that this is a Middlesbrough club run for Middlesbrough people? (including Stockton). Do Man City supporters care that Sheikh Mansour is the owner as they finalise the transfers of Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry et al? Or do Chelsea fans complain they are not owned by someone with Kings Rd connections?
    Have MFC ever entertained the idea of raising additional funding through investment, foreign or otherwise?
    With the lack of outside investment, MFC also lack alternate ideas and strategies and business nous that can challenge the current status quo and take us to a different level. Until then, nothing will change.

  35. Borophil,
    I am sure there would have been plenty of positive comments on here if the club had made any attempt at righting the wrongs of the frighteningly poor management of last season. But they havent.
    We are still stuck with a lame duck of a manager, who could not be any less inspiring. We cant afford free signings, we are signing lower league calibre players, and selling off the most creative talent at the club.
    Remind me what there is to be postive about!!

  36. Hello everybody – lets please wake up to reality.
    1.We are now in the Championship.
    2.As a result our income will halve because of the loss of T.V. money.[Same as Newcastle W.B.A.]
    3.Our current wage bill will exceed our projected income by several million.Hence the need for outgoing transfers to bring money in and get some of the highest earners off the payroll.
    Dont agree with the suggestion of signing Morgan. Centre half is the one area of the squad that is oversubscribed. We need a big nasty in the opposition penalty area – a strong man centre forward.
    There is no doubt that if we are to be successful this season we need three or four battle hardened Championship scrappers in the squad. Remember our first promotion under Robson when guys like Pollock, Mustoe and Hendrie were the cornerstones of the team. None of them were top class internationals but they knew their jobs and always gave 100% to the cause.Two or three like those are exactly what the doctor would order if he was asked.

  37. On the positive side, BoroPhil, the England & Wales Cricket Board team salvaged a draw against the Aussies at Cardiff on Sunday. We are, after all, in the cricket season.
    On the other hand, with the tide of banter surging inwards as it has been for the last two months or so (actually many on this Blog saw the tide turning whilst the trees still had some of LAST summer’s leaves on – say about November 2008) perhaps now is the time for the club to take pre-emptive action to safeguard supporters for next season.
    I think we would all be safer if sharp objects were removed from the fast-food bars around the Riverside (including plastic knives and drinks-stirrers). Suicide may no longer be a crime but clearing up all the blood afterwards will be time consuming.
    It would be a good idea to stop selling Boro Buckets in the concourses (what a classy idea, do you think they might catch on at Henley or Wimbledon?), because if performances don’t improve from last year some of the fans might feel like kicking the aforesaid waxed paper vessels.
    Maybe some of the games might be given an X-Rated certificate, so that children and people of a sensitive disposition might avoid the leaden thump of reality as a last minute winner is slotted home by Barnsley or some other giant of the game.
    Perhaps we could also either employ some better teachers, or we should use some of the more intelligent academy graduates, as the previous crop frequently failed to heed the regular lessons about which we heard so much last season?

  38. Blimey, what a bundle of laughs you lot are!
    The difference in the leagues is huge. I for one hope we keep all the players from last season and that will be our best chance of going back up.
    Alves needs to be motivated. If he is, I think he will score a hatful next season. I do agree, however, that we need to play to his strengths. He can’t head a ball for toffee, so why expect him to?
    For goodness sake, lighten up everyone.

  39. BoroPhil
    You are a hero, are you Briggsy under a different name?
    In the past I have likened Boro fans to an open door only needing the slightest push to get behind the Boro. Even then we are doomed by birth to follow team.
    The problems are not the fans it is the club who seem to have no grasp of how to involve/include the supporters. As I said in a previous posting I am hoping for improvements over the summer. At this stage it is hope rather than expectation.
    Those expectations are based on messages coming out of the club. It is not our fault that Gate sounds like Eeyore, that Lambie sounds like Private Laurie or Gibbo gives all the appearance of the Captain of the Titanic.
    What we do have is a sense of humour that will keep us going whatever MFC do, after it is Boro we support.

  40. Intrested to see a few comments regarding captaincy, with most people, including me, assuming Pogi, won’t be. Last year I seem to remember GS, (who was a great captain), saying we didn’t need one then getting it wrong twice with Pog and Downing. Appointing a decent leader would be a start. I’d go for McMahon or Digard, but it would not surprise me if Bates has been promised the job to keep him here.
    Upfront we need someone rock hard, ugly, scottish or at least northern who will chew defenders ears at corners whilst providing ballast for Alves. There must be loads out there??

  41. When I read this blog and other message boards I often see comments like ’80-90% of the support wanted Southgate to walk but he didn’t’.
    Now my guess, and I have no way to support this, is that Southgate is an honourable man who would have offered to walk on more than one occasion. The fact that he is still there suggests he was restrained by the chairman. Would others agree?

  42. I think that Boro need a strong striker like Rob Hulse or Jan Vennegor of Hesselink so that Emnes can play off him. Then we should go for a young energetic player like Scott Sinclair or Ched Evans who are eager to prove themselves.
    If we lose Huth then we should definitely go for Chris Morgan who would be the experienced leader we are looking for, then we should also look for a strong holding midfielder or an attacking midfielder to command the midfield someone like Didi Hamann or James Harper.
    If we sign an Hesselink, Scott Sinclair, Morgan and Hamann then we are definitely back in the premiership where we belong!
    Up the boro!!

  43. JONATHAN GREENING stunned West Brom with a transfer request last night according to some papers.
    Does anyone fancy a return to Riverside for him? If I remember correctly he is from the area (Scarborough?). Of course we need see first who are sold so we know who is needed to replace.
    Up the Boro!
    **AV writes: Jonno is going to Fulham. There could be a big departure from Boro this weekend *taps nose*

  44. A couple of Central Mid names to throw into the equation…
    1) Nicky Butt – will be desperate to get out of Newcastle and may be available on the cheap. He would introduce a bit of Championship steal to the team.
    2) Thomas Gravesen – I think he’s been released by Celtic and is currently without a club. Also experienced and scores a few goals
    Surely these are better than that bloke from Hull!

  45. “**AV writes: Jonno is going to Fulham. There could be a big departure from Boro this weekend *taps nose* ”
    You tease AV !! You cannot just leave us hanging on like this, the suspense is too much to bear.
    I was wondering if there was a clue in your words. Could the “big” be the important word in that sentence ? Finally, Mido is on his way I thought for a second, until reality struck home with a thud. Silly me, how can he depart when he has not actually bothered to arrive yet ?
    **AV writes: Refresh the Untypical Boro homepage. There should be a new story.

  46. Breaking News. Boro are sending a high powered delegation to Darlington to talk to Windass about a swap with Mido. Sources indicate that Windass fancies a few seasons in Sharm El Sheikh. Come to think of it, he would be more use to Boro than Mido has been (and I think Mido is fabulously talented).

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