Rock Solid Boro Machine Keeps Rolling

TWO away wins in a row, three clean sheets on the bounce, small grounds with standing and atmospheres like cup ties, an impressive team that oozes spirit and commitment and work rate… I’m getting to like this Championship lark.
Boro put in another thoroughly professional performance to grind out a well deserved 2-0 win against a tricky Scunthorpe side. They have found their feet quickly.
More later…

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44 thoughts on “Rock Solid Boro Machine Keeps Rolling

  1. Don’t get carried away AV it is very early days and look around us – Albion with the same team that beat us twice etc.
    At last some of the luck that totally deserted us last season (big club vs small club scenario?)but even so Coyne was man of the match. There is a lot of hard work ahead and there will be setbacks along the way but if everyone (yourself included) looks for the positives and gives total support to what ever squad we are left with until January then we could all get to “like this Championship lark!”

  2. A.V. You will get some excitement and entertainment in this division ,something unfortunately missing from the stress packed Premier .Apparently the Boro lads , were over the moon after the game last night , and thats catching .

  3. It’s a brilliant start, the clean sheets are in some ways more pleasing than the goals – really hope we can keep that run going on Saturday.
    It’s all positives at the moment, let’s just hope we can keep as many of the squad together as we can. Forget a new striker, Adam Johnson could be the man to bag us 20+ goals this season.
    And why shouldn’t we get carried away? It’s not like we’ve had much to cheer recently.

  4. There’s a danger that too many like Cook might spoil the froth, but I can’t help but support Fred in his observation.
    This time last year Gareth Southgate was on the verge of picking up a “Manager of the Month” award!
    Stay Earthed!
    As “The Carpenters” sang, “We’ve only just begun……!”

  5. We can only beat what is put in front of us and so far Gareth and Co. have been good value for their two successive away wins.
    The fact we have kept a clean sheet three games in a row and have scored five goals is as good a start as any of us would have wanted (we have scored in three games what took an average of three months last season).
    The opening night disappointment now confined to the past. This was a massive two weeks for Gareth in particular. After a sticky night against the United half of Sheffield the two away banana skins were lying in wait and with Doncaster at home next up the knives were being sharpened in expectation of “Typical Boro”.
    Pre season I personally expected/hoped for seven points at this stage figuring on us beating Utd and Scunny with a draw at Swansea so I have to say well done and lets keep it going.
    Whether or not we can keep it going I think will depend upon us holding onto to Huth and Wheats (although Poggi and Riggs are able deputies) and who we bring in to bolster the attack and midfield (assuming that Tuncs and Alves actually do depart). Our rock solid defence is proving to be formidable at this level (Grounds , Macca and Danny take a bow) and if we keep Huth and are flying at the top of the Championship his profile may actually be higher (in terms of German selection) than say with a struggling Premiership Wolves/Stoke type outfit. The same could be said of Tuncs but I doubt we will get to Sept 1st with him still on our books.
    The “problem of Alves” may end up being resolved with him having to stay and rediscovering his form at this level whilst at the same time rebuilding his market value. It is an interesting conundrum, give him away now and write off your losses or give him a chance and rebuild his stock value.
    Anyway lets hope Saturday is the platform for a home performance the Riverside faithful have long been desperate for. This will be Doncaster’s “big” game so we will need to be in top form. Looking forward to seeing Yeates and Jinky providing some entertainment as their (and collectively the team) confidence grows. Special mention for GON who with Rhys in the middle is showing the desire and ability we always thought he had. Its an opportunity for Marvin and Leroy to shine.

  6. Well I’m enjoying this season so far, it looks like we will be a good team for this division. The only problem AV, if we keep up the good work then we’ll be back in the prem – so I vote we sack Southgate before he gets us promoted and prematurely ruins my rekindled love of football. It would be cruel to just get one season of this!
    He must have learned too many lessons last year, we need a team and manager that we can afford etc. Over to you Ian Gill… is Paul Jewell still available?

  7. Even more flattering – if you count the five away friendlies that we did then that’s eight games unbeaten, five wins, three draws, SIX clean sheets, a goal aggregate of 18 for and three against. Now wouldn’t you KILL for that to have happened in the top flight??
    Roll on Donny this Saturday and lets see what this lot can do by way of keeping that momentum going (we’re the only side left in the Championship to yet to concede so far in the league, suddenly it’s all looking encouraging but we won’t get too carried away….) I hope that Coyne proves to be a shrewd addition by the way things have gone so far. Better than calamity Toothy Jones at any rate.

  8. AV
    One thing I noticed from last nights match was a spell in the second half were Yeates and Jinky swopped flanks for a good 20-25 minutes and we lost the initiative. It is hard to say whether it was us trying to be compact and surrendering space, they just had a spell on top or we deliberately dropped deeper reverting to bad habits.
    The other point was the arguments over the first penalty. I was close to the incident and the when the ref was talking to the culprit he clearly signalled that the player had wrapped both legs around Williams as he made the challenge. Playing the ball was not the issue it was the fact it was from behind and dangerous.
    In my paper it says two nil and us second. A big test will be translating our ability into home wins. As Fred Cook says it is early days yet and there are plenty of good teams around us.
    There is also plenty of window shopping still to be done.

  9. Never mind wackjob Warnock’s tirade at incompetent officials. What about the ref last night ‘favouring big club’ Boro. If the ref had have kept his nerve and played advantage, Lethal would have struck. And I’d be considerably richer this morning.
    Does this entitle me to make spectacle gestures at referee’s and a tool of myself?
    And why isn’t Lethal the nominated penalty taker? Obviously disregarding his truly heroic penalty miss for the U21’s in Holland a couple of years ago. Is it possible to bite your own knee whilst striking a penalty?
    Anyway Lethal to get of the mark on Saturday, barring incompetent ref’s, and ball greedy penalty hogging wingers.

  10. Getting a bit fed up with all this “who we going to lose before the window closes” rubbish. Just dont answer the phone!
    Anyone desperate to leave (and hopefully that only means Tuncay and Alves) will make certain we know about it if another club finally puts their money where their mouth is.
    And if Villa come on the phone they should be told in no uncertain terms that we dont deal any more with them till they hand over every last penny for Downing.

  11. Totally agree AV.
    Its just a shame we have to go through a relegation to experience this kind of match day again: parking 50yds away from turnstiles, buying a pint (ok, of shandy) 100yds away; standing! Fans actually acting like they want to be there.
    And all on a Tues evening.
    Keep it up lads, in the stands and on the pitch.

  12. Another good win, well done to GS and the squad.
    If Steve Gibson is serious about taking the Boro back to the PL then he should come out and say that no players (except Tuncay and Alves)will be leaving the club this month.
    The rest of the squad are strong enough to mount a promotion challenge, what the point of weakening it after we have made such a promising start?
    C’Mon Boro!

  13. Interesting point – but what feels better?
    Average of one win in four to stay in the Prem or two wins out of three in the Championship? In a football sense, I feel happier than I’ve felt in several years!
    Well done again to the team and management.

  14. Uncle Eric reported: “Southgate has completely overhauled the side. In fact only three regulars remain from the side which was relegated last season.” Yes, have you noticed this? Aren’t these changes enough for the ‘half empty’ sosiety?
    Anyway great work by all. Up, up the Boro!

  15. How times change, a week or two ago we were worrying how we might perform in the Championship, now we are desperate that three or four key players don’t leave because we clearly can compete and want to keep it that way!
    I’m praying that Boro are confident they can off load Alves and Tuncay and that will be enough to allow us to turn down bids for players who will be key this season. Fingers crossed for the next 12 days or so.

  16. Gerrin! A battling performance and every single one of our lads got stuck in – and necessarily so – Scunny had us under the cosh for long periods in the second half. Wheater and Huth outstanding – I just hope Villa’s scouts weren’t there to watch them. Jonno’s first goal was a belter. And Marvin was a revelation.Glad he kept his place.
    Great atmosphere. The lads were roared on by a brilliant Boro crowd – more of the same please against Donny on Saturday! The chant about their ground -“My garden shed is bigger than this!” was hilarious.
    I do have one quibble – despite the well-earned three points and the third consecutive clean sheet. It was that we kept on giving the ball back to Scunthorpe throughout the second half, which meant they kept on coming at us. We hardly got out of our own half! For some reason, our midfield lost the battle after half-time. Still, I’m not complaining. We’ve made a fantastic start and this was a really tough game. Well done, Boro!

  17. Still looking good, even though it may be early days as Fred Cook says. But all the team can do is to score goals and keep clean sheets, and that is what has started to happen.
    I agree with the last post Richard has put on the previous thread (yesterday) but, if things can be kept on an even keel and the last two performances maintained, we could conceivably find ourselves back in the land of milk and honey….
    Staying there in straitened financial circumstances might not be too easy, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves at this stage. Let’s enjoy the unaccustomed thrill of successive away wins, and get behind the team at the next home game.

  18. All that the team has to do now is get the Riverside rocking with a similar performance to the away stuff. For a few seasons now players have said they felt tense at home as if they didnt do well some parts of the crowd would turn on them.
    The Riverside was also like a library for many games last season.
    We [ the fans ] need to really go mental to set the lads free to do their stuff and exercise a few riverside demons ! No need to worry lads we are right behind you.

  19. This championship lark is like when splitting from your bird, get out and get amongst it again, rediscover your touch and generally get a new lease of life. However within about 9 months you’re often back settled back to the humdrum of trying to knick a point here, a point there, spend most weekends getting hammered, wondering why you bothered, and trying your utmost the occassional home win.
    Here’s hoping anyway

  20. Great feeling to be winning but, call me a moaner if you want, it doesnt make my attitude towards GS any better, as I think that this team has been found by accident, not of choosing.
    Would Emnes have been playing if Alldayfallover wasnt injured? And would we still be looking for our first goal? Also, would we have had three clean sheets if Bad Jones was still in goal? The test will be when they are both fit… do they get back in the side?
    Im not being pessismstic, I honestly hope that GS has learned lessons, but which ever way the team has been picked, its good to be winning again, roll on saturday

  21. Dear “Ignorant” at 6.31pm: I don’t suppose it would have occurred to too many of our players that the Riverside was sometimes like a library last season. It would have been like a voyage of discovery as most of them would never have been to a library before. And only one book (the programme) on show!
    Old stereotypes don’t fade away, they just keep on ploughing the same groove….

  22. Is “Stockport Wiggy” Chubby Brown in disguise? Lot’s of positives and a good laugh to start the day. Long may it continue!

  23. AV – I wonder if you, or indeed anyone, can help. I have this strange feeling gnawing away at me that I can’t quite explain. I haven’t felt it for quite some time now, I think it might, just might, be optimism? Anyone else feeling the same way?
    I mean it’s just not natural is it!
    Anyway, looks like the young lads are feeling good and getting into their stride, which has got me beaming from ear to ear. Let’s try and keep it up.
    On the squad/transfer front, i really hope that GS’ pleas to the media (“I really want to keep Boro battlers”) are heeded by the Belt-Tightening Twins. We can’t afford to sell any of our defence, or midfield. Offload Tuncay and Alves, and get two/three replacement players in to complement the squad.
    I was thinking about the squad the other day and we’re not too far away really. We don’t need any defenders, or goalkeepers. We seem fairly well stocked in central midfield. The obvious deficiency is the big target man – and I’d prefer us to go for someone like Hulse, who has PL experience too, so could be useful if we get promoted.
    However, I’m not too much in the “creative central midfielder” camp as everyone else. For me we need to be looking for a left winger to back up Jonno and another right-sided player to back up Yeates. If both of those two got crocked we would seriously be short.
    Let’s see what they’ve got up their sleeves in the next 11 or so days.

  24. If Johnson, Huth, Weater or O’neil is sold and our results fade , can we really have a go at Gate as its Gibbo who is selling? And can we really have a go at Gibbo as he has taken us on this expensive ride in the past and the money has just ran out?

  25. Smoggy in Exile,
    I fear that when the sleeve is first rolled up it will be Huth out and Balde in. The BTT would be happy with money in and then replacing with an out of contract player. One suspects Balde wouldnt be on more than Huth.
    I think many of us would be disappointed but hardly surprised with such a move. It would hardly be another young exciting talent but would add some experience.

  26. Anyone else noticed the subtle change of political dynamic at the club?
    Southgate is publicly distancing himself from the buying and selling pressures. He’s focussing on the issues of FOOTBALL management and his declaration of wishing to keep the players he has, is a clear positioning away from any pressure that may be exerted from above to release either of Huth or Wheater.
    He’s prepared for the possible (likely) loss of Tuncay, Alves and maybe even Pogatetz, but if pressure comes in the form of money bids for the likes of the central defenders, or Adam Johnson for example, Southgate’s public position will not be supportive of that. He wants to keep them.
    There’ll be no such public declaration from the keepers of the cheque books however! Their personal focus is different.
    He’d have to live with it, because Steve Gibson’s reality is the one that ultimately matters, but the boy is learning – AND developing an independent ambition as a manager!
    For his own long-term managerial prospects, I hope he does start to exercise a bit more independent judgement and put a bit more pressure back up the line than he’s felt able to in his previous seasons.
    Maybe now that Gibson’s effectively got him on probation, I suspect Southgate’s learning to flex his own muscles. I personally hope so! Because Boro, the football club – rather than MFC, the business, I think would be the beneficiary of such a shift.
    Should any bids for Huth or Wheater be entertained, THIS, above anything else will be a measure of the financial condition of the club, and will speak more loudly than any other factor, of the internal intent to mount a serious challenge on the Championship Title.

  27. Regarding the transfer speculation, perhaps we should take a leaf out of Man City’s book and just target all our immediate rivals and take out their key players by buying them thus ensuring your own success at their expense. Ameobi from the Toon, Quinn from Sheff Utd, Brunt from the Baggies? Surely we should be playing the same mind games as other clubs, if you can’t beat them, join them!
    That said I’d sooner hang on to what we have got. Losing Huth may not be inevitable unless we receive an inflated “Lescottesque” offer from Everton that is too good to turn down (bearing in mind we may have Tuncay and Alves still on the payroll). We have Riggs, Poggi and Seb waiting so it may be tempting to cash in.
    Where Bobo Balde fits in is beyond me, he wasn’t wanted by either Wolves or Birmingham at this level. I suspect his agent is trying his best to place him. If we were after an experienced central defender surely Morgan/Kilgallon should be who we are linked with (following the theme of Man City)?

  28. Yes, I think it’s safe to say that its been a great start. Some really good early signs and some really positive play. The attitude seems great as well. The acid test is now to see if we kick on and keep on growing or if we don’t.
    TB

  29. It’s going to end in a ‘vale of tears and much gnashing of teeth.’
    Nobody will submit an ‘acceptable bid’ for Tuncay, Alves , Aliaidiere but several will move for Johnson, Wheater, Williams and if they have any sense McMahon. Then we will be well and truly shafted.
    Gareth hasn’t changed; he’s the same guy we have had for the last three years. The first genuine managerial decision he has to confront will expose him.
    I hope I’m wrong (for the first time in my life !!!)
    The team have played very well – but let’s face it, the opposition has been poor.

  30. As things seem to be looking well right now the only dark cloud looming on the horizon would be that some key players get prised away from the squad, then the all-too-predictable scenario of no new faces OF EQUAL OR BETTER CALIBRE brought in to replace those that have departed compromises the strength of the squad.
    Next thing the dreaded injury jinx kicks in and the numbers are further depleted…. As we all know this has happened already last season which was one of the reasons we got relegated. If Gibson – never mind Southgate – had any intuition / sense he would consider these scenarios and – himself – learn from the hard lessons that we were so severely dealt with last time round when we let so many important players (Catts, Young, and most of the midfield) leave.
    To keep any kind of momentum going we have to hold onto as much of the squad we have as possible and not let greedy Premiership clubs use us as merely as a bargaining hotspot to plunder as they wish.
    Our best start to any domestic campaign for – what? – nearly 20 years must not be frittered away because of other clubs unsettling our players, especially come this weekend and the Carling Cup next week.
    Everybody has to be focused on the job in hand – that of winning and playing well – not to mention avoid injuries too! That way, we can banish all of the pre-season fears we harboured and as a result something resembling a feelgood factor may yet return….. Roll on Saturday!!!

  31. scoredraw – ‘the opposition has been poor’ – are you having a laugh?
    So far before each game plenty of posters have stated there is a stiff test coming up, The Blades, Swansea and Scunnie. We can only beat the team in front of us, this is the Championship the teams are all poorer than those in the Prem (Boro included) that’s why they are there.
    Dont tell me failure is the fault of GS and success is despite him?! He’s clearly made plenty of ‘genuine managerial decisions’ so far this season, who plays, who doesn’t, tactics and team attitude and so far it is spot on, credit where it is due please.

  32. You can just see scoredraw desperate to slag off Southgate, scrambling around for justifiable reasons to do so. And then having to settle for giving no praise instead.
    I just hope on Saturday that we give the players a chance and people aren’t getting on their backs after half an hour if it’s still 0-0 or boo us off at half time if it’s scoreless.
    For once, the players are in credit, so let’s give them the freedom to enjoy themselves on Saturday and not leave them scared stiff of making a mistake as has happened in the past.

  33. Nigel
    The teams we have played are representative of the league we now play in.
    To win automatic promotion you will have to win an awful lot of matches, it could well be a season like our last promotion year where 3rd and 4th gained enough points to champions in some campaigns.
    The ten game test will leave another 36 matches to be played.
    Doncaster will play good football but may struggle to penetrate, a bit like Swansea. An early goal may see belief drain away. It is a great opportunity for our long suffering home fans to get some entertainment.

  34. Exciting stuff to date – yes, better than Prem.
    Conclusion – stay in this league a few seasons and maybe win some more silverware!

  35. True – the opposition has been poorer, because we are in a poorer league. That’s why we are winning!
    I agree with those asking for some positive support on Saturday, helping the players to express themselves. Strange that the biggest threat to a successful season at the moment seems to be the negativity of the home fans!?

  36. Players should be able to play if they are being booed or shouted at, I’m not saying it should be done but they are supposed to be professional footballers. I don’t need to make the comparison to people with ‘real’ jobs.
    I refuse to comment on the season so far as I want to wait until the end of September when I think we will have a more realistic idea of how the season will pan out.

  37. Interesting stuff!
    “Dont tell me failure is the fault of GS and success is despite him?!”
    I absolutely agree with Nigel here. When things are going well you just have to say well done even if the person getting the praise is the person you think got us here in the first place. I want rid of Southgate asap as I don’t rate him, but you have to say well done as so far this is the case.
    It’s very early days yet and I still hold to the feeling that we won’t make the play offs as I just don’t think that Southgate is good enough, the squad is not strong enough or that those we have are up for the fight and the long hard slog, but I’ve been wrong before.
    Someone here said that the next game is vital if we are to be convinced that things really have changed and I would agree with this and go on to say that the next five or six games are vital.
    We simply must stay in touch with the leading pack or lead it ourselves if we are to have any chance at all as Southgates biggest proble is the fans.
    Whilst we continue to see the green shoots of recovery he will get great support and that’s how it should be whatever our individual opinons of him, but at the slightest whiff of the wheels coming off he’s going to get booed and the pressure will come big time and for me this is when we will be in big trouble. This was always going to be the case when opting to keep him after he was at the helm when we went down.
    I stated at the start of the season that I wanted us to lose five on the trot, thus getting rid of him and then going on a run and getting promoted under someone who knew what they were doing. Now after this start I just hope we keep on winning as if we don’t I just see Southgate in the job forever and us just drifting along and going nowhere fast and this for me is totally unacceptable.
    We need to be back in the Premiership and if Southgate keeps on winning then that’s great. But what we cannot have any longer is failure repaid by keeping him in charge and rolling out another long list of excuses.
    So Southgate gets a big well done from me and so does everyone else involved. I am more than happy to get behind people for now, but what I won’t do is give unqualified support for the very same people that got us here in the first place.
    So Steve Gibson must grow some Cojones and start to put right his own past mistakes. Yes, stick by Southgate now as he is doing a good job. But unlike last season when he had the chance to get rid of him and didn’t, this time around there can and there must be no excuses. The moment we see that we are slipping behind and a gap is building up then Southgate should and must go.
    If he’s changed or learned or improved or whatever people should have no problem with this. I’m not saying sack him after one or two losses, but I am saying that as soon as we see that we things slide and the league table showing we are in clear danger of not making the cut, then he should and must go as he’s had long enough.
    So for now it has to be a case of very well done all, even by those of us who want rid of him because so far this is the case.
    TB

  38. TB mirrors many fans views, pleased if Gate succeeds despite reservations.
    I would be chuffed to bits but not because I care about Gate, Gibbo or the Count. My priority is the Boro and that is the end of the story, our incumbent leaders will not be there forever nor were they there when I saw Peacock, Harris, Irvine, Horsfield, Gates etc.
    If Gate fails it means we are in a mess, there is no percentage in that for me. If Gate had the bullet in the summer he would have no grounds for complaint. He wasnt dispensed with and that is the end of the matter. For now.
    The problem we may end up with is that there are quite a few teams in with a shout of promotion. As said in an earlier post, we may end end with four teams in the upper 80’s in terms of points at the end of the season. If we are one of those and dont go up then that would be a cruel blow and what do we do then?
    That is all along way off, before that lets get three points off Doncaster plus a clean sheet and some good goals.

  39. redcartim said:
    ‘Players should be able to play if they are being booed or shouted at, I’m not saying it should be done but they are supposed to be professional footballers. I don’t need to make the comparison to people with ‘real’ jobs’.
    Please do make the comparison. Do people boo you at work? I would love to know more.

  40. Blimey I can feel a group hug coming on!! – Things must be going well.
    Seriously – as TB and Ian Gill have said its very very early in the season and impossible to judge how things will pan out. For the moment I’m enjoying life in the Championship, its a lot of fun, but I also remember that last season Reading started like a train scoring goals for fun and they are still in this league.
    Its going to be a tense and hopefully exciting season.

  41. Nigel & Borophil
    Despite the hope and support of his chairman, the most patient fans in the country and the local press Gareth doesn’t have the aptitude for football management.
    Two wins against Swansea and Scunthorpe and you are like couple of ‘geordies’.
    Are you so easily distracted ?? Wigan, Sunderland, Bolton fans…… are still looking forward to seeing their team play against Rooney, Downing, Van Persie, Essien and we are watching the likes of Johnny Vegas.
    Of course I’m not desperate to “slag off” Gareth – Jesus how could I ever get desperate? He’s hardly been Jose Mourhinho.
    Nigel: What on earth do you mean when you say “Dont tell me failure is the fault of GS and success is despite him..”
    What success! For God’s sake you mentioned the word/team ‘Scunnie’ and expect me to take your argument seriously ?
    Actually I have just realised we’ve got Doncaster Rovers tomorrow and we are in a bidding war against nobody for Rob Hulse – what an ungrateful wretch I’ve been…… shame on me.

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