Two Points And Political Ground Squandered

INSULT added to injury time… Boro were dealt a sucker punch in time added on for the touchline conference after Leroy Lita was pulled back by last man Ward two minutes from time. Gutted.
That said the game should have been closed out in the first half when Boro survived a shaky start to take complete control. They scored twice and could have had a few more then after the break had another couple of cracking chances to seal it.
Then a familiar slow motion retreat began, conceding space, time and the initiative and inviting pressure from a team that looked well beaten at the break. And after the first Coventry goal there was an air of inevitability about the outcome.
A point away is not a disaster but the powerless slide from a position of superiority was. Not only were two goals and two points squandered but also the chance to prove a point after the West Brom debacle. It has given the anti-Southgate bandwagon another hefty push and considerably raised the political stakes at home to Leicester on Tuesday.


73 thoughts on “Two Points And Political Ground Squandered

  1. John – three points, five points, the point is its a small gap, the fact that its Newcastle at the top is totally irrelevant of course.

  2. late goals from the opposition are just another bad habit we have like slow retreat on the hour mark and bad substitutions.
    There is no one on our bench who can replace Johnson and Huths captaincy and defending are missed.
    Reo Coker would be a help.
    A draw away is good but considering what we had with 15 minutes to go it is rubbish.

  3. Smogonthetyne your post above reminded me the last time I saw Reading play.
    “The Royals slipped into the relegation zone after losing their last eight league games but Harper side-footed home in the 90th minute to revive their survival hopes and record their first away win since last April.”
    That extract came from February 2008 and yet it seems like only last weekend, and the one before that and the one……. …and probably next weekend and the one after that!

  4. Just reflecting on the state of the Boro world, having read through all the comments so far…
    SG’s justification for perservering with GS seems to be that as he had given him the ‘impossible job’ in the first place how can he now sack him just because he has found the job impossible to do? There is a clear logic there, even if it’s perverse
    So, let’s imagine things continue pretty much as they are… one or two more players to leave in January, one or two additional signings who fall short; questionable team selection; failures in team organisation, tactics and substitutions; an inability to concentrate through to the end of injury time; a crippling psychological paralysis in big games especially against ‘weaker’ or ‘stronger’ opponents where the fear or expectation of losing is pronounced; a lack of inspirational leadership on and off the field
    Our season is never quite bad enough to get GS sacked; we win a fair few games but over the course of the season we drift away from automatic promotion but, despite a late scare, secure a play-off spot…I don’t think anyone needs me to tell them what happens next 8-(
    So, into GS season five, still in the Championship, with more of the same but the processes of disintegration accelerate – now we’re bobbing around mid-table, struggling to get in to the play-off positions, and flirting with the danger zone at the other end. The voices that were red with rage earlier this year have largely been suffocated into submission; verbal snipers in the stands pick off individual players with debilitating abuse; the end of forelock tugging is signalled by the unfurling of a huge red banner calling for the head of Steve Gibson. Unthinkable pre Eindhoven…
    Or…against all odds, we scrape promotion. Season five then becomes a test of ambition for SG and ability for GS. The red army is now divided root and branch: GS followers are more certain and feel vindicated, his critics more desperate with the increased stakes. SG talks of getting back in to Europe and to more Cup Finals as season-ticket sales move in to full-spin – but 98% of the masses know it’s about one thing: survival. We’re linked with shock moves for Neville and Scholes (again), and fail with an ‘audacious’ five million pound bid for Drogba. I think we’ve been here before
    As I write this, sixteen floors up and looking across the Mumbai skyline, the ghosts of Juninho, Ravanelli and Emerson, of Marco Branca, of Bryan Robson and Uwe Fuchs, all weave their magic with memories that will never fade let alone die. I can recall going down to watch the Riverside being built and I can hold again that feeling of optimism and pride
    I can still believe in the dream but not if the spin is hollow and the reality spells a different truth. It’s the loss of faith in SG that hurts the most, that may be terminally damaging, not least because he was the architect of everything that we all believed in and now – and I really hate to say it – I don’t feel I can trust what he says. Is this our new reality, is this what we’ve become?
    **AV writes: I think that is a decent assessment of the trajectory and possibilities… except if we don’t go up this season there will be no fifth season under Southgate and the likes of Wheater, O’Neil and Lita will be gone. Still, I think we will make a plucky go at survival under Mark Proctor.

  5. I thought (foolishly) that it was game over. Even Gary Gill said “they are there for the taking, its not how many we have scored, but how many will we score”
    Hmmm, keep quiet in future Gary!
    At that point I went out, got home and couldnt believe the result, then to watch the Geordies completly dismantle Ipswich. They are meant to be in total disarray and they look different class to us.
    Things are not going to get better, any one who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves, that includes you Steve!

  6. What will happen should we not get all three points against Leicester tomorrow night? I can’t remember the last time Boro won at home.
    Southgate still won’t get sacked, which will prompt a protest by the fans, for all the good it will do. Gibson just doesn’t want to listen.
    The only sound he WILL listen to will be the sound of silence from empty seats, and there will be more and more empty seats at each home game until our problems are addressed.
    I was there when Lennie Lawrence was forced out due to the falling gates. Will this be the only means of getting rid of Project Southgate?

  7. Lots of talk pre season about the types of player needed to get out of this league..Where are they? Nolan, Butt, Smith. I wish!

  8. Out of Darkness cometh light. (Which clubs motto is that?).
    Had fun reading the posts, it really does cheer you up knowing someone else is as chuffed of as you. Werdermouth and Mohammad Abdullah amongst others great work.
    I think it’s high time the club had a new motto as Erimus looks a little outdated; I think we have had our time.
    AV, are you ever tempted to write a scathing article when in a fit of pique. Or do you just log on the Gazette Website under the name scoredraw and let rip?
    **AV writes: Fit of pique? Wordy righteous indignation? Whatever. I did get 40 replies to a blog post after the drubbing at West Brom last year that consisted of the single word “bugger!”

  9. Ernie
    What will happen should we not get all three points against Leicester tomorrow night? I can’t remember the last time Boro won at home.
    Ipswich 3 – 1 12th of september 3 weeks ago

  10. One of the things that not many have commented on was the wholesale changes in defence which contradicted what the manager said before the game.
    If at all possible you need a settled back five.This got us clean sheets at the start of the season. We’ve lost Huth so this should mean one change with the rest as before. Now whilst I agree neither Mcmahon and Grounds had good days against W.Brom it was in the context of a stinking display from 1 to 11.
    We now have only Wheater in place out of the original back five. Surely the management know the benefit of a settled defence and goalkeeper? Do they?

  11. “**AV writes: Eric has been at Hurworth this afternoon asking those very questions.”
    ……………. and the answer(s)?
    **AV writes: You’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s paper….

  12. Parrot, I’m out in Cyprus at the moment, and I’ve only seen the Sheffield game on TV before I came out here. Since then, the only game I’ve seen (if you can call watching Justintv for 30 seconds at a time, seeing) was the Coventry game. It’s been a long time since I personally saw the Boro win at home, that’s for sure.
    Look at the stats. They say Boro play better away from home for a reason. And when they play dire away from home, they play a lot worse in front of their home supporters. It’s gone on for years. Back to Charlton’s team when I first started supporting.
    Boro are expected to attack the opposition when at home, and that’s where things go wrong instantly, because we don’t have the players to sustain successful attacks. We have no creativity, and we give the ball away too easily. Then we panic, as everyone including the ball-boys expects us to concede, and there is insufficient fight from the players, or tactical ability from the manager, to rescue the game.

  13. The gates we had when Lennie Lawrence was forced out were less than 7,000. It just shows how far Steve Gibson has taken this club when a crowd of 19k for a home game with Leicester on a Tuesday night in the middle of a recession is seen as low.
    We did almost everything right on Saturday. Some of you just can’t wait for something to go wrong, so you can jump on the back of Gareth et al. It’s pathetic.
    We’re fourth, we’re scoring goals, we’re winning matches, the games are coming thick and fast. I’m loving it. Bring on tomorrow night.
    **AV writes: Sadly the divide in opinion was always going to be the story of the season.

  14. BoroPhil said:
    “We’re fourth, we’re scoring goals, we’re winning matches, the games are coming thick and fast. I’m loving it. Bring on tomorrow night.”
    From the majority body of opinion, this could be restated as:
    “we’re already miles away from what it takes to be top two, we’re conceding more than we’re putting away, we’ve not won enough, the manager is slow. I’m already resigned to the inevitable. Tomorrow night will be more of the same.”
    That said, BoroPhil, I leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen: “the majority is always wrong.”

  15. Seems to me that John Powls is doing more research on potential loan targets than anyone at the club (unless, unknown to us all, and in the face of public criticism, the scouts are beavering away in the background). The proof will be in the eating of that particular pudding. Let’s see if, or who, we borrow.
    One thing I can say is that I have heard a member of the club backroom staff, whilst talking at the “Boiled Rabbit”, make it clear that Blackpool are a good side to look out for. And now they have sneaked up to the spot immediately below us in the table.

  16. Right on boro phil, I for one am enjoying this season and totally believe we are going back. We’re not gonna break records for going undefeated but we have advantage over most of the teams in this league and were not in the relagation zone.
    How many years did we stay up for last time we left this league? We didnt lose on sat away. I believe the plans for the Premier are already being put into motion. I’m glad the players who were sold went, no passion we didnt need them.

  17. Why was Emnes taken off? Didn’t anyone see the horrendous tackle by Westwood ? Emnes had his internal organs rearranged by the keepers boot, and the ref did NOTHING! This incident was far more upsetting than Leroys push and shove on the half way line.
    Unfortunately Southgate shows with his constant tinkering that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s never had the same side for any game. Against Sheff Wed we played well as a defensive unit, and SG changes it for the West Brom game.
    Patience is needed by SG, keep with the same back four, and the supporters need to give the back four time to gel together (if SG plays the same four of course – hardly likely !)
    A Boro supporter for 40 years

  18. Ernie
    Boro will win more games at home this season because most of the teams in this league are poor.
    What you have posted will probably be correct when we play the better sides in this division.
    C’Mon Boro!

  19. Southgate has been linked with a move for Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker. Also Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is considering a £3m move for the Villa midfielder in the January transfer window. Villa were demanding around £7m for him from Spurs in the summer.
    AV, what is your opinion on this move? Any hope? Up the Boro!
    **AV writes: He does appear to be available but only a few weeks ago he made it clear he wasn’t interested in a loan move down to the Championship.

  20. This article and subsequent comments could have come from any September in Boro’s History. Its incredible, that they are all the same.
    I’ll have a guess at Saturday’s blog Title
    Boro Stung by Hornets last gasp double Salvo

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