MEET the new boss, same as the old boss… unfortunately, we did get fooled again.
There was an air of deja vu about an all too familiar game: Boro bossed the first half but squandered a string on good chances to take control and get a buzzing and expectant crowd right behind the team then slowly lost their way and shape and ignored a few warning shots before being struck by a bolt from the blue. By a team who were second bottom. And hadn’t kept a clean sheet all season. Welcome to the Brave New World.
Continue reading Won’t Get Fooled Again?
UPDATED new and improved 12 inch remix****
BORO look set to take much-travelled former Brentford, Crystal Palace, Port Vale, Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town, Leicester City, Everton, Charlton Athletic and Wigan Athletic and two time England Under-21 international striker Marcus Bent on loan from Birmingham. And he wasn’t even on the (now dismissed) wish list!
And that’s Marcus Bent. Not Darren. Or Junior. Or even Stockton/Geordie discontinued voiceover merchant Marcus Bentley. “It’s day five in the Big Boro house and Gordon has called Justin to the diary room after he failed the defending challenge the …. ”
Continue reading GS2 Gossip, Marcus Bent And Number-Crunching The Southgate Reign
GORDON Strachan was finally unveiled as Boro boss at a Riverside press conference today and revealed a simple – and we hope effective – manifesto:
“I’m looking to make the players better technical, tactically and mentally,” he said. “My aim is developing the players to make them better, fitter and more able to pass the ball.”
As the margins between success and failure this term (and last too) have so often been frustratingly thin it should only take the ability to squeeze an extra few per cent in performance individually and collectively to turn Boro into an effective unit.
Continue reading GS2: It’s Game On.
COOPS was seconds away from joining John Pickering in an exclusive club of Boro bosses with 100% records when some sloppy defending deep in the red zone allowed Preston to scramble to a late leveller in a game that should have been dead and buried.
Continue reading Red Zone Repeat At Preston
BORO won but the crowd finally dipped below the political trigger point of the half-way mark and Gareth Southgate was axed. Over 10,000 fans lost in just seven games. That stark statistic forced the issue. It was always going to be the decisive figure. That and three miserable goalless defeats at home.
A crowd of just 17,459 turned out to see a scrappy laboured 2-0 win over Derby that just wasn’t good enough. Good enough to stop the rot but not enough to put the brakes on the unstoppable bandwagon against the boss.
Continue reading GATE CLOSES FOR GARETH
HOW IMPORTANT is this game? For the strategic impact on the promotion chase, for Gareth Southgate’s immediate job security, for the political dynamic within a simmering crowd, for the fragile mental health of a dysfunctional community?
Defeat will not be a mathematical knockout blow but it will deliver a piledriver to the under-fire gaffer’s already precarious political authority. Could he retain any credibility with a hostile crowd should Boro slump to an catestrophic fourth successive defeat? Would it be game over? Make no mistake, this game is as “must win” as they come.
Continue reading Southgate’s Massive Must Win Match
TIME To deliver on the Home Front. Boro’s away form has been impressive and has provided a platform on which we can build a genuine promotion push – but only if we can crack the Teesside tactical conundrum.
Continue reading Let’s Crack The Riverside Riddle
THERE is a picture on the back page of today’s Gazette of Boro’s tattooed rock god Jeremie Aliadiere. The French forager is sporting the en vogue colourful sleeve of artistically interlocking tattoos favoured by American pseudo-punk groups like Blink 182, or hairy bikers of the type more concerned with bloody gang feuds with rival drug cartels than blind baking choux pastry cases for a summer fruit tart, or indeed those waiting on death row in Alabama State Penitentiary.
On the other wrist he has a barcode, presumably to keep a tally of his goals, a design which can be updated every time he notches. Or annually, which ever is the sooner.
Continue reading Pigment of the Imagination
GARETH Southgate should get his tin hat on quickly because after the beginning of what will be three days of exclusive head-to-head interviews with Uncle Eric in the Gazette (here’s part two) he can expect a lot of incoming high-explosive.
Continue reading Opinions, Accountability And Shouting From The Cyber Soapbox