GOD IS Dead! Gordon Strachan is poised to push Boro beyond good and evil in a Nietzchean sturm und drang summer in which he will re-engineer the human condition at Hurworth to shape a team of ubermensch. No, really.
NOT a single Boro player in the PFA’s Championship team of the year. That’s not a surprise really. It has been a stuttering season that has been patchy at best and this team – picked by the players – is about consistency.
But it is also a shop window. And one that Boro should be looking in longingly.
SO WHO’S testimonial was it today at Boro then? A low-tempo, lack-lustre dismal dead-rubber draw between two teams with nothing to play for.
To be fair it was an appropriate way to sign off a fruitless and frustrating season pocked by similar laboured Riverside displays against lowly and limited sides. There was a poor first half, a brief flurry of action after the break as Boro clawed into the lead only to let a commanding position slip through sloppiness at the back. The only surprise was that unambitious strugglers Coventry didn’t snatch it at the end.
WHAT kind of team are Boro? Steady now. No swearing.
A lot of angst ridden empty shells will only just now be recovering from Saturday’s small screen anaesthetic and insisting – expletives deleted – they are a boring one, a limited one, a shot-shy one, a frustrating one – and one in a self-inflicted state of flux that will never challenge for promotion so long as they are so brittle and blunt.
But long term, what kind of team do Boro aim to be? What now are the strategic objectives of the club in the coming seasons? And will the fans buy that vision?
A SHAMEFUL, embarrassing meek one sided surrender. There are no excuses for a lack of effort, fight, application or desire on a day when, even if results had conspired against us, there was still something there to play for. That so many players went out defeated before kick off is a disgrace.
We all knew there was a massive gap between Boro and the top teams and that we were only still in with a shout because of the collective incomptence of the rest of the play-off pretenders but it is hard to believe that Leicester, or Swansea or Blackpool would collapse in such abject fashion.
Bloody Albion again. Last season at the Hawthorns was a watershed moment, an opportunity to salvage a Premier League foothold missed. It was agame after which Southgate looked a broken man andhe could have had no complaints had he been sacked. At home this year the 5-0 hammering revealed conclusively the fatal fissures in the team’s fragile mentality and decisive action was taken soon after. Equally urgent action is needed now if Boro are to avoid falling so far short of the promotion places next year. This team needs ripping apart completely.
POLITICS alert… with the Westminster big three’s managers’ televised mind games sparking a brief public interest in the personality clash if not the tactics, philosophy and substance of their public policy, let’s talk about football.
DAVID WHEATER looks set to collect the coveted Evening Gazette star man trophy. Three games left and he just needs one error free show in a share of a clean sheet to secure a solitary precious Paylor point to nudge clear of Gary O’Neil at the top of the table. Unless Boro stump up the cash and Boro’s Mr 99 returns with a bang.
Or…. or… whisper it… unless the season goes into the play-offs giving an extra couple of games for Barry Robson to put in a sizzling sequence of stellar solo displays and close an 11 point gap. Well, if we can ponder the permutations and mathematical models needed to extend the season, why not speculate on Robbo just sneaking it?
WELL who’d a thunk it? Suddenly the play-off door has creaked open again and suddenly Boro are just four points and a fairytale final flourish away from an unlikely encore.
It was frighteningly scrappy for long spells – especially in a sluggish and often chaotic first 20 that really should have been punished – and it took some frantic defending, another solid show from Corporal Jones and spawny strike for Super Mac…. but Boro won ugly on a day when a couple of other results went our way to revive hopes.
OUTRAGED Portsmouth administrators have claimed that Boro are trying to pull a fast one and renegotiate the terms of Gary O’Neil’s transfer deal with the midfielder stuck on 99 not out.
One more game for the midfielder will cost Boro ÃÂ£1m… would you play him? Or would you try and wriggle out of it? Quick… through that loophole.
BORO dominated for long spells…. TICK
Boro missed some good chances ….. TICK
Boro had a couple of decisions go against them…. TICK
Boro went to sleep in the box and let in a sloppy goal… TICK
Boro failed to show “quality and imagination” in the final third …. TICK
Boro let slip the lead…. TICK
Boro struggled and drew against one of the relegation battlers…. TICK
Boro failed to take advantage of other results going their way…. TICK
[*Just cut and paste any blog from this season here…. TICK]