Spot-kick Slip In Sorry Soap Scene

IT WAS as predictable as a soap plot: struggling Boro missed their golden chance from the spot – with the barely believeable twist of a rebound from the first effort being blasted back for a second shot and pushed dramatically onto the bar.
Then the casting central tabloid bad boy and jail-bird, written out of the last series after off screen scandals, ruthlessly slammed home Coventry’s penalty to leave our ailing heroes facing a tense cliff hanger as the relegation trapdoor starts to creak below them.
Dead Enders? Relegation Street? I’m getting bored of the same old storyline.

This week’s exciting episode was a tale of two penalties.
Generally you can’t blame a player for missing a penalty. It happens. He just whacked and the keeper guessed right. But you can raise questions over the failure to bury the rebound. It was eight yards out and Lita was at the ball first and with time and as the keeper recovered and scrambled from one post surely he should have tucked inside the other upright? But no, he blasted it right down the middle and Westwood managed to turn it onto the bar. To be fair, it was a great save.
Some observations:
*Even with Gary O’Neil back in the team, Matty Bates kept the armband. After the game Gary O’Neil said philosophically that it was down to the gaffer. The gaffer hinted that there had been so many changes already this term and in recent years and that he was looking for some kind of stability. That suggests that he sees Bates as a fixture in the team but that maybe O’Neil is not.
*Boro only named six subs. Barry Robson went down with the lurgy overnight but that suggests that either the team travelled with just the bare minimum or that any others who were on the coach were no considered worthy of a place. At Chesterfield in the League Cup Boro only named four subs.
*It was at Coventry last year that Boro’s season started to unravel. Not only did Southgate’s side let slip another two goal lead to help hammer a nail in his coffin as the bright start fizzled out but it was also the game where Keith Lamb accidentally, coincidentally and damagingly bumped into Gordon Strachan in the VIP lounge toilets. (Insert your own “down the pan” joke here.)
Of course it was inevitable that Marlon King would score his first goal for Coventry. That it came from a sloppily conceded penalty – Bates should have stayed on his feet – just rubbed salt in the wound. At that stage Boro were on top in possession and territory and a point from a form team chasing the play-offs would have been a good return.
Boro did edge the second half, it is true but the Marvin Emnes stabbed effort against the bar and a first half Arca lob that sent him back-pedalling to tip over apart, Westwood was rarely made to work. Steele was far the busier and he looked unsteady at times.
Boro did have a lot of possession and passed it around fluidly too but it was all in the harmless middle third and while Bailey and O’Neil beavered away and there were some spells of patient crisp movement there were few telling balls into the box (and little movement in there to aim at), few clear cut chances and far too often the final ball went astray. Boro didn’t do enough at that end to hurt Coventry.
Boro did generally cope with Coventry’s route one long diagonals and a string of long throws and set plays into the box – only to undone by one slip at the back. But how often can we come away saying that? It is not just bad luck.
After the game the gaffer and players insisted it was the best they had played under Mowbray, that they were more organised, that they felt they were the better team, that they should maybe have won. I don’t buy that. They were better against Scunthorpe and Palace when they won. They were more enterprising against Hull as they came from behind twice. They were more organised and determined at Swansea. And while they held their own for long spells they did not look a fundamentally better side than Coventry. They don’t look fundamentally better than many – any – teams in this league.
As it stands Boro have taken one point in 12; seven from 21 under Mogga; eight from 42. We have taken just four points from 30 on the road. They are relegation stats. There is no escaping that. Survival is the only thing on the agenda now. And we have high-flying Cardiff next, then Doncaster and Forest before a basement battle away at Preston and a “derby” trip to Leeds. Tough fixtures and tense times.
We know that the squad is flawed and everything is now focussed on Janaury and how far reaching the reshuffle then will be. But the deadline is ten games away. We can’t afford the players to think we can afford tread water and muddle through until then and that there is some guarantee of a quantum leap forward. But that could be too late.
We need to find a shape, a system and a spirit that gets results now.


47 thoughts on “Spot-kick Slip In Sorry Soap Scene

  1. AV –
    The whole club is flawed from the tea lady to Gibbo.
    These are dark days indeed and I see no light at the end of the tunnel – unlike our Tyne tunnelers up the road and them blurry Mackems.

  2. How can we have 9 shots on target and come away without a goal? We need to tell the players that the big gaping hole with net behind it is where you aim. Not at the guy in the middle with the big gloves on, or the white stick type things.
    Can this get any worse? Really?
    RED ARMY forever.

  3. Look on the bright side: well over 100 runs ahead of the Aussies with Pietersen on a not-out century and 7 wickets still standing.
    How about reducing the football season to three months, banning all friendly internationals apart from the newly-restored Home Internationals, and having a limit of four players on the field at any time who have not come through the club’s own academy system?
    Pietersen now 121 n.o. and this is MUCH more fun than the footie. Did anyone bother to watch Match of the Day or the Football League Show (if that is its proper title)? Must say that I didn’t.

  4. AV – I hope you had a good trip back to the Arctic NE. Listening to Ali and Craig Hignett it is clear the penny is starting to drop. January is going to be too late for our season if we want anything other than a season long fight against relegation.
    At the moment we are in the bottom three and that means a relegation battle but hoping to do something about it in the window generally means players coming in late Jan and settling in during Feb and a lift in March. We need a settled formation and style of play now to get points before Christmas.
    We are still in the bottom three but many teams now have a game in hand. Week by week, point by point, teams have been catching and overtaking us. If we continue on this path then things will get worse.
    I am not blaming Mogga for all this (or GS1/2 by themselves for that matter) but we have the look of a doomed team. The sickness and injuries imply the fickle finger of fate pointing in our direction. Relegation isnt unthinkable it is the consequences that are.

  5. Ok we are playing better, and not getting hammered 3 or 4 nil but at the end of the day we are still losing and a defeat is a defeat no matter how many its by.
    Its looking very grim down there and with the next run of fixtures ahead there won’t be much of a return from those.
    Disappointed to see only three or four players actually acknowledge the away fans yesterday at the end of the match.
    The rest were too busy running down the tunnel for their shower to get off to London for their annual Christmas party and if its true as I was told it was £800 a head, £5000 a table its insulting to the fans that paid £45 for ticket and travel!!
    Should have been made to reimburse the fans and gone back to Rockcliffe clear the snow and get on with some more training!!

  6. Forever –
    Started raining at tea and unlikely to come back on. Weather is horrid at 29C.
    The irony is that whilst sky ran through the highlights of the day with England 551-4 it appears the Aussies were showing our collapse of four years ago.

  7. How many more times can this happen, and still be bothered by it? Defeat after defeat after defeat. They all fade into one long monotonous drone.
    I cleared the drive and road of snow and ice with the neighbours yesterday. Great sense of togetherness and achievement. I used to get that feeling somewhere else, I just can’t remember where.

  8. Forever –
    Watched the Football League show on iplayer, didnt show Emnes miss even though there was barely any football to fill a shortened programme.
    We have gone from 90 seconds on MOTD to 90secs on NoPower Championship highlights.
    AV –
    It seems we are reliving the same window story yet again, needing reinforcements but knowing by the time they arrive it may be too late.
    What is even more worrying is that when we didnt finish our window shopping, Jan 2008 to replace someone in midfield having sold the lot in the summer we were relegated. In August2010 we stopped shopping when we needed a couple more to finish the job and now we are in trouble.

  9. Sorry to slip back to your previous blog topic for a minute, but I saw this fans reaction to Australia not getting the 2022 World Cup in the local press and thought it was funny, and a clear demonstration that irony is always at its best when unintended 🙂
    “Soccer is dead to me. What a rort. Who goes to Qatar to watch the world game? It’s a joke.”
    Priceless! It’s always seemed a bit strange to me watching Australians play football, a bit like watching poms surf.
    It’s a good time to be a pom in Australia at the moment. Even another Boro defeat can’t wipe the very wide grin off my face 🙂

  10. Made the comment a few weeks ago that this once famous top 10 Premiership club (brilliant days for all) is on the rocky road to oblivian and nowwhere, the land of Hartlepool, Crewe, Burton Albion, Morecome, Wallsall and Chesterfield beckons.
    With every game (and every defeat) that passes, the trapdoor continues to open ever so slowly until it becomes a gaping hole of no return – this is where Boro are headed slowly but ever so surely and inevitably. Oh dear oh dear Messrs Gibson and Lamb, what on earth have you guys done to our club !!!!

  11. I agree with eddie fletcher – Boro’s only hope is to bring in a foreign tea lady as soon as possible – we’ve tried everything else so it must be down to the brew and biscuit selection!

  12. Dark days. Seen this all before back when Bobby Murdoch lost the plot.
    The basic truth is the players we have are not good enough for this league either physicality or just plain hard working enough. The only class we had left last season and GS just bought players to fill the squad up. Be honest how many of our players would get a start in the top five in this league on their current form?
    I still think Mogga is trying out all his players to decide on a first eleven as well as deciding who to let go come January, but as posters have pointed out we are deep in the doo dah now imagine if this form continues for another month!
    At the moment I think we will get relegated, nothing from the players manager or chairman hints at anything else. It’s just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic time again.

  13. Ian –
    Not only isn’t relegation unthinkable it’s definitely on the cards.
    In a very few games time we’ll be rock bottom and cut adrift – with Preston – from the rest of the League. And we all know what the strong likelihood is for teams that are bottom at Xmas.
    We reeked of ‘doomed’ yesterday – just like Fergie Jnr’s boys conceding in the fourth minute of added time.
    Mogga said he couldn’t see a way we were going to lose. He should have come round to the South Stand and talked to the Travelling Parmo Army.
    After the ridiculously missed pen. – why, oh why was it Mr. Cow’s Backside/Banjo – and the domination of second half midfield possession without any sniff of an end product – all the talk round us for a good twenty minutes was ‘if you don’t score while you’re on top………….’
    And, lo, it came to pass.
    If there’d been a book running amongst us on how it would happen and who would do it to us – they’d have closed it when no-one backed anything but ‘bloody Marlon King with a pen.’
    So, Mogga, please don’t put yourself in the Gibbo/Lamb ‘didn’t see it coming camp’. That’s the ante-room to doom.
    Let’s not get onto the unprofessionalism of not being able to field a full bench of subs.

  14. I was listening to Lita’s penalty in the car and had absolutely no confidence that he was going to score. He does not know the meaning of the word composure. Absolutely typical result, I wish I could say I was used to it by now but each one is more frustrating than the last.
    Will we celebrate if we stay up on the last game of the season? That’s all we have to look forward to at the moment.

  15. I know the club have to be careful about what they say and how they say it, but I am getting tired of hearing about how much football is still to be played.
    Unless we start winning games (or at least show signs of winning games) it doesn’t matter how many points are still available. The stats that Vic has included in his piece suggest that the number of points we “can still gather” is academic, because at present we aren’t picking many up – not even compared to some of the teams imediately above us.
    I accept that “if” we can put a run together we could easily finish in mid table, but does a run like that look likely?
    Recently we have played teams who are around us in the league and we haven’t done that well. Lots of people are looking ahead to the January window in the hope that things will change – and they probably will – but maybe not all of the changes will be for the best.
    We have some tough/important fixtures up to and around the Christmas period. If we’re not careful the close of the January window could easily be too late for the change of form we desperately need, and I for one don’t want to be worrying all the way to Easter.

  16. Why oh why did the most excitable and hot headed player in the team take the penalty? His subsequent rebound miss should banish him from taking one ever again.
    The only consolation I draw from such a wretched result is having listened carefully to Mogga after the match, how calm, focussed and reassuring he is.
    The extent of Wheater ‘s loss next week was minimised and swept away as a normal part of football.
    I am trusting his clear thinking and managerial nous will get us through this and what we can do is offer our continued support.
    What we cannot legislate for is players like Lita making big mistakes at key moments in matches.Fine margins indeed, but we are suffering too much for our own good.

  17. AV said “Generally you can’t blame a player for missing a penalty. It happens. He just whacked and the keeper guessed right.”
    Well something of a first here AV, I completely disagree with you!
    You can and should ALWAYS blame the player who misses a penalty. It is the height of unprofessional behaviour and it is inexcusable.
    These players have no other focus in life than football, and practice really does make perfect. If these overpaid and overinflated chumps took the time to actually practice – and I mean practice till they have to be thrown off the training ground because it’s dark – they wouldn’t miss such glorious opportunities.
    If you’ve ever stood yourself on a penalty spot in front of a full size goal you will see what I mean – it is a massive target.
    Anyway, this horrendous team that Mowbray has inherited from his predecessors can only reflect on the fact that a scarcely deserved Cardiff equaliser, a late late show at Leeds and a Scunny no-show at the Den have saved yet another pathetic result from being truly disastorous.
    **AV writes: Anyone can miss a penalty. The follow up was something else though…

  18. Lita is useless. On his run up to the pen why was he looking at the ref instead of the ball and the keepers movement (most of them move either way before kick is taken) no wonder he missed it.
    The big question is why did we sign him in the first place? At the time he couldn’t get in a Reading side who were struggling.This club must have the worst scouting network in the whole football league if our recent signings are anything to go by.
    Mogga must realise by now that some of the regulars in this team are just not good enough even if it means blooding some more academy lads (they can’t be any worse.) The big worry now is that we could have one foot in the relegation trapdoor before Mogga is able to do any wheeling and dealing next month.

  19. Mogga will get four new loan signings in January, depending on who he can get rid of. I’ve been told Robie Blake and Leon Best are two he’s in talks about.

  20. For those who blame SG and the Count for our current misfortunes, even if we do go down they can legitimately point to the last twenty years and say, “they were the best years ever” and they’d be right.
    And if (when?) we go down we’re only back where we started. Albeit with lots of debt but balanced against a brilliant stadium and training facilities. And all those memories- which I wouldn’t change for the world. For those times I can only thank SG, for without him there would have been nada, zilch, nothing.
    Mistakes have and continue to be made, but it is not a wilful destruction.
    Lita taking a penalty? Here’s Saturday’s team..
    Let’s rule the first five out for obvious reasons shall we?
    Bailey? Hmmm, I think not.
    O’Neil? His free kick taking doesn’t inspire confidence.
    Would anyone trust Arca to take one? Would Arca want to take one considering the barracking he was until recently getting?
    McDonald? Maybe.
    Lita? Maybe.
    Emnes. Maybe.
    Three maybes out of 11. None inspire a huge amount of confidence. Lita is a centre-forward – if he wasn’t demanding to take it, then I’d be angry. I’m not happy he missed, no more than anyone else, but he was the player most qualified to take it.
    I’m not arguing the situation isn’t dire, Im not saying mistakes haven’t been made, but beating SG over the head isn’t going to help.
    Solution? TM to go his preferred 443 and attack everyone. Sod it, If we’re going down, we may as well go down losing 3-4 than by losing 0-1, and we may even win a few.

  21. I partially disagree with you AV, RE penalty misses.
    I can forgive a player for missing a pen – IF he hits the target (i.e. the keeper saves it). Missing the target completely is not forgiveable! As for Lita’s, well, I’ll let him off for missing the initial spot kick, but the follow up! Blimey!
    We’re in trouble, and the injuries, suspensions and bad luck are adding up. Just like the Premier League relegation season you can see it slowly happening before your eyes – unless something changes, we’re on our way down.
    The only way we will see some real change is if Gibson puts his hands in his pockets. Mogga needs some funds to sort out this woeful squad. Let’s hope he can get some money from somewhere.

  22. Lets at least give Mowbray cred and patience as he is willing to clean up Strachans and Gibsons awful mess. Sacking Southgate at the time was one of the worst leadership decisions of modern English football. Most neutrals gazed in awe as it happened. Afterwards they just laughed in disbelief.
    Yet now Mowbray is here, its not his fault, its not his players, and he shows lots of encouraging signs of the times to come. With him we can secure our place in the Championship. And next year, who knows, maybe we can even push for a play off place. A place we indeed had within our grasp before Southgate was made victim of leadership blackout. Most likely we would have grabbed the second place.
    Im not to sure we could have done any better than West Ham in the PL this year, though… who knows, maybe our current course is the best all thing considered. Mr T gets the time to build a new solid side slowly maturing into a promotion side and PL-survivors.

  23. parkendpimpernel said: “Lita is useless…”
    Totally agree with this. Why he is still in the team is beyond me. I honestly would rather see Boyd in there, he is after all, our top scorer. I love Mogga but he is about to take us down, through no fault of his own.
    This squad is not good enough, and the panic that set in upon relegation from the Premiership and the resulting fire sale has left us looking at Hartlepool as our next Derby to look forward to next season.
    It may have been luck that the Geordies couldn’t get an offer for some of their high earners, but this twist of fate ended with them back in the top flight, while we sold, sold again, then bought badly. What did we expect?
    Well done Gibbo. It’s a long way back to the top. Just ask Leeds Utd.

  24. One thing that is becoming increasingly apparent as the weeks go by is that many teams in this league are trying to bully us physically. It happened yesterday,it happened at home to Millwall.
    By comparison with many sides we are small physically and this causes problems in attacking and defending set plays.We have no target man-in fact take Wheater out and we are comparatively a team of midgets.
    Whatever changes Mowbray is planning I hope he’s going to beef us up a bit.
    It seems he’s made his mind up about Boyd already. I still dont understand the reluctance to use Kink as an impact sub. Who is more likely to pull something out when you need it, Kink or Hoyte?

  25. We played much better at Scunny than here, so I don’t agree that this was our best performance under Mogga.
    We rarely looked a threat yesterday, a lot of lateral work in the midfield, and some space down the wings but the attacking “threat” just never materialised. There was some very sloppy passing as well, I lost count of the number of times that Mac, Emnes and Lita found some good space in forward positions, only to be let down by poor distribution.
    In Lita’s defence, I thought he used his strength well against the Coventry defenders, and was a willing target with his back to goal – it was when he was facing it that his problems started!
    I still feel we have enough quality in the squad to get out of the relegation places – my main fear is that the players’ confidence is shot, after an initial boost when Mogga was appointed. All this talk of a January purge can’t be anything but unsettling for them.
    It’ll be interesting to see how we cope without Wheater next Saturday.

  26. Operation Mincemeat. Swallowed hook, rod and sinker.
    Even the boro fans think we are cack. It’s all an elaborate ruse. Fear not. The greatest come back since Lazareth is……..

  27. “AV said…everything is now focused on Janaury and how far reaching the reshuffle then will be…”.
    AV, if you think a few ins and outs is going to do much to help us then think again.
    “Sandy said…Oh dear oh dear Messrs Gibson and Lamb, what on earth have you guys done to our club !!!!”.
    Sandy, save your breath sweetheart, they closed their ears to us along time ago.

  28. Yesterday saw four players appear in televised matches who have links to Boro.
    Brunt started his career here but never broke into the team, Zenden had his couple of loan years.
    Probably the ones that hurt are Morrison and Cattermole. They were part of our bright future but departed despite our alleged intention to have a side of academy players.
    Would we still be in the Premiership? Probably not because we were buying pap throwing away millions with gay abondon. It just makes it worse watching them play for two teams who have been up and down the leagues strutting their stuff in the top flight.
    Things look grim now but we will still be Boro fans.

    ColininequatorialGuinea: lets have a penalty shootout…half time competition
    BBB: Stated me Hicktonite virtusl run up: 15,000 miles
    ColininequatorialGuinea: BBB you should arrive in the 18 yard box this time next year
    BBB: Yep it’s a bit slippy alright
    ColininequatorialGuinea: i am leaning on the post having a fag
    BBB: Just got throug Burmese Border Guards…drops left shoulder
    ColininequatorialGuinea: Signs autographs for admirers and lines up for next penna…ref tells me to put fag out
    Brandon: **steps up** awful effort blazed over…shocking!
    ColininequatorialGuinea: dives to right
    BBB: crosses Indian Ocean with Tsunami like force
    ColininequatorialGuinea: picks fag up and salutes crowd
    BBB: doesn’t know which continent Colin is on
    ColininequatorialGuinea: next !
    ColininequatorialGuinea: I could send you the wrong way BBB
    BBB: swerves left…bit of trouble with the Pashtuns
    BBB: which way Colin?
    ColininequatorialGuinea: left….turn left !
    BBB: Christ into Achmedinner jacket land
    ColininequatorialGuinea: google equatorial guinea got sat nav ?
    BBB: more like no Nav
    BBB: wish I was in the Navi
    ColininequatorialGuinea: naffi?
    BBB: Navigation
    ColininequatorialGuinea: your outside the navigation ? Blimey that was quick…
    BBB: under the underpass
    ColininequatorialGuinea: you need a ticket to get in
    BBB: swerves tru the Stewards
    BBB: drops to knees … GIZ A FAG COLIN
    ColininequatorialGuinea: takes his position on line for BBB
    BBB: and lets a skier go
    ColininequatorialGuinea: WALKS TO THE EDGE OF THE SIX YARD BOX…and gives an aussie rules football style goal signal
    BBB: Lights up fag relaxes
    ColininequatorialGuinea: vic…i think you will find that BBB missed !
    ColininequatorialGuinea: BBB put it over the bar……referreeeeeeee !
    ColininequatorialGuinea: BBB your a jammy get…that ball was miles over
    BBB: It was Hicktonite though
    AV’s decision stands.

  30. Bob –
    Anlov thinks if Southgate hadnt been dismised the Mannion/Hardwick team would have won a trophy and blames Strachan for Brian Clough joining joining Sunderland.

  31. Talk of a big clear out in Jan is disrupting enough to say the least.
    GON not getting the armband on Saturday was probably correct as he is in and out of the team too much. I hope Bates stays clear of any injuries.
    As for a target man, I think this is our biggest problem. What’s the point of anything coming down the wings when theres nobody on the end of them or holding the ball up for the cavalry to arrive?
    You look at Coventry, old Everton hard man Carsley in midfield – granted getting on a bit but wise head and not scared to get stuck in. This is also whats missing.
    Last thing that’s missing is a miracle right now.

  32. The only vaguely encouraging thing I’ve read recently about January are the same rumours that gt’s heard.
    I was reminded about Leon Best when we were at Coventry on Saturday – he did a number on us there last season and has the right ‘line leader who can get goals at this level’ qualities – and he’s now languishing on the Barcodes bench or more often in their Ressies.
    Robbie Blake would bring some of the cleverness we’re missing but does nothing at all for an injection of pace.
    I agree with tim from sa that we also need a holding midfield enforcer with no pretensions to be anything else.

  33. “Bailey? Hmmm, I think not.”
    Actually, didn’t Bailey score loads of penalties for Charlton? I’m sure a good proportion of his goals were from the spot, though he did miss one in the play-off final

  34. Bob said: “I’ll say one thing for Anlov…he doesn’t give up easily does he :)”
    No, he doesnt, indeed. History is important. And by the week more and more people agree also within the club.
    Outside the club it has been tragically obvious all the time.

  35. Anlov –
    do you have a supernatural ability to know everyones thoughts? As once again you claim to, making a statement such as “most neutrals gazed in awe as it happened” reference Southgates sacking.
    How do you know most neutrals gazed in awe? Please, by all means spread your opinion, but do not keep trying to speak for others assuming that most people share your view. I’m starting to think you may have issues…..

  36. BoroPhil –
    You’re right on Bailey and pens – that’s who I’d have given it to, despite there being nothing else about his contribution to Boro so far that does anything but confirm just what a poor midfield we have when he can get his place every week.
    After the mess that Lita made of the first attempt I can’t even agree that Westwood had anything to do with the rebound hitting the bar – as I’ve read in several accounts.
    I didn’t think he touched it on Saturday but I was at the other end. Now I’ve seen replays and watched them several times over, I can’t detect even the faintest touch of the goalie’s glove.
    No, all non-Lethal Leroy’s own embarrassing work I’m afraid – just like the daft and despairing appeal that the ball had somehow bounced behind the line when it came back off the bar despite it landing three yards out.
    What’s Mogga about with Cameron Park?
    First it was ‘another left winger off the Academy production line that can dribble and go past players who would have got his debut against Hull if it hadn’t been snowing’.
    Now it’s ‘don’t want to over-hype him – he’s got no great pace, doesn’t get goals and is physically slight’.
    At this rate of flip-flopping he’ll probably be filling Wheats slot at centre back on Saturday!
    I’m assuming that Seb Hines is the likely candidate for that job unless anyone has better ideas. At least – it seems – the Cardiff aerial threat will be less because Bothroyd’s out with an injury.
    **AV writes: From the FL Show highlights blipvert footage it didn’t seem like the keeper got a touch but from the press box – where we got a cracking view – everyone was swearing down dead it was a great bit of keeping to get across and just get a hand to it.

  37. Midfield enforcer with no pretensions to be anything else = Alan Smith from Newcastle. Did the job at this level last year, and must be desperate to play football at his age.

  38. Results Will Come, Vows Mogga. I really hope so but that is all he can do. And we must keep on supporting him – now.
    I really feel for SG, too. He must suffer more than the rest of us, supporters. What more he could have done for Boro?
    At least the club is in much better shape than when he started. Our facilities are really PL level. When SG started were where really bottom of the second tier – now we are middle of PL in statue.
    And we still have a lot of good players – we need to find the balance in January at the latest. Not easy but we should climb out of the drop zone with the players we have. I really wait to see Thommo, Rhys and Robbo given a long run in the team. Then a right winger perhaps?
    Results will come, vows Mogga. Up the Boro!

  39. When I said above, ‘I’m assuming that Seb Hines is the likely candidate for that job unless anyone has better ideas’ I didn’t seriously think Mogga’s other bit of daftness on Saturday – putting Hoyte on for Tony Mc when we were chasing a goal – meant that he was considering putting Hoyte in for Wheats next Saturday.
    Is Phil Tallentire sure he wasn’t ‘avin’ a giraffe when he said that he was considering Hoyte because his mobility could combat Bellamy? Bizarre.
    What was the saying? – ‘First as tragedy, then as farce…’

  40. Hade Edge Boro
    Yup, I thought of Alan Smith too and was reminded in seeing him get a few minutes in their abject defeat yesterday afternoon and announce himself with a scything tackle.
    The only drawback is that he has ‘history’ with coming to Boro, of course. I remember him pretty ostentatiously rejecting a move here on more than one occasion. But maybe it’s ‘never say never’.
    **AV writes: That and £60k a week.

  41. Three players who could/would alter our season – Frazier Campbell, Kevin Phillips and Daron Gibson.Get that type of quality on loan and we’ll start to pick up.Journeymen loan signings will only ensure our trip is signposted south.
    Surely a few bob in wages is better than relegation ????

  42. Boro’s remaining fixtures are:
    Cardiff h
    Doncaster a
    Notts F H
    Preston a
    Leeds a
    Norwich h
    Bristol a
    Preston h
    Scunthorpe h
    Palace a
    Swansea h
    Millwall a
    Burnley a
    QPR h
    Reading a
    Derby h
    Portsmouth a
    Watford h
    Leicester h
    Sheff U a
    Ipswich a
    Barnsley h
    Hull a
    Coventry h
    Cardiff a
    Doncaster h
    You normally stay up with 50 points in the Championship, we currently have 18.
    Games that you would expect we could win are:
    Preston h
    Scunthorpe h
    Derby h
    Watford h
    Leicester h
    Barnsley h
    Coventry h
    Games were you would hope for at least a point:
    Notts F h
    Preston a
    Leeds a
    Norwich h
    Palace a
    Swansea h
    Portsmouth a
    Sheff U a
    Doncaster h
    If by some miracle we achieve my predicted results then we would end up with 48 points
    C’Mon Boro!

  43. The greatest comeback since Lazerus

    In late May 2008 Smog Jnr was born, but in my mind and unfortunately my heart he will always be known as ‘Judas Child’. Ever since he popped along we have suffered at least one relegation and many, many bleak afternoons.
    But fear not because the ‘Midas Child’ will be with us before the weekend. We shall of course win on Saturday, and go on a run of such amazing form that we will soar up the league to claim our rightful position

 Somewhere near the top third of the chimpship! This kid will be good but no, miracle worker.
    So fear not my Boro supporting/suffering brethren it will get better.
    **AV writes: Good luck with baby Phoenixetta.

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