Monthly Archives: January 2011

Transfer Deadline Day… Live

PATCHED UP, limping badly and well out of form… but we’ll give it a shot. The transfer window slams shut (it is mandatory to use that phraseology) at 11 o’clock tonight and we’ll be rolling along all the way to the bitter end with live updates, some jokes, a few envious glances at our rivals’ shiny new toys and a couple of bitter asides.
Feel free to chip in with rumours, sighting of cars with the number plate M3 SS1 outside the Tontine or Chris Morgan in Teesside Park, or if anyone knows someone who knows Keith Lamb’s sister, speak up.
As deadlines days go this is set to be the most disappointing ever. Once again we are waiting quivering and powerless and waiting to be pillaged by richer clubs and knowing that, in effect, everyone is for sale, and anyone that leaves will be replaced by cheaper makeshifts and stop-gap signings. How the mighty are fallen.

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Another One GON

WELL that’s another £2m shaved off the wage bill then. Gary O’Neil is poised to join rock bottom Premiership outfit West Ham after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee – around the £1m mark – and the engine room enigma settled on personal terms on a two-an-half-year deal at Upton Park. He has had a medical and it just needs a bit of fine-tuning.

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Rock Rolls Out, Cash Rolls In

SO WHEATER has gone… there was an air of inevitability about it, although it has dragged on so long now he has thrown a full team’s worth of shirts into the crowd as a final farewell. He will be missed and deserves credit for not only playing at full tilt and crashing into tackles while it was all going on but also for going now when Boro could get som much needed dosh. A more cynical, calculating and mercenary player would have waited until the summer to pocket a bigger signing on fee on a free that would leave Boro empty handed.
Wheats departure has shown that whatever the problems elsewhere in a troubled organisation, the Academy is hitting the heights and doing its job. Two fold.
On Saturday at Bristol after Hoyte went off we had an entire Academy back four, plus Taylor in action with Cameron Park coming on later and Hines on the bench. On the other side of the Academy coin Wheats fee of £2.3m (plus £1.5m add-ons) added to Stewy Downing (£12m), Jinky Johnson (£8m) and Brad Jones (£2.3m) takes the total graduate fees raked in to a hefty £26.1m in the past 18 months.
The big question now is how much of the fee Boro will get up front… and how much Mogga will get to spend. My reckoning is not much and that any signings will be short-term stop-gaps to get us through until summer when he can start a systematic rebuild.
More later. It bears saying that while the block has been up on the ramps – very frustrating and such bad timing – the official completion of the Wheater deal was broken first exclusively on my Twitter. So there is a lesson there. Get following.

Building Blocks For Survival

BORO battered Bristol City to put down another couple of crucial building blocks in the battle for survival.
The emphatic 4-0 win took Boro’s league run to four games unbeaten including two teams in the top four. They made it three games undefeated away, including at Leeds and at Bristol, teams with among the best home records in the division.
They collected a first morale-boosting clean sheet in five games. And they clawed four points clear from the drop zone.
It was a day of marked progress.

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“He’s Like Messy In Training”

MIDO is a man who lives in a permanant whirlwind of tangled red tape, loose ends and the flapping, tattered shards of broken contractual and moral obligations. The heavyweight hitman is a scissor-throwing, dummy-spitting ball of tortured petulance and unfulfilled talent who screams at coaches, berates team mates and blames everyone else but himself.
And now the perma-crocked serial sulker and his charmless bubble of brooding indignant estrangement are back at Hurworth. Great. Just what we need as the age of austerity starst to bite: the gleaming white Roller taking up three parking spaces and disgorging the poisonous playboy prince.
Last week Mogga made the tongue in cheek claim that Jonathan Franks looked like a bit like Barcelona dreamweaver Lionel Messi in training. Now there is someone trundling around around who is more like Mr Messy.

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Dropped Points Of View?

IT’S a game of opinions. we know that. Everyone has a different perspective. And after Boro could ‘only’ draw with Leeds and Norwich there is a divide over whether two draws against top of the table sides constitute a respectable return and a solid platform to push on or a major missed opportunity that points to structural problems going unaddressed.
Here’s two of those opinions from opposite ends of the spectrum on this. First up is that of regular blogger, SmogontheTyne, who was first off the mark in posting his reactions to the match and who isn’t best pleased at a draw. Then there’s me, happy with a draw. Maybe I am just easily pleased. Read on…

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Leeds Draw Points Up The Positives

TYPICAL Boro! Being mugged in stoppage time in such heartbreaking fashion with three massive points within grasp was a real kick in the teeth. We had bossed the game for 70 minutes and at the death had a chance to seal it – Justin Hoyte! In the box and facing the goal late on for the second game running! The terror of responsibility! Arrrrggghh! – then were undone by a 60 yard punt forward.

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