Raise A Glass To Boro’s Record Start

LET’S measure those glasses.
The best start for a century, five Championship clean sheets in a row, 14 games undefeated in the league and only the post (twice) and an astonishing double save stopped confident Boro claiming a seventh successive away win… that glass looks well over half full.
Another two points dropped and four games now without scoring as the winning run away from home comes to a halt and the team slide down the table? You need another drink.


Boro’s 0-0 draw at in-form Reading was far from dull. Tony Mowbray’s steely side dug in to defend as the home team roared at them in the opening exchanges, attacking wth pace and width but failing to bring a real save from Carl Ikeme. , then gradually asserted themselves with patient passing. By the end Boro were pummelling a team desperately hanging on.
Boro started slowly and were ragged and tentative and were forced into some frantic defending with Stephen McManus twice needing to make sliding blocking tackles but having weathered the storm they looked increasingly comfortable as they passed and probed, if sometimes they were guilty of over-elaborating on the edge of the box.
Boro had the best chance of the first half as Scott McDoanld’s stabbed shot then a close range volley from Marvin Emnes foreced Reading keeper Adam Federici into a superb double save.
Then as the built up a head of steam through the second half they forced play deep into the Reading half and went close as Emnes put in a header that grazed the outside of the post, then McDonald screwed a sitter wide, then Robson crashed a 25 yarder against the upright. After the game Reading boss Brian McDermott – cousin of mad scientist chef Heston Blumenthal, FACT – admitted he was glad to escape with a point.
Of course, a win would be better and Boro players were rightly disappointed at failing to push home their advantage and take all three points. Looking at the last three results it would be easy to say it was a sticky patch. And it is.
But Boro have played three tough teams in eight days and come through unbeaten, and in truth, looked the better side over all three of those games. They have not been bore draws. In every one of theose games Boro have given it a good crack, played enterprising football and created some good chances,. The goals will come again,. No panic.
And the solidity of the team should not be overlooked. Five clean sheets in a row is not a bad record. And it is not just the defence but the whole team that are digging in, working hard, getting back to block and tackle, track and mark and make it very hard for the opposition.
Three 0-0 draws in a row is not completely unknown. The last time it happened was back in September 1973… just as Jack Charlton’s was beginning to fit the pieces of his promotion winning side into place.Not losing is a very good habit to get into.
Boro have now gone 10 league games unbeaten making it the best start to the season since 1910. That nudges this current team pastthe mark of nine unbeaten set by Bruce Rioch’s 1986-87 team, a side that was captained by Mowbray and also went on to promotion.
It;s been a great start, far and away better than anyone but the most foaming wild eyed optimistic could have predicted in pre-season. Fill your glass. Have a beer. There’s a long way still to go but there’s already plenty to celebrate.

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105 thoughts on “Raise A Glass To Boro’s Record Start

  1. Some people are a bit clumsy. First GHw missed the ton and immediately after that Vic, too. I don’t try if I don’t have a message to tell (anyhow I wait until we reach 400 – that’s my specialty).
    Last season I would have expected a banana skin when Millwall is visiting after a good run. But not so sure now as the Mogga-managed Boro seem so different.
    Yes, I will go for a 4-1 win for us. Up the Boro!

  2. Well what were you doing at 4.34pm 45 days ago? Well I puffed out my cheeks, thought ‘typical boro!’ no doubt some of you did the same or even type bugger.
    That was over five games ago. That was over two months ago. We’ve gone a whole calendar month and more and not conceded a goal in the league. This is a ridiculously impressive achievement.
    Now there have been some fortuitous reasons for this. Yes we are in the championship, and as such we have played a particularly limp Burnley, benefited from poor misses via Beckford’s head and Scotland’s wayward boot. But we held out, we held out in a tense final 15 minutes at Selhurst Park with a man down. We held out at home to Ipswich and Leicester, who in their next games won at West Ham and obliterated Derby respectively.
    So have we been fortunate to play the poorest attacks in the chimpship? Well lets have a little look
    Portsmouth average 1 away goals they got 2 at the Riverside
    Leeds average 2 goals at Eland Rd but they got 0 against the Boro
    Barnsley average 1 goal at Oakwell they got 1 against the Boro
    Birmingham score on average 1.6 away goals, they got one at the Riverside
    Coventry average away 0.4 goals and got one at the Riverside
    Burnley average 1.8 goals at Turf Moor 0 against the Boro
    Crystal Palace average 1.4 goals at Selhurst 0 against the Boro
    Ipswich average 1 goal away, 0 at the Riverside
    Leicester average 0.8 away goals 0 at the Riverside
    Reading average 1 home goals 0 against the Boro
    Only one goal conceded on our travels, please, please please let that run continue.
    Millwall average 0.6 away goals and we concede on average 0.8 home goals, nil nil anyone?
    P.S. Now I know that stats aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but a recent survey in Newcastle showed that one in three Geordies are just as daft as the other two.

  3. Can’t say I’m having many problems with this Captcha thingy? Has it gone now?
    **AV writes: Yes. If it is putting frustarted punters off posting so I’ve back-heeled it and gone back to the old system. It means I can’t allow auto-publication though or we will get swamped by spambots with awesome American accents trying to sell all you dudes extra inches, fake Gucci watches and meeting with hot Russian chicks.

  4. Well, the injury list is the shortest I can remember in the past few seasons.
    Steele played a practice game yesterday and if the internationals (McManus & Robson were unused subs yesterday) came back OK, we have ONLY Jonathan Franks out injured. Hines is back to training, too.
    I think we are due to some good luck there. On the field we do our own luck and hope the good run continues on Saturday.
    Smogon –
    thanks for the stats. Made me smile. I’ll enjoy the season after all the bad times we had before. We are entitled to that. Up the Boro!

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