Riverside Rockets Blast Burnley

WHAT. A. GAME! Football eh? Bloody hell! Where to start? Pulsating. Dramatic. Nerve-wracking. Electrifying. Faith affirmative. Energising. What a game! And what a trio of sizzling goals! Three unstoppable exocets each more outrageous than the last.
Here’s a remix of my bit for today’s paper…


HAS ANYONE got any spare superlatives? We’re going to need them.
Because Boro’s blistering show against Burnley was a fantastic, pulsating, dramatic, absorbing, emotionally engaging and faith affirming affair that was a pleasure to behold.
That is exactly why fans go to watch football. The power to astound, inspire and surprise.
It was exactly the kind of game fans demand, full of passion, spirit, hectic action peppered with quality cameos and fairytale finishes. It was brilliant. What a game! What a team! What a crazy air-punching, laugh out loud, shouty, sweary celebration of the return of our heroes football to the hallowed turf.
And what a way for the team to answer their critics. And there were plenty after an opener that killed off burgeoning August optimism. But what a response. The second half against Burnley was as entertaining a 45 minutes as you will see this term.
This was the emotional polar opposite of the frustrating, soul-sapping, disappointing, laboured chore of a fruitless curtain-raiser at Barnsley.
Those refuseniks that stayed away from the Riverside in a defiant nose/spite situation over the ‘typical Boro’ flop at Oakwell or who had prematurely decided this fledgling team couldn’t entertain and couldn’t deliver and couldn’t score goals will bitterly regret it. Humble pie all round. And they really should know better. This is Boro!
The clash with the Clarets was a classic. It was a match that will pass into terrace legend, a real ‘I was there’ game. If only for the outrageous goals, each more audacious and further out than the last. Like John Hickton’s penalty run ups, the distance involved will grow with every telling. In decades to come, when the Ginger Messi is old and grey, that winner will have been leathered in from North Ormesby. Swear down.
It has become a moaners mantra that there is a dearth of entertainment at the Riverside
but the last game was a televised tonking of Southampton with a crackling atmosphere and so far this term has been brilliant! Alright, it is only the first home fixture but we have set the benchmark very high and we have already been blessed to witness two credible contenders for the Boro – and possibly the Championship – goal of the season. Seriously.
You have got to feel sorry for midfield terrier Nicky Bailey. On any normal matchday his dogged latching on to a loose ball to unleash an ankle high exocet for the first half leveller would have won the plaudits – especially as it was fuelled with high-octane dramatic tension and came within 60 seconds of Clarets drawing first blood.
On any normal matchday he would have made the intro and the headlines too.
Bailey scored another screamer against Burnley last term, his first for the club. This unstoppable second from outside the box made him like a ginger Tarmo Kink, a specialist to be deployed strategically against the shell-shocked Lancastrians, a bogeyman figure to scare the children of Burnley. And their defence too.
But Bailey’s bullet will just be a footnote when the game is recalled in years to come. The real story will be the debate over which of the two wonder-strikes by Boro’s Academy kids was the best.
Alistair Brownlee, never short of a bit of colourful hyperbole, framed the question in Samba style as he likened the magic moments to the best of Brazilian giants.
When young lion Adam Reach scored a sublime strike to put Boro briefly ahead late on there was a real Roy of the Rovers feel to it (one for older readers there) and excitable Ali gushed improbably that it was “like Pele in his pomp.”
Reach had scored a deft goal on his debut against Doncaster Rovers two terms ago then made sure he marked his first league start in even more audacious and joyful fashion.
He picked the ball up just outside the box on the right and with team-mates making runs he opted not to play the pass but to check inside and go for goal from a distance and angle out of a geometry text-book. You should only be able to score from there on FIFA.
It was a beauty, a pearler, a ‘worldie’. It was #tekkers (there, some cultural box-ticking to even it up for the younger end of the demographic)).
The opposition were caught in an envelope of slow motion as Reach collected a threaded pass from Grant Leadbitter and made his move, shifting the ball inside to find the space and then effortlessly, from the corner of the box, he swung straight through the sweet spot and it streaked beyond a spectating shot-stopper and into the far to corner.
Technically it was a beautiful goal. Aesthetically it was divine. It was the kind of goal you only score in a day dream. That should have been that. The ‘Reach For The Stars’ headlines were written and the Gazette stars were with the engraver.
At this point Boro were playing with a real swagger, passing and probing and finding width and getting behind the defence with crisp interchanges and the meagre crowd, who had started the night pensive and nervous, were responding with a rare magical mixture of throaty partisan roars and genuine applause. And laughter. It was exhillirating stuff.
Burnley rallied and started pumping balls forward and after a few scares they scrambled level five minutes from time and there was an audible groan. Not again. Surely they couldn’t throw this away now after doing all the hard work!
But with time running out and the tension mounting in a frenetic final few minutes Luke Williams staked his own claim for goal of the season with another staggering strike.
Maybe technically it wasn’t quite as polished as Reach’s rocket but it was delivered with clinical precision when the pressure was on, time was running out and there were so many anxious fans breathing in that oxygen levels were crashing dangerously. And it was from far further out.
Bailey’s opener had been fired in from 25 yards; Reach’s second from 25 yards too but with added geometric difficulty; but Williams stretched the tape-measure as well as credulity as he hammered home his howitzer from fully 35 yards out. It was awesome.
“If Reach is Pele then Luke Williams is Jairzinho!” exclaimed Ali Brownlee in high-pitched ecstacy as Williams leathered a ludicrous laser-guided missile home.
What a crazy, crazy game. Fans who spent much of last season growling or sat in stony faced silence were chuckling with unalloyed glee .
Even without the goals it had been an instructive and progressive evening as the new look Mogganaut started to tick over in a far more convincing fashion that in the stuttering show at Barnsley.
There was an added balance to a solid three man midfield, a more solid, composed look at the back with Woodgate’s instinctive positional sense and Williams class and athleticism showing early signs of what could be a formidable pairing and there was far more incisive movement up front.
Impressive new boy Josh McEachran was at the heart of the crisp and fluid interchanging, showing Premier League quality in the range and well judged weight of his passing as time after time he threaded killer balls that scythed through the Burnley backline.
And Justin Hoyte was also influential, getting forward quickly to link up with the midfield and add width and pace and an attacking intent and three times he had good efforts blocked. Whisper it so the #haters don’t hear but he was a three star contender. If not for the goals he would have been my man of the match.
It was a great team performance showing a promising mixture of patient and enterprising passing, resilience and belief. And the burgeoning team spirit – obvious whenever you hear any of the players speak – was evident out on the pitch in a post-match huddle engineered by Mowbray, a tradition he introduced at Celtic as an inspirational skipper.
After two years in charge without such a visible symbolic act of unity maybe the gaffer feels now is the time. Maybe he feels now it is finally his team. And what a team!
Of course, it wasn’t perfect. Whatever Ali may say, they are not Brazil. There were rocky moments. At times they looked vulnerable to Burnley’s blistering pace down the flanks onto quick diagonals and once again poorly defended from crosses: routine balls in caused some jitters and led to both goals. And for long spells, for all the precise passing and patient possession in the opposition half, there was a lack of real bite inside the box.
But hey, that is just quibbling. That’s for another time. Let them bask in the spotlight after that display. And beside, who needs to show bite in the box when you can just whack in wonder-goals like that from miles out.

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38 thoughts on “Riverside Rockets Blast Burnley

  1. Fantastic stuff. When was the last time we scored three goals from outside the box in one game? The lad from Chelsea fitted in really well, but we must get him on the ball more often, wasn’t involved enough first half. Woody was excellent, some great blocks and tackles along with a well judged yellow for the team.
    Ledesma was good in flashes, and of course an inspired substitution at the end by Mogga.
    Man of the match? Justin Hoyte – up and down the touchline, taking his man on,
    and unlucky not to score. Cracking stuff.

  2. Brilliant result and three points on the board.
    McEachren is an outstanding addition to the team and Mogga must use this guy week in week out to utilise his quite phenomenal skills (watch this guy go). The downside is that Boro must get rid of this really annoying and immensely frustrating habit of going a goal down at the Riverside and then having to chase the game.
    Mogga, make the Riverside a fortress and we may start to look like a team who want and have the capability to challenge for the big league.

  3. BoroPhil –
    Never mind outside the box? How about 25 yards plus! I didnt think Williams and Reach could kick it that far.
    Pleased that the fans got some entertainment though it was ups and downs even listening to it.
    Something from the highlights was the amout of space on our left flank for both Burnley goals. It makes it difficult for the centre backs when players have time to measure their crosses. Good news in some ways as a return for Bennett should see much closer marking.
    From what has taken place so far maybe Friend is much better suited to centre back or back three. Thinking back to Pogo as left back he always drifted towards centre back when played on the left.
    Good to see Tom Craddock on the mark last night for Oxford.

  4. Yes by all accounts a very good game.
    As a lot of people have been saying for a long time give the youngsters a chance.
    Well they did not let us down in this game. With no disrespect to Arca and Haroun this game must have been at a much faster pace.
    Burnley are no pushovers. Now for Palace who have not started well… no, I dont think we will go into that.

  5. Now that we are already assured automatic promotion, do you think we will be able to score cracking goals like that every week.

  6. Well done Mogga, it looks like you read my comments and made the changes I suggested. If you want anymore advice just ring me!

  7. What a game indeed!
    The key was surely in team selection and tactics. Most of us raised an eyebrow at the very least with Saturday’s team selection but credit where it’s due, Mogga got it spot on last night.
    As soon as I saw Main and Reach in the starting XI I felt relief and hope. Including another youngster in McEachran (and what promise he has!) made the seletion a very brave one and TM was rewarded. I hope that he sticks with bravery as an apporach to his line-ups in future.
    We should remember that we were missing Duke, Emnes, Thomson, Bennett and Carayol last night – all presumably first teamers when fit – so the likes of Main and Reach will not become automatic choices overnight but it does reinforce the view that the squad this year is better balanced and deeper.
    A few words of caution. Two games in and still we have only managed 45 minutes of winning football. Also, it took three excellent strikes, the sort of which we absolutely can’t rely on with any regularity, to turn a good performance into a win. As ever it pays not to get too downhearted with defeats, and equally not too elated with victories, even absolutely barnstorming ones like last night!
    Crystal Palace up next. They’ve started poorly and were battered last night. The will surely come with the same plan as Burnley – sit and counter-attack – but without any confidence. Time for another brave selection and another victory, banishing Barnsley from memory.

  8. How can you not love a game that gives you as many sublime moments as that? The second half was a joy to watch. Lots of crisp passing and enterprising play.
    Have we ever scored three 25 yard plus strikes in one game? Now that is the trivia question to end all trivia questions. Fan-bloody-tastic!!!!!

  9. What a great night that was. I was having second thoughts about going after Saturdays performance but glad I was there to witness two of the best goals I have ever seen at The Riverside from two of our academy products and Nicky Bailey’s wasn’t bad either.
    Thought Steele looked very confident in goal and his distribution with the ball was excellent, always looking to set up attacks and looking for team mates in good positions, seemed to have an extra spring in his step, and an aura of confidence.
    Hoyte was the pick of the bunch at the back, displaying plenty of enthusiasm and looking to do that little bit extra, when maybe before he looked like he was just there to do a job. Hard to get past and a threat going forward.
    On the other side most of Burnleys attacks seemed to come from that area, Friend looking more like a centre back than a left back but I think it was Burnleys intention to use that wing to spearhead most of their attacks through their very talented full back Trippier. Woodgate and Rhys looked classy at the back but were again failing to get their head on the ball first.
    Nicky Bailey was our best player in the first half scored a great equaliser had a decent second half too but I thought we played better football after he went off taking a knock when Richie Smallwood came on who showed for the ball well and moved it around simple, Zemamma also made a big impact when he came on looking to get on the ball in all areas and at every opportunity.
    Josh McEachran had a promising debut and I can only see him getting better and should be handy for starting our attacks. Leadbitter is good at helping retain possession, missed a couple of shots mind but you can see his positive influence. Reach looked better in the second half when he switched to the right after a nervy start but looks a nice player and that was one hell of a strike from the lad.
    Up front I still can’t quite understand. Ledesema was playing down the middle again and dropping deep, while Main’s starting position was out on the right and trying to cut inside. McEachran was tucked in on the right hand side so Main was exploiting that space but it maid us look a bit toothless up front and Ledesma does not look like a striker who likes to play there on his own, he looks more like a support striker or coming in off the right wing and cutting inside onto his left foot.
    When Ledesma went off Main played down the middle and we looked much better balanced. Think Ledesma should start on the right and Main down the middle next time out. Obviously when Jutkievicz is fit to start he will have that roll.
    Thought young Williams strike was one the best goals I’ve ever seen at The Riverside, think he is an exceptional talent who should go all the way to the Premier League, if he keeps on listening and learning, hopefully with us this season.
    Oh and I’ll have to mention the life saving block by Richie Smallwood at the end diving to block a shot at goal that was worth a goal on its own. UTB!

  10. I’m right behind the approach new-look Middlesbrough are taking this season: Keep the ball, frustrate the opposition, and probe for an opening.
    Burnley barely had time to string two passes together in the first 15 minutes of the second half, which meant that when they did finally get the ball, they were cold and tired from chasing red shirts. It might frustrate the fans, and look like we lack ideas, but over 90 minutes it will wear down a limited Championship team and allow us to take control. Wasteful ‘Hollywod balls’ are off the agenda, and until we went one behind, long shots were certainly not allowed.
    MC Josh played a safe pass when he needed, but when the diagonal through to a runner was on, he didn’t hesitate to slide it through to try and create. Hoyte showed neat touches on the right and offered a wide option to Main (and really should have scored after a class turn), and Ledesma demonstrated that he does have a good footballing brain to time his runs and take neat touches.
    Obviously, the stand outs were the wonder goals. In this league, having two or three players with a bit of class can make all the difference, and that was the case last night as we showed that for all our neat passing, we can just smash them in from range.
    Once we have a presence up front again to help Ledesma or just offer more of an aerial threat in the box (Jukebox or maybe Fuller), I think we can look a threat. We’re one good striker away from a rout, and if we can stop the crosses coming in quite so often, we should start racking up the clean sheets too.

  11. Nothing to add to the comments above. Fabulous match.
    I listened to Ali through Boro+ and followed #borolive via twitter at home. The commentary of Ali and Higgy was just great. Ali just needs a game like this and he is flying. Great atmosphere and nice comments from fans – some at the Riverside or immediately outside the stadium after the match.
    So Mogga was villain last Saturday and a hero three days later. Let’s just hope for a bumper gate against Palace on Saturday. Up the boro!

  12. Fuller has gone to Charlton so maybe Ismael Miller will emerge as favourite to come in.
    I am not overly enamoured, 25 year old and has only played 120 games with 15 goals but he has been injured. My main memory is of his woeful,selfish and wasteful finishing when he played against us for the Baggies in our relegation season.
    As I have been championing the cause of Main and the kids – if they have shirt numbers and get paid, play them or get shot – I dont want non scoring strikers blocking what we have.
    Juke is to come back, Marvin will return, we have the three who featured last night. I would rather Scottie come back in than another re tread, in fact, keep the money if we get shot of Scottie.
    Or another like young Mceachran would be OK.
    Jarkko –
    From the commentary it seemed like we improved as the new boy came in to the game, that seemed to coincide with him coming more central.
    Hopefully we can get off to a bit of a flier on Saturday. Palace had a shocker last night and we dont wont to bed them in gently. Foot on throat is called for, a good kicking whilst they are down would not go amiss.

  13. That was much better and worth the long detour to Scotch Corner after the A19 was closed before the match. Little to choose between the sides in the first half and if anyone new comes along to the Riverside then patience and appreciation of the
    finer points of the game are required.
    We got better as the game wore on, McEachran pulling the strings. Improvement all round from the debutants which leaves you to wonder whether Barnsley was an aberration.
    Two wonder goals from Reach and Williams who I have not seen since the Strachan era.Reach’s goal was similar to that of Robson’s against Hull last year.
    Liked the huddle at the end and reasons for it caring for the town and the revelation it is Mogga’s team and ‘overcoming barriers’ would that be a coded reference to the Strachan faction that was finally banished from the field last night. Bye bye McManus and McDonald.

  14. Sounded like a terrific second half with top drawer goals – saw them on Youtube this morning, Adam Reach’s was class and Luke Williams just flew in from 35 yards.
    Nice to see the academy lads being given their chance along with McEachran and performing well – let’s hope we can gain confidence from this and continue where we left off against a struggling Palace side.
    Please Mogga don’t spend too much time trying to out-think their manager – they’re not going to look forward to coming here and having people run at them and we have players chomping at the bit (hopefully we have someone ready to take pens as we may get a couple) – perhaps only bring in Bennett for Friend to shore up the left of defence.
    OK, we can’t rely on wonder goals every game but sometimes they can galvanise the team and improve confidence in front of goal knowing that anythings possible.
    Though Boro started slow as usual (Is that the plan?) – but let’s not dampen the enthusiasm of the fans with any negative start and allow Palace to get comfortable as we’re all too aware of what can happen following a good victory in front of a large expectant crowd…

  15. They’ve gone and done it now, haven’t they? Just when I’d got my mental-health-armour up, in full self-preservation pessimistic mode, they go and do that. Not just beat Burnley but win in style.
    Now I’m doomed and cruising’ for a bruisin’. I’m not just looking forward to the next game, I’m eagerly looking through the fixtures to see which away games I can get to. It’ll all end in tears.
    Being Boro, there’s every chance we’ll all come crashing back to earth against Palace and Saturday night will see me sobbing in my pint.

  16. Promotion teams succeed through one of two very basic strategies: 1. out-score everybody; or 2. tight defence.
    Southampton were examples of the first approach, with two of the top three scorers in the division plus four others players in double figures. In contrast, Reading adopted the other strategy with the meanest defence in the division while their top scorer bagged a mere 11 goals.
    Boro threaten to do neither. Looking at the footage of last night’s match, I continue to be concerned about our leaky defence. We are remarkably susceptible to headed goals.
    Woody was always more a sweeper-type CB than a Mogga-type commanding CH who gets ‘is ‘ed on everything. The problem is that Williams is much the same. Neither of them naturally attack the ball when crossed. That would not necessarily be fatal if we had a prolific attack. But, unless there’s a revolution about to happen, we don’t. Poor at defending headers and limited attacking threat. It’s not a promising combination.
    Looking for a silver lining, this is a very new defence which will improve as it beds down. Furthermore Friend doesn’t look like a natural FB and the return of Bennett should tighten things. And maybe, just maybe, last night was the dawn of a new attacking goalscoring era.

  17. Josh from Chelsea is a fantastic signing, exactly what we have needed for years! Yes, the goals were brilliant, all of them, but he was the most important feature of last night’s exciting match.
    He stitched it all together for us the way I suspect Thomson was meant to; he did not huff and puff as much as Barry Robson, but he played better! Even where our team did not figure out the purpose of his passes, there was a purpose: and he’s on a year’s loan. Optimism returns: Barnsley? Where or what is Barnsley?

  18. Nikeboro –
    Totally agree about the two W’s at the centre of the defence. Just dont let the opposition have the ball, pass it to a red shirt.
    Josh 2 (as opposed to Josh who?) will make the passes. Mogga says he can spot a pass, in reality he probably spots a space. If players keep moving then the pass can be made.
    At their best Arsenal and Barca are not drilling 60 yard passes through eight pairs of legs, they play passes of all lengths apparently finding players at will. They are probably passing in to space secure in the knowledge there will be someone there.
    We have lots of technically gifted kids who can do that for fun but you have to play with tempo. The original idea under GS1 was to play at tempo und utilise the kids. Sadly many left to be followed by a fire sale to cover the costs of poor tranfers and relegation.
    The production line slowed up but Williams and Smallwood came through, then Bennett and Steele and another batch are knocking at the door.
    Hopefully Mogga can make Gibbo’s dream happen. It will still take time to settle all the players in but do it with a bit of tempo. You can run most of these teams ragged. Dont allow them to play their way, let them worry about us.

  19. It’s the Boro Boys who shine. Sounds like a cracking game A.V.
    Few worrying features on how we concede goals, however, so many positives.
    Strange but I was glad Emnes did not play. He is a huge talent and a major player for us however, Mowbray would play the lad with one leg in plaster. At Barnsley he hobbled around for 75 minutes yet we have the kids begging for a chance to show their skills.
    Who were the kids who stepped up to the plate last night? Williams, Reach and Main.
    Everyone has been hounding Tony to play these kids yet he only played then because he had run out of options.
    If the cockney kid is old, enough at 19 to play then so are our kids. They showed last night that they could become stars if given the chance.
    Well done to all of last night’s team
    Up the Boro

  20. Jeffrey –
    That’s actually a good point about McEachran. There has been little talk by Mogga of him being too young to command a starting place, yet his hesitance to play our own youngsters is based on wanting them to be gradually introduced into a winning team.
    I think you should play people who are confident and on form regardless of age – if the kids falter then that is the time to leave them out not when they are seemingly on fire and full of energy.
    It will be interesting to see what team plays on saturday given that some of the injured will be available again.

  21. Im over the moon with any win and its interesting to hear Mowbray mention maybe another couple could come in in his latest interview,
    Its funny but we cant seem to get a break when it comes to attendances. Burnley bring 500, whilst we take nearly 4000 to Barnsley. Sheff Wed take 5000 to their away game, all boosting the home teams finances

  22. Thought all 3 goals were very lucky long range punts to be honest caused by woeful defending and closing down from the Bumley midfield.
    AV writes: LOL. One of the more bitter comments on the Lancashire Evening Post match took that line and suggested Reach had ‘shinned it.’.

  23. To be fair to Mogga you never quite know how the kids will fit in and perform.
    Last season he knew exactly what he was going to get from the likes of Nimely, Ogbeche, Thomson, Arca and Martin. If he had given the kids the odd cameo it might have taken the edge off our home performances.

  24. Hope what i am reading elsewhere is not going to happen now. Quote: Swansea ready to up offers for Emmes and Bailey.
    If this had been done earlier I wouldnt have had a problem as this would have given us ample time to replace them. But now I feel they must wait until January as we dont want more loan signings.
    Wolves have just sold two players on Prem wages and netted £24 million so they will be spending a bit now. Think its too late to get the right replacements now.

  25. Patience and Resilience will be required this year as we find ourselves in the perfect storm of change and youth. Both Barnsley and Burnley will happen again several times this season. Patience as the new people find their form and their place – far too many new faces to expect anything but good days and bad days till Jan.
    Patience; the key features of u21s is inconsistency. They are \ work-in-progress – literally learning on-the-job. What I will expect this year is just like the British weather stormy days followed by wall to wall sunshine with no other pattern other than trends mixed in with chaos. I may now have been relegated to Boro Pride, but when i can and do go – I will have to remind myself what to expect – the unexpected.

  26. In time, a run of steady 1-0’s, a leaf or two out of Jack Charlton’s book, and a solid position maintained at or near the top of the table, will have more chance of gradually filling the Riverside, and that is the key to continuing success.
    Then you can add the euphoric, 7-0 (Sheff Wed type) victories as the icing on the cake. All the great teams/managers start with that cast-iron defence.
    The squad seems to be expanding, but keep those golden oldies handy, if they are still on the books. There will be many battles ahead.

  27. I suppose if there aren’t at least 4 world class goals for Boro at the Palace game, it will be decried as a step backwards.
    And I agree with Werdermouth in his comment about Jeffrey Wood’s letter at 6.11pm yesterday: “If the cockney kid is old enough to play at 19…”

  28. I just wanted to make a comment about Emnes. He seems to be a bit of an egnima to many people and I think they have short memories,
    When we bought Emnes (the best young player in Holland), he was a left winger the type to cut in and cause problems, an Oxy/chamberlain type that Aresnal payed I think £12m for. Let me tell you Emnes for me is more talented than Oxi/cham but for some reason we cant bring it out of him. WHY?
    You dont coach these guys ,you say go out there and petrify the other team.
    Mogga – give Emnes a free role: put him left, put him right, he’s no good up the middle where he gets kicked out of games

  29. frm –
    The Team That Jack Built was odd in that it wasnt packed with defensive players. A front six of Murdoch, Sounness, Armstrong, Mills, Hickton and Foggon were attack minded.
    The trick was the fact they attacked when they had the ball and defended when they didnt. They got the reputation for being too defensive because they were cussed competitors. After a 0-0 at Liverpool the story leaked out that Shankly told his back four not to cross the half way line because we mugged them the previous season.
    On to the news that Liverpool have been reported by Fulham over the actions trying to get Dempsey from Fulham. Dempsey has not been in to the squad because he is unsettled.
    What is more I am throwing my weight behind the complaint because he is in my fantasy football team and I have had to waste a transfer.
    Of even greater importance is the match tomorrow. It will be intriguing to see the team. Will it be don’t change a winning line up? Or will the injured players come back in?

  30. Ian –
    this was getting boring. It’s already Friday and there have been no in-coming transfers since – what – Monday. So glad to have the new player number 11 in here. I trust Mogga that we will get another striker before the end of the next week – depending if we can sell McDonald, though.
    Saw that we happen to win 2-1 every second Riverside game against Palace. After a 0-0 draw last season, it’s a 2-1 home win banker. Up the Boro.

  31. Palace will be desperate to get something after their start but may also be low on confidence. I expect that if we can score first we’ll probably win. Here’s hoping for a fast start.
    Is the Ismael Miller loan confirmed? He did well with Mogga at West Brom and looks to have everything we need from a striker except the obvious – a proven goalscoring record. I suppose if he’d scored a shedload we wouldn’t be able to pick up him up.
    If he is coming in, does that indicate someone will be leaving? Clearly McDonald is being shown the door if a taker can be persuaded but could it be Emnes with the Swansea rumours not going away? Or is that just cheap talk? What will it mean for Main?
    **AV writes: Yes, Miller has now been signed on a one year loan deal. Big lad up front of the sort that offers an option we have needed for years. Whether he is a success there is yet to be seen but he certainly ticks a few boxes we have been missing for ages. Again, whatever you may think – and some people have taken up the traditional Teesside post of pre-emptive scorn – he is the gaffer’s choice and we have to trust that Mogga is aware of what he can add to the squad skill set.

  32. Hope! Hopefully!!!!
    Mogga needs a spell in front of the GB cycling coaches, just read todays peice in the news… don’t ‘hope’! Either you do or you dont. Say you will. Dont ‘hope’. Possibly is better when describing if someone is going to be fit, but never hope to win! never hopefully we will try and not fail again!!
    Bring back the 86 badge!
    rant over!

  33. Jinky needed a transfer away from Man City – but I still hoped he’d have stayed there for another year. Then he could have joined us in the PL next year as we cannot afford him now.
    But the question, AV: Was there a sell-on clause for Boro to receive any money? We need a striker still to get GHw out …
    Up the Boro!
    **AV writes: No sell on clause. Boro got £8m up front plus an extra £1m when he made his England debut but that was it. Not bad for someone with six months left on their contract. But #boo etc.

  34. I thought the Juke was the one to tick the boxes AV. Does that mean when both are fit, the ticked box will be forever ticked with one coming on for the other after 60?
    I hope not.

  35. AV – Yep, agree with your response. If Miller messes up a decent chance on début he will be written off for some, confirmed their pre-emptive scepticism, but that’s the way it’s been at the Boro for as long as I remember.

  36. Disappointing, Simon Cox has gone to Forest and Fuller to Charlton, we end up with the short straw with Miller. I think Fuller would have been fantastic. As usual muppet Mowbray messes up.I don’t have much faith in him and that is why fans are staying away. As usual, all the hype before the season, about promotion and being up for it, then get beaten at Barnsley 1-0 after an insipid performance. This club talks the talk, but does NOT !!!! walk the walk.
    **AV writes: Barnsley is so last week. Samba skills and Brazilian goals from our parmo-powered pocket-Peles and are the new meme.

  37. Just back from a couple of weeks away and I find Boro placed nicely in the top six with noises being made about glimpses of exciting footie starting to emerge at the Riverside.
    I’ve had a peek on Boro+ and the young lads have certainly banged in a couple of cracking goals. Given that this is a new team playing in a new style two wins out of three seems like a good start to me.
    I’m off to Gillingham tonight with Reeve jnr, can’t wait!

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