Deadline Day: ‘Live’ But Truncated

SORRY but this Deadline Day ‘Live’ blog is going to be a bit rubbish. And not just because I think it will be all quiet on the Boro front. If David Craig turns up in the car-park at Hurworth he will need to get there early for any footage. The only players he will sight at the ground today are those getting on the coach ready for the red eye trip to Millwall.
No it is also going to be a bit rubbish because I’ll be taken out of the equation for a big chunk of it. I’m gutted. The grand televised shouty Sky Sports Speculatathon is one of the highlights of my year, like an Hyberbole Eurovision meets It’s A Knockout . But the outside world and family commitments mean I am going to be out of the game all evening. And there’s a three line whip on this one. Who plans these things?

There seems little point in starting the ball rolling and then not being around and hard-wired in to events, recycling the gossip, jokes and internet meme and pressing the ‘publish’ button on your own wit and wisdom just when things are hotting up. But we’ll do what we can. You’ll all have to dig deep and help out.
I’m not expecting any hot Boro signing action (although that has never stopped us free-styling all night before) but if anything big does happen or the Jim White Scoopbot melts down and runs amok in the studio, overturning Asimov’s First Law of Robotics and violently attacking tame agent Sky Andrew and which ever one of the army of android autocuties that gets the gig – and I’ll be Sky Plussing it, just the three hours with Jim on, just in case. Not the support acts, I’m not THAT sad. I’ll try and share the highlights and emotions of the moment later on. Although I may be a bit drunk. Anything could happen! Oh dear. That doesn’t sound very professional does it?
That means it’s mainly down to you lot later on. Feel free to keep me updated on any breaking news/views/gossip/airport spottings of Slovakian left-backs or cars outside the Tontine with the registration plate M355I or R00N3Y. You write them up on here and I’ll fiddle with my phone under the table to publish your posts. Let’s suck it and see.
So what do we know so far?
The chances of Emnes leaving for Swansea are dropping by the second. They wouldn’t meet Boro’s valuation (about £5m) and we wouldn’t drop to their meagre £3m offer during last week’s brinkmanship. Since then they have sold Scott Sinclair to Manchester City but spent the bulk of the money on Valencia winger/striker Pablo Hernandez. So that one looks dead. Unless someone else comes in for him but there is little indication of that.
We’ve got some nice quotes from Mogga on Emnes and the saga in today’s Gazette in which he insists he expects Marvin to be playing against Millwall tomorrow.
Meanwhile, we’ve also got quotes today on the prospect of replacing Rhys with Andre Amougou, The Artist Formerly Known As Bikey. TAFKAB has been training with Boro again this week – he had a trial last month – and Mogga will talk with him next week,. There’s an international break now and he is a free agent so the window isn’t an issue.
Mogga more or less said he was switching his phone off today and is ready to wait. By the time the international break is over the loan window will be open.
11am update..
There’s plenty of rumours flying around of course. Tuncay has been touted around as he tries to undo the career damage (and chronic neck strain) of his spells as a spectator of robust route onery at Bolton and Stoke and naturally all Boro fans have deep in their DNA a desire to bring back much loved former favourite step-over merchants. But then again, Marinelli is available. And Adam Hammill.
There was also an amusing ripple in cyberspace earlier this week as it was suggested a former England and Liverpool striker with high profile equine connections now looking for a club was poised to arrive on Teesside. Naturally the rumour mongers meant racing buff Michael Owen. In fact, celebrated cart-horse Emile Heskey was closer to the mark.
With have also been “linked” by “sources” with “an interest” in “weighing up” a “mooted move” for “in-demand” Burnley striker Charlie Austin. Well he has scored against Boro so he ticks all the boxes.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has stepped up his bid to put together a really good Premier League reserve side as he confirmed a £500,000 deal for highly rated young Chesterfield striker Jordan Bowery.
12 noon update
Teesside rock ‘n’roll football writer and food fad sceptic John Nicholson has devised a way to get through the the gruelling slog of deadline day, a drink-along-a-cliche game that will have you ratted by the time Jim’s circuits have powered up. He too has noticed that increasingly the main focus of the evening is the car park doyle fest as rival supporters gather around SSN cameras to gurn and cheer on cue in a banal race to the bottom.
Meanwhile Crystal Palace speed merchant Wilfried Zaha, the best player Boro faced last term – twice – and pretty good last week at the Riverside too, is in talks with Southampton. And possibly Reading as well. He should be worth £6-8m I reckon. And former flavour of the month Leeds goal-getter Jermaine Beckford, in the cold at Leicester, is in talks with Huddersfield who have £8m of Jordan Rhodes cash to burn.
If you are feeling sad, lonely, over-looked and forgotten on this lively and exciting day of big money buys and high profile movement at the highest echelons of football, take a look at the sad twitter feed from Michael Owen, a ghost ship drifting, waiting, waiting…
Elsewhere the BBC website have a little coffee-break featurette on the five best and worst deadline deals in Premier League history and they include Afonso Alves £12.7m arrival into a Samba carnival at the Riverside in January 2008. That’s outrageous. What woeful research. We’ve signed FAR WORSE than that. At least he scored goals and we got some money back. I mean, Michael Rickets! Mido!
12.30pm update
Judging by twitter, Boro transfer activity seems to be hotting up with a host of familiar faces now looking to complete some long running sagas and finally sign. Here’s just a taster of the top star-spotting retro-rumours flying around on my twitter.
Middlesbro Sup South – Robert Lee just commented on what lovely weather we have in #Boro. Can’t wait to join…
TheRealFenby – Roudolph Douala spotted at Durham Tees Valley Airport, the clubs 10th bid for him in 5 seasons
Peterd22 – Diego Forlan on the plane as we speak, taking a direct flight to DTV this time though
MatthewBrown – Vagner Love is stood outside Albert Park signing autographs #apparently
Dendog_UK – Igor Cvitanovics work permit has just been issued by the home office. #untypicalborodeadlineday
PaulGarbs – Gibbo & messi spotted viewing bedsit above ‘Cod Almighty’!!
Peterd22 – Phil Whelan stuck in traffic on way to Rockcliffe, doesn’t think he’ll make the deadline
smoggy999 – Branco spotted having a crafty fag with a limping Branca outside Boro fish bar….
dtooth89 – Muzzy Izzett set to finally sign after finally agreeing to end this 10-year-long transfer saga? Anything in it??
Right, I’m out to make a beat the deadline lunchtime swoop…
2pm update
BORO LATEST: Team coach has pulled up outside the hotel, somewhere swanky on the leafy western outskirts of London. No extra passengers picked up at Wetherby or Watford Gap. Biggest buzz among the players is over Mario Kart.
Meanwhile snaggle-toothed deep fried Mars bar merchant Charlie Adam has joined Stoke, Clint Dempsey has spat his dummy and refused to join Villa after Fulham agreed a fee. He is stamping his feet and insisting on Liverpool while poor snubbed Paul Lambert is trying to look cool about it. He never really wanted him anyway.
Oh no! shark-jumping Sky Sports have just lurched into a post-ironic netherworld: they have broken into rolling news to show live footage of Jim White entering the building and immediately started to crank up the levels of hysteria.
Now they are repeating it and reporting it as news. It is beyond parody. His colleagues are openly laughing about there own loss of perspective. He is the headline act. You can imagine a host of ego-merchants and prima donnas deliberately delaying their moves until well after 7pm in order to ensure they get the full dramatic up-to-eleven Jim White hyperbole-afterburner treatment. Who wants to be reported by an indentikit underling. I would insist it was written into my contract before I signed.
Meanwhile, are there strange, sinister and inexplicable stirrings beneath the surface dynamics of football finances? Has the transfer market become sentient? Has it taken on a life of its own? A good read about the mysteries of money movements here on FCF.
4pm update
How rumours start: I’ve just seen Phil Stamp entering a building closely connected to football where fortunes beyond our mortal dreams are made every week. No, not Rockcliffe… the bookies next to the Coronation at Acklam shops. Seriously.
Some other twitter chatter
geepjay99 – Marco Branca, Branco, and Fabio arriving by hot air balloon from Jamie Pollacks house in Osasuna, #blastfromthepast
StuartDick1 – Paul Proudlock seen at hurworth. Mowbray keeping the 86 thing going on! #halcyondays
KevinStockill80 – mate who works at Rockcliffe Hotel just spotted Alan Boksic walking through hotel lobby with a pair of slippers.
imBishme – Jaimie Moreno seen in kebabish on Scunthorpe rd. Major leagues finest!
atomicloonybin – Just seen Tarmo Kink in a taxi. He was driving it.
Meanwhile, word filters out from the Aston Villa pre-match presser that Joe Bennett – who has never quite been fit for Boro in recent weeks – looks set for his debut tomorrow against Newcastle after Enda Stevens picked up a knock. *raises one eyebrow*
11pmm round-up
So what did I miss? Not much. Chelsea dismantled by a player they will now try to buy in the next four windows. Smoke coming out of Jim White’s circuits. A gathering of village idiots outside various training grounds. Spurs honouring the memory of ‘Arry Redknapp with a crazed last day splurge. Fulham shafting both clause-busting poachers Liverpool (who are now an injury to Suarez away from playing Stewie up front) and stroppy refusenik Clint Dempsey (who is now at a club he doesn’t want to be at in a nose/spite situation) in a delicious act of vengeful brinkmanship. Owen will be there on a pay-per-play within a week.
At our level there were some interesting moves: Billy Sharp has gone to Kuwaite-backed Forest on loan and alongside Simon Cox that gives them some serious firepower at this level. But he will be on big bucks and it is wishful thinking we could bring him in (at least, not while Scott McDonald is still on the books). Elsewhere long time flirtee Steven Dobbie has gone to Brighton on loan and Captain Dragback, Adam Hammill, to Huddersfield.
On Planet Boro, as Mogga had predicted, nothing happened. But that’s no bad thing. We can do without last minute reshuffling. Emnes stayed put and the Bennett exit has clearly been factored in for at least the last few weeks. Everything is under control.
It would be easy to chunter a bit that Boro have done no business on deadline day and we are showing no ambition and we are still weak in some areas. But as whole the window has been productive. Mogga has brought in 10 players, men that he wanted and who have added to the skills set and widened the tactical options, and – breaking the mould – he got them all in early. He has his own squad now and th efirst few glimpses of them this season have been promising. So far so good.
And with a two week break after Millwall there is plenty of time to bring in free agents and then the loan window opens… for ins and outs… and Mogga has a few already in mind to fill the gaps. There’s no rush. And there is now some leeway in the budget to jiggle it about in January if any glaring weaknesses emerge. We’ve done alright.
Now… Millwall… what do you reckon?

25 thoughts on “Deadline Day: ‘Live’ But Truncated

  1. I was truncated once. Nasty business. Hope you have a swift recovery, go easy on the booze until the anaesthetic wears off…

  2. And here’s me thinking we were all your virtual family on this blog – how can you desert us at this crucial time just because your wife challenged you to a drinking competition this evening – though once you’ve been drunk under the table it will at least make it easier to use your iPhone more discreetly.
    I propose a toast to our new 20 goal a season striker…

  3. I’m very well connected at the club and confirm nothing will happen today.
    Unless of course they haven’t told me everything, for fear of me shooting my mouth off over the Internet and spoiling our move for Clyde Platt.
    So who knows, exciting? Meh.
    Bikey and Castelan to sign after window closes as free agents.
    McDonald off to Qatar as their window is at a later date.
    Nailed on

  4. I’m with John Powls on the Amougou thing., what does he bring us that we haven’t already got? Surely there is no point in bringing in a new centre back unless McManus is going? If McManus is sold then fair enough if the new man is cheaper. If McManus is to be loaned out then Bror will be paying a significant part of his salary at which point surely its more sensible to keep him and have him on the bench or stepping in when Woodie needs a rest?
    As for the £4m Mogga has deposited in the savings account from Bennett, we’ll need that come June when we start shopping around for Premiership quality players……..
    **AV writes: Or January when we know exactly where weaknesses are and where we need to add in order to step up the promotion push. There are also a few possibilities of loans still on the drawing board as well as free agents like TAFKAB and Romeo Castelan floating around.

  5. AV – If you have a night out planned with Mrs V I for one will be happy for you to concentrate on that and having a few bevvies.
    As we now shop in Primark remnants box for players it may be next week before we get excited. The one caveat is were all the players counted on to the bus? Did Mogga and Bauser go with them? If it is a positive to all those I think you can safely leave the building.
    TAFKAB? Maybe not.

  6. I agree with John Powls and Nigel Reeve on Amougou – no thanks. We have Hines and McManus, Friend and the kids. Even Nicky Bailey did well there in that cameo late last season.
    Any idea how far away Matty Bates is from a return?
    The money would be better spent on a goalscorer. Perhaps we should wait and see if Burnley’s mediocre start turns into a crisis, keeping an eye on Charlie Austin? Or would a loan move for Jay Bothroyd be out of the question (wages?)?
    I won’t be disappointed if we just pocket the cash for a rainy day.

  7. “I’ll fiddle with my phone under the table”
    Ha ha ha. That reminds of my daughter’s wedding, which took place at exactly the same time as Schalke-Bayern.(Very bad planning!) My son kept us all up to date in the church by sneakily peeking at his mobile every now and then without anybody noticing. Which was quite a task, seeing as he was the best man…

  8. I was supposed to comment on the last blog piece but haven’t had the time, but hey, it’s still almost relevant..
    Thankyou and good luck to Joe Bennett, I accept the criticisms of his limitations as a player and understand why he has to jump at the opportunity to play in the Prem. His commitment to the Boro cause was never in doubt and we can’t ask more of any player than that.
    Which brings us to Scottie and Big Mick. I’ve never seen (or heard of) either of them offer less than than their all on the pitch, it’s not their fault they’re on the money that they are. Compare and contrast with Yak’s last (non) appearance.
    However, regardless of how hard he works, and he does work hard, Scottie doesn’t offer value for money and so he has to go. With the injury to Rhys W, I’m happy to keep big Mick on as cover, at least until Rhys is back in the New Year.
    I was at the Gills match and it was immediately obvious something awful had happened, it occurred to me that it might be career ending (he hasn’t a great injury record). If he’s back at Christmas then it may prevent our post Xmas slump..
    Friend and Carayol were both excellent, more of the same from those two please. However in the second half our passing was sloppy, over or under hit, with Arca occasionally playing balls only he was reading. Miller was a muscular presence but though he was winning the knock downs, his team mates weren’t getting close enough to him to make it count.
    Also when the Gills, and credit to them, started bringing the fight to us, we looked fairly easily cowed. Millwall will try and bully us from the off, if we’re not mentally prepared for a scrap then we will suffer. Chatting to people on the way out, no one thought that last goal was going in. Well worth the entrance fee! A big thanks to the Gills fans as well, very friendly.
    As for the transfer window, I’m intensely relaxed about it, if we get the money for Emnes great, if not we’ve kept a useful player.
    **AV writes: If you think the Gills fans were friendly you should have seen Martin Allen in action. As we were leaving maybe an hour after the game he was still hanging around at the main press/staff/players entrance personally thanking the last few stragglers for their contribution: everyone, stewards, ticket office staff, what looked like youth team players, ground-staff, tea-lady, the reggae crazed Ranking MMP at the controls… even we got a cheery farewell. Lovely bloke.

  9. As much as I admire our Acadamy for producing some raw young talent it does seem to be run on a “puppy farm” mentality…!

  10. We are so far down the food chain that according to Sky Sports transfer news Bennett is still mulling over the Villa deal and Mogga is saying he doesnt have to sell him.
    The only Craig likely to be seen at Hurworth is probably the paper boy.

  11. Losing Rhys Williams ang getting TAFKAB is like when you prang a lovely motor and end up driving round in a knackered courtesy car that goes slower, is less efficient and results in endless calls to the body shop asking them to hurry up.

  12. I’ve spent a futile hour googling for a footballer called TAFKAB. I missed it in your article, AV, but spotted the reference in the comments. I thought he must be a Slovenian LB mate of Kinder’s. He’s not but it’s surprising how many things are called TAFKAB.

  13. Look, chaps…it’s STILL the cricket season! Yorkshire had a great win, needed chasing 314 with 2 wickets standing. No problem! England in with a good chance of beating SA in the burger-sized version of the game…
    On that basis, anyone less than an Iniesta coming in, and I will be disappointed. At a pinch, I’d accept Bale as a replacement for Bennett. But please, no Michael Owen, a player who has aged far more quickly than the clock would suggest. It would only encourage a gambling culture amongst the squad!

  14. We know you are not nipping out for a quick Parmo. The Vickers family food night out will not end up at a chippy. Actually, Vic…..if you are going to spend the evening at the Tontine….
    Firstly you should see the tsunami of stellar players arriving for last minute discussions with “The Management”. Everyone a Galactico. Sneak out to the loos and tweet from there. Mind you, the walls are thick and you might have to go outside.
    Actually I think it was a good move for the club to hold what, from this year on, we will call its “summer auditions” in the Tontine. It gives an opportunity to identify those whose Trencherman abilities outweigh their football skills, and allows an oversight into the degree to which alcohol dependence has taken over.
    A nice grilled chicken breast (without that creamy sauce, please) or a piece of poached salmon accompanied with steamed summer vegetables – tick. Glass of Chablis to accompany – tick. The full fried Monty, followed by the sticky toffee pudding with cream AND ice cream, and chased down by eight or nine bottles of that naughty foreign lager and a few Jaegerbombs, and then “I’ll drive back…” …. Hmmm!
    Also, mate, if you are not buying, you might find a very decent Rioja there…
    From 2013 onwards, we could organise a little diversion for players/agents intended for further up the north-east coast. It’s clearly too far to go all that way into the uncivilised wastes without a stop at the “Last Restaurant before Panhackelty”. We don’t just do burgers in North Yorkshire, mate! There’s some decent European cuisine here!
    Might stop a few going further north? It would be like rescuing a lost soul. There’s more rejoicing in Heaven….
    Your next blog piece could be a real fusion affair. Food, drink, European football elite…and the feeling of joy that comes from saving a soul from perdition.
    (I’m sure the Trinity Mirror charge card will run to a few nice single malts, too. Might as well make a night of it. Book a room, You can plug in your laptop and then give us the full story from your bedroom). You know it makes sense….
    **AV writes: Just a normal night out for me and Mrs V that as well you know.

  15. Quite like Jim’s yellow tie and matching Natalie Sawyer. A quick “google” (stop sniggering at the back), reveals she is married to a certain Sam Matterface. All I can say is… there’s hope for us all!

  16. @Ian Gill – we must be going backwards then.
    The midday roundup at Villa to herald the arrival of Jordan ‘goal-getter’ Bowery saw the on-site reporter boldly try to recall their other signings, finally settling with “a right back from Middlesbrough… and some others”.
    I’m more looking forward to the closing of the loan window, when the Championship has their mad scramble to try to bring in the forgotten players of the Premier League, people like Rob Hulse, Michael Johnson and Luke Young.

  17. Billy Sharp has just joined Forest on a season long loan from the Saints – How did we miss out on that one? He would have been ideal.

  18. Can we stop mentioning Forest. There are another 20 odd teams in this division, why does every blog mention then. Not to mention the #onthisboroday that chronicles our defeats by them quite nicely too.
    Do we think the Fabulous Forest blog has comments such as ‘mighty middlesborough (that’s how they’d spell it) poach Grant Leadbitter, and go on and whinge.
    No they do not.

  19. Werdermouth –
    Dont mention where Billy Sharp went to, it will create a power surge of rage on the net from a certain party. I switched my computer off just in case.
    To be fair mr Sharp has always played in the area north of the east midlands it is home for him.
    A very quiet night all round.

  20. OK, Sharp’s wages may have been too much for lean Boro – As for Millwall, I was reading the post match blog in a dream last night where you talked about another four terrific goals for Boro – just dark chocolate induced nonsense? or a premonition of things to come?

  21. Very disappointing and worrying result against Millwall this lunchtime. I raised my fears pre season that we could sort out our home form, but lose our superb away record. And so it appears. Mogga needs to sort this trend out immediately.

  22. Werdermouth –
    See, youve upset Smog again.
    Following this lunchtimes result I opened a spreadsheet and after much playing came up with the fact that if results go as they are we will finish up with 69 points and just outside the play offs.
    I admit whether we can win all 23 at home and conspire not get an away point is a weakness in my assumptions.

  23. There is no point playing pretty football if it does not have an effective outcome. By contrast, Millwall were more effective and direct with less possession of the ball at the times when they scored.
    We seem not to be solid enough at the moment and variable in attack to threaten the opposition and less so if we choose to keep,a pacy winger in Reach, not only the bench but do not introduce him in the game.
    This defeat was annoying because it was avoidable if we mixed up our play.
    We now have a big man up front, we have wingers available, we are less stunted than we were last year.This game played into Millwall’s hands through our own naivety and ineffectualness.
    There are two stiff away test coming up Blackpool and Blackburn which should indicate whether we are serious promotion contenders.

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