Welsh Raretrip: Boro ‘Defeat’ Shock & Mooted Move For Stewie

OKAY Boro lost. That’s a set-back but far from a disaster. A run of nine undefeated and seven on the road – the last away defeat at Blackpool seems like a lifetime ago – has piled up the points, pushed Boro right into a contention and has raised expectations but this is still the crazy championship and every game comes down to fine margins. We lost.
But as anyone watching on Dodgyvision will tell you, Boro totally bossed the game, had a decent team that had won eight home games in a row on the back-foot and created a string of good chances. It was a good perfromance. After a scrappy start with a lot of misplaced passes and a sloppy leaked goal from a set-play, Boro tightened up and grabbed control. set the pace, imposed the shape and asked all the questions. They just couldn’t score on the day. It happens.


Some cynics will have been waiting (for a long time) to say: see, the bubble has burst. We’ll see. There are games when you drive home from a 1-0 defeat and feel gutted because you have been roundly beaten, didn’t compete and didn’t give it a crack, But this wasn’t one of those. This drive home was a head-scratching exercise: how on Earth are we coming home empty handed after that? Boro dominated. The shot count, possession stats and any neutral objective view would surely have concluded the away team were better, slicker, sharper and more creative. We can leave with heads high, counting the positives and looking forward to the next game.
Cardiff are rated as one of the best teams in the Championship, they are well resourced, have a strong squad and excellent home form. But on that showing Boro are a ‘better’ teaam. Cardiff are effective with Whittingham’s dead-balls and solid in defence but showed little else to terrifiy anyone. And, not to mince words, they are rubbish away.
So let’s take the positives. Boro had to lose some time (put it down to the boss gong curse if you want) but that defeat was narrow and came in a game they controlled and arguably should have won. It was far from demoralising.
Now it is time to start another 10 game run, starting with two winnable home games (while Cardiff have three out of their next four away, and they are woeful on the road) and hopefully taking in another away day victory over a top flight side in the League Cup. Why not?
*******
BORO may be ready to gamble on an audacious big money move for Stewart Downing if they think he can help secure promotion – but the mooted loan move from Liverpool will not happen this week.
That was the indication from within the club today. There has been speculation over the weekend that a loan move before Thursday’s deadline was looming but Boro sources insist that is a non-starter.
However, that idea of ending Stewie’s internal exile at Anfield when the window opens in January has been bubbling away for weeks – but for it to become a realistic prospect a lot of pieces would need to fall into place first. So don’t buy that replica shirt just yet.
Here’s the full story from the Gazette.
****
MEANWHILE here’s a few things to chew on while we wait for the chance to bounce back from Cardiff with two winnable home games:
Is Stewie Downing the best Teesside talent of his generation? Is he the best, most consistent product of the Academy? And if not, who is?
Will you boo Matthew Bates? I know it is the done thing to vilify anyone who leaves and now seems obligatory but has he really done anything to offend? I will be advocating a respectful clap for an ex-player who deserves respect for, if nothing else, battling back from five cruciates – but after that he is just an opposition player. I hope he has a mare, gives away a penalty and scores an own goal.
[*NOTE: Football Inevitability Drive has been activated. I’ll be having a daft quid on him as first scorer in a 3-1 and/or 4-1 Boro win*]

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58 thoughts on “Welsh Raretrip: Boro ‘Defeat’ Shock & Mooted Move For Stewie

  1. I don’t know what all the fuss is about with Downing or what is hard to sort out. If he really wanted to come back and help our promotion push then surely he could come back on reduced wages or even for free like Bellamy did with Cardiff originally.
    If it is a case of ££££ or wages spoiling the deal then maybe he doesn’t want to help that much really! I mean he is not poor and 6 to 8 weeks of lower wages would not destroy him.
    Just my thoughts 🙂

  2. So no Stewie against Bristol City. It didnt seem likely so we can focus on whats next.
    Over 16000 tickets sold, ahead of the same figures for Sheff Wed. Lets hope for a decent crowd and a performance.
    AV asked about booing Bates, I hope he gets a good reception then is roundly hounded in the match.
    I remember the comments from Derby fans about the return for Rav. They were impressed by the good reception he got and agreed with the less than forthright applause during the game.
    On to Mr Clattenberg, lets hope it can be put to bed. The New Zealand Football Union should be put on alert in case some herbert has a go about being called the All Blacks.
    Pick the bones out of that one Vic. 🙂
    **AV writes: There was never any chance of Downing in on loan this week, as you would know if you read the Gazette, who are well aware of the shifting sands behind the scenes, rather than some other papers who are just two-plus-twoing.

  3. Richard makes the good point that Stewie has minimal Championship experience and also wisely counsels that perhaps Steve Gibson should step back given his alleged involvement in one or two recent transfer disasters. That head must rule.
    But it really can’t. Football support is based on many deep and conflicting emotions that bind and blind us all together. Stewie would undoubtedly be a feel good transfer, be another PR coup and is a darn fine player too. And he’s a Boro supporter.
    Stewie bided his time here, didn’t run off, committed to us and went with our blessings and for good money too.
    There will forever be a whiff of treachery and disloyalty re: Bates and ‘one of our own’ Wheater, who contributed very little to the first team at Boro over the years and left for the dosh only.
    Not so with Stewie. Go to Youtube now and the last minute of the Steaua game – Downing wins the ball, to the touchline and then the most sublime cross ever for perhaps the best moment we’ll ever know as Boro fans. It will forever be tears to the eyes stuff.
    He’s only 28, is rarely injured, can still do it and is an England player. His current boss is David Brent to our Caesar.
    If only from January to May, come back Stewie. It may be all conjecture but this is the biggest no brainer ever.

  4. Hi AV, I’m assuming the figure of 17k so far for the two home games is just for tickets sold and does not include ST holders or away fans. Am I right in thinking this and if so, how many ST holders do we have these days?
    I’m guessing Bristol will only bring a couple of hundred but Huddersfield may round up a fair few (even if it is a night match). Cheers.
    **AV writes: We have 10,000 ST “give or take a few dozen.”

  5. Richard Evans:
    Afonso Alves will bring in 20 goals a season.
    Lee Dong Gook will give us presence up front and options.
    Southgate’s ready for Premier League Club Management (Oh! And by the way Gareth, we’re selling all your experienced first team squad members as quickly as we can because we’re too deep in debt!)
    Never mind, Gordon Strachan will stop the rot.
    Also, please consider this:
    There’s a time to recognise you’re breathing rarified air. And that’s before you’re breathing it!
    Sentimentium has a half-life of two home matches!

  6. Derek –
    Just had a quick look at seat map before booking mine by phone and it looks like the 17000 quoted at that time included season tickets.
    There are roughly 90 blocks and roughly a third had well over 50% availability, many in 80%+ range. If we assume 30% sold that is 8000 unsold plus 4500 unsold in the away end.
    Allowing for limited availabilty in the rest of the ground I guess around 20000 sold so far including season tickets.
    Totally fag packet
    **AV writes: Nudged up to 19,000 by 11am… big surge at 1pm as people turn up to buy on the day… I’m thinking 22k or thereabouts. Which would be a massive success. We shouldn’t judge it on Sheff Wed crowd but what gate would have been if no ticket initiative had been undertaken. At full price and with no away fans it would have been about 13,892 today.

  7. Forever
    As a certain person reported Clattenberg to the Police based on tittle tattle do you think we could get a gagging order for 3 or 4 weeks?

  8. Oh well another Typical Boro disappointment- or was it Manager of the month syndrome? Never saw the game but from all accounts it was a matter of Bristol playing their best game of the season whlst we played one of our worst.
    To all the doom mongers out there it is not the end of the world we will be back on another good run which keep us in touch with the leading pack even being in the top two is not out of the question by xmas keep the faith.
    UTB

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