Tangerine Dream: Blackpool Beaten

THIS YEAR started with a nightmare trip to Blackpool. It was a freezing New Years Day. Bloomfield Road was Baltic, windy and sleet lashed. The facilities were poor, we got no food and the wifi didn’t work. Brittle Boro got battered 3-0 by a gung-ho Ian Holloway team with frightening pace and trickery up front on a day with absolutely no positives. It was to be the start of a jittery, injury ravaged January that cost a play-off place. I lost my house keys. I crunched the Gazettemobile in an unlit wasteland car-park and limped back over the top of the icy tundra of the A66 at minus six. Happy bloody New Year.
It ends with buoyant Boro having finally beaten Blackpool – the first victory in the league since Mogga was a player in 1987 – to lay a few ghosts, with the team in third spot having won four on the bounce at home and warmed by a pulsating 4-2 display at the Riverside. It feels far longer than just 12 months book-ended by Blackpool. And, despite the similarity of the table right now, it feels like a lot has changed for the better.
Yes, it was a nervous finale, but hey this is Boro. That’s why we all got valium and whisky for Christmas. And it is the Championship where every game is decided by fine margins. In this case it was decided by shot-stopper supreme Jason Steele’s superb spot-kick save from highly-rated but largely anonymous Tom Ince when the pressure was on.
That pivotal penalty save killed off a spirited second half revival by Blackpool – who have noticeably gone backwards since they monstered us in January and again in early September – it calmed nerves on the pitch and in the satnds and set Boro up to seal it with a fourth to make the score look far more comfortable than it actually was.
But look at the positives. Boro totally bossed the first half in a display of polished passing, fluid off the ball movement and assertive, attacking football that was as good as any 45 minutes this year. Grant Leadbitter’s corners are brilliant. Steele is the best keeper in his league (HANDS OFF!) Big Ish scored again (his goals/minutes ratio is starting to look very good), Dormo Destroyer Richie Smallwood celebrated his 22nd birthday with a smooth strike. Enigmatic Emnes decided to have an “on” day and lit up the first half with electrickery (although he faded after the break). Scott McDonald – playing his 100th game – was excellent, hard-working in an alien role and notched again. Rolls Rhys got through his first 90 minutes for four months. Adam Reach bounced back with a goal. We got away with a penalty which despite the ‘controversy’ was nailed on. The scran in the restaurant – I was suited and booted and living it up in hospitality – was superb. It was a very entertaining game.
Derby next. Get set for a Rams raid.
Happy New Year.


27 thoughts on “Tangerine Dream: Blackpool Beaten

  1. As well as being a Boro guy, I’m a big fan of baseball’s San Francisco Giants. On their way to the title a couple of years ago, the commentators came up with the slogan “Giants baseball: Torture”.
    Today’s game reminded me of that – it pretty much fits the Boro too. Winning, but with a lot of pain along the way!

  2. What a Juxtaposition with Boxing Day!
    The opening 45 minutes produced some of the best of Boro and even Marvin looked the part, laying on a delightful through ball for Richie. There were plaudits all around the pitch for the lads in red making it difficult to pick a definitive MOM.
    Miller was the destroyer on the flank (yes a big man out wide looking effective, much to my frustration originally when I saw the team line up). Scott was a man possessed, chasing every cause, closing down, everything and anything that Mogga could have possibly asked of him and more, he even capped it off with a superb solo goal.
    Jason dropped one clanger which led to the Seasiders 2nd goal but then more than made amends with a penalty save to keep them from drawing level in a pivotal moment and had a good commanding game overall and consequently is now bound to have a few Premiership admirers in the New Year.
    At the back Woody and Rhys looked composed and polished but understandably tired a little as the game grew frenetic towards the end. Either side of them, Halliday, Hoyte and later Parnaby all looked comfortable in supporting them both.
    A grtty, snarling, determined, no nonsense trio of Richie, Bails and Legbiter in the middle dominated the first half comfortably and then dug in and rolled up sleeves in the second.
    Blackpool are a decent side and their unsurprising second half revival was testimony to their reputation of a good attacking footballing side. With nothing to lose they pushed their full backs up and got themselves back into the game. The match then opened up as a spectacle and with the now forgotten first half being a cool composed affair for Boro in the second they were now in a scrap which swayed from end to end.
    Emnes reverted to his lackadaisical worst for some bizarre reason in the 2nd half obviously not having the fire in his belly to scrap and stand tall in our hour of need. Perhaps the rumours of a January move are getting to him.
    The Duke came on to replace him and put himself on the line, jostling, battling and making a physical nuisance generally across the Blackpool rearguard. He excelled at running the clock down in the NE corner with Reach near the end and exemplified a team spirited performance. Speaking of Reach the lad replaced Maurading Miller earlier (who seemed to be stiffening a bit) and managed to grab a nerve calming 35 yarder himself, embarrasingly beating Gilks.
    Six points from two home games, two totally different performances but a good end to 2012 and an exciting start to 2013.

  3. That penalty save from Steele, could prove to be the difference between automatic promotion and the lottery of the Play-Offs.

  4. Very good game. Very good year. Well done Boro, Well done Mogga and, yes, its quite clear that very good progress has been made over the year with a stronger squad and some excellent signings there’s a realistic chance of promotion plus A1 status for our youth acadamy.
    Also mistakes have been made over the year. Letting both McMahon and Bates leave on frees seems crazy when you see how shaky Bikey, Hines and Hoyte have been. Week after week goals points and games have been given away freely with lessons not learned or heeded.
    The midfield that should have easily carried us through the season has been left short at times because of injuries. So the rejecting of two quality Brazilians in favor of Sick Note and the on loan Cockney Kid seems a poor decision now.
    Yet it has to be said the loan stars McEachran and Miller have been good sigings, both playing vital roles for the team this season. So despite mistakes clearly made we should all put or hands together for a job well done by Mogga, Thanks for the merry Christmas. Now come on boys give us the best of years.

  5. Probably the finest opening paragraph I’ve read this year, top man, oh . . . and er . . . yeh, good game, good lads, good goals, good night

  6. Yes , I believe we can go up. Nobody in this league has looked better than us now that Blackpool have been dispatched…. we might need a defender on loan at this rate though.
    I think we would have been top of the league if McDonald was on for the first 9 games.

  7. The comments about people being allowed to leave on frees is bizarre. They’re out of contract. We can’t make them stay.
    Anyway, a good year for me. 10 wins at home this season if continued, that will see us up I think. If not we are already 10 points clear in the play offs.

  8. Fantastic satisfying win yesterday with every player doing their bit for the victory.
    January 1st looms and 31days of who is staying who is going. Rumours going around suggest McDonald, Bailey, Emnes and a few others may be shipped out if decent offers come in. Personally I think it would be suicidal to disrupt the squad and sell anyone except maybe Emnes unless he decides he wants to put in a 90 minute shift and battle for promotion.
    We have a good strong squad with depth, who according to Juke this week all get along and are friends. It would be stupid to break that up. How many times have you seen clubs tinker with the squad then it backfires and goes pear shaped? The players we have are good enough to get us out of this league

  9. Great win, great three points and a great way to end the year.
    The strength in depth this season is really showing and it was good to see Adam Reach back; taking his goal with aplomb.
    It was also nice to see Mr and Mrs Jarkko, Kev B, Forever Dormo and Pete from ex-Halifax!
    Here’s to 2013 and a promotion push! UTB
    **AV writes: Yes, sorry I couldn’t join you in the Navi but I was wearing a tie and swanning about with the prawn sandwich brigade.

  10. What a match to see. I thoroughly enjoyed that.
    We gifted again two goals to opposition and even offered them a third but thanks to Steele they did take our offer! Surely Boro were the better side even it could easily have been 3-3, too. So great credit to Steele.
    And seeing four Boro goals is not an every-day treat. So really happy for choosing this game (and Derby next). Also absolutely delighted to see Kev and Chris at the Navi. Strange to travel over 1 000 miles to see Boro and then see some friendly faces at the Navi. And of course Dormo and HalifaxP nee CarltonP joined in too.
    Now some shopping to keep Mrs Jarkko happy and on Monday we’ll have a look at the Rockcliffe. Then Derby away on Tuesday. I am afraid it won’t be as easy over there as in April (I was there, too). I am hoping for a win but a draw will do nicely.
    The weather has been very warm. Its’s where you compare. Back home it was -30 degrees in the North. So it feels really warm here in the South (=Boro). (Sorry for typing errors as I use my mobile.) Up the Boro!

  11. Oh, forgot to say that I look forward to buying the Gazette tomorow for a proper round-up of the match.
    Secondly, they showed the match live at the Riverside with Ali commenting. Why cannot this same be showed to the oversea fans over internet. I would be interested in paying for a such service to see the game and listen to Ali and Higgy back at home. Up the Boro!

  12. Dare we suggest that at this stage of the season we’re lookin at a team and squad that are developing into the real deal ie one that can respond to the many things that a promotion campaign may throw at them and come out on top.
    The points in the bag would suggest so. So two points for consideration:
    1. As a manager you take responsibility for the losses whose sum total can lead to the loss of your job. Therefore, Mogga deserves the accolades for the success achieved so far.
    2. I suggested sometime ago that an investment in terms of time and points lost was being made in one young promising player. Seems that the same player is now rewarding the managements faith in him – patience can be the best policy.
    Finally, AV mentioned that other teams may now be waiting in the wings to snap up same young player (Ibid), who made a great stop yesterday and that they should keep their hands off. My thoughts are that some towards the bottom of the Prem League may start eyeing up our manager as well.

  13. Great game, great result. I think the Finnish fan club should come over more often, a lucky mascot.
    Would I be right in thinking that was the first time in over 100 games we scored four?
    So we are in a very similar posistion to this time las year. Can any if the chasing pack do a Reading? Will we do a ‘Boro”? Going to be interesting finding out.
    Come on boro, it could be happening, maybe.
    **AV writes: First time in 101 at home. The Man City 8-1 was the last one. We’ve scored four away at Charlton, Sheff Wed, Bristol City and QPR since then.

  14. Everywhere I look people keep using the term Tangerine Dream when referring to games against Blackpool.
    What’s this all about? What does it mean? Why do people keep saying it?
    **AV writes: Sehr gut, Eddie.

  15. This result could be a defining moment in this seasons fight for promotion, a game where in the end could have went the other way.
    It reminds me of a game in Big Jacks promotion season. We played Leyton Orient in the October at home, they where flying at the time, either top or second can’t remember, anyway they absolutely tore us apart for long spells in the game (they had former Boro lad Derick Downing on the wing), but we ended up winning 3-2 Big John hickton scored a dubious penalty,
    After the game I said to my mate ” After that we are certs for promotion ,it was written ” We then went on with that fantastic unbeaten run.
    Can it happen again?

  16. Nice to meet a number of contributors to the Blog before the game, as Chris From Beverley has already mentioned at 2.01pm.
    A few things: great result and a good way to end the football year. The live Twitter reports from the Gazette Fine Dining Correspondent were appreciated by some in the Navi before the game.
    I thought we scored three good goals with a lovely pass from Emnes through to the Dormo Birthday Boy for Smallwood to take his chance coolly. McDonald worked hard and also scored a good goal from distance. Reach also scored from outside the penalty area and it is notable that whenever he plays he “makes things happen”.
    It seemed to me and my neighbours at the ground that Mogga must have done his research and told Leadbnitter exactly how he wanted corners to be put in against Blackpool because in the first half there were several put into the six yard box and just under the bar. We seemed almost to score directly from one, and Miller’s goal (from the unaccustomed distance of about seven yards?) resulted from another.
    We wobbled a little in the second half as their full-backs pushed forward and things COULD have gone horribly wrong after they were gifted a second and then had a penalty which, if scored, would have brought them level. Despite their improvement in the second half that would have been an injustice. So everyone was delighted with Steele’s fine penalty save and then Reach’s goal to secure the points.
    As long as Hull, Cardiff and Palace keep winning, we must do the same. We will then build up a decent safety margin over the other teams below. I think this season will be very tight at the top but I am beginning to feel more confident as time goes on, and I suspect the players feel that way, too.
    I love it when a plan comes together. I don’t think this is all a matter of luck. Mogga knows what he is doing.
    No extravagant claims or boasts. No Press outbursts or horrifying “drink and drugs” quotes. He has watched the game we saw, though he will have noticed what happened in more detail than the majority of us supporters. Just attention to detail and planning, and the making of incremental change and improvement that moves the squad and the club forward, without the millions that his predecessors were afforded.
    He is the steady hand we need at the tiller as we negotiate the storms and the dangerous rocks that a football season always puts in front of us. He wouldn’t claim to be perfect and he will make mistakes because he is human, but you have the feeling that the mistakes will be few, that he will learn from them, and that everyone in the club has confidence in him as a leader.
    If only he had been appointed instead of GS2.
    Even a defeat at Derby or elsewhere will not dampen that enthusiasm because I suspect all of the teams will lose some games, but also that we will win more than most. There is a feeling of optimism, or momentum building up behind the team. A feeling that this could be the year. Bring on 2013…

  17. In recent seasons we would definitely have gone on to draw or even lose that game. Great to get revenge on the Seasiders – and about time too!
    Like Higgy and a few others I think we’re the best team in this division. And now something in my bones tells me this is our season. I predicted a third place finish at the start of the season. That’s obviously still on. And the way we’re playing, it could be even better than that.
    Here’s to a great 2013! And a Happy New Year to you, AV, and to all your bloggers!
    **AV writes: Yes, Happy New Year to one and all. Even our alien lurkers.

  18. It was great to see so many bloggers together round Table 17 in the Navi! Also nice to see Chris back posting. Happy New Year to one and all. Clive H, are you going to Derby?
    I can see why AV thought the first 45 was our best half of the season because Dormo told us about his ongoing Scranfest course by course, and how he was getting himself in an upbeat mood before a ball was kicked. It was good, but I thought Blackburn away, Sunderland (the best show) and Sheffield Wed were up there, as was, for different reasons of sheer combativeness, the Swansea game.
    Never give up has a valid point (as ever) about keeping a happy squad together, but, unless and until the big crowds come back, we are not yet out of the woods financially.
    I remain to be convinced about keeping Juke (lovely lad though he is) and Emnes, and, although many have said we play better with Bailey in the side, our midfield is the strongest part of the side at the moment. Richie has grown up into the fine player I always sensed he was, Josh Mc has been great until hurt, Grant has been essential as the boss in the engine-room, and we have Rhys back, as well as Reach, Luke W and other creative options for the centre of the park.
    We look more fiery with Bails around, and I want him to stay, but I still feel our strike force could be better and I would love to see a Danny Graham or someone who makes his kind of intelligent runs giving the midfield a bit more scope for their undoubted skills. That striker might, of course, be the awesomely energetic Scott if Mogga lets him play his natural role.
    January could be interesting this year, or nothing at all may happen!

  19. Another good win against one of our bogey teams.
    We are at the same place as last season. What’s changed is we have a much stronger squad than last season.
    A lot will depend on how we do against the teams around us. Last season we were poor against teams in the top eight. We lost at Cardiff unlucky but we need to put that right at home the same with the others as the top is so tight those points are going to be very important.
    Happy New Year everyone.
    **AV writes: At this point last year we had been battered at leaders Southampton and easily ground down at home by second placed West Ham. It was clear in those games there was a gulf between Boro and the contenders.
    This season we have been narrowly edged out at leaders Cardiff in a game we should have and could have easily won with no complaints and we beat second placed Hull at home fairly comfortably. There is no gulf there this time.
    It will come down to consistency and keeping up the pressure with good home form.

  20. Listened to Radio 5 Live updates as I traversed central London . We had been visiting my son in Angel and were off down to Lymington for a week away – arranged before I realised Derby at Pride Park on New Years Day.
    It was dark very early in no large part due to the foul rain. At 2-0 up my wife said why didn’t I turn the radio off to concentrate on the road. She had a point as it was a difficult second half but job done.
    We are ahead of where I thought we would be so all praise to Mogga and the players. I will be delighted if that is the case in May.

  21. Happy New Year to everyone on the best blog in football.
    To Derby, where we generally seem to do quite well. I remember especially a 1-7 win there in the late 50s., a result all the more remarkable for the fact that Cloughie did not manage to get on the scoresheet. Alan Peacock did the honours that day with four goals.
    Almost as good was a 2-4 win there in the 60s, on a day when Hickton gave one of his finest ever performances, laying on a hat-trick for John O’ Rourke, and scoring one himself. That was in the early days of Clough’s management of Derby, and we really did thrash them.
    I really enjoy Derby. Good people, and great supporters through thick and thin. I can generally find people to talk to who are old enough to remember Jackie Stamps, Leon Luty, and other heroes, and can hark back to the time when the Rams were a real force in the game, and when Derby v Boro was one of the great fixtures in the old First Division.
    Would love to say hello and shake the hand of Jarkko, who must rank as one of Boro’s greatest ever supporters. Cannot think of a possible meeting place-2.30pm outside of the main entrance, perhaps? I would love to say that I will be:
    a) carrying a rattle,
    b) holding a programme,
    and c) eating a parmo.
    But a) I can’t find it
    b) I won’t pay £3 for something that cost me less than 3d when I first went to a match,
    and c) if I’m honest I’m not exactly sure what a parmo is, still less what it contains, where I would get one, or whether Jarkko would be able to identify it.
    I’ll be the one wearing grey woollen gloves, and getting drenched.
    **AV writes: There’s a big statue of Clough and Taylor outside Pride Park which a lot of people use as a meeting place.

  22. AV: Thanks. Great idea. Great spot. I’ll be the one licking Cloughie’s boots. 2. 30pm on the dot. Love to catch up with any other bloggers.

  23. len –
    I would be honoured. You are a much bigger fan than I am. Haven’t seen many matches but I do read a lot about Boro. I’ll take the supports club buss down to Derby so perhaps we might see beside the statue.
    If not, I’m the 6 feet 3 inch tall blong chap. Not so blond as I used to be blond by Brstish standards. But taller than Sir Tony who I met briefly this morning. Sorry cannot write everyting î heard about the team tomorrow. But a lot of injuries now I am afraid. Up tje Boro!

  24. AV –
    Four goal spurts. In Mogga’s first half season we also won 4-2 at Hull. McDonald got a hat-trick that day. And Jarkko was there too!!
    Halifax Pete – no sorry, mate, I can’t get to Derby this time. Hope you and Jarkko and all have a great day. Bring us back 3 points.
    Edgar – not sure if your post was tongue in cheek, but Tangerine Dream were a rock band, 1970s, I think. As AV hinted in his reply, I think they may even have been German!
    **AV writes: I think Edgar may have some inside info on the seventies kraut rock seminal sound-sculpters.

  25. Ex Wikipedia:
    Edgar Wilmar Froese (born 6 June 1944) is a German artist and electronic music pioneer, best known for founding the electronic music group, Tangerine Dream. Although his solo and group recordings prior to 2003 name him as “Edgar Froese”, his solo albums from 2003 onward bear the artist name “Edgar W. Froese”.
    Oh, THAT Edgar Froese? One of our legion of Boro supporters in Germany?! Why didn’t he say so, I wonder?
    The clue was in “Sehr Gut”! (It wasn’t what you get when you’ve had a bad Parmo – not that there is such a thing of course, lest Lenmasterman may be put off any further.)
    Edgar, are you Werdermouth in disguise? If not, please come back here sometime anyway and follow Boro’s fortunes. You’ll be electrified!
    Happy New Year to all, irrespective of events football!

  26. Happy New Year everyone, let’s hope for a winning start tomorrow.
    We have had some excellent results at Derby. First ever FA cup qtr final win, a Ziege rocket freekick, Clayton Blackmore and a Curtis Main rocket only recently. How come only 15 miles down the A52 things are so differant. Never mind.
    Going back to the Ziege freekick, Paul ince was playing for Boro. At the end of the game Incey came down to the away end and his family were in with the fans. He had a hug and a chat with his son. Strange to think that the little boy grew up to be ……….. Ryan Giggs!

  27. Tangerine Dream. Oh dear. Red-faced or what? A nagging little something told me Edgar Froese might just be a German name, so I just googled them, and of course, he founded the band. That’ll teach me to treat everything I read on here as serious! Oh well, I’m 60 next week. That’s my excuse. Senility hurtling on, quite clearly.

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