Deadline Day Live: Unplugged

DON’T expect any dry ice, floating pigs or Arena spectacular interactive day-glo wristbands in football’s big gig today. Boro are going for a low-key mellow acoustic set to a smaller audience in a more intimate venue. Transfer deadline day; unplugged.
As I suggested yesterday, I’m not expecting Mogga to go any cash crazed beat the bongs late night trolley dash. But you never know, Gibbo may find a wad of notes down the back of his sofa and sanction a splurge.
But we can still have fun. Don’t let Teesside down. I’m looking for you lot to help out with any spottings of Pique in Pallister Park, Becchio in Berwick Hills or Jon Parkin buying a parmo. If you spot Ryan Giggs or Peter Crouch going into Rockliffe let me know (we’ve got the Tontine covered by webcam). If anyone knows anyone who used to work with the women who lives next door to Gibbo’s best mate and who has the inside track on a loan move for Stewie Downing or Tom Huddlestone, shout up because today is the day when no rumour, no matter how preposterous goes unpublished.
I’ll be updating here regularly so hit that refresh button and rack up the page clicks as often as you can. Feel free to comment, muse on days past, laugh at Sunderland fans unfolding double think over Mackem-hating Danny Graham, and suggest songs. There is also a Trinity Mirror regional live blog running if you want to check on the activity from around the country or make sarcastic comments about Newcastle and Sunderland activity.
Plus follow me on twitter @untypicalboro. It’s anarchy on there.


*****8.30am UPDATE
Blimey, good start as Sky Sports sources lob a hand-grenade onto the breakfast table …..
‏@SkySportsNews: Sky sources: Swansea have agreed a deal with Middlesbrough for striker Danny Graham #SkyDeadlineDay
Mistake based on poor geography? Complete curveball from Steve GIbson? It has certainly stirred up the collective Boro breakfast banter.
It sounds completely unbelievable – Swansea were asking £4-5m and he will be on £25k+ a week so he inhabits a different universe right now – but it is a funny old game and Gibbo has funded shock D-Day moves before now. Sky are saying Swansea have agreed a fee with Boro. Which would be totally counter to last three years of austerity. And would he step down a division anyway.
We are checking: texting Mogga, Bausor and Gibbo – and anyone else who knows me – now to try and clarify. Instinct says this can’t be true but it has certainly lit a fuse.
As ‏@Triquertum said on twitter: “I don’t care if its true or not. It has livened up what was going to be an otherwise mundane deadline day for me. Come on !!!”
****9 AM UPDATE
Everyone is now speculating which Boro players would be sold to fund it. Amusingly, everyone who yesterday was calling Emnes a busted flush and a waste of space now seem to think Swansea would value him highly as part of a cash & swap deal.
The only other possibilities of cashing in assets to fund it would be George Friend (but West Ham have now signed Poggi), Rhy Williams (nowhere near his best since coming back), Scott McDonald (no sign of any interest whatsoever) or Jason Steele (and they are adamant he is not for sale.)
The bits are falling into place to suggest there has been some contact with Swansea but club sources are being vague and insisting there has been no fee agreed (“do you think we have even got £5m”) and are speaking in very non-committal terms. Hmmm.
Well, they were ready to pick up a big chunk of Downing wages in a loan? Is there some wriggle room there? Could it be a loan with a view to a sale if we go up? We’ll see.
Whatever, if Graham does end up here we should all give a big round of thanks to the Sunderland fans for booing him so roundly on Tuesday, thus persuading him that, should he want to return to his native North-east he would not be welcome there.
Both clubs seems a bit surprised it has leaked out. Has his agent leaked it in order to force the hand of Sunderland or other Premier League clubs? Wouldn’t be surprised.
****10am UPDATE:
Right. Having called slightly guarded manager, chief exec, assorted ‘insiders’ and ‘sources’ in Wales this is what we can figure: There has been no £5m cash bid by Boro, We have been told that – but they have made an inquiry of sorts, possibly for a loan now till the end of the season with an option to buy in the summer.
Graham has asked for a move and Swansea’s preference is to sell – and the agent’s preference is definitely a permanent move because otherwise he doesn’t get his cut. That is why he – not the player – has now ruled out a move. It doesn’t suit him. I also think he is the source of the story on Sky, trying to smoke out either a bigger bid from Sunderland or a move from another Premier League club.
We think Boro’s position is that they have approached Swansea and said if they can’t strike a deal to sell then they would be keen to take him – ie, take the position they were going to with Downing (who is now back out of Brendan’s envelope at Liverpool). Possibly tied to a future fee and real deal if Boro go up. We’ll see.
Sorry it isn’t more concrete than that but Boro aren’t in a position to force it through.
That was a busy hour… cup of tea.
Paper gone.. here’s the summary in another medium
‏@untypicalboro
People are saying Graham has ruled out Boro move. That is not true. His AGENT has ruled it out. Agent wants Sunderland move to go through get his 10%
‏@untypicalboro
We think Boro move is a proposal to Swansea that if they don’t strike a real deal, they will take him on loan now with view to summer deal.
‏@untypicalboro
Hence there is NOT now suddenly a £5m transfer kitty. If Graham doesn’t work out, don’t expect sudden move for Austin, Becchio etc.
That means unless Sunderland – or AFC Another – are now nudged into pushing a sale through that we could be here right through to the bongs.
*****11am UPDATE
We just have to sit back and wait now. Anyone know any jokes?
**Noon UPDATE
Right. Been told some stuff that illuminates the story but slightly ties our hands because some bit need to be kept under wraps so as not to comprise other prospective irons in the fire. That’s an occupational hazard of being told things “off the record.”
Our understanding is that Boro HAVE made a ‘complex’ offer worth £5m (ish) to Swansea and the package has been accepted in principle and that it is now down to the player to decide. He is in the area and was expected to talk to Mogga today.
Boro believe while Sunderland can offer Premier Leaguee football, they themselves tick a lot of boxes – his wife is local and wants to move home to Teesside, he knows and respects a lot of people on the coaching staff, he would be a shoo-in to start, he would fit Mogga’s age and skill set profile – and think they can put together a package to meet his wage demands.
It may mean biting the bullet for a few months until they can shuffle a few of the big earners off the wage bill but we are assured by people high up in the club that they can make it work. Now it is down to the player.
It could be that his agent is trying to play off both clubs against each other in order to max the cash. We’ll see. Let’s hope the Mackem boo-fest on Tuesday counts against the attractions of the Premier League now rather than the potential for the future.
It also appears both player and agent have turned their phones off and are having a quick chin wag in a layby equidistant between Hurworth and Sunderland.
Meanwhile, here’s the latest Twitter rumours:
‏@Andrew_Teen Luciano Becchio spotted testing drum sticks in middlesbrough music centre #watchthisspace #TransferDeadlineDay
‏@Rob_Fassbender Kieron Dyer spotted putting towel on Kevin Thomsons bed in Boro treatment room. #mysticmeg
‏@pjeuk #Boro in deadline day transfer swoop. Mowbray seen coming out of WH Smith with a bulk purchase of Letraset
@stechap2010 wish fans would remember that business is done at rockliffe when making up rumours, did see a car with GRA 4AM plate though.
****12.30pm UPDATE
Sunderland now in driving seat. Graham believed to be at Academy of Light for talks about taking up role as new boo-boy. Not looking good for Boro. Money has a way of muffling even the most hurtful of comments.
Meanwhile it has been suggested to me by someone who may know these things that Boro were offered DJ Campbell and Jay Bothroyd by QPR yesterday as part of their January Redknapping. Boro chiefs don’t believe they offer either value for money or anything better than what the squad already has.
****12.45pm UPDATE
Danny Graham is having a medical at Sunderland now. Looks like terms have been agreed. It is so far advanced that they have even taken the obligatory shirt pics. There’s a bootleg shot snatched on a mobile phone floating around. You can see it here.
And here’s that picture of the warm reception he got from the welcoming committee of friendly and forgiving fans
***1pm UPDATE
Tony Mowbray confirms at his weekly pre-match press conference that Boro had made a bid for Swansea’s Danny Graham but it was not £5m cash – “we haven’t got that kind of money and everyone knows that” – and he was not hopeful of it going through. He said that Sunderland were probably the favourites all along as they are in the Premier League. And it is hard to argue with that other than on a sentimental basis.
He said the complex deal was based around a player plus cash package… it is probably fair to speculate now that, given the backstory, the player in question was probably Swans fans’ favourite Marvin Emnes, and it is probably fair too to speculate too that Boro would probably value him at round about £3m.
Mogga also said the Dyer deal was all but done and that he will be in the squad for the trip to his home club Ipswich on Saturday.
****2pm UPDATE
Graham signs for Sunderland in £5m three and a half year deal. As you were. Resumes, mellow acoustic approach to day after all that rock and roll excitement.
Dyer is done on a pay-as-you play until the end of the season. “the onus is on th eplayer to earn a place in the team and earn his money.”
Some questions now: will Boro press ahead with the “plus player” element of the deal – let’s say Emnes – before the deadline. If they sell and cash in, and there will be people urging that course, can they find a cost effective replacement in time? That possibility will keep us all on tenterhooks and hyper-excited right through to the bongs.
And that’s before Sky Sports charge up and unleash the Jim White T-3000 Scoopbot at 8pm. I’m taking a break, Back soon. Talk amongst yourselves.
****4.30pm UPDATE
I’ve been in touch with the powers that be at Boro and been told that they have shut up shop for the night and will not be doing any business. In or out. So, for all the natural speculation of Swansea still taking Marvin, nothing is going to happen tonight.
Meanwhile… Chris Samba to QPR, £12.5m plus £100k a week for four years… a £33m committment from a team in the relegation zone who get 19,000 a week (and will get 16,000 in the Championship next year)…. there’s a club with a death wish. Still, Harry is no stranger to seeing clubs in admin in his rear view mirror.
Am told on very good authority (*points upwards*) that Boro have shut up shop for the night and will not be doing any business before the bongs. In or out.
“Jim White IS IN the building”…. Untypicalboro sources understand a ludicrous self-parody has been seen jumping the shark. His colleagues are openly laughing at what has become a soulless pantomime.Look in his eyes when he comes on: he is definitely dead inside. There has been some Faustian pact sealed in blood somewhere.
****6pm UPDATE
Right, I’m going to play football (trundling full-back). The onus is one you lot to man the Tontinecam, check for helicopters over Hurworth and kids the kids safely away from the telly when Jim White is unleashed.
****8pm UPDATE
Right, back from playing football (we won, I didn’t score, I don’t tend to go up that end of the pitch, I’m more of a spoiler. I’m Baileyesque.) What have I missed? Are QPR in liquidation yet? Have Newcastle signed Jacques Cousteau? Have the easily manipulated gurning masses started to gather behind cameras for the the car park doyle fest?
On the way home I’ve been to the offy to buy a couple of bottles of fine football ale: Striker’s Snub, Fenland Old Crock, Android’s Bellow and Old Droopy’s Tap Up.
***8.30pm UPDATE
While I’ve been out the mischevous message board rumour mill and twitter have been suggesting that Saha, Hulse,Mackie, DJ Campbell and Kevin Davies are all at Rockliffe. They may well be but Neil Bausor packed up and went home hours ago. He’s probably sat laughing at the Scoopbot building up into an hysterical electronic frenzy like everyone else. I’ve been assured Boro will make no signings tonight whatsoever.
****10pm UPDATE
WOW! Out of nowhere comes news that Kevin Thomson has left by mutual consent and suddenly the deflation and chuntering after missing out on Danny Graham is replaced with a buzz among the punters.
Thomson – who captained Boro to Ramsden’s Cup glory remember – arrived as a Strachanovite leader with a glowing reputation as a ball playing midfielder with good engines and an eye for a well weighted pass. Unfortunately he has spent most of his time up on blocks frustrated and and saying “wait till I’m fit and I can show you what I can do.” Wait till he gets 10 games in a row under his belt. *taps fingers on desk* Ok. Five games in a row? Three?
You can’t blame people for being injured – especially when one of them is a broken leg that went unspotted for a dozen games – but the entire move has been an expensive cul-de-sac. An agreement that he leaves is a good bit of business.
The deal will no doubt mean Boro paying up part of his contract but they will save overall, it creates space in the wage bill to possibly bring in a new face when the loan window opens next week and it allows him to leave as a free agent so he can sign outside the window. Probably for his beloved Rangers.
***NEXT MORNING UPDATE
Sifting through the debris, what have we got? Not a lot, that’s what. It was an exciting morning that raised the prospect of added firepower and a ‘statement of intent’ but it quickly fizzled out to the usual low key empty-handed mooching about before finishing with a slightly sad moment as a once vaunted signing was shuffled uncermoniously out of the back door at closing time with a blanket over his head.
We’ll talk more about Kevin Thomson later no doubt but the end when it came was a bit undignified. He was a nice guy who, believe me, really wanted to do well and was constantly frustrated by never quite getting up to speed. It wasn’t his fault he was injured (especially not when he was playing witha broken leg). He cerainly wasn’t, as has been suggested, the “worst signing ever” (there are a lot of contenders for that particular title, which is on permananet loan at the Riverside from the Mido collection.)
Remember, all the other Strachanovites were poor when they arrived. It was a big culture shock stepping from clubs where they only played one high intensity game in four or five and in between got to bully tiny sides. Going from that to the Championship was a massive physical, mental and tactical challege and they all struggled: Boyd was terrible, Scott McDonald couldn’t hit a barn door with a blunderbuss in his first season, Big Mick was regularly monstered, Chris Killen and Lee Miller? Jesus wept. Even BArry Robson was a patchy, furious ball of misdirected energy in his first six months.
The key is that six months. Robson and McDonald and to a lesser extent McManus got the chance to play their way into the team, to acclimatise to the new mental landscape, to come to terms with the pace and physicality. Thomson never got that. He never had six or 10 games to get up to speed. He never got a solid six months under his belt.
He is not a bad player. It just didn’t work out here. It was part of the expensive Strachan cul-de-sac. He’ll be alright back at Rangers.
One other observation from the deadline day activity… the boo-boys should take note: you may think that Marvin Emnes is rubbish and not good enough to play for Boro but someone – Michael Laudrup – clearly thinks he is good enough for the Premier League and good enough to play in a side that is lauded for its pace and passing.
Think about that.

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58 thoughts on “Deadline Day Live: Unplugged

  1. I do not belive the whole Danny Deal. How on earth was this going to happen? How would we pay him? How would we fudge a deal to the value of 5mil? Why would Swansea want Emnes?
    If we were really looking to let go Marv the we should have. To anyone. If we could have got anywhere near £2-3mil for him he should go and we could go out and buy a Billy Sharp. How about short term DJ Campbell 10 in 19 on loan at Ipswich.
    Also as we always her Marv is a confidence player what will offering him out do for him??
    On a plus side Thommo going is a godsend just a shame we couldn’t have off loaded other crocks and ‘fringe’ players like Arca,McManus,Zemmama who have contributed nothing this season but claim wages week in week out.
    **AV writes: The Graham deal was real. It started as a loan inquiry and ended up as a £5m package with Emnes valued at £3m and the balance staggered. That’s how Boro could afford it. It doesn’t mean there is suddenly £5m to spend.
    Boro were offered DJ Campbell last week by QPR but he was on too much money and the staff believe he is not better than what they have. I agree. He is just another patchy one in four man. He’d soon be getting booed here.

  2. It’s amazing that we’re still discussing Gareth Southgate the manager. Perhaps things really are going quite well so we feel the need to bring up unresolved bad memories from the vaults.
    I’ve always been of the opinion (and argued it at the time he was fired, much to the annoyance of some!) that Gareth wasn’t nearly as culpable as was being made out. He didn’t have the tools and it was myopic to single him out amongst the plethora of management errors at the time.
    Anyway, as I’ve mused in the past the argument about managers is less about “good” managers and “bad” managers, and more about “suitable” ones, which helps explain why Strachan succeeded at Celtic where Mowbray failed (although with limited time), and while the opposite is happening at Boro. It is a regular occurance in football that a manager can succeed in one job and fail in the next. Does that make them good one day and bad the next?
    Chairmen ought to to take much more care in their management choices, picking a manager who can work with what he’s already got in the squad. It’s worked nicely for Swansea, and I do wonder what would have happened if we’d gone directly from Gareth Southgate to Tony Mowbray – two managers with similar outlooks on how the game ought to be played, though Tony’s vision appears more complete.

  3. I was just having a little joke when I mentioned Len Masterman as one of the Elders of the Blog. I had meant an affectionate little dig at the number of candles that would appear on his birthday cake, rather than a reference to his being a community leader.
    And, without our noticing it, a football game looms up on the horizon. So, it’s rugby on the TV and football on Radio Ali. That’s tomorrow sorted.
    I wonder if there’s a Finnish Chapter of the Boys in Red, or of supporters of the Leicester Tigers, or even Hull Kingston Rovers (to introduce a Yorkshire note to proceedings). In fact, if the islands on which we live had never been separated from mainland Europe, would there ever have been much sport in the world?
    Think of it: cricket, football, rugby, what the Americans call “field hockey”, boxing, golf, table tennis/ping pong, billiards, rounders, shinty, curling, croquet, hammer throw, the modern Olympics themselves (the Wenlock Olympics having been visited in 1890 by Baron de Coubertin who went on to establish the International Olympic Committee)… and there’s more. Most of the popular games played throughout the world began, and/or had their rules first agreed and codified here.
    Reasons to be proud dot com.

  4. Nearly felt like the old days during the last day of the transfer window. Secrectly I dreamed about the return of Danny boy back to Boro. But of course it was possible only if the deal to Sunderland would have collapsed.
    I still think we have good enough strikers on this level, though. Scotty Mac is as good as anyone on this level, Emnes has talent (remember last season?) and Juke is improving all the time. And we have Miller as an impact player available, too.
    I was always a fan of Thomson. So sad to see him leave. All these injuries must be very hard to take by the player and feel really for him. I just wish him better luck with injuries where ever he goes now. A great player but did not get a long enough run in the team to show his talent.
    Interestingly Mogga has reinforced the squad with a right sided midfielder/winger. An area we have not had a natural player for years. We have usually played a leftie there recently, so – if fit – this could be a interesting signing in the end. At least the balance of the squad is better, now.
    And of course we have Carayol back to full fitness. Of course he is still a bit rusty and could well play 90 min at an U21 team on Saturday. But still, he will be available to Boro from now on.
    If Woody is back on Saturday, too we have only two players injured now. Hoyte with the hip injury and Arca with his toe. I hope it will be intersesting and successful spring time!
    I just hope Leadbitter scores tomorrow. He has scored in the last two matches when Boro and Ipswich have played each other. So a minimum of a draw tomorrow with our luck turning…
    Up the Boro!

  5. Whether GS1 was any good or not, we still had plenty of opportunities to stay up in the relegation season, particularly in the first half of it.
    Sunderland away 0-2 Downing misses a pen with 10 mins to go at 0-0
    West Brom at home? 0-1 battered them
    Blackburn away 1-1 last minute equaliser
    Hull away 1-2 dodgy pen?
    Alves scored, what four goals? If he had only doubled that, we probably stay up.
    Was any of that the fault of Southgate?
    As Mogga says, fine margins. Who knows what would have happened had some of those games gone our way.

  6. Well only KD signed in the the transfer window: another crock .I think the club can forget promotion. I think they will start to sink down the league faster than the titanic.
    I don’t believe the club are ambitious enough and you need hard cash now to provide top players even in the championship. Don’t rate TM, rubbish manager and don’t rate SG. He should have acquired the services of a top manager when SM took the England job. Being out of the Prem has cost the club dearly.

  7. Maybe this will be on the wrong thread, but here goes:
    When we take a 4-1 win in the FA Cup against Hastings, that doesn’t make us the best team in the world. When we lose to Leicester that doesn’t make us the worst team in the world. Sometimes we have to keep some perspective, and it might be best to wait a while before sending a post (especially after a 0-4 defeat).
    However we are hoping to be promoted and we have now lost 12 games (if I have counted correctly) in the League and we are just into February. Middlesbrough FC is on the crest of a slump. Unless there is a massive turn of fortune, we are NOT going to be promoted.
    I really don’t care to hear players saying we are not in a “wobble” (when we plainly are) or that they are confident we will win automatic promotion. I think someone else has said “Talk is cheap”. I’d rather they did their talking on the pitch. Is that too much to ask?
    I am tired of hearing that the other team was “honest and hardworking” or “difficult to break down”. Does that mean our team is full of dishonest shirkers and that we are easy to break down (which the last four results would seem to imply)? If that is right, shouldn’t that be addressed?
    We don’t have the funds the club had whilst in the Premier League. We can’t afford the really expensive very skilful players. But surely being “hardworking” doesn’t cost anything. You can’t blame a player for not having been given the technical gifts of a Messi. But you can blame him if he doesn’t appear to put the effort in.
    Good organization (I’ll use a “z” to stop the computer complaining) doesn’t cost anything. like having the players take up a particular role to defend corners or free kicks, for example. “Bill, you come back for corners, Rob you stay at the top of the D, Mike you stay on the far post..).
    I accept that if you have a spate of injuries, so that players have to come in and out of the side, that may disrupt things. Mind you, if you intentionally buy players with a very poor fitness record, you make that scenario almost inevitable. For example I accept Woodgate is very talented but his moving into the side for a game here or 50 minutes there, means having to rearrange the defence to accommodate him. If he could play 46 games a season the club wouldn’t be able to afford him, but if he can only play every now and then, can the defence afford him?
    I have heard people on the radio commenting that there was no passion at Ipswich. Passion doesn’t cost anything. Amateurs in a Sunday league team can show passion. No commitment, no organization. If that is correct, it really is unforgiveable.
    Has Smallwood ever let us down or shown lack of passion or commitment? Has Bailey ever shown a lack of passion or commitment? I suspect either or both of those would have stiffened up the team at Ipswich. There would have been no doubt as to their hard work. Does anyone think Adam Reach would have improved the team, as well? He tends to make things happen, and to “work” the players he is up against. It all helps.
    I hope we don’t get many of the “bad day at the office” responses by way of explanation. After all, it isn’t one bad day, is it? This year we have won at home in the FA Cup against Hastings and Aldershot (when a defeat or a draw against either would have been a major sporting headline) and we have lost in the league to Derby County, Watford, Leicester City and now Ipswich. In this results game, maybe a bad five weeks in the office?
    The important thing is to make sure it doesn’t grow to be a bad six weeks, then seven weeks or more, because then the whole season will have been a write-off. There is a limit to the number of times the other teams around us can avoid taking points from their games and, eventually, if they play each other ONE of them at least must get some points, so we would slip further behind if we continue our current form.
    We do NOT need a team that has players in it that are booed off for perceived lack of effort. If we lose, we lose, but it should never have been because of lack of “bottle”, effort, commitment or whatever other words one might use. That should be a given for every player, every week, whatever the opposition.
    Some hard work is needed to put this right. You might play well but lose 1-0. You might be unlucky. But it would stretch credulity to suggest we were unlucky to lose 4-0 at Ipswich. It sounded as if we were lucky to get nil.

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