Shot-Shy Boro Striking Bum Note

TWO defeats in two home games with a series of chances to seal them squander morale in on a knife-edge. Shot-shy Boro team – and the manager – need to slam the brakes on the long sickening slide and make an immediate improvement.
But to do they will need to start hitting the target -and fast.


Boro couldn’t hit a barn door with a blunderbuss right now.
Or a cow’s bum with a banjo. They couldn’t find their way to the target with a sat-nav. Score in a brothel. Take your pick of misfiring marksman metaphors.
That is the basic truth of the current creeping paralysis: toothless Boro can’t kill teams off, whether they are play-off pretending peers or minnows playing out of their skins.
We all know the script: pass, pass, pass sidewards, pass, probe, pick, penetrate the penalty, then spoon it over, screw it wide or drill it straight into a defender’s shins. Repeat to fade.
It doesn’t help that every visiting keeper seems to put in an inspired display, pulling off a string of ‘worldies’ but then, they probably grow with confidence as the game unfolds and they see shot after shot fly harmless high or wide from a less than clinical strikeforce.
Then, after the opposition have been on the rack for 30 or 45 or 60 minutes, the fear seeps in, on and off the pitch.
Boro get raggy, lose a bit of composure, lose a bit of shape and then suffer a sucker punch from a no-frills attack, either a long diagonal ball that catches the defence cold or a poorly defended corner. Delete as applicable.
Whatever the frustration, angry, heavy-hearted despair, philosophical resignation, bubbling inner turmoil on the verge of spontaneous combustion, or shoulder-shrugging ‘meh’ apathy we variously feel, most agree that the pivotal point in game after game is the abject failure to kill teams off with a second goal. That is where the fundamental problem lies.
Against Accrington – bloody Accrington! – that problem was as just as pronounced as in any of the frustrating, flaccid displays in last season’s second half slump.
“You are only as good as your strikers,” said a muted Mogga after the game, inviting the obvious riposte that the ones up front are clearly deficient and, as a result, the team are no bloody good right now. And it would be hard to argue with that cynical assessment.
Boro had 23 shots by my reckoning. They had clocked 31 by the official website figures – although they have probably counted the ones that fail to register on our more exacting radar: the wayward ones that whistled past the corner flag or ended up bouncing around the Twe12th Man bar in the North Stand concourse or caused more trouble to air traffic control than the keeper.
But still, 23 shots and 62% possession, God knows what kind of pass completion ratio and several long, lonely spells when estranged Jayson Leutwiler was the only player in the Boro half … the stats make Boro sound like Barcelona.
Just three wins from 23 games in 2013 are far more damning numbers and they are the ones weighing far more heavily on the minds of emotionally bruised Boro supporters.
Even the most foam-handed faction are struggling to raise enthusiasm or hope or a smile at the current malaise, even through gritted teeth, while every fruitless game, every squandered chance, every strategic setback piles up the mounting antipathy towards the manager. These are trying times.
Boro should have cruised past Accrington. No question. No excuses. They should have battered them. Seriously.
Even discounting the number of speculative efforts from distance or blocked in a crowded box, Boro had a hatful of chances to rattle up a morale-boosting victory.
They should have been ahead after four minutes when Grant Leadbitter squared for unmarked Mavin Emnes in space 10 yards out but his low shot hit the legs of the keeper.
It was an echo of the opener against Leicester when he skipped past the keeper but took an extra touch to line up a perfect angle when an adequate one would have done just fine.
Jutkiewicz could have had a second on 15 minutes as Justin Hoyte drilled a low ball to the far post. It seemed the unmarked striker was favourite to stab home but a defender came sliding in to extend a telescopic leg and just glance the ball away.
Just before the break – and soon after Accrington’s leveller out of the blue – the ball landed at Muzzy Carayol’s feet but he first blazed straight at a defender then his angled follow up was just glanced wide.
Early in the second half Jutkiewicz cracked in a piledriver that a defender bravely put his head in the way of.
Then, in a moment that had the home fans baying, Boro broke away from a corner and Jutkiewicz streaked forward but took a poor touch and hastily tried a hopeful lob with Emnes and Carayol breaking into space and screaming for the ball.Square it then and both were through on goal. Although obviously on current form they would have missed.
A lot of the chances went begging because of marginal errors in shot selection or angle or because of brave blocks but that was just a poor decision under pressure. And it was probably the moment when Boro started to lose discipline.
The chances continued though. An outstretched foot sent a low Leadbitter drive looping over, then an Adam Reach effort was parried and Luke Williams spooned the rebound over. Then, after Accrington sealed victory – from a poorly defended corner, naturally – Boro had a final assault in which Reach and Varga stabbed shots a whisker wide then Leadbitter sent the keeper full length to push a sizzling shot behind.
Now, it is easy to say the defence is rubbish – let the goals against column speak for itself – but had any one of those early chances gone in, the dynamics of the game would have swung dramatically. The game would have been out of sight. Again.
And it is easy to point to the tactics and say they are bankrupt or predictable or not working and demand to know what they do on the training ground but Boro carved out chance after chance and teed up three or four sitters. In that sense, the tactics worked.
It is easy too to blame the boss for a result but once the players are out there, it is down to them. Mogga can’t score the goals. Although there is an argument he may do better than the current bunch.
Whether he is responsible for every action of every individual on the pitch is a question of football theology. But obviously it is his team and so he must take any flak coming his way. And there is a sustained bombardment at the minute.
There is a groundswell of grumbling building up among the crowd now. Some are declared dissidents eagerly seizing on any setback to advance their argument but far more are anxious loyalists growing jumpy over results and ever more fearful over what appears to be an inability to end a slump that goes back to New Year.
The team, and the manager, need to slam the brakes on that slide and make an immediate improvement. And that has to start with scoring goals and closing out matches.
The manager knows that more than most. He knows it is a results-driven business and that sentiment rooted in the Rioch Revival at Ayresome Park won’t head off the storm if the season fails to spark.
And he knows he needs players who can score the goals, win games and provide a spark. And quickly.
The club are hard at work to do just that. Albert Adomah may be sealed today. Others – Ross McCormack has been ruled out but ‘three or four’ more are being worked on and bids are in – may be in before Saturday. Certainly before the deadline.
But time is fast running out to get them in.
And morale is on a knife-edge.

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25 thoughts on “Shot-Shy Boro Striking Bum Note

  1. I’m worried, AV. You’re right that morale is low and confidence in Mogga is on the wane but what is worrying is the almost complete polarisation of views.
    The ra-ras are sure that we’re only four or five players (insert your own number here) from a good team who can fly under Mogga’s principled leadership.
    Others are equally convinced that whatever resources Mogga has at his disposal the team will ultimately fail because Mogga doesn’t have what it takes.
    Why am I worried? A fractured fan base means that each camp will jump on the slightest evidence to support their views rather than get behind the team.
    The big question is whether a few wins will start to heal the fracture. Even if it does, any setback (which is bound to occur) will open things up again. Mogga’s really on the tight rope with too many people just looking for the chance to give him a push.
    What does seem certain is that the ‘New Recruitment Model’ that you blogged so eloquently about on 22nd July is dead in the water. Adomah, McCormack, Ireland and, possibly, Bechio and Sharp just don’t fit.
    **AV writes: Once people have decided – and done it publicly, came out to family and friends and workmates – they very, very rarely switch back. Football fans can be harsh and anyone who did that would be tortured by their peers. No one likes to lose face and so if there is an upturn in results they don’t switch, they just bite their tongue and bide their time and resurface with ‘told you so” at the next downturn.
    A lot of people declared very early on against McClaren and because of that some of them did not enjoy Cardiff (“papering over the cracks”) or Europe (“a diversion”) and instead concentrated on criticising the dour football that took us to an unprecedented golden age or slagging his “magnificent” interviews or even his teeth! It is a strange existence when in effect you are waiting for a manager -and the team you profess to support – to fail in order to justify a position you’ve rushed into. And there is nothing more certain that at all but one or two clubs at any given time a manager will fail eventually. Even if you have to wait and simmer for a year or two. Even a stopped watch is right twice a day.
    The really interesting thing is why people even feel the need to declare in public. More so, why the need to evangelise? What reason do people seize onto, the final straw. Is it the style of football? A philosophical difference? Tactical theology? Personal antipathy to the manager or chairman or particular players? Is it particular results? Is it six defeats or 10 or 15? Is it because the are frustrated that the club/manager is not reaching the high standards they have set? Is it an unwillingness to accept the objective reality of where the club are? Do they lack patience? An understanding that clubs have ups and down and you can’t short-circuit even sometimes with cash? Is it just that society now is generally more angry and there is a trend for people to vent on every possible platform?
    And that is not just Boro by the way. I’ve seen all those position expressed by Arsenal fans. Newcastle fans, Spurs. Chelsea. Even Man United fans have had a few outbreaks of dissent in recent years. And it is endemic in the Championship where the Promised Land seems so close but so far away and life is a permanent tape loop of frustration and fine margin failure.
    Me, I just roll with it. ups and downs, rough and smooth, ecstacy and despair and try to enjoy the emotional workout no matter what the situation. At the end of the day for me supporting a club isn’t conditional on results or status or who is in charge, its about cultural identity and being part of a collective enterprise. I just crack on with it and even enjoy the bad times. It’s character building. A rara then.

  2. Goal scoring has been a massive problem for Boro in the last few years and with the departure of Scott McDonald, it’s plain to see how much a confident finisher is needed.
    Marvin Emnes has the ability to score lots of goals, but he comes across as being too shy to put the ball in the net. An extra touch, a shot drilled wide or straight at the ‘keeper, he very rarely seems capable of finishing moves off.
    Lukas Jutkiewicz is a goalscorer, he proved it last season when he was fit. Swing the ball over and he’ll head it in. But when the ball is at his feet, especially his right foot, he looks as if he lacks finesse. He is the target man, our Heskey, we just now need a poacher/a finisher; our Owen.
    Bringing in Adomah will aid Jutkiewicz and his goal tally. The prospect of balls being swung in from either flank will boost his confidence. He will know that his strength and ability in the air will become a more promenant force in Boro’s attacks. With Jutkiewicz attacking in the box, hopefully that’ll allow Emnes, Main, or L. Williams to wait for the ball to spill to them for a simple tap in. With practice and patience, goals will come.
    However, that does not detract from the need of a new goalscorer. At the end of last season Walsall’s top scorer with 20 goals, Will Grigg turned down a new contract. At 21 and already a proven goalscorer, I was convinced that Boro would be ready to pounce. But no, they missed a trick, he moved to Brentford. A potential lower-league gem passed us by.
    Now look at Boro, panicking to find this goalscorer and willing to pay a sum. The difference between Man City and Man Utd this summer has been transfers; City did their deals swiftly and early whearas Utd have bundled publically from player to player and now look desperate to find a fan-pleasing midfielder.
    The best teams do their deals early, Boro have not done that. Yes, money was a factor, but it’s still disappointing to only be hearing about the desperation for attacking options after two home defeats. These much needed strikers should have been identified and talked to before this transfer window opened. But there is still time, Mowbray may unearth one of his bargain buys.
    All we can do as fans is get behind the team and the manager and try to encourage the players to turn the form around.

  3. 0 from 2 thus far and only 3 wins in 23 this year means that whatever was identified to be the cause of the problem at the end of the season clearly isn’t or wasn’t remedied or identified correctly which means in simple layman’s terms it still appears to be present (or being kind, not fully fixed yet).
    We can’t blame Mrs Bailey for her constant twittering and we can’t blame the poor finishing of McDonald now, plus we have rebuilt the Keep Fit Coaching staff at Crockcliffe. The Players lost were mostly bench warmers or perma crocks or are we really missing Bikey, you know a bloke who sticks his head in and shows a bit of passion.
    So after the end of season inquisition, findings and remedial work we do not seem to be any further forward. Clearly the club are trying and the signing of Adomah (the No.1 target that the fans wanted) today proves that, but at some point something has to break, something has to change. If you keep doing the same things the same way yet expecting different results than we all know what that leads to.
    Its always darkest before the dawn, lets hope we are all around to see the daybreak because things can go bump in the night (as Gareth found out) and rumours of Mac the knife are building.
    Against Charlton Mogga has to play his strikers where it hurts, in and around the 18 yard box, he has to play strikers who will shoot and scrap like their lives depend on it. That means he only has Main and Juke (Lord help us) to select from. No fancy Marvin shuffling and dancing although no doubt he will be selected in the hope that away from hostile Home fans he finally gets his Mojo back.
    I would be tempted to give Haroun one “final” chance to go marauding down the middle (perhaps with only one striker up front should Mogga want to keep it tight in the middle), if so I would opt for Main with Carayol and Adomah providing the Ammo.
    So that means Whitehead and Leadbitter in the middle, Haroun slightly in front of them with Adomah and Carayol on the flanks. The back line picks itself but I would keep Varga, Luke, Reach, Juke, Gibson on the bench with Richardson and Leutwiler.
    To lose is unthinkable, a draw may keep things neutral for a little longer but a win would be a mammoth lift for all! In other words just get out there and get at them and learn from Stanley on Tuesday night.
    Fight, desire and passion can often be a whole lot more effective than the worlds biggest coaching manual. There has to be a will to win and not a will to not get beat through worrying about the oppositions tactics.

  4. Do I hear the sharpening of ‘Madam Guillotine’s’ blade? Is that a whisper in the breeze or SG on the phone to prospective new managers with the promise of funds available for team building? As we speak, is a certain M O’Neil pondering the possibilities of a not so rapid return to the delights and denunciations of the beautiful game.
    AV has retreated into his bunker of ethereal philosophical meanderings on how it’s character building to surf the waves of emotion in a community linked spirit of togetherness.
    It can only mean one thing – TM is walking the plank, his head is on the block and the sound of the bell is tolling deeply and resolutely in his ears. Time has run out. Patience has snapped. The King is dead (or nearly so) long live the King (whoever it maybe).
    Will the runes that are spread upon the floor reveal the truth of the demise or will Mogga and the lads heed the clarion call and surge back with the will of lions and a wild roar of defiance.
    I suppose we’ll all find out sometime after the Charlton game has heard the final whistle.
    UTB
    **AV writes: I love how creative Boro fans are in seeing a conspiracy in the smallest of semantic nuances or event. On FMTTM this week we have heard assertive ITK posters pronounce “Boro have screwed up again” because they didn’t immediately rush out to wave the Adomah paperwork around in public (it was in the post) while it was also stated that the Radio Tees touchline reporter had been handed his P45 for asking awkward questions after a friendly (he’s on holiday).
    Now I have a pop at the flaccid frontline and I am involved in some sinsiter machinations at the behest of Mr Gibson… hmmmm. Incidentally the same piece earned me a stinging rebuke by email for “going soft on” and “shielding” the manager – because the chairman is pulling my strings. LOL. As I believe the young people say.
    As for “retreating into my bunker of ethereal philosophical meanderings” … I spend most of my time in there. Don’t you read my stuff?

  5. Its only a mater of time now, Tony Mowbray will go by himself or with a push, however he will go, Any manager that gets rid of Bates, Bailey and Tony Mac and ignores the talents of the Boro kids deserves to go.
    Sorry Tony time to go mate, You fail to inspire, fail to man manage and fail to progress.
    Funny how a coach with a personality went to Hull and everything went down hill. Hull went up passing us and we went down. Relegation form since Agnew left.

  6. “Me, I just roll with it. ups and downs, rough and smooth, ecstacy and despair and try to enjoy the emotional workout no matter what the situation. At the end of the day for me supporting a club isn’t conditional on results or status or who is in charge, its about cultural identity and being part of a collective enterprise. I just crack on with it and even enjoy the bad times. It’s character building. A rara then!
    Spot on this. I never understand people who get seem to get so wound up or angry about things.

  7. AV
    Despite your Sir Humphrey approach both sides are booing you.
    A huge journalistic success.
    My view? I am going with the sway and booing both sides of the argument on the basis my views will change little in the Borosphere.
    Or what it is worth, around 3 lire in pre euro money, I believe Mogga does have issues but he ain’t gonna change and neither is Gibbo.
    I chortled to myself at the thought of sometime in the future Adam Reach walking along Redcar beach with his son. The little boy asks ‘Dad, will you be playing Saturday?’
    ‘No, son, I will get more games next season’
    ‘Dad, I am off to senior school next year, it would be great for me if you got on the pitch so I could get my mates along and I could show off.’
    ‘Don’t worry, the North Riding Senior Cup starts just after you start your new school.’
    Little Adam said ‘I suppose it is what it is.’
    **AV writes: Who is Reachy playing for in these days?

  8. Are ra-ra’s simply “Fatalists” which is why they accept “it is what it is” and just get on with supporting whatever Boro is set before them? If true then I guess that means that myself and the non ra-ra’s are “depressive realists”?
    Ian Gill is to blame for this ramble as his story about Reach senior and junior on Redcar beach put me in mind of the “idle argument”?
    “shikata ga nai” as a Japanese Tony Mowbray might say!
    **AV writes: Are ra-ras fatalists? Maybe to some extent. I think it is more that they don’t set targets. It used to be that the label generally meant uncritical loyalists, the sort not really interested in what we would now call club politics. These days I think they are far more involved in the politics because social media demands that you mark out your position and are likely to be attacked by strangers for it.
    What I find interesting is that in the past the ra-ras were regarded as those who expected the club and players to do well whereas the chickenrunners were more cynical and expected the club to do badly. That seems to have been reversed.
    Now the ra-ras expect the club to do as well ‘as can be expected’ and are prepared to accept the “excuses” – the reality – that financial restrictions, the flaws in the squad and the problematic presence of other teams may impact on that.
    Whereas the chickenrunners, who once set their sights low, now seem to expect the club to be far more successful, they seem to set far higher targets, they have higher expectations. They expect more from the players, from the team, from the clubs shop, the local press,.It seems they make demands and are angry if they are not met. How and why those positions changed I’m not sure.
    I don’y think you can call the chickenrunner types “realists” though. Some of them seem to set out minimum demands based on anything but an objective analysis. On a whole string of concrete indicators – crowd, resources, wages levels, TV and commercial income, PR, marketing, squad depth, recent results, ticket initiatives and prices – they are very quick to slate the club as being inferior to rivals in almost all respects … yet are only to eager to then ignore that evidence and say we “should be” in the play-offs/challenging for promotion/in the Premier League.
    Often it comes down to measuring the club against where it was five years ago which doesn’t feel like any kind of ‘realist’ position to me. It feels like the opposite. It feels like an skewed view through the wrong end of the telescope. And, for all the hard-nosed language, it feels like it is a sentimental and emotional view, a bitter refusal to accept that the golden age has gone.

  9. AV said ‘Don’t you read my stuff?’.
    Spartakboro replies – Read it? I don’t read it AV I relish it. (Keep yer feet on the floor here comes the rest). The primary reason I’m here is just ‘your stuff’. You stand head and shoulders above the rest. A giant in the electronic world of blogs – I kid you not.
    ‘Your stuff’ leaves all others in the shadows where in comparison they rightly belong.
    You have proven stamina, shown by the length of time you devote to your subject.
    You write with an authority and a passion in detail, where your arguments are well structured, rational and beautifully composed.
    I am here because the balance of the prose and the management of the process by yourself cannot be surpassed.
    If this blog went down for whatever reason, one of the only true outlets of a wide spectrum of opinion would disappear.
    I am with others an acolyte of your good self AV.
    There is space and inspiration here where lovers of the same team, passionate about it’s success and failure can find a meeting ground where we can thrash out our opinions one against the other – never failing to understand that for the diversity of those opinions we are all devotees of the one team, the Boro.
    So do I read ‘your stuff’? AV – don’t be silly. It goes well beyond simply reading. I am that liege man.
    Reply to BoroPhil –
    emotion or passion brings vivid colour to what would otherwise be a black and white picture of rational blandness or sobriety.
    It is of course a double edged sword because when uncontrolled it can produce as much destruction as it can create a beautiful picture.
    Pity the man who cannot be passionate about the love of his life.
    UTB
    **AV writes: That’s not all going to fit on the blurb….

  10. What ever happened to new season new start? It always used to be wipe the slate clean, new additions, new seaon, new hope, here we go again, we might win the league!
    Now it’s look at the last 120 games, two games into the new season, which I fully agree hasn’t been pretty.
    11 odd out only four in, with only really two of those we knew of before and two having not played yet, and there isn’t a dramatic improvement in the team? I cannot work out why that is.
    The start has been rough but lets start kicking the team in mid December just before they choke and throw it all away in Januarry, why waste the effort before then? They might play really well in the run up to Santa hour to prove our lack of trust extremely well placed.
    COB!

  11. Chicken-Stroller –
    its affecting me, too. If I predict a draw and we win, I will be happily surprised. At heart I know Boro will win.
    AV, do you think we start to play 4-3-3 with the full backs also attacking when needed. So Carayol-Juke-Emnes/Adomah the front three. How did West Brom play “usually” (no tinkering jokes, please) under Mogga?
    I think we will see an improvement as soon as a striker is added – whether it is McCormack or another.
    Up the Boro!
    **AV writes: I think it was usually 433 at West Brom. I think it will be that or 4231 here once everything is bedded down.

  12. I doubt those die hard chicken run attendees will own up. For the uninitiated it was the Clive Road side standing terrace section Ayresome Park
    It was where my Dad used to go purely for the crack and so I was blooded there also. Just couldn’t understand how people could spend hard earned cash and start slagging individuals off as soon as they came on the pitch.
    For a winger it must have been a nightmare, no words of encouragement. I remember Dick Ratcliffe been verbally slaughtered regular. Mind Cyril Knowles / John Craggs shut even the most die hard checken runner up, pure class.
    These days it’s different. For a start it’s diffiicult to be too verbal as you’re not that close and the stewards don’t seem to like it. Sit down and moan quietly. Let it all out on these blogs which are excellent .

  13. Ah!! The good old South Terrace (to give it its Sunday name).
    I’m more than happy to admit to being a regular there.
    The players used to hate playing in close proximity, as there was never a shortage of vocal, shall we say “comments” on how a player was performing. This was in a time when footballers where much more accessible to the public, and there was usually someone in the crowd who knew where certain players did their “refuelling” or “social interacting” with the opposite sex, be they married or otherwise. I’ll save AV having to get his red pencil out, but names, places and wives, were known.
    Plus, a lot of the fans had an extensive knowledge of the game and knew what they were talking about when it coming to criticism on playing matters. There was indeed no hiding place if you were playing out on the wing, (the Terrace ran full length of the pitch, from corner flag to corner flag).
    To be honest,I would love to go back to those days, why should underperforming prima donnas get away with short changing the fans. Let them get some stick, the players who came back with a mouthful of their own were held in great esteem.

  14. Sitting at the Leicester game last week there was a bloke sat a few seats away from me in the South Stand who was moaning about Marvin during the warm up and then spent 90+ minutes devoting his entire energy into critiscing his tackling, his positional sense, his body language, his physicality in challenges, his distribution, his braids, even what was he doing out at the corner flag when Leadbitter was taking a corner even though it was clear this was a tactic worked on in training with Carayol (who had previously gone off) and Leadbitter. The language was of a slightly more Industrial Teesside heartland vintage though.
    Now Marvin wasn’t great but he did at least run about which was more than some in red shirts did in the second half (albeit he never seemed to be in the right place to support Juke but I suspect more to adherence of Tactical drilling). Funniest part of the afternoon though was when Marvin screwed one high wide and handsome and the bloke had to duck, if only Marvin knew how close he had come!
    My point is that bloke is what I call an old fashioned, dyed in the wool, real genuine Chicken Runner. We don’t tend to see those types on here posting, more on that other board where there is little to no reasoning to 80% of the posts, just juvenile abuse and puerile drivel in the most part with a few gems hidden in between. Most worrying though is that that guy still attends and “supports” (for want of a better word) Boro, he is still paying for his seat and hasn’t given up and walked away.
    I think “Depressive Realists” as I described them, myself included in that, in case anyone takes exception, are slightly different to Chicken Runners, I would probably class them as more extreme along the scale, probably “Depressed Unrealists”.
    **AV writes: I’m waiting hear from the “Depressed Surrealists.”

  15. The “Depressed Surrealists” were a relatively unknown group of artists between the two World Wars basing themselves on the Left Bank of the Tees (aka the “Rive Sud”).
    Most famous for their “coucher de soleil sur les fours à coke” or as we now refer to it as “Sunset over the Coke Ovens”. The outbreak of the Second World War sadly saw this artistic groups work lost in the passage of time. “Elle est ce qu’elle est” became their byword.
    Their frustration and bitter repressed resentment resulted in a new artistic post war group named “coureurs de poulet”.

  16. I think, therefore we win ….
    Counting on “mes droigts de mousse” I reckon 3-1 !
    with pigs flying gracefully over Battersea

  17. I’d classify myself as a Boro realist, and at present, a depressed one too. Depressed not really because of the lack of any recent highs but because of the ‘going nowhere at all’ scenario under Mogga.
    I used to be firmly in the rara camp but as your years of supporting the team mount, you tend not to be so one eyed and look at the bigger picture.
    A bigger picture showing a manager not remotely up to the job and a chairman who has made several bad and key decisions of late – I still can’t believe we hired Strachan and am staggered Gibbo will not fire Mogga.
    This stance does not put me on a level below a rara or the tub thumping of the Gazette – the Gazette was very slow publicly to appreciate the depth of feeling against Strachan (and just how useless he was) and is adopting a similar platform with Mogga. So Mogga’s helped the clear the debts, great but that’s Mr Bausor’s job and is to expected when you’re being paid the money Mogga is.
    Mogga shows no appreciation of the youth set up (play them or sell them) buys poorly and can’t motivate. While I feel it is wrong to turn against any member of the club during a match or abuse them in any manner at any time, it does not mean that I can’t criticise what I see as a downward spiral. I genuinely hope my thoughts re the manager are wrong but I don’t believe they are.
    AV’s, “I just roll with it. ups and downs, rough and smooth, ecstacy and despair and try to enjoy the emotional workout no matter what the situation” is a fair and understandable view but it seems demob happy to me and is not the outlook that will lead to a constructive revival.
    The fans are so so with Mogga still, largely because he is local and there is no obvious alternative. I don’t question his commitment but his glory days were back in the ‘80s and he was away from the club for about 17 years.
    Gareth Southgate, who I preferred as a player and person, didn’t get the same leeway from the crowd. Just because someone had (and it is very much past tense) a strong connection with the club should not blind us to his shortcomings now. Willie Maddren, a far superior player than both Mogga and Gareth, wasn’t given the time and look where that led us. To Bruce and up and away.
    What the alternative is I don’t know but the Mackems pulled a rabbit out of the hat with Paolo and we need to be equally creative.
    I defy any Boro fan to say they have felt more sick than me or utterly down and lost after some of our key moments in the past and I’m one of the generation who still has occasional nightmares about the Wolves fallout in 1981. But I do know every true Boro fan will have felt exactly the same as me at these times.
    It’s because I don’t rate Mogga and I am a true supporter that I feel I should raise it. But it doesn’t make me or any of the committed depressive realists or chicken runners any less of a true fan if I say so.
    But for all this, the typical Boro in me sees a win at Charlton. Though followed by another loss…

  18. ‘Depressed Surrealists’!
    I thought I may add something along the lines of Toulouse Laitrec – also roughly translated to ‘can’t win a game away’.
    Unfortunately, he was an impressionist not a surrealist (bit like the the Boro team and management, making the impression they can be successful at some point in the future that is not accurately known- Oh err!).
    The little chap, TL not Juninho, was short in stature but I have it on good authority that he wasn’t adverse to heading the ball out of defence.
    Talking of balls, apparently his were hypertrophied. Let’s hope some of our strikers can discover their’s in time to stick the ball in the opposition net without going weak at the knees.
    Go for it lads – Carpe Diem.
    PS. Cut away to your hearts content AV – I care not!!!! 🙂

  19. I agree with paul a 5-1drubbing by Charlton souns about right.The club are going nowhere with Gibson and the TM. When i think of all the decent managers not in work it’s criminal.

  20. Now that Boro have won and are now nailed on for automatic promotion , does anybody think we will be unbeaten for the rest of the season.
    *anybody listening to Ali Brownlee’s silly sidekick after the Charlton victory will probably be of this view due to Goebbelesque propaganda by whoever this big talking person is.

  21. Paul, its nearly half six, can you give me tonight’s lottery numbers.
    Money in the bank!
    Much better, the emergence of a team playing in the manager’s preferred style? Too early say, just as last week’s hysterical reactions were far too quick off the mark.
    Booooo Mogga out!

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