Boro Swept Away In Leicester Deluge

BORO weathered the storm – rain, hail, sleet, Biblical bruised skies, thunder and lightning, very very frightening – but then got swept away as the tide turned in the second half.
One slip at the back – and a cruel ‘ball over the line’ mistake by the officials – let Leicester through for a controversial opener as Nugent barged aside Ayala and took the ball out before cutting back for Vardy to stab home. After that angry Boro lost their heads, lost their shape, lost their discipline and gradually unravelled in what was a disappointing slither to a 2-0 defeat


There followed a series of self-inflicted scares at the back as the defence imploded with poor balls, poor decisions and poorly execution. Boro twice almost gifted Leicester goals through sloppy defending, then Rhys Williams contrived to give away a stupid penalty with a rash tackle – how many is that this season? Four? – but super Shay saved it (although in truth it was a spot kick that would have looked bad in the Manchester Utd/Sunderland shoot-out).
Then the killer second came amid more chaos as Ayala fouled Vardy and when the free-kick came in Adomah let De Laet free to dart forward and head home unchallenged.
That was that. But it had all started so well. For the best part of an hour Boro had matched what Karanka had called the best team in the division in atrocious conditions and looked good value.
The pre-match deluge made the pitch almost unplayable with the ball splashing and sticking in standing water, players failing to control even simple balls and sliding about dangerously. Ask Leicester’s Liam Moore: he came sliding into to attack a free-kick and clattered into the post. He was last spotted in hospital having x-rays on suspected broken ribs. There were serious question-marks over whether the game would be finished… but then the rain stopped at half-time, a whole peasant mob of pitch-fork wielders arrived and somehow cleared the worst of the puddles.
While the pitch was a sticky, slippy quagmire Boro just edged the balance of play with Adomah and Carayol getting a lot of joy down the flanks and putting good balls across the face of goal but on that surface no one could judge a run, get a good first touch or turn quickly onto the ball.
Boro had the best chance of the first half after three minutes as much maligned Lukas Jutkiewicz did well to win a loose ball in the middle, play a one-two with Ledesma to find space then sent a superb ball down the left for Carayol then sprinted to the edge of the box for the return but then with the headlines and redemption beckoning he stabbed his shot wide. He put in a decent header early in the first half that brought a good save from Schmiechel too but apart from that, for all the splashing endeavour Boro created little.
The game swung disastrously away from them after the opener. They got angry, frustrated and stopped playing as a unit. The jitters set in at the back and suddenly Boro looked a mess. Rhys Williams looked more like the next one out on loan to a lower league side than someone courted by Premier League big boys and you could sense Boro chiefs wondering if it was too late to cancel the Ayala move as he had the classic ‘bad day at the office’ on his real deal debut.
After six games unbeaten there is no shame in getting beaten by the well drilled table-toppers in freak conditions and after a controversial opener. That said, there is no excuse either for the complete collapse after that set-back. The failure to respond was very disappointing. There still needs to be some mental fine-tuning there. And some strengthening up front too.
More later…

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49 thoughts on “Boro Swept Away In Leicester Deluge

  1. The more intelligent team won, I think Karanka said, and he was right.
    As you say AV, we completely lost the plot after a dodgy decision led to the first goal. But a really intelligent team don’t let that be used as an excuse to implode. As it happens, not too much damage done. But the test comes in the next home game for me. Can we respond?

  2. Do you get paid for this?
    “thunder and lightening”
    It was lightning. Not lightening.
    “The post-match deluge made the pitch almost unplayable”
    Pre-match.
    “sliding into to attack ”
    What?
    “cleared the worse.”
    Cleared the worst.
    “and one two”
    a one two.
    “the next one out to a lower league side then someone courted by Premier League sides”
    Than, not then.
    “there is no excuse either for the complete collapse”
    There is also no excuse for such a badly written report.
    **AV writes: What, not even when written cramped in the passenger seat of a badly lit car, quickly for your benefit and with the knowledge it can be tidied up when I get home? If I don’t do that I get slagged for not having something up within an hour of the whistle. Mea culpa, there are literals – but every week they get quickly rectified. And actually, no, I don’t get paid for it. It’s an added extra I do because I am stupid and that is taken for granted by the company and by a lot of readers. But thanks for your input.

  3. I was disappointed with how the second half panned out after we were the better team in the worst of the conditions in the first half.
    Conditions and officials didn’t help matters. If there had been another downpour at half time I think the game would have been abandoned!
    You can blame the officials for the first goal but then Ayala had plenty of time to clear the ball, that half of the pitch was affected more by the rain and it was always going to be risky trying to play your normal game when the ball was sticking and travelling slower than normal.
    No excuses for the penalty,bad judgement again by Rhys and as you say his fourth of the season. Given made a great save and then instead of pushing on we shoot ourselves in the foot and Ayala’s foul (is there a 14 day cooling off money back guarantee clause) and poor marking from the resulting free kick meant the game was over.
    For me Juke has had plenty of game time now to prove himself and he’s not a goal scorer at all, a decent goal scorer on the pitch in the first half could have had us a couple of goals. Think it’s time to get rid, loaned out or shipped out!
    Desperately need someone to bolster the attack before next weekend or we are going to struggle for the rest of the season and we need to extend Given’s loan until the end of the season before someone comes In last minute and spirits him away.
    Not too disheartened with the defeat but disappointed with the attitude in the last twenty minutes or so,need to bounce back well on Tuesday against Wigan.

  4. There’s no doubt there is still much work for Special K to do with this mediocre squad to turn them into a well drilled, battle hardened outfit like Leicester. Reinforcements must be the order of what remains of the month, with a decent striker at the top of the list.
    Furthermore, as you rightly point out, some sports psycho wouldn’t go amiss to avoid further under-13esque disintingrations brought about by poor decisions on the part of the officials…

  5. No disrespect Boro, but Nugent kept the ball in for the first goal whatever the bloke writing this says. I was perfectly in line with the dead ball line and the whole of the ball was not out of play. Penalty was soft but he missed it anyway.
    Boro are a good side though. 1-0 Leicester would have been a fairer result and from what I’ve seen Boro should comfortably make the play-offs.

  6. Didn’t realise our grammer and prose was been read and marked like.
    Surely that was the Juke’s last start….the defence needs a change from Willams so hopefully Kenneth will feature on Tuesday.

  7. Dear Joe –
    i look forward to AV’s speedy post-match assessment, with or without mistakes. Also, they are ‘mistakes’ and not ‘errors’ (if you know the difference). And at least his column is not all in lower case!

  8. AV, I hope you are thick skinned enough not to take any notice of Jo(k)e.
    The majority on here appreciate all your efforts, and those I might say of all the other regular posters who go to the away matches and give their own thoughts on the events.
    Keep up the good work.

  9. Ignore Joe. These reflections are much more valuable than a match report and important even when one has been to the game.
    Leicester (A) is out of the way and without too much damage done. The teams in the top six who played (other than out of sight Leicester) didn’t win. The big test for us, as a team not really in Leicester’s league at the moment but perhaps genuine play off material, is Wigan at home and then Doncaster away. 6 points is not an unrealistic ambition.
    We might have close to 3,000 fans at Doncaster. Considerably more impressive in my view than the ridiculously praised 9,000 Sunderland fans at Old Trafford for a cup semi final.

  10. Fifty minutes played and all well then the Ayala/officials mistake. It doesnt matter which because my paper says it is a goal.
    Lots of problems on the trains on the way down, train was rammed. Luckily a pretty young girl came and sat next to me for the short trip to Loughborough.
    She had just finished her final exams and just had her dissertation for her psychology. She would then start on her masters and I suggested she come and study our post Christmas Slump.
    I nearly fell off my seat when she was going to look at resilience in footballers. It turned out
    she works with MK Dons and her boyfriend is a footballer. Proper fans as well supporting Bradford City.
    The storm pre and post match was biblical, advertising hoardings went everywhere and the poor kids with flags looked like drowned rats.
    The ball was holding up then skidding on. There was a valiant effort by the forking groundstaff but sadly only managed to fork the end Leicester were attacking before the second half was due to start. They didn’t even get up to the halfway line. Odd that.
    Could have been a couple clear at half time but weren’t and no matter who you are playing if you don’t you are in trouble. To be fair I lost count of the number of times we got in to space and the ball just stopped.
    Just got to move on.

  11. Can’t believe someone complaining about your report Anthony.Your reporting on Boro is top class and I for one can’t wait to read all your excellent articles.You are a top man.

  12. Just to say AV how greatful Iam to read both your blogs and gossip on twitter. Keep up the good work mate and don’t let one misery with nothing better to moan about get you down. Big game Tuesday now we need at least four points from the next two games to stay in the pack.UTB
    **AV writes: There’s even more spelling mistakes in the twitter feed: fat fingers, little phone.

  13. Joe:
    If you had even the slightest understanding of,or sensitivity towards,the English language,as opposed to the nit-picking mentality of a mere grammarian; if you had even the slightest inkling of the conditions of production of contemporary journalism, you would know that AV is one of the finest and most resourceful sports journalists in the land, certainly the best one who has ever covered the Boro, and that we are damned lucky to have him.
    Have a look at the manuscripts and early drafts of some of our greatest poets. You would get great satisfaction in ticking them off. Many of them were terrible spellers.

  14. Joe, I’d love to see you get copy out with flawless accuracy almost immediately after a match, probably while trying to navigate home during a biblical storm…
    **AV writes: OK, lay off the bloke now. I think he gets the message. He was probably just frustrated at Boro losing. We’ve all been there.

  15. Didnt think my post on Joe would be deemed offensive to be omitted!
    Just a bit of football banter!!
    **AV writes: There’s a few I haven’t published. I don’t mind anyone having a pop at me, I’m big enough and ugly enough to take it. I don’t mind if a couple of like-minded individuals want to exchange proportional low level insults but monstering a poster is a bit naughty.

  16. AV –
    Never mind the corrections, just something I have noticed both here and work.
    I get a message from what looks like a bogus site purporting to be from Microsoft appears when trying to get in to Gazette articles.
    I says that there are three threats such as a trojan etc and that you should clean the computer. It ‘kindly’ offers an option to clean your computer. It doesn’t like you closing the message down but a couple of attempts works.
    By the way, Joe would have posted criticising the spelling in the message!
    **AV writes: I’ll tell our techies. It is beyond my level of competence.

  17. Haha! I’m sure we are all “man” or “woman” enough to take it.
    Are we expecting the Chelsea lads to be in the starting line up this week now players have departed on loan?
    Interesting that a fit Woody didnt make the bench yesterday. Also talk and rumours of Hines to Birmingham, £2m bid for Friend by Forest and Rhys to Swansea or Celtic.
    Going to be an interesting week ahead,Karanka hasn’t wasted much time assessing his squads capabilities and I think the summer will bring an even more ruthless cull of the squad!!

  18. One league goal, three assists (according to a well known stats website) so far this season and only eight league goals last. Lukey Jukey seems to be a top bloke but is surely just not up to it.
    A centre forward, with even a modest goal return, on top of our midfielders contribution, would probably have ensured that even with our defensive frailties we would be serious challengers in the top six. LJ works hard but with little result, I was a bit shocked to see that even his assists record is so poor.
    I understand that a top Championship goal scorer is out of reach of Boro’s finances at present,(Having said that, I notice that Sharp has just returned to Donny was he not on our radar?). I don’t know the answer but as I have said before, one of the criteria you judge the quality of your manager on is by the players he can bring in “on the cheap” but do the job. Perhaps AK has someone in mind before the window closes.
    Sorry,I don’t usually ramble on like this but it was a bit of an itch I’ve had for a while that I needed to scratch. Plenty of material for Joe Syntax to get his teeth into though but.

  19. Anthony –
    I confess to being a full-blown pedant when it comes to spelling and grammar (ask my wife!) but from 300+ miles away I have to say how much I look forward to reading your perceptive and witty analysis each week. The thunder and lightning quip made me laugh out loud, and not for the first time. Does me a power of good so more strength to your writing arm.
    **AV writes: Thank you. We aim to please.

  20. I was just thinking you’ve gotten pretty good at this AV (before I read Joe’s gripes). Proofing aside, I like the pace, timbre and info of the post.
    As an expat with a lot of competition for my sporting affections these days I’m starting to think Boro may be about to loom large over the next few months. hope so.

  21. AV – I always appreciate your comments so early post match, keep it up.
    Now then, despite last time I looked we were third highest scorers in the Championship we DO need a proven striker in don’t we? I appreciate how difficult that is, but have you any word on some wheeling dealing on the striker front this week Anthony?
    **AV writes: I’m told from on high they are working on “a number nine and a number ten … continental” plus trying to extend Given’s loan to the end of the season and also two more outs between now and Friday.

  22. Karanka said that he wouldn’t bring anyone in who didn’t improve the squad. Well, Bamford, Billy Sharp,and a 40 year old mackem called Phillips are better than what we’ve got up front! Christ ,I’d rather have a totally out of form Danny Graham than any of our lot , any word on whether we’re in for anyone AV
    **AV writes: I refer the honourable gentleman to my previous answer.

  23. AV –
    While I remember, that message never appears when trying to get on the blog.
    Some more reasoned comment on the match.
    I watched Goals on Sunday and having watched the early Juke chance again. From that position, basically coming in unmarked, the finish would have been unacceptable if he was right footed.
    The fact it came on his good side makes it worse. Even on the weaker foot he should work the keeper. For the pedants amongst us taking a goal kick does not count as working the keeper.
    It was a difficult day especially attacking the home end in the first half, it just highlighted Juke’s deficiencies. I am not going to blame Juke, he is what he is. He is wholehearted and hard working. When Carlton Palmer played for England I never blamed him for the fact he wasn’t an international quality midfielder, he did his best.
    Having watched the non decision again it came as no surprise that Leicester Police are thinking of charging Nugent for leaving the playing area before he crossed to Vardy.
    To our Leicester fan, the Leicester commentators showed Radio Tees colleagues pictures of the ball well over the line. A clue is the fact I don’t recall the big screens showing it.
    **AV writes: Karanka and Co came out of the tunnel with their copy of the official match DVD after doing the local radio/press and asked to borrow my lappy. They gathered round and reviewed the incident before he spoke to the national media. His verdict was ‘no foul on Ayala but the ball was definitely out.’

  24. Well that was back down to earth with a bit of a bump, a reality check. Naïve defending, poor refereeing and woeful finishing sums it up.
    Their first goal clearly should have been a goal kick to us but the referee and his assistant failed to see the entirety of the ball was well over the line. Its easy to blame officialdom but Ayala had ample opportunity to hoof the ball over the roof of the stand before deciding to shield the ball from Nugent who showed more desire to win the ball than Ayala who was convinced he had seen the ball out. Ayala overcompensated in shielding the ball and actually allowed Nugent to get in behind him goal side which is unforgivable.
    The fact that the ball was out of play is irrelevant, he allowed Nugent an opportunity whilst he was sliding on his back side. He should never have put himself in that position after being able to comfortably clear the ball previously. Hopefully he will learn from it and no doubt Aitor will have some words of wisdom in defensive techniques on Monday morning. In those conditions the basic rule is clear it and remove the danger especially the state the pitch was in and the uncertainty of how a ball will play on a sodden surface.
    The penalty! What on earth was Rhys thinking of? This was Rhys back to his very worst, lunging in, totally thoughtless and with the player moving away from goal. He was 50/50 at worse just to shield the ball had he stayed on his feet. Lunging in like that inside the 18 yard box was astonishing. What did he think was going to happen? Even had he won the ball he presented a brilliant opportunity for a dive against a team renowned for winning penalties at Francis Lee proportions. Fortunately the Bromance continued with Shay and he done what he has been doing and pulled off yet another save.
    At that point I thought the euphoria and jubilation from the save would have carried us forward with renewed belief and vigour but red mist was still present in the Boro back line. Ayala gave away a dangerous free kick and more comedic defending ensued when we went to sleep at the far post saw Leicester grab a second and an unassailable two goal advantage.
    We contested very well in the first half and up until the goals looked confident and even composed against the best team in the league. Individual weaknesses cost us, Ayala and Williams and their poor decision making, a visually challenged referee who should have been pressurised and hassled after his mistake and a sterile strike force.
    Its pointless giving Juke grief now, its way past that, he scraps, he pushes and shoves and in return gets pushed and shoved all over the place, a bit like a terrier with one of those rope chews in his mouth, lots of snarling and effort but all totally pointless.
    The return of goals based on our strikers’ appearances is beyond embarrassing. Aitor may as well give up on them now and play another midfielder and just push Butterfield for example further forward until he can sign someone who recognises what a net looks like, even push Ben Gibson up front he couldn’t possibly be any less effective..
    So apart from some juvenile defending who went back in time sleepwalking into set piece defending, Conference standard refereeing and an opportunity to take the lead wasted in the opening minutes we weren’t too bad. As Aitor will probably tell them, they are not as good as they thought they were. Lets hope they man up for Tuesday, learn, move on, we are still only five points from a play off position.

  25. Chelski loan watch update:
    Middlesbrough:
    Omeruo- App: 0 Goals:0
    Chalobah- App: 0 Goals 0
    Derby County:
    Bamford- App: 2 Goals: 2
    So much for the benefits of our “special” relationship.

  26. Mr Park –
    And I thought I was the prophet of doom! You really are a misery aren’t you? For heaven’s sake give our loanees a chance, to condemn them before they’ve played a match properly is rather churlish, surely?
    **AV writes: It’s the Boro way.

  27. Paulista –
    You must have been impossible to live with when ManU played Chelski, the torture of wanting both teams to lose unless you are a closet ManU fan.
    At least we now know that Omeruo will play Tuesday and Chalobah will score the only goal. Life has a habit in making fools of us all. I have years of experience as well as t-shirts and a DVD of Foot in Mouth 4.

  28. AV – I can’t believe you don’t get paid for writing this blog! This is outrageous! You are a national treasure. Perhaps, bloggers all, we should have a whip- round for AV? At least, let’s all offer to buy him a pint next time we see him!
    Two comments on Leicester:- firstly, AV, I loved your description in the EG match report of Juke ‘trundling’ into the penalty area. Very, very true! If somebody had carted him in a wheelbarrow he would have got there quicker! And that happened every time he had a run towards goal. I know conditions at first were apocalyptic but he can surely do better than getting the ball stuck under his feet every time he gets it? Or then again, perhaps he can’t……..?
    I was convinced the ball had gone out of play long before Ayala committed the stupid foul that led to their second goal. I don’t mean that the ref missed another one, rather that the ball had gone dead even before Ayala kicked Nugent. Is that right? If so, he deserved everything Karanka threw at him afterwards in the dressing room. Kami-kaze defending.
    **AV writes: No I don’t get paid for writing this. Shocking isn’t it? I started it off my own bat and it is largely written in my own time. It is officially ‘unofficial’ and semi-detached. But then it wins awards, becomes part of the brand stable, becomes a recognised feature read by players, managers and the chairman that helps set agendas, helps the paper have a virtual presence beyond the confines of print, that outside media tap into and borrow from and refer to and so it wins hearts and minds, readers and kudos. And then it is expected. Then it is seen as part of what I do. Part of the job. But the company won’t pay me for it.
    The problem is how do you quantify the time I spend on. At midnight. And later. On Sunday. And on “days off”. And on holidays. When I raise it as an issue the powers that be say “well don’t do it then” because media companies are under pressure to cut costs at every turn and it is easier to cut a service to the audience than it is to sanction an extra payment for something, even unique, informed, creative, opinionated, entertaining writing in tune with the readership of the sort you would think is the core product of a newspaper in a challenging market.
    If I left they wouldn’t replace me like for like (assuming they could find someone willing enough or daft enough to put the hours in). They would install a RSS feed to a series of cut-and-pastebot rumour sites identical to so many others that would regurgitate every twitter whisper and tabloid snippet without judgement of filter. And it would get ‘hits.’ The only real solution is for me to say OK, I won’t then. But that is not me. I’m a writer. Or “a bloody idiot and martyr ” as my wife says.

  29. I’m with Clive, that is truly outrageous. Tell me, there are a (blessedly) small number of ads on the blog site. Do you at least pick up a small revenue from these, or does the company benefit from that revenue as well without contributing to the cost?
    Maybe Trinity Mirror could cut costs by sacking their useless web site designers (and don’t give me that nonsense about it being better on a tablet…it’s not, it’s rubbish). This should leave a bit left over to pay for some good old-fashioned quality journalism.

  30. I agree with Clive, and possibly your wife also AV!
    Written apreciation is a tough thing to establish; you know how much this blog is read, contributed to and looked forward to after every game. If there are no AV comments to contributions when I read it there is a genuine disapointment. There is just a genuine Teesside feel to the blogs and comments and this is down to you AV. Paid or not for your time and creativity, big thanks from the Delta

  31. Clive –
    Juke gave a masterclass in defending when we opened them up early in the second half by trying to trap the ball several times. He started wth a clear opportunity in the D and finished up on the byeline at the edge of the box.
    Unluckily for the Foxes they didn’t have a clue what was going on and when he eventually got it under some form control they were all over the place and he rolled it back to Carayol (?) and we had a couple of shots.
    Going back to the second goal, it looked like the ball was well out whenAyala encouraged Nugent. They deserved a free kick for stupidity but I am not certain you can give a free kick once the ball is dead. One for Jeff Winter.
    AV –
    Dread the thought of you stopping the blog, we would end up with facelessbook and tw*tter. Tell your wife you are a saint.
    **AV writes: I think she is just happy that I am not aiming my polemic at her.

  32. It will be interesting to see how the defence situation unfolds now that Ayala is AK’s first choice?
    No choice at LB I guess, only Friend, so that’s not good. RB seems to be Vargas at the moment, but waiting in the wings Kenneth. CH’s, is it now Ayala plus one from Woodgate, Kenneth, is it Williams out the door. And then there is Given.
    From all the reports and postings, it still appears we need that consistent, leader type CH.
    I would not be surprised to see Main go out on loan if there are any takers, but what about Juke and Emnes. Probably no interest in those two, allowing a couple more (forwards) in.
    Down to the wire then AV?
    **AV writes: There may be some movement up front in the next day or two. Bolton are keen on Juke if David Ngog completes a mooted move to Swansea. That would free up space in the squad and wages to bring in a striker.

  33. AV – getting paid. Very simple solution – keep doing this cos we enjoy reading and contributing. But run the blog off your own system, WordPress is a easy to set up, install affilated marketing programs, build a few banners into it, set up google adsense. You could start to make the EG sales team look a bit slack!
    I am not sure what the visitor numbers are but they must be pretty high (I check every 30 mins during transfer windows!). So your pay click goes up. It won’t be huge to start with but you’ll be able to take Mrs AV out to dinner, half a parmo each.
    Then watch your bosses pants change colour as you make money out of your free time. You could even charge the EG to run the blog on their site. Bet they view it differently then.
    **AV writes: That already sounds like far too much work. I’m a writer not a techy and I certainly don’t have the time or inclination to chase advertising.

  34. AV – on the banners you write “see your advert here” and wait for the enquires to flood in (or call the advertisers on the EG site if you want to start the dark arts), affiliated marketing is one click and they do the work, same with Google Adsense. No techies required.
    Do it, do it!
    I’ll set it up for you if you fancy. You could be Boro’s latest blog millionaire.
    **AV writes: Are you trying to get me sacked?

  35. Brighton bid for Carayol rejected, rumours that Boro want to tie him down to a new contract. Not that it matters but any details about the Brighton offer AV?
    **AV writes: Karanka said he hadn’t heard anything. Brighton press lads are none the wiser.

  36. Before I read the blog this morning it was my intention to have a ‘pop’ at Joe, but given the broadside he’d received that Nelson would have been proud of I decided there was nothing to gain. I’m certainly not in any position to complain about someone else’s grammar.
    As for you AV, your missus is spot on there’s no doubt you’re a ‘bloody idiot’, you need to be one of those to support Boro. But there’s also no doubt your efforts are well over and above the call of duty. Which the overwhelming majority of us appreciate.
    As for the Leicester result, it wasn’t a great surprise, nor was it a set back. Leicester seem to be a class above, good luck to them and big Nige. The good news is we’ve an opportunity to put Saturday’s result behind us tomorrow.
    It looks like the back end of the week could be exciting with maybe one or two out and one or two in. I wouldn’t be against seeing a Spanish striker playing up front, a bit of glamour doesn’t go amiss. It would also help if he could score a few!

  37. Sky Sports going with:
    Juke off to Bolton on loan with Doyle coming in on loan to Boro.
    Not to knock a player before he arrives but i would have prefered a Spanish option that you dont know about and taking a punt than loaning someone you already feel in your heart isn’t what we need or will produce. Hopefully the feeling is wrong. Maybe he is frustrated in L1 and wants out but if you cant score in L1 why will you score in a tougher league?
    His last good season was six years ago with Reading 08/09 (with a very good total). Hope this is a historic cut and paste job and 2+2=5
    **AV writes: I was told from on high ‘continental’ but who knows, things can change quickly when the window looms. And Ireland is technically part of Europe.

  38. Doyle! Oh no, what will he give that Juke isn’t at the moment. Not goals looking at his record in league 1 of late. And if the reports are correct I would imagine the wages are higher too.
    Let’s hope the No.10 is a little more inspiring and hopefully continental (Vossen please, 100 goals in 240 appearances for Genk – that is the kind of strike rate we need to get out of this league).

  39. I will be surprised if the Doyle rumour is true, the only rationale I could see in that would be:
    a) Bolton take up all of Jukes wages (as he is probably on less than Ngog therefore not totally unreasonable).
    b) Doyle’s wages will be partly subsidised by Wolves to ensure he costs Boro no more than Juke as a minimum.
    c) Doyle is only being considered as a deadline day backup in case Juke goes and we can’t get our primary targets in and therefore he will fill a gap left by Juke and couldn’t be any worse than what we have already.
    I hope that we do have something a little more potentially exciting lined up but then again, Ricketts, Alves and co are a warning to us that all that glitters isn’t gold. If it is Doyle then lets hope he wants to prove a point and is hungry for a fresh challenge.
    On the “bloody idiot and martyr” topic its clear that as Boro supporters we are all cursed by parmo induced idiotic martyrdom syndrome hence “Typical Boro”. That aside the unique quality and originality of this blog sets it apart from anything else on the internet it is testimony to AV that he is a journalist of a highly unusual calibre in being able to indulge the local newspaper, the local football club and the locals (spread across the globe) in supporting their club in such an engaging, productive and pioneering manner.
    Approaching its eighth birthday and to have achieved recognised award winning status without remuneration is humbling. Trinity Mirror benefits greatly from this blog as it attracts wider interest (cites the “Billy Fury Fuels Forest Fire” blog from September last year) than just the dias-Boro and consequent hits onto the Gazette website let alone the credibility it brings with its association.
    More importantly perhaps is how much money has AV saved the NHS on Teesside by offering alternative therapy to prescribed pharmaceutical induced relief.
    **AV writes: Maybe prescription charges are the way forward.

  40. I have been shaken rigid by this blog. No, not the Leicester result – that was pretty much expected. It’s two other things.
    1. Joe’s puerile and anally retentive comment. I had paragraphs of comments, criticisms, jibes and insults gathered in my head and ready to pour defensively onto the page. However I didn’t get my kicks in quickly enough and then read your warning about enough’s enough.
    Joe, you just don’t get it. I pride myself on being open to supporters of rival clubs. The Leicester fan above is always welcome and I’ve gone out of my way to be friendly to supporters of the Nuneaton version of Boro who found themselves on #borolive with us. That bonhomie does not extend to Joe’s kind of comments.
    2. AV doesn’t get paid for this. Unbelievable. The EG should be ashamed. Anthony Vickers is a national treasure and this blog is a much-loved institution.
    I left Stockton for work aged 21 and so have been an exile for over 40 years. For most of that time I have been cut off from all things Boro. For a few years me mam used to post me the Pink but then that ended and so did me mam. The advent of teletext was a big improvement but, nevertheless, there were times I didn’t know about signings until I went to a match and wondered who one of our players was.
    At least when we were in the top flight we had a profile that attracted some press comment and the benefit of appearing, if briefly, on MOTD. Relegation, however, meant Boro dropped off the radar for us exiles.
    When I first got the internet 20 years ago there was little material about football and nothing about Boro. That changed over the years with the exponential growth of the internet but, nevertheless, it tended to be anodyne and sanitised info on Boro.
    Typical Boro was a revelation when I discovered it a few years ago. A meeting place for like-minded individuals. Informed while relishing gossip and rumour. Mostly intelligent and considered contributions while still being passionate and prejudiced and often funny (sometimes intentionally).
    This blog is a raw real deal and, in contrast to the usual polished but pale, pasteurised pap, it’s all the better for that. For somebody who has nobody with which to natter about Boro, it’s a lifeline and a godsend. I hadn’t realised how much it mattered to me until I read Joe’s puerile anal comment and one of your responses. Strength to your elbow Anthony and long may you continue.
    **AV writes: Thanks. It’s a pleasure.

  41. I am in two minds whether to attend Wigan match as i like to go behind the goal and as it is a night match I will struggle to see up far end of pitch because of our poor lights. Ii wonder if other fans think the same and whether it is an issue with some fans? Maybe you could raise it with some club oficial AV? as it could be affecting the attendance figures.
    **AV writes: No-one had mentioned the lighting in all the time I could remember until a few weeks ago when the Riverside was mentioned as one of the least illuminated night-time experiences in a national blog about away day experiences. Since then it has popped up a few times. I wonder if they are getting worse? Maybe they need a cherry picker up there to give the light-casings a quick clean?

  42. Having grumped all day about Saturday time to think of the Wigan match.
    I think it could be a cracker, Wigan will try to play and have some decent players so it should be an open match.
    I guess Kamara will start, maybe we will see Chalobah possibly in place of Whitehead. I wonder what will happen at the back. Neither Ayala or Williams covered themselves in glory though they played well in the first half.

  43. boro1953 said:
    “I am in two minds whether to attend Wigan match as i like to go behind the goal and as it is a night match I will struggle to see up far end of pitch because of our poor lights. Ii wonder if other fans think the same and whether it is an issue with some fans? Maybe you could raise it with some club oficial AV? as it could be affecting the attendance figures. ”
    Interesting you should mention that. Not long ago I remember giving it brief consideration and wondering whether it is not as light and clear as it could be out there. I sit in the east stand so get a good view but I’ll have to consider tonight whether the lighting is sufficient.
    My biggest gripe in the stadium is the PA system. Prior to a match the music is blasted so loudly that I imagine bars in the town centre don’t need to bother playing music at all. Again I wonder if this is the level of speakers in the east stand or if everyone else notices it.
    When we had the James Arthur half time performance, it was blasted so loudly that the music was badly distorted and I couldn’t tell you one single lyric from his song.

  44. I started pondering whether the lights were responsible for the lack of output for our strikers.
    There again it doesn’t account for sunny, late summer Saturdays.

  45. Shame about Rhys, like Matt Bates the lad seems doomed to get injuries. It sounded serious and his hopes for the World Cup look to be dashed.
    Meanwhile a stutter. It sounded dull. It may well disperse the foam for a while.
    I wish Juke good luck at Bolton, same goes for all the players out on loan.

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