CHAOTIC. Shambolic. Heartless. Hapless. Disjointed. Undisciplined. Wretched. Pathetic. Inept. Deeply disappointing. Boro’s routine routing at Reading – 2-0 but it could easily have been far worse – was a display lacking shape, cohesion, organisation, energy, intensity, spirit, belief or motivation.
The defence – full-back fixtures and probably the first choice centre-back pairing – played like strangers totally unfamiliar with any sense of the back line basics. Midfield was equally ill at ease with the central pairing fail to get a grip and the widemen ineffective, especially Albert Adomah who barely got a kick. And up-front too. There was little pressing, little movement and next to no threat.
I don’t buy that it was team selection. It was a first choice back four. Two wingers who have been match-winners in the past. A solid central pairing who have dominated games. A front two who have enough about them to make a fist of it. It was a mentality issue, and one that Karanka alluded too after the equally inept display against Millwall.
The boss put his hand up and accepted responsibility and said he felt responsible that he had not been able to motivate his team to go out and fight and play as if it was a big match in the way that Reading did, and Millwall before them and he insisted he will learn from it … but there was an unspoken simmering subtext. He was not happy at the failure of the team to put up a fight.
“Two games two defeats. It was two very bad games. We had bad games with our attitude. We had four games to finish the season well and the last two games have been very, very bad.
“Against Millwall and the same tonight, we played two teams who wanted to win, Millwall and Reading. One team, our team, didn’t want to win. That’s my fault because I didn’t know how to motivate them.
“For the future, I will learn things. For me, whether we finish in eighth or 14th, we should finish in the same way, the right way. I have to motivate the players to finish in the right way. I will choose the right players for the next two games.”
I think some of the players who have dipped just when he demanded an extra gear are in borrowed time.
That’s your lot for now.
Feel free to vent your spleen. I’ll update as soon as possible.