Clayton On His Way

AFTER  a frustrating weekend at Rockliffe, Boro have finally made a breakthrough and Adam Clayton is on his way for a medical. The clubs have agreed a fee (£1.5m rising to a possible £2m), the player has agreed personal terms and he will sign providing the club doctors are happy with his limb count and *cough*.

Again, the Boro are systematically working their way through their priority targets. Kike was the first choice striker. Nsue was the first choice wideman. They may well hav emissed out on their first choice right-back targets but are working on an equally impressive option. But Clayton was their first choice midfielder to add some zip.

Clayton was identified back in May as a midfield additions and there has been a lot of wrangling with Huddersfield (where the local press regard him as their key player)  and even more with his agent, who naturally has been working hard to work Brighton into the equation and push up the package in a bidding war. Boro bosses indicated to me last week that they had “gone cold on the deal”,  and that while they still wanted the player they were not prepared to get into an auction or a wages arms race.

He is another player who in talks with the club has been impressed with “the project” and the manager. And everyone is impressed with Rockliffe. Boro have been patient on this deal – far more patient than many fans have been as the big kick-off approaches. The club are determined to do their business properly rather than quickly and they remain busy on deals for a right-back, a left sided wideman and another striker. Plus the Chelsea lads. It will all come together.

What do you know about Adam Clayton? Here’s a few things to think about. 


140 thoughts on “Clayton On His Way

  1. “So for instance Kike’s transfer this year will cost less than £1m, but his wages will probably add another £1m plus.”

    I hope you are way off the mark there AV. £20K a week plus for an unknown Segunda B player who was probably on less than £5K?

    Also cannot see what Clayton is going to add, unless he is better than Leadbitter. I thought Butterfield did good in Marbella.

    **AV writes: I may be wrong but generally the going rate for wages can be arrived at by looking at the transfer fee. Someone who arrives for £1m is probably going to be on £10k a week, for £2m probably £20k a week. Give or take. That is the benchmark agents aim at. It is not an exact science. There is a premium when more than one club is involved in the process. A premium for a player to come from abroad. A premium for leaving London. A premium for goals. But I’d be surprised if he was on much less.

  2. Been off the radar for a while and have just got acquainted with the new site.

    Can’t say I know much about any of the new players or the ones rumoured to be coming in,a few friendlies are not the way to judge their ability so I will reserve judgement until after ten games or so.

    From last seasons squad I was glad to see the back of Emnes and Juke and despite all his hard effort Main found this division a bit tough and will now be playing at his level.

    Don’t know why everyone is getting steamed up about the possibility of Butterfield leaving,apart from the odd good game and goal he never did enough to warrant a regular place in the team.

    As for Steele, I’ve never been a fan of his too many costly mistakes that lost us too many points. Obviously not rated by Karanka and not by a lot of the fans either. Off the pitch when I saw him at supporters club meetings and various PR events I found him him arrogant, with a chip on his shoulder and not empathising well with the fans.

    People are quick to condemn the treatment of some of our academy players but I wonder if they would have the same opinion if they hadn’t come through the academy. There’s too much sentimentality where our academy players are concerned. Take off the rose tinted specs and be realistic at what their true playing level is!

  3. I agree with AV. This place is a relaxed place full of insight and humoutr from some good posters and we shoudl try and keep it that way. I’ve seen his twitter timeline and it is full of embarrassing bed-wetting idiots who insult him and the club every time a rumour one of their mates has made up doesn’t materialise. Seriously, you really don’t want them over here. He shows incredible restraint. If it was me I’d tell they all to get knotted and block them all,

  4. What does ITK stand for? I’ve seen it bandied around a bit over the last few weeks in the context of the 24 hour news frenzy and lass savoury discussion forums. Sorry for being an old goat, but it’s a new one on me. Obviously if it’s too rude to publish, just some gentle hints might help me.

    The other thing I’ve gleaned from this blog…Blackpool are nailed on to be the surprise package of the season, come racing out of the blocks, stuff Boro in game 10 and just about cling on for a top 6 finish.

    1. ITK – In the know

      IIRC – if I recall correctly

      Forum’s have their own language my good friend, like any social grouping, although I generally tend to find that Untypical Boro is a cut above the LOL-tastic witterings of the twitterati. Which is exactly why I post here and am not a member of Twitter.

      Usually when I’m enjoying “LOL’s” I’m too busy actually laughing, rather than writing 3 digit soliloquies to my fellow peers.

  5. ‘An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are often longer than one line of text, and are at least temporarily archived. Also, depending on the access level of a user or the forum set-up, a posted message might need to be approved by a moderator before it becomes visible.

    Forums have a specific set of jargon associated with them; e.g. a single conversation is called a “thread”, or topic’

    Seems like a forum to me but moving on, Saturday is more important than to tweet or not to tweet.

    It will be interesting to see who lines up as we await news of the Clayton signing, Sky still have their post up from the 2nd with Brighton leading the chase. Can he train with us whilst the process goes on? I suppose it is ok if his parent club allow it.

    There again it isnt over until the presser and the photos waving the scarf.

    1. On the Brighton front – I’m ‘exiled’ in that area and have a lot of Brighton-supporting friends. Talking to them last night,the unanimous response is that Clayton is heading to Boro, there is no hidden or emerging story. Of course, they’re only supporters, but they do the same as us, gossip, chat and share information – as far as they’re concerned, its a done deal.

      **AV writes: Yes, it is a done deal. It was agreed on Tuesday but then Huddersfield held it up while they secured a replacement. They wanted the good PR of being seen to spend their money on strengthening their team rather than the bad PR of being seen to sell their best player. They have now signed Conor Coady from Liverpool and will have talks with Jacob Butterfield today. The wheels will start rolling again today.

  6. I don’t “Tweet” (at least not yet), its useful for snippets of information but I find the lack of depth/content sometimes lends itself to very abrupt snippets of information and or opinion. When its a “factual tweet” it works but when its an “opinionated tweet” it can be very polarised and often just plain abusive.

    Unfortunately you don’t require a licence to operate on the internet. As a society we have successive generations of ill educated and socially underdeveloped individuals who simply do not understand old fashioned words/values like manners and etiquette. These same individuals are like as not immersed in a local society where foul mouthed parlance is regarded in the same way most of us regard “good morning” or good evening”.

    When let loose on a keyboard they simply express their emotions in the only way their intellect and social conditioning has prepared them. They add little value to society in general but the web permits them and other like minded individuals to express their inadequacies. Think of the offspring of Yosser Hughes with a smartphone (irony in there somewhere with “smartphone”). Its difficult to develop the hide of a Rhino and ignore their belittling and valueless sniping.

    1. The majority of tweets strike as the dregs of human interaction – people re-finding the level of discourse they left behind in schoolyard disputes. I restrict my tweeting exclusively for AV on match days. The rest can wait for when dementia sets in. (I know, I know, not long then).

  7. Now we know why the Clayton deal is not finalised.

    Interesting that Huddersfield want a replacement in before finalising the deal. I can see how the Butterfield deal is not directly linked, a bit of a coincidence but these things happen.

    I must admit my expectation was that Smallwood would go for another years loan ande come back possibly to replace Whitehead if he did well.

    I would have liked to keep Butterfield, like a few other posters he looks quite creative compared to the rest of the midfield options.

  8. IIRC, Karanka do not play new singings immediately. He let them settle into the squad and surroudings first. And to learn the way Boro play. So I would be very supprised to see the new arrivals starting other than on the bench – including Omeruo and especially Nsue and Husband. So we could start to think about the most probable starting eleven already now.

    Up the Boro!

    1. Jeez, I’m having to scroll back to remember what IIRC stands for. WALOB – work that one out. Entries on a postcard please,

      **AV writes: Is that the first ton on the new platform? I think it is. Give yourself a shiny!

  9. Spanish RB signed, Jigsaw falling into place. Welcome on board Damia!

    Over to Paulistapark on the impending arrival of the Armada…

      1. Careful, the forces of darkess are always watching out. The rest of us thought ‘Saturday’ but we didn’t dare say it, let along write it. You do realise that, if we lose, it will be your fault, Bob, and me and my gang will hunt you down.

  10. Just out of interest, what would everybody’s best current centre back pairing be? Nice to have a bit of choice at the moment. Could easily go for Omeruo and Gibson, or Ayala, or Woody… Too many to choose from!
    I can’t really imagine too many of the new lads being played on Saturday. Kike for definite, but other than that I imagine Nsue might be used as a bit of an impact sub, much like he was against Villareal.

    Also some good news is that Brum’s Tom Adeyami looks to be on the way out too. Their team will be drastically different to the one that we beat at the end of last season. I believe they have got rid of Zigic too. He was always certain to score against us.

  11. Very happy with the way Boro are going about their work.
    Its a shame most of the new boys wont be ready for the opener as we need a good start to get the fans back.

  12. chrisc – and we still have Rhys Williams when fit before Christmas! Ayala & Gibson for me on Saturday.

    Up the Boro!

  13. Omeruo (if fit) and Gibson for me. The bedrock of the defence at the end of last season. A solid partnership. Think if damia can’t play, that it’ll be nsue standing in at right back, George at left back, Clayton and leadbitter as the two holding players and reach, Tomlin and adomah behind kike.

    Alternatively, If he doesn’t have a recognised right back he may play 532 with nsue/adomah and George/reach as wing backs. Ayala Gibson and George/omeruo as centre backs. Midfield of Clayton, leadbitter tomlin and kike plus the striker who is imminently about to arrive (av alluded to it on twitter) up front.

    A few options to go with depending on the personnel available. Obviously all speculative and I’m probably way off but I like having a good speculative guess!!

  14. I think the primary reason that this is such a great blog is that AV is a journalist who produces thoughtful,carefully considered, and well-informed pieces far more regularly than any fan has a right to expect. He is also interested in developing a dialogue with his readers and the quality of his writing encourages responses that are both appreciative and similarly thoughtful. There is a symbiotic relationship between the primary text and our responses to it.

    Personally I never even considered blogging until I made a few tentative contributions to this one. And I have never blogged anywhere else since. I was motivated to do so because I thought that AV was producing the best work on the Boro that I had seen in my lifetime and that his work deserved both my appreciation and the best response that I could muster. Obviously this feeling is widely shared. I look at this blog every day, and continue to be both grateful and impressed by the quality, commitment and thoughtfulness of its contributors. Long may it continue.

    1. I too read this blog every day. If there’s something imminent, like the last couple of weeks, I look several times a day.

      As well as AV’s outstanding articles and other inputs, I also appreciate the quality of the posts from Len, Jarkko, RR, Paulista, Ian Gill, Pedro, Werdermouth and many other regulars, along with inputs from occasional visitors. Having been an exile for the last 40 years, I very much appreciate the virtual community and am more in touch than when I lived in Mackem-land Stockton.

  15. Ayala and Gibson for me as well, it sounded like Omeruo need to bit more work to get up to speed.

    Of the new boys, Kike looks a certainty to start.

    You wonder if the new right back will get to play in light of our inexperience on that side of the defence. I would like to see Bennett given the chance.

    AK will do what he thinks right.

    Will we get 100 on the new blog, GHW has the hinges oiled on his shed door so he can sneak out.

    Paulista has been to Tesco to get their latest Tapas deal but may be back in time.

    Sir Henry will be keeping a close eye on proceedings.

    Will the prize be a Seat?

    **AV writes: New boy will need international clearance which generally takes five or six days to come through. It is a formality but it has to go from Osasuna to Spanish FA, then to English FA then to Boro. It is just routine paperwork to confirm he isn’t banned and that his registration is free to be transferred. A bit of a chew but has to be done.

    1. Ayala and Gibson if Omeruo is still struggling as our CB’s. Being honest out of the three I’m not sure which two are the best pairing which is actually good news. Woody I think will be restricted to Cameo’s when suspensions and injuries require. It will be interesting to see how things with Rhys develop when he gets back as I’m not convinced he is better at CB than the three in the frame for tomorrow but stranger things have happened.

      On the left I think Reach will get the nod in front of Friend but on the right it will be Adomah and the conundrum is who will be at RB. I suspect it may be Husband on Saturday.

      I doubt this will get to 100 posts, AV will have a new blog up and running with the new RB Abella shortly. I think the first 100 post on this new format will be when the season officially kicks off.

      1. It looks like we won’t have a senior RB for Saturday so how about a back 3? As Nsue is not really an out-an-out FB, that would allow him to play right WB and we know George can do that.

  16. Len

    I am glad we have the blog, like you I don’t post anywhere else. I did write a weekly article on ComeonBoro but got fed up as more and more people were writing on the same topic at the same time.

    This oasis. seems a world away from the Trinity Mirror format of the Boro part of the Gazette site. It is almost a gated community with no pop ups or exhortations to buy. Even better it loads up!

    I am baffled why Vic doesn’t get the gong.

  17. I am pretty new to this blog but its good to hear fellow supporters thoughts and ideas and then AV adds facts etc where he can keeping us all in the loop.

    Pleased to see another experienced player has joined especially with the young lads who will be playing CB over the coming season. With regards to the team for Saturday I think there are so many options in terms of formation and team selection it can only be good for the long run. Personally be looking to go three centre halves, four across the midfield and three up top. However as long as they play their hearts out and we get a positive result and performance I think we will all be happy.

    AV with regards to this Bosnian RB who has been courted, will this be done as a replacement do you think or perhaps look to slowly blood Andre Bennett??

    How many do you think we will get there on Sat?? Hope for a good turnout and a cracking atmosphere.

    **AV writes: There are problems with the Bosnian as he falls just short of the criteria to get a work permit. Despite being in the World Cup Bosnia are not high enough up the FIFA rankings to qualify automatically and he doesn’t quite meet the target of 75% of matches in the last two years. They do however have a friendly with Liechtenstein and Euro qualifier against Cyprus early in September that should take him to the trigger point.

  18. Hi AV – as the new RB is 32 and therefore not the first choice U21 RB, do you know if that deal is still on the go? Or is it dead in the water now? Butterfield move a shame if true, maybe they feel Bamford is coverage enough for Tomlin?

    Pretty excited for Saturday, no idea what formation will be fielded. I’ll be avidly watching the #borolive feed and trying to find an online stream in HK somewhere of the bbc tees coverage. Jarkko, how do you listen?


    1. I have paid for the Boro+ at for years. I think that is the only way of listening to BBC Tees outside the UK. UTB!

    2. You can use proxy servers, but the easiest way to listen to bbc tees to get around geo blocking is to use Google Chrome and install an extension called ZenMate. Works for me!

  19. Nikeboro and Paul

    On the basis we have been playing 4231 through pre season I would play Bennett at right back though I wouldnt be surprised if someone like Hines plays there.

    1. AK may surprise us and go with 3-4-2-1, Dimi in goal and Husband (Omeruo if fit), Gibson, Ayala at the back and then Friend and Nsue as wing backs.

      That would leave Kike up front with Tomlin and Reach just behind. Leadbitter, Whitehead centrally with Albert on the bench to come on and change things if needed. There is plenty of exciting pace and attacking verve there and enough to get us off to a flying start.

      I would be surprised to see Clayton involved just yet as AK likes to bed them in rather than throw them in.

  20. I see AK says he wants another two or three players before Sept. We have an embarrassment of riches at CB so it can’t be there. We have ample holding players and are well covered in goal. Especially when Carayol is fit again, we have more wide players than anybody else and the signing of Husband means that LB is sorted.

    So that only leaves RB, creative central MF and strikers that he can be thinking about for new players. One of each would be nice. Of course AK will be looking to move on some of the current players, which could change the balance of the squad.

    **AV writes: They are working on a wideman for the left of the three, a striker and another right-back. Also have the Chelsea options.

  21. Not quite an Armada yet Doug which is officially seven but very nearly an “influx” which is six. We are currently at Five which is a “cluster”, that’s unless they’ve smuggled another in while I’ve been posting.

    **AV writes: I think I will start using nautical terms to reflect the fleet lying in the mist just off the Redcar coast. A boatloads and a raft of Spanish stars will be part of the matchday lexicon as Aitor’s Conquistadors sweep toward the New World.

    1. I’m pleased we’ve completed the preseason regatta. Time to set sail for the long haul voyage of the full season. With a fair wind we could go on a good run without having to change tack but enough if these cheap gibes

    2. Didn’t know there were collective nouns for footballers. A sieve of defenders? A window wiper of midfielders?

      **AV writes: A fumble of keepers?

  22. On formations, I think if we ever go to a flat two banks of four, 442 or 4411, for a lengthy period we will struggle very badly,and in fact if that becomes our preferred formation we will be in a relegation struggle. Whenever we tried it the last couple of seasons we where out-manned and torn apart. Last week against Villereal we went 4411 most of the game and we saw what happened then.

    Im ok with 4231, 352, 4321 they are a more flexible system

  23. Quite a few players have their contracts expiring in the summer of 2015, I wonder if there are plans to offer them new ones? I would like to see Friend, Carayol, Konstantopoulos and Leadbitter stay on. Ledesma is a handy squad player, I would like to see him stay if his wage is not too onerous.

    Other players like Whitehead, Woodgate and Hines are likely to leave after this season. Would be good to see Woodgate stay on in some coaching capacity. And I can see us trying to offload Jason Steele, Smallwood, Halliday, Kamara while they are still worth something this season, seeing how they are not in Karanka’s plans. And lastly, I thought Burgess’ contract runs out now? Anyone else I missed out whose contract is expiring in 2015?

    Which players would you like to see stay on?

    1. ph

      I hope we don’t retain Woody in some sort of coaching capacity. He was here before AK’s tenure and our defence was shambolic, granted it was tactical ineptness at managerial level which should shoulder most of the blame but as the senior and supposedly experienced pro he didn’t exactly cover himself in glory.

      A fully fit Woody would have had a decent Prem playing career but thats it. We may as well get Pally back as a defensive coach or Bernie as a striking coach. Some players have the intellect and analytical ability to make the grade and some don’t. I haven’t seen anything even remotely approaching that from Woody throughout his career, in reality its probably the opposite.

      Most successful managers and coaches seem to be the ones who didn’t play at the top level. Mourinho for example was a poor player who would probably have struggled to break into Hartlepool reserves. Van Gaal likewise didn’t enjoy playing at the top level, nor did Sir Alex, Wenger likewise didn’t reach the heights of playing top level football. There is no correlation between a very good player and a very good coach/trainer/manager.

      1. Interesting point RR. What is it that makes a good manager because, as we know first hand with Gareth, great players don’t necessarily become good managers.

      2. I see your point RR. I think that is especially true with managers, you need a different set of attributes e.g. man management, analytical, thoroughness, motivational skills vs. those required that of a top player.

        But re: coaches, I would have thought there is at least some correlation between the a top player and a good coach. But it has definitely got me thinking, what makes a good coach. I have no clue to be honest! But I often hear youngsters saying it’s great playing with this and this senior pro as that senior pro is constantly imparting their experience and giving little pointers here and there. That to me sounds like coaching or perhaps I must have a rather simplistic view of coaching, but definitely food for thought.

  24. ph/slaggy –

    The difference between the best coaches and trainers is in imparting knowledge and skills with their charges. To be able to impart those two attributes you need to be able to identify it in the first place. That is the difficult and clever bit, the differentiator between the average coaches, those who have a two year lucky purple patch with a particular squad and those who can repeat successes wherever they go, year after year.

    Watching a player who has promise but lacks a cutting edge will not improve him by shouting encouragement (or abuse), clapping hands or telling him to get stuck in again.

    Watching his shoulders, the angle of his ankle and his weight distribution and a close up video, freeze framed frame by frame of exactly what part of his foot strikes the ball and the angle of his standing leg when he makes contact will yield far better results.

    Demonstrating that with a video frame by frame of a proven established top class player to contrast, identifying the difference and then coaching best practice will yield results. Imagine for example analysing Ronaldo for the most miniscule of body positioning, balancing and even eye direction and movement at a free kick (when he hits the ball is he looking at the top right corner or looking down at the ball?). Explaining and highlighting with the Player being coached and corrected with these details and then instilling them through continual coaching and practice sessions until his free kicks are an almost mirror image will yield dividends. Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    Good practice will yield good results, poor practice will merely learn and enforce poor returns and a player becomes very good at skewing free kicks and corners high wide and handsome!

    Jumping quickly forwards and taking that into the wider picture with team formations, tactics, making yourself available to receive when you are in possession etc. builds on the above. Throw in man management skills and then an ability for analysing and compiling data on opponents to the same degree and you can see why some sides with certain managers always seem to have the edge.

    Obviously not all coaches/trainers/managers have all of these attributes in equal measure. Some have different skill-sets to others and some more than others. Good managers appoint coaches to work with them that complement those skills which they perhaps are not as good as. Imagine if you will someone who analyses to death movements working with a manager who is good at the organisational/tactical bit on the pitch and you have the makings of a good team. This I believe is why some number 2’s fail to make the grade as a number 1 and why some number 1’s fail when their right hand man departs.

    There are of course a vast array of skills in football management required in addition to just those mentioned but it is that degree of analysis and acumen that enables the best to pass on the correct habits, skills and techniques to their charges. Football coaching has come a long way from shouting “chop him down” or “break his legs”!

    As an example I suspect Leo and Aitor have identified weaknesses in Steele’s game and they are working with him to the best of their and his ability to improve his game. Some trainee’s grasp what they are being told and learn, some are too set in their previously badly coached ways and cannot “unlearn”. The ones that cannot adapt or unlearn are moved along to make space for a new intake. The key being in identifying the core requirements with the new intakes prior to taking them on or once coaching is complete send them out on loan to practice best habits and make mistakes away from the spotlight.

    If you are Jose Mourinho and you know of a coach who talks, eats and breathes the same philosophy and just so happens to be coaching a team at a lower level where you can send your charges to practice and be coached out of their idiosyncratic bad habits before they become permanent then better still.

  25. AV, ‘Clayton’s on his way’, sorry about this but he must be riding his bike without stabilisers. I read the article on the machinations of agents, chairmen etc., but this is the gestation period of an elephant. Will it really happen? As you may have guessed a little bit of personal discomfort is setting in.

    Please put us exiles out of our misery.

    **AV writes: As I understand it the deal is all agreed, the fee between the clubs and and personal terms with the player who is keen to come. The hold-up is that Huddersfield want to get replacements in before they release him. Butterfield is one potential replacement but the Clayton deal is not dependent on that move. If that falls through and they get someone else the Clayton deal will still go ahead.

    Last I heard was that Butterfield trained at Boro this morning then drove to Huddersfield. He would nor have done that if, as suggested in some places, that he had refused to go. He may be smarting a a bit at being told he can go but he will know that if he stays he can look forward to another “Norwich ” situation where he is sidelined and forgotten. My feeling is that he will – Mark Robins is the boss he played his best football under – but that it may take some haggling at that end because he will probably be on a higher wage here than Huddersfield will want to pay. It may take some massaging by all parties to make the numbers add up but I think it will happen. Huddersfield will want it resolving as quickly as Boro do.

  26. AV – just checked out your twitter feed, you are a patient, patient man. You deal with some right drivel on there…

    Long may this blog continue in it’s current format

  27. As a Chairman or owner how do you decide on a new manager? What is the criteria? I think if you do your homework and clue into the facts, you also look at their experience in the actual level your club is at,then it should really be obvious. Not throw it at a talented ex player with the charm of his international appearences.

    Could Wolves be that break through team,considering their Manager Kenny Jackett? As assistant to Taylor, he saw Watford into the Premier League after successive promotions then, as No 2 to Ian Holloway, helped Queens Park Rangers go up from what is now League One. As manager, he took Swansea from the bottom rung as they began their ascent up the leagues, while Millwall reached the Championship under his guidance.

  28. Don’t want to hog it AV, but a question. When a manager is given a budget, as far as spending on players etc,say Gibbo says to his manager, I’m good with £6m, does that include wages,bonuses ,etc,,or is it fees to other clubs?

    **AV writes: It depends what level the club is at. At the Championship level the wage bill is far more important than fees, which can be broken down in the books over the length of the contract. Boro’s theoretical budget under FFP is total income plus and allowed loss of £8m this year that the owner can pick up. Income is about £4m (unless crowds rise significantly). The biggest factor is the wage bill of about £16m (give or take) so they are already over spending and every signing has to be factored into that.

  29. Butterfield is in a worse position than Clayton, the club have indentified someone to potentially replace you. The club who doesnt want to sell your replacement is potentially the side you are going too but you are in limbo.

    Meanwhile, Clayton kicks his heels.

    I doubt that Clayton or Butterfield will feature on any teamsheets so my guess for tomorrow:

    Bennett, Ayala, Gibson, Friend
    Whitehead, Leadbitter
    Adomah, Tomlin, Reach

    Maybe Hines instead of Bennett.

    A departure from the preferred formation is possible but from afar you dont know how much time has been spent on other formations in training or on the pitch. Taking at face value that we are very thorough then it would be surprising if some time hadnt gone in to plan B

    Whatever we do it is important we impose ourselves on the game, let Brum worry about us, get three points on the board.

  30. Not sure if people read much by way of general season previews but FourFourTwo’s is a belter this year. Sample Boro quotes:

    “… with the likes of Emanuel Ledesma and Dean Whitehead consistently good. ..”

    “…Boro’s problems in the last few terms have stemmed from the tendency to make wholesale personnel changes…”

    Oh, and their Championship expert reckons Boro will finish 14th. But then he is Kevin Phillips.

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