Boro Crash Brum With Drive And Goal Power

JUST A quick one before I go out and pogo to Stiff Little Fingers….

What a fantastic game: Full of exciting fluid movement,  attacking intent and brimming with positivity – and with an atmosphere to match. There were some excellent individual displays but more importantly there was a coherent shape and temp in a great team performance that ticked a lot of boxes in a one sided-2-0 win.

Obviously Kike will take the headlines. And deservedly so. He was very strong on the  ball and several times shrugged a posse of opponent aside. He was mobile and made some surging runs and some perceptive darts in the box to carve open Birmingham. He has good touches and tricky feet too and several times wriggled out of tight corners. He terrified the defence every time he ran at them. And he scored to spark a jubilant celebration. He became an instant hero and showed that he can be the focal point that Aitor believed.

Perhaps just as importantly he linked up superbly with lively Lee Tomlin, dropping to support him, quickly interchanging passes, working together and looking for little runs. The pairing looks like it could be prolific. They could easily both have had a goal or two each.  As could George Friend who put in a storming show, And Albert Adomah had two excellent chance too, although Karanka will not be pleased with his final ball on a few occasions when good positions were wasted. Still, can’t be churlish after a win.

Aitor was happy and hoped more of the  same will bring the punters back. Steve Gibson was delighted by the gate but knows he needs to keep attendances at that level to balance the books after a summer of spending has taken the wage bill back up to the £20m mark and left Boro squashed right up against the FFP ceiling.

It was Boro’s first opening day victory since 2008, a win over Spurs. That season ended in a relegation that sent the club into a tailspin we have only just pulled out of.  The last opening day win in the second tier was in 1997, Ravanelli nicking a last minute winner in a 2-1 squeak at home to Charlton. It would be nice to think today’s one sided romp against (an admittedly poor) Birmingham could be the start of a similar promotion push.

More later  after the annual Rigid Digits roadshow.






105 thoughts on “Boro Crash Brum With Drive And Goal Power

  1. My word, if this rate of response to a victory is maintained, AV will have to have a fleet of ton up trabants on order from our eastern bloc cousins to keep up with demand. If we lose a game the internet will probably break down.

    Great to see the blog so busy, especially after a comprehensive sounding victory. Can’t believe he missed that sitter from the free kick routine. Bloody typical etc etc

  2. I think “Claytongate” is past being ridiculous, he hasn’t even joined the Club and is distancing himself from his potential new fans by the hour. Not a clever piece of brokering by his agent or himself. Perhaps he does want to move from the North down to the South Coast in which case good luck.

    My guess is that Boro fans are 50/50 at best over whether he will bring in something in terms of quality that we haven’t already got in the squad. Granted the two players concerned are slightly different types of Midfield Players in that I see Clayton more as a Leadbitter alternative ahead of Dormo and Butterfield more as a Tomlin alternative.

    What is clear is that one of those two hasn’t done any damage to his present club, his proposed club and his own reputation over the past week whilst the other is now being seen as someone who requires caution. If it was my money I know what I would do. We don’t need players coming into the Club destabilising things and if this is what he is like before he joins then no thanks.

    There is of course always the possibility in that he is a mere pawn in all of this and is equally fed up. I am though beginning to wonder why Leeds let him go in the first place and perhaps it wasn’t all down to his on field ability?

    1. I did throw a hissy fit about this guy last week, and as for missing his medical last week would suggest he is bad news, I still would like Jacob to stay, up his game and show us how good he can be

  3. I mentioned last week that SkySports had no mention of us in their story of 2nd August saying Brighton close in on Clayton nor has there been any further mention.

    I know we are not lovers of Sky but it does seem strange that our dealings with Huddersfield were never mentioned.

    Several options. We are not important enough, too far north, lazy journalism.

    There is one other, they knew something we didn’t.

    Cant beat a good conspiracy theory.

  4. Maybe Clayton likes playing in Blue and White Stripes. Sheff Wed next? I’m with the others who think we should move on. There must be plenty of options out there although it sticks in the craw that we have invested so much time and effort on this time waster when we could have been talking to someone who really wanted to play for us. Hey ho. UTB

  5. Great result on Saturday in which we played with a fluency and attacking threat I have not seen for a long time! Whilst feet must be kept firmly on the ground I also believe you can only play what’s in front of you… Hopefully a win at Leeds on Saturday and every Boro fan will be bouncing in the away end.

    Now to this Clayton mess. AV Can you shed some light on how this works?! Is it a case of Huddersfield agreed with JB and then gave AC permission to have a medical. At that point do they inform the player directly or go through the agent?? I’m just trying to work out where the issue lies?

    With the addition of a few faces this week as AV has said is possible it’s looking much brighter for us!! I think then that AK has already told those players who are free to find a new club etc we will be actively looking to push 4or 5 out the door if not more?!

    Hope Gibbo was pleased with the turnout at the ground on sat and that we continue to all get behind the lads and help the greatest chairman look after his investment this season.

    **AV writes: Boro agreed a fee with Huddersfield and agreed terms with him. Huddersfield then contacted Boro to say the deal was on hold while they found replacements and asked if they could speak to Butterfield. Boro gave permission and agreed a fee. When Butterfield agreed in principle to join, Huddersfield then said it was OK for Clayton to go ahead and complete with Boro. On Friday he was due to arrive for a medical but never showed… we must be generous and assume his agent told him that Brighton were now interested and he had permission to talk to them and it was in his interest (either to get a better deal or to squeeze more out of Boro) … and so Boro put the Butterfield deal on hold while they clarified the situation.

    I think we must accept that while it has been frustrating and annoying for all of us to see this played out in public (mea culpa) it is actually, if not routine, certainly not unusual that football transfers are full of twists and turns with agents not always acting in the long term best interests of their clients. For Gibbo, this is a normal working week.

    1. AV: Where do you think the deal is at then? Clayton still coming, blames his agent, has lost some gloss with the fans and gets a naughty scowl from the club. Or it’s dead and he wants off elsewhere?

      1. Clayton must be still waiting at the bus stop waiting for Stagecoach bus to arrive ( no supprise there then, ) maybe he needed more time to walk his ferrets, dye his his beard in our colours, who knows , more to the point, who cares.

        Quite a lot of clearing egg off faces going on, both sides of the Pennines I suspect

  6. Why the emphasis on Birmingham being not very good opposition. For the last few seasons, these are exactly the kind of teams that have been turning us over. A comprehensive win and a clean sheet. That’ll do for me. The Shed was rocking on Saturday!

  7. Thanks for the feedback AV it’s quite astonishing that Gibbo would class it as a normal working week… The chairman must have the patience is of a saint when it comes to this agent in question. As an outsider looking in it has obviously been played out in the media against the wishes of all but just shows you can have all the money in the world but it’s never straight forward and a done deal isn’t done until they are being paraded in a boro shirt!

  8. Talking to a Leeds fan over the weekend who said that allegedly Clayton had an attitude problem and that is why they got rid of him!

  9. Anthony, have read your article with interest I concur with all you say about the game. I enjoyed it. Then something clicked in my mind flashback to August 16th 2008 similar comments on the game against Spurs: Alves sharp, Tuncay magic, Aliadiere pacy, Mido a target man with a physical presence. Great game Spurs wasted. At the end of the season we were relegated. I just hope you havn’t put the moccers on things

    1. I’m surprised Friend wasn’t in the championship team as well as the other three. That said its a bit of a worry, if this continues we won’t be under the radar for much longer.

  10. What a great blog. Thought I might get some hostile responses to my critique of Karanka. Not a bit of it. Just solidly reasoned and convincing evidence to the contrary which has caused me to reflect and reconsider. Thanks folks.

    1. Len

      Its the facets of opinions that makes this blog such a great read, it would be dull and boring if there was nothing to debate or worse still if opinions were derided or dismissed in two monosyllabic words or less as they routinely are on other sites.

      As far as the Boro are concerned things are very rarely black and white and its good to hear alternative viewpoints especially when we are suffering from foam inhalation en masse.

  11. Thanks Paul. I couldn’t think of a swearword that had nine letters. Could only come up with ‘grollocks’. So I think I get the joke. The only real words that fit are ‘erudition’, ‘intellect and ‘greatness’. I feel humbled by such a tribute.

  12. The Clayton thing has all been a bit of a farce. Especially after the way the other deals this summer have been kept under wraps until AV announced them on twitter (though a few have taken a couple of days to finalese.) Its only a few days ago we are all blogging saying how professional the club have gone about things.

    I see AV has been a bit coy over saying it is totally off so maybe it is still bubbling under but it has taken a bit of the shine off a good few weeks work.

    On the match I was more than happy. We usually lose the opening day so to win so well was a big plus. Great goals, solid, good going forward and bit of team spirit. And the atmosphere was fantastic, especially after the Kike goal. More of that please.

    **AV writes: I have indeed been a bit “coy”. There were a lot of angry phone calls flying about but the deal was never off (although it came very close to Boro pulling the plug). The player has been very badly advised. In the end it came down to one question: Did Karanka still want him. A I understand it the boss had a couple of had a frank discussion with the player over the weekend and believes he will be an asset. So Gibbo made it happen. It will be interesting to see what happens to the agent a few weeks down the line.

  13. Morning AV,

    I’ve read your article this morning. Sounds like both you and AK are sticking your necks out on the Clayton deal.

    Reading between the lines do we assume the medical took place last with the results and pen on paper due today?

    I hope you as we need to put it to bed so we can move into The Bamford loan and then more importantly a left winger and cover/plan B for the forward line (e.g Graham or Vossen bit not in that order).

    Fingers crossed!

    **AV writes: I’m not sticking my neck out. I’m just reporting what is happening.

  14. Sounds like the Clayton thing is back on. Just hope the Club have weighed up and evaluated things and come to the right decision either way.

    Hope we can keep the momentum going tonight, I will be desperately trying to get snippets of updates on the Internet as i will be in a far flung corner of Europe but I’m sure the 11 men AK decides upon will serve him well.

  15. Claytongate.

    In a previous post I said that if the details about missing the medical without a phone call were true it would be difficult to see how the deal could go ahead, I did end by saying but who knows in football.

    So the deal is back on, he better be good. Whilst it appears Karanka phoned him to tell him he was wanted I hope Clayton knows the manager brooks no slacking.

    I suspect many will be taking close notice of how he does. Fans will give him a chance, they always do.

    Will we ever find out what actually happened?

  16. Ref. your article 11/08/2014 comparing Kike & Tomlin to a modern version of Hendry & Wilkinson, may l refer you AV to my comment on your blog on the 07/02/14.

    It is my belief on current form that the present partnership has the potential to truly eclipse the former in a big way:) Who is responsible for this? Well Karanka of course and, by default, one S Gibson- who’d have thought it? And where has all this money for transfer fees come from? No need to answer that as l don’t need to know. Happy Days!

    UTB (a distinct possibility)

  17. Near post tap in or near miss?

    **AV writes: Oh, he waited, and waited… then ghosted to the back post and stroked it home. Look at his face…. just look at his face!

  18. What a great win and a great way to start the season.

    The Clayton thing I think he may be listening too much to his agent. All credit to Huddersfield I believe they told Brighton where to go as they have a deal with Boro. The big problem is if Leeds think he has an attitude then we should be worried. Never mind still sounds like a couple more coming in.

    What was the crowd on Saturday. What I have seen on the highlights looked quite good.

    **AV Writes: just over 18k. Better than last year’s gate for the opener v Leicester. Need to keep gates up to push the FFP ceiling up.

  19. Redcar Red

    A neat piece of finishing but I am going to sound like my dad.

    Got it easy nowadays, handed on a plate, no waiting for AV to moderate the posts, you can sit, wait and time the runs. GHW, now there is a poster, you should have seen him, best poster we ever had. (Hopefully available for selection now he is out of the shed.

    Conversely, you can only beat what is front of you, many a striker has played off the last shoulder and gone too early, if it was so easy….

    Well done. Personally I am now going for Mr Whippy’s or the room for things we don’t want.

  20. Ian Gill –

    Yes the fans will give him a chance, though not much of one I suspect and any hint of less than maximum effort will be mercilessly pounced on.
    I suspect if Butterfield goes in the opposite direction then his reputation will soar…

    **AV writes: There is nothing so true in football than that a players gets better by the week than when he not available.

  21. It’s on. It’s off. It’s on again. Will it happen? I would love to have heard the conversation between Karanka and Clayton and also the the one between Mr Gibson and his agent…

    No doubt the agent will be setting up the next move if Boro do well over the next few months.

    Sorry that’s a full-on dose of hard-nosed ‘Boro cynical’ and probably unfair. The Chairman shouldn’t allow that agent anywhere near any Boro premises, he must be a ghastly man to deal with.

    Seriously, I hope he does well and is as good as the promise that Karanka obviously sees in him, but I do have a feeling that that he will get a little bit of serious supporter scrutiny. Should Jacob Butterfield finally go to Huddersfield I sincerely hope he fulfils his promise, he will probably score against us in one of the two fixtures with Huddersfield.

    OK AV, what is this big signing this week? Should we be getting really excited? How about a mini-clue, it has all slipped from view with the Clayton saga.


    John R

    **AV writes: You mean the one that people have invented a grand Wednesday unveiling for after a throwaway remark?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s