They Jinx It’s All Over!

THEY jinx its all over… it is now!

With perfect timing Boro shattered their long standing Hillsborough hoodoo to take the heat off Aitor Karaka and shore up sagging morale.

Adam Reach netted in a one sided first half that Boro bossed then after a brief Owls revival and deflected equaliser Aitor Karanka made some decisive substitutions and in a final flourish Diego Fabbrini and Cristhian Stuani wrapped up a 3-1 win.

Given the mood around the club – even the boss was prompted to issue a “don’t panic” message in the build up – Wednesday was the last place most Boro fans wanted to go.


                   Stunned Boro stars can barely believe they have won at Wednesday   

Hillsborough is scattered with the debris of broken dreams for us. We never get the lickings of a dog there. Everyone knows that. Even Woody. Boro have lost six of the last seven at the imposing old ground – the win in that run was the night Adam Johnson ran rings around them and Sean St Ledger came on for his debut in a 3-1 victory at the start of what was shaping up to be a promotion season under Gareth Southgate.

Before that you have to go way back almost 20 years to a 1-0 Premier League win in October 1995 to find any EIOing, and that was thanks to a late Craig Hignett penalty.

As well as that it haunts Boro supporters thanks to two painful relegations being sealed there, one with Carlton Palmer stood pointing over a badly injured Jamie Pollock accusing him of feigning.

And then there was the heartbreak of Steve Claridge scoring in the League Cup final replay against Leicester. That still stings a bit.

In fact the first trip to Hillsborough was a 6-1 defeat in the FA Cup in 1895 so it fair to say it has never been a happy hunting ground. As far as Boro are concerned the Indian sign is so powerful the ground may as well have been build on an old native American sacred burial ground. 

So who you gonna call? Jinx-busters. Never was there a better time to smash a traditional “typical Boro” hoodoo. Some sections of supporters have started sniping. At new players; at old players; at selection, tactics and substitutions; ultimately at the manager. Things don’t feel healthy. So the win was important politically as much as mathematically.

Fittingly some of the goals came from players who had been hammered between the groaning when the team-sheet came out.  Much maligned Adam Reach had a lively first half and got the opener (although admittedly after missing a sitter); Stuani (who”should never be played on the right” apparently) netted; and David Nugent (seen in some quarters as a disappointing signing and transformed the game and claimed two assists in a cultured cameo. Job done.


      That’s not right: Cristhian Stuani gets a third goal in a week from the flank

It was a timely and important result that hopefully will change the doom-laden dynamics inside the super-heated Boro bubble.

Boro went into the game under mounting pressure and in desperate need of a result and a performance to shore up seeping spirit. They kicked off with only four league games gone but the mood music has shifted from upbeat August anthem to an ominous funereal dirge coloured more by off the pitch bum notes than results.

One defeat in six was far from a disaster as new players bed in and are instilled with Aitor’s ideology but the bar has been raised by summer spending so there is less room for error while the manager – “the best signing of the summer” a month ago – has invited terrace pressure on himself by putting his ruthless man-management in the public eye.

So, now was a really good time for a sequence shattering result at Hillsborough. Hopefully it will relieve some tension and make the early season stats look far brighter – Boro are two points better off now than this point last year when we had already lost three leagues games. Now Boro can go into the last few days of the transfer window and into the international break in a brighter mood.

Defeat – even if is is historically ordained and was pencilled in by most the day the fixtures came out – would have been a nightmare and sparked two weeks of toxic squabbling and battle lines would be drawn up.


BORO fans are finally starting to see what new boys David Nugent and Cristhian Stuani can do.

The expensively recruited strike-force started on the bench again leaving some fans scratching their heads and asking exactly why the boss would spend £7.6m and not start them –  but when they were thrown in fray in the second half they transformed the game and answered that particular question emphatically.

And why wouldn’t they? They both have the top flight pedigree to flourish in the Championship. One has a goal rate of better than one in three in this league. The other has been banging them in La Liga and Serie A for five years and is a Uruguay international.  It was only a matter of time before they were eased into action.


                   Marksman man hug: dynamic duo Nugent and Stuani embrace

Up to now they have been bit-part players in the league. Stuani has been an absolute goal machine in the early rounds of the Capital One Cup so far with four goals in his outings at Oldham and Burton  but he has only started once in the league – against Bristol City – and failed to impress in what was a limp display by the whole team.

The same goes for Nugent. He too looked laboured in the disappointing defeat to the Robins, a game which was as poor a platform to demonstrate your range of talents as you could wish on anyone.

But at Hillsborough the pair looked sharp from the moment they came on. They offered movement, deft touches and an instinct to break forward and scythe through an increasingly terrified defence.  They showed signs of working well together and intelligent understanding of what runs the other would make.  It is early days but the win at Wednesday suggested the new big ticket frontmen will be major assets to the squad.

Wednesday had rallied after the break and the first half cakewalk had been transformed into a spirited slug-fest in and around the Boro box. For a 15 minute spell after Nemesis Nuhui  came on – the outsize Owls striker looks like an extra from Game of Thrones – battling Boro had to dig deep and work hard in defence and then the Owls .

But the timely introduction of the two new boys up front offered an out-ball with a serious cutting edge and gave Boro the ability to exploit the space the Owls were leaving as they pushed more men forward. 

Within a very short time the pair ripped open the home defence several times, relieved the pressure at the back and changed the shape of the game.  Which is exactly what you want to do when you make substitutions. Which will have shown some people that the manager does actually know what game management is about.

Nugent was particularly impressive. He slotted straight into the tempo of the game and looked every inch a Championship veteran.  He was aware of the movement of his team-mates off the ball and made his first touch count.

He smoothly collected, swivelled and switched a ball into his feet to send Diego Fabbrini wriggling free to slip his effort under the keeper  and in a sublime bit of awareness he deftly nodded on a ball out of defence over the last man to send Stuani racing clear to slot a low angled ball home.

And Stuani added pace and power with his runs down the channels and sure first touch.  He has a trick or two as well . At one point when weaving in from the right he twisted and turned his man so comprehensively the defender may as well have been on spin cycle.

Stuani has scored three goals in a week and five so far and every one of them has been different. He is certainly no one trick pony.  He has shown us every shade of the striker’s palette so far and a pleasing picture is starting to emerge.

Right now they are both impressive options from the bench – and soon they will be starting and that will give Boro a potent front end.

More of those kind of match-changing interventions please Aitor.

123 thoughts on “They Jinx It’s All Over!

  1. Yes. St. Mary’s College was able to transform a South Bank ruffian into an eloquent master of the English language. A bit like Henry Higgins did with Eliza Dolittle. Amazing isn’t it?

  2. I thought grammar was married to grandad. There again 45 years ago I couldnt spell inginear now I is one.

    I didnt spot any meltdown on here. A debate on what is good rotation or not, whether we should rotate at all.

  3. Difficult aspect now. English is not my mother language.

    But enjoy the debate anyway! I might learn the language more.

    Up the Boro!

  4. Just back from a Teesside reunion of ‘ex-pats’ in deepest Bucks.
    We had a good celebration last night which was topped off by a Boro win.
    Cracking result, perfect timing to settle a few nerves.
    The consecutive home games after the international break gives us a chance to put some points on the board and get up to that magic 2 points per game average.
    The win will set a harmonious tone on here for the next couple of weeks which can’t be bad.

  5. I have to confess to panicking a lot last week. I have to confess that after sheff wed equalised and we had missed a hatful of chances my comments about the lack of goals in the team were said out loud again.

    However I don’t want to write when it’s just doom and gloom and I thought aitor got the team spot on (although I must confess to preferring forshaw I midfield) but I also thought stuani on the right worked when he pushed up to become the second striker. I think this was in part to sheff wed chasing the game and I still think when trying to break down a brick wall at home a player with more pace and power would be preferential but certainly on Saturday it worked.

    I suppose the next question is if stuani is as good as he looks he must ultimately play as the central striker so how do you accommodate the others?

    But that’s for another day. A great performance and a great three points. up the boro.

  6. And so a potential weekus horribilus ends on a bit of a high.

    Friday before last I was having to calm neighbour Martin (from Bishops Waltham) as he had had a sniff of the foam hand vapours and was talking of an invincible season. AK’s selection policy soon paid to that as he brought forward what would have been a reasonable selection for Burton on Tuesday to Saturday. Then we had the fall out from Bristol City and AA’s transfer request. I can understand his frustration at not having the opportunity to show his former employers how he had progressed but, like VicW, hope that he remains with us for the foreseeable. Burton took the tinkering to a new level but we survived and going in to the break (already!) we are in the frame.

    I have really enjoyed this weeks blog coming so soon after the self-flagellating and angst after last weeks result – and I partook of this myself. Here’s to a period of meditation and a quiet deadline day because I for one are quite happy with our squad right now..Hang on though, not sure where Amorebietta fits it? Is he cover for Stephens who is cover for Woody who is covering for Baptiste who is covering for Fry, Gibson and Ayala?? Oh well, he’s here so move on…

    **AV writes: Amorebieta is a solid, experienced centre-back who can also cover at left-back while Husband is at Fulham (short term to cover for an injury). The experience puts him ahead of Fry who, remember, is only 18. Fry may be pencilled in for a couple of short loans this season dotted in between training with the first team and playing with the Under-21s. The central defensive unit is now Ayala, Gibson, Amorebieta and Stephens with Woody as cover. That’s not a bad selection

  7. That slow shuffling noise you can hear is all the “Aitor is clueless” “the team can’t score” “Stuani can’t play on the right” “Nsue is useless” bedwetters back-tracking. Good. Everyone has had their little gripe now. Got things off their chest. Its time to get behind the team.

  8. Hold your horses. There may be some backtracking but don’t get carried away. We’re still behind two points a game average. We’ve still struggled to break teams down and create chances in some of the games we’ve played.

    People were justified in questioning aitors team selection against Bristol City. We lost a game we had more than enough potential to win. Not because we were unlucky, because city were good value for the three points, but I and many others feel because of bad team selection.

    Stuani has looked a far better player when he has pushed up alongside the striker. Against City when they had men behind the ball he looked a shadow of the player he is obviously capable of being. His strengths in the limited times I have had opportunity to see him have been his strength in the air and his finishing both of which are diminished somewhat by him being employed on the right wing.

    This week was a great result but as aitor himself said don’t judge the team by where we are at the end of August but at the end of May. That works both ways for good or bad and I certainly don’t think one good or bad result either creates or papers over the cracks.

    What I would reiterate is that aitor has built the strongest squad in the league. It is superior to any other. Therefore the minimum expectation is automatic promotion or he will have underachieved. In a way he is being unduly punished for being so astute in building the squad he has but now he needs this squad to realise their potential.

    This is a different skill entirely and that is the challenge that faces aitor this year.

    For the quality of our team even with Saturday’s great result I would still say we have underachieved slightly us far. That’s not me being pessimistic rather the opposite, I believe this squad has the ability to win this league.

    Let’s see where we are after ten/fifteen games and then we can be more confident in our predictions either way.

  9. Ste:

    There is no one who posts here who is not 100% behind the team.

    There is no one who does not acknowledge the work of AK and the considerable progress we have made under his management.

    Any institution worth its salt welcomes detailed and constructive comment and criticism from its paying customers.

    No one has said any of the things that you have put in quotes.

    Look again at the posts of Dormo, RR, Paul and many others. They are not having’ little gripes’, but making points which, whether you agree with them or not, are principled and carefully considered.

    No one has addressed those with whom they disagree in the kind of disparaging way in which you have chosen to.

    1. Well said Len. I believe we all had the right to question things after the Bristol game. You could add Burton aswell.

      Let’s see what the next five bring us, hopefully consistency and more of what we believe we are capable of.

  10. AV

    Given that the next game is an eternity and a half away and the transfer deadline is tomorrow, how about shifting the focus of the Brains Trust onto the squad and what, if anything, needs to be done. I remain convinced that we have an adequate squad to meet the challenges of the premiership. In addition to the senior players that everyone has listed, we have quality up and coming players who appear to be more than ready to be given a shot.

    In regard to Adomah, if he insists on going, I would suggest fixing the right price – maybe Pds6-8 million – and letting him leave. I wouldn’t look to replace him as we have a list of players who can play wide on either side. That includes Downing, Reach, Wildschut, Stuani, Nsue, Nugent, Fabbrini plus any of the young stars who are considered ready.I would much prefer to sit on the money and wait to see if we need to tweak anything in January.


    1. I think it’s great that AK took time to explain the changes after the Bristol game. It shows that he is trying to communicate with the fans and get them to understand that there are situations behind the scenes which he feels need addressing, and which we often don’t know about. In the end, the attempt to solve all of those individual problems at once created a bigger problem in the defensive organisation and coherence of the team, and perhaps the element of disquiet about this among the fans will do some good in the long run by highlighting that issue.

      AV informed us early on that Karanka is absolutely ruthless. The handling of Wildschut shows this. Following the first half against Bristol, when he terrorised their right back, he was pulled off at half time and since has not been in the matchday squad at all, even against Burton. I can’t find the bit on the club website that tells us all the injury news (can anyone help?) but as far as I know he’s not injured. I can only conclude that he did not follow his instructions against Bristol.

      We have often heard that we usually don’t come back when we fall behind. As we base our game on defensive solidity the first aim is to never be behind, and for a long chunk of last season that worked really well. On Saturday it seems we dominated before losing the equaliser (meaning minus two points) to an unlucky deflection. That would be the time for heads to drop, but we fought back and won the match, so that’s encouaging in showing that we can respond to setbacks. Wednesday made the mistake of going for the win, and given more space to play in our quality destroyed them.

      I resent the suggestion of Ste Mac that questioning the team selection means I have a problem with bedwetting. I use a very efficient waterproof mattress cover, so all the nights that the nightmare of Tomas Mejias trying to catch a high ball comes back to me, I only have to put the undersheet in the washing machine in the morning – no problem at all.

      On the topic of goalkeepers, I understand what Shay Given means by the lure of the Prem – he now gets well paid to watch live Premiership football every week.

  11. I hope Albert stays, he is proven and if the disagreement can be resolved fantastic, if it cannot then i wish him well, i have enjoyed the football he has played, in my opinion, I think with him, we can be assured of 8 or so league goals and more assists and i also prefer Stewie on the left.

    I am on a plane back to the US tomorrow with family in tow so i will miss the transfer deadline wheeling and dealing. Albert staying will be good if not better than any last day signing.



  12. AV’s opener is always essential reading and then the ensuing debate on here is what makes this blog one of my must go to pages at least every day when work commitments permit and if possible try and check in two or three times a day.

    We are all passionate to a fault about Boro, we agree on most things but strongly disagree on others. If we all came on here like some happy back slapping glee club it would be pretty dull reading and of little value or merit to the readers, AV, the Gazette and indeed the club. We know that those within the club read the views on here and at times vehemently disagree with them (and who knows may even have a post themselves) and have probably twisted AV’s ear painfully for some of the forthright discussions especially during the Strachan era.

    Most organisations employ a research organisation and pay good money for some patchy vague “on a scale of 1 to 5” feedback on how happy their customers are with certain aspects of the business. High street brands would pay a small fortune for the detail and the time afforded to the feedback information that AV’s blog provides. I don’t for one second believe that SG or AK run MFC on the basis of what I or Ian, Len, Jarkko, Borophil, Paul, Nigel or others think or say but I would guess that if I was in their roles I would take a look even if just out of morbid curiosity.

    Most of us try and be constructive and detailed in our posts. There are a few foam fuelled single paragraph interspersed volleys which is fine as we are all entitled to our views but when it comes to the negative or challenging posts they are usually detailed in the argument. Perhaps not necessarily correct but at least reasoned and thought out based upon what is seen and known and usually with a few decades of cynicism to add flavour.

    Borophil came back to me in rational detail on the last blog with some examples of where he believed I had overlooked things in my argument, I responded again in detail about why I didn’t agree and what the differences were as I saw them. Reality is that neither of us are 100% correct and the two of us are at opposite ends of the spectrum but Borophil’s comments do make me think and consider as I would hope my thoughts do with himself. It is the debate and the passion for Boro that makes reading and posting so interesting, as has been said on here before it is the Pub Table of the modern technological era.

    I have gone on record here saying that AK’s contract signing was the most important bit of business conducted by SG this summer. I still believe that and I still believe that AK will get more right than wrong but he will get things wrong otherwise he would be at Manchelskiarsepool City and not at Boro. When its good we come on here and are happy, sated and confident, when its bad its the opposite, in Football it always has been and always will be, its why we are fanatical and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    We all pretty much concluded that the line up Saturday was what we expected with perhaps Kalas in for Nsue. One solitary change to the team and other than perhaps the Forshaw should start but which of Clayts or Grant to leave out debate and we were all reasonably in agreement. In Albert’s absence AK put one of his most experienced players in the RW berth and Stewy didn’t disappoint although he looked a bit cream crackered when he came off and Nsue had his best game at RB. Was that because AK was right all along and some of us are just bedwetters or was it because the rest of the side was settled and there was a wise 500 game old pro in front ably assisting? Who knows, its probably a bit of all that.

    Contrast that with watching Swansea against United yesterday afternoon what a shambles the United defence was especially their CB pairing and as for that Keeper in for De Gea, just glad he’s not playing for Boro. And we think we have problems!

  13. Redcar Red,

    You are so right, we all have opinions, some right, some wrong and some in a little bit of a grey area where conflicting ideas overlap. We may disagree with people say on this blog but the all important thing is that there is respect on the blog, and that is the key to the sanity of the discussion on here. I’ve looked at some of the other blogs and…

    If people from the club read this blog the same principle applies although they do not overtly post, that is if they do. Why do these international breaks have to break up the momentum?



    1. It’s being said that we are asking 4m to sell Albert to QPR. That’s surely too low? I was thinking nearer 6m for him given the way transfer fees are going. We would be selling to a Championship rival, and if Albert is really insisting on leaving he could take a cut in pay to facilitate the move. It seems QPR will be getting a big fee for Austin and we should delay the deal until we can take a good slice of that money.

      Otherwise, I’d tell Albert we were willing to sell but QPR did not meet our valuation, it’s better for you to get back to playing for us and enjoy promotion in May.

      It’s even saying that we might loan him to them – what’s the benefit to us in doing that?

  14. “Borophil’s comments do make me think and consider as I would hope my thoughts do with himself. ”

    They do – and I can probably be a bit abrasive some times but I always tend to be convinced that I am right!! (and that isn’t just Boro…)

    The difference on here to other platforms (eg fmttm) is you are never quite sure whether people on there are trolling or just on a wind-up. On here, the arguments are well-structured, backed up with evidence and from people who have obviously put some effort into what they are saying. If that is a total opposite to my belief on the subject – well that’s bound to make you consider whether you actually are talking a load of rubbish.

    I always think though that we don’t know the majority of what goes on behind the scenes, so we are probably all talking rubbish to various degrees. But it’s still fun.

  15. On the Albert saga – I stick to my opinion of before: no loan deal (definitely not to another Championship side) and absolutely nothing less than 6M-8M will do. If a Stones costs 40M and given some of the other wild fees thrown about, anything less than 6M for a regular starter, and one of the most highly rated wingers in the division, is, to be frank, a joke.

    If we sell him for less than 6M then we’ve been held to ransom in my opinion, I would rather we hang onto him and play him in the reserves.

    If it came down to a choice of Steve Gibson either giving another 2-3M to sign reinforcements, or giving up on that but refusing to let Albert go on the cheap – well, I’d rather see Albert putting cones out for the under 18’s. I really think it’s important to get a good fee or tell him he’s not going anywhere. In that respect I admire Southampton hugely. Every year they get asset-stripped, and after a certain point they just refuse to sell – i.e. Schneiderlin last season. Fair play to them, they got more money this summer, and he got a better club.

  16. As for the weekends result, well, a hugely unexpected high-point pre-international break. Excellent to enter the break on a high, and a great result for us.

    It looked like we’re beginning to see our new look attack bearing some fruit, and we have genuine options from the bench who can change the game and bring something new. Reach returning to goal-scoring form was another huge plus, and in some respects, having Downing, Fabb and Kike in the team probably granted him a few more yards space. As he has dipped down the pecking order he’s also dipped off the radar of the opposition, and could be effective in future weeks.

    Anyway, I’m not going to type any more for now, I’m resting my fingers for tomorrow’s marathon. Unlike Aitor, I don’t have the luxury of rotating my index finger for another index, or indeed middle finger (if I want to change shape), and my ring finger will be getting the middle finger raised if it thinks I’m accepting it’s transfer request. So, I don’t want to tire them out before the big day tomorrow.

    See you all here, the only place to be. Unless AV’s got the day off of course. Surely there’s no inter-schools gymnastics on a wet and windy Tuesday in early September?

  17. Following the alleged bedwetting I wondered what the bookies made of our predicament.

    A certain bookmaker still has us at 8/13 to go up and 2/1 to win outright. Hull are 9/4 and 7/1 respectively. For non horse racing fans, I know a little about odds but not the horses, that is like a top, classic bound horse who has won its last five races, racing over its favourite course and distance, on the flat, ridden by Lester Piggott in his pomp.

    The reality is a steeplechase over 46 fences with a field of selling platers. Ridiculous odds.

    My dad had the odd bet and his view was it was hard enough picking winners when they were on the flat, picking them over sticks was fraught to say the least

  18. Ian

    It was last October Adomah was spotted wearing a QPR shirt before going to one of their games.

    It’s his boyhood team apparently, caused abit of a debate at the time as to whether it is acceptable to wear another clubs shirt when under contract to another club.

    I’m sure it will create another debate if he ends up there by 6pm tomorrow!

  19. I think if he wants to go and someone offers us decent money we have to probably bite the bullet and accept it. We don’t want him hanging around if he is going to be disruptive and who knows what his value will be in January when we would be presumably even more desperate to sell.

  20. Even if you are with someone else you cant change where your heart is. I’m sure if he stays he will be professional and give his best.

  21. Interestingly two of last seasons loan players Fredericks and Vossen have jumped ship and left their new clubs after a couple of weeks

    1. I was about to post a similar thing. It makes you wonder and of course credit to Boro for not going there perhaps!

      Does this count as a bedwarming post?

  22. There is a lesson from Derby, not in the same position as us but they had Poom, Riggott and Christie. They turned down big offers for championship players in August, come January they gave them away.

  23. I didn’t and don’t read anything into the QPR shirt thing with Albert even if he does end up there. Stewy could have stayed in the Prem but voted with his heart for Boro yet was a stand out player for the Hammers last season. Deano was at the Preston game a few weeks ago with the Boro fans and as we know Wheats is regularly watching Boro games when not on Bolton duties.

    Its unrealistic for players not to have boyhood clubs they still follow and I think I read somewhere last week Celtic had signed a player who was/is a big Rangers fan. To quote Mogga “it is what it is” and never has it been more apt.

    Meanwhile we are linked with some Cypriot teenage left winger sensation, some unnamed big star from Italy, South Americans and numerous other loans from Chelsea and elsewhere including a big name Manure star. I’ll be glad when 6.00pm tomorrow comes!

  24. RR

    Too busy making sure you had the best angle on your favoured foot. I just did a John Hickton and gave it a lash.

    As for Adomah and his shirt, a good story, may be some truth in the move, may be just a story.

    Whatever has happened, latest I heard was Albert threw a strop but we will never know, it
    is time to bury the hatchet one way or the other.

  25. With less than 30 hours left of the transfer window, I hope we won’t see Adomah leaving. I think his request came a bit too late to be accepted.

    Boro have often lacked good right wingers. Before Adomah we had … Geremi and shortly James Morrison. But who else?

    I can not remember who was the opposite winger to David Armstrong in Big Jack’s team.

    We have had plenty of left wingers (even AV) on Teesside. All leboured, some England Internationals.

    Up the Boro!

    1. Jarkko

      I think mainly it was Dave Chadwick on the opposite flank to Derrick Downing but it was a period when Downing was just becoming a regular in the team and Chadwick was losing his place on the opposite flank. So that’s perhaps why we don’t automatically associate a settled right winger.

      Mike Kear was around the same time but I think just before Downing broke through and of course we had ten pints Foggon who I recollect was just after Downings tenure.This was just as I was starting to follow Boro so my personnel and timing may be slightly out but I’m sure someone on here will be able to recall in far more detail.

  26. Jarkko,

    apologies. I pressed post comment too soon. I was about to say that Foggon and then Brine were on the opposite flank to Armstrong around then.

    1. And after big jacks team we had one of our best right wingers terry co brave who still lives locally and puts a lot into local football


      1. Stupid of me not remembering Terry Cochrane. He is actually my all time Boro hero. If Amstronh wasn’t a pure left wingers, Terry definately was a winger. Did he ever drop below the half way line – except for a kick-off?

        i had the pleasure of meeting David in May. Hence he was on my mind. Also Len was there for the old players get-to-gether arranged by Platt.

        Terry was one of the first players I met, ever. Remember having a cuppa with him after the lads trained. That was – I think – at the Ayresome Park. Where was the Hutton Road as I cannot remember?

        Times where different back then. I cannot see Terry fitting in the team of AK. Defending, I don’t think he knew the word.

        I hope no news of Adomah today. Up the Boro!

  27. Of course Foggon and then Brine. But anyway, Boro are better known for LW, like Downing, Johnson, etc. Cheers, RR. UTB!

  28. Terry Chocrane, RW, when he was up for it, brilliant, Bobby Murdoch was No 7 ,I believe,under Jack,but Played narrow,so Craggsy could attack down the right.

  29. Jarkko

    Checking back we played a sort of 433.

    Murdoch, Souness and Armstrong made up the three. Murdoch operated in a rectangle on the right side of the pitch twenty five yards either side of the halfway line and infield about 30 yards. His job was delivering pinpoint passes, running was not his strong point.

    Up front we played a three with Big John, Mills and the Flying Pig. We all remember Big John striking missiles from the spot but he was a marvellous crosser of the ball running at pace from either flank.

    Foggon was a maverick, Mills was Mr reliable as long as he didn’t have time to think about his finishing.

    There was a memorable cup match against the Mackems. One nil down after Platt spilled the ball. The equaliser came when Murdoch continued the run he started a week before, a Sunderland pass back stuck in the mud, Murdoch appeared in the box and scored.

    Second half Sunderland forgot Mills was not at his best with time to think before shooting and Montgomery pulled him down twice for penalties. Big John duly delivered

    1. One of the great games, played on a very un-Ayresome like mudheap. In Monty’s defenceh, it was a fine angled run by Millsy to draw the challenge and it was actually Trevor Swinburne in goal. Ah the swirling mists of time…

  30. Jarkko, Charlton didn’t play wingers and Spike didn’t consider himself a winger, he played on the left of a midfield three, Souness in the middle, Murdoch on the right.

  31. Foggon was the for runner of your no 10, he played anywhere a gap appeared, and he was better than people think although he looked awkward at times,he could cross the ball on the run as good as anyone,
    Went to Man Utd after us.

    1. gt –

      Despite joining Utd, Foggon’s career went down the pan after leaving Boro, he only played about 80 competitive matches for several clubs, three for Utd and a few for Sunderland.

      **AV writes: Yes, Sunderland then Southend and Hartlepool and then into the Northern League with Whitley Bay.

    2. Foggon could run hence his nickname the Flying Pig. He was British Schools Running Champion and could have had a career in athletics.

      Big Jack used the counter attack tactic of ball over the top for foggon to run onto and outpace the defenders and score. It happened time and time again


  32. Anyone know why Vossen has gone back to Belgium? Seems odd after so short a time at Burnley.

    **AV writes: There are suggestions it was for personal reasons and that he was ‘homesick’ which seems strange after a year in England. A cynic may suggest that he wanted to go to Brugge all along but that Genk wouldn’t sell direct to their old rivals and that instead he has taken the scenic route.

  33. I’ve recently heard of sports athletes coming back after Achilles injuries,many it seems in a matter of three four months,so what’s happening with Williams,is he actually training ,as far as running etc?

    1. Yes, AV please update the situation of Rhys and Abella. I think they are both in light training already. But when back to first team action? UTB!

  34. As much as I hate to say it, where Boro is concerned I think Rhys is yesterday’s man. Too many injuries now, I’m guessing when his contract expires he’ll move on to the lower leagues like Matt Bates, injuries permitting of course.

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