Six-Shooting Boro Gun Down Wolves

SIX shooting Boro gunned down Wolves to seal a sizzling sextet of successive wins.

The 3-0 routine Riverside win wasn’t the most entertaining game. For long spells in the first half it was workmanlike and functional and the normally well oiled machine spluttered like an Austin Allegro on a cold winter morning but the first goal swung the game decisively and eventually a Boro side with seven changes got the job done.

It was a win with the minimum of fuss against a  well organised and industrious if shot-shy side.  It was effective rather than expansive. Professional rather than pulsating.  And it won’t take up much space on the end of season highlights DVD.

But they rattled up a string of positives and are in the hat for the fourth round draw.

Wolves set out with two rigid banks of four, worked hard and tried to close down the space while Boro laboured away in the opening half hour to try and break it down. There were a lot of long balls forward that proved fruitless. There were a lot of moves that broke down as they got to the edge of the box only for the final ball to be blocked or deflected or for Kike with his back to goal being crowded out.

But Boro quickly got a grip on the game. They were cool in possession and stayed patient as they passed and probed and gradually started to stretch Wolves at the back and create gaps to play into and from the moment Albert got the well worked opener there was only ever one outcome.

After the break more space started to appear and Boro were sharp in exploiting it and they added two more good goals – Fabbrini and Albert again – to quickly to seal it while Kike put a deft chip into the side-netting and Diego rattled the bar as Wolves heads dipped late on.

Albert Goal

                  Three and easy:  On song Albert Adomah lashes past Carl Ikeme

Despite the industry needed to break down dogged Wolves it was in the end a comfortable and routine win and Boro could quite easily have had two or three more and Wolves boss Kenny Jackett was quick to admit that his team had been beaten by a far better side.

And there were some big positives on the night. Let’s list a few…

THE JOY OF SIX: Boro have won six games in a row. That is impressive and very difficult to achieve at any level of football . It is all very well saying this team was poor or that one made changes or we were lucky here or there, but six on the spin is not an easy trick to pull off. Especially in a topsy-turvy  coupon-busting league like the Championship. Even the best sides stumble, make mistakes, suffer injustice,  get held to a draw, or dominate but get caught on the break.  Make no mistake, winning six on the spin is impressive stuff that deserves great respect. And Boro have have done it twice in eight months.

Since the dismal defeat to Bristol City Aitor Karanka’s side have won four in the league and smashed ancient hoodoos at Hillsborough and the City Ground to boot and have got through two rounds of the League cup. They have scored 15 goals and leaked just four and have built a bit of momentum as they have powered up to second place.  And all that while bedding in new players. In that run Nugent and Stuani have evolved from late cameos to regular starters, quickly found their feet and now look the real deal.

BEYOND THE FRINGE:  Boro made seven changes and the players who came in all did well. It will give Aitor a headache when it comes to picking the team for Leeds.

Adam Forshaw started and looked a good fit alongside Grant, Kike returned up front and worked hard and linked well,  Nando Amorebieta looks a rock solid Championship centre-back, Tomas Kalas played in the middle and was solid and linked far better with on-song Nsue than the last time out at Bournemouth (*shudder*)  and after a slow start and few below par outings Fabbrini grew into the game and linked well in a polished front four that interchanged crisply and moved well.  And Carlos…


                              Welcome to Teesside Carlos de Pena: New boy makes Boro bow

DYNAMIC DEBUT:  Carlos de Pena got two and a half assists in a promising first appearance. After a slow start he started to impose himself on the game. It was his low cross that got tangled in a defender’s legs and squirted into the path of Albert for the opener. Then he neatly dummied in the box to wrong-foot the Wolves defence and allow Diego to blast home. And then he slotted a neat diagonal through a crowd for Albert to crack in the third. That’s not a bad bow. He flagged a bit towards the end but this is a tough league with a high tempo. He’ll get better. I’m looking forward to that.

ALBERT’S HAUL: Two more goals for Albert since bursting back from the naughty step. He has responded exactly as everyone hoped he would, bring zest , trickery and a threat down the right to the party… and goals. That’s three in three now. Big hugs.

steel            South Stand fans show support for the campaign to save Redcar  steelworks


178 thoughts on “Six-Shooting Boro Gun Down Wolves

  1. When we say the word ‘derby’ we actually mean ‘local derby’ – so for Leeds supporters Middlesbrough is not that local as it’s over 65 miles away, where as Manchester for example is just under 45 miles from Leeds.

    I suppose culturally it also depends if you think Middlesbrough is part of Yorkshire – in some unmentionable sports on here, Yorkshire play at Middlesbrough occasionally.

    Also, Newcastle and Sunderland are regarded as derbies as we compete for air time and kudos with the local TV and press – that’s not really the case with Leeds as Yorkshire TV probably barely mentions Middlesbrough games.

    Personally, it somehow feels close to a derby as, if you rule out glory hunters, you were often likely to come into contact with Leeds fans – plus these days there probably aren’t any glory hunting Leeds fans on Teesside.

    Though I should confess as a young impressionable seven year old, before my first game at Ayresome Park and before the arrival of Big Jack, my yet fully-developed confused brain was briefly turned to gaze on the shiny aura of that famous Leeds team – I quickly grew out of it though when I realised I had inadvertently been subversively manipulated by the tabloid press and saturation BBC’s all-day Cup Final coverage.

    Hard to imagine now but pre-internet children just don’t realise how dangerous the world was back then!

  2. Can a club have more than one derby? Not really, in the true sense of the world. Liverpool-Everton is a derby. ManUtd-ManCity is a derby, therefore Liverpool-ManUtd isn’t.

    But it’s not just about being local. It’s also about spending most of your history in the same division. Normally Hartlepool would be our derby, but we hardly ever play them. That’s why their derby is against Darlington.

    I suppose our derby might have been Ironopolis if they still existed.

  3. I’m still seething about letting Don Masson go on a free transfer. He was subsequently sold on for £110.000, when that was a lot of money and up there near the top price for a player.

    He went on to star in a midfield with Souness Gemmil and Rioch for Scotland.

    1. GHW

      £110,000 for Masson, that’s nothing compared to us selling Cloughie for £55,000 in ’61 and to the Mackems just to rub salt in the wounds!

      Cloughies record was 274 professional appearances with Boro and Sunderland and 251 goals before injury finished him at 29. What would a Striker with those Stats be worth in today’s game? Has to be Ronaldo and Messi money combined at least!

    2. Don is my wife’s uncle and we chat a lot about his life in football, he has some amazing story’s to tell, its a real shame he never became a legend at Boro after being let go far to early in his career

  4. Leeds is still a big game for us though. They’re local enough to bring a lot of fans with them. That creates a great atmosphere.

    My son is bringing a couple of his mates over from Germany especially to watch the match tomorrow. So don’t be surprised if you hear someone talking german in the Navi.

    1. Funnily enough, I did notice the lack of german being spoken in the Navi last time I was there – though I hope they’ve got their ‘rettet unserem Stahl’ T-shirts ready – BTW thanks for you earlier comment.

  5. Thanks for the article Steve, still fuming after reading it. Bloody cheek – he hardly mentioned the Boro, and really dismissed our area as insignificant.

    I understood his point, that the old big clubs were in decline but I am sure a lot of the changes have come about due to the nature of the experience – all seater stadia, entertainment rather than a sporting contest. Well I don’t think NE is in decline I think it is the PL that has changed its audience to the “Prawn Sandwich “brigade.

    Although we crave for the PL, real supporters footy is in this league.

    1. I agree Ian, an infuriating non-article. The football landscape has changed because of the clubs and owners that have the power to buy success. When Blackburn won the Premiership(First Division?) they were accused of buying it by those very people. What do the powerhouses do that is different now?

      It looked like a cut and paste article from something that may have been five times the length.



  6. Forever Dormo

    Ref. Bishop

    No, the Bishop at Kirkleatham was black as the ace of spades, portly, glasses with a big smile on his face. He couldn’t have fit in a mini due to excessive girth. Might have played in place of Tomlin like if you forgo a couple or three decades that is.

    FYI I attended a service at Canterbury Cathedral couple of years back with the family as I was working there briefly over the summer. The same service was attended by the then Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. We got to socialise in the garden there after and quaff wine and eat titbits with the clergy from I guess the same area the Bishop of Whitby was from years back – Uganda!

    It’s a small world.

  7. It’s an even smaller world than you think, Spartak. That very same Bishop you mentioned had been a lawyer in Uganda and was effectively forced to leave for his own safety, by Idi Amin. He studied Theology at my college at university and, as we all now know, is now the Archbishop of York.

    Although he was at my college when I was there, he was older than us mere undergraduates. He didn’t frequent the bar too much, nor the cricket, hockey or rugby teams. But he was at York Minster a couple of years ago when the College Choir visited there to sing evensong, and there was an opportunity for some of us northern outcasts to meet up with him and some of the College Fellows who were present at the service and dinner afterwards..Very convivial.

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