Steel And Slapstick As Boro Leather Leeds

WHITE hot iron. Red hot steel.  It will be a potent cocktail ion of industry, work-rate, intensity and passion that gets Boro promoted this season.
On the day that the Riverside Stadium staged a show of popular support for the “save Our Steel” campaign, Aitor Karanka’s side combined to deliver exactly the kind of productivity and relentless, mechanical energy that made Teesside a global powerhouse.
big banner

The 3-0 win over Leeds was a tough and testing shift and at times the game was scrappy but battling Boro beavered away non-stop in a sweaty, steely show of dogged determination. They worked, they chased, they closed, they harried, rattled into tackles, they passed and probed and they fought tooth and nail and when the pivotal points on the pitch appeared through the haze of hard labour they were ruthless.
And the crowd played their part too with a constant partisan racket and in an emotional opening they stoked up a temperature like a foundry.  There was an incredible atmosphere and from the moment the early opener flew in they were in the aural ascendancy and the normally vitriolic visitors were meek and muffled.
Of course, Leeds played a role too,  we can’t forget that. They battled away but without the potent threat Boro carried. They worked hard. They never let up. They made a real match of it after the break.  They gave it a crack and had enough possession to send shudders around the ground and had they scored there would have  been a familiar tension.
But limp Leeds had little up front.  A good Mowatt free-kick towards the top corner was superbly clawed away full length by Dimi and the goal given offside as the defence stood rooted (it was probably a good goal but ruled out in a karmic realignment after Albert’s acrobatic effort at  Elland Raod last term) but that was it.  They had some good spells of possession but they couldn’t bring to bear the intensity needed to break through Boro’s red wall with Ayala and Amorebieta impregnable.
Ultimately a Leeds team lacking cohesion or spirit rarely matched a Boro side playing well within itself.  And the were their own worst enemy. They were the architects of their own destruction. Which was funny.
Cruel press-box wags said the Leeds central defensive pairing were Boro’s two most creative players and there was a strong case to give one of them them a coveted Gazette star.  The Giuseppe Bullusci diving bullet header – the second goal – was rammed home with an unstoppable vicious intent a striker would have been proud of. Boro fans celebrated with a mixture of jubilant EIoing and side-splitting laughter. It probably the best own goal at the Riverside since Frank Sinclair’s 30 yard drive. It was certainly the funniest.
And the comedy of errors for the third – a poor back-pass, a woeful touch from the keeper, a banana-booted stumble from Sol Bamba –   before Diego nipped in to seal it gleefully was sheer slapstick before Diego Fabbrini’s smashed home.
But while Leeds certainly did take aim and fire straight through the extended toes of their own size 17 clown boots it was the relentless pressure of Boro that forced them into jittery panic.  Their predicament was completely self-inflicted.
In a blistering opening spell rampant Boro tore into them, stretched them with sharp passing moves down both flanks and forced them into chaotic, aimless scrambling at the back to set the tone for the game.  Leeds were awful in their box in a pulsating opening blitz by Boro and almost every cross looked like it would force a goal or a fatal error.
Leeds couldn’t clear their lines. Poor headers and untidy punts out of the danger-zone inevitably fell to a Boro player as the next wave crashed forward and Aitor’s army turned the screw.
In midfield the high-octane engine-room revving of the highly efficient holding pair, and especially dynamic ex-Leeds man Adam Clayton, simply over-ran the visitors.  In Boro’s box, for all their second half huffing and puffing, Leeds never looked like breaking through
And in and around the Leeds penalty area their creaking and jittery back-line was never allowed to settle because of the perspiration soaked perma-pressure applied by perpetual motion poacher David Nugent.
Yes, Boro fell short of their best and they could not sustain the early attacking impetus but they were still far too strong for a soft-centred Leeds and all across the park they played at a relentless industrial intensity that simply ground the opposition down.  Boro have played well below par twice this week and won 3-0 both times.
That industrial work-rate overwhelming opponents has been a central and decisive feature of many of the games in the current sizzling sequence of seven straight victories.
It has meant that Boro have motored to the top through a series of functional wins without ever really hitting top gear.  Already with just nine games gone Boro are five points clear of third place, they have conceded the fewest goals and scored the most in the Championship… and they haven’t really got started yet.
That anticipation of what the team could be when it is fully fledged, a look at the table and a hoodoo-shattering win over Leeds will have helped put a smile on Teesside face after a difficult week. It won’t solve the headache for steelworkers and the wider community as they face up to the threat of losing their jobs but it will have been a brief respite.
Unity is strength on Teesside. The area is at its most potent when we are under attack, when we circle the wagons and when we harness our history and channel our parochial pride. When we act as a single entity. This game underlined that.
big cards
The match started with a poignant colourful demonstration by the club and supporters  of the massive cultural and economic importance of the Redcar plant to the area.  Many fans will work in the steel works and related industries or who have had historical links with what was once our defining feature so the prospect of SSI closing their Teesside works would be a damaging blow to our psyche as well as our economy.
“We Built The World” an earlier Red Faction banner declared. And that is true. Much of our proud historical identity as a hard working town and area has been cast by iron and steel and that forms a key part of our face to the world.
So it was appropriate that a fixture with a national and international audience offered a stage for Teesside to stand united in a public protest. The club will not be leading the revolution – although Steve Gibson has been forthright this week in demands for government action – but they are keen to be visible in the campaign, as they were last time Redcar was under threat. There were banners in the East Stand and the Red Faction area of the South Stand and the players wore T-shirts with the SOS slogan while warming up.
Then as the teams ran out there was a huge roar and a simultaneous show of support from both ends of the stadium.  There was a simple but effective big card display in the North Stand picking out the letters “SOS” and a huge banner in the South Stand echoing the message in the colours of Ironopolis by night.  Leeds fans deserve great credit as they backed the show and clapped generously  – then normal service was resumed as hostility levels shot up on kick-off.
After the game Aitor was quick to dedicate victory to the steelworkers and hoped it would give them something, however briefly, to be happy about. The win will help.  If Teesside loses steel it will have only its team to carry its banner. He is working on that too



266 thoughts on “Steel And Slapstick As Boro Leather Leeds

  1. Sorry to see Yanic going.

    He was easily our best forward against Bristol, and deserved better than being subbed at half-time. He had the courage to take on and beat his man when the rest were content to pass the buck.. He showed blistering pace, the ability to beat his man on both sides, and a refreshing zest in going forward and taking the game to his opponents. His final ball was sometimes a little wasteful, but he certainly showed enough to be worthy of a regular place on the bench.

    I regret his leaving and wish him well.

    1. I agree Len. I actually think he’s the one player who could go out on loan and be an absolute sensation. I also thought he was the best player in the first half at Bristol and felt he was made a bit of a scapegoat of.

      I hope he does brilliantly at Wigan and he gets the opportunity to come back and show us all what he is capable of.

  2. Yanic going on 3 months loan to Wigan could be the making of him, I like him and he needs game time to get to grips with the english game, which unfortunately Boro cannot afford to give him. He could be one of those players that once he has had a few regular outings could come back and be a star for Boro, here’s hoping.

    Come on BORO.

  3. Let Yanic play, there is no point him not even getting on the bench here. I sympathise with him but from what we know if he isn’t doing enough to get in to the squad then he needs to go somewhere to play games.

    Mustapha and Reach have gone out on loan and will get game time. Ledesma went to Rotherham and is a bit part player with them.

    I hope Yanic tortures defences, comes back and helps our promotion push.

  4. We’ve struggled to find a left winger this season, if Wildschut and Reach were good enough at this level they would still be here. It would appear the manager has a lot of faith in De Pena.

    **AV writes: De Pena… and Stewy… and Albert… and Fabbrini. Reachy had become a squad member at best. Wildschut and Carayol even further down the list. But I’m not sure he wants “a winger,” more people who can play all along the three.

    1. Albert…..really?

      **AV writes: Yes, Albert has started on the left his last few games with Stuani on the right. With him and de Pena in the mix for the left it pushes Reachy down to a position where he fighting for a place on the bench and Yanic even further down the pecking order.

      1. Starting on the left and performing on the left are two different things AV. If Wildschut and Reach were deemed good enough they would still be here. The fact that AK plays Adomah out of position there speaks volumes.

        I hope both players come good, even if it is just to get a decent transfer fee for them. Let’s hope de Pena does the business.

    1. Philistine!

      Flicks ball up into air from toe to head. Precariously balances ball in nape of neck whilst bending from waist but with eyes focused on goal. Flicks ball into air simultaneously spinning 360 degrees. Hits ball smack in the centre sending it scorching through the air. Ball travels at lightning speed striking the goal net left of centre- GoooaaIlll!!!!

      Commentator- ‘And with that magnificent goal in extra time Boro return to the Premier League as Champions. Where l’m sure you’ll all agree they truly belong.’

      But who scored the goal and what year will it be? Answers on a postcard to Spartakboro c/o a border town in Central Europe in a country with no nuclear arsenal nor have they ever had……. oops, sorry Jarkko ko Ko Ko!


  5. The next round of the league cup will interesting travel wise with Citeh and ManU playing the same night.

    In simple terms Citeh are in the north east of Manchester and Utd in the southwest. Makes for an interesting journey for fans from the North East.

    **AV writes: Lucky most of the United fans come from the South-east, South-west and beyond.

    1. Interestingly, when we were in the top flight a survey was conducted on fans going to prem matches to check where they came from. We were in the top half dozen with a high percentage of local fans amongst the crowd. Man Utd were in the middle no better or worse than anyone else.

      At the time we had a scouse colleague, to our glee they were down at 16 in the table!!

      Myths abound, don’t let facts get in the way though it was reinforced in the cup match some time ago that we won 2-0 at lunchtime. We were doing a quiz at halftime between home and away fans. The Boro fan cam from Redcar and the ManU fan from Surrey. Just as well Jarkko wasn’t there.

  6. I suppose it was inevitable that Wildschutt would join Reach and Carayol into the loan market given that Karanka currently has three other attacking players to fit on the bench each week (Fabbrini, de Pena, Kike) – plus together with Forshaw needing pitch time he can realistically probably only bring two forwards on for tactical reasons.

    It would be hard to see AK bringing on Wildschutt ahead of any of this summer’s new intake – though I thought Yanic could also play as a number 9 but he’s not really had much opportunity to command a start in any particular position.

    It will be interesting to see how he gets on if he plays regularly.

  7. Werdermouth

    It is catch 22, he needs to game time to prove himself but he has to impress to get game time.

    We are led to believe Aitor sets great store by how they perform in training which is said to be very much train as you play. No train no play. We don’t know how Yanic does in training and on matchdays he has been a bit hit and miss, that makes him easier to hook.

    I am sure Aitor is happy to play anyone who he thinks can get the job done within the team framework.

    I hope Yanic, Mustapha and Reach come back to give Aitor a real headache. Albert is a perfect example of what work and attitude allied to talent can achieve.

  8. Yanic leaving is but a pinprick compared to SSI. He will be well paid whatever.

    Good luck to all involved in the talks to help those affected.

  9. I see that SSI have put their Redcar business into liquidation, the UK Governemnt has declined to give financial support to keep the coke ovens operational. Which means iron & steel making on Teesside is almost certainly gone forever. Coke ovens cant be shutdown, they have to be kept operational, so when they go cold that’s it Teesside’s iron & steel is gone.

    A very sad day.

  10. Osborne on the News ten minutes ago, he wants an NFL franchise in this country. Obviously way more important than Iron & Steel, the apathy of the ruling elite at Westminster staggers me, it shouldn’t after all these years but it does.

    Will anybody buy the plant from the receivers? Probably not. What a black, dark, day for Teesside and its people. Now to steel myself, no pun intended, to read Gazettelive…

    Come on Boro give us something to smile about.



    1. From what I understand the Government is offering a compensation package to be paid to local employees. Shouldn’t it be paid straight to those who have been made redundant, and in many cases have not been paid for the work they have done?

      Terrible day for the whole of Teesside. My Dad worked in the blast furnaces in the 30s and was laid off then. Sold encyclopaedias door-to-door to put food on the table. Plus ca change…

      1. len –

        I suspect the Government’s ‘compensarion package’ is nothing more than a headline. Apparently its an £80 million package, which for 1700 redundant workers is over £47000 each. It strikes me as highly unlikely that the redundant steelworkers will see £470 each from the Governemnt in compensation let alone £47k.

        **AV writes: It is up to £80m and most will be ear-marked for retraining purposes. So much will go to out-sourced agencies running courses to teach 50 year old steelworkers how to use social media and how to apply on-line for the jobs that aren’t there. Then six months down the line the media will brand these people lazy and scroungers when they haven’t got a job.

  11. I don’t think we will see Carayol again. If he couldn’t even get on as a sub in the dead rubber game against Brighton after already playing pretty impressively out on loan, it’s hard to envisage the circumstances that might lead to his rehabilitation. And even harder to see him wishing to return to a club where he is seriously under-appreciated and, as I think we will ultimately see, undervalued.

    Much the same applies to Yanic. I cannot envisage a situation in which he comes back and performs any better than he has already done in a game where he was taken off at half-time.

    Two fast,creative and exciting players, whose full attacking potential we have failed to tap.Their qualities are in short supply, so it would not surprise me in the least were they to find conspicuous success elsewhere. Picked up as bargains and sold on for big fees. We shall see.

    1. Reminds me of the merry-go-round with Florence and co going round and round up & down,a perpetual clockwork machine, never stopping, just the faces to the fore captivating the limited mindset of the observers as they enjoy the show-change the faces or in this case the manager or players, yet the merry-go-round contines- up and down, round and round yet we are still emotionally hooked, soccer druggies getting our fix of highs and lows, getting our fix of ‘local identity’, essential to our sense of who we are and where we belong.

      Step aside Jean-Paul Sartre, it’s a dark day for Teesside!

    2. Failed to tap? Or they failed to deliver and we now have better in that position and they haven’t pushed on with the challenge?

      Potato Tomato

      PS- Carayol has already publicly said he doesn’t want to come back and sees his future elsewhere. We’re aiming for the Prem and he’s looking at another championship move – says it all really.

  12. Reading and Writing a new Winning Streak in the record books. ( OK almost equalling, but don’t let minor things get in the way of a good leader)

  13. Reading Writing and Arrythmitic, let’s hope there’s no wobble tomorrow.

    I really must find something to do…

  14. I see AV has been wheeled out to promote yet another new interactive comments section on Gazettelive webpages. I think this must be the third version in the last year or even less. I struggle to see why people would want to link their facebook or Linkedin accounts to something totally unrelated. Is this why comments are virtually non existent on the site now and why the maestro himself has been drafted in to try and inject some interest?

    There is a fear that every facet of peoples lives, hobbies, families, interests and even bank details are all at jeopardy. Leaving lives exposed to corporate mercenaries be they a Google or an Apple, a criminal, a marketing cold calling pain, a scam merchant or even big brother watching and noting every movement of private and personal life.

  15. Go on AV, delete it-go on!

    It’s art l tell thee, art!

    **AV writes: Yes, its gone. Round the bend and away. A bit tasteless I think.

    1. I prefer to think of it as akin to a ‘Royal Flush’!
      Not for the more sensitive souls amongst us but goes down well in the NAAFI bar.

  16. Well tomorrow throws Brighton at home to Cardiff and already I’m thinking is it better for Brighton to win and keep the chasing pack at bay or is a draw the best result or even an away win?

    Its also interesting to look at the leading scorers in the Championship with not a single Boro player registering despite us being top scorers!

    It also I suppose indicates that Reading have two key men, stop them and their goals dry up, conversely who on earth do you stop for Boro as our goals can come from anywhere.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s