Blazing Squad: Aitor Draws Up Red Hot List

AT some point in the next few weeks Aitor Karanka is going to sit down with a piece of paper and write down the 25 names he will submit to the Premier League as the Boro squad. It won’t  be easy.

We already have 24 senior professionals in the squad with the club looking to bring in more – a keeper, a striker, a right back at least… possibly a left back as cover, maybe another centre-back…  – and everyone that arrives will effectively push one of the existing players out of the magic circle. There some tough decisions to be made.


And his hands are tied by some strict rules: the number of home grown and foreign players is limited. So there may be a lot of crossing out as he tries to jiggle his resources.  Here’s a long read I did on the rules around the squad and some factors to consider. 

If you want o start work on your own list of definites for the 25, feel free…


203 thoughts on “Blazing Squad: Aitor Draws Up Red Hot List

  1. I realise we will all have to stop this political navel-gazing as the PREMIER LEAGUE season approaches, but………

    Should there be a sweepstake for the identity of the next Labour Prime Minister of the UK? I might have thought that Corbyn will win the current leadership battle (legal proceedings might be a hiccup), but if there were a General Election anytime soon, it would be a bold man who would put money on Labour winning. So, if there were to be a lost election, and then another bout of Labour in-fighting and then another leadership contest, who would win that? And, of course, that would only give us the Leader of the Labour Party, not the PM until a subsequent election is won.

    I had foolishly thought Hilary Benn might be the man, but then realised that making a powerful HofC speech disagreeing with the leader and a large chunk of the PLP will not easily be forgotten. AND he will be 63 years old later this year so if we have to wait another 4 years before there is another contest, and bearing in mind that the age of leaders seems to be reducing these days, it might be thought he will be a little long in the tooth for the top job.

    My view – Corbyn to win with a large party membership vote behind him. Eagle to be defeated but, even if she won, she would not lead Labour to victory at the next election and would be knifed in the back after that defeat. More likely, Corbyn to win but either to lose the GE in 3-4 years time after which he will be knifed in the back and replaced, or it is POSSIBLE the knife could come as it becomes clear before the GE that Labour cannot win, but his successor will be in opposition. On that basis it will be maybe 2025 before a Labour leader will be PM, at the earliest. By then, someone we haven’t yet heard of will be appointed leader. Wonder what Paddy Power thinks?

    And, to bring us back to earth, if “The Big Sam” (to quote Man City’s new manager) is going off to manage England, the likelihood of Sunderland being relegated next season will significantly increase. We only need three teams to finish below us so any additions to the likely candidates will be gratefully received.

    We have not got a full squad yet. Someone to score some goals might be on the horizon. Other teams may bust the bank and bring in players of real quality, but let’s stick out the neck with only half the information to hand. Like the Met Office making a long distance forecast for the weather next winter……quite accurate in some ways for the next day or two, less accurate for the weekend, and even less accurate than that for next month. So, for winter, they might as well toss a coin in the air or hang a strip of seaweed out on the back garden washing line. But we will brave the lack of data, and revert to plain, simple prejudice and the smell of the breeze. We will finish 14th.

    You heard it here first.

    1. Dormo, you are a pessimist. We will finish higher than 14th. Top ten for me!!! Or we could even do Forest and clinch the title. If Leicester did it last year …

      Up the Boro!

  2. UKIP will change its name to UKPP (peoples party) and replace The Labour Party, which will split and then disappear up its own backside. The Conservatives will become New Tories and pretend to take up the mantle of the working class and line their pals pockets outside of the EU ( which was the plan all along). And the Boro will establish themselves as a PL club.

  3. Forever and GHW

    A lot will depend on what happens to UKIP.

    As I posted pre Brexit my guess was that at the general election a lot of UKIP votes did come from labour with lib dems moving to replace them.

    I suspect there will be a move back but the overall beneficiaries are more likely to be the Lib Dems than labour if Corbyn retains his position.

    UKIP former Tories will return to the Tory party.

    1. Ian

      If you stab people in the back with gay abandon, your life expectancy is that of a mayfly.

      They carried out a coup against the country in 2010, with the help of the foolish lib dems. Tried to persuade the Scots to leave the union, and failed. Tried to stop the Scots from voting in the house of commons, failed again. Pulled some stunt with the opinion polls in 2015 and scraped home and set out on five glorious years, lucky to last one. Pulled another stunt, by saying I am going, but not yet. Pulled off the greatest stunt of all by forgetting to have a members vote, excluding the dreaded Boris from the list, and the dreaded Gove, got the list down to two, and told the wrong one to clear off, and while you are about it take the bloody members with you.

      And every one wonders why the awful Cameron exited stage left whistling a merry tune. He won in the end. His mates are still in the driving seat, the winners are outside with their noses pressed against the windows, and the delightful Dave will in due course get a cushy job. He will need it, because he has just borrowed eight hundred thousand to tide him over.

  4. Yes, fat Sam to manage England. Flown back from training camp to the UK, must be for talks or maybe he has joined the labour party election.

    1. Perhaps Sunderland can then make Lee Cattermole their new manager, thus meaning we only have two other teams to finish in front of next year..?

  5. Boro Doug

    It looks like Barragan is a done deal, Skybet no longer taking bets on Negredo.

    You know that already, thought in would post as the other posters have disappeared, must be watching Cameron’s speech and not finished applauding yet.

  6. And a teaser from the Gazette, keep tuned in to the website for breaking news.

    That could be incoming transfer news or a clever ploy by Trinity Mirror to keep bombarding us with advertising pop ups.

  7. Slaggy

    Brilliant appointment. The career diplomats will hate it, the rest of us will love it apart from the serial if it is blue we must hate it brigade.

    Oddly, many will probably think Corbyn is brilliant.

  8. First Greece, then Crimea and now the UK. Why do we make the things difficult for ourselves?

    Luckily we have Karanka. In him we trust. Up the Boro!

    1. Whatever Ian. First name terms, second name terms. We know what you mean. Don’t forget the blue touch paper…

      Exciting times.



    2. Ian

      The trouble with poor old Boris is that these tricky foreigners will remember and go on about the particularly insulting things that he is on record as saying about them. Once you dismiss logic from your lexicon you can have lots of laughs about any subject under the sun. Good fun in the boozer, all targets are available, disabled, poor, rich, coloured, foreigners etc.

      Boris has a charge sheet as long as your arm, today the times rattled off two instances of bad behaviour. One on Clinton, that’s the next president of the USA. It was good? “Clinton looks like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital”

      In may he won a poetry competition in the Spectator. It was to write the most offensive poem about the president of Turkey. He called him a wa****er, to rhyme with Ankara. He said Obama wanted us to stay in the EU because of his part Kenyan ancestry. He said the Queen loved the Commonwealth because it supplied her with crowds of flag waving “piccanninies with water melon smiles.” He linked Papua new guinea with cannibalism and chief killing.

      We will forget the time he flattened a ten year old boy in a game of street rugby, even though it was on a goodwill tour of Japan, hmmm.

      One fears for any pigs heads he comes into contact with.

      **AV Writes: He also set up a journalist to be beaten up by his old chum and armed robber Darius Guppy. On the plus ide, his old Toffocracy colonial attitude and 1930s outlook will soon have him setting up lucrative bi=lateral trade deals with Rhodesia, Tanganyika and Ceylon.

      1. AV
        I think he will have trouble with the trade in Ivory because there has been some movement in international opinion. Some rubbish to do with elephants I believe, strikes me as sentimental tosh, but there we are. As for Ceylon, I don’t think the fashion for pierced Mahogany furniture is going to return any time soon. I suppose it will have to be a big increase in Elephant shooting Safaris, that should do the trick.

  9. Very interesting appointments by the new PM. Old guard swept aside.
    Let’s hope for the sake of our children and grandchildresn’s future that they can see us safely through the Brexit process.

  10. We haven’t kicked off yet and we have two long term injuries plus the Ayala injury conundrum. Hope that’s it for a while.

  11. It’s looking awfully good at the moment, no, I do not mean the quiet run outs at clubs with the same idea as us, that is, a quiet time.
    I mean the silent collecting of players who we think will play at this level week in week out. I hope that they don’t weaken and sell reach, I know that all fans live in fear that their club will sell a future star, but this young man is improving all the time, is an impressive physical specimen, and has the potential to make the club look like a lemon.
    to find a good young wide player is fine, but to find one with an impressive presence is that extra factor which should not be ignored.

    1. More Brexit analysis paralysis, as if we didn’t have enough before the vote from the supposed “experts”!

      I voted out but I vehemently oppose the death penalty regardless of how heinous the crime. I don’t wear Bovver boots, braces or have a Union Jack Flag draped from my bedroom windows nor do I have tattoo’s and I don’t read the Sun the Guardian or even the Mail.

      Scotland voted remain so that apparently means they now want to break up the UK we are told yet when they had their chance for FREEDOM they meekly said No only a few years ago and that was when their Oil price was healthy. Suddenly Brexit is now being used by their First Minister as an accurate “interpretation” that Scotland wants another referendum and out of the Union again. I’d like to see Mrs Sturgeon promote breaking up the Union outside Ibrox Stadium on a Saturday afternoon. She may get a slightly different opinion or did all the Rangers supporters who voted “remain” switch their allegiance away from the Queen in the last month? Are all Geordies London Bankers in disguise>

      Sinn Fein were interpreting the vote as a desire for a United Ireland despite the fact that half of Belfast was literally burning only a few days later celebrating a victory from 1690. The dancing, partying and drum banging wasn’t in celebration that Will Griggs was on fire but in most cases that a Papal effigy was on fire along with Republican flags.

      Perhaps people simply voted for personal reasons that were very complex (too complex for pollsters and analysts), coloured by their life experiences, their families, their local community and how they perceived the value of the EU and/or the UK. Maybe they just wanted to kick the establishment in the nuts over the bedroom tax or maybe they just wanted cheap flights to Benidorm. Maybe they were disgusted at the treatment of Greece or how the Shengen shambles allows everyone and anyone to ramble all over Europe at will or maybe they were staunch believers in unity and dreamt of a United States of Europe. How many remainers or brexiteers were in favour of fox hunting I wonder, can that data be extrapolated to profile voters deep seated overtones?

      The reasons for peoples voting on the EU are multi faceted. Maybe the questions asked of the supposed 24,000 respondents were the wrong ones or just simply badly worded and badly thought out questions. I don’t doubt that those who commissioned a survey years ago genuinely believe that 9 out of 10 cats prefer a certain brand of cat food.

      The problem with pollsters (or in this case a “Think Tank”) is that they have to proclaim that they know what the public want as it pays them well, very well indeed in some cases. If they have no findings they won’t get paid again so they extrapolate anything out of what little they have in order to justify their existence. Binary oversimplification of the referendum is what lead to the two leading Political parties tearing themselves apart in public and ultimately the Brexit outcome not some deep rooted gallows fervour (Hartlepool apart).

      All this was predicted and described far more accurately decades ago by the Jam. Who’d have thought it!

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