What was my opinion of that game? Well here it goes…
The Burnley game came at the end of a bad week for the Boro, we had dropped points against Swansea (Rudy’s 20p shaped head missing the target) and then we got tonked at Hull in front of 3 home fans, so Burnley had suddenly become another must win.
The team was announced at around 14:00 on various social media formats and had the fans checking to see, who was in, and who was out.
Here’s where the 1st surprise came, Stuani was opted to play up front alongside Rudy. That meant that Alvaro “The Beast” Negredo was dropped to the bench, which immediately brought cries of “F**king Stuani, he’s Sh*t” (remember please readers though, yes Stuani is the Marmite player in the squad, he has very rarely been seen playing through the middle for us, instead was placed in the right wing position by AK) and more surprisingly the main man himself Marten De Roon was also benched “Why were the cries at this shock announcement” on paper we looked like we could set up as a 3-5-2 arrangement, which did play as at times but also were able to go 4-4-2 at others.
“3 defensive midfielders again” were uttered by many in the concourses over a beverage, but remember again please, Forshaw can get forward as an attacking mid, and also can Grant when it’s required.
The game kicked off, Boro were noticeably a bit cautious after the explosive start we had made at Hull then the implosion that followed. Burnley had a few chances and so did Boro, the most notable thing from the first half was that Sean Dyche doesn’t have a varied vocabulary when communicating with his team on the pitch, “MOVE”,…… “MOVE”,…… “MOVE” was all he seemed to shout, which was picked up by the fans in the West Stand as every time he shouted, a collective “MOVE” was given by the fans.
As the 2nd half kicked off, comments from the concourse stating how “sh*te Forshaw is playing”, The Beast set out on a warm up routine and was quickly called back to get ready to go. This brought a cheer and round of applause from the West lower, but who was he going to replace? Yes, it was Stuani that was going to make way.
The Beast’s arrival took place and he was soon involved holding up the ball and playing back to Downing. Fans were asking for the introduction of Traore, as he should have started, but in my opinion yes he is fast, yes he is explosive, BUT he doesn’t track back enough and is a bit of a liability in his own 18 yard box and suffering from high blood pressure every time for me he chases back into his own area, its palpitations and heart in mouth time, as he just isn’t a defender and can’t defend for toffee, again he’s only young and he’s still learning the game, but he’s 20 years old and has come from the Barca youth academy which is 2nd best in the world after our very own academy. Aggers must have heard this and Adama quickly stripped off his top, showing his prop forward physique and was unleashed at the Burnley back line, but in replacement for Rudy.
Now Burnley started playing games, Hendrick went down as if shot by a sniper from 3 miles away because a Boro player came within 6 feet off him, and then we had the ball in the back of the net but it was disallowed. Joey “I shouldn’t bet on football games but will do anyway and am still getting away with it because the FA keep moving my hearing date” Barton was laid prone on the edge of the Burnley 6 yard area, The Burnley physio ran on, quicker followed by the Boro Medical team with a stretcher, things were looking up, Barton was going to have to be replaced, but he staggered to his feet, gingerly walked behind the goal and across the front of the North stand then up the West stand touchline, to Sean Dyche as echoes of “Wan*er” rang out, after a pet talk from Sean, and a drink of water, he returned to the field as if nothing had happened, was this a blatant attempt at time wasting ??? We will never know but I’m pretty sure we all have the same opinion.
Next, the icing on the cake was to arrive, the lad that had hardly played before signing for us back in January after cutting short his loan with Burnley, was called forward. Could Patrick Bamford score the goal, to lift Boro and shove down the throat of Dyche? Aggers made an attacking switch, off came Bernardo and on came Paddy.
Straight away it was obvious that Patrick had a point to prove, getting involved in everything and running at defenders, or was this down to the fact that he was playing through the middle instead of out wide?
Then the moment came about, no not Alvaro’s magnificent scissor kick that we all thought had gone it except for a decent stop from Tom Heaton, but Bamford collected and controlled the ball, as he went past Keane he pulled/hacked him down because he was away from him and would have be 1 on 1 with Heaton. The Ref blew up, “It’s gotta be a red as he (Keane) was last man, in the confusion it looked like the Ref had booked Bamford for what only could have been diving (sorry, simulation)”, but no we had a free kick, but wait, Keane was the last man so that’s gotta be a Red then, none the less no.
The free kick raced wide and that was going to be it.
Out of the week of destiny we had secured only 2 points from a minimum of 7 that we ideally required.
Fans were still slagging off “that snake Ramirez” even though he wasn’t on the bench as he was injured, maybe though “The Snake” would have given us that something behind the front 2 we didn’t have.
So now we face Arsenal who are on a terrible run of form, their fans have been more vocal about “Arsene Out” than our own were about “AK out”, they have now lost 4 out of 5 games away from home so can we get something from this one ??? Well again in my opinion we have 2 chances, yes we win, or no they will hammer us putting 6 into the net.
But as is the case that I am optimistic we can still survive until it’s mathematically impossible, I am sure we can continue Arsenals dismal away run.
1 closing note though if "The Snake" scores the winner on Monday night in front of the camera’s and a full house, what are all the fans that boo him weekly (when picked) going to do ??? Will they be hypocritical and "Cheer and Celebrate" ???? Only they know the answer, for me whoever is wearing the shirt, with the club badge on it, I will cheer.