A win is a win is a win as they say and Boro just scrapped over the line in front of the Sky cameras on Saturday evening.
Garry Monk saying after, the first half is what we wanted and the lack of belief in the core of the side caused the team to sit back and nearly gifting a last minute equaliser.
Thankfully the linesman had his Weetabix and made the right call.
If Bamford, Gestede and Assambalogna stole the show in the first half there is no doubt that Lewis Bakers cameo in the second half was the highlight. While he is 6ft in height so physical comparisons with the great no 10 are off. He plays with that same flair and abandon for the game. In the brief 23 minute appearance he showed composure beyond his years which led to high praise for the Luton has born Chelsea player.
Always in control of the ball, always looking to go forward, if Lewis Baker is not in the running for a position on the team of the year I will be amazed.
He carries the potential to change games, score from midfield and raise the game and creativity of others around them similar to the one and only Juninho.
He has already been successful in his short career, winning the Toulon Tournament with England following on from winning the Dutch Cup with Vitesse and has experience with MK Dons in League One.
Sounds like the full package right.RIGHT!
Best position – Seems to me Garry likes the three up top – two wide and one in the middle supported by three centre midfielders. Clayton as the holding with Howson and Baker either side behind three of the six selected upfront (Gestede, Braithwaite, Bamford, Assambalonga, Fletcher, and Traore).
From here Baker has the legs to get up and back but working within the three in the middle could see him to best effect. Given the freedom his talent deserves will allow him pick passes and generally attack in the same vein as Dele Alli.
In the two years he played in Holland he contributed 15 goals from centre midfield and 7 assists. That is a strike rate of 35% per goal involvement. From a short highlights package on YouTube, long range shooting, passing and quality set piece delivery are key attributes.
Now I know we have been burnt before signing players who have performed well in Erdevise, but unlike Alfonso Alves who in truth always looked a bit suspect. If Baker does not hit the heights expected like Jose said it will be my fault!
We should see more of him on Tuesday night against Burton where the manager will be looking for a more complete performance from the whole team.
I was off with my score line over the weekend but I won’t care as long as we keep winning.
Against this Burton side who have had a rocky win, it should be a comfortable Tuesday evening. Prediction – Boro 3 – 0