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Boro Badger

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  1. Boro Pulisball XI ------------------ Randolph ------------------ -- Shotton --- Fry --- Ayala --- Gibson -- ------------------- Clayton -------------------- --------- Leadbitter ------ Howson --------- --- Downing ------------ Assombalonga --- ------------------- Gestede --------------
  2. Maybe as sport director :-P Maybe at Sports Direct
  3. Certainly an interesting point. Is the group good enough? Almost everyone thought so before the season started, but that feeling has just evaporated. Which team would we rather have? Promotion Winners 2015-2016 --------------------- Dimi --------------------- -- Nsue --- Ayala --- Gibson -- Friend -- --------- Leadbitter ------ Clayton -------- ----- Stuani ---- Ramirez --- Adomah ---- ------------------- Nugent ------------------- Mid-table Obscurity 2017-2018 ------------------ Randolph ------------------ -- Christie --- Ayala --- Gibson -- Fabio -- --------- Leadbitter ------ Howson --------- --- Downing --- Bamford -- Braithwaite --- -------------- Assombalonga --------------
  4. I'm not overly into stats, but aren't they quite straightforward here? In the league, Christie has 4 assists in 21 appearances and Fabio has 1 in 16. That one assist from Fabio was from the centre of the field, with his right foot. He chipped it over a poor Birmingham defence for Assombalonga to score. I think we can all agree Fabio's left foot is quite poor. This does mean he wastes chances in the final third when he's played in behind. His crosses usually don't beat the first man. He also passes backwards/inside much more than Christie, whereas Cyrus the virus drives us forward whenever he can. This lack of an option on the left means less space/options for everyone, making us easier to defend against. It's a game of opinions, but as much as Fabio battles well I just don't think he's the right fit for our current squad of narrow forwards. I'd like to see him stay, as he's good cover for both sides, but I'd love to see us go after an exciting player in this position in January as one of our top priorities. I realise I might be in the minority on that, but that's how I see it!
  5. This season Friend reminds me of a cat trying to catch a laser. Plenty of effort but just can't quite ever get there. I don't think Friend or Fabio are good enough going forward with the system we're trying to play. Funny how we all love and watch the Boro and all think different things.
  6. That "effective" right footed full back assists and scores less often per match than the right footed left back. Interesting. That is interesting Humpty - as you're incorrect unfortuantely! Christie has the most assists in the entire team with 3 (0.15 assists per game). Fabio has 1 assist (0.067 assists per game). They both have a goal each. Okay cool, thought no one was going to say anything there for a minute. He can't even claim to be talking historically either because Christie has as many assists this season as Fabio has in his entire career. According to TransferMarkt Fabio 16 games played. 2 Goals (1 goal every 8 games) and 1 assist (1 assist every 16 games) Christie 20 games played. 1 Goal (1 goal every 20 games) 2 assists (1 assist every 10 games) Humpty it's hard to debate with you when you're quoting incorrect stats :) You don't even need stats to see that whoever plays on the left of the attack isn't helped by Fabio - he gets into difficultly when using his left foot for crossing or shooting, so he stays back or comes inside. It's one of the reasons Downing is playing so well on the right, as Christie's movement gives him more options and time on the ball. I'm excited by our front four (Bamford/Braithwaite/Downing/Assombalonga) but we are clearly narrow on the left hand side. Natural width from a full back on the left would create more space across the entire front line and make us much harder to defend against. I get that we all have different priorities for reinforcements, but for me it's easier and more cost effective to recruit a more effective attacking left back rather than live with our imbalance and try and pin our hopes on a new elusive/enigmatic #10.
  7. When I watch us it's like we're only using two third of the pitch to attack, the right and the centre. If we use the left as effectively as the right, it will create more space in the centre. Just watch when Downing has the ball on the right - because of the threat of Christie overlapping, he has more time and more options on the ball. He can pick an accurate forward pass instead of playing sideways/backwards. You can see how Downing's performances have improved from being on that side being supported by Christie. Everything from the left is coming inside and/or slow play. It's really predictable, easy to defend against and congests the space for our attacks. It's not something you'd necessarily spot unless you know what it's like to pick the ball up and realise you have no-one to pass to other than a sideways/backwards ball or give the ball away trying to pick out the #9 surrounded by defenders. It's a really hard position to play if you don't have that outlet on the overlap. It gives you 5 yards more space to play in. That "effective" right footed full back assists and scores less often per match than the right footed left back. Interesting. That is interesting Humpty - as you're incorrect unfortuantely! Christie has the most assists in the entire team with 3 (0.15 assists per game). Fabio has 1 assist (0.067 assists per game). They both have a goal each. Okay cool, thought no one was going to say anything there for a minute. He can't even claim to be talking historically either because Christie has as many assists this season as Fabio has in his entire career. Another interesting stat is that Cyrus the Virus has been involved in 15% of our goals this season.
  8. When I watch us it's like we're only using two third of the pitch to attack, the right and the centre. If we use the left as effectively as the right, it will create more space in the centre. Just watch when Downing has the ball on the right - because of the threat of Christie overlapping, he has more time and more options on the ball. He can pick an accurate forward pass instead of playing sideways/backwards. You can see how Downing's performances have improved from being on that side being supported by Christie. Everything from the left is coming inside and/or slow play. It's really predictable, easy to defend against and congests the space for our attacks. It's not something you'd necessarily spot unless you know what it's like to pick the ball up and realise you have no-one to pass to other than a sideways/backwards ball or give the ball away trying to pick out the #9 surrounded by defenders. It's a really hard position to play if you don't have that outlet on the overlap. It gives you 5 yards more space to play in. That "effective" right footed full back assists and scores less often per match than the right footed left back. Interesting. That is interesting Humpty - as you're incorrect unfortuantely! Christie has the most assists in the entire team with 3 (0.15 assists per game). Fabio has 1 assist (0.067 assists per game). They both have a goal each.
  9. When I watch us it's like we're only using two third of the pitch to attack, the right and the centre. If we use the left as effectively as the right, it will create more space in the centre. Just watch when Downing has the ball on the right - because of the threat of Christie overlapping, he has more time and more options on the ball. He can pick an accurate forward pass instead of playing sideways/backwards. You can see how Downing's performances have improved from being on that side being supported by Christie. Everything from the left is coming inside and/or slow play. It's really predictable, easy to defend against and congests the space for our attacks. It's not something you'd necessarily spot unless you know what it's like to pick the ball up and realise you have no-one to pass to other than a sideways/backwards ball or give the ball away trying to pick out the #9 surrounded by defenders. It's a really hard position to play if you don't have that outlet on the overlap. It gives you 5 yards more space to play in.
  10. I couldn't disagree more with you more! But then it's a game of opinions... We're set up to play attacking full backs. Christie overlaps effectively on the right, which helps Downing massively. Fabio doesn't give us that natural width on the left. With a naturally left footed attacking left back, a narrow revolving Braithwaite/Bamford/Downing behind Assombalonga would be so much more effective. For me that's playing to the strengths of our squad, so we don't need to pin our hopes on a new elusive #10 or new wingers arriving in January. I realise not everyone agrees that a left back is a priority, it's just my opinion based on the system/players that we currently have.
  11. Just a couple of thoughts, that seem to run against the grain. I'm not convinced we need a 'true #10'. If Braithwaite, Bamford and Downing are all interchanging behind Assombalonga we have more than enough threat and link up play to score 2-3 goals against any opposition in the league. #10s are like gold dust. Even Man Utd are struggling to find one. Even if we do get lucky, once the #10 gets injured or suspended we're back to square one. I'd rather strengthen elsewhere and build a team based on a system, not one player who needs a second chance or who we're loaning. For the left full back position, yes, Fabio played well on Saturday, but he doesn't take advantage of good positions in the final third. A couple of examples from Saturday: - In the first half, Downing played a diagonal through ball to him and he had a decent chance to hit the target from 6 yards, but he spooned the left footed shot weakly out for a goal kick. - In the second half, when Braithwaite played Fabio down the left on the overlap, he had so much time, but his cross from his left foot was weak and hit the first man. With our system, these are critical moments in matches, so I think it's not something to overlook. It's not like Friend is any better in these positions with his natural left foot either! If we're going to play with attacking full backs, I think we do need a naturally left footed left full back who's at least as effective going forward as Christie. Otherwise we shouldn't be playing this way. With a quality attacking left back, it would be very hard to defend against us, as having a threat on both sides, plus through the middle is so much more difficult than just the middle and the right.
  12. Dear Santa, I'd like to talk to you about the Boro and what I'd like for Christmas (or at least in the January sales). I think we'll be alright like, if we go with this team everytime: ------------------ Randolph ------------------ -- Christie --- Fry --- Gibson -- NEW -- --------- Leadbitter ------ Howson --------- --- Downing --- Bamford -- Braithwaite --- -------------- Assombalonga -------------- But with no great natural wide left player we're absolutely desperate for a quality left back. (Santa, please tell other Boro fans sitting on your knee in the Cleveland Santa to stop hoping Gorgeous George will come good again. He's 30 now and he's lost his athleticism which, I'm sure you know, is what his game was based on). Fabio's alright, but he likes to cut inside too much. Which everyone wants to do on that left side. I'd throw all our Christmas wishes into that one quality new left back. It could really make the difference to balancing out the side. (Please no more new average stocking filler players anywhere, we have decent cover already). And Santa, I'd rather develop Fry than have another average centre back. (Please tell Boro fans to stop suggesting Aden Flint, why would he ever leave promotion chasing Bristol for mid-table Middlesbrough? It's like Harry Maguire - we missed our chance let's move on). Cheers Santa, wear those Boro colours with pride. UTB
  13. Christie has been one of our best signings, the best right back we've had in years. How many of these have you had! Hiccup! Christie is great going forward but he's all over the shop defensively. It's not the first position I'd strengthen but if we found someone who could do both I wouldn't be gutted. As Humpty and RedRocket have said, I think it's more the central midfielders not covering when Cyrus the Virus does get forward. Under Karanka, Clayton or Leadbitter would always slot in to protect which would help Christie massively. For me, the Christie/Downing combination has been one of the few highlights of the season. There's always a 'better player' but for me we're not going to do better than Christie for less than £5M. Priorities for me would be a centre back and a left back. Fabio's good cover for both positions, but doesn't give us that natural left sided option going forward.
  14. Christie has been one of our best signings, the best right back we've had in years. How many of these have you had!
  15. There's no way Burnley would sign players over Dyche's head (Downing/Rhodes). So you could say Gibson never backed Karanka 100%, even before any dressing room trouble started. Having said that, I think it was easier for Burnley to back Dyche. They both know how to organise and motivate a team, but Dyche is a far better communicator than Karanka. I'd love to see Karanka in La Liga, to see if his failings was more due to the language barrier/culture clash rather than his management style. Again, I think the important of a good assistant was overlooked by the club. Karanka could have been greatly helped by a more open and communicative assistant. It's a shame he didn't have that, because combining Karanka tactics with our current forward line and you'd be confident of a top 2 finish. I think that's a good question to ask - why do we overlook the importance of assistant managers here at Boro? Definitely a weak point of ours.
  16. As bleak as it sounds, the only thing that will could help to save Monk long term will be if he stumbles on some kind of line-up/formation that works and we win 3-0/4-0. If we scramble through another narrow win, it's not going to change our prospects for the season. If we lose, I don't think Monk will get the sack just yet, but you'd think Gibson will start making plans for a short term/long term replacement. Looking forward to Christie/Downing supplying Britt and hopefully Gestede too. If both the big men start we could cause them a few problems. Randolph could be busy with their direct style and their diagonal balls testing our full backs.
  17. We’ve just had a period where we won 4 games in 5. And before that 3 wins and 2 draws in 5 games. Aren’t these counted as runs You're right, a 'run' is subjective, but for me for a run to result in anything positive promotion-wise it's going to have to be like: Reading 2011–12 (won 17 of 23 games in the second half of the season) Burnley 2015-16 (unbeaten in the league after 28th December) Boro 2015-16 (conceded 31 goals, unbeaten in last 10, lost 9 all season - we've already lost 7 this season) And I don't think any of us can see a run like that happening under Monk. So far our only 'runs' come when we're playing sides from the bottom 6 in quick succession. Even in those runs (if you can call them that), we never played well for more than 30 minutes here and there. Unfortunately for us, even if we did make the play-offs, we wouldn't play the bottom 6!
  18. I am one of the most optimistic and positive Boro fans, but even for me, there's no point hoping that 'we're going to go on a run'. It's not going to happen under Monk. Even in his 'good times' at Leeds, they had the same consistency problems, as Monk made random changes leading to random results. We went on a run in previous seasons under Karanka because we had excellent shape and discipline. We got found out once teams figured how to stop us scoring, but how much better we would have been under Karanka if we'd had the power and pace of Britt (instead of Kike). Forgive the wording, but you'd think we'd have 'smashed' the league... Monk has shown he was out of his depth at Swansea and at Leeds (once his assistant left) and now at Boro. He'll struggle to get a decent offer anywhere when he finally gets the boot - he'll be a grumpy Sky Sports pundit for occasional Championship matches. I'll support the team of course - I'm looking forward to more goals from Britt and watching Christie/Downing on the right, good saves from Randolph, but it is quite sad and painful to watch Gibson/Friend/Clayton struggle for form and generally decline under our arrogant clueless manager. We hired the wrong manager, it's not the end of the world. It won't last forever. We still have a great squad and good times are round the corner once Gibson does the right thing. UTB.
  19. I agree with some of the comments that this season is a write-off already. It's hard to work up any excitement whatsoever for this David Brent style of football management. We're only going backwards under Monk. I think we can all agree that the perfect candidate for the next 2-3 seasons either isn't available now or is yet to be discovered. I'd suggest an interim manager until the end of the season, with the goal being to sneak us into the play-offs and have a fair crack at it. At this point I would take almost anyone over Monk. Even the thought of Tony Mowbray returning or even (gasp) Ian Holloway (shoot me now) on a 6 month contract would be more interesting/entertaining than Monk. Basically, anyone who can motivate players into playing any kind of organised or passionate football would be an improvement. To ask a slightly different question, who's the worst manager you'd still take over Monk until the end of the season?
  20. They've seen his 3 year contract - sacking is very expensive! Gibbo's style is to let things get so bad the manager walks away without compensation (e.g. Strachan).
  21. Not that I disagree with the headlines, but clearly a bit of revenge in this from the Gazette. All three main journalists letting rip at the same time, all name checked on the back page. In previous years they'd have 'calmed the storm', but they're showing the club what happens when they don't 'work together'. Far better this way though, rather than a bunch of yes men papering over the cracks.
  22. Agree with Borodane and Humpty. ------------------ Randolph ------------------ -- Christie -- Fryala --- Gibson -- Fabio -- --------- Leadbitter ------ Howson --------- --- Downing --- Traore -- Braithwaite --- -------------- Assombalonga -------------- If anyone of the supporting 3 are not playing well after 45-60 mins, replace them with Bamford (not Fletcher). We have an embarrassingly good squad for where we are in the league. Hopefully the Boro will surprise us.
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