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starbuy

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  1. I'm sad and disappointed it didn't work out for Karanka. He'll go on to have a good career as a manager but I think he needs to step back and learn a bit from this experience. We don't really know what's been going on behind the scenes but Agnew isn't the man for me and we'd be certainly relegated. I hope we have a solid and sensible person in mind. If it's true that this decision was made weeks ago then I hope that person is already pretty much agreed.
  2. I think we have to think back to the fact that in the Championship we had one of the best squads in the division and the likes of Bamford, Tomlin and Adomah were a*** the best attacking players. We didn't play that much differently to the way we play right now, but because we had the better players overall, we had more of the ball and we were able to create chances. The difference now is that we no longer have the better players, spend a lot more of our time pushed back into our own half, so our style of play, which was never attacking in the first place, means we create even less now and can't rely on individuals being better than the opposition. We also lack mobility up front, which used to allow us to defend from the front. Part of our game last season saw the likes of Nugent and Rhodes constantly pressing the opposition and not allowing them to comfortably play out from the back, meaning we regained possession by forcing them to play quickly. Adomah constantly pressed. Ramirez, when up for it, did the same. Now, we have a striker who only runs and presses the opposition when he feels like (yes perhaps more intelligently but nevertheless different to last season), while Adama only runs when he has the ball. Ramirez has been missing for months now, which means we no longer defend from the front, no longer press enough and are constantly pushed back into our own half by teams who have more possession than us. Quite often the only player to truly press the opposition in their own half if de Roon. I think it is this reason that Karanka had to switch away from our favoured formation with Ramirez at number 10, because without enough pressing and mobility up front, the battle is immediately fought in the midfield area instead. Without a change in philosophical approach, I don't think Karanka CAN get the best out of our attacking players in the "only" way we know how to play, which is why we're going down with a whimper.
  3. Someone's got that Friday feeling! :P I know! Imagine if I'd typed this up on a Monday! :D
  4. I have us bottom on 27 points going down with Swansea and Sunderland, with Palace surviving in 17th position on 28 points. It's going to be that tight! I honestly can't see where our goals are going to come from. We've got no momentum, no consistency and no clue in the final 3rd. We don't defend from the front any more, our lone striker spends much of his time stood on the half way line and I can only see us grinding out a few draws. We don't play with any intensity, never on the front foot. We pass the ball nicely at times in our own half but seem to get a nose bleed as soon as we get close to the opposition box, and I don't recall the last time we had a clear cut chance in front of goal in the league. Unless something changes, I'm afraid I agree with most pundits that we're sleepwalking into relegation. I really hope I'm wrong but I just don't see the first choice 11 getting us through this.
  5. Spot on Humpty, my cousin is a West Ham supporter and the West Ham fans were saying how well the Boro crowd got behind the team, Karanka is talking ***. Those who are saying Boro fans are being over sensitive should look at the players if Attack, Attack, Attack is all it takes to upset them Jesus. Except that this may well be the issue. If the players felt pressured by that chant, which helped them play that way then Karanka is trying to protect his players by deflecting the blame away from them. I don't think it will work and I also feel in agreement that it may have had something to do with sticking a big tall lump up front that helped the players go long. As for the tactical reasons why they may have been forced to go long, what frustrated me most was that we had Traore dropping deep to pick up the ball constantly and for those last 10 minutes they almost all ignored him and kicked it over his head. I didn't like the tactics in those last 10 minutes, the tension from the crowd suggested they didn't like the tactics in those minutes either. Maybe the intention from the crowd was to be positive. Clearly plenty of people feel the atmosphere was great and there was no tension. Differences of opinion. Not all 30,000 people there are going to agree, but in my opinion the tension and frustration was there. Either way, though, the players need to live with it and follow their instructions.
  6. Having read Karanka's latest comments on the issue, I'm inclined to agree with him. The atmosphere wasn't "awful" in the usual sense. However, I suspected what he was doing with those comments was protecting his players and borne of frustration at seeing his players so distraught. I watched us play in a certain way for 80 minutes and then stop playing that way. I heard the fans chanting and also felt the frustration in the crowd - it wasn't awful but it was there. Based on his latest comments, so too did the players and there has obviously been dressing room talks that allude to the atmosphere or influence of the crowd and the pressure the players feel. Personally, I think we should be happy because it shows that the players care and want to give the crowd success. It doesn't matter how professional you are, the crowd can always influence you. We've discussed this years ago when our crowd was tetchy, nervous and you could see that it translated to the players. Whether you agree with the atmosphere or not, it seems apparent that it affected the players and Karanka is trying to protect them from that. Again, you can argue that perhaps his frustration also comes from the fact that the players allowed themselves to be influenced by it, but I don't blame him for wanting to stand up for them. I'd rather have a manager that stands up for what he believes is best for the team rather than not saying anything for fear of upsetting some of the 30,000 crowd. I'd also love for that manager to hire an attacking coach who can help him turn our controlled possession into actual chances created too though! :-)
  7. Exactly. If I had to watch Forshaw put another corner straight onto Andy Carroll's head on Saturday I'd have screamed myself ho***. Funnily enough this is one of my biggest frustrations too. Against Liverpool I lost count at around 6 set pieces that Traore won in and around the box (including corners) and yet not one of those set pieces caused Liverpool any problems. A proper set piece specialist would be most beneficial. I once thought Downing could have been that for us but his delivery isn't what it was these days. Was it one of the recent games (West Ham) when I watched him take a set piece and loft it over everyone's head and straight out of play?
  8. The last thing we need is the club to make any statement in support of the manager, because then everyone will think he is definitely on the way out. Haha, true. Then we're obviously in trouble!! Damned if we do, damned if we don't. Let's hope the majority of these players don't read social media. Maybe Jese is the most obvious since he doesn't speak English anyway! ;)
  9. The real question is how much of an effect will the past few days of speculation have on players deciding to join us or not? From an outsiders perspective, we've got a manager who allegedly spits his dummy out and walks out when the going gets tough, fans who put too much pressure on the players, unhappy players who want to leave, players in the squad who have been treated really badly and what seems like a manager on his last legs. I say all of this allegedly because most of it is hearsay but has caused enough media traffic to see any potential signing question whether this is a place to be right now. If Bojan is interested in coming to play for Karanka and then reads that Karanka may be on his way out, who would blame him for having second thoughts? There hasn't been much coming out of the club to show any signs of unity and for me it needs to be quickly nipped in the bud and faith in Karanka being here for the long term restored.
  10. It's a fair comment and I agreed with your opinion on Friend on twitter too. De Roon has really come into his own and is currently first choice CM for me. Agreed here too, in fact I said on here yesterday that if I were to replace any of the midfielders at the moment it'd be Forshaw. Clayton is doing his job and doing it reasonably well, De Roons pressing from that kind of number 10 position is really good and often forces mistakes from teams. Forshaw is a bit too neat and tidy for me at the moment, yes he has fantastic passing accuracy and makes a lot of them but how many actually create a chance or even put us in a good position to make a chance? I'm inclined to agree. Forshaw has been one of our best performers this season up until the last few games, where I feel he's failing to impress as much. It may be down to the way we're playing but I think it's time for a rest of Forshaw. The problem is we've only got like for like. The only player to replace him, in the current formation, is Leadbitter who isn't up to much more than Forshaw either. For those players to be successful in that midfield they need both movement in front of them (while most of our forwards are static) and players willing to come and take the ball off them and carry further. Let's hope we get some of that in this transfer window!
  11. I think 3-5-2 was how we should have turned round the Charlton game. Both our fullbacks were high up the pitch because Charlton didn't commit their wingers forward at all. They relied on the pace of their front 2 to cause us problems. With our fullbacks so high up the pitch it was often 2 v 2, while the gaps we'd like to exploit weren't there because they had 2 banks of 4 sitting deep. Had we switched to 3 centre backs, with wing backs providing the width we could have played 2 up front, Ramirez in a free role behind and still kept the 2 central midfielders. I think this would have nullified the Charlton threat while providing us with more power up front to force a mistake and create better chances. I happen to like the formation we do play in general because it can adapt and switch depending on the current situation. But to do this it depends on the players keeping up the energy and intensity required. I definitely agree that we should have a plan B. I can't think of a game where we've visibly switched it round and made a difference.
  12. starbuy

    Karanka staying!

    I'm not one to be unnecessarily negative but I think there's one key aspect that needs to be faultless from now on for us to get promoted. We can't afford to carry any more players. In every single game from now on we absolutely must get 100% commitment on the pitch from every single player. I'll be there supporting the team as always, but recent performances have left a sour taste. I can accept that things going on can affect people's performance, but from now on it absolutely has to be 100% drive and commitment from every single player. Anything less and we won't stand a chance - we've blown any luxury of being allowed to lose games now - they've all gone. Every single game is a must win, because believe me when I say that if we don't go up because of 3 points lost at Charlton in the most pathetic performance since Yakubu spat his dummy out then the whole situation will have been the worst thing to happen at the Boro since the 3 point debacle. I stand by Karanka's belief that if this team plays with the intensity that he wants, very few will be able to stop us. Any player who isn't capable of that shouldn't be playing and if they play and don't put in that effort then I really hope they are the first to be out the door regardless of where we play next season. Everything that has been going right for the club, the long term strategy, bringing the fans back, bringing the belief back, all of that is in jeopardy now. All that hard work will be undone if we don't get promoted. There are likely to be multiple parties in the wrong over this but as long as they now draw a line under it all and perform, it might just be okay. On our side, the fans, I'd like to see us get behind the team 100%. That means no groaning when a player misses, no groaning when someone makes a mistake. This Friday especially, that whole stadium needs to show the players exactly what this club is about, exactly what they should be fighting for on the pitch, exactly who they represent when they pull on that shirt, and how much we want them to succeed.
  13. Absolutely disgusted right now. Everything Karanka has been blasting his players for was yet again evident today. No togetherness. No passion. No desire. No fight. No show. How many players looked like they weren't even quality enough for league 1 nevermind the Championship? Where was the leadership? Leadbitter poor, Downing anonymous, Rhodes isolated. Fry in too deep. Whatever is wrong within the club is clearly not just down to Karanka. I think we can kiss goodbye to promotion because this team doesn't have the bottle.
  14. starbuy

    Karanka staying!

    Must say as an AK fan that I can't see how you can wipe this under the carpet as if nothings happened .... reluctantly and with regret there can only be one outcome ... thank you AK I think there can be two outcomes. Steve Gibson must decide between manager or player power. If he trusts his manager, then he tells him to get back in and tell the troublesome players who aren't up for it to go home and they can leave at the end of the season. If he doesn't, and he feels that Karanka has overstepped the mark and is no longer the right person for the club, then he let's him go and then decides if any of the players were out of order and gets rid of them too.
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