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marvin

Boro V Rotherham United (Postponed due to Covid 19 issues)

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The Boro v The Millers 26th December 2020

Kick Off: 15:00

Location: FORTRESS ERIMUS (aka The Riverside)

"Neil Warnock to the rescue!"

Will it or won't it? That is the question. Boro's Boxing Day Bonanza might be curtailed due to the Rotherham United team suffering from a bout of the old COVID-19. Their last match versus Derby County was cancelled 90 minutes before kick off, with Wayne Rooney's Rams not even allowed to exit the bus to stretch their legs before being turned away.

I'd held off on posting anything for this match, thinking that it was a cert to be cancelled. As time has passed, it looks like it might actually still go ahead.

So, this game, should it go ahead, sees the 36th league meeting of the two clubs. The first such occasion saw manager Bob Dennison freshly relegated Boro team to Rotherham for a 3-0 defeat early in the Second Division's 1954/55 season. Rotherham's visit to Awesome park for the return fixture saw the mighty Boro hammer the Miller's 5-1 in front of 12,320 more fans than there will be this time. 

Neil Warnock was no doubt our saviour last season. Without him we surely would've been relegated with a squad full of league one standard players, bought from league one teams with an amateur level manager who didn't appear to understand how the game of football worked. Warnock's appointment changed our destiny last season. He performed a miracle to keep us up and gave us a belief that actually, may be it wasn't due to the ability within the squad. This season we have seen vast improvements to the performances of players like Dijksteel, Bola, Fry, Johnson, Howson, Saville and Tavernier: All players who at some time or another last season, we all thought were not what we needed. The more optimistic amongst us did see the potential in some and refused to believe that others were really "that" bad. Fortunately so did Wizard Warnock, so with a few additions to last seasons team and a few of the old guard gone, we now find ourselves flirting with the play off places, poised for what could be an interesting make or break January transfer window (we can dream can't we, can't we?!?)

Rewind to February 2016 and Rotherham were the team whose distress signal Neil Warnock answered to become their third manager of the season. Warnock turned the tides in the remaining 16 fixtures of the season, going 11 unbeaten to avoid relegation by 9 points, finishing 20th in the table. Warnock left the club in the May having being unable to agree terms to extend his stay. Warnock stated that he wanted one more bash at the Championship and Joined Cardiff in the October. The rest, as they say, is history!

VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE:

A quick spy on the "Miller's Banter" site sees some of their fans questioning the legitimacy of the positive results that called off the Derby game. Suggesting that the wording of the official FA statement calling off the game was somehow different to other cases and that the Miller's might end up being investigated. Though one fan wasn't convinced: "I'm not sure we could botch/fake a positive COVID test."  

A slightly paranoid bunch some of these Millers... On the rotherhamrnited-mad forum, the Miller's fans paint a similarly down beat picture. They're pretty certain that they'll end up with a points deduction and a fine for the weekends antics. 

 

FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS:

Our lord and saviour: Neil Warnock... Who cares who else there is!?! NEIL FRIKKIN' WARNOCK

TALKING POINTS:

Did any of the Rotherham players or staff even have COVID-19 or were they just scared of Rooney's Rams?

Will the game even go ahead or will the Millers pretend to get COVID-19 again?

Shall we give Roberts a go in goal? (He doesn't look like getting a game out field and Betinelli looks a bit dodgy)

Will we make it 5 wins in a row at home?

What did you ask for, for Christmas?

 

 

 

   

 

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Got a feeling it's going to be called off, but I really hope not. I'm not a fan of games in hand and it's game we absolutely should be winning too.

I don't want that momentum halted.

Worst comes to worst and I'll just suffer through my hangover whilst watching the Rangers match on Sky One, followed by the Villa match on BBC One.

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I think Rotherham had another player test positive today but i believe decision will be made tomorrow about if it goes ahead.

i actually would play Roberts and give Tav a rest. Reason being i think Rotherham might come and defend in numbers and sit fairly deep so Roberts ability to dribble in tight situations to create an opening might be more suited than the more direct style of Tav or Watmore. 
 

Betti

dijksteel fry paddy bola

wing morsy sav

Roberts britt Marv

Subs: Stoj, Spence Wood Coulson Folarin, Watmore Browne Tav Akpom

hopefully game goes ahead and we win.

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1. Did any of the Rotherham players or staff even have COVID-19 or were they just scared of Rooney's Rams?

I find it hard to imagine anyone being scared of Derby, though faking a positive Covid result is a great way to get our of something you don't fancy. "Sorry, dear, I can't change that lightbulb - I've just been diagnosed as positive. Can it wait ten days?"

2. Will the game even go ahead or will the Millers pretend to get COVID-19 again?

I hope it does. We want to build on the  positive momentum we've amassed, even though a postponement would give the players a good break before our next match, after a long series of two-game weeks.

3. Shall we give Roberts a go in goal? (He doesn't look like getting a game out field and Betinelli looks a bit dodgy)

Could he do much worse than Bettinelli in terms of dominating the box and catching crosses? Sadly, I think Paddy's time is up here - another hot prospect we've barely had a chance to witness in action.

4. Will we make it 5 wins in a row at home?

I think we will if the game goes ahead, yes. We're in form, and so much of football is about confidence. Winning becomes a habit, just like losing, and with the greatest of respect to Rotherham, there's nothing to fear in their squad.

5. What did you ask for, for Christmas?

What I actually asked for wouldn't get past the swear filter on here, so let's say world peace. And a giant bar of Whole Nut.

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The lack of clarity coming out of Rotherham seems strange given that other clubs have called off fixtures. I would have thought that its a fairly straightforward decision especially considering their last game being postponed. I'm wondering if there is something going on behind the scenes and the EFL are encouraging or pressuring them to put out a team?

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The only thing I saw regarding the EFL and them was that the EFL wanted to investigate how it has broke out into such a potential problem.

I mean, I find it odd that we've had players like Wood just recently who have had the virus, Warnock got it, Fry got it very early on and yet we've never come close to calling a game off. Which leads me to believe our way of handling it is working and we're completely sticking by regulations. The way the Rotherham game got called off the other day makes me think that they think it could be worse than just the odd person, it's being referred to as an outbreak as a number of people are reportedly unwell so the EFL are gonna want to investigate and see how it came to that, maybe Rotherham aren't sticking by it as much? Or that could be a very harsh way of looking at it given how easily it seems to spread even by those who do take care to avoid it.

The results so far are that another player turned up positive from tests ran on Saturday. And they ran some more tests today, a decision (according to a local Rotherham paper) is expected tomorrow as to whether they call the Boxing Day game and their derby with Barnsley off too. I'd guess if nobody else has it and the EFL are satisfied they've handled it properly, they'll allow the game to go ahead.

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Actually, reading this bit from Paul Lambert is very interesting in light of the Rotherham outbreak too. I wasn't aware but Ipswich have had one too and Lambert is shining the spotlight on the EFL, saying that EFL testing capabilities have been essentially diabolical. Comparing it to Bundesliga 3, the equivalent league to Ipswich in Germany, EFL clubs have been tested about a tenth the number of times according to him. That's absolutely crazy.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55413489

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Ah pants. I’ll get the Sheff Wed MDT up on Boxing Day when we know the other results of the day. Unless people want it up sooner?

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10 hours ago, wilsoncgp said:

Actually, reading this bit from Paul Lambert is very interesting in light of the Rotherham outbreak too. I wasn't aware but Ipswich have had one too and Lambert is shining the spotlight on the EFL, saying that EFL testing capabilities have been essentially diabolical. Comparing it to Bundesliga 3, the equivalent league to Ipswich in Germany, EFL clubs have been tested about a tenth the number of times according to him. That's absolutely crazy.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55413489

But ultimately testing doesn't prevent the spread of the virus...people behaving responsibly does.

The majority of EFL clubs appear to have done okay, so far. So the question has to be - why haven't those affected clubs been managing their players better (or why haven't the players themselves been acting more responsibly)?

Rotherham is (I'm guessing) one of the areas currently under Tier 3 restrictions, so the virus is obviously more prevalent there anyway, but Ipswich is in a Tier 2 area, so you have to question why they've had an outbreak there.

Boro are Tier 3, but we've managed to contain it pretty well so far, with only the manager testing positive and one player having to self-isolate due to their girlfriend also testing positive. If we can do it, why can't other clubs?

 

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11 minutes ago, marvin said:

Ah pants. I’ll get the Sheff Wed MDT up on Boxing Day when we know the other results of the day. Unless people want it up sooner?

Boxing Day sounds plenty early to me.

@Smogzilla supppose we can rub our hands with glee at the prospect of giving Wednesday a good thumping?

 

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I don’t think it’s a bad thing for the players to get Christmas Day and Boxing Day off, it’ll be good for their spirits and give them a well deserved rest and time with their families.
 

I’m sure NW will be pleased. 

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