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Luton vs Boro 1-1 (Watmore)


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Scene 1: Int (Day).

[Neil Warnock is lay on a velvet chaise in a counsellor’s office. Beyond a desk with a miniature cactus on it, a counsellor is slumped in a leather chair, twiddling a biro between her fingers]

WARNOCK: …and when she said “just this once”, it was the happiest night of my life.

COUNSELLOR: Well, that’s good to know. Anyway, we were discussing football.

WARNOCK: Do we have to? It brings me out in hives. I never used to be anxious before I got the Boro job, but now when a decision goes against us, one of my eyes rotates in its socket. It’s like it’s looking for the exit. Fighter pilots can do that, you know.

COUNSELLOR: Rotate one eye, or look for the exit?

WARNOCK [not listening]: I lie awake at night wondering whether I can convert Paddy McNair into a striker, cos I’ve had to play him everywhere else and we have roughly half a striker at the club right now. I wake up at 4am in a cold sweat at the thought of going onto the OneBoro website and seeing what they’ve written about me. And each other, for that matter. I need to take propranolol to be able to take propranolol these days.

COUNSELLOR [tapping pen on desk irritably]: And why do you think managing Middlesbrough has made you so anxious?

WARNOCK: Can I be honest?

COUNSELLOR [slight sigh]: That’s why we’re here, to help you work out why you’re so unhappy in your dream job.

WARNOCK: It’s my predecessors. They’ve absolutely screwed me. The three people who had my job before me have completely f**ked everything up for me. Especially that little snake Monk. I told you about the dream I had, didn’t I?

COUNSELLOR: Yes, I remember. [looks at notes] You said he was like a cross between a reptile and a middle-aged Milky Bar Kid, but instead of making the kids happy, he makes them all cry. And then runs off with an eight-figure settlement and tells everyone else how to do their jobs from a TV studio.

WARNOCK: Yep, that’s him. Him, the lizard king and the world’s stupidest biped. Between them, they’ve left me with strikers who can’t strike, defenders who can’t defend and playmakers who don’t make the play. I actually had to tell two of the lads not to come back the other week. They were supposed to be in an ice bath, and I found them playing Kerplunk in a conference room. I told them they weren’t trying hard enough and they told me to sod off back to Rotherham.

COUNSELLOR: And how does that make you feel?

WARNOCK: Anxious! And depressed. Cos when I try to make things better, it just gets worse. [Starts picking at his cuticles] I brought in this goalkeeper, right. Nice lad, polishes his Astra on a Sunday and doesn’t post dic pics on Instagram. Anyway, turns out he couldn’t catch COVID. The ball comes into the penalty box and it’s like magnets in his shoes pin him to the goal line. I haven’t seen anyone struggling to command a box since that night I was just telling you about. Do you know the next morning when I lifted the quilt…

COUNSELLOR [talking over him]: So what are you going to do about this goalkeeper?

WARNOCK: Send the bugger back. I’ve already bought him a standard class ticket, one way, and I’ll give him a tenner for a sandwich at the station. Worst mistake I ever made. Apart from leaving Rotherham. Honestly, my judgement's lapsed since I got this job. When I first came to save the club, it was all great – winning every away game and funny memes of me on TikTok. Nowadays, the fans act like I’m Paul bloody Jewell. Eight promotions, I’ve had. Eight! And people think it comes easy. They don’t realise I spend hours a week on the Etch-A-Sketch, coming up with new ways to get the ball as far up the pitch as possible. Cos you can’t concede if the ball’s in their goalie’s hands, can you? And I’ll tell you another thing…are you asleep?

[Counsellor has nodded off. Scene ends]

 

Match details:

It’s a 3pm kick-off on Saturday, at one of football’s last remaining old-school grounds, Kenilworth Road.

 

Form guide:

With the pressure of being expected to play well lifted off our rag-tag bag of wantaways and yoot, Boro have won two on the spin for the first time since mid-March. As for Luton, they’ve been up and down – beating Bristol City and Watford recently after losing to Derby and Barnsley.

 

View from the other side:

No threads as yet on the Luton Outlaws website, but I will post one if it appears.

 

Questions for the audience:

1.       Who makes your starting XI?

2.       Are we seeing a golden generation of young Academy players emerging, or do they just look good because the senior players have underperformed this season?

3.       Which team would you like to see promoted through the play-offs?

4.       If fans are allowed to attend the Riverside again in August, will you be there?

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Scene 1: Int (Day). [Neil Warnock is lay on a velvet chaise in a counsellor’s office. Beyond a desk with a miniature cactus on it, a counsellor is slumped in a leather chair, twiddling a biro bet

WooHoo it’s gameday 😐

It’s better for loan players who aren’t going to be here next season to be involved mate.

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1.       Who makes your starting XI?

Seems foolish to change a winning side, but I'd like to see Sol Brynn in goal. This game means nothing and I think Archer has proved he's at least better than Bettinelli. 

2.       Are we seeing a golden generation of young Academy players emerging, or do they just look good because the senior players have underperformed this season?

A little from column A, little from column B. One thing I do know is I don't trust their development under Warnock, though.

3.       Which team would you like to see promoted through the play-offs?

Barnsley, easily

4.       If fans are allowed to attend the Riverside again in August, will you be there?

No.

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1.       Who makes your starting XI?
Difficult to get the balance right between experience and youngsters when you want to see some of the young lads get a chance but some more young lads to come in, for me, would be great. If Coulson has recovered too, I would like to see him in the team one way or another from the start.

Brynn
Spence Hall McNair Coulson
Howson Malley
Folarin Watmore Bolasie
Coburn

2.       Are we seeing a golden generation of young Academy players emerging, or do they just look good because the senior players have underperformed this season?
It's very hard to tell right now. Got to give them time and ultimately patience. We can't continue to chastise young lads when they don't perform when the team as a whole isn't performing. There's no doubt in my mind that, in general, our senior players haven't played well enough for the level we should expect from them.

3.       Which team would you like to see promoted through the play-offs?
Barnsley would be an interesting one, wouldn't it. What a journey that would be for them. In the top division for only the 2nd time, long time since they were there.

4.       If fans are allowed to attend the Riverside again in August, will you be there?
I certainly will. I can't wait to get back, to be honest. Win or lose, rain or shine, I loved my first year there and was quite devastated when it got cut short by COVID. Hopefully this time round I'll get a full season!

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1. Unchanged for me bar Brynn in goal. Would bring on Coburn on hour mark.

2. Too early to say. I am excited for Wood, Kavanagh and Coburn basee on what i seen and read. Will need to see more of rest.

3. Barnsley and Sunderland

4.  100% yes.

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I think the mini plays to start each thread have been amazing.  Congratulations

You may be flogging a dead horse at the moment but keep it up.

I'd certainly like to see Sol Brynn given a run out

Lets have a look at another couple of kids say Kokolo ?  at left back and Hackney in midfield

Another look at Sam Folarin is fine by me

Lets see Barnsley in the Prem again but I think Brentford is more likely

If I can get there in August I'll be there.  This season is the first season in 67 where I've not seen at least one game

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Another magnificent opener there @RiseAgainst
 

Questions for the audience:

1. Who makes your starting XI?

Sol Brynn has to be given a go doesn’t he? I’d say Archer has done enough to earn a contract next year as an emergency back up but certainly shouldn’t be a starter. 
I’d like to see us go as strong as possible after that. Akpom starting up top with Coburn replacing him after an hour or so. Akpom needs to end the season confidently. Not sure what to do about Kebano, he’s great but if he ain’t here next year then what’s the point?

2. Are we seeing a golden generation of young Academy players emerging, or do they just look good because the senior players have underperformed this season?

Nah. I think the term golden generation is a bit poisonous anyway. We’ve had loads of promising players in the past that didn’t become world beaters! 

3. Which team would you like to see promoted through the play-offs?

Brentford. After we beat them in the play offs, I recall talking to some of their fans in the pubs around Boro and they seemed like a decent bunch with realistic expectations.

4. If fans are allowed to attend the Riverside again in August, will you be there?

I’d love to be. Can’t wait to see us in the flesh instead of through my TV screen. It would be good to have some sort of normality returned to the world.

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I can understand the emotive clamour for Brynn but it is pretty clear that he is already rated at the Club and therefore has little to prove at this stage of his career. I would doubt if Warnock or indeed any other Manager would put their Championship Promotion chasing hopes on a young inexperienced Keeper (n.b. two dead rubber games does not equal experience). We can send him out on loan to a League One or Two Club next season and let him earn well earned rave reviews and cuss that we didn't let him loose here.

Next season Warnock will go with an experienced old pro between the sticks despite the failings of Bettinelli this season. Personally I'd be happy to give Stoj a go next season and concentrate on fixing more pressing positions in the side. If Stojanovic does get the gloves then the question is if Archer is a good enough back up or even a first choice? Personally I don't rate Archer and never have but I can understand the priority being to evaluate him over Brynn.

 

 

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@RiseAgainst with all these insights you have into Warnock's private life, you could write an autobiography. Might even be better than Neil's. 😁

 

Questions for the audience:

1.       Who makes your starting XI?

Dunno really. I'm torn between maintaining some consistency, just to get players used to playing with each other and sending a bunch of kids out, just to see if they can cut it at senior level. Since these games don't really matter, except to give game time, I'm really not fussed either way.

2.       Are we seeing a golden generation of young Academy players emerging, or do they just look good because the senior players have underperformed this season?

Way too soon to talk about a "Golden Generation". The senior players have undoubtedly under-performed, but it would be great to see more youngsters getting game time next season and proving themselves worthy. 

3.       Which team would you like to see promoted through the play-offs?

Either Barnsley or Brentford. Not those scummy cheaters Swansea or Pep Woodgate-ola.

4.       If fans are allowed to attend the Riverside again in August, will you be there?

Sadly not for the foreseeable future, as its a 4 hour drive from where I live. To paraphrase Meat Loaf: I would do anything for Boro...but I won't do that... 😁

Since neither team has anything to play for I can see this being quite open. Probably end in a draw. Prediction: Luton 2 - 2 Boro.

 

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1 hour ago, White Band said:

Is there really a game tomorrow?  It's awfully quiet on here.

It's an irrelevant game. Only thing that can make it interesting is if we play the kids.  

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1 hour ago, White Band said:

Is there really a game tomorrow?  It's awfully quiet on here.

End of season...nothing to play for...therefore little to no interest. 🤷‍♂️

Everyone's already looking forward to / quietly dreading next season.

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1.   Who makes your starting XI?

                       BRYNN 

                Mcnair Hall   Bola

 Kebano   Howson.   Malley.  Johnson  

Watmore                                     Bolasie 

                         Coburn 

2.       Are we seeing a golden generation of young Academy players emerging, or do they just look good because the senior players have underperformed this season?

Well the academy's are doing well in their age groups and are in a cup final they certainly have potential. But have to be cautious as we were in the youth champions league a few years ago Harry Chapman was seen as a fine player he is now trying to save his career at Shrewsbury 

 

3.      Which team would you like to see promoted through the play-offs?

Barnsley as be amazing story however for boros perspective Brentford as they are really the only other playoff side who could maintain the level into next season as be turmoil at the other clubs if they fail at promotion. As Swansea lose Ayew, Bournmouth will have to sell their better players due to parashoot lowering etc and Barnsley will lose Dike among having alot of players contracts up 

4.       If fans are allowed to attend the Riverside again in August, will you be there?      Of course we gonna get top 2 next year when Warnock signs a new squad 😁

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  • Downsouth changed the title to Luton vs Boro 1-1 (Watmore)


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