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Blackburn v Middlesbrough 1-0


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We got beaten by the beater team. Blackburn reminded me of us under Karanka. Really resolute at the back without any standout players but an overall good solid unit. 
We didn’t get going as Wilder has said, and fair play to him for giving an honest interview and setting the standards high. 
I wonder if he will drop Howson in place of Crooks in that CDM role? Howson wasn’t very good tonight imo but I don’t think any of the midfield were. 
 

Maybe a midfield and defence of

Dijksteele Fry McNair 

Jones Payero Crooks McGree Tav 

would give us a good balance? Idk 🤷🏻‍♂️ 

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Be interesting to see how Wilder reacts to tonight, if at all. He's not exactly made a name for himself chopping and changing but visibly, that's perhaps the most disappointed we've seen him since he came in.

So it's going to be interesting now to see if he sticks or twists, expects better of what we had on the pitch today or swaps a couple out for a reaction.

If I was him, I'd be thinking about a change in midfield and up front, Payero in for Tav or Crooks, Balogun/Watmore in for Connolly. I don't think he actually will change the midfield though.

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I like Sporar and Watmore together. They seem to be able to forge a good partnership.  The problem is that I don't think we really have anyone to start over Sporar and Watmore seems most effective as an impact sub.

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I don't see how we can drop Crooks, he's probably along with Jones our Player of the season. Having said that I struggle to see how we are relying on a Midfielder to be the big lad in the box. Wilder doesn't admire hoof ball but there does seem a tendency to lump it to Crooks on many occasions. I don't have a problem with that in itself but struggle to grasp why we then seem to play that way when our Strikers are low centre of gravity ball to feet types?

Sporar seems competent at this level so long as he is given the correct type of service which is far too rare over the last few games hence the last five minutes of siege, hoof and charge football desperately throwing tactics and game plans out of the window. How does Wilder repeatedly find his side in that scenario yet keep repeating it?

Previous to the window Watmore was lively and ran defences (and himself) ragged for 60 odd minutes creating and causing problems in a high tempo,high energy game. Connolly certainly doesn't offer that and whilst I suspect he is just at a similar level to Lewis Wing with the odd Worldie in him there doesn't so far appear much that he offers different to Sporar only seemingly at a lower level.

Connolly may improve but it's costing us in the meantime. To me it's either Sporar or Connolly, not both. If Wilder insists on the pair then he needs to change tactics to adapt and play to their strengths. I'm struggling at the minute to see what Connolly offers us over Coburn, granted entirely different styles but if we bring Players in they should be an improvement and upgrade on what we already have and so far I'd prefer Watmore, Coburn, Balogun (or even Hernandez) which begs the question as to why we signed him and then fail to accommodate him in a style of play that looks alien to him. Last night I was looking at the subs bench thinking this is when we needed Ikpeazu (which begs a few questions in itself) over what we had out there and how ineffective the front pairing was and I suspect will be going forward. A bit like Morecambe and Dec or Ant and Wise, something just isn't fitting together.

To play with Sporar and Connolly we need creativity and clever intelligent players supporting and building behind them feeding them the type of balls that they will thrive on. Crooks isn't that sort of player but is undroppable. Howson and Tav are full of running but inconsistent in terms of adding a bit of spark. Our left flank is sterile apart from the well intentioned charges up the pitch from Taylor who shows willing in a mid table scrappy sort of way. Payero has shown in small cameos that he can find passes and can't be any worse on set pieces than either Tav of McNair but clearly Wilder feels that he is lacking elsewhere. 

These last few frantic late winning games along with tonight is more about desperation tactics than a game plan that is being executed. It's not working and that means either the personnel is wrong or tactics or from what I can see both. It's far better than Warnock and light years from Pulis but I'm struggling to see the point in getting loans in that doesn't improve the shape, balance and methodology of the team. Two unserviced identikit Strikers doesn't add up, no left footed CB (MacNair's swing last night) was glaring, no threat or creativity down the left hand side of the pitch (Balogun, McGree perhaps?) and no cunning or guile from midfield will see us struggle to make the Play Offs. Wilder has done brilliantly and over achieved but I'm seeing signs of self inflicted regression not progress in January.

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7 hours ago, GrimsbyBoro said:

Just going on the fact that the likes of Cornick, Bradshaw, Sharp and Hogan have scored more than him. 

He’s not *** but for the money (transfer+wages) I expect more

I've been saying this since November. He's slightly improved his overall contribution under wilder but it's far too little over the course of 90 mins in the majority of games. I think he's probably scored 5 from open play and he's started nearly every game since he came. I'll go out on a limb and say Uche would have at least that if he'd played the same amount of minutes and give us alot more in terms of holding the ball up and allowing us to build attacks and possession in the final 3rd. I don't know what the answer is with our current crop of forwards if uche goes and coburn leaves on loan. I don't know if any of them are a proper number 9 so we will just have to accept that we will get bullied in the final 3rd alot and will probably be better off playing on the break rather than trying to keep possession for periods when we have nobody that can hold on to it when it goes to the strikers.

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Yep. I'm still mad about that performance. We defintely need better players than Taylor and Howson in their positions. They just don't offer anything apart from being a number on the pitch.

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We are at the moment lopsided. Crooks, Jones work well but we don’t have any threat down the other side.

There’s not that same understanding between Taylor and Tav yet.

It’s early days but our two upfront play as individuals rather than a pair.

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my take on the game. well our players performances and tactics from wilder. we lost the game but if VAR was involved we were the team 1-0 up and probably goes on to win.

Connolly is similar to sporar. in that sporar needs to be more involved but never is. but connolly is worse than sporar at everything. infact connolly is our worst striker from what i'm seeing. he doesnt link up well, is tiny so cant head the ball or compete with his back to the goal. hes off the pace and when he did get chances fluffed them. ***

Howson, after his initial great performances he was bad, utterly terrible for us. offered nothing, just walking about and getting caught in possession, he really struggled.

Tavernier, terrible every time he was pressed he got caught out. i mean every time. he cant play with his back to goal shocking performance. 

Taylor, hes totally pointless none existent as an attacking threat. deffo just a back up player at best.

wilder- if he doesnt mix it up for the next game in midfield and up front. i'm going to pull my hair out. project connolly can *** right off. hes ***. watmore is far better than him. did he have a fall our with him or something because its clearly not because connolly is a better player than him that he lost his place. if payero doesnt get minutes in the next match and if connolly starts i'm going to be giving wilder some dog abuse. 

 

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19 minutes ago, Borodane said:

Yep. I'm still mad about that performance. We defintely need better players than Taylor and Howson in their positions. They just don't offer anything apart from being a number on the pitch.

Thats why I really wanted to get spence back and play Jones left. 2 good pacey outlets there. I don't mind Taylor he's a very solid full back but definitely lacking going forward as a wingback and Bola also isn't that effective going forward as a wingback either he slows the play down too often checking back and playing short passes inside and doesnt run at the full back or cross much. I still think we are good enough to challenge for a playoff spot with Bola or Taylor tho.

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Sporar will get his goals, if we play Payero, who has the abilities to play Sporar the way that suits him. 

Say what you want about Tavernier, but I don't rate him as highly as many of you. What does he bring to the team opposed to what he costs?  I struggle to see that ...  He is frustrating with set pieces and I hate the way he often loses the ball in our own half, when he thinks he is Maldini ...  Tav never shoots and often chooses the wrong decisions ... 

Crooks and Jones are undropable and Sporar might be too ..  So.... 

Front two of Sporar and Coburn ... That lad has a winning mentality and he can find the goal ... He has Scored three times already in very few minutes .. Imagine he got a good run of minutes?  

I can accept Tav as a LWB, cause he actually is good at tackling and nicking the ball ... and then we still gets the odd assist and energy from him .. 

RWB and RCM belongs to Jones and Crooks .. 

DM could be Paddy, but Howson could stay if he changes his attitude a bit. He is often too cautious, I reckon... 

LCM need to be Payero .. With a run of game time he would get lots of assists and I bet Sporar would thrive from that ..  

Fry and Dijksteel are hard to drop, but the latter frustrates me, when he has the ball .. He looks like he is about to assist the opponents a goal or two every time he receives the ball ... 

If Howson plays DM .. Paddy ofc plays in defense .. But we have Hall, Bamba and Peltier as options ... For the 3rd spot  

Lumley 

Dijk, Fry, Paddy 

Jones, Crooks, Howson, Payero, Tav 

Coburn, Sporar 

That team would get goals

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11 hours ago, boro_fan_in_brum said:

Majority of things I’d read is of people flapping over going to Blackburn and getting beat.  I’d have been happy with a draw to a team who has the best form.  Yes a win would be better, didn’t happen though did it.  Remember it wasn’t long ago we were crap under warnock.  Bit of a reality check for some.

It’s not the lose that counts it’s the nature and lack of quality on display. Chris mentioned standards dropped and give his view on why he thought this happened. If it’s not good enough for him it’s not for me.  

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10 minutes ago, SmogDane said:

Sporar will get his goals, if we play Payero, who has the abilities to play Sporar the way that suits him. 

Say what you want about Tavernier, but I don't rate him as highly as many of you. What does he bring to the team opposed to what he costs?  I struggle to see that ...  He is frustrating with set pieces and I hate the way he often loses the ball in our own half, when he thinks he is Maldini ...  Tav never shoots and often chooses the wrong decisions ... 

Crooks and Jones are undropable and Sporar might be too ..  So.... 

Front two of Sporar and Coburn ... That lad has a winning mentality and he can find the goal ... He has Scored three times already in very few minutes .. Imagine he got a good run of minutes?  

I can accept Tav as a LWB, cause he actually is good at tackling and nicking the ball ... and then we still gets the odd assist and energy from him .. 

RWB and RCM belongs to Jones and Crooks .. 

DM could be Paddy, but Howson could stay if he changes his attitude a bit. He is often too cautious, I reckon... 

LCM need to be Payero .. With a run of game time he would get lots of assists and I bet Sporar would thrive from that ..  

Fry and Dijksteel are hard to drop, but the latter frustrates me, when he has the ball .. He looks like he is about to assist the opponents a goal or two every time he receives the ball ... 

If Howson plays DM .. Paddy ofc plays in defense .. But we have Hall, Bamba and Peltier as options ... For the 3rd spot  

Lumley 

Dijk, Fry, Paddy 

Jones, Crooks, Howson, Payero, Tav 

Coburn, Sporar 

That team would get goals

drop howson and play mcgree instead. drop crooks back into the cdm. payero right side mcgree left side. creative players in. goal problems not an issue

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21 minutes ago, GrimsbyBoro said:

We are at the moment lopsided. Crooks, Jones work well but we don’t have any threat down the other side.

There’s not that same understanding between Taylor and Tav yet.

It’s early days but our two upfront play as individuals rather than a pair.

Lopsided is a good term to describe our predictability. 

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8 minutes ago, Dynamo Kev said:

my take on the game. well our players performances and tactics from wilder. we lost the game but if VAR was involved we were the team 1-0 up and probably goes on to win.

Connolly is similar to sporar. in that sporar needs to be more involved but never is. but connolly is worse than sporar at everything. infact connolly is our worst striker from what i'm seeing. he doesnt link up well, is tiny so cant head the ball or compete with his back to the goal. hes off the pace and when he did get chances fluffed them. ***

Howson, after his initial great performances he was bad, utterly terrible for us. offered nothing, just walking about and getting caught in possession, he really struggled.

Tavernier, terrible every time he was pressed he got caught out. i mean every time. he cant play with his back to goal shocking performance. 

Taylor, hes totally pointless none existent as an attacking threat. deffo just a back up player at best.

wilder- if he doesnt mix it up for the next game in midfield and up front. i'm going to pull my hair out. project connolly can *** right off. hes ***. watmore is far better than him. did he have a fall our with him or something because its clearly not because connolly is a better player than him that he lost his place. if payero doesnt get minutes in the next match and if connolly starts i'm going to be giving wilder some dog abuse. 

 

I don't think it was as bad as that.

It was a tough game against a good side albeit with their best player missing. For me we should have won. Crooks missed 2 sitters and we had other chances that should have produced better efforts. To not play well and as you say have a few poor individual performances but still have enough clear chances to have won is a good sign for me so I won't be giving wilder too much stick for last night but I think it's been clear as day that howson can't be first choice dcm for some time now and the issue with lwb will hold us back but against most teams I think we will get away with it. Balogun and watmore up top next game I hope as sporar doesn't deserve to be starting atm and Conolly doesn't give us as much as watmore does as you say. I'm going to give Conolly more time he's at least getting chances he might need a few weeks to get up to speed after missing alot of football.

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