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Boro v West Bromwich Albion 2-1 (McNair, Tavernier)


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Location:  The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough.

Date and Time: 22nd February 1945hrs

Please note this is a live showing on Sky Sports Main Event Channel 403 so there will be plenty of links.

 

Introduction.

Well it has been just over 5 months since I authored a MDT and as it turns out a highly anticipated game as Boro players and staff and of course supporters of MFC welcome West Bromwich Albion and all associated with the club to our neck of the woods.

Both teams coming off the back of defeats last time out Boro losing to Bristol City and WBA losing out at Luton Town.

Recent appointment of Steve Bruce as Manager at WBA has not yet improved their free fall from the once lofty position in the Championship table in fact at the moment they are very nearly relegation form in the current 10 game form. So will SB be looking forward to his trip to Boro and hoping that our once generosity will surface when it comes to getting a much needed win?

Boro, or at least those of us on the forum will be wanting to quickly erase our last result  (thank goodness for two games in a week) and will see this as a means of making up points and getting back into the top six because slip ups at this stage are noticeable.

 

Current Form 

Boro LWDWLW

WBA LdLLLW

WBA have recorded one draw and five defeats in their last 6 away games whilst we have recorded 5 wins on the spin at home.

Will current form prevail or does that all go out of the window?

 

Talking Points

Did Matt Crooks ensure he got the awaited 2 game ban yellow card so he could serve his time in the two games we have this week thus allowing him to be available for the Spurs game conspiracy theories here please!

Are we so reliant (not the robin kind) on Isiah Jones that if he has an off day then we do suffer for it?

Are we putting too much faith that our strike force will stop striking (think about it) and start striking.

Are we going to see an improvement in our tactics which will allow goals coming from other areas of the pitch, at the moment it seems to be from right side of the pitch in towards the six yards area where Crooks would be (but not now for the next two games) 

Have we got enough to beat Steve Bruce and his band of men?

Is our resident "man from the bush" going to be a game changer and that his shooting skills do not emulate a boomerang?

With our midfield players not available what is your preferred team?

And finally are we expecting too much from Boro?

 

A view from Downsouth

Our hopes were dashed somewhat last night but with a solid performance and desire to score first we can make amends very quickly.

Hopefully enough talking points here to ensure another bumper posted MDT and that we go into Wednesday with a smile on our faces

 

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Balogun is 5th choice striker for me ... He's had enough minutes to show something ..  Connolly will still come good I reckon ..  Tav MUST play LWB ..  Sporars off the ball movement is

The first half was the worst under Wilder to date. No point picking out individuals because there were so many sub-par performances. WBA shut down our channels well which meant the defence struggled t

Now, to me, tonight's performance was what I'd call pedestrian, or certainly up until we made the changes.  I think we were mostly in control before that, even a goal down, but we weren't doing much o

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Mcgree will obviously come in for Crooks.

I would also bring Watmore in. I believe he the best presser out the 4 strikers we have and his work rate and endeavour usually allows space for the other strike partner and oncoming midfielders. Watmore and Flo up top and hopefully Sporar is back as well on the bench.

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My opinion, the game can’t come quick enough. 


Loosing the much needed 3 points is a body blow but not the end of world but the league is tighter then a ducks rear end with 4 points from playoffs and mid table and every point is critical. 
I really don’t understand why Watmore is not in the starting line up and we are far to reliant on Jones. I will suggest teams have worked out plan A and I’m not clear what plan B really is, if we have one, well apart from throwing in the kitchen sink. 


I really don’t have a solution to covert created chances into goals other then to reduce the amount of time we tippy tap around the box and trying to  go a bit more direct. Well it might be worth the effort then attempting to bundle a ball past 11 opponents who have managed to pack the box. On that note we don’t do very well from corners or set pieces which is frustrating. 

It would be unrealistic not to expect challenges bedding in new players during the transfers window and overall we have done fairly well, and if we can hold our own we may come strong towards the season end when it matters most. 


I’m hoping for a reaction to what was clearly just a bad day at the office. 

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This will tell us a lot. So far, we haven't lost two on the trot under Wilder and if we're serious about the playoff places this feels like a must-win game. WBA haven't scored under Bruce and this is also a make-or-break game for them; they can't afford to lose again. With the players at their disposal they are massively under-performing. 

By now, the rest of the league have seen how Wilder sets us up and what seems to work best against it. Wilder though doesn't really have many options to change things around.

On Tuesday I expect we'll see a midfield three of Tav-Howson-McGree with Tav on the right. That will change around our attacks because he likes to cut in from the right. McGree has shown real promise during this cameos.

Strikers. As it stands, none of them seem up to the standard you need for a top 6 club. Sporar links up well and works hard but lacks the clinical edge. Watmore will score a worldie then miss a load of sitters; if he was our 3rd best option we would be looking good. So far Connolly has worked hard but you feel he could play until Christmas and not score again. Balogun is struggling to adapt. I hope we start with Sporar and Watmore because they seem to have the best balance between them.

What we need is for someone to go on a run and score 2-3 games in a row. We could also do with one of our midfielders (other than Crooks) finding a goal or two. 

May seem strange to focus on lack of goals shortly after putting 4 past Derby but of those 4, one was on own-goal, one was a deflection and one was a catastrophic mistake from their keeper. You can't fault our ability to create decent chances; if we start to convert them then we're good for the playoffs. If not, it feels like the season could begin to peter out. 

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I'm hoping Sporar is fit and we start him and watmore up top. Crooks will be a miss but the big chance for Mcgree to get his first start. I'm confident we will get our 7th win in a row at the Riverside 

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8 hours ago, DurhamRed said:

I'm hoping Sporar is fit and we start him and watmore up top. Crooks will be a miss but the big chance for Mcgree to get his first start. I'm confident we will get our 7th win in a row at the Riverside 

I am hoping some of you guys will answer the questions posed, you all seem to do that with other authors!😑

Did Crooks make sure he got a yellow card deliberately against Bristol so as to be available to the Spurs match or was it just coincidence?😏

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Other games of interest being played Tuesday and Wednesday.

22/2/2022 (had to get that published)

PNE V Forest

Swansea V Bournemouth

Bristol City V Coventry

23/02/2022

SU V Blackburn

QPR V Blackpool

Stoke V Luton

Huddersfield V Cardiff.

 

Need to win, others will slip up and some we have to keep up with

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Did Matt Crooks ensure he got the awaited 2 game ban yellow card so he could serve his time in the two games we have this week thus allowing him to be available for the Spurs game conspiracy theories here please!

I think he only plays one way, full throttle so don't think any conspiracy here but I like the way you think.

Are we so reliant (not the robin kind) on Isiah Jones that if he has an off day then we do suffer for it?

Yeah, Bristol was a tough day for the lad, we all know we need something down the left and with McGree on and probs Tav on the right it will be interesting to see if we get any more balance in our attack.

Are we putting too much faith that our strike force will stop striking (think about it) and start striking.

At least one of them four needs to start knocking them in and beat Crooks to the golden boro boot, I'm probs a bit like Wilder and aren't really sure which one it will be.

Are we going to see an improvement in our tactics which will allow goals coming from other areas of the pitch, at the moment it seems to be from right side of the pitch in towards the six yards area where Crooks would be (but not now for the next two games) 

See above...oh and what will Bola bring when back?

Have we got enough to beat Steve Bruce and his band of men?

As Bruce above (no relation I assume!) stated it's a must win as we don't want to lose two on the trot as I believe team confidence is getting us the extra points at the minute. As SD says a reaction to a bad day at the office is in order.

Is our resident "man from the bush" going to be a game changer and that his shooting skills do not emulate a boomerang?

ha ha, the shot really did wang about a bit didn't it. The lad looks very tidy in my eyes and I'm excited to see him get a start and a good hour plus in.

With our midfield players not available what is your preferred team?

Stick with the same apart from McGree in for Crooks, Tav on the right and maybe, just maybe swap back the strikers as I actually thought Sporar and Watmore were building a good partnership before the new lads up front came in.

And finally are we expecting too much from Boro?

Yes, I think we are but after so many years of expecting nothing its a really nice change to have high expectations. I've been doing this too long to not know I'll end up broken hearted mind.

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1 hour ago, Downsouth said:

I am hoping some of you guys will answer the questions posed, you all seem to do that with other authors!😑

Did Crooks make sure he got a yellow card deliberately against Bristol so as to be available to the Spurs match or was it just coincidence?😏

Automatic suspensions for yellow cards received in the EFL don't carry over to the FA Cup Alan, so Crooks would be available either way.

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Did Matt Crooks ensure he got the awaited 2 game ban yellow card so he could serve his time in the two games we have this week thus allowing him to be available for the Spurs game conspiracy theories here please!

He just plays 100% every game, there were so many games left before the yellows get wiped that this was going to happen at some point...

Are we so reliant (not the robin kind) on Isiah Jones that if he has an off day then we do suffer for it?

Wilder's tactics are always outnumbering opposition out-wide, when we have no threat down the left it makes us look one-dimensional.

Are we putting too much faith that our strike force will stop striking (think about it) and start striking.

It's time to get Watmore on, he's not the most clinical but he's our most reliable striker.

Are we going to see an improvement in our tactics which will allow goals coming from other areas of the pitch, at the moment it seems to be from right side of the pitch in towards the six yards area where Crooks would be (but not now for the next two games) 

Not sure we need to as we created more than enough chances to win against Bristol.

Have we got enough to beat Steve Bruce and his band of men?

They'll overtake us with a win and Bruce always seems to beat us.

Is our resident "man from the bush" going to be a game changer and that his shooting skills do not emulate a boomerang?

Here's hoping he crown himself the 3rd best Boro-Strayan in history.

With our midfield players not available what is your preferred team?

McGree and Watmore in.

And finally are we expecting too much from Boro?

We've had such a great set of results since Wilder joined that there's always going to be some pull-back. The performances are still good and we haven't looked outmatched in any game yet which is the most important thing to me.

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I will literally not be able to see this game . I have a very minor procedure on my eyes tomorrow which may result in blurred vision for a few hrs. This will mean my expert analysis wont be available which i realize is a crushing blow to many of you.🤣🤣🤣  Hope to back in the squad for Saturday v Barnsley.

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Did Matt Crooks ensure he got the awaited 2 game ban yellow card so he could serve his time in the two games we have this week thus allowing him to be available for the Spurs game conspiracy theories here please!

Didn't think you were the tinfoil hat type DS 😯

Personally I think it just looked like a typically clumsy challenge. I'm also not sure footballers have the brain capacity to think that far ahead. 😆

Are we so reliant (not the robin kind) on Isiah Jones that if he has an off day then we do suffer for it?

Well he definitely has made himself our prime attacking threat and we don't look as dangerous when he's being nullified. But as I said before, any manager worth their salt should be able to adapt and work out alternative outlets.

Are we putting too much faith that our strike force will stop striking (think about it) and start striking.

Terrible pun DS - I thought you were better than that! 🙄 I'm still undecided whether our problems lie with our forwards just not being very good or the patchy service they receive from midfield. Hopefully if Wilder can improve the latter, the goals will come.

Are we going to see an improvement in our tactics which will allow goals coming from other areas of the pitch, at the moment it seems to be from right side of the pitch in towards the six yards area where Crooks would be (but not now for the next two games).

Well if we don't I think we can kiss goodbye to a top 6 finish. I believe we have the players to adapt - the question is can CW find the magic formula?

Have we got enough to beat Steve Bruce and his band of men?

The fact Bruce is in charge and WBA seem to have actually got worse since his arrival is the main thing that gives me confidence we can win this one.

Is our resident "man from the bush" going to be a game changer and that his shooting skills do not emulate a boomerang?

I don't know about being a game changer, but I think he'll be a useful addition to the team. I think we need to see him get a few starts before we can really pass judgement. I think he can certainly do a job for us against West Brom.

With our midfield players not available what is your preferred team?

I don't see Wilder changing it much - probably just slot McGree in Crooks' place.

And finally are we expecting too much from Boro?

Depends who you ask I guess. For me this season was a free hit. A top 6 finish would be a bonus. For me Wilder needs another transfer window to try and solidify the team. Defensively we're still weak and can be hit and miss as an attacking force. Basically we're still rather inconsistent and need strengthening to become real promotion contenders.

 

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  • Downsouth changed the title to Boro v West Bromwich Albion 2-1 (McNair, Tavernier)

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