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Boro vs t'Owls (A) 0-1

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3CnMYlG.pngvs s4EoSva.png

 

 

 

Hello! And welcome to my first (and hopefully not last!) matchday thread! The game in question is of course Boro's away trip to t'Wednesday (although on a Saturday, not a Wednesday annoyingly).

 

t'Owls have had a brilliant start to 2014 and have really improved their fairly poor form earlier in the season. In their last 10 games they've won 5, lost 2 and drawn 3, with stand out wins against Reading and in particular, a 6-0 drubbing of their fellow Yorkshire brethren, t'Leeds. Watching them annihilate t'Leeds scum was at the very least mildly arousing.

 

Boro meanwhile, after a terrific festive period have come more or less spluttering to a disappointing halt. We've drawn 5, won 3 and lost only 2, however have failed to win, or even score, in any of our last 6 games. It would appear we couldn't score in a brothel (and truth be told I doubt our strikers could finish their tea, let alone a chance), but we've kept more clean sheets than a nunnery.

 

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Of course the man between the sticks who has kept all of these clean sheets has now, unfortunately, departed and it remains to be seen what impact that will have on our defence. Of course, as many forum members will tell us, there have been plenty of factors behind our newfound defensive stability, however super Shay missed out on only 1 match during his loan stint: a 2-0 loss to Hull City. This means that we cannot know for sure what kind of an impact his departure will have on how solid our defence is, but one thing for certain is that we'll miss the way in which he organised the defence on every set piece and how vocal he was. His experience showed and it would be foolish to say his arrival had no impact. So the question to discuss is as follows:

 

Will Shay Given's departure have a negative impact on our defence?

 

I for one think it will, but not massively. Steele is an excellent shot stopper and his kicking is great, but he doesn't command the defence as much as I'd like to see him. On top of that, I think Given is far better at claiming crosses and corners, something which Steele has had problems with. Osorio, well it remains to be seen what his strengths and weaknesses are. He's something of a wildcard.

 

Anyway, this is the team I'd like to see:

 

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:D

 

 

Seriously now, I'm hoping to us line up with the usual system, but with several changes to the last game. We need to score a goal and get a result ASAP before the doom-***ers get enough ammunition to depress us all for weeks to come (as if the football wasn't doing that already). As such I'd play the following team.

 

---------------Steele*----------------

Varga------Woody--Omeruo-----George <3

-------Grant-------------Chalolobah-----

Adomah--------Tomlin----------Carayol

---------------Kamara-----------------

 

We need to play a team who is good on the counter, a team creative and direct enough to pose a real threat, and I think with the players at our disposal this is it. Whitehead is too negative for me, and Chalobah has to start ahead of him as he's just as solid, better aerially and a better passer than his facially challenged teammate. Grant Leadbitter (who literally looks like Nicky Bailey and Barry Robson's lovechild) is a stalwart in midfield and has been excellent for us so far this season and his name has to be one of the first on the teamsheet. Tomlin should start in the AMC role as we've really been lacking some attacking impetus, threat and creativity in the centre of the park recently. Adomah walks into the team with ease if he's at full fitness. Carayol no doubt will be back in the side after having been dropped for being a very naughty boy (he's not the messiah after all) and will be back with a point to prove.

 

Kamara by all accounts was very poor against Leeds, but I think it's important to have him in the side simply because he can hold up the ball and win more in the air better than any other forward in our squad. When all 3 of them don't look like they have a goal between them, we might as well play the one who at least offers something to the team and can bring the more productive advanced midfield trio into the game, right?

 

The * next to Steele is because he's only been in training for a few weeks following a lengthy ankle injury, and also we've signed Real Madrid goalie Osorio. I couldn't put him in my predicted team as I've never seen him play and as such can't judge whether he or Steele would be better suited to go there. I have a feeling Karanka may choose to go with the Real Madrid loanee rather than big Jason :(

 

The defence pretty much picks itself with Ayala and Williams out injured, and Ben Gibson suspended for another 2 games after he forgot how to play football against Watford.

 

I personally predicting a 2-0 win for the almighty Middlesbrough with Lee Tomlin to score on his first start, and Carayol banging in another to prove to Karanka that he's not worth dropping.

 

Boro

 

Back into the side :D :

Luke Williams - the youngster returns from a brief stint at Hartlepool having scored a few and set a few up. Described as 'A class above' by boss Colin Cooper, he'll be hoping to be able to make a similar impact here as he did there.

 

Jason Steele - Appears to be on the mend following a lengthy layoff with an ankle problem. In contention for a starting place with the glorious Given grievously going back to Villa.

 

Ben Gibson - Returns to the side after picking up 2 yellows against Watford in a game where he appeared to forget how to play football. Made 2 big errors which cost us at least a point and possibly more. Back in contention, but whether he will be picked is a different matter entirely. Every player drops a clanger sometimes (just ask R Williams!) but it's how you come back from it that matters. Hopefully when he does get some minutes, we'll see more of the confident young defender that we've seen over the course of this season.

 

Injuries :( :

 

Rhys Williams

Daniel Ayala

 

 

Talking points:

 

Are you going to the game?

 

What do you think the result will be?

 

How would you like to see us line up?

 

What is your favourite colour?

 

What is the capital of Assyria?

 

What is the air/speed velocity of an unladen swallow? (specify African or European please)

 

What is a goal?

 

Does Curtis Main have a fear of haircuts?

 

George Friend > Brad Pitt?

 

Is this too many questions?

 

 

I was going to get the opposition's view on it, but that forum is more impenetrable than Fort Knox...

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Is it true that the red faction are making luminous arrows to hand out to the fans before kick off so we can point them towards the goal?

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Correct me if I'm wrong but Gibson got two yellow cards for his sending off, which (again correct me if I'm wrong) means that he only received a one match suspension which has now been served and he will be eligible to play against t'wednesday.

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You are absolutely correct about that Will, completely forgot, will correct that now!


I hope so Luke, would be hilarious!

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I fancy us against this Wednesday team. True, they're on a good run, and true, that does include a dominant win over a 10-man Reading. However since then they've lost two of their last 3 and only managed to score in one of those, against Huddersfield (And almost everyone scores past Huddersfield!). I think regardless of who we have in goal, if the team defends how they have been then the man between the sticks is going to have a quiet game.

 

Wednesday's net-minder will have no such luck though. You wouldn't think it looking at the stats but I'm liking how much we're trying to get forward, even if we aren't converting our chances at the minute. I agree with giving Kei the nod over Graham as he's better at bringing the rest into the attack, and with Tomlin behind him playing the #10 role he was bought to play and linking the front 4 then maybe this is the week we put the ball into the onion bag. Fingers crossed anyway.

 

PS. Nice thread MMC.

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Think the Ben Gibson criticism is a little harsh, he won everything in the first half of the Watford game, but swapped his brain for the half time orange! Hope that Steele will return, would imagine that working with Shay will have done him the world of good!

 

My only hope is that Carayol is forgiven and Ledesma gets given boot shining duty!

 

Oh...and I guess a goal would be nice too.

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Good thread

 

Will be making another long journey form Norwich for this game and, like all, hope to see us score.

 

I don't think Kamara warrants a place in the squad after his performances since return from injury. Have always been a fan of Steele so hope he is fit enough to play. Am are really big fan of Chalobah as, even though it takes him 10-15 mins to get into game his quality is shown!

 

Graham has been good since his return, it is so refreshing to have striker that knows the offside rule and I felt was unlucky not to score against leeds.

 

Steele

Varga, Woodgate, Gibson, Friend

Leadbitter, Chalobah

Adomah, Tomlin, Carayol

Graham

 

See you in t'pub

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Guest Stevo

Good thread :)

 

Having a family outing to this one - my missus and her two kids are all massive Owls fans, so they're in the home end and me & the old man will be in with the Boro fans. Bragging rights at stake.

 

I'd like to see the same team as Boro95, I'll certainly be disappointed if we don't play Adomah, Tomlin or Carayol like last week.

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Nice thread MMC (I love a good analogy I do) and I agree that someone is worth a good drubbing off us and hopefully Sheff We'd legs are a little tired after last nites FA cup loss, so why not them.

 

Only changes I'd make is Gibbo in and Graham up front. Also would love to see Luke on the bench after shining at Pools. I'm going to this match and expect us to score twice UTB

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Guest SmogOnTheTyne

Think last nights defeat at the hands of Charlton will have a similar mental impact that the Cardiff defeat had on us back in 07/08 or whenever it was. Wednesday missed a massive opportunity to set up a quarter final all Sheffield tie with United last night and the blue half of Sheffield will know that they've blown it completely and I hope this has an impact of their performance come Saturday.

 

It will be interesting to see how their relative rookie manager deals with this setback and gets his side to bounce back. I think it's a very good time to play Wednesday regardless of their post Christmas form in the league.

 

Anyway, might be heading to this one as my girlfriend lives in Sheffield and she has expressed an interest in going (she's a keeper). Would be good to see Tomlin get a start and really have a go from the off, after all what have we got to lose at the minute? Really think it's a good time to try a few formulas that will be here next year, both personnel and formation wise.

 

Honestly think that this will be the end of our goalscoring drought and also think that we will concede too.

 

3-1 Boro.

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Anyway, might be heading to this one as my girlfriend lives in Sheffield and she has expressed an interest in going

(she's a keeper).

 

 

ITS A TRAP!!!! :d

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Guest SmogOnTheTyne

I do think there is more too it like, she only knows Kei Kamara and still thinks Mark Venus is the manager from watching the Doncaster game on Sky :D

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Anyway, might be heading to this one as my girlfriend lives in Sheffield and she has expressed an interest in going (she's a keeper).

 

Sorry to say this fella, but it could just be the George Friend Effect!!!

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I personally don't think we are a millions miles away from getting results. We seem to have shored up our defence (given certainly helped), we seem comfortable on the ball in midfield, we have some pace and width to the game and we are creating chances. I'm sure once we start to get that part of our game working we will look a decent side. Hopefully starting this Saturday.

 

I would play this side:

 

Steele

Varga, Woodgate, Gibson, Friend

Leadbitter, Chalobah

Adomah, Tomlin, Carayol

Graham

 

I will be making the short trip across South Yorkshire to this one and will be visiting several ale houses en route! Before and after!!!

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Our playoff hopes are all but over. But, in terms of selections, until that gap significantly exceeds 10 points I'd still like us to take games seriously.

 

---------------- Steele/Mejias ---------------

- Varga - Omeruo - Woodgate - Friend -

---------- Leadbitter - Chalobah ----------

------- Adomah - Tomlin - Carayol ------

-------------------- Graham -----------------

 

+ Mejias/Steele/Dimi, Gibson, Hines, Whitehead, Ledesma, Butterfield, Kamara.

 

Alternatively, if there are still issues with Carayol, I'd go with a trio of Ledesma, Tomlin & Adomah.

 

Drop more points in this one and that really is that (though it already is). Thereafter I'd go with the slightly experimental selection approach in preparation for next season, because there really is almost no chance that we're getting relegated.

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