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Boro v Man Utd 1 ( Yes 1)-3

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Mourinho has just called de Roon phenomenal.

 

De Roon :heart:

 

He was our best outfield player today.

 

He's the only one who busts a nut to get forward time and time again. If he can improve just a little bit, he could be a poor mans Lampard with an even bigger engine, his tank just doesn't empty!

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I thought we looked very positive in the first fifteen and last fifteen minutes as a few people have said. The first fifteen is how Karanka's system should have played out and the last fifteen was a result of the plan B he rarely used. Hopefully Agnew was simply being cautious against United though, would like to see some different tactics against the weaker teams, but even in this system we produced a more entertaining game today.

 

The in between was a bit of a shambles and the goals were the result of some terrible defending (Barragan for 1-0, Barragan & Bernardo for 2-0) and Bernardo was lucky Valdes covered for him with a great save earlier in the game. I honestly think our chances of survival hinge on how often we can keep these two liabilities out of the team. Our attack isn't great admittedly, but it never stands a chance of scoring enough if they're both shipping two easy goals a game down the other end.

 

Three winnable games after the break, at least now I'm positive that they will be entertaining if not necessarily successful. I hope Gestede plays whether it's alone or in a two, he just brings a lot more to our team than Negredo even if Negredo is a 'better' player.

 

Barragan maybe could have done better with the cross but lets not forget Gibson didn't cover himself in glory either there. He should have had more control over the situation & taken Fellaini and not left the tiny-in-comparison-to Fellaini Fabio to deal with him.

 

The second goal was entirely on the two of them though, I agree, both backed off Lingard and neither were brave enough to try and close him down, criminal defending.

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Don't know what to make of it but Leo took charge of the GK warm up but then took his seat in the West Upper for the game. He was walking fine. Surely he should have been in the dug out.

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Don't know what to make of it but Leo took charge of the GK warm up but then took his seat in the West Upper for the game. He was walking fine. Surely he should have been in the dug out.

 

Probably didn't trust himself not to get into a tussle with Mourinho.

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Positives from today-

- We got a goal against a prem side!, no need for an explanation with that one.

- Until they scored we played high pressing and i think that surprised Man U at the start they were not sure what to do about that.

-  Gaston was so much better today im betting he was one of them that massively fell out with karanka.

- Fabio did well pressing up the pitch the whole game.

- We gave Man u a game, sure the quality wasn't their but it wasnt under karanka either if we go down i wanna go down playing like that.

- We played 4,4,2 and we got a goal so we know it works.

- If it wasnt for Valdes mistake we could have got a late draw today.

 

Negatives -

- Bernado was played and not only that Fry was sat on the bench having done well at Man city.

- Downing should be dropped for a bit i think he tried but someone else should get a chance he was bad today.

- Valdes mistake was just comical and stupid.

 

If it wasn't for Valdes the game wouldn't have even been close. I can forgive a mistake like that every now and again considering the rest of his performances.

 

Not to mention the rest of this season - he's the only reason we've even been close in a lot of games, he's made a large number of top saves for us.

 

*** happens, unfortunately it was when we were trying to get back into the game. Silver lining, at least it wasn't the winning goal I guess?

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Not sure if I can be happy with that game today. For 70 mins it was the exact same as we've been doing this year.

Our only premier league quality players are Valdes, Gibbo and Negredo. Ramirez when he wants. That's where we are. Yes we attacked more when we went 4-4-2 but the game was over and also Man Utd helped by not attacking at all (pretty sure they went with a flat back 6, but could be wrong)

 

If I look for a positive it could be that SA now sees 4-4-2 as a viable option

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Going forward and doing nothing with it is no better than not going forwards at all.

 

Traore seems to do both. You can see when he has the ball he only wants to dribble then hit the ball towards the box in hope. He literally has no idea what to do when given a chance to do something else. Late in the game when he was 20 yards out with time and should have had a crack but instead just did a tame chip. Against United after 7 mins we broke and he had no idea whether to commit the man, shoot or pass and ended up just slopping it. When he doesnt have the ball you can see him just standing there waiting for it to come to him with no intention to either receive the ball in a more positive position or make room for team mates. I just dont see how we can pin any hopes on him.

 

Much improved display today and dont want to get bogged down in negativity

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Guest Changing Times

Slllooooowwwwwwww moootttttiiioooonnnnnnn

 

That's us in a nutshell.  We play in slow motion while the opposition is playing a different game entirely. Somehow we've been allowed to put together one of the slowest squads I think I've ever seen. I really don't get how this has been allowed to happen. If it wasn't for Traore and maybe Fabio's occasional bursts of pace I'd suggest us trying to join one of those walking leagues where we'd fit right in.

 

The first 10 mins or so we started with reasonable purpose, which to be fair made a nice change but it couldn't last and it didn't as Man Utd gradually began to open us up without us being able to do the same in return.  Some good saves from Valdes kept the score down in the first half thankfully although he made up for that later.  The first goal was garbage defending, from the cross being allowed to come in at all to Valdes not knowing what to do to Fabio being left with Felaini.  Going in at half time only a goal down probably flattered us.

 

I expected to see some changes at half time as we were doing *** all but I suppose predictably we did nothing, wasted 20 mins and then conceded a second goal, pretty much finishing the game.  The second goal was a perfect illustration of what I said earlier as our midfield trundled after their players and our defenders went on full retreat.  We made Jesse Lingard look amazing today, just think about that for a moment.  Then we decided to do something different that half worked and half didn't but we actually scored a goal.  I'll repeat that, we actually scored a goal.  The changes caused them a few more problems than we had been although they helped this by actually outkaranka-ing us and going very defensive.  The third goal was unfortunate although he should have just put his foot through it straight away instead of taking his time but a slip is a slip.

 

I didn't expect much different overall and for most of the game we didn't get any different.  Valdes was good and bad.  Espinosa isn't up to this level or style of football.  He has no pace and very little else going for him.  Another fine piece of work by our scouting ninjas.  I think Gibson is still giving his all but he looks fed up to me. Barragan is limited and wasn't able to help Espinosa.  Fabio has a go but marking Fellaini for their first was absurd.

 

A midfield three of Clayton, Leadbitter and de Roon is laughable really.  How bad must Guedioura be that he can't get into this team? Frightening.  Leadbitter again chasing shadows.  His attitude is right, he clearly wants to make an impact but he doesn't have it at this level and he's certainly not going to get better now.  I'm not having a dig at him, he's getting on, he was nothing more than a decent Championship midfielder and he's missed a decent chunk of time through injury but we really should have moved on by now.  It's exacerbated by the equally slow players alongside him to be fair and as much as I don't see an adequate pairing a*** the lot of them, we are desperate for wins now and I think we need to get more attacking options in the side.

 

Downing did next to nothing as usual, overhit a few crosses and didn't stretch them at all.  Ramirez kind of made an effort to be fair to him but I'm not ***d about him now.  Negredo was ok without getting much in the way of service but he's just playing out time as well. Gestede clearly isn't fit but his aerial threat at least worried them a bit and I'm happy for him that he got his goal.  Traore is Traore but at least caused them a few problems.

 

Gibson needs to get on with finding a manager to at least take us until the end of the season.

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Going forward and doing nothing with it is no better than not going forwards at all.

 

Traore seems to do both. You can see when he has the ball he only wants to dribble then hit the ball towards the box in hope. He literally has no idea what to do when given a chance to do something else. Late in the game when he was 20 yards out with time and should have had a crack but instead just did a tame chip. Against United after 7 mins we broke and he had no idea whether to commit the man, shoot or pass and ended up just slopping it. When he doesnt have the ball you can see him just standing there waiting for it to come to him with no intention to either receive the ball in a more positive position or make room for team mates. I just dont see how we can pin any hopes on him.

 

Much improved display today and dont want to get bogged down in negativity

 

Didn't that tame chip lead directly to the goal? Might be mistaken but I think it did.

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I also like to add

 

IMO the stick that Downing gets is ridiculous. Now I'm not saying he's great or even good but he's nowhere near our worst player. He played some (not just one) good balls in. But he is so scrutinised by large portions of our fan base almost wanting him to mess up to give them some sort of justification. I saw leadbitter, barragan. Espinosa, Clayton , Traore and valdes (although Valdes can be forgiven) all make bigger mistakes than what Stewy did today but hardly a mention

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Going forward and doing nothing with it is no better than not going forwards at all.

 

Traore seems to do both. You can see when he has the ball he only wants to dribble then hit the ball towards the box in hope. He literally has no idea what to do when given a chance to do something else. Late in the game when he was 20 yards out with time and should have had a crack but instead just did a tame chip. Against United after 7 mins we broke and he had no idea whether to commit the man, shoot or pass and ended up just slopping it. When he doesnt have the ball you can see him just standing there waiting for it to come to him with no intention to either receive the ball in a more positive position or make room for team mates. I just dont see how we can pin any hopes on him.

 

Much improved display today and dont want to get bogged down in negativity

 

Didn't that tame chip lead directly to the goal? Might be mistaken but I think it did.

 

Are you seriously saying Traore got the assist for Gestede? He was stood about 10 yards from Gestede when I think Fabio played it back to Downing who whipped the ball in that wasnt dealt with and Gestede finished. To say Traore was directly involved in that is clutching at straws.

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I also like to add

 

IMO the stick that Downing gets is ridiculous. Now I'm not saying he's great or even good but he's nowhere near our worst player. He played some (not just one) good balls in. But he is so scrutinised by large portions of our fan base almost wanting him to mess up to give them some sort of justification. I saw leadbitter, barragan. Espinosa, Clayton , Traore and valdes (although Valdes can be forgiven) all make bigger mistakes than what Stewy did today but hardly a mention

 

I think he plays very well as a defensive winger. He tracks back well (most of the time) and usually works hard that direction.

 

The issue is he seems to have no conviction going forward at all - this was my big complaint with him last year too; he always seems to take the first opportunity to pass the simple ball to the nearest guy to get the pressure off himself.

 

Downing should be the kind of player that is showing how it's done, pushing forward, empowering everyone else.

 

He's playing scared and it's maddening.

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