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Boro vs. Bristol City 2-1 (Friend, Ayala)


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Well that's kind of the problem, Foogle. We don't have any adequate options for the left wing beyond Downing. I'd rather us not go back to operating entirely from one side of the pitch because we have nobody to cover Friend going forward. Downing isn't the winger we once knew but apart from a couple of weeks of poor performances, he's been alright on the left and at least has given Friend licence to do what he can do best.

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It drives me round the bend when I see the back four punting a long ball upfield when we’ve got three centre midfielders on the park.

 

Ha, yes I've been wondering about that too. One of the reasons you play three central midfielders should be to create more outlets to the defenders when in possession. There should be at least two midfielders ready to recieve a pass and a third midfielder available for the next pass. Enter Tony Pulis :liar:

I’d enter Tony Pulis

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It's that elusive 'missing link' between attack and defensive midfield that I think many of us hoped Howson would be. Not blaming the player, he is probably just doing what he is told.

 

We always seem to end up with a pretty hefty exclusion zone around our striker though, be it Bamford, Britt, or Gestede.

 

I don't think Howson has ever been a strong #10 if that's what you mean by the missing link.  I think Howson's strongest position is that ahead of the defensive mids but behind the attacking mids, so he's not a great link between defenders/defensive mids and attack, he's a step behind that level.

 

He tries to break out of midfield and head towards the attacking end but neither his passing or dribbling are good enough to break open a defence the way you'd expect a number #10 to do, the way Downing and Ramirez were capable of doing the last time we went up. You probably want Clayton/Besic and a #10 alongside Howson in midfield to get the best out of him.

 

This is why I think Downing should be played in the number 10 role till the end of the season, he doesn't have the pace to compete as an orthodox Winger anymore, since he's come back to the Boro there's only a handful of games he's been good operating from the left. Most of his good performances this season have been off the right or through the middle when he can cut in where pace counts for less and he can better utilise his intelligent touches and passes.

 

The problem is we don't have any options for that left sided spot, as he clearly doesn't fancy Harrison or Marvin Johnson... I'm hoping for a complete overhaul in Midfield for next season, but everyone has been calling for more creativity in Midfield for a few seasons now and it has still not been addressed...

The creativity we had in the past was from Ramirez, and we never replaced him, I don't really think we have anyone in the squad good enough to play the number10 role, which is why we rely heavily on Traore's wing play. Harrison came here with a decent reputation but I can only assume he hasn't impressed enough and Johnson enough said.

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Harrison came in with the reputation of an exciting player in the MLS. The MLS is improving still but this is the same league that Bradley Wright-Phillips has made a career out of.

 

And Seb Hines

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Harrison came in with the reputation of an exciting player in the MLS. The MLS is improving still but this is the same league that Bradley Wright-Phillips has made a career out of.

 

And Seb Hines

 

Seb got loaned out to Orlando’s B team, stinker for him

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I agree with most that we do punt the long ball and I belive it’s a sign of a weak team.

 

Of course you do.

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