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

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Paddy and Stewy both doubts for tomorrow with knocks

 

I think both will play. I'm pretty sure that every time Pulis has said a player is doubtful, he has played.

But if one or both are out, it gives the ideal excuse to play Fabio and Assombalonga.

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Paddy and Stewy both doubts for tomorrow with knocks

 

I think both will play. I'm pretty sure that every time Pulis has said a player is doubtful, he has played.

But if one or both are out, it gives the ideal excuse to play Fabio and Assombalonga.

You've cracked the "pulis mind games" conundrum - not only does he have "give it to Adama" in his locker but pulls out the "hes doubtful" beauty and they fall for it every time.

Imagine their faces when Downing walks out, they'll poop their pants - the mans a genius.

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Pulis would play Leadbitter when he's still a doubt. He doesn't seem to mind being risky on players who aren't 100%. In fact, I'm pretty sure Leadbitter isn't 100% fit from watching him play but Pulis for whatever reason sees him as vital.

 

Funny thing is that Pulis knows how good Gibson is, he wanted him at West Brom when we went down. Why not just build the team around the idea that Gibson will be captaining the side for the long-term and abandon the need for a captain who, whilst having been a good captain, is not fit for purpose in the rest of the game any more.

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Hope Pulis is forced into trying someone instead of Downing so we have some kind of goal threat from the left. Then I look at our options and wonder who else there really is... well we did have a wide left man who scored goals but he was binned off for reasons I'm still not fully clear on.

 

Downing: 6 league goals in 98 appearances across three seasons

Braithwaite: 5 league goals in 17 appearances in one injury hit half season

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he was binned off for reasons I'm still not fully clear on.

 

He didn't fit into Pulis' team, he didn't want to play for a Pulis team. What's not to understand? I thought it was pretty clear cut. Easily one of my favourite players we've signed in recent seasons and I too believe we have made a mistake in letting him go... but the reasons for it happening are pretty obvious.

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he was binned off for reasons I'm still not fully clear on.

 

He didn't fit into Pulis' team, he didn't want to play for a Pulis team. What's not to understand? I thought it was pretty clear cut. Easily one of my favourite players we've signed in recent seasons and I too believe we have made a mistake in letting him go... but the reasons for it happening are pretty obvious.

 

Everyone said Traore and Bamford would never fit a Pulis team, fast forward a few months and they are our most important players.

 

I get what you're saying but the part I don't understand is why Pulis gave up on Braithwaite so quickly. If he was still here, I'm pretty confident he would be starting now. It just seems weird, looking around for anyone who can offer threat from the left when we already had someone who did. Surely an unhappy Braithwaite is better than Johnson who is pants or Harrison who is totally unproven... 

 

Pretty short term outlook from TP and the club in my opinion - let's be grateful they didn't bin off Bamford too when he was 3rd choice centre forward.

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Maybe Pulis didn't want a player here who he didn't think was committed to the club?

 

You do have to wonder about Braithwaite and Christie's mindset when they want to basically give up a few weeks into Pulis's reign.

 

If they believed in themselves surely they'd have stayed and fought for their places. I've got very little respect for either.

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Surely they must have been told one way or the other that they weren't going to see much gametime and when other clubs come calling you take the chance. Christie could go and play for a manager with an attacking mindset that fits his way of playing and Braithwaite could go and become a first team starter in the french top league with the World Cup coming up instead of sitting on the bench in the Championship under a manager that doesn't really want him. Shipping out Braithwaite and only replacing him with an untried and unfit Harrison smacks of incompetence from Pulis and was just as bad a call as signing Guediora.

 

A forward line of Braithwaite -Bamford-Traore looks a lot more appealing than what we have here, but I suppose that's to adventorous for Pulis.

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I mean, Christie I don't blame. Pulis has been very particular about his full-backs, always has been. He must know that what fit with Monk certainly wasn't going to with Pulis. He's 25 now, he'll want to be in a team/squad where he knows he fits with or he won't play. I don't blame him for not wanting to adapt his game when he is, at his best, a really, really good Championship wing-back. Sacrificing that as a Championship level player is not the best move. I say good on him for recognising that. It's not like he hasn't had to deal with enough dilly-dallying over the past few years. Remember, THIS was meant to be his big career move, the one that made or broke his career.

 

Absolutely nothing to do with them not believing in themselves, if anything the reason they left is because they do and they feel they're better served elsewhere. And putting the 'few weeks' against them isn't fair either. They literally had to make a decision within a few weeks, any longer and it would have been another 6 months before they could respond to the situation. They had to respond based on very little time and no doubt fellow professionals in the game who knew about Pulis. Neither player strikes me as the type who wants to sit around, wait and see if their career will work out after a big change.

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Braithwaite I can understand with the World cup on the horizon but he would have still got plenty of game time under Pulis if he'd stuck around.

I'm not denying it was a mistake for us to let him go, he's a better option than we've got at the moment but no one knows the circumstances. It's easy to assume Pulis forced him out but I remember Pulis saying he'd asked to leave.

 

As for Christie, what has he accomplished by swapping one bench for another? He's got no World cup to think about either. As a Boro fan I would have preferred him to give it 6 months and try to force his way back into the team. If he couldn't do that then fair enough move on in the summer.

I'd respect him more if he's gone to a club for regular football but he hasn't even done that. I could have told him he wouldn't get a game at Fulham.

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Isn't it obvious? Fulham is a perfect match for him on the pitch. If he's going to be on the bench for a team, Jokanovic is a much, much better option than Pulis for Christie. He's been berated for his poor defending at Derby for years now, the option to switch for a team that plays with attacking full-backs or defensive after the years he spent at Derby is an absolute no-brainer. Like you said, he's on the bench for both but at least when he comes into the team at Fulham, he can actually do the job they need him to do.

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Isn't it obvious? Fulham is a perfect match for him on the pitch. If he's going to be on the bench for a team, Jokanovic is a much, much better option than Pulis for Christie. He's been berated for his poor defending at Derby for years now, the option to switch for a team that plays with attacking full-backs or defensive after the years he spent at Derby is an absolute no-brainer. Like you said, he's on the bench for both but at least when he comes into the team at Fulham, he can actually do the job they need him to do.

 

He's not on the pitch for Fulham, that's the long and short of it.

 

Maybe if he'd stuck around he might have been able to do a job off the bench for us as well, Traore has been brought off/switched wings enough times for Christie to have got a chance as a defensive winger when we were trying to close games out.

 

We went with wing backs the other night which would have been ideal for him, my opinion is that he jumped ship far too quickly and hasn't put himself in any better position.

 

If Fulham go up I suspect he'll get even less game time next season, maybe working with a very defensive manager like Pulis might have actually helped him if he'd given it long enough to try.

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Christie was one of the worst full backs I’ve seen in recent years. Yeah he was OK going forward but defensively, dear me, he didn’t have a clue. Away to Bristol city imo he put in the worst individual performance this season

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Pulis said in his interview with the Boro website:

 

"Adam Clayton was exceptional when he came on. If we can get Clayts playing like that for 90 minutes, Grant will find it hard to get back into the team for the remaining 3 games"

 

It probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone, but that confirms Clayton will start tomorrow.

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Pulis said in his interview with the Boro website:

 

"Adam Clayton was exceptional when he came on. If we can get Clayts playing like that for 90 minutes, Grant will find it hard to get back into the team for the remaining 3 games"

 

It probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone, but that confirms Clayton will start tomorrow.

Don’t mind that. I rate claytons ability and football brain. It’s just he can’t run, at all. I also think the hate he gets for “always passing sideways/backwards” is harsh. When I watch him I think he always looks to pass it forward just there’s not always an option there. Most central midfielders pass sidewards or backwards, it’s rare to find one that passes forwards on a regular basis, I.e de bruyne.

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