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Boro V Blackburn (A) 0-1

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53 minutes ago, BillinghamBoro said:

Will be honest, deadly concerned about this season. Not sure where some fans optimism is coming from. We struggled against a team 2 division below us, so am predicting a 3-1 loss. 

You are a little negative Nelly aren't you!

The team that played last night was full of youngsters and our backups. Let's give the first team 10-15 games before we started getting concerned. 

Rome wasn't built in a day and all that!

I figure you watched the league games? Do you not think there were a number of positives in the performances even if the results weren't there? One bad game isn't going to derail the entire season, keep the faith!

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Posted (edited)

The team that played last night had Friend, Clayton and the three new lads in it.  I assume they were signed to play so that's probably five first team players straight away.  You can't say that Saville and Tavernier aren't likely to get game time as well, unless we go through the season without injuries.  Pears, Wood and Walker were the only three in the team who can really be viewed as youngsters.  We made a lot of changes but that team should have done better than it did and I have some concerns myself to be honest.  I don't think we played that well in either league game and I'm not sure where the improvement will come from if the new signings don't play a great deal better than what we saw last night.  I think there's an assumption being made that they are much better and that we'll improve defensively but I'm really not sure what that's based on?  Our attack is still going to be based around Assombalonga, Fletcher and Johnson by the looks of it and that feels a bit light to my mind.

You are correct that Rome wasn't built in a day and all of that.  Three games is nothing in the context of a season I suppose but I'd say that the early signs aren't hugely promising.  No aspect of our game looks particularly strong, I think our play with the ball has been poor so far and we are going to be heavily reliant on pressing teams into making errors in order to get goals.  I know this won't come across properly but the only different so far between this season and last season is how high we want to defend up the pitch now.  I'm really struggling to see any other meaningful differences so far?  We'll see how things go but I wouldn't be surprised with a loss on the weekend and if that happens we will be on to two massive home games, which you'd be almost talking about as needing to win, otherwise any optimism around the place will disappear and Woodgate (and the team) will be under some serious pressure.

Edited by Changing Times
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The fact we are actually having shots and shots on target is already a huge step forward tbh. Think we have had about 18 sog per game and 8-9 on target. 

I think that's a good start. I also think our play with the ball has been much better in spurts, I've seen us play some great little one touch triangular passing moves. The issue is doing it more consistently because so far we often get away from that back into aimless punting upfield and long channel balls. 

I think this is where we just differ though, I get the feeling you're just a more pessimistic person in general lol. 

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I agree with quite a few on here Dijksteel in at RB , Howson back in midfield for Clayton, and Lewis Wing who doesn't lack confidence on penalty duty. I fancy us to take something from the game I think we'll come out fast and shock Blackburn.

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Let's face it anything would be an improvement on last season, Pulis had us set up with 10 men behind the ball in the majority of games. 

I think we need to move away from last season as a benchmark. Of course it's going to take time to change the squad around but it's also a concern after last night because it highlights our lack of depth. I said when the window closed that a bit of bad luck with injuries could see us in a bit of trouble.

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1 hour ago, BoroSmoggie said:

I’d be playing Clayton in the holding role. Not Howson. Has he ever even played there in his career? Playing holding midfielder is such a hard and important position to play, you can’t stick any old midfielder there. Clayton knows that position inside out, and imo hasn’t even been bad this season.

Playing a high press has already seen us vulnerable when they play through it. Leaving Clayton out will leave us more open at the back.

I respectfully disagree with some of this. This is why football is so debated and unique, it is a game saturated with different opinions, and I love it!

I do agree that Clayton hasn't been bad this season, but I don't think he has been particularly good either. In fact I think he has been good at the pressing element of our game, thinking back to our 2nd goal vs Luton. But the holding element of his role I don't think he is current doing well and in my opinion I don't think he has ever been particularly good at it. His best football was in Karanka's double pivot system with Leadbitter, who could cover for Clayton's errors and vice versa.

I've always felt that Clayton is a little immobile and because of that it's almost like he waits before deciding to commit to a direction of movement. It's almost like he is being reactionary to oppositon players rather than being proactive.

I'd agree with what @Neverbefore has said, I do think it is a unique role and Clayton is probably the best/most suited player to it in our squad. But I do think if Howson was given a run in the team in that position he would be at the very least a good back-up, but I do think he could surpass Clayton in the role. 

Reasons being, I think Howson is a better reader of the game, this in my opinion has been shown in his performances at right-back so far. You could argue that he was at fault for leaving Watkins free for Brentford's goal at the weekend. But he was in a lose-lose situation. Does he stay with Watkins which leaves Marcondes free, or does he try and intercept the pass (and cover Marcondes) which of course leaves Watkins free. I also think that Howson is a much more athletic player than Clayton, so if caught out of position he is able to recover better than Clayton. The big example I can remember is Howson's covering tackle toward the back end of the 1st half vs Brentford.

All of this is all hypothetical mind, as Woodgate may not even consider Howson for that role.

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2 hours ago, BillinghamBoro said:

Will be honest, deadly concerned about this season. Not sure where some fans optimism is coming from. We struggled against a team 2 division below us, so am predicting a 3-1 loss. 

I think the optimism comes from the fact that if our striker hadn't made a bollock of his penalty against Luton we would have taken 3 points, and also  the 1st half performance against Brentford were we've been robbed by poor officials. granted  2nd half performance was rubbish.

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Woodgate has got a free ride as far as im concerned .  im not gonna be calling for his head  despite the losses .  that doesnt mean i have total trust in him  , he wasnt my choice but  i  like what he is trying to do  playing style wise and  i cant knock his intentions  one bit.  . i sincerely hope he  makes a successs of things  but  i worry for him tbh.

if it all goes wrong  , in my eyes the blame will lie at other doors  ,or rather one particular one. 

the need for a win is vital in the next few games as  we really dont need a  lack of confidence hitting the players this early on in the season.   

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So we've gone from a low block man mark press in the final third to a high block madness press designed to engineer counters high up the pitch. The problem is these are similar to a point both methods put no emphasis on ball possession or retention so off the bat every week we are giving opposition greenlight to have 50%+ possession by design so when we get it wrong, like with Pulis' methods, it will look awful.

Our in possession build up plan seems to be split the central midfielders wide to create passing triangles with fullback and winger but when that goes wrong because he's set our midfield 3 so high up the opposition get clear runs at our fullbacks defensively this system will continue to leak until he figures out ways to keep our 3 midfielders closer to the back 4 for turnovers and when they're pressing. I said vs Luton our defensive line was crooked every time they ran down a wing it was the same yesterday for their 2 goals that's a communication issue you'd hope I feel bad for Bola and Coulson they both have been overloaded down that flank every game I don't think Shotton or Friend can claim they've helped either one out.

I think this game will be tight I think Dack running beyond our line terrifies the life out of me I think we'll probably lose narrowly and the pressure will mount I don't have an answer on when 'it' will click because I don't think any of us know what 'it' is yet beyond pressing the ball. If we're in single digit points by the end of September that's the time to grab the lifeboats and babies by the end of next month there'll be answers to alot of questions whether the answers suit the 'Boro DNA' hierarchy and Woodgate I don't know.

Tldr: 2 1 defeat, same team as Brentford

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Who will be Boro's penalty taker going forward?  Britt according to JW, but I would choose Fletcher.

 

Will we see two fullbacks playing at fullback?  Maybe.

 

Who makes your starting line up?

Randolph

Dijksteel - Fry/Ayala - Friend - Coulson/Bola

Howson - Wing - McNair

Tavernier - Fletcher - Browne


Will Boro pick their first win of the season this weekend?  I don't think so.

 

 

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Fletcher and McNair took excellent penalties, but I think it's got to be Assombalonga regardless. He'll be our main striker, and we need him as confident as possible.

I think he'll finally stop being a weirdo and aim low on the nezt one.

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If Britt hits another over the bar will he be on the one after that? 🤔 😂

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Honestly I'm just concerned. Our second XI should be beating Crewe, who all credit to them were very good. I appreciate some of my comments are very hyperbolic but I can't sit and say I've honestly felt confident by what I've seen 

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6 hours ago, BoroSmoggie said:

I’d be playing Clayton in the holding role. Not Howson. Has he ever even played there in his career? Playing holding midfielder is such a hard and important position to play, you can’t stick any old midfielder there. 

Isn't that literally what we did when we signed Clayton?

7 hours ago, BillinghamBoro said:

Will be honest, deadly concerned about this season. Not sure where some fans optimism is coming from. We struggled against a team 2 division below us, so am predicting a 3-1 loss. 

Most of us have played Football Manager thats why! I've lost count how many times I have rotated my whole team thinking "they will surely have enough to win..."

I would be saying to Britt I want him to score 10 goals before he takes a penalty again....others have scored and earned the chance to take them whereas he hasn't really. Yes scoring one will be a load off his mind but if he misses again (even if its a peach and the keeper saves it) the mental effects could be irreversible.

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4 hours ago, DanFromDownSouth said:

I respectfully disagree with some of this. This is why football is so debated and unique, it is a game saturated with different opinions, and I love it!

I do agree that Clayton hasn't been bad this season, but I don't think he has been particularly good either. In fact I think he has been good at the pressing element of our game, thinking back to our 2nd goal vs Luton. But the holding element of his role I don't think he is current doing well and in my opinion I don't think he has ever been particularly good at it. His best football was in Karanka's double pivot system with Leadbitter, who could cover for Clayton's errors and vice versa.

I've always felt that Clayton is a little immobile and because of that it's almost like he waits before deciding to commit to a direction of movement. It's almost like he is being reactionary to oppositon players rather than being proactive.

I'd agree with what @Neverbefore has said, I do think it is a unique role and Clayton is probably the best/most suited player to it in our squad. But I do think if Howson was given a run in the team in that position he would be at the very least a good back-up, but I do think he could surpass Clayton in the role. 

Reasons being, I think Howson is a better reader of the game, this in my opinion has been shown in his performances at right-back so far. You could argue that he was at fault for leaving Watkins free for Brentford's goal at the weekend. But he was in a lose-lose situation. Does he stay with Watkins which leaves Marcondes free, or does he try and intercept the pass (and cover Marcondes) which of course leaves Watkins free. I also think that Howson is a much more athletic player than Clayton, so if caught out of position he is able to recover better than Clayton. The big example I can remember is Howson's covering tackle toward the back end of the 1st half vs Brentford.

All of this is all hypothetical mind, as Woodgate may not even consider Howson for that role.

I 100% agree with your point about Clayton being immobile. It’s what let’s him down. He’s extremely slow and obviously quite small. As you mentioned Howson is much more athletic and quicker. Whether he is a better reader of the game I’m not so sure, but I’d imagine both are probably up there in our squad given there experience.

I love Howson as a player and as professional. Never complains and can give a strong 7/10 year every week even when out of position. I’d be all for Howson having a go in that position, why not? Probably wouldn’t try it this weekend though. Either when injuries occur, Clayton is in awful form, or a cup game is probably the best time to try it.

 

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