Jump to content
oneBoro Forum
Sign in to follow this  
BoroAbroad

The alarm bells are ringing.

Recommended Posts

So Boro can't score against 10 men but concede 2 goals when down to 10 men?

Without a win in 10 games.... Keep shooting themselves in the foot?

It is a bloody shambles and my patience is shredded. I was very doubtful that the Woody/Kean partnership would bring major benefits. But at the same time I did not expect us to be battling relegation.

For those who were fortunate to not be around the last time this scenario took place it might be worth noting.

The last time Boro went 10 games without a win outside the top flight was in January 1985. In the following season of 85/86 we were relegated to (the old) division 3 and went into liquidation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985–86_Middlesbrough_F.C._season

A pessimistic view I know. And I am sure a lot will have a counter argument. I also doubt Gibbo will allow us to go into liquidation. But at the moment the season to date has a real dé·jà vu feel to it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't around in 85/86, so I defer to the opinions of those who actually were in terms of parallels between that season and this.

From my own perspective, this season is encapsulating the principle that football is all about confidence - or the lack thereof. A confident team would have seen out a two-goal lead at home against a crap Hull side. A confident team would pass the ball quicker and more accurately, make the right decisions more often, trust its back line and keep faith in a misfiring strike force. I honestly believe most of our issues this season can be attributed to a collective lack of confidence - e.g. midfielders shooting wildly because they don't think the strikers will either hold the ball up or score themselves.

Confidence is often inspired by a good leader, which we don't have either on or off the pitch. We never replaced Grant's drive and determination, and Woodgate clearly can't motivate the troops. Nor can Keane, and nor, I'm sad to say, can Leo.

I don't want Woodgate out because he's a bad person, or because he has no future in management. I want him out because he can't motivate the players and give them that extra yard that better man-managers like Karanka and Robson could. The players lack confidence, therefore they play within themselves, therefore they under-perform, therefore the team goes ten games without a win. From Britt to Randolph, the lack of self-belief is tangible. And only a new manager can give the players that mental self-belief to think "no, Hull, we're not going to drop back, kick it long and end up hanging on. You're rubbish and we're at home, so you can do one."

Kilmarnock FC's motto is Confidemus - "we trust". If our players trusted a little more, we wouldn't be one goal outside the relegation zone.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday actually gave me a little more hope for Boro, despite the frustrating final result.

For the first 45 minutes we played some good / great attacking football and were full value for our 2-0 half time lead.

So on the positive side we've shown we can play very well...even with a hopeless rookie manager. It actually had me wondering if the players finally decided to just do what comes naturally, rather than pay attention to whatever the manager tells them.

 

On the negative side, our confidence is so fragile that it doesn't take much for us to flip from a positive, attacking team with some flair, to a bunch of panicked headless chickens.

Losing one player should never have that effect on the rest of the team. Sadly, we don't appear to have any leaders on the pitch to rally the troops when the going gets tough...and its not like we can expect Woody to provide any leadership.

I think we still have enough to avoid relegation, provided we can stop shooting ourselves in the foot (though it will be close).

BUT...until such time as we can acquire a decent back four...Boro need to realise their biggest strength is in attack...and that their best form of defence is also to attack (since we can't defend to save our lives).

Don't think we're doomed yet...but we are definitely wobbling on the tightrope.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thankfully, I think we will survive relegation. The last few games against QPR and Hull we have played better, just having little setbacks (Howson OG, Johnson red card).

But I really do not think liquidation is an option. There is a reason we are where we are, and it is specifically to avoid that conclusion to the Boro saga.

A culling of higher earners, a cheap coach, cheaper signings with cheaper wages... we are getting our ducks in order to secure our future. I said to my mate yesterday that if the survival of this football club means having to put up with a lower Championship team for a couple of seasons then I will grin and bear it (through gritted teeth of course!).

I also think there's something to be said about keeping Woodgate on, he hasn't had the greatest start but it seems now that we may have turned a corner, 1 defeat in five (albeit no wins) and 4 goals in our last 2 games after that awful run of not scoring shows that maybe he's become a bit more savvy about what is needed in this league, or that the players are starting to listen to his ideas more. Plus he's gotta be on dirt cheap wages, is willing to deal with the current transfer strategy of buying young, low cost, low wage players, and can only get better as he learns more about this league.

The money saved on the wages alone of Howson, Ayala, Shotton etc whose contracts are up at the end of this season, should give us some funds to buy recruits that could strengthen us a bit in the summer, along with all the academy lads being a year older and wiser.

Who knows, in the mid 20's (or hopefully before, depending if our signings are any good) we may have a team capable of getting promoted again, and this time we wont have done it with a top heavy wage budget which we absolutely cannot support. 

Edited by OldManGravz
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, OldManGravz said:

Thankfully, I think we will survive relegation. The last few games against QPR and Hull we have played better, just having little setbacks (Howson OG, Johnson red card).

But I really do not think liquidation is an option. There is a reason we are where we are, and it is specifically to avoid that conclusion to the Boro saga.

A culling of higher earners, a cheap coach, cheaper signings with cheaper wages... we are getting our ducks in order to secure our future. I said to my mate yesterday that if the survival of this football club means having to put up with a lower Championship team for a couple of seasons then I will grin and bear it (through gritted teeth of course!).

I also think there's something to be said about keeping Woodgate on, he hasn't had the greatest start but it seems now that we may have turned a corner, 1 defeat in five (albeit no wins) and 4 goals in our last 2 games after that awful run of not scoring shows that maybe he's become a bit more savvy about what is needed in this league, or that the players are starting to listen to his ideas more. Plus he's gotta be on dirt cheap wages, is willing to deal with the current transfer strategy of buying young, low cost, low wage players, and can only get better as he learns more about this league.

The money saved on the wages alone of Howson, Ayala, Shotton etc whose contracts are up at the end of this season, should give us some funds to buy recruits that could strengthen us a bit in the summer, along with all the academy lads being a year older and wiser.

Who knows, in the mid 20's (or hopefully before, depending if our signings are any good) we may have a team capable of getting promoted again, and this time we wont have done it with a top heavy wage budget which we absolutely cannot support. 

Thank you for the much needed optimism, slurms. Utfb 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, OldManGravz said:

Who knows, in the mid 20's (or hopefully before, depending if our signings are any good) we may have a team capable of getting promoted again, and this time we wont have done it with a top heavy wage budget which we absolutely cannot support. 

To be fair, we didn't go up last time with a top-heavy wage budget. Our squad was actually quite cheaply assembled, with Mogga's lucky-dip bargain-bucket buys alongside Karanka's never-heard-of-them imports. Yes, we bought the odd marquee signing like Rhodes, but it didn't feel like we were top-heavy in wages in the way we have been more recently.

The wage bill only really spiralled after promotion. We blew an incalculable amount of money on mercenaries and incompetents like Negredo, Guzan and Barragan, and then spunked another £50 million the following summer on an attempt at promotion that we'd effectively abandoned by Christmas.

I do agree with your wider point that long-term sustainability is crucial, and too many teams like Portsmouth have lived beyond their means only to crash and burn. Steve Gibson won't let us do that, which is why I feel comparisons to 1986 are disingenuous. However, the league is getting richer, and we're not.

Incredible to think we paid Rav the highest wages in the Premier League just 20 years ago. It seems like a different lifetime.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're not going to go back to 1986 and be on the verge of liquidation but we do face the prospect of being back in the same division. 

The other thing to note is in the mid 80s we were bringing through a crop of exceptional young players. We don't have a group of players as good as that to rely on this time. 

If we did get relegated I don't think we'll go bust but I think it could take a few years to get back out of that division again. Crowds would drop massively, we'll lose half of the current squad and the other half will be on Championship wages. I honestly don't think we've bottomed out yet as a club. 

If we do need a big rebuild (which looks likely, regardless of division) does anyone really trust Gibson and the backroom staff to assemble a good squad of players any time in the near future? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, OldManGravz said:

Thankfully, I think we will survive relegation. The last few games against QPR and Hull we have played better, just having little setbacks (Howson OG, Johnson red card).

But I really do not think liquidation is an option. There is a reason we are where we are, and it is specifically to avoid that conclusion to the Boro saga.

A culling of higher earners, a cheap coach, cheaper signings with cheaper wages... we are getting our ducks in order to secure our future. I said to my mate yesterday that if the survival of this football club means having to put up with a lower Championship team for a couple of seasons then I will grin and bear it (through gritted teeth of course!).

I also think there's something to be said about keeping Woodgate on, he hasn't had the greatest start but it seems now that we may have turned a corner, 1 defeat in five (albeit no wins) and 4 goals in our last 2 games after that awful run of not scoring shows that maybe he's become a bit more savvy about what is needed in this league, or that the players are starting to listen to his ideas more. Plus he's gotta be on dirt cheap wages, is willing to deal with the current transfer strategy of buying young, low cost, low wage players, and can only get better as he learns more about this league.

The money saved on the wages alone of Howson, Ayala, Shotton etc whose contracts are up at the end of this season, should give us some funds to buy recruits that could strengthen us a bit in the summer, along with all the academy lads being a year older and wiser.

Who knows, in the mid 20's (or hopefully before, depending if our signings are any good) we may have a team capable of getting promoted again, and this time we wont have done it with a top heavy wage budget which we absolutely cannot support. 

Good post and you're certainly more optimistic than me. 

Do you think the departures this summer will allow us to spend on equivalent levels of replacements? If the club are losing 1m a month which the Gazette seem to be reporting then I think we need to recover 250k a week in wages just to break even. That's before we start thinking about raising money to buy players. 

From what I've heard is that Gibson has no desire to keep pumping money into the club. If we need to be self sustainable we probably need to get rid of all those players who are out of contract and then after that look to sell other players to raise funds for signings/loans. 

I can see Ayala, Clayton, Shotton, Howson and Friend not being given new contracts and leaving next summer. I think we'll also be looking to move Randolph and Britt out of the club rather than lose them for nothing the following year. 

If we take all those players out of the squad we'll need to bring in some pretty decent replacements to avoid further decline. I'm not sure we've got the quality coming through the academy to replace those types of players.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alarm bells ring,

Gibbo, are you listening?

In the Riverside

People are missing

It's not a nice sight

Cos Boro are ***

Walking in a Woodgate wonderland.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The money saved on wages is money that we apparently can't afford so I'm not sure how much of it will be used on replacements and who those replacements will be.  Irrespective of cost, the issue is the calibre of the players we will have and those we brought in during the summer are well short of what is required.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Duvel said:

Good post and you're certainly more optimistic than me. 

Do you think the departures this summer will allow us to spend on equivalent levels of replacements? If the club are losing 1m a month which the Gazette seem to be reporting then I think we need to recover 250k a week in wages just to break even. That's before we start thinking about raising money to buy players. 

From what I've heard is that Gibson has no desire to keep pumping money into the club. If we need to be self sustainable we probably need to get rid of all those players who are out of contract and then after that look to sell other players to raise funds for signings/loans. 

I can see Ayala, Clayton, Shotton, Howson and Friend not being given new contracts and leaving next summer. I think we'll also be looking to move Randolph and Britt out of the club rather than lose them for nothing the following year. 

If we take all those players out of the squad we'll need to bring in some pretty decent replacements to avoid further decline. I'm not sure we've got the quality coming through the academy to replace those types of players.  

(I'm going to use very rough guess-timates here for figures)

 

If we lose the 5 players you mentioned - Ayala, Friend, Howson, Shotton and Clayton - plus Johnson and Gestede, that's gotta be around 150-200k a week on wages saved. If, as rumours are saying, we sell Ayala to Fulham in December, and maybe one more of those 7 goes, theres a couple of extra mill (let's work with 5) in the bank, plus a half season of wages saved for 2 players. That should comfortable see us through to summer.

I agree that I think Britt and Randolph are gone in summer, if not before. Randz especially, with us taking Archer on a trial and having 2 other keepers already. So there is another 60/70k in wages saved, plus we could recoup around 10m in the bank from those two sales. That puts us over the 250k a week we need to save without touching the 10m. 

I also think that transfers are gonna be a lot tighter, at least for a couple of year, we will only get a few players in and as I alluded to in my first post, they will be low cost, low wage transfers. Hopefully the club is more focused on finding hidden gems from lower and foreign leagues who are on nowhere near as much per week than some of our current crop. The subs bench and squad will probably need to be populated with our academy players for now, so that we dont have too much outlay in any given season.

If we use these facts as a given in this hypothetical: 1. Woody stays 2. He continues to play this 352 that has been used so far, and 3. That none of our better youngsters are poached by bigger clubs, we can start to build up an idea of next year's squad:

 

GK - Pears, Meijas, Archer

DC - Fry, McNair, ?, Wood, Mahmutovic, Stubbs

DR - Dijksteel, Spence

DL - Bola, Coulson, Reading

MC - Wing, Saville, Tavernier, Liddle, Malley, Wearne

ST - Fletcher, Walker, O'Neill, Burrell

 

Definitely not ideal and definitely going to be lower end of the table, but I think that side could survive safely, and with the right additions start to build year on year. 

I know it's going to be rough, and there's a lot riding on not wasting money on the wrong signings, but it is doable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The lower end of the table?  We're in a relegation battle with a squad that is much better than that as it is.  That squad wouldn't get promoted out of League One.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry OMG but I'm with CT here, That squad spells relegation. No where near enough quality in every department.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Changing Times said:

The lower end of the table?  We're in a relegation battle with a squad that is much better than that as it is.  That squad wouldn't get promoted out of League One.

As I said in my first post CT, I think that we seem to be picking up a bit, with only individual mistakes stopping us getting wins in the last couple of games. I'm hoping Woodgate is finding his feet, and improving as a manager as he learns his trade.

I also think that, as Rise Against said, confidence is shot at the minute, and has been since the Pulis reign. Hopefully, with improved performances, confidence will improve, which will improve performances.... yadda yadda yadda.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, OldManGravz said:

As I said in my first post CT, I think that we seem to be picking up a bit, with only individual mistakes stopping us getting wins in the last couple of games. I'm hoping Woodgate is finding his feet, and improving as a manager as he learns his trade.

I also think that, as Rise Against said, confidence is shot at the minute, and has been since the Pulis reign. Hopefully, with improved performances, confidence will improve, which will improve performances.... yadda yadda yadda.

 

Yeah, this current team is picking up, but remove Randolph, Ayala, Howson, Britt without getting anything of quality in and we're not improving anymore. Hell, even Shotton would improve that team.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  


×
×
  • Create New...