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The Official Middlesbrough "Karanka Will Save Us" Thread

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Post by dyrewolfe Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:20 pm

First topic message reminder :

Just thought I should lay down a brief marker, given how well our season has gone so far, after a brief patchy start.

After cutting away pretty much all the dead wood and high earners, Tony Mowbray assembled a rather motley assortment of new faces, on a much smaller overall wage bill, which didn't exactly inspire confidence at the start of the season. True, we still had the likes of Scott McDonald, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Emnes, together with "old timers" like Justin Hoyte and Rhys Williams, but we made no standout signings that gave any clear indication of what expectations for this season should be. Even the return of Boro old boy Jonathan Woodgate got a mixed reception as we wondered how many games he would actually be fit for.

On top of that we had a relative rookie in goal in the form of Jason Steele, following the departure of our more experienced keepers.

The first few games seemed to bear out what most of us expected, that this would be a rebuilding season, getting the new squad to gel and maybe reaching the play-offs, if we were really lucky. Especially given that more than half our first team players seemed to be injured at any given time.

However, a strange, almost miraculous transformation has come about over the last couple of months, which has seen the players start to play as if they actually train together and understand what the manager wants them to do. Fringe players from the youth/reserve teams have come in and done a job when called upon. With that has come improved performances, with some attractive attacking football, coupled with a reasonably solid defence. This has resulted in a 8-match unbeaten run, where we won 5 games in a row, catapulting us briefly to the top of the Championship.

We suffered our first defeat in 9 games at Cardiff last week, but now have a run of very winnable games ahead of us, which should hopefully see us consolidate our position in the top 3 and keep our automatic promotion prospects very much alive into next year.

Anyway, just wanted to say "Well done Mogga, well done lads and keep up the good work!"  clap


Last edited by dyrewolfe on Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:30 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Post by TopoftheChops Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

What's Frazer Richardson like as a player?

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Post by dyrewolfe Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:42 pm

TopoftheChops wrote:What's Frazer Richardson like as a player?

Can't comment, I'm afraid, as I've never seen him.


Feeling somewhat bummed out after the weekend's result. That first goal should never have been allowed to happen, though typically our defence went AWOL for the second, so it porbably wouldn't have made a difference.

We created a few good chances before going behind - maybe having one or two half-decent strikers who actually knew where the goal was (instead of Lukas "Couldn't Hit A Bloody Barn Door" Jutkiewicz) would have helped. Wish Kei Kamara had started instead, but given he's just come back from injury, I suppose it was too big a risk.

Oh well, onwards and upwards. Lets hope the Doncaster game is as straightforward as it should be on paper. Then again, with Boro, nothing is ever straightforward. Rolling Eyes
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Post by Shot 21 LCFC Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:10 pm

We got a bit lucky.

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Post by dyrewolfe Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:26 pm

Yeah. Think you got the benefit of the doubt about the ball being wholly over the line, just before the first goal. If it had happened at the Riverside, we'd probably have got a goal kick.

Still, can't complain too much as we only had ourselves to blame for the second. Overall we didn't play well enough to deserve anything, so no hard feelings. Wink


On a positive note, we've offloaded Jutkiewicz to Bolton (bet he racks up 10-15 goals befoe the end of the season now), got Danny Graham back and signed Posh's Lee Tomlin on loan (a bit worried by his disciplinary record).

Hopefully they'll help us rediscover our goalscoring abilities, which have deserted us for the last 3 games, including a very poor bore draw at Doncaster in which both sides had a solitary shot on target all game.

Here's hoping for better fare when Blackburn rock up to the Riverside. Expecting a tough game, as both teams have very similar form, but hoping we can sneak a win.
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Post by Shot 21 LCFC Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:02 pm

Interesting you have signed Lee Tomlin. He is a Leicester born lad. Believe it or not I have a link to him. He is my brothers-mates-cousin. Danny Graham has completely gone off the boil in this last year or so, but perhaps dropping down a level is what he needs. Maybe he will rediscover his Watford form.

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Post by dyrewolfe Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:06 pm

You name-dropper, you!  laughing 

As for Tomlin rediscovering his Watford form, we can only hope so. His ban is over now, so hopefully he can get some game time to get match-fit, then start to make an impact.

Problem is, Karanka looks as though he's trying to get us playing the Chelsea way (not entirely surprising, as he worked under Mourinho at Real Madrid). We only play with 1 striker and with Graham returning, Tomlin could be seeing a lot of the bench, or else asked to play somewhere in midfield.

Since we played Leicester, we've not only failed to win a game, but we've also failed to score a goal, the sequence looking like this:

Leicester 2 - 0 Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough 0 - 0 Wigan
Doncaster 0 - 0 Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough 0 - 0 Blackburn
Watford 1 - 0 Middlesbrough (in fairness, they only won thanks to a penalty)
Middlesbrough 0 - 0 Leeds

Pretty horrendous eh? 6 games without a win and 6 games without scoring a goal. And it doesn't look like getting any better when we visit Sheffield Wednesday. In fact, my money is on a home win. Sad

While Karanka has improved our defence unbelievably - although a BIG shout must go to the now-departed Shay Given - we appear to have forgotten how to score.

AK has criticised the team more than once for failing to carry out his instructions and I suppose for 1 or 2 matches you could blame the players. But 6 games in a row? Something tells me he needs to change the system.

He's still new to management and most of us are happy to give him time, but a few of us are thinking that maybe he needs to be a bit more flexible and use tactics that are better suited to his current squad.

Come the Summer, hopefully he can bring in some new faces and start to rebuild the squad so they can play his favoured tactics...
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Post by Roller_Coaster Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:46 pm

QPR fan in peace!

Did you watch on Saturday? I only saw the FL show (so just the goals) and whatever they said in the round the grounds bits on BBC in the afternoon. Sounds like we were (a bit) better but by all accounts everyone had settled for a draw until "that" goal. One hell of a bounce as he swung his boot so totally unlucky but good following up by Zamora. Cracking finish for the 3rd but guess everyone was still shell shocked by the 2nd!

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Post by dyrewolfe Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:39 pm

Roller_Coaster wrote:QPR fan in peace!

Did you watch on Saturday? I only saw the FL show (so just the goals) and whatever they said in the round the grounds bits on BBC in the afternoon. Sounds like we were (a bit) better but by all accounts everyone had settled for a draw until "that" goal. One hell of a bounce as he swung his boot so totally unlucky but good following up by Zamora. Cracking finish for the 3rd but guess everyone was still shell shocked by the 2nd!

I watched the game on TV and from what I saw we bossed most of the first half - all but the last 10 minutes or so. Rangers started the second half better, but we still had a firm grip on the game most of the time. George Friend's goal for us was a brilliant move by him, though he did benefit from picking up on a rebounded effort (came within a whisker of getting a second as well). Benayoun's equaliser was largely down to incompetent defending on our part, but credit to him for being sharp enough to take the chance when it came.

It was looking 1-1 all the way, until Konstantopolous' missed clearance. Desperately unlucky for us.

That said, quite a few Boro fans were pretty peeved QPR finished the game with 11 players on the pitch. I saw quite a bit of repeated fouling...one or two bad tackles but mostly niggling stuff. Although you got 5 yellow cards, many reckon Kranjcar and Morrison should have seen a second and got their marching orders.

In fairness, there was probably also a case for Kamara to go, as he was getting pretty wound up before he was subbed.

All in all, absolutely gutted as we played well for the majority of the game and deserved a point at least.
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Post by dyrewolfe Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:28 pm

My, how things can change in a short space of time. Since recruiting former Boro legend Craig Hignett from Hartlepool, as Karanka's assistant, we've gone 5 games unbeaten, winning 4 of those. Results as follows:

Huddersfield 2 - 2 Boro
Brighton 0 - 2 Boro
Boro 1 - 0 Derby
Boro 3 - 1 Birmingham
Burnley 0 - 1 Boro

The win against Brum came despite finishing the game with 9 men, having 2 players sent off in the final 10 minutes (Tomlin scored our 3rd in the 89th minute after a Brum defensive clanger). We also finished the Burnley game with 10 men, with Ayala picking up 2 yellow cards in the final 10 minutes.

13 points from a possible 15 has left us thinking back to that 7-game run without a goal and wondering what might have been.

The football hasn't always been pretty and especially in the last couple of games Lady Luck has smiled on us, but in fairness we were long overdue some good fortune.

The team are actually playing as a team now, instead of a collection of individuals, working hard and when someone makes a mistake, someone else takes up the slack. Its great to see and gives us genuine hope for next season.
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Post by Shot 21 LCFC Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:37 pm

I think you guys are now my favourite North East team! You did us a favour in beating Derby so we got promoted, and on Saturday you beat Bunrley which is making our job of clincing the Championship title easier!! Hope you guys get promoted next season now!!!

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Post by dyrewolfe Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:29 pm

Heh. Thanks - so do we!
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Post by westisbest Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:17 pm

Any news your end re Matt Lowton joing on a season loan?

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Post by dyrewolfe Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:00 pm

westisbest wrote:Any news your end re Matt Lowton joing on a season loan?


Who he?  Headscratch 

Seriously, I've not seen anything on the BBC or the Oneboro forum (among the 900 pages of transfer rumours, so far)
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Post by westisbest Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:22 pm

Matt Lowton, our(Villa) right back.

Read it on newsnow that he might be joining season loan.

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Post by dyrewolfe Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:24 pm

I'll pop the question on the forum - see if anyone knows.

If I turn anything up, I'll add it to the new Boro thread. Cheers for the heads-up!
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