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2014-15 Middlesbrough Thread - Sponsored by Prozac

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Post by dyrewolfe Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:19 pm

First topic message reminder :

Well, its that time of year again. New season just days away.

For once the club has done most of its business in good time and the squad appears decently refreshed / shaken up, as they say.

We've got:

Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo back for another season-long loan.
Keeper Tomas Meijas (25) from Real Madrid on a 2-year deal.
Striker Enrique "Kike" Garcia (24) from Real Murcia (3 year deal)
Winger Emilio Nsue (24) from Real Mallorca (3 year deal)
Defender James Husband (20) from Doncaster (4 year deal - Curtis Main joined Donny as part of the deal).

Also put in a "cheeky" bid for Genk striker Jelle Vossen. Frankly £3.1 million is a serious bid by Boro standards, but they'd already turned down £5.6 million for him from Rubin Kazan.

Aitor Karanka is said to be keen to make further signings. Seems a bit strange given that last seasn he purposely wanted a small squad to work with, but given that no Boro season is complete without an injury crisis / player shortage at some point, I'm certainly not complaining.

We've even got a rather smart new strip...bought my first new home shirt for years!

If we can recapture the quality we showed in our better games last season and add some consistency we ought to be contenders for the play-offs. However, this is Boro we're talking about, so I suppose we should be worrying about what will thow a spanner in the works this season.

We have a pretty decent (if new and upcoming) manager. We have what looks like a pretty decent squad. The million dollar question is, as always: will it all come together to propel us up the league and keep us there 'til the end of the season?

Or will another spectacular loss of form see us struggle to mid-table obscurity?

Personally, I'm starting this season with a fair a mount of optimism.
(Wonder how long it is until its beaten out of me this time...)

At least we aren't Blackpool.  Very Happy 

COME ON BORO!


Last edited by dyrewolfe on Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by dyrewolfe Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:53 pm

Well, after we were in danger of becoming draw specialists, with 3 on the bounce against Bournemouth, Wigan and Blackburn (thanks Mark Clattenburg! picard ) it was a joy to see us finally bag a hatful against somebody, as we have threatened to do on a few occasions.

Think Millwall helped to an extent by being totally incapable of dealing with Reach and Adomah, as well as making their intent to play route-1 football known beforehand - nice one Olly!

In any case our defence dealt comfortably with the largely toothless Lions attack, while Bamford and Vossen struck more or less at will, ending the game as a contest by half time.

Not surprisingly, we took it easy in the 2nd half, allowing the home side to finally press our defence, but it still took until the 78th minute before former Boro striker Scott McDonald finally put one in the net for the hosts.

That stung us into action again and the response was less than a minute in coming as substitute Kike was put through by Nsue to restore the visitors' 4-goal advantage.

However, the run up to Christmas will really show how good Boro are and put our promotion credentials to test, as we play the current top 2 teams, as well as rival promotion contenders:

13 Dec: Boro - Derby
20 Dec: Ipswich - Boro
26 Dec: Boro - N Forest
28 Dec: Blackburn - Boro

Think points will be hard to come by in any of those games, but we are in good form, so we've got at least a fighting chance.
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Post by TopoftheChops Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:34 pm

Your boys got outplayed by the town! McCarthy out managed karanka and we scored two good goals especially the second one from tabby

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Post by NickisBHAFC Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:06 am

Poor old Neil Adams bloke is getting no luck. Least he can enjoy Christmas now with his Norwich family.

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Post by NickisBHAFC Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:13 am

NickisBHAFC wrote:Poor old Neil Adams bloke is getting no luck. Least he can enjoy Christmas now with his Norwich family.
Oops wrong section  Laugh

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Post by dyrewolfe Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:01 pm

TopoftheChops wrote:Your boys got outplayed by the town! McCarthy out managed karanka and we scored two good goals especially the second one from tabby

Well it wasn't that much of a shock. We haven't won at Ipswich since 1991 (courtesy of a Paul Wilkinson winner)!

Fair play you were much better. We just didn't look up for it...maybe a bit jaded after our win over Derby.

Good to have a bit of a reality check at this point after a long unbeaten run and we got our act together against Forest. Wink

Hope we can at least nick a point at Blackburn today.
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Post by dyrewolfe Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:35 pm

Well, a less-than-spectacular Christmas & New Year period.

A comfortable home win against a struggling Forest team, followed by a hard-fought goalless draw at Blackburn, followed by another one at Reading that we really should have won (couple of wonder saves from Federici plus a missed sitter).

5 points from a possible 9 isn't too shabby, but we need to start finding the net again if we want a top 2 spot.

Decent enough away win at Barnsley puts us into the 4th round of the FA Cup...for which we have to make a trip to Man City. Oh well, at least we'll make some money from the gate receipts.
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Post by Fernando Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:43 pm

Seems your contemplating a deal for Fran Merida is a free agent after Paranaense released him.

He had the potential to be a very good player the problem was he thought he was better then he was went off to Atletico and ended up going around the likes of Braga/Hercules etc

Be a decent signing if can get him playing his best.

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Post by dyrewolfe Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:21 pm

Thats news to me. Do you know what position he plays?

Our new guy Tomas Kalas (another Chelsea loanee) looked good on his debut. If Rhys Williams doesn't recover from his latest injury (poor sod broke down in a pre-match warm-up) we might be looking to extend the deal, or even try and make him a permanent signing.
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Post by Fernando Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:02 pm

He's more of an AM then CM but a very good creator Ok!

It's been denied by Boro seemingly - It's a shame he'd do well at Championship level angel

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/boro-rule-out-contract-offer-8436434

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Post by dyrewolfe Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:54 pm

Well, our run is still going...somehow.

We barely deserved that win at Brentford, but the fact we came away with all 3 points is testament to our ability to grind out results these days.

Did well to win the penalty, but Brentford gave our defence a right going over. Saved by the woodwork at one point too. Full credit to the lads for keeping another clean sheet, albeit by the skin of their teeth.

We really do seem hard to beat, even when we're not playing that well. Still just a point off the top and well placed for a top 2 finish (just hope these words don't come back to haunt me).
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Post by NickisBHAFC Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:37 pm

How bad is Ledesma then?

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Post by dyrewolfe Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:46 pm

More often than not. Wink

Seen him put in some very good performances for us that have turned games in our favour.

He has plenty of ability - unfortunately he just doesn't show it very often.



On an unrelated topic, I'm still narked by The Scum (Leeds) winning at the Riverside. We did more than enough to win that game comfortably and did everything but score.

Bit of a balls-up by Mejias, managing to find one of their players with a throw and our defender's attempted tackle / interception just managed to deflect the shot into the net.

We had 87 minutes to win the game after that and utterly dominated Leeds for the most part (apart from a shot that hit the crossbar late on). I know our final balls and finishing can be suspect at times but its still unusual for us to fail to score.

Still, their keeper deserves a lot of credit for pullling off a string of great saves. Also, the result wasn't that surprising, given Leeds have only lost 1 out of their last 13 trips to Teesside (WTF is up with that?).

Just lucky most results went in our favour, apart from Derby winning.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:04 pm

We're gonna catch you
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Post by dyrewolfe Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:04 pm

laughing

I love your optimism!

Seriously though, I hope you manage to stay up.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:42 pm

Hey you still gotta come to our place, and we're getting on a roll at the moment, not out of the realm! (Watch us lose to Blackburn tonight)
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Post by dyrewolfe Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:23 pm

Oops - I was getting you mixed up with Nick the Brighton fan.

I was looking at our remaining fixtures and I reckon we've got one of the hardest run-ins of the top 6 sides, having to play Ipswich, Derby, Watford and Norwich.
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Post by dyrewolfe Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:11 pm

Well, it looks like at least one wheel has come off our promotion wagon...at east as far as a top 2 finish goes.

Not too long ago we were struggling for consistency - good one game and poor the next.

Since the emphatic 4-1 win over Ipswich though, Boro have been struggling to get their game together full stop. Games have been scrappy and even when we've won, its been tense, nail-biting stuff.

All our old bad habits seem to have returned. Our defence no longer looks solid, our passing has gone to pot and we can't seem to keep possession very long. In general there just seems to be a lack of ideas and decisiveness, as well as an inability to even do some of the basics right.

Just as well our final 5 games don't look too challenging (we seem to have got the worst of the run-in out of the way). Provided AK can sort the lads out and get them playing to something like their full potential, we ought to get enough points to ensure a finish in the play-offs, but automatic promotion looks a forlorn hope, given the way Bournemouth, Norwich and Watford are playing.

They seem to have peaked at the right time, while Boro have looked distinctly burnt out lately.

Predictions for the remaining games:

Rotherham (H) - Win
Wolves (H) - Draw
Norwich (A) - Loss
Fulham (A) - Win
Brighton (H) - Win

This would give us a final season tally of 85 points - not bad but probably not good enough for automatic promotion.
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