Often Partisan

Middlesbrough Preview in Association with EZE Group

Birmingham City kick off their league season with a trip to the Riverside to play against Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough. Blues will be looking to take their impressive pre-season form that saw them win five games out of five and only concede one goal into the new season.

Boro

Aitor Karanka could hand debuts to Spanish strikers Kike and Emilio Nsue and wing-back James Husband; loanee Kenneth Omeruo could also start but Rhys Williams, Mustapha Carayol and Emmanuel Ledesma are all out.

Blues

Clark has almost a fully fit squad to choose from; only Matt Green has yet to complete his return from injury after Jonathan Spector played an hour in midweek. However, Clark has been rocked by the recent departure of club vice-captain Tom Adeyemi to Cardiff City in a move which will almost certainly force the Geordie to change his team plans.

I would expect Blues to start with a 4-2-3-1 formation; I suspect that one of the holding midfielders will be David Edgar but who partners him will be intriguing; the closest sort of player Blues have to Adeyemi is probably Callum Reilly but I think his stock has dipped somewhat. It’s also interesting as to who will start in the four advanced positions; having played so well in pre-season we could see Demarai Gray get a look in but it’s more likely to be David Cotterill and Mark Duffy.

Often Partisan has teamed up with EZE Group to give away a pair of tickets to each game. The first tickets available will be for Ipswich – to win enter the form below; usual OP competition rules apply.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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155 Responses to “Middlesbrough Preview in Association with EZE Group”

  • Adam Weaver says:

    There is an error on the competition form – it will only allow values over 30009 in the attendance input window!

  • Kazakblue says:

    To all Blues fans everywhere, greetings from a very hot Kazakhstan, for all of you able to get to games this season get behind the lads and support them no matter what (As we always do).
    I have a feeling in my water that this could be a great season for BCFC, enjoy all the games you see and attend, starting with a 3 pointer today KRO.
    Be safe on your journey to all the fans travelling away this season.

  • Kazakblue says:

    Says there are not that many seats at St Andrews several times, even when putting the figure of 2 in for attendance.

  • Tony says:

    Yep an error cant enter, how amateurish sort it out Dan

  • almajir says:

    Try now, stupid error with the form.

    Also Tony – try being less rude for once in your life – I run this site on top of working 60 or so hours a week, manage to arrange a competition where I give away free tickets every game this season and all you can do is say something like that?

  • Kazakblue says:

    Fixed now

  • Kazakblue says:

    Daniel,
    if I should win (Hope) could you donate the tickets to a good cause ??

  • BlueSteve says:

    Tom Adeyemi leaving is a blow as he was a very good player. However I think it gives Stephen Gleeson a chance to show his worth as one of the 2 in midfield. I have heard that he has just been OK in pre season but this maybe because he has been played behind the striker in the 3. When he signed I heard he can compete and pass so he should be better suited in the 2.
    I think the following team should play today:-
    Randolph
    Eardley Hall Gunning Grounds
    Gleeson Edgar
    Gray Shinnie Novak
    Donaldson

  • robert jones says:

    If i am lucky in comp same as Kazakblue please

  • robert jones says:

    Good luck to everyone at bcfc fans as well

  • Staffs Blue says:

    I’ll stick with my team from yesterday.

    Randolph;
    Eardley Hall Gunning Grounds
    Edgar Caddis
    Duffy Gleeson Novak
    Donaldson

    Keeps us tight defensively (hopefully) and gives us enough to hit them on the break (hopefully.) Bring on Gray and Brown and maybe Thomas to run at them in the last 20 minutes.

  • Art says:

    If I should also win the comp-please donate the tickets or the equivalent value to a charity of your choice.

    Thanks.

  • notmebutyou says:

    I thought somebody else already did Guess the Gate for blues games Come on Dan be original not a follower

  • Kazakblue says:

    According to the BBC Championship league table, we are 3rd at the moment behind Cardiff and Blackburn, next couple of hours will see us TOP. Optimistist for ever KRO :)))

  • Kazakblue says:

    Optimist, must be the vodka I am waiting to drink !!!!

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Sky Sports have us playing 4-3-3, with a lot of the players out of position. They could at least get that much right. Lazy journalism.

  • AussieBlue says:

    Alright lads and Dan…this is it. We’re playing football again!! And I am sure we will will be playing good, honourable football, win draw or lose.
    Few years ago I encountered a Brummie lass on hols here (in Perth) at a folk music gathering in the hills. She didn’t play an instrument but sang:
    “I left my ‘andbag and my drawers;
    Down by the Riverside
    Down by the Riverside..” etc

    Let’s hope all we leave at Riverside today are a few sullen ‘boro faces!

    PS: no I didn’t.
    Cheers all.

  • Auld Bertie says:

    Not happy with the lineup to start with, would not have started with Eardley and Shinnie and now 1-0 down after 33 minutes. Looks like it’s going be another long, hard season with the usual strange selections :(

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Eardley, Gray and Shinnie were the weak spots. I think the right back spot is going to be a problem this season… neither Eardley nor Caddis are that great defensively. It won’t take teams long to suss that out.

      • Steve says:

        If they’re the best we have,it has to be Caddis.

      • Auld Bertie says:

        My worry Staffs is that in the few games Eardley played
        last season he looked very poor in all aspects of his game but especially ball distribution which was woeful. I was there against Inverness and I thought he was very poor in that game too. If Clark is still prepared to pick him on performances like that then once again I find myself questioning his judgement. Reading other Blues messages boards a common theme is the poor performances of Eardley &
        Shinnie and no-one really expecting anything other than poor performances from those two. If we as fans can see this why on earth can’t the people supposedly with superior knowledge of football, player ability and tactics?

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I’m surprised at Eardley, he was good during Blackpool’s promotion and premier years. Shinnie’s not been good enough since he arrived.

          • dave mann says:

            none of them were good enough saturday staffs except randolph who kept it down to 2 whan it could have been 6 and theres fans on here who would rather have doyle..unbelievable….we were a shambles and lee clark was responsible for shabby selections AGAIN and shabby tactics and if this is what weve got to look forward to then ive been a mug supporting him…no passion, no skill, no idea what so ever and cambridge will knock us out the cup tommorrow if that performance turns up…..something must change and i fear its got to be the manager…sorry but thats my opinion. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think the next 3 games are crucial… especially for the manager. There has to be more heart, more fight.

          • dave mann says:

            the cup game wont save him, even if we win that then loose the two home league games its Auf wiedersein pet ime afraid but if this manager and squad have anything about them then they need to get there arses in to gear and get some pride back over these next three games. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            The Cambridge game should see our strongest team take the field, getting ready for Saturday.

          • dave mann says:

            the trouble is that you, me, all the other fans and the manager do not know the strongest team…we think we do and so does lee clark but any 11 will do for me as long as they play for the badge… if not then let them rot in the reserves and not ebaress the shirt again. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Can’t argue with that dave. I’m not blind to Clark’s faults, never have been. I just felt he deserved a fair crack at the whip… and still do. But if things don’t improve over the next 3 or 4 weeks, then a change might be the best thing.

          • dave mann says:

            i trully hope so staffs because going up to boro saturday was great, the crack, the banter, the singing eveything and then 90 mins of utter drivel totally spoils it and the journey home was crap….lets all hope we can get three home wins on the spin and then things might look a lot better and i wil not be in such a fowl mood as i am this morning. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think it’s going to have to be that, to even start to lift the mood.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            With the new signing in mind, I’d go for something similar to this. Can’t do any worse than Saturday’s team… surely?

            Doyle
            Caddis Edgar Gunning Hancox
            Duffy Davis Brown Cotterill
            Donaldson Novak

            (for the cup match)

          • dave mann says:

            i wouldnt argue with that to be honest. KRO.

          • Chris W says:

            We need to set our stall out as if it was a cup final against Cambridge, I can only see a win but it has to be convincing as it will set the tone for the two tough home league games, firstly to get some confidence and secondly to give the supporters something to get excited about and want to come and see more.
            KRO+DNM

          • Chas says:

            The Board have just let him sign a Wolves Player so i cant see them sacking him in the near future.

          • Chris W says:

            I don’t think you a mug for supporting LC, I like your viewpoint on Saturdays game. I think we all felt LC deserved the chance to bring in his own players, lets give him the chance to get some cohesion instilled, I said 10 to 12 games and at the moment I will stay with that.
            I’m not really a Randolph fan, for me he doesn’t instil confidence and I think he could and should have done better with the first goal., not sure with Doyle either put he does seem to take more command of his 6 yard box, the build up leading to their second goal maybe could have been attacked better by those in the six yard box.
            As I say I have only seen very brief highlights so far.
            Not overly worried about a cup run but it is a chance to experiment and maybe induce fresh blood and ideas.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            With the first Boro goal, Novak was going back to cover the far post, but seemed to think Randolph had got it (which he should have) then when he realised he hadn’t, he couldn’t quite reach the ball to clear it.

        • Chris W says:

          I agree with your overview on Eardley, he has always been a weak link for me, I was hoping Shinnie would be better this season, I watched when he played for Callie and he was a different player, not sure if LC is using him differently and not getting the best or the gulf between Scottish PL and the Championship is so great which I don’t think it is comparing the top half of the SPL with the Championship team.
          KRO+DNM

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Well, we lost 2-0 away to a team that has spent a few million. We did ok for an hour, but then Boro’s extra class told. It’s early days and not the end of the world and we’ll get better as we go on I feel.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Always the optimist Staffs. Not one single shot on target I hear. I did say a few weeks ago that the complete lack of quality will tell especially creatively and up front. It’s going to be a case of hoping there are three worse again I am afraid. This season I can’t blame Clark. He now has a squad that would be mid-table in League 1 and he has got to try to keep us in the Championship with it. Without the likes of Zigic, Burke and Macheda we are devoid of Championship quality players.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I try to be SB. The alternative is to be a pessimist… and I’m trying not to be this early on. It’s only one game. If after 10-12 games things still look bleak, then fair enough.

      • Tony says:

        That is the problem blue you say you cant blame Clark,so if enough people feel like that he is not accountable, well the buck has to stop somewhere. Im not going to set about demolishing Clark after just one game but we all realize he is not the man for the job

    • Steve says:

      We didn’t do ok for the first hour Staffs. They were poor throughout the game. It was like watching last seasons run in all over again. And i see Clark is blaming the players again.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Yes stage fright apparently.

        • Steve says:

          Stage fright at Middlesbrough ? FFS. They’re not exactly a bunch of inexperienced kids are they ?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            A lot of these players have never played in the Champs. It’s possible it’s the biggest stage some of them have been on, they won’t be the first team to freeze. I do think though that we should just go 4-4-2 and take it to teams. If we’re gonna lose, at least lose having a crack at it. Donaldson has to start from now on for me.

          • Art says:

            You could well be right but “publically mentioning”
            this will not help the players confidence and what about the bigger stage next week when they play at home.?

            It does concerns me that Clark when handling the media seems not to have learnt anything from last season.

          • Steve says:

            You very rarely hear the top managers publicly criticising their players. Clark picks the team and formation.He picked a player that has hardly played pre season,and two players that have been constantly poor. I won’t name them in public though.

          • Art says:

            Steve-I entirely agree and it will be very interesting to see how Burke performs for Forest because under Clark he didn’t perform.

            I do share the views of others that after only one game it’s unfair to assess the team or the manager but according to the reports we were very poor yesterday and many of the tactical issues we had last season and the illogical team selection remain the same.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I don’t think he was really criticising tbf. I think he was just trying to explain why they might have put on such a poor performance. Most of the interviews are done straight after a game, when the manager has had little time to analyse things with players.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I have to say that he just seems too shy to deal with the media. Some people are like that. He seems to say what he’s thinking at the moment… like he’s thinking out loud. Maybe Steve Watson should take over those duties.

          • Art says:

            I’ve thought this for a long while as he appears to freeze in front of the camera and his body language always looks uncomfortable.

            He could overcome this by going on a “face the media training course”for a couple of days.I’m sure it would benefit him and it may stop him from saying the first thing that enters his head…..Andy Walker could also help!

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I agree. As head of media, he could do a bit more. One other thing I don’t like, is that, home and away, Clark is ALWAYS interviewed at the side of the pitch, while every other manager you see is interviewed inside. There could be a lot of distractions outside straight after a match. You rarely see a good interview pitchside.

          • Steve says:

            When we’ve had a bad day,as fans,we look for some comfort or inspiration.As it’s the manager that normally does the first interview,it,s up to him to try and do that.Unfortunately he doesn’t do that. He’s a dour man.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I wasn’t at the match, but listened on Free Radio and followed the live Blues blog. It didn’t sound too bad in the early stages. But, if you were at the match Steve, then I accept what you say, no probs.

    • Chas says:

      Just seen the goals. Who was the Centre Half for the second goal, he made a right hash of his clearance?

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Was at the Riverside today. If Clark didn’t realise the task before him prior today he does now. Blues were a collection of League One players playing against Championship players. If it wasn’t for Randolph it would have been 4 or 5, particularly poor were Shinnie, Eardley and Duffy when he came on.
    We may as well played Thomas and Donaldson together rather than one at a time.
    Clark’s “best ever preseason” is but a dim memory.

    • Art says:

      I hope you are wrong but I fear you are right and sadly things are unlikely to improve until we get new owners, investment and a new manager.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Don’t worry we are at home next week!!!

        • Steve says:

          If he has a team in mind for next week,i hope he plays them in the cup on Tuesday. At least give em a chance of playing together. I think Saturday is a big game. I know most of the team weren’t here last season for that dismal home run,but we were. A home league win will calm all our nerves.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            He told the BM after the match that he’s hoping to bring a player in early next week. It’ll be interesting to see who.

          • Steve says:

            Buy or loan Staffs ?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Buy I think, although not too sure. He said he’s already spoken to the club AND the player. He hopes to sew it up early next week.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            From bcfc.com: Clark on the potential arrival of a new recruit…

            “The Board have backed me and we’re in advanced negotiations with another club about a player who we hope to bring in early next week.”

        • Art says:

          It’s not so much the result but the manner in which we lost .

          I only hope that Clark gives the new players time to settle by giving them a decent run but I think he will panic and repeat what he did last season.

          • Tony says:

            Well I had us down for a 2-1 defeat but was worse than that, however the fact we did not register one shot on target is a real concern.
            Agree about Shinnie hes just not good enough at this level, Eardley is a strange one I have seen him for Blackpool and he always looked decent, now he looks a no hoper.
            Its very early days but it has a familiar look about it something has to change

          • Art says:

            Sorry to say “I don’t think anything will change unless we get new owners or we’re in the bottom 3 come Xmas.”. Cant see the current board risking another relegation fight while trying to sell the club. Dropping down a division would cost them a few £m off the asking price.

          • Steve says:

            He won’t though Art. Let the tinkering begin.

          • Art says:

            Think you are right and it’s interesting to see the Huddersfield manager has left the club by mutual agreement ….let’s hope the current owners take note.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I agree though I think he is obsessed with 4-2-3-1. I think Gunning was on the bench. I thought he would be paired with Hall with Edgar sitting in front to protect the back four. Shinnie isn’t good enough and should not be in the starting line up. Donaldson has got to be our best chance of a goal so surely has to start.

      • Steve says:

        Eardley shouldn’t start another game imo.

        • Raymondo says:

          Eardley’s failure to cope left us wide open to their attacks. We musn’t have him in the team again. Also Donaldson should be in from the kick off. Otherwise why did Clark buy him?

          • Steve says:

            Completey agree. But Eardley was let down by Grey not coming back. Clark says he learned lessons from last season but I don’t think he has mate. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • Staffs Blue says:

            We need solid wide men, who can support the full backs and visa versa… like we had with Carr and Burke, Ridgewell and Bousejour, etc.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’d try Caddis and Duffy and Hancox and Cotterill. See how those fare.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I agree. Both Eardley and Shinnie aren’t good enough for this division. They’re definite weak links. Agreed too that Hall and Gunning need to form a partnership in the middle, with Edgar protecting them. Right back worries me though. Both Eardley and Caddis are weak without possession and need protection, but Gray can’t play the defensive game.

        • Steve says:

          The comment about Gray is completely right. It was proved today.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            He needs to either play inside, or learn that a winger has to provide some support for his full back when not in possession.

        • Steve says:

          God Bless Robbo,we know he will run through a brick wall for us. But he has been injured for most of pre season.Why play him ? After all the pre season games Clark’s had,and all the different players and formations he tried.He picks 11 players that have never lined up together.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think probably because he’s the captain and we don’t have an official vice captain yet, because we lost one this week……. what was his name again?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            The Guardian this morning said that the first goal “.. confirmed that Birmingham’s Paul Robinson is no natural central defender.”

          • Steve says:

            That’s not a good enough reason to play him Staffs.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think a tough decision needs to be made over Robbo. He’s clearly not up to it anymore.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Clark has to decide between Gunning Hall and Edgar. Robbo should only come in as cover for injuries and suspensions.

        • BlueSteve says:

          Eardley has looked week in pre season. Even though he seems to be the forgotten man at right back – I would put Spector in. He is a better defender than Caddis and Eardley. I was shocked to see Robinson in the team. He is a good captain but not good enough in my view to make the team. Has got to be Gunning alongside Hall and lets find another captain.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’d forgotten about Spector at right back. Although, he wasn’t brilliant there at times last season… I agree, he’s probably better than Caddis or Eardley.

            Another line up, could be Edgar, Hall, Gunning and Grounds, with Robbo patrolling in the front of the back 4. I’ve advocated Robbo for that position since last season… and I know that Robbo fancies that role himself.

          • BlueSteve says:

            I am OK with Gleeson and Edgar in front of the back 4. Not so sure about Shinnie though. He has 1 good game and 2 bad. I would give Reece Brown a go in that role behind the striker if we retain the 4231. I hope this player clark has in mind is a left footed left winger who has an eye for goal. If we are going to play 442 at home then we need more width. I’m not sure Novak will cut it on the left in a 442.

          • BlueSteve says:

            Or with a new left winger you could push Novak from the left to in behind the striker in the 4231.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think we should try with a front 4 of Duffy, Donaldson, Thomas and Cotterill, with Edgar and either Gleeson or Brown behind. For me, forget the 4-2-3-1 altogether. Yes it works for a lot of teams these days, but you really have to have quality players to play it. Stick to 4-4-2, no matter what and try to get some continuity and fluidity throughout the team.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’m not too sure you’ll fine too many left footed wingers with an eye for goal these days.. and if you do, they’ll cost a fair bit. Oh, for a Chris Waddle or David Ginola these days.

            As for Shinnie, it’s time he went back to Scotland, I really can’t see him ever being good enough for this level.

  • Raymondo says:

    I see Burke scored for Forest today!

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Joey Barton has tipped us to finish bottom. Things are looking up then. T0ss*r!

    • Kazakblue says:

      Don’t believe Joey Barton is touting himself as the new midfielder, I certainly hope not, but would it be a surprise?

    • Steve says:

      No he hasn’t.He put us in the bottom 6. He slated the Mail last night for saying that. In his words ” Don’t let a good story get in the way of the truth.”

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Bottom 6 of…
        Blackpool
        Charlton
        Huddersfield
        Leeds
        Bolton
        Birmingham

        • Steve says:

          He said it wasn’t put in any order.He said that would be his bottom 6.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I still think it’s a bit too early for predictions. Yes, we didn’t do too good yesterday, but it’s still only the first match. But, I’ve said from the start, if it’s still bad after 10-12 games, then I’ll hold my hands up and say ok, it’s time for change.

          • Steve says:

            They’re asked these questions Staffs.He was asked this before KO.No different to putting a bet on at the bookies.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I thought they weren’t allowed to do that anymore?

          • Steve says:

            They’re not but they’re just predictions.
            Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I predict we’ll finish mid-table. Take that Barton you Bum :-)

          • Steve says:

            I hope your right Staffs.
            Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I hope I’m right too Steve. Let’s face it… we deserve something to go right for us!

        • mike b says:

          hi all…dont know if i should comment as i have not renewed after 30 years..but all these are ex premership clubs…!!! it is going to be tough…

      • Chas says:

        That was my impression of his comments when I read tem. He didn’t say we would finish bottom at all.

  • Kazakblue says:

    From my mate Trevor who is a Boro supporter and was at the game yesterday, quite a fair review.

    Hi mate….your Goalie…incredible, defence shocking….Midfield awesome… up front, completely flat footed and did not deserve to get paid for their performance.
    Every Boro supported saw a big difference in how we play, but Its hard to really assess when the Birmingham front men seemed to be more interested in going to the Bongo Club than playing football…Need to get shot of the front 2 and bring in new…or they will really struggle this season….do you know Birmingham never had one single shot on target, thats not the Birmingham I know, Its not that they were not fed …they (the front 2) kept passing the ball back to midfield…what is that about…your boss was going nuts on the touch line.

    Never thought after only 1 game Boro would be equal top….I want the season to end now…

    Be good Trev

    • Staffs Blue says:

      That kind of backs up what I’ve always said. A manager doesn’t coach or tell players to play badly… it’s down to personal performance. One thing I noticed about Thomas against Callie Thistle, I don’t think he likes playing as a lone striker. He seems to give up quite easily. For me, Donaldson has to be the No.1 striker this season. End of. Can’t wait for Matt Green to be fit too.

      • Kazakblue says:

        Staffs,

        What about bringing Latchford, Burns, TF and Hatton out of retirement, don’t think they could have done much worse !!!

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Best forward line I’ve ever seen at the Blues. Failing them, let’s give Worzel a call, he’s still playing the odd game I hear. At least he always knew where the goal was. :-)

          • Kazakblue says:

            And the giant Roger Hynde at centre half, my word that man was enough to frighten any opposition forward when he came full speed towards them.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            A proper man of steel. Imagine him paired with Noel Blake? Scary.

          • Kazakblue says:

            Here’s one for Daniel to think about in the future, what would be the best team you would pick from your years of watching Blues Staffs??

      • Steve says:

        It’s the managers fault if he picks the wrong players.And imo,it’s the managers fault if the team he sends out lack confidence and suffer what he calls stage fright. Hold your hands up Clark.you messed up again.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I do agree with your selection view 100%. Wrong players chosen. Eardley and Shinnie should never be first choice… and I don’t think Robinson should be anymore either. Let’s bed in either Hall, Gunning or Edgar as the regular centre backs and stick with them. Why buy two new wingers and a regular goalscorer and not play them? Baffling. Clark has to pick his best players and make them the fulcrum of the team.

    • StevieW says:

      Kaza no disrespect to your Boro mate but our midfield was pretty naff that’s why the defence faltered and the attack never got going, but I fully agree with the Randolf comment.

  • Chris W says:

    Though I wasn’t at the game due to a great birthday bash, I have seen highlights and read reports. So much for a great pre-season, I have said before, we have had great pre-seasons and real lousy seasons.
    I will probably get slated for this but I felt Randolph should have done better for the first goal, however he did keep the result somewhat respectable, but he, my opinion, is still a weak keeper. Eardley was always an unknown entity for me and looked susceptible in the friendlies I watched.
    It is one game and we shouldn’t feel too doom and gloom, just hope ripped into those underachievers and they show their better side against Brighton on Saturday.
    Meanwhile we have a cup game on Tuesday so expect to see changes for that, maybe even Dennyson might get a run.
    KRO+DNM

    • Staffs Blue says:

      It has to be 4-4-2 in the next 3 games, with Duffy Donaldson Novak and Cotterill as the front line. I’ve revised my opinion of certain players after Saturday and I’m hoping that some don’t see the first XI again unless it’s an absolute emergency.

      • Chris W says:

        As I say I only saw brief highlights, but the stats don’t lie, only 4 shots and none on target at any level is pretty dismal. Someone has wrote that it wasn’t the fact the forwards didn’t get the service, they did.
        One game in so plenty of time to change, whether certain players froze or are just out of their depth remains to be seen, hopefully it was just the former.
        I agree that we need to take the game to the opposition so 4-4-2 or 3-4-3 with Donaldson, Dennyson and Novak leading against Cambridge.
        Not too fussed with cup games this season so it will be a time to experiment for me, we need to get the league form right and aim for the safety line of 50 points minimum because I think the championship will be a lot closer this season.
        KRO+DNM.

        • dave mann says:

          it was more than pretty dismal Chris it was unacceptable and the fact that our coach coming back from boro was so quiet when its jumping normally pretty much explains eveything about the game and the performance……lets hope its a blip because thats league one next season for us if that continues ime sorry to say. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            As I’ve said before, it was one game. A poor one, but still only one game. Too early for the doom and gloom tbh. Let’s see how things are going by the end of the month.

          • Steve says:

            1 game and two seasons Staffs.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’m not one to harp on about the past Steve. I’m more interested in this season. If Lee Clark doesn’t improve things in the near future, then it might be time for change. We’ll see.

          • Steve says:

            Three home games now Dave.I think the fans will turn if we don’t win the cup game and a league game.

          • Chris W says:

            And that is a pretty long Journey on a coach Dave and twice as long when we have lost AND played badly. Sometimes you can accept defeat if it was after a fight.
            KRO+DNM

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Any criticism of Gray is unwarranted. He was exciting in possession and although he wasn’t as effective in the second half due mainly to lack of service and Middlesbrough identifying him as the main danger. He protected Eardley as best he could, but was up against a very impressive opponent in Borough left back Friend.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Blues are trying to sign 23 yo David Davis from Wolves. Noted as a ball-winner, mobile and powerful apparently.

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Never heard of Davis before, but wish him we’ll. let’s hope he improves the squad rather than make up the numbers.

    • Steve says:

      Been talking to a Dingle this afternoon about him. Can be very lazy and remember,he couldn’t get into a Div 1 team.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        The player kind of hinted at a change of personnel being one of the reasons for his drop in form. I suppose if a manager doesn’t fancy you, there’s not a lot you can do about it. But, the talent’s in the lad, it’s up to BCFC now to bring it out again.

        • Oldbluenose says:

          Staffs;, We saw that with L,C, and Allen, the young Scot.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            But he also brought the best out of Ravel Morrison… the only manager to do so. It depends on the player’s attitude and whether he wants to knuckle down and make a go of it. Morrison got the message eventually, Allan didn’t… and Brum wasn’t the only club who failed with that lad. I hope he settles back home now and has a decent career in Scotland, because he blew it down south.

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Staffs;, you are entirely correct there, Mate.

  • Steve says:

    Mark is being very quiet. Is reality setting in ?

  • Art says:

    He’s far to busy preparing his toy list for Father Xmas .lol

    Missing him though!


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