Hope you all had a great Christmas and Happy New year to you all.
Have to say a massive well done to Aitor Karanka and the players for 3 straight wins and a draw over the festive period, including 3 clean sheets. Obviously we were brought back down
to earth with a bump, with the woeful, spineless display against Hull City in the FA Cup.
To bow out a major competition with a whimper was massively frustrating and unacceptable.
So why the dramatic dip against the Tigers. Obviously Karanka made 6 changes in total which is a gamble. Steve Bruce also made wholesome changes 9 in total.
There seemed a lack of spark and tempo. Passing was inaccurate, up front punch less , defensively frail,two poor goals conceded.
Whatever the reason, it’s paramount we get back on track on Saturday against Blackpool.
Our manager after the game was quoted as saying ” We did not play with enough intensity. It was our fifth game in two weeks and people were tired.”
For me it’s a cop out, a lame excuse and an insult of the paying public. To come out with such a obscene quote.
Managers up and down the country are forever coming out with this drivel. If I or any of my colleagues during the Bruce Rioch era, had come out with such a thing, he would have throttled us.
It’s funny how its always the managers that talk about tiredness and fatigue, never the players.
Recently you have to hand it to our new manager. With the same clientele, same formation and same frailties, he has got them playing at a very high tempo, closing down and creating chances. Conceding late goals is still a problem.
You could question the players and ask them why they didn’t show the same desire and hunger for ex boss Tony Mowbray.
Karanka for me now has to let things settle. Since his arrival he has chopped and changed things in every game. Obviously to gauge and scrutinise what he has or has not got at his disposal.
In my opinion if we are going to keep the season alive he has got to stop tinkering. Tony Mowbray had a nasty habit of choping and changing irrespective of results and performance. We all know the top teams do it but they have strength, depth and quality to get away with it. We haven’t.
As Boro fans we are hoping to rope in several players in the January window. First to arrive Kenneth Omerou, centre back/right back.
I personally would like players to arrive, who are tradesmen and who specialise in one position, rather than a jack of all trades, who plays everywhere and ends up specialising in nothing.
Look at Reece Williams for example he has played centre back, right back and centre midfield and recently has found himself out of the side.To be honest I have watched him for years and I still don’t know what position he is best in.
Our defence has been a farce at times playing four centre backs across the back line.
So what do I expect in January?
Another few loan players, one or two departures and very little money if any.
I personally hope Omerou starts at centre half and forms a partnership with one out of the other five. Varga at right back has looked the business. If i had the choice I would request another left back and two centre forwards. Easier said than done.
Looking at our forwards Emnes, Jutkiewicz Main and Kamara, between them they haven’t scored a goal in ten games.Curtis Main broke the trend against Bolton after a suicidal mistake from Zat Knight. If I was any of the four strikers I would be highly embarrassed that Adomah, Carayol both wingers and Grant Leadbitter a central midfielder have scored more goals than me.
Good luck to Karanka and the players for the second half of the season and let’s hope we get our targets in the window to boost morale.