Given must stay until the end of the season.

I witnessed our victory last weekend at the Riverside and I was delighted with the 3 points and another clean sheet.
As a spectacle on the eye it was poor, certainly not one for the purest and not one that will live in the memory. But I keep repeating myself, now is not the time for glamour, it’s about positive results and points on the board.
Under Karanka’s guidance we have certainly turned things around dramatically.
Shay Given received the plaudits for a late save and clocked up his 6th clean sheet in the last 10 games. I personally did not see his last gasp save, as I had left with 20 mins still to go, as I headed to do Bernie Does The Boro, my radio phone in on CVFm 104.5.
Reading the social networks and local reporters comments afterwards, everyone was raving about how good Given’s save was.
On the Saturday night I waited in anticipation, to see with my own eyes, this wonder save. But for some obscure reason the Boring Broadcasting Company (BBC) didn’t show it.
However I eventually witnessed it.
If I am honest I was a wee bit disappointed. Initially Shay punched it downwards instead of upwards, then a shot was blasted right down his throat, to the Irishman’s credit he held onto it with both hands.
It was a good save but not world class.
It was well documented that the Republic of Ireland coach was present.
Roy like myself had left early in fact I bumped into him in the car park and he summed the game up as a spectacle in one word, I will let you all guess what it was, neither of us discussed Given.
I have no doubt that Roy would have heard in advance and watched enough on the day to sanction Shay’s return to the Republic squad.

Would I like to see Shay sign for Boro?
Without a doubt, he has got the lot, he is vastly experienced, has a presence, is vocal, a good shot stopper and despite his years still very agile, and looking at his performance he still has a hunger, which is vitally important.
For me his arrival, has been Karanka’s biggest master stroke. The odds are we won’t sign him permanently, as he has just under 3 years on his contract remaining at Villa and no doubt he is on a substantial amount of money, which we most definitely cannot afford.We need to at least keep him until the end of the season to continue our progress.

Looking at our activity so far in the window, no surprise we have brought in loan players and that no money has changed hands.
On paper these loan players look good additions, but a word of caution, so did Ameobi, Keiron Dyer and both flopped. Not forgetting Chelsea starlet Josh Mceachran who did not score one goal in a season and flattered to deceive throughout.
It’s interesting that all 5 loans are defensive minded including Varga.
Lets hope Karanka’s teams down the line entertain a bit more. When you are winning people will accept whatever brand of football you are serving up. But if results go against you and the football on the eye is poor, that’s when you end up in trouble. But so far so good and long may that continue.
As I have mentioned in the past I have never been a big fan of loans, there is no intimacy and have they really got the hunger to succeed? The reason I question that is they know if they don’t do the business on loan, they just return to their well paid long term contracts.
Over the years we have had our fair share of loanees and in my opinion only one or two have stood out.
We all know its a short term fix, I think we can safely say none will be signed on a long term contract, irrespective of how they perform, none of the others have.
If they help us get back to the promised land,that will be fantastic.
When the loans return that leaves us having to build yet again, with no real foundations. Sunderland did it a few years ago, brought in a boat load of players for the short term and struggled when they all departed. Watford did it last year, just missed out on the play off final and as it stands are now sitting mid table In the Championship and their manager has gone.

As Boro fans we hope we can rope in a centre forward or two before the window closes as the present quartet have only managed 1 goal in the last 14/15 games. I expect a couple of outgoings Rhys Williams being one of them as he has been off the boil for quite sometime. I personally think playing him all over the park hasn’t helped his development, wherever he goes he has to hope he stays in one position, on his day he has a touch of class.

From the outside looking in it looks as if Karanka like previous boss Tony Mowbray, doesn’t fancy Luke Williams, Smallwood, Reach, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if they depart. As I’m typing this Reach has gone on loan to Bradford.

Next up Leicester, this is our biggest test to date under Karanka, but we needn’t fear anyone after the way we have turned things around.

I must finish by saying congratulations to our neighbours Sunderland in reaching the Capital One Cup Final.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.