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JoeH

Middlesbrough (H)

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Much better today.

Defence was solid on the whole, Cunningham is miles better than any left back we’ve had in recent years, a real upgrade for the back line.

Travis and Johnson are a very good cm pairing at this level. Constantly grafting with quality to match.

Gallagher worked his balls off and was my man of the match.

One Jack Walker 🔵

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Enjoyed that. We worked really hard. 

Thought Cunningham, Travis, Williams and Graham were particularly excellent.

I was at Fulham last week too and today confirmed what I thought then about Gallagher. Very hard working. Won important headers and made important tackles. If you forget about the transfer fee I’d argue he’s a real asset bought in... challenge will be where he plays. To be honest, I think you could put him in goal and he’d give it a good go tho! 

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24 minutes ago, bluebruce said:

Big question for that Hull game...I assume Tosin will be fit again, so who starts in central defence?

Same as for me if Lenihen and Wiliams are doing it then keep it that way it's a no brainer.

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28 minutes ago, bluebruce said:

Big question for that Hull game...I assume Tosin will be fit again, so who starts in central defence?

Williams and Lenihan all day long. Makings of a very promising partnership.

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Just now, Ossydave said:

How do people feel about the Downing signing now?

One of our best players this season for me, that would have been a peach of a goal he curled a few inches wide today.

Thought it was a good signing at the time. He's older but, out of our whole squad, he's the one who's played consistently at the highest level. 

Edited by danger19_80

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Good to get 3 points.

Pleased to see Buckley come on again. If he's as good as we're led to believe he needs to be getting game time. Hopefully he'll be the next Travis for us and make the step up.

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Thoughts, Gallagher played well. Fair play to him

Downing and Johnson are class signings, so credit where it is due

Lenihan and Williams together are pretty good. Huge potential there

Cunningham light years better than Bell. Enormous upgrade. 

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41 minutes ago, Tom said:

Not to dwell on a negative but Walton was lucky today for that one he came and missed 

Don't understand this signing at all. When we sold Raya we surely would get a new GK that was better and more experienced than him. I am pretty sure we could have got a decent keeper for the "unused Raya money". Right now I feel that we just have a longer verison of Raya in goal,  and he is not even our own player. Does not fill me with confidence. He might be a very good keeper in the future, but we really need one that is ready right now.

Edited by Swanson

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I wasn't  having a go at Gallagher but if Tony brought  him  in to play on the wing it was a either a stroke of genius  or he needed to play him there too save face  . I really hope the lad makes the position is own. But what kind of winger could TM have got  for five million . Now the elephant in the corner Brereton  should the club lone him out  . A season in division 1 could be the making of him and it would be like a new signing  next season

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I find this snobbery towards being slightly more direct, reading Mowbrays post match comments especially, very strange. I was entertained today and as always the win is key. At times we went to Graham and played off, but there were good bits of interplay between the lines between the midfielders especially. We were defensively solid, good performances throughout the pitch, always seemingly in control, and offered far more threat than we did "attempting" to play out from the back in the first 2 limp performances.

Bar a couple of awful Bennett passes, the whole defence was terrific today. Cunningham is so much better than the inept Bell, technically very good but also far more defensively solid. The middle pair were colossal, especially Lenihan for me, and Bennett himself was far better than normal in that role, very solid defensively.

Johnson and Travis were terrific in midfield, worked really well together, good on the ball and horrible to play against. Downing improved us technically, his effort in the second half if it was a shot was unlucky. Also gives us good set piece deliveries in the main even though there was the odd poor ball too. Gallagher gave absolutely everything but I thought (as to be expected) he looked rather clumsy in a wide role and it is clearly unnatural to him, but cant fault his effort.

Graham is the absolute master at what he does, Mowbray has spent so much on strikers and seems desperate to move away from Graham but he puts in great performances every time he starts, he cannot be dropped. Dack worked his socks off and threatened on occasion, the pair are excellent together. Rothwell was also impressive when he came on although perhaps should have scored.

Walton made a massive error in that second half which could have really cost us, and Buckley looks quite a bit off, physically a liability, one attempted tackle in particular showed this.

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Cunningham looks like the best left back we've had since the Warnock/Givet years.

The better Olsson was decent ofc, but he always struck me as a wing back/winger rather than an actual defender. The less said about the less good Olsson, the better.

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Just now, roversfan99 said:

I find this snobbery towards being slightly more direct, reading Mowbrays post match comments especially, very strange. I was entertained today and as always the win is key. At times we went to Graham and played off, but there were good bits of interplay between the lines between the midfielders especially. We were defensively solid, good performances throughout the pitch, always seemingly in control, and offered far more threat than we did "attempting" to play out from the back in the first 2 limp performances.

Bar a couple of awful Bennett passes, the whole defence was terrific today. Cunningham is so much better than the inept Bell, technically very good but also far more defensively solid. The middle pair were colossal, especially Lenihan for me, and Bennett himself was far better than normal in that role, very solid defensively.

Johnson and Travis were terrific in midfield, worked really well together, good on the ball and horrible to play against. Downing improved us technically, his effort in the second half if it was a shot was unlucky. Also gives us good set piece deliveries in the main even though there was the odd poor ball too. Gallagher gave absolutely everything but I thought (as to be expected) he looked rather clumsy in a wide role and it is clearly unnatural to him, but cant fault his effort.

Graham is the absolute master at what he does, Mowbray has spent so much on strikers and seems desperate to move away from Graham but he puts in great performances every time he starts, he cannot be dropped. Dack worked his socks off and threatened on occasion, the pair are excellent together. Rothwell was also impressive when he came on although perhaps should have scored.

Walton made a massive error in that second half which could have really cost us, and Buckley looks quite a bit off, physically a liability, one attempted tackle in particular showed this.

Buckley looked class when he came on...

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Not read the general consensus but for me that was a dogged, forgettable victory against a terrible Middlesbrough (they never impress me 😴) in a game which will be quickly forgotten.

Glad Mowbray came out and said it was all about 3 points and not performance... as that was a poor football match. But shows our team (whichever XI Mowbray pick) is good enough (by default) for mid table. 2 points:

1) Walton is a clear downgrade at GK for me, seems like a cross between Jason Steele and Jake Kean. We won despite of him and his time wasting.

2) Bennett was actually okay defensively, but my god what a liability he is on the ball... within 3 minutes he had gift wrapped TWO Boro counter attacks. He also kicked passes straight out of play enough to make even Raya haters blush. He was very harshly booked though and did win us a few corners and make some good tackles. Much improved, but still too poor to be starting.

Big 3 points, no chance of playoffs but maybe we might not be in the relegation battle we feared.

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At long last we have some steel throughout the team. Three of the back four and both midfielders can really mix it. If you added an in - form Nyambe at the back we could look pretty formidable. Finally!

One other point; neither full back did a great deal of overlapping all afternoon which marked a change in style. We kept a much more solid shape back there. Interesting to see Williams bossing Lenihan all afternoon too. I've never seen him so vocal. That natural left and right suits them and I bet Williams is buzing to get this chance.

Takes some pressure off Tuesday now, with a draw being more than respectable. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Swanson said:

Don't understand this signing at all. When we sold Raya we surely would get a new GK that was better and more experienced than him. I am pretty sure we could have got a decent keeper for the "unused Raya money". Right now I feel that we just have a longer verison of Raya in goal,  and he is not even our own player. Does not fill me with confidence. He might be a very good keeper in the future, but we really need one that is ready right now.

Well maybe TM just waiting to get the keeper he wants? If he's as good as Raya we've not lost anything loaning an equivalent for a year. Upgrade Winter or next Summer.

Edited by danger19_80

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1 hour ago, Stuart said:

I think the shirt pull for our penalty was the cause of that. It was so blatant that he couldn’t not give it but after that every little thing was by the book. Some of our yellow cards were soft.

Only thing poorer than the ref was Boro. They had a lot of the ball especially in the second half but couldn’t do anything with it. A little like us in truth.

The shoots are there (without the shots) going forward. I counted one shot on target all game but Sky have two so they must count the penalty.

Subs: I can’t understand why Mowbray didn’t shift Gallagher forward and play Armstrong our wide when he made the change. Maybe pace on the break but it’s a waste of Gallagher’s talent being out there. Mind you, if we win every game 1-0 I won’t care!

Rothwell on for Downing was a good move. Boro were caused a lot of problems.

Dack looked very unhappy to come off but again, Buckley looked good with a more attacking midfield brief with the comfort of Travis and Johnson behind him.

I was convinced we were going to end up with 10 men with that referee!

I thought there was going to be a red for Travis late challenge. Rothwell to me is a class act and deserved more than the 15 mins he got. I agree when Graham went off I expected Gallagher to go central to use Arnstrongs pace out wide but no. Buckley looks good and for a bit more composure could have scored when he blazed over. Like you said, positives to build on

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Just about got the job done in a very scrappy game between two very ordinary sides. The big difference today was the quality of Danny Graham, why he wasn't starting from game one is something I will never understand. He brought to the table exactly what has been missing a physical presence to hold the ball up, footballing intelligence and most of all a goal. We can spend all we want on strikers and talk about style of play but we are still at our most effective when getting the ball into Danny Graham. I must say though I was still most unimpressed with our fitness levels and a better side would have taken advantage of that.

Walton- Not convinced at all by him and he is certainly no upgrade on Raya and I say that as someone who wasn't a fan of Raya.

Bennett- Gave the ball to the opposition as much as he did his own team mates. I don't think he has one attribute for a right back where he is better than Nyambe.

Lenihan & Williams- Steady and solid against a side that looked void of ideas in the final third.

Cunningham- A massive massive improvement on Bell. 

Travis & Johnson- Did the defensive side of their jobs very well but they need to offer us more going forward.

Gallagher- 10/10 for effort but sadly not for quality and that is what you pay the £5 Million for.

Downing- He certainly does have quality and impressed again today with his use of the ball. Just a shame that he doesn't have that extra yard of pace.

Dack- Not at his best but looked better with Graham up there

Graham- I said on here that earlier in the week that I thought after Tuesday Mowbray would go back to Graham and he would be the difference and so it proved. If he is fit he simply has to start.

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Just now, Roverthechimp said:

Given the new handball rule shouldn't we have had a 2nd penalty today?

There were at least 3 handballs today.

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Just now, Roverthechimp said:

Given the new handball rule shouldn't we have had a 2nd penalty today?

Nobody mans the VAR desk in the Championship.

This is the other problem with these rules and the way they are enforced differently in the PL and the PL-elect.

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Just now, Gary C said:

There were at least 3 handballs today.

Was I missing something or was one nailed on vs Oldham too?

Edited by Ossydave

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Just now, Roverthechimp said:

Given the new handball rule shouldn't we have had a 2nd penalty today?

No.

The new handball law only applies to if it hits a hand/arm to score or assist a goal.

On the game, felt like a real team performance today. Gallagher was superb out on that right hand side, never stopped.

What a difference Cunningham makes out there rather than watching Bell lethargicly wandering up and down, shame he's back in next Sat.

Only negatives for me were Bennett on the ball, careless at times, and something about Walton unsettled me too.

The difference is also scary when Dack and Graham go off, Buckley needs to ho out on loan somewhere for a year, looks like we have chucked on an under 9s player for a laugh.

Edited by MarkBRFC

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