WHUFC vs Middlesbrough 01/10/2016 EPL 2016-2017

You know what?  I will take a draw just now.

Could it get any worse? The recent few games have been a wake up call for all WHU fans, that with a big ground and a big pitch comes big responsibility.

With that in mind Slaven made some further changes, bringing in Obiang for Lanzini, and pushing Ogbonna out to left back, for another centre back change with Reid and Collins making up the back four with Byram. Personally I would have played Arbeloa and got my wish in unfortunate circumstances as  Byram was stretchered off just 7 minutes in, with I think a thigh knock.

Noble was pushed further forward to help the front man, who seemed to be Antonio or Tore. Basically we had no front man. I’ll assume Slaven wanted a point first, but it did look odd. We were getting most of the ball, but finding it difficult to break through. Adrian didn’t have a lot to do, but neither did Valdes in the opposition goal. WHU shaded the first half, but we went in 0-0.

We needed to change up top, and Slaven took off the ineffectual Tore in favour of Zaza. Tore was terrible if I’m honest, and needs to be benched if this is his best. Zaza isn’t much better, and it’s a bit worrying that if he plays 15 games we have to buy him for 20mn. Hopefully Andy Carroll and Ayew  are close to returning.

But it did give us balance to attack, and once again we had most of the ball. On 51 however, Boro had a corner and Stuani got a header at goal, which appeared to bounce off of Noble, who was on the line, but the referee and his technology ruled it over the line, and normal service at the OS had been resumed !!

But for once, we didn’t have to wait long for a response, as Payet took the by the scruff of the neck and ran through Boro’s defence to score a Goal of the Season contender and make it 1-1. Cue jubilant scenes in the OS, and atmosphere breaking out abounds.

Then Noble made way for Lanzini and it looked game on, but once again Zaza got no service and those balls that did come his way, didn’t really inspire confidence in my opion of the Italian.

So we put the run of losses to the sword, at the expense of another injured full back. Did we play well, no, but we also didn’t let in another torrent of goals. We probably actually looked better to the observer than we the fans thought we did. Every time Boro made one of their quick attacks the fans started to panic , as we seem to slip goals like a poor project manager recently.

The fans, as they were against Southampton, today were largely well behaved. The standing nonsense seems to be sorted for now. Whether the club has accommodated the move requests or not, there seemed to be no outbreaks of bother, and some areas seemed to be standing and other were seated, all with no issues. One of the standing areas seems to be to my left in the lower tier. and we got 2 new songs. “Stratford’s a shit hole, I want to go home”, and “Can we go back to Upton Park”

My new neighbour was OK today as well. So all good.

Payet will get all the headlines, but Reid and Collins were way more solid than recently today, and everyone else did their jobs, with the exception of Kouyate, who seemed very quiet. Hopefully Obiang will get a run in the team now, even if its in the space of (whisper it ) Mark Noble.

oh, there was one more talking point. Antonio had a shot from miles out near the end, the spooned off nowhere near the goal. The crowd reacted , as they do, with a collective “why do that?” moan, and Arbeloa started clapping the crowd for making that noise. And it didn’t look sarcastic either, more a “I agree with you, what the hell is he doing ?” Interesting……

MOTM – Payet.

The Sky over the stadium was more dramatic than the game.


WHUFC vs Middlesbrough 20/03/2012 Championship

Is this the night Sam lost the Boleyn ?

This game was rubbish, for both teams from start to finish, and the draw was fair. Also fair play to the Boro lads coming down that far on a Tuesday, and having to suffer a game of such low quality. Also, apologies to any one who tuned into Sky, as a neutral, to catch this “top of the table” clash

Now onto the meat and veg. We were poor, and played the old one up front game again. How many times do I have to say this Sam, Carlton Cole cannot play every ball up in the air. The guy is good on the ground and can bring others into play, but you continue to choose to use him as a traditional target man. David Cross left some time ago.

Noble and Nolan were inefficient, and Noble looked like he had been on a treadmill all day, he was that slow. Tompkins has to come out of the midfield, you are destroying a lad who could be a United legend, and if we don’t go up, will definitely leave at the end of the season.

Greenie was getting v.frustrated with the teams lethargy, and this has to stop. If you have a plan, stick to it, else change the plan.

Maynard was completely wasted on the wing. This is not his fault. Yet another who must be wondering why he is there.

Then we come to the tactics. Once we went one nil up (to a lucky goal, but we had had all the pressure to be fair), why did CC and Maynard have to leave the pitch immediately ? Did you not think they may go on to score another, as Boro would have to open up. Collison has been poor all season. This was the time to introduce Morrison, to inject some pace and vision into proceedings.

Once they equalised (great goal by the way), you almost admitted this by bringing on Baldock.

Sam , you are losing the home crowd. We don’t expect to be winning leagues all over the place, and knocking out Barca in the CL, but we do expect common sense.

You have done well thus far, but you have to play to our strengths, as well as the weaknesses of the opposition. I’m sure you heard the Paulo Di Canio calls , the same as I did. If backed by the board i think you can do a job for us in the Premiership, but currently the main objective is the Championship. A win on Saturday is a must.

Stand firm, keep the faith !

MOTM: N/A (it really was that bad)