Views on all things connected with that little bit of heaven down in London S.E. 7 !
Thursday, 16 January 2014
Let's Be Careful Out There.....
Charlton fans on their way to the Riverside Stadium having swapped swimsuits for these protective ones.
Our boys can look forward to a rare outing in the league on Saturday as they play the first of a possible 5 consecutive away games. The only ones breathing a collective sigh of relief are the Valley groundstaff.
Of course we travel in hope because as we know " Middlesbrough really should be beating teams like Charlton ". Whisper it quietly though because those Boro fans are very protective of the great Tony Mowbray and went out of their way to tell me so back in August.
Apparently the great Tony had worked miracles, in fact so great were his achievements that they sacked him back in October as reward and in recognition of what a great job he was doing.
Boro have new man at the helm now, Mr Karanka. Under the Spaniard they've been on a good run of late having won 4 out of the last 5 league games and haven't not lost in the league since 14th December only dropping points in a draw at Bolton.
Already boasting a decent squad they have today added Nathaniel Chalobah on loan from Chelsea. Having previously enjoyed successful loan spells at Watford and Forest, he is a quality player who will strengthen Boro.
As for ourselves our activity in the transfer window has also involved loans. Sadly, Cameron Stewart has moved onto Leeds and is a big loss further weakening the little we have in creativity. Coming in we have a midfielder / winger and a goalkeeper that we totally no need of.
As far as I'm aware Sordell remains on the injury list although even when fit we see about as much of him as we do Saturday football at The Valley !
It's beginning to look at though anything we do, if at all in January, will be last minute and even then it may not be who or even what we really want. We all know where we need to strengthen but with our options, like time itself, reducing every day it seems an increasingly desperate scenario. I really hope I'm wrong of course but it's not hard to envisage the transformation that sees us go from having the worst pitch in the Championship to the best pitch in League One !
We've just over two weeks of this transfer window to go and as worrying as the lack of transfers and loans is the lack of signatures on new contracts. All the right noises are seemingly being made by the new onwer and Sir Chris appears to be following the script, however, as always actions speak louder and the sooner, the better !
One assumes that Roland knew what he was buying and what needed doing some while before the purchase was officially announced. Even a novice football club owner can see what's required let alone one that has 4 or 5 clubs on the go. Therefore, I'm at a loss to understand the delay or even a further statement to say this will be addressed by a certain time whilst acknowledging how important this issue is. That would reassure both players and fans alike.
I really hope that Smith gets a chance in these upcoming games. He's full confidence and deserves a chance.
I think we'll do well to get anything from Saturday's game and realistically can't see it and not just because of the smog. I hope I'm wrong and that a certain Spaniard will be following other great Boro managers in saying that " we really ought to be beating teams like Charlton ".
I saw my first game back in the sixties when my dad took me along on a very wet and windy day. I recall having to turn my back to the pitch because of it.....shame you can't do that sometimes now !
I sit in the East Stand with my lads who both keep the faith.
I live 75 miles from the Valley having moved away from the area in 1984 but my heart has never left !