Tuesday, 30 August 2011

August Joy

What a start to the season it’s been for Boro, a packed August with games coming thick and fast with 7 games in the first 22 days of the campaign. 11 points out of 15 is a great start yet it could easily have been more, dropping points at home v Portsmouth and Coventry. Although if somebody had told me at start of the season that we would take 11 points out 15 be unbeaten and win 2 cup games on our travels. I would have snapped their hands off! 

It has been an encouraging start with Boro playing some great entertaining football in most of the games this month. Against Pompey the conditions were difficult yet we still managed to play some super football. It was certainly one of the best opening day performances of late. The front two linked up well, McDonald with a great assist for the clinical Emnes.

Walsall was a good cup away day with Emnes getting his first hatrick in English football. It gave us the chance to give some of our fringe players’ valuable game time and test out other formations. It was good to see Martin & Smallwood play the full 90 and especially Hines after returning from his facial injuries picked up at Ipswich game towards the end of last season.

You can see that a lot of pre season work has gone into passing; I would be interested to know what the pass success rate on the games this season is compared to last season. It has improved dramatically and along with a quicker tempo, we are aiming to be the new Swansea of the championship with our passing game.

Leeds from what I heard was another great display with Boro largely in control throughout. Even sweeter that Boro nicked the all important goal with Marvin Emnes on target again.

Barnsley away; some of the football Boro played especially first half was breath taking to watch. The stand out players included Robson bursting forward from his central midfield role had his best game in a Boro shirt, Bailey spraying passes mixing it up with short and long range, the creative Julio Arca and Emnes scoring his 6th goal in 4 games, what a start from our new no9. It was good to see Boro come back from a losing position for the first time this season.

The Home game v Birmingham was a game we came back into after the ref had awarded the away side a penalty which was very harsh as Burke dived. It didn’t matter however as Boro stormed back in the 2nd half. Equalising straight after the break with a Robson free kick followed by two players coming off the bench and having a real impact, Haroum scoring and Martin made sure of win with a cracking shot which must be up there for goal of month. Great impact subs by Mogga and it looks like we have great competition for places in the team with two new players who look more than capable of being useful players this season. Oh and signed on free transfers too! Top work from Mogga!

Another good display on the road at Peterborough in the cup was described as good as the first half at Barnsley. Boro scared the life out of Peterborough with our quick counter attacks. Taking a comfortable 2-0 lead at ht we defended well and held on to our lead and made it into the next round of the cup.

Home v Coventry was disappointing after the football we have seen this season plus I don’t rate Coventry, I think they are a poor team. Its encouraging that the standard we have set with our performances so far this season mean that we are disappointed, however it was quite clear we struggled with only one forward fit in Emnes who had a great start to the season. Once we got in front we seemed to try and stroll to victory. You can’t do that in this league and maybe with all games packed in this month tiredness was a factor as the players looked jaded. It was a lesson and a bit of a wake up call.

The international break comes at a good time for us to get McDonald back fit. He has looked really sharp this season, him and Emnes look a good partnership. We do need another option upfront in case our front two get injured or if an alternative is needed to change things in a game from the bench.

I’m hoping that come Thursday 1st September our star players are still at the club. I’m sure Emnes’s cracking start to the season with 7 goals won’t have gone unnoticed. He has done great since coming back from his loan spell at Swansea and now we are seeing a more productive side to his game in front of goal. Our new No9 has got a huge part to play this season and seems to be enjoying his time on Teesside thanks to Tony Mowbray.

Let’s not forget the start to the season, I enjoyed watching Boro enormously this month it’s been exciting watching quick, fast tempo, attacking football. We certainly have been entertained at start of the season playing some of best football I have seen in years. It’s nice to go to games under Mogga and look forward to them knowing we have a chance when we cross that white line. I’m looking forward to seeing The Boro in September once the players have recharged their batteries and hopefully continue our great form. There seems to be a real determination in the camp not to waste the season and put a real mark on the league in our first full season under Mowbray.

Get on board the Mogganaught! UTB!

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