The season appears to have gone. The ostensibly improved run we had recently constructed showed no real signs of progress, with victories only coming at a subdued Carrow Road against relatively low-lying Wolves, Birmingham and Nottingham Forest and the solitary away win in Wales at the hands of the equally incompetent Cardiff.
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New dawns have generally been the product of flat-track bullying at Carrow Road – with admittedly the odd exception – and have ended up being the false variety, with City’s away-day woes the result of an embedded inability to stand up and be counted when it really matters.
I happened to fall in with a small bunch of Mags on their way back to the train station and they were just as elated as I was. They berated Benitez for not bringing on Dwight Gayle earlier, I responded by saying I’m glad he didn’t and we should have somehow found room for Alex Pritchard in the starting line-up.
We had an exceptional run from February in 2015. However, we don’t actually need to replicate it. We finished third and but for a couple of late slips, we might well have grabbed one of the automatic spots. We were eight points clear of the team who took the last playoff place (can’t remember who that was).
Ruddy’s brilliance ensures it’s a point apiece after a Carrow Road thriller with the Prem bound ToonFebruary 15th, 2017 by Gary Gowers | 9 Comments »
Something has changed since that spell that’s still painful to even think about. Where once there was brittleness and half-heartedness, now there’s durability and fight. Belief too has been added to an armoury that was deficient in many things, and for all the technical difficulties that again revealed themselves in the centre of our back-four, there’s still heart.
I’d have liked to have seen Lafferty, Bennett and Bassong all head out with replacements coming in, but perhaps January is not the best time for that. I suspect those players, perhaps alongside Mulumbu, Whittaker and Turner, may depart in the summer irrespective of the league we find ourselves in.
An update from the Promised Land: Boro Paul gives us the latest from the north east and the parallels persistFebruary 14th, 2017 by Paul Armstrong | 8 Comments »
It occurred to me spinning through Channel 5’s highlights, that Norwich scored half as many league goals in one afternoon as I’ve seen Boro score all season. This is my record of Boro league games attended this season: P16 W2 D7 L7 F10 A16. 4 of those 16 – 25% – finished 0-0; four more were 1-0 defeats.
Forest done and dusted, now eyes turn to the Toon. Simple, “If we don’t turn up, we’ll get turned over”.February 13th, 2017 by Martin Penney | 5 Comments »
While we scored five, our striker didn’t feature on the scoresheet but let’s put this firmly into perspective. Nelson Oliviera worked his butt off, linked play superbly when he could and looked every inch the five million pound striker. We also had one Cameron Jerome on the bench.
McNally had his flaws. The bizarrely announced resignation via social media aside, his decision to publicly undermine Chris Hughton through the announcement that he was searching for potential replacements was far from his finest hour. Such impetuousness is not what this club needs.
As has been pointed out by many, it’s fun to sweep aside those for whom mid-table is home but where City have fallen short this season is when going toe-to-toe with those who currently reside in the top six. That needs to change, preferably starting on Tuesday evening.