Saturday, 22 September 2012

Jukebox Rocks Ewood As Boro Bounce Back In Style

The Boro Question resurfaced again last night in typical fashion as the lads delivered the perfect response to the naysayers with a commanding, enthralling and head scratching performance. Battered at Blackpool (and it could have been more) the fans were gearing themselves up for another Black night at Ewood Park. Instead, we saw plenty of light at the end of the tunnel.

And once again, the zen of Boro, the craziness and perversity of this team, had been there for all to see. As the Sunday Times put it following that win over Chelsea nearly seven (has it really been that long?) years ago, quite how Boro can switch so easily from the ridiculous to the sublime is anyone's guess. From cold to hot, from no hopers to full of hope, or vice versa, in a matter of days or even minutes. We've never worked it out - and to be brutally honest, I don't think we ever will!

Anyway, some points:

1. By comprehensively defeating a side that will almost certainly be in the promotion mix by season's end, Boro passed a major test. You might not think that's a big deal, but it is. We took just one point from the promoted teams in 2009/10. Likewise in 2010/11. And the one time we did beat a promoted side in the last three years - Southampton - it came too late to save our season, and they got promoted anyway.

2. Lukas Jutkiewicz, whose price tag - rather inflated by today's standards - has been a burden on his shoulders since he arrived, went some way to lifting that burden with a well taken double last night, his first double for the club. One hopes that this is a new dawn for him, that he can become the prolific goalscorer we know he can be. We shall see.

3. We won away. Let me say that again - we won away. After all the misery we've endured on the road in the league this season, this is nirvana for the away end, and should be a major boost to our confidence. Let's just hope our imperious home form doesn't suffer as a result!

4. Fans have been fearing a goal shortage this season, but we are in fact among the highest scorers in the league, our tally of 11 just four less than Blackburn's and Blackpool's respective tallys.

5. Against point (4), however, we've conceded more goals than anyone else in the top half, which doesn't say too much about such a respected and highly praised defence. It's quite possible that, although Thomson is quietly impressing, we've missed the protective influence of Rhys Williams and Nicky Bailey. Hence Bailey's return last night, as a substitute, is more than welcome.

6. Bravo Tony Mowbray! Resisting the obvious temptation to play Luke Williams from the start, his attacking trio of Carayol, Maligned Marvin and the other Luke rewarded him handsomely.

7. Building on point (5), if only the same could be said about his defence, which, in the last five minutes, typically allowed Blackburn back into a match that could and should have been beyond them. If Hoyte's tackle had resulted in a penalty, as Steve Kean naturally claimed it should have, we wouldn't be smiling this morning.

8. Speaking of Kean, the fans who want him out need a wake up call - you're top of the league! Is that not good enough for you? Or, like ourselves when we sacked Southgate, are you still living off the glories of being in the top flight for far too long?

9. Back to Boro, and more questions remain. Where's Parnaby? What's going to become of McDonald? These matters cannot be swept under the carpet. They must be addressed.

10. Despite what most fans would call a topsy turvy season, at the time of writing we're just two points off the top! We're still in contention for the title! Of course, it could be more a reflection on the poor quality of the Championship, but hey, it's nice to dream. For now.

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