Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Middlesbrough 0 Steven Gerrard 0

With everyone hoping for a debut from Yakubu akin to that of Ravanelli's against Liverpool all those years ago, we could only be disappointed really. And as usual we were, with an unsurprising lack of creativity and pace needed to scoop up some first day points.
The gap left by Zenden's departure was as obvious as the boos for the Dutchman were loud every time he touched the ball in what certainly wasn't the warm welcome back that for some reason he seemed to have been expecting. As much as Boateng tried, he couldn't provide what he and Zenden did last season. As good as he was, and it was a great performance from Gorgeous George, there was only him doing much in midfield, with Mendieta lacking match fitness and the sharpness that will come with it and Downing hardly noticeable on the pitch at all.
Yakubu can't really be blamed for not making the memorable debut we'd all been hoping for as there was nothing coming from the midfield for him, something that can hopefully be sorted out when/if the two new midfield signings that McClaren's been talking about come in.
Macy Gray's second half dismissal for a foul that I couldn't see at all from my seat right behind the other goal but dismiss as an outrageous decision anyway, was the cue for Liverpool (or Gerrard if we're honest) to hammer the Boro defense, youngster Bates coming on for a probably rather puzzled Yakubu, and the last 20 minutes were pretty hairy at times. It was with good defending, great goalkeeping and sheer luck that Boro managed to keep Gerrard from scoring, his relentless energy creating chance after chance that somehow thankfully managed to go everywhere but goal.
Douala's staying at Sporting
With the desperate need for some creativity in midfield at the moment it's a shame that it's no go on Boro's reported £5.5 million bid for Sporting Lisbon winger Douala. Already cup tied after playing against Udinese in Sporting's Champions League campaign, it's the lack of European football he would have with Boro this season that's been the decider - a shame really, because we could probably do with at least one uninjured player in the squad come Christmas time. Oh well.

2 comments:

Perugia city said...

Hi! Are you interested in an exchange link?

Bernie's Quiff said...

You need to ask Soccerphile I think - stick it in the comments on one of those posts. I'm sure they will though.