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vs: Boro Match Preview


JohnCresswell
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Well thank goodness for that, domestic football resumes. Who wants football in the summer anyway, eh?

Villa travel up north to face another relegation candidate – the fourth in a row – in a game which if we are to match the ambitions of the manager and chairman we must surely be looking at winning.

Kick Off ?

Most talk before kick off will naturally be focused on the ‘England Situation’, as Glenn Hoddle may call it. Scott Carson will be back in a Villa shirt after a victorious debut for England, followed by a not so successful second game.

Carson is bound to get some stick from the home fans (so it’s lucky hardly any ‘Boro fans actually bother to turn up) so it’s up to the Villa faithful who will be traveling up there to give him the support he deserves. Carson is a top, top goalkeeper. Who ironically, made his first ever appearance in the Premier League coming on against Middlesbrough – replacing Paul Robinson.

Of course, the talk has already begun linking Martin O’Neill to the now vacant England job. O’Neill is not a liar, and has only this week told the Villa fans that he is going nowhere. That’s good enough for me. However, if he turns up outside the Dugout with a brightly coloured umbrella, then I think it’s time to start to wonder what is going on.

Kick off is a rare 3PM Saturday job.

What is the history between the two sides?

For two clubs so far apart, there is a fair amount of history between the two sides. Middlebrough, who are not lucky enough to have a history as rich our own, went through a phase of deciding to bring into their club as many Villa players and coaches as possible. This, ironically, happened when Steve McClaren took over.

Despite Villa having a poor away record over the past couple of years, Middlebrough is somewhere where we seems to have a habit of picking up points. We managed a 3-1 win last year, a 4-1 win in 2006 and of course the 5-2 win in 2003.

What’s the team news?

Villa have a fully fit squad to choose from, with the only doubt being Gabriel Agbonlahor. That’s if everyone returns from the international break fit, of course.

What’s the Prediction?

This really is the type of game that Villa will have to win if we really are aiming for Europe. I shall go for a 2-0 win, Scott Carson keeping a clean sheet.

Why Should We Beat Them?

Two figures in particular are men who deserve a certain amount of dislike. Gareth Southgate, who spent the last year of his career at Villa complaining and moaning, desperate to move to a “bigger club”, had backed himself into a corner when the move to Chelsea he wanted didn’t materialize. In came Middlebrough, and he had no choice. He then went complaining to the press when Villa fans jeered him on his return.

And he looks like a horse. With stupid hair.

George Boateng is another. Boateng was given nothing but support during his time at Villa, but seems to have picked up a habit of unsporting behaviour. The example that comes to mind the most is him falling on the floor when no connection had been made when Solano swung his arm in a fairly heavy challenge. Andy D’Urso, who luckily no longer referees in the Premier League, fell for it 100%.

Why Should We Like Them?

They are so irrelevant, it’s actually quite endearing.

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Boro fan here, and I've just come to say that that is one of the most ridiculous previews ever. You could at least respect the strengths there are in our team compared to Villa's.

Why should you beat us? Because we have 2 ex-Villa players who you don't like? That is absolutely disgraceful, to be honest. You seem to insist that Boateng is unsporting from one thing that happened in a game against Villa. So the other 36 games, you don't pay attention to them do you?

You say your prediction is 2-0, but you could at least say why you think that. It seems like you've gave that prediction without any thought of the opposition at all, just the fact we're lower in the table than almost everyone in the league doesn't make us pushovers.

So Spurs away would be a certain win for you if you'd played them while Jol was still in charge? And you also have gave your prediction based on your own team's ambitions, and nothing else.

And finally, we're so irrelevant? I've never been so insulted. Especially when the only reason Villa are still in the Premiership is because they got someone coming in backing them with big money, which in turn got them a much better manager than O'Leary. If it wasn't for Randy Lerner, you probably wouldn't of survived another season in this league, while we've been consistently finishing mid-table for so many years with 'Boro fans who never bother to turn up' and a Chairman who hasn't had the big bucks to spend, just the passion to see his team succeed.

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Boro fan here, and I've just come to say that that is one of the most ridiculous previews ever. You could at least respect the strengths there are in our team compared to Villa's.

Why should you beat us? Because we have 2 ex-Villa players who you don't like? That is absolutely disgraceful, to be honest. You seem to insist that Boateng is unsporting from one thing that happened in a game against Villa. So the other 36 games, you don't pay attention to them do you?

You say your prediction is 2-0, but you could at least say why you think that. It seems like you've gave that prediction without any thought of the opposition at all, just the fact we're lower in the table than almost everyone in the league doesn't make us pushovers.

So Spurs away would be a certain win for you if you'd played them while Jol was still in charge? And you also have gave your prediction based on your own team's ambitions, and nothing else.

And finally, we're so irrelevant? I've never been so insulted. Especially when the only reason Villa are still in the Premiership is because they got someone coming in backing them with big money, which in turn got them a much better manager than O'Leary. If it wasn't for Randy Lerner, you probably wouldn't of survived another season in this league, while we've been consistently finishing mid-table for so many years with 'Boro fans who never bother to turn up' and a Chairman who hasn't had the big bucks to spend, just the passion to see his team succeed.

I thought that Gibson bloke had invested many a pretty penny into that team. It may have been because of his 'passion to see his team succeed' but he has spent handsomely nonetheless. It could be argued that Lerner is doing exactly the same thing now.

Also, I'm not quite sure how you can argue the point about fans not turning up. Your ground is regularly seen on Tv with large empty areas and the atmosphere always seems a little flat. At least that's the way it comes across.

From a Villa point of view, our ambitions are different to yours. Yours are now about survival whereas ours are about pushing for Europe. And if we want to be achieving that, then this game against Boro is the sort of game we should be winning. That explains the prediction I think. It doesn't require any more explanation than that.

I happened to go to Old Trafford for the Boro game a few weeks ago and I thought your boys did alright until they shot themselves in the foot with the Rooney goal. I don't think that Saturday will be a walk in the park for Villa but i do think that we should and will win. But i also believe that our players will respect their opposing players with the respect they deserve and have earned.

Overall, I wouldn't get too worked up about this preview. I think it's how most top half teams will view a trip to the Riverside this season. That's not being disrespectful, it is being honest and ambitious.

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gonefishing.gif

I'll stand by one thing though. Middlesbrough are irrelevant.

They've done nothing in the Premier League and given the Premiership, and the English game nothing.

And Villa have done...? :? :roll:

I thought that Gibson bloke had invested many a pretty penny into that team. It may have been because of his 'passion to see his team succeed' but he has spent handsomely nonetheless. It could be argued that Lerner is doing exactly the same thing now.

Also, I'm not quite sure how you can argue the point about fans not turning up. Your ground is regularly seen on Tv with large empty areas and the atmosphere always seems a little flat. At least that's the way it comes across.

From a Villa point of view, our ambitions are different to yours. Yours are now about survival whereas ours are about pushing for Europe. And if we want to be achieving that, then this game against Boro is the sort of game we should be winning. That explains the prediction I think. It doesn't require any more explanation than that.

I happened to go to Old Trafford for the Boro game a few weeks ago and I thought your boys did alright until they shot themselves in the foot with the Rooney goal. I don't think that Saturday will be a walk in the park for Villa but i do think that we should and will win. But i also believe that our players will respect their opposing players with the respect they deserve and have earned.

Overall, I wouldn't get too worked up about this preview. I think it's how most top half teams will view a trip to the Riverside this season. That's not being disrespectful, it is being honest and ambitious.

Lerner has way more money than Gibson. The only reason we've spent the big amounts of money this summer is because A: we sold Yakubu and Morrison for a combined fee of nearly £13m and B: because we had to to try and keep up with club's in and around the same position in the league.

I'm not saying that the fans do turn up either, I was just pointing out that we've done pretty well for the amount of fans we get in. What you Villa fans may forget is that we're a small town, and most fans have emptied their pockets a season or so ago on 2 seasons of European football. And also because of that, the fans expectations sensationally rose.

And our ambitions aren't about survival. Our ambitions remain exactly the same as they were at the start of the season, and that is to improve on last season. 13 games in, you can hardly call it a relegation battle, especially when we've been missing some of our best players for the majority of our last spell of games, which included Everton, City, Chelsea and Man Utd. Still different ambitions yes, but we're aiming for a high mid-table finish, and with a good January transfer window, I truly can see that happening. I said this at the start of the season, and that is that considering the experience of our manager, I would be proud to finish in 11th this season, as it marks improvement, even if it is minor.

And that Man Utd game, well your thoughts are the same as mine. We seemed to be very much in the game until Stewart 'I'm too good for Boro' Downing decides to try a bit of skill when he should just thump the ball down-field.

And finally, I understand that people can look at our league position and say 'They are vulnerable'. But you'd be extremely surprised at how together the team is, and how capable they actually are of pulling themselves out of this mess.

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I think over the last five or ten years Boro have performed above themselves, and that's largely down to Gibson, who seems to me as good a chairman as any club could wish for.

He's piled his money in, he's tried to build something that will last and that can grow, he backs his managers and he genuinely cares.

It's almost a shame he wasn't born in a bigger town.

Villa's chairman throughout much of the same period struggled to make the same impact and we performed well within ourselves.

I'll let you check for yourself on what Villa have given to the English game.

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They are so irrelevant

For me they played a key role in securing the championship for us in 1981 by beating Ipswich and I will always be obliged to them for that.

Boro have had their tough times in the past and were lucky to have a supporter like Gibson who was willing to invest so much into securing their future and into bringing big names to his club when we did not. I think that a lot of us had a problems with the likes of Southgate, Ugo & Boateng moving to them on grounds of ambition or money but what goes around comes around and we took Merse off them later.

I think the game will not be an easy one and I back us to win by the odd goal. This is because we are hard to beat away and will be on the up after turning over our neighbours, where Boro currently are a team in need of points who seem to have at the moment lost the art of getting them. I hope Gibson will keep faith with Southgate and would say that history shows he is not into knee-jerk reactions. The years that have passed since Gareth's departure have left me thinking more about what he gave us when he played in claret & blue than the circumstances in which he left that were always more understandable than Boateng's and his reaction to us since has been much the better of these two.

May the best team win and that is obviously us! :winkold:

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I think Boro has to be at least commended for their work on the academy front.

They have quite a decent academy, and are one of the few clubs to 'grow' their own players, along with Villa and Man City,

I think the game will not be as straight forward as most of us on here think.

Tuncay is a very dangerous player - He has good technique, and when he gets out wide, can easily 'do' his defedner and put in a good cross.

Downing is an on-off player, but when he's on, he's brilliant, and can produce quality crosses.

With our shoddy defence and Carson's confidence shattered, I expect we will concede at least a goal.

I think it will be 1-1, but hope it will be 2 or 3-1.

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I quite like Boro. :oops:

I like going there - we usually play well, and win more often than not.

It's a decent ground, the fans are mostly alright.

Their chairman is brilliant, Gareth Southgate's sound. He might have vented a bit at the end of his time at Villa, about going off to Chelsea, but then tootling off to Boro, but he was spot on about the way the club was run.

If you overlook the Sounness thing, hard I know, then loot at the rest, add in good old Bosko Jankovic and there's nothing to dislike and plenty to like.

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Boo, hoo, whine, grizzle, howl?

Listen mate - you're **** lucky they didn't bring back the old "Why We Must Beat......." section.

I'd have ripped your lot to bits :crylaugh:

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Sorry John cannot agree with your rather churlish comments concerning Gareth Southgate. During his time at Villa he was a model professional, and your comment "And he looks like a horse. With stupid hair." is pretty childish.

I would prefer Southgate in our back 4 right now instead of Mr Knight.

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And Villa have done...?

Google the amount of trophies that we have won. Have you even been in the European Cup, let alone win it?

Villa have provided more players for England than any other team. That's doing something for the national game, is it not?

Just remind me which team got to a major trophy final more recently

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Who's done the most in recent years, considering where we are based as well? Villa may have a decent academy, but I look at ours and I can see Premiership regulars all the way through. Just the fact they are all defenders or midfielders that have the best talent doesn't help. Carling Cup '04, UEFA last 16 '05, UEFA final '06 after the 2 best games I've ever witnessed as a Boro supporter. The atmosphere was immense in both of them comebacks, and it's a shame the final was in the PSV stadium (which is hardly bigger if at all bigger than the Riverside), or I would of went myself.

Everyone is spot on about Gibson. He is a top, top man. He doesn't have all the money in the world, but he's a supporter of the club so he will push his budget as far as he can for the good of the club.

Knowing Arca and Mido may not be available, but having our best defense available for the game, I think a 1-1 draw is the best we can hope for. Young against Young is a clash I can't wait to see. One isn't afraid to put in a tackle, the other isn't afraid to run at his man. Zat Knight and Scott Carson should be our main targets, especially Knight because that man... well how he got an England cap bemuses me.

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Oh so do I. That could be something to do with us having the worst disciplinary record at the moment, though...

And bickster - I can see why you think that, but as I've said, we're a small town, and we got into a UEFA Cup final with Steve McClaren as manager. That's a bloody good achievement if you think about it that way. ;)

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