Saturday's game, if anything, highlighted just what's wrong with Boro. No squad depth, no creativity, no idea how to defend, no experience. I despaired hearing how time and time again our defence was carved open and how Grounds and Hines could not cope. When the fifth goal went in I thought back to our 8-1 mauling of Manchester City and how their fans felt - as I was feeling very similar.
At every opportunity Boro seem to be selling. This season we have already seen David Wheater and Gary O'Neil disappear off to the Premiership, and now another player sneaks out of the back door... Kris Boyd. Kris has hardly set the world alight at Boro but 5th place Nottingham Forest obviously see something in the SPL all time leading goalscorer.
There are two things that really worry me about the departure of Boyd:
- How is it that Middlesbrough are unable to afford to bring in a loan keeper without having to trade out a striker?
- What if Boyd goes and scores a bag load of goals at Forest? What does that say about the coaches at our club?
The big 'r'
Middlesbrough have been consistent over the past two seasons if anything - and that has been selling players. As we have sold more players our position has dropped down and down the league. An obvious trend, but not one that the Chairman has spotted which is a worry because if we get any worse we are going down.
Boro need to stop this constant fire sale, pull together, give the fans a reason to go to the games but with the departure of Boyd it really would indicate to me that our ambition is fading, and ambition is something that Boro always had in seasons gone by.
Not the designer or lead singer of Maximo Park, but the Nottingham Forest keeper has signed for Middlesbrough on loan. Smith has played for Forest since 2006 and was part of the team the gained promotion from League 1 in 2008 winning the Puma Golden Glove in the process. He is also the scorer of the quickest League Cup goal, scoring in 23 seconds against Leicester City in 2008. Having fallen out of favour at Forest Smith was placed on the transfer list and told to find first team football elsewhere.
It may be too early for Smith to start tonight's game against Derby as he has not played a first team game since May, but hopefully over the coming matches he can help sort out a defence devoid of experience and quality and get us back to keeping clean sheets.