Middlesbrough 1 - West Bromwich Albion 0

Date: Saturday 23rd December 2023 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(4-2-3-1) Glover, Dijksteel, Fry, van den Berg, Engel, Howson, Barlaser (Clarke, 89), Jones, Rogers (Crooks, 79), Greenwood (Coburn, 86), Silvera (McGree, 79)
Unused subs: Jones, Gilbert, Bangura, Kavanagh, McCabe
Palmer 6.9, Furlong 4.1 (Ávila Gordón, 80 5.0), Bartley 4.9 (Ajayi, 73 5.3), Kipré 5.4, Townsend 5.4, Yokuslu 5.0 (Molumby, 73 4.3), Mowatt 5.1, Diangana 3.1, Wallace 6.6 (Swift, 73 4.8), Sarmiento 3.3 (Fellows, 59 5.6), Thomas-Asante 3.8
Unused subs: Griffiths, Chalobah, Pieters, Reach
Manager: Carlos Corberán  4.3
Scorers: Rogers (40)
Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight) 5.1
Attendance: 29,145   Home Fans 5.3   Away Fans 5.4
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 10

Brendan Clegg:

That was a very depressing one against an injury-hit Middlesbrough side who haven’t been great shakes anyway. One where I felt we gifted them the win without them working for it.

No real arguments with the starting 11 although you feel Fellows must be close.

And the opening 30 drove me potty because we were so comfortable, Borough were so poor and yet we were either careless with it in good situations, didn’t get bodies forward enough or just let them off the hook by playing ultra safe instead of committing. We also gave away stupid fouls at set plays or in silly areas to stop our momentum. From all our set plays we didn’t make it count and then we conceded a really cheap goal through a lack of concentration in multiple areas.

I thought at HT the game was there to win but we just didn’t get going and when we did break after ht the decisions or execution were really poor again. Being honest, Borough could’ve and should’ve scored more on the break which is damning of us.

Our subs were late and didn’t really give us any momentum. Undoubtedly we miss Phillips for his physical strength and decision making but even still, we had enough to be better than this and were beaten by a collection of inferior players… that’s why this hurts.

A big reaction is needed in our next few games but also Corberan needs a plan B and needs to recognise when teams are there for the taking… we don’t need to always be so clever or technically managed and over 46 games there’s a fair argument we’re too intricate and coached for it to work.

Finally… in the absence of Philips just give Grady a run on the left and focus on getting it to him early when he’s 1 v 1.

So disappointing…

  • Palmer - 8 50 games in and looks a 5 million plus keeper. Kept us in it.
  • Furlong - 5 Never gives anything less than 100% but passes here we’re poor
  • Bartley - 6 Let it bounce a few times
  • Kipre - 7 Still good but also made a few casual errors
  • Townsend - 5 I’ll never give grief to a player who gives what he does, but quality lacking today
  • Okay - 7 Ran the show for periods and didn’t get fair decisions
  • Mowatt - 7 Again was brave and comfortable, we had a lot of the ball early
  • Grady - 4 too careless, ponderous… just want to see him wide left
  • Wallace - 7 big effort and tried to make things happen
  • Sarmiento - 4 worked hard but ineffective and lacks pace to get away from defenders. Has got skills but miles off being effective
  • BTA - 4 Loads of effort and fight but often decisions are so poor. Just release it or keep it simple!
  • Fellows - 6 Couldn’t get the service
  • The rest I couldn’t mark but honestly I’d give Ajayi a go up front in games like this and if we’re struggling

We need a run of results…