At the start of the season, we expected it to be difficult. I’ll be honest, with the signings we made, I actually had high hopes for us, but a relegation fight was always on the cards. Sadly, we don’t seem to be fighting.
Crystal Palace was dubbed as a must win. And we lost. We weren’t really even in it. Some might even say we rolled over. But why?
You’d have hoped this would spur us on and give us the grit to get something at Stoke.
We had a chance at the Bet365 stadium to reprieve ourselves, start quickly, show them we mean business; but again we didn’t. It’s just not what I expect from a Boro side. Where’s the determination and heart – without that, are we just doomed?
Promotion for me didn’t mean the acceptance of relegation. It meant we have a chance to live the dream, but we aren’t really trying to live it.
We’ve bagged ourselves a ticket for a movie premier but slept through the film.
The Chairman said we’d ‘have a go’ but we aren’t. I wouldn’t have any issue at all if we went for it and fell short due to a lack of quality. I have an ongoing feeling that we aren’t reaching our full potential. Yes, there are areas that need strengthening, but I honestly feel we are better than our current predicament suggests.
I have been a backer of Karanka throughout and I’m not usually one for calling for managers to be sacked but this situation with him saddens me. I’m sure we all hoped he would succeed and are grateful for everything that he has done, but sadly, he has become the linchpin of his own downfall.
AK has done a lot for this club and for that he deserves our thanks and respect but his unwillingness to change things or adapt each week and not gamble every once in a while is about to ruin his legacy.
The players aren’t blameless, but we need a spark and the negativity comes from how we set up. There will be people reading this saying that we simply aren’t good enough, and there may be a little truth to that, but unless we play in a way that gives us a fighting chance, we will never know. I personally think we have at least got the quality to be better than we are.
Something has to change and sadly, even though I wish it weren’t the case, I think it needs to be the manager. Most of the teams around us have done it and it’s kicked them on. Judging by the performances, it looks like he’s lost the dressing room but what’s much worse, is he’s starting to lose the fans.
One of the most worrying things I heard following the defeat against Stoke is that he had the subs planned before the game and the injury to Ayala messed up those plans. Sorry, I may be missing something, but aren’t decisions on subs supposed to be made to influence the game depending on how things are going?
I’m by no means saying we are down, but unless something changes, that’s where we are heading. I read a comment of someone saying that ‘Karanka needs to change something, or we need to change Karanka.’ That is probably a fair assessment.
Let’s see what happens but either way, it’s a sad situation for everyone.
Russ Johnson (@iRussJ)