What a turn around on Sunday….
But, more importantly, what an impact from our new acquisitions. Tony Mowbray is turning out to be very clever when it comes to cheap and affordable players within the budget – a situation he seems to be thriving under.
Last year he managed to persuade Stoke City boss Tony Pulis to let him take Andrew Davies on loan. The Stockton born centre half proved vital experience when Boro where seeing out games, something they had struggled with during January and February. Eventually Boro were holding on to one goal leads and battled away from the relegation zone.
Another signing who, due to injuries, hasn’t had time to make an impact is Moroccan Merouane Zemmama who came from Hibernian. The Marakesh Express to his credit has shown little glimpses of his talent that is highly rated by Mogga and his former Easter Road backroom staff Mark Venus and Jack Watson. Hopefully when he returns in mid-September he can overcome his injury worries and show the Riverside faithful his dazzling speed and skills.
German defender Maxi Haas did come in for a short stint from Bayern Munich’s reserves but looked out of his depth and departed the Riverside before his English football career even began.
When Mowbray was shedding Boro’s heavy wage bill in the summer only one player arrived, Blackpool’s French maestro Malaury Martin. The former AS Monaco talent was an unknown quantity in England, but he spent last season at Bloomfield Road’s Premier league side. Unfortunately for him a serious knee injury ruled him out for the season and he was subsequently released by the now Championship outfit.
But what was Blackpool’s loss was Boro’s gain as Mogga took him on trial and signed him to a one year deal. He started well in the cup at Walsall as he set up Marvin Emnes’ first goal of his hat trick. On Sunday Martin turned up the volume as he thumped a brilliant curler past Boaz Myhill to announce himself to the Riverside faithful.
BBC Tees’ Ali Brownlee said the French had smashed the net so hard, it was sent to Redcar and, as I am going to work there today, it is my goal (no pun intended) to find the stringy remains of Martins destruction.
Then we come to Faris Haroun, Mogga had been in pursuit of the Belgian international the moment he was released by his side Beerschot. Although he missed out at Barnsley, Mowbray finally got his man and he went straight onto the bench for the Birmingham game.
Haroun made an immediate impact as he gave Boro the lead aswell as supplying Martin for his goal. He was tall and imposing with quick feet or, as my Dad described him, ‘he was like Bambi on ice’. Whatever way you described him Haroun looks the business and you can see why Mowbray looked and sounded so delighted when Faris put pen to paper.
Since Tony Mowbray arriving there has been the departures of Kris Boyd, Gary O’Neil, Didier Digard, Willo Flood, Andrew Taylor and David Wheater with only the aforementioned players coming in.
Overall I feel there is only Tony Mowbray who could deal with the financial disasters Boro had in the summer and with this week being 25 years since Boro where saved from the brink of extinction, the message is the same – it is time to rebuild.
Written by Scott Easby, We Are Going Up’s Middlesbrough blogger
Scott tweets at @SEasby12