Bournemouth 4 – 0 Boro
Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? I’ve been managing Middlesbrough on my Football Manager game and today celebrated winning the Premiership! Steve Gibson shed a tear, people danced in the streets, etc. But then I slipped the radio on and listened in dawning horror as the real-life alternative to my heroes collapsed without a trace. Even before this one there was never a lot of hope left in the season, but any lingering morsels of the possibility we might somehow scrape our way out of the bottom three vanished today.
A goal down within the first couple of minutes. The second not long after and then for good measure, as though just to set that extra level of challenge, Gaston Ramirez gets himself dismissed. The final scoreline of 4-0 flattered us; the Cherries were all over Boro, slicing through us with errant ease, again and again, and only a combination of the last remnants of AK’s defensive work and the home team slowing up because it was hot work stopped it from being worse. We were wretched. Shite. Undone. Choose your own adjective.
For me, if we can take any saving graces at all from this debacle, then:
- All the rumours about Steve Agnew being given the job permanently are laid to rest now. He’s out of his depth as a manager. A decent coach, possibly, but no more than that.
- Ramirez – just get rid, Boro. We should have taken Leicester’s £12 million when they came offering it, because he hasn’t bothered since then and we won’t get anything like that amount now. Please, please go. I have a problem with the side not being good enough for this level, but at least it’s an honest effort from the players on the whole. Gaston was a player we picked up – rescued, if you will – from a career that had hit a dead end and turned him into something approaching a half decent footballer again, so I think it’s only right to expect a return on that. Not this, not this half-assed nonsense that looked for all the world like a man trying to get himself sent off because he couldn’t care less and fancied an early shower. Go on, fuck off mate.
No doubt there’ll be much soul searching as a result of this. I’m a bit wary of of the number of people ringing Tees to complain about the Chairman and his actions, but I can understand their ire. Action needed. 18,000 people have already bought their season tickets for 2017/18. They will want to know the club is working to turn around the bitter feelings left by this season. It’s a worrying time.
More tomorrow. For now, I’m back to the bottle.