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Teesside prepares for a party as Middlesbrough are promoted to the Premier League

Fans and pundits alike have been reacting to the promotion of Middlesbrough to the Premier League.



SAFC Blog: It’s a long week in football when you’ve lost a game, but it gets even longer when you’ve lost two

By Martyn McFadden

It’s a long week in football when you’ve lost a game, but it gets even longer when you’ve lost two. Lose three off the belt and the seven days between games can seem like a lifetime. After what we did at City, it’s already feeling an eternity to the Liverpool game…and it’s only Sunday morning.

Sam reckons that “It’s time to make some decisions about the squad” and that’s impossible to disagree with. Many supporters have already made their decisions, but the size of the crowds at the SoL show that the decision of most has been to stick with the Lads, whatever is happening. After all, it’s not as if we haven’t been through this sort of thing before, but the decisions Sam has to make are who to play where. The most obvious place for concern is up front – I know, things are hardly rosy at the back, but the choices there are fairly straightforward. He plays two or three centre halves, depending on who is fit. He plays two of the three full backs at his disposal, either as orthodox fullbacks or wingbacks. Up front, there are Borini, Fletcher, Defoe, Watmore, and Graham. That’s five to fit into two or three places, and we are yet to see which is the most effective combination. For a while, Fletch and Defoe seemed the choice, then Borini and Watmore came into the equation – and there’s always Graham. Little and large, large and larger, little and little, or any of those plus one.

I don’t know, and more importantly neither does Sam. None of them has really worked, but if we are to pull off something really clever and stay up, we need to find a combination that does.

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