Rock BlackpoolBy: Boro Offside | November 18th, 2011
By Guy Bailey
Â Well itâ€™s November and weâ€™re still in there. Iâ€™ll admit, I had us down for sixth to eighth so third, only a point behind West Ham and still only six behind surprise leaders Southampton. Â Weâ€™re five points up on Leeds in seventh, which isnâ€™t much but gaps will spring up soon enough and we need to make sure that we are on the right side of them when they do.
November sees us entertaining last years Premiership Novelty Act Blackpool before visiting other boro, Peter, and then ending the month with an already critical looking match against pre-season promotion favourites West Ham.
It was actually 25 years ago this week that we had another enthralling encounter with Blackpool. It was the famous class of 86 year, we were more than holding our own in the old 3rd division and had made a tremendous start before we were brought right back to earth with a 3-0 gubbing by Blackpool when a certain Paul Stewart gave us the runaround at Ayresome in October. The opportunity for revenge was swift when we drew them at home in the first round of the FA Cup. We outclassed them and won 3-1 with a Slaven hat-trick and Paul Stewart barely got out of Tony Mowbrayâ€™s back pocket all afternoon. This is a prescient summary of his management and philosophical approach to football. He learned a valuable lesson the first time against Stewart and while he may have been beaten by the same player or team again, he would not make the same mistakes and be beaten the same way again.Â Â
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Look back to the past three years. The biggest criticisms I had of the teams of GS1 and GS2 was not that they were weak-minded and willed and would roll over when another team would so much as say â€˜BOOâ€™ to them in the final third; but they were getting beat by the same methods week in, week out with no attempt to fix the obvious problems. Â Mowbray and new Boro have lost matches since he took over but each defeat has been for different reasons and none have been repeated as of yet. Â This served us well 25 years ago when we went to the Moon and it surely will again, beginning this weekend against professional irritant Ian Holloway and his fading tangerine dream.