Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

New Faces ?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

New Faces ?

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bernie Slaven Evening Gazette

I'm not surprised that Boro have failed to bring in any quality signings this summer.

And I don't think it's for the lack of trying.

Keith Lamb and Steve McClaren have both been working their socks off.

But the one thing that strikes me is that we are no longer the glamorous club we were a few years ago. You look at the list of world class names we have brought here, like Ravanelli, Emerson, Juninho, Merson and Barmby, but it's no longer easy to bring in this type of player any more.

Maybe the club has lost a little bit of sparkle in the international arena. Maybe it's because we don't have the money at the moment.

Let's face it, as magnificent as Steve Gibson has been for this club, he is not a bottomless pit. He put plenty of cash on the table last summer and then provided more in January.

But I'm sure that the January cash was always going to come out of the summer spending.

There must still be some money available, and I hope that McClaren can do a couple of deals before the August 31 deadline. If not, then it won't be an easy season for the team.

We've got a lot of quality players and the pressure is on McClaren to show that he is a good coach and can get the best out of them.

But everybody can see that we are still at least a couple of players short.

What worries me most is that, if Juninho were to get injured, we would have real problems.

We have not replaced Geremi and we are relying on Juninho to be the playmaker.

He's well capable of doing that. He has been fantastic in pre-season.

But he does need to stay fit because nobody else can do what he can do.

It's such a tight league that a couple of points can make all the difference over whether you are looking upwards, or downwards.

One thing that has impressed me is the pre-season form. …

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