Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Punters' Panel

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Punters' Panel

Article excerpt

Same old story - Boro's strikers fail to find the net.

For a third successive Riverside match the Boro faithful have had to settle for a goalless draw.

And it's now six Premier League games since a Boro forward found the net from open play - Szilard Nemeth scoring in the 2-1 defeat against Chelsea.

So with Charlton next up at the Riverside on Saturday, and the Boro strikers desperate for a goal, BARRY KING asks the Punters' Panel what needs to be done.

CHRIS BLOWES (right), who again made the long trip from Fleet in Hampshire to watch the Pompey stalemate, wants to see a change in formation.

He said: "This ridiculous 4-4-1-1 formation at home has got to stop.

"We should start with Maccarone and Nemeth up front.

"On Saturday Michael Ricketts was winning headers to no avail as there was no-one following up.

"It's so frustrating and no wonder the fans get wound up. The three points were there for the taking against a side with a dreadful away record but we dropped two points. We need players to pull together. Apart from Danny Mills and George Boateng none of them can get it together.

"People are saying that teams like Charlton and Fulham are in a false position. I think Boro definitely are, as we should have had at least another seven points on the board.

"Bolo Zenden is so infuriating to watch. He should be hugging the white chalk down the wing and taking people on. Instead he comes inside, and the move always breaks down."

JOHN BROOKES (above right), a panel regular, thinks Ricketts needs a regular strike partner and not Juninho alongside him.

"In the current situation I would like to see Maccarone and Nemeth up front.

"But if they are going to persist with Ricketts - which it looks like they are - then he needs a strike partner alongside him because he just gets isolated when he has Juninho.

"We have to go 4-4-2 whatever happens. The only reason I suggest Maccarone and Nemeth is because they run round more than Ricketts.

"Yes, it is good that we are keeping clean sheets but the only person we will be impressing with this negative football is Norris McWhirter from Record Breakers. …

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