Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Go for It!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Go for It!

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bernie Slaven

Why Boro should be positive against Arsenal - and the Little Fella should be in from the start

BORO must start to think positively if they want to take a step towards the final of the Carling Cup next week.

It's no good going back to Arsenal and sitting back again.

If we invite pressure then Arsenal will give us it.

We must go there ready to give them something to think about and have a go at them.

That doesn't mean that we should go willy nilly looking to attack all the time.

We have to have a wee bit of caution, but we must make sure that we set out to enjoy it, without having to sit back all the time.

That's why I would put Juninho in from the start.

He must have been disappointed to be left out on Saturday, but when he came on he provided a spark.

He set up the penalty for Maccarone and was a new outlet for us.

If I could, I would play him in his favourite position in the hole.

That's where he produces his best football and that's where he can hurt teams.

It would mean playing three in midfield but I think that Stewart Downing has showed that he is good enough to play in a three.

I know that Steve McClaren will be tempted to go safety first again, because if we can get a result down there, it sets up the second leg at the Riverside.

But the 4-5-1 formation didn't work on Saturday. Arsenal scythed through us like a knife through butter.

If you play five in midfield they have to clatter a few people early on and keep on closing down the opposition.

But I didn't see the strong players like Doriva, Boateng or Mills get near enough to clatter anybody.

It suggests that we haven't learned very much from the seven straight defeats.

Yet I can remember when we played Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford, Dean Windass clattered Vieira early on and that set the pattern.

Vieira returned the compliment against Deano in the second half, but by that time we had got a foothold and we did very, very well in what was a great game. …

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