Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Villans' Win Was Criminal

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Villans' Win Was Criminal

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Gaizka Mendieta must be eagerly anticipating the prospect of Boro bringing in two new strikers in the summer.

The gifted Spanish international laid on a dozen world class passes on Saturday, at least half of which should have produced Boro goals.

But the number of chances which Boro regularly waste is verging on the criminal.

Steve McClaren is correct when he says that Boro have a good team. They do. After all, they battered ten-man Aston Villa in the second half and would have done exactly the same if the Champions League contenders had retained all 11 men on the pitch.

But Boro could not put the ball in the net, despite pouring forward in droves and laying siege to the Villa goal for fully half an hour.

When your top goalscorer has still not recorded ten goals for the season, and is not an orthodox striker anyway, then you've got a problem.

The problem is that Boro do not have a clinical finisher in their whole squad. That's the only reason why they are not already entrenched in fourth position in the Premiership.

McClaren said after Saturday's defeat that it was one of those cruel days when Boro did not get the result they deserved.

But how many times have we witnessed the same scenario at the Riverside Stadium this season?

Leeds, Chelsea, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Blackburn, Villa...Boro created enough chances in each of these games to have comfortably taken the three points.

OK, Boro have not defended as well at the Riverside as they did last season, but they've created at least as many chances.

People say that Boro have missed Geremi, but Mendieta is a better all-round player and he is currently playing out of his skin.

The Spaniard was head and shoulders the best Boro player on the pitch against Villa, and some of his passes were breathtaking. …

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