Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Giant Forwards Always Give Boro a Monstering; like Us on Facebook facebook.com/TeessideGazette Bernie's Bolt with Bernie Slaven Maybe It's about Time the Club Went out and Signed One ... We Need a Plan B

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Giant Forwards Always Give Boro a Monstering; like Us on Facebook facebook.com/TeessideGazette Bernie's Bolt with Bernie Slaven Maybe It's about Time the Club Went out and Signed One ... We Need a Plan B

Article excerpt

Byline: Bernie Slaven

NO.ONE likes to play against a monster.

No player, no matter what position they play, no matter how big they are themselves, wants to be stood in a tunnel and glance across at the other lot and see someone who they have signed from The Land of The Giants.

And when you are out on the pitch working hard in a game, even if you are well on top, the worst sight on football is to see a man mountain trundle onto the pitch for the last 10 or 15 minutes.

Your heart sinks. You know that even if they are not the greatest player, even if they don't have silky skills and good feet, they are going to cause mayhem in the box.

If a player like that comes on, six foot twelve and 16 stone, and he starts backing in, standing on the keeper and barging people out of the way then it unsettles even a good defence - and then the long balls start flying in and anything can happen.

We've seen Boro struggle against that kind of player for years.

Look at Atdhe Nuhiu for Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday. He was massive. Huge. He was like Peter Crouch with muscles. He destroyed Boro. He scored two and made a third. The defence just couldn't cope.

As long as I can remember Boro have struggled against really big men.

Two or three times a season we get bullied by some ceiling scraping centreforward or other ... Jon Stead, Darius Hendrson, the beanpole from Birmingham Nicola Zigic, not the best players but very effective. Especially against Boro it seems.

You could understand it a few years ago when we had such a small back line with the likes of Matthew Bates. Tony McMahon and young Joe Bennett but our defence is well over 6ft themselves now and they still get pushed about.

To be fair it is very difficult to mark one of these guys. They are a real handful. They are taller and stronger so have the advantage in the air. …

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