The bright lights from the A19
Boro travel to Norwich City on Saturday, Richard from Canaries blog City of Yellows shares his memories of the North East.
I had the pleasure of meeting a beautiful girl from Whitely Bay and as such made many a trip up North via either the A1 or A19 to visit her. At night the sight on my left heading South back home to Norwich resembled a massive industrial landscape by day and a strange series of lights by night… beyond that, apparently was Middlesbrough.
My first thoughts about Boro got back to my teens in the mid seventies and having watched the featured East Anglian game on 'Match of the Week' another region's offering would follow. Occasionally it might be from TyneTees which would offer Newcastle, Sunderland or Boro.
Ayresome Park with its red stand, seats and barriers looked a really traditional venue and its team always played in all red with the white band around the chest.
The stats over the years suggest the teams are evenly matched, however this is definitely not the case this season. Norwich City have only produced one unconvincing league victory this season at home to Preston whilst Middlesbrough in comparison are flying.
We were hoping the squad and performances would have improved following Daniel Farke's first season in charge, on paper, maybe it has, on the pitch it definitely has not. In a nutshell, if you are at the game, you will see the team in yellow attempt to keep position in no threatening areas and provide a couple of guilt edged chances to the opposition. City's main threat might be via a set piece coming off.
Whilst the Norwich City manger, with his untidy haircut, facial hair and coats is likened to Frank Gallagher from Channel 4 comedy/drama, Shameless. The Boro man in charge continues to 'buy' all his gear from either the club shop or Sports Direct. Having said that, I have a lot of time for Tony, he knows what he doing, he is tried and tested, he is organised and gets the best from this squad and promotion will happen this season… lets hope it's at the expense of the Geordies! Never, ever a favourite team of mine, that is one City that lives way back in time to past glories, the 1950s I believe?
The Canaries have improved their front line, former Boro striker Jordan Rhodes, Norwegian finisher Teemu Pukki and Onel Hernandez are good however the service these guys are getting is woeful. We also lost our two top scorers in Maddison (Leicester) and Murphy (Cardiff) who have headed off to the Premier League but at least the club doesn't owe anyone any money.
I'm not sure where the Canaries will finish… there are three options; off to League one, lower bottom half or half way in the Championship. The glass is definitely half empty at present. Before the international break the boys thankfully created an equaliser in a dreadful Derby with Ipswich at Portaloo Road, we failed to beat a team with no victories this season and one made from non-league and lower league freebies, the only conciliation is that it's now 11 games since the Tractor boys last beat us.
My prediction is Norwich City 0, Boro 2