Let’s hope we’re not looking at what might have been!By The Eye Magazine published 11 December, 2011 No Comments
My earliest recollections of being a Middlesbrough fan include wonderful memories of that most prolific goal scoring partnership of Brian Clough and Alan Peacock, and with Clough’s personal tally exceeding 40 goals on no fewer than four consecutive seasons he was something of a machine. As a man, however, his selfish attitude and downright obstinacy made him somewhat unpopular with his teammates and ultimately led to one of his constant transfer requests being granted and him joining arch rivals Sunderland for a then record fee.
Sadly, Scott McDonald is not in the same goal-scoring league as Cloughy. even though he has contributed significantly on the score sheet since signing from Celtic. It is instead his attitude that is more reminiscent of the young Clough. Hoofing the ball at Barry Robson while his back was turned following an altercation between the two in the Blackpool game was not a particularly nice sight for Boro fans. Nor is his rapidly growing reputation of being a bit of a moaner something we want to hear. Granted, his popping up with three goals in two games at the time of writing has been a welcome sight for Boro fans and I can fully understand his frustration at being removed from the game before the end while sitting on two goals but a player who visibly demonstrates irritation with teammates while ignoring his own shortcomings is too reminiscent of the old Clough for comfort. The real truth about the Blackpool game is that by the time he was taken off he should have been sitting on at least a hat trick. It’s safe to say that given the same opportunities McDonald had enjoyed the young Clough would probably have had four! Going a little bit further back it’s also true that the goal scoring opportunities with which McDonald has been presented over the early part of this season could – and should – have led to at least five more goals and probably four or five more points. At the end of the season that could be significant and it’s to be hoped we are not left regretting what might have been.
That Tony Mowbray has stuck with him throughout the drought, repeating on a number of occasions that he still believed McDonald would end up our top scorer at the end of the season can be construed as good management since he’s now started to score again. But perhaps it could also be a case of regardless of how much Tony Mowbray believes in him he nevertheless has very little alternative. Alex Nimely has yet to figure on the score sheet despite a number of run-outs and in truth has never really looked like scoring. Mowbray obviously doesn’t rate Tarmo Kink as his chances this season have been non-existent. Curtis Main and Luke Williams are obviously not doing it in the reserves or perhaps they would have been given an opportunity while Mowbray was quick to point out when he signed Bart Ogbeche that ‘we have not signed Lionel Messi.’ So it will be left to McDonald and Emnes until at least January because regardless of who becomes available in the transfer window there is still very little money available and literally every team in the country is looking for a player who can consistently put the ball in the net.
So like it or not we are going to have to put up with McDonald’s tantrums and hope that getting into a goal scoring groove will lift his spirits and improve his demeanor. It’s probably going to be our only chance of turning the potential of our current third place into the desired promotion push.
Happy Christmas to you all.Tags: FootballLocal Sport