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Baroness_Warsi Posted on 08/11/2018 14:10
Boro's Sliding Doors Moments
 
 
Shamelessly stolen from the Set Piece Menu podcast, but hey ho. (And a tear-streaked apology to all and sundry if this has been done before.)

What would you consider the Boro's biggest 'Sliding Doors. moments - something that irrevocably changed the course of our history?

Let's start with the obvious one. Graham Kelly considering the deduction of three points for the Blackburn fixture right and fair.

Ince in his pomp. Boksic in his pomp. Romario and Nadal. Perhaps even Roberto Carlos. What a summer 1997 would have been. We'd have been European champions by the turn of the millennium.

That said, I very much enjoyed the 1997/98 promotion season...

Any others?
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Ticker_Tape Posted on 08/11/2018 14:16

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
The biggest is Bruce Rioch his staff and the young players plus all the consortium involved in saving the club.

Beating Derby County in the QF of the FA cup was a massive moment for MFC.
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autism_awareness Posted on 08/11/2018 14:17
Edited On: 08/11/2018 14:18
Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Hitler played a part in ruining our chances of glory prior to both World Wars breaking out when we had arguably our best sides that were so close to winning the First Division. How jinxed are we when we were so close to pushing on and winning the damn thing [sad]
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toxic_bob Posted on 08/11/2018 14:22

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Ben Roberts drinks a double espresso just before the 1997 FA Cup Final, and saves Di Matteo's dipper. Festa's goal stands and we win 1-0.
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ZappBrannagan Posted on 08/11/2018 14:33

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Cardiff FA Cup match

we turn up and win that and we had a straight run to the cup. That would have been European football, another trophy in the cabinet, and more faith to invest in new players.

lost it, terribly, which was the start of the crowd vocally turning against Southgate, and we lost our chance to stop the slide...
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McMordie Posted on 08/11/2018 14:38

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
I'll throw in three penalties. Those missed by Taricco of Spurs and Osman of Everton in the penalty shoot outs in the League Cup run of 2003-04, without which there might have been no trophy and no Europe and that missed by Robbie Fowler at Manchester City the next year which extended our European adventure for another season.
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xxlshirts_fit_all Posted on 08/11/2018 14:41

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Zeige going to liverpool after all our plans were built round him (ish)

and not getting rob lee due to newcastle being closer to london...

posibly diego forlan too...
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tom_mate Posted on 08/11/2018 14:44

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Was going to say Forlan too, I reckon we'd of been a better fit at that point in his career.
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Boro_Gypo Posted on 08/11/2018 14:46

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Viduka missing the chance at 1-0 in the Uefa Cup Final. Boro would have went on and broken the hearts of the Andalusian faithful
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Baroness_Warsi Posted on 08/11/2018 14:49

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Ah, Diego Forlan.

We sign Forlan. He doesn't score for the rest of the season, but we decide to persist with him.

We're impressed with a young Italian swashbuckler who plays centre-forward brilliantly at the 2002 under-21 European Championships. We keep faith with Forlan, and decide not to sign Massimo Maccarone.

Fast forward four years. We surge back into contention with three fantastic goals in front of a baying Riverside. Basel are on the ropes. Boateng works the ball to Rochemback, who winds his right leg back and fires towards goal.

Zuberbuhler spills it, and who should it fall to, but Forlan. Diego sets himself, takes a breath and...

Blasts the ball into the crowd.

No great comeback. No Steaua a few weeks later. Nobody round Ali's for a parmo. No trip to Eindhoven.

I shudder to think.
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Humpty Posted on 08/11/2018 14:49

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
I don't think you can look passed the three points. Of course there's no guarantee's that we would've made the two finals, but no relegation and there might have been move confidence going in to the FA Cup Final too. The players we had lined up for the following summer were staggering.
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Funky_Chicken Posted on 08/11/2018 14:50

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Undoubtedly the three points and the consortium that saved the club in 86 - the biggest moments in my time following anyway




🐔
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McMordie Posted on 08/11/2018 14:50

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Another obvious one is Billy Ashcroft's miss against Orient.

If he'd scored the programme cover would have been totally different the next season.
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McMordie Posted on 08/11/2018 14:53

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
The moment that Charlie Amer said "Here's an idea. Let's build a sports hall".
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WillMunny Posted on 08/11/2018 14:55

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Baroness Warsi - I'm not sure I agree about the 3 points as there's certainly an argument that the injustice sparked us into life that season.

Personally I'd go for Robson failing to use his final substitute at Wembley against Leicester. Bring someone on in the last minute, kill any momentum Leicester had and run valuable seconds off the clock. As a result we hold on to win 1-0 and then the following happens;

-we don't have to play 120 mins of a replay before losing, resulting in mental and physical fatigue (3 days before playing Sunderland at home).
-on a high from winning the first final, we beat Chesterfield at the first time of asking, thereby avoiding extra time and another replay.
-we don't have to postpone league fixtures for two replays and therefore don't have to play Sat, Mon, Thurs, Sun in the final week of the season.
-nor do we have to play Spurs away on a Thursday only 48 hours after the Chesterfield replay.
-Ravanelli doesn't do his hamstring at Old Trafford as we can play that game on a Wednesday rather than Monday, 48 hours after Villa at home.
-all of the above probably means we are safe before the final game against Leeds, which means we can rest up before the FA Cup Final (but if not, a fit Ravanelli against Leeds puts away the chances that Beck missed).
-we go to Wembley on a high with a trophy and Premier League survival in the bag and with a week's rest and a fully fit Ravanelli, instead of despondent, tired squad with nothing left to give. We then hammer Chelsea for our first FA Cup win!

What happens next is in line with the OP - big signings, European football, more trophies. If only....[sad]
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tom_mate Posted on 08/11/2018 15:02

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
I get your points about Maccarone and Forlan but you forgot to mention that by 2006 Forlan was well on his way to being one of the best strikers around.
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LTS_3 Posted on 08/11/2018 15:06

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
I was at Elland Road the day we went down and remember Mikkel Beck missing (what seemed to be) an absolute sitter - had that gone in we would have stayed up even with the deduction.

Heskey scoring a mega late equaliser in extra time at the old Wembley was brutal. Would have been amazing to see Boro lift a cup under the towers.
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Baroness_Warsi Posted on 08/11/2018 15:07

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
That's very true.

Top scorer with Villarreal by that point, and a Champions League semi-finalist that season.

Would without doubt have quietly moved back to Independiente in the summer of 2003 for an undisclosed fee had he joined us.
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The_same_as_before Posted on 08/11/2018 15:10

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
To the lad who mentioned the Cardiff loss, nothing compared to losing to Orient.

The biggest moment was when Big Jack said £30,000 was too much for Crosd
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Baroness_Warsi Posted on 08/11/2018 15:14

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
WillMunny, that's probably true. Although such was the talent in the squad that, as the end of the season approached, surely something else would have jolted us into life in the league.

Yep. I'm sure I've read interviews with squad players that season who lamented Robbo's failure to see out time against Leicester with a substitution. Absolutely agree.
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McMordie Posted on 08/11/2018 15:18

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Heskey's goal was indeed brutal. I was back on the coach before it actually registered what had just happened.
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McMordie Posted on 08/11/2018 15:24

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Another one that sticks in my mind is Stewart Downing hitting the bar with the penalty at Sunderland. If he'd scored we may well have stayed up.
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Zoophonic Posted on 08/11/2018 15:29

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
The 3 point fiasco in 1997 without doubt.
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xxlshirts_fit_all Posted on 08/11/2018 15:35

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Losing to Wolves in 81 in the FA cup replay is always considered a pivotal moment isnt it?
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Baroness_Warsi Posted on 08/11/2018 15:35

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Tony WoodXXXXXX doesn't ring Bryan Robson with good tidings about a German goal machine called Uwe Fuchs.

Paul Wilkinson's goal drought continues. Our dip in for becomes terminal, and we finish in the playoffs.

Pat Nevin and John Aldridge's Tranmere tear us apart. We open the Riverside Stadium with a 1-0 defeat to Milwall in from of 16,000 fans. Robbo leaves with us in mid-table, and we turn to a safe pair of hands in Stan Ternent to guide us to safety.
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Zoophonic Posted on 08/11/2018 15:37

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
The Wolves match yes but equally you can make an argument for Birmingham 1975 defeat FA Cup QF
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MightyDuck Posted on 08/11/2018 16:03

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
if we'd have invested in a keeper and some defenders in 1995 (i.e bringing in Schwarzer & Festa 18 months earlier)
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littlejimmy Posted on 08/11/2018 16:09

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
One for me is Gibson appointing Southgate after the UEFA Cup Final. No disrespect to Sir Gareth as a player (and indeed how he has moved on) but it was not a good appointment. If we'd gone with a foreign experienced manager, maybe we'd have pushed on from our European adventures to even higher planes. Maybe.
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The_Lizards_Jumpers Posted on 08/11/2018 16:14

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Some of those mentioned above aren't really "sliding door" moments, but a series of events that led up to something.

For me Heskey's equalizer in the League cup final hitting a defender and going out for a corner, and Ben Roberts get his hand to Di Matteo's 42 second shot in the FA Cup final.
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Biggles13 Posted on 08/11/2018 16:19

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
I've always felt how good of a team we could have became if we did not get relegated after the 3 point deduction. Arguably at the time one of the best frontlines in the premier league, we scored loads, if we had stayed up, Robbo sorted the defence out with new players, its scary to think the horizons we could have reached at a time when we had a lot of clout.
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McMordie Posted on 08/11/2018 16:34

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
9 April 1957.

If Steve Gibson's mum had said "Sorry luv, I've got a headache" he wouldn't have been born 9 months later and we'd all now be supporting Darlington.
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Tuncaythefunguy Posted on 08/11/2018 16:48
Edited On: 08/11/2018 16:49
Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
6th of April 1997

Boro 1-0 Leicester. Boro win the cup

Liverpool 2-0 Coventry (Coventry won 1-2 at Anfield the very same day)

That was a huge day that eventually got us relegated imo. I know Sunderland finished in between us but ultimately it totally knocked us as a club etc.
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coluka Posted on 08/11/2018 16:57

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Stuart Boams pass back to Kevin Hector on 5 April 1975
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Steer Posted on 08/11/2018 16:58

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Everyone is highlighting the near misses and the unfortunate stuff.

What about the referee spotting Zendens double footed penalty in the Carling Cup final? 128 years might now be 142 years and counting...
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Baroness_Warsi Posted on 08/11/2018 17:16

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Aitor Karanka doesn't pull a George Costanza and dance back to Rockliffe the following Tuesday like nothing ever happened.

Steve Agnew is placed in permanent charge. The gloom deepens at home to Hull; we are consigned to defeat by a late Sone Aluko winner.

Sheffield Wednesday pick us apart in the playoffs. Nonetheless, Agnew is given a chance to take us up in 2016/17.

Long story short, we are now a quarter of the way through our second season in League One.

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Norman_Conquest Posted on 08/11/2018 18:41

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Boro v Orient. FA Cup quarter final. I'm sure it was in the first game but will stand corrected if it was the replay.

David Mills makes contact with the ball instead of being in two minds and allowing it to go between his head and his knee.
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Richie_1978 Posted on 08/11/2018 18:45

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Summer of 1952.

Boro's directors stick to their guns, ignoring the warnings of their Grimsby counterparts, and appoint the Mariners' boss as the successor to David Jack.

Not only is relegation avoided at the end of the following season,their charismatic Scottish boss guides them to titles galore and European domination:

"It was a terrible disappointment, because I was bubbling with ideas and Middlesbrough had a good ground and a lot of useful players. Before the war they'd had one of the best footballing teams in Britain. Ayresome Park represented potential."

We ended up with Walter Rowley (who?) and relegation two years later, followed by 20 years out of the top division.

Link: Shankly
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Trug Posted on 08/11/2018 19:55

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
There have been many in my life time. The biggest for me was the Orient defeat.
But Boro, even in the early days had their troubles with authority, trying to bribe an opposition team and as a result came very close to being expelled from the league.
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Kent_MFC Posted on 08/11/2018 21:10

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
The three points situation.

The potential signings linked with us if we had of stayed up. Nadal, Romario, Gazza, Ince, Carlos, Batistuta playing alongside TLF.


Also, if we had of signed Schwarzer and Festa slightly earlier that could also have changed our season.
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Tuncaythefunguy Posted on 08/11/2018 21:28

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Trug. I heard some stories from a former player about the times Boro and many others bribed the opposition. The Boro v Oxford end of season game was one of them with big Ron Atkinson playing centre half for Oxford.
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tom_mate Posted on 08/11/2018 22:31

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
"Another one that sticks in my mind is Stewart Downing hitting the bar with the penalty at Sunderland. If he'd scored we may well have stayed up."

Skied it well over the bar didn't he? I was stood right behind it but you've made me question my memory now.
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onenilawayfromhome Posted on 08/11/2018 22:46

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
What would have happened had Don Revie joined the Boro as he was expected to? He was to link up with Haliday, Clough and PeaXXXXXX. Instead he joined Leeds....
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TheHolgate Posted on 08/11/2018 23:24

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
3 points deduction, who knows what the next 2/3 years would have been like. Top 4 finish is my bet.
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WillMunny Posted on 09/11/2018 00:16
Edited On: 09/11/2018 00:17
Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Is the 3 point deduction really a sliding doors moment?

I guess it qualifies if instead of crying off we actually turned up at Blackburn. But it seems as if people are blaming the judgement of the FA rather than the action WE decided to take, which for me doesn't quite fit the definition.
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McMordie Posted on 09/11/2018 08:53

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
"Skied it well over the bar didn't he? I was stood right behind it but you've made me question my memory now."

My recollection was that it clipped the top of the bar but as I wasn't actually there and you were standing behind it we'll go with your memory!

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sheriff_john_bunnell Posted on 09/11/2018 12:07

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
We lost schwartzer to injury at the two most inopportune times. Out for the run in and FA cup final in 97, and Dean Ashton assaulted him in the FA cup semi to keep him out of the uefa cup run.

Mind you he would probably have held onto those steau goals and we would have ended up with a comfortable win, rather than the one which defines the club.
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erimus11 Posted on 09/11/2018 12:39

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
The 3 points episode is a massive "if only" moment.

Another big one for me is ...1974-75 season, our first season in the top division after storming the 2nd division title.
If only we had signed that young, proven, goalscorer that we needed, to compliment our existing strike force...who knows?
We finished 7th , 5 points off the top spot that season
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viv_andersons_nana Posted on 09/11/2018 12:42

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Schmeichel saving Falconer's header in 1992. It still keeps me awake at night, seeing that big massive hand come out of nowhere and claw it out of the top corner.

I think there was a moment in the League Cup final in 97, where Beck had the ball on the halfway line. He had Rav and Juninho with him and it felt like it was 3-on-1 in our favour. Beck shanked it out for a throw in and Leicester scored not long after.

Also worthy of a mention, IMO - Jelle Vossen hitting the bar at Wembley. I think if we'd gone up that day instead of the season after Karanka wouldn't have had a meltdown, or whatever it was, and the squad wouldn't have been completely rebuilt. We'd have had a better season in the Premier League if we'd won the play-off than we did when we went up the season after.
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MightyDuck Posted on 09/11/2018 12:58

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
i remember that Downing penalty at Sunderland. We'd absolutely battered them up to that point. Missed the penalty and conceded to goals which im sure Chopra scored
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festa5 Posted on 09/11/2018 13:11

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
Signing Juninho must be one surely? Put our profile through the roof on a global scale. Would we have attracted some of the players we did if we hadn't signed the Brazilian footballer of the year?

Not to mention the fact he very likely wouldn't have fallen in love with place and returned to play a key role in lifting the cup.

On the flip side, years later he probably wouldn't have helped us sign de Pena by doing the medical for us. So swings and roundabouts.
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Wev1 Posted on 09/11/2018 15:52

Boro's Sliding Doors Moments

 
I still don't get that 3 point deduction, it winds me up no end, there's zero logic in it. It wouldn't happen now either.

Even if we did have the players and just CBA, fair enough, award the game to the opposition and even dish out a big fine if you must. But not turning up for a game and getting docked 3 points costs a poor team a lot more than a good team, a point at the bottom is worth 2.2 at the top etc.

Why 3 points, why not 1 or 2?

If we had won the rearranged game we would have had a net 0 points. If Blackburn had won the rearranged game they would have had a net 3 points. Wasn't fair on us and certainly wasn't fair on Blackburn either. Them not being awarded the win could have put them down, they were only two points from safety.

We couldn't/ wouldn't field a side, so count it as a loss, Blackburn could field a side so they would have won.

We had 18 points from about 20 games then, and had 1/6th of them taken away. If we had turned up and got beat 10 nil we would have likely had the same outcome of "you never fielded your best side", so would that have been a 3 point deduction and the 10-0 standing?
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