Boro Should Have Done Their Homework!

Last updated : 05 May 2009 By Boro Mad

Henry Winter (Telegraph): The importance of conducting detailed background research on signings has been brutally highlighted by the failures of Afonso Alves and Deco, Brazilian-born attackers who have looked anything but worthy inheritors of Pele's rich tradition as they flopped in the Premier League.

Alves, sadly, has become an embarrassment at Middlesbrough, a £12 million recruit who rarely leaves the bench despite his team crying out for a goal as relegation beckons. When Alves did emerge nervously into the limelight at the Riverside on Saturday, he fell over after a promising dribble and then took a free-kick that was more a danger to shipping in the Tees than to Manchester United's goal.

Brought in from Heerenveen, Alves lacks the toughness to survive in the Premier League, a division far more physical than Holland's Eredivisie. More intensive scouting of Alves might have raised doubts about his suitability to English Rollerball. Smaller of frame, Juninho had a bigger heart and therefore blossomed at Boro.