Too Much Pressure On Alves?

Last updated : 10 February 2009 By Boro Mad
The Brazilian striker has a huge transfer fee weighing on his shoulders, and we expect a reward.

But goals are not coming from other areas of the pitch, and that is just as much a worry.

I'll agree with Gareth Southgate that Boro "kept their shape well at Man City", and did as much graft as the home side.

But, in the final third, the midfield sat back and let the strikers take responsibility. There is no inspiration from the 'alleged' playmakers attacking from deep.

Everything is done to the blueprint on the blackboard in the dressing room.

There doesn't seem room for inventiveness in the machine room in the middle of the park. No Gerrard or Lampard type of player, willing to take the bull by the horns.

Set-pieces seem routine rather than planned. Another area where others seem better than us.

Adam Johnson: "The keeper has made some outstanding saves, especially from the one where I cut it back and I think Given got lucky - it's hit him in the throat.

"It's not just Afonso, I was just as guilty against Wolves of missing chances. I know Stewart has been annoyed with himself all season about missing two penalties.

"It's not just down to Afonso, it's just that chances have been falling his way.

"He keeps banging them in in training, so hopefully it will turn for him and one will go in off his shin. Once he has one he will score a few, I'm sure.

"We can relax a bit against West Ham in the FA Cup this weekend. It's a cup game and we can go there with no fear and get through to the next round.

"But our main aim is the league and Wigan next week is a massive game for us."