It was a bitterly disappointing afternoon for Middlesbrough on Saturday, as they were defeated 3-0 by promotion rivals Aston Villa at the Riverside Stadium.
It was shaping up to a fiery clash in the North East, with both sides looking to galvanise a win that cements their position at the top of the table, with Boro looking the favourites after being impressive at home this campaign.
But Villa look a revitalised unit under Dean Smith and Pulis’ men were made to pay after some rare, lacklustre defending as strikes from James Chester, Tammy Abraham and Glenn Whelan sealed all three points for the West Midlands side.
Boro had conceded just three goals and had lost just one game in the league this season at the Riverside, so it came as a shock to many as they slipped out of the automatic promotion places.
One Middlesbrough man who came under criticism was club legend George Friend – the defender was terrorised by Anwar El Ghazi all game and didn’t have the greatest of nights in a Boro shirt.
Here, we take a look at Boro fans’ reactions to the 31-year old’s performance at the weekend…
Friend needs to wrap it up and call it a day like. Woeful #Boro
— Jack Regan (@jackraygun) December 1, 2018
Just dreadful. The pace in this league is starting to ramp up, and we are quickly being exposed as woefully short of both quality and ideas to live with it.
— Mark Handley (@mhndly) December 1, 2018
George Friend is a liability, he's been a great servant for us but we need a replacement in January and we need some pace on the wings #Boro
— Tony Baird (@Parmoman) December 1, 2018
Can someone please just put George Friend out of his misery ????????♂️. It’s just getting embarrassing now #boro
— Josh (@TheJCTrain) December 1, 2018
George Friend- Don’t get me wrong a lovely bloke and everything, but he is not up to it anymore, far to many heavy touches in and around our box and going flying in for tackles and the same when he runs up top heavy touch chance goes.
— Adam Burt (@AdamBurt93) December 1, 2018
George Friend ya time is up brother, it’s been goodun
— • (@UTB76) December 1, 2018
George Friend is finished
— Chris Connelly (@cconnelly92) December 1, 2018