Villa Victory Is Boro Omen

DO YOU believe in omens? Me neither. But at times like this I’ll take anything that you’ve got it. Any smidgeon of unscientific nonsense that helps build a positive white noise in this week of destiny must be a good thing.
Go on, admit it. You’ll clutch at anything to add flesh to the otherwise far-fetched belief that this team can win three semi-finals, two finals and book a place in next August’s Super Cup in Monaco against Barcelona. Having grown up watching dreary home defeats to Grimsby and being kicked in the teeth by fate a dozen times along the way that serial silverware scenario is so preposterous that it makes finger crossing, odd sock wearing, unchanged underwear, lucky dressing rooms and blood sacrifices to primitive Gods seem perfectly rational.
So when you find out that at the heart of Boro’s defence there are two players who have already beaten Steaua in the UEFA Cup, well that kind of omen is a big boost. I mean, it’s not mumbo-jumbo is it? It is based on sporting science. And history. It is fact I tell you. FACT!!

Yes, Southgate and Ugo have both beaten Steaua. There will be no trip into the unknown for them. No fear of an awesome European pedigree. No shock at the conditions, the culture, the hostile atmosphere. Been there, done that, won over two legs.
Brian Little’s League Cup winning Aston Villa went to Bucharest in the third round of the UEFA Cup on November 24, 1997 and lost narrowly 2-1 in front of 24,000 fans. About 1,000 Villa fans travelled and had a whale of a time by all accounts. Steaua scored early and then got an oggie off keeper Michael Oakes in the first half but Dwight Yorke hit back to get the vital away goal after the break.
In the second leg at Villa Park a fortnight later they ground down the Romanian defence before Savo Milosevic and Ian Taylor scored late on to secure a 3-2 win then Villa went on to lose on away goals to Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals. Juninho was on crutches and didn’t play but his mere presence in the stadium was enough to swing the fixture the Spaniards’ way.
Ugo played in both legs. The Gate was injured for the Bucharest leg but travelled with the squad and played in the return fixture. I don’t recognise any Steaua names from the line-ups except Lacatus and he is long retired.
It is an omen I tell you, an omen.


3 thoughts on “Villa Victory Is Boro Omen

  1. I think it just goes to show how old Boro’s defenders really are. Ehiogu is so past it I cant bear to watch him play anymore. He was so great and now he is finished.
    Southgate is starting to look a bit like Pally on his second spell at the Boro. He is fantastic for 80 minutes, but hasnt got the legs to dominate anymore. He is still good enough, but he isnt “The Gate” anymore.
    I dunno if its a good Omen. But come semi final time I’d start reading up on Scientology and Diantetics if it would win the Boro a cup.

  2. Omens? Luck? Superstition? Are we still in the 17th century? If we won the last game (or, more importantly, if we lose) I try to remember which turnstile we used or which flight of steps we climbed inside the stadium, with the lad who travels to games with me and sits in the next seat.
    Or it might be the influence of the “same pair of underpants” – a topic to be discussed in hushed tones to avoid others getting the wrong idea.
    It is difficult to justify, really. A player might be an experienced international on £40K a week for all I know yet, if he misses an open goal and we go on to lose, it is all MY fault for changing my routine.
    For the good of the club, I would be prepared to guarrantee wearing the same underpants to every game. I wouldn’t want £40K a week (£4K or £5K would be enough). You are allowed to wash them between games, are you not?

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