England Woody Blow Is Good News For Boro

GET IN! Result. That was my reaction to the news that Jonathan Woodgate was pulling out of the England squad for the weekend qualifier in Israel. It’s not so much that I am a warped individual who wishes to see pain and international frustration descend on our iconic stopper, more that seeing him limp out of the big match was undoubtedly a big boost for Boro.
He has picked up a minor knee injury and dropped out of McClaren’s set-up in the full glare of the sensationalist media circus that follows the national side. My first instinct was that it will have been caused by the knock he got as the gravitationally challenged Ronaldo cut inside and clipped him on it as he looked for an excuse to go sprawling.
My second was that this was fantastic news for Boro. The more short-sighted managers, cheque-book wielding chief executives and rat pack journalists who think Woody is a serial crock the better because it strengthens the club’s hand when it comes to battling for his signature in the Summer.

Let us be in no doubt that Boro face stiff competition to sign Woodgate when his loan spell ends. His imperious defensive displays have attracted envious glances from a string of clubs here and abroad. It is to Boro’s advantage that question marks are raised over his fitness because that will scare off some bigger potential suitors.
He came back from the England v Spain friendly injured and missed the game with Chelsea. He needed to be rested before the FA Cup replay with United because he struggles with two games in three days and football’s very own nutter on the bus made sure everyone knew about – thanks Neil – and now he is very publicly ruled out of this crucial qualifier with a dodgy knee and Gareth Southgate has let it be known he has been carrying the knock for a while and playing through the pain barrier. Good, every litle helps.
Boro have a significant advantage in that they have already agreed an price with Real Madrid and the Nunthorpe lad is clearly made up to be playing for his home town club but it far from certain he will sign. While Madrid have agreed a fee with Boro there is no stopping them agreeing a fee – possibly a bigger one – with other clubs who would then have permission to approach the player with the task in front of them trumping Boro’s package.
Boro can easily compete with Villa or Newcastle or Spurs or any of the other second string clubs in the Premiership. There is little to choose between them in terms of prospects or wages plus the boyhood dream and home comforts can trump most of their own advertising spiel.
But Boro can’t compete against the Premiership big four with their 100 grand a week and nailed on silverware if they come calling. And they might. Arsenal’s defence has been in chaos all year, Chelsea are so short they almost bought Bolton’s Ben Haim, Man United are one short and Liverpool need to replace some ageing component. If any of them they wanted Woodgate they would no doubt get him. He is an ambitious young man, he wants to win the medals his talent deserves and he has three precious years of his footballing prime to make up.
What counts heavily in Boro’s favour is that with those teams nailed on for progress to the latter rounds of the domestic comeptitions and probably to the Champions League knockout stages they all play 60 games a season. It is in Boro’s interest that they don’t believe Woody is physically up to those demands. We must encourage them to believe it is a risk to invest £8m or so – and the same again in wages – for a permacrock who would miss crucial games, who would not be available in Europe if he had played a league game at the weekend.
So it is in Boro’s interest to portray him as the walking wounded, a fragile thing who could break down at any moment. We need more high-profile exits from England camps. We should relish public spats over him being rested. I want lazy press sneering if he is not ready for Andorra. Boro should leak it that the day after a match he is bent double like an arthritic 90-year- old, should say every week that there is a doubt over Woodgate, that he is touch-and-go. Maybe in the last few games we could get him to dramatically and obviously limp off heavily.
Ow’ee son, get on the stretcher. Say nowt.


25 thoughts on “England Woody Blow Is Good News For Boro

  1. Spot on, a bit of selfishness wont go amiss.
    On another note, caption competitions have a prize. What happened to the Cup KO competition, who won it and what did they get? This is a scandal that ranks alongside the bungs investigation. This is on a par with the cash for peerages scam.
    Come clean AV, are you a Downing Street special adviser, were you burying bad news under the guise of the competition?
    *AV writes: Maybe I should have given every reader the chance to vote for yourselves on our special premium rate definitely not a scam blog phone vote hot line.

  2. Agree 100% AV.
    We will lose Woodgate in the summer, so let’s get the best out of him for the remainder of his term in office at Boro, sod England and McClaren.
    I don’t know who else noticed that Woody refused to condemn Ronaldo after Monday, so maybe there has already been a little tapping going on, after all why upset a potential employer? He is after all a Real Madrid player in reality, so we have no say in the matter other than to try and convince him to stay with us.
    I’m sure the man came “back home” to prove his fitness and gain some local respect, something he had lost with the court case in Leeds and his mis-informed move to our “big” neighbours up the A19.
    We should be preparing for life without him. In the meantime the club should concentrate on keeping him fit to play in a Boro shirt and helping us ensure PL status next season.
    England and ManU can wait.

  3. Woody is unlikely to play more than 30 games a season,not enough for the “big” four.
    Thats why I think he will stay !

  4. There are a lot of smoke and mirror tricks going on around here. Keep it up, I’m not a great fan of the England set up as it stands.
    Personally I do not think that Woodie has a full season within him. He fits in with a few other exciting players who have fail to deliver following serious injuries like Rob Hulse, Micheal Owen…ooh how about the late great Lord Beckham, when was his last really good performance?
    How many other players fail to meet the demands of the Prem? It seems that broken toes and damaged cruciate ligaments cause widespread chaos in the game today and wreck promising players careers.
    I think that Woodie will never reach the full potential he started to show whilst wearing the colours of Leeds, no not the blooded shirt from the nightclub fracas!
    His long battle to regain his fitness is short lived and I believe hampers Boro having a consistant good run of games with a back four which should work together day in day out and know each others every move.
    I agree he is a formidable defender but without him the defence is lacking in belief or someone with the confidence to step up and take control.
    **AV writes: Thank you for your contribution but haven’t you got a swimming pool to clean or something? [ ; ) ]

  5. AV
    I must admit it was the hot line scams that prompted my posting about the caption competition.
    On to other matters. I think Woodie is best out of the England set up this weekend so that he can get fit for the rest of the season. If things go belly up for England it could in a perverse way boost his value.
    Downing sitting in the stand for the Croatia game did him no harm. With him England created 5 chances, the next match without him zilch. The rest of the world didnt notice that part but Downing is no dummy, it will have rebuilt some of the lost confidence.
    Noticed Sven’s agent friend saying the world cup was Beckham’s fault by creating a divisive atmosphere. The togetherness of the present group was evident in the scintillating performance in Croatia!
    Lets hope for a decent result tomorrow, whilst England are a distant second to Boro I still want them to win.
    Back to Woodie, it is true that him leaving is not a done deal so we can but hope. It is up to the players and club to show it is worth staying. If Citeh was the return to the limp displays of the past then we can certainly wave goodbye to him and a close season of never quite were’s, cast offs and never will be’s.

  6. He is useless, the most overrated player ever to wear a boro shirt, have you noticed how many goals we let in when he plays? He is always eating parmos and smoking, why do we rate him so highly just cos he is a tough Boro lad from the mean streets of nunthorpe?
    **AV writes: That’s the spirit but don’t say all that it on here. Get on the Guardian and 606 blogs. Do your bit and become an opinion former on the national stage.

  7. the injury worry scaring off the big boys is a plus for boro but it is only making up ground we lost when we lost to united. wembley with his home town club and a place in the uefa would have swung i reckon and thats gone now
    and whats with the criptic swimming pool stuff?
    **AV writes: It’s a private joke with an old friend. Sorry if you thought it was some significant topical reference.

  8. Dont agree. Surely the more Boro players representing their countries, especially England and the other big boys, the more likely good players will want to come.
    I take your point AV,but why so frightened? Woody is a genuine class player and others will want him whether or not he’s in the England squad.
    The point is, if he wants to stay he will. Its up to the Boro executive and our 26000 fans to prove the club has the ambition to help fulfill his dreams.
    Cant wait for my season ticket renewal.

  9. Its no secret on the football grapevine that Woody is teaming up with his old mate Rio at United.
    Awwwwwwww, poor Boro, no Woody and no real trophies!

  10. AV
    A bit cynical / controversial, but you said what we were all thinking. Should you have publicised the fact though ?

  11. Diablo – did you not post as a plastic Chelsea fan last season?
    Have you changed to Man U because they are now top of the PL?
    No doubt if the scouser’s become top dogs again after the yankee take over you will be telling us all to ‘calm down’ next season.
    Do you ever go to a Man U game? or in your deluded world does sitting at home in Darlo watching Man U from the comfort of your sofa make you a supporter?

  12. A while ago I posted that I had it on good authority that Woodie had recently installed a home cinema in his Nunthorpe pad, so obviously that means he’s staying ,no need to worry he’ll be signed up by Boro for five years come June!
    I just hope he doesn’t trip over the home cinema wire and hurt himself!
    Looking at the issue logically one of the top four should be knocking down his front door to sign him up, he is that good, but fortunatley (I hope) football mangers don’t seem to apply to much logic when signing players.
    Hey Diablo Rojo – you need to get out more….

  13. Makes no difference if he missed the England game. Most top teams will try to find any reason to pull their players from an international match. If fergie and Wenger had their way they would never release any players.
    You can under stand their point of view when they are paying the assets 100k a week and want to protect them.
    I heard liverpool are in fro woodgate in the summer and Man utd want Viduka.

  14. “A while ago I posted that I had it on good authority that Woodie had recently installed a home cinema in his Nunthorpe pad, so obviously that means he’s staying ,no need to worry he’ll be signed up by Boro for five years come June!”
    ..mmmm… maybe he will have to stay at Boro as he has loans to pay off for the home cinema and cant afford to sell his house until he has saved up to pay it…or maybe he wil just keep the house even when he moves on..
    I’m sure it is paid for in cash has any costs covered in the millions in the bank. He has just bought 5 apartments near kirby college to rent out. Ii’m sure he has plenty of money stashed away to afford a couple of houses empty.
    Dont think all that council tax will cripple him.

  15. “Diablo – did you not post as a plastic Chelsea fan last season?”
    Innocent of all charges, I find Chelsea as loathsome as you lot

  16. Talking of jokes, I see Mac is taking a hammering in the press. Totally self inflicted of course.
    You can argue all day long about whether or not the teams (England) bad performance was down to players who don’t give a toss or a manger who can’t motivate but Mac will only make enemies when he claims it5 was a good performance only lacking in goals!
    And then claim England had 17 shots, nine on target, he clearly wasn’t watching the same game as me. Unless he starts being more honest in his appraisal of games he will be forced out sooner than later.
    Still at least he won’t be coming back here.

  17. I just realised Andorra did not play at the weekend.
    Watch for MaClaren saying that there are no easier games in football, and that Andorra will have fresh legs as they had the weekend off.
    His pathetic excuses that we all came to expect every week at the Boro, will get him sacked from the England job.

  18. Never Happy
    You should also be ready for his comments following what should be a routine win against Andorra.
    I expect to see things along the line of cant ask anymore than four points from two away matches, challenged the players to give a response, professiomal job, maybe even the odd magnificient.

  19. Ian – no doubt you are correct, the difference being that the national press will not let him get away with his post match drivel.
    Is it me or does anyone else cringe at the sight of Mac, Round and Beswick being sat on the England bench.
    Don’t get me wrong, England come a poor second behind the Boro, but it would still be nice for the national team not to be a total shambles.
    Still better on the England bench than the Boro bench.
    C’Mon Boro!

  20. Just thought I would post the following as I found it funny when I read it.
    THE cliché goes there are no easy games in international football these days and Andorra coach David Rodrigo will be warning his team against complacency when the English minnows travel to Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium for tonight’s Euro 2008 qualifier.
    **AV writes: They must guard against complacency because this is England’s cup final.

  21. Never Happy
    Speaking to fans here in Derby they want England to do well but are baffled as to what is going on. They do not have our knowledge of how the three amigos work.
    We all want England to win and do well even under MacMoses. I thought that he may improve without Sven’s influence but is clear now that he must be given sole credit for his style and capabilities.
    One Derby fan I know says he is the ideal No 2, clever in his coaching style and innovative on the training ground but he needs someone else to be in charge who directs the activities and lays down the guideleines.

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