Eindhoven: One Year On

A YEAR AGO today we were all in Eindhoven, excited about our Small Club In Europe’s biggest day. It was scripted that we would win of course. The steely defiance in the face of provocation in Rome, the two Massimo powered crazy comebacks at the Riverside against Basel and Steaua, the uncanny ability of spawny Steve McClaren to pull something out of the bag in Europe while his domestic regime continued to splinter. It was fated.
Of course it all went horribly wrong. Boro had shot their bolt against Steaua and arrived with confidence wavering after failing to turn up at Villa Park. Boro were battered by a polished Sevilla side that were ready for the late cavalier four up front and clinically picked the team apart. Within days of what should have been Boro’s affirmation as a big club, we were picking through the post-Mac debris, emotionally spent, managerless and in need of a major overhaul.
After the game Boro fans in Eindhoven were like a retreating, defeat army making their way in straggling subdued groups through streets awash in cans, bottles and discarded red scarves. I spent the night on the grass outside Eindhoven station waiting for the 5am train to Amsterdam listening to Spanish voices singing victory hymns. The dream was over.
Still, we had a great time. It was a brilliant acheivement for the club and fantastic adventure for the supporters. We clocked up a lot of miles, collected a lot scarves and stored up a lot of incredible memories of trips to games that were inconceivable on the Holgate. Eindhoven was the climax of that. Have a look at the photo gallery on this piece. It could be a long time until we are involved in as big a party as that again.

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23 thoughts on “Eindhoven: One Year On

  1. Far too many fans got so drunk they could not rememebr the match.
    I think we have had a uefa cup hangover this season. Just shows how we have missed out on a chance to push on if we had taken on an experienced manager

  2. Eindhoven was class. Brillint sunny day and the atmosphere in our square was fantastic, it was like the Gatekeeper the night before Cardiff because everyone believed we would win. Probably because lightning strikes twice massimo.
    For me having grew up watching Boro play Mansfield and Carlisle and Barnsley it was unbelievable to be in the UEFA Cup. I still cant quite believe it to be honest. I have the dvd as proff but I’ve never watche and probably never will. I prefer to remember it as a wonderful Boro party rather than a game too far.
    The good thing is that it happened. Boro actually made it to a European final, beat some big big clubs to get there and the team and the fans did themselves proud along the way. The bad thing is that I am now worried that that was the peak of a golden age and it is all downhill from here.

  3. alf you are a right misery guts. boro got to a european cup final and a lot of people were made up to be there. why can’t they have a drink?
    any other time people are whinging on about how football is been ruined coz theer are not enough working class lads there who go in groups and hava drink and create a bit of atmosphere. then when that happens the old biddies come out and tut at them and complain about the beer.
    i never dreamed boro would get to the uefa final and when they did i had to be there. i never got a ticket so had to shell out £250 from a so called boro fan what won it in the lottery. with flights and hotel and spends it cost me the best part of £600 but it was worth every penny. and yes i was drunk but i still enjoyed every minute.

  4. Problem is that the club shot themselves in the foot by allowing beer in the grouind, people prefer 10 pints that watching a game.
    Going to eindhoven was just an excuse for loads of lads to have a few days on the lash with their mates.
    Funny how in the good old days of ayresome park there was no beer sold in the ground but the atmopshere was always better

  5. and Holgate Ender, stop showing off just because you spent loads of money watching boro. Sometimes getting behind the team sober is more important that telling people how much you drink and spend on the boro. Sevilla taught us a lesson on and off the pitch

  6. Despite the result, despite the stick we will always get and have to live with from the media over our performance on the night, I was very proud to be there in Eindhoven supporting my team.
    The first game I ever saw at the Boro was the opening game of the 1958-59 season, a record to this day, 9-0. Throughout all the years of supporting the Boro I never ever envisaged Boro in a major European Final.
    Like yourself, we spent the night at Sevilla Airport waiting for our flight out the next morning.Thousands of Sevilla fans passed through while we were waiting – they were fantastic in fairness to them, their team were worthy winners.
    In February this year I visited Sevilla, I wanted to know more about this city and their fans. Considering how well Sevilla have played in La Liga/Cup and EUFA Cup again this season I thought the place would be buzzing with football.
    How disappointed I was, on a warm,sunny day i did’nt see one Sevilla shirt worn or any reference in the shops/bars etc to the fabulous achievements of their football club.
    I’ll never forget our day in Eindhoven or the fantastic journey in getting to the EUFA Final, neither will all of the fans throughout Europe.
    Eric/Andy Graham
    Guernsey Boro.

  7. Watching the Boro Fans in Eindhoven enjoying a drink was part of the party atmosphere. As for no beer at Ayresome Park? Anyone old enough had a few beers before every game . The Red & Yellow Rose , Park Hotel and Cleveland lost a fortune when we moved. Sometimes you need a few beers to watch the garbage we have played in recent years. We need an entertainer or two.

  8. Alright then, you’ve talked me into it. I’ll dig the DVD out tonight and watch it for the first time and raise a glass to a good day out.
    **AV writes: I think I might too.

  9. Don’t forget to wathc the uefa cup final dvd after a skinful of beer!
    I think it’s now time after 12 months to put the uefa cup final into history and look to the future. Until we do that this club can’t move on. Looking back on good times isnt goign to help the club move forward.

  10. I have th uefa cup final on DVD, just like i have recordings of our previous cup final defeats> apart from the bolton final, i wont ever get the dvd/tapes out and watch them. I prefer to remember them by what i have in my memories. more fun that way.

  11. alf you sound as much fun as mrs mangel. are you always such a sanctimonious killjoy? let the lads watch there dvd and enjoy there memories with a few cans. you can get on with shouting at kids in your street for laughing and playing football when the should be concentrating on the future

  12. Alf
    No matter what subject is discussed on these pages, you never have a good word to say about the Boro or the supporters.
    If you are a Boro fan (?) you must be a bundle of joy to sit next to at a game. Do you moan and whinge at the games as much as you do on the blog?
    I chose the moniker of Never Happy, perhaps you should start posting as Miserable Git.

  13. holgateender why do you have to go to games full of beer?are we that bad to watch
    Never happy, i like the username!
    Low expectations mean we end up beign happy with mediocraty(sp) do the fans and/or the club really have ambition?

  14. If we can do it once we can do it again. That said, all the money pouring into increasing numbers of PL clubs through foreign owners is going to make winning a Cup or finishing high enough in the League to qualify for Europe more difficult.
    Still looking to the future – I was gutted to see that Nathan Porritt, who is reportedly one of the best talents of his generation, is not staying with Boro. If we are pinning our hopes on the Academy then we have to produce top class players who want to stay with us.
    I’m not blaming the club, after all, young players get more of a chance with us than at any other PL club. At his age he needs proper guidance from people who put his long-term career interests first however, other than ‘money’ (not necessarilly for himself), I can’t understand the rationale for anyone advising him to move at this stage of his career.
    The game is littered with failed pro’s who were richly talented youngsters who made bad choices, or chased the money rather than dedicating themselves to making the most of their football abilities. Time will tell if Nathan is to be another one.

  15. Never Happy
    Its only being so cheeerful that keeps Alf going.
    Getting to Eindhoven was brilliant, the match itself was a let down and I tend not to think much about it.
    Sadly, one lasting memory was the acrimony over ticket allocation though you could see it coming from previous ticketing fiascos.
    But time to start thinking of how to get to our next final, targets in the summer and praying that West Ham go down.

  16. nathan Porrit, is all hype. his parents are behind his move.
    if porrit was that good he would have been ont eh bench this season. even andy campbell made his debut for boro at his age. if he is that good then why cant we get loads of money for him like arsneal paid for walcott.

  17. Never Happy – ‘Miserable Git’ I like that to, might adopt it myself if Alf decides against it!
    Alf , I’m an eternal optimist and always believe Boro are going to achieve something special but that doesn’t mean I’m prepared to settle for mediocrity when they don’t.
    What I do is support Boro and try not to get too hung up about whether the players are boozing too much or whether the coaches are out of touch or if the scouts are useless.
    It’s fascanating to glean from what people post as to the way they think, ie is the glass half full or half empty.
    The one thing that does wind me up is fans at the match slagging players off for no good reason, that really is pathetic and counter productive.
    So, now that summer is approaching I’m optimistically dreaming of Boro launching a succesful charge for a champions league place next season having signed Owen Hargreaves from under the noses of Man Utd!

  18. Why do people go on about the ticket ‘fiasco’ do your sums there wasnt enbough tickets to round for all season ticket holders..
    Think yourself lucky you arnt a liverpool seaosn ticket holder as fans who went to european games get priority above season ticket holders.. I dont hear thenm whinging like boro fans do.
    What about the manutd season ticket holders who cant get an fa cup ticket. I know manutd people who have been season ticket holders fro 25 years and they dont get tickets for every cup final?
    Its funny that we barely sold out for the west ham semi final because people could afford it but then they suddenly can afford £500+ for a trip away in holland.
    BWT, i got a tip off couple of days ago that viduka is about to sign a new contract. 2 years with an option of another year. Yakubu might leave if we can get our money back and gook dong lee is expected to partner viduka next season as southgate thinks his presence int eh air will benefit viduka moroe than yakubu

  19. Alf – Interesting tip off re the strikers. I hope Viduka signing a new contract proves correct, GS selling Yak would be a brave move on his part though.

  20. I see woodgate is to have a knee operation..fingers crossed its nothing serious.
    **AV writes: We really need some post-modern smilies on this board… sarcastic, cynical, ironic.

  21. Hi there.
    I was one of Sevilla supporters having fun in Eindhoven, and I have to say that the excellent atmosphere was due to the excellent relation and behaviour on both sides (in our case I admit that winning the cup also helped).
    Many people have kept wearing Boro’s scarfs and shirts in our stadium during this season, since red is also our colour. It’s going to be strange being in a final game without Boro supporters being around.
    I do hope we will add this year’s cup to our successes, as I also hope one day we’ll have the opportunity to face Boro again. It would be better if it was in Seville, so that we can show you ourplace.
    Best of lucks.
    **AV writes: Good luck in Glasgow. From what I understand there will be quite a few Boro fans there cheering you on.

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