Not A Lawro Laughs For Boro

THERE was a massive audible sigh of relief from Saltburn to Sedgefield as Boro were handed a fantastic massive boost going into the derby trip back to the seventies at the Stadium of Light after ace pundit and would-be Mystic Meg Mark Lawrenson tipped Sunderland to win.
Thank God for that! You don’t need to be infected by the bubbling under-current of traditional Teesside paranoia and conspiracism that surrounds all matters media to have noticed a certain jaundiced theme to the weekly pre-match predictions made by the Beeb’s stand-up summariser. Almost every week he forecasts defeat for our heroes. And when he doesn’t it is the kiss of death. After persistently predicting real hammerings against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United he switched tack last week to back Boro against Bolton…. d’oh!

You could easily believe he really hates Boro. Almost every week he confidently outlines the reasons Boro will get battered. And he usually calls the outcome wrong. A league table based on his mooted results would have Boro third bottom and deep, deep in relegation trouble.
Fair enough, that may be an echo of the habitual defeatism of many cynical half-empty Boro fans but he hasn’t got the excuse of having stood on the Chickenrun for 30 years. And besides, some of his predictions would make the average Legends caller look like a full on foam hander.
But a look at the more detailed stats in a full league table shows how wildly inaccurate his guesses have been, especially for away games. Of Boro’s 18 away games he has predicted NOT ONE victory, not even at Derby. Surely football’s tendency to the unpredictable and perverse should have led him to have the odd punt on a coupon-buster.
Of 18 away games he has forecast 16 defeats and only TWO DRAWS. Yes, he has tipped Boro to take just two points from 54 on the road. He has also forecast Boro to score just eight goals and leak a hefty 36 in those 18 games. In fact Boro’s stats are disappointing but represent a perfectly normal lower mid-table return: three wins, seven draws, 16 points and 14 goals.
To be fair (as the Beeb are obliged to be by their charter it should be noted) his predictions for Boro at the Riverside are pretty good. He has tipped six wins, four draws and seven defeats – making 22 points – with just 17 goals scored and 19 against whereas in real life the stats show one win less and one draw more, yielding 22 points and 17 goals with 22 conceded. The points haven’t come where he thought they would but hey, this is Boro we are talking about.
And it must be said, his table isn’t a millions miles away from the real thing. Few teams are more than a couple of positions away in this speculated table from the real one except Spurs who he has bizarrely backed into a UEFA Cup challenge in defiance of all the evidence of their leaky mediocrity. But the devil is in the detail and his detail has Boro as clearly the biggest losers, 12 points and four points adrift of the concrete reality
And there is no getting away from it, his paragraph of predictive text each week is relentlessly disparaging. I know it is “only a bit of fun,” falls far short of the kind of statistical or scientific approach employed by bookmakers and is probably rattled off in five minutes flat and we really shouldn’t get rattled by it but the national publicly funded broadcaster should at least take a stab at objectivity. Very little credit is ever given to Boro’s solidity, there is little recognition of current form and his sly digs in the write ups are unneccessary.
I really don’t what we have done to upset him. Maybe he was mercilessly pilloried once by the Holgate or maybe Boro battered his hapless Oxford side in his brief ill-fated spell in club management. Whatever, he is consistent in forecasting Boro will get battered and seldom has a kind word to say about us, not even a patronising one, not on his weekly website predictions page and not on small screen commentaries. He spent most of this season’s FA Cup live broadcasts making inane and disparaging remarks about the club, the crowd and Mido’s waistline or actively urging on the opposition. The only time he came close to thinking about balance was a comment on the Egyptian’s low centre of gravity.
Out of interest, here is the whiny one’s prediction for the derby game:
Sunderland v Middlesbrough:
“I thought Sunderland came back at Newcastle in the second half of their defeat last week – they created a couple of chances and showed spirit. However, it’s clear they will need to bring in players for next season if they avoid the drop. Certainly, they need a proven goal scorer to play alongside Kenwyne Jones, who is very effective but could do with some help.
Middlesbrough got a bit worn down after a fast start at Bolton last time out and I feel they may suffer a similar fate here. Verdict: 2-0”
Meanwhile, knowing that the Cult of Juninho remains a powerful part of the demographic and that part of my remit is pointing your browsers towards things you may have missed, there’s an interesting Q and A with Boro’s favourite Brazilian on the official website in which the diminutive dreamweaver takes a little pop at Mac, admits he should have stayed rather than be edged out and confuses readers by claiming he won “the title” with Boro. If only.


25 thoughts on “Not A Lawro Laughs For Boro

  1. It never ceases to amaze me why the BBC keep this idiot in a job. Think it was Gazza who described him as a ‘ratfink’ and that about sums it up.
    In tandem with those other clowns, Garth Crooks and Carlton Palmer, he’s got to be one of the worst pundits on the box.
    The BBC should have Gavin Peacock and Lee Dixon as the regular saturday night crew rather than giving them the graveyard MOTD2 shift on Sunday evening.
    They speak far more sense than Hansen and Lawrenson. In fairness, though I hate to say it, Shearer seems to give us a fair press though.
    I live down south and when it comes to bad pundits however, nothing comes close to the moron we get on Meridian ( local channel) – Alan Mullery. A prize chump if ever there was one.

  2. I for one will be ignoring Lawros prediction this week and after watching the Mackems performance at St James I realy fancy us this I’m off to the T A B [Betting shop]and will have a lazy 50 on the Boro

  3. Its a huge relief that Lawro has backed us to lose again.
    He clearly is biased for some perverse reason, but hey who cares he’s a has been who makes a few quid by cuddling up to his old partner Hansen and trying to make out they can read a game of footie.
    I agree with yerjokin… Shearer shows much more balance in his analysis, the other three are too busy back slapping and comparing their St. Tropez tans!

  4. Poor old Lawro, gets paid to predict PL results.
    However, how many of us in Boro’s collective fanbase can tell what Boro are gonna do next ? After all AV, wasn’t it you who said Boro were a ‘puzzling mystery wrapped up in an enigma’, or sumat like that.
    So how on earth can an outsider get it right. Add bias to that mix & the possibility of success is reduced moreso to mere chance.
    I was amazed he was so successful with the home game predictions, perversely, they seem even harder to predict, perhaps I’m biased.

  5. He might have a downer on us but he still tips us to win more than some of the moaning gets I know.
    My money is on 1-1 BTW

  6. Has anyone stopped to think about chickens and eggs?
    Lawrenson’s apparent problem with Boro is probably rooted in Boro’s intrinsic unpredictability. Boro rarely do what he predicts us to and therefore, in his eyes, Boro are probably more “responsible” than many for his failures as a predictive pundit.
    Ironically, he’s suffering the same as Boro supporters because of typically unpredictable Boro.
    His reaction to blaming Boro for his own predictive failings is a manifestation of his bruised ego.
    Personally, I’m inclined to think that Lawrenson is a neutral when it comes to intrinsic “feelings” about any team other than Liverpool and whatever is their own Nemesis.
    Let’s not make Lawrenson our problem. I’m happy for Boro to remain one of his.
    We’ve got enough on our plate currently!

  7. Thanks to Nigel’s comment about the MOTD ship of fools getting St Tropez tans has just nearly made me lose my lunch! It doesn’t bare thinking – aaargh to late!!!!
    Great news that the former moustachioed one has gone for a away defeat. Stand by for a 3-0 thrashing of the Makems and much glowering from the (former)Irish Hard Man!

  8. As stated by other posters if we havent a clue which team is going to turn up (presupposing they get off the bus at all) what chance has Lawro of predicting the results.
    Here is the really scary bit, the management and coaching team havent got a clue either.

  9. I think Lawro has a problem with us simply because he’s Liverpool through and through and I don’t think the history between the clubs (Liverpool nicking our players etc) is very good.
    Also he’s such and idiot he loves to big up the big teams and slate the smaller clubs.
    Alan Shearer on the other hand is an excellent pundit (for a geordie!). And Hansen is just there as devils advocate.
    On a similar note I can’t believe they forced Ian Wright out. He’s not my cup of tea (bit OTT) but the young ‘uns love him and he did bring something different.

  10. Much as Lawro is a sarcastic wannabe comic, he is still better than Andy Gray, David Platt (Surely the worst commentator of all) and Carlton Palmer (who comments about as well as he played)

  11. Nice article, Vic.
    Lawro and his whinging scouse voice are the scourge of the beeb’s footy coverage. The biased little twit has got to go.
    I see the papers are linking us with Paul Robinson- hope it’s true. Lets get Huddlestone thrown in too (rumors Ramos isn’t that enamored with him) and save the rest of the cash for a “realistic galactico,” like SWP.

  12. I see the club has outdone itself in giving Mendi man of the match in a reserve game and then telling him to bugger off. second class treatment for a first class player.

  13. Obviously none of you seasoned Boro followers regularly check out the offical club website. They ran an article on the Lawro League some time ago and the man himself responded.
    Apparently he is so tough on the Boro simply because the MOTD editor is a big Middlesbrough fan. In fact he admitted he had something of a soft spot for the Boro. So all you Lawro-haters, it’s nothing more than a jibe against his mate.

  14. Lawro is a fool as we all know and always has been and always will be but…
    Wouldn’t you think after been in the top flight for so long that we would be UP THERE rather than DOWN THERE (again)?
    Small crowds, small squad, small chairman (though very clever), small team (average height 5′ 10″), small town in Europe (sad but true)!
    So where next – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – WE NEED ARAB MONEY into the club and MALLON is “The Key”.
    A GIBSON – MALLON alliance could shift our beloved BORO forward to the next step that has developed nicely since the “Robson Honeymoon” period and “McLaren Silverware” glory day! –
    Yes day – one day of glory – SO COME ON BORO – get your PR act together and cut the GIBSON umbilical cord and accept the fact that to move forward needs co-operation with local politicians.
    £££’s need to be attracted from outside the Boro in a careful monetary strategy that doesn’t SELL the club “down the swanny”
    GS deserves such support – he has proved himself a better tactician than Robson and McClaren in recent months (a quick learner who I was putting down earlier in the season)
    Mid table mediocrity in my book = failure and conning us with recent season ticket “price cuts” is a “desperate” measure of a club in DECLINE!!!!!!!!?????????????

  15. Back to decorating and listening to the football.
    A client of mine had to see me for a favour but he had to see me this week as he is a season ticket holder up the road, he couldnt trust himself to see me next week whatever the result.
    Heres hoping it is one of our recent away performances this afternoon. Defeats for Brum, Reading and Bolton would do nicely as long as we get a result.

  16. Boro might as well target “young” new season ticket holders because I figure that most of the older fans are fed up and wont be renewing their tickets after the consistent shambolic performances by the current Boro squad.

  17. Why should I get a season ticket next year?
    Out of the 17 home league games I have been to (and 2 away games) in 07/08, I have witness just 5 victories.
    3 of these ended 1-0 against Wigan, Fulham and Derby…all with a backs to wall second half.
    I have seen just 5 Boro goals scored at the North Stand all season (where I sit).
    I watched our best chance of ever winning the FA Cup crumble in the hands of Championship Cardiff City in the worst performance I ever witnessed from a football club, never mind Middlesbrough Football Club. This with the knowledge of only one top flight team remaining in the semi’s for the first time in 100 years.
    I watched Sunderland take 4 points from us in the 2 games, both in the LAST MINUTE.
    And to rub salt into the wounds, I watched my favourite player ever score against us for Newcastle.
    Why should I get a season ticket next year?

  18. Oh well. At least Brum, Bolton and Reading only drew, could have been much worse. We have our glittering home form and our traditional stong end of season performances to boost us as the climax approaches.

  19. You have to question why we have had to resort to the likes of Turnbull and Jones in goal when the likes of Bolton have Habsi and even Fulham were deliberating whether to keep with Kasey Keller instead of bringing Niemi back after being out.
    Nothing personal against either of them but like losing two top class strikers and not replacing them, Mendieta being completely blanked all season it is one of those “Typical Boro” imponderables. The fans can see that Turnbull just isn’t Premier class and that Brad scares the heck out of us.
    It all smacks of a lack of vision and ability to strategise and predict at this level. Any good manager will tell you the difference between success and failure is the degree of ability to predict and react appropriately.
    This for me is the definitive decision tipper when I consider Gareth, Coops and their backroom blunderers. Lets face it who wouldn’t have predicted a Bolton team fighting scrapping and spiiling blood for the cause, or a Sunderland team scoring in the dying seconds.
    I said after Bolton I did not fancy this squads bottle for a fight and nothing has changed that opinion. Our only hope for survival is that 4 points is enough and the others around us implode.
    Even if we manage to through the form guide out of the window and actually win one or both of our two remaining home games then I believe that Steve Gibson needs to carry put a ruthless cull in the summer both on and off the pitch.
    Another season of negative “progress” will see us where this squad belongs in 12 months time – in the Championship.

  20. We were mediocre at best today, like last week, and it is simply not acceptable. Three of them were particularly poor imo. Jones the jelly, Cattermole who was ineffectual and showed his limitations even against a team of cloggers and that just leaves Arca – he is lost in m/f and how the hell he continues to get his game is baffling.

  21. Nice bit of editing re LAWRO AV
    Sorry I got carried away but calling him a “fool” is far too kind but not libelous.
    Well – here we are again – two games to go – I’m sure we will survive in the top flight but survival and a possible bottom finish in our North East Mini League is not a sign of success.
    GS has come on – SG is stagnant in his long term vision for his club and the lack of “guts” from some of the players at the club is plain to see – easy money from a “mug” employer – who’s kidding who.
    So come on Boro – get “tough” in all your departments on and off the field from the tea lady to Alves and get “hungry” for success. A “no win no fee” policy throughout the above just might put “fire in bellies” to shape a winning club. Pie in the Sky I know and will never happen but…

  22. I texted my lad who is out at the moment re: the downer I’m on following the Mackem result: his reply…
    “Yeah I’m Ok, crap loss like, typical Boro…”

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