Boro Batter Sven’s Men

AS FAR as ‘papering over the cracks’ goes, you can’t do better than that. An 8-1 hammering at home will certainly send the supporters home smiling, even it is only in bemused disbelief at the on-going perversity of a side that has averaged less than a goal a game at home signing off with an avalanche of net-busting action to send the anoraks rifling through the record books.
Yes, it was against ten men. Yes, it was against a crisis club with a manager and board at loggerheads and the fans in open revolt. And yes, it was the last day when there was nothing to play for and with no pressure on. Who cares! It was a glorious goal glut the memory of which will be handed down in Teesside folklore for generations, with each and every strike getting better with every telling. It offered sublime skills, magical movement, a string of sizzling goals – and it offered hope that next year can be far more rewarding than this.


It was all nicely set up: City arrived divided and distracted and with a UEFA Cup Fairplay lucky losers wildcard at stake they were not likely to be looking to mix it. Rocky crunching Benjani after just five minutes and Luke Young’s version of the Nutcracker Suite played out on Petrov’s undercrackers not long after probably mentally swung the game Boro’s way. Richard Dunne walking on 20 minutes for some stupid minimal contact almost certainly sealed it. The red card and the uproar at the end among the fans may even see City’s Fairplay backdoor slammed.
The City fans had been brilliant all game – noisy, funny, passionate and essentially good natured – so the scenes at the end were shocking and totally out of kilter with the tone of the day. There is no excusing seats being ripped up and thrown, boozed up XXXL semi-retired terrace warriors wobbling down from the back row to join the scrum, fat lads in Hawaiian shirts grappling with police and the sight of grown men in six foot comedy banana costumes throwing punches in an outbreak of hand-to-hand Fyfeing have no place in the game.
But, remember, it is only a couple of weeks ago that Boro fans were on the wrong end of some indiscriminate heavy-handed tactics at Sunmderland that sparked similar scenes that were widely condemned by Boro fans and the media. We all know that when it comes to policing fans all too often the first instinct is to go route one.
Whatever is said about the City fans now it should also be mentioned that their eighties retro Imre Varadi inflatable tribute and some lively chanting helped raise what could have been a very flat last day atmosphere. The chant to the tune of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ (“We don’t need no Phil Scolari, We don’t need Mourinho, Hey! Thaksin! Leave Our Sven alone!”) is sheer genius. To be fair, Boro’s response whenever Sven appeared in the technical area – “sacked In the morning, you’re getting sacked in the morning” – was very funny too.
Some stats and facts:
Biggest win at Riverside ever
Biggest Premier League win since 1999 (Man U 9 Ipswich 0)
First time scored eight since a home win over Sheff Wed in 1973-74
First time scored eight in top flight since an 8-0 home win in 1950 v Huddersfield
Alves hat-trick was the first since Hasselbaink away at Blackburn.
And the first at the Riverside since Branca in a 6-0 v Swindon in 1998.
It was the first hat-trick at Riverside in top flight since Ravanelli v Derby in 1997.
First time this season Boro have scored three goals – avoiding an unwanted record of being the first season EVER the club have failed to score that many goals even once.
What is it with the Riverside micro-climate? It was tropical when I set off from Acklam at 1.45pm. I’d naively slapped on the factor 15 and brought my shades and given the shirt-sleeve order of the fans mooching outside listening to the band by the Ayresome Gates, everyone else had been bussed in from sunnier climes too. Yet as soon as we walked in the ground the temperature dropped, the wind chill factor kicked in and at one point in the second half as the mist started to creep over the East Stand roof I thought we were set for a repeat of the night at Ayresome park when a match against City was played out in eerie muffled foggy mystery. Brrrr.
The enigma of Fabio Rochemback is deepened. A brilliant display of hard work, incisive passing and excellent assists topped off with a sizzling free-kick fit to grace any stage. Now he does it! Just when everyone is resigned to him zipping off back to Sporting. By taxi, naturally. It has probably come to late to rehabilitate him though. There have been far too many poor, frustrating performances of sloppy distribution, over-elaborate and wasteful fancy-Dannery and costly cheap free-kicks conceded in dangerous areas. But if he goes at least he goes with a bang.
Likewise George. Another sterling display from one of Boro’s great servants. Great industry, some sublime passing and – as usual – a moment of totally unorthodox control, this time a flying ninja touch of mid-air kung-fu high kicking in which the Boat sprung eight foot in the air, twisted and extended a leg out behind him to pluck a high ball down in a move that defied gravity. And defied logic too as it was going harmlessly out for a Boro throw.
If he leaves – and I for one hope he doesn’t as he clearly has another year in him as a squad player before leaving for Feyenoord on a lucrative Bosman – it will be those moments (dropping to his knees at Arsenal to chest down a low ball that he could easily have stayed upright and controlled calmly with his feet was another) and his forthright microphone style that will be missed most.
Finally the parade…. kid watch report…. Mark Schwarzer and Boateng saluted the crowd with nippers in tow, which as we know is always a sure sign that the getaway car is revved up by the exit door. Worryingly, the boss had his kids out there too and Emanuel Pogatetz was also accompanied by a child – gulp! – although with the Mad Dog there’s always a possibility that the ankle-biter was just a high carb, raw meat post-match snack.
****
BORO LEGEND Frankie “Bam Bam” Boynton made his return to the Riverside after a long illness. The Bam, a vocal, colourful and highly visible character who has kissed and cuddled every individual who has ever stood on the Holgate, died for eight minutes, was in a coma for two weeks and then was nursed back to health deep in enemy territory in Newcastle. He has missed most of the season while convalescing but was back to see the hammering. It will be a great tonic. Welcome back Bam!

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145 thoughts on “Boro Batter Sven’s Men

  1. Pearson, Ince,Townsend, Southgate & JFH. Recent Boro players who were leaders, captains and hated losing. There was no hiding place if you were on the pitch with them. We desperately need one such player next season.
    The trouble is that in the climate of massive wages for just sitting on the bench very few players come to mind. If we can identify them, that’s the player we should break the bank for. Their impact across the whole team would be immense.
    I’m convinced there is a lot already right about this team, there are just times (at the end of each half) when the team needs dragging over the finish line by character not necessarily skill.
    PS
    First post, but veteran reader.
    **AV writes: I agree completely. That is exactly what Boro need, a player who can change the shape, tempo and dynamic of a game by force of will, can stop that “sub-conscious” retreat when Boro are defending a lead and who can drive them on when they are chasing the game.
    Welcome aboard.

  2. Malc – I wouldn’t tell a Ukranian that he’s practically Russian, that’s a bit like telling a Scotsman that he’s practically English!

  3. Gary is right we need a leader on the pitch. Boat certainly has the energy but his own game is of the headless chicken variety. It is the blend of drive and keeping their heads that makes the Keanes, Inces etc so different but they dont come along that often.
    Of the existing players I hoped Clattermole would have come on more but he has time on his side. Wheater is one who will captain the side in due course.
    Chris L
    Talking of Beardsley I seem to recall we nearly went for him but backed off for some reason. All clubs have their tales of players who got away or the wrong one was bought.

  4. Cattermole is a waste of space. His off the field distractions are getting in the way of his progress as a footballer. This kid could have been up there with the gerrards and fabregas’s if only he had the application and dedication to to go with his ability.
    Josh walker has proved himself at Aberdeen so why not ship Cattermole out and see what it does to him, see if it changes his mentality and gives him a kick up the backside.
    On the transfer front, Silvestre might be a good buy, struggled with injury but id still have him over Taylor and we know if he is injured we have a good replacement.
    Sidwell is the best of whats currently available so id go get him and maybe Davis from rangers who i think is there on loan from Fulham. We are never going to get a lampard or gerrard so it might be getting someone in and converting them to the goal scoring midfielder role.
    I think tuncay can do the job but it meens changing the system so we wil have to wait and see how it goes.
    COME ON BORO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. JP – As Boro fans we can all go over the top when it comes to supporting or defending our team.
    Prehaps this is the reason for Cattermole not being as composed for Boro as he was for the U21s
    I do not think he has produced the goods for the Boro since he burst onto the scene. Perhaps a bit more maturity and he may turn into the player we all hoped he would.
    C’Mon Boro!

  6. “Cattermole is a waste of space. His off the field distractions are getting in the way of his progress as a footballer.”
    Lee may be a waste of space in your eyes but his bank balance says otherwise!

  7. Here is what I think regarding our lad Lee Cattermole –
    The main point goes back to a comment by jinky Adam Johnson who tells us of wanting to get a run of starts to show what he is capable of.
    Johnson said that coming on from the bench the odd game is disruptive and said that he often tried too hard to prove himself and keep his place on the pitch.
    He said that over 90mins you could settle into the flow more and play your natural game.
    I believe Cattermole is suffering exactly the same dilemma , maybe without the vocabulary to express exactly what he is feeling. After all he is a young lad and loves the Boro.
    Downing had a dip in form early this season but Southgate kept the faith [ despite the boo boys ] and Downing shone through and ended up being top scorer and playing some fantastic footy.
    The England U21s call ups and matches mean he is going to play yith people of his age where he is a bigger fish in a small pond – sorry England fans!-
    Trying to get into the Boro midfield is more difficult and playing against top prem clubs could be more testing too.
    I am talking about Presure , Composure and Experience here and Cattermole needs a run in the team and nurturing into what could be the Stevie G of Boro.
    The lad certainly has commitment and hates losing and he has scored a few good goals for us. It depends how much he wants it, we hear about Wheater and Downing being the first ones to arrive and leave the training sessions.
    I think Cattermole needs technical attacking lessons that will, together with his natural fight, make him into a diamond as he is still uncut and rough at the mo.
    Lee is 20 and I think will develop into a really decent player as he matures, the question is how decent ? Is he going to get the coaching he needs to bring him on quicker? Have Boro got the staff to do this? Signs from the academy are good but what after that?
    I guess the real question is not about the player its about the Technical training that is or isnt going on with the Boro squad itself.
    **AV writes: I think there are several elements here.
    One is that when young players first burst onto the scene they are fired with enthusiasm and adrenaline and are raw and fearless so they do eye-catching things and show incredible energy and passion and that is indulged and excused.
    But as they get a score of games under their belt weakness aren’t excused so much. They are expected to be more part of the team machinery and play in a coached, controlled way that is beyond their experience and also their own naive energy fades. It is 20 games in, during their second season that the faults tend to appear.
    Also supporters are far less likely to forgive mistakes 20 games in than they are in the first half dozen. Remember back in his first few games the clattering tackles were applauded as passion and were seen as just what the team needed. Now they have people groaning about rash challenges, cheap free-kicks and too many bookings.
    It is important that management get promising young players through that difficult spell or they get frustrated and downhearted and get itchy feet. For every Stewie Downing that makes it there are a dozen Summerbells or Ormerods who never reach their potential.
    Next season is massive for Cattermole. And Taylor. And even Wheater. They need supporting on and off the pitch if we are to see the best of them.

  8. Mrs Cattermole,
    Exactly, but my point is think of the thousand he is wasting by not performing to his best. its easy to say I earn £10,000 a week by being average but I’d rather earn £50,000 by giving my best, setting an example and behaving in the right way.
    At the end of the day it is the club who fund his bank balance and that money comes from the fans, the very fans that post on here and go to games and have to put up with the over inflated egos of average footballers.
    **AV writes: If it really is Mrs Cattermole she is gonna knack you.

  9. Reading the Gazette apparantly GS has said if Schwarz leaves then he will promote bad jones or turnbull to first team? Bad Jones? Please tell me its a joke.

  10. Well AV, lets hope for us and the rest of the Boro faithful that these young lads step up and achieve the maximum standards within their capability and more with the help of the club and further coaching.
    I love the fact that local lads not only play for the Boro but England to boot! I totally agree with you that next season will be a big one for these lads.
    Its a shame you edited out my beer drinking suggestions from the previous post AV but I can see why.

  11. The little exchange between David Morrison, Mrs Cattermole and AV highlights one of the serious personal challenges that our society presents to everyone these days.
    It’s interesting that “Mrs Cattermole” would defend her progeny in terms of measured financial success. And it speaks volumes about what modern youth and society in general seemingly considers more important than anything else! Money and status!
    Well, I’ve got news for you! In the end, we’re all dead anyway! And with that long term perspective, we’re essentially all equal. And in a civilised society, equally entitled to respect and fair treatment by others for the duration of our passing.
    The problem we have here is one of values. And our personal values tend to developed and change with time. For most of us, maturity of outlook, generally, comes with age and experience.
    However, the guidance and counselling that young, gifted and “never mind their colour” (that’s for the PC people out there!) people get along the way, can steer them to a life of advantage, or can lead them, in the worst of cases, to frustration and possible ruin.
    For example, the regime created and maintained by Sir Alex Ferguson while Beckham, Scholes, Giggs & the Nevilles were all coming through the ranks strikes me as having been particularly successful. There was club support for them and one presumes, the families, in the form of advice and maybe even the occasional kick up the backside for a few of them. It didn’t do then any harm as they’ve all gone on to achieve brilliant careers and, as far as I know, stable and successful lives outside of football.
    There are of course examples of it going wrong too. Gazza and George Best being high profile cases in point.
    However, those whose lives are long-term success stories seem NOT to focus on the money they were paid, or the status they enjoy by publicly flouting their “celebrity” status or their “”do you know who I am” attitudes.
    Flashing cash in Yarm bars or acting like they and their kind own the world – or the attitude that has the likes of Jonathan Woodgate “making gifts” of £100 to an Academy lad (who’s mother was subsequently done for possession and intent to supply!) (all in the public domain) doesn’t do anything for either their own development, their public image or the image of football.
    And adherence to such attitudes and values will only increase the rifts between the game and many supporters.
    So, “Mrs Cattermole”, as you purport to be, and I most certainly doubt that you are:
    If your aspirant footballing prodigy genuinely wants to succeed in life, more broadly than as a footballer – as a man – perhaps it would be more appropriate if you would coach him on a set of values that is more aligned and focused on the contribution that he can make to MFC, and to the community, rather than emphasising what it is that he takes from it!

  12. Captain K
    It isnt too long ago that some bloggers were telling us that Schwarz should be dropped and replaced by Jones.
    In my view he is more like Corporal Jones than a goalkeeper. Every time I saw him he commited some blunder or other – rushing off his line against Nuneaton and missing the ball, standing still at the Baggies as the ball rolled by trying to catch the snail it was chasing.
    Schwarz has made his share of blunders but we have had good service out of him and it is time to move on. Like many I think Robinson would be a good move as long as he doesnt replace Rocky at Greggs counter.

  13. My concerns over the goalkeeping situation are that Robinson is available so why not try and sign him, rather than keep Schwarz for another season and have a headache trying to replace him…..
    long term vision is whats required GS

  14. Mrs Cattermole- all this talk of bank balances doesn’t exactly make it easy to like the lad with boasts of his wealth.

  15. Vic,
    Richard’s post on Cattermole and a lack of values was superb. Don’t bother posting mine as I look intellectually redundant or just plain lazy. David Morrison spoke well on the subject too.
    Now, lets go for Sidwell and Paul Robinson. Jones and Schwarzer must go.

  16. Malc:
    You managed to say, in one succinct sentence, everything I did! I just like the sound of my own keyboard!
    Your point is well made and straight down the middle chum. Wish I could do that!
    PS. Don’t EVER trust AV NOT to publish your posts! He’s got a mind of his own – so I’ve discovered! (And so have you!)
    Keep doin’ it!

  17. I’ll be doing the garden tomorrow. I can’t bear to watch the FA Cup final thinking we could have easy been there. I’m still gutted. This will go down in history as “the Cardiff season”. I hope they do it then at least we went out to the eventual winners.
    New topic now please AV.
    **AV writes: Yeah, maybe I’ll write something tomorrow. I’ve been taking a few days off to let the dust settle and recharge the emotional batteries. That said, you all seem to be getting on well enough talking among yourselves.

  18. Maybe Cattermole needs a run in a championship side next season if we have enough midfielders come the window closing.
    Isnt Huddleston another holding midfielder with hardly any pace? I am not against signing the robust player with a good range of passing etc. as long as he doesnt become a Newboulds gold card holder with Mido once he arrives.
    I know Ramos has had those lads on diets , so I guess thats his natural physique ?
    Only when Southgate acts will I stop prattling on about an ATTACKING MIDFIELDER WITH PACE to link up with the forwards. It seems obvious to me, the only player we cant really comment about in the squad is Shawky as he hasnt had a run in the team despite a great performance at Pompy – although I am sure Mrs.Cat will maybe rightly say Lee has not had a run in the team either.
    Today I will watch a bit of the cup final and like everyone else after the demolition of city will be thinking it should be ours. But that is the attitude that lost us the game against Cardiff so all in all I think I am over it now and I dont really care who wins.
    What a disjointed season we have had, Southgate has claimed he will try and get the players in early so as to benefit from a full pre season.
    I hope so Gareth!

  19. PS, see the Cardiff keeper had what I referred to as a “Bad Jones Moment” TM for Pompey’s goal
    And I really should write this essay I have been putting off for ages now, 1500 words more and I finish Uni forever!
    *raises arms*
    Any jobs going at Gazette HQ AV?
    **AV writes: I believe we do have a vacancy. Is your degree in tea-making?

  20. Earlier post says Southgates signings have been poor.
    O neil played out of position but puts in ninety minutes.
    Alves i bet a few managers were wondering where the scouts were when he was available after two gems against Man U.
    Young has been the buy of the season
    Mido maybe a mistake has not played enough to judge started very well.
    Tuncs and Ally both great buys on the whole most have been to the benefit of the club.
    Woodgate we got our money back no problem.

  21. Typical that some people can put a negative spin on Gareth’s comments about bringing young players in and developing them. This is definitely sonmething we should encourage.
    Huddlestone could well be the answer to the holding role in the middle, but we’d still need someone to be more advanced – unless Gareth is looking to give Arca that chance at the start of next season.

  22. So the Scousers are now being linked with Downing.
    Scousers value Stewy at £12m but have the audacity to value Crouch at £15m. GS should tell them we we only give them Stewy for a staright swop for Torres
    C’mon Boro!

  23. Here is a horrible thought. Huddlestone in and Downing off to Liverpool! Arrghhh.
    Huddlestone will eventually move to centre back which is more suited to his build and style. He would not be the solution to our need for pace and a box to box midfielder.
    The Downing rumour is a second option for Lpool if they wont ante up the £18m that Villa want.
    Both of these are only the start of the rumour mill and must be treated with caution.
    AV and Captain K
    From what my son said, formation drinking was a compulsory module at Uni. As he only left last summer surely this is still the case? He never mentioned tea making.

  24. Downing to Liverpool is a worrying link. If the interest was serious, I think Downing would be quite right to be interested and we would be wrong to stand in his way. For the right money of course, £15m at the very least.

  25. “BoroPhil wrote…
    Downing to Liverpool is a worrying link. If the interest was serious, I think Downing would be quite right to be interested and we would be wrong to stand in his way. For the right money of course, £15m at the very least.”
    But would he be right to consider going from being a big fish in the relatively small Boro pool to being a relatively small fish in the Liverpool? 😉

  26. JP – I’ve never seen the Boro coaches or fitness staff in action so I’m unable to comment on their level of competence. I assume that Gareth and Gibson would have more expertise in the area of deciding whether the coaching staff are any good so I back their judgement.
    London-based Boro fan – No, Downing probably wouldn’t be better off – but I wouldn’t blame him if he wanted to find out.

  27. The Downing to Liverpool rumour is a good reflection of his excellent form this season. Up until now he has only ever been seriously linked with Spurs, now its a champions league club! Of course if he went to Liverpool he’d be an automatic shoe in for the England left winger spot!
    Others post its a worrying development, why worry? This is the silly season, I doubt he’ll leave but if he does we’ll have £15m in the bank and Adam Johnson on the wing.
    As ever GS is talking a lot of sense, bringing in young players and perhaps giving Ross Turnbull a chance are great ideas. He also clearly thinks he can reduce the level of injuries we suffer from, so good news there too.
    Having reduced the ‘foreign legion’ by three though hopefully he’ll make it four and ship Brad Jones out, with all due respect to the guy we all know and have said he’s not good enough.
    I see that parliament is voting today on embryo research so there is still a chance of my idea of a cloned Graham Souness in midfield may come to fruition!

  28. The Downing for Liverpool rumour is an obvious concern. Liverpool have previous with enticing players, we have enough experience of it without recourse to the blatant leaking of information about Barry.
    They are a different kettle of fish to Spurs with the lure of champions league football. How he would take to being rotated is another matter, Rafa is the only person in football with his own website devoted to management – fantasyrafa.com – where people have to guess his line up every week.
    The other concern is the fact Liverpool tend to be a defensive line up heavily reliant on long balls into the channels for Torres with Gerrard linking up. Downing may not fit into that set up

  29. Although Gareth Southgate appears publicly to be playing down the importance of this transfer window, I think he realises it is a critical point for Boro now.
    We’ve been moaning for the last couple of years that we didn’t build on Eindhoven, but I think GS has finally moved on most of the players he’s wanted to and is ready to finalise his squad.
    It’s vital that Boro show some early intent in the transfer market in order to create a momentum that will encourage other ‘harder to get’ targets – 2 good early signings could decide whether 2 ‘spectaculars’ come as well.
    I think the move for Milner is a good one and I’ve also been touting Sidwell for a couple of months now – This would then allow Southgate to allow O’Neil to head south.
    I would also move out Mido as I don’t think he’s going to play an important role for Boro – then make a bid for Crouch with the offer of a regular starting place with Alves and service from Downing and Milner.
    Regarding the goalkeeper, Schwarzer’s time is over, his ‘make me an offer I can’t refuse’ just emphasises that he needs us more than we need him – Robinson would be a more than adequate replacement.
    All this would give us a hungry group of proven up-and-coming English players with a complement of overseas flair and promising academy players to push for places.
    So does that sound like a squad that could challenge for a top 6 place?

  30. Been meaning to ask: anyone know whether MFC has any plans to release a DVD of the “Citeh” match? The title would be simple enough: “8-1” & I, for one, could be persuaded to part with some hard-earned cash & invest in a copy!
    P.S. Now that the rumoured bid for Alan Smith rumour has been officially dismissed by GS himself, please add my name to the list of those pleading for Jones to be shipped out & a new shot-stopper brought in as a full-time replacement for Schwarz (pleased to see that I wasn’t the only one speculating on the desirability of buying Ali Al Habsi after he effectively won the game for Bolton at The Riverside!)!

  31. Not overjoyed by the prospect of Alves going to the olympics.
    I can understand him wanting to do so but it seems a bit harsh that top clubs will refuse to let their players go. That then puts unfair pressure on clubs like ours with players on the fringe of the Brazilean national team.
    They will be desperate to go and do well to enhance their future chances. I would be hard pushed to deny him the opportunity to go to the olympics.
    We need a solid pre season with our best players present. It takes no stretch of the imagination to see him coming back injured and not just missing the first three matches but a couple of months. Even if he comes back fit we will be rejigging the team.
    Far from satisfactory but that is the penalty of bringing in overseas players.

  32. On the MFC website Stewy is talking about next season with the Boro. Does not sound like he has any intentions of leaving.
    Maybe his agent will need to devise a new plan to earn his cut of any transfer fee.
    C’Mon Boro!

  33. I agree with Ian, the prospect of Alves playing at the Olympics doesn’t fill me with joy.
    It will disrupt his and the teams’ pre-season prep. as well as leaving us without him for the first few matches, which are so important in setting the tone for the season.

  34. A new fitness coach!!! Better late than never and if it’s true a massive, massive step in the right direction if Gates gets someone really good in.
    Alves to the Olympics is understandable for him to want to do it but I’m gutted as it just means more chance of a bad start to the season. It isn’t what you want to hear after just avoiding relegation by one game.
    Transfers? How about the Italian lad at Siena who’s got 13 goals and Siena’s record goal tally for goals in their top flight league – LOL!
    TB

  35. I read on the BBC website that Joey Barton has been jailed for six months for assault. Maybe I’m being cynical, but presumably with good behaviour he’ll be out in three months, that three months just happens to coincide with the ‘close’ season.
    So he’ll miss pre-season, and be playing for the Barcodes again by the end of September. It just seems like too much of a coincidence to me that his jail term coincides with the summer break.
    **AV writes: He will be out in time for pre-season training. Guilty plea, good behaviour, spent the last six months in behavioral therapy… he’ll be out in six weeks.

  36. .. Tonyblack
    I think you are right about Maccarone and we could have done with him for all of the season not just the start. Three diving headers late on to beat Cardiff followed by 3 more in the final.
    Its no joke, the lad has proved himself in Serie A with 14 goals, I think its 15 as there is a pen missing from the list.
    I cant see anyone coming in for Mido on this seasons form, so I hope he gets himself fit and makes use of himself .
    The fans will love him if he produces for us.Keep of the pie and pint diet , hopefully the new fitness coach will do the job!

  37. I believe Joey Barton is also due to appear in court over the alleged assault on his Citeh team mate, Ousmane Dabo, last May. Previous good behaviour will no doubt be taken into account.
    He is obviously a troubled young man, in some ways he is lucky that many of the other players who got into scrapes have left Toon for pastures new. The thoughts of Bowyer, Bellamy et al and Barton together is frightening.

  38. Joey Barton ‘….out in six weeks’ I’m not going to comment on the length of the sentence, this isn’t the place but the timing is disgraceful.
    Ian Gill states Barton is a troubled young man which is undoubtedly true, as are all the other young men who resort to violence etc. They don’t get priveliged treatment though do they?
    **AV writes: Of course not, you need to be very rich and be able to afford the best lawyers then have a compelling reason through your employment to have your legal matters scheduled so sympathetically.

  39. Nigel (and AV)
    I have a sneaking suspicion that even if Barton is found guilty of the next offence the sentence be such that he will be in pre season training with the rest of the squad.
    As you rightly say there are many troubled young men, few will get the counselling and advice that Barton will and have received through the PFA and Sporting Chance.
    One doubts they will be so leniently treated either but luckily I have no experience of the courts so cannot claim to be an expert.

  40. Sidwell to Villa this week?
    It will be interesting to see if this materialises, after reading GSs comments that we will have to be patient before we sign any new players.
    C’Mon Boro!

  41. Captain K with reference to Bad Jones, I watch most reserve games and everytime four of us pick up on the same things.
    1) he flaps at corners
    2) no control of his box.
    3) at 26 if he is not ready by now when will he be ??? If he is the best we have got then all I can say is help.
    AV I’m good at tea making how much do you pay?
    **AV writes: We pay? I think you misunderstand the arrangement we had in mind.

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