Boro Boys Take Europe By Storm

OH NO! Stewie Downing in England Man of the Match shocker! Two assists in a display of energy and invention. How will the tabloid hunter-killer robo-hacks cope? And Tuncay scored a cracking 20 minute hat-trick against Pogo-less Austria too.
That’s both of them being dusted down and shoved into the shop window in January by the self-appointed recruitment agents and big club groupies then.

Stewie put in a string of teasing crosses, linked up well with the players around him and generally looked lively as Lou Reed lookalike Fabio Capello’s England side took a Walk on the Wild Side and beat Germany 2-1 in Berlin. He was lauded by the pundits, made star man in the usually hostile Sun, bigged up by old boy Andy Townsend and even bewildered David Pleat was salivating, when he wasn’t mixing him up with Gareth Barry. The praise was so gushing I feared I had missed the news that he had signed for LiverArsePool.
His display is great news on several counts: it will make the blinkered boo-boys choke on their bile, it sticks one right up the self-important tabloid half-wits who taunt him and – most importantly – it means he will not return to the Riverside with his chin and confidence on the floor. He will also be mightily relieved he wasn’t involved in the Great Santa’s Grotto Dressing Up Box Dogs’ Breakfast Photo Shoot Fiasco.…. more horror shots from that session are to be unveiled today by the way.
That Downing looked so good – and added £5m to the speculation price-tag – can be put down to several factors but for me the main one is the welcome absence of one Mr Ashley Tweedy, a player who it seems is banned by European legislation from passing to our boy, and some of the other Big Club Clique who only want to play to those players their agents’ have identified as compatible with the value of their brand.
It has been seen time and again that Downing offers most to the team as a deadly crosser and useful outlet down the left (presumably why he is included) when he is teamed up with Wayne Bridge rather than Cole on that flank. The reason is obvious: Bridge gives Stewie the ball in useful positions rather than sprint past him before wasting the ball or he looks instinctively inside for Frank Lampard no matter how tightly marked. That is not Boronoia, just an objective observation.
Elsewhere Boro dreamweaver Tuncay bagged a hat-trick for Turkey which has got to be a big boost for his confidence. He is the most important player at Boro right now, linking midfield to attack, bamboozling defences with his sublime touches and offering a spark of creativity that can galvanise the team. It is no coincidence that Boro went off the boil when he was out injured for a month after his last international outing.
You can see the goals here. A decent strike, a deft chip and a good finish after a bit of a chaotic scramble. A bit more of that in the next three games and we are laughing.


40 thoughts on “Boro Boys Take Europe By Storm

  1. I am delighted for Stewy and our very own Turkish Delight. I am also very nervous about which team will run out this week end. Will it be “Typical Boro” or the new confident, tough team that do not let their heads drop.
    My heart says the latter but it is getting a bit close to Xmas…..
    I’m brickin it me.

  2. On the money AV,I too have noticed games where its obvious,Lampard and Co,refuse to pass to him,the good thing is ,I have a feeling Mr Cappello,is starting to see things,and his goal is the World Cup,watch this space

  3. Is it no surprise that the excellent performance put in by Downing, for England, goes hand-in-hand with Boro’s present form.
    Boro have been playing brilliantly lately and Stewie’s role has matched this – does one motivate the other, Catch-22 style?
    Add to this the return of Tuncay (I hope Boro have him tied to a long contract) and you can see reasons for the upturn at Boro.
    You can also add my name to the list of Turnbull converts – I never disliked the lad, I just had doubts about his ability to step up to the mark after been in the shadow of Schwarzer for so long. Humble pie all round, the lad has done what Wheater did last season and good luck to him.
    I’m a bit worried about the central defender injury situation and I feel sorry for Riggott. The lad had forced his way back into first-choice pairing with some strong displays, only for the injury jinx to strike again.
    I hope he recovers soon to give the manager more team-choice headaches.
    As for the manager, I said at the start of the season that I was more than willing to give GS the 5 years I think it takes to put a team together. He asked to be judged on this season’s performance, quite rightly so, and the verdict so far is, carry on doing what you are doing because there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
    Make no mistake, we are still in the tunnel, but that light at the end seems a bit brighter at present.

  4. I’ve just watched Stewart Downing put in probably his best perfomrance in an England shirt.
    He’s obviously impressed a few of the pundits as well. I was cheered to receive an unsolicited textv message from a friend (a Spurs supporter) in West Sussex, three-quarters way through the match – just as the studio pundits awarded man of the match to Matthew Upson. My mate’s text said, “Your boy Downing has been our best player”.
    I agreed with him, but I’d discounted my own vote because of the danger of local bias! It was great to get “external” objective input like that.
    Well played Stewart Downing. As I replied to my mate, I hope he’s got enough in his tank for Saturday’s match aganist Bolton!

  5. From Sky Sports website report on the Germany match: “The Chelsea defender met a chipped free-kick from Downing – who was excellent throughout – to secure a merited success.”
    This’ll be the start of a campaign to get him to Spurs, Villa, Everton, Man City or even Liverpool. (Not that Steve Gibson would sell him to Liverpool, even if they could raise the £25M required!!) Watch them go for it!

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Stewie’s performance last night, it will have done his future chances with regard to England a power of good. He’ll be back on Saturday full of confidence and raring to go.
    Tuncay will also be on top of the world on Saturday,
    Given they both played so well they won’t feel tired until Sunday I’m sure!!

  7. I’m chuffed to bits for Stewie. Great to see the southern hacks having to swallow their words. I hope this performance will be the first of many great ones for him in an England shirt. Just like John, I noted that some journo’s (including BBC online) don’t have the decency to be completely fullsome in their praise and have included some ridiculous comment as some kind of attempt to justify their previous positions. No doubt these barbs will cease if Stew leaves us (don’t do it!) and joins a ‘big’ club, where he will be instantly transformed in their eyes from the raw talent of his years with Boro into a great player – ha, ha.
    Fabulous to see Tuncay get a hat trick for Turkey too (sorry Poggie). He is a great asset for Boro.
    Hope we can continue this great run of form from our boys.

  8. Was I suprised by Stewies performance?
    No, because he was playing in the role and style that Boro are doing at the moment. He is our best passer of the ball, has vision, pace and can strike a ball with either foot.
    Yes, because he was playing against one of the best teams in the world away from home and he has not reproduced club form before.
    AV alludes to the ‘golden generation’. Those who have watched ‘Seeking Nemo’ will be familiar with the flock of Seagulls trying to get Nemo squawking ‘Mine, mine, mine, mine……’
    The likeness to the England football aristocracy is frightening. They demand the ball and overide the team. It is not because they are evil, they genuinely want to do well for their country but last night we saw a team without ego. Even Ashley Tweedy tries!
    If I can take you back to a game where Gerrard started wide right for England. As the match wore on he appeared on the left wing cramping Cole and Stewie. By moving over there was a strip of grass some 30 yards wide down our entire right flank. For the last two thirds of the match he did not get beyond the right edge of the penalty area. In effect he pushed the game 30 yards to the left.
    Gerrard is a top footballer as are Rooney, Lampard et al but a team needs balance and purpose. It cannot be a coincidence that the England team was the most democratic for ages with most from outside the top four and they all worked for each other.
    The main thing is that he comes back fit and raring to go.
    Last but not least a huge cheer for the Teesside Turk.

  9. No top 4 egos and a true England TEAM were fearless playing as a unit.
    If Upson was man of the match I am a monkeys uncle. Many players had a great game Upson included ,but if it wasn’t Stewey then surely SWP for man of the match.
    That team was a glimpse into the near future.
    Cashley Cole will only pass to a Chelsea team mate, and everyone normally has to pass to Lamps to try and justify playing him and Stevie G in the same team. Joe Cole is a great player but has to cut inside as he has no left peg and all of the above makes it easier for the opposition to read as the options are easy to read and stamp out.
    Up the Boro.
    PS, loved Liverarsepool AV.
    **AV writes: That’s not one of mine. I think it is Richard’s copyright.

  10. “Last but not least a huge cheer for the Teesside Turk.”
    will you still cheer for him when he joins the Gunners in January?

  11. Well done Stewie and Tunny! Briliant!
    When Juninho finished playing for Boro I said to myself: ‘Wish we had a player like Juni one day”. And we have an even better player in Tunny!!!
    I hope he will be tied to a longer contract – the sooner the better.
    About Stewie -leaving Boro? I am not so worried because if Boro can play in Europe next season (we are that good a team) I am sure he will be playing for us. Why not – if he can be an England regular at Boro and possibly win a trophy here? He is local boy anyway…

  12. Two Brilliant performances that hopefully signal their intent for the rest of the season.
    As mentioned no surprise that Stewy’s MOM performance coincided with Mr Tweedys absence. The link up with Wayne Bridge and Stewy was excellant and showed real comradery,trust and a willingness to support one another up and down the left flank.
    As AV mentioned no doubt he is now on the Manchelsearsepool radar, lets hope he stays put and achieves his aspirations of trophies and European nights with the Boro. It may be worth Boro putting a cheeky bid into the Bridge for Bridge come January!
    I hope we now see the two of them invigorated for Notlob on Saturday rather than drained, injured and dispirited.

  13. ITV award the MOTM match plaudits to a London based player, will wonders never cease?
    Downing showed his class against the 2nd best team in the world (according to FIFA rankings) last night in Germany. Some people (admittedly, mainly southern based hacks) are saying it was his first good performance for England. They conveniently ignore the Trinidad & Tobago friendly (set up 2 goals) as well as the Greece match where he created 3 goals.
    This should do his confidence the world of good for the next few PL matches. My only slight regret, is that their keeper produced a couple of great saves to deny him his 1st International goal.
    I have to agree with some of the views on here, that we may now see renewed attempts to sign him by other PL clubs in January. It would be interesting to know what value Sir Steve & his manager place on him now. I know Villa valued a 28 year old Gareth Barry (with 2 years left on his contract) at 18 Million. Would a 23 year old Downing, with over 3 years left on his current deal be worth less?
    I would not be completely adverse to him being sold on by the club, as long as….
    a) We get a LOT of cash for him
    b) He goes to a “top 4” team. I see no reason for him to join a team a couple of places higher up the League & not competing in the Champions League!
    Finally, on the comment by Diablo Rojo…
    Does he know something we don’t? Although, the same thought applies to him as Downing. How much would he be worth now A lot more than the zero pounds we paid for him, I would reckon!!

  14. Fantastic to see Stewie perform like that last night, certainly shut up a few people. He is clearly a confidence player and has suffered this season, but he has improved recently and last night could really kickstart his season.
    It makes it even more frustrating that he has the boo-boys on his back at times lambasting him for lack of effort etc when we should clearly be getting behind him at all times.

  15. Spanish Jonny from Darlo; all together now- “He’s one of our own, he’s one of our own, Tuncay Sanli, He’s one of our own”. In yer face son….!

  16. ‘Ignorant’ of Boroland & AV:
    ‘Manchelarsepool’ is the corrupted (no sleight intended, of course!!) (im)proper collective noun I’ve used previously.
    I genuinely can’t recall whether it was my own invention, nicked from elsewhere or a construction of the two, but I’m perfectly at ease for the attributed intellectual property rights to be challenged!
    Besides, it’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    ‘Plagiarise with Pride’ is a notion that seemed to work for many in all my years in industry and “added value” and “identity change” can always be used in justification and for defence against legal challenge to title.
    By the way, keep an eye out for my (ahem) 11th century Japanese horticultural nu-romantic ebook of Scottish musical poetry set to dance with 21st century football referee’s whistle ensemble accompaniment – due out soon, just in time for Hogmanay and the January sales!
    Where DO I get such inspiration from?

  17. Diablo may have a point.
    Those teams like Arsenal, Villa, Everton, Manu who are trying to hang on to the coat tails of Liverpool and Chelsea would love a player like Tuncay. Sadly for Diablo we are also tucked in a group of teams just behind the top four and he plays for us.
    It would be geat if the ersatz manc kept off the site or was brave enough to put his name where his mouth is.

  18. Glad to see I`m not alone in thinking some of the so called “Golden Generation” don`t want to play with our Stewy, As Ian Gill pointed out Gerard,Lamps & Tweedy all cramped Stewies style by stealing his ground instead of letting him make the use of it by passing to him.As for Tweedy Cole I don`t think he`s as good as he thinks he is, Much prefer Bridges. Well done Stewy & Tuncay you both did Boro proud.

  19. Not so long ago, a lot of England players were booed when they played badly for their country and subsequently turned out for their team. I hope that the opposite is also true, and that Downing is cheered to the rafters when he plays against Bolton.
    A) He deserves it for his outstanding performance and B) He’ll need the lift after the emotional and physical drain of the Germany match – I don’t think I’ve seem him put in more pace and commitment in defence, let alone his attacking threat.
    A real joy to watch, as were Tuncay’s goals. And the BBC player rater has Downing higher than Upson – Upson was top after 90 minutes, which garnered his MotM.
    Diablo Rojo – please stop letting him post until he has something constructive to write – he’s a troll, nothing more, probably less.
    **AV writes: You’re not a real cyber-community unless you have your own pet troll.

  20. Watched the game against Germany as the sole Englishman in a German bar. Pre-match predictions from the locals indicated a home banker with scores ranging from 1-0 to 5-0, with only one German giving us a chance saying we would win 3-1. After-match comments included the “match was not important, only a friendly”, “the first goal was a foul on the keeper”, etc. No mention that the Germans were fielding their strongest side, missing only 2 of their best 11 (Ballack & Lahm).The best bit though was the comments that “Downing was the best player, our defence could not cope with him!!”
    Well done Stewy, and well done Tuncs. German TV showed extended hihglights of their southern cousins v. Turkey. Tuncs was absolutely world-class

  21. On the plus side Stewie comes back from an England game buzzing instead of sick as a chip.
    On the minus side he is now back on the radar for transfer speculation. The other clubs always knew how good he is but the so called ‘experts’ in the press are all ignorant know nowts and dead fickle.
    Now they have suddenly tumbled how good he is they will be throwing his name him every time there is space to fill.

  22. Saw extended highlights of Tuyncays show with a German commentator stating “It is rare that you see one man make fun of 11 defending players, but that is exactly what Tuncay has done tonight”, after scoring his third goal. Great to hear that from a non-biased commentator. Now bring on the Trotters and give them hell.

  23. Ian – I like the Nemo analogy and it’s spot on.
    Stewie had a great game, Capello is an astute manager who clearly has no regard for ego’s or reputations, Stewie’s chances of starting a competitive match will have been greatly enhanced by his performance.
    Tuncay will be going nowhere in January, although if he maintains his blistering form then he may move on in the Summer, but hey, we’ll get a shed load of cash for him and we’ll have been entertained along the way. He’s a great player but not unique, there’s another one out there somewhere.
    As for Stewie, I’ve posted before that I believe there is a high chance he’ll move in the Summer, but again we’ll be well rewarded with a big fee and we have jinky champing at the bit. I’d like him to stay but if he goes good luck to him.
    Of course if we qualify for the UEFA cup then the chances of players leaving diminishes, but that’s a big if. At the moment to qualify for the UEFA cup we need to finish fifth or win the FA cup, both are unlikely, although IF we win our next two the odds for finishing fifth will shorten a little.
    Can’t wait for the Bolton game…….

  24. Very good Richard -‘Manchelarsepool’ even better.
    Arsenal are clearly aware of this heading that they too come under and to their credit are trying to address the balance with Gallas crying and their team arguing mid match, letting Spurs come back in the dying minutes and getting beat by Stoke and Hull. Well great effort and long may it continue as they still have too much ‘Manchelarsepool’ credit to be regarded as one of us [ non top 4 teams].
    Infact if they finish 5th and we do the double over them I might even smile.
    AV what the hell is Stevie G’s book doing advertised on here? Are we that desperate! I am still bitter over the two goals in the last minutes of extra timae at Anfield and the Mascerano slap on Aliadierre card scandal , Zenden – Ziege and so on…
    **AV writes: Advertising space is sold regionally and nationally by faceless drones elsewhere in the Trinity empire network so there is little I can do. I think the Gerrard book is also published by a Trinity subsidiary so it is even more immovable.

  25. Holgate Ender
    There are few national journalists who have championed Stewie in the past. One of those was Henry Winter who pushed for his inclusion pre Mac getting caught out telling porkies about telling Sven not to put him in the full England squad – and that is proven fact AV so no pulling the line.
    Until now Stewie hasnt been at his best for England. Phil McNulty blew the whistle on the fact the press boys were going to use Downing to beat up Mac. And that was before it happened. Luckily his team mates stuck up for him – NOT and hung him out to dry. He was a target for the boo boys but unlike Lampard no one fought his corner.
    One of his critics has been Alan Green, in one game after a cross from Downing didnt reach his man his comment was ‘that is why he plays for Middlesbrough’. Pre the match on Wednesday he was debating the team with Lawro. Lawro was supportive of Downing in that you needed 15+ matches to settle in and that he had been in out of the side, cameo half hours etc.
    Green replied he had 21 games and that hard as he tried he wouldn’t make it at international level because he hadn’t got a trick.
    Obviously passing to someone on the same side, giving balance and pace to the team, the ability to beat a man, as wide a range of passing off both feet as any other english player, delivery of dead balls, ability to shoot with either feet, tracking back and high work rate are absolutely useless for an international footballer. Stewie should speak to Paul Daniels and get a card trick. Green is a huge Liverpool (and Gerrard) fan. Downing gets in the way.
    The national journos will forget all about Downings recent good form and revert back to their sneering at clubs our size and fawning over the fashionable clubs. Drongos like David Platt will soon return to spouting their usual drivel. As soon as Downing has a dip in form the knives will be out again unless he plays for someone they are scared to be critical about.
    Rant over, nearly, sort of.

  26. Ian Gill
    Sorry mate I have to disagree with your comments regarding the Darlo Diabalo and his comments on this site.
    In these troubled times it’s good to have something really funny to laugh at!

  27. Aberdeen Brian
    I did give two choices to Manc Lite. He could desist from posting or could post under his real name. I suspect he is scared to come clean about his identity.
    And another thing. what is this business about insulting Trolls?
    We best enjoy his presence whilst we can, very brave of AV to call people from Trinity Mirror faceless drones. Nice knowing you.

  28. I Vote Diablo!
    Untypical Boro’s very own version of Come Dancing’s John Sergeant, crap, but unintentionally has us all in stitches!
    Anyway a Manure fan who isn’t from Surrey is a very rare thing indeed, we should treasure him.

  29. Spanish Jonny; yer bitin’son! Its meant to be the other way, remember? A Manc in Darlo but credit to yer, its closer than Torquay where most of your lot come from. “He’s one of our own…….”!

  30. On the subject of national journalists, Kevin McCarra in the Guardian has been quite complimentary about Downing all season and was one of the very few that thought he should be in the England squad ahead of Ashley Young.

  31. Ian Gill at 12.21 pm – I haven’t heard the word “drongos” for ages. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    We are all agreed that Stewie had a good game for England. It comes on the back of a couple of much better games for the Boro. Hopefully this is a sign he is coming back to his best form as I am sure he would admit he has gone through sticky patch. The team will be much the better for his attacking down the flanks and his contribution to the goal tally.
    I haven’t yet seen the Tuncay goals but will hit the internet link shortly. I don’t agree we should even consider selling him in the summer, even for the “shed load of cash” suggested by Nigel at 12.01. He is our “special” player, who can find an opening where no-one else can see it. He is real quality. We need to keep players like him if we are to continue to progress.
    And finally, with regard to Boro on the radiowaves:
    1. Did you all hear the warm words from Lennie Lawrence on BBC Tees in Ally Brownlee’s progamme this evening? Very appreciative comments about the club, the way it was being properly run, and praise for Steve Gibson and Gareth Southgate. (Speak it quietly, but even “The Count” was well spoken about).
    2. Another Lawrence, Lawro, has helped our cause on Saturday by telling Five Live listeners that we will draw at home to Bolton. It always feels better when he predicts “against” us, as if a more positive view would be to taunt the Football Gods.
    I get the general feeling that people out in the wider world think the Boro is a club being run on the right lines, by people who have the interests of the club and its supporters at heart, and that slowly but surely we are making progress. Please, PLEASE, let that progress continue against Bolton tomorrow.

  32. Forever Dormo – I wasn’t suggesting we sell Tuncay just raising the possibility that if he has a blinding season he may get an offer he cant refuse, our compensation being a shed load for a player we signed for nought.

  33. I like Redcar Red’s idea of putting in a bid for Wayne Bridge in January. May not fly, but might be worth a try. It’s a problem position for us – Taylor’s progress has dropped off in the last 18 months.
    As for Diablo and his occasional visits to the site, he appears to be a ‘single point’ poster. In all the time I’ve been reading this blog I don’t think he’s ever written anything other than a gloat about the fact that the team he supports has won major trophies and the team we support hasn’t. He’s like a stuck record. He doesn’t make me laugh, he sends me to sleep. Come on Diablo, there has to be more to you than that…surely?

  34. Poor Diablo is just bitter with Boro becuase he made the wrong choice just like all those Teessiders who declared themselves part of the Toon Army because of Keegan.
    He may think MAn U are “his” team but he never gets to experience it for real. He only ever watches on TV. Maybe if he is lucky once a year he goes to the OT mega store with his pocketmoney and his mam to buy a new Wyane Rooney duvet and matching bedside lamp.
    If he had opted for Boro he could have shared the bonding emotions of Wembley, Cardiff and Europe with his mates.
    Instead he is the butt of their jokes, an overgrown playground glory hunter and long distance bandwagonner with as much connection to the team as Zoe Ball.

  35. Selling Tuncay would be suicide and even if we did have good money as a leaving present and broke our transfer record to bring in someone there is no guarantee that the new lad will be as influential [ even if he did score 45 goals in one season in another league]
    When Tuncay was out -September- we never won a match!
    He is the hardest part of the team to replace . Can anybody put a price tag on INSPIRATION?

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