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 ÃÂ£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.