Golden Goals Clip Cut Short

COME ON, own up. Who has been sending Gareth e-mails?
Maybe it is someone who wants to borrow his Golden Goals greatest hits compilation to refresh their memory of that rarest of beasts.


Explaining the morale-building exercise the gaffer said:

“The videos were something we did as a group of staff to remind us of quality that’s still there – it doesn’t go. Sometimes when you’re on a run of failures, missed chances and saves, you need to remind yourself of scoring, playing your best. They’re useful exercises. This was just a compilation of all the goals, with the sun shining and people celebrating. Football should be fun but it’s less enjoyable when you’re not winning.”

People celebrating? Is that allowed? The idea of pyschologically reinforcing good habits is a sound one but it should probably be at leisure rather than amid a crisis. The players will have too many distractions right now, what with their top flight employment prospects and wages under threat, the club a laughing stock and worrying about whether or not they have left the keys in the ignition.
On the plus side, the compilation will be a short one and so won’t eat into too much Xbox time. Ten minutes tops. Including slo-mo replays. We’ve had longer slots on Match of the Day. Of course, had they done all Alves’ missed chances it would have been continued onto a second tape.
Boro have scored 18 goals in 26 games to make them the least prolific outfit in the entire professional game. Before last weekend they could boast that there was one team in Britain even more shot-shy but Scottish division three part-time cellar dwellers Elgin City pulled off a shock 1-0 win at home to Bernie’s old boys Albion Rovers so they have 18 too… although they have only played 21 games.
Boro have now gone 495 minutes (not including stoppage time, that makes it some much more fiddley to calculate) without a league goal. That came at the end of the first half against Sunderland on January 10. For the one before that (Arsenal in December) you have to go back 871 minutes…. that’s 14 and a half hours!
Thankfully the 495 barren minutes is nowhere near being a record yet. The national all time honours naturally go to Hartlepool who went 13 games without a goal in 1992-93 while the top flight leaders in ineptitude in front of goal are Everton (639 minutes, 1994-95), Derby (777 minutes, 2007-08) and Crystal Palace (836 minutes 1994-95… and guess who was their skipper).
It is hard to remember the goals this season. Not only was the last one in the league six weeks ago but the majority of them came in a flurry early in the season when the sun was shining and optimism was high. Southgate was basking in plaudits and had a Manager of the Month gong on the mantelpiece.
And of Boro’s 18 league goals only ten have come from the 13 games at home. For those of us who no longer have access to video (I think there may be a dusty Betamax up in the loft alongside the squarial, the vinyl and the cup final programmes) here’s a quick review of those moments of net-busting action:
August 16: Boro 2 Spurs 1
71 mins: Downing fires a half-cleared corner back in and when Alves flicks the ball onto the bar from the nearpost and Wheater stabs home the rebound.
86 mins: Digard cuts in from the right to drill a low ball into the box and Mido breaks forward to stretch and toe-poke home from ten yards.
August 31: Boro 2 Stoke 1
38 mins: Alves fires an unstoppable free-kick into the top right corner.
85 mins: Digard drills a low ball into the box for Tuncay to trap, turn and rifle home.
October 29, Boro 2 Manchester City 0
53 mins: Wheater takes a tumble on the edge of the box and when the ref awards a penalty Alves cracks it to the right of keeper Joe Hart.
94 mins: O’Neil burst forward with the ball and keeps on going after finding Tuncay and when the Turk wins a tussle with Onuoha and flicks the loose ball into the box the midfielder arrives to lash it home.
November 1, Boro 1 West Ham 1
84 mins: Lively sub Mido powers a low 20 yard free-kick through a poor wall and in.
November 22, Boro 1 Bolton 3
77 mins: Wheater nods on a Downing cross into a scrum of players at the far post and Pogatetz cracks home from eight yards.
December 13, Boro 1 Arsenal 1
29 mins: McMahon blocks an attempted Clicky clearance and alert Tuncay whips the loose ball into the box for Aliadiere to arrive with a glancing near post header.
January 10, Boro 1 Sunderland 1
45 mins: Alves collects a Mcmahon throw and sends Downing down the right then the Brazilian bursts to the edge of the box to reach the return and rocket in a shot.
Of course, that doesn’t include cup goals at the Riverside. So far there have been five of those against Yeovil and two against Barrow – let’s hope that there are a few more to add tonight and Gareth can start work on an extended director’s cut.
Sorted. The only question now is what to put on the sound track. Some anodyne vaguely uplifting inoffensive identikit indie guitar by numbers dirge like Coldplay or Elbow? Or a bitch slapping, pig icing phat ghetto rap turf war battlecry? Men Of Iron?

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10 thoughts on “Golden Goals Clip Cut Short

  1. I was going to suggest the extended version of Rappers Delight by The Sugarhill Gang, but that would be longer than the highlights clip…
    Perhaps Money for Nothing by Dire Straits as a delicious bit of irony, because right now we are in the most dire of “straits” and our lot are effectively getting money for nothing in front of goal…
    I’ll get me coat…

  2. I think at ten minutes for the tape you are being way too generous AV.
    Sound track suggestions:
    “I Missed Again” – Phil Collins
    “Sky High” – was that Pilot?
    “Stuck in the middle with you” (for the land crab) – Steelers Wheel
    “We Close Our Eyes” (spectators) – was that Gary Numan?
    “Down Down” – Status Quo (their only number one incidentally)

  3. I am ready for tonights match. I always listen to the Boro on the radio and get to matches when I can but something has clicked in my mind.
    Since we have been on this run of bad form, I have not worn my Boro top for any of the matches so tonight I am going to wear not just my top but my Boro shorts and socks as well. I told my partner and she just looked at me like I was an idiot. I told her we need all the luck we can get and hopefully this will change things.
    So come on Boro and don’t make me look like a fool

  4. Haven’t had chance to read your piece yet, Vic, and I’m just about to put my shoes on to set out for the match tonight. But when I heard the story about the players watching a DVD compilation of the goals scored so far this season, it occurred to me that it wouldn’t last very long.
    No chance of getting bored even for those with the shortest of attention spans.

  5. A.V. Came home from work read your comments not stoped laughing yet. But beware. You will get the next official letter from MFC. You make us laugh. Is that allowed? I doubt it. Football should be fun Southgate said. NOT WITH YOU IN CHARGE MATE.

  6. Well Gareth drops the dead donkey, puts square pegs into square holes (with the exception of Bates who in fairness done OK and had a cracking last 20 minutes) and voila! we looked like a balanced and organised team which even showed belief.
    I thought Emnes offered more in his brief stint than Alves has all season so surely by now he must come into the reckoning. Tuncay looked like his old self and Stewy was full of running as was Ali. Jones commanded his area and was faultless at all the crosses. Huth and Hoyte were composure personified. GO’N battled and scrapped, obviously a jog home done him good!
    Gareth just maybe has something to build on so long as he doesn’t revert to type and disrupts the entire team and plays one up front and everyone else out of position on Saturday.

  7. Re: Boro’s SHOCKING lack of goals the last couple of seasons.
    Has it occurred to anybody else with their eyes peeled back that there might be a reason for all of this…… the name emblazoned across their strip!!! GARMIN! A Sat Nav company, fer chrissakes!!!
    Has anybody else not noticed the staggering irony of this??
    Ever since the 888’s (lucky numbers, remember, it got us our highest ever finish of 7th and then the following year a place in the UEFA cup final and our best cup runs ever!) were replaced we seemed to have been dealt a curse – the goals have dried up!! Perhaps that’s the intention – maybe the Sat Nav would help our players to find the goal! But…..it’s done quite the opposite!
    Maybe the change of the club badge has also got summat to do with it – far from being lucky as the Gate optimistically proclaimed back then in 2007…..
    Methinks both of these changes have had an unintentionally detrimental effect. Spooky coincidence? Who knows? Maybe we should seriously think about reverting to the old badge and jettisoning the Sat Nav company sponsorship before it all backfires on us spectacularly and the rest of the league start to cotton on as well.
    **AV writes: And how many wins since the reappearance of the Ayresome Gates?

  8. Does anyone else read the old stuff in here? Maybe February was a good vintage, with less concern about relegation as there would be so many “easy” games to come?

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