GARETH Southgate did a lively Q&A on BBC Tees last night and it went as you expect these things to go: a lot of interesting things were said – but no one will have changed their mind one jot and listeners from both ends of the Boro political spectrum seized on the particular soundbites that will confirm their own beliefs.
THE INEVITABLE exit of Stewart Downing in a mooted ÃÂ£12m move to Aston Villa will be greeted with a resigned shrug by many.
The left-footed local wing wizard was a major disappointment last season and came in for increasing fire from frustrated terrace snipers. After being the 10 goal top gun in the previous term he had undeniably lost some sizzle. He failed to score in the league and failed to sprinkle games with magical match-winning moments as he had in the past while the main memories of the campaign may well be a costly missed penalty at Sunderland and the disruption of a January transfer request.
But one lack-lustre spell in a struggling team on the slide should not blind us to nature of the quality we are losing. You don’t know what you have until its gone.
STEWART Downing has been in Birmingham today for a medical and to thrash out the fine-print on a move to Aston Villa. Horse’s mouth. Gazette exclusive. More later.
CAN Boro treble their strike rate? Looking at the powder-puff efforts of the toothless team’s flaccid frontline last term – a unit that for all its obvious costly failings is still in place – you would have to say: “No, don’t be daft.”
Yet that is the testing target being set by the boss.
WHERE’S Mido? Can you spot the elusive pizza loving poacher slapping on the factor 50 when he should be doing doggies at Hurworth? Have you bumped into the heavyweight Egyptian in Sharm-el-Sheik? Did you get stuck behind him and a trolley full of Jeff The Chef parmos in South Bank Asda? Or maybe he was seen licking a lemontop in Redcar. Join in the family fun and help us track down our targetman turned truant?
RIGHT. I’m back, bronzed and with batteries fully recharged and ready to resume spraying defence splitting hyperbole through midfield. Game on.