RIGHT. I’m back, bronzed and with batteries fully recharged and ready to resume spraying defence splitting hyperbole through midfield. Game on.
I didn’t mean to leave you all so abruptly. In fact I took the laptop with me (that’s the kind of obsessively entangled saddo I am) and planned to keep in touch with Planet Boro and keep the blog ticking over but I had technical problems to do with “roaming.” That was a blow for me and the younger faction of the family who have MSN hardwired but a major victory for family fun. Hurray!
So anyway, I have been out of the loop for a fortnight. I didn’t even buy a paper, although I looked over a few shoulder on sunbeds to keep in touch with the big stories… Andy Murray’s brief annual transformation from surly Scottish moaner to best of British beefcake, Man City’s audacious ÃÂ£3000m quadruple bid for Tevez, Beckham, Pele and Formula 1. I presume there was the odd small paragraph about Boro tucked away inside but it doesn’t do to lean in that close to tattooed Glaswegian muscle men when you are oiled up and wearing speedos.
In fact – watching the 21s getting dismantled by Germany aside – football barely intruded at all. I was in Portugal (yes, very nice thanks). On the drive out from Faro to the resort we went past the now redundant sad stadium at Loule purpose built for the 2004 Euros. The taxi driver said it was an inexplicable waste of money as the Algarve have never had a team big enough to even quarter fill it and it was destined to be a white elephant from day one. A monument to bureaucratic stupidity and waste, I suggested. “No”, he said. “A monument to when we beat England.” How we laughed.
And there was another taxi-driver moment one night in Albufeira when I picked up Joao Martim de Souza’s copy of Record, one of the football dailies, that had a massive front page story about Javier Saviola’s move to Benfica. The driver was a big, big fan (they are the Man U of Portugal ).
In pidgin football I conveyed that I thought Saviola was ‘mint,’ had been brilliant at Sevilla but had been wasted for two years picking up money on the bench at Real Madrid and he got all Latin and animated on me and was almost in tears as he explained that they had also signed Pablo Aimar and were poised to win the Champions League and they would thrash “your” Manchester United along the way.
When I told him I had been in Lisbon to see Boro play Sporting he was treating me like a long lost son and shaking my hand alarmingly with only scant regard for the road. A friend for life. See, the universal language of football.
But I digress. The bottom line is I’ve missed a fortnight. I can catch up on the backlog of Gazette’s and stories on the official site but there will now be big gaps in my knowledge of the rumour, ranting, nuance and sub-text that we do so well on here.
So what have I missed?
Are we happy with signing a Colchester winger with bags of enthusiasm and who thinks Boro are the biggest club in the Championship? Is that an indication of ambition and drive or of mild delusion? And what of the new Coca-Cola can style shirt fit for the fizzy pop league? Will we get a black ‘zero’ flavoured away kit too? What news of the none-scapegoating backroom purge? Haven’t we signed Michael Brown yet?
MEANWHILE, the surly but shrewd Glaswegian one may have been persuaded to offer Little Micky Owen a deal – maybe he needs someone to share racing gossip with or to keep Owen Hargreaves company in the treatment room – but that doesn’t stop this Dragons’ Den spoof about the fading former England man being brilliant….