Gate Opens Up On BBC Brownlee

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.

At least there won’t be howls of outrage that a section of supporters have been slighted this time – although plenty will believe that their intelligence has been insulted. Those for who the die is cast will see the exercise as merely PR spin and empty platitudes.
The gaffer is an articulate and sincere bloke so spoke well and honestly about where he thought the club was now and where – and how – he intends to take it. It is always good to hear the boss deal directly with questions from a passionate and hard to please public rather than a press pack who don’t really care about the answers.
There is more urgency, more importance and more scrutiny of every single word – here’s John Powls’ analysis on Boro Banter of some key phrases used and not used and here is the view from the Follow The Boro Brick Road blog. But that examination helps feed a healthy debate around the club. It is culturally beneficial.
But those who are firmly in the anti camp will gleefully point out it failed to address what they see as the key problem: his own tenure. Those who want blood will not be easily bought off with hindsight admissions about the failings of last season or an acceptance that if he fails this time the decision to stay or go will be taken out of his hands… as if he was going to go live and confess to Ali Brownlee that yes, indeed, he was a rubbish manager and every problem in the team, the world banking collapse and the crisis at Corus were all of his making and subsequently he was resigning immediately. That is not what these things are about.
When faced with one early tetchy and persistent dissident who raised just that point – his tenure, not his responsibility for the world economic slum – and said directly and unequivocally they had not renewed because he was boss Gareth was patient, respectful, understanding and reasonable and accepted they yes, had that right and explained that he knew there were a large faction who took that stance and who wanted him gone but outlined his determination to win them back with results. That was magnanimous of him; personally I would have told them to get stuffed.
That call raised a lot of issues that will be central to the political dynamic this season. No matter how persuasive Southgate and the club are, no matter how honest the explanations or ambitious the rhetoric and no matter how well the team perform there are now a significant vocal minority who will not be pacified or won over and who have set out their stall. They want the boss out no matter what. They have decided.
Every defeat or dropped point will be further evidence of Southgate’s ineptitude as a manager and tactician and will intensify the calls for his head while every win or stirring display will be seen as being the bare minimum and achieved despite of not because of him and will only buy breathing space until the clamour resumes with the next set-back.
We have been here before. Steve McClaren lost a section of the fans midway through his second season and that slowly gathered an unstoppable momentum from then on, no matter what was piled in the credit column thereafter.
The victory at Cardiff was for many ‘papering over the cracks’. The highest ever league position was a fluke that was achieved by the players despite McClaren’s attempt to stifle them with his tactical strait-jacket. And the UEFA Cup runs were an undeserved freak that couldn’t disguise the disintegration of the league campaign. A lot of people really did not enjoy the glory years because the reality did not sit comfortably with their own imagined apocalyptic world view of Satanic dysfunctional McClarenism.
The point is that you have to start from what you have, not what you would ideally like and you have to accept that in a world of contradictions and fine margins even a flawed team – or a boss you have decided is not up to the job – can still deliver.
Anyway, I digress. Southgate was brave to go live at this point before his new look team have had a chance to be tested. At the moment it is all speculation and that left him open to all manner of conjecture. It was also risky because he was never going to win the opposition over while running the risk of alienating more waverers.
What do the punters think?


144 thoughts on “Gate Opens Up On BBC Brownlee

  1. If southgate goes can we trust gibson to choose another? Despite how much i appreciate what he has done for boro, his manager choices have all been poor. He likes to gamble on unproven talent so is always taking a big risk and i dont think any of them have paid off considering the amount of money we have spent.
    Robson spent lots on attacking players failing to provide a solid defence until it was to late and was tactically inept.
    McClaren, was looking at his own future rather than the clubs and spent millions on an old team to get instant success with no long term plan.
    Southgate poor tactics, poor signings, so far the worst of a bad bunch.
    Gibsons probably hanging on until another mild mannered ex-international retires.

  2. Brad Jones out for three weeks after damaging an ankle.
    Gives Coyne a chance to establish hinself in the team.
    C’Mon Boro!

  3. AV, after all this useless (I mean Gibbo decides here) argueing about the sacking of ‘Gate I would like to know more about the injuries to Tuncay and Alves. Are they available as subs for Friday?
    Even they want away they both could be better than ANY striker in the second tier this season. I hope they get some games behind their belts soon.
    Looking forward to the season. Up the Boro!

  4. AV – if Alves and Tuncay are fit and have not been sold by the Sheff U match, will they be considered for selection?
    If not, what happens if they are both still at the Boro at the end of August?
    Will they be welcomed back into the first team squad?

  5. Just to change the subject ever so slightly whilst I’ve never been one to get carried away with preseason matches/results it is quite clear there are a number of pressing problems.Southgate himself said we needed to add experience and needed to make sure we could deal with the “physicality” of the league.
    We have not added experience and we look no better equipped to deal with a scrap than we were last season.
    Regardless of which of the possible departees actually go 5 days before the start of the season the following two positions are a MUST
    1.A big forward that can head a ball and hold it up.
    2.A central midfielder with experience that can win the ball,hold his position and
    distribute accurately.
    These are a bare minimum.He also said we needed a stronger squad to cope with an intense 46 game season.Where is it???

  6. “The Times” assessment of pre-season Boro in today’s The Game:
    “Stability is the watchword that should set Middlesbrough apart from some more notorious clubs falling out of the big league. Gareth Southgate is just as good a manager as he was when guiding the team to successive mid-table Premier League finishes, or probably better, for the experience he has gained. For all the predictions of a mass exodus, only Stewart Downing has departed [ed: bit out of date there!]. Motivating the malcontents – or getting them off the wage bill sharpish [ed: now that’s nearer the mark!] – will be among Southgate’s biggest challenges, and planning life after Tuncay, an excellent player bound to find a top-flight exit, here or abroad.”
    Tipped to finish second to the Blades!
    Fizzy pop league impact player: Adam Johnson (“Might just turn out to be a better left-winger than Steward Downing and the England Under-21 star will be given his head now. Johnson has pace, great close control, dribbling skills and more variation in his game, although he needs to improve his crossing and gain a better appreciation of when to release the ball. Freed up in the lower level of the Coca-Cola Championship, Johnson can be a star turn this season”). 😉

  7. Are Boro fans more divided or deluded than others? Or more fatalistic and depressed? Or are websites devoted to other clubs’ supporters just as bad?
    Still, not long to go now. Good Luck to the lads against Sheffield United but I will be on a two and a half hour ferry journey when the game is played (not that there would be any coverage of it here anyway…).

  8. BoroPhil at 11:15 2 Aug 2009:
    That’s largely my position also, although in withdrawing by season ticket support and trying, through the medium of this blog and Boro Banter, to highlight that “blind faith” isn’t enough, I in a small way, hope to help get the message across to Steve Gibson, as the main architect of everything at Boro, that only actions will do.
    I’m personally very skeptical about his words now, because of the last 3-year history, when fans (and I believe some of the younger and probably more naive players) were led to continue to believe in the European dream ambition, when it eventually became clear that financial circumstances had changed significantly behind the scenes, yet no explanation of this was offered by Gibson or anyone else on behalf of the club.
    By doing THAT, I feel much goodwill might have been preserved instead of many fans now feeling as though they’ve actually been short-changed by a guy who was a local hero, but who has shown his true colours as a businessman, first and foremost – and one not too adept at retail psychology, at that!
    That said, one has to make allowances for the effect on playing staff and others, if it had been openly declared that belts were being drawn in, at least for a while. You can imagine these days how mercenary footballers already reluctant to make their way to the North-East would react to hearing directly and publicly, that Boro needed to reign in on their spending and have what they already suspected reinforced – that Boro wouldn’t be offering them highest rates – even if by most ordinary and honest people’s standards the salaries are ludicrously eye-watering!!
    My earlier comment about Gibson being an honourable man was specifically meant in connection with the fair manner in which I believe he’s treating Southgate because he knows that Southgate was working with his hands tied behind his back in many respects and was largely doing his master’s bidding.
    For the master then to beat the subordinate for doing his best under master-constrained circumstances would be dishonourable, to say the least, and would be the actions of a completely untrustworthy, ruthless tyrant who would be unworthy of any loyalty himself. And I don’t believe that Steve Gibson is quite in that category!

  9. The following is copied straight from the Gazette’s report on the Milwall match
    ”Coyne’s a steady keeper and the centre-backs will be the envy of most, if not all of Boro’s opponents. There are question marks at right-back with Tony McMahon looking a far more solid proposition than manager’s favourite Justin Hoyte.
    Adam Johnson is nailed on to start on the left of midfield but his distribution needs
    to improve while, on the right, Yeates looks a lively acquisition.
    Arca is a real concern in the middle. In pre-season he has looked short of pace, has lost possession far too often and, in his frustration, gives away needless fouls. If fit, Digard and O’Neil look to be a safe pairing, though Williams should be accommodated somewhere, such has been his impact.
    Up front, Jeremie Aliadiere has done little to claim a starting berth while Marvin Emnes may come good alongside a powerful leader of the line.”
    This is no slight against the writer (Phil Tallentire) but it is hardly an earth shattering, headline busting, origin of life, Pullitzer Prize, piece of investigative journalism..
    The problems were there most of last season and have shown no sign of going away. Yeates and Williams are plusses but if you keep doing what hasnt worked in the past it is unlikely to work in the future.
    We need fresh blood sooner rather than later. And I am not being negative because, half full or half empty, the contents of the glass remain the same.

  10. Getting a comment on in here is like the Afonso Alves method of striking. Have a bash, it might work, pobably won’t. Any sign of mine from aug 2nd, bout 7ish. Should be between Nelly and Tony Black. Bring back Captcha!

  11. Danny Coyne is the new Andy Dibble. Buy a new keeper you idiots. Someone experienced like a Jens Lehmann-style keeper who has played at the TOP level.

  12. I will stand firm on my view no matter what spin in Southgate’s favour should transpire, and that is, he is a poor manager. Because of him we’re in the Championship – air and simple. It was not a case of if the moment he was announced as our new boss after the departure of McClaren, but when. It took just three seasons.
    Because of him very few players want to come to Teesside and join ranks with his side: witness how many potential signings we missed out on simply because they wished to play elsewhere (Mr. Ginger opting for Wigan instead, for example).
    Because of him we are once again in EXACTLY THE SAME PRE-SEASON SITUATION whereby with very few new signings to strengthen our squad we’re left relying on existing inexperienced youngsters who are now, ominously and all too predictably, getting injured before the big kick off (where have we heard that one before I wonder??).
    Because of him it would appear that come this Friday Boro might possibly throw away the chance to sit TOP OF THE TABLE BY THREE CLEAR POINTS – at least for 24 hours or so. Now THAT is something ANY Boro fan would be aching to see for far too long now, wouldn’t you all agree?

  13. Lets face it MFC are on the up. SG does right keeping the club. GS has lots of charisma and the players cant wait to play for him.
    The club unluckily went down after 11 seaons in the PL.G S will not and should not be sacked by SG as GS does what he is told and does it well. MFC will be playing Darlington and Hartlepool in the not to distant future but this will be as a result of them being promoted, not us being relegated.
    No wonder there is growing optimism amongst fans. They have lots to look forward to?
    **AV writes: You are some of my favourite posters.

  14. See Lita’s signed. A good buy for this league so long as SG can man-manage the little tearaway! Not Gareth’s strongpoint. Managing footballers.
    Come on Boro, a couple more decent signing’s and a new manager and we are back in business!

  15. Fabulous debate, lads and lasses. Highly entertaining. And also very worrying at times, with a great deal of blood-letting between fellow-supporters.
    Has it come to this? We shouldn’t be slagging each other off because of what’s happened at Boro. Not now. Not ever. I can’t believe that people actually want us to lose so Gate is forced out.
    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Southgate campaign – and I’m definitely in RedcarBell’s middle camp – now is the time for us to put our differences behind us and get behind the lads.
    I’m not at all convinced given recent performances that we are ready for the rigours of the Championship yet, and new comments from Gate that we are going to be a force just fill me with dread. So we need everyone to get behind Boro on Friday. New season. New challenges. We are all Boro. We will always be Boro. Our Boro. That’s our great strength. Come on Boro – get behind the lads!

  16. I was listening to radio5 today. They talked about West Broms inability last season to score goals and keep them out.
    The season before in the Championship I recall them scoring left, right and centre. I also saw them beat Peterborough (later promoted) easily in the FA Cup at london Road.
    The point I’m making is the huge gulf between the Championship and the Premier. Confidence cannot be underestimated.
    I am confident with the team we have at present we will score numerous goals. If we can get a run of results together and build confidence I think we will be far too strong for most teams.
    I know the doom and gloom merchants will accuse me of all sorts, but Southgate has my 100% support going into the season. We’ve had 1 very bad season and deserved to go down.
    Why doesn’t everyone get behind the team and the club? Vent your anger once the season has started if thing don’t go according to plan – but not before a ball has been kicked.

  17. So Leeds get £8mil for a no name, we get £10ml for an established England Int, £400,000 for an experienced European striker (we are ready to pay 3m,for Hulse,a broken down championship player.) Who is running this dog and pony show?GET THEM ALL OUT theyre a bunch of phonies

  18. As soon as Mido was sold Gareth moved for Lita. Well done as the goal scoring record of the player is impressive – also at England U 21 level, too.
    I wouldn’t mind if we go to the season – until January – with the strike force of Tuncay, Emnes, Lita and Alves. Best in the C’hip! Of course Tuncay could still go – and then we need a quick replacement, again.
    I just wish we could – finally – replace Rochemback with a skillfull midfielder. So one more to add before the transfer deadline!
    Up the Boro!

  19. BBC report: “Football’s European governing body (UEFA) says it is concerned about the financial state of English Premier League clubs.
    Uefa general secretary David Taylor warned that some clubs face a crisis if they keep living beyond their means.”
    I think I have heard SG saying something similar. Thank God, Boro’s debt has been redused significantly during the past year or so. I wish the situation of 1986 never happens again. So thank you Mr Gibson!
    Up the Boro!

  20. You know what? I get a distinct feeling of deja vu right now – as I have done for the last three or four summers: and that is why do we always leave it so late to strengthen our flimsy squad?
    I mean, we have the first game of the season ahead of everybody else in the league this Friday with the Blades (why us and them alone on Friday I wonder? Any explanation for this?) And we have a brilliant opportunity to pull off something we’ve never done for god only knows how long: that is sit at the TOP of the table, albeit just for 24 hours before the rest of the games results come through….and THAT will only come about if we do the decent thing and WIN the first game against United.
    Then again, I still harbour grave doubts about whether or not the Gate can motivate his side to achieve this after a relatively satisfactory pre-season (but then of course we have the perennial injury jinx to take into account as well).

  21. Sitting in Africa its going to be hard to follow whats going on. I am hoping you AV and the locals will keep me informed. Think Lita may come good but not fit enough for Friday, maybe last 20 mins. Let’s get the rallying call going COME ON BORO.

  22. John
    In summation you are saying Gate is weak in matters relating to football, finances and man management. That is a great relief because I was coming to think of him as a manager with limitations. I can rest safe in the knowledge Boro are in good hands.
    Sadly, I will be missing the Sheff Utd match because of my wifes birthday (no, I cant get away with a hospitality package without being admitted as a hospital package). I could blame my wife but her birthday was there long before the date was set for the Fizzy Pop league. Now if we were still in the Premier League…..

  23. “Arca is a real concern in the middle. In pre-season he has looked short of pace, has lost possession far too often and, in his frustration, gives away needless fouls.”
    Back to his best form, then, eh?

  24. Away for a few days so I am expecting you lot to do the business in my absence.
    Three points please and no excuses.

  25. Tuncay playing on friday? Hmmmm……well we shall see but i would be very suprised if he did.I think this is just an attempt to boost ticket sales…

  26. A plea to Southgate on the eve of a new season. Remember the fans go the game to be entertained, not to watch the dross you and your team of coaches have served up, disguised as football, over the past three years.
    Also, I’ve paid my Sky fees and I expect to be entertained on Friday night. Look at the home crowds in the Championship after the first two weeks and see where the Boro sit. Behind the likes of Forrest, Leicester, Derby, Newcastle, West Brom, Bristol and probably others. Reason and one reason alone, Southgate’s total lack of management ability. When he’s gone Gibbo, they will return.

  27. Please can anyone help. I want a picture for my screen setting of my all time hero Mark Burke but can’t find a single picture of him in a Boro shirt on the internet – it’s like he’s been erased Stalinesque from (Boro) history.
    **AV writes: I’m out of the office for a few days but when I get back I’ll see what I can do.

  28. Tuncay ? Is that supposed to cheer me up ? It’s emabarrassing how highly he’s rated at the Boro by fans and ‘management’.
    Another example of someone who really doesn’t know how lucky he is to be getting highly paid to play for a great club with a marvelous crowd and wonderful facilities. A club where he is still liked even though he he scored about 5 goals in 40 games.
    He promises a lot but delivers ‘neischmans’. Very energetic, never seen a player who tries harder but by no means a good footballer. His touch is amateurish – he puts in the effort to ‘get there’ but his final pass or shot is inevitably sub-standard. Anyone who has to play alongside him has my sympathy. Mido & King scored as many or possibly more – wouldn’t you be mortified by that if you had any pride at all ?
    If Stuttgart offer £9 million throw in Aliadaire and Stockton as well there all Mackems anyway !
    3 Good reasons to keep faith with Gareth ?
    1. He’s only had three years !!
    2. We could get in his Alan Carr in his place
    3. Martin Oneill would have changed everything !!
    If Anthony MacMahon or any of his family of friends read this blog tell him to go to a team where he’ll be appreciated. Put in a transfer request son – get the hell out of the Boro. Youll play for England if you get the right manager.

  29. Looking at the squad and recent pre-season results, the major flaws in the creative midfield and goal scoring areas persist. Maybe with the addition of Lethal Leroy we might have a player with pace and eye for goal at least at this level.
    The main concern I have is the delays/confusion of those in the departure lounge going on deep into the last few hours of the deadline. Prospective buyers can leave Tuncay/Huth/Alves/O’Neil/Wheater/Poatetz/Arca/Mendieta/Wigham in the Boro Bargain Bucket whilst they try other targets.
    The longer this goes on the vultures will think they can claim them cheaper, as we need to offload to reduce the wage bill. This state of affairs is not SG’s or GS’s fault, but the fault of buffoons at Fifa. If there has to be a window can’t it shut before the season starts?
    With a late fire sale, will there be adequate time to bring in replacements, even with GS’s list of targets? Probably not.
    Going into a season not knowing who will be in the squad come September is a major worry. And it is this scenario that I see derailing any bid for promotion.
    Prediction: 10th (this prediction is based on an estimation of player retention/sales, may go up as well as down)
    Promo: West Brom + Ipswich (9th placed last year, often means promo next season), Forest, via the play offs.
    Parmo: Sheff. Wed. Sometimes looks good, often disappoints giving poor long runs away from home!
    Most heard comment form opposition fans on leaving the ground
    ‘Can see why they got relegated last year

..Newcastle got beat again’

  30. The thought of Tuncay playing is great – if he is committed. We don’t want (and I wouldn’t really expect) a half-hearted performance from him. It is typical that some people’s only response to this is ‘ticket ploy from the club’. Honestly, you couldn’t make up some people’s paranoia.
    John P – why are you so obsessed with Smith’s role – he’s helping out Gareth a couple of days a week on the training ground – it’s no big deal, I certainly can’t see it as anything to worry about.

  31. I see the sick notes are flying in thick and fast for the start of the new season!Tuncay looked far from impressed to be in the picture for the team for this season on Tyne Tees last night……
    Alves on his way to the back of beyond league obviously for a massive loss to boro…Mido back to were he started….do these guys actually think they are going to get spotted in these leagues or have they just bailed out for the money?
    Seems to me they should have worked hard at boro if they don’t get an offer from a high league club in any country ….and then wait for January when they would surely get snapped up for a decent price.Just shows how desperate they are to get away from Southgate!!

  32. Where is AV?? Have you gone part time or something? The articles are pretty rare these days.
    **AV writes: I’ve been away for a few days in an area where the laptop seems to be struggling. I was going to write something before I left but there was a cracking debate going on so I decided to let it bubble away. If that’s OK with you.

  33. Boro fans are used to hard work, and they have a right to expect just that from the team and everybody else concerned with the club. But there’s one thing that we should all realise, whatever our opinions are, the most important thing is success for Middlesbrough football club. That is what we all want.
    When a sportsman wants success, he has to work hard for it. But he also needs the support of everybody that shares that aim. The fans have to become the 12th man and get behind the team. The players have to earn that support with hard work on the pitch.
    Now is the time for a new beginning at Boro. We have to take this relegation as a chance to reform and build a new successful era. This is a season where our young players can flourish and develop there talents. We can use this season as a base on which to build a brighter future. But we can only achieve this if everybody is pulling in the right direction.
    So get down to the Riverside tomorrow. Get behind the team. Gareth Southgate is our manager and deserves our support, whatever our opinions of him are. Now is the time. Your club needs you. Believe me, you won’t reget it.

  34. I hope I’m wrong however…1-0 after 23 minutes; equaliser in last 15 from a set piece with defenders rooted to the spot while their smallest player ghosts in and heads it home…1-1 final result

  35. ‘Remember the fans go the game to be entertained’
    I thought they went to support their team (unlike you, who’ll be watching it on the tv).

  36. What as Southgate,got against Chris Riggott? He’s not on team photo. For me,he is our best defensive centre back. How bad was our defending on free kicks last season? Remember 2 seasons ago he came back from Stoke and bailed GS out in the last few games to keep us up. From what some people have said Southgate is upsetting alot of the squad with some of his man management skills.
    **AV writes: Riggs is out injured. There’s nothing sinister about his exclusion. It is not a picture of the Politburo at a Red Square parade.

  37. Hi AV
    Re: Boro4eva comment on Boro FC tab – PR staff at the club.
    I have read on the BBC footy website match preview against Sheff U that this …is the Teessiders’ 100th season of league football.
    A Centenary Year?
    Any events or celebrations going down or are the BBC wrong?!
    I’ve tried to work this one out but I only have a grade 6 CSE in Maths and didn’t bother turning up for me History exam!

  38. Why on earth would anyone want a picture of Mark Burke?
    His horrendous miss at Sheffield Wednesday in the last match of the 1988-89 season – truly the most catastrophic howler – was the second worst I have ever seen by a Boro player. We lost that match 1-0 and got relegated.
    No wonder the airbrushers have been at work!

  39. May I remind us all that we’re supposed to be fans, a shortened form of “fanatics”.
    In a strict sense, this means we are supposed to follow the club with an “uncritical zeal” — or blind faith if you like.
    Now I am not calling for blind faith, but the negativity and pessimism on this blog sometimes gets overwhelming.
    Like many, I thought Southgate should have gone sooner, and I was surprised when he survived relegation, but he has. Gibbo, for whatever reason, is persisting with Southgate, and as fans we should too.
    I was as disappointed as anyone with relegation, but I hope we perform well and go straight back up. It’s not a given — this is a tough league that boasts many former premiership teams and many wannabees, but any problems that we have are shared by other teams. Check out their boards / blogs for some perspective.
    Let’s wait and see what the new season brings…who knows, Southgate may finally have learned some lessons.
    Up the Boro!!

  40. AV, hope you get your computer working and see the match today!
    By the way, is our away shirt all white like GS (and the rest of support team) was wearing in the team photo? Some grey stripes there, too.
    Who will be our captain? Taylor??
    1-0 to Boro. A Johnson scores at 33 min.
    Up the Boro!

  41. Thanks for the web address John.
    To James – what about his devastating run against Newcastle to put a goal on a plate for Slaven? His integral role in the demolition job away to Coventry? His torturing of Aston Villa at home?
    Steven Gerrard missed an absolute sitter which cost England a place at the Euros. It can happen to the best.
    The last thing I want to do on here is criticise Bruce Rioch but if Burke had been played more he would have lit the world alight with his silky skills. And then to be sold for £20,000 by Todd was ridiculous.Cooper was offloaded for a smallish fee too which is just more proof of the confusion at the club at that time.
    Either that or I have lost my ability to judge objectively through a haze of nostalgia. I’m going misty eyed just typing this.

  42. AV: You may have gone away and left with a cracking debate ongoing, but it appears that the blog needs your authorisation for posts to be published. So the thing stopped in its tracks for days. End of debate!
    **AV writes: Given some of the things that have been written of late I can’t really switch on auto-publish and then disappear. M’learned friends may be waiting for me on my return. Anyway, home now, problem solved.

  43. AV:
    So Trinity-Mirror squad depth is a bit like Boro’s? Nobody with any experience to step into the breach when the main man’s crocked, suspended, has tonsillitis or needs a hernia operation!! OK, m’learned friend, here’s something to get your anti-litigious teeth into

    Just as it appears that the Gazette are thinly staffed, it would also appear to be a sign of “The Times”!…….. It’s so bad that even poor old Rupert’s media empire is feeling the pinch too and he’s threatening us all with paying for stories his hacks choose to generate, I see?! Talk about a license to print money!!
    [Real stories are a bit thin on the ground today guys, so, how about, “Jordan to join Boro”:
    A rumoured Boro transfer target, thought to have at one time close to the ex-“glamour” model-cum-celebrity wife-cum successful but otherwise talentless self-publicist who’s only attribute other than her inflated ego is an artificial, surgically-enhanced, pneumatic or hydraulic, oversized chest, said, “I’m sick as a parrot, know what I mean? I really fot Boro woz cummin’ in fo’ me and up comes Jordan applyin’ for the job jus’ coz they need somebody really big up front! S’not fair I tell ya! Suffink should be done abaat it!”
    A statement from a club source suggested that the club might possibly be attracted if the Price was right!
    But that’s what they said about Afonso Alves, was it not? Superficially impressive statistics but no genuine class?]
    And Rupert’s big idea is that we’d pay for this online? Well, there’s a novel idea Rupert! But isn’t that exactly the sort of thing your hacks have been doing for years in your newspapers, anyway?
    Well, I suppose you have a point. If people are daft and sad enough to buy it!
    (Isn’t it about time you were at the Riverside? Time to see how sharp the Blades are!)
    **AV writes: Who could step in for me when I was away. It isn’t just pressing buttons you know. There is sarcasm, contrariness and thinking too much as well.
    Micro-pricing for web-only content is an interesting discussion but one for another time.

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