SO STOCKTON-born tackle machine Lee Cattermole has joined his local team… they’ll love him there as the take no prisoners midfield terminator has already knacked two Geordies (including Barton) and Didier Digard while playing for Mrs Doubtfire at the JJB.
But the move will rankle with Boro fans. Pick a stick, any stick: doubled in value in just 12 months since leaving Boro… no sell on clause… another academy graduate joins the dias-boro in order to get a regular game… can’t manage headstrong players… powder-puff Boro have been crying out for a midfield ball winner and enforcer all year… he was never replaced… he was a player who showed pride and passion in the shirt when some who stayed appear not to give a monkey’s … he’s joined the Mackems… in the Prem.
There is no use in crying over split milk. He has acknowledged he had to move away from the area in order to sharpen his focus, lose some of his baggage and reach his potential. He wasn’t making progress at Boro and needed a new challenge and I’m sure he has no regrets. It is often the way. But it still rubs salt in the wounds.
And more salt was added as Tuncay crawled off his sickbed, shrugged off the debilitating ravages of tonsilitis and scored for Turkey in their 3-0 win in Ukraine.
The injury jinxed fans’ favourite has variously suffered a series of tweaks, strains and niggles in pre-season. Presumably he is now fit to play at Swansea, despite the potential risk of an injury that would scupper a lucrative move and much needed injection of cash.
What price a freak accident with the baggage carousel at Teesside Airport?
Meanwhile, Alves is still being touted around Europe by his door-to-door agent with Benfica, the Qatari works side and “a big continental side” all sniffing around and interested if the figures can be made to add up… ie, depending on how much of a hit Boro are ready to take on the ÃÂ£12.7m outlay and how much of his wages they will pay.
Elsewhere Boro’s new kit is out, and it’s all blue. Azure actually. Very nice. It really brings out the deep hues of the red/orange/yellow/white boots. The Football League failed to comment on the fashion implications but have said it doesn’t clash with Scunthorpe and we can wear red there so it will make it’s debut against Forest.
But as a light-hearted diversion, here is an out of this world captain competition courtesy of Teesside’s favourite fence climbing Morrisey lookalike Bernie Slaven. It was my turn to do the ‘Bernie’s Bolt column… he doesn’t write it, we phone him, take it down phonetically then run it through Glaswegian-English translation software before publication.
In a discussion of where Boro’s problems were he ranted at me about the absence of an Archie Stephens style battering ram up front and said: “I know it, you know it, the punters know it, Gareth knows it… look Vic, if an alien flew in frae ooter space to the Riverside and watched that on Friday night he’d know we need abig man up front even if he’d no seen a game of fitba before.”
Anyway, by chance we actually had a picture of Gareth Southgate with an alien. So what do you think they are saying?
My suggestion is:
Gareth: “Have you got refuelling issues?”
Alien: “No, I’m just waiting for the whistle. There’s no way I can take off with all those high balls.”
**Listen up. I took my multi-platform branding bid for total Teesside media domination onto the wireless and, along with Paul Fraser of the Northern Echo, ranted about borrassic Boro bleak big picture, boo-boys baiting the boss, the ‘Transporter blue’ new kit and points raised by angry caller Keith from Whitby on the BBC Radio Brownlee’s journalists’ panel last night. You can listen again here if you can be bothered.
**Listen up II: Boro fanzine founder turned country and Northern crooner Gillandi gets out his geetar to hail our hero Big David Wheater….