Catts Black Mark For Boro, An Alien And Songs of Praise For Big David Wheater

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 £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….


31 thoughts on “Catts Black Mark For Boro, An Alien And Songs of Praise For Big David Wheater

  1. Southgate: ‘So Eric, your true identity revealed at last.’
    Eric Paylien: (Thinks)’Whew. At least he’s not sussed Vickers and Tallentire’

  2. The Tuncay situation is a bit of a joke – we surely can’t allow him not to play at the weekend.
    As much as I appreciate his efforts last season, he has to understand he is under contract, was part of the team that got relegated and simply can’t expect to put his feet up, collect his wages and get a cut-price deal to another club. We definitely have not been particularly clever getting rid of the Reluctant three, though I appreciate it was always going to be difficult.

  3. The Catts affair is symptomatic of the lack of an effective approach to players at the club. One of the most committed players at the club was allowed to lose his focus and that resulted in him being pushed out as an embarrassement to the club.
    The double whammies are endless – no clauses in his contract not to play against us: result Digard out for the rest of the season, no sell on clauses: result his value trebles the Boro get nowt. Well done.
    Moving on to Tuncay, surely if he wasn’t fit to play for his club Middlesbrough in case he has forgotten, the club could of put their foot down and refused to let him play for Turkey but we are in the ridiculous situation of having to shop window players but not play them but still pay them. Surely a manager with balls would of called Tuncays bluff and said you turn out for us and you can play for your country.
    Personally I feel these antics are counter productive. Would you Ron Manager sign a player who picks and chooses his games? The Alves situation highlights all of the above as he got up to similar tricks at his Dutch club and we wonder why no PL club fancied him.
    Finally GON we are informed needs a hernia, knowing people who have had hernias and the discomfort why on earth was he not given the operation this beggars belief. Nothing will change at the club till the wheels really come off such as another relegation or mid table mediocrity at xmas. Southgate out please asap.

  4. Gareth: What lessons have you brought from the stars?
    Alien: I have been sent to teach you how to carry the can.
    Alien: Take me to your leader
    Gareth: Sorry we don’t have any on the pitch at the moment.

  5. Gotta love those Tees delta blues…
    GS: “Ball… kick… goal…”
    Alien: “I can understand your Earth talk and have decoded the mechanics of your game”
    GS: “I was talking to them, not you”

  6. The Cattermole thing would have been a major problem for the powers (WE) that be, at the club two weeks ago however guess what Gareth got lucky for once, a player called Williams came out of the mist,and providing he is not ruined and given false promises,as many kids are, we might have found a good one.
    On first impression he looks a far better technically than Cats and not lets say over zealous. And before everyone starts saying he’s only played one game, he is a full international who will be at the world cup in SA next year, so lets move on, same team Gareth for Swansea (O’Neil for Digard only)

  7. “At least they think I’m an alien, not a cowboy !”
    “Thank God that wasn’t a cowboy, the fans wouldn’t be able to tell the difference”

  8. “Don’t bother warming up yet there’s nowhere to play you. I’ve got 5 centre halves, 3 fullbacks, the goalie and 2 wingers on !”
    “Can’t put you up front Al, we’re probably a bit short in defence, we’re three nil down so I’m might put you back there to shore things up but I’m not sure which winger to take off yet !”

  9. I enjoyed the homage to Big David Wheater but isn’t it tempting fate? Remember singing the praises of Mark Vidulka!!

  10. Caption: After Gibson announced he was planning to bring galacticos to the club, fans were less than convinced after Southgate unveiled his first signing.

  11. Gareth: “No I’m not kidding, let me explain zonal defence again, it’s not scary”
    Alien: “yer joking aren’t yer?”

  12. Gareth: “no doubt you’re used to a lack of atmosphere”
    AV, putting on your journo’s head, why do you think football clubs seem so reluctant to be honest with their fans? I can almost understand why they might not want to share financial realities (ie they don’t want to show their hand to the buying clubs when it comes to selling players), but surely club doctors can tell if somebody is genuinely ill or not.
    **AV writes: Good question… I think there are lot of complex historical, cultural and commercial pressures. I’ll have a think about it and maybe do a blog later.

  13. GS: “Alienfonso, sorry if you’re obviously still too green even for the Championship, but taking a collection for your ticket out of here is stretching it a bit far! And you can stop making those big sad eyes as well – it won’t work, you big baby!”

  14. AV,
    You mention that any move for Alves may be dependent to a degree on how much of his weekly wage packet Boro would be prepared to contribute.
    Can you put a figure on this and equally, is this a common football scenario at present? I recall Leeds paying a hefty chunk of Robbie Fowler’s wage after he left to join Man City, on the face of it, an absurd scenario.
    Presumbaly the reasoning is to spread the cash loss over a longer accounting period but the loss of face and its accompanying demoralisation for all connected with the selling club. i.e. “we’ve been done again” is huge.
    I know it’s another case of clubs being held to ransom by players’ contracts but it really does grate. And then some.
    Can you confirm too whther we are still paying some of Woodgate’s and Mido’s wages and if so how much? Are there any others and is any Tuncay deal expected to head this way?
    Bottom line – is this really a sensible and pragmatic way of operating? Rather than ‘cut’ our financial losses, wouldn’t we be better playing on with these players until their contracts cease.
    They will be more able, presumably, than many of their replacements and on-field success will bring more of a financial gain than will cutting our outgoings now.
    Then again, the more I write and think about this, the more it sickens me how many players just are happy to just rip off the club and fans, last year’s player of the season included. Maybe there’s method in the Boro’s madness after all…
    **AV writes: A chain of remore payments is commonplace in football. I believe Real Madrid were still paying a slice of Woodgates wages after he joined Boro full time and Leeds were paying a big chunk of Viduka’s wages in a very convoluted mechanism while he was here… that is one of the reasons it was so hard to bridge the gap in what he wanted as a pay rise when his deal here was up
    I have seen the reports but can not verify that Boro are paying a slice of Woodgate’s wages at Spurs. It would not surprise me, if not his wages then certainly deferred ‘loyalty bonuses’ and signing on fee in instalments.

  15. Caption: Despite simultaneously attempting a vulcan death grip and a ET phone-home gesture, Southgate failed to motivate Boro’s latest space academy graduate.

  16. Billy in Berks
    A couple of points.
    1. On financial matters the club has been blathering on about being penniless for some time. That is why we cant sell anybody, they are all waiting for the ‘reduced’ signs.
    2. They could be being economical with the truth over injuries. After many years observing our state of the art (arc?) sports science facility my favoured view is that they are just poor at diagnosis.
    AV, where have all my captions quotes gone?
    **AV writes: Maybe they have been teleported into space. They have not docked here.

  17. Gareth; ” Andrew, that outfit doesn’t disguise the fact your a terrible left back. You’ve been ripped off pal!”
    Gareth: ” Please don’t wave to block 17 pal or you’ll upset Aunty Sue, and i’ll have to spend the rest of me budget on stamps!”

  18. The new away kit is the colour of a powder puff. It matches our front line. [ hopefully Lita can get his career back on track.]
    Loved the David Wheater song AV.
    The whole Cattermole thing is a classic – typical boro.

  19. The new away kit does not look so bad today anymore. See another picture of it at Actually I looks good in this picture with Emnes.
    Gareth: “Oh, don’t come and throw your season card again at me!!”
    Alien: “Sorry you still have a supporter in universe. Just want to finish my Carling can with you, gaffer.”
    Sorry, I must be one of the few Boro supporter whose mother language is not English.
    **AV writes: Yerjokinarnyer?
    Up the Boro!

  20. Photo Caption
    GS: ” Kit off son…. warm up – your on ”
    Alien Boksic ” Righto Gaffer….OWWWWWWWWWW……… hamstring….”

  21. Gareth gives his last minute instructions before sending his chief scout out to search for hidden talent.
    Gareth to Alien:- “They told me I was rubbish at man-management, so I’m trying alien management instead.”
    ” Keep the mask on till you get in the changing room, Afonso, then the fans won’t realise I played you at left back.”
    “So it was you who cheered when we scored? Right my lad, we’ll soon stop that. You’re coming with me to see Keith Lamb.”

  22. Caption:
    Alien to GS
    Oi pal the next time that ball comes into my atmosphere im gonna put a knife in it. Honestly I though you had a big forward line with the amount of high balls passing me last friday.

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