Jammy Boro Get Lucky Break

SPAWNY AS! Jammy Boro were battered for long spells but scored twice on the break when under the cosh. Get in. A stonewall penalty is turned down, a ball comes back of the post hits the keeper and bounces wide then the best player on the pitch spoons a last gasp clearance to the feet of an unmarked Boro player six yards out from an open goal.
You have got to feel for Preston. That was as big an injustice as you will see this season but hey, we were due one.

They carved Boro open at times – especially down the left where both Bennett and Pogi had mares – and McManus and Wheater in the first half and that pair again plus Williams in the second made brilliant high-risk tackles in the box as Preston players prepared to shoot and twice Brad Jones made superb saves from Wallace.
In the first half Wallace, Chaplow and Brown ran riot. It seemed inevitable they would score against the mandatory disjointed Boro side (it was the turn of O’Neil, Arca and McDonald to be out injured) playing like strangers. Even Robson’s timing was off in the first half although his deliveries were still Boro’s most potent weapon. But somehow Boro kept them out – then scored in a rare first half foray forward when Killen headed in off the bar from a Robson free kick.
After the break Boro were brighter but it was still scrappy, spasmodic and shapeless. Long balls forward failed to stick with the effective Miller – cruelly dubbed Plankinho by press box wags – and came straight back. Preston continued to dominate and at one point they had 60% of the possession on the Sky Sports stats.
But again Boro somehow survived a stonewall penalty call – the ref had his whistle in his mouth and was running towards the spot before suddenly veering away – the Wallace volley against the post and a series of balls into the box before breaking out to seal it when Lita’s effort screwed off the keeper and was helped on to Jonathan Franks to poke home his first goal at the Riverside.
Some side issues…. rip up those betting slips… Sean St Ledger not only failed to score but he was, well, a bit rubbish. One looping header straight into Jones’ arms early on and a familiar cavalier run forward leaving gaps in his wake and after that he disappeared….. the player reported a blistering half time roasting that made their eyes water…. Bennett has missed a golden chance to stake a claim…. Miller isn’t anywhere near as good as Killen but he does have a two year contract…. at times in the opening spell it felt like and end of season dead rubber played before a meagre and bored crowd… Brad Jones wasn’t booed and he was chuffed to bits… the ref – Steve Tanner – was the one who gave the costly penalty at Hull for a non-foul by Wheater on Geovanni outside the box and helped Boro to relegation… Boro are still hanging on in there in the play-off scrum but with a six point gap still to make up it still is very much in the realms of theoretical mathematics.
It will take bucketfuls of lucky to help make up that gap.

39 thoughts on “Jammy Boro Get Lucky Break

  1. Strangely enough I think that the last play off position is there for the taking.
    Cardiff have a tough run in and Swansea will implode. Their most recent defeat 5-1 to Blackpool will expose them for what they are which is a team that can’t score and will now start to concede.
    The big problem is Boro’s inability to win games against easy teams. It all comes down to how we can do against West Brom and leicester.
    Keep the faith

  2. Finally we get a break. Well done lads. I did the BBC predictor and with us winning all of our remaining games (including the Preston win) we still finish 7th.

  3. What has happened to Bennett AV? I saw him early in the season against Reading and thought he was one of our best players and looked ever so comfortable at left back. I think he’s got all the ability to go far, but I do wonder about the rumours I hear around his attitude – overconfident? What does Strachan think? Is Bennett not hard working enough for him?
    Just interested because ability wise I think he’s a very good player. Having said that, I’d have said Andrew Taylor was a cracking player 2 or so years ago. He seems to have gone backwards and wouldn’t get anywhere near my team!
    **AV writes: Strachan demands work-rate, ball retention and concentration. There’s a few who don’t tick all those boxes who need to get their head around the new team ethic quickly if they are to survive and flourish under this regime.

  4. Pete from Halifax,
    Good man, keeping me updated last night in the House of Lords. Phone was in silent mode, but I kept having a sneaky look in my jacket pocket between courses. There was a guy from Billingham on the same table, who was beside himself when I said were winning.
    Just goes to show where in the world Boro fans find themselves. Read your report A.V. and it sounds like it was a nerve rendering, finger nail biting affair. Hope we can take this new found luck to Watford and do it again. Come on Boro.

  5. I haven’t done the predictor for a good while as I dont want to give myself false hope!
    The seventh place predicted by a few posters would seem to me to be a relatively satisfactory place to finish considering where we were and how we were playing two or three months ago but a major disapointment from the beginning of the season when a top six finish was a ‘minimum’ requirement.
    That said I do see reasons for optimism, Strachan seems to be able to identify good quality determined players, which bodes well for the future.

  6. John –
    re Taylor. A couple of posts ago I mentioned a conversation I had with fan next to me at the QPR game. We wondered if he benefitted from having Downing in front of him.
    Downing always attracted two markers which would give space. He is also quick and whilst not a John Terry in the tackle would always track back and help out.
    When Taylor runs he doesnt look like an athlete in the same way as Hoyte, he has also had some bad injuries. When he plays he may be a little exposed at the moment. For all his work rate Arca is not the quickest and he is also likely to to do a twirl and lose the ball leaving his full back exposed.
    Just a thought.
    Interesting thoughts from AV about the work rate and commitment demanded by Strachan. I must admit you hear the same theme from many different sources.
    A few thoughts on last night. A win but it appears to be too little too late, our frailties against what are classed as the ‘better’ teams in the division reflect our true position. We went down because we were not as good as the better teams promoted from the Championship and will finish outside the play offs for the same reason.
    The quality of the division is shown by the fact we won with such a disfunctional team – if it was a court case it would be adjourned whilst reports were sought.
    The current squad will have a better season next time round if they have a good pre season, keep together those we want and some judicious buying done. That also presupposes we dont have another fire sale.
    Mrs O’Neil may be happy we havent interfered with the holiday plans.

  7. No mention that the team selection was bewildering and to be frank absolute Cabbage, with the bench looking stronger than what started on the pitch. The first half performance reflected the team selection entirely and it was only once this was changed that we started to play with any semblance of ability or cohesion.

  8. Ey up has our luck turned? Not exactly in off the backside but a great way to split the optimists and pessimists and at least give us a few days of maybes eh?
    I have to comment on the main editorial section, Keith Lamb is so removed from any form of reality that featuring him means the biggest effect on the Gazette is a loss of advertising space!
    Someone please give the man a sword and a lesson in gravity, I wonder if he has any idea or interest in what most people think of him? Talk about reflected glory and teflon coated rhino hide!

  9. Chief scout Powls was mentioned on the live blog last night in regards to Wallace. And I think another Powls tip was Nicky Maynard at Bristol City. He’s scoring goals for fun at the moment. I really think John should be given a job by the club.
    The result last night was good but the squad looks painfully thin. We all know the reasons why. But it is this lack of depth and constant enforced changes that have scuppered our play off push. We will struggle to field teams for another seven league fixtures let alone another three on top of that.
    7th would be a good result from where we found ourselves in January.
    As for the results last night, the 5-1 win for Blackpool stood out. That was an amazing result if you look at Swansea’s defensive record. Last season with about four games to go Preston beat Cardiff 6-0. Cardiff were then pipped to the last play of place by Preston on Goal difference.
    What chance Blackpool sneak in at Swansea’s expense on goal difference? The GD of the teams in the top six may well be the difference.

  10. AV …. If the Barcodes had your luck they’d be promoted already … there again, maybe they have and they are.
    See we did you another favour last night putting the mighty Doncaster Rovers to the sword… don’t expect any thanks tho! (it was a tad embarrassing seeing them above the Boro you have to admit!)
    So… how do you want the Mags to fare against Blackpool and Sheff U? Would you like further assistance in your quest or rather a couple of stuffings for the glorious champions elect?
    … answers on the back of a Paxo label
    PS Reading still the dark horses

  11. Brad Jones was excellent again last night, shot stopping, handling and kicking all top class. Keep it up Brad and come on Boro!

  12. Smog
    Chief scout Powls also suggested Bennett in midfield and he had a mare!
    I agree about the squad being fairly thin. The situation is not helped by the fact players that come in in January are generally not match fit. Nor does it help if you have injuries and suspensions to contend with.
    The most disruptive suspension was when Lita was sent off as it left us without a main line striker (dont count Bent as one of those, Kitson was injured).
    Scott McDonald being striken by a hamstring injury is another blow, lets just hope Killen continues scoring and that O’Neil and Arca (yes even my little Argentinean Land Crab) recover from the virus – unusual for a crustacean and a human to be susceptible to the same strain.
    At least this slow ending of our play off hopes isnt as bad as last seasons relegation. That was truly awful.

  13. “AV writes: Strachen demands work rate, ball retention and concentration.”
    I would have thought that these would be the minimum skills required to be a footballer, never mind even passing the ball to the same coloured shirt.
    It does make you think about what has gone on all this season, the things we can only speculate on behind the scene.
    Mr Strachan does at time bemuse me with his selections, but it will certainly be interesting come the close season when he has to try and get rid of the dead wood, get the best prices for those we cannot afford to keep or do not want to stay. Then make the right signings to make a team of players that can give a good account of themselves.
    It is certainly not going to be easy, despite what some may think, there will be alot of teams ( relegated and promoted ) as good as us, maybe better.
    For us this may be the last throw of the dice.

  14. There have been times when we have been unlucky so far this season. It is good to “win one against the head” every so often.
    Tastes sweet even if not deserved, and it is better than playing well but just not scoring, then going on to lose!

  15. I can not understand any Boro fan wanting this Strachan team to get promoted to the Premier League.
    If the impossible happened can you see this team lining up against the likes of Manchester United. Chelsea etc. This team has been built to survive in the Championship and will be an average performer in the Chamionship, maybe even making the play off;s each season.
    If we ever did get promoted back to the Premiership there would have to be a mass imput of Premiership players, which we do not have the money to buy. Why not enjoy the fruits of the Championship and be happy that we win some we lose some, and some seasons have the excitment of a Wembly play off situation?
    Our only hope of a Premiership place is a take over by some very rich Company or person who can afford the luxury of owning a football team without worrying about the overall annual loss of millions of pounds each year.Sorry to sound so negative, but that is how I see the future for the Boro.

  16. I always thought Strachen had an easy time at Celtic. His laid back and usually funny interviews after another win. Okay they didn’t do much in Europe but that divide in class and the money needed has at times been too much for the English teams. Don’t those Celtic supporters wish he was there now.
    I reckon he’ll be the toast of Teesside next season when we win the Championship.
    Right now who really thinks this team is good enough even for the play offs. But at long last we are seeing the spirit needed, the right stuff.
    Boro don’t need a mega influx of Premiership players they do need more strength in depth more of the like of Robson and co. January brought the start of the re-build, finnishing 7th or 8th after that not too bad all things considered.
    I was one of many who thought St. Ledgar would bag one on Tuesday. Another of GS’s buys who turned out to be a fly weight compared to the bargain of McManus. Just how much of a fly weight was Digard for this league, he’s never missed a start since going back home. Robson on the other hand has shown his mettle.

  17. Tony Mowbray in deep deep trouble now at Celtic….lucky if he lasts the week..
    which goes to prove wee gordon was not so bad after all. Take note you Strachan dislikers/Gareth likers

  18. Good result against the odds.
    Would be intresting to know what the Cardiff situation realy is. But if the FA is involved and Boro are 7th dont expect any favours from them. We all know in what high esteem the FA hold the Boro.
    Hope for another victory at Watford.
    **AV writes: Put down the paranoia. The FA is not involved in the Cardiff situation.
    Cardiff are in hands of far higher authorities. They were given a 56 days stay of execution on a winding up order over debts to the taxman are are not due back in court until May 6, when the season is over. In the interim they must raise almost £2m or opt for administration to tackle their debts. If they go for the latter then they will be dealt with under Football League rules.

  19. Scott McDonald tries too hard and that is not a healthy habit for a goal scorer.
    The injuries he’s experienced seem to have been caused by pushing himself too hard in an attempt to ‘help the cause’. A rare sight for a Boro import. When he regains fitness he needs to be gradually reintroduced. He can’t be trusted to make the decision on whether he is fit – he cares too much and his desire to help clouds his judgement.
    Jones had a good game which was lovely to see but it was always clear he has the physical prowess, bravery and athleticism to make a goalkeeper (unlike Schwarzer). I am not completely convinced about his judgement or his ability to handle the ‘simple things’ in goalkeeping.
    Maybe the torrid time he’s had recently has toughened him up and the reward from Strachan has boosted his confidence and made him relax ? I hope so. Being wrong about a player can be quite thrilling.
    It’s strange I don’t normally like to win luckily. I am slightly embarrassed about our Cup win (Arsenal U18′ in semis & Bolton in the final !) but I really enjoyed robbing Preston. I’m slightly ashamed of myself because I prefer the best team to win win even if it isn’t the Boro.
    Come on Gordon a win at Watford will sow the seeds of doubt in Swansea/Cardfiff/Leicester. The tension will ‘stiffen’ their play, they will freeze when teams show resistance and they will try to bully their way through …….
    How’s my blue eyed, bobby dazzling Tony McMahon doing ? I worry.

  20. Cardiff 1-1 Sheff Utd was a good result (again) for Boro. There is still a slight possibility for play-offs. Though SuperMac’s injury doesn’t help!
    But we need a win at Watford – in fact we need to win nearly all of the matches left. But GS2, SuperMac & Robbo did that at Celtic one year. They won the last 7 matches in row to clinch the title only on the last day!
    But we need luck like on Tuesday. Up the Boro!

  21. strange comment scoredraw “I’m slightly ashamed of myself because I prefer the best team to win win even if it isn’t the Boro”
    I could not give a toss if boro were outplayed for 89 mins then scored a last minute winner..as long as boro win..who gives a damm about the other team..
    no wonder we have fickle supporters with an attidude like yours scoredraw

  22. AV said: “Cardiff are in hands of far higher authorities. They were given a 56 days stay of execution on a winding up order over debts to the taxman are are not due back in court until May 6, when the season is over. In the interim they must raise almost £2m or opt for administration to tackle their debts. If they go for the latter then they will be dealt with under Football League rules.”
    Do they face the following two choices:
    1. Go into administration this season, get the points reduced now and not getting relegated this (or next season). They cannot afford to get promoted, can they?
    2. If they go into administration in May they need to start next year with minus 10 or 15 points. That could mean relegation again and more financial problems.
    **AV writes: They are currently in talks with an Asian businessman about a takeover. If that happens he will pay the taxbill and they are off the hook for now. If that falls through they are in big trouble and the talk in Wales is they will go into administration almost immediately.

  23. Interesting comments on here.
    ronmarg said “okay Strachan didn’t do much in Europe with Celtic”
    Actually I think you will find that he did a lot better than the hallowed Martin O’Neill. If I am not mistaken I think you will find that he got them to the Last 16 of the Champions league twice.
    gt said “for me O’Neil flatter to deceive”
    You know what I couldn’t agree more. I remember listening to the Coventry game early in the season with about 2 mins to go and we were 2-1 up and Ali and Gilly saying come on Boro don’t concede a free kick, concentrate. What does GON do, concedes an unneccesary free kick that they score from. Didn’t he recently make a suicide pass that the other team scored from.
    You know who is even worse than GON is our mate “one of us” Wheats. How many times this season have we dropped points due to an individual error, and how many times has it been Wheats.
    I am sure John Powls or Ian Gill would be able to recall the facts but I think Wheats alone has probably cost us 10+ points and GON probably 6 or 7.
    Don’t get me wrong I like GON and Wheats, but I don’t subscribe to the school of thought that says we must hang on to them as I think we have replacements in the wings for Wheats and I am sure Gordon could find a wee gem to work alongside Bazza in the middle.
    Answers on a postcard !

  24. After this weeks results, where those outside the top six have held or beaten the top six teams it really is getting tight up there.
    Looking at the upcoming fixtures the current play off four have to play each other and some other tough looking games. It would not surprise me if one of Leicester, Cardiff or Swansea missed out. Swansea’s Goal difference could be the key here.
    So if one of those three were to miss out, who would take advantage? I just can’t see it being the Boro, we would have to win 5 out of our last seven, including Leicester away on the last day. With our depleted squad I just can’t see it.
    Can anyone else muscle in? Well according to my go on the BBC predictor

..no. I have us finishing 7th a point behind Leicester after a 1-1 draw at the walkers
    5th Cardiff 72 points GD20
    6th Leicester 70points GD8
    7th Boro 69points GD15
    8th Sheff utd 68 Points GD6
    9th Blackpool 66 GD12
    10Reading 64 GD 0
    Another thoroughly fruitless experiment. One crumb of comfort my predictions are always calamitously wrong so that final table has no chance of coming to fruition.
    p.s. its alll well and good winning 7 out of the last 7 to get into the play offs, but then you have to win another three to actually win the play offs. Is this going to happen?
    p.p.s. I really don’t want us to prosper due to another clubs financial problems. It’s just not cricket.

  25. ‘Brave’heart –
    I’m not fickle. I love football and want the Boro to be the best team. I have enough emotional maturity to watch game and acknowledge, accept and and enjoy a good performance from the other team.
    If an opposing team has skilful players who perform well I can’t help but enjoy the performance and skill and feel a slight sense of unease if we the Boro fluke a win.
    For example I enjoyed the marvelous exhibitions of football given by Arsenal when they thumped us 6-1 at the Riverside. The Boro had a good team and just couldn’t live with them. I cheerfully applauded Arsenal off the pitch – pure football, lovely to watch. Similarly when Chelsea dismantled us 5-0 you had to admire their power and efficiency …..
    Surely with that attitude and the fact I still support the Boro suggests I’m anything but fickle ? If anything it’s a testament to my loyalty.
    I’m surprised that you can’t come close to understanding that point of view – its based on the principles of sport.

  26. I’ve allowed myself to look at the league table and start dreaming off the play-offs again, more fool me. Tuesday was ridiculous, I turned to our Dad after we scored and asked if it was the most undeserved lead ever. Certainly felt like it.
    But – we were definitely due a lucky break like that. Preston do what we usually do in away games, dominate for ages, miss chances, and then concede. Let’s try not to do that against Watford.

  27. **AV writes: “They (Cardiff)are currently in talks with an Asian businessman about a takeover.”
    What is the commitment of an Asian businessman? Has he ever been to Cardiff before? Who bother? Our local football team over here were taken over by a Chinese business man some years ago. They soon lost one match 8-1, someone won a fortune in betting in China, he never paid the salaries since the defeat and the club went out of existence, the manager to jail etc. I wrote about that a few weeks ago here.
    Cardiff must be in deep trouble already now if they look Asia. No, I don’t want them to go bust but that’s better than an foreign ‘investor’.

  28. AV disagree. FA will be involved when it comes to a points deduction and when it will happen, ie will they be allowed to play in play offs in admin or not. It took three weeks before the points were deducted from Pompey after they went into admin.
    **AV writes: It is a Football League matter, just as Portsmouth was a Premier League matter. Their respective rule books determine what will happen. The FA will have no say on these matters, it is not within their remit.

  29. While maybe feeling sorry for genuine Cardiff supporters as individuals, as a Boro supporter I’d be more than happy if we were to gain out of their [Cardiff’s] financial predicament. It would make a change for that kind of luck to fall in Boro’s favour.
    Remember, we lost out big time because of a points deduction once upon a time.
    Also remember, Boro are where they are now, mainly because SG has had to do the right (and very difficult) thing and get the financial house in order. It would would wrankle so much more if Cardiff, who haven’t got their financial house in order, were allowed to get promoted and then went into administration or went bust, thereby denying Boro (or another of the play off hopefuls) the opportunity.
    No, I would be more than happy for Boro to benefit in this way, but realistically I don’t expect that we will.

  30. The only reason it took Portsmouth three weeks to have their points deducted is because HMRC were challenging the appointment of an administrator. If Cardiff went into administration I’d expect them to be deducted points straight away and it’s unthinkable that if it happpened they would not be penalised this season.

  31. score draw –
    Thanks for your comments and I understand but we will have to agree to disagree!
    I am from the breed where I could not give one damm about the other team or its players as long as the team I am supporting wins… eg Bill Shankly /Alex Ferguson

  32. I find the whole Portsmouth scenario disgusting. No I dont want them to go bust, for the fans sake, but there is a reason they are in the position they are and its bad management. That they should be protected in the way they are is morally ambiguous at least and without getting paranoid you cant help thinking….
    Anyway, Brad Jones and indeed any other player back from the brink, if all our failures as players could spend some time benchwarming and come back improved it would point to one thing, that somewhere the coaching was right!
    We have a lot of players that need the attention of strong, quality coaching, I sometimes feel (and it may be a million miles away from the reality) that players seem to be left to their own devices.
    I would love to see the Gazette do some real investigative digging into the boro backroom, see the coaching, take soil samples and find out if thats the reason Rockliffe seems to cause injuries (maybe its the bunkers on the golf course).
    Do the players train too hard? Or not hard enough? Is the psychological side of the team really positive? It always wrankles me the negative loser type rhetoric that came out of both McClaren and Southgates mouths. Hopefully is a word that should be banned, utter it and you have already lost in my book.
    Boro has a huge amount going for itself even as it stands today, the smart money is that this is as good as it will be for the forseeable future, so like any good organisation, we need to make the best of our limitations and not use them as the excuse for failure.
    Instill that sort of fight in the organisation and “typical Boro” is something we can all be proud of instead of it being the get out for every apathetic Teesside excuse for redundancy/petrol prices/ broadband not working/the weather/ being “northern”/ Teesside Parks traffic/pasties making you fat*
    *delete where applicable
    Of course Lamby doesnt fit into this new regime, he is the driver/architect of all that is wrong. You know I am right

  33. Powmill –
    I see what you’re saying but how far do you take this? When Crystal Palace were deducted 10 points this season, is that fair, just because one creditor wouldn’t accept the terms the club were offering? They now could go down and have lost a very talented manager at this level.
    But I don’t believe that if other clubs are run badly it will have any negative effect on us. Cardiff spending beyond their means will come back and bite them. Administration is not a quick fix; the club could be crippled for years.
    Why don’t we petition the FA/Football League/ Adrian Durham to have our points reinstated? As Crystal Palace, pre administration and possibly Cardiff have taken 9 points off us, should these be returned to us?
    What if a relegated club has been beaten twice by Cardiff goes down by the virtue of having an inferior goal difference of one goal. Have they got the grounds to sue the Football league?
    It’s all a sorry mess. The only fair way to decide things is on the pitch.

  34. Hi Smogonthetyne.
    I really agree with you, that the place to decide these things in on the pitch. Maybe not to the extent Corinthian ideals might dictate, but yes, by the sporting achievement of your team.
    The reality is that there are many things that contribute to a club being able to achieve sporting success. One of these things is by having a big spending power. It’s been discussed at length in previous threads, that there have always clubs with more spending power than others.
    Now in the EPL, the TV money is a big part of that. I don’t want to kick off that old nutmeg again, but it is important in my argument that that is simply the way it is. Not really fair, but at least it is open to any club to get whatever spending power it can to help it achieve some sporting success.
    Of course, there are dangers in letting the extent to which wealth can be allowed to dominate the degree to which a club can achieve success. Over-stretching the financial commitments of a club could lead to it going insolvent. That is not in the interests of such a club, but nor is it in the interests of the collective of clubs in any one league or another.
    So, rules have been put in place such that any club that has to go into administration will suffer a very punitive point reduction. That punishment is the deterrent to stop clubs ever having to go into administration. The fact that some clubs end up in that predicament effectively means that they have broken the rules and gained an unfair advantage over other clubs that have not broken the rules (by over-extending themselves financially).
    MFC played by the rules and although the financial cut backs are not the whole story, they are a significant backdrop to the current state of the team. If another club breaks the rules (chasing Peter Risdale’s dream for example) then it is only right that they should be penalised.
    Better run financially they may well not have been able to afford the manager or players that have given them a good chance to reach the playoffs. So, if they go into administration, it would be right that they lose points and some other club that hasn’t broken a very important rule will be better off for it.
    With respect to the reallocation of points won or lost from playing such a team. That wouldn’t apply. It only really applies if the club totally folds. Then, I believe all of the results from any fixtures they would already have completed would be expunged.
    I think it is disgraceful that Portsmouth is being allowed to sell players out of the window. They should be allowed to wither and if necessary die. Out of the ashes a new Portsmouth would be born.
    You don’t have to look very far to see how a new club inherits the team of the previous club and goes on to have the most successful period in the long history of professional football by the banks of the Tees. As it is, Portsmouth is now being given an unfair advantage over its competitors in next year’s Championship.
    Do I wish administration for Cardiff? No I don’t. I don’t wish it for any football club. However, if they have to go into administration and lose some points, then I will be very happy that Boro may benefit, because if they go into administration it is because it is something that that club has effectively brought upon itself by gaining an unfair advantage through having an unsustainable finance.
    Risdale knows the risks only too well. So if Cardiff loses out, he should have seen it coming and acted accordingly at the appropriate time to avoid it. Steve Gibson did and I’m glad he did. I would hate to be a Portsmouth supporter today.
    The rules may not be perfect, but they are what we have in an attempt to make everyone play on a level surface. For me, that is how success is to be achieved and results decided on the pitch. Are the rules the right rules is an altogether different discussion.

  35. Hi Powmill and Neil~wily old Racoon –
    Good comments and well made both of you. I’m not that naïve that I don’t understand the current grip finances has on football and I don’t expect it to be played fairly in some sort of utopia.
    But I think we should be very careful when talking about other clubs living beyond our means. The like of Ravanelli, Juninho and the rest were not bought and paid for by Season Ticket sales or by Steve Gibson raiding his piggy bank. It was done by the club being able to secure extra finance by being in the premier league.
    If we want an example of clubs living beyond their means then that was surely us. The year we got to the Uefa cup Final the club lost £13m. That’s truly staggering, we must have been borrowing huge sums per season, but fortunately at the time credit was fairly cheap and available. Were we trading viably?
    I think the club should be applauded now for getting its house in order but other clubs who have borrowed and the debts are being called in maybe unfortunate at the timing.
    I remember the thought of us not having a club, and I hope most boro fans wouldn’t wish that on another set of supporters. It’s not the fans fault, why are we always punished?

  36. Hiya Neil,
    I don’t think you went off on a tangent at all. I couldn’t agree more with you about Gibson. He is Middlesbrough Football club. I love the boro, but had I had Gibbo’s wealth and position I don’t know if I would have supported the Boro as well as him.
    It really annoys me that he gets some stick on these and other sites. Without him there would no club let alone 10 years of unprecedented success.
    One Stevie Gibson, there’s only one Stevie Gibson.

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