Battling Boro Reffed Up By Fiesty Foxes

BATTLING Boro clawed from behind for the third time in four games to grab a deserved draw that left the crowd buzzing like we’d won: smells like team spirit.
And it was a really robust rumble too. A real scrap against a fiesty Foxes side that set out to rough up a makeshift Boro side. Right from the off Yakubu threw his weight about with a couple of steam-rollering tackles on Tony Mcmahon and Seb Hines before being faced down by Andrew Davies who went toe-to-toe with him for over an hour, grappling and shouting and snarling and flying into tackles. It was a real war of attrition.

There were eight yellows – seven of them for Leicester – and a red too. And that was with a weak referee. There could easily have been more with a more draconian official. Andy Haines of Tyne and Wear – Swindon fans have launched a facebook campaign to ensure he never refs them again – had a mare.
He started badly and had peaked too early. He sprinkled wrong decisions in his wake for the full 90 and both managers had reason to complain. Leicester’s second should have been ruled out two-fold, firstly as in a devious move Davies was deliberately obstructed as he ran to attack the header to the back stick and then at Kamara blocked off keeper Paul Smith as he tried to claw away the ball dropping at the far post.
Leicester had their complaints too. The penalty was harsh. a shot into a crowd box clipped Bruma as he tried to turn away and it was given as handball. We’d be screaming about an injustice if it was against us. And there were a string of either/ors that were given Boro’s way. McMahon was lucky not to be spotted having a sly dig at an attacker in a crowded box, Davies rattled the Yak a few times and got away with it.
Leicester fans were certainly more impassioned in their roasting of the ref and chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing.” That said, Leicester were taking a lend of him; when the Yak was booked he refused to go to the ref who eventually had to sheepishly trudge over to him; they took it in turns to foul and protest; when Kamara was subbed, to waste time he strolled over to the ref to shake his hand… and the naive man in black accepted the gesture and reciprocated.
But in the heat of battle Boro didn’t wilt. They stood up to the physicality and fought back from behind. At 3-1 down it looked like game over – and in the dark days of Strachan it could easily have led to an implosion – but this new look Boro are made of sterner stuff. There is a real belief there now and after Rhys Williams sparked the revival with a goal that combined class and composure with sheer determination it was Leicester who started to shrink and stutter as Boro turned the heat up.
Zemmama hit the post, Arca missed the penalty – it was poor, a hesitant run up and struck at a “nice” height for the keeper – then Emnes rattled the upright too. Boro got the ball quickly forward and insistant and forced jittery Leicester into mistakes and the pressure finally told as Stephen McManus sent home a bullet header. How often has the boot been on the other foot this season? Another box ticked.
A few other observations:
The inevitability drive was in overload as Yakubu not only scored but grabbed a “hat-trick” (there was some dispute over the second but Sven hinted afterwards that Yak had put the evil eye on Sol Bamba and made it quite clear he was claiming it.) That said, plenty of we shrewd punters had put a slice of the Danny Graham dividend on Yak as first scorer at 11/2. Result.
Boro had only one player in the starting line-up from the reverse fixture, Boro’s first away game back in August. That was Scott McDonald, although McManus was on the bench. Leicester had only three of the same starters: Weale, Wellens and Oakley. And it was all change in the dug-outs too with both sides having complete new staff.
Julio Arca was skipper… the seventh player to wear the armband this term. and he has had a sensible haircut too, a functional number one. Sheared.


41 thoughts on “Battling Boro Reffed Up By Fiesty Foxes

  1. A makeshift midfield with possibly the best goal this season from Williams who flicked it up and volleyed in from 20 yards – a peach!
    Agree the second goal should not have stood and it was nice to see McMahon and Zmmammmman fighting over who should take the free kick.
    Julio please no more penalty kicks give them to someone who can blast them.
    Good atmosphere. Come on Boro fans this team are fighters and need your support at the ground not from the armchair.
    Hope we do not let too many of our young players go at the end of the season as we can build on these last few performances.

  2. It is with great regret that I have to announce my retirement from International Live Blogging. I can no longer justify faffing about trying to get online to a service, that if it were British Rail, it would probably be quoting the wrong leaves on the connection.
    However this means I can concentrate on my main Untypical Boro career.
    Last minute equaliser eh!! That goal probably sealed our survival this season.

  3. 3-3 feels like a win. I thought we’d lost 3-2! Reevelinho junior’s team won the second leg of their cup semi 2-1 – through to the final. Excellent weekend!!!!!!!

  4. A few comments:
    (1). Richie Smallwood is from now on to be known as the Dormo Dynamo. Excellent display and a lovely ball through for Emnes to score. (Emnes had a couple of really good chances within a couple of minutes in the second half but the least said about them the better).
    (2). Keeper might have to bear some responsibilty for their second goal but he had a couple of great save, too, which kept us in the game.
    (3). If Rhys Williams’ goal had been scored by Fabregas or Rooney, it would be replayed ad nauseam on the TV. Of course we will not see it again.
    (4). Loved to see Davies give it back to the Yak. It looks poor when the BigBoy scores a hat-trick but it was better to see someone physical there rather than Grounds. G will have other days to come.
    (5). What an exciting game and HOW GOOD did that feel when Mac’s header powered home to get the draw?
    (6). A good afternoon’s entertainment. Worth the money.

  5. What an excellent result. That’s eight points from the last four games that I expected to yield four points. The gap is still nine points and there’s one less game to play. I expect the gap to be whittled down by the end of the season, but importantly I think there will still be a gap. My guess is we’ll beat the drop by five or six points.
    There’s no doubt we are a Tony Mowbray style team now. In the last nine games we’ve had a 3-4, 3-2, 2-5 and now a 3-3. Just like many of the scores he achieved when he was at West Brom. It’s going to be an exciting and goal littered ride for the next few years.

  6. I managed to listen to Radio Brownlee and Radio Foxes in my attempt to add comments from the othre side to the ‘live’ blog.
    The Foxes commentators were oddly quite balanced thinking even at 3-1 and 3-2 that the foxes threatened when they had the ball but were equally as dangerous at the other end.
    Like everyone, bar the ref’s mother, the view was that Mr Haines had a shocker. Ali and Gary joked that he took his earpiece off at the end of match because he was going to hear the assessor telling him ‘your fired’.
    The Foxes lads were perplexed by his performance to say the least. The main commentator had a few chortles over the plight of Forest and Derby. He put out an appeal to return the wheels that had come off the Forest promotion bus somewhere up the M1.
    I am a QPR fan for the day as nearly every game has some meaning in this division. On that note can someone go and fing out what Phil Orange has put in the tea at Preston?
    Another point as we inch up the table. Still sweaty bum territory as we scour the fixtures for the next point.

  7. A strike force of Premiership stars plus several other Prem Loaness sprinkled through the Foxes side gave them a huge advantage on paper but there was one thing missing, a vital ingredient that Boro and their supporters had in abundance, Belief!
    Even at 3-1 down you could see that Boro were not finished, wounded maybe but like Rocky they were going to come back for more. There was a collective defiance on the pitch and on the terraces, this Boro side were not going to go down without a fight. Stricken’s side would have been dead and buried at 1-3 but Mogga’s men are made of sterner stuff.
    The whole afternoon had lots of talking points from how we can have Crockliffed two key midfield players when we had two weeks off through to how the bloke in black managed to ref the game minus the rear end of his pantomime horse.
    Sublime free kick from Zemmama kissing the paint work, brilliant strike from Rhys, two unbelievable wonder saves from Smith, a “Typical Boro” hat trick from the Yak, bookings galore, sending off, farcical refereeing, and a deserved Boro equaliser in the dying seconds.
    The fans stayed behind again and sang and cheered long after the final whistle, how times are changing.
    For the last few seasons I have left the Riverside feeling short changed, conned even. For the last few games I have now left the ground feeling just a bit guilty that perhaps I should send a cheque in for the true value of what I had just been treated to.
    To those waiting for the bandwagon shame on you. Get behind them now, they and Mogga are doing their bit, its about time the missing thousands started showing their Teesside Steel and joined the Battle.

  8. We had both Robson and Bailey missing from midfield and still survived. Says a lot about the team spirit to come back from 1-3 down. And after 90+ minutes.
    Great to be a Boro fan for once. As I said earlier I love Mogga. Up the Boro!

  9. Fergie raved on about how Man U are just such a great team for coming from behind and winning at a canter. The Boro for my money are miles better cause we don’t do it just the once but can do it many times over. That’s the Tees Steel I mentioned earlier, it’s back again and it looks like its here to stay.
    The root cause of this phenomena? TM of course. Its in his blood and bones and now he’s managed to get the message to the lads on the pitch. You don’t give in- you don’t give up, outstanding!
    We may not go up this season but my crystal ball tells me that even with minimum monies being spent this coming summer, the game is on (forgive the pun) for next season where we’ll see TM’s lads shaking up this league big style.
    As for the remainder of this season I can see only big positives. I also reckon that if TM gets his way we’ll see some pretty adroit footy being played as well. UTB

  10. Totally agree, Redcar Bob, with all that you say. It’s so important to spread the word that there is a narrative to follow here!

  11. Stupendous, just like watching a battling Boro from the halcyon days.
    Well done TM, with a depleted squad and no money, you are doing a sterling job.
    Two words: Team Spirit! Lets see more of it.

  12. A riveting 90 minutes with a fantastic conclusion. A really gutsy effort from a makeshift team. I dont wish to sound churlish by then launching into criticism but exactly what is Taylor meant to be bringing to the team after another “invisible” 65 minutes.
    The main point I wish to make is with regard to the loan system.Leicester started with 5 outfield loan players[all from the Premier League] and one of them was replaced by a loanee from Benfica.Surely this ridiculously lax system needs curtailing and restricting otherwise it will make a mockery of the competition.
    It’s not too difficult to envisage a situation where a team made up of 50% Premier League loans supplemented by some overseas loans can get a club promoted and then all the players are returned to their parent clubs.That would be an outrage.

  13. Forever Dormo
    “(6). A good afternoon’s entertainment. Worth the money.”
    I agree entirely. Despite it being Championship football. If you’d said that at half time though, I’d have disagreed with you. Boro’s start was slow and tentative. I comments to my mate that we were allowing Leicester to settle too much on the ball and that they were playing a “Mowbray” passing game and that they were slicing Boro open. Then they scored!
    Then their guy did an Arca and lost the ball in midfield while they were committed upfield and Smallwood combined neatly with Emnes. 1-1! Boro were only starting to find their feet then, but weren’t being allowed to settle on the ball. Leicester were “old heads” by comparison with our “lads”.
    It showed and Leicester went a scruffy 2-1 up after a “typical” messy scramble in Boro’s goalmouth. At times Boro were crap. Bad mistakes. unforced errors, poor decisions, indecision creating possession vacuums and failure to take personal responsibility, unawareness of colleague positioning, panicking at times, too cavalier and casual at others! (That said, Leicester had their share of mistakes too! – Well, it IS the Championship after all) It really was typical Boro – frustrating as hell. Because in between those moments, there was some decent fluent and entertaining stuff.
    At the close, however, I wondered why I’d enjoyed it, because my predominant emotion was frustration. Frustration because the goals Leicester got were scruffy and speculative. Because they were all scored by Yakubu. Because Leicester were cynically professional in how they went about the whole match, especially time-wasting when they went two ahead. Because Arca allowed himself to be psyched-out of the penalty he missed. Because the referee was a balloon. Because we hit the woodwork twice. Because we had to come from two behind to get even one point, when we could just as easily have won it!
    But hell, it was exciting and the assault on the Leicester goal in the last fifteen was a bit like Steaua all over again. The crowd loved it. THAT was worth paying money for. It’s a pity more didn’t see it. But, while its a fast track down, it’s a slow road back. If they can do that every home match, word will get around and people will be tempted back. But the three points ought to have been ours! Grrrr!

  14. Bob, it may have been an excellent match with tremendous entertainment, atmosphere and a dynamic and thrilling performance by our favourite team – but the result is only mediocre: A draw at home to an out of form team with three goals conceded.
    I think the euphoria of being two goals down and clawing our way in the fourth minute of injury time is clouding people’s judgement. Had the position been reversed, with us yet again letting in a goal at the death and surrendering two points, I’d be able to hear wailing and gnashing of teeth from down here in London. (Though possibly they’d be my wails and gnashes and I’d be receiving funny looks from my work colleagues.) (Nothing new there.)
    So yes, it demonstrates great character and resilience from the team, it’s part of an upward curve and long may it continue, it’s a great narrative, a welcome point (there are no unwelcome ones are there?) but not a great result. A great result would have been thumping them by five or six. After all, we’ve done it before..
    Cheering to know Dava had another good game, he is the new Big Al isn’t he..?

  15. After two weeks of boredom linked to the joke that is the national team I was looking forward to this match and in truth I was not disappointed. All the soccer cliches could be applied to this game and no doubt AV’s alliterative style of writing has been given full rein.
    Leicester were similar to QPR and out fought us in the physical battle. Call me old fashioned, but I do not like our central defenders being roughed up by the opposing forwards and Davies and Hines struggled in this respect.
    Not sure about Davies he seems to have developed into a ‘seat-in the-pants’ defender, making clearances wildly and without forethought. There is an element of panic to his game, whereas I can see improvement in Hines, despite the odd lapse.
    Bailey and Robson were missed for different reasons, Bailey would have tracked Kamara’s runs and Robson ‘s aggression in midfield was missing and he would have elbowed Arca out of the way to take the penalty.
    As for the referee, Mr Haines whose surname although spelt differently, reminded me of a great comedian on television years ago callled Arthur Haynes whose favourite catchprhase was ‘going through muck and bullets’. Well, referee Haines certainly went through muck and bullets yesterday ,all self inflicted, because of his own weakness and incompetence.
    His problems started when, having booked Yakubu, then tried to make Yakubu walk towards him, Yak stood his ground and the ref conceded respect and authority by walking towards Yakubu.It was downhill from there.
    After the cracking finale and stumbling out of the stadium into the sunshine, who should I see but Keith Lamb,trying to get into his car but appearing not to have any keys with him. A quick getaway perhaps, with all these rumours of impending administration becoming too much? Or is that it, just rumours?

  16. Denis –
    Davies has always been a wholehearted player but does have a bit of a hit and miss approach.
    It was the same when he came to Derby, heroics mixed with lapses marked his stay at the Rams.

  17. Would obviously have liked a win but this was a draw dragged from the jaws of defeat.
    Its been a very long time since one of our managers has recieved so many plaudits for being 18th in the Championship. Not even McClaren got close for his achievements.
    But lets face it TM deserves all the credit he gets. He has taught the team (not his) how to fight and to believe in themselves he has done this with no money and an excess of injury problems plus having to part with players he would rather have kept.
    But one of his biggest achievements is he has got the fans that are attending believing again and that is going to be the most important because the believing fans are by word of mouth going to get the others back.
    Hang on for the ride lots of goals for and against and total honesty from the man in charge is going to bring us back from the brink.

  18. Now we need no charity from 13 points clear Warnock to The Blades this evening and then not to lose at Bramall Lane next Saturday.
    After last Saturday, I’d settle for a drab 0-0 now – with apologies to the 2,500 who’ll be going from the Boro.
    My thoughts on the Leicester game and some about the shape of things for next Saturday are on Boro Banter, so I won’t repeat them here.
    Just hope that whatever was ailing Robbo and – particularly – Nicky Bailey in the holding role doesn’t keep them out of The Blades game too.

  19. As I am going to see the next home match of Boro I would like to ask for an analysis of our midfielders. I haven’t seen Boro live this season as I live abroad.
    We often have Tayls, Arca, Robbo and Bailey in there but as they are all left footers I am confused how we play. Also TM likes to play differently depending on the opponent.
    Also last weekend we had Rhys and Smallwood in midfield. Were are they at their best (of course Rhys is excellent anywhere!)? All opinions welcomed.
    Looking forward to seeing Boro live soon. Up the Boro!

  20. Spartak –
    I have this same belief, that TM can take this spirit of 2011 through to 2012.
    A lot of people say, “There’s no money”, but then let’s look at Norwich! Not much big money spent there, just a tidy footballing side with a bit of grit and determination and a lot of teamwork. Also a habit of winning or fighting hard to avoid losing.
    This is why it is important to keep the support going this season. One of the lowest crowds of the season but Big Mick still attested to the importance of our support on Saturday.
    We will lose a few players in the off-season, but I am not sure that we will lose many of the most important ones at the moment: ie. Paul Smith, Tony Mc, Joe B, Rhys W, Richie S, Nicky B, Matty B, Seb H, Merouane Z and Kevin T (I hope); we can expect to have Jason S, Luke W, Bruno P, Atkinson, Wyke and other reinforcements from the youth set-up.
    If TM is allowed to test his claim that he can buy better players than the big earners with less money, then he may well offload Lita, McDonald, Flood, McManus, Boyd, Digard, Haas and Arca and bring new lads into a team that already has a real belief that something important is going on here.
    It will be less likely, I am sure, that even relatively high-profile players will be bought this time around if they do not have a bit of hunger and professionalism about them. I don’t think Mogga would let that happen, and he wouldn’t stand for being messed about in the way that mercenaries such as Mido, Boksic and Emerson messed us about.
    So the games that follow are not dead-rubbers really. I am glad that Jarkko may well see something worth looking at too.
    A propos of which, someone needs to break cover and suggest a beano time and place. Over to you, AV?

  21. Well I for one am going on Saturday and I absolutely will not settle for a 0-0 draw. It should be a cracker and hopefully as entertaining as Saturday.
    The result might have been mediocre, but I think what made it better was that it doesn’t really matter if we win at the moment as we aren’t going anywhere.
    Denying Leicester the three points was just as satisfying as a win following their disgraceful 2nd half antics.
    It would have been a miracle had Arca scored the pen following the build up, but justice prevailed with McManus’ superb header. Haven’t celebrated a goal so much in ages.
    Smallwood was excellent 1st half, he actually reminded me of Cattermole a bit, the way he gets the ball and trys to spray it around. He got a bit too ambitious at times, but very promising and a great assist.

  22. Mowbray was presented with selection problems during the week as Barry Robson picked up a hamstring problem and fellow midfielder Nicky Bailey tweaked his groin in training on Friday.
    Any news when these two are back?
    Up the Boro!
    **AV writes: They could both be back for Saturday.

  23. Yak’s thoughts:
    Yakubu also revealed he used insider knowledge to help recalled City keeper Chris Weale make a second-half penalty save from Julio Arca.
    “I know where he (Arca) was going to put it,” said Yakubu.
    “I was a team-mate for almost three years and, when he takes a penalty, he wants the keeper to move and pass it inside so I told him that and he took my advice.
    “It was disappointing to do that to my old team, but that’s football and we have to stick together and support each other.”
    Yakubu, however, admitted Boro’s late equaliser took some of the shine off his personal achievements.
    City led 3-1 but were finally pegged back four minutes into stoppage time after having centre-back Jeffrey Bruma sent-off with Yakubu among five other City players cautioned in a feisty contest.
    “It was disappointing not to get the three points as we played well against a good team,” he said. “I don’t want to criticise the referee but there were more bookings than normal.
    “We needed a victory and that would have put us right up there but the other results went our way. The home game against Burnley on Saturday is a must-win.”
    Yakubu faced more taunts on his latest return to the Riverside by a home following still angry by his shock departure to Everton in 2007 after scoring 25 goals in 79 appearances for the Teesiders.
    He had been booed on his return to Boro with his new club in 2008 and, upset by taunts about his weight, responded by accusing Boro of lacking ambition.
    He said: “I always seem to get a lot of stick from the fans when I come to this place.
    “They wanted me to be here but in football you have to move forward and I did.
    “I had a good time here and they are all good people here. They played some good football and made it very difficult for us. It is normal.
    “Some of the fans love you, some don’t like you but that is our job and we are used to it.”

  24. Can you name the two players to have scored champions league hat-tricks (v Man U and Olympiacos) to have played and scored at the Riverside in the Chimpship in the last two years?
    Clue: anagrams of their names:
    Lunacy Saint
    Iguana Be Buy Key I
    Having spoken to Smog Jnr at length during the night he insists that the 1 slice of chocolate toast signified the number of points and the three Jam = the goals the Boro would score.

  25. There is always someone tempting fate….
    ‘and it is hard to see how a transformed team showing this kind of resolve can get dragged back into danger.’
    Careless talk and all that. I wonder who penned those words?
    Some of us are keeping quiet about prospects as the points accrue beng thankful they are coming. We may say things are looking up, safety looks likely but we dont venture opinions that will anger the ghost of Rockcliffe or some vengeful deity.
    Desist forthwith and you know who you are. Uncle Eric’s cardie ill suits you.
    **AV writes: What doyle wrote that? Remember though, some people don’t hav ethe option of holding their own counsel and are called upon to make some sort of public assessment after games. And it is true. We’re safe now.

  26. Shush, I know that, and you know that, but silence is golden.
    The Blades are losing 2-0 at QPR but they have won a couple of matches recently, Preston are starting to win. Luckily Scunny are falling apart.
    By the way is that a Mrs Doyle from Father Ted, if it is can I have the part of Father Jack. Drink!!
    Make that QPR 3 Blades 0 but no tempting fate.

  27. John Powls [at 8.18 this morning] said:
    “Now we need no charity from 13 points clear Warnock to The Blades this evening and then not to lose at Bramall Lane next Saturday.”
    With QPR thrashing the Blades by 3-0 this evening (a brace by my namesake, Wayne! 😉 ), John, the first part of your prayer has now been answered. Fingers firmly crossed now that the second part is fulfilled on Saturday afternoon…

  28. It would be a spectacular fall to go down from this position but it is still possible. Perhaps it would be better to let the rotund Prima Donna exercise her vocal chords first.
    Still… 40/1!!

  29. Its funny how transfers for some players are an absolute dissaster. We’ve had them recently with the Boyds McDonalds etc.
    I watched a guy tonight, Ched Evans ,who looked like a fish out of water. A couple of seasons ago at Man City, he to me had all the qualitys of a young Kevin Davies.
    Could he be someone Mogga could get on the cheap and bring out what I think is there underneath?

  30. Ah, it’s good to feel safe. Remember that feeling do you, when you were in your mother’s arms bleating for some milk?

  31. If we play badly and get a point per match we’ll end up at around 53 points – that’s bottom of the Recent Form “table”.
    If Sheff Utd will start to play 2.5 points per game (top of Recent Form table) they will reach 52 or 53 points. And they have horrible goal difference, too.
    Ian, I am not saying anything but just speculating. A win will do for me next Saturday though. And after that I will be attending the next four matches and shouting Boro to win a few games.
    Up the Boro!

  32. London-based Boro fan –
    I forgot to add – now that one set of hoops have done the biz we also need the other, Reading, to bring Preston’s recent dead cat bounce to a shuddering halt tonight!
    How good it was to see The Blades play exactly like a Micky Adams team with Dave Bassett as consultant – perma-losing thud and blunder! The perfect combination to keep them bottom three.
    Their defence move like Young Frankenstein’s monster dancing. Our pace and movement up front and out wide with Bennett and McMahon overlapping will trouble them – but we’ll need to be ready for the physical battle in the middle of the park again – and the hulking forwards.
    Wonder if Mogga’s thinking of 3-5-2 with Big Mick and Dava or Seb Hines either side of Rhys Williams (assuming he doesn’t have to cover for injuries in midfield) with a tight three in the middle of the engine room – Arca, Bailey and Robbo with the wing backs either side and McDonald and Emnes up front.
    Worth a thought.

  33. From the Willamette to the Cape we know the Boro are staying up!
    The moment Moga came home we knew we were safe; Typical Boro Chicken runners may have felt it safer to say otherwise, but the Inevitability drive was already beginning to fire up. The journey is not over, the bubble will burst and it may be a close thing but we are safe.
    Next year is all about US, the supporters, for the first time in a long time collectively we will decide our own destiny.
    If the Season Card remain unsold and the attendances stay below 15K then we will do well to survive intact – yet if we follow Mogga the Messiah and we can drag in 15K before start and get 20k per game we may yet see ourselves heading back towards the promised land.

  34. And with fit-again skipper Matthew Bates also keen to be involved at Bramall Lane, Mowbray should find himself picking from one of the strongest squads available to him all season in four days time.
    Whether Robson is also involved in that game remains to be seen, as the Scotland international is nursing a hamstring injury.
    It would be great if we finish the season strongly. That will give hope to the next season. Up the Boro!
    PS. How is Boyd doing on loan?

  35. The problem with being safe is that it leaves little to talk about! Just as well we have two games a week for most of the rest of the season.
    I’ve just put in my bid for Olympic tickets, anyone else tempted to have a punt?

  36. Relegation?!? Pah! We can still make the play offs! Come on Boro!!!
    (I’d settle for 16th place to be honest, that would be an excellent reward for the Moggalution).

  37. I thought I’d while away the hours at work trying to compile the A-Z of Boro’s 2010/11 season. So Far I have got:
    A, Adebola
    I’ve given up
    I have also noted the Championship wage bill has risen by 171%, which is quite staggering seeing that Newcastle are no longer in the division. I wonder who’s paying those fat juicy salaries? I hope they are getting their monies worth.

  38. Nige
    It will be even worse in the summer as we enter the desert of a tournament free year.
    At least with a World Cup or European Championship we can slag off the England team.
    If we stay up, as it looks like we will, there may well be a boost for the feel good factor and hence for ticket sales in the summer.

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