Now That’s What I Call Repeats: My 2012 Clip Show Review

NOT MORE bloody repeats! Well everyone else is doing lazy schedule filling repeats, flash-backs and reviews of the year so I may as well join in.
Here’s my contractual obligation, calendar based compilation clip-show of soap-box scribblings, post-match impressions and alliteration heavy free-style jazz riffs. Nice. I’m sure there is something in there to engage you. Or enrage you. And don’t forget to read the comments. They’re usually the best bits.
Hope you have enjoyed reading the blog over the past 12 months. If you have joined the discussion and made comments on my posts over the year, thank you. Your knowledgeable, passionate and witty contributions are valued (and sometimes stolen, resprayed and back on the streets within hours). And if you don’t comment, why not? Come on, make it your mission to have your say from now on. We don’t bite.
I hope you all stay aboard for the looming promotion push.

January: Stand Up To Big Match Passion Killers – strident soap-boxing against the Sunderland safety committee, Boro’s tiny ticket allocation for the FA Cup clash and what it says about the beigification of football and a pernicious attitude to fans.
February: Untypical Boro Is Fantastic: Official – shameless solo trumpet blowing in celebration of the blog winning a prestigious gong. I owe it all to you, dear readers.
March: A Tunnel Vision View Of Reality – in which the Gazette gives away a free supporters’ telescope, designed to exaggerate your own one-eyed perspective and block out reality.
April: Boro Stung In Fitting Finale – the team fell just short at Watford, which was a cypher for the season. This is my end of term report.
May: Boro’s Dream Academy – on how Boro’s biggest summer success was ticking the boxes to get Elite grading in the new national set-up.
June: Big Game Sofa Squad Falls Short – England’s biggest Euro flop wasn’t the players, it was the pundits. Again.
July: Gael Force: Boro’s Tongue Twisting Culture Shock – Boro win trophy in televised Euro silverware showdown shocker… the surreal sonic landscape of watching McFootball on BBC Alba.
August: Bennett’s Exit: This Year’s Model – on how the shrewd business in flogging our fledgling full-back shows the new economic landscape Boro exist in, and how the model is working.
September: Crush! Ayresome’s Near Miss – as the shameful Hillsborough cover-up collapsed, a look back at how fans being treated as cattle was routine, and how close we came to tragedy on Teesside.
October: Boro Must Bite The Bullet On Tickets – a polemic on pricing, falling gates and the need for creative ticket initiatives that generated a massive reader/media clamour for change and prompted Boro to act. Read the comments. Some of them are fantastic.
November: A Right Racket In The Cheap Seats – and how the ticket offer paid off with the perfect PR of a bumper crowd, cracking atmosphere and thrilling win. Now to get those people on board the Mogganaut full time.
December: Leeds: Derby Daze And Retro Rivalry – it hardly seems flashing back to stuff from this month, especially from barely a week ago, but here’s some nostalgic retro-cultural naval gazing about our historic relationship with our cousins from the South.


26 thoughts on “Now That’s What I Call Repeats: My 2012 Clip Show Review

  1. A Happy New Year to all readers, contributors, Boro supporters, Boro Diaspora, supporters from abroad who may or may not have been released from the garden shed yet, Red Devils fans resting their weary bones on the coast near Darlington (YES – I DO know where Darlington is, give me some credit) lurkers lying in wait for a remark they might percieve as being aimed at THEIR club, and anyone else who doesn’t fall into any of the above categories.
    We look forward to a year of great promise, but we are aware there may be surprises and a few twists in store before the end of the season.
    So, whilst we nervously await those twists and surprises, no doubt there will be stream-of-consciousness posts to read on this blog. There may be philosophical ramblings, a number of references to various genres of music that might, for a brief period, have been fashionable over the past few decades (but few references to folk music), a dip into the history of our area and, of course, a good dose of Boronoia will be let loose over the interweb.
    One contributor to this Blog mentioned to me, as we walked between the Navi and Riverside on Saturday, that we are due a series of re-written film-scripts. None received for a while now – maybe we are about to see the entire works of Tolkien set out before us. Who could possibly play the recent role of Gollum? Or that particularly unpleasant Saruman? “Three points to save us all, and three points to damn us”.
    Whatever your preferences, have an enjoyable night (accepting that those in Australia will already have HAD their’s). And keep your fingers crossed for the rest of this campaign. (I know that Jarkko has been to Rockcliffe today and that we are down to four defenders for tomorrow. A good job that Rhys is back!!).
    See you all next Year.

  2. Congratulations to Vic for continuing a first class service to those of us with an affliction for all things Boro, a bit like care in the community for Boro addicts and saving the NHS a fortune on drugs to boot.
    It will be interesting to predict what the next 12 months will headline, perhaps in January we agree a deal with the Robins for Adomah with Mac going the opposite way permanently. then in March going out of the FA Cup 4-3 in a money spinning replay at Fergie’s place with Manure getting a hotly disputed winner in the 6th minute of Fergie time.
    Then come May Cardiff beat Hull 2-1 after trailing 1-0 for 80 minutes on the Final day of the Championship while Boro beat Wednesday 3-0 and nick the last automatic promotion spot on goal difference by a single goal.
    July and August see some prudent and sensible signings (a return for Wheats?) for the coming Premiership Season but also two Headline grabbing Gibbo specials!
    September and October see us bounce between 16th and 12th in a steady as she goes start to the Premiership Season.
    Xmas 2013 passes and 2014 enters with Vic reviewing a year which overseen the renaissance of Boro and Mogga getting the dreaded Manager of the Month award for December.
    Happy New Year!

  3. Dormo –
    I see Alan Shearer as the perfect Gollum.
    (Awaits howls of retributive anger and vitriol from a wee-club in the North-East …………)
    Cheers all, and a Happy New Year!

  4. Great blog AV mate. You are a class act bro, keep em coming in 2013.
    Boro’s away form seems to have disappeared into the deep blue yonder with yet another capitulation, this time at Derby, at least we played badly and were never in the game as opposed to dominating and then losing.
    The positive is that we are still within touching distance of the second automatic slot.

  5. Wow Dormo the river Skerne in Darlo had everything else in it ,now it’s tidal.
    I think a thing that back fired last year was the mini season ticket i think we lost all the games.
    All the best everyone.
    Oops howler at Derby oh well its January.

  6. Nigel –
    I think most of us think six points from four matches but that is no hardship. Shame we didnt get something from Leeds or Derby but hopefully we now have a chance to get some players back.
    This is no disrespect to Hastings but that is a game for fringe players or players needing a run out. The main event is the next league game.
    If we cant see off Hastings then there is something wrong with the squad. The game has to be approached full on with the same attitude and commitment you would expect to see against premier league side.
    The team we turn out will be profesional footballers and should show that on the day. Hastings will come and battle but we should be able to display a higher level of football skills. Our players should be be better. Once again this is not to disrespect Hastings.

  7. One of my best holidays ever. The weather was warm (by our standards), but very WET during my recent trip to see Boro play Blackpool and Derby.
    Well the former was a cracking game. We played very well but made some defending errors. But luckily (our season?) Steeley made that penalty save!
    The trip down to Derby was a very nice experience (except for the result – but we are Boro), too. Took a taxi down the Riverside to catch a fan coach and talked the whole way about Boro with the driver – a fan, too.
    Next I needed to ask where to find the Supporters’ Club coach. The first person I walked to was Josh – who I happened to know from the previous visits. So had a good chat with him while waiting for the coach.
    At Derby I and my wife had a nice lunch with CarltonP and his friends. So a cracking time again – and a few words about Boro, too. And special thanks for Pete to arrange all the tickets before hand!
    Then we needed to rush to see lenmasterman before the kick-off. He was there (not licking his hero’s boots near the statue) and we had a really nice chat with him also. Especially my wife was impressed as Len and my wife work in the same *business’ field. We definately must see again one day. Very facinating.
    OK, the match at Derby was not very good as you know. I think Rhys gifted one goal but he was not the only one to be blamed. I think Thomson was good as well as Halliday & Juke. But the rest were not up to their best.
    I met Tony Mowbray quickly on Monday. As he told we didn’t have many defenders fit – only four and he should have rested Woody, too. Tony told us that he needed to give squad numbers to two new players – and he did not even remember the name of the other one! So not easy for the manager at the moment to name a team.
    Two 21-year-old defenders were on the bench for the first time, Sunderland-born Paul Weldon, captain of the reserves last season, and Christian Burgess, signed in the summer from Birmingham University. The former’s name I learned after the match only.
    So we knew the line-up the day before (perhaps we did not know about Juke but knew Emnes was injured). What I great chap Tony is to talk to. And the club is wondeful and very friendly (especially if you come far enough!).
    But the best part of the trip and holiday was the fans and people who support Boro. So we are all Boro – not just the club. I am proud to be a fan of this club even I am not a smoggie by birth.
    Well I hope this will be our season. Quite frankly I hope so because I can see the PL matches three or four days a week over here.
    Up the Boro!
    **AV writes: Glad you enjoyed yourself and met up with quite a few our our merry bunch on here. Sorry I didn’t get to meet up. Next time maybe.

  8. Jarkko –
    If half of the South East are Manu and Liverpool fans I am sure we are happy to have you and your good wife as Smoggies.
    In the days of industry people assumed air quality was poor on Teesside. In a survey in 60-70’s it was found that our air quality was a a match for Blackpool.
    The reason was that the prevailing winds took our emissions to Scandinavia. That is a good enough link for me, you are Smoggies by implication.

  9. A great start to the Derby experience, with good clear roads, nice weather, and the opportunity to shake Jarkko, and his wife by the hand under the statue of Clough and Taylor, the statue having as much resonance for Boro fans as it does for the Rams, and as fitting a symbol as you could wish for of the common interests of the respective supporters.
    Jarkko turns out, unsurprisingly, to be as great a bloke in the flesh as he is on-line, and a mine of information on the current injury crisis, after his morning as guest of honour at Rockcliffe. He feels it is close enough to kick off to divulge his hitherto confidential information that Woody will play and that Burgess and Weldon (who?) will be on the bench.
    Jarkko also turns out to be about 6′ 4″, in great shape, and altogether looks as though he could easily slot in to central defence, should Burgess have pulled a muscle on the way down.
    And if Jarkko deserves some kind of medal, as the archetypal football supporter, a worthy symbol of all of those selfless supporters without whom the game would mean little, what about Mrs Jarkko? A charming lady, currently completing her Master’s degree, she is the essential supporter of arguably Boro’s greatest supporter. A great pleasure and privilege to have met them both.
    And then there was the match…

  10. Great to see Jarkko and Eija, as always so upbeat!
    He puts his finger on what is special about supporting our club! And it is wonderful how our people take the Finnish supporters club (well, half of them at least!) to their hearts!
    Glad we made his Xmas box a good one. Till next time, Jarkko and Eija and let us hope it is a better showing than we saw against Derby

  11. Ian –
    You choose to look at the last four games and see two defeats and only six points, I look at the last six games and see four wins and twelve points, which is promotion form. Or we could look at the last ten and see 15 points which is play off form. We have different perspectives.
    What I do know is that automatic promotion is still on.

  12. Not too despondent after what was a pretty comprehensive defeat. As at Blackpool, we were beaten by a team who played very well on a day when we looked jaded and in need of a break after the hectic Xmas schedule. When even Leadbitter seemed to be less than fully fit and was eventually substituted, you sensed that this was not going to be our day.
    Inside Pride Park young Nigel may be on the way to building a monument to his Dad as impressive as the one outside of the ground. This was certainly a Derby performance reminiscent of those produced by the team that Brian took out of the Second Division in ’68. A game based on quick accurate passing to feet, played with freshness and enthusiasm largely by young unknowns who would later emerge as household names.
    This was my first viewing of the 17 year- old wunderkind Will Hughes. I liked the way he paced his game. Playing too deep in the first half to offer much of a threat, he nevertheless passed neatly, and knitted together the build-ups from the back, never giving the ball away, and always looking threatening when he did move forward. In the second period, when others were tiring, he raised his game and was the hub around which much of Derby’s game revolved.
    It was a very controlled and mature performance, less concerned to catch the eye than to contribute efficiently to the team effort. No danger of premature burn-out here I would have thought. The kid looked as though he could play 60 games a season, so well did he husband his energies.
    I was even more impressed by the young Irish lad, Jeff Hendrick, of whom I had never even heard. I have never seen a young player whose style and physique reminded me so much of the great Duncan Edwards, a comparison that was sealed for me by a terrific drive from outside the box which beat the blameless Steele on his near post. As an imposing attacking mid-fielder with an eye for goal this boy should go straight into Mogga’s notebook as a possible hidden gem to be seriously considered should we get promoted.
    As at Blackpool we lost because we met a team who outplayed us on the day. Mogga was right then to say that he got his tactics right, but that we just did not perform. But here we looked tactically naive.
    Almost all of the danger in the first half came down the Derby right from the tricky Coutts and his overlapping full-back. Poor Halliday, who played well enough, was continually outnumbered. McDonald , playing out on the left, had an impossible task: to move inside and give support to Jutkiewitz, and pick up his lay-offs wherever possible. And to offer cover to Halliday whenever the Derby full-back came forward.
    Half a dozen times during the opening exchanges Boro were cut open on the right, twice,embarrassingly, from short corners. It called out for Smallwood, doing little by sitting in front of Parnaby, to be moved over. Or for Reach to switch wings. But by the time this happened we were two down, the first coming unsurprisingly after a trip by McDonald operating in defensive mode.
    For a time either side of the interval we played well and a goal then would have put us in with a chance, But Derby’s third after Jason’s fumble finished the game, though no one could be faulted for lack of effort.
    As to individual performances, Steele looked as though he might still be in recovery from his Xmas bug. His kicking, in particular, was unusually suspect. Bailey’s passing was off in early play, but what a yeoman display he put on when required to play as central defender and full back in a second- half back three. Battered and bruised, continually putting his body on the line and being unfairly booed whenever he touched the ball, Bails typified the spirit and grit we will need to get anywhere this season.
    I deplore the attempts to suggest that he is somehow peripheral to the Boro’s success, and to the club’s future. He would be first on my team sheet , particularly for difficult away games such as this one.
    Jutkiewitz played every bit as well as he did at Blackburn. Rhys Williams, one silly slip apart, looked fit , fresh and in command. Two beacons on a day when our passing and energy levels were seemingly affected by the grind of our previous Xmas fixtures.
    By the time our consolation goal went in I was on yet another East Midland memorial to one of our greatest sons, the A52, the road linking those old foes, Derby and Nottingham, The Brian Clough Way.

  13. Ah well, Len, there’s the rub: “and then there was the match”.
    I was just beginning to forget about the Derby match and now you have reminded me. The “Nightmare after Christmas”.
    I’ll have trouble sleeping tonight.
    And, Jarkko, it isn’t always this wet, at least in our part of the UK (which is one of the drier parts). It has just been confirmed by the Met Office – weather scientists – that the last 12 months has been the second wettest on record for the UK with 1330.7 mm of rain (approximately 52 inches, we’d say) which is only 6.6 mm short of the all-time record – using its measures which go back to 1914.
    There are older records according to The Guardian (3rd Septmeber 2007) including a set of rain/snowfall statistics that go back to 1766 (The England & Wales Preciptitation Series) and 1659 (the Central England Temperature Series, which recorded temperatures from the South Midands to Lancashire, and is the longest running record in he world). But the Met Office only officially recognises the figures from 1914 as they are more reliable, giving a picture of the UK as a whole.
    Right, that should have got the football out of my consciousness…. Doh !!

  14. Nigel –
    The festive period had four games so six from four is what it is. Another 20 games like that will see us in the play-offs. I am actually singing off the same hymn sheet as we are very well placed.
    We should have got something from the Leeds match and with the injuries we have the couple of home wins kept us in touch with the automatic places.
    Not a great return but we now have some breathing space. Mogga’s line up tomorrow will be a challenge. Assuming MFC info is accurate there are at least 13 in the treatment room.
    (AV alert – I am not having a go at Rockcliffe but is it a record?)
    Wrap them up in cotton wool for the next few days. Isnt Ben Gibson back from loan?
    AV – do your boots still fit?
    **AV writes: I’m probably a doubt with the dreaded lurgy but I’ll give it a shot.
    We have listed 15 first teamers not available for tomorrow in today’s paper. But I’m not sure it is a record. They claimed 23 sick notes for the Blackburn no show but that was padded out with ressies.
    We’ve had major injury crises before. I remember a spell under Robbo when we really struggled for a few weeks and the boss had to play and both Viv and Eric Paylor were on the bench. And another really bad run under McClaren when they had to cancel training because there were so few.
    And maybe 15 is spinning it a bit. Three of those (Carayol, Main and Arca) are long termers after surgery and Cameron Park is ill (and probably not even really a first teamer) so it is hard to count them as part of “a rash of injuries”.
    Even so 11 is a very big chunk of the first team squad to be out injured… although you wonder if it had been a big league game at the weekend how many of those would have been patched up and would have played.

  15. Ian –
    On Monday, I saw Ben Gibson at Rockcliffe. A part of the walking wounded team of ours (there was a herd of them at Rockcliffe). Ben was walking normally as were the rest (but McEachran was carrying a support that was removed yesterday, Ledesma was limping heavily with a knee injury). Ben has an abductor muscle problem near his hip.
    The best part of the injuries is that all the injured players should be back in or around two weeks. I think Main and Gibson could be out for the longest, but Arca, Carayol etc. should all be back soon.
    So the FA Cup match will be a tricky one but the Watford match could be OK except for defenders. I volyntered but Mogga said he can play there too. And he is a couple of years younger than I am, so I won’t fit in there even for free!
    Dormo –
    Yes, I read the papers, too. If it helps anyway, it was the same here. The second wettest year for a centenary. A terrible summer, too.
    But as this is a football forum, back to the Boro. I trust Mogga win field a patched-up team to defeat the Hastings team by 3-1. But only after being 0-1 down after 17 min. Up the Boro!

  16. The line up (so not injured players) for saturday might be :
    Halliday, Rhys W, Bailey, Parnaby
    Reach, Thomson, Zemamma , Smallwood
    Miller, Luke W
    Subs: Leutwiler, Haroun, Jutkiewicz (rested?), Paul Weldon, Christian Burgess + plus two kids (midfielders)
    Above are all our fit players except Connor Ripley. Could he play on the wing as per his dad?
    Up the Boro!

  17. Jarkko –
    I thought there might be a couple more of the youth/fringe players in the team against Hastings, to allow some bumps + bruises + twinges to settle down for next week,but we will see tomorrow.

  18. Pretty much Jarkko, though won’t Miller be cup tied? I’d have thought he would play Leutwiler ahead of Steele as well (did so in the early COC games), and surely Burgess would hope to start ahead of Bailey at centre-half.
    **AV writes: Miller is available we are told.
    Could easily play a very strong side, even with injuries:
    But yes, a very young bench.

  19. Lenmasterman speaks about the young talent at Derby,
    I wonder about Mogga. He seems to me to be a manager who doesn’t really give youth a chance (don’t mention the players who where already here when he joined,or the Chelsea loanee.)
    I’d like to know which young players at the clubs he’s managed he has given a debut to. A concern for me is if I’m a parent of a kid this would be one of my issues on whether my child signs for Boro.
    Why have them kids on the bench last game if there was not a chance you were putting them on. Wasn’t that a perfect opportunity to see if they had what it takes? You wont find out untill you see them in action,for some its like a duck to water. Others freeze.
    **AV writes: Had Boro been two up and comfortable rather than two down and under the cosh I think you may have seen Burgess at least come on. As it was, I think it was better not to damage their morale by throwing them into a lost cause.
    I don’t think it is fair – or logical – to rule out all the players already at the club and then say he doesn’t give you a chance. Who else is he supposed to work with?
    So far this season we have seen Park, Williams and Reach feature, Steel and Smallwood have broken through as regulars under Mogga and his signings include Juke, Carayol and Ledesma, all barely into their 20s. That’s not bad. It’s not lik ehe is signing up a Dads’ Army of grizzled old pros.
    When he was at Hibs he blooded a whole host of kids as he won plaudits with
    a very young team then at West Brom and bought a load of young players including ex-Boro lads James Morrison and Chris Brunt plus Graham Dorrans.
    I think his record on trusting youth stands up to scrutiny.

  20. Carltonp mentioned to me that somebody said Boro do the pre-match warm-up incorrectly. I cannot comment on this but we seem to have a lot of injuries at the moment.
    Here is a link to the story about Brendan Rogers and Liverpool. And how they handle injuries.
    Did we look at the our routinies carefully enough as Mogga said? Did we use an outside consult to analyze that?
    I hope it’s just bad luck but we should leave no stones unturned to get more out of our players. Luckilly most players should be back in two to three weeks, but still.
    Up the Boro!

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