Readers Poll: Woeful At Wednesday – But Was It The Worst?

A FUNEREAL retreat from the swansong shambles of Sheffield Wednesday was dominated by one question. Well two questions, but the other was “shall we stop at the Wetherby Whaler?” and that was very easily answered.
The painful post-mortem was dominated by the demand: has there been a WORSE display than THAT this season?



It is damning of the dismal display that initially there was a consensus that yes, of course it was, stupid. That spineless, shapeless surrender was rock bottom. How could it possibly be worse? It was as bad as it was possible to imagine.
But it is equally damning of the shrivelled season as a whole that as the emotional anaesthetic wore off with distance from the scene of the disaster, gradually a list of rival candidates for the tainted title started to emerge. And it is a long list.
Let’s be honest, there have been some real stinkers.
There have been pallid performances where a powerless Boro have been swept aside by a more organised and motivated side in good form and that has been painful – but that’s football. Sometimes a better team tonks you and you have to bite the bullet.
But there have been some woeful displays too this term where a mentally weak Boro have quickly crumbled under routine but persistent pressure from technically inferior side and that is far harder to swallow. Or to forgive.
Supporters can cope with losing, God knows we’ve had enough practise over the years, but it hurts when the team signally fail to offer any resistance to a lesser outfit that simply want it more.
And it is far worse when Boro fail to rise to the occasion, when they don’t respond to a big atmosphere and who fold under the pressure of expectation when a golden opportunity presents itself because not only is that a slap in the face for fans who do raise themselves for a big occasion but also it is a psychological fatal flaw that will prevent the club ever achieving success.
Anyway, let’s pick our way through the debris of the worst displays this season….
BLACKPOOL (a) September 18. L 4-1
A traumatic Blackpool rocking was the nadir of Boro’s Black September.
Boro had won three at home and lost away at Barnsley and Millwall. So far so average.
Then they were clinically dismantled at buoyant Blackpool as pundits anxiously checked Boro’s promotion credentials.
A shapeless side were ruthlessly carved open by the mechanical forward diagonal thrusts of Ian Holloway’s on-song side in a first half onslaught that was embarrassing. Boro knew what Blackpool would do but had no answer.
It was terrible. It was the first real milestone on what would be a nightmare season on the road – but it was forgiveable.
That orange crush came from a rampant side on song. Blackpool were rattling goals in a purple patch then with Holloway still at the helm. It was the wrong team at the wrong time and a Boro side still finding its feet were walloped. No excuses. No complaints.
And Boro bounced back with a run of just one defeat in 12 that took them to…
BIRMINGHAM (a) November 30 L 3-2
The first cracks had appeared in Boro’s promotion bandwagon. They had dominated but lost 1-0 at Cardiff and fumbled in the fog and lost 3-1 at home to lowly Bristol City in the “buy one” part of a ticket BOGOF.
Then somehow Boro contrived to lose 3-2 at Birmingham on TV after twice leading. And not just leading but bossing. On 45 minutes the crowd were booing the team and Lee Clark and it looked all over.
Then came three colossal cock-ups that cost the game after what had been as dominant a first half all season.
Bikey finally got caught out after riding his luck for weeks to concede a first half stoppage time spot kick, Jason Steele developed Brad Jones aerial flappy wrist syndrome for the second then Josh McEachran played a sloppy ball and got punished. By Marlon King, naturally.
Boro were in command but failed to make it count, then lost their rhythm, lost their composure and finally lost any semblance of a grip on the game against a limited and demoralised side suddenly galvanised by the gifts.
It was the sign of things to come. After that Boro won only one of 12 away games – and that was a close call at rock bottom Peterborough.
DERBY COUNTY (a) January 1 L 3-1
After two home wins on the bounce put them in an automatic spots, hungover Boro suffered a damaging New Years Day drubbing at Derby.
It was not the score but the passive acceptance of defeat by a more motivated side that hurt – and rang alarm bells.
Derby were nothing special. They were the archetypal Championship side. But they were fired up, well organised and ruthless in applying their plan to press Boro at high tempo and force mistakes.
Boro never came close to matching the pace and intensity of the Ram raid and lost all semblance of team shape and individuals started doing their own thing. To no avail. It was deeply worrying.
That game was the start of a run of five successive league defeats as a jittery January turned into fragile February
IPSWICH (a) February 2 L 4-0
Boro had just been edged out to play-of rivals Watford and a last gasp penalty miss cost them at Leicester – but they were still in the picture.
After a week when all the results had gone their way Ipswich offered a golden chance to regain momentum but they meekly surrendered. A brittle side folded without a fight in abject fashion.
They were torn apart by a demoralised Town that were in freefall, fourth bottom and had not won in six. One of the lowest scoring sides in the division easily put four goals past Boro – and they could have more but for a couple of good blocks by Steele.
They sat deep, left Boro to enjoy fruitless possession in the middle third and then hit on the break with devastating quick balls forward in text book Mick McCarthy fashion.
And it was frightening that a strong Boro defence could not cope with one of the weakest and predictable attacks in the Championship.
CRYSTAL PALACE (a) February 19 L 4-1
BORO were left tattered and torn as a deja vu Palace coup left hopes of an end of term coronation in the balance.
Tony Mowbray admitted after the game that, just like at Ipswich, an abject display had been littered with individual and collective errors. It was a scenario that had become frighteningly familiar.
And stinging too because the flop in the “play-off six-pointer” followed hot on the heels of a gritty, spirited scrap to beat Leeds that showed real steel.
At Palace, disorganised Boro were woeful at the back, over-run in a pedestrian midfield and toothless up front in a display lacking spirit. The template was set by then.
BRISTOL CITY (a) March 9 L 0-2
This was a far more damaging result than the scoreline suggest. The rot had set in.
Boro desperately needed to reignite a stuttering promotion push but spluttered and failed. They failed to grab what should have been a routine winnable game by the scruff of the neck. They failed to contain the Championship’s rock bottom side. They failed to compete, to battle, to threaten, to penetrate, to impose a pace or pattern. They failed. Individually and collectively. They failed to show the spirit and desire and ruthless will of a side battling for promotion.
It was a flat and flaccid display by a leaderless and demoralised team. It was very, very disappointing.
The local radio commentator, a Bristolian Brownlee with a touch of the pirate about his exclamations, felt moved to comment, with an note of surprise, on Boro having the demeanour and “the body language of a beaten team.” And that was in the first half.
PETERBOROUGH (h) April 2 0-0
IMPOTANT Boro struck a bum note as they found themselves in a cow/banjo situation.
Against basement battlers who had come for a point, Boro bossed possession and created a dozen good chances, three or four glorious ones… and one or two gilt-edged sitters – but the flaccid front-line failed to make a single one count.
It was woeful. Boro’s poorly calibrated players queued up to screw it wide, scoop it high over the bar, take airshots six yards out, fall over the ball and drill it well wide, high over or straight at the keeper.
Between them the shot-shy shambles blasted it from just about every distance, angle and velocity known to football physics and barely forced a save out of the Posh keeper.
It was a mis-firing masterclass of multi-marksman mediocrity. They should have all hung their heads in shame.
BRIGHTON (h) April 13 0-2
Boro’s frustrating defeat to Brighton could have been a cut and pasted from any of the familiar failures in the sorry slither from the summit.
Sickened spectators will know the script off by broken heart by now: blunt Boro boss possession and win the stats but fail to take their chances and then are punished by a more clinical and organised side.
But what made this so dismal was the context. It was the do-or-die moment, Boro’s last chance to keep their fate in their own hands. And they didn’t take it. They didn’t want it. They showed no hunger or urgency and did little to rattle the visitors at all.
Boro passed and probed and plodded and picked their way forward and back and sidewards in a repeat to fade low-tempo first half. Then got punished after the break. Oh. So. Predictable.
****
I’m sure there are more. Shout up if I’ve forgotten your favourite. Cast your vote here

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76 thoughts on “Readers Poll: Woeful At Wednesday – But Was It The Worst?

  1. Peterboroangel – I was going to respond to your post but lenmasterman has summed it up for me perfectly.

  2. Well commented Lenmasterman. Ferguson has always been a bully, and has encouraged his players to be the same on the pitch.
    Remember the penalty at Old Trafford, and the inexcusable tirade from Keane and others.
    Maggie AV, best not start on that one.
    **AV writes: I made no comment on Maggie. I was pointing to the shape, tone and narrative of the news coverage. On both occasions it was similar and in ways that point to a worrying (and largely unchallenged) declining standard of mainstream journalism. That is far more important than either of the events in question.

  3. It could be argued that Boro emulated Wigan quite closely this season – tried to play a possession based passing game but seldom produced an end product when it mattered and got caught out in defence all too often.
    And there spells the danger of trying to play a style of football on a budget without being able to afford the players who are able to carry it off week in week out. Swansea have been better but it might have been a different story if they hadn’t got lucky signing Michu for £2m – plus of course they’ve got some decent defenders.
    I hope project Teesside Tika-Taka has learned it’s limitations this year and Boro beef up their squad to be able to play a more pragmatic style of football better suited to two games per week and half the season on Championship winter pitches.
    As for Sir Alex, what exactly were people expecting from a man brought up in working-class Glasgow? OK he may not have always come across in the best light during the high stakes heat of the battle – but by all accounts was on the whole a pretty decent bloke and did more things right than wrong. Nearly all the people he knew and worked with both respected and admired him, which if you’re in the tough business of trying win trophies is not too bad a way to be remembered.
    It’s also a modern problem that people need to be unachievable all-round perfect people or somehow they’re flawed characters – something in the 24/7 media culture that is just not possible.
    Fergie was a man with a huge work ethic and a massive desire to win and tried to instill that into his players – a task he managed better than most. Perhaps if Mowbray had been able to instill his desire to win into his players then we would probably be looking forward to PL football next season.

  4. Get behind the Mogganaut? presently it wouldn’t pass it’s MOT…..
    Needs more polish, better performance and an engine room that can dominate football matches. Presently it is spluttering along with the chief engineer tinkering but not solving under performances.
    Trade in the answer…..
    **AV writes: I’ve got a rubbish car. It just scraped through its MOT last month. In an ideal world I’d like to get a new one but I can’t afford to for the foreseeable future because of other pressures on my finances so I’ve had some welding work done on the front suspension and got it booked in for a full service next week. I hope that improves things because I’m going to have to get another year out of it at least.
    It’s a Skoda by the way. (Insert your own joke here)

  5. I don’t think we should be highlighting Wigan as a model to admire. They’re about to be relegated, at which point they’ll hit the panic button and dump every player they can and repalce them with Championship players. I doubt they’ll be contenders next season, their moment of glory has been and gone.
    As for Martinez, if he was at Boro and we were about to be relegated would we be hailing him as a good manager? Don’t make me laugh.

  6. Nikeboro –
    I see your point. What I tried to say is that we can still reach the same level of success as Swanseas and Wigan have done this year. So a cup win and staying in the PL in the long run. As AV said the Boro are in a much better shape than Wigan financically (if and when they are back down Championship).
    So I feel waiting for another season already. Hugely dissappointed with end of last season, but we still have Rockcliffe Park, the golf club, a nice stadium, Steve Gibson etc. Still hope we have a good manager in Mogga – he took WBA up and had us up there half of last season. With much less money to spend than manager Nigel Pearson at Leicester City.
    Let’s wait untill we see what Mogga and Neil Bausor are able to do in the summer. And we have to wait another 10 games of the new season before we can say anything about next season. Up the Boro!

  7. Steele was Boro’s only ever-present in the league last season, playing all 46 games. He also played most of the matches last season and presented the GB in the Olympics.
    Aren’t we taking risks with this wondeful, young goalie? Where are his holidays every summer?
    Up the Boro!

  8. Peterboroangel – (I spelt your name correct!)
    I agree. Simply astonishing one sided biased viewpoint from lenmasterman .. and I’m certainly NOT a Man U fan! This kind of one sided view of life (let’s blame Fergie for every bad trait in football as we will Maggie for every political move by any government since) makes me wanna stop contributing to this otherwise balanced blog.
    Name me a Premiership team that hasn’t routinely delivered volleys of foul-mouthed abuse, crowding round officials every time a decision was given against them and I’m a chinaman. Please, let’s get back to Boro!
    Run a new topic AV, maybe just how Neil Bauser can justify saying we can compete against the parachute boys!
    **AV writes: I might get some time to write something tomorrow. We’ve got the Big Boro Survey results tomorrow. Some interesting numbers in there.

  9. Big Boro Survey Predictions:
    Heavy majority of fans very disappointed with the season.
    A lot of fans wondering if they will continue to go the games next season.
    Several players with a very high disapproval rating (many of them gone now including Ameobi, Dyer, Thompson, McManus & Miller) and others for whom supporters feel they aren’t able, for various reasons such as injury or fitness, to contribute to the team sufficiently (including Woodgate, Rhys Williams).
    A feeling that, in a squad that massively underperformed over the season, some players who rarely let the club down when played in their “correct roles”, were surprisingly overlooked for selection (like Smallwood and Bailey).
    A signficant number of supporters who fear for the future.
    Some who still believe Mogga can put right this season’s problems for the next season.
    Cynics, people who have lost the faith, loyalists who will believe in the club even if the evidence stared them in the face, dreamers, telephone screamers (Ooh, almost fell into a bit of Joni Mitchell there): all human life in a cross-section of Boro supporters. We must be a funny bunch. I look forward to the figures tomorrow.
    **AV writes: Much of that is a given. The really interesting thing is putting some credible numbers on the big questions: how many people put the blame where and, crucially, what proportion of Boro fans have actually declared themselves as overtly against the manager.

  10. Interesting to read the disdain of the press for gushing praise of Fergie. Just about matched by some of the scorn on here.
    Maybe it isnt black and white or even Glenturret but it still requires us to look at the core of ManU. Big club, not fuelled by billionaire owners or even Gibbo/Whelan sized fortunes, the opposite is true. All based on revenue.
    They have spent big but have groomed home grown talent.
    You can chunter all you like about hating ManU. Their performances increased the coefficient that allowed us in to europe.
    Cant argue with that even if Fergie is a bully. He is probably the type who puts players on the naughty step. He is what he is.
    **AV writes: Its not the media’s job to do gushing praise of anyone. That is for fans. It is the media’s job to set things in context, inject perspective and provide balance and objective analysis,
    We have seen the word “greatest” thrown around a lot lately on the national news without any concrete explanation of the measure used to determine that status or any examination of rival candidates for the mantel. I find that – and the fact that it has gone completely unchallanged – quite alarming. Fox News here we come.

  11. So all is well at Boro. Mogga is bringing in new experienced players who can handle the Championship and then we can mount a sustained challenge next season.
    The club will back him to find players to compete. Players like Bailey, Bates, McMahon and Robson, players who can fight for the club and handle this league. But did he not clear out these combatitive player?. Exactly the type of player he now says he needs.
    Then he wants a goal scorer. But does he not have stickers who can deliver if they get the service. if he would only set the players loose, get players beyond the ball and stop the backward tippy tappy football? Defend corners and set pieces, then we have a real chance.
    Also is he not about to loose Cooper, the last guy on the staff with an once of enthusiasm and positive energy. Did anyone else bar me notice how Askew leaving had a negative affect on us and a positive effect on Hull. His positive attitude rubs off onto players and coaches alike. Mark my words unless Mogga gets a new right hand man, one with drive, enthusiasm and spunk, someone who he can trust, can influence, brig enthusiasm and stability. then he’s a dead man walking. By Christmas he will be bottom of the league and out of a job.
    **AV writes: We do need combative players but whatever the arguments over their abilities all those you name were/are on wages three times what the club can afford. Two were offered new deals but thought they could get more elsewhere and are now with clubs in a lower league. Another’s legs went a year ago.
    And those ‘goalscorers’ you want to “let loose” have shown that even with the service, even when they get chance after chance after chance, that they can not hit a barn door with a blunderbus.

  12. Interesting that any attempt to put an alternative to the overwhelmingly one-dimensional media coverage of Ferguson (as of Thatcher) can be dismissed as one-sided, and biased.
    My arguments are an attempt to provide some kind of balance to the virtually unanimous media view with which we are being assailed. There is a very good reason why neither Ferguson nor Thatcher are worthy of our respect. And that is that neither of them showed the slightest respect to many of those who opposed them. Threatening the careers of refs and linesmen who have had the temerity to give decisions against you, or calling your fellow citizens who are defending their jobs and communities ‘the enemy within’ seem to me to be better and more dangerous examples of a one sided biased view of life than anything that I am ever likely to produce by questioning dominant media representations.
    The intimidation of officials as a deliberate tactic by a manager and his team is far from universal. It is not a tactic I have seen Martinez or Laudrup employ for example. But the classic historical example is our own Brian Clough, who would never have allowed his teams to engage in such behaviour. And the fact that the abuse of officials is so widespread is part of my point. Someone of Ferguson’s age, success and experience, if he had anything about him at all , should be above such behaviour, rather leading the game’s descent into yobbery.
    As for the defence that we should expect nothing better from a working class Glaswegian, that is a calumny upon an entire community that is worthy of Thatcher herself.
    The views I have tried to express are not motivated by any animosity towards Man U. I remember Munich with respect and shared the universal shock at the club’s and the nation’s loss at that time. Duncan Edwards was probably the best player this country has produced since the War, and the Busby Babes were an astonishing group of players.
    It is when you consider that fine tradition, and the spirit in which someone like Bobby Charlton played the game- I never saw him dispute a decision or receive a booking in his entire career- that you realise how far from those standards that Ferguson has taken his team.
    Indeed the greater one’s understanding of United’s history and of all of the positive things that the club has contributed to the game, the greater one’s disappointment at their win-at-all-costs -and- to- hell- with- everything- and- everybody- else philosophy of which Ferguson is the supreme embodiment.
    The questions I have tried to raise amidst the current ra-ra are about the current health of our national sport in which we all(and particularly our children) have a stake, and the future direction of the game as a worthwhile sporting activity, and where the career of Ferguson stands in relation to these issues. They are the kind of questions which have been conspicuous by their absence in the torrent of media coverage this week. And they are questions in which Ferguson has shown culpably little interest in comparison with his obsession with how United can, using whatever weapons come to hand, win their next game.

  13. I think I’m contractually obliged to respond to a comment of being ‘Worthy of Thatcher’ – Lenmasterman I think you’re reading between the lines of my comment and finding a completely different sentence.
    My point was actually that people are a product of the environment they were brought up in. Fergie has no doubt learnt not to give an inch or show weakness from his. As we see all too often football at the top is a ruthless business and he obviously had the character to remain there.
    OK it’s easy to be self righteous and just dismiss him as a bully but people are not just these one-dimensional characters that you can file away in your head to fit into a picture of the world that just no longer exists. People can’t be transported into a nostalgic past and compared out of context with those of a different generation that seldom appeared in the media spotlight.
    So whether it’s Fergie or Wenger, living and breathing under the high pressure environment of being a leader in a high stakes business over a prolonged period of time is going to affect how you behave and what you become. So in that context, I never expected Fergie to be all serene and self effacing. And as Kev B implied, everyone else doesn’t exactly behave much differently in the heat of battle.
    For better or worse, football is no longer the almost amateur cultural pastime of yesteryear. The reality is now about securing short-term success in a billion dollar business or become yet another instant failure and facing the risk of being unemployable.

  14. Werdermouth –
    to not give an inch and to not show weakness is an entirely different character trait to being a bully & a cheat. Also, just because football is morally bankrupt doesn’t mean we should shrug our shoulders and accept it.

  15. Many of the Glaswegians I know (and from all walks of life) might be stubborn; might be blunt; might be reluctant to show weakness; might be very successful at what they do; might be quite rude at times; might be quite single-minded; …. I could go on.
    The vast majority of them are for the most part also courteous; considerate; fair-minded; generous to a fault; respectful of their peers, seniors, juniors and competitors; ….. and on.
    None of which has anything to do with which part of the city they hail from. More to do with it being just the kind of people they are and the kind of people they want to be.

  16. I would love to see a blog post about Fergie AV, purely just to wind up Man U fans with it..
    **AV writes: As if I would stoop so low as to deliberately antagonise generations of playground glory hunters from the Home Counties.

  17. Nigel –
    no doubt that Fergie was a forceful character and probably crossed the line on occasions but I don’t think he achieved his success by being a bully and a cheat. If you listen to those who have worked under him and you get a different picture of the man.
    Perhaps the description in the first two paragraphs of Powmill’s experience of the many Glaswegians he’s come across describe him quite well.
    Though I somewhat disagree with Powmills last paragraph as I believe people are a consequence of their experiences and environment and not predisposed to be the kind of people they are – but that’s a discussion for another day.
    Anyway now that I’ve been outed as a post Thacherite entrepreneur, I’m now regretting getting all those ‘Sir Alex Ferguson appreciation society – Teesside Branch’ T-shirts printed. It looks like I’ll have to put them in the recycling along with the ‘Manc-ini Forever’ scarves.

  18. Werdermouth, –
    the last half of the last sentence was the key. Never mind God, genes and environment. All that gives you is the canvas for your life. Its your own choice what you do with it and how you choose to go about doing it.
    SAF has many talents and has achieved a great deal and I am certain that he is not the devil incarnate. Nonetheless, he does have flaws and has missed a great opportunity in his career for good or positive influence.
    AV is absolutely right that the media has failed in that (this blog excepted) there has been little or no attempt to try and put the achievements of the man into a true perspective.
    Anyway, never mind one (sporting) celebrity Glaswegian, another Glaswegian, absolute stalwart of her community, my mother in law, is having an extremely long length of colon removed tomorrow morning. For those who believe (and those who don’t as well), storming heaven would be appreciated.
    **AV writes: Good luck and good health to her.

  19. My God, listen to yourselves – astonishing! Frankly, I couldn’t really give a damn about ManUre or Fergie, but I would never dream of slagging him off. At the end of the day it’s a game!!! Why is football so up it’s own backside?
    As for Thatcher. The country had several opportunities to kick her out and never took it. I never voted for her, but she was successful. Get over it!
    I really am amazed!

  20. “A football manager may seem trivial but the same symptoms are seen almost daily across a wide range of far more important issues. As a society we are increasingly amnesiac. A media with those same short term memory problems and a willingness to regurgitate the easiest of narratives can not serve its audience or democracy well. That worries me”
    Me too. Big time! Almost as much as its death-grip on self-regulation!
    It’s in matters like these where football shows itself to be a microcosm and a barometer of society and cultural values that makes this blog, at times, stand out head and shoulders above the rest!
    Peterboroangel –
    amazed? I suspect you’re not. Not really – deep down.
    I suspect like a few on here, who have vented their frustrations or have otherwise commented on S’ralex, it’s not necessarily S’ralex personally that’s being denigrated.
    As AV points to the media coverage, so we, others, may point to S’ralex and his public face as indicative of the decline in values in our society and the rise in the prominence of selfishness as our leadership ethos, rather than a more conciliatory or altruistic approach to life. It is manifest (naturally) in competitive environments. And because of the immediacy of TV comms and the prominent celebrity culture (enhanced by it) we can see more of it.
    As we see these excesses (of behaviours, wealth and poverty) that result from such attitudes, we increasingly question them. It’s happened throughout history. The trick is to maintain reasonable balance of wealth distribution and behaviours. That’s the way to avoid anarchy, but it usually can’t be done without “pain” of some description, somewhere, sometimes.
    Bet that’s a show stopper!

  21. I must subscribe to different news services to AV as I have found the coverage of Ferguson (and Thatcher for that matter) to be quite balanced. You just have to avoid the lazy journalism, be it fawning or spiteful. That’s not too hard, and I’m surprised AV should get so worked up about it.
    As for Ferguson, if you ignore the lazy journalism (in both camps) the telling stories come from those that he worked closely with inside and outside of the game, and they are overwhelmingly positive.
    I wonder how far you have to go back to find a Boro manager whose players (current and former) held in such high regard. To achieve that in an era of monstrous player ego’s for me gives him an edge over some of the great managers of the past when players were more pliable.

  22. Werdermouth –
    I’m sure Ferguson is a strong character, that is a positive thing, he’d need to be to be as succesful as he has been. I admire his longevity, his ability to motivate himself year after year, long after he had anything left to prove.
    But, he is flawed, I quoted an example in a previous post of his behaviour which occurred away from the ‘field of combat’ which is some evidence to back up my argument. There is no excuse for such behaviour, it is not acceptable in any part of society. It is the behaviour of a bully.
    His bullying of referees (in the knowledge he can get away with it because the FA is weak) is the main thing which in my mind counts against him when assessing whether or not he deserves the mantle of greatness.
    Also, looking at his footballing record, I’d say he wasn’t one of the great managers because in all those years in charge of one of the best resourced clubs in the world he only won two European cups. The same number Clough won in two years with a ‘small town in Europe’ club and the same number Mourinho, who is still a young manager has won.
    I expect to see shoddy reporting from the commercial news channels, but on this issue the BBC has been every bit as poor as the others, completely biased and unbalanced analysis of Ferguson the man and Ferguson the football manager.
    Peterboroangel –
    I’m not sure why you’re so vexed by the debate, apart from being an interesting one it fills a void at the end of the season.

  23. Bob –
    Thank you.
    Respect, respect respect. You don’t have to like someone to respect them.
    Chelsea have just won the uefa cup and congratuations to them. Will they get respect on here or will they get slaughtered?
    Actually, there’s no reason why it should be mentioned at all. But if it is please show them some respect.

  24. peterboroangel:
    I agree with you.
    The FA ran a Respect campaign a couple of seasons ago in an attempt to curb some of the professional games worst excesses. All of the league clubs signed up to it. The question you have to answer is what attitude do you take to someone s prepared to treat such an initiative with the kind of contempt which Ferguson and his team displayed week in and week out in their attempted intimidation of match officials. Is it appropriate to show respect to someone who tramples the very concept into the ground?
    People can talk about the anecdotal evidence that Ferguson was a decent bloke, but couldn’t we all see with our own eyes in pretty well every match, behaviour that would have disgraced a small child? Indeed psychologically Ferguson seems to be stuck at a stage of maturity and development that characterises a four year old. And as every parent will tell you, you don’t respect that or give in to it, you treat it with the contempt it deserves and refuse to indulge it.
    Pretty much the same can be said of the bristling animosity that the man displayed towards anyone who asked him a question. It was the stance of the schoolyard bully who threatens to resolve any dispute with his fists.
    What I would wish to question is the uncritical adulation of “winners”, of anyone who is deemed to be ‘successful’, no matter what methods they used to achieve it , and no matter what the content of their character. What is needed is not so much respect, respect, respect, but discrimination, discrimination, discrimination.
    Great posts from Dormo, Richard, Nigel, Powmill and many others. Loved Werdermouth’s intelligence and wit in spite of disagreeing with him A great thread, and one that has discussed issues that mainstream media have ignored.
    And Bob, I agree with you that you must have been subscribing to a different news source from everyone else if you found the coverage of Thatcher and Ferguson balanced. Not only has it been almost unanimously positive across the entire press, but any scintilla of criticism has been pilloried as being entirely inappropriate in the circumstances. As indeed it has on here.

  25. The vital question about this torrid season gone is how can a team and manager be so successful early season challenging even for the top spot fail so abysmally post Christmas.
    Why did Mogga fail to motivate them make the changes or just win some games?
    Perplexed Boro in Bath

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