BORO’S Hungarian new boy Jozsef Varga is a Magyar Nicky Bailey… well that’s him pigeon-holed.
He is a holding midfielder who is robust, athletic, gets a foot in and can play at right-back too. But, says Mogga in the Gazette, don’t write him off as just an engine-room anchorman: he has the engines and a natural inclination and ability to burst forward too so he can be a real box-to-box battler. But then, that’s what it said on the tin when Bailey arrived too.
Continue reading Boro’s Magyar Middleman Seems Straight Out Of The Bailey Box
TYPICAL Boro! That ingrained historical tendency to hit the self destruct button whenever opportunity presents itself. That fatal flaw in the club’s DNA that has gifted us institutional failure down the generations. The ability of teams and the club hierarchy to crumble and wilt at the moment of truth. We all know the script. We have been suckled on the resulting cynicism and learned by rote the mantra that “they’ll always let you down, son.”
Now I’m trying to collate the folk-lore heartaches from different eras into one damning list of shame: a comprehensive compilation album of broken dreams. It is part cultural housekeeping and part therapy. And it will help fill the long empty weeks without football stretching out before us. So I need your help in shaping the top 10 – or 20, or 30, we’ll see how far we get – sickening watershed moments when the Boro let us down.
Continue reading Those ‘Typical Boro’ Moments: Help Shape The Historic List Of Shame
LEICESTER. Big Nige… sacking permitting. That’s a tough opener – but aren’t they always?
The fixtures are out so football is officially back and if you are anything like me you’ll be buzzing. Planning. Speculating. Jiggling the work rota. Looking at train timetables and the AA routefinder. And feeling sick with worry. Leicester first. At home. They did the double over Boro last term. They are big spenders. They will be up there. That’s tough.
As for the rest, it is time to impose your own world view on what is essentially a random list of dates, and time to project your own hopes and fears onto the unknown.
Go on, pick a path through this little lot and plot a route to glory… or despair.
Continue reading Fixtures Unveiled: Plot Your Path Through Boro’s Dates With Destiny
AFTER all the groaning about away ties it was a bit of a disappointment to be drawn at HOME to Accrington Stanley in the League Cup. Not just because I fancied a trip to the Crown Ground to tick another one off but also because I was starting to take a perverse pride in the hard midweek miles Boro had ground out in their record trek of 12 consecutive away games.
Yes, Boro have had 12 away games on the bounce – a sequence that would have been a 4095-1 shot – and travelled just shy of 3,500 miles since their last home game. Gillingham, Palace, Millwall, Forest, Man United… the latest sponsors Capital One felt so sorry for the travelling Teessiders that they laid on free coaches for the 640 mile round trip to Swansea last time out. There are a generation of regular supporters who have never seen a League Cup tie at home. They assume that every tie is an away tie.
We have been so long on the road that the last Riverside rumble actually took place in another dimension: Gareth Southgate’s side were a well established Premier League side giving first starts to £10m of new signings as they thumped poor Yeovil 5-1.
Continue reading Remember When: Boro In League Cup Home Tie Shocker
THIS time last year I was on the receiving end of a strange and angry phone-call from a reader who demanded to know why the Gazette hadn’t covered the story of Boro’s bid for Robert Koren. Everyone was talking about it. It had been in all the other papers. It was in your rival rag. It was all over the internet – it was even on Sky Sports! Was it because the Gazette was just a rubbish newspaper and had missed out on the big scoop of the day?
We didn’t carry the story because it wasn’t true I said. “That doesn’t matter!” he snapped back in a very instructive phrase that laid out the demarcation lines of the stand off .
Continue reading I Heard It Through The Grapevine
RIGHT, I’M back after my annual post-season lay down in a darkened room. What have I missed? Nothing? I know. Nothing ever happens at this time of year. Football is collectively chilling in St Lucia or Dubai, sprinkling precious stones and piles of cash in its pampered wake while it laughs at us. Me, I’ve been to Preston Park. And Pizza Hut on a ‘two for one’ with the kids. That is the gulf that divides us mere mortals from our heroes.
The week long series Boro’s 40 All Time Greatest Signings I left you to be getting on with is now on-line. Feel free to post your delayed snorts of derision and heartfelt pleas to redo it “and this time include Mel Nurse, Heine Otto and Phil Whelan”.
I was stopped in the milk aisle at Asda and denounced as a heretic by a tattooed stranger because I only made John Hickton 11th. I’ve been called “a doyle” on Twitter for including the club’s all time record signing (Alves). And I’ve been berated over the phone by a opinionated Scotsman who couldn’t believe bargain bin striker Slaven was only ninth! And behind those mercenaries Ravanelli and Merson! Thanks for that Bernie. Still, it kept you all ticking over for a week. Those of you in Gazetteshire anyway.
Feel free to peruse, criticise, suggest reordering the rankings of one or two, question the logic or blast me for the cruel snub to George Boateng, Joseph Job, Dean Glover or your own particular favourite.
In the meantime, while I feel my way back towards full match fitness, a few questions…
Continue reading Normal Service Is Resumed