Nostradamus 4 Boro 0

CHRISTMAS…  a time to settle down on the sofa and revisit some old favourites, to take another chance to savour the classics with your Santa hat  on and a glass of something strong in your hand.  Or as we call the: repeats. So here’s a quick dip in the Yuletide archives. Here’s a close textual analysis of the original Quantrains that proves Nostradamus was a Boro fan! Enjoy….

PLUS! Now with added Steve Agnew thoughts…

FORGET two World Wars, Hitler and the Twin Towers… did Nostradamus really predict the rise and fall of mighty Boro as a major European power?

Could it be that the French poet-seer really foretold the arrival of Steve Gibson to guide the club from liquidation to the heights of Eindhoven? Did the much mistranslated medieval Mystic Meg see Boro’s move to a the Riverside, the arrival of Juninho, the Carling Cup triumph at Cardiff and the spectacular UEFA Cup campaigns?

22Nostradamus

It sounds crazy. After all, not even the wildest imaginations of the most drunken and delusional ra-ra optimists could ever have conjured up such lunatic flights of fancy when we were collectively trapped in the dream crushing harsh reality of the Holgate, let alone a stand-up pre-destination pedalling populist from the 16th Century .

Yet, there is a persuasive radical new reading of the predictive powers of the centuries old Quantrains that suggest a revealing insight into the recent turbulent history of the club..

Of course, the shifting sands of opinion on the frequently mistranslated manuscripts don’t stand up well to scientific scrutiny. They are vague, open to all manner of subjective retrospective reading to give myriad interpretations.

They are very light on details of date and place but heavy on poetic, occult, astrological and apocalytptic Biblical illusion to plagues and disasters and wars that sceptics and academics have rubbished time and again.

Let’s be honest, it could all mean anything you want and unless you squint a bit, suspend disbelief and have a PhD level working knowledge of the nuances of post-Renaissence colloloquial latin it all comes down to the same heady alchemic cocktail of gullibility and wishful thinking that makes advertising work and ensures the prolific annual sales of Olde Scrofula’s Almanac.

That said, it is hard not to recognise a chilling kernel of truth in some of the 500 year old verses. Some of them seem very close to home. If you know your Boro history.

Take the quantrain that first slashed through my cloak of cynicism with a dagger of plausibility as I flicked through satellite’s documentary channel ghetto on a rare night when it wasn’t occupied by Nazi-porn of UFO conspiracies:

“The soldier’s son will lead a young battalion
From the dark abyss of death and defeat
Through two leagues of battle’s roar
To unite the people of the lion in glory”

My ears pricked up. That’s Bruce Rioch surely! 

The boring boffin on the box  argued the verse foretold the Duke of Marlborough’s victory in the battle of Minden when he marched a rag-tag column of child soldiers through six miles under musket fire to defeat three crack French cavalry regiments and establish English (the lion) military power on the continent.

Nonsense. It is clearly about Rioch – son of a sergeant major – and his legendary marshalling of a group of iconic local lads who took Boro (the lion!) from the brink bankruptcy to successive promotions, rallied the crowds and established a new momentum that was to be the engine of the Riverside Revolution.

And there’s more. Take this earlier pair of quatrains:

“When gates of iron are chained in penury
The old gate fortress will fall
But the lion will rise again
By the course of steel serpent

“An alchemist of humble birth
Shall transport base elements
And turn rust and ruins
Into an age of gold and glory”

Now, it might be just me stretching it a bit but come on; ‘gates of iron chained’… if that is not the liquidator’s padlocks on the Warwick Street entrance in 1986 I’ll get a mackem tatttoo on my bum.

And ‘Old gate’ is of course the pre-workhouse farm on the site of Ayresome; the lion is clearly Boro and the steel serpent the lifeblood of the Ironopolis, the river Tees on which the new ground is built;  ‘transport base elements?’ … and what exactly does humble Park End raised Steve Gibson’s company do again? Spooky.

So far so tenuous. But this is where it gets uncanny.

At the time Nostradamus was writing America had just been discovered. It was barely 50 years since Columbus’s first footfall and it was still a wild and primitive continent dismissed as a factor in future European politics .

The following two quatrains divide Nostradamaticians – yes, that’s a thing – who think variously it is about the USA joining in two World Wars, Napoleon’s serial small man syndrome attempts to smash the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a Biblical End of Days Armageddon sparked by fundamentalists in the White House.

For me it is clearly about Juninho.

“From the New World,
Three times a king shall come,
Stature small but giant heart,
To lead painful march on Two Towers

“Then after retreat and exile,
And fruitless false dawns many,
The king shall return in glory
To seal famous quest for silver.”

You’re ahead of me now aren’t you? New World… three times… Little Fella, big heart… double heart-ache at Wembley’s Twin Towers… return in glory to lift the League Cup? How much evidence do you want?

And talking of the League Cup….

When the waking lion roars
In the land of the dragon,
The roof of the dome
Will rip asunder in exultation.” 

The experts, mainly deranged swivel eyed conspiracists and people who have book collections with an unhealthy emphasis on positive views on witchcraft and graphic historics of medieval torture techniques, insist this predicts a new crusade led by English troops to destroy the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and unleash the second coming.

Pah! What do they know? It’s about Boro winning the Carling Cup in Cardiff – ‘the land of the dragon’ – when they closed the roof and we blew it off on the whistle.

Look at the very next verse:

“Stone jowls will quiver
In fury and false mitigation
As the Dutch privateer twice
Inflicts a sore penalty.”

What’s that got to do with an armed incursion into the Holy Land? Nothing! The so-called ‘experts’ can’t explain it or how it relates to the previous verse. They are plucking things out of the air. They waffle on about Netherlands Antilles flagged pirates causing diplomatic incident and Mount Rushmore as a simile for American military might.

Poppycock!  It is obviously about Fat Sam Allardyce spitting his dummy in over Bolo Zenden’s ‘two bootiful’ spot-kick.

BoloPen

            As predicted: Dutch privateer Bolo Zenden inflicts sore penalty

And what about Boro’s UEFA Cup run? If Nostradamus can bother himself to tune in the crystal ball and act as a pre-emptive pools panel over a provincial club’s big day out in Wales, surely he must have set his mystic Sky Plus for a series link?

Well, take a look at this, often seen by the erudite cranks as aluding obliquely to the Papal bloc uniting against protestant England in the Dutch wars of succession:

Four Spanish banners will fly
over the lion’s corpse
when Rome takes revenge
in a Low Country field”.

Sevilla 4 Boro 0 in Eindhoven. Say no more.

**Next week: Maccarone, McClaren and the Mayan 2012 Prophesies.

Feel free to “research” some telling quantrains of your own.  Maybe you know a verse predicting Boro’s purchase of Alves or the arrival of a flame haired Caledonian warrior? Or the return of an Ayresome icon with lunar exploration ambitions?  Or maybe you want to dish out a few Christmas notional Secret Santa presents to Boro players? Or each other?  Anything but talk about the football.

Merry Christmas.

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

STEVE Agnew  has been named as Aitor Karanka’s new assistant manager.

That’s another fantastic bit of business.  Aggers will be a great fit with Aitor Karanka’s “philosophy and methodology” and technocratic approach. It is solid and progressive planning,  a far-sighted strategic bit of recruitment and another sign that Boro are raising the bar in every department.

When Craig Hignett left Karanka insisted that the ‘native No 2’ role he played for Jose at Real was important and that Higgy would be replaced with an English coach that knew the club and knew the league and everyone jumped to the conclusion it would be a former player. There were some ludicrous names thrown about:  Juninho (no managerial experience whatsoever but with plenty of demi-god cult of the personality  appeal), Doriva (upwardly mobile in Brazilian management )  and Mendieta (no experience, only recently done his badges after several years indulging his DJ hobby) and also a couple of more sensible ones like Curtis Fleming (who I thought would get the gig).

Karanka was delighted to get the man he insisted was his first choice replacement.   And the move to bring back former Boro man Agnew, influential coach and then assistant manager under Southgate, is out of the blue and quite a coup. Not least because to head-hunt a well respected figure from a Premier League dug-out – even a struggling one, second bottom and  with off the field niggles – sends out a strong message to football. For Agnew to judge that Project Karanka is a better long term prospect than staying at Hull shouts that he thinks something special is happening here.

Of  course there could be other factors. His family still live here. He is close to some people at the club – he started in management at Gateshead as Gary Gill’s assistant,  worked closely with Dave Parnaby as he cut his coaching teeth and Steve Gibson tried very hard to keep him when he was lured away by Hull. And there may be more pragmatic factors: Steve Bruce is under pressure at Hull and there may be fears of the axe and if he goes then his backroom staff could go too.  Yes, he’d get a pay-off but once you fall off the merry-go-round who knows what the future holds.

Nevertheless, Agnew is a great signing. He fulfils all the basic requirements of the “Higgy job” … he knows the strengths, styles and rhythm of the Championship clubs, he knows the DNA of the club and the fans, he can add that unique nuanced English perspective to the Spanish world view,   he has good people skills and dressing room banter … but he can also add a very impressive coaching CV,  has dug-out experience at every level – Gateshead Hartlepool, Leeds, Boro and Hull takes him from Conference to the summit – he shares a   technocratic immersion in tactics, has creative coaching drills and a comprehensive knowledge of the Premier League too. That could come in handy next year.

Aggers is a fully badged up, a respected coach and shrewd tactician, is fully in tune with the appliance of science approach favoured by Karanka and was always well liked by the players. Here and at Hull. He ticks all the boxes and adds a few extra qualities too.

For me, that shows Karanka is always looking to improve. The episode has been harsh on fans’ favourite Higgy who has been ruthlessly discarded after a solid year in which he had a vital input at a crucial time. But if the change in the dug-out improves the matchday mix and game management, adds to training ground variety and expertise, if it improves overall team performance and results and helps secure promotion and prepare for life in the Premier League then it is a good thing.

Plenty of people have reacted with surprise, scepticism or even some hostility. But what were they expecting? A big name celebrity assistant? A high-profile former player to act as a glorified mascot? An internal appointment for convenience and cost reasons? Boro have brought in a Premier League coach. It is not the cheap option. It shows ambition.

Some people will criticise. But then, that is their default. They will say for whatever reason – Hull are second bottom, he’s a Mackem, he’s bald, whatever – he is not good enough for Boro. But the same people said the same of Karanka himself. Of Kike. Bamford. Clayton and the rest. Given the progress in every department in a year and the impact on performance, position and results of the players and staff he has brought in so far I think we should trust the gaffer’s judgement. Let’s see how it works out and decide in a year.

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37 thoughts on “Nostradamus 4 Boro 0

  1. Sorry AV, but I must comment on the new Assistant Manager. I am absolutely over the moon about it. Steve Agnew is the perfect appointment. He knows the club and the area. And he has plenty of experience as a manager at Boro and especially as number two to a few managers at Boro as well as at Hull City.

    I am sure Dormo will be excited as he shares the local with Steve. So exciting debate to be enjoyed at ‘Cutted Throat’ after a match. Will Steve be at Riverside on Boxing Day?

    Again good news from the Riverside. Up the Boro!

    **AV writes: yes, Aggers will be a great fit. He does the basics of the “Higgy job” … knows the strengths, styles and rhythm of the Championship clubs, knows the DNA of the club and the fans, can add an English perspective, good people skills and dressing room banter … but he can add a very impressive coaching CV, dug-out experience at Hartlepool, Leeds, Boro and Hull, a technocratic immersion in tactics, creative coaching drills and a comprehensive knowledge of the Premier League too. That could come in handy next year.

    1. My thoughts entirely, Vic & Jarkko (on Aggers being appointed Assistant). Sadly I must have posted my brief note on the last thread just as Vic was pressing “send” to his piece on this thread!

    2. And he has two shiny gold baubles, one hanging from each earlobe that when you flick em they strike up with ‘We wish you a Merry Xmas’.

      AV, if you painted a more ‘positive’ picture I’d suggest SA would have a higher profile than the Little Fella himself.

      The following has more significance I believe – ‘He is close to some people at the club’ and ‘Steve Gibson tried very hard to keep him’.

      Where was the job advertised? How many were interviewed for the job? Or is it too much for the Boro to follow the norms of the recruiting process like any other organisation bound by the laws of the land.

      Read into the above as you wish!

      Merry Xmas

      UTB

      **AV writes: Unless you are looking for a matchday mascot he is a far better candidate than Juninho. Sorry for sounding as if I value expertise over populism. The club and the manager restrained themselves when they stipulated the new man should have strong connections with the club. Given that, who would be a better candidate? I can only see Curtis Fleming a viable alternative.

      Football has never followed normal employment procedures. I think there is a strong argument that they should, that jobs should be advertised openly and recruitment done via interviews, cutting out agents. The problem is that the candidates you want are almost always under long term binding contracts with punitive penalty clauses (compensation fees) and you can’t poach them because their current employers can with-hold their registration.

      1. l bow to your greater knowledge of the game and it’s system AV, as always. Still, if your argument about contractual obligations and high levels of compensation to the injured parties holds true, then how did SA slip through the fingers of Hull City so easily? Was compensation paid? Were inducements accepted? Perhaps a barter was enacted with promises for the future? Who knows?- l certainly don’t and apart from that which is released through the ‘free’ press, l never will.

        The point I’m making is that the upper echelons of our treasured national game are veiled in murky waters and I for one wouId like to press for a bit more clarity. Is it too much to ask that those who invest in decades of emotional financial currency for a common community purpose to not be treat with trite statements of how suited someone is and simply expected to swallow it for the ‘good’ of the club?

        **AV writes: You don’t have to swallow it. Plenty of people don’t. Plenty decide on day one that player X or manager Y is “not good enough” then stick by their guns no matter what, ignoring any positives and jumping on any mistake to justify their position. There were loads took that position with Steve McClaren for instance. The problem with coaches is that we don’t get to see what they actually do as we can with players so any judgement is always clouded. I’ve never heard a fan rail against the work of a coach.

        As for recruitment, at the end of the day what you need is people around the manager who are a good fit, who supplement and complement him and share his approach and that will always be a subjective choice by the gaffer.

  2. Was Agnews return foretold by Nostramamus?

    **AV writes: Not sure, what do you make of this Quatrain?

    “From the Tiger to the Lion,
    He who aids the king returns,
    A second time to battle anew,
    To plant proud banner on summit.”

    It’s all there if only you take the time to look.

  3. A Christmas classic, AV, and well worth another airing. A great read. Merry Christmas to you and your family, and thanks for all of your work in making this the best blog in the business.

    Merry Christmas too to all fellow bloggers and thanks for providing so much quality information, amusement,entertainment and stimulation every single day throughout the year.

    A special thought to Jaarko and other members of the diasBoro across the world. It’s great that distance has proved to be no barrier to their enthusiasm and commitment. Let’s hope we can all celebrate in the appropriate way with an emphatic win over Forest.

    I’m going for a largely unchanged team (just Ben for Ken) to win 3-0 and set us up for a great 7000- strong day out at Blackburn (and that’s not a phrase that has ever had much currency in the English language).

    May I wish you all what you most wish for yourselves over the Christmas period: six points for Aitor and the lads.

  4. I’m not underwhelmed by Agnew’s return but nor am I overwhelmed. Personally I think its a bit too convenient for all the parties involved but that’s just probably my cynical nature coming to the fore. I doubt it will impact negatively and indeed may in time prove to be a great appointment, lets hope so.

    Meanwhile wishing everyone all the best for the festive season (and hopefully 6 points coming up for us all). It would be great to finish the year strongly and enter 2015 on a high. I’m confident that 2015 is going to be a lot better for Boro than the last 5 or 6 years.

    **AV writes: I think, on paper, you would be hard pushed to find a more fitting candidate. Probably only Curtis Fleming would meet all the criteria but Agnew would edge him on dug-out experience.

  5. I reckon that it’s been in the pipeline for a while and I hope it works out. I suppose like Redcar Red I feel ambivalent about it but the powers that be obviously think it is right and will work so all of us supporters have to hope that they are right.

    What do I want for Christmas? Six points please Boro, I’ve even shouted up the chimney. To much to hope for? I think not, we have the capability so here’s hoping that the psychological preparation for the games is right.

    Best wishes to all the contributors on Untypical Boro, including those supporters whose Christmas comes earlier than ours and to you AV. The blog is my first port of call in the morning with the tea.

    The proverbial daft pound goes on 3 – 1 to Boro on Boxing Day.

    All the best to everyone and UTB

    John R

  6. During this holy season,we are reminded of what we where told after relegation

    2 Corinthians 4 : 16 “Therefore we do not lose heart, even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day”

    Come on Boro

  7. You’ve got me convinced Vic. Any verses that confirm our Premier return?

    **AV writes: Here’s one you could read that way…

    “When opposing spheres collide
    On fields of fire
    The Lion will rise again
    From dark exile below.”

    A bit tenuous though.

  8. Good appointment in Steve Agnew with plenty of experience.

    Have to laugh at the moaners on several social media sites who say we should have got Mendieta,Juninho or Woodgate neither who have any experience at all. How would they benefit the team?

    Good to hear we are well above the 30,000 figure for Boxing Day with one source reporting we will be down to single seat sales soon.
    Will be fantastic to have a crowd like that again,hope the team delivers and we get a lot of them to keep coming back.

  9. Love the Nostradamus stuff AV. Very funny, Very convincing. When I showed my gullible work mates they were gob-smacked and total believed every word.

    I’m happy enough to bring in a qualified Premier League coach. Better than the names some people were talking about like Woody and Mendy who haven’t had a minute in the dug-out between them. Thought Curtis may have had been a good shout but have to say Aggers has been at a higher level for a lot longer. Shrewd move I think.

  10. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Steve Agnew in a social setting and talking football (and not just Boro) at length with him. He knows his stuff, he’s enthusiastic, a good communicator and explained a lot of different tactical problems/answers in a way that an idiot like myself suddenly understood clearly and was talking then about players who have gone on to be big names (Callum Wilson, Tom Ince, Will Hughes) and made quite an impression on me.

    I for one am delighted to have people like that at Boro. Taht he knows and cares about the club is a bonus. His Premier League experience *may* come in handy next year. For me it shows Karanka is already thinking ahead. A good signing for me.

  11. The Nostradamus readings are just excellent; how could these predictions obviously about our beloved team have been previously overlooked, it all makes so much sense.

    I am also pleased with the Steve Agnew appointment also.

    So; here I am in the Delta Swamp of good old Nigeria for Christmas wishing all who contribute to this great blog and help make life here feel closer to Teesside a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

    UTB

  12. I think Agnew is a terrific appointment. No wonder he wasn’t on the fans’ shortlist – not many would have considered a respected Premier League coach would countenance a step down. But Boro are ambitious. And, seemingly, persuasive. Let’s hope that it is only a temporary step down for Agnew.

    Though quickly forgotten, there was a slightly bitter taste left by Higgy’s departure. Agnew’s appointment has turned that negative into a positive. I don’t know the intricate details of a coaches duties but it feels like Boro have strengthened from where we we were three weeks ago. The backroom teamsheet looks more complete on paper.

    A nice early Christmas present with the added joy of it being both a surprise and better than what we’d asked for.

    Thanks for reprising the Nostradamus piece AV. Well worth another read.

    I hope your post-Forest-post will be a reprise of the Billy Fury one (with a better result):

    Happy Christmas all.

  13. Merry Christmas Everyone.

    At this special time of the year, let’s take the time to remember that it is only a game of football and there are a lot more important things in life. Here’s hoping for an untypical post Xmas and the club gets on the crest of a wave, all the way to promotion.

  14. Back from queuing for the pork pie, we believe the local Birds (local bakery, think Sparks) pie is better than Newboulds – we road tested both at the weekend when my brother came down. I jest not, every Christmas Eve is the same for the large version, the queue was two shop fronts long and I got the last large one, the queue melted away but it will be back for the next delivery.

    Back to young Agnew, looks to be a very good appointment, rather than dismiss Higgy’s qualities, maybe Agnew is Higgy in ten years time.

    It does indicate that the role is not just a conduit to the fans and the players, the experience of Agnew and his current role point to real purpose in the appointment.

    Complements of the season once again.

    1. We always bought pies at Petch’s shop in Great Ayton, they were fabulous. Are they still there? When we come up for a game a pilgrimage is in order I think.

      Sparks bakery, there’s a memory along with Newboulds and are Merediths still there, they used to be in Linthorpe Village on the corner opposite the Assembly Rooms?

      All the best to everyone.

      UTB,

      John R

      **AV writes: Yes Petches are still around and are the local market leader I think. Newboulds still carries cultural cachet but they are now a retailer rather than a producer so are not what they were. I still get yearnings for a Upex.

      1. Stokesley Butchers (selling both at their shop on Stokesley High Street and their shop near the River Leven in Great Ayton) make THE pies. Pork, pork+apple, steak, mince+onion as well as more quiches than you could shake a stick at – the whole bit. Use your local butcher…….

        Hope we butcher the Nottingham Forest defence in 2 days time.

        Club has already tweeted that they were approaching a 31K crowd according to ticket sales. So,it may be that we will approach a sell-out again. Back to the good old days…..hopefully for more than just a quick visit..

        **AV writes: Yes, that is a cracking pie shop.

  15. Newboulds! Saturday morning ques for the pies. Worked for Graham Brothers Electrical in the 70’s and one job was relocation and positioning some new machinery in Newboulds factory. The Newboulds foreman would meet us each morning eating a pork pie. The place was spotless but I never ate a pork pie for easily going on 5 years after working there……….buy hey don’t let me put you off

  16. I worked at Sparks a young manager, having worked in the industry for several years I would rather KNOW what went in to the products

    1. If that was Sparks Bakery, Eaglescliffe, sweet mother of Jesus , NO you would not want to know, I too worked there, Health and Safety was not an issue then. Have a good weekend and a Boro win

  17. Allan in Saudi is now Allan in Bahrain again for the next four days! Its like being on another planet – just having a mince pie and a glass of the red stuff. The Boro Club are meeting on Boxing day with a good internet connection plus all the teddy bears lions and other mascots ready for the game.

    Its been a long long time since we’ve felt this good and long may it continue.

    Happy Christmas everyone and of course Up the Boro!!

  18. Absolutely stunning A.V, I often wondered how I came to be in this part of the world, as a boy I lived in Hull and supported the ‘tigers’ then for some strange reason I was lured up here to work at ICI in the Nylon labs. I was of course an ill omen for Middlesbrough as at that same time 1966, Middlesbrough were demoted into the third division for the first time in their history. I of course I felt very guilty that I had something to do with this demotion as I was at Ayresome Park to see them loose and go down.

    I have been a supporter ever since as I felt it was my duty to see them back to better times and have stood in the Holgate end with 5000 other unhappy souls and more gloriously in the New Holgate at the Riverside with 34000+ other happy people against Norwich City. My sons also have had to pay penance and have been lured to the ground as well as for three seasons not missing a home or away game including the famous Plymouth Cup tie where they trotted up and down the country three times to see the game completed.

    I am now very happy to be relieved from my worries over the last 48 years as I now realise that it was not my coming to the area that caused Middlesbrough FC all its ups and downs but quite obviously Nostradamus as you have quite clearly shown.

  19. While waiting for Santa I thought I would have a quick look at the ticket sales for Boxing Day. Very quickly I realised that it would be easier to count up how many seats were still available than how many sold.

    The total seats available on line are 296 (as at 19:15 24/12/14). The most seats in any block is 30 (Block 55 South lower) and most of them are on the front row pitch side, after that there are 2 blocks with 19, 2 with 17, 1 with 15, 2 with 13, 1 with 12, 1 with 11, 1 with 10 and 22 with between 1 and 9. A lot of the blocks are single seats spread about the block, so if you are going with at least 1 friend, either book on line soonest or get to the ground very early on Boxing Day because it may be sold out before you get there.

    Hurry up Santa, I am running out of things to do before I crack up !

    Come on BORO.

  20. AV, another brilliant blog, lots of conspiracy theories, or as old Shaky wrote, talking bout Boro. To dream or not to dream, should we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to sleep, perchance to dream.

  21. I have defected from Petch’s Pies to Stokesly Butchers. Cheaper and nicer IMO.

    Not keen on these player ratings before games. Let’s just see how they compare on the day.

    UTB

    **AV writes: I think they will go the distance soon… we’ve got access to the bewildering OPTA database plus some neat widgets so we can find some neat new ways to use more statistics than you could possibly need or want. Player by player; game by game; position by position; month by month; compare and contrast. Percentages, pass completion, yardage, sack ratios, the lot. Blame the Football Manager generation.

  22. Forget all this Nostradamus nonsense, whilst washing my socks last night an Angel (Ayresome?) appeared and told me of a great event. Apparently Three Wise Men (Aitor, Carlos and Leo?) would travel from a land far far away following a bright light in the North Eastern sky (Wilton?).

    The Angel said that along with the return of a prodigal son (Steve Agnew?) there would be huge crowds gathering in a once abandoned place to witness a miracle down by the Riverside. The Angel also warned however that in the midst of all the reborn joy and adulation there will be one amongst us who will try and deafen the ears of the innocents (hmmm wonder who that could be?).

    From this day forth all songs of praise will be revealed to the world in their truest and purest form.

    “O Come All Ye Faithful
    Joyful and triumphant,
    O come ye, O come ye to Middlesbrough.
    Come and behold Them,
    Born of Ayresome Angels;
    O come, let us adore Them,
    O come, let us adore Them,
    O come, let us adore Them,
    Middlesbrough.”

    Even songs of our dark days like

    “By the river of Middlesbrough, there we sat down
    ye-eah we wept, when we remembered Gordon.

    By the rivers of Middlesbrough, there we sat down
    ye-eah we wept, when we remembered Gordon.”

    were all revealed to me in the vision of what could possibly be the greatest story (or possibly Pork Pies again) ever told!

    Anyway to all on here and especially to the assembled masses at the Riverside tomorrow have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. RR, the signs are all there if you look around:

      The famous:

      “I saw three goals go driving in, at Riverside at Riverside”

      Or the now familiar

      “Away with the Boro, no pies all around, but the little Juninho scores on the rebound”

  23. Nice one, RR. I feel a song coming on……

    The best present I could have would be 3 points on Friday because a virtual sell-out crowd is already guaranteed. I’m thinking of the atmosphere in the League Cup semi against Liverpool. So loud that you could FEEL the noise (No! I am not talking Slade) – the cheers reverberated inside my chest. I want that back at the Riverside.

    Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year to readers of this blog, far and wide. Let’s hope we all get what we wish for, today and in the months to come.

  24. Nice one, RR. Got all of the references bar one.

    For those of you depressed buy the Gazette’s selection of the funniest, wittiest and best informed tweets (Werdermouth could be funnier and better informed in his sleep; indeed even his user name is funnier than anything on offer there) may I recommend the repeat of the marvellous Marvellous on BBC2 at 11.00 tonight, and a short set of very funny gags at a corporate do by a Scouse comedian new to me, John Martin, available on You Tube. Both should appeal to bloggers on here.

  25. Quick update on available tickets, as at 1800 25 Dec 14, only 48 seats left 15 in the north stand and 33 in the west stand, can we achieve a total sell out !!!!!!

    Come on all ye faithful

    Come on BORO.

  26. I had a quick glance at the site first thing but decided it would be wrong to post, then, after a long day I came back to find there are people as sad as me. Then i realised we come on here because of the incurable borovirus. In my case it is aided by the fact elsewhere they are watching Downton Abbey.

    I have checked the seat plan over the last few days, currently it is showing sold out which is good see. Well over 32,000 allowing for the screen and shortfall in Forest fans.

  27. If ever a team needed to turn up and perform, it’s today. They have a golden opportunity to get a lot more on the Boro Bandwagon. I’m sure they don’t need any firing up, if they can’t do it in front of 30,000+ then they’ll never do it.

    Come On Boro!

    1. I’m with you on that one GHW, in terms of winning fans back I think this is the most important game this season. The momentum is building and a good result will get things really moving. If they need firing up there’s something wrong. I’m nervous now. All the best.

      UTB,

      John R

  28. I take it that, for the 2 hour training session yesterday afternoon, you were there, Vic? Anything you want to tell us? Vossen seeming to have a bout of the sniffles but Tomlin looking eager and on top form? Big Ben looking mean and ready, having been fed only rare lean meat for his carb-free but well-proportioned Christmas Dinner?

    The reward of a glass of gran reserva Rioja after a job well done today – but only a glass and definitely AFTER the job not before?

    Let’s see our finely-honed athletes well prepared for the battles ahead. The deal is that we, the loyal supporters, will selflessly perform the seasonal eating and drinking that is required, on behalf of the players. They perform in the gym and on the pitch, whilst we do our duty at the table, and at the bars. It’s a balanced equation, and we must all do our best to ensure the success that will follow from such devoted co-operation.

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