Barnsley Win Blighted By New Rhys Injury Blow

BORO beat Barnsley comfortably but the day was blighted by yet another cruel blow for injury jinxed Rhys Williams. There was barely a minute on the clock when he down, thumping the turf as much in anger and frustration as the agony.

Play had moved up-field when I noticed him down. I didn’t see a challenge. There wasn’t one in the draw with Wigan last January when he went down with the original injury. But it was clear he was in considerable pain and after a few minutes brief treatment he looked to be in tears as he was stretchered off to ominous respectful applause. There was more applause as he appeared  later on crutches to watch the rest of the game from the bench and he acknowledged the fans bravely but you could sense that both feared the worst.


          Gutted: Team mates look on anxiously as Rhys Williams is stretchered off

After the game Aitor Karanka was gutted for the lad. He admitted the staff thought it was the same injury or a similar one and while he insisted they would need to wait for scans and full reports his body language and expression suggested that he did not expect good news. All his team mates were in downbeat mood as they left too and several were quickly on Twitter with #CrossedFingers and hoping it wasn’t as bad as feared. So, a sombre note.

Obviously, there was an instant reaction to blame the club and ‘Crockliffe’ from cynics corner with the armchair physios claiming ‘they’ had rushed him back too soon. But the injury has been carefully and conservatively managed with the player taking an active part and far from being rushed back he has been eased into action in a planned way with a couple of games in the Under-21s with full assessments afterwards and  several weeks of full contact and high-intensity training sessions before a brief cameo on Boxing Day in the win over Forest.

But it is an awful injury and there is a statistical tendency to reoccur and as with all serious weight-bearing muscles you can never tell until they are tested in the heat of battle if the rehabilitation is succesful. Ask Matty Bates.  If it was going to happen it could have happened in the reserves or in training just as easily as in a match, whether the first or the tenth or whenever.  And at some point you have to suck it and see. To some extent it is fate. And fate has not been kind to the erstwhile Rolls Rhys.

If it is the worst case scenario and he faces another 10 or 11 months out then it doesn’t look good for Rhys. That will be three practically season long injuries three years out of four going into the final year of his contract.  As with Bates after his fifth cruciate, it would be a brave club that offered him a long term deal after that.

Rhys now faces a massive battle to get his career back on track. Good luck to the lad. He is a lovely bloke and  took the last injury – and second wrecked World Cup dream – badly so I hope someone at the club puts an arm around him over the next days and weeks.

The game itself – when it finally kicked off after a hold-up for a suspected main stand gas leak – was routine and functional as a “weakened” Boro did the job without ever hitting top gear or threatening to run riot. The gulf in technical ability between the sides was evident from the off and for long spells in looked like a keep-ball training exercise and Boro zipped the ball from side to side, picked holes and probed forward and recycled the ball with the care and enthusiasm of a Green party candidate.

Of course, you don’t get points for possession. It is what you do with it that counts and on that front Boro made hard work of the first half. They bossed the game but over-elaborated, took a touch too many and squandered a string of good chances. Former Boro shot-stopper Ross Turnbull made a couple of good saves too, from a Kike header and sliding in at his feet plus holding stinging shots from Bamford and Tomlin.

But it was always going to come. A bit more urgency after the break forced a flurry of early mistakes from Barnsley and one was punished as loose ball was pounced on and pushed into the box for Vossen to drill home. After that it was straight-forward.  The second came as Ayala powered in a downward header from a corner that was fumbled onto the post and in by Turnbull. Game over.

There were a few other chances.  A cross in was headed against the Barnsley bar by a combination of a defender and Kike but was hooked away at one end then at the other Meijas went full length to tip over a free-kick superbly but the ref must have been engulfed in the Boro fans wave a tangible disbelief as he awarded a goal-kick. That came as the result of Adam Clayton’s ‘one for the team’ second booking  for a “tactical foul” on largely anonymous Leroy Lita.  So, another one match ban traded for a clean sheet.

Some will have a little moan about it – it is in our DNA after all – and say that shot-shy Boro should have battered Barnsley out of sight, or played a different team or shape, or that Rhys was rushed back to soon,  or even that they would have been better off losing the game so they could concentrate on the league.

But they got through and that is all that counts, especially on a day when the FA Cup routinely throws up upsets. They dominated,  there were no wobbles, they kept a clean sheet, a few fringe figures put in superb displays (James Husband was outstanding) they kept up their momentum and mighty Middlesbrough are in the hat for the fourth round. Which is the important thing.  On to Reading and the bread and butter now.


               Good in the air: Spring heeled Spaniard Dani Ayala celebrates scoring. 

A few other things to note. Firstly Karanka batted away suggestions he was being linked with Newcastle and while the quotes are linguistically clunky his body language was emphatic and when the question was rephrased and he was asked, for clarification,  if he remained committed to Boro project he stressed, “Yes –  120%” which will annoy linguo-mathematical purists but reassure most fans.

And secondly, Tomas Kalas was wearing Boro training gear and watching the game sat next to Dimi and the other non-playing members of the party. Chelsea’s Czech international defender returned from a frustrating spell at FC Koln on Thursday and is poised to join the squad for training tomorrow and seal a loan move until the end of the season in the next few days. As exclusively revealed by yours truly on Twitter at 00.59 on New Years Eve and the Gazette on-line soon after. Never let it be said I don’t respect an embargo.  And if you don’t follow me on Twitter, why not?




59 thoughts on “Barnsley Win Blighted By New Rhys Injury Blow

  1. What music are you playing on the radio? I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass? Or something by The Cars? Seriously AV stay safe we need you to guide us over the next few months. Happy New Year It’s. 1-0 to Boro for me.

    Happy New Year Fat Bob

    Regards Robin Davison

  2. Mejias in the wet? Don’t fancy that.

    No clue as to the team, or therefore the score.

    Love young Dale Jennings, a smashing little winger. Hope he scores and we win 2-1.

  3. What no FA cup blog? Well here”s my contribution.

    We all remember our first FA Cup tie.

    Mine was against West Ham. After queuing all Sunday morning me and my younger brother got 2 tickets for the World Cup stand. It was cold and freezing that sunday morning. We were last in the queue but after half an hour there were another couple of hundred or so behind us.

    I remember the build up to the match, the journey to the ground in great detail, parking miles away in Cambridge Avenue, and finally taking our seats!! Seats for god sake, not even in the Holgate [ Me mam wouldn’t let us go in the Holgate.]

    The match is permanently burned n my memory.

    Clyde Best putting the ball in the net 5 times in the first 10 minutes with only the linesmans flag saving us, the blue strip with two stripes across the chest attacking us every second and a white wash on the cards. The difference between division One and Two very apparent.

    And then as every Boro fan remembers after 30 minutes, Hughie rising a good 20 feet into the air from a corner and from 35 yrds out heading a ball so true and high and fast dipping over the keepers outstretched hands and Boro were 1-0 up!!

    After that the stuff of legends, Bobby Moore getting booked, no yellow cards in those days – a real booking which cost him his job as England Captain, Captains never get booked!!

    And then in the dying minutes after soaking up all the bubbles could throw at us Derek Downing’s diving head in front of the World cup stand in perfect slow motion and we did it 2-0. The diving header was something from Mars – he would have won a gold medal for long jump with that one – I don’t remember who crossed it but he ran from the half way line dived from the edge of the penalty area and connected with the ball as it crossed the six yard box.

    After that I was hooked and as they say never looked back!!

    So 5 -0 today to the Boro and Wembley here we come!!


    1. The West Ham match was the first time in the Holgate End after watching the Boro from the boys then the Bob End. Just remember the same battering as Allan how we laughed when Bobby Moore got booked. Could not believe the way Clyde Best played that day, made me realise the difference between first division to the second. Well this my first post and getting really excited about the rest of the season.
      Come on the BORO.

      **AV writes: Welcome aboard Brian.

  4. Barnsley 1 – 3 Boro for me. Barnsley concede a lot of goals and our team will be out impress AK, and then the badgers in the next round. I don’t know how many fans we are taking but good luck to you all and travel safely. AV, I hope you’ve left the Staffordshire Bull Terriers fastened to the car.



  5. Copied from previous thread. My first FA Cup match came a season or so after I started supporting properly, we lost 3-0 at home against Leicester in the fifth round in 1965. A big crowd was there as Typical Boro showed, or rather Typical Boro was there because a big crowd had shown up.

    Dreadful news about Rhys being stretchered, you wonder how many more setbacks he can take. Listening to game it sounds like our visit to Burton when we wasted chance after chance with half time approaching.

  6. The Cup matters. If I was given a choice between winning The Cup and promotion, I would take The Cup every time. Having said that, my prediction is 2-1 to Barnsley.

  7. Sadly, in hospital in Stuttgart with severe dose of pneumonia. However, managed to follow the match on the BBC. 2 nowt is not a bad result with 10 men for 10+minutes. But it just goes to show if we had scored a couple of the chances we had, Clayton may not have felt the need to have been gungho with his tackling. Damn zis Charman keyboard öäßü…

  8. Cassandra – get well soon.

    Rhys’ injury sounds like a bad one , you wonder how many injuries a player can sustain before his career is threatened? Anyway, my best wishes go to Rhys and I hope he’ll be back sooner rather than later.

  9. Cassandra, get well soon, supporting Boro is possibly trickier than a recovery from pneumonia.

    We can now look forward to the draw and thanks to Clayton for taking the card, maybe Tomlin needs some time on the naughty step. But, any win away from home in the cup is worth taking which is more than can be said for our chance conversion.

  10. Win is always a good result. Especially so in the Cup! So no complaints from here.

    BTW, a Chris Martin injury-time penalty saved Derby County any embarrassment as they overcame Conference side Southport in the FA Cup third round. So Derby wasn’t that convinsing, too.And they were at home.

    I really feel for Rhys Williams. According to Aitor it doesn’t look good as he needs a scan. Might be the season over – and with just a minute or two played in a year! Terrible luck.

    Up the Boro!

  11. Jarkko –

    Yes, the news for Rhys is awful, anyone still think we shouldnt bring Kalas in?

    I apologise to Cardiff, there were more fans last night than we took to Barnsley but not by many.

    A few Derby fans are panicking over Schteve’s response when questioned about the Toon job. All speculation, not heard anything, work to be done at Derby, To be honest, in some ways similar to Aitor’s comments though not as dismissive.

    I think Ashley will appoint Mr Carver, a cheap option and someone who will be happy with the job.

  12. Thanks to all for good wishes – Ian,I think you’re probably right and Len, they certainly did cheer me up whether they can keep it up is, well…I would say that this the best season for quite a few so I’m very hopeful…

  13. Gutted for Rhys but that is probably it for him now. Three bad injuries in quick succession now. If he was a horse they’d have put the tent up and we’d have heard the bang. Shame really. We’ve barely seen the player who was bring raved about as a “Rolls Royce” in about four years now. Can’t see him getting back now. Shame for him. Truth is we should have took the big money for him when we had the chance. Decent game today and good result. Looked like we should have scored 10. Doesn’t matter. Job done.

  14. Cassandra –

    I can very much empathise with your predicament. I came back from deepest, darkest Venezuela 7kg lighter and the colour of Michael Jacksons socks! I’ve been up on blocks in the Krankenhaus with cameras going everywhere, the cameras weren’t too bad really, but the sound engineer and lighting crew have left me delicately positioned on a cushion of air blown, ice cooled gossamer. The gastroscopic camera (which I can personally vouch for) seems to be a perfect answer to the douse outpourings of MMP and prevent his constant annoyance at the Riverside.

    Cheered me up no end to see my name mentioned in dispatches in the “Masterman’s”, that was as good as any tincture the doc’s could ever administer, thanks Len!

    Still, my ailments seem a trifle compared to poor young Rhys. At least in my long chosen career I’ve had the benefit of good health (till now) to do basically what I’ve set out to do, he sadly seems blighted to the point that would break even the toughest of resolves. My thoughts and best wishes go out to him, I might even see him down the local football club or the beach if he decides to come home for a spell.

    Happy New Year peoples, have a prosperous one and may you and yours stay safe and healthy.

    1. Peasepudin HD –

      Your post sent shivers down my spine as I suddenly realised what BWB Jr may get up to with his xmas present of a mini video set. Naively I thought it was to take footage of various bike rides and basketball (whatever that is) games. Trust 2015 brings better health to all the bloggers but I fear for Rhys. Looking forward to the Reading game where we will be giving a friend of BWB JR an introduction to the travelling hordes, alas he is a Chelsea supporter and this is a reciprocal invite from JR having attended a Champions League match. Should be the same standard then…

  15. peasepudinpain –

    My thoughts are with you, I squirmed when I read your post, we dont wont to see any holiday snaps. Get well soon.

    For those who saw the BBC highlights they also have some on the match report on the BBC website. No commentary to describe the to and fro, not really needed because there was little fro. 2 mins 25 secs of Boro chances with one routine save by Meijas at the other end.

  16. Alas 2015 has not got off to a good start, with Rhys Williams and Cassandra, although RW´s will be a longer haul. Best wishes to both.

    Just seen the “highlights” and was not shocked, but certainly disappointed to see the two stupid bookings for Clayton. Sorry AV, your “taking one for the team”, just does not wash. The first on the halfway line, and the second, covered by defenders. He deserves a spell on the bench, and have to say , he has been quite inconsistent of late.

    Once again lots of missed chances, Kike would not score in that well known club at the moment. Easy again for Bournemouth.

    Still job done, and a Premiership club at home would be a good test.

    **AV writes: Yes, on the telly the second one seems a bit daft – especially when already on a yellow – and Lita seemed to buy it cheaply but in real time it looked a far more dangerous situation on the break.

  17. Ian –

    “peasepudinpain, I like it. Don’t worry about the snaps, they weren’t very good. There’s a big difference between being able to say ‘cheese’ and only managing to ‘pucker up’. Any way, I was conned, I was told that it was a Selfie Stick!

    BWB –

    If Jr expresses an interest in taking up gynaecology as a profession when he grows up, you know where he started. There again, being a gynaecologist and watching Chelsea each week are pretty much the same thing aren’t they?

  18. Well reading through the posts I thought I’d accidentally stumbled upon “Untypical Men’s Health” rather than “Untypical Boro”!

    Hope everyone’s ailments clear up quickly, lotions, potions and camera’s put away and full health restored soonest especially for Rhys. I can’t begin to imagine the torment, frustration and agony that Rhys is going through. He has battled back, played in training sessions and even had a couple of minutes on the Riverside pitch only to be struck down again. Sincerely hope the prognosis is not as bad as we all fear and he can get his boots on again quickly.

    I didn’t go yesterday. Whilst I would love it if we won the FA Cup it it just isn’t what it used to be when I was growing up. As always, glad that we won but a few things I got from the radio commentary yesterday was that Ken still seems to be going backwards in his development, Tomlin seems like he isn’t what we hoped he could become (if he can’t do it against League 1 opposition with his team in control then when can/will he), Kike can hold the ball up better than Juke (rather than endlessly fall on his backside) but he seems to have inherited Juke’s shooting boots.

    As if to emphasise our lack of ruthlessness in front of goal, the Cherries go and stick five past their opposition again yesterday. Whilst we shouldn’t try and benchmark against other sides selectively (Derby didn’t exactly destroy Southport), our profligacy in front of goal is frustrating. Vossen and Bamford look like they are getting their act together but if we are to continue to improve we now need to look at fine tolerances.

    Defensively we are the best in the league, we cannot risk that by accommodating Ken whilst he goes through a bizarre crisis of confidence. Tomlin and Kike need to deliver more and if not then AK needs to address their shortcomings. Rumours about Powell and Baker may not be without foundation, if so Lee needs to start delivering if he is to escape the next AK progression cull.

    I doubt Kike will suffer “a Mejias demotion” just yet but he clearly needs a goal from somewhere, anywhere to the point where Grant should step aside if we get a penalty any time soon. Speaking of Mejias, a great (unseen by the Ref) save, a clean sheet (although with apparently little to do) will have done his confidence a world of good. Lets hope it kick-starts his Boro rehabilitation now that Steele is gone for good.

  19. Nice to see Mejias getting a clean sheet. We must get used to the idea that he will be between the sticks if Dimi gets injured or suspended.

    We all seem to agree that all the new players signed last summer by Aitor were good. Filled the right gaps and were quality purchases. All of them.

    If we think about it, the transfer of Mejias was based on more info than any other new player. Aitor has known him for years at Real, then he was on loan in here before signing permanently last summer. So if we trust in Aitor, we must conclude Mejias is a good goalkeeper. So let’s support Mejias as a Boro player. This was just one game but he needs our support. We just must keep faith in Aitor and hope Mejias becomes our own de Gea finally.

    Up the Boro!

  20. I would never say a player is rubbish. Anybody who makes it to be a professional footballer is brilliant. I’ve known loads of great players at local level that never got anywhere near professional standard. So I’m not going to say that Mejias is rubbish. Let’s just say he’s not up to Championship standard. He’s playing above his level. If you want evidence of this just read Vic’s “defence” of Mejias, written after the first few games of this season.

    **AV writes: It is strange how many players labelled “rubbish” by fans after one or two games subsequently move on to be successful at other clubs where clearly the managers and scouts see something in them that the average punter doesn’t. Then there are players who are technically perfectly good and who are stars in training but who for one reason or another just can’t transfer that to the pitch (Brad Jones, Carlos Marinelli, Marvin Emnes). That’s the greatest mystery of the game.

  21. Steveh –

    I’m inclined to agree about Mejias but Brad Jones is still at Anfield and has displaced Mingolet as Liverpool’s No.1 and whilst I don’t rate Brad he has survived at Anfield in some capacity for a few years now so clearly someone there sees something we couldn’t or wouldn’t.

    I remember Schwarzer when he first arrived, great shot stopper but his clearances were woeful. The onset of time may have blurred my memory but I could swear that when he kicked the ball upfield it never ever reached the half way line. Time and no doubt practice with his technique addressed and improved that so much so that even now at his relatively advanced years some have cited him as a desirable Boro target this January before Leicester stepped in.

    Mejias hasn’t convinced anyone yet but in trying to be balanced from what I have seen in the pre-match warm ups lately he looks a lot better than he did back in August plus our defence generally now seems more capable of protecting our keeper. Remember that Steele was never universally lauded here but he is keeping Eastwood out of the Blackburn goal.

    Its a strange and unique position goalkeeper and its often the case (De Gea for example) that a class keeper emerges from a shaky and dodgy chrysalis. AK has got more right than wrong so far, I’m willing to give TM one more chance on AK’s say so (albeit, admittedly more in hope and blind faith).

  22. Jarkko –

    I trust Karanka, he clearly knows what he is doing but there is no place for blind faith. I’ve seen Mejias play, as steveh says he’s not up to Championship standard and that is being polite. We’ve been lucky so far that Dimi has been in the form of his career.

  23. Keepers. mental position.

    One of AV’s tweets about on this boro day was about a late equaliser at Toon scored by Lee Clarke.

    Cross in to the box and Gate shanked it for a corner. Cue ten Boro outfield players in the six yard box. Corner comes in and by a miracle Swarzer got a punch to the ball.

    The balls sails to the edge of the box to Clarke, the closest Boro player is probably at least 12 yards away. Takes the ball down, reads the Evening Chronicle, checks his Lotto numbers then fires in a shot through a forest of legs for the equaliser.

    No one blamed Gate’s shanked clearance or zonal marking or Clarke being unmarked or the fact he didnt use Sure deodorant or Listerene so he had time to drive in the shot or the stupid pillocks with their stats AKA Schteve and square peg in Rounds hole for having everyone in the six yard box.

    Keepers fault! Simples!

  24. Peasepudin:

    Get well soon. Touched that my little bit of fun gave you a bit of a pick-me-up. Thanks too for all of the gracious ‘acceptance ‘ speeches.

    They assuaged some of the doubts I had, crystallised by my teenage daughter in the words, ‘Who are you to be dishing out awards?’

    To which the only answer is ‘Nobody in particular’. Anybody could do it.

    It was New Year’s Eve, I had enjoyed everyone’s contributions throughout the year, I had seen the Gazette’s ten best social media contributions of the year (universally poor; not a patch on even the thinnest of our threads) and wanted to record my appreciation of the talent and commitment that everyone had put in throughout the year. Purely personal choices, nothing official or scientific about them, Worried a bit that I couldn’t acknowledge many other great contributors. If anyone felt left out, well what do I know?

    And even the shortest contribution on here has been a greater source of interest and pleasure to me than Joan Collins’ entire oevre.

    All of your comments made it seem worthwhile. Peasepudin’s was the icing on the case.

    Many thanks.

  25. I have to admit that I have not seen much of Mejias, but there seems to be a habit that Boro supporters – even here on the blog – tend to be very sceptical about our keepers. As much as Steele is missed now at Blackburn, he was not fully accepted as a first choice goalie in here.

    Also, I seem to recall it was the same with Schwarzer, too. Only the loan keepers seem to be OK as their are not Boro’s own. Perhaps when we see a player coming through the ranks – or in Mejias case without experience in England – we tend to remember the mistakes only. As Ian said, these mistakes are often by the defenders or even midfield. But we see only the goalkeeper.

    So all I try to say, that we must give the poor guy a chance. He is a Boro player after all. We all – like the players – need incouragement rather than booing.

    Up the Boro!

  26. Bad news for Albert not making the squad for African Cup of Nations.

    Tonight is the draw for the FA Cup, so who do we want? A big team at home will do me, may as well get a pay day out of it and probably TV money.

    Arsenal will do.

  27. Jarkko –

    I saw Mejias against Sheffield Wednesday. I didn’t boo him that’s not my style. Sometimes though you see a player and you know he is out of his depth, others that spring to mind for me in recent years are Bikey and Ledesma. If Dimi had been playing against Sheff Wed we’d have won that game and would now have been three points closer to the top of the league.

    To pick up Ian’s point, if, like Schwarzer, Mejias had punched the ball to the edge of the box instead of straight into the ground again we wouldn’t have lost against Wednesday. Schwarzer was a very good keeper who like all footballers made a mistake occasionally. I am not someone who is in the habit of criticising goalkeepers, I’ve posted on here for many years and my criticism of Mejias is the first and with good reason.

    **AV writes: If the ref had given the perfectly good Butterfield goal earlier on we wouldn’t have lost that game.

  28. A quick thought about the cups and the league. A common view is that cups get in the way of league especially with so many matches at our level.

    Both Bournemouth and Derby played two more matches in the League Cup than we did and currently sit above us in the league so it hasn’t affected them.


    The league cup is over on the night, no replays, games tend to be before the Christmas bustle.

    FA Cup games come as the big push starts, in Europe, to get into Europe, against relegation, for promotion. Replays come in to play, eg Ipswich have to fit in another game following Saturday’s draw.

    The next round of the cup means postponement of a league match, games are played when weather postponements are more likely – spectator rather than player safety. Injuries and suspensions may be starting to bite. Fixture congestion looms.

    The plus side is the excitement, even the cynical look forward to a game against the big boys. Players prefer playing to training, players want to play every match, no one is tired if you are winning, winning breeds winning, it is a chance for game time for players.

    What does baffle me is situations like at Toon. Safe in the league, caretaker touting for the job, Trophy Virgins desperate for some success, cup run on offer then sends out a second string.


  29. I’d like Cambridge Utd away in the 4th round, for purely selfish reasons. It’s a direct short train ride from ‘Reeve Towers’. In an ideal world I’d like to save Arsenal for the Wembley semi-final and I’m not too bothered who we play in the final.

  30. So Karanka has dismissed speculation linking him to the Newcastle job by declaring he’s 120% committed to Boro. I’m not sure if that’s a high enough figure to convince me – if you’re going to go above the theoretical 100% to look convincing then is only an extra 20% enough? On X-Factor Simon Cowell often expresses his commitment to a contestant by going all the way to 1000% Yes. So I’d be looking for at least a 200% from the Boro boss to silence the speculation.

  31. Werdermouth – I have no concerns about Karanka being tempted to move up the road to manage the barcodes. He may be many things but he’s not mad.

  32. anthony vickers @untypicalboro

    1971: Division Two Boro beat Man Utd – Best, Charlton, Law et al – 2-1 in a FA Cup 3rd replay (McIlmoyle, Downing)

    I was there that night, snow and all, in the South Stand on the half way line. Saw George Best blast a sitter over the bar from 6 yards out into the roof of the Holgate. Memorable night.

    So, why not Man utd at home – we may even get on the telly!!!!

  33. Nigel –

    One thing to remember is that Aitor demands professionalism from the chairman to tea lady. I think we can safely say that the inmates of Sid James Park may not quite fit the model he wants for a club he manages.

    Meanwhile, the CEO of Derby has said Schteve is definitely not leaving. As my Rams colleague said, done deal.

    There again we are told there a couple of French candidates, a gallic shrug is probably the best way to run the club, maybe a Marcel Marceau tribute act.

    1. Ian – There is no doubt that had he still been alive Sid James would have been the best man for the job, with Barbra Windsor serving…………..the tea!

  34. Nigel

    Carry on Coaching!

    I have seen the Evening Chronicle list, I suppose the fact Marcel Marceau is deceased goes against him but as the role is a dead man walking he could have been well suited.

  35. In the 4th round I would prefer Liverpool or Arsenal at the Riverside I reckon we could create an upset, attract global media and have the Riverside rocking.

    I hope and pray its not a Cambridge or a Rochdale at home no disrespect to them but the thought of a cold, draughty empty Riverside Stadium and a game difficult to be up for isn’t what the Boro marketing machine needs right now.

    Good news (selfish maybe) about AA missing out with Ghana, if Freddy is back soon and Kalas joins as looks likely then we look covered again thankfully. Bad timing for Nsue as he was just getting a run in the side, hopefully he won’t return crocked.

  36. Interesting choice of managers for Sid James’ Park. ‘Carry on Coaching’ indeed.

    To keep the marginally thespian theme going I’d go for Tony Hancock, suitably dead-pan delivery for press conferences, with Sid doing the cold sponge bit and Kenneth Williams being in charge of recruitment and transfers.

    Then there’s always the Goon Show.

    Sorry to hear and read about RR, that is a tragedy for him, the psychological damage must huge. Best wishes to him.

    In the Cup, anyone at home really, under the radar is fine for a few rounds…


    John R

    1. John R

      I hope you meant RW’s tragedy and not RR.

      I’m now sticking my tongue out looking at it in the mirror, checking my eyes for redness, temperature being checked just waiting for a dose of the Cassandra’s or Peasepudin’s. What if its an virulent outbreak of a new dreaded blogging virus!

      Paranoid me? Not much, well hardly ever apart from just the odd occasion, oh never mind I’m just going to lie down in my sick bed now just in case I do actually get sick, Carry on Matron.

      1. It was meant to be Rolls Rhys but came out wrong, I blame iMac… or the problem between keyboard and chair! I think we’ve just popped up on the radar.



  37. I thoroughly agree with you Jarko, that Mejias needs our support when he’s playing. I’ve never understood this chicken run mentality of booing my own team. I want them to do well, booing achieves the opposite. These ironic cheers every time he comes to collect a cross will only undermine his confidence even further.

    But, having said that, the main problem is that he is too indecisive. He unsettles the whole defence with his dithering.

  38. So, now for the draw. I’ll have any premiership team’s reserves at home please. Preferably Sunderland. The lowest rank team is Cambridge United. A team we’ve played 7 times and never beaten. But I think we’ll get Rochdale. A club we have only ever played once, and that was in the associate members cup…

  39. John R

    Tony Hancocks dead pan look is more reminiscent of Mike Ashley, Kenneth Williams as manager may be a good choice, when the pressure grows he could start his conferences with ‘Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it infamy!

    So have the FA with an away match at Man City

    1. I remember hearing an interview with Spike Milligan and Michael Bentine on BBC radio and I nearly crashed the car when they were explaining how they took on the BBC censors in the Goon Show and they got the ‘joke’ past them about about ‘what’s the difference between going over Niagara falls in a barrel and Mussolini. I can’t explain any more or AV will ban me. Forever.



  40. City away in the cup then. Perfect. There’ll be no shame in defeat there leaving us free to to assault the Championship promotion places. Or it’ll be an absolutely brilliant victory!

    It’s worth noting that Mourinho’s Boro-wannabe’s have done quite well at the Etihad in recent visits.

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