Believe: Boro United In Wembley Dream

WEMBLEY-bound Boro’s semi-sonic boom blasted second best Brentford to bits as Aitor Karanka’s historic March To The Arch continued.

Red hot iron, white hot steel: the atmosphere was molten and magnificent and  Teesside was totally united in pursuit of the promotion prize.  A club united like that is hard to beat. Everyone was on their game.  Every single person in the ground from battle-scarred diehard to wide-eyed youngsters  was energised and totally engaged in an emotionally intoxicating evening, a memorable “I was there” moment , the best night since Steaua.

The crackling crowd were fantastic throughout as leather-lunged loyalists kept up the insistent urging throughout a famous fixture that will go down in folklore and the players reciprocated, delivering a dream display of the kind such sizzling support deserved with an emphatic 3-0 victory in the play-off semi-final second leg.

On a pulsating night at a sold out and rocking Riverside, the North Stand supporters – organised by the Twe12th Man group – picked out an inspirational pre-match message in red and white big cards: #Believe.  And with a powerful performance, determined Boro showed a zealous and intimidating belief – on and off the pitch.

1believe

                   Wembley on the cards:  fans show their faith before the game

The supporters certainly showed they believed. They did their bit.  There were stirring and sarcastic songs,  time honoured battle hymns and banners that boasted;  there was colour and smoke, clapping and whistling, cat-calls and chants, laser guided booing,  drums and flags and smoke; there was a twinkling smart phone torch app to illuminate an historic passage to the final; there was a good natured pitch invasion on the whistle; there was fanaticism, fun and a narcotic sense of history unfolding.

And there was even a football fairytale as  born-and-bred Teesside incarnate and ageing icon Jonathan Woodgate came on  at the death to take the armband and play his role in taking his hometown team to Wembley.  As Woody stood on the touchline with the clock running Karanka was urging his players to put the ball out so he could get the club skipper on because he understands symbolism and has a touch of humanity and class about him.

In the pre-match build-up the supporters battled with the PA for a good 20 minutes before the Mark Page MegaMix was  suddenly cut 10 minutes before kick-off. Credit to the club for that. It allowed a natural and spontaneous swirl of  audible anticipation to bubble and build to a crescendo and infect the senses.

Pulling the plug gave the fans their head and boy, did they seize the moment. You could hardly hear yourself think. It was a magnificent, noisy, colourful sustained sonic spectacular, a wall of sound that piled on loud layers of emotion that was breathtaking and spine-tingling and gave me goosebumps but which must have cowed poor booed Brentford as they lined up in the tunnel and then ran out into a maelstrom.

Fans had seized on tetchy,  thin-skinned comments from the Brentford camp after the first leg that Boro deservedly won 2-1. They moaned that Karanka’s side were overly physical. That Boro were one dimensional. That they had ‘disrespected’ the Bees by daring to celebrate a  93rd minute winner as if they were already at Wembley. That Boro were “limited”  up front and could only score from set-plays…  an aggregate score of 10-1 over four games left eating their words as Boro served up a treat. Even Aitor had a little pop after the game as he praised the team, the crowd, Gibbo and relished Wembley.

 Brentford as a whole were booed and jeered and had waves from the extremes of the animosity spectrum aimed their way with the chief architects of those provocative “pin it on the changies wall”  comments – keeper Button and hapless defender Harlee Dean given a roasting every time they touched the ball.  I like that. Boro’s innate anger and perma-seething sense of injustice should always be directed at the opposition rather than internalised in fraternal bitching. We are at our best united against the world.

That said, Boro fans gave the Brentford fans and the team generous applause as they left the pitch at the end and  Bees boss Mark Warbuton was gracious in defeat and admitted Boro were just two good over the two legs so we’re all friend again. Which is nice.

1Kike

                             Put your shirt on it, Boro are going to Wembley 

And to  match  the  pride and passion in the stands, there was a  terrific team display out on the pitch. Boro were superb with every  department functioning with ruthless efficiency.  The snarling, solid, energetic  midfield grabbed the game by the throat early on and never let go.  The defence was rigid and robust and snuffed out blunt Brentford’s rare forays forward. And Boro’s front pairing  were bright on the break, sharp and inventive with their movement and interplay leaving Brentford looking bewildered and insipid.

There were some fantastic virtuoso individual outings too – Adam Clayton and Albert Adomah were both magnificent while Kike had a great game too.  And there were three   great goals, well engineered and well finished.  And not one from a set-play.

We are not quite there yet. We can’t take anything for granted. There is one more massive match to go. And it is at Wembley. But if we can harness that collective energy,  if the team can perform  in the final as they did in their second leg shoot-out with Brentford then we can travel to London for the £100m winner-takes all showdown with confidence.

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192 thoughts on “Believe: Boro United In Wembley Dream

  1. When was the last time 38000 boro fans wanted to watch a boro match? Everybody who wants a ticket will get one.

  2. steveh

    Lets hope so. I must admit I think there will be disappointed people, when you here that at one point there were 20,000 queuing there would have to be an awful lot of double booking.

    We will see.

  3. Note to self. When you have been sat in an on-line ticket queue for three hours never, I repeat never, hit the refresh key, it was like Snakes and Ladders but more serious. Wish I shared steveh’s optimism but it was fun to even think we could get a ticket. Fingers crossed for Tuesday, failing that its the local beer fest all weekend….

  4. There’s a secondary market alright, driven partly at least by ‘ticket agents’, those not bothering about going to the game but seeing an easy profit from selling on etc. Buying a ticket is easy, the ticket agents have them, its just a case of what you’re willing to pay. I’m sure there will be a fair number of ‘corporate hospitality’ tickets sold on to.

    **AV writes: There will always be parasites and profiteers, that is the society we have let evolve around us, but I think the vast majority will come from duplications when people in a group have all bought for each other. A lot will be traded on through friends of friends, over-whelmingly at face value (plus booking fee.)

    1. You can only sell tickets on at a profit if demand outweighs supply. It won’t. There aren’t 38000 different people that all want to go to Wembley on Monday.

      **AV writes: I agree. I think almost everyone that wants one will get one once the hysteria dies down. We have 13,000 ST and 3,000 Boro Pride and the club will have a batch for employees, sponsors (and prospective sponsors) plus guests. Even if the club slice is a big one – say 2,000 – that still leaves 20,000 tickets going on general sale. I’d be surprised if any seriously committed, regular fan who lives on Teesside or who has friends and family here can’t get one.

      1. Steveh –

        I reckon we will sell all 38000 and there will still be fans who can’t get a ticket. Just because we get 18000 for a league game doesn’t mean there aren’t 38000 plus who want to see the Boro at Wembley.

        **AV writes: Maybe there are a lot of people who fancy it but it still a big investment for casual fans. There are plenty of other factors. My lot would all love to go but we can’t justify/haven’t got the cash for train tickets & hotels. That two days is a big chunk out of our annual holiday budget. Plenty of people will have to make the same decisions. Teesside remains a low wage economy feeling the bite of recession. Other people won’t be able to get out of work at such short notice. Its a bank holiday weekend and half term and a lot of people have holidays booked. I know people who are committed to taking their kids to see the Foo Fighters. It is not just about wanting to go, its about making it happen at very short notice.

        Are you going?

      2. How many tickets will still be available tomorrow do you think? I am kicking myself for not renewing my Pride card this season, but while I agree with AV’s logic, since my folks died I don’t have any family on Teesside to scout out contacts any more, and I live 150 miles north! At this rate I’m going to be wandering around London on Monday with a pocket full of cash looking for someone with a couple of spares.

        **AV writes: I reckon there is somewhere between 6-8,000 left (assuming all ST and Pride card holders take up theirs). Most years an extra allocation is released two days before the game when unsold Club Wembley corporates are released. Keep at it when they come back on sale. If you don’t get one and go to the game you will get one outside. Don’t use a tout website; it only encourages the parasites, you will pay well over the odds and given the timescale of sending them out to the original buyer and then on to the middleman there is no guarantee they will arrive on time.

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  5. Nigel –

    The answer for tickets from MFC is for anyone paying over the odds is to give ticket details to the club but will they?

    I wonder if any will take a few quid from their mates for getting the tickets? Or I got the tickets you buy the beer. That sort of thing will happen but is different to touting. There will no doubt be people stood with fists full outside the ground. That is the big issue. I think it would a good idea for police to confiscate the tickets.

    The club can trace all the tickets it sells. If anyone is found to have sold tickets that get in to the wrong hands they should be banned.

  6. Sick of all the non-stop moaning from the Big Game Billy’s who haven’t got a handful of tickets today moaning about how they should be a loyalty system for people who went to big days out at Man City or they should get one because they went to a sell out semi-final game and then slagging the club off for not coming up with a system that suits them.

    They is a loyalty system – its called a season ticket. Everyone who has a season ticket gets first dibs. Everyone knows that. Its alwasy been that way. So stop complaining. If you used to have one but stopped because we were rubbish for a few years then tough. For me, ST should get TWO as a reward for loyalty and they will all know a mate/family who actually deserves a ticket so it would go to a good home.

    If you havent got a ST or can’t afford it then you could have got a Pride Card. They cost a tenner, have been on sale all year and the club really hammer the advertising of them all year. And if you really do go to loads of games home and away and spend £100s on the team then it was pretty stupid not to buy one. It would have saved you money and you get priority. My mates have Pride and were sorted in 20 minutes yesterday.

    And another thing, people now complaining they can’t get a ticket to give them a big weekend in LOndon splashing out on train and hotel and beer and £90 ticket. Are these the same people who are always saying excuses that they don’t go to games because £26 is too much for a match?

  7. Neil from Yarm –

    I agree. It seems strange that people who say they go 10/12 games a year and loads of away games always start to whinge about not getting a ticket. We had the same with Arsenal and Man City and Fulham. If they go to that many games why haven;t they got a Pride Card? It is daft not to. You save money and get priority. And if they ARE going to so many matches as they claim then they are spending a fortune. Not spending the extra tenner is crazy. If they are not buying them for some kind of principle then they are double stupid.

    People know how it works. There’s been a good chance of being in the play-offs for months and people have had plenty of time to spend some of the money they spend on beer on a Pride Card. Now they are moaning like fannies because they are not getting their own way and expect the club to bend over backwards to draw up a system that suits them.

    All we hear is the moaners who didnt get tickets but almost all the ST and Pride have got theirs no problem (and the ones that haven’t the club is trying to sort out and given extra time). Boro have shifted over 20,000 tickets in three days and thats not bad going. If you a ‘regular’ and are complaining now that you are in a lottery you’ve only got yourself to blame.

  8. Need some help, cannot get home for the match, any UK ex pats living in the US, any idea of what channel the match is being shown on ? I have flipping BEin Sports and for some reason they are not showing the match until the 29th and i am not keeping my head in the sand for that long. Gutted i cannot get back and gutted i cannot seem to get it live on telly. Looks like i will be listening on the radio.

  9. Acklam Exile

    You had me panicking but I checked the schedule here in Australia and BEIn are showing everything live. I donlt know what happens in the UK, but here in Oz they do also have an online site for people who have a subscription and sometimes that shows stuff live that isn’t screening on the main TV channel?

    Just a thought.

    UTB

  10. We’ll sell the 38000 no problem. But people will be buying extras. There will not be 38000 boro fans on the day. Outside the ground on Monday you’ll be able to buy them for face value. In fact, some people will be giving them away.

    I was there for the zds final. A 34000 “sellout”. Two seats next to me were empty. The row in front had 4 seats next to each other empty. You could see that there were loads of spaces in the olympic gallery. It will be no different this time.

  11. AV –

    Yes, I’m going but then I live 40 minutes from Wembley so other than the cost of the tickets getting there is not an issue for me.
    When I first took out Boro Pride membership my son asked me why as tickets for matches are so readily available, now he knows why.
    That said, being there with my son is important to me, how many other opportunities in the future will we have to see the Boro at Wembley?

  12. Nigel –

    I wouldn’t want to go without my son, he lives in London and didn’t bother with a Boro Pride card, I have not invoked mine to get a ticket because we want to go together, he is trying to get tickets. What will be will be. No complaints either way from me.

    On another note, read Proc’s article about planning for next season. Both Norwich and ourselves will have been planning for some time with plans A&B.

    The good news is that if we are promoted the top flight will be no further on because their season hasn’t finished yet.

  13. As each day passes I’m beginning to feel the stirrings of cup fever and start to get tempted by a trip to Wembley – but as each day has gone by the cost of a 24 hour glory trip to London has risen to around 500 euros for me, plus I’d have to persuade Mrs Werdermouth to cancel her meetings and take a day off work to cover the child duties.

    I believe that the 500 euros has been earmarked for a bigger bed now that my five-year old has decided sleeping sideways in the middle of our bed from 2.00am is preferable to his own – I suppose I could probably pick up some cheap wood from the local DIY store and make one – but once I’d made it then I’d definitely have to lie in it, besides I wouldn’t know where to start in making a mattress.

    Perhaps an interim measure would be to lock my son into his room at night until funds became available – though that may not lead to a quiet night’s sleep – what dilemma’s!

    Anyway, hats off to those who booked their flights and accommodation back in August – If I’d have been bolder I could have probably picked up a flight for 40 euros back then – though I suppose typical Boro would have been promoted automatically instead.

    So I fear it’s the virtual terraces for me – though if things don’t go to plan my five-year old may learn further grammatical nuances in the use of the F-word.

    1. Werdermouth

      Go please go I’m sure the Boro lads will go to B&Q with you to buy some wood and nails to take back with you to make the bed.

      Think it could be the only time Boro go to Wembley in your lifetime!!

      1. It’s highly likely it will be the only time Boro get to Wembley in my lifetime once I explain to Mrs Werdermouth what I spent the 500 euros on…

  14. Werdermouth

    You should be able to get bales of straw at a reasonable price, if he has a pet rabbit or guinea pig it can be recycled he has used it. Maybe even compost it and sell it off.

  15. Selwynoz,

    Many thanks, i saw the Oz version of BEIN have all the play offs live, but the US version is instead showing Russian Premier league at the time Boro take to the pitch. Anyway, a win on Monday and i can cancel my subscription. Thanks again.

    UTB.

  16. Werdermouth

    You’ll regret not coming over. Eighteen years since the last Wembley final,think how old we will be if it’s another eighteen years,definitely well into our bus passes!!

    1. I seem to remember from that meeting a couple of years ago, Steve Gibson promised us a cup final every five years if we got promoted so maybe I’ll get another chance.

      I don’t think they do bus passes in Germany – judging by the number of older people over here who appear to drive Mercedes and BMWs I’d presumed everyone was given a choice of one of those when they retired.

  17. A Wembley sell out, great news.

    Tickets are available if you follow the link I posted above but just like fat bobs post the prices make your eyes water.

  18. Nigel

    I doubt that the people who supplied those tickets did so for philanthropic reasons.

    I await the flood of face value tickets that were predicted to appear. I am holding my breath and counting

    1, 2, 3, 4………….

  19. PS

    Norwich allowed each season ticket holder and member to get two tickets, looks like none on general sale.

    Anyone who would have preferred that as a method?

    Come to think of it I could have got each for the lad and myself! Hey ho.

    Still think what we did was fairer warts and all. I suppose it depends if some bought four as investments on general sale and sold the rest to touts or agencies. Some must have done from both clubs looking at the website above.

    **AV writes: That would have been my chosen method. It would be a decent reward for loyalty, boosted the marketing credibility of the ST and you can be certain that all those extra tickets would go to a good home, probably family. But then, we’ve only got 13k season tickets so even them plus 3000 Pride and the club taking up their own complimentary, staff and sponsors allocation it would still have meant 8,000 or so on general sale. Norwich have just shy of 20k season ticket. There’s a chance some of them have missed out.

    1. Got my two tickets delivered today for me and Mrs Fatbob.

      It’s well worth being a season ticket holder or even a Boro Pride member of you live away from home as you get priority for match tickets. It’s worth a tenner!

      And sod the rail strike booked hotel at Northolt and either £15 taxi or use my beloved bus pass!

      Fatbob

  20. Well, the boy did good! Email arrived as finished the last post.

    We are off to Wemberleeeeee!

    I think I was very gracious with my balanced views when I thought we were not wasn’t going.

  21. No he didn’t have to resort to that, £75, I don’t know where they are and I don’t care, I suspect lower tier towards the goal.

    🙂

    I have been to the new Wembley twice, once was with John Powls and we were so high up we got friction burns from the landing gear on the way in to Heathrow.

    The other time was for an NFL game with my son high up opposite the tunnel. Both times I was frightened to stand up it was so steep!

    I don’t recommend too many sherbets if you are sat up there.

  22. Nigel

    Good views though, not like the old Wembley.

    Don’t do what John and I did which was have pie, chips, veg and lashings of gravy. Gravity does exert an effect! Thank heavens for the escalators.

  23. Interesting article on Eindhoven AV. I wandered into the fan square after a day’s business in the area. Within a few minutes I had been showered in beer and staggered into a couple of times. It felt like a cross between a stag do and a zombie apocalypse and not at all safe so I left for the main street. Once in the ground I was struck by the passivity of our supporters. Up until today I hadn’t related it to the all day drinking but I suppose that’s what might have been happening.

    The Chelsea matches felt like away matches what with all their fans around the ground and the fact they seemed to have acquired most of the neutral tickets. There was also the feeling of awe we had actually got to a major cup final so getting there felt like an end in itself rather than a stepping stone on the way to an achievement.

    By the time we got to Cardiff it felt as if we were there by right and there was some serious business to be done.

    I anticipate that this Wembley final will be different with a repeat of the performance against Brentford by players management and fans.

    To quote from a classic song from the black emancipation struggles of the 1960s “keep your eyes on the prize”

    We shall overcome of course.

    1. Werner

      Anyone full of alcohol in the upper tiers will get a pitch side view soon enough, no chanting and standing up there

  24. 6 sleeps to go.

    A little job for Dom and the rest of the Boro Live team, they seem to run some things after they appear on here, for example FBob did some prices for resale of Play Off tickets, I posted a link to a site and lo and behold it becomes a feature.

    Here is another. Alex is up for the wedding of his friend and is going back Monday to the match. I will drive down and stay over. I mentioned to Mrs G that as we lived in Derby we needed to be out early before the convoys arrive.

    We want to be down early so we can get parked up where he lives, catch a tube in to London, grab some lunch be it around Wembley or not, be early and soak up the atmosphere, maybe a glass or two as well. The higher authority view is that you need to be in your seat at 14.50 earliest.

    Ignoring that part I said that the M1 could be a nightmare. Not everybody is like me apparently and be going down. I did mention there are going to be 38,000 fans a lot of whom will be coming from Teesside.

    I was informed that there will be a dozen coaches, I did try suggesting there may be a few more, in part because there are so few trains back after the match.

    Over to Dom, how many coaches are already scheduled to be coming down.

    **AV writes: I don’t know if that is on our comprehensive 16 page closely-typed list of things for the build up but I’ll ask.

    1. There is always a background piece for these matches about the convoy leaving the town. I am sure if I made a piece up about 526 coaches and 8,000 cars and posted on here it would appear on the website, they like borrowing your stories. 🙂
      It is compulsory to have an article about towns being deserted.

  25. Great news, secured tickets for Wembley, alas it is for the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular at the Wembley Arena on Saturday night. Could I have got much closer?

    After yesterday’s Refresh-gate affair today the work’s server crashed at 1pm. I found a pc that was still connected to the internet and at one stage got through and found yellow seating areas that unfortunately had no tickets, I didn’t know that all the tickets had gone by then. The rectangular area in the middle was still showing green however!

    I personally think the ticket allocation went almost as well as could have been expected and am philosophical about not getting any. Living 300 miles away it was exciting just to be in with a chance of getting a ticket. On the plus side Martin (in BW) has got one and I can recreate the Eindhoven fan-zone at the Black Dog’s Bank Holiday Beer Festival in his absence.

    Does anyone know how to download TicketMaster’s musak? I fear I might get withdrawal symptoms over the next few weeks. UTB

    **AV writes: A few more may become available tomorrow when any unsold Club Wembley tickets are returned. They will be split between the two clubs. Usually about 2000 or so. It’s likely they will be quite pricey though and there’s no timetable for that so you’d have to stay alert.

    1. Takes me all my time to spell Wembllee, wembly ,Wembley whatever!

      Fatbob

      **AV writes: It’s “Wem-Boro-ley”

    2. The Telegraph can’t spell it either. Middlesborough indeed, they need to leave SW London and get around the country.

      UTB,

      John

  26. How about a DiasBoro Pride card at say 50 quid which gives you the same additional priority as ST holders provided you live outside UK.? I must say that the black market doesn’t seem too overpriced at the moment. I am sure the atmosphere is going to be electric!!

    UTB

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