“SHUT your gob Vickers. I’ll have a beer if I want to,” was just one of the responses to my column in the Gazette today calling for fans to be ready to play their role and create an awesome roar in our potentially epoch-shaping showdown at Wembley.
I had committed the heresy of suggesting that at Eindhoven a lot of Boro fans drunk themselves into oblivion and were in no fit state to “sing your heart for the lads.” On that day Boro were out-flanked and out-sung by the passionate and spectacular Sevilla crowd. They took control of the high-ground and were building a wall of noise while thousands of thirsty Teessiders were still necking ale in the Boro square.
Red Square: Things getting lively in the Boro Fan Zone
Walking up to the ground two hours before kick-off there were bedraggled Teessiders crashed out on grass verges looking like the tattered retreating remnants of a defeated medieval army. Meanwhile a sea of Sevilla fans were greeting their team coach like conquering heroes. mobbing it and chanting and pointing at the window. They were buzzing. It felt like they had come determined to seize their destiny. It felt like they had a massive psychological advantage long before kick off.
We can’t let that happen again at Wembley. We need to be more focused, more determined, more united and noisier. We need the Red Army to be more like they were at Cardiff- and against Brentford – than they were at Eindhoven.
Of course, have a beer. Or two. Three even. Enjoy the occasion. Be in good spirits – but don’t get smashed and miss the intensity of the moment. Play your part. Boro supporters this season have been brilliant and the players and manager have queued up to say how much they have aided the team at important moments in close fought crucial matches.
Wembley needs to be the best display of the season from the Red Army.
What do you think? Fair comment? Or am I a ‘killjoy doyle’?