Wembley: More Cardiff, Less Eindhoven Please

“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’?


115 thoughts on “Wembley: More Cardiff, Less Eindhoven Please

  1. I always thought it was going to cost a bomb to get to Wembley from Germany this Bank Holiday – I just hope Boro don’t blow it on Monday.

  2. Elsewhere it looks like Schteve will be leaving Derby after all.

    My colleague gets back today from a trip to South Africa. So sure was he that they were going to get to the play off final he bought his train tickets weeks ago. He offered them to me but thanked him because I was going down to my sons.

    Before that they were certain it was automatic promotion, Bent and Ince would score the goals to finish the job.

    Before that they were the strongest squad and had the best manager.

    Slowly what I thought was a much improved Schteve reverted to the one I remembered and Derby fans started to view him the same way.

  3. Ian –

    It sounds like McClaren’s failure to rule himself out of the Newcastle job is being blamed for Derby’s poor end to the season.

    Though I’m sure Schteve will be back at the helm of another Championship club very soon – hopefully at Newcastle.

    If Derby have any sense they should get Mark Warburton snapped up before someone else does.

  4. Well tickets have been obtained and family trip north is postponed until Tuesday.

    I thought the Club’s method of ST’s, Pride card, everyone was fair – I never invested in a Pride card and whose stupid fault was that? I won’t be making the same mistake next year – regardless of being in the Prem.

    Train strike not occurring has saved me a drive and an more excited than nervous at the moment. That will change by kick off.

    I think the afternoon KO time will limit the degree of carnage we saw before Eindhoven. The wall of swirling Seville scarves is one of the most inspiring sights I’ve seen at a football match – no wonder they were so good. Is it like that at their home games?

  5. Another Ticketmess victim here. Fortunately with the trains running I have a half hourly direct service from Solihull to Wembley stadium for £29 return. That’s less than it would cost to park a car in an official carpark at Wembley. Great value if anyone is considering flying to BHX instead of one of the Larndaan airports. The question is how long to allow for queueing time at Wembley? 2 hours seems a bit tight so I suspect I will have to get to Wembley for 11:30.

    £2.40 seems hopelessly inadequate compensation for the time and inconvenience caused. Is there already an action group to take T********* to court for proper damages?

  6. Does anyone know the actual numbers involved in Ticketmessgate? Having a quick look at the seat map it is anyone who bought an upper tier ticket on Saturday and Sunday. Assuming 15,000 bought it could easily be half that.

    **AV writes: It is mainly people who bought on Saturday and Sunday in blocks 501 and 520 onwards.

  7. Mark, I think it’s over simplistic to claim everything in the public sector necessarily is inferior to the private. Things tend to go wrong in any kind of field when the process is becomes dominated by “producer interests” rather than by the customers. When it happens in the public sector we tend to get inefficiency and services restricted in order to suit the needs of the public sector workers. There are plenty of examples of producer interests taking over in the private sector, for example, the financial, industry, Enron, along with various cartels and monopolies through-out history.

    The way politics works with lobbying and vested interests tends to promote producer interests as well. Consider the US of A, literally the best democracy money can buy.

    T******** looks like a monopoly that has gone wrong.

    I think where the private sector can work well it’s where there are healthy transparent markets with customer service orientated companies competing with each other. Some of the best examples are worker owned co-operatives such as Lewis. Unfortunately, however, even co-operatives can go wrong if they become hi-jacked by their managers to the detriment of customers. You need only consider the crystal Methodist….

    For me, no easy answers, no slogans, just eternal vigilance. A few corrupt directors going to jail instead of being given knighthoods might just “encourage the others”

  8. Its nervously quiet on here this week, inching ever so slowly to the Trabant benchmark.

    Very sadly I was never going to be available to go to Wemboroly on Monday. However, I have negotiated an afternoon pass from Mrs. Powmill to be relieved of packing the house up duties to be able to watch the game. Just have to book SkySports1 with BT to do that.

    I hope the anxiety of everyone still waiting to get their ticket in their hand is not taking the shine of what should be a tremendous occasion to be a part of. I’m looking forward to seeing the sea of red and white singing its hearts out on the TV.

    Has anyone heard if any NCFC supporters are having similar problems with Ticketmessrs or is it just Middlesborough fans affected?

  9. Come to think of it, tickets probably got lost in the post having been addressed to the mythical Middlesborough in Teeside

  10. I haven’t seen an actually figure on the number of fans that will now need to pick up their tickets in person – whether at the Riverside or Wembley.

    But Blocks 527 to 552 is half of the stadium upper tier, which I’d roughly estimate as holding at least around 15,000 people – the logistics of that many people coming in person to pick up tickets and have their ID checked sounds a nightmare.

    As to how many people will need to pick their tickets from Wembley on the day – who can say right now? If it’s several thousand then how many can be processed per hour? What will happen as kick-off approaches and there are still people waiting for their tickets?

    It sounds like someone needs to have a thorough workable plan in place – plus a contingency plan just in case to avoid any safety problems that could arise as impatient fans start to get nervous about getting into the stadium on time.

    The word Omnishambles springs to mind.

  11. On the Boro web-site just now:
    Important information for fans…
    Here is an update fans regarding Play-Off Final tickets.

    Additional tickets for general sale
    We have received a number of tickets back from Ticketmaster and these tickets will be placed on general sale from the main Ticket Office at 2pm on Friday May 22. These will only be available from the Riverside and will be limited to four per person.We apologise to fans unable to get to the Riverside, but we can only issue these tickets for immediate collection.

  12. Well, I eventually managed to speak to someone at the ticket office this morning, I’ve been told that if I can’t pick my tickets up from the Riverside (I’m in block 552), all I have to do is go to the Wembley box office to collect them on the day as any tickets not collected from the Riverside will automatically be sent to Wembley.

    So sounds nice and straight forward in theory, but going to Wembley without my tickets makes me feel slightly nervous, but no other choice.

    Ticketmaster have been a disgrace, I still believe they should have taken the hit and paid for all the tickets to be sent out by overnight courier, customer service is clearly not in the Ticketmaster dictionary. A £2.40 per ticket refund is an insult.

    **AV writes: Yes, it is not as if they are a dedicated ticket distribution company who do it every day as their one job.

    1. Nigel –

      I really feel for you. I hope there is not a big queue at Wembley waiting for.

      The only positive is that as I was not able to attend, I did bot need to have the hassle for obtaining tickets either. But sure it will affect the mood for those fans like Nigel who do have not yet received their tickets. Can one enjoy the day before seeing the tickets?

      Anyway, let’s hope all end nicely. If Boro win, we all will be happy then ; )

      Up the Boro!

      1. Jarrko –

        Thanks, one way or the other we’ll be there and as you say what we need now is a Boro win!

    2. A one trick pony.

      How does the chant go? ‘One trick and you f…….d it up!’

      Interesting it hasn’t appeared in the national papers yet

  13. Nigel, thanks for that, no need to call the ticket office then. I look forward to seeing you either in the queue for the Wembley box office or in block 552. I just hope T****** haven’t compounded their sins by selling the same tickets twice.


  14. @AV, yesterday’s boro live blog recap seems to have gone missing from the Gazette website. Any chance of putting it back? It’s a it seems to have gone because it contains that goooooooltastic coverage of Boro v Brentford from ESPN Brasil. “everybody round my house for a Feijoada!”

  15. Wembley ticket office is located diectly under the Bobby Moote statue, it opens at 11am, see you there!

    AV – Was my last post ‘edited’ or am I loosing my marbles as well as my tickets!!?

    **AV writes: No, why? I haven’t been around all day. You didn’t say anything naughty did you?

  16. Not only do Ticketmaster forget to post a third of Boro fans tickets they now suddenly produce another 800 for the club to sell.

    Words fail as have Ticketmaster!!

    Should have let the club sell themselves online and by phone and in person

    North Stand Ticket office upper tier
    South Stand Ticket office middle tier
    West Stand Ticket office lower tier

    Even Given MFC’s past failures at selling Cup Final they wouldn’t have cocked it up as much as Ticketmaster have

  17. It looks like Boro fans are not the only ones having ticket troubles for Monday according to the Gazettes stablemate the Mirror.

    “Norwich City fan Matt Grimmer, 41, was devastated after his three tickets for the Championship play-off final were chewed up by the beloved family pet.”


    BTW AV, you need to have a word with your colleagues for the Mirror, this article also refers to Monday’s match between Norwich and Middlesborough.

    How could one of the nationals still get it wrong after all the namegate publicity earlier this week?

      1. Thaks. Feels a bit hollow seems traffic is so slow ….. but then again we’ll all be happy to accept a last gasp single goal to decide a slow slow game on Monday.

        (But hoping it will be better than that !)

  18. For anybody collecting tickets at Wembley I have just received confirmation they should be collected from the “West side box office”.

    I suppose that’s consistent with Nigel’s advice re the location near the Bobby Moore statue but it’s better to be sure isn’t it?

    I wonder whether there is room at Wembley for a statue to that great hero of football Uncle Sepp. I am sure he would be very appreciative of such a touching gesture.

  19. I was getting decidedly twitchy when our tickets hadn’t arrived by yesterday. Now we know why. Today, my poor brother, who lives in Stockport, has had to drive the 100 miles each way to the Riverside to pick them up! Flaming unbelievable.

    What a complete shambles Ticketmesser is. Even when you go through them for an ordinary league game, you can never be sure that something won’t go wrong. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that Boro MUST cut all ties with this bunch of shoosters as soon as any contract is up. I shall be writing to Neil Bausor to tell him so. Please all join me!

  20. What I don’t understand is once the error was discovered, why the tickets weren’t just posted by Ticketmessrs as guaranteed next day delivery – I think it only costs around £6.50 and given that they’re already refunding £2.40 then it’s only extra £4 (or maybe less if they have a bulk mail relationship with the postal service).

    Instead the club and fans have been made to incur the extra costs to rectify their mistake – which is highly likely that most people have incurred costs many times more than £4 in having to pick them up personally – not to mention the inconvenience and stress for everyone as they worry about not being able to get their tickets in time.

    It appears that Ticketmessrs were more concerned in protecting their profit margin on each ticket and have decided that the people not at fault pick up the tab – with that attitude perhaps they should consider diversifying into banking?

    1. smiling wryly at that last comment Werder

      Each individual affected should lodge a formal complaint with Ticketmessrs, requesting appropriate compensation for the legitimate costs that were involved because Ticketmessrs failed to live up to its side of the contatct to deliver the tickets to everyone. If enough people start to do so, there is sure to be some smart legal practice that will want to take up a class action.

      Perhaps the Gazette, backed by the mighty Mirror Group could take the case up with Ticketmessrs …. there’s nothing like the threat of (or realisation of) prolonged negative publicity to force a business’s hand. Just look at Thomas Cook

  21. They r so cunning, firstly planting a bomb outside to let Boro think the the game is off, the trains would not run, tickets would not arrive, is this a comedy of errors or what.

    Can’t wait for Monday

    AV, could you post a pic of you jumping on the desk, at the end, when we are winners

  22. Just got back today from my sojourns to the Czech Republic complete with Eastern European Man Flu, far worse than just normal man flu or at least that’s what I’m failingly trying to convince Mrs Red.

    Full of flu, no tickets feeling utterly crap then I open this blog after missing it for a couple of days working and travelling since my last post and here I am now feeling sorry for those of you who have actually got tickets (or maybe not).

    What an absolute shower of the brown stuff Ticketless Master are. Talk about a proverbial in a brewery. Hope the travelling Teesside humourists have reserved a special ditty or perhaps even a banner for them.

    Throw in the Bomb (not literally), and it has “Typical Boro” all over it. At least the Train strike is called off which will be a huge relief to the travelling Teessiders not to mention the the eternally reconstructed M1 “parkway”.

  23. Can I just throw in the unthinkable Seriously, what if we lose?

    I, for one, will clap off every single teary-eyed player and thank them for a brilliant season.

    Another year in the Championship? No problem. It’s fantastIc. I dare say it’s the the best league (for quality and competition) in the world.

    But please, win. I think it will feel as good as Cardiff.

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