Rotherham Bum Note Keeps Boro On Track

THE MILLERS Grind wouldn’t make any Boro’s Greatest Hits album.  It probably wouldn’t even make an Berlin drugs phase B- side.  It was a flabby filler on the difficult third album. No one would ever claim it as their favourite and all but the most ardent fan will forget it immediately  and, to be honest,  on CD most people  would just skip it.  But it is there, part of critically acclaimed wider body of work that has some far more memorable stuff on it so you tolerate it and accept it for what it is: a bum note in a classic collection.

Sometimes you have to work through those numbers as part of the build-up to get to the big anthemic crowd pleasing finale.  The 1-0 win over Rotherham was like  that.  A downbeat, going through the motions set-padding kind of fixture where Ringo or Sid or the Edge was allowed to do the vocals.

And after the triumphant headlining glory of Old Trafford it was all a bit of a comedown but so long as Boro are topping the charts come May, no-one will worry too much about the last couple of solid but unspectacular shows.



Manchester United was a fantastic experience.  Playing on a star-studded bill in a  breath-taking stadium and deservedly blowing away the punters and the pundits alike could easily be a distraction. All that champagne and caviar.

But nothing says welcome back to the Championship bread-and-butter than two basement battlers on the bounce.  The last pair of back-to-back routine Riverside games have been archetypal Championship fare: stodgy and solid, filling but far from tasty.

First a fragile Charlton in disarray and with a new boss and then rock bottom Rotherham also under new management.  Hardly mouth-watering clashes. And the flat atmosphere echoed that.  There was a workmanlike air that said:  let’s just get the job done with no fuss,   get the points bagged and get the hell back home and under the duvet and then we can start to ponder the trip to Hull.

But however mundane the matches, these are the important ones. Yes, Manchester United will live longer in the memory. The night we took 10,000 and out-sung, out-fought and out-gunned will go down in folklore and in years to come no one will remember these two humdrum encounters except maybe the mascots.

Boro worked hard in the first half against second bottom Charlton without reward before winning 3-0 in a late flourish. Then they started brightly against Rotherham and Stewart Downing got the vital goal before the game lost its way a bit, the tempo dropped and after spurning chances to seal it – Boro hit the woodwork twice  – they may even have been caught at the death. But weren’t.


It is cashing in these functional fixtures for precious points that will really count come May. Winning the contractual obligation games is what builds the platform for promotion.

And you don’t have to thump the opposition. You don’t need to dismantle them ruthlessly. You don’t need to batter them 4-0.  Yes, it would be nice but we have been in this league long enough to know by now that those displays are just punctuation in writing the long story of the season.

And the season is bound to be a long attritional slog and while they won’t set the soul alight,  occasional, solid workmanlike wins will do. Grinding it out will do. If we are honest, snatching it late on with a smarmy deflection will do.

The wins over Charlton and Rotherham have been professional and controlled but rarely exciting and that may be frustrating for fans – but it is far better than the dark days of even the recent past when Boro regularly messed these games up.

Terrace legend has it that “typical Boro” always hit the self-destruct button against the whipping boys.  We all have the scars from the many nightmare times when a high-flying Boro have taken out their Colt 45 and fired it squarely through their own size elevens in a coupon-busting implosion.

A dismal draw at home to relegation-bound Blackpool at this time last season put the brakes on the Boro bandwagon and dented morale and contributed to just missing out.

And the two home defeats this calendar year have come to a woeful Leeds side in free-fall last term and a limited Bristol City side who were without a win before the team bus pulled up at the Riverside and who have since taken up residence just above the trapdoor.

So we all know the risks. We all know what can happen in the Championship if you take your eye off the ball, if you start to “think you are better than you are.”

But since their blip Boro have looked sharper, more ruthless and more determined to make every game count.  Since Aitor’s selection gamble and the fight back away at Wolves cleared the air and re-energised the season, Boro have won three on the bounce with a the spot-kick shoot-out success at Old Trafford along the way.

None of them have been classics. They won’t take up much time on the highlight DVD. But the points still count. And it was vitally important for Boro to win to keep the momentum going.  It  was a crucial fixture in the flux at the top of the tightly bunched Championship table when the result was far more important than the performance.

On kick-off four teams had hopes of taking a share of the summit with Brighton so there was everything to play for.  The Seagulls slipped up with a draw but Derby, Burnley and Hull all won so the top of the table is tighter than ever.

It is starting to shape up like last year with a leading group turning the screw.  We can’t afford for Boro to be the team that cracks this term and is left playing catch-up after slipping at crucial moments. Every point is precious. Every win vital.

The one against Rotherham may not have been as popular or memorable as  Manchester United and supporters won’t all be joining in the chorus of praise to it, but come May we could be singing and dancing to glory and it will be just as important as the big hits.


67 thoughts on “Rotherham Bum Note Keeps Boro On Track

  1. Well we started on fire, crisp passing, fluidity, pace, movement and probably our best game all season. It was Havana’s and deck chairs at the ready, the Pimms was ready to be poured and the Champagne corks popping as Boro put on a real show of total domination football.

    The standard of football was sublime, men against boys, Samson and Delilah, whoa what? Samson and Delilah? Well we all know how that ended. And so it came to pass that on a misty night in November at the Riverside the whipping boys came to town and were roundly being whipped and Stewy broke the deadlock by pouncing on a ball just over the half way line, charging single handedly towards the Rotherham box and hit a low left foot drive across the goal, leaving Camp no chance and into the far corner. Sixteen minutes and euphoria, this was it, 5 no 6 maybe even 7 nil it had to be, it was all one way traffic, what could possibly go awry?

    For the next ten minutes we looked comfortable in the knowledge that we knew this bottom side were going to implode as they searched for an equaliser and we exposed them and tore them apart (please no Merseyside police tweets here!). All right then maybe after half time we would put them to the sword, after all we couldn’t expect to have it all our own way, I mean Rotherham inevitably would have some decent passages of play but nothing to worry us surely.

    I’m Sorry to say but after 25 or 30 minutes it looked very uncomfortable. In fact it was excruciating at times, Did we score too early? Where we overly confident? had AK switched and changed too much? Whatever the reasons the rest of the game just ground on and was less than pleasurable to watch. The last 30 minutes and last 15 in particular where edgy, nervous and had me worried about the state of my undercrackers! Soiled but not stained best describes them especially after Fernando’s late back pass (insert your own joke).

    AK was reasonably calm throughout but the last ten minutes had him as animated as I have ever seen him. If ever he thought some of his players thought they were better than they they are then this was most definitely the night. The last ten minutes was like Tommy Cooper spinning twenty dinner plates on those wobbly poles. Its the only way I can convey how nerve wracking it really was.

    In the end we held on, clung on, and thanks to Stewy’s first half display and solo effort we won all 3 points. Bizarrely and as bad as we were for the last 60 minutes in the first half de Pena had a header which clipped the crossbar, Albert took out the KLM flight approaching from Amsterdam (when scoring was easier) and then in the second half de Pena had a header just narrowly over the bar, George hit the post, Fabbrini just after he had come on had an open goal in front of him from the corner of the 6 yard box after Nsue had managed to take on and beat two defenders on the right then lose the ball, win it back after they tripped over each other and then put in a fab cross to Diego only for him to hit Temenos! Stewy then likewise had a similar opportunity and managed to at least keep it within the lower seats of the North Stand but well over the crossbar.

    We could have won by 3 or 4 had those gone in but in all honesty it would have been a travesty. Realising the need for a bit more oomph AK had brought on Zuculini for de Pena and pushed Grant further forward and Stewy wide left but Grant wasn’t having one of his better nights. The pairing of Grant and Clayton earlier did look negative, ponderous and slow. in his short time here Zuculini certainly adds a bit more drive and positivity to the middle of the park. So much so that I think on Saturday AK may well start with Zuculini and Grant on the bench. Who would have thought that our talismanic Captain would be looking over his shoulder and based upon tonight’s performance he better get some wing mirrors fitted to check for overtaking loanees.

    4 big wins in a row now so reasons to be cheerful without doubt despite tonights inept display after our goal. AK however will be less than impressed with some of the performances, even Albert and Nugent looked a little jaded. The next three days at Rockcliffe should be interesting as I suspect there are a few shirts up for grabs for Saturday’s table topping encounter.

    **AV writes: I didn’t feel it was nervous for a second. I certainly didn’t think we “held on.” They had a few spells of possession in the second half – you expect that – one moment in the Boro box but never looked like doing anything with it and any nervous reaction came more from cultural memory of games past rather than a reflection of the game itself. Boro were well in control and had a hatful of chances to seal it. The game slipped into a ‘job done’ slumber after about an hour and that was a bit frustrating but the outcome was never in doubt.

  2. How ever we get the points is fine, i have no complaints, three points are massive with the stakes so high so to get 9 points in three games and beat Man U, massive weeks work, you cannot ask for more. Added to which we have rested key players and have been without Stuani and still won.

    Saturday, Hull will attack, we will attack, it would be great if we could hit them hard early on as we did against Norwich at Carrow Rd last season, wouldn’t mind us parking the 263 infront of our goal on occasion if we get our noses in front. Cracking week, UTB !

  3. Just updated the spread sheet – some interesting and reassuring stats.

    We have played a third of the season which is almost 2/3 of the teams.

    Against the bottom half we have played 9 and collected 22 points.
    Against the top half we have played 6 and have collected 8 points.

    To me that looks good form, we have collected what we needed to do against the chaff [sorry couldn’t resist that one] and performed well against the top half, especially as most of the 6 games played against the top were away.

    The next 8 games are crucial – , 3 against the bottom and 5 against the top. To pick up points against Hull and Brighton would be fantastic and a victory against Burnley

    It looks like we have passed most of the Banana Skins already and can now look forward to exiting games of footy.


  4. This is the Championship. So a win and three points are massive. Always.

    Thanks for good reports, AV and RR. I can only add two observations.

    First we now have gained exacly two poinst per match. Not a bad after 15 games. I think we are now allowed to look at the table.

    Secondly, there were no yellow cards. So AK have a near full squad to choose from. I presume there was no injuries either from yesterday’s match.

    So we will have a cracking match coming on Saturday. Hull is in good form but so are we. Downing has been superb in the last four games. As have been the rest of the team, too.

    Great finale to look forward to on Saturday. Up the Boro!

  5. It was even dull following the game on Twitter. I can’t remember #borolive being so quiet during a match. None the less,I didn’t get the feeling of anxiety that usually comes when Boro are 1 goal up with only 10 minutes to play. The biggest emotion on the night was really the disappointment that Burnley and Hull both took all the points as well.

    Three points was the most important outcome for us last night and we came away with all three. A few days now for AK to get the mindset of the squad right before the big top of the table Yorkshire derby clash with Hull.

    **AV writes: Derby? Lol. Hull is a Ayala clearance away from the North Midlands.

  6. We beat the team at the bottom of the table. We’ll likely get beat by Hull.

    I can’t see the team we have doing any better than last season’s fourth place. I don’t honestly think last season’s failings have been properly addressed.

    If we can start to beat teams at the top then…

    It looks to be a very close season, although at least one will pull away and one will drop away. Who though?

    **AV writes: That’s the spirit.

  7. Saturday against Hull should be a cracking game. The division’s meanest defence against the second-most potent attack (not often you get to say that about the Boro!). It’s got 0-0 written all over it and I for one would be delighted with that outcome.

    If I’ve worked things out right, after the first 15 games we’ve got 3 more points than last season, we’ve scored 1 more goal, and we’ve conceded 3 less goals. This time last season we’d also been knocked out of the League Cup, albeit heroically. This year we live to fight another round. That’s not a bad start. Better than I expected, I thought we’d be slow starters this year.

    I tend to agree with Ian’s mates. I think Hull, Burnley, Derby and Boro will pull away from everyone else, but I think it will be very tight between those four right up to the wire. Buckle yourselves in for another nerve-racking season.

  8. It was as I suspected after seeing the Charlton match on Saturday. But we won we had no yellow or red cards no injuries and AK rotated the squad again.

    Ayala And Ben rested for Saturday which should turn out to be an interesting game.


  9. You have to be careful with stats but they do give something to talk about.

    Derby 56% possession Rotherham 44%. Derby 16 shots with 5 on target, Rotherham 6 with three on target.

    Boro 57% possession Rotherham 43%. Boro 19 shots with three on target, woodwork is not on target, Rotherham 9 with 1 on target.

    Without seeing the matches but reading the comments about last night and what Rams fans said about Saturday the games sounded fairly similar. Rotherham a plucky but limited side. Routine Championship fare. Derby scored early then got a second in the first half, cruised the second half and scored a third.

    Boro scored early then hit the woodwork in the first half, wasted what chances they had then hit the post in the second.

    What can be implied from a distance? Without the benefit of watching both matches it looks to be getting that round thing inside the sticks.

    Fine margins, a cliché but valid.

    The season moves on, Derby expect to be top come close of business on Friday. They would be happy with a draw in our match.

  10. It sounds like Boro set out with the right intentions last night and were determined in the pursuit of that all important first goal – but once it arrived they collectively thought ‘job done’ and lost the edge off their game. Perhaps the game plan was mainly focused on getting that early goal and they subliminally thought they had achieved their overall goal.

    Though looking at the stat (sorry AV) that only three shots out of 19 were on target, there appeared to be a lot of wayward finishing – which maybe was caused by increased frustration and the desire for that second goal so they could relax properly and play in their comfort zone.

    But we can’t complain as we ultimately got to the main objective of securing three points and continued the winning run. Boro now find themselves in a similar position before the Reading game – we go to Hull ahead of yet another two-week international tedium-fest knowing a win would leave us sitting pretty on the front foot and only a maximum of one point from the top.

    The theoretical automatic promotion target of two point per game has once again been reached but Boro are not alone and share this distinction with four other clubs at the moment – that means no respite if you want a top two spot as surely a couple of these clubs have a good chance of winning their next few games and Boro need to stay in the mix.

    So still a long way to go but the table is shaping up and we may well be entering a decisive period in the automatic promotion race, whether it’s just hanging in with the chasing pack or even managing to take control of a top two spot – it starts on Saturday

    BTW great entertaining post earlier from RR to supplement AV’s interesting insight into the game.

  11. Tactically last night we were spreading the ball out wide to the flanks and either putting in crosses (which were fairly ineffective as the two Rotherham central defenders headed most clear with relative ease or their Keeper collected) or cutting back into the middle and trying to work an opening against a compact defence which stood firm.Our goal came when Stewy opportunistically latched onto a loose ball, drove forward on the break and took responsibility himself to finish it off leaving everyone for dead in his wake.

    Too many passes seemed to be the order of the evening which allowed the Millers to regroup and us having to snatch at half chances. We didn’t have an alternative approach and it was interesting that where normally Dimi rolls the ball out to Ayala or Ben he was hoofing it long down the pitch. As the game wore on there was very little guile or creativity in evidence with many below par performances in Red shirts after an up tempo start.

    The frustration is that we started from the off looking like Brazil versus a Sunday Pub Team and once we scored we seemed to think job done and that was our undoing and in the end we were fortunate to hang on, ultimately keeping the ball in the corner quadrant from a corner in the dying seconds. In balance credit has to be given to Rotherham, if they can play like they did for the last hour they should climb away from the relegation zone with ease.

  12. Redcar Red

    Your view of Rotherham matches the Derby views. The game was meandering at Pride Park but Derby scored at the very end of the first half and it knocked the stuffing out of them.

    Derby got the second and we didn’t, possibly the difference in the view of the match.

    Derby were no great shakes last night but they could be top by the time we play Hull.

    It looks as if Hull were impressive last night so game on for Saturday.

  13. We won. Can’t complain about that and three points went in the bag and we all know the times when a match like that in the past would have been draw or, horrors a 0 – 1 defeat.

    AV’s summing was bang-on and a great write up from RR too. Thank you.

    On to Hull, now geographically they’re at the bottom of Yorkshire and we are at the top. It’s an omen.



    1. Jarsue

      I was at the 1-1 Blackpool home game this time last year, both games were hard to watch but like you say the difference this season is we won.

  14. Two first- class reports from AV and Redcar Red. The slight difference in emphasis between them being particularly interesting.

    RR wrote a few weeks ago that what appear to be differences of opinion on the blog may be little more than a reflection of the differences between the experiences of going to the games and following them from a distance. You can see this from the comments above. If you weren’t there but simply saw the result, then it tends to be a case of let’s take the three points and move on.

    And after the heroics of Old Trafford that tends to be my view of both the Charlton and Rotherham matches, neither of which I attended. Even had I gone I suspect I would have been as sanguine as AV was about the performances. The results were all important. This view can sometimes be extended to, “Look at the table. What is there to be concerned about?”

    But RR’s report faithfully replicates the complex kick-by- kick emotional roller-coaster of watching and supporting your team. The movement in every match from points of high euphoria to deep depression, and back again. What one is left with at the end is the memory of a flow of often conflicting feelings and emotions out of which you need to fashion a narrative that makes some kind of coherent sense.But it is a coherence that has to acknowledge and accommodate contradiction and complexity.

    Both AV and RR manage to do this brilliantly. They reach somewhat different conclusions, but they take us through what is essentially the same emotional journey.

    What is sometimes characterised as “moaning” on this blog is in fact one of its treasures: it is the ability and willingness by significantly large numbers of its contributors to grapple with often conflicting ideas,and contradictory feelings and emotions rather than to settle for the kind of one -dimensional surface responses which are the bread-and -butter of most blogs.

  15. AV.

    I wish I could feel as confident as you that the result was never in doubt. The last 30 minutes became farcical (as alluded to in RR’s report) as we spurned chances to kill off the game then kept making unforced errors at the back, as though we expected a sucker punch. It did, however, turn out ok in the end.

    I just hope that we got the lethargy out of our system and that Saturday will be a total contrast. I thought Clayton was MOM, with Downing a close second but the rest were a bit under par. I will, however, go against my natural instincts and say I think we’ll avoid defeat at Hull (that’s put the mockers on that then!).

    **AV writes: I thought there were quite a few good (par and above) displays: George Friend was great, Nsue was very lively, Nugent worked his nuts off again… and if one of those chances had gone in and we’d won 2-0 it would have been hailed as thoroughly professional performance.

  16. Len

    I agree with your views, if I don’t go or see a match I wont comment on the niceties.

    Goals have an interesting effect on the match, I have mentioned before going to watch a 0-0 at Ayresome Park where we battered the opposition and either drew 0-0 or won 1-0. Turgid was the view. A week later Tony McAndrew scored a hat trick against the Blades in a truly awful match but 3-0 changes the perspective.

    The common theme is if you don’t get that second goal you are a hostage to fortune.

  17. A win is a win, however it is achieved, I accept that However I will still say that after reading both excellent reports from AV and RR the manner of quite a lot of our results is still a cause for a little concern.

    As Allan in Saudi has already said, our next ten games in 2015, counting Derby as well could well be a defining time. Yes the other teams have ten matches also which the leaders may win, draw or lose.
    But it is down to the Boro to get some good results and keep in the pack in what I think will be a difficult period. I still believe we will have to up our consistency to get what we require.

    1. Thanks Pedro. The other worrying indication is that based on current form and that of those around us we will probably only get 9 points from the next 8 games. I do hope the other teams lose and draw as well but for sure our table position does not reflect reality at the moment.

      That’s not a typical Teesside view, the spread sheets are showing this only too clearly. I hope for a visible improvement against the upper cohort over the next few weeks.

  18. I’m pleased for Downing at scoring and pleased with him for taking on the responsibility.

    Ian Gill. I couldn’t agree more hitting the woodwork is not on target. Nor is it unlucky.

    I’ll happily take an away point against Hull. Three would be fabulous but I”l be happy with one.

    The game is definitely a derby in my house.
    With a never offered or spoken of choice between us and that lot, Jnr may well split the difference, opt for the land of his birth and become a Palace fan.

  19. I thought that after 20 minutes or so Rotherham ceased being as awful as they had been. However had our finishing been as clinical as it normally is the score could have been 3-0.

    I thought Carlo de Pena’s performance started to show that he is coming to grips with the Championship. He made some excellent runs into space but to no avail. I am sure he will become more influential during the next few months.

    Nice to see Stewie Downing is starting to express himself. More to come I think. Roll on Saturday.

  20. The top five in the Championship with arguably the exception of Brighton, are in pretty spectacular form. All except Brighton are averaging more than two points a game from the last ten matches. Derby and Brighton haven’t lost in ten. It’s certainly tense and exciting at the top, but I found the Rotherham result reassuring, in that it was a game we could easily have drawn in the past. The touch of class from Downing made sure of the three points, a result which come May might be the difference between promotion and not.

    I can’t see the top four of five teams running away from the pack, usually one team emerges from the pack in the New Year and makes a break for the top, that could well happen this year. The top four aren’t all going to keep averaging 21/22 points every ten games either. There will be slippage somewhere.

    I’m looking forward to the Hull game on Saturday, it’s a biggy, I think they are this seasons team to beat, other than Boro. I also think Hull are due a defeat!

  21. I think if we had won by 3 or 4 it would have been a travesty, as it was it was a total travesty. Despite not hitting top gear throughout we should have been in double figures based on the chances we had. Some wasteful finishing really, fortunately Rotherham didn’t have anywhere near the quality to punish us.

    What a week and a bit though – 4 wins far beyond what we could have hoped for and the excellent start continues.

  22. Thank you, AV, for yet another brilliant piece of writing. It superbly sums up what we all felt about a frustrating, but ultimately successful evening. And thank you, too, for that marvellous Lightbulb article about Boro’s managers and how they responded to their players:- fascinating insight into life at Boro where reading between the lines reveals many a surprising, secret snippet!

    Regarding the Rotherham game, I agree with you that the Millers were never really a threat apart from that one heart-stopping moment when Nando tripped over his feet and presented them with a one-on-one. I never really felt they would score, but as you say, typical Boro history always leaves you on the edge of your seat until the final whistle blows.

    I travelled over from work in Runcorn, then drove back to a Travelodge in Crewe afterwards, arriving back at 12.30 am. 290 miles. Before I went my wife said I must be mad. For about 70 minutes of the game I had to agree with her. For 70 minutes we were awful. Passes went astray, crosses hit defenders, fluency went missing and we spurned a few really good chances to wrap it up. For most of the game we found it difficult to string more than a couple of passes together or sometimes even to find a red shirt. The longer the game went on the more I was dreading my lonely drive back to the North-West. But we won. We got the 3 points. Job done. And one moment of sheer class from Stewy made it all worthwhile.

      1. Unfortunately “Boroitis” to give it its correct medical terminology is a lifelong condition which sufferers just have to live with despite its at times severe debilitating emotional and psychological effect for which no prescribed medication can alleviate the symptoms.

        For those who have a recent diagnosis I can only say that some weeks and months are better than others and sufferers have had to learn to cope with it whilst struggling to get on with their daily lives. It is not all bad news, for instance in February 2004 the symptoms entirely lifted for a few weeks, even months. Then in early May 2006 there were more reports of mass remission across the Diasboro only to be cruelly struck down again almost immediately when a Spanish strain of the virus mixed with a Dutch variant brought thousands to their knees as the House of Orange merged with the Home of Oranges. The potential massive short burst of Vitamin C was simply too much for ricket scurvy laden smog ingested systems to cope with.

        It is not uncommon to find those who are afflicted to have a somewhat cynical view of life along with a tendency to overuse belittling, undervaluing and disparaging terms about the very cause of their disease. Self deprecating humour such as “Untypical Boroitis” is not unusual amongst the afflicted as they come to terms with the disease trying to mitigate for its uncontrollable highs and lows.

        It does tend to be well contained as viruses go and it is quite uncommon to find cases north of Billingham, west of Yarm, south of Crathorne and no further than the shores of Redcar in the east of the region. There are from time to time some reported cases as far afield as Australia, Saudi, Finland and the US but health authorities state that these are only very isolated cases and do not represent a threat to the wider community. There is a recommendation however that locals and especially close family members (in particular offspring due to the possibility of genetic mutation) avoid close contact with known carriers for extended periods on Saturdays between the hours of 3.00pm and 5.00 pm GMT when the virus is at its most contagious levels and occasional Tuesday evenings during Winter and Spring.

        If you know someone who is suffering or has been affected by Boroitis please call 0844 499 1234 (calls to this number will cost seven pence per-minute plus your providers access charge) and please have a method of payment ready and the Card holders permission. Trained advisors are available on this number to help with a breakthrough treatment called Karankathonics (commercially branded as “Season Card” for long term treatment or “Matchday Ticket” for short term relief). Many have claimed it to have recently eased symptoms after many years of suffering. It has to be said that it is only a relatively recent treatment and its effects may not be permanent but statistics to date show that there is likely to be a 53% improvement in the condition with Karankathonic therapy and around 22% showing the condition neither improving or worsening.

        nb. “Boroitis” should not be confused with “Hip Bursitis” which is a very common condition north of Billingham caused by spending long hopeless periods on ones derrière usually relieved by getting up and walking after around 45 minutes or even sooner. To ease their pain some have recently turned to Allardyconics but those living only slightly further north have complained that in their experience this only worsens the condition as it leads to Superfatallardyciosis.

        **AV writes: Very good. Thank you Doctor.

        1. Loved the contagious disease I have had it since 1967.

          I thought I was cured in 1974 but it has grown worse over the years. This latest strain of Spanish influence is really getting to me


    1. Clive.

      It is this inconsistently that I am concerned about. We all make mistakes that’s life. What worries me is that against the top sides we have to play they will not miss the chances that the lesser teams missed.

  23. Pedro.

    The [other] top teams miss chances in this league too. Look how many we have missed so far and we have still scored 23 goals in the league so far. Only Fulham (11th) have scored more goals than us. Everyone else except for Hull have conceded more goals than us. We are only aware of the missed chances that we make,but I’m certain that if you talk to the supporters of all of the other clubs that they will feel exactly the same. Currently the stats prove that overall we are scoring more and conceding less than just about everyone else and I don’t see any evidence that is likely to change soon.

  24. Lies, damn lies, potted highlights and statistics. Eye of the beholder.

    Before big Jack’s team were promoted I saw quite a few top flight games at Leeds. Many fans at home only saw the potted highlights on MOTD or Tyne Wear TV and thought it was largely end to end action. On promotion there was a lot of turgid play especially from the likes of Leeds and Liverpool who were too good, would score one and just kept the ball.

    The new extended highlights on Boro HD + TV thingy remind me of those days.

    Last season we had 90 secs including analysis on the Football League show and slightly longer highlights on MFC.

    Now we have 10-11 minutes to watch. They are not going to fill that with a series of misplaced passes or a sequence of a dozen passes advancing the ball 2.156 metres.

    I assume we get the significant attacking/defending action on the pitch. As they are copyright of the football league I guess the editing is done by whoever deals with the compilation. Do Rotherham get the same highlights? AV can correct my assumptions.

    Whatever, the highlights look like Rotherham escaped a pounding.

    I go back to the start of this post, lies, damn lies……….

    1. Stewie comes from Pallister Park, Derrick came from Frickley Town (?) and was born in Donnie.

      Lived across from us in Dinsdale Ave. Smashing bloke with a lovely wife. Keen fly fisherman.

  25. Redcar Red

    I was surprised you didn’t highlight when the condition was eventually recognised in it’s own right.

    At first it was thought just to be type of SAD, Season Afflicted Disorder which many fans suffer. That is similar to the people who have a boring life and don’t follow football known as Seasonally Affective Disorder.

    Initially it was believed they were the same, a gradually drop in morale and well being as winter set in.

    Studies showed they were distinct conditions because certain groups of football fans seemed to be immune to the condition. ManU fans because they kept winning, Liverpool fans because it was always someone else’s fault, Millwall fans because no one liked them and Toon fans because of a delusional disorder.

    The breakthrough came with the advances in genetics linked to a peculiar condition that affected people from Teesside and their offspring.

    People suffering from Seasonally Affective Disorder improve as the days get longer after Christmas. Football fans with Season Afflicted Order improved depending on results or acceptance of the way the season was going.

    It was the realisation of the predictability of Post Christmas Slump that led to intensive epidemiological studies in to the population that were Boro fans. The results are shown in you well documented paper.

    Sadly, as you have highlighted, no known cure.

  26. I suspect there is a spectrum of conditions here. There was also a disturbing emergent condition known as IFS or to give it it’s full name: “irritable fan syndrome”. Patients present in a delusional state of unrealistically high expectations with a strong tendency towards bipolar behaviour. Although essentialy a cognitive disfunction this can be recognised by symptoms such as dummy spitting, booing and victimisation of individual players. As expected victims tend to generalise wildly from selected data.

    This disease is thought to be endemic among the fans of historically successful football teams. Sufferers have been observed participating in the 606 phone in. Sporadic outbreaks are suspected to have occured among Boro fans. It seems to have been contained by rapid intervention and a general improvement in performance of MFC. Although individuals may still become infected from time to time there are no signs of it spreading into the general population.

  27. Time for a saying, don’t you just love them, this is one from golf: “If you keep doing what you did you keep getting what you got’.

    What we are experiencing at the moment is a man in charge of the ship who wants to change everything that the club were doing, regarding it as not fit for purpose. If I wished to list the things he has changed I would be here all night. Suffice to say, its a very pleasant time to be a Boro supporter.

    Sticking to the last two weeks is highly satisfying. Troubling away fixture, tick, big cup tie, tick, two simple games at home, six points, thank you very much, tick, desperately need to rest at least six leading players, tick, need to avoid yellow cards for at least five players, tick. What have we been missing all those seasons?

  28. Another light aside.

    Coleman has responded to Arsene Whinger quite brilliantly.

    For those who didn’t listen to the Welsh Manager it transpires Whinger is blaming him for Arron Ramsey’s injury.

    Ramsey didn’t arrive with a can I be excused letter from his mum (AKA Whinger) nor did Coleman get a call. Being a simple soul he played him for Wales.

    Ramsey goes back to Arsenal and plays 90 minutes on the weekend against Watford, then plays a few days later and only lasts an hour or so before picking up an injury.

    I have no sympathy with Arsene nor with any manager including our own. To be fair to Aitor he does make sure they were fit before playing them.

    If you don’t want players to play for their country don’t buy them.

    That is a different topic to do I think internationals are of any use.

  29. Yes, thank you, Redcar Red ( and others) for terrific posts about the madness known as Boromania. If we weren’t doing so well I’d call it Aitormentia.

    I was trying to fix up some travel insurance with a firm based in Sunland today ( you know, the little place up the A19, not some Mediterranean paradise). The bloke asked me all the usual questions about my health, then asked me if I suffered from any psychological illnesses. “I’m a Boro supporter,” I said. “Will that do?” He chuckled but didn’t take me on. Probably has a few psychological hang-ups of his own at present.

    Now, tonight, I find all these great medical diagnoses on here, describing my condition perfectly. You couldn’t write the script! This is an obvious case of art reflecting life!

    Boro mad? You bet.

    I love this blog, me!

  30. Terrific result for the U19’s against Torino. Hope they enjoy the game in Italy, it’s all great experience for them.

    I’m on a cocktail of drugs from my GP for Boroitis. I’m not certain how they work, but if one of the tablets sticks in my mouth for a moment on the way down, my tongue goes numb for half an hour…

    1. Brilliant result and bodes well for our future, what a great opportunity for these young lads to play their football across Europe pitting their skills against a different style of football. Well done to all of them, now its over to the 1st Team to pick up the baton tomorrow at Hull, no pressure then!

  31. My cousin lived over the road to a Woodgate family, nice people in Forber road near the Saltersgill (where me dad used to send me to get him a couple of bottles of beer, excuse me mister can you get us a couple bottles of beer for me dad please..good days) Was wondering if they were related to Woody..Thanks.

    Boroitis is alive here in Aussie sometimes stumbling over a fellow tragic (the Shwartzer family live near me.)

    Going for a 2-2 draw tomorrow .

  32. You might be forgiven for thinking we were in an international interregnum rather than eagerly anticipating our first top of the table clash of the season.

    I suspect that this is one of those typically untypical symptoms of Boroitis that when results are are generally favorable,the ability to post diminishes, but as soon as there is a catostrophic and unexplained run of one defeat in a row back orders for Trabants begin to accumulate. Notably and curiously, at the other pole to that uncomprehendable defeat is the triumphant surge of “I was there” posts and memories as one after another giant of the pan-european stage gets slain in glorious winner takes all combat.

  33. Allan

    My colleague left the office at 1.15pm to go to Nottingham for the Brian Clough Way derby (the A52 between Derby and Nottingham is officially called Brian Clough Way, the sat nav pronounces Clough like plough!!).

    He has caught public transport so I guess Ramanoia must be a similar condition but he is trying preventative treatment.

    1. I believe there used to be a reliable preventative treatment applied annually to those afflicted with Ramanoia, but the Derbyshire public became increasingly resistant to being regularly immersed in the sheep dip,

      Dent Brewery in Cumberland have developed a potent preparation known as Sheep Dip Beer. There is extensive research and on the ground testing to see if this medication is also effective for cases of Boronoia.

  34. Powmill

    It was the sheep that stopped it, they thought it inappropriate to bath with strange men.

    Anyway, moving on. I picked my top academy team from the list of players on the Gazette site.
    Playing 451 as is the vogue

    McMahon, Bates, Gibson, Bennett
    Cattermole, Smallwood
    Morrison, Downing, Johnson

    Turnbull, Williams R, Taylor, Wilkshire, Reach, Fewster, Williams L.

    Not a bad line.

    When I read Phil T’s article what struck me was how our golden generation were frittered away. That was all pre Strachan.

    Lay the blame for our current position where it truly belongs not at Strachan for his Jockification to try and rectify the situation. Nor at Mogga for trying to steady the ship.

    In effect the £5m for Cattermole and Morrison brought in Digard.

    The £32m from Young, Downing, Huth and Johnson covered Mido, Alves, Emnes, Hoyte.

    Boat and Rochembach thrown out.

    Jesus wept. Don’t even mention Jason Euelluesless, Aliadioveragain, Caleb Forlorn, Marlon King and the Donkey St Ledger. Damn, I shouldn’t have said that.

    I am getting angry again.

    1. Ian

      No need to be upset at what’s been and gone just look at what we have now and what is coming through to the first team from the juniors.

      The futures bright the futures red and white!!



  35. That list should be prefaced with a health warning, Ian, it’s heartbreaking. I’m having to reach for the Boroitis pills again, it’s that or the men in white coats…

  36. OFB and Mark

    I have taken some medication, a few stubies and a nice chilled Sauvignon Blanc.

    I am now watching Forest leading the sheep worriers 1-0.

    Lets hope it stays the same.

    What was interesting was the summariser saying Derby are the biggest spenders and he expects Derby and Boro to be the top two. End the season now!

    Sorry for getting a bit hot under the collar but what a shambles. They say time heals but for me it just looks worse.

  37. Squandered perhaps, but I think we are coming through much stronger now and I think a lot has been learned by our now slightly older and wiser chairman. Following football is always having some good times with lots of average and even poor in between. Just now is the time to look forward and not backwards. the future’s bright, the future’s red and white.

    Driving home tonight I had a good feeling about Forest tonight, hope it stays at least 1-0 and we will be all set up for it topping the table tomorrow.

    1. Ian

      It’s the calm before the storm. I think everyone is just taking it easy we seem to have had a few games to discuss recently.

      Pleased for the juniors well done lads but remember you still have to stick in and have a longhorn way to go.!

      Hope you all make a good career in football. I know the lads on here would have loved to have made a professional career in the game. I myself was never a world beater so as they say if you can’t play you referee and that’s what I did and refereed all over north of England and Holland Spain and Aberdeen when I worked there . Happy days!

      Fat Bob

  38. AV

    Any chance you can disable part time posters. I am trying my best with Boro related and red herring posts but I feel like Eric McMordie who was dropped by Stan Anderson after an acclaimed performance against Milwall because the rest of the team didn’t turn up!

    Shall I do a post for you?

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