Was Boro’s Wembley Woe A Blessing In Disguise?

A YEAR ago  traumatised Teesside was recovering from yet another Wembley heartache.

A fatal freeze on the whistle left a sluggish side powerless as they slumped to a 2-0 painful play-off defeat to Norwich as fans stood nauseous and numb and trudging away from the national stadium in stony silence. Again.


The layers of collective pain laid down by successive finals failure is part of our historic burden and feeds into the corrosive ‘typical Boro’ narrative.  Four trips to the Twin Towers and one march to the Arch, and only once have Boro been ahead in a game – after Fabrizio Ravanelli scored Boro’s only goal at the ill-fated arena to nudge us ahead of Leicester in the 1997 League Cup.

And then we blew it through Bryan Robson’s lack of ‘game management.’ We have contrived a variety of self-inflicted wounds at Wembley and the mental scars are still fresh.

But a year ago today against Norwich felt like the worst of all.  It really hurt. Mainly because we expected to win.  We weren’t emotional prepared for defeat. It stung.

Boro fans had set up a boozy basecamp in Trafalgar Square  to party deep into the night ahead of what felt like an inevitable victory and a hard-earned Wembley redemption.  Tens of thousands of confident Teessiders had swamped the capital in red with barely a yellow shirt to be seen.  We had all seen the ‪Neil Grainger #‎Believe‬ videos. We were playing a team we had already beaten twice. What could possibly go wrong?

On the day the team arrived late after the coach got caught in traffic and then stalled from the start, as revved-up Norwich hit top gear in a blistering early spell and left our dreams up on bricks in a lay-by.

Simmering skipper Grant Leadbitter stood alone and glowered as Norwich went up to collect their prize and celebrated and he studiously soaked up the pain ready to use it as fuel for the next big push but fans were all left numb and broken.

But was it for the best? Seriously. Was that damaging defeat a double-edged twist of fate that could actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise?

There is an argument that Boro going up at Wembley last May would have been a year too early.  It wasn’t an argument many were making as we retreated red faced in shocked silence. But now, in the warm glow of this term’s promotion party – and with demoralised Norwich (featuring fringe figure Patrick Bamford ) passing the other way after a long fruitless battle against relegation, the argument seems to have more substance.


Twelve months ago the team was under-prepared, the foundations were not strong enough, the squad just fell short of quality and experience needed to survive.  Yes, we would have spent but had we gone up then we may have lacked the market muscle to strengthen in every department in the way we now all accept we need to.  And the way our opponents failed to do despite trying. We may have struggled. We may have “done a Norwich” and been relegated after a long powerless season of flailing.

Right now we may have been looking at regrouping, rebuilding morale and going again in one of the strongest and best resourced Championship line-ups ever.  With big spending parachute powered Newcastle and Villa plus Norwich and this season’s play-off pack ready to go again the division will be harder than ever.  And we’d know that if we failed to bounce back first time then we could face a long period of cost-cutting, stagnation and  recriminations in a scary ghetto of becalmed ghost ships.

Instead, Boro are going into the top flight at the start of a seismic shift in the financial landscape. Instead, Boro have fallen lucky and hit the jackpot. There has never been a better year to get promoted. Or a worse one to get relegated.

After the Wembley sting, Steve Gibson addressed a sombre post-match reception of players and staff and in a short but powerful speech.  In it, he vowed that Boro would learn from the defeat and that they would come back stronger, wiser and more determined. And he insisted next time they would go up.

On that he and the team have delivered. And now the club are perfectly placed to ride the wave of history.  Promotion this season has catapulted Boro into the world’s top 30 richest clubs and gives them a golden opportunity to become an established part of a global juggernaut.

If they stay up this season, the club will have the bank-busting resources to reshape itself  on and off the pitch, can be stable, secure and fit for purpose for a future with unlimited possibility.  And even if Boro are relegated they will go down with massive financial firepower and – as the first generation to go down with the mouthwatering new TV deal behind them – a great chance to bounce straight back.

Generally ‘now’ is always the best time to get promoted.

Last year at Wembley that may prove not have been true.


748 thoughts on “Was Boro’s Wembley Woe A Blessing In Disguise?

  1. I rather have Dimi than Hart in goal for Boro. Unbelievable!

    Otherwise I think England have best team for many years.

    Up the Boro!

  2. I think Joe hart was still going down when the half time whistle was blown.

    Neat lay off by Ashley Williams to Vardy.

    Two goals, two defensive mistakes.

  3. Fair result overall, 65% possession, 21 shots to 6, 9 corners to 3.

    For a time I thought I was watching Boro!

    1. Ian

      I agree I’m pleased I wasn’t the only one who thought watching England was like watching Boro and a last minute goal!!!

  4. Very Boro like performance at times.
    Agree with Jarkko, prefer Dimi to Joe Hart.
    Typical England eh? Do just enough. Still don’t expect them to make the final but nobody has yet taken the competition by storm.
    Germany/Italy my favourites.

  5. This is your brilliant EU for you, they don’t like Putin because they can’t control him,so they kicked off in the Ukraine, displacing a democratically elected government,of course Russia replied.
    So the EU put sanctions on them,this cost European companies millions of euros in cancelled contracts,one German company was made to cancel a €70m contract with Russia for Machinery by the very EU.
    What this company then had to do was open a factory in Russia in order to stay viable ,laying off the German workers.
    What is scary ,is the EU are using power against their own subjects.
    And don’t think it couldn’t happen to any including the UK.

    1. We are the only EU country with a border with Russia – with some 1000 km of it.
      That is well over 600 miles of border!

      Our most important countries for export are Germany, Sweden amd Russia. Especially the Finnish companies in food business exported over 30 % of their business to Russia. We used to provide St. Petersburg and Moscow with high quality food.

      We gladly followed the EU sanctions. Even one company lost about 3000 workers for the sanctions and Russians’ counter sanctions. But we stayed united in this as a nation. I haven’t seen an opinion in the local press who supports the Pultin invasion in Crimea. And they are still in war in Ukraine.

      EU has kept peace longer than ever in Europe. God bless we have the organisation and we need solidarity in Europe more than ever. For the first time on my live I feel we are heading for real uncertaintity. We need EU.

      Sometimes I think you live in a bubble and not in an island only. I am worried.

      Up the Boro!

      1. PS. I did not see any EU soldiers in Ukraine. But plenty of Russian soldiers and weapons. Some hitting down a civil aircraft from the Netherlands.

        But no reaction from Nato. More reason for EU.

        Just saying like. If you like Putin or not.

        I will collect my coat now. Up the Boro!

  6. Just watched the England manager, half time approaching, England losing, his job vanishing in the afternoon sunshine. The white face was the clue, the bubble coming out of his head like lord snooty in the beano read. “why did I persist with these strikers? I wonder if Vardy can save my job?” second half, equaliser, Vardy of course, two minutes from the end, the winner, a Vardy flick on the penalty spot finds Sturbridge and his job is safe, but for how long?
    it was painful to see the slow motion passing against a team that held no threat, six passes to get from our goalmouth to their goalmouth, my god, forward passes that went over the dead ball line time after time. The after match interview was pure fantasy,” it was all part of the plan, I always meant to bring on Vardy, but I thought maybe ten minutes from the end”. Those last few words are mine.

  7. Vic tweeted

    So am I to understand #ENG are once more an excellent team of all conquering heroes & Roy Hodgson is a tactical genius? #Fickle #Euros2016

    No Vic, we are not all conquering with a tactical genius in charge. The actual truth is that we are better than the rest of the group and should have beaten Russia comfortably.

    England will get out of the group stages, probably get in to the quarter finals and lose against technically more proficient players.

    We will come to regret not taking Townsend, Sterling resembles a little terrier who can chase about after the football but not control it.

  8. My next matches to see:
    Boro at Everton
    Boro vs. Spurs
    I am staying in between in Manchester as I have a business commitment there. Still have to see how to get two tickets for both matches.
    Me wife joining, too.

    I suppose the home match is not sold out but the tickets for Everton match can be problematic. Perhaps I need to ask help from AV, again.

    We are Premie League. Up the Boro!

    PS. Now supporting Northern Ireland. Because of the great Jim Platt. They need to win today.

  9. Jarkko

    Of the home nations Norn Ireland are the only ones I will support.

    Bill Harris played for Boro and Wales but there is no way I could support Wales. Too much history for that having lived in Wales, they are even more insular than Teessiders.

    I was driving back Monmouth from Derby listening to the football on the radio, England beat someone 4-0 so I thought I will be back for the highlights. Quite rightly the Wales game was shown in Wales, after the match I expected highlights of the other home nations.

    Wrong!!! We will now hand you back to the BBC, isn’t it, and got the end of BBC England with highlights of Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

    Our office manager was a a great lady from Tredegar and her daughter played in Tredegar youth band. The managed to reach the Eistedfodd in North wales. They were ever so proud and headed off to see them compete in the final.

    Her and hubbie got in to the huge marquis, sort of a massive circus style tent. They asked where their seat was and the usher spoke to them in Welsh. They apologised that they didn’t speak welsh so the usher just turned on his heels and walked away.

    A fellow member of the audience apologised for the rudeness and showed them to their seat.

    Lo and behold Tredegar won the competition. Afterwards the Radio Cymru presenter went to talk the chap who ran the band. The first question was in Welsh and the band leader said sorry I don’t speak Welsh. The interviewer turned his mike off and walked away without another word.

    I have many similar stories.

    1. Made a trip to Merthyr Tydfil with a Welsh colleague whilst serving for Queen and country. Hit the pubs as you do and then a local disco. The scene was reminiscent of the Deck in Redkerr. The girls danced together around their handbags on the disco floor while the lads hung onto their pint glasses around the periphery, all coated in semi darkness.

      Well fortune favours the brave, and I’m not quite sure how I got there, but I found myself opposite a bonny lass making my best moves. That meant shuffling me feet back and forth as best I could whilst half under the influence. Then, to my delight she beckoned me forward for she wanted to whisper (or shout as the case maybe coz the music was so loud) some sweet nothing in my ear.

      “Oooh, yer a lovely dancer!” she said with great sincerity and passion.

      I nearly collapsed in hysterical laughter. The Welsh girls of Merthyr were obviously bereft of quality dancing partners and thus their expectations had been terribly lowered but I’ll never forget what she said in her beautiful Welsh accent and I love to hear it whenever I get the chance.


  10. Slaggy –

    the morning of the tournament kick off I went to the bookies.

    France 3-1
    England 8-1
    Italy 16-1

    So I whacked a tenner on the Italians and am looking forward to the final, especially as I almost certainly won’t be conflicted in my loyalties.

    Someone at work asked: why weren’t Wales playing in red? I replied as soon as I find out why England are playing sky blue I’ll let you know.

    Oh no, I’ve changed my name again, what will Ian Gill say this time?

  11. Good results to day (England and NI)
    A reasonable chance for all three British teams to go through now.
    i would love to see that.

    I must say that I find all this “Hodgson job on the line” nonsense a little irritating. If England end up winning the tournament it will be despite him and nothing to do with him, but if they don’t win it will be because of him.

    I for one thing he is doing the best job as an England manager for many iterations of previous incumbents.

    Good to see that Boro getting on with recruiting quietly and without fuss. Gaston will be a big signing if it does all go through. I also expect there will be time for a head line grabbing signing before the end of the window !

    Also, echoing several comments that others have made. I have seen some of the most informed debate about the EU referendum in here that I have seen anywhere.

    Our political elite should be embarrassed.

    Awful news today about Mrs Cox being stabbed in her constituency. If there is even a hint that the man was influenced by her position on REMAIN, then those that have turned what should be an intelligent debate about the pros and cons of staying in the EU, into a nasty, vindictive, sound bite grabbing race to the gutter should hang their heads in shame.

    How awful for her family. My thoughts are with them.

    On a lighter note. The 700th posting is getting close…..

  12. Chris what’s his name.

    I have no problem with name changes if one must. The only thing I dislike is if posters abuse other posters without revealing their name. That is cowardice.

    Many moons ago some of the responses I had to posts were quite abusive even going pre this blog. I thought it was out of order.

    My sparring with Spartak is just that, a bit of banter between Boro fans.

    My views are sincerely felt and if they don’t look right and appear a bit harsh when they appear I will come on and apologise.

    Of course if you were in a different stable AV might be on your case. Do you like cricket?

  13. Powmill

    I think everyone’s thoughts are with Mrs Cox’s family. Only right that we do so.

    I don’t think the in or out debate will be the prevailing reason for the sad events.

    Just like in Orlando, talk now is that the killer could have been gay himself.

    We just don’t know the cause of some peoples actions, there is probably some trigger that results in the actions. It could be a number of things and if it would have happened at some point.

    We just don’t know, it is just so sad for a mum who has done her best for the community.

    Here I will make a point about politicians. I have met some over the years, including cabinet ministers, from all the main parties and the truth is they were all genuine people trying their best.

    It is so easy to classify them as chancers, the problem is people think of those in the parties they don’t support as the villains.

    As Spartak would put it, just saying like.

    1. Ian

      I endorse your views sympathetic to anyone who has died during the course of their duty

      I have met a lot of politicians over the years including a labour PM Blair and the Current PM Cameron both of whom were articulate passionate and were very knowledgable!!

      Probably just me being a dummy!


  14. Ian, I always took your comments in the spirit to which they were intended. Certainly no apologies required. I take a passing interest in the other sport as frequently as time allows.

    OFB, I seem to aim to please none of the people all of the time. With some success.

  15. OFB

    You are not a dummy and you know that. Especially in faceless situations people take a stance that doesn’t reflect facts.

    All socialist politicians are not wonderful caring folk and all tories are not heartless fiends. Tub thumpers might like those extremes because it suits their own agendas, I will stick up for both ends if I think it unfair.

  16. As far as International football goes, when you consider each team are supposedly picking their all star team or their elite players to represent their nation, the England v Wales game for me was one of the worst technicall and tactically I’ve witnessed. Forget the result, that was nothing more than a Rotherham v MK Dons fixture. I would be here all night to pick the bones out of it, but it was what it was.

  17. I’ll say one thing for Roy Hodgson, he didn’t mess around and wait until the last 15 minutes to change things.

  18. Ian.

    I’m not saying that as individuals our politicians may be unpleasant people or chancers or even ill-educated. What I am saying is that the way they ply their trade (perhaps the way the media makes them ply their trade might be fairer) leaves more than a little to be desired.

    My point was that it is really quite a ludicrous state of affairs that a football blog revolving around a small team in (or , depending on your standpoint, out of) Europe should be the source of some of the best informed debate (for and against) that many of us have seen in the campaign.

    Our political masters and would-be masters have willingly engaged in misrepresentation of facts in order to pander to the lowest common denominator they believe will win a vote, rather than sharing considered opinion with relevant supporting evidence.

    The increasingly personalised observations from both sides contributes to growing tension in many peoples lives. In Scotland we are are still suffering from the dis-harmonising fall-out from the IN-OUT referendum. Just read the letters pages in the Scottish press to see that there is still much vindictiveness about.

    So it is in the UK-wide debate. The man that attacked Jo Cox was heard to be shouting “Britain First”.

    What I was trying to say was that by belittling the debate in the way the politicians (and/or the media if you like), might just be enough to provide the encouragement for small minded individuals with half baked ideals to act in such a way.

    For me that one can have done so is one too many and I sincerely hope that the political debate in this country will be shaken and elevated as a result.

    Just ranting like 😉

  19. Three to go, and someone is welcome to the acolade. I only hope I get recorded in the stats for having playing a useful part in the build up to this historic moment …..

  20. I can’t quite get my head around the fact that an MP can be shot and stabbed to death in the street. Even more shocking when you realise she is the young mother of two. Lost for words.

  21. 700 is a remarkable achievement. A reflection on the diverse debates . Sad news from Yorkshire – I don’t ever remember an MP being murdered before – why is the international media not calling it murder?

  22. How do they do it?
    The La Rams football team are moving into a new stadium complex,the complex includes, 80,000 seat arena, 6,000 seat venue for other entertainment,future site for hotels and homes,also recreational parks.
    Up to $3 billion,. That’s billion folks, considering if you don’t make the play offs they only play eight home games.
    I’m sure I read season tickets range from $360. to. $2200.

    1. Sports Business Journal 03/2015 reported estimated total revenue for that year to be 12 billion USD – final reports state it came to just under that figure at 11 billion USD.

      There are apparently 32 teams and they generate the income mostly from TV deals. That’s 11 billion USD at todays rates of exchange thats 7.5 billion UKP. They make more in one year than the EPL makes in three. MFC as we know and love them are a fourth division side in comparison to the LA Rams – a mere pimpel of a club on the face of global sport.

      I thank you.

  23. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the original cost for The Riverside was £16M. There’s inflation for you….

  24. Sorry to go off piste, but I will start my three week holiday after today.

    My employee has a factory just an hour’s drive from Barcelona. So I must take a few customers to there in Autumn. In addition to the factory tour I MUST take the customers to see Barca play at Camp Nou.

    As there are some Boro supporters living in Spain, does anyone have any idea when the fixtures are out for the local league?

    Luckily for me I have a meeting in Manchester in September, too. I plan to come early and see Boro at Everton and against Spurs at Riverside : )

    Up the Boro!

  25. Just catching up on the posts and astonished to see them at over 700!

    A lot of good debate and information on the referendum, just a pity that our so called Politicians gravitated to the sewer over the last few weeks and couldn’t provide the Public with the same quality of information. It was Jarkko who sparked the debate and what ensued in terms of views both pro and anti resulted in some of the best and most thought provoking posts in the history of this blog.

    On the topic of Politicians, I struggle to support any Political Party, instead I have always supported individual Politicians whatever the colour of their Rosette. We were fortunate in this area in having one of the very best in Mo Mowlam but I have to say of the others I have had dealings with or formed opinions of in general I was disappointed and that continues to this day. The politics of the last few weeks both underlines and confirms the disdain (and disgust in some cases) in which I hold them. I simply expect morals, ethics, honesty integrity and a sense of humanity as a basic given in their job description, I probably expect too much I suspect but I won’t lower my benchmark.

    Regardless of political opinions the events of yesterday when a young Mother lost her life doing what she believed in whilst serving her home town constituents is unimaginable. The pain, grief and anguish caused to her and her family and friends by someone with a sense of twisted entitlement defies description.

    1. Claim to in-fame RR!

      I was coming round the corner on Newcomen Terrace, just by the boating lake. Mo Mowlam and the Labour Party had there HQ in one of the houses just to my left. Well blow me down but wasn’t Mo and her posse crossing the road right in front of me and me vehicle.

      I did think at the time that if I’d been slightly distracted a calamity could of occurred because they were all intensely wrapped up in whatever they were discussing and didn’t even know I was fast bearing down on them.

      Simple to say I took me foot off the accelerator and slowed down. They walked on oblivious.

      Of course the NI peace process continued unabated.

  26. Catching up on Boro related footie news, Lee Clattermole, no, surely not!

    This has to be a joke of the worst kind. A limited, scrapping, battling, card collector whose career achievements are to be an ever present in a side constantly occupying relegation places is going to bring what exactly to the squad?

    A poor man’s Joey Barton in my opinion. Committed and wholehearted absolutely but please leave him up the A19.

    1. Gotta say RR we will have to disagree on the purchase or not of one Lee Cattermole.

      I for one would jump at the chance of signing him IF he is played intelligently by AK. There’s more to his play than just a rough and tumble mid fielder and with the Boro recently promo’d his experience playin in the EPL will be an excellent advantage to the team.

      The price is right – come on down Leeeeee Catttttermole!!!!

      Just sayin like like like

  27. RR, I have to disagree. Judging from the analysis on Salutsunderland, Clattermole has moved on and is playing to his potential. Under Karaka and his staff he could only improve further. A fine addition in my opinion.

  28. Over 700 posts already. And no defeats for a few months. Unbelievable!”

    Perhaps a new blog now, AV?

    Up the Boro!

    1. Appreciate all the support for LC but I still don’t think he is better than what we already have at the club. To maximise our potential to stay up we need a significant improvement on what we already have not more of the same (or worse).

      A Sunderland fan has suggested to me this morning a straight swap for Catts with Downing going the opposite way. That did cause me a moments hesitation but no more than that.

  29. What a cowardly senseless act the premeditated murder of the young popular Labour MP Jo Cox and mother of two small children was – her life was dedicated to campaigning and helping the dispossessed and the disadvantaged.

    Little is known about the person responsible for this apparently planned killing but he reportedly shouted ‘Britain first’ by one witness before shooting and then fatally stabbing her, which seems to indicate his motives were to make some kind of warped statement around the EU referendum.

    It has been widely speculated in the media that he was of far-right persuasion and was likely to be in favour of Brexit. I cannot think of anything more likely to damage the Out campaign than being remotely associated with this despicable act.

    It’s stiil not clear what his motives were – but she wasn’t particularly well known to the public or at the forefront of the Remain campaign. So if this was a planned political act of murder then clearly this man was so derranged as to not realise that the consequences of his actions would result in the complete opposite outcome of what he was intending.

    The EU referendum campaign has now been suspended and this event will continue to be the main story in the media for the next week – In theory the vote will now take place in a sombre mood, probably shortly after the funeral of Jo Cox.

    Because of that I just can’t see how the Out campaign can go back to talking about it’s main strength in immigration as the issue has now effectively been tainted by this event. I suspect the emotional response of those yet to decide will be to not want to associate themselves with the views of an unhinged dangerous individual.

    How ironic that the momentum of the Leave campaign has been derailed by the actions of a seemingly right-wing extremist. In the absence of reliable facts, the people were always going to go with their feelings – so if the vote goes ahead there’s now likely only going to be one outcome next week.

    It appears the establishment has been inadvertently let off the hook at the eleventh hour by a random event by a random nutter.

    1. I have purposely refrained from commenting on the issue of the ‘murder’ of Jo Cox because until ALL the facts are known I believe it would be grossly premature to attribute motives to the act, the mental state of the perpetrator or the possible ramifications on future events – let alone make comment on the culpability of one political group or another.

      I prefer to leave the investigation to the responsible authority and consideration of behaviours to those who should be aware that no one lives in a bubble and politics is/ can be a highly emotive issue.

      I thank you.

      1. Problem is, that if the perpetrator abides by his right to remain silent very few ‘facts’ will be in the public domain before the vote is due to take place and the media has a track record of reporting speculation as ‘news’.

        The reality is that it’s almost certain that the perpetrator will be potrayed as right-wing due to the ‘Britain first’ witnesses – the campaign has been suspended and the mood of the nation going into the vote will most likely curtail the use of strong emotive rhetoric – with the issue of immigration likely to be a more delicate subject to discuss than before the death of Jo Cox.

        For better or worse, it will have a big effect on how the rest of the referendum campaign is conducted.

  30. Werdermouth

    Unexpected events can and do have an exponentially dramatic effect. As to what effect the ‘murder’ of Jo Cox will have on the referendum or peoples opinions, one can only speculate.

    It is that very issue of speculation that i prefer to avoid, especially when emotions are high as the conclusions can often be wrong.

    The mental state of the perpetrator is and always will be a vital ‘fact’ when considering conclusions. It cannot and must not be dismissed.

    Time will tell.

  31. Loved the England win, loved even more the explanations which poured out of the media. ” I always intended to bring on Vardy’ yeah, right.
    in the press this morning I see that the true catalyst for the win was Sturridge, hmm, right, so we can take it that Kane will start for the final match now that we have qualified.
    If we hope to win the thing we had better pick our best side and play it every time, even if that means a few favourites get to sit on the bench. Oh, and try not to dismantle the team when we get into a winning position, not good.

  32. Back to the shirt debate. Currently in a place where you can buy an exact replica of any Euro Finals Team Shirt.

    Vardy 19, Ibrahimovich 10? Certainly sir. Just 9 of your English pounds please.

    Where do they get £50+ elsewhere?

  33. Spartak, “It is that very issue of speculation that i prefer to avoid…”

    But it is speculation (among other things of course) that inspires the mind to consider a host of potential outcomes and implications; that sparks debate (moral debate in this case); that can even help to make sure that no stone gets left un-turned, or no question is forgotten to be asked while the facts are being established; that offers scope for each man (species, not gender) to expand his comprehension of the world around him and to learn from others’ responses to his speculation.

    I do believe speculation can be a positive thing and especially when it is undertaken as part of a grown up debate.

    1. In general I agree with you Powmill but in this specific case we’re talking about a brutal killing not which horse may win the Derby or why the Titanic sank.

      I thank you

  34. The only facts on the murder of that poor woman is that she was in fact murdered. There is zero political gain to be had either for or against because of the actions of a solitary madman. If it was thought out and meant to be a strong political statement then there were far more higher profile targets.

    As Ian I think said above the Orlando massacre appeared to be a terrorist incident then as the investigation continued it seems it was more to do with the frustration of unrequited love as much as faux religious beliefs.

    Whatever the irrational personal reasoning and logic for the attack yesterday his personal mental state is to blame (and I’m sure a long story will in time unfold about that) nothing and nobody else. There are no winners after yesterday, only losers.

    The referendum has done a great deal of damage by falsely and unnecessarily polarising views across the UK. The choice is “in” or “out” and nothing in between and therein lies the referendum’s greatest failure. Had there been an “in”, “out” and also a “reform” choice I think reform would have probably carried a comfortable majority.

    As it is the extremists have come to the fore on both sides and people like me are forced to vote “out” when I want a United Europe but to vote “in” is to gave the false belief that I support and trust the Circus that goes on in Brussels and Strasbourg (there’s another story of incompetence and wastefulness just in itself).

    I can’t vote to support something I have no say in how it operates or who is elected to it (usually failed politicians on the gravy train) so my only option is to become a right wing fascist according to many (not on here I might add). The very fact that a “reform” option was not an option says more than any propaganda ever could.

    1. RR,

      In my view, for what it’s worth, a vote “in” is no more a vote of support for the current EU than vote “out” is to be a “right-wing facist”.

      As with football managers, you should only change if you believe you have something better to go for. Protest votes, while understandable, often involve cutting one’s nose off despite one’s face.

      But no-one truly knows if we are better in or out. It is essentially a vote about risk.

  35. Having ignored the Premiership for a few years, I was surprised by the comments on TV before the game about Raheem Stirling. It seems he is a good fast and skilful player, but his passing and positioning are not up to scratch. In addition he appears to lack confidence.
    That was hardly overwhelming praise and his performance in the first half seemed to did nothing to contradict the big build up.

    I wonder whether project Stirling is similar to project Emnes, although it seems fool-hardy to undertake such a project during a championship. I suppose he might be very unsettling to defences as in impact sub.

    Perhaps he might benefit if he had some time on the Rockcliffe training pitches…..

  36. Is there a certain serendipitous parallel between that which is published in the Guardian newspaper and that which is discussed on this here, may I say humble blog. I make the remark because an article published today in the Guardian by John Harris appears to reflect quite closely that which a number of our contributors have been saying for some days past.

    I know Louise looks in on occasion because AV told us.

    If it is true that we are being used as a barometer ofpublic opinion or even a source of pertinent ideas, then of course it is a compliment. However, perhaps someone somewhere may be kind enough to acknowledge their sources.

    Happy days

      1. The zeitgeist on here is far better quality than certain other sources she could reference and probably a far better barometer than most. Even more incredible is that it requires minimal “officiating” from AV despite the passion bubbling and simmering at times..

  37. Boro Commercial Department Press Release

    We wish to announce a new Boro youngsters range for the 2016-17 Season!

    In view of the continuing surge of affection towards Leo, a genuine Teeside hero, we are sure fans will be delighted to hear that we are offering a unique memento to honour his contribution to the club:

    We proudly introduce the animatronic ‘Leo Action Figure’ with lifelike punching and kicking actions and signature catchphrases authentically recorded by Leo himself with a choice of English or educational Spanish-language versions, with Uruguayan or Teesside accent.

    There will be a range of accompanying villain figures, branded as ‘Leo-Foes’, including:

    Dycho the Drongo
    Joey Moron
    Coote the Clown

    (all MFC registered trademarks – full range to be announced later).

    These items will have heads, limbs, etc which fly off when Leo delivers his attacking moves – great family entertainment, and a perfect Christmas gift for hyperactive children and grumpy grandads.

    Heart-warming (for Boro fans) catchphrases to include:

    ‘Clattenberk, I’ll slap the twerp!’

    ‘Coote the Clown is going down!’

    ‘Calderwally needs hospital trolley!’

    Help your child learn a new language with Leo’s useful Spanish phrases such as:

    ‘Dycho el Drongo es muy estúpido!’

    ‘Clattenberk es blindo como el bato!’

    ‘Sheary-dreary es muy … muy … zzzzzzzz…’ (Leo snores in Spanish for several minutes).

    Hurry – this is a limited-edition range and is available for pre-order from the club shop now!

  38. Stop press – the Leo-Foes ‘Joey Moron’ figure has been re-branded as ‘Joey McMoron’ due to recent transfer activity. Boro Merchandising on the ball as ever.

    1. Didnt we have a mascot ‘Leo the Lion’ in days of yore!

      Didnt I see him tripping over his own fat feet and go sprawlen onto the pitch at Ayresome Park?

  39. Mark

    A belter, does the Leo hide the ball under his trackie or beat his chest.

    He is a sort of Chewbacca to Hans Solo, maybe ewe could rename the ground as Riverside Falcon.

    I don’t want Lambie as a Yoda figure, Darth Vader would be more appropriate.

    Talking of appropriate, advert has just been on about keepers shouldering responsibility and a certain shampoo featuring Joe Hart. Maybe he has been using an own brand value product and that is why he was so slow getting to the ball. There was too much dandruff slowing him down.

  40. Nice to see and hear the England management rationalising their utter mismanagement of the team up to the moment they panicked and brought on Vardy. First came the damage limitation, ” oh we have lots of forwards, we just picked a couple at random to send on, it was part of the plan. Sturridge was wonderful wasn’t he, I enjoyed watching Sturbridge, particularly his goal, what did you think of Sturbridge? Good, wasn’t he?

    A press are nervous of Roy, with good reason. He thinks he just brought on a sub, end of. The real team will start on Monday as normal, and of course, get beaten. The problem is that poor Roy thinks that Vardy is a yob who got lucky, with the accent on the luck and that he will go away, probably to play for Colchester, leaving the delightful Kane to enjoy his rightful place as England striker. Happy endings, dontcha love ’em.

    Two points about the great rescue. The equaliser would have been saved by the keeper had Vardy not deliberately hit the ball into the ground. And the winner was due at least partly to Vardy’s little lay off to Ali? What am I saying? don’t be fooled by all the talk of fairy tales. He is the real deal.

    1. It always gets me that if you are English playing for a London club then you are virtually guaranteed to get an England call up and a place in the team.

      You have to be extremely good to get in an England team of you play in the north east like shearer or Beardsley and with the exception of Man U or Liverpool you have a hard slog to get on as the Leicester boys have found and one didn’t make the cut!
      I’ve always thought that there is a pronounced preference for southern based players well we have to fill Wembley don’t we?

      Kane looks out of sorts and needs a rest Rashford looks great he will develop even further with a full season in the Prem (on loan to Boro)


  41. Reading the press over the weekend one gets the impression that old Roy is getting his story across, namely that the lads played the match as planned, and, as planned, he then brought on his subs. further more, it could have been any subs. Everything was under control, so there. I have a horrible feeling that we are going to be cheering on Kane on Monday night, so that’s it then, second or third in the group.

  42. Stop press on the England match on Monday night
    Roy is very keen on Wilshire getting on the pitch, crock or not, so the picture darkens. Can there be anyone else who must have a game, maybe one of the reserve keepers or perhaps the kit man? Strange times.

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