June 2006 Archives
WANTED: attractive opposition for Riverside friendly on Saturday 12th August. Must be glamorous with big bums-on- seats potential to help launch Gareth Southgate's new era with a Riverside cracker. Greek teams need not apply.
Surely I'm not the only one to see there is one glaringingly obvious team screaming out for this gig. - SEVILLA!
QUE seu nome Brazilian? I know this really neat Brazilian football name generator X has been flying around cyber-space for a while but I have been too busy practicing my diving and fine-tuning my feigning of injury to play with it properly.
But I spent a few thoroughly enjoyable hours toying with it today to find the perfect World Cup winning name for the back of my shirt. The samba superstar moniker machine is simple but brilliant. It takes a recognisable syllable from your name and gives it a strong Sao Paulo accent and a cultural transfusion to produce an evocative name fit to line up alongside Pele, Jairzinho, Socrates, Zico, Juninho and, er, Doriva.
My real name becomes Vickinhosa. Vic as a first name threw up Vickinho and the hated 'Tony' led to Tinho. The blog name produced Untypicao which has a certain ring to it, and as the site produces a user friendly little 'your name here' graphic of a shirt I gave it a number 6, printed it out and whacked it on the pin board along side Juninho holding the cup aloft at Cardiff and a Gazette cutting about the Sex Pistols' secret gig at the Rock Garden.
But what about our heroes? How do Boro look like rebranded as Brazilians?
"ENGLAND always play better against the bigger sides." That is the straw-clutching consensus among England optimists as they struggle to square hope and ambition with the unconvincing evidence of a lacklustre start.
Where has that misconception come from? It flies in the face of all the evidence. There is no golden rule that says England automatically raise their game once the World Cup stakes rise, that somehow they go through a tournament gradually moving up the gears. Brazil maybe. Goofy and Co can stumble through the early rounds then step up to spell-binding brilliance when faced with a really good side. But England?
Nope. The statement just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I've heard it said about Boro and it is not true then either. Historically England play badly but get past the middle-ranking, the makeweights and the minnows but then signally FAIL to step up and play better when they meet the big boys. Look at the results...
OH NO! We're going to get battered! The fixtures are out and we haven't signed anyone and we've got a rookie boss and it is looking like a relegation struggle already. Southgate Out!
The publication of the fixtures is one of those moments when base instincts kick in and the crowd is divided into the Boro crowd's traditional glass half-empty/half-full factions. There is no current form or injury list to shape a rational picture so it comes down to disposition. The optimists will be convinced this our year for the Champions League and like the look of those opening six games while the pessimists will be digging in for the relegation battle and picking out that key date in October when Boro will get their first win.
Reading have the winning habit, will be fired up for their first ever Premiership game and there will be an incredible atmosphere with locals and neutrals all willing them on. Chelsea will come looking for revenge after last year. Pompey are a beefed up bogey side. Then Arsenal and Bolton away. Then Blackburn at home. That will be a battle. Ah, Sheffield United. We should beat them. D'oh!
BORO fans still smarting at being shoved around by Roman Robocops will be delighted to learn that the Third World treatment dished out to travelling Teessiders was being discussed in the European Parliament today.
As revealed in the Gazette today, the powerful Petitions Committee was debating the outrageous systematic breachs of European law that occurred as decent law-abiding EU citizens were effectively put under martial law for daring to follow their football team to a fellow member state. The committee were considering whether to push for the issue to be debated in the full Parliament and whether to recommend sanctions.
In political terms this is a quite incredible result. With all the polyglot wrangling, multi-national machinations and powerful vested interests to be balanced, Eurocrats tend to measure their legislative cycle in years, if not decades. For an issue as un-sexy as football fans' rights to be fast-tracked onto the floor in just four months is staggering.
And is all down to you lot out there in Gazetteshire.
"DIGITAL viewers, don't forget you can press the red button for a host of interactive World Cup features," Jonathan Pearce screamed hysterically at an ear-drum splitting pitch nudging towards the end of the audible spectrum that suggested a last gasp leveller was imminent and sparked a frenzied network of dogs barking across Acklam.
Never dare a fool. I pressed it and crossed into uncharted territory on BBC's digital dark side.
REGULAR readers, it has all been a blur since about February and so I am taking a short break from the blogosphere to recharge my batteries and replenish those dwindling supplies of adjectives. I will be sun-seeking on the Costa Del Parmo and have been sternly warned: "No , you can't take the bloody lap-top!"
Radio silence will ensue for a while. I am telling you not because I think you will be interested Hello! style in my glamorous holiday agenda but because I didn't want anyone to fear I'd been bumped off. But I'll be back in a couple of weeks when normal service will be resumed. We might even have a manager in place by then.
NOW I am getting worried. The club are trying to buy players with no manager in place. That is either an audacious far-sighted move to introduce a European style structure where the chairman buys and the coach coaches, or a foolhardy adventure fraught with danger.
What if the new manager doesn't want these players? What if the gift-wrapped welcome presents do not suit the playing style or mental requirements of the subsequent supremo? What if the freelance spending spree uses up all the player budget? Won't it make it far harder to attract a 'top drawer' boss if the transfer coffers are empty? And won't it make it harder to attract top quality players if they don't know who the manager will be?