Small Screen Party Poopers Switch Play-Off Prospects Back On

By Anthony Vickers on Apr 21, 12 08:44 PM

TYPICAL Boro! Leave it until the last game of the season to deliver a fiesty explosion of hope and excitement after a season of home-o-phobic freezing and frustration why don't you? Twist the knife and shatter our dreams against Doncaster and dump morale on rock bottom before delivering the performance of the season when all seems lost. What a cruel and perverse team, torturing us and dragging out the agony.

As usual Boro, the team through the Looking Glass, do everything the wrong way round. Stumble to relegated Rovers after failing to deal with the expectations of being favourites, then when it all looks hopeless, take apart the rampant side that battered Boro down at their place and who were coming here as a formality. As at Cardiff last term, we are at our best as party poppers when we are underdogs.

And on telly too. Fantastic. Mission Impossible is back on. I'm still buzzing.

What a brilliant game. Some excellent football in flashes against a background of spirit and industry, real bottle in battling from behind, a deserved leveller from dynamic NIcky Bailey and an exquisite free-kick winner made all the sweeter because of the cheating refusal of the Southampton wall to retreat. That said, the referee was weak all game. Hines should have gone. Jutkiewicz was battered all over but got nowt. We had what looked a good goal ruled out.

But what made it a fantastic game was the atmosphere (despite the best attempts of a cack-handed incongruous PA with Me Mark Page at his worse. It felt like he had forgotten his CDs but found an old 80 mix tape under the seat in his car.) It helped that there were 3,000 away fans arrogantly along for an open topped bus parade just asking to be taken down a peg but Boro fans were brilliant throughout. They never turned on the team when they went behind in Keystone Kops fashion after a minute, they chanted and sung and urged the team on for the full 90 and showed versatility and humour (counting out the yards as the ref failed to push the wall back was funny) and hostility and passion and reminded each other exactly what being at a game was supposed to be about: a unity of team and fans sparking off each other with a common aim. It was great.

So, its back on. We go to Watford needing to win and needing Cardiff to lose at Palace to snatch a play-off place. That can happen,. Easy Or not. Who can say in this crazy division? We can argue all week about how we may have had it wrapped up weeks ago and apportion blame. Or we can enjoy it, get excited by it and build ourselves up to get behind the team at Watford and give it our best shot. Nothing to lose. Let's go for it.


More later...


Rich said:

Really looking forward to the Watford game. It looked like the atmosphere at the Riverside was the polar opposite to that of the Doncaster game on Tues! (I clearly know how to pick them...)

I will be at Vicarage Rd ready for a good day if Cardiff choke, and a well deserved round of applause for a hard working and industrious side who have overperformed on the road this season even if Palace capitulate.


Forever Dormo said:

Don't get me wrong, but after about 46 seconds this game looked as if it would turn out to be a massacre. A Southampton promotion party!

I'm really glad it didn't turn out that way. We had a tame Southamptom fan in our village who is developing a soft spot for the Boro after several years here, and his little son who seems to like Barca, Boro and Southampton (but hates Portsmouth - don't exactly know where that comes from but...).

That was the best game I can remember at the Riverside for ages. Quite enjoyed the cup replay with Sunderland but this was better.

The atmosphere probably came from the fact that So'ton brought a few thousand fans with them, so there was some competition. Their team was quick in attack and looked very handy. Having gone a goal down so quickly, a Boro distintegration would have not been entirely out of character, but it didn't happen.

There was some fight by the boys in red. I was aware of some friction between Robbo and others in his team. I thought Bailey played well, and I look forward to what the chaps on the BBC Championship programme say about that.

But my mate to my left at the Riverside thought the game-changing moment was when Rhys Williams and Curtis Main came on together. Williams is a very handy player. He seems to cover ground without effort, smoothly and as if he hadn't noticed he was in a race. He is a class act in a team which could do with some class.

McDonald works hard, but if you could play each of him and Main 46 times a season I know which one I would back to score most, create more chances for others and generally make trouble for the defenders, and he wouldn't be Antipodean. And we could play him for a fraction of the price. D'oh! (That's how I think the youth type it).

All in all, it was good to see an exciting game, with fight and passion, and to win it was even better. I could cope with losing games (honestly!) if we had at least shown passion and had a go at the oppposition but found them to be a better team.

Even my Southampton mate enjoyed the game (he thought there was some language that shouldn't be heard in a family enclosure though....) With any luck his team will be promoted this season anyway and it would be unbelievable if we could sneak into the play-offs. If we did, anything is possible. But I won't hold my breath. We could easily win at Watford and then hear that Cardiff sneaked a draw at Palace with a last minute goal! Still, we are at least still in the race.

Cracking early evening entertainment, and we haven't said that too often this season. And I suppose it has to be said. It wasn't down to the "lucky undies" or having the obligatory "lucky cheeseburger and chips" before the game.

We won because Mrs AV, son and daughter were in the West Stand! Clearly a lucky charm. From now on, AV is under a solemn duty to make sure they attend every home game....(you know how it is).

**AV writes: They do have an extraordinary record. Their previous two were Forest and Hull. I think they were at the Birmingham game too.

Jarkko said:

Just as we're about to reach the ton on the previous blog. Typical Boro!

Just wonder if one half of the Boro fans must go to support Crystal Palace. We need them to win!

Absolutely awesome match. What a difference a good Riverside performance can do to our morale. Up the Boro!

**AV writes: You can always post on the previou sthread. It's an open goal.

Redcar Red said:

It took "Typical Boro" to a new level even by this teams Riverside standards.

The big question "Why?" can wait until later in the summer. We saw frailties as usual, failure to close down, failure to pass, failure to get on top instead of underneath headers, wild shots blasted high wide and handsome, Keystone cops comedy defending and so on, and so on.....

That's where the same old, same old ended. After 46 seconds we figured that was it, Typical Boro, game and season over. The unknown question is would we have sat back and absorbed pressure for 30 minutes as usual "weighing up" the Saints if they hadn't scored so quickly?

Whatever the reason, be it sticking to a game plan or a unanimous, spontaneous, "do or die" last throw, the performance wasn't great at times but it was passionate, it showed pain, hurt, anger, hunger and desire. Wow we waited all season for a show and finally the lads to their great credit delivered when it was nearly over and out. All the more amazing considering it was on the telly. There was a togetherness starting to slowly break out again, something that had been lost in the Riverside for many months.

It was great to see Rhys back on the park and it was bold and incisive of Mogga to pull Robbo off when he did. Just prior to removing him there were the early signs of another self styled Robbo implosion. A yellow card already and one or two wayward balls indicated that the lava was rising. Yes Mogga made substitutions that were effective, just as he did last season and ultimately the scoreline says it worked.

A special mention for Zemmama who we had all virtually written off. He did OK and ran his heart out, he ran around in an almost Juninhoesque manner but without the end product. Until that free kick that is. For a split second I thought was it TLF in disguise? It meant as much to him as it did the fans and great to see real unbridled joy and passion in the aftermath both on and off the pitch.

Will Cardiff now implode? Will Boro do the business at Watford next week? If only some of those draws earlier on..., if only our home form...., if only we had attacked from the off instead of waiting 20 minutes.... all those "if onlys" and yet we are still 90 minutes away on the final day of the season and strangely enough those sorts of bizarre last day twists do happen and lets face it, like today we have nothing to lose so same again please!

Oh and finally... very well done to Mogga and the lads, credit where credit is due!


Exfurtog said:

Crystal Palace 4 Cardiff 0
Watford 0 Boro 1 (Macdonald 86')

Just played it out on my sadbox against my 2 year old daughter so it must be an omen.

Boro - I hate you and love you all at once (46 seconds - REALLY?), but you'll
always be there. Biggest disappointment of the season has been the size of the home attendances. Other than that, good effort all things considered. Whatever happens next week, bring on next season!

Skies are grey and I'm happy!

P.S (McMahon MUST get a new contract, man of the match tonight )

Borobadger said:

i knew we would do this, I really hope palace do us a favour next weekend...

David of Redcar said:

I enjoyed that !

The difference was three vital ingredients. The fans had the TV to perform for, an opposition party to poop (they had brought balloons ) and it was the last day of term.

The team did not have a Thomson/Baily/Arca combo in the engine room and a hernia free Zemma. And finally lady luck was wearing a Boro Shirt, we should have been playing the game with 10 men. The very early goal helped. The Boro tradition of waiting and sniffing them out lasted 40 odd seconds and put a very early rocket up embarrassed bums. Southampton had what they came for, they clearly thought this was gona be a doddle and relaxed 20%.

The typical Boro scenario has us beating Watford and Cardiff drawing, setting up a goal difference so close yet so far what could have been feeling during of the summer reconstruction.

Interesting, was Maca saying goodbye to us all? Has that already been decided? Of the 14 on the pitch that day it is fascinating to think that only six of them will be with us next year.

For the record I am not renewing my season ticket – and for the first time in 20 years becoming a pay per game fan. This has nothing to do with this year’s struggle but a lot more to do with domestic-socio-economic value judgments.

Ian Gill said:

Posted on the other thread but seem to have disappeared in to the ether.

Redcar Red -

You could call it a game of two second halves.

Our sleepwalking lasted for 46 seconds rather than minutes, there was no chance to allow the visitors an unmolested half to bed in.

I agree the timing of the Robbo substitution was right though on the box it looked like he was pretty well worn out. His high tempo game must take its toll both physically and mentally.

Rolls made a case for a midfield berth, I must admit I prefer him there to defence. Hines progress after an injury prone start to his career though he was lucky to stay on.

The Boro roller-coaster continues its gyrations.

Final thought, I dont dislike the Saints but I got a bit fed up of the buld up on TV so it added special gloss to pooping their party.

There is even a report in the Sunday Torygraph, even more bizarre is that we get a mention in it plus a picture of Zemamamamama's free kick.

Ian wood said:

Fantastic result, gives us a real chance of an unlikley place in the play offs. But would our place be an unlikely one?

At the beginning of the season, any improvement on last season would have been an achievement considering what Mogga has had to contend with. However, in terms of the amount of poins we have squandered due to individual errors that led directly to goals we should be somewhere in the region of 12 points better off. So looking back over the season, we have underachieved. We would at least be solidly in the play offs.

Agree with AV what a build up we have look forward to this week. We must bin McDonald and start with Jutkiewicz and Main up front, and the rest must remain the same. Bennett to start, he looked a little steadier when he came on yesterday.

Ian Gill said:

AV -

Here is next weeks headline 'Eagles prey on Bluebirds as Boro sting the Hornets'

Of course if Cardiff draw we only have to beat Watford by eleven clear goals. Simples.

My lad is now living in Clapham, I will order him to go to Palace to support the Eagles.

eccy said:

Whatever the result next week, hopefully that home display will have persuaded a few wavering supporters to once again nail their flags to the Mogga Mast next season.

The thought of us still getting into the Prem feels very remote. It probably won't happen - but so what, probablilities are for mathematicians and bookies, for fans, blind devotion and belief in the improbable are our currency. This season has been a great leap forward, don't let the bed-wetters tell you any different.

Apt that the away supporters should get their chance to roar on the team in a game that has so much riding on it. Being among their ranks this season has been a real pleasure, whatever the result. They (we) have been loud, humourous, passionate and most of all supportive, especially when the chips were down.

Lets hope the team can foster that kind of response at home next season, they certainly succeeded yesterday. It's an indisputable truth that one side feeds off the other, I just wish the home supporters had been given more to cheer about this season. I'm sure that kind of support at home would have gained us the few extra points we needed.

Finally, I'd like to thank Leeds for their efforts, without their goal it would have been a hollow victory yesterday. In the same vein, COME ON EAGLES - give Cardiff the run-around next week and give us a chance to be the masters of our own destiny.

Colin said:

The overweight female soprano from Wales was seen leaving the Riverside last night, her vocal cords un tested.

She will be back next saturday, flitting between Selhurst park and Vicarage road.
I hope she gets involved in a right Cockney knees up and not involved in a duet with Elton John.

Curtis Main to start next week....Gazette headlines on the following Monday..."Rocket Main". ...Curtis propels Boro into playoffs"

nikeboro said:

Following your logic, AV, the Premiership would be a cake-walk for the Boro. If we're at our best as underdogs, if we make good party-poopers, then a league in which that would be the situation every week should produce regular wins. Bring on promotion!

It's great in my universe.

**AV writes: Except wouldn't be our party every week? Oh no! We'll get battered.

John Powls said:


Spot on! Typical Boro Mk II!! Guts and glory. Nice to see some width and energy in the play.

As my Palace supporting workmates texted me last evening, they owe Cardiff for denying them the Carling Cup Final spot earlier in the season!

See you all at Vicarage Road!

Pete said:

Cardiff 1 Leeds 1 21/04/2012

Cardiff 2 Derby 0 17/04/2012

Barnsley 0 Cardiff 1 14/04/2012

Cardiff 1 Watford 1 09/04/2012

Middlesbrough 0 Cardiff 2 07/04/2012

Cardiff 0 Millwall 3 1/03/2012

Stop torturing yourself Alan.. the sheep daters have picked up one point at least in their last six games. Never mind it will still be interesting to see what happens


halifaxp said:

As I was going to the underpass, I told a couple of Southampton fans that even Barcelona cannot start time wasting after 15 minutes and expect to get away with it.

How glad I am that the best game of the season was reserved for the Riverside faithful. How they deserve it after the fare they have been served up this season!

AV, can you please spell one of your fave words "feisty" from now on?

spartakboro said:

Nice to see the Boro win at home!

Was this the 'average'/ 'below average team' that's struggled over how many home games (donno I've lost count)? No not quite! There were some significant changes.

Were these changes part of a well thought out management strategy, planned in detail and executed with aplomb? Probably not, but sometimes a manager can get lucky by force of circumstance (and pressure to perform perhaps?). Either way great result.

Still best keep ones feet on the floor and see if that Teesside steel can be carried over to the last game at Watford.


gordy said:

Maybe the best thing to happen yesterday was conceding that very early goal - it meant that plan A to contain, and suss out the opposition - went out of the window and boro had to go for it from the off..

Here's hoping that Haroun and Main are not rested next w/e and bench sitting, being replaced by Thomson and McDonald..

halifaxp said:

On the official Boro website's player of the year competition, by the way, I was a bit miffed that only one of my three serious ideas on this - Hines, Steele and Robson - was available.

I decided I could not award player of the season to someone who was meant to be a leader and got himself sent off in a highly significant match, so was it Seb or Jason.

Still dunno: they have both embodied the Boro youth policy brilliantly this year (including the idea of keeping them back until they can really have an impact). Seb has been playing better at centre back than Bates in the second half of our season and has shown amazing guts; Steele's last six or seven performances would not have been bettered by Joe Hart! Next year, lads, next year, we're going to see some talent loosed on the Championship!!

I voted for Rhys Williams eventually! Did others on here vote?

Never give up on Boro said:

Remember.... "Never Give Up On Boro"

Great game and result last night helped by the fact Southampton came to play football and not sit back like most teams do,which is why we usually struggle to break teams down at home and pay better away.

Nice to see "play a game miss six" Haroun and Zemamma play and play well for 90 minutes. Whatever division we are in next season I hope they arn't as injury prone as this one.

Mowbray was right to take off Robson, he was certainly anger fuelled yesterday and it affected his game. I don't like the way he constantly berates his team mates especially Nicky Bailey yesterday furiously telling him to get up and on with it when he went down injured. He's the captain he should be encouraging his team mates not spitting venom at them.

Let's hope the impossible happens next Saturday. At least I can look forward to my trip to Watford now, just a pity Birmingham didn't lose yesterday because I think Reading would have beaten them next week. I hope the final placings are not

5th. Birmingham. 73pts
6th. Cardiff. 73pts
7th. Boro. 73pts

With Goal difference costing us

Heres hoping its not. UTB

Percypieblocks said:

Bloody untypical. Well who didn't expect that to happen?

Excellent result and probably deserved over the 90 minutes. Thought Tony Mac, Bails and the Duke were outstanding and also Big Mick, I know he had his moments but he won so many headers yesterday which relieved the pressure considerably. I think Lambert would have had a field day if he hadn't been present.

AV, Any ideas on the offside rule these days, feet in line, body in line, no gap between the players bodies, the so called experts on the box all have different views on the subject.

All in all Smells like team spirit.

peterboroangel said:

Typical, typical. typical - but well done. Who knows for next week?

Ian Gill said:

halifaxp -

Are we sending players out on loan to championship sides next season?

I thought Mogga was giving youth its chance but I suppose he would rather they cut their teeth elsewhere whilst we worry about staying in the top flight.

johnnybgoode said:

Away from football for a your comment Vic on Mark Page...this guy has been an embarrassment to the club for years. I know he makes an awful lot of supporters cringe. Get rid of him at the end of the season and bring in a respectful person in the Bernard Gent mould.

Nigel Reeve said:

Well that was a great performance, at least the last game of the season has some meaning now, even if we've only got a slim chance of finishing sixth.

Haroun and Zemmama added some pace, skill and athleticism into the midfield, pity they haven't been fit to play more often this season. I thought Bailey was colossal and we gained some more impetus when Williams came on.

Fingers croseed for Saturday......

Powmill said:

Game on.

Its all there for Cardiff to lose, which will be preying on their minds all week in training. Palace have a point to prove against them as well. Much nail biting anticipated on Saturday. 11-0 would go down very nicely! I wonder what the bookies will offer for that score line....


Ian Gill said:

Damn, son is ignoring intstructions to go and support Palace and is coming up to Derby for the weekend.

Werdermouth said:

Powmill -

I think if you walked into a bookies and asked for odds on Boro beating Watford 11-0 they'd probably give you a comfortable seat and offer you a nice cup of tea while you wait for the ambulance to take you to hospital to treat you for severe foam inhalation.

Though, in terms of making the playoffs it's two 'ifs' down with two to go after the expected unexpected victory against the Saints - was it their early goal? or was it the return to 4-4-2 that made Boro finally perform at home?

As luck would have it, I'll actually be back on Teesside for the first time in three years next week so I'm really hoping I'm going to be able to watch a playoff game against West Ham.

1970salloveragain said:

Just spoken to a Palace fan - after their defeat to Cardiff in the Carling Cup semi, they will definitely be fired up for Saturday. Let's just hope the correct Boro team turns up at Watford...

Ian Gill said:

Werdermouth -

Maybe it was Robbo central and Haroun right side where his energy, right footedness and pace were more suitable than Robbo's left footedness and lack of pace.

Also known as a more balanced formation, have I ever mentioned Robbo is not at his best on the left?

Andy R said:

Typical Boro, and brilliantly so (for now).

I'd rather be in Cardiff's position but there'll be no complaints from me whatever happens - there is plenty of room for improvement but it's been a good season.

It's hard to a put a finger on exactly why we were so much better against Southampton. Perhaps it is a combination of many contributing factors - cautious game plan out of the window, team selection, subs, crowd.

What do we do with R Williams if he is fit to start at Watford? Replace McManus, or one of the midfielders?

Ian -

I know you're very keen on Robson in centre midfield (and I agree with you - he's much more influential there and you want your better players where they are most involved) but if my admittedly dodgy short-term memory serves, he started in the middle against Doncaster, and it didn't work out too well that night. Drop him for Williams at Watford or move him wide? Not a straightforward decision for me.

Tim said:

We always do things the hard way but I am not going to be disappointed this weekend. We will beat Watford and Palace can do a number on Cardiff. Its only Watford for crying out loud. A few short years ago, we were beating the best in Europe (did that really happen because i am still pinching myself?)

Keep the footballing gods sweet this week..


bishopswalthamboro said:

Watched the game at a Saint's fan's house and after one early shout of 'get-in' and two 'sh#!s' I left reasonably smug. Thought the movement in midfield was key and although there were times when we couldn't touch the ball and there were needless loss of possession, twas a great performance.

I wonder if attendance at the Watford game will take on one of those biblical 'I was there' metaphors? I sincerely hope so. Anyway, off to 5-a-side tonight expecting a few robust challenges from my Soton colleagues.

paul bell said:

People are getting ridiculously carried away. If we beat Watford it does not mean that we are promoted. If by chance we do get promoted I'll come back to the Boro and bare me 'arris in the Otterburn Gardens Chip shop winda!

**AV writes: Wise man. That's a good chippie.

Ian Gill said:

Andy R -

I have often stated that if we had got Robson in 2008 when the Unholy Trinity discarded the entire midfield that we would have stayed up.

He isnt perfect but a midfield three of Bails, Arca and Robson is not like a four of Haroun, Bails, Robbo and Zemamamama.

He has a role to play but it is within a team framework. Even more effective with a wide left player outside him. It may seem bizarre but I like a goalkeeper in goal and a striker up front. But I dont have any coaching badges so what do I know.

The good news is that Mogga intends to use the academy fringe players more next year. So apart from Main and Smallwood the rest will get four sub appearances between them. Before any criticism that is a 100% increase.

Cant blame me for kicking in to an open goal, shame our strikers cant do the same.

Enough of such things, even Derby fans are fancying us to get in to the play offs, not a sure thing but a 'you never know' type of view.

I guess the focus will be different at both clubs with a 'nothing to lose' approach at Boro as opposed to an 'all to lose' approach at Cardiff. There again we may have the players sat reading files about how Watford were unlucky in the group stages of the Champions League.

Not long now but too long then heartbreak or a summer of looking at Sky Tansfer pages.

Bob said:

Whatever happens this weekend I think we can reflect on a successful season that exceeded most of our expectations. At the start of the season I predicted 15th, and now the worst that can happen is 8th, and there's still the possibility of play-offs.

I'm not a big fan of Mowbray's, but fairs fair, he deserves congratulations for his achievements this season.

Ian Gill said:

Thought I would take a quick look at latest form for Palace and Cardiff. In the best TV traditions those of a squeamish nature should look away now.

Cardiff are unbeaten in nine winning three and drawing six.

Palace haven't won in eight losing five and drawing three.

Their home and away records are remarkably similar with seven wins, eleven draws, four defeats and a plus four goal difference. Odds on a 1-1 draw?

But runs have to come to an end and strange results happen this time of year. A tough ask but come on Palace.

**AV writes: Palace have only lost four at home all season and only conceded 17 goals. Plus they owe Cardiff one after being squeezed out of the League Cup semi-final on penalties. They won the home leg 1-0. With 10 men. Come on Palace.

paul bell said:

I WILL NOT bare my 'arris in the Otterburn Gardens chippy window if we get promoted so get knotted.

stewart said:

My forecast for next game will be either:

Palace 1 Cardiff 1
Watford 0 Boro 10


Palace 3 Cardiff 0
Watford 1 Boro 0

I hope, for the sake of my depression, that I am wrong but if we do get into the play offs I am not going to listen to Radio Brownlee or read the sports pages until mid July at the earliest.

timfromsa said:

Well this will keep the nerves jingling for another week.

I hope the away fans are going to get what they deserve - a win for Boro and Cardiff come unstuck. They deserve it for the fantastic support given all season. Just shows what a bit of that can do at the Riverside too.

Smoggy In Exile said:

Typical Boro! Keep the agony going right up until the last game, as predicted. Knowing typical Boro the agony will be kept up right until the 90th minute.

I have this crushing sense of foreboding that a 90th minute equaliser somewhere will be our downfall. Either to level it up at 1-1 in our game, or for Cardiff to claw themselves back from the abyss with a controversial late leveller. One things for sure, if I hear

"And there's been a goal at Selhurst Park/Vicarage Road..."

On final score, I'll turn the TV off. I don't think my nerves will be able to take it. I might start on all of those housework jobs I've been putting off, just to keep my mind off it come POD-Day (Play-Off-Decider Day).


Jarkko said:

I hope we win at Watford to keep our 7th or - better still - 6th place finish. I hope we can finish the season brightly with a mini unbeaten run. What I try to say that I won't be hugely disappointed if Cardiff win too and we don't go any further. At least we will have made our part if we won at Watford.

Already by finishing 7th we can say we have progressed and are capable to assault a promotion bid next year.

Up the Boro!

Ian Gill said:

Barca Chelsea are about to kick off, Drogba got on to the pitch without collapsing.

They keep showing picturs of the Camp Nou as it is now referred to, the commentators are wetting their pants. Have they never been to Stadium Clairville or Road Hutton? How about Road Turnbull in February?


Playing for Acky Hall at Middlesbrough Rugby club against the Colts with several hundred, fuelled, rugby club members, now thats pressure.

Ian Gill said:

Talking of olden times, pre Vic that is....

Nowadays there is so much information available that I am sure youngsters cant appreciate what it was like.

In my first visits to Ayresome Park there was a big scoreboard behind the Bob End for half-time scores.

That moved on to signs along the main stand along the cinder track. A man came out and put the halftime scores up.

So what some ask? In those days there was little information about scores in games. Gillette soccer saturday was a shave before going to the match.

The only way to get an away score was to go to the match or go to the reserve game and see the score.

Much better today but it also is true of coverage in the media and money. Boro got chuff all of either. All the money was in the top flight and specifically the top teams. It was the same for the media.

Things havent changed that much but we KNOW the differences nowadays.

Come on Vic make me look an idiot

Nigel Reeve said:

I'm not a fan of Chelsea and don't particularly like what the club stands for, but tonight ten of their players were superb.

peterboroangel said:

Fantastic Chelsea tonight. Just goes to show that sometimes things are meant to be. four shots on goal and three goals over the two legs. Congratulations to them.

Lets hope the football Gods are smiling on us this weekend.

timfromsa said:

Well, its prediction time. Who is going to nail their flag to the wall? I have not predicted a score all season so lets go.

As I said earlier its going to be a day for our away fans to remember.

Watford 1 Boro 3
Palace 2 Cardiff 1


Nigel Reeve said:

Just to take the Chelsea thing a bit further, I now hope that they go on to win the European cup and thus qualify for next season's Champions league and at the same time I hope Newcastle finish fourth.

It would be very amusing to see the barcodes finish fourth and not qualify for the Champions League because Chelasea had nicked their place!

John Dobson said:

I don't know how old Ian Gill is but this is amazing and true! After the war fans from outlying districts like Lingdale, Magra and Charltons and even Stockton would take homing pigeons to the match and send HT results home.

Not as fast as TV nor the internet but good quality accurate information

Richard said:

Prompted by the train of thought in PeaspudinPerth now in China's last (sorry PP) 'most recent' post, - if Boro gain promotion, it'll be vying for the best day in Steve Gibson's life. I can already feel the tension easing all the way from the English Channel!

There will be NO return to the heady days of the early-mid naughties on Teesside. Not in this millennium - assuming the rules of participation remain as they are currently free-market constituted.

There may be some redress of imbalance if and when the antipodean mafia's grip on government and the TV addicted masses is considerably less of a determinant. Although moving in the right, sorry, correct direction, it's not going to happen overnight. I suspect a good few more scalps will have to be surgically removed before the cancer of excess is once again under control.

When that happens, Boro and others might be able to compete in sporting terms, rather than it being an ongoing battle of the wallets or, more accurately, the most robust lines of credit!

London-based Boro fan said:

To Ian Gill at 5.53 pm yesterday:

commentators are quite correct to talk about "Camp Nou" (or, to give it its full name, "L'Estadi Camp Nou"). It means "New Ground" in Catalan ("nou" being the adjective meaning "new") & Catalan, in common with most Mediterranean languages, generally puts adjectives *after* the nouns they qualify, so anyone who refers to "the Nou Camp" is getting his/her linguistic knickers in a complete twist & your logic about "Road Hutton" etc is wide of the mark! ;)

Powmill said:

What timfromsa said

Ian Gill said:

London based Boro fan -

In this country we have called it Nou Camp for many, many years. As such, and as we are British, Johnny Foreigner should get their house in order and sort their language out. It isnt our fault they have a silly way of sortng their adjectives and nouns.

NOU CAMP it is.

AV writes: Either way, they are not going to Bayern Munchen.

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