SkyDaz Middlesbrough Preview

Last updated : 02 March 2006 By Darren Porter

Quiz question for you. Who said the following?

‘You ******* ****! You should be ******* sacked, you useless piece of ****’

a) American public to George Bush

b) British public to George Bush

c) Iraqi public to George Bush

d) Some random guy in the pub to me on Saturday evening

Tricky I know! Have a guess. I might even send a prize to anyone who gets it right.

Oh the perils of omitting the announcement of a substitution. You would think the relief of a victory in a must-win game would soothe even the most savage of beasts, but no! I didn’t even have time to engage my assailant in a healthy exchange of colloquial terms for genitalia as he stormed out of the drinking establishment, content in the knowledge that he had corrected one of the major failings at St Andrew’s. No excuses from me for failing to inform everyone regarding the introduction of the lively DJ. Simply Sunderland made two substitutions and the security staff were dragging me behind the Maginot Line as DJ joined the affray and as such at pitch level it was difficult to determine who had exited stage left. Maybe one excuse then!

The embarrassment lasted a nano second. Most of the fans claim they can’t hear me anyway! Trust me to bump into the one fan who can clearly hear every word.

And onto the action.

Er well we scored and they didn’t. The goal was worthy of many replays for the height that Heskey achieved in leaping to head home. McCarthy claimed that Sutton had barged a few players to give Heskey a free run. The truth is that the penalty area resembles a wrestling ring whenever a dead ball is about to be delivered and it’s a moot point to pick on an attacker. It’s simply a cop out for most referees to give a foul to the defending side in order not to allow a potentially controversial goal. If they studied the action from the goalmouth as part of an improvement programme they would see that by definition the attacker is mainly trying to escape the clutches of the defender. Why would an attacker want to hold onto a defender and keep him close? Ok once the ball is on its way an attacker may well try and gain an advantage by pushing his marker but often the whistle has already gone.

It seems we cannot go a game without losing at least three players to injury. DJ Johnson, Is it Izzett and Sutty Sutton (best I can do!) all succumbed to the curse that has haunted us for the whole of the campaign. I guess that the only relief is the monthly return of David Dunn, the opportunity for DJ (Campbell!) to start a game and the welcome news that Nafti is only a few weeks away from being fully fit.

Add to the cauldron the facts that the Daily Mirror has us up for sale, Forssell has gone off in a strop because he didn’t start against Sunderland and David Dunn wants to rejoin Blackburn. Is it closer to his parents as well?

Just a standard week in the life of a relegation battle. The blooding of the kids earlier this season may reap rewards yet. Boro’s victory over the Baggies has virtually sent them safe from the drop. There are four contenders left. It looks like being a straight fight between us and the Albion and the forthcoming game might not be a classic but it could be vital.

Boro are a weird team. They are rammed with expensive players, I know they didn’t pay a Securitas vanload for them but even so they are worth plenty. I got heaps of abuse last time I accused them of being expensively assembled but the truth is that the have thrown some serious cash at the squad. Maybe not all of it on transfer fees.

Last week I demanded a win and this week I demand at least a point. Don’t give me any excuses. It’s all part of a master plan. Don’t come back with anything less. Thanks.

Keep right on. As some of you have already noticed replacing number forty Chris Sutton is number twenty eight DJ Campbell.