No-One likes us, we don’t mind actuallyBy: Boro Offside | October 17th, 2011
By Guy Bailey
The break has probably come at the right time for us. Not the team, which has been resiliant, dogged and determined as usual, if not the free-flowing musketeers of the first six weeks of the season; but the fans. Reading some of the forums and listening to some of the grumbling and griping pouring fourth from the spiritual sons of the Chicken Run, I had to do a double take.
I know we play in red shirts, but seriously folks, that’s where our similarity to Manchester United begins and ends. Ipswich Town are full of canny Championship level campaigners like Bullard and Bowyer and the 0-0 suddenly looked a lot better four days later when the Tractor Boys went to Upton Park and came away with all three points. Similarly, Reading gave us a good shoeing the last time we were there only six months previously. Jason Steele went off and Connor Ripley got a debut he would never forget as we got throughly pummeled 5-2. If it had been a boxing match it would have been stopped at half time but the only team clinging on for dear life this time were the rocking Royals. Another tangible step that we are a different team and club from the one that meekly surrendered as a matter of course over the past two years.
The other typical Boro reaction to our current run of form is the lack of recognition and praise coming forth from the national media to our rebirth but this was scotched too as we continued our 100% record in the player of the month competiiton with Marvin handing his prize across the dressing room to Matty Bates and Mogga receiving due for entering the witching season without tasting the nettle of defeat yet.
Great to see some more prodigal sons from the Class of 86 returning through the Ayresome gates this week too. Colin Cooper returns to work with Academy after his constitutional at Bradford and Gary Gill becomes our eyes and ears on the continent as Mogga rebuilds the scooped-out scouting team. This frees up another vacancy in the commentary booth next to Alistair whcih will be ably filled by Teesside’s favourite Scouser, Craig Hignett.
The other MFC return to the Riverside on Saturday, victorious last season but without top scorer Steve Morrison and facing a different Boro into the bargain too. Apart from the initials, we have a lot in common with the Lewisham Lions. Unglamorous, patronised and generally overlooked for our unfashionable surroundings and tough, industrial followers. Neither of us has needed the approval or acclaim of our needier local rivals – we are both products of our respective areas – functional and essential – we get the job done whether it be Millwall docks or Smiths dock.
Following the fraternal knees-up we then get a trip to the suddenly McClaren-less Nottingham Forest but still get to make acquintance with Jonno Greening and my personal favourite player from the McClaren years – George Boateng. If every Christian was like him and church was a cross between the UFC and rollerball then there’d be a few more attendees.
Here’s hoping he’ll be needing to forgive us this time next week.
UTB from the ATL.