Middlesbrough have turned into a bigger joke than the Toon

By Lee Ryder on Dec 14, 09 06:24 PM

I don't know how they've done it and I don't know how Newcastle United have done it - but somehow when it seemed so straight forward to cash in on Geordie misery, Boro have managed to somehow make an almighty mess of their own season which has kept the knives pointing south of the A19.

The negativity that saturated Newcastle United has dried and although the stains of the worst summer in living memory still exist, the performance of the team on the pitch have handed us a little bit more hope.

Sorry, that's about as positive as I can be on that front but watching Boro's demise has at least removed some of the unwanted headlines at St James' Park or Sid James Park as Boro fans once jokingly sniggered out at us during darker days.

Boro arrive at Newcastle with just one win in eight to show for their efforts with the freaky 5-1 away at QPR their last victory.

In comparing Boro and Newcastle it's no surprise that while Toon fans have backed their team, the attendances at the Riverside have dwindled and the support has waned.

But what perhaps is surprising is that while Newcastle decided to go against the grain (you can also call it a total fluke) in keeping the less than glamorous Chris Hughton at the helm rather than a big name, Boro done away with being sensible, didn't give Gareth Southgate a fairer crack of the whip and went for the quick fix in bringing in Gordon Strachan.

Some call Strachan witty others just rude but one thing is for sure that his snappy manner with reporters is fine when you're winning - but when you you're losing it goes down like a lead balloon with reporters and fans.

We hear all the time from managers that their opposite number will "have his troops up for it" and there is no question that Strachan is desperate for a result.

Barnsley were the first team to really rattle Newcastle for weeks and if Boro represent the wounded animal, than the slightly hurt but irritated team in the Toon could still have enough in their lockers to see off the Teessiders.

And if Newcastle do manage to beat Boro and maintain their comfortable lead at the top leaving Boro in mid-table then you have to take your hats off to the Pigbag boys.

After all overtaking Newcastle on the road to oblivion is some feat!


Paddy said:

Lee, I think your right, it's about time we laughed at the demise of the little club. I can't think of a better way to feel great about our club, we could have been in the doo- doo, but were in the bok seat. lets keep on laughing even though it's childish and it really shouldn't be in a Journalists Notes to do so. But i think your spot on! Top journalism if slightly...........

mcg said:

Small club maybe, but at least they can hold up their heads up high and say they didnt sell their souls like the toon and mackems.
Isnt your cheif executive a season ticket holder at Chelsea? And your lauging at the Boro!

mac said:

mcg - any club wanting to achieve something has to bring in investment from outside - Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City are owned, either fully or partially by outsiders.

bagpuss said:

"In comparing Boro and Newcastle it's no surprise that while Toon fans have backed their team, the attendances at the Riverside have dwindled and the support has waned"
Yet despite us struggling in mid table, our average attendance has dropped by 7,000.
Newcastle are way ahead in the league and yet their average attendance has dropped by 8,000!!!

Blog note: The facts people at the Football League and Premier League indicated that Boro's average attendance has dropped by 8,228 and Newcastle's has dropped by 7,001.
Boro's highest was 23,541 and Newcastle's was 43,949 so far, with this weekend's clash at St James' heading for a 45,000 plus Championship record, Boro are yet to sell all their tickets.

Paddy said:

Your right Bagpuss, they couldn't sell their steel either, and they've lost 1,700 jobs, i think we should pour boiling hot oil over them from the roofs if they get past the snake infested ticket pits. After that we should contact the KGB and tell them that Middlesbrough is full of German Tiger tank drivers decendants from world War 2 and their planning a laugh-in at the Riverside next home game about the thousands Russians slaughtered during heavy fighting on the Russian front. You only wish they could be somehow housed in ***** with the bare minimum.

Paddy said:

Lets keep laughing at them! I am awfull, but you do like me....LOL!

VoiceofReason said:

Paddy - come on lad, I know that you probably mentioned the 1700 losing their jobs as a joke, but it's a pretty poor one, mind. Especially when you consider there will be a few Tynesiders in amongst the redundant.
Onto the football, Boro will be up for it, I can see them being tactically heavy (i.e. plenty of fouls and winding up) but with a little patience and if we play our football like we can, this should be a decent little result. 3-1 to Newcastle.

Ryder's reply: I agree, nobody should joke about losing jobs.
Let's stick to football and banter folks!
I think Paddy owes us all a pint for that one!

Paddy said:

He didn't even see the fact that i was being ironic coming from Middlesbrough as i do! I was thoroughly let down by what i had previously assumed a north east lad. I hope you all sleep quite badly after being beaten. I was hoping to join in double celebrations as i support both clubs. I hail from both tynseide and teesside. And before you start, i'm not a half caste!

Ged Hasty said:

Well said, John

Paddy said:

Lee, it doesn't matter if they are Tynsiders,Teessiders or the the earth dead brought back to ascimilated life by tanners electrode gun, the fact remains that a lot of HUMAN LIFE are about to feel REAL pain in there lifes!!

Tony1947 said:

I'm sure that everyone agrees that it's very sad to see jobs go as has happened on the Tees and we should always restrict ourselves to comments concerning football. And that brings me to the wretched Strachan. You're right, Lee, about his rebarbative manner towards those impertinent enough to ask him tiresome questions about football. He has been known to dismiss these inquisitive journalists with assertions that what goes on on the pitch is comment enough. Well, one solitary win from his first eight games in charge is an eloquent answer to his critics. He has done no better than Southgate, who at least kept them in touch with a play-off place, and his team are now in a lower position than when this charismatic figure took over the reins. Indeed, Boro are now nearer the bottom of the division than the top and may, if the Strachan magic continues to inspire, find themselves in another relegation battle before the end of this season. Merry Christmas everyone.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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