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EFL Championship – Middlesbrough vs Rotherham, Wednesday 27th January at 7pm GMT

Scene: Ext (Daytime).

[An English country garden. Neil Warnock is deadheading laurels with shears when the silence is broken by the old Nokia theme tune. He pulls a 3310 out of his pocket and squints at the screen]

WARNOCK: Hello?

[There is a pause]

WARNOCK: Oh for God’s sake, I’ve not been in a bloody accident…

VOICE: Mr Warnock? Is that you?

WARNOCK: I wish it wasn’t this week, but yes. Who’s this?

VOICE: Before I tell you, please don’t hang up. It’s Dani.

WARNOCK: Dani who? Dani Behr? Dani Filth? Danny and the Champion of the World?

VOICE: Dani Ayala. Remember me?

WARNOCK: I do remember you, lad. The Iberian Easter Island statue. How’s life in Blackburn? Got a taste for Thwaites yet? Every pub in that dump of a town sells the same bloody beer.

VOICE: To be honest, I’m more of a sangria man. What’s that clipping noise?

WARNOCK: I’m cutting me laurels back. This garden’s got loads of bushes. I’ve called them all Reffie, and I’m chopping their bloody heads off. Anyway, be quick, cos when I’ve dismembered all the Reffies, I’ve got to try and find eleven fit bodies to play Rotherham on Wednesday.

VOICE: I’m sure you’ll beat them. We did. Although they did beat Derby the week before last, which is something we should all be happy about.

WARNOCK: I doubt we’ll beat anyone at this rate, even if they are in the drop zone. I’ve got about eight fit players to choose from, thanks to your mates. What do you want?

VOICE: Well, I know you’re a bit short-staffed in defence now, and I was just wondering if I could do a job for you?

WARNOCK: Kevin needs his kitchen finishing, but other than that, I think we’ve got enough crippled defenders here without you resurfacing like a log that won’t flush. But thanks for the offer, Dandy. Goodb…

VOICE: Sorry, don’t hang up. I…I mean my agent…look, I think there was a bit of a mistake. My agent didn’t do a very good job telling you how much I wanted to stay at Middlesbrough. I was all set for signing a ten-year deal to become player manager in 2030, but I think my agent went a bit strong on the fees.

WARNOCK: Do you know what agents are, son? They’re the devil. The bloody devil. [goes red in face] I hate them, the greedy, slippery, grasping, ‘orrible ***. In fact, there’s only one type of person I hate more than agents. [thinks] No, hang on, two types. There’s referees, and there’s Blackburn defenders.

VOICE:  I know it’s not the best time for me to call…

WARNOCK: Oh no son, it’s the perfect time. I was thinking about you when we played your shower on Sunday, and that whatsisname, Blankety Blank, got away with a stonewall penalty. Pretty much your MO, that, isn’t it?

VOICE: Look, I’m sorry, but I didn’t train Branthwaite to do things like that. I’ve not even been training recently. I fractured a toenail last month eating a KFC Party Bucket, so I’ve been ruled out til the spring. It’s like a bad dream.

WARNOCK: Dreams? I’ll give you a bad dream. I dreamed last night I came into my office and that bent copper ref was sat at my desk, but it was a lizard with his face on. I tried to scream, but the only sound I could make was ‘’away ref’. I only woke up cos my phone was ringing.

VOICE: My phone doesn’t ring much any more, apart from personal injury firms asking if I’ve had an accident at work in the last week. I usually have.

WARNOCK: More things change, eh? Anyway, got to go. Another reffie’s about to lose his head. [Warnock returns phone to pocket and looks at the laurels with newfound enthusiasm.]

 

Form guide:

Rotherham come into this midweek match buoyed by taking Everton to extra time in the FA Cup, and performing the noble act of beating Wayne Rooney in his first game as Derby’s permanent manager. Last time out, they achieved the implausible feat of making a match against Stoke worth watching, with a 3-3 draw including a very undeserved goal for the opposition. Now where have we heard that before?

Boro are hot and cold like frozen bread in a toaster – our last five matches have been LWLWL. By that token, we should romp to victory at the Riverside on Wednesday night, and I’ll need to come up with another mini-play before the weekend. I think I might introduce Kevin Blackwell in the next one.

 

View from the other side:

https://boards.footymad.net/showthread.php?t=38271555 – not many posts at the time of writing, but Millers fans seem quite impressed with how much money we’ve managed to spunk up the wall in the last few years with nothing to show for it.

 

Questions for the audience:

1.       Did Sunday’s game make you wish you’d never got into football in the first place?

2.       Since we lost the last game, should we be expecting to win this one?

3.       Can you name eleven fit Boro players and put them into some semblance of a formation?

4.       If we could resign one Boro player from the last ten years, who would it be, and why?

5.       Have you been in an accident in the last five years that wasn’t your fault?

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EFL Championship – Middlesbrough vs Rotherham, Wednesday 27th January at 7pm GMT Scene: Ext (Daytime). [An English country garden. Neil Warnock is deadheading laurels with shears when the si

We got beat tonight by a team that played better than we did. They had a centre forward that was prepared to come back into his own half to get the ball, then hold onto it and pass it at the right tim

Wow just wow! Birmingham, Blackburn and Rotherham at home and we play 3 defensive CM's at home. Absolutely negative tactics and substitutions costing us. How the hell did Howson, Saville and

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1: No, but I was close to vomiting.

2: Yes

3: Bets, Hows, Wood, McNair, Bola -- Morsy, Saville, Watmore, Roberts, Britt, Chuba

4: Bamford - He is what we need at the moment .. Someone who can finish and make it look clever at the same time.

5: No accidents

 

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54 minutes ago, RiseAgainst said:

Questions for the audience:

1.       Did Sunday’s game make you wish you’d never got into football in the first place?

2.       Since we lost the last game, should we be expecting to win this one?

3.       Can you name eleven fit Boro players and put them into some semblance of a formation?

4.       If we could resign one Boro player from the last ten years, who would it be, and why?

5.       Have you been in an accident in the last five years that wasn’t your fault?

1. No, but it completely ruined the match for me and I'm still angry now.

2. It's a game we absolutely should be winning, but then so was Birmingham, Sheffield Wednesday etc...

3. Bit worried about Wood likely starting after his performance yesterday, but I expect he'll be better prepared this time.

4. Traore, he'd tear this league apart.

5. I actually don't think I have!

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1.       Did Sunday’s game make you wish you’d never got into football in the first place?

No, but it was the lowest I've felt after a game for a long time, probably compounded by lockdown etc 

2.       Since we lost the last game, should we be expecting to win this one?

Yes, NW will have them firing and I think we'll see a performance similar to the Forest game.

3.       Can you name eleven fit Boro players and put them into some semblance of a formation?

3-4-3

Bettinelli

Mcnair Wood Bola

Spence Howson Saville Coulson

Roberts Watmore

Akpom

4.       If we could resign one Boro player from the last ten years, who would it be, and why?

If we could resign someone at the same age/condition we signed them initially then i'd say Leadbitter. I think he'd thrive under Warnock and bring some much needed leadership. If it's someone who's still in the game then it would have to be Traore.

5.       Have you been in an accident in the last five years that wasn’t your fault?

No.

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Questions for the audience:

1.       Did Sunday’s game make you wish you’d never got into football in the first place?

Nah, not really. Been following Boro long enough to have experienced many highs and lows. It did make me wish that we could give refs a footballing equivalent of TrustPilot ratings and if they get too many bad ones, they have to appear on one of those Japanese games shows where you have to spend 30 minutes locked in a cage with scorpions, snakes and venomous spiders.

 

2.       Since we lost the last game, should we be expecting to win this one?

We should be expecting to, both on our win / lose pattern as well as our overall form and respective league positions. But after Sunday I'm not counting my parmos.

 

3.       Can you name eleven fit Boro players and put them into some semblance of a formation?

Erm...not too familiar with our reserve / youth team players...

 

4.       If we could resign one Boro player from the last ten years, who would it be, and why?

First, I think you mean "re-sign". Resigning is what Trump refused to do until the Secret Service practically kicked his ugly orange ass out of the White House. Secondly, I don't think re-signing just 1 player would really help, so I'm gonna pick a few:

Scott McDonald, Marvin Emnes, Albert Adomah, Emmanuel Ledesma, Gaston Ramirez, Kike Sola, Alvaro Negredo, Darren Randolph.

5.       Have you been in an accident in the last five years that wasn’t your fault?

Funny story. Was minding my own business, driving to a team meeting at our Peterborough office. Had just got onto the roundabout to get onto the A1(M) north (multi-lane, traffic lights etc.) when a 7.5 tonne truck decides to try and push me out of my lane. *** idiot kept trying to drive into the side of me for a good 50 yards or so, even though he must have felt the impact. Left a bloody great scrape / dent all along the driver's side of my car.

As luck would have it a police patrol car was in the vicinity, saw what was happening and pulled us over at one of the exits. We each gave our side of the story, swapped insurance details and that was pretty much it...or so I thought.

For the next couple of months at work I'm plagued by calls from an insurance firm, trying to get me to fraudulently claim compensation. I was utterly unharmed, but somehow the truck driver had suffered whiplash and was taking time off work... 😖

Last person I spoke to was this particularly annoying Scouse git. I proceeded to give him a long lecture on morality & ethics. When he still didn't take the hint, I told him the call was being recorded and threatened to inform the police.

Funnily enough the calls stopped after that...

 

Edited by AnglianRed
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This game can't come quick enough and after the shambles of the last two home games this is a must win. We simply have to step up now, stop the hoofing and actually play football, because when we do we actually look like a decent team. Still too angry about yesterday to answer any questions.

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Questions for the audience:

1.       Did Sunday’s game make you wish you’d never got into football in the first place? No, you can’t expect to win every game  

2.       Since we lost the last game, should we be expecting to win this one? Probably best not to  

3.       Can you name eleven fit Boro players and put them into some semblance of a formation? Betinelli Bola Wood McNair Spence Morsy Saville Howson Watmore Akpom Johnson

4.       If we could resign one Boro player from the last ten years, who would it be, and why? Stuani and play him up front  

5.       Have you been in an accident in the last five years that wasn’t your fault? No, they’ve all been my fault. 

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1 Did Sunday’s game make you wish you’d never got into football in the first place?

Comedy Central Lol GIF by The Jim Jefferies Show

2.       Since we lost the last game, should we be expecting to win this one? Totally expecting a bounce back win 

3.       Can you name eleven fit Boro players and put them into some semblance of a formation?

Bettanali 

Spence Dijksteel Mcnair Bola

         Howson Saville Morsey 

Watmore.                                    Johnson 

                           Britt

4.       If we could resign one Boro player from the last ten years, who would it be, and why? Ramirez as he's exactly the type of player who we kinda need to sign again to truly have a shot at promotion.

5.       Have you been in an accident in the last five years that wasn’t your fault? Nope lucky to say I haven't 

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1.       Did Sunday’s game make you wish you’d never got into football in the first place?

Yeah, thanks again Dad! 

2.       Since we lost the last game, should we be expecting to win this one?

errr that seems to be the pattern. 

3.       Can you name eleven fit Boro players and put them into some semblance of a formation?

Classic back to Karanka days ........

                      Bettanali 

Spence Dijksteel Mcnair Bola

           Howson...Morsey 

Watmore.......Hackney........Johnson

......................Akpom............................

4.       If we could resign one Boro player from the last ten years, who would it be, and why?

Kike, honestly the heart of a lion every time he played, knew where the net was and I think Warnock would love him upfront. 

5.       Have you been in an accident in the last five years that wasn’t your fault?

Sorry what did you just say? 

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Quite simply a must win game with due respect to Rotherham not getting 3 points against them will put a stop to any real hope of progress towards top 6plus we need to stop the home form rot

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I hope the players realise this game isn’t a forgone conclusion. Attitude and application need to be spot on. Stating the obvious I know - but Boro have a habit of switching off in such games. 
 

Rotherham are nobody’s fools. We need to be up for it from kick off otherwise we could come a cropper - again.

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