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Bouncing Back With Boro

Robbo Robson | 12:28 UK time, Monday, 2 March 2009

Apparently a major domestic trophy was won on Sunday. Me, I didn't notice.

I was too busy wanting to kiss Xabi Alonso's thigh for his delightful deflection - and to wrap me consoling arm around Rafa Benitez and reassure him that although the title's gone for another year, at least Parry won't be hiring any duffers in the close-season.

And now at last the beard's coming off! (Mine not the Liverpool prima donna's). I know I said 30 points was the target but frankly I'm itchier than a hyper-allergic chicken pox-sufferer in a hessian jumpsuit.

Them that doubt Downing should've seen him on Saturday. We find it difficult to be objective about the lad up here as he's as Teesside as a heavy industrial chimney, but there's a lot of class there and he's got a great left peg too.
Martin Skrtel
He was helped by Rafa's right-back Skrtel, who as the moody meanies on Match of the Day pointed out, was hopeless. He was so bad that he could've coined a new phrase:
'To skrtel - or even "scurtle" - to attempt to do a job for which one is wholly unsuited. For example, Bergamasco scurtled as scrum-half; Sidebottom scurtled as England's strike bowler; David Bentley scurtled a penalty kick.'

The only downside is that the title's United's and the real interest is down among the dead men.

You just need a set-piece to beat the Baggies. You can see the promotional strapline now - 'Come and play West Brom - a free header with every cross'.

Stoke look likely to join 'em - if only because Rory the Delapidator is being reconfigured and there's not a lot else there - but they scrap till the end (just ask Villa) and Pulis is a good lad, so maybe they can do it.

My lot have so many six-pointers coming up that we could be top of the league come mid-April. I'm not counting any chickens, though (which is something you could have done at Wembley on Sunday when 'Arry went and asked who was up for taking a pen - there appeared to be a lot of clucking going on then - at least O'Hara and Bentley showed some guts).

Big Sam'll muscle Blackburn up the league I'm sure. I've worked out why his face is that shape. All that gum. He seems to fold in a pack at a time and his jaw muscles are so mighty that he could pass for an Allosaurus from a distance.

You can't see Spurs dropping, especially if the likes of Lennon and Modric keep playing well. Every time I see Modric I'm reminded of a Subbuteo player next to one of them big footballs.

Newcastle have a horrible run of games coming up. Pompey will struggle too, but the real saviours for the lot of us are Hull. Now Geovanni's started wearing sponge boots, it's looking well dodgy for them. One win from all the others mentioned and the KC Stadium's looking the Championship full in the face.

All of which is leading to a really top-notch twitchy run-in for the lot of us. And I'd rather that than a comfy mid-table finish to be honest. I'll tip West Brom, Stoke and Hull to go, which will cheer fans of those clubs up no end if they know my history when it comes to predictions.

Meanwhile, my favourite moment of the Carling Cup was Ronaldo's booking. Like a banker who's found out his bonus has been banned, Cristiano was outraged to have been accused of looking for it. Fergie says it's unfair, but come on! It's chickens coming home to roost, isn't it? It's the boy who cried wolf.

The way Ronaldo - and Gerrard and Drogba - play fast and loose with the rulebook on such matters means that every so often they're not going to get a decision they should do.

Ronaldo is bound to be judged on past indiscretions, just as someone lying on the ground at Joey Barton's feet might encourage the ref to think the worst of the situation. Players who expect justice, except when they're doing the cheating, deserve all that's coming their way. The fact that Ronaldo burned past the left-back and smashed the post in the dying seconds tells you what he should be concentrating on.

I said only recently they need a three-strikes-and-you're-out rule on simulation. I've got a new plan now. Let them sit in a small room with Martin Johnson while the England coach gets played re-runs of his numpties trying to play rugby.
Martin Johnson
Regular readers will know I'm no expert but every time I've watched the blocks of concrete in pillow-cases that are the England XV it appears that one Phil Vickery (Latin name Propia Muppetas) hands out points like an over-eager speed-camera.

What's worse is the bloke stands there gawping at the ref like a shaved bear with a hangover and then the replays show he has indeed made a mess of the highest order.
Now why would you keep picking a fella like that?

Jonno's team talk must go summat like this:
JONNO: "Right lads don't give any penalties away, OK?"
LADS: "Yes boss!"
JONNO: "Vickery! What did I say?"
VICKERY: "Errrrr.... derrrrrr..."
JONNO: "I said "don't give any penalties away!"
LADS: "Yes Boss!"
JONNO: "Now, Vickery, what did I say?"
VICKERY "Errrr... derrr..."
Repeat ad nauseam.

Indeed the Ireland-England game was the single worst bit of sport I've seen in 2009. Rugby union can easily get reduced to what looks like nothing more than a food fight in an abattoir (with a bit of pat-a-cake kicking in between). I'd rather sit naked in a bath of ice watching Notting Hill than ever see England play rugger again.

In the meantime, hopes will be high for a Man U quintuple. No chance. Boro have the FA Cup in the bag and I have a funny feeling that Hiddink will winkle a Champs League out of Chelsea somehow.

Now, the barber's and the Blue Bell await. To be followed by Premier League survival. Up the Boro. (Please stay Up the Boro!)


  • 1. At 2:29pm on 02 Mar 2009, HALLDA-Y01 wrote:

    made me chuckle some of this

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  • 2. At 2:39pm on 02 Mar 2009, Hargo A Go Go wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 2:40pm on 02 Mar 2009, DarkRed1 wrote:

    "I've worked out why his face is that shape. All that gum. He seems to fold in a pack at a time and his jaw muscles are so mighty that he could pass for an Allosaurus from a distance. "

    I'm still wiping the tears from my eyes from that one. Priceless.

    "What's worse is the bloke stands there gawping at the ref like a shaved bear with a hangover..."

    Robbos definitely on fire today!! Just can't stop laughing.

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  • 4. At 2:42pm on 02 Mar 2009, kevthered83 wrote:

    I think the cup final was a good result for redknapp said himself, Spurs are gonna be knackered for when you play them midweek.

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  • 5. At 3:02pm on 02 Mar 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #4 Here's hoping, mate, here's hoping.

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  • 6. At 3:09pm on 02 Mar 2009, Boshorange wrote:

    Good line about the shaved bear, that one got a titter. I know Downing's been having some good games for boro, but I still think he's an above-average player shining in an average squad. He is just not ever going to be good enough to play for a bigger team, well, maybe Liverpool at the minute and he certainly isnt consistent enough with his quality. Much like Aaron Lennon: the quality is there, the consistency is not and neither of them will ever be regualrs for England, or at least they shouldnt be. Bentley is another one. Average player who shined in an average blackburn side, proving he cant cut it when players around him have more quality. Modric is finally starting to show why spurs paid £14ml for him, and hes started to be a very interesting and exciting player to watch.
    I still think it was funny to see ronaldo get booked, even though it was clearly the wrong call, but STILL every week we see players being sent off for petulant little kicks at other players yet ronaldo hasnt even been spoken to about it! i know he didnt do it yesterday, but the point still stands.
    Liverpool have comically destroyed another attempt at the title, they will finish third now. Thats only if Villa keep doing stupid things against teams like Stoke. Its a shame though, because for a while they looked like they might put up a fight and make the top end of the premier league look interesting.

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  • 7. At 3:16pm on 02 Mar 2009, Upthegower wrote:

    What was going on at Boro then? After all the snarky comments about how quiet it is at Old Trafford, I don't think I've ever heard so little from a crowd as during the Boro -L'Pool game. Maybe they were all just really upset at handing the title to Utd....

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  • 8. At 3:17pm on 02 Mar 2009, The_Toonster wrote:

    Robbo, you should check the Newcastle boards... we don't so much agree with you on your predictions for relegation.

    Good writing as usual though!

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  • 9. At 3:22pm on 02 Mar 2009, Frodo_MUFC wrote:

    Have to agree on Vickery, it's a shame that Mr Stevens couldn't keep his nose clean.

    Top marks to Boro, that was a very welcome shock! This was supposed to be the tightest title race for years a month or so ago, now it looks be the opposite.

    It also means that the 'showdown' on the 14th is not quite the event it was going to be which is a shame

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  • 10. At 3:25pm on 02 Mar 2009, lightother1 wrote:

    sweet lordy !! you've scored one goal ( woooo) and beat a very poor liverpool ! does this really warrant nearly a whole blog? god knows what you will do if you beat us in the cup on sunday!!!!!

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  • 11. At 3:25pm on 02 Mar 2009, lokoboy wrote:

    I hope the I-hate-Robbo Brigade of posters will not write their rubbish today. If you think he writes stale jokes and his lazy, stay away. We all pay license fees but choose not to read Lawro's predictions instead of whining about them.
    Robbo keep it up, though I found the goal dust funnier.

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  • 12. At 3:26pm on 02 Mar 2009, Thanks A lot BBC7 wrote:

    Chuckle of the day: The 6 pointer Boro joke was good.

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  • 13. At 3:31pm on 02 Mar 2009, The Trawler wrote:

    if only Tuncay and co would take a dive now and again and drag you lot into the 20th century. optrex could fast-track you the rest of the way

    not that any of the precious 'boro' players past or present would ever even consider cheating. perish the thought.

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  • 14. At 3:40pm on 02 Mar 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    I hope the I-hate-Robbo Brigade of posters will not write their rubbish today. If you think he writes stale jokes and his lazy, stay away. We all pay license fees but choose not to read Lawro's predictions instead of whining about them.
    Robbo keep it up, though I found the goal dust funnier.


    Are we allowed to ask the 'I want to have Robbo's babies' brigade to stay away too then? No?

    Blog writing lessons 101, your teacher Mr Robbo Robson:

    1) Get in as many useless puns as you possibly can. Look up Wikipedia as much as you like for out of date and duff information on said puns, after all that's what good journalists do.
    2) Insult the world's best footballer (not a matter of opinion, a vote from his peers) as much as you possibly can. Totally disregard any facts in these insults, they don't really matter as any good journalist will tell you. (See 1 and Wikipedia for reference)
    3) Talk as much as possible about yourself. You after all are the centre of the universe, sure you wouldn't be writing a blog if you weren't would you?

    Oh yes of course, remember to try to disguise all insults, mistakes and general uselessness with attempts at humour. If anyone calls you out on anything remember to say you were being ironic, this gets you out of all sorts of sticky situations.

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  • 15. At 4:03pm on 02 Mar 2009, lokoboy wrote:

    @ #14

    There you go again. So no one can throw a barb at Ronaldo? Why doesn't he stay on his feet and concentrate on dazzling the opponents and wowing the crowd? Then he will have stuffed Robbo's mouth.
    Again are you compelled to visit this blog every week? Not many people in their right minds do things that offend them regularly.

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  • 16. At 4:05pm on 02 Mar 2009, diggsgiggs wrote:

    It must drive Boro's fans bananas. They seem to do it at least once every season- take on one of the mighties and put them convincingly to the sword. So if they can do that, why do they struggle against also-rans? In this particular game, it has to do with the tactics of leaving Alves out of the squad, so maybe thats what Southgate should concentrate on pre-game from now on- who to punish for playing kack.

    And come to think of it, although maybe on a different level, Liverpool's no different. If you can beat Real in the Bernabeu you really should be able to beat just about anyone anywhere. You could blame squad rotation I suppose but not really since every combination has turned in a so-so performance at one time or another since the New Year. And in Liverpool's case, I don't feel sorry so much for the fans as I do for Steve Gerrard- he was great again on the weekend but no-one was there to connect with the opportunities he set up.

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  • 17. At 4:09pm on 02 Mar 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    GazUtd is now officially my fiercest critic. In fact I'm wondering whether there's been a time when I accidentally spilt your pint or insulted your mum or summat.

    I'm honoured that you're taking the English graduate approach to my literature though but. Good lad. Here's me, thick lad, Boro born and bred, never got beyond English CSE and now look at me Ma! Being analysed and criticised by a dead clever Man U fan!

    By the way, Gaz, you don't offer an opinion on the gelled tumbler's less worthy antics. Do you not agree that the lad is going to keep getting unfair yellow cards like the one on Sunday if he doesn't stop trying to buy free-kicks and pens?

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  • 18. At 4:15pm on 02 Mar 2009, Danshevik wrote:

    Erm...the ball came off his hip, not his thigh.

    Are you really a Boro fan?

    All your time spent in the "bluebell" and not in the riverside makes me wonder youre just some token comedian that the BBC uses to make it look like it appeals to the wider audience of football.

    I cant wait for the blogs from a "rushden and diamonds diehard fan"

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  • 19. At 4:19pm on 02 Mar 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    This may surprise you but Ronaldo really really p****s me off.

    I'd love to take him to one side and tell him to watch interviews with and videos of George Best playing. If someone annoys you on the pitch just come back and beat him, you have the talent.

    What that does not mean that 2 wrongs make a right so no matter what he does that is annoying, which he should be punished for retroactively, this does not mean referees should be allowed to get away with what happened on Sunday.

    Steven Gerrard constantly does the same as Ronaldo, with the added addition of two footed lunges, but he is never pillioried as much. Why is that?

    And one other thing I didn't even pass my English GCSE.

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  • 20. At 4:20pm on 02 Mar 2009, taeryn wrote:

    I'm not sure which is more pretentious... Robbo's blog, or the legion of whinging Liverpool/United fans who feel it their duty to critique and analyze it every week. I'm fairly certain no one thinks of Robbo as a literary genius, it's the humour value that is interesting. I imagine you lot would find it far more entertaining if Robbo didn't have a go at your beloved Ronaldo or Gerrard, Lampard etc. so frequently.

    GazUtd's post is sheer hilarity. That he feels the need to defend Scuba Ron is more amusing than Robbo's digs.

    Loved the bit on saturdays "rugby" Robbo. Particularly enjoyed the Vickery 3 points joke... had me chuckling.

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  • 21. At 4:20pm on 02 Mar 2009, Friendlycard wrote:

    Robbo, I loved this blog - I usually do, but this one cheered me up even more than ever. This was real laugh-out-loud stuff combined with an incisive take on the game.

    As a neutral here - my lot are in the Championship, but might not stay there the way things are looking - I'd love to see Hull stay up, but it's not looking good for them right now.

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  • 22. At 4:24pm on 02 Mar 2009, Xavierneville wrote:

    Oh Robbo!

    You poor thing, lots of inane chat but you blogs are going down the swanny because you're reet worried about the 'Boro' going down!

    I personally think you'll be safe but by a hairs breath. The Toon have some horrendous fixtures left, I'm tipping them for the chamionship......

    Man U
    Aston Villa

    Head up, but forget about the Cup you know you'll get spanked at Goodison......

    Take a break!

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  • 23. At 4:27pm on 02 Mar 2009, 59th_street wrote:

    Nice one Robbo...

    "My lot have so many six-pointers coming up that we could be top of the league come mid-April." - sheer class

    ...and as for Ronaldo...he's one of many modern footballers now who don't play the game, too many theatrics. As Derek Griffiths used to say "Just get ONNN with it."

    Hope the on-going spat with GazUtd continues...he's wetter than a haddock's bathing costume.

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  • 24. At 4:31pm on 02 Mar 2009, gigsy_no_chelsky wrote:

    "wanting to kiss Xabi Alonso's thigh "

    I want too, but for a different-woman-thing reason ;)

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  • 25. At 4:47pm on 02 Mar 2009, elstrup wrote:

    Good one Robbo. I thought the West Ham performance was the catalyst for a very good Liverpool result.
    I really don't want a Man U domestic treble so as far as i'm concerned, 'Boro for the cup.
    Up The Hatters

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  • 26. At 4:48pm on 02 Mar 2009, LFCfan128 wrote:

    Boro played well against a tired Liverpool side. A side that didnt take their chances and got punished, which started by a gifted own goal. Credit to Boro.

    Blackburn also won and immediately sent Boro back in relegation zone. Teams around Boro also has a game in hand. Someone said on 606, "I wish we can play Liverpool every game". I laughed and replied "It was the last time Boro will play Liverpool for a very long time". Enjoy the moment, it won't last I am afraid. I hope Boro enjoys the Championship and the exodus of players, namely Downing.

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  • 27. At 4:56pm on 02 Mar 2009, BigOhGee wrote:

    GazUtd, please lighten up!

    This was a decent blog this week, although sometimes Robbo does just rabble on, it's just supposed to be an entertaining read, not a thorough critique of modern day football and it's social and moral implications.

    As for the boro - liverpool game, liverpool were awful, but Boro were very shaky at the back. If Liverpool could have taken advantage it might have been different. However they played poorly as the game went on - Boro improved a lot second half and punished Liverpool.

    All credit to Boro

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  • 28. At 5:09pm on 02 Mar 2009, juninhowept wrote:

    '"I wish we can play Liverpool every game". I laughed and replied "It was the last time Boro will play Liverpool for a very long time"'

    what a witty retort! well done, did you think that up by yourself? nice to see so many bitter scousers.

    however, the BEST COMEBACK EVER is above, from a united fan called 'gaz' -

    "And one other thing I didn't even pass my English GCSE."


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  • 29. At 5:11pm on 02 Mar 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:


    GazUtd - it does surprise me!

    Now I have a go at CR cos he is the poster-boy for the fling-n-flail brigade - much like the Fred fella is the scapegoat for the people who have got it in for the total bankers in the City. But I take your point re: Gerrard. However two wrongs don't make a right - your phrase - so whether Gerrard does it or not is irrelevant. AS you say they should both be punished for it retrospectively...

    Absolutely right re Bestie too - summat I mentioned in a blog a week ago:

    So that's way too much to agree on, mate. Hellfire. Slag me off quick before peace breaks out.

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  • 30. At 5:16pm on 02 Mar 2009, Gunnerforlife2008 wrote:

    gazutd which are you? one of the 85% of man utd fans that dont actually come from manchester or one of 10% that were man city fans but switched when they saw utd winnin everything? only 5% of man u fans are genuine fans and the rest are glory hunters.

    as for u lfc oo someone is throwing the toys out of the pram cus boro beat what without a fully fit torres and gerrard is essentially barely a premier league team. when torres is out gerrard looks lost vice versa with torres when gerrard is out. face it you wont win the title. you only where you are now cus chelsea and arsenal dropped so many points.

    good blog robbo and well done on a great win at weekend

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  • 31. At 5:18pm on 02 Mar 2009, Gunnerforlife2008 wrote:

    hey robbo just one thing, what your thought on ronaldo kicking out at a blackburn player and getting nothing done? the fa said they cudnt use a replay to punish him and yet they used a replay to charge wright phillips. there is some biase there towards utd. always has been, you just have to look at how rob styles gets most of utds home games

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  • 32. At 5:23pm on 02 Mar 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    You're an idiot.

    There, ok? Happy now? Can't be getting along now can we.

    Although I would appreciate you writing a blog on 'glory hunting'

    Look at #30

    Gunner for life what exactly is a glory hunter? Is it someone who wants his team to win and therefore have glory all the time? It would seem from the words that is what it is.

    In that case sign me up. I am a glory hunter. I want the glory.

    Are there any football fans who aren't glory hunters?

    Oh yes, Arsenal fans, I forgot. You're more worried about finances.

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  • 33. At 5:35pm on 02 Mar 2009, CockneyCov wrote:

    Robbo & GazUtd ..............

    Are you sure you're not married ........ ?

    Would you like to book a room somewhere.....?

    This is the greatest romance since Brief Encounter - flirting , inuendo , more to's and fro's than Wimbledon .....

    I'm gripped by the suspense......

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  • 34. At 5:37pm on 02 Mar 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    The wife's away for a few days.

    I need someone to argue nonsenically with.

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  • 35. At 5:45pm on 02 Mar 2009, billbixby480 wrote:


    Just for you, the definition of a blog from the OED:

    "A frequently updated web site consisting of personal observations, excerpts from other sources, etc., typically run by a single person, and usually with hyperlinks to other sites; an online journal or diary."

    I'm pretty sure that Robbo is delivering that here. There are loads of personal observations (some funny, some not), and comments about other sources with hyperlinks. Robbo's blog doesn't have to be 100% accurate about everything, nor does it have to conform to your personal definition of funny, nor mine, or anyone else's except for Robbo's - it's his blog, and like all blogs it is opinion, not fact.

    If you don't think Robbo's comments about the 'gelled tumbler' are funny, then so be it. I do find the dismissal of one of the most talented albeit balance-challenged footballers in the world as the 'gelled tumbler' rather amusing indeed, and I think the term to 'skrtel' should be adopted by all from now on. But ultimately my opinion on the quality of the humou in Robbo's blog (or his factual accuracy) doesn't matter, because it's his blog - his opinion and personal observations.

    If you don't like it, don't read it. I don't like East Enders, so I don't watch it. If enough people stop watching a program on the tele they stop showing it. If no one comments on a blog, then surely it will disappear. Adding your thoughts to Robbo's blog will only ensure that he continues blogging. Vote with your silence, not by bleating about about how nasty or stupid Robbo is for not liking Man Utd players.

    Having said that, I quite enjoy reading Robbo's blog, and I hope he continues blogging. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that. But I'm not a Man Utd or Liverpool fan, so I suspect that helps!!

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  • 36. At 6:07pm on 02 Mar 2009, manufan_rooney wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 37. At 6:11pm on 02 Mar 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 38. At 6:19pm on 02 Mar 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    Deny it all you like but we all know you have secretly supported the 'backpass rule' for quite a while!

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  • 39. At 6:28pm on 02 Mar 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Not quite sure how you got away with that one. The moderator must have had an innuendo bypass.
    The missus will testify that I like to play just behind the front two although she's been a withholding midfielder for as long as I can remember.

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  • 40. At 6:30pm on 02 Mar 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    I'm not having a pun competition with you. I can't possibly win that!

    But I have never been caught offside just in case you are wondering.

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  • 41. At 6:42pm on 02 Mar 2009, dodiesmith wrote:

    "Blocks of concrete in pillow cases!" -- loved that, Robbo. Rugby could never be called "the beautiful game."

    Didn't see the ManU game here (in Toronto) but was thrilled that they were taken to extra time and then penalty shots before ManU came through. However, I did watch Inter play Roma on the Italian station and it was a terrific game 3-3 -- but believe me, Ronaldo and Gerrard are choir boys compared to the fab falling-down performances there!

    If you want to win the World Cup, you gotta play with the masters - then hope players like Zidane won't head butt you!
    (Just thoughts from a Liverpool fan, yes, but also a woman, in case Gaz Utd thinks I'm bonkers.)

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  • 42. At 6:44pm on 02 Mar 2009, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    Absolute tosh Robbo...errr, that's it.

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  • 43. At 6:47pm on 02 Mar 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    You're a woman so that automatically makes you bonkers.

    Does that make me sexist?

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  • 44. At 7:48pm on 02 Mar 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:


    Even I recognise that that was sexist and I don't understand women at all.

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  • 45. At 7:54pm on 02 Mar 2009, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    Robbo, your new verb could come back to haunt you - you "scurtle" for the BBC.
    Why does Rafa buy chafa (Spanish for 'cheap', 'naff') like him?

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  • 46. At 8:32pm on 02 Mar 2009, Hod's Takin Le Tiss wrote:

    skrtel is the best CB in the world. i think in your blog you made it sound like he's a bad player. it's just a shame he was played way out of position.

    it's like playing pirlo at centre back.

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  • 47. At 8:56pm on 02 Mar 2009, andy36602 wrote:

    Good work Robbo, as a Boro fan in Australia, it certainly makes my Sunday morning when we get a decent result. Yep, not many good Sunday mornings so far this season!!

    Keep it up mate!

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  • 48. At 8:58pm on 02 Mar 2009, elstrup wrote:

    Or Le Tissier in an England kit

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  • 49. At 9:00pm on 02 Mar 2009, Torres Is a Blue wrote:

    if boro win the fa cup, will that be the first team there is a championship team in the uefa cup?

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  • 50. At 9:20pm on 02 Mar 2009, azzi42 wrote:

    one thing, we won't be championship
    and another is, Millwall when they got to the final and Manyoo won... they didnt last very long though, all their players went to everton and tottenham...

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  • 51. At 9:27pm on 02 Mar 2009, azzi42 wrote:

    almost forgot, actually
    GazUtd, how old are you? because I think you may only have failed the english GCSE last year, or have you even got that far yet? seriously, grow up! for 2 reasons:
    1) it's not big and clever just to moan, moan and moan all the time, and come out with immature jibes about someone you have never met
    and 2) it's not exactly a brave act to criticise someone via comments on an online blog... it seems that you may only be 14... keep it to yourself, or be brave enough to do it in a more personal fashion than shouting it from a crowd of people who respond every week
    I appreciate that Ronaldo is a good player, but personally I can't stand him, or the vast majority of premier league players. I play football on a saturday night because it's something i enjoy, and some of the lads there are really very good. do any of us get paid for it? no. so ronaldo gets paid £100k a week for doing something he enjoys, so it's one reason i can't like him, and another is that he abuses the talent he has been given... ok he must have worked hard to get where he is, but he's now just stopping the hard workers out there... against Inter he picked where he wanted the free-kick, yet even when he was doing an impression of a salmon over Santon, Santon still stuck at it and looked a much maturer player...
    go on, criticise my english too...

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  • 52. At 9:36pm on 02 Mar 2009, B_Ri wrote:

    Has anyone else found that Rafa Benitez comment ("maybe if Torres hadn't been injured) is case and point?

    The case being that Torres and Gerrard have been injured, the point being that unlike Man Utd who can replace players like Rooney, Vidic and Carrick with players like Tevez, Evans and Giggs, and Liverpool can't.

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  • 53. At 9:40pm on 02 Mar 2009, B_Ri wrote:

    Further point, aswell as the lack of strength in depth, does anyone else think Liverpool lack the winning mentality?

    I'm not saying this is true for every player, lord knows if we could get the liverpool form from Steven Gerrard for england we would have won the world cup twice over by now. But it seems like a lot of liverpool players and indeed the man in charge himself play to avoid losing rather than playing to win.

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  • 54. At 10:08pm on 02 Mar 2009, pimms-o-clock wrote:

    This blogs turned into a bloody soap. Theres tradegy, laughs, fights could probably see it on bbc 4 in a couple of weeks. Anyway great blog as usual robbo great to see liverpool lose and i'm an arsenal fan so im sure ill get some abuse as were in fifth at the moment. Great to see that yet again rafa has put europe above england. Still only 4 names on that premiership title.

    To go down,
    West brom (no great escape this time)
    stoke (battle to the death but no quality to finnish off)
    tottenham or hull (hull runnin out of ideas while tottenham i would just like 2 see all that quality in the championship)

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  • 55. At 10:09pm on 02 Mar 2009, Gibbo7111 wrote:

    'so ronaldo gets paid ?100k a week for doing something he enjoys, so it's one reason i can't like him'


    So by that logic, if your a person who doesnt like robbo earning money for writing puns,something he prolly enjoys, its ok? Ill refrain from commenting of the ridiculousness of your logic and just leave it at that haha

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  • 56. At 10:23pm on 02 Mar 2009, feasegedbogtrot wrote:

    There is one thing that divides the Boro and just about every other Premiership and, for that matter, Championship side, and that is the steady stream of young local lads (Academy) coming through and strengthening (yes, strengthening) the team. Something WE should be rightly proud of. Thank you Mr Gibson (the one and only) and yes, Robbo ( we shouldn't forget your part in youth development), and now, Gareth Southgate. I am considering purchasing a season ticket again, despite the current position of my team.

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  • 57. At 10:24pm on 02 Mar 2009, azzi42 wrote:

    i never once mentioned people in other jobs
    i merely went on why i dislike ronaldo, and also, it's more about the abuse of his talent
    plus, does robbo really earn £100k per week? i very much doubt it...
    entertainment does play a part in life, and thus the entertainers should get paid, and i admit i made a mistake as some people love their jobs and do something far more worthwhile... what i really meant was that, at the end of the day, and i cringe using that phrase, ronaldo does something which millions of people do... a hobby, and yet earns far more than teachers, nurses, firemen, binmen etc, who may love their work, yet make far more of a difference to the world, and don't tend to crash brand new cars into tunnels, or dive around other people and stop them from getting started in their careers... Santon was playing his 8th match for Inter, and Ronaldo was tumbling like you pressed in his base and slackened the string that holds him up... the whistle blows, the spring uncoils and he's back on his feet again...
    essentially, it's more the massive difference in money between Robbo and Ronaldo that makes the latter a bad example... people can criticise Robbo and say that writing a mildly informative and amusing blog doesn't merit payment, and thus a considerable number of newspaper columnists would then get their wagepackets cut too, but would these people then stop football from being a 'proffession' as well? because the best way around it would be to make it all clear cut: entertain for free, work for a fee?

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  • 58. At 10:50pm on 02 Mar 2009, Last minute ad break wrote:

    Brilliant blog, equally amusing comments and discussion.

    Come on Boro!

    Spurs for the drop... oh please oh please, THE most over rated, self important club this side of the Tyne....

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  • 59. At 11:54pm on 02 Mar 2009, dazjoe78 wrote:

    Just wondering, if, when Man Utd get an incorrect decision that goes in their favour, we get hundreds of muppets talking about EVERY thing goes their way; are we now going to get the same muppets writing in to say, whoops sorry, there was a blatant penalty for United that wasn't given yesterday. We apologize and admit we're incorrect?
    I'll not hold my breath.

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  • 60. At 00:18am on 03 Mar 2009, unseenforces wrote:

    Spurs were the better team n deserved to win the carling cup...spurs gonna have a top 10 finish for sure....spurs all the way...

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  • 61. At 00:41am on 03 Mar 2009, Eddy Cordoza wrote:

    What was with that decibel-o-meter on the Sky coverage??! how pointless (and not very scientific... unless there were about fifty mics, evenly dispersed in each end).

    Which leads me to a question... what is the most pointless TV innovation for football coverage?

    My nomination would be the little flag animation that used to come up on the BBC whenever there was an offside.

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  • 62. At 01:28am on 03 Mar 2009, DennyCraneWHU wrote:

    Come clean, Robbo. This whole blog is just a tutorial for Times Literary Critic Wannabees 101.

    Oooooooooh, Robbo, your use of similes is like, like... oooh I can't think.

    And I believe your reference to the lesser spotted gurgle warbler being spotted west of the Blue Bells should in fact be north west of the aforementioned imbibing palace, as any orni, orni, horny ... bird watcher could tell you. Which even you should know if you were even one-tenth as pretentious as I and most of your critics are.

    I can't go on, lol...

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  • 63. At 02:45am on 03 Mar 2009, greatWengersGunners wrote:

    Here is my take Robbo...

    well since I keep purely Rafa responsible for sending both Ince and Adams out the PL, as a great player/manager Gareth told him up yours rafathis time if you take my job in this crisis( Although I wish both Grant and Phil could do the same to Terry... well when he mainly failed to take responsibility of scoring 2 crucial times for his superiors)

    enough of this nonesense.. however I like boro time to time stopping the reds... but they need to start bringing in some audience time to time. the tv looks empty when watching boro games.

    No mention of Gunners this time around? Wow.. What is ur rediction of them standing at the end of the season?

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  • 64. At 06:13am on 03 Mar 2009, jmf5469 wrote:

    Haway the lads

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  • 65. At 06:57am on 03 Mar 2009, chanachevhu wrote:

    #38 and #39.....

    I think I better inform BBC to put an age restriction on Robbo's blogs, this is just too much guys............

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  • 66. At 07:38am on 03 Mar 2009, supa1878 wrote:

    As a Toffee I've gotta disagree with 'Boro for the Cup but good luck in avoiding the drop.
    I'd rather have your lot around to thrash again next season that that bunch of overpaid skunks from up the road and over the bridge.

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  • 67. At 07:40am on 03 Mar 2009, basamta wrote:

    Robbo Robbo, here in Nigeria, we were mighty glad to know that your beard was coming off after saturday thanks to loserpool.
    once in a while, i just cant help but wonder what u were like as a kid...hummn there i just keep smirking. u must have been a handful
    gud blog man. and thanks for the vote of confidence on Hiddink. i think we might nick the big-eared cup too
    kip it up abeg!
    now i also think the prem is might stale. ow can united trump everyone ever so long?? u need to answer this o, even in my league down here, the mighty Eyimba gets trumped ever so often, yet their respect or authority never waness.
    looking forward to ur response!!!!!!

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  • 68. At 07:58am on 03 Mar 2009, EuroPaddy wrote:

    Top blog Robbo - I always read and occasionally comment. You were obviously in a good mood yesterday - never seen you respond to the comments so often!

    I just wish I'd read this yesterday - I would have loved to have joined the love-in with GazUtd - both yours and his comments were priceless and made me giggle. Looking forward to the next one...

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  • 69. At 08:53am on 03 Mar 2009, basamta wrote:

    who on earth is that Gazutd guy, geezzz i missed all the fun yesterday. hope to hook onto u guys on friday. no be so???

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  • 70. At 10:21am on 03 Mar 2009, marchie1053 wrote:

    #14, #17 & #19.

    I passed my GCE English - just can't remember why I ate in the first place, though. If you didn't pass yours, GazzUtd, you must be getting awfully uncomfortable. Have you tried syrup of figs?

    I enjoy the blog each week - as an Englishman living in Scotland, I thought the description of Glasgow as Planet Taggart was pure dead brill (Therrrrrres bin a merrrrder, serrrrrr).

    I don't take the blog seriously - I just enjoy the self deprecation and the puns et al and have a laugh. Then I have another laugh at the comments from the angry brigade.

    I'm still not sure whether innuendo is another foreigner trying to qualify to play for England or an Italian suppository.

    The blog is a laugh a minute (the minute with the laugh in is usually 2/3 down the column). Keep it up Robbo.

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  • 71. At 11:24am on 03 Mar 2009, GenesisRed wrote:

    Good blog, and enjoyed the shaved bear comment though.

    Personally, i think its harsh to condemn Ronaldo (where's the 'funny' names for Gerrard or Drogba and all the others by the way) more than anyone else.

    Yes, he's up on the highest pedestal to be shot at, but more often than not he does buy a foul because he moves the ball before the tackler can get to it. Is that wrong? Surely, if the tackler misses the ball, or deliberately catches the player it's a foul?

    If you want to punish the likes of Ronaldo when he does take a dive - which sadly he does, although far less than you'd have us believe - you have to punish the likes of Cordoba, Carvalho and Terry and all the many defenders who cynically chop or push players down through on goal and get away with nothing more than a free kick if that.

    If the likes of Ronaldo got the free kick when they turned a slow defender inside out and bought the foul, they wouldn't feel the need to over emphasize every contact to ensure the ref can see it!

    And lets be honest, neither Drogba nor Gerrard show the same trickery to get fouled; they just let their leg trail over the defenders foot as they pay the first installment on their dive!

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  • 72. At 11:57am on 03 Mar 2009, whatbill wrote:

    #30 - criticising United's fanbase is quite rich coming from a gunner. Last time i went to the Emirates (stadium not country) it was full of rich blokes from the city and with the padded seats and lack of atmosphere had more in common with a trip to the cinema. As for the food, it wasn't prawn sandwiches so much as pan fried prawns on italian focaccia. Get back to me when your "fanbase" has worked out if you should be booing Wenger or not...

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  • 73. At 12:10pm on 03 Mar 2009, Dan_89 wrote:

    Good blog, the bit about Chickens with the penalties is good. Also it is a good way to put it about Ronaldos card for diving when you say "The boy who cried Wolf".

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  • 74. At 12:13pm on 03 Mar 2009, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    just as someone lying on the ground at Joey Barton's feet might encourage the ref to think the worst of the situation.
    Robbo, u completely crack me up. Laughed so hard on this one. Keep up the good stuff mate. Forget these sissies who keep on whinging about your blog. Why da hek do they read it if they don't like it? They should have there heads checked!

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  • 75. At 12:46pm on 03 Mar 2009, sneakyprice07 wrote:

    Fantastic read this week. I like your blog normally but today was especially funny with some truth in it too.
    People are frustrated by the likes of ronaldo diving because if he stayed on his feet he could waltz through most defences as you said, shame.
    In terms of your prediction, you've taken the easy way out with Stoke, West Brom and Hull - I think the Geordies will leave through the trap door unfortunately, I know the ''too big to go down'' cliche annoys some people but with them I agree.
    Same as my beloved Wolves, should be in the Prem!!!!
    Keep up the good work Robbo. Good luck in the Cup.

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  • 76. At 1:02pm on 03 Mar 2009, gay fish wrote:

    Good funny blog apu.

    On the worst bit of sport that you have seen in 2009 well I actually thought the Cup Final was far worse than the rugby. Just seeing Martin Johnson losing it in the crowd was worth the entry fee (tv licence).

    However the worst bit of sport that I have seen this year was the spurs man utd game in the FA cup where Spurs refused to press the ball for the whole of the second half. It was truly one of the worst games of football I have ever seen from a side who could have upped their tempo and tried to even things up.

    Best game of the season I have seen is still the Pompey vs Ac Milan game at home where the rain and the mud probably put Kaka and Ronaldinho off coming to England...ever.

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  • 77. At 2:31pm on 03 Mar 2009, mikeysmastersafc wrote:

    not sure if this is true or not but i heard that some fans complained about other fans making to much noise when singing at the riverside and that some season ticket holders were sent letters and told to keep the noise down, no wonder its so quiet there!

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  • 78. At 2:33pm on 03 Mar 2009, ZEUSFC wrote:

    good blog this week robbo, and all the gazutd stuff has had me laughing too

    just one question though;
    whats R..U..G..B..Y?

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  • 79. At 2:39pm on 03 Mar 2009, Jwm367t wrote:

    number 14..... you need to get a girl!

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  • 80. At 2:40pm on 03 Mar 2009, mikeysmastersafc wrote:

    46. At 8:32pm on 02 Mar 2009, Hod's Takin Le Tiss wrote:
    skrtel is the best CB in the world. i think in your blog you made it sound like he's a bad player. it's just a shame he was played way out of position.

    it's like playing pirlo at centre back

    ha ha ha are you for real best in world ive never laughed as hard in my life

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  • 81. At 2:53pm on 03 Mar 2009, rchrdav wrote:

    What is this disease that people seem to have where if a player plays for thier club he is automatically the best player in the world at his position?
    Come on #46 Skrtl may be a good centre back but he is not under any stretch of the imagination the best in the world

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  • 82. At 3:01pm on 03 Mar 2009, azzi42 wrote:

    very good point... i was sidetracked by the ronaldo thing too much... there are other players who fit into the same category, and those that fit into the opposite... the cynical hackers
    watching Boro v West Ham on wednesday night last week, i was shocked at Lucas Neill... what he got away with on Emnes was ridiculous! hacking, kicking and stamping in a sequence which left Marvin clutching his wrist, trying to pick a fight with our lads in the quadrant, and then the synchronised leg-breakers with Scott Parker. It was stupid because it was a fairly well tempered, exciting game of football up until then.
    Who would you though say was the example to follow?
    Also, how come when Boro won the league cup, it was a minor trophy? It didn't feature any big 4 teams, but then again, nor did last season's FA up final, and that had a lower league team in it??

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  • 83. At 3:28pm on 03 Mar 2009, philtoon82 wrote:

    66. At 07:38am on 03 Mar 2009, supa1878 wrote:
    As a Toffee I've gotta disagree with 'Boro for the Cup but good luck in avoiding the drop.
    I'd rather have your lot around to thrash again next season that that bunch of overpaid skunks from up the road and over the bridge.

    Does part of being 'a Toffee' mean that you dont actually watch any of their matches?? We drew 2-2 at goodison and 0-0 (with 10 men for an hour) at st james.

    Some thrashing that!!


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  • 84. At 3:33pm on 03 Mar 2009, autonomy_lost wrote:

    hi robbo ..i have been reading ur blog for a while now...hilarious ..
    i think u were a bit harsh on Skrtel....LOL ..he is a decent CB ...played out of position ...he has done well for pool(am not a fan BTW)

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  • 85. At 4:39pm on 03 Mar 2009, digispoonerta wrote:

    Sorry to be the barer of bad news to the Liverpool guys but "Robbo" didn't actually say he was a bad player to quote:

    'To skrtel - or even "scurtle" - to attempt to do a job for which one is wholly unsuited. For example, Bergamasco scurtled as scrum-half; Sidebottom scurtled as England's strike bowler; David Bentley scurtled a penalty kick.'

    I read this to say that he was played out of position and as such had a shocker "To Skrtel"

    This is also what they said on Match of the Day also. But anyway to discribe him as the best CB in the world might be streaching it a bit even for a Liverpool supporter!!!

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  • 86. At 5:34pm on 03 Mar 2009, mightyborofc wrote:

    Love reading your blog Robbo.

    As a fellow Boro fan i too hope we can stay up. Lots of big games coming up (Hull, Stoke, Pompey) for us boys will decide whether we'll be visting the likes of Blackpool and Barnsley (no disrespect to them teams) or Man U and Arsenal.

    C'mon Boro!!

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  • 87. At 6:22pm on 03 Mar 2009, bertrandmcnally wrote:

    Talking about the blog, dum di dum, blog blog blog. So, are there advertisements on the BBC website in the UK? We get them here in the States, but only just in the last few months (I think). Oh Robbo, such words you write, etc. Blogging and so on.

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  • 88. At 6:47pm on 03 Mar 2009, pimms-o-clock wrote:

    I find it funny that so many people take this seriously and are at the edge of their seats for when the blog is published just so they can have a pop at robbo. Its for a bit of fun and to discuss the point that robbo makes on the blog. Not for every bloody liverpool fan who doesnt like the fact they cant win the premiership to have a go at robbo who is milkin the fact that boro beat liverpool. And fair play to him for that. it would be brilliant if they lost to liverpool tonight

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  • 89. At 6:48pm on 03 Mar 2009, pimms-o-clock wrote:

    if liverpool lost to sunderland

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  • 90. At 9:42pm on 03 Mar 2009, TigerinSydney wrote:

    I think the joke must be on me - people come on here complaining every week about Robbo - taking his comments seriously and appearing to get very wound up at what he writes.

    How long does it take them to realise this is what they'll read every week from Robbo?

    In fact Robbo - are you slagging off your own column to get the debate going??

    I'm as confused as a Brazilian at the Riverside - how come they end up in 'Boro? your chairman must make some fantastic brochures when negotiations are happening...

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  • 91. At 10:06pm on 03 Mar 2009, Roberto_Mexicano wrote:

    Post 14 -

    Yeah i'm sure GazUtd's opinions r extremely important to u aren't they Robbo!

    Utd fans - U can spot them a mile off.........I think it's the lack of a sense of humor, combined with zero knowledge of football.....think about it - you've never met one with either have you?!

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  • 92. At 11:24pm on 03 Mar 2009, Just1keano wrote:

    You had me causing havoc at the office this morning. Your last couple or so haven't been clssics, so I wasn't expecting too much. And then I've gone and made a right old scene at work. Cos try as I did, I just couldn't stop laughing...and laughing...and I'm still laughing!
    You make my day mate!

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  • 93. At 10:03am on 04 Mar 2009, SeanieGilbo wrote:

    Good one Robbo,

    am loving the new verb: To Skrtel

    am hating the 'love-in' between Robbo and GazUtd.... what are you, footballl fans or greco-roman wrestlers?

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  • 94. At 12:10pm on 04 Mar 2009, Tundra_Boy wrote:

    You know, it's good and all, but are people seriously doubled up laughing and making a scene out of it/weeping with laughter? Isn't this more "wry smile" territory?

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  • 95. At 12:41pm on 04 Mar 2009, Clint wrote:

    I don't think Skirtel is even the best centre back at Liverpool, Carragher would be missed more than Skirtel.

    Ronaldo got booked for diving on Sunday because he was on his way to ground before any contact had been made - FACT. And yes, it is very much a case of the boy that cried wolf, even if he had been caught before flinging himself to the deck, you can see why the ref might think he's at it.

    In this country, you play football in the playground at school and the kid that gets the most respect is the one that gets up after strong challenges and plays like a hard man. In portugal, it would appear that from an early age, it is deemed correct to dive and feign injury and I would imagine it is encouraged at youth level.

    You only have to watch Porto and the like to understand that the Portugese have a very different take on how the game should be played

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  • 96. At 12:43pm on 04 Mar 2009, iplusplus wrote:

    I enjoy reading your blog Mr. Robson, it makes me chuckle vehemently more often than not.

    What makes me do more so and in particular this week are some of the responses. Most notibly the Manure fans who (recognised plaudits asside) seem entirely oblivious to the inexorable cheating the "gelled-tumbler" performs on an almost weekly basis. I hold no doubt over his ability, if only he'd concentrate on that more so then maybe he'd win more fans outside of the Red Devil camp.

    Also, there are of course the RS (Liverpool) fans, who constantly pick at you for stating their obvious (at least to most of us) shortcommings. I thought that after the quality aquisition of Torres last season and given the time to gel with the team that Liverpool, if not last year then this year would put up a serious title fight but alas ney (not enough match-winners, whatever that means).

    Keep up the good work!

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  • 97. At 1:14pm on 04 Mar 2009, Addickindxb wrote:

    Praying the boro will stay up!
    Another great blog Robbo!!

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  • 98. At 2:27pm on 04 Mar 2009, dyrewolfe wrote:

    Another great blog Robbo - I nearly choked on my lunch I was laughing so much!

    Thanks also to the angry / bitter Man U and Liverpool fans for your comical responses.

    There's finally light at the end of the tunnel for Boro (assuming its not the Championship Express heading straight for us). If I remember correctly our next game is at home to Portsmouth...should be another 3 points in the bag there. We may yet escape the drop.

    As far as the FA Cup goes, I'll be happy if we can hold Everton 0 - 0 at Goodison, then repeat what we did against West Ham at the Riverside.

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  • 99. At 2:31pm on 04 Mar 2009, dyrewolfe wrote:

    Also, on the subject of the England rugby team's lack of discipline, I also had exactly the same thought about Phil "Shaven Bear" Vickery.

    Why on earth does Martin Johnson persist in picking him, when his presence on the field virtually guarantees the opposition 6 - 9 points in penalties (not to mention an easier time of it while he's in the sin bin)?

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  • 100. At 6:43pm on 04 Mar 2009, thegreatNEb wrote:

    so you can recall Latin phrases but still can't manage to figure out how to spell the word something;

    S. O. M. (this is where it gets tricky because we pronounce the next one, but it does actually affect the previously mentioned 'o') E. (now we have this sneaky little concoction that we use to make a somewhat unique sound in the middle of the word) T and H. (now that's over it should be pretty easy from here) I. N. G.

    phew...wasn't that hard now was it. Takes a little longer to type out, but then I'm sure you all have plenty of time due to the fact that for some reason you think it's okay to replace many parts of your words with an apostrophe.

    And I thought the BBC was supposed to be somewhat educational and act as something of a standard bearer for British journalism...oh well, one step at a time

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  • 101. At 7:04pm on 04 Mar 2009, telemonster wrote:

    Post 30:

    You're an idiot!

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  • 102. At 7:23pm on 04 Mar 2009, cards wrote:

    the irony --what did he do? kick out petulantly at robbo?... i bet he swore

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