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Down in the Tees mouth

Robbo Robson | 12:23 UK time, Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The smog has enveloped Middlesbrough. Actually the sun is being cruelly chirpy out there, but we are in deep mourning. There's no point in pretending otherwise.

Even though we visited Upton Park on Sunday fully understanding that we were drinking No-Hope Ale in the Last Chance Saloon at the Too Late Tavern while a whole bevy of lardy lasses were stood around in the snug, lungs full to bursting, relegation still hits you like a windscreen hits a midge.

The wife had to drag me out of the Blue Bell on Sunday night, with the lure of a chicken vindaloo from Ashok's and the promise of a long lie-in on Monday. Sometimes only a violent barrage of chilli can exterminate the pain.

Dejected Middlesbrough fansThe last game was a pretty good summation of the season. A bit of decent possession, schoolboy defending and a goal down, a neat Tuncay-inspired equaliser and we're back behind again within 10 minutes.

The old cliché about being at your most vulnerable after you score was really true for the Boro this season, although we were always quite vulnerable before we scored, and extremely vulnerable as they scored, but I've made my point.

We've had keepers as nervy as a robin in a cattery, defences that parted with all the predictability of a celebrity divorce, and a bunch of forwards who couldn't have finished an article in the News of the World.

Southgate has to take his fair share of the blame. The £12m on Alves has made £28m on Juan Sebastian Veron look like transfer-dealing genius. Schwarzer and Cattermole have not been properly replaced and the hard-working lads who have been turning out for the club have looked at times like a bunch of local mascots who won the 'You Can Play For The Boro' raffle.

I still like Southgate, mind. He's not made silly excuses and he's taken it on the chin. I hope he sticks around for a season and puts it right - and if he can't then fair enough, someone else can fill his boots. Gibson's a decent enough human being to give him that chance.

How galling it would have been then to see a club like Newcastle somehow escape from the mire with the aid of Mr Shearer. I don't quite go along with the idea that the Toon Army deserves Championship football next season, but the club - and the way it has been run - definitely do.

The match at Villa summed them up. A bunch of overpaid, underpowered mercenaries save for Taylor and Harper (and at least Duff has pledged to stay and turn it around). Shearer was at his most diplomatic when he said he couldn't fault his players for effort. One more crowd threatening hack by Obafemi aside they did nowt.

There's going to be a few agents with their work cut out over the summer. Hundred grand a week for Michael Owen anyone? Seventy grand a week for Viduka? We'll give you 50 quid if you take Joey Barton.

Ashley was already carrying the weight of the world round his midriff but he's lumbered with the Magpies for a while yet.

Will Shearer stay? For all his monotone frankness - and he's generally about as sentimental as a computer print-out in post-match interviews - he's a true Geordie, all right. I can't see him being able to tear himself away now he's had a taste of it.

Still there's a right cushy little job waiting for him. That sofa must look a million-pound mattress on a four-poster king-size, adorned with two pert Swedish masseuses compared to the bed of nails that he's been perching on at St James' for the last eight games.

I hope he sticks with it. The last thing Newcastle United need now is some other mildly successful pragmatist being booed out of town 'cos he's not steeped in the lyrical romance of the Newcastle way.

At least Shearer would provide some sort of stability for next season while the club are inevitably beset by secret bids from billionaire hermits, or ragtag associations of Tyneside entrepreneurs and celebs, or a chirpy Venezuelan peasant farmers collective, or whoever.

Congratulations to Hull for not being quite as useless as the bottom three, despite being the worst team in the division since Christmas. That's not so much sour grapes as a whole bleeding vineyard of bitter fruit, but never has a team so patently scraped through.
Phil Brown
Phil Brown's impromptu tra-la-la was right up there with Sir Cliff's rain-soaked Wimbledon warbling and Delia Smith's half-time howl (and remember where Norwich are now!) Of course we had a bit of entertainment at the Blue Bell on Sunday evening too. The Morrissey karaoke went down dead well.

I've already put a thousandth of Michael Owen's weekly wage (a shedload of cash in other words) on Hull going down next season. Not sure I'll do the same with Burnley - which is one of the better stories of the season.

Burnley have been fantastic, Coyle must be one of the best young managers around and they thoroughly deserve promotion. Sheffield United are one of the inter-league bobbers and they'll be in the play-offs next year too, for sure. I think that's the future for the Boro, too.

For now, I'll try and look forward to the Game of the Century on Wednesday night. That'll perk me up, won't it? A cavalcade of attacking endeavour between two of the most terrifying attacks ever to have taken to the turf.

Only you know what? Fergie's going to go for two banks of four, nab an early goal on the break and hold on to a 1-0 'til the final whistle.

There'll be more tumbling than you find in the Chinese State circus and the whole thing will be a damp squib. Still, I don't reckon finding Scarlett Johansson in a basque on me kitchen table with a pie in one hand and a pint in the other could cheer up this smoggie right now.


  • 1. At 1:50pm on 26 May 2009, LallanaWonderland wrote:

    Cheer up Robbo, the Championship is where it's at! Or at least where it was :(

    Instead of waking in dread every Saturday wondering how many your side won't score today, you'll enjoy the unpredictability of going into every game knowing anybody can beat anybody else! You've every chance of being a TOP HALF SIDE! Imagine that. Just do yourselves a favour and bag a goalscorer...

    Chin up :)

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  • 2. At 1:59pm on 26 May 2009, karembeu wrote:

    "I don't reckon finding Scarlett Johansson in a basque on me kitchen table with a pie in one hand and a pint in the other could cheer up this smoggie right now." - I'll bet it would :D

    I reckon it will hurt us for a while Robbo, but lets face it, most (myself included) were resigned to this for a while now, and based on their performances, so were the players.

    I genuinely like Southgate, top bloke when I met him, was a model pro, and Boro legend. I guess unless we really know what constraints he was placed under no-one can truly comment on how he did, but that squad was as good as several that stayed up, and better than a few, and ultimately the blame must lie with him. The players deserve as much blame though, especially the likes of O'Neill and Mido.

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  • 3. At 2:01pm on 26 May 2009, karembeu wrote:

    oh, and cheers for a great season of entertaining blogs Robbo - I hope, unlike the Boro, you will be back next season!

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  • 4. At 2:27pm on 26 May 2009, dougm wrote:

    It's ok Robbo I woke up yesterday morning listened to the media and Boro are safe! apparently only one team was relegated, Newcastle! Looking forward to the 22 team Premiership next year :)

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  • 5. At 2:42pm on 26 May 2009, Whiteoutloud wrote:

    Commiserations to you and the Boro, but look on the bright side, youll get 10m of parachute payments for Southgate to squander on another one-legged Dutchman.

    But seriously, I think the drop will do you good because it will stop the club management panic buying foreign journeymen in a vain attempt to remain mid-table in the Premier League and allow some of those promising youngsters from the Boro academy to come through and shine.
    From what I have seen, there is some good talent (if a little raw) for Southgate to blood into first team action and though the first season might stutter a bit, the quality will prevail.

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  • 6. At 2:48pm on 26 May 2009, U13982173 wrote:

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

  • 7. At 2:48pm on 26 May 2009, cocacolageordie wrote:

    Very funnyand entertaining!!! Doesnt remove the pain like but thats how it is. Commiserations on relegation Robbo, it blinkin hurts more than any of us geordies could imagine. Hopefully us and the smoggies can push for promotion next season but I honestly think we'll struggle, we've got good youngsters but there all unproven and untried.

    Just wondering how you think your lot will do, especially sans Tuncay and Alves(!).

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  • 8. At 2:58pm on 26 May 2009, Yabooga wrote:

    An enjoyable article.

    I for one sincerely hope that Shearer is given the job permanently and that he is given the full 4-5 years regardless of where the club might finish in his first few seasons. The club needs to be rid of the parasites that are sucking it dry and who have no feeling other than for their own bank balances - Shearer has the conviction, courage and toughness to sort the club from top to bottom. That means coaching staff, playing staff, academy recruitment and medical staff. I for one am looking forward to next season (should Shearer stay), obviously deeply hurt by relegation, but I've experienced it with the club before and three weeks from now, when the fixtures are released I'll still get the raw buzz and optimism I always do pre-season, and I look forward to going to towns, stadiums and pubs I've never been to before.

    Also, I'd like to offer congratulations to Burnley - the fact that Owen Coyle has spent £2.75 million and achieved what he has is incredible. Well done and it's good to see a big, traditional Lancashire club with the excellent history and support Burnley have back in the top flight.

    My manager of the season for the Prem goes to Tony Pulis, Hodgson and Moyes have again excelled, but for Stoke to survive as (ultimately) comofrtably as they have done is phenomenal - well done Pulis and staff.

    Roll on August!

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  • 9. At 2:59pm on 26 May 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    my condolences, Robbinho... but i'll happily read your Championship bloggo, if that's indeed what's in store.

    might be a nice change to follow some footballers that actually have a soul.

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  • 10. At 2:59pm on 26 May 2009, gerimus wrote:

    I've been following the Boro for decades, (a Linthorpe exile meself) and I never thought I would admit to not caring whether we stayed up or not. I mean, lets face it, the Transporter hasn't fallen down or been nicked by some roguish barcodes. Worse things happen. Much worse. And these end-of-season cry-fests are starting to get irritating.
    The Premier League this season has been rubbish apart from the BIG4 who are lightyears ahead of the chasing pack. Mediocrity from a small chasing pack, and as for the rest, well the table doesn't lie blah blah blah...

    But we have been Terrible. Gareth may have his faults, but what about the PLAYERS for goodness' sakes. Same up the road at the other two. Was chatting to a Stoke fan t'other day, and he wasn't so thrilled at the way things are - getting the feeling that 12 or so teams are making up the numbers. Practice for those glamourous EuroNights.

    OK rant over. We deserved it. We got it. Not convinced we'll be back for a while but hope I'm wrong. Good luck to all next season....

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  • 11. At 3:09pm on 26 May 2009, zed_CARS wrote:

    Will your blog be relegated too, Robbo? Or will we be treated to your comments about your visit to the giants that are S****horpe and the battle of the Boros, Middles v Peter. I'm predicting Southgate takes you to the lofty heights of 10th next season.

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  • 12. At 3:12pm on 26 May 2009, DennyCraneWHU wrote:


    Thanks for a very entertaining season. Will you be back in August or can we hope to hear from you before then? There is always the summer of our discontent against the convicts from down here.

    All the best to Lady Robbo and the Robbettes.

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  • 13. At 3:13pm on 26 May 2009, daveboy1976 wrote:

    saw the boro twice this year. once at fulham and once at west ham in the cup.

    cant describe how bewilderingly awful they were at times in those games. i have nought but total sympathy for their fans who were noisy as heck and always good entertainment value with their nonchalant attitude to casual nudity in less than ambient temperatures.

    hope you come back soon with a team full of players rather than Downing and his ten tiny toddling brothers.

    Unlike the toon, you DO deserve better than you have had this year.

    all the best to you.

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  • 14. At 3:37pm on 26 May 2009, babyTeenwolf wrote:

    What a waste of money (The Owen cash you put on Ull to go down) Should have thought about it before letting your frustrations get the better of you.

    Whose to say they don't go out and sign a few players and they could easily finish mid table. Your also forgetting they have Jimmy Bullard coming back as well as Anthony Gardner. (Like 2 new signings) if those to stay injury free, it can only add to there survival odds.

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  • 15. At 3:41pm on 26 May 2009, kkandnathan wrote:

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

  • 16. At 3:43pm on 26 May 2009, one-united wrote:

    glad to see boro go down, think most people were to be honest.... no fans, no atmosphere, no good football or players in sight, a championship club they are these days

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  • 17. At 3:43pm on 26 May 2009, cocacolageordie wrote:

    Sorry Robbo, theres someone even funnier than you, babyTeenwolf (excuse me) reckons Jimmy Bullard will stay fit, almost brought a tear to my eye.

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  • 18. At 4:10pm on 26 May 2009, Ryushinku wrote:

    I think your money on Hull going down next season will be money well spent...

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  • 19. At 4:13pm on 26 May 2009, I am a number not a free man wrote:

    After Mr Orange's ill considered sing-a-long is there an option for the Premier League to deduct a point from Hull's end-of-season total, and thus relegate them ??
    No, hang on that would mean Newcastle stay up ... oh, what's a man to do when his only two options are a kick in the spuds or a kick in the spuds ?!!


    My condolences to all Boro fans. You were rubbish, but your manager seems a nice guy, and you don't have any of that of attention-grabbing denial that there is up the road.

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  • 20. At 4:20pm on 26 May 2009, andie99uk wrote:

    Championship Football.
    two out of three north east fans said that their team prefer it.

    I really hope 'Boro come back up ASAP, Southgate has never been one to bottle it at the 1st sign of trouble.
    As a Hull Fan, I think we should take Phils season ticket for the tanning salons of Hull away from him & ask what he intends to do about ensuring we are not in the same position next year.

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  • 21. At 4:30pm on 26 May 2009, GravyTrain wrote:

    Lets hope this signals an end to your tedious musings about subjects you clearly have no knowledge on. Enjoy the Championship!

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  • 22. At 4:31pm on 26 May 2009, SirRobinSaving606byRunningAway wrote:

    i would of been surprised if boro had staied up couldn't score goals all season but at least the scored 2 against liverpool, shame that wasn't enough though always liked boro and southgate. i do think though the mans a bit to much of a nice guy to be a manager but hopfully i'm wrong it wouldn't be the first time.
    on the brighter side though least season tickets will be cheaper for boro, newcastle and west brom next season.

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  • 23. At 4:39pm on 26 May 2009, Quados wrote:

    Now Then Robbo ...

    You MUST be joking about Southgate.

    Southgate is a nice guy. But a bloody awful manager. Boro have scored 71 goals in TWO Premier League seasons. Take off the flukey 8 against Man City last year and that leaves 63. That's less than one per game. That's a joke and not worth the entrance money by any standards. Boro scored 17 home goals this season and they still got a full house against Liverpool ... the supporters deserve more and Gibson needs to either repay the faith and bring in a proper manager with a proven track record - or he needs to give someone else a go at running the club financially. I'm sick of all the pats on the back that Gibbo and Southgate have received for "keeping the faith" and "developing young talent". 17 home goals in a season??? That is a JOKE. All the plaudits have come from people that don't have to pay to watch this rubbish.

    Still ... it could be worse. Ey Alan?

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  • 24. At 5:02pm on 26 May 2009, bringbackrobbiemustoe wrote:

    I totally think that 'boro will bounce right back. We'll lose some players, but I reckon this might get us on a good financial footing again.

    Is the Chris Powley on the left of the first photo?

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  • 25. At 5:07pm on 26 May 2009, BringOnBlackpoolAway wrote:


    Boro fans keeping the faith? you've never had any! What was the average attendance at the riverside this season? Or previous? And the one before? Exactly!

    I know it shouldn't, but it really grinds on me that a club who regularly gets 50,000+ for home games and rarely fails to take full allocation for away games (12k in the san siro anyone?) should drop to whilst the likes of wigan and others get to play man u in front of a half empty stadium.

    Don't get me wrong, the bunch of lazy, underachieving, mercenarys we've had to endure this last few years deserve exactly what they got this season. But for the guys that spend half their wage packets blindly following them home and away, its absolutely sickening.

    Lets just hope fat ash gives wor Al the keys to the stadium and his cheque book and lets him get on with it!

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  • 26. At 5:10pm on 26 May 2009, WTBA wrote:

    Whilst I have enjoyed the majority of your blogs this season, Robbo, I still cannot feel an ounce of sympathy for Boro.

    Your final home game against the Villa last week showed the watching world all they needed to know - second-rate team, second-rate manager, and above all, second-rate supporters. The blocks of empty seats were reminiscent of mid-90's Wimbledon and the best league in the world doesn't need that anymore.

    Yes, it's dejecting when your team can't score, pass or defend, but do you think the Burnley fans won't turn up next season if their team is subject to the odd humiliation? Of course not. As supporters you take the (all too common) rough with the smooth and do your bit to inject some atmosphere. When the Villa players stepped out to a half-empty Riverside they must have known they were guaranteed at least a point. Now imagine if the same Villa players had received a hostile welcome from 30,000 baying smoggies - that kind of support can earn you around 10 extra home points per season.

    Lessons should be learned from this season. Boro have a good, honest manager in Southgate and one of the finest, most loyal chairmen in the game in Gibson. If the fans get off their backsides and support these two men by stepping through the turnstiles EVERY week, rather than when the club is above mid-table, then maybe, just maybe, you will become a team worthy of Premier League football.

    Until then however, I don't think you'll be missed.

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  • 27. At 5:11pm on 26 May 2009, Hod's Takin Le Tiss wrote:

    Steve Gibson is a rubbish chairman.

    Wigan sacked Chris Hutchings and replaced him with Bruce, when they were in trouble, they survived.

    Fulham sacked Lawrie Sanchez and replaced him with Hodgson, they survived and then some.

    You've got to be ruthless sometimes, sticking by a terrible manager doesn't deserve any plaudits. Boro are where they deserve to be. People say newcastle has been run badly, and it has, but so has boro with their management/transfer decisions.

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  • 28. At 5:15pm on 26 May 2009, Zimitha wrote:

    Look at the Boro results since the appointment of Southgate, downward, resulting in relegation this year. Its been coming, just like Coventry City, but management decided to ignore.
    This gets you thinking how experienced a coach needs to be; Blackburn, Tottenham.

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  • 29. At 5:24pm on 26 May 2009, backinwhite wrote:

    So, Niall, are you going to create a new comedy persona to enable you to continue commenting on the Prmiership?
    Eddie Eckinthorpe from Burnley perhaps? Think of all the Lancashire stereotypes you can use, surely a comedy goldmine and it will give us all a rest from the Blue Bell. Hope you can do a proper Lancy accent!

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  • 30. At 5:32pm on 26 May 2009, DarthSinister wrote:

    As much as I'm happy Hull stayed up (being a fan and all), I had to avert my eyes and cover my ears when Tango-man started singing.

    Great blog as usual Robbo.

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  • 31. At 5:35pm on 26 May 2009, Ayresomeoriginal wrote:

    We got what we deserved and everyone saw it coming since Xmas. Gareth may be a nice smiling Manager but he can't motivate players.
    28 goals in 38 league games and he spent £22m on Alves, Mido and Emnes what bad management none of the were his preferred strikers with 10 games to go and suddenly he remembered Emnes for the last 3 games.
    That money would have bought Crouch, Beattie and Heskey and still left enough for 2 quality midfielders.
    Never mind roll on the championship at least we might win some matches and enjoy the games instead of looking to defend the point every match.

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  • 32. At 5:45pm on 26 May 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    "Scarlett Johansson in a basque on me kitchen table"?

    Get real, Robbo.

    If things work out for Barcelona on Wednesday, there'll be more chance of there being a Basque in Scarlett Johansson.

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  • 33. At 5:45pm on 26 May 2009, RedDevilHornetTommy wrote:

    I reckon Burnly will be a bit like West Brom, play good football, but not stay up.

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  • 34. At 5:54pm on 26 May 2009, ToonBoy105 wrote:

    Interesting comment about Hull - you seem pretty certain they will be relegated, however they will start next season much like they did this one, with everyone scornful of their chances, and so the pressure that they very nearly succumbed to this season will be off. A few canny signings and they might do quite well.

    Fantastic as Burnley have been this season, their squad is light and I have a feeling they will end up being another West Brom, although with the likes of Stoke, Blackburn and Bolton in the division next season, that would be preferable to the neutral to a season of hit-and-hope football.

    Even though you will be in the Championship next season - as will I as a Newcastle fan - hopefully your standard of blogs remain Premier League quality, well done Robbo.

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  • 35. At 6:02pm on 26 May 2009, LawBestCharlton wrote:


    Oh dear, very poor. Utterly contrived, and it doesnt really make sense as a joke, seeing as Barcelona fans are (generally) Catalans, and not Basques.

    Yes, I know you were trying a clever joke - but it just aint funny at all, sorry!

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  • 36. At 6:34pm on 26 May 2009, Forest Pines-Hotel and Golf resort westandtiger wrote:


    You blogs are funnier than Boro and Toon going down...well almost.

    As for you money on Hull to go down next season.....send me your details, i'll give you 5-1 they dont as long as you give me 100 -1 Boro stay down for the next 3 seasons.

    Our form may have plummeted, but our start ensured our points total was enough to stay in the prem....much better than being consistantly rubbish like Boro.

    The positions never lie Robbo...we were better than 3 other teams over the 38 games....FACT

    Now get over yourself, the CCC is not as bad as people make out...some good football is played there and you can guarentee that 4 teams wont get 1-4 and 2 others 5 and 6 like you do in the prem.


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  • 37. At 6:50pm on 26 May 2009, kkandnathan wrote:

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

  • 38. At 6:56pm on 26 May 2009, The Trawler wrote:

    Middlesbrough should be proud of themselves

    how the hell they managed to finish above WBA is anybody's guess

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  • 39. At 7:06pm on 26 May 2009, durhamtom2 wrote:

    It's great that Hull fans are so happy about staying up, and well done to them. However it should be reminded to them that they managed to finish below us this season.
    Having witnessed some truely dreadful safc sides in the past- all sunderland supporters are qualified in their opinions as to what a poor premier league team constitutes...
    We stayed up purely because there were somehow 4 teams that managed to amass fewer points than us.
    In an absolutely dire game of "football" Hull illustrated their rugby pedegree and in doing so allowed us to our final victory of the season six weeks ago- which was the lifeline to keep us afloat.
    As for all this premier league is the best in the world rubbish..... it is not a league. the top four are so untouchable it is almost worth declaring a defeat without stepping onto the pitch and awarding them a 3-nil win. How many points did the bottom four teams amass against the big 4 teams this season??? Not many I bet. safc gained 2 from a possible 24. some exciting "league" that is.
    Scunthorpe United vs. NUFC :)

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  • 40. At 7:06pm on 26 May 2009, db wrote:

    Alright Robbo,

    Great post, not too sure about the Southgate bit though. I agree with Karembeu's comment that the squad was good enough to stay up but had been mismanaged. For that the manager should be the first person to have an apraisal.

    As folk have said, nobody knows the constraints that Soutgate has been under. However, even imagining the Alves money had never existed and the Brazilian Goal Machine had never been bought, there was enough talent in the squad.

    Nice bloke that Southgate is, he's not done particularly well. The only way he should keep his job is if the conspiracy theorists are correct and Gibson wanted to take us to the championship for a season. Under any other criteria, and given any other conceivable constraint or mitigating factors, the bloke has not been good enough.

    The truely wierd thing is that he seems to be brass necked enough to deflect attention from himself by getting straight onto a review of the players. If he was the honest man, the first thing he should state is he's having his own performance appraised...

    Otherwise top notch article!

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  • 41. At 7:14pm on 26 May 2009, dinojong wrote:

    The "Big Club" has gone down LMAO!!!! Maybe now those Newcastle fans will stop comparing themselves to the one and only UNITED.....that would be Manchester United!!!!!!

    I am so glad they have been relegated because of the way their fans treat managers and their hero took them down too even more priceless!!! They'll be luck if they make it back up in 3 years!!!

    Beat them senseless Sheffield United!!!!

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  • 42. At 7:20pm on 26 May 2009, Gilo wrote:

    Southgate is a dream acquisition and role model as a youth team coach. But his wimpering, gentlemenly and honest approach is not fit for the modern game (as Pearce found out at Man City).

    Sadly we are in an era where even a pigeon on the corner flag is a decent response to a defeat. But Southgate is a prime example why we cannot have an English coach in the near future for our National Side.

    Nemeth said: "Middlesbrough is very bad. It is not a very nice town and there are a lot of factories."Then there are the girls in England. Women in Slovakia are beautiful. Anyone coming from England to Slovakia, they will see the girls are much nicer."In Middlesbrough, I've seen only two nice girls in two years but, compared to Slovakia, they were only OK.

    So glad the North East got sunk. Overpayed, self-inflated fans. Pleeeeease dont come back up we are so bored of the up and downers. Great news Hull/Stoke stayed and that Burnley get a shot.

    Has Robbo been demoted or are the BBC getting a YR 9 work experience in to help with his grammer? ;)

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  • 43. At 7:35pm on 26 May 2009, nijinsky wrote:

    I am an ex-pat that hails from the north-west via the south west, but your blog never fails to make me laugh and remind me of the "old country"

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  • 44. At 7:55pm on 26 May 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    can someone please moderate this kkandnathan fella and his dubious looking links? it's got virus written all over it, and the comments read like a 4th grader translated from Russian to Navajo to English!

    and shame on those of you who've posted only to gloat in Robbo's misfortune! you lot are probably the yobs who curse and belch during silent tributes.


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  • 45. At 8:03pm on 26 May 2009, olphey1 wrote:


    'a YR 9 work experience'?


    irony ;)

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  • 46. At 8:06pm on 26 May 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    ref 35. LawBestCharlton

    Sorry you didn't like the joke.

    Barcelona is THE Catalan club, with something of a track record of poaching the best Basque players, most notably in the 1980's and 1990's. Johann Cryff's Barcelona "dream team" was built around Basque players, much to the annoyance of Bilbao, THE Basque team.

    Different now, of course. No matter. Just a bit of light amusement.

    I won't correct your punctuation. Please feel free to correct mine.



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  • 47. At 8:12pm on 26 May 2009, SalemHanna wrote:

    Didn't want Boro to go down, purely out of respect for Gareth Southgate. Saying that, I don't think Hull deserved to go down either; they at least had one good spell in their season, even if they chose to then coast off it for months.

    As for Newcastle...I still don't know how I feel about their relegation. I predicted Shearer's appointment was a mistake, but seeing how heartbroken he's sounded in interviews I can't quite bring myself to gloat and say 'I told you so'. At the end of the day, he was a quick-fix to replace an unwell Kinnear...who was a quick-fix to replace Keegan...who was chosen to appease the fans who took a disliking to Allardyce.

    If only Toon strikers could shoot on the pitch as well as the fans shot the club in the foot...

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  • 48. At 8:17pm on 26 May 2009, SalemHanna wrote:

    PS just to clarify my first paragraph...I'm aware Hull DIDN'T go down; my comment was simply a reply to people who wish the Boro had stayed up in their place. I can see how it looks like a typo!

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  • 49. At 8:46pm on 26 May 2009, United Dreamer wrote:

    Glad Hull stayed up. As for Boro you need to change the manager or at least get an experienced one he can work alongside. You just need to look at what experienced managers at Fulham and Spurs have done although full marks to Pullis for what he achieved. I think Southgate was out of his depth and ultimately the players lost faith. I can see Kranjcar leaving and I'm not sure who you will get to bring you back up. I think Gibson has done well for you but you need a quality coach - Curbishley would be a good bet and maybe Strachan although can't see you getting him.

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  • 50. At 9:13pm on 26 May 2009, arundini wrote:

    Man City fan here I really hope Robbo's Blog lives on :-)

    Also that Boro bounce back quickly. I honestly think they will be in better shape than NUFC if what I hear about the contractual position is correct - while Newcastle simply have to ditch their high earners and bring in practically a whole new team to sort of balance the books, Boro should hang on to most of their squad (if they want to !) but on sensible wages.

    Good luck !!

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  • 51. At 9:27pm on 26 May 2009, Fifecanary wrote:

    Sorry Robbo. Believe me, I know how it feels. League 1 next season.

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  • 52. At 9:31pm on 26 May 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    42. At 7:20pm on 26 May 2009, gilessmith83 wrote:

    Has Robbo been demoted or are the BBC getting a YR 9 work experience in to help with his grammer? ;)


    No, mate. Have you got a Yr2 little 'un to help you with your spelling? G-R-A-M-M-A-R.

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  • 53. At 9:32pm on 26 May 2009, TigerGreaves wrote:

    #39 - DurhamTom2

    Hull managed to get 5 points, including that 2-1 win over Arsenal. Granted, not a lot of points, but we scored 3 against Man U at Old Trafford, and having your team put in a performance and getting a result against any of the top 4 is that much sweeter when it actually happens.

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  • 54. At 9:35pm on 26 May 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Ta for the sympathy. I do hope Southgate comes good in the CCC. Rather what we did than a managerial carousel and the same result.

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  • 55. At 9:44pm on 26 May 2009, platinumvillamax wrote:

    if you do happen to find scarlett johanssen in your kitchen and don't think she will cheer ypu up please send her round to mine. I'm sure I could find something worthwhile for her to do!

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  • 56. At 9:48pm on 26 May 2009, eyeoftheturner wrote:

    for evidence of why the mighty tigers deserved to stay up, dont just look at their final points tally being more than the bottom 3, also look at hull's results against the 3 relegated sides and tell me they deserved to go down, 4 pts against west brom, 3pts against borough and 4pts against newcastle (+ a draw and a win in the fa cup). impossible to argue against that.
    karaoke phil will strengthen and buy what everyone knows we need, that ever elusive 'bit of quality up front' and we'll defy the odds again and stay up.
    instead of wasting your cash on a silly bet, why not use it to pay for your travel to scunthorpe, peterborough, doncaster and plymouth....that's a list that's gotta sting a bit!

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  • 57. At 9:51pm on 26 May 2009, trythisthen wrote:

    Sorry to see your lot go down. Nice photo of Brown - the last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a big hook in it.

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  • 58. At 9:53pm on 26 May 2009, G wrote:


    Yep we deserved it.

    Like many here, hope Gareth is given a chance and time to run it around!

    Thats if we dont go into administration because of the hotel and golf course!

    anyway - Post 16 - what is he on about?

    No good football, no atmosphere?

    Has he never been to see us play? When a team is in freefall atmosphere is hard to come by, But semi against Liverpool which we won, cup finals? UEFA run

    what is he on about?

    Anyway, Gareth wasnt the key mover in Alves. Lamb was, and he must have some hold over Gibbo to still be there! These MPs could learn something from Lamb!

    Gareth to rejuvenate us over the summer!!

    Come on BORO!

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  • 59. At 10:01pm on 26 May 2009, backinwhite wrote:

    #53 Good point well made. Not sure why DurhamTom2 is so bitter about the Prem, he should be grateful that his team's still in it.

    As for it being competitive, well seeing how the worst teams do against the best is not really a useful measure, as by definition they're going to struggle which is why they are at the bottom!

    More usful is to see that Man U, as champions of the world and the greatest team ever (until their next team, of course), didn't manage to beat any one of the other top six teams away from home, and of their three wins in total against top six teams, one was by a dodgy penalty vs Everton, and one was by a 98th minute goal vs Villa. Also EVERY team from 8th place down have flirted with relegation at some point this season. Seems competitive to me.

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  • 60. At 10:10pm on 26 May 2009, arundini wrote:

    I thought Gilessmith 83 and his "grammer" was his little joke !!

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  • 61. At 10:59pm on 26 May 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    ref 60

    Hey! Tune in! A guy who writes "overpayed" doesn't make JOKES about "grammer".

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  • 62. At 02:39am on 27 May 2009, kkandnathan wrote:

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

  • 63. At 05:02am on 27 May 2009, U13982173 wrote:

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

  • 64. At 08:20am on 27 May 2009, Journeyman wrote:

    Couldn't be more right about Newcastle which is strange for a smoggy. Although Beye needs to be added to the list of no mercenaries, hes the best player we have by a mile, wears his heart and his sleeve and is staying next season. Has to be the captain without doubt.

    Phil Brown has absolutely no class and is without doubt the least professional manager i've ever seen. It's not sour grapes, we deserved to go down because weve been useless all season but hes just an idiot. The Hull fans dont like him and the Sunderland fans (his birthplace) cant stand him. To sum him up I would go for 'perma tan idiot'.

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  • 65. At 08:37am on 27 May 2009, suewin123 wrote:

    I really hope Robbo's Blog lives on too

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  • 66. At 08:54am on 27 May 2009, collie21 wrote:

    I dont think they are mercenaries. I think if you treat people like krap no matter how much money you give them, they will in the end believe they are krap. This is clearly what happened to some brilliant footballers who have found themselves going down with the barcodes. I can't believe the idiocy of Duff in wanting to stay.

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  • 67. At 09:16am on 27 May 2009, U11006436 wrote:

    things arent too bad robbo. you've had a good championship side this year....don't mean that mockingly, playing the kids like you lot have this year should stand them in good stead for next season. just the premier isnt the place to put an entire team of kids through like that

    wonder how long it is before downing puts another transfer request in though

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  • 68. At 09:21am on 27 May 2009, Journeyman wrote:

    I think if you treat people like krap no matter how much money you give them, they will in the end believe they are krap


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  • 69. At 09:22am on 27 May 2009, boroboyintexas wrote:

    How did a team sponsored by Garmin get so lost? Surely Alves could have had a GPS with directions to the goal for every game. He would probably still miss though!!!!

    We can only hope things are better next season.

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  • 70. At 09:23am on 27 May 2009, IanH wrote:

    I've never been a huge fan of Alan Shearer but his bluntness after the game and refusal to get drawn into the Too Big To Go Down silliness improved my estimation of him.

    And I like Gareth Southgate and hope he can get the Boro back next year.

    Two good blokes.

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  • 71. At 09:38am on 27 May 2009, Zootmac wrote:


    Ref bingbingo 123:

    Don't open up any of the "nowgoal" links which appear following the sub-literate "blogs" of "kkandnathan", "bingbingo 123" or (the latest) "xiaohuaoleole". These are VERY dodgy. The moderators are onto "kkandnathan", but are a bit slow on the uptake with some of the others. Some sites are initially unmoderated, so the stuff is getting an airing.

    Ref 65 suewin 123

    This is a softener, designed to encourage bloggers to open up the links which appear under the other names.

    Until the moderators get this sorted out, BE VIGILANT.

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  • 72. At 10:14am on 27 May 2009, WhitleyBayWonTheVase wrote:

    Alfonso Alves must surely qualify for the biggest striking failure in the Premiership now?

    Thirteen million quid floating down the Tees faster than effluent from ICI and a lot less potent too. Personally I blame Stuart Downing. With a surname like that they were always doomed. If they'd sold him to Spurs when they had the chance and bought Matthew Upson they'd have clearly stayed up. Theres a lot to be said for surnames you know.

    See, look at Southgate. South - and thats where they're heading. I tell ya, it was in all written in the stars! If they'd played Jason Steele more, with his homage to Steel River, maybe that would have provided the metal they needed to stay in the top division. Dider Digard didn't dig ard enough, Jonathan Grounds will be visitng some that hes never heard of and when you've got a club masseur called French you know that the players are enjoying life on the couch a little too much. Hes a bloke, I know, but he really should be told about deed poll with a name like that in his vocaction.

    As for Mr Gibson, well I blame him too because when you run a company called Bulkhaul its clear you're destined to carry heavy loads of rubbish all over England in more ways than one.

    As I said, names, its all in the names!

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  • 73. At 10:41am on 27 May 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Interesting theory re the names... could be why we heard a lot about Duff crosses and Butt heads when Newcastle were playing.

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  • 74. At 10:56am on 27 May 2009, philtoon82 wrote:

    i think boro will do quite well next season, i think they could be challanging for the top spots along with WBA, Sheff Utd and maybe Reading. like alot of people have mentioned, Boro should be able to keep alot of their current squad and have been producing good young local talent for years.

    if newcastle get a top half finish i will be very surprised.

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  • 75. At 11:09am on 27 May 2009, Richyburger wrote:

    @ #25

    First up Newcastle have rarely sold out their entire allocation for away matches for years, just how long ago was that match in the San Siro???

    Last time Newcastle were in the Championship their average attendance was under 20,000 so it will be interesting to see what happens if they don't get off to a good start.

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  • 76. At 11:18am on 27 May 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Ref 73

    "Duff crosses"? What about his owen goal?

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  • 77. At 11:42am on 27 May 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Ref 73

    I see that American tycoon Ellis Short has just taken 100% control of Sunderland.

    "Short of the Readies"?

    This is fun.

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  • 78. At 11:50am on 27 May 2009, Matt - Keith Lambs No1 fan wrote:

    #25 & #26 made me laugh as a Boro fan.

    Just to let you know guys, the Boro averaged over 28,000 people at the Riverside this season. That gives them the 12th highest attendance in the League. Eight clubs had lower attendances this season. Does this mean you think those eight clubs should be relegated before the Boro ?

    As usual, these people are not going to let facts get in the way of their spouting of complete rubbish !!

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  • 79. At 11:54am on 27 May 2009, Bergysdeftflicks wrote:

    I shdt worry, it could be worse. Boro could be like the Toon. That pic of the appalling Tango man sums up the North East football scene. All big mouth and no talent!

    Feel sorry for Southgate though. Nice fella. Lots of dignity. Hes an oasis in the North East in that regard.

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  • 80. At 12:21pm on 27 May 2009, GrecianinAustria wrote:

    Being an Exeter City fan that has lived within the Tees I can feel for you. Though I have to admit that watching the Boro has always been a little boring for me. Granted I wasnt there for the Rava years.

    I hope the Boro come back up, but to be honest they will struggle unless they find a goalscorer. No hard feelings but a team in the Premiership should not of stood by Gook for so long. In the Championship there are a lot of teams that can sit back, you need to score. Just dont rob our lads.

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  • 81. At 12:23pm on 27 May 2009, BringOnBlackpoolAway wrote:


    Thats still an average of over 7k empty seats for every game throughout the season! That was my point if you care to read my post properly, so thanks for confirming that for me. Please don't even try to get into the best fans argument with me, I have a huge list of facts I can cut an paste from (terribly sad I know) that blows any arguments from our neighbours out the water.

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  • 82. At 12:26pm on 27 May 2009, msboro21 wrote:

    Why cant people see that Southgate has got to go. Yes we have slashed the wage bill at the club, but after three years at the helm, it is now his team, and going from a UEFA cup final to religation is not good enough. Even at the final whistle at West Ham, only a couple of players came over to the away fans, the rest just walked off the pitch as if it was just another game, and that seems to be the general mentallity at the club, no fight. Something has to change and for me that is a new manager.
    Oh and deluded geordies who have a dig at all our empty seats should remember that Newcastle is about 3 or 4 times bigger than Middlesbrough, therefore they should have more supporters.
    Rant over...... for now.

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  • 83. At 12:26pm on 27 May 2009, Journeyman wrote:

    75. At 11:09am on 27 May 2009, Richyburger wrote:
    @ #25

    First up Newcastle have rarely sold out their entire allocation for away matches for years, just how long ago was that match in the San Siro???

    Last time Newcastle were in the Championship their average attendance was under 20,000 so it will be interesting to see what happens if they don't get off to a good start.

    absolute garbage, we sometimes dont sell out at home. think the lowest in the premiership this season was 47,000+. not exactly bad for watching the tripe every week. our away support is ridiculous and if you dont have enough loyalty points its horribly difficult to get an away ticket.

    how many other relegation battling teams can boast that kind of support? very small minded opinion

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  • 84. At 12:54pm on 27 May 2009, BognorRock wrote:

    and at least Duff has pledged to stay and turn it around

    Very loyal, and not at all because he knows full well nobody else is going to pay him half what Newcastle do. What a hero.

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  • 85. At 1:26pm on 27 May 2009, collie21 wrote:

    RE 73: Well they were a Given till he left.

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  • 86. At 1:57pm on 27 May 2009, Richyburger wrote:

    I have a huge list of facts I can cut an paste from (terribly sad I know) that blows any arguments from our neighbours out the water.
    What like your season ticket waiting list with over 100,000 people on it, funny how that's changed isn't it

    absolute garbage, we sometimes dont sell out at home. think the lowest in the premiership this season was 47,000+. not exactly bad for watching the tripe every week. our away support is ridiculous and if you dont have enough loyalty points its horribly difficult to get an away ticket.

    First up surely your fantastically loyal support should be turning out 50K+ for the League Cup as well as the Prem. Secondly it's not hard to get a Newcastle away ticket for the majority of matches, I bough a friend one for the Blackburn game with no trouble AND I'M A SUNDERLAND SUPPORTER! Not many loyalty points for me eh.

    Finally my point is how many of those Premiership only supporters will turn up for the Championship if they wouldn't turn up for the cups.

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  • 87. At 2:03pm on 27 May 2009, oldhighbrarian wrote:

    Is the Blue Bell a real pub, is Robbo Robson a real person and are Middlesbrough a real team?

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  • 88. At 3:22pm on 27 May 2009, raszobbo wrote:

    re #69 lol that was a classic.

    Great blog robbo. I put a bet that you will support Barcelona tonight.

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  • 89. At 3:32pm on 27 May 2009, Xavierneville wrote:

    Real shame Robbo I had Utd wining by loads at hull and Boro squeaking at the Hammers!

    Shame Huth couldn't keep his legs closed! I suspect Southgate will get you back up next year automatically and behind WBA

    Hopefully everyone's over the Toon's relegation, I've had my laugh now they have to adjust and cut the cloth accordingly, Isuspect they will struggle to do so. They need a new team of players suited to the division and need to sell all but Harper and Carroll. Even then the mass change will mean a slow start

    Whats the bet it's Scunthopre away first out of the computer for the Toon?

    Good luck Geordies......

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  • 90. At 3:44pm on 27 May 2009, backinwhite wrote:


    See # 29 for your answers

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  • 91. At 3:50pm on 27 May 2009, outsideswinger wrote:

    Don't worry to much Robbo, like they say on the guiness adverts, "out of the darkness came the light" - in your case, "out of the smog returned the boro"

    I'm a Bolton fan and lost all hope last season but we beat the drop, it's not all bad going to the championship, think of it like stopping in the pit stop in a race to sort out the club, but most importantly, sort out daft mullet on Southgate's bonce.

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  • 92. At 4:04pm on 27 May 2009, veneztiger wrote:

    cheer up Robbo, Scunthorpe on wet Tuesday night isn't as bad as.... say Barnsley or Coventry or Doncaster. Loved the bit about "a whole bevy of lardy lasses" haven't seen or heard that since I was last in Boro years ago, you'll be back alot quicker than the barcodes, at least your debt is managable especially when Hull buy Tuncay and maybe Wheater ! Too late mate you've wasted your 1000th of Owens weekly wages on that bet, we're here to stay ! "Up the Tigers"

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  • 93. At 4:16pm on 27 May 2009, I Am Deluded - Hughton Is A Geordie wrote:

    Cheer up mate. As a Newcastle fan I can feel your pain. What will you be blogging on next season, Championship? Whatever it is, if its half as entertaining as this I will keep reading. Thanks for the great blogs all season.

    PS Do you not think the Hull match in September summed us up better?! No heart, no passion, no quality and all this over shadowed by Guthrie's horror tackle and KK's departure!

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  • 94. At 4:29pm on 27 May 2009, WhitleyBayWonTheVase wrote:

    Yep, my names theory is true and you're all seeing it now. That Rafael fella that used to play for Celtic started me off on this many years ago. I'll say no more on that one.

    Anyway, Robbo, I have a personal request for you. Many moons ago I used to go out with a lass from Acklam, a matter of minutes down the road from the Bluebell. I can't remember the road name but her Dad had a green Honda Accord. Bonny thing too - but a Boro fan who thought Ravanelli was fit. I never did quite understand that and I'm showing my age now because I was in my mid twenties even then.

    Well, I reckon she might still get to the Bluebell now and again and if you spot a short cute looking lass with a Mums name can you tell her that I'm not attached, have no responsibilities and that my wife and kids would understand.

    What happened to those days though eh? The white feather replaced by a feather duster, Juninho replaced by Dumbo and Emerson replaced by, well, no-one. I was having lunch in the Purple Onion once (is that still there, down in the Town?) and he came in adorned with females. Amazing, the ugliest bloke I've seen in decades yet a hell of an engine on the pitch and perhaps the engine of his car outside (one of those modified Overfinch Range Rover thingies) had something to do with the ladies seeing something I couldn't.

    I digress. I'm a fan of football before a fan of any particular club and you get a different perspective on things when the fog of optimism doesn't cloud judgement (okay, so I support Whitley Bay, but they're not a proper club and I'm proper sane enough to realise that). Fact is, Boro, Toon, Baggies - BTB - Back To Basics. Its where they all need to go.

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  • 95. At 5:16pm on 27 May 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Listen mate, it's not my job to go touting you around to old flames. If she's short and cute she won't be in our boozer anyway - if it is the one you used to frequent, of course.

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  • 96. At 6:57pm on 27 May 2009, kkandnathan wrote:

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

  • 97. At 7:31pm on 27 May 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    Zoot - yer a little late to the party, but thanks for echoeing my warning from yesterday... apparently the "mods" are still asleep at the switch in regards to these viral-looking posts/links.

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  • 98. At 11:42pm on 27 May 2009, used2beprofi wrote:

    thank you BIG time for the entertainment this season, robbo. i'll miss you during the summer. maybe you could write some funny things about the french open or wimbledon perhaps- to help get us through the next few weeks w/out footie. i can only imagine the laughs you'd come up w/ regarding the gorgoeus sharapeach and iwannavic. or golf? slim sunny daly and self proclaimed world's 2nd best pity the poulter. please????

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  • 99. At 09:51am on 28 May 2009, Journeyman wrote:

    I have a huge list of facts I can cut an paste from (terribly sad I know) that blows any arguments from our neighbours out the water.

    I can only presume you're a child off your comments so basically to end the arguement in terms you understand, my dads bigger than your dad and my uncle owns a villa in Alicante

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  • 100. At 11:09am on 28 May 2009, Smudge wrote:

    Robbo, have you got the Championship grounds programmed in your "Garmin" yet ?

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  • 101. At 12:59pm on 28 May 2009, Malicious_Whistle wrote:

    "That's not so much sour grapes as a whole bleeding vineyard of bitter fruit"

    Poor Robbo! Only those who have known pain can grieve for it. After watching United get beat last night, I am reconsidering my emotional ties to football. Gotta watch my heart.

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  • 102. At 1:45pm on 29 May 2009, The_Toonster wrote:

    Robbo, if Scarlett does come round.... then send her round to mine. She could cheer me up.

    Many Newcastle fans are trying to look at the positive.... at least we'll be rid of the overpaid, talentless wasters at our club (hopefully). You put it pretty much spot on what we've all been thinking for the past few seasons.

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  • 103. At 6:45pm on 30 May 2009, molend wrote:

    Brilliant "Robbo", as usual. ""Geordie bottlers embarrassed, made my day". I wish I had a job that paid for nowt else but slagging off Newcastle. No doubt you'll claim this as another Geordie scalp, because you've wound me up enough to get a reply. Well, good for you, sad sack. And by the way: 1) I'm dead pleased the mackams stayed up; and 2) when was Middlesborough ever as north-east club?

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  • 104. At 8:01pm on 30 May 2009, kkandnathan wrote:

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

  • 105. At 3:18pm on 09 Feb 2010, JacksfromBuxton wrote:

    hey ho N'gog....

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  • 106. At 6:04pm on 09 Feb 2010, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Haha, Jacks you found a key to another quiet spot!

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  • 107. At 9:41pm on 09 Feb 2010, Spitfire wrote:

    Top fooling around you guys.
    Its hard to keep track.

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  • 108. At 00:37am on 10 Feb 2010, Tommy B wrote:

    Unlucky, Trottski. Didn't see it but your boys could've done us a favour tonight. All on tomorrow.

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  • 109. At 07:32am on 10 Feb 2010, JacksfromBuxton wrote:

    Good God.How many places do we call in on...
    Bad luck last night Trotts.I still think you'll be safe.

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