Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html en-gb 30 Wed 26 Nov 2014 04:37:46 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html hackerjack http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=99#comment192 I can see boro doing better than newcastle. Financially stable, decentish squad, great academy.--------Yes teh fabled great academy. Let's see:Stuart Downing - Fair enough, great player, pretty much everyone outside the big five would love him in their team.David Wheater - Decent centre half, bottom half of premier quality at the moment, still has plenty of time to improve ala Lescott, Carragher.Lee Cattermole - Boro obviously didn't rate him that highly despuite being a decent player.Who else? Brad Jones?, Turnbull?, Johnson? They aren't good enough for the prem, that's why you got relegated. Mon 29 Jun 2009 11:55:54 GMT+1 onthebreak http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=98#comment191 Visithttp://onthebreak.wordpress.com/ Wed 24 Jun 2009 09:29:05 GMT+1 Matt Cheam http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=98#comment190 I'm not sure where this overwhelming feeling that Chelsea will with the Prem next year has come from ? Don't get me wrong I sincerely hope we do and if we had kept GH at the helm I would be feeling a lot more confident than I am now. The fact is that we will be starting another season with another manager who has no experience of the Premiership (although at least he has got European club side experience - unlike Big Phil !) and what it takes to win it. I believe we have the players to win the league if we can keep them all fit for the season, having Cole, Drogba & Essien out for extended periods last year had a huge effect on the team and I pray that we won't have to endure this kind of setback again but for me the manager is still the biggest threat to our title hopes......now prove me wrong Carlo ! Mon 22 Jun 2009 12:32:52 GMT+1 iammoxiaohua http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=97#comment189 The championship is a very hard league to get out of and St james is going to be like wembley to a lot of the championship clubs a cup final nearly every week they better get some strong players in they are going to need them http://mnurl.com/tt3sb Mon 22 Jun 2009 11:03:02 GMT+1 The kid from Fuenlabrada http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=97#comment188 As the teams now look I would say Liverpool are the favourites through red-tinted glasses. Fewer players to settle, settled manager, mature team that is not too old. Clearly need to bring in one or two more match winners, but I see Liverpool dominating teams again this year as they did last if the midfield stays intact. Liverpool were by far the best team in the league at the end of the season (with Chelsea second). Sat 20 Jun 2009 22:53:00 GMT+1 RKW - White Eagle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=96#comment187 I'm not too sure Newcastle and Middlesbrough will finish in the top two, and I also think that they will struggle to make the top six. This may be the end of their big English team status. Sat 20 Jun 2009 17:21:07 GMT+1 jsybaz http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=96#comment186 #23 mcydogg, you forgot trailing to a side that at the time were in the bottom 3 of the Championship #86 Dragoneyes106, Somerset don't play their home games at Bristol, Gloucestershire do but it's in the county of Avon. Sat 20 Jun 2009 16:42:24 GMT+1 abrighterview http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=95#comment185 Ancelotteri, good one, because Chelsea spend money on players, I've never known such wit as can be found in this column. Robbo, your versatility as a write amazes me, I'm so glad you don't just stick to making derogatory remarks about Chelsea like so many other journalists do.Really though, here's a challenge, go one column without making yourself look ignorant and making a stupid 'let's all hate Chelsea because they spend money' comment. Sat 20 Jun 2009 14:35:58 GMT+1 Russia 1 Georgia 0 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=95#comment184 The Premiership will be doubly enhanced next season.Firstly,and most importantly,Burnley will be in it,and secondly Middlesbrough won't.About time this non-descript tiresome dirge of a club was put out of its misery.Come On You Clarets! Sat 20 Jun 2009 14:07:57 GMT+1 CypriotJohn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=94#comment183 GiggsyGiggsyGiggsy: I find your posts about as interesting as watching Stoke City. You have been awarded 1st prize in the "engaging mouth without having brain in gear" competition.Robbo mate, with G Southgate in charge `Boro are not returning to the prem for a bit yet. He is a nice enough fella but he hasnt a clue about managing a team. Sat 20 Jun 2009 10:12:16 GMT+1 stevebullstand4ever http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=94#comment182 please visit my websitewww.we-are-premier-league-2009.piczo.comthankyou Sat 20 Jun 2009 09:16:44 GMT+1 ScottyMuser http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=93#comment181 115 - regarding the use of Stockton, you are Wrong. The Yorks home match in 2004 vs Somerset was played at Scarborough (when it was NOT rained off). That was the ONLY match that was schelfuled to take place outside of Headingley. Stockton has been Durham's second ground for a while noe, in fact, the only 3 ground they have played home matches on is Chester-le-street, stockton and Durham (Uni Racecourse ground IIRC). Just thought I would add my penny worth. Oh, and Kudos on the cricket blog Robbo, more please (rather than us having to sit through another 2 months of mind-numbing "will he, won't he" tabloid bleatings!!! Fri 19 Jun 2009 23:54:05 GMT+1 Rick_Nobins http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=93#comment180 "plenty of fans who don't fancy a night out in Teesside inhaling the fumes and the parmos and dodging the talent - but this is a new challenge for our lads."Classic humour RobboReckon you have nothing to worry about this season - away supporters will ever want to travel and support with Tourist Information like that - you're bound to win every home game. Fri 19 Jun 2009 20:28:49 GMT+1 Baghdad_Potter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=92#comment179 In fact, FOUR digs at Stoke (just re-read it and noticed the Liverpool one too). At least you have the humility to admit you are envious. I certainly would not swap anything about Stoke for Boro. Come to think of it, I wouldn't swap Baghdad for Boro - it is probably safer here and at least we can [legally] carry weapons! Fri 19 Jun 2009 15:55:56 GMT+1 Baghdad_Potter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=92#comment178 Hi Robbo, good blog as always, but I felt that no fewer than THREE digs at Stoke was a bit naughty and gratuitous. I am sure Boro will bounce back - hardest league next season will be Div 1, I cannot see Leeds getting out of it yet. Anyway, as I say, a little more steel (how ironic for Teeside) and less cash spent on fancy-Dans who don't fancy a good old English battle at grim places like Stoke and Hull might have seen Boro survive at the latter's expense...... Fri 19 Jun 2009 15:26:15 GMT+1 FRYBarryFry http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=91#comment177 There's only one *Boro* in the Championship next season, and it ain't Middlesbrough.Up the Posh! Fri 19 Jun 2009 13:27:01 GMT+1 Zootmac http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=91#comment176 Ooops... bit of a giveaway, there...I thought everybody was in on this. Fri 19 Jun 2009 13:13:25 GMT+1 RedBlueArmy92 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=90#comment175 I want my shillings dammit! Fri 19 Jun 2009 12:36:06 GMT+1 Zootmac http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=90#comment174 ref 174You've been looking at the wrong site, mate. Razia's arthouse Blog is never going to hit 171.Robbo is a different story. He doesn't get his fiver unless there are at least 200 postings. That's why he gives us a shilling each time we post. Fri 19 Jun 2009 12:19:34 GMT+1 simatespurs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=89#comment173 The time and heartache it costs waiting, waiting and hoping to be 172nd comment on these blogs is beyond imagination, but I've finally done it. Fri 19 Jun 2009 11:59:23 GMT+1 Zootmac http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=89#comment172 ref 172And you haven't posted since April!It's been worth the wait.See you in September. Fri 19 Jun 2009 11:48:04 GMT+1 simatespurs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=88#comment171 172nd comment - playing the long game, thank you very much. Fri 19 Jun 2009 11:35:18 GMT+1 Zootmac http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=88#comment170 Should be ref 169. Sorry! Fri 19 Jun 2009 11:01:43 GMT+1 Zootmac http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=87#comment169 Ref 168Agree absolutely. Chelsea off to a flyer (dream early fixture list for a rock-solid, marginally amended squad with a new, proven manager) - and nobody will catch them. Man U will have a revamped team which will take time to settle down. Losing Ronaldo will be a huge consideration. Liverpool will flatter for a while until squad limitations hit home once injuries kick in. Arsenal still well short of being the completed article.Chelsea, all the way. Fri 19 Jun 2009 10:59:41 GMT+1 Robbo Robson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=87#comment168 #168Bit naive that, son. Momentum? Have you heard of that? Winning mentality that builds confidence? Haven't you got any mates who are sports psychologists? That's all they blather on about... and it worked for the mighty Hull... Chelsea off to a flyer would be very useful I'd have thought. Fri 19 Jun 2009 09:36:02 GMT+1 fearlessmanabouttown http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=86#comment167 Agree with Giggsy about Liverpool's aspirations.......they disappeared last season and they will be lucky to finish 4th.Regarding the fixture list, yes, Chelsea may be off to a flyer, but who cares who plays who at what stage ? Fri 19 Jun 2009 06:00:31 GMT+1 Ian Shuter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=86#comment166 RobboKeep up the good work, the popularity of your blog is demonstrated by the number of people who comment every week, good or bad, even those who complain probably deep down laugh as well.Keep your chin up at least you can look forward to reviving the rivalry that the Boro had with the mighty Leicester City under M O'N - however I have a feeling it will only be for the one season..... Fri 19 Jun 2009 05:16:09 GMT+1 rjaggar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=85#comment165 Glossy brochures for foreign property in the Sun?Usually find that when you see the merchandise, its price is inflated, running costs miraculously outstrip rental income and running repairs seem to start soon after opening night........Better to know you're buying a property 'in need of internal upgrades', pay a suitably lower price and turn the ruin into a dream home, eh? Fri 19 Jun 2009 04:24:14 GMT+1 Arctic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=84#comment164 There are certain teams that you know will always stand a good chance at re-appearing in the Premiership. This is because they handle their money well and don't implode like Leeds or Southampton.Boro are one of them. They've been here before and with a lot less money in parachute payments, a significantly less talented manager and with more useful players disappearing on them (what did happen to Juninho after he left?).Boro will actually be fortunate if they do lose most of the ones that want to leave, because if they weren't willing to put the effort in at Premiership grounds, the likelihood they'll be willing to scrap at a League ground seems somewhat improbable.I predict a maximum of two seasons in the Championship, and a wave goodbye to Newcastle too.Funny I used to really like Newcastle and become overcome with boredom watching Boro.Now everyone dislikes not only their management, but their team too. I can't see anything less than 5 years in the Championship for them as they rebuild the entire club, or worse, doing a Leeds and disappearing to Leagues 1 or 2. Fri 19 Jun 2009 00:31:23 GMT+1 RedIsaac http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=84#comment163 It is wrong to say that Man. U were built around the gelled tumbler (thanks Robbo for that-pure genius!). He was very significant in that he could change a game by himself and Man U will miss him. However, the comment that the only other player to have his traits was Pele is way over the top. I mean common... What about Platini and Maradona? He is better than them too is he now? They could give great passes, were devastating in front of goal, controlled play and could really take a free kick AND could take their teams by the scruff of the neck when all chips were down. The same goes for Zidane who I think some are really underestimating.He has great ability but has zero leadership qualities. So, let us all get some sense of proportion shall we? Thu 18 Jun 2009 23:07:41 GMT+1 MelbourneSteve http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=83#comment162 My word Robbo you stirred things up. Took me 15 minutes to read the lot when I got the office this morning (on the other side of the world).Great to see passions rising for the new season. Good luck to all (extra helping to Newcastle who are surely going to need it unless they get their act together very sharpish). Thu 18 Jun 2009 22:36:44 GMT+1 SportsFan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=83#comment161 GenesisRedYou, like many Man United fans, are doing a stellar job of convincing yourselves getting rid of Ronaldo is somehow going to be beneficial to your team. The about turn on the merits of Ronaldo are rivalling the Daily Mail and their support of Hitler up until he invaded Poland.Also, Rooney being wasted on the left is actually a myth as proved by The Times sport. He played 70% of games last season in the front pairing of a 4-4-2. Review all the games if you don't believe it.Ronaldo leaving is a massive blow, no matter what you try convince yourselves (putting Rooney in a position he was already in and peddling out names like Tosic and Possebon). Thu 18 Jun 2009 22:18:17 GMT+1 WhitleyBayWonTheVase http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=82#comment160 #159It's Ripon City. They merged with Ripon United decades ago.I tell ya, whilst all you top dog league supporters fight your teams cases, I'm ya man for the unknowns of the footballing world.Incidentally, they play in the West Yorkshire Alliance league and finished 4th from bottom with a mere 4 wins. On that basis, I guess they're not that far from Middlesbrough after all... Thu 18 Jun 2009 22:15:20 GMT+1 aries22 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=82#comment159 Robbo! Midlesbrough good with the cash and did someone also say financially stable? Aren't they £90 million in debt? Thu 18 Jun 2009 22:11:40 GMT+1 TC http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=81#comment158 130. At 3:47pm on 18 Jun 2009, Dragoneyes106 wrote:ExpatSmoggie: There is always Norton and Stockton Ancients.....oh wait that isn't North of the river too.Ripon United, Thirsk AFC pehaps?-----------------------its ripon magnets and we are proud, send them down, we will do them over =] Thu 18 Jun 2009 22:01:29 GMT+1 Spitfire http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=81#comment157 Meanwhile, SA just did a perfect Liverpool impression by refusing to win another game when it mattered. Thu 18 Jun 2009 21:01:31 GMT+1 serpentdanslherbe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=80#comment156 Re Comment 67There were never four ridings. Riding means a third. Thu 18 Jun 2009 20:23:18 GMT+1 Thanks A lot BBC7 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=80#comment155 Reading Robbo trying to come to terms with Boro playing CCC was worth the wait. Thu 18 Jun 2009 19:57:44 GMT+1 Wot Kuyt 'e did http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=79#comment154 "We'll send Afonso on a sky-diving course and keep the parachute I reckon." Enjoyed that. And "Ancelotteri". Thu 18 Jun 2009 19:50:27 GMT+1 reginaldtuckus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=79#comment153 Fulham away, easy game? where have u been 4 the last season mate? This article has been written so that u can have a good winge even though you quite clearly have nothing to complain about as u contradict yourself Thu 18 Jun 2009 19:30:01 GMT+1 reginaldtuckus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=78#comment152 Thu 18 Jun 2009 19:28:01 GMT+1 redandblackT-Save 606 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=78#comment151 Thanks for the great blog Robbo!Chelsea'll win the league.Dont want Roman to sack him and send him back to Milan.Thanks guys for the geography lesson.After that I'll never visit Middlesbrough.By the way why do i always think of the janitor from Scrubs anytime I see Jeremy Clarkson?Strange! Thu 18 Jun 2009 18:35:55 GMT+1 redforever http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=77#comment150 Genesisred, is like so many United fans, and who can blame them, super critical, suddenly, of Ronaldo, and totally enamoured with a bunch of unproven back-ups.That anyone having seen Anderson could possibly compare him to Scholes is beyond explanation, and who on earth is Possebon?I watched Tosic play for Croatia u-21 yesterday, and wasnt terribly impresses, but one thing is for sure, he isnt a replacement for Giggs, who is an out and out left winger (certainly when he was effective).Also Valencia, is suddenly the saviour of United? I am sure his 6 goals will be a big help.As a Liverpool fan, watching them through the best and the worst years, I recall the sense of entitlement we had around 1990 when any player we signed automatically was assumed to be a world beater. This came from years of seeing exactly that happen, Dalglish replacing Keegan, Hansen replacing Hughes etc. Well when we signed David Speedie, to replace Kenny, thats when the situation started to change. Soon we had Julian Dicks replacing Steve Nicol, and John Scales wearing Hansens shirt....Luckily for Genesisred, and unluckily for me, Alex Ferguson is not Graeme Souness. erguson has of course known for 12 months that he was losing the gelled one, and receiving a nice windfall in return. His transfer plans are already underway. Berbatov will be the first choice striker, and Tevez will not be signed.Valencia may come, but he will not be expected to replace Ronaldo, just play right midfield. Ferguson will look to bring in a TOP creative midfielder, and a left winger. Ribery, we know has been offered that job. I have no suggestions who the midfielder will be because I think the best players are all tied up now. However Cesc Fabregas is the best guy, that might be pried from his current club.So, my guess....17mill Valencia, 35million Fabregas and 40million Ribery.Giggs and Scholes and Neville will all be playing for Steve Bruce at Sunderland. Thu 18 Jun 2009 18:08:24 GMT+1 Spl football http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=77#comment149 Oh by the way is anyone watching the confederations cup?Been pretty good so far.Im tipping brazil to win it Thu 18 Jun 2009 18:08:17 GMT+1 Spl football http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=76#comment148 Grow a set robbo Thu 18 Jun 2009 18:06:06 GMT+1 TrotterUSA http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=76#comment147 I suppose I'll be happy with another top 17 finish. 40 points by mid-April would do nicely. Good luck to one and all (except the three that need to finish below us). Thu 18 Jun 2009 17:54:25 GMT+1 Robbo Robson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=75#comment146 #142Oi, oi! I had a go at Flaming Real Mad-Flaming-Rid a few blogs back!! 2-faced I am not. I consistently slate the glamourpuss moneybags and no one is safe. But I try and vary it a tad you know, just so's I don't get too repetitive. Wind your neck in, son. Thu 18 Jun 2009 17:52:37 GMT+1 garythenotrashcougar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=75#comment145 United can't and won't be able to replace a guaranteed 30 goals and 15-20 assists a season now Ronaldo has gone. They also have a large rebuilding job to do on their centre midfield. Carrick is the best of an either injury prone, too old or average bunch (Hargreaves, Scholes and Anderson respectively). Yet despite all this they will still be top two because of the fear factor of 3 consecutive titles.Can't understand those backing Chelsea - they have put another lame duck in charge in terms of winning the league. 1 title in 8 years at Milan, even without Juventus in Serie A for two of those years, says it all. Ancelotti's remit is to win the CL and that he will probably do. What he won't do is reduce the average age of an aging squad and Chelsea will finish 3rd again.Arsenal will continue to be much of a muchness, they'll go on an 18 match unbeaten run against cannon fodder as usual then choke the big games.Liverpool are going the right way by signing Glen Johnson. One more signing in the forward positions and they are pretty much there. Even if it is by default for United being a little bit weaker. My money's on it going back to Anfield............ Thu 18 Jun 2009 17:26:16 GMT+1 Chris Wilby http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=74#comment144 Great blog Robbo! You always manage to brighten up my afternoons in rainy holland (it was hardly dry when I lived in England.... anyway). As for the PL this season, I'm going for Liverpool to win it. If they can get just one or more good signings (one central defender and one striker) I reckon they'll go on to win the PL this season. Chelsea I'm not too sure about. Imo Ancelottery has underachieved with Milan considering the players he had at his disposal and nothing points to him doing a better job at Chelsea. As for ManU, I realise you can't write them off just for losing CR, but I just have this feeling in my heineken-filled gut that they're due a rather mediocre season. That leaves my beloved Arsenal... (I'm so desperate to head back to North London again:'(, doubt anybody can imagine that, but then I am kinda weird). If we could get Diarra, that would be great! I remember him playing for Vitesse Arnhem, and he was brilliant then! We need another striker, 2 new defenders, cancel the Vermaelen deal - he's c**p, seriously - and assign the captaincy to a real dogged, passionate, mouthy player and maybe then we'll push for second. 8 weeks till kick-off. I wish I could spend them on the Bahama's Thu 18 Jun 2009 17:18:14 GMT+1 Zootmac http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=74#comment143 In case you haven't noticed, the background to your "Robbo" motif on the main Football page is orange, instead of your usual red.Are you having a Phil Brown moment? Thu 18 Jun 2009 16:49:10 GMT+1 WhitleyBayWonTheVase http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=73#comment142 I have a dream. Middlesbrough v Newcastle United in the Championship play-off final in 2010.It's 0-0 after extra time and down to penalties.At 0-0 after 5 penalties each, with both the nerves and the players total crapness taking its toll, Boro send forward an unknown full back who has been brought through the academy. He buries the ball past a hapless keeper (Harper would fit, but it could be anyone really) and up steps the sixth Toon player to decide his club fate.Taylor. He stayed because he wanted to help his ailing (nee destitute) local institution. Instead, he is made a scapegoat and the following season the Toon plummet into League One. There, they are beaten in the play off final by Darlington - with a still on loan Dean Windass scoring the winning penalty.Boro are back down in the Championship by that point in time. Thu 18 Jun 2009 16:42:17 GMT+1 Brian Renshaw http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=73#comment141 I like you Robbo but your posts are a bit 2 faced. You criticise and attempt to ridicule Man City then say nothing of Real Madrid making City look like paupers with their Ronaldo, Kaka purchases let alone their pursuit of David Villa, Ribery etc.I expect that sort of nonesense from Phil Thompson as he doesn't know any better but you mate, I've got to say it's a big disappointment.Mark Hughes has behaved impeccably in keeping a straight face and straight dealings when compared to dodgy Arry and Co.Watch City, you are wrong, they will give the big 4 some major headaches this year. Thu 18 Jun 2009 16:31:40 GMT+1 barca4ever http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=72#comment140 Its good discussing with reasonable ladies and guys on this blog unlike the guys on 606 who look for one reason or the other to swear or curse. I am thinking of sticking to blogs though.Genesis Red you are spot on. I never said that when he was a United player so your first born is safe else i would have come to collect but he was great for United and the premiership all the same.Genesis Red why do you want to take Goonerthefirst's Fabregas?Mr Twilight thanks bro for the discussion. I am out for now. Thu 18 Jun 2009 16:00:07 GMT+1 RedBlueArmy92 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=72#comment139 138... might have been a good idea to read one of his articles before your little hissy fit... Just maybe is all i am saying??? And i am sure upon Carlo's arival he will be drastically looking for the Hull matches! "Finally a real test of my domestic managerial prowess, mama mia... that phil browns a spicy orange-a-meatball!" Thu 18 Jun 2009 15:59:01 GMT+1 glazierNOWeagle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=71#comment138 Yeboah1984 wrote: no disrespect to them clubs, don't you mean those clubs. Seems like a grasp of the English language is no longer a requisite for a job at the beeb these days.---------------------------------------------------------------Perhaps, before you make a statement about "a grasp of the English language", you should check your own ability to use said language. I suggest a course in grammar and syntax. It might help if you start with the correct use of capital letters, inverted commas, full stops and question marks! Thu 18 Jun 2009 15:58:08 GMT+1 aandyman44 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=70#comment137 Your a loser. how can you say that Chelsea vs. Hull is a cushy match. you support Newcastle, haha, so i think there may be a hint of jealousy in there somewhere, with you wishing that your team were capable of staying up, but no, your to poor and deserve to be in the championship. Hull went to Chelsea last season and ended up taking a poit away. i can;t remember you doing that at anyones ground, so when you've stopped being biased, maybe i'll read one of your articles. Thu 18 Jun 2009 15:53:45 GMT+1 Toadflax http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=70#comment136 Some interesting comments on Middlesbro as a part of Yorkshire there. Having been born in Durham but resident in Teesside since a baby (Yorkshire side of Middlesbrough)and now living in exile in Leeds (a real football wasteland if ever there was one) I have my own perspective on the Yorks v NE thing. Growing up there, Middlesbrough never seemed to be a Yorkshire sort of place at all with completely different appearance, culture and outlook to the West Riding and the surrounding rural areas. There seemed to be no shared identity with stereotypical Yorkshire at all, rather a stubborn independence and strong sense of local individulaity as part of the NE. Geographically and administratively, it was in the North Riding until the creation of the Teesside County Borough in 1968 but that just served to reinforce the fact that there was actually quite a big city on both banks of the Tees when you lumped the various places together which should be administered as a single entity, which I think still holds true. Boro FC is the club which represents this urban area, both the former Yorkshire and Durham bits and is equally well supported on both sides of the river. You could write a PhD thesis on the whole issue-in fact someone probably already has.I accept Robbo's comments that you can see various scenic bits of North Yorkshire from the town, but you can also see similar bits of County Durham, including the cathedral tower from the top of the Transporter Bridge.Apologies also for overlooking in my earlier post the existence of the Owls and their family affair with the Blades. Should have said a derby between two different steel cities.The nature of derbies is another fit subject for a PhD, Robbo. Whatever actualy determines this, it's a fact of life that there has to be some extra rivalry that the fans of both clubs perceive. I've never met a Boro supporter who saw Sheff Utd in this way or even Leeds in their 70s pomp (we all hated them, as the song said, but they sang that everywhere). Nor is it about Darlo or the MHs, the nearest clubs geographically. It's all about the Macs and the Pies for regional bragging rights. Enough already! Thu 18 Jun 2009 15:26:45 GMT+1 SugarDunkerton http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=69#comment135 #106 I never argued that the Championship wasn't the 4th largest supported league in Europe. The words used were 'Biggest'... so being a man of free will I took that to mean bigger, better, 4th best etc... you being a man/woman of free will took it to mean something different.. you can't really correct someone when a vague word is used to describe something which can then be viewed differently. Thu 18 Jun 2009 15:12:40 GMT+1 goonerthefirst http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=69#comment134 Genesis Red - Oi! Hands of our Fab! He's OURS!!! :-D Thu 18 Jun 2009 15:04:15 GMT+1 GenesisRed http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=68#comment133 to 102: "CR7 is four players made into one. The last guy that had the same traits was pele."I'll bet my first born that you weren't saying that when he was a United player! So now he's as good as Pele is he? My feelings towards Ronaldo haven't changed, but the team will be stronger against the top teams than last year.As for Ronaldo's free kicks, inconsistent would be a nice way of describing them. He could score freak moments of brilliance, but the vast majority were ballooned or went straight into the wall.If we'd kept him, it would have had to be as a main striker, but his finishing and in-the-box awareness isn't good enough for that. When he isn't the main star he'll sulk. I fear for his Real career. With all those personalities demanding to be the centre of attention, he'll be off to Inter in 2 seasons.He's ineffective on the wing - all dribbles and step overs, and little end product except a pass back to the midfield - but devastating in the middle of the park where he can run at defenders and scare keepers from range (see early part of Barca game before United allowed Barca to have the ball all the time). He could pair great with Villa but then where will Kaka play? We have already replaced Giggs with Tosic, and Scholes with Anderson and Possebon. Neville is already tasting the pasture grass thanks to the Da Silvas. Wellbeck is exciting not to mention Macheda. If we add Valencia, we can relax and put a cheeky £40mill bid in for Fabregas. Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:59:00 GMT+1 Malt Loaf http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=68#comment132 Ferguson did not build a team around Beckham. Beckham was a prong in a steller attack which included Scholes, Giggs, Cole and Yorke, to name but a few, depending on which season you pick. If you pick any player from that 'era' (I use that word in the loosest sense of the word, given that Giggs for example is still playing) to nominally say they had the team built around them, it would be Keane, but the truth is nobody had a team built round them.Ferguson did not build a team around Cantona. Cantona was the final piece in the jigsaw of his particualr 'era'. The team was already in place. Cantona lifted the existing team to the heights required to win the league.I am not old enough to know the Busby teams and whether or not he built a team around Charlton. However, I would suggest that Best and Law to name but two might take issue with you on that point, if of course Best was still with us to argue the point. Cheers Bro.As for my age, I shall be as cryptic as you. I had the key to the door when United were runners-up to the Arsenal double team the year before that famous treble. Do the math. Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:56:06 GMT+1 yarmred http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=67#comment131 Dragoneyes, If you've seen Yorkshire CCC play a home game at Stockton then you'd better let them know.They're official website lists the grounds they ever played at:GROUNDS: HEADINGLEY, Leeds BRAMALL LANE, Sheffield PARK AVENUE, Bradford HARROGATE SCARBOROUGH Yorkshire also have played matches at Abbeydale, Darnall and Hyde Park all Sheffield), Holbeck and Hunslet (Leeds), Wakefield, Dewsbury, York, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull, Barnsley and Middlesbrough. Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:55:29 GMT+1 goatLUFC_OSC http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=67#comment130 i agree with 127 (sorry you have been reduced to a mere number) - there is life outside of the top 4 of the Prem, and although frustrated with where their teams are at, a number of supporters of former prem teams have enjoyed the out of body experience of the lower leagues (forest, leeds, leicester etc). I will share an experience.A couple of years ago, I was on leave in the UK, and went to two mid week games - barnet vs darlo on the tuesday night and arsenal vs liverpool chamions league first leg on the wednesday. There was no contest as to where the higher quality of football was to be seen, but standing on the terraces with a pie waiting for the floodlight failure to be rectified, and then see some good old school industrial football (and be close enough to the lino to see him wince when some Barnet fans were commenting on his rotund frame) was the more enjoyable of the two. Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:48:51 GMT+1 Neil Anderson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=66#comment129 ExpatSmoggie: There is always Norton and Stockton Ancients.....oh wait that isn't North of the river too.Ripon United, Thirsk AFC pehaps? Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:47:44 GMT+1 ExPat Smoggie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=66#comment128 What would be a Yorkshire Derby for the Boro? Anywhere south of York is hardly a derby and anywhere north of the Tees wouldn't count as a Yorkshire one so that rules Darlo, Monkey Hangers et al. Am I missing somewhere? Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:44:46 GMT+1 barca4ever http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=65#comment127 To 126,Alex Ferguson built his team based on Beckams crosses. Yorke and Cole lived off Beckam's crosses. Check the number of goals they scored and the assist that was supplied by Beckam for their goals and you will understand what i mean. United's game was built on Beckams crosses then. I was 23 when Beckam started playing for United in 94/95 season. Do the maths Bro. How old are you and please say the truth. Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:43:22 GMT+1 ExPat Smoggie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=65#comment126 Regarding #67. "Yorkshire was then divided into the 4 divisional ridings areas of north, east, south, west" - Wow, time to be a pedant. Yorkshire was divided into 3 Ridings. The word Riding means a third off in "ye olde English". Having gone to primary School in N. Yorks, senior school in Teeside and VIth Form College in Cleveland without ever moving house is there any wonder I was so confused as to become a Boro supporter.Having now come to terms with the Mighty Boro's temporary decline my only regret is that living in Germany, I won't get to see them "getting their regular pasting/springing the odd surprise" (delete as appropriate)against the Big 4. At least they will be competing in a "Man's league" where falling over after a slight touch is thought of as a sign of frailty and where going shoulder to shoulder does not result in a stoppage for a free kick and an on-pitch visit by the medical staff.So Robbo, please make the focus of the blog the "Fizzy Pop League" for next season. Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:39:16 GMT+1 Malt Loaf http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=64#comment125 Sorry barca4ever, United were built around Beckham? Are you being serious?How old are you by the way? Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:26:09 GMT+1 gay fish http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=64#comment124 I don't want to turn this into yet another man utd disucssion blog but the impact of Ronaldo will be felt more than with the departure of previous star players as a lot of utd players are coming to the end of their careers and/or won't be able to play 60 games in the season. Now that Ronaldo has gone the only 2 pacy players I can think of that Utd have are Rooney and Evra. Tevez has pace and he probably isn't staying. The other point is that the only other free kick specialist utd have is Giggs and unlike hockey you can't bring a player on to take free kicks. So not only do they need a new superstar he needs to have pace and be a specialist at free kicks. From what I have seen of Ribery that's definitely not him. Valencia has pace but is not a free kick specialist. Looks like utd will have to buy 2 players to replace Ronaldo. I lived in Yorkshire for a while but it was West Yorkshire. The whole county is so big that each region has its separate identity-hospitals, tv regions, council estates, airports etc. Counties really are a thing of the past as they don't signify anything like they used to (apart from in cricket). I couldn't name any of the counties in the south although I know a few of them have the word 'Royal' in front of them. Which would you rather be a 'Yorkshire-man' or a 'Royal County of .......man'???? :) Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:20:54 GMT+1 The_Toonster http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=63#comment123 Boro have some stability in the Championship. Newcastle do not. We need to get sold, and fast! Until then I see us falling further... unless we rid ourselves of the dross which currently doesn't care how well they play! Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:17:06 GMT+1 Neil Anderson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=63#comment122 Cleveland created by BeaucratsYorkshire created by God Redcar created by the devil going to the lavetory after a particularly vicous vindaloo.nuff said Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:15:33 GMT+1 barca4ever http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=62#comment121 To 107,Yes, Before Ronaldo, United's system was built around Beckam. His crosses were vital to the trophies you won. Before Beckam their was Cantona, and Robbo before Cantona and they won their trophies when they built their teams around the strength of an individual. They had great players in each of these teams then but these players named above were the movers and shakers of the team.Ask Bobby Charlton whether the team was built around him in the Bubsy days? In the 1966 world cup Charlton was the engine and England won the world cup. Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:12:23 GMT+1 RedBlueArmy92 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=62#comment120 I never knew up north was so divided and regionalised... i always thought once you got past Watford it was all kinda the same really? Whippets, flathats, faster rugby, cheap beer, people saying "be'eck" and "appen"... Who knew? On a serious note Robbo Cleveland was invented by beurocrats, what is Redcar? Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:10:49 GMT+1 GiggsyGiggsyGiggsy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=61#comment119 It will for you #119 Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:09:08 GMT+1 poshPompeyblue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=61#comment118 THE CHAMPIONSHIP WILL BE MORE INTRESTING THAN THE PREMIERSHIP IN THE COMING SEASON. Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:06:20 GMT+1 bredtobered-forum troll http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=60#comment117 111. At 2:52pm on 18 Jun 2009, Yeboah1984 wrote: no disrespect to them clubs, don't you mean those clubs. Seems like a grasp of the English language is no longer a requisite for a job at the beeb these days...............................................ah sey owd lad, tis abit tounge in cheek, numpty. Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:04:39 GMT+1 Robbo Robson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=60#comment116 #113Not Yorkshire per se... North Yorkshire to be specific. The moors, the cliffs, Whitby, Scarborough... all visible from Smogland when the wind's blowing the mists away... can't beat it. Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:00:52 GMT+1 novacod http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=59#comment115 Greetings from Canada O wise one.Life just isn't fair is it. Newcastle visit Blackpool during the Illuminations and Middlesbrough get the middle of February with the cold damp nasties blowing in off the sea and everything shut. Still on the bright side Boro can now be cup giant killers instead of the killed. Excellent blog as always Robbo and nice to see a beeb blogger responding to comments as you do.PS. Also good to see your ugly mug gracing the Championship page. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:58:30 GMT+1 Neil Anderson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=59#comment114 Yarmred: Yorkshire played Somerset in May 2004 at Stockton Cricket Ground. It was a wash out due to rain but the match was scheduled to be played there. I have also seen them play Notts there. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:56:20 GMT+1 goonerthefirst http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=58#comment113 Yeboah1984 - you think he's a schoolie in disguise? Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:55:55 GMT+1 redforever http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=58#comment112 Robbo, its not Yorkshire anymore, but it was once. I am more curious as to why you seem to WANT it to be Yorkshire? Thats a county I suspect the vast majority of the country would prefer not to be associated with."Sophistication? Sophistication? I've been to Leeds."Man Utd will compete, of course, they always do. I dont think Chelsea will be so great. Ancelotti will need to settle in. He wont be able to re-invent the aging team in one summer, and I think he isnt even as good a manager as Hiddink, who the players will miss. Liverpool are a lottery. They were very, very good by the end of the season. A completely different proposition to the team that performed poorly at Anfield for the first half of the season. Much more aggressive and more players scoring goals, Kuyt, Riera, Benayoun, so if that team can start the season, they will be the team to beat. Arsenal? Who knows? They are missing leadership and experience, i dont see them doing better than last season.Who will be competing for the Champioship title, Robbo? Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:54:28 GMT+1 Spitfire http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=57#comment111 I wont be betting on the 'hellfire' (See #79 by Robbo)The have been in action in the tribal areas for over a year now, only have hit the target 8 times. Notched up a lot of own goals during the process, apparently. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:52:59 GMT+1 Yeboah1984 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=56#comment110 no disrespect to them clubs, don't you mean those clubs. Seems like a grasp of the English language is no longer a requisite for a job at the beeb these days. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:52:18 GMT+1 abscondicon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=56#comment109 I would agree with ANDREWS1987 that coverage of the Championship on your blog would be welcomed. However, seeing as Norwich have fallen into the League 1 abyss, perhaps you can cover that league instead. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:47:58 GMT+1 goonerthefirst http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=55#comment108 Great! I hit "preview" and it shows me the paragraph breaks are included, and now look at the state of the above! Sorry! :( Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:46:57 GMT+1 goonerthefirst http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=55#comment107 All these people complaining about how their team's fixtures are rigged, it's already been said on here, get over it! Each team plays every other one twice, if they come in an order that's less satisfying then it happens! It makes the race for the title that much more interesting. Personally, I'm loving the look of our Jan/Feb fixtures as it's gonna be one big game after another!On this whole "Utd won't win the title without Ronaldo" note, take a moment to look at the current European Champions Barca, they've built their side around a quality unit of players. You've got your Messi, your Henry, your Eto'o up front and the likes of Xavi & Toure in midfield, and Pique, Marquez & Dani Alves in defence and Victor Valdes in net. A team that's not exactly lacking on quality, is it?That's a similar idea with Man U, they play well as a team and, barring the moments of brilliance from CR7 (which I reluctantly admit were just that!), they got the results because they didn't give up 'til the end (no doubt cue a barrage now of complaints about dubious penalty decisions they got/weren't given against them!)As an Arsenal fan, I'm not denying we'll struggle to get anywhere near the title this season because Sr. Wenger NEEDS to bring in some quality, particularly in defence, but I don't think Man U can be written off as favourites, mainly because of their consistency over the last decade of being at/near the top!If we can improve on top four finishes of late too then great! But I reluctantly would back Man U for the title (2nd choice to the Arsenal of course!) this year.Imo, if Liverpool somehow can go for someone like Villa or maybe NOT throw their lead away then I think they can run Utd close! Chelsea need to keep hold of Drogba and keep the likes of Lampard, Terry, Essien performing like they did last season and get some youth injected into their side too as older players are more likely to get injured and not last the distance then we could be in for another good season.Sorry, can't resist this also, why do Spurs think they're going to finish in the top four this season, as they have done for a few years now? Isn't that what you thought last season? :-P Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:45:11 GMT+1 Malt Loaf http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=54#comment106 To 92I don't agree with pretty much anything you said. Have United been built around one player at all in any of their teams since they started dominating English football in 1993? No, not until Ronaldo came along. Ferguson seemed to have decided that the only way to accomodate him was to get others doing the things he doesn't do. And yes, it has worked, but to the detriment of the team. Ronaldo made 16 tackles all last season. 16! That means other players have had to do that work on his behalf, meaning they were not able to do as much productive with the ball themselves. United were not a balanced team by the end of the season, and it got showed up in spectacular fashion by Barcelona. A bit of rejigging and United will be all the stronger for it.I will say now so that everyone can hear: Ronaldo will not be a runaway success at Real Madrid. Do you think the likes of Kaka are going to run around all day working hard so that Ronaldo can be a show pony? No chance of it happening, none at all. http://www.loserscomesecond.com/ Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:45:07 GMT+1 rchrdav http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=54#comment105 #74The championship is the 4th largest SUPPORTED league in europe, making it the 4th largest Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:35:17 GMT+1 Neil Anderson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=53#comment104 bredtobered: I have lived in Boro for the last 40 years and remember when it was originally part of North Yorkshire, and even when it was part of North Riding. However the point I was really making before Robbo got side tracked is that he referred to Sheffield as a derby match. At nearly 100miles between the places it is hardly a derby match. there isn't even a history between the clubs. not like Leeds and Man utd or Millwall and any other club in the country.Now Middlesbrough and Sunderland/Newcastle is a derby in the battle for North-East pride, but not Sheffield that is stretching the meaning of a derby match too far. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:32:45 GMT+1 mickymoc http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=53#comment103 #67,Geography isnt your strong point like History then. I always thought that there is only three Ridings in Yorkshire.Unless the South Riding has turned up overnight. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:31:16 GMT+1 Vim.Fuego http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=52#comment102 Phil Brown gets that colour from his addiction to Sunny DIrn Bru or Tango never turned anyone orange, just flatulent and possibly hyper. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:28:39 GMT+1 barca4ever http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=52#comment101 To 96,I can tell you from fact that Barca's team is built on Xavi just like it was built on Guardiola before him. He is the commander and dictates the way Barcelona play. Their are other good players I agree but every Barca move starts from Xavi. He is the key in Barca and the Spanish national team too. Hiddink understood that and shut him down. United allowed him and you know the result.If CR7 was half focused last season and played the way he did then i don't mind a half focused CR7. Rooney is good but he is only half the player CR7 is. Now is Rooney's chance, we will see how he responds to the challenge.Check Out Robbo's comment on 79. Can Rooney match that? NO! CR7 is four players made into one. The last guy that had the same traits was pele. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:28:14 GMT+1 WhitleyBayWonTheVase http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=51#comment100 Robbo, you should count yourself lucky.Our fixture list, beginning 8th August, reads as follows:Consett (H) - famous for Phileas Fogg and, umm, let me think.Dunston Federation (H) - wooo, two home games to start!Ryton (A)Esh Winning (A)Shildon (H)Bishop Auckland (H)Are you feeling a little better now? Well, get this, our last home game of the season is against the mighty Newcastle! Umm, Newcastle Benfield. Mind you, they're a lot better than Newcastle United so I look forward to that one. Finally, with the championship within our grasp we'll be off to Penrith. Yes, Penrith. Well it is kind of in the Lake District, so there is something to look forward to. We then start defending our FA Vase trophy with a bye to the second round! Hows that for recognition of the champs eh?! So, when you're feeling badly done to you should think of the only team in the Northeast to have won a trophy last season - the mighty Whitley Bay FC, 2008/9 FA Vase winners and a hell of a lot better than the Geordie bottlers or Smoggies could even dream of being!I like to finish on a high note. Its quite easy this year up here. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:26:35 GMT+1 Hirocles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=51#comment99 Re comment 67.Yorkshire, I believe, was divided into THREE - Riding means THIRD. There has never been a South Riding! Born and bred in the Boro we are only yorkshiremen for cricket and ceremonial purposes. Long live the People's Republic of Teesside. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:23:23 GMT+1 yarmred http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=50#comment98 Dragoneyes, Yorkshire have never played a "home" game at Stockton Cricket Ground.Stockton-on-Tees is north of the river and has been stated is Durham CCC territory.Yorkshire played at Acklam Park in Middlesbrough although apart from the odd game at Scarborough they no longer rotate their home games to Sheffield, Middlesbrough etc.In the good old days when you had to be born in Yorkshire to play for Yorkshire CCC, being born in Middlesbrough still counted even when Cleveland came into existance.Middlesbrough itself is a Yorkshire town.However having siad all that I'd never class Middlesbrough v Sheff Utd/Wed/Barnsley/Rotherham/Doncaster/Hull as a football derby.Leeds is still classed in some Boro quarters as a derby but that is always cause for debate too. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:20:17 GMT+1 bredtobered-forum troll http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=50#comment97 96.dont thnk i've ever agreed with a man u fan but i think your spot on there. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:14:05 GMT+1 goatLUFC_OSC http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=49#comment96 thats nothing. we're at home to EXETER. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:12:14 GMT+1 GenesisRed http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=49#comment95 to 92: I'm afraid you're a bit wide of the mark with Barca... they're not based around Xavi specifically. And none of their players are marginalised for the others. Messi, Eto, Iniesta and Henry are all played in their best positions.Rooney is undoubtedly world class, but because he's more adaptable and likes to track back has been used to compensate for Ronaldo. As Capello is demonstrating, put him in the right position and he'll make a massive difference. Don't get me wrong, Ronaldo is a fabulous player, but he should never have been considered our MAIN goal threat. He could destroy a team single handedly, but a team functioning to the best of its components is better. No-one's fault, just the way personalities gel. Just look at the way Rio tells Terry what to do when they play for England, but for Chelsea Terry is the boss. Rooney just got pushed into the shadows.Maybe i'm biased, but i'd rather have a fully focused Rooney or Kaka than Ronaldo OR Messi. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:12:02 GMT+1 DMT1985 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=48#comment94 Good blog Robbo. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:07:15 GMT+1 digispoonerta http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2009/06/fixture_and_frettings.html?page=48#comment93 In 1996 Cleveland was abolished, and Middlesbrough became a unitary authority, within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire.Not sure what a ceremonial county is but it definately says NOrth Yorkshire....Anyway Not sure about the Chelsea for the title thread .... i think that it will take a season of Anchelotti (sp?) bedding in before they can be described as favorates!!! .... they will start off well as per usual (and teams always do with a new manager) but i think that they will tail off to 3rd.... Bewteen United and Arsenal for me. Thu 18 Jun 2009 13:05:26 GMT+1