BBC BLOGS - Robbo Robson
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Robben's day

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Robbo Robson | 12:33 UK time, Thursday, 22 April 2010

Poor old footballers. Such 'arduous' lives. A train, a bus and a plane to get to a football match. Boo-blinking-hoo! It's boring to travel 1200 miles like that but it's hardly flippin' ARDUOUS!

Hellfire, if it's that blinking hard why not get a sponsorship form and do summat for Sport Relief at the same time, you pampered apoths! Some people have been trying to get home for a week!

The worst that's going to happen is that you might get a stiff neck from your Nintendo DS, or aggravate a paper-tear when you're shuffling the deck for the latest round of stud poker.

Maybe you could make a bit of space in your first-class carriage or your velvet-lined top-of-the-range charabanc and pick up some woe-begotten stragglers on your way home!

The idea that Barca's defeat in Inter was summat to do with the transport is flaming laughable. I missed the match as I had better things to do. I was down in that London and fellow BBC blogger Chris Charles took us to QPR-Watford.
Akos Buzsaky scores for QPR against WatfordWake up, Robbo!
I have to say it was end-to-end stuff - trouble was the ends in question were the sides of the pitch. It's hard to think when I was last so poorly entertained - except I did sit through one of Amanda Holden's sitcoms once.

Besides, the P-Block's banter was perky enough to keep a tired Teessider distracted from the sort of football you want to scrape off the pavement and take home to put on your roses.

Mr Charles did a very passable impression of Lukasz Fabianski and dropped two full pints during the evening. Watford dropped three full points and they're still not safe. I doubt the Championship's going to miss them if they do go down. A poor team who still got four points off the Boro, which tells you all you need to know about our teeth-grindingly average season.

I was in for Bayern-Lyon, though, which proved to be a poor choice. I've said this before but there are players, some players, who for reasons you can't entirely put your finger on, get right up your nose - like Arjen Robben.

Clearly the bloke is a top footballer, despite possessing a right foot that couldn't be guaranteed to kick a stationary space-hopper. I'm not quite sure why the Lyon centre-back, Cris, couldn't have stopped his inevitable cut inside more easily.

By the way - Cris?! What is it with this one-named Brazilians? Soon there'll be a back-four somewhere in Europe of Dave, Pete, Mick and Nigel - and every one of them will be Sao Paolo born 'n' bred.

But Robben... well, part of the irritation is definitely the man's style. All that twinkletoes stuff, like he's pattering across the surface of a lake and trying not to leave a ripple. It drives me Tonto.

There's also the tumbling. He epitomises the modern-day forward's tendency to drop to the floor if someone so much as exhales in his direction. It sort of reminds me of a teenage reprobate saying to an irate schoolteacher: "You touch me, man, and I will like SO report you to the auforities! You get me?"

Of course, the premature balding would be a source of comfort, were it not for the fact that you could never get close enough to the little so-and-so to give him a good Benny Hill-style slapping. Plus he eschews the Bobby Charlton (or indeed Boro legend David Armstrong) comb-over in favour of a number two all over. (Armstrong's stray comb-over was so long and trailing you could've sworn that somewhere up in the sky there was a kite attached to it.)

And it's not just me... Louis van Gaal looked like he was going to give his strutting charge a good slap when he brought him off. But on reflection, I've decided that young Arjen represents that kid in your, or indeed the opposition team, who you really craved to be. At our school, it was Jimmy O'Toole.

Jimmy was pacy. I had two speeds and they were both slow.
Jimmy was tricksy. I was a one-trick pony meself, and that trick could be summed up in two words: 'Get rid!!'
Arjen RobbenArjen Robben - you either love him...
Jimmy was a clinical finisher. As was I, if it was a Lancashire Hotpot and chips - a half-decent chance and I turned into Emile Heskey.

Of course, Jimmy's talent was frittered away once lasses caught his eye... He's fat now, with two failed marriages behind him, so it's not all bad. And he's never beaten me at pool. But it's still the case that every time I see the bloke, there's a 12-year-old inside of me that wants to slide across the pub carpet and take the cocky beggar down across the back of the knees.

When Toulalan got his first yellow card for felling Robben, I couldn't help sympathising with him. 'Take the prancing show-pony down' I hollered. (OK, that is a slightly refined version of what I actually said.)

And yet for all that, I have no doubt that if the bloke pulled on a Boro shirt, I would embrace him as one of Teesside's own. A Dutch Pele for little ol' Teesside.

In a similar way, the citizens of Loftus Road have already warmed to their own 'White Pele' Akos Buszaky (I think if you join a supporters' club these days your membership comes with a free White Pele) and that touchline tyrant Neil Warnock and his curious pantomime dame eyebrows.

And there's no denying that whoever ends up playing Bayern in the final - and dear God please prevent the lame Lyon from getting there - the first thing they'll have to do is stop that red, red Robben from bob-bob-bobbing along.

And don't forget, you can now follow me on Twitter!


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