Friday, April 28, 2006
Sorry I can't not mention last night, it was fooking brilliant. I wasn't going to go to the bar to watch but decided at the last minute to go. I arrived 10 mins late for the kick off to an empty bar so sat down with the Landlord and he told me what i had feared was going to happen Steaua Bucharest had just scored 1-0.
We would need to score three goals and not conceed anymore. Then the second went in and i gave up. Good for the heart as when you decided 'fuck it we've lost' you kinda relax.
Even when Maccarone got one back before half time I honestly believed the match was over. But then in the second half Boro became this lean fighting attacking machine again that we saw with Basle. 4 strikers on the pitch. What the Fuck! McLaren you usually are blubbing to put more than one on!.
And then the 2nd and third came. After the second I change to having a glimmer of hope. Someone next to me (yes the stragglers were arriving by now) mentioned "You only need 2 goals in 25 mins". And that did it i had belief again. And after Riggot popped in the third it was 1 goal in 17 mins.
At this point i was convinced we we were going to do it , Bucharest were falling apart. They hadn't had one goal attempt in the second half. Boro had had over 20 at least. But then with about 4 mins left i almost gave up hope until Macca stepped up and became a Teesside legend once again. And this from a guy who can't get in the 1st team regularly, if at all. £6M ...A Bargain!
So Eindhoven here we come . Put it in your diary 10th May! Now how do we go about getting a ticket.
P.S Here is an amusing local radio commentary from Century FM.
This guy (Alistair Brownlee is unable to hold his load when Boro win a premiership match so you can imagine what it's like). I especially love the quote "Everybody round my house for a Parmo!". We are such a cultured lot in Teesside.
2nd link is the highlights without 'annoying twat' commentary.
The Century Commentary
Thursday, April 20, 2006
OK. It's here already, the set of three matches which will not put Middlesbrough on the map, but knock Newcastle off it. If all goes well this will be the way Geordies introduce themsleves in future
Johnny Foreigner: "Oh hello are you liking my country. Very different from ze UK yes!??"
Geordie: "Oh way hay man. It's champion. Arrm from Newcassel like!"
Johnny Foreigner: "Ah zis Newcastle . It is in ze UK yes?"
Geordie: "Way hay man, Its in the North East like. Ye narrr. Up the road from Middlesbrough"
Johnny Foreigner: "Oh yes I am knowing ze Boro very well. Morrison, Hasselbaink, Yakubu yes. ze UEFA cup final yes. Oh yes so you're a smoggie then!?"
Geordie: "Feck off man! Donna be calling me no Smoggie yeh fucker!"
And North East domination is complete.
There again, we might be out of both competitons by Sunday. But who cares lets enjoy the ride:
Day 1 : UEFA Cup Semi Final 1st Leg, Ghencea Stadium, Bucharest Steaua Bucharest v Boro
Day 2, 3: Rest Days
Day 4: FA Cup Semi-Final , Vill Park, Birmingham Boro v West Ham
Day 5,6,7: Rest Days
Day 8: UEFA Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg, Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough (down the road from Newcastle) Boro v Steaua Bucharest
Sunday, April 16, 2006
I came home a bit late last night from a darts sesh in the Bensons, thinking hey I'm gonna follow the Amstel Gold Race tomorrow. As the start is at 10 on the Markt I set my alarm for 9. Woke up at 11. And set off to Cadier en Keer bout 2 mins from my house for 12.15 the first time of passing. Very Poor!
Anyway i then had the plan to go to Vaals to see how it was progressing but missed it. And took me almost 2 hours to get back to Cadier en Keer stuck in cycling/Easter traffic for 5 kms. But arrived in Cadier en Keer to see the 2nd passing. 3 riders had broke away from the peleton and after that I popped home to watch the finish from the sofa. I've been doing this for about 8 years now and i still haven't learnt. You should either sit in Valkenburg on a terrace, or stay at home with the TV.
Anyway it was a pretty good race and the usual switching of leaders to peleton went on. And of all the 200 odd competitors the only Luxembourger in the field won the race. Frank Schleck.
Funnily enough i was having a conversation 2 days ago at work with a Luxembourgish colleague at how rubbish they are at Football and sport in general. So Frank has saved the day. Now they will not only be known for errmmm, what are they famous for?. Oh yeah having shitloads of cash.
Boogerd came 3rd, always the bridesmaid!
After finding a very quiet spot in Cadier en Keer, the whole Lotto team decides to park right in front of me to take photos of the support team with their vehicles. Tossers!
Cadier en Keer (2nd time) the three breakaway leaders, 1 Michael Albasini, SUI (Iquigas ITA);
246 Erwin Thijs, BEL (Unibet.com BEL); 146 Bram Schmitz, NED (T-Mobile Team GER).
And here is a nice video of how scary it is to be at the side of the road....http://www.atc-network.com/site/movie.wmv . Watch the cocky guy showing off to his son when the peleton comes past and a support car near runs over his feet and his expletives thereafter.
Friday, April 07, 2006
It is said that millions of Brits don't bet on the horses, except for once a year they make an exception to place a small 'wager' on the Grand National.
It is a habit hard to drop and when i first came over to Holland as betting shops were not allowed I used to make a 1/2 hour journey across the border to a place called Visé where they had a laddies (ladbrokes).
The locals used to snigger and mock me each year in french
"Silly englishman, why doez you bet on ze race with ze forty hosses. you have no chance to win!"
Probably true but thats the fun of it. Knowing your chances of picking the winner in the National are so slim that when that year comes round when you do pick a winner you won't forget it.
Last time i backed the winner was 1992 'Party Politics'. I was a poor student in Manchester and i had no money, well 4 quid. I could either go out ahave a cheap saturday night out or risk it all on the National and then have to probably stay in. But my horse won and I went out and got hammered! As my 4 pund had just become 36 pund.
I backed a few each way winners since and tried every year but never picked the winner. This year is going to be my year. I can feel it and just to make sure I'll back 30 out of 40 horses!
In the office sweepstake I got Heros Collonges. Never back a horse that you can't pronounce.
Anyway just so you can't say i fixed it here are me bets this year.
4. Therealbandit 40-1 £2 e/w
20. Joe's Edge 25-1 £2 e/w
25. Garvivonnian 25-1 £2 e/w
Middlesbrough 4-1 Basle (agg 4-3)
A brace from Mark Viduka gave Middlesbrough hopeMassimo Maccarone struck a 90th-minute winner as Middlesbrough produced an astonishing comeback to reach the Uefa Cup semi-finals.
Eduardo's 23rd-minute tap-in for Basle left Boro needing four goals to win.
But Mark Viduka pulled one back before half-time with a powerful run and shot and angled in a second before Daniel Majstorovic was sent off for Basle.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's stunning shot made it 3-3, leaving fellow substitute Maccarone to slide home the winner.
The unlikely comeback, which booked Middlesbrough a semi-final meeting with Steaua Bucharest, was reward for some brave changes by Steve McClaren.
The Boro boss threw caution to the wind at half-time by introducing Hasselbaink to play alongside Viduka and Yakubu, and then later brought on Maccarone as Basle stumbled.
Absolutely brilliant display, the pride and passion shown was first class
Have your say on 606
Indeed, his side might have considered themselves unlucky to have gone behind after a storming start to the game.
Inside a minute, Yakubu's challenge forced Basle keeper Pascal Zuberuehler to fumble the ball, but the striker hooked his shot narrowly wide.
That incident infused new belief into the home fans and on 14 minutes, they were appealing for a penalty.
Yakubu burst into the box and was clumsily brought down by Mile Sterjovski, with replays showing it deserved far more than the half-hearted appeal the Boro players mustered.
But a momentary lapse at the back cost the hosts dear.
Stuart Parnaby was not quick enough to prevent Boris Smiljanic heading across goal where Eduardo easily beat Gareth Southgate to the ball and smashed home.
With Boro now needing four goals to win, the Riverside Stadium fell silent, but the hosts stuck to their task.
Viduka gave them the lifeline their first-half display deserved when he shrugged off Majstorovic's challenge before wrong-footing Zuberuehler.
McClaren hails 'monumental' Boro
That brought the crowd back to life and they were almost celebrating again on 42 minutes when Yakubu turned Majstorovic brilliantly but shot too close to Zuberuehler.
McClaren sent his team out in barnstorming mood after the interval.
Basle's defence succumbed on 57 minutes when Yakubu slid the ball through for Viduka to sidestep Zuberuehler and shoot home from a difficult angle.
Boro's hopes were lifted again when Majstorovic, who had been Basle's dominant force in defence, was sent off for raising his hands.
His departure rocked Basle and they were reeling again when Hasselbaink collected the ball 25 yards out and, with hardly any backlift, powered in an unstoppable shot.
And as the minutes ticked down, Fabio Rochemback's shot was only parried by Zuberuehler and Maccarone squeezed home the rebound to send the disbelieving Boro fans into ecstacy.
If Boro can now get past Steaua, they will face Sevilla or Schalke in the final on 10 May in Eindhoven.
Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Parnaby, Riggott, Southgate, Queudrue (Maccarone 67), Morrison (Hasselbaink 45), Boateng, Rochemback (Taylor 90), Downing, Viduka, Yakubu.Subs Not Used: Jones, Ehiogu, Doriva, Davies.
Booked: Riggott, Maccarone.
Goals: Viduka 33, 57, Hasselbaink 79, Maccarone 90.
Basle: Zuberbuhler, Zanni, Majstorovic, Smiljanic, Berner, Degen (Chipperfield 61), Delgado (Ergic 70), Ba, Petric, Sterjovski (Quennoz 85), Eduardo Da Silva.Subs Not Used: Crayton, Rakitic, Kulaksizoglu.
Sent Off: Majstorovic (73).
Booked: Majstorovic, Degen, Zuberbuhler.
Goals: Eduardo Da Silva 23.
I nearly wet myself!!!!! P.S Maccarone ....All is forgiven