In2views: Alan Foggon

The latest in a series of profiles and interviews, Orginal Fat Bob gives his personal view on the life and career of a footballing guest, before sitting down for a chat and asking a few questions. Our Diasboro special guest this week is Alan Foggon.

1. The Overview – the man and his career

Alan was one of my favourite players whom the crowd loved as well, when he played for the Boro in their famous promotion team of 1973/74. Utilised by our manager Jack Charlton as a super-fast forward, founded on his performances as a junior sprint champion, He latched onto through balls played over the top by Bobby Murdoch and Graeme Souness and although opposing teams knew the tactic, it didn’t stop him becoming our leading goal scorer at the end of that famous promotion season.

He was born in West Pelton, County Durham and made his first-team debut for Newcastle United, just days before his 18th birthday in a 0–0 draw at Arsenal. Alan talked to me about his first games in Europe when he made two appearances as a substitute. He is remembered famously by the Magpies for the second leg of the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final in Budapest. His shot on goal was pushed onto the crossbar by the Újpest keeper, then he followed it up to lash the ball into the net and make it 3–2 on the night, 6–2 on aggregate. It was a night that he will never forget, and he still had a smile on his face when he was recounting it, indelibly imprinted in his memory.

Alan Foggon 6

Boro signed him at the age of 22 from Cardiff City in 1972, initially on loan, which was another astute signing by Stan Anderson at Boro, but was largely due to the scouting talents and contacts of the late Harold Shepherson. Alan had wanted to return to the North East of England and he made his debut for us on Saturday 25th November when he came on as a substitute in a 2 0 defeat at home to Swindon. He went on to make over 105 league appearances for Boro, 10 as a substitute, scoring over 45 goals, which is a quite impressive goal scoring ratio to games played.

After he left the Boro in 1976, he had brief stints with Rochester Lancers and Hartford Bicentennials in the United States before moving to Manchester United. He only made three league outings at Old Trafford before he switched to Sunderland.

Later moves took him to Southend United, Hartlepool United (loan), Consett. and Whitley Bay. He finished his career as one of only a handful of footballers who have played for all the big three football clubs in the North East.

He is a quiet, almost shy man, but he was quick to point out with a grin, that despite his Geordie roots, his son who was sat next to him, is a smoggy, having been born during Alan’s time on Teesside.

As an aside, he thinks that Tony Pulis is a good appointment for the Boro as he is thorough, and all his teams have been hard to beat, based on a solid defence. He thinks Gestede is a big tough forward and well-seasoned professional.

Alan wishes us well, however he acknowledges that we will have to go through a transitional period before achieving promotion as our current performances are quote “dire!” unquote.

2. The Interview – a quick chat

OFB: What year did you join Boro as a professional footballer?

AF: 1973

OFB: Where did you stay? Did you rent, or did you live in digs?

AF: I lived in Hartburn, Stockton in my own house.

OFB: Who was your favourite Boro player and others that you have played with?

AF: Bobby Murdoch, Graeme Souness and all of the 73/74 promotion team.

OFB: Who were the best and worst trainers in the team?

AF: Me and Me!

OFB: When did the team travel for away games, how did they get there, by bus or by train?

AF: We usually travelled by using the team coach the day before playing a game, but if we played in London we sometimes travelled by train.

OFB: How many players usually travelled and did the Directors travel with you?

AF: Usually there were 13 players and the Directors used to travel with us on the coach.

OFB: Did you have nice hotels or was it just bed and breakfast?

AF: We always stayed in nice hotels and when we played in London stayed at the Waldorf.

OFB: Who did you room with for away matches?

AF: Bobby Murdoch.

OFB: Who was the joker in the team?

AF: David (Spike) Armstrong.

OFB: Can you tell us any amusing anecdotes or pranks that were played?

AF: Absolutely none that you can put into print!

OFB: Whose boots did you clean as an apprentice?

AF: Jim Iley (Ex Newcastle United Captain)

OFB: Did you try and emulate your style of play, on any individual player who played in your position?

AF: No, I always played my own game with my own individual style of play.

OFB: What was your most memorable game, your own individual performance and best experience with the fans?

AF: I have a few memorable games. The Fairs cup games for Newcastle United. The Boro game against Oxford when Bobby Murdoch scored.

The best experience with our fans was when we won at Luton 1 0, during our promotion season in March 1974. Boro clinched the 2nd Division Championship with a goal from David Mills. and we travelled back from London with our fans on the train and I’ll never forget it.

OFB: What was your worst game or experience and why?

AF: Every game that I played in and lost was my worst game and experience.

OFB: Is there a game that you wished you had played in, either for Boro or another team?

AF: I would have loved to have played for Boro and won the League Cup at Cardiff.

OFB: Who was in your opinion the best manager that Boro have ever had and why?

AF: Jack Charlton, his record at Boro speaks for itself.

OFB: Who was in your opinion the manager that had the greatest influence on your career and why?

AF: Stan Anderson, I will always be grateful to, for rescuing me from Cardiff, as it allowed me to go on and become part of Big Jack’s team.

OFB: Which opposing team and which player did you fear playing against?

AF: I hated playing against West Ham and particularly Billy Bonds because he was so big and strong.

OFB: Which opposing team and which player did you like playing against?

AF: (Laughing!) All the teams I played against and scored a goal.

OFB: Who is your favourite Boro player of all time and why?

AF: Bobby Murdoch, because he and Jack Charlton taught us and helped us all to develop as players. We learned so much, which was of great benefit to us and assisted our careers in football.

OFB: Who is your current favourite Boro player and why?

AF: I’m afraid I haven’t seen enough of the Boro team to form an opinion.

OFB: How do you think the match day has changed from the time that you played professional football to the present day?

AF: The game is much quicker these days than when I played football and the players are a lot fitter too.

OFB: If you could be a fly on the wall, is there any dressing room you would wish to eavesdrop on?

AF: Yes, I’d like to listen into the Manchester City dressing room, it could be interesting.

OFB: Do you have any regrets in your career, or missed opportunities?

AF: You only make decisions which are right at the time, but later can prove to have been the wrong one. So you only have yourself to blame.

OFB: Do you still follow the Boro and their results

AF: Yes

OFB: Whereabouts in the Country do you live these days?

AF: Jarrow, Tyne & Wear

OFB: Whom have you made a lifelong friend through football?

AF: Bob Moncur and Jim Smith from Newcastle United.

OFB: Finally, if you hadn’t had a professional career as a footballer, what do you think you would have done as a career?

AF: I’ve no idea I started playing for a club at 13 and signed for Newcastle at 15 years old.

OFB: A huge thank you Alan, for taking the time to talk to Diasboro and our readers.

125 thoughts on “In2views: Alan Foggon

  1. OFB

    Thanks once again, always knew him as the flying pig, one of the heroes because he looked like one of us.

    He looked difficult to mark because you never quite knew what he was going to do, bounce off his knee then he would be past the defender or, as you say, Murdoch’s mortars in to his stride.

  2. OFB

    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant – thank you.

    A very good player in an outstanding team as far as I am concerned.

    Great to hear his thoughts on the Luton game as I was with thousands of Boro supporters at the end of the ground where David Mills scored the winner.

    I also travelled back to London on the train which was crammed with Boro supporters and the team. Great memories and a great time to follow the Boro.

  3. Thanks for that, OFB. Football, rocket science ain’t it. Hoof the ball over the top n get yer fastest player to chase it.

    Some on this ere blog have been talking about how best to utilise Adama’s speed. Wonder why we didn’t suggest the ‘Foggan Stylie!’ What, some already have? Well, I never!

    1. It’s funny when I was talking to AF I couldn’t help thinking why weren’t we using that tactic with Traore?

      And so it came to pass…..

  4. Brilliant, Bob. And finally a player I did not know that well as travelling was expensive that time. Or I just do not remember that well.

    Thanks once again, Bob.

    Next you have to interview the big man himself, the 60-year old Sir Steve Gibson.

    Up the Boro!

  5. OFB,

    A lovely piece, well done. You wouldn’t have been predicting 00 with that team!

    Interesting about sounds and Murdoch popping it over the top, how long have we been saying that tactic for Traore? We’ll get there.



    1. Well I was away from Teesside during the Charlton era and was home around Easter to see my one and only match which unfortunately WAS a goalless draw, I think it might have been against Bolton. I can’t actually recall from memory whether Foggon played, so don’t remember seeing him play, although I do remember a MOTD game that season when we drew 1-1 at Villa. Still, nice article and interview Bob.

  6. Well done ofb- that’s another enlightening interview- you’re certainly improving with time- like a maturing bottle of port!!
    Cheers, Tractor Man

  7. We have to remember that Murdoch was exceptional. I used the term Murdoch mortars deliberately because his passes didn’t seem to run away across the surface, the weight he put on them was perfect. It could just be my imagination.

    On Traore, the constant theme has been getting him to run in to space, 15 months ago Maddo said that in training they were trying to get him on his bike in anticipation and also playing give and goes.

    He does stand and wait for the ball then come to life.

    It will come but he will be the architect of it, once the penny drops he will cause chaos. Or is that if rather than when.

    1. Ian

      Pulis isn’t daft and I think he sees Traore as a quick way out of this mess we are in at the moment.

      He has a potentially world class player who needs the brain of Pulis and the support of the other players and the fans who can put an arm around him (metaphorically speaking) to bring him on and we should have a hell of a player.


    2. Ian
      Our entire team stand and wait for the ball to be passed to them (slowly)
      Hopefully Pulis will change this, because it is very easy to defend against.
      Yet again Traore was most effective from the middle of the field, and yet again all sorts of excuses were made to prove that this was a fluke and his real place is on the wing.
      All over the football world fast, tricky players, are consigned to the wing by lazy managers, except Man. City they play them in the middle.
      Could there be a message there?

      1. TPhas stated is that he wants the ball to be played forward more quickly and that was evident on Saturday against Sunderland

        Instead of the defenders playing to you to me and to you again they showed intent to play forwards at all times

        As the players get to know the TP style I think you’ll see a big improvement in the speed getting forward


  8. Thanks OFB, for another great memory-jerker. I loved watching the “Flying Pig” as Ian recalled his nick name. Loved watching that team. Still the best Boro team of all my years and, as lots of people are pointing out the present team could benefit from some of the same tactics. Stuart Downing might not be Bobby Murdoch, but the closest we have. We need someone with the combined artistry and muscle of Graeme Souness if such a player can be found this January.

  9. Thanks OFB for this interview, Mr Foggon was my faourite player at the time.

    Generally overweight, did not comply with the footballer model of the time, fast and direct, oh and before I forget scored lots of goals. Perfect!!!

  10. Remember Murdoch “hoofing” the ball forward and little Stan Cummins taking it over his shoulder with the top of his boot all in his stride without a pause.

    Well that is how I remember it……or was it just a play on your reflective mind?

    1. I’ve mentioned before I used to be part of the refereeing team who did all the junior and academy games for Boro under Harold Shepherdson.

      Of all the Proctors Craig Johnstown’s and others who made the first team the one with the most skill was Stan Cummins. I thought he was marvellous and so did Big Jack who thought he would be the first £1m player!

      He wasn’t unfortunately it was Trevor Francis and Stan went to Sunderland and not for a £1million

      If we could have found out how to include him with his Junhinho physique and stature we might have kept him.

      I’ll have to try and get him to talk to me one day


  11. OFB

    I am not doubting the talent of Adama, he reminds me of a fish on the south eastern seaboard of the USA.

    It is called the triple tail. It doesn’t hunt but just lays in the surface on its side. As soon as prey comes near it bursts in to startling action.

    I agree with all the comments about the fact he could become a star, it will come from within, he needs encouragement, I suspect many of the managers have tried. According to reports, AK spent hours with him. I am sure that is no different to the other managers.

    Pulis may provide the platform because defenders defend.

      1. ….. Though he is (and I was talking within the last 10 days to 3 people who have sat in the dug-out at Boro, one of whom used this phrase) ” The sort of player who can get you the sack……”!

      1. Alan used to be nicknamed the “Flying Pig” by the Boro fans at the time but it was hijacked from Anfield and the original himself, Tommy Lawrence due to his rotund frame standing on the edge of the 18 yard box as a “Sweeper Keeper” yet incredibly agile enough to get back and perform acrobatics in his goalmouth.

        The very sad news in all this is that it has just been announced this morning that Tommy has passed away. A few years ago he was randomly interviewed by a journalist in the Street about an Everton/Liverpool Cup derby in the 60’s to which he replied “Remember it I played in it”.


    1. Extract from old Northern Echo Article


      “Though a section of the Ayresome Park crowd knew him as The Flying Pig, it proved for three seasons to be a shrewd decision. “


  12. Oh dear! I wonder if AV’s article in the Gazette suggesting which players Karanka might be interested in poaching from Boro will go down well at MFC. Although I can understand the speculation in the article, I’m wondering if this the type of article is likely to elongate the fallout between the two parties.

      1. Yes, but some of the natives blogging on the Gazette forum are getting restless. They don’t seem to want speculation; they want news, even when there isn’t any. Actually l prefer the speculation from bloggers on this forum. I don’t think the Gazette reporters are in a better position than you, Bob, and have some sympathy for the bloggers on the Gazette forum in their impatience. A case of too many reporters chasing little or no news. Perhaps they should visit this forum for more interesting and intelligent discussions.

        1. I noticed when I broke the news about Agnew going to Villa it was picked up an hour later by the media after I had posted it.

          Other news about Pulis going down at half time at his first home match which I had found out after talking to Bamford was posted on here and picked up by the media later

    1. I read the article yesterday but I’d be surprised to see Leadbitter go to Forest in January as he’s been a key player for Pulis so far and still does a job for Boro – maybe in the summer, especially if we got promoted, but not now. Also couldn’t see the point of loaning Forest Bamford as I think he still has a role to play – plus an injury to someone like Downing would leave a gap that he could fill. Besides the argument was based on Forest being short on cash so couldn’t afford our players – but if Boro want to sell players I’m sure there will be other buyers.

  13. Thanks to OFB for another excellent In2views piece – I’m a bit like Chris in that I just missed seeing him play live, though I remember seeing him on TV, probably on the Sunday highlights programme Shoot – I seem to remember with his hair style that he reminded me of a slightly chunky Bay City Roller (the popular Scottish beat combo of the time) – indeed I think it was the trend in those days for teenagers to also tie their Boro scarves to their wrists in order to look cool with your Oxford bags and DM’s!

    Didn’t realise that he’d played for Man Utd too – albeit briefly – but definitely remembered he played for the big three north-east teams.

    1. Think I’d probably better untie my Boro scarf from my wrist for Fulham on saturday then.

      Just hope my Tartan Oxford Bags and Duck Bill Platforms are still in vogue after the scarf enlightenment!

  14. The flying pig was never an insult, we all loved him to bits. He was a rather unkempt player, at the time you thought you could have put him in tailored a Saville Row suit and he would have looked untidy by the time he walked out of the shop.

    That is my memory of him, probably scrubbed up well for all I know.

  15. Love this series. All I know about Foggon is second-hand knowledge, as I wasn’t even born around the time of Big Jack’s reign. But what an impression he made and continues to make.

    Great work Bob.

  16. And now, this…

    “In 1986 Boro were faced with liquidation. We were locked out of Ayresome Park and were told we could keep league status if we played our first fixture. On that day, two games were played at Hartlepool with Pools playing their game earlier. They saved us. Time to repay the favour.”

    — Boro-born news editor Sophie Barley

    1. We owe Hartlepool a huge favour, its all very sad that it has come to this. Fingers crossed that they can be rescued the area needs its Football Clubs and after Darlington’s demise it would be a shame to see Pools follow the same fate. In all seriousness I wonder how close Sunderland are to a similar fate?

      1. I have never seen Hartlepool play live. But I have been to Vic to see Boro vs. Port Vale in the match of the centenary – at least for us.

        I have been to Feethams in 1980’s to see Darlo and was in Hartlepool on holiday in September 2016.

        Gutted to hear the Pools are in trouble. A lot of nice connections between our club and them. Don’t we play the Under-23 matches at Pools this season, too?

        Sincerely hope they survive. My favourite other team. Up the Boro!

    1. My allegiance to Pools is third only to Boro and Cas. Until 1986 Boro had never played Pools in the League or FA Cup, and I was delighted when we were drawn to play each other in the League Cup. Of course l saw both the two matches which we won 3-1 on aggregate.

      As you will recall I wrote a piece on this forum a few weeks ago about one of their most outstanding seasons when they gave the Busby Babes the scare of their life. I’ve seen them play many times and hope Boro can loan them some players as I feel we owe them for our continued existence. Remember
      like Darlington although they are not part of Yorkshire, unlike Darlington, they are part of Teesside. Come on Mr.Gibson, remember your friends.

  17. Alan Foggon! I loved watching him in Big Jack’s team, although I’m with ofb, Graeme Souness is my all time favourite. Any chance of interviewing him ofb?
    As for Gibbo, that would be a great interview, no harm in asking……
    The 73/74 season was my first as a regular at Ayersome Park, I thought it was always going to be that good!!!

    Great team, but what an outstanding midfield, Armstrong, Souness, Murdoch, if you were naming your best ever Boro midfield could you look past those three?

    1. Nigel

      Same thoughts as me regarding the midfield

      I could kick myself as I had lunch with Graeme at the Riverside about 18 months ago after spending the previous night at a Football Legends dinner for Boro ex players

      A nice guy believe it he is !

      But on a football field that competitive streak kicks in.

      SG is in Scotland at the moment celebrating his birthday with his family but is returning for the game on Saturday

      I have spent some time on his company on business matters but I cannot claim to be a close acquaintance

      He tends not to give Interviews regarding.the football but who knows?

      One day the next In2Views is with ……..


        1. I like that !

          I’ve also had lunch with Tony Blair and a few years later with David Cameron.

          Perhaps I should include them in a Diabolical In2Views !!

      1. OFB

        Heres two to get you started!

        Tony: “Who in your opinion was Boro’s greatest weapon of mass destruction?”

        David: “Where you surprised at our former Spanish Managers exit and did you see it coming?”

    2. Nigel
      When Souness was on the market, although there were several clubs wanted him, none if them realised that he was a game changer, someone who would lift their team onto another level.
      Manchester united for example, missed out completely, oblivious to his class.
      Liverpool actually said that they improved him, at least that was their explanation for his wonderful form when he joined them.
      The big joke, was, of course, that they were completely unaware that he was a quite outstanding forward, and I do mean brilliant.
      Anytime that he played for us up front(that is slightly behind the forwards) he was dynamite, plenty of goals(certainly one hat trick) and he was nerveless in front of goal with a great shot on him.

      1. I remember one cold night at Ayresome Park when Souness was on the transfer list and we played against Manchester United.

        Souness was brilliant that night playing for a move and even resorted to playing keepy up on front of the Man U dugout but they still didn’t bite and he went to Liverpool


  18. GHW

    Mendieta, Emerson and TLF never played together so we will never know. It is a tasty line up but doesn’t have a hard man or hod carrier in there.

    1. Thought it was best ever midfield, didn’t realise they had to have played together.

      Stick one Bryan Robson in there for a hard to beat midfield 4

  19. Mendieta, Emerson, Juninho?

    Mendieta could compete with the 73/74 team I think, not sure about the other two.
    Juninho was a genius for a brief spell, but a striker surely? If he’d been in the 73/74 team it would have been instead of Mills I reckon.

    1. Nige
      Emerson? What a wonderful player to have on your side.
      He was your original power player, no one bullied you whilst he was on the pitch.
      To see him wading into the fight with opposition players around him was great, “no quarter” could have been his motto

  20. Another great interview OFB.

    Fond memories of Alan Foggon and that team that Big Jack built from what had been solid foundations from Stan Anderson.

    I think that the sum total was greater than the individuals although that midfield was something else. Souness would always be in my time a Boro team.

    A Hickton penalty was always a wonder to see!

    The current players could learn something from those players committment although the speed of the game was I suspect a lot slower.

    1. I agree and what has been great for me is giving me an incentive to look out and talk to my heroes who I idolised ina Boro shirt

      It’s been a labour of love

    2. The visit of Sheffield Wednesday has been switched to accommodate our Emirates FA Cup fourth round tie against Brighton and Hove Albion, which we earlier confirmed will take place on Saturday 27th January 2018, kick-off 3pm.

      Sheffield Wednesday will now visit Teesside on Tuesday 30th January 2018, kick-off 7:45pm.

      Furthermore, our home game against Leeds United, originally scheduled for Saturday 3rd March 2018, has been brought forward after being selected for live TV coverage.

      The Leeds game will now take place on Friday 2nd March 2018, kick-off 7:45pm.

  21. OFB

    Some tips on interviewing Steve Gibson.

    OFB, If we were the Gazette here are the questions we would ask.

    SG, Go for it.

    Dom: Steve – pause whilst ups load, then the video article, Then the interview.

    AV: which

    Phil T: is

    Jonno: the- another pause as the original video and adverts reload

    Dom: best

    AV: moment

    Phil T: as

    Jonno: Boro

    Dpm: Chairman?

    SG: being interviewed by Uncle Eric.

    Silence as Gibbo rips off his mike and walks out.

    AV: that went well.

      1. Hi ofb I find it strange that AV ( who I like ) left Untypical Boro according to rumours that his bosses was not happy about it. Yet AV is very much now on Facebook !

  22. Bob
    You may not be far from the truth there!
    I’m sure AV must cast envious eyes in this direction whilst reflecting “all this was once mine”. The difference is that this is more of a collective now with Werder and RR as the mainstays, ably supported by yourself, Simon and Ian.
    For this, I am grateful.

  23. He may smile in happy memories when he remembers how he was free to express himself without this or that rule.
    ( also a wry smile when he sees what is the best sportsblog around. Who would have guessed what a magnificent Phoenix would rise from the ashes of Untypical Boro.)
    A bit like modern footballers remembering how they enjoyed the game before modern systems were imposed.

  24. Thanks ofb for bringing back some great memories. I too was at the Luton game but was living in London at the time and so didn’t travel back on that train. Thanks also for mentioning Stan Cummins. I remember a discussion either here or on Untypical Boro about our best ever players. I suggested that Stan Cummins was the most gifted that I had ever seen – I’m just too young to have seen Wilf Mannion – and didn’t get much support for the idea.

    These days with players getting more protection from fierce defenders, the smaller forwards seem to have a better chance of not getting kicked to death. Juninho was one example but Hazard would be the archetype and maybe Cummins would be a superstar. What do people think about the way football has gone these days. It’s faster and the Premiership has a great array of players to watch but there’s something really compelling about a blood and guts game with both teams really going at each other. Occasionally these days a good referee will let an exciting game play out without too much whistle and its great to watch. I’m not advocating the old days of ‘kick the guy as hard as you can and he won’t come back’ but watching Chopper Harris or Norman Hunter or, praise be, Graeme Souness you understood what people meant by the phrase ‘hard man’.

    Finally, onto the EG. Is there any suggestion that the rift between the club and the EG will be sorted out. I hoped that a new manager would be a chance to wipe the slate clean but there doesn’t seem to be any movement. I also think that the EG team come onto this blog because a lot of stuff that everybody writes turns up in their articles and Tripe Suppers. I left a note last week about Traore against Sessegnon and the same point came up in the latest Tripe Supper. Could be a coincidence but there’s too many instances. I wonder if any of them post under an assumed name. I think that Beryl the Peril is a new contributor and welcome. I wonder if you are AV in disguise 🙂


  25. It will be interesting to see the line-up for the match at Fulham.

    Since the days of Viduka and Hasselbaink, I have been dreaming that we would have a decent striker who could score about 20 goals a season. And finally we look like having one in Britt Assombalonga.

    But where was Britt on Saturday when we beat Sunderland? He was not starting and now we all wonder what is the line up Tony Pulis is going to use next.

    Britt is not a target man like Gestede. So will there be one target man in the team of Pulis? If I remember correctly, Britt played quite well alongside Gestede earlier this season – so it could be both players in the same team.

    I would choose Bamford and Britt over Gestede but that is on paper. TP has to choose a team that is functionig correctly. That means he is not going to field the best eleven individuals but the most functioning team. And that is tricky.

    So as I said it will be interesting to see who will start at Fulham. There will be a lot of speculation before the transfer window closed and Pulis get to know all his players in the squad.

    Up the Boro!

    1. I think Britt will be on the bench unless the double training sessions the players have had this week have included the formation of playing two up front

    2. Jarkko
      I have no intention of dissing Britt, his goals speak for themselves.
      But, he seems to thrive on being put into the box with the ball at his feet, front and centre.
      He does not seem to have much of a leap, which means a lot of headers from a stationary position, most of which go to the keeper.
      I suppose I’m saying that he is not a fox in the box.
      Which leaves us with not many snap shots, which leaves us with not many goals.

  26. Leon Wobschall, football writer for The Yorkshire Post has listed what he calls 2018 Power Rankings for Yorkshire’s football clubs as follows:-
    1. Rotherham United
    2. Middlesbrough
    3. Huddersfield Town
    4. Doncaster Rovers
    5. Bradford City
    6. Sheffield United
    7. FC Halifax Town
    8. Leeds United
    9. Barnsley
    10.Hull City
    11.Sheffield Wednesday

    This ‘league table’ seems to have been compiled, not only on current league and Cup form, but some unspecified deduction for surprising defeats. Now I know I’ve criticised the Gazette reporters for some of their articles, but this load of nonsense takes the biscuit.
    However, I suppose it’s reassuring that Boro are considered to have a current Power Ranking above the likes of FC Halifax Town and Guiseley.

  27. Fulham suddenly looms large and a sterner challenge than from our friends up the A19. It will be a better measure of how or if we are progressing.

    The bench will tell us more than the line up.

    1. You mean who’s left out on Saturday ?

      If Bamford is not there or thereabouts i wpuld think he’s on his way sililarly Forshaw

      I think actually Bamford and Clayton should stay as important members of the squad

      Fletcher should go on loan we’ve spent too much money on him to lose at this moment in time similarly let Johnson go on loan to Sunderland


  28. OFB

    We didn’t spend that much less on Bamford than we did for Fletcher. the difference between the two is that Bamford appears to be more flexible than Fletcher and can play in several ways across the front four.

    From what little I have seen Fletcher looks a decaff, sugar free, Rashford lite. There is potential and loan would suit both parties.

    At the moment Guedioura, Forshaw look at risk. Johnson and Fletcher out on loan. Fabio is leaving the building.

    An interesting one is Connor Ripley, Dimi didn’t even start against Sunderland so Ripley may be on the road again.

    1. Ian

      I think Ripley has already gone out on loan to Bury.

      We could lend the Makems Johnson and Fletcher. gives them both game time plus the chance to impress at this level and the benefit of being close to the parent club where their exploits will be more noticeable.

      I think Guedioura and Forshaw (or Clayts if a serious offer is forthcoming) will be seen as surplus along with Fabio who seems to be desperate to get back home. On Bamford, I think in a settled, organised and disciplined side he could excel at this level. I know he gets harshly judged by many but I don’t think any of his recent club moves have been well thought out and under AK the first time around Boro were settled, organised and disciplined. With TP we can already see that happening now after months of Monk’s disarray.

  29. Is it too late to hijack Huddersfield’s deal for Pritchard? I would have thought we have several players who Norwich would find attractive to them.

  30. My season ticket holding older brother is one of the primary reasons for my supporting the Boro.
    Back in the 1970s he looked as cool as you you like in double denim, collar length hair and a scarf around his wrist.
    Wherever he was going dressed like that, had to be worth investigating.

  31. I’m just writing up the latest In2Views that I held on Saturday at the Sunderland Cup game at the Riverside.

    Our latest guest is Archie Stephens and I think Jarkko wanted to find out more Aboit him.

    It will be on the back burner for when we have another blank spell

    Many thanks for all your kind comments and to Werder for making it look professional !


  32. On another note as we are trying to include not just ex Boro players but all this who love the Boro and have a story to tell we have an interview with Kay Murray of American Sports TV BeinSports who was previously at Real Madrid and a real Boro fan.

    In a similar vein Steph McGovern (Steph Breakfast) of the BBC met me a few weeks ago and wants to have a chat on the blog about her love for Boro and her favourite players.

    Looking good I’ll get SG yet!


      1. Ken

        I assure you they are very well known and Steph is on BBC breakfast TV most mornings

        Kay presented the Ballondor to Messi (twice ) and has worked with Mourinho and Beckham so not a bad pedigree


  33. Ref to my comment about the managers press conferences and the fact you can’t hardly hear the questions being asked by the media. I sent an email to Bob Tait at the club and he has now forwarded that to Paul Dews ( head of communications ) for comment. Not heard anything yet but will see what happens tomorrow at the conference to see if there is any improvement.What makes me think there won’t be. !

  34. Redcar Red, You are correct….Conner Ripley has joined Bury, bottom of League One and 10 points behind fifth from bottom.

    I am not sure that is going to help his development, unlike Oldham,he will be picking plenty of balls out of the net.

  35. I don’t know whether there is some fault on my iPad, but some of the interviews on the Boro website keep jumping and repeating themselves. Anybody else has this problem?

    Thanks for the information on the two ladies you’re hoping to interview. As for BBC Breakfast Time, with my health problems I usually don’t surface downstairs till at least 10.30. Of course it might help if I went to bed before 1am.

    On another note I see that Redcar Athletic have been drawn at home to Boro Reserves in the Quarterfinal of the North Riding Senior Cup to be played on 8th February. Another giant killing? Doubt it really, but one never knows as we beat the holders Whitby Town in the last round. However Redcar will hope to get a good gate rather than the usual 50 or so spectators.

  36. Ken

    Both Kay Murray and Steph have appeared in Boro videos produced by Neil Granger during the seasons leading to promotion.

    Steph appears on breakfast TV doing the business news, the morning after getting promotion she was allowed to wearing her Boro shirt.

    Kay Murray had a debate on US TV with a Brighton supporting colleague in the run up to the final match of the season.

    Both are as ardent fans as we are and as the saying goes, proud to follow the Boro.

    1. Ian & Bob
      Well the usual response to people ignorant like me is “You should get out more”. Maybe in my case it should be “I should stay IN more”.
      However when I am indoors l do seem to spend as much time surfing the website on my iPad as watching Television. Never watch the News (scan the headlines on my iPad), rarely watch any live television except sport (use a TiVo box for golf even often watching up to two hours later to miss the commercial breaks), play a lot of classical records especially when ironing, sounds pretty boring I suppose. Of course I do seem to spend a lot of time on holiday, about 4 months a year, but often say I live alone but am never lonely.😊

  37. braveheart1967

    Listened to the TP press conference this morning on the club website and still had the same issue with hearing the questions posed by the press.

    To be fair to MFC, it may be too early for them to have addressed the issue you raised with them so it will be interesting to see what happens next week.

    Didn’t learn a lot new from TP other than that a couple of players are carrying knocks and they would decide after training today on their availability or otherwise.

    No offers received for any of our players, albeit general enquiries to see who is/is not available. TP acknowledged he is interested in or or two players but size of squad is an issue and he will want to move some out before bringing any in.

    I thought the depth of questioning from the press was shallow, it elicited very little new information and in some cases I felt the journalists were making statements rather than asking probing questions – so overall disappointed with the sound quality and the tenor of the interview.

    I think we need to get OFB and RR in there to shake it up!

    1. Listened on the club’s You tube site. In the first half the questions were completely clear but the second half the volume from the journalist was a lot harder to hear.

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