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Norwich v Boro
 

Norwich v Boro

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Original Fat Bob
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Norwich v Boro 12/11/22

Carrow Road k.o. 3:00

 

It’s a final part of this mini season before football takes a months break in this country and others, whilst national teams prepare for the World Cup Finals.

 

A season that initially promised so much for us Boro fans with high hopes of promotion. Even an automatic place in the top two was considered easily within our reach. Instead, we had a walk on the Wilder side which could have meant irreparable damage to the club and it’s future.

 

But now a new era is born. I always wanted Michael Carrick to join the Boro from the start of the initial rumours that he was on the short list. I must confess that I do like the calm and assured way he handles himself without making any rash promises or berating referees or players! I have watched his composed manner at the press conferences and during interviews, where nothing seems to faze him. One thing I noticed after the Blackpool game was how MC put an arm around Isiah Jones as they were walking off the pitch together laughing and joking. It cannot be a coincidence that players like Jones and Fry are blossoming again after the Wilder moments they have endured these past few months.

 

Turning to Norwich on Saturday, the Canaries are perched in a lofty play off position in the league at fourth. It’s something to sing about really and their twitter feed is quite chirpy. Hopefully the Boro who are in sixteenth position can ruffle a few feathers and knock them down a perch or two.

 

In the form guide Norwich are shown in thirteenth place whilst Boro are sixth.

 

Whilst Boro have a mini tour of Scotland to look forward to after Saturday, their opponents Norwich City will visit Tampa Bay USA for a warm weather training camp during the World Cup break. You never know, their players might be thinking of hotter climes and the trip abroad and Boro can subsequently produce a trilling performance and bounce them.

 

Both teams have similar scoring statistics with Norwich at 28 goals and Boro at 27. Unfortunately it’s  the goals against that have let us down this season but there are signs that Lenihan and Fry are now producing a solid partnership in central defence. I would guess that this is due to Woodgate who has made some immediate influence on the defence. I know that Fry considered him somewhat of a hero whilst he was part of the Academy and he was one of the key players for Boro on Tuesday evening. Giles and Smith have also improved their performances  and I expect things to tighten up further as more training sessions are held during this mini break period.

 

In midfield, Howson looks like a player reborn now he has a player alongside him to do more running than previous teammates. H2 (H squared) is developing into a ready made replacement for Howson and learning alongside him. H2 was again booked for a silly foul at nearly the end of the game on Tuesday and must really cut this out of his game.

 

Forss is developing into a hard running striker, confident enough to take a penalty and Akpom is looking like a seasoned international with flicks, tricks and more importantly, goals! Boro fans would have been pleased to have signed a striker of his capabilities this season for a huge sum and been mightily impressed with his performances to date.

 

McGree our Australian World Cup representative, is also making progress on the field and this is surely due to the coaching skills of MC.

 

I’m sorry to see that Steffen has not been chosen to go to the World Cup as his performances have definitely improved after getting some game time these past few weeks. Considering that Boro have Alan Fettis the former Man Utd goalkeeping coach as part of the back room staff I expect our goalkeepers to become a strong unit. Let’s face it you don’t stay at Man Utd for 11 years as a coach by being poor!

 

Norwich have kept a clean sheet and are undefeated in their last seven games against Boro in all competitions.

 

Head to head statistics show a who scored rating of 6.65 for Norwich and 6.58 for Boro.

 

Norwich have a pass accuracy of 80% and Boro 79%

 

Shots per goal shows that Norwich statists are 13.75 whilst Boro are less at 12.55.

 

So this game is a close one to call really. The way that Boro are developing I think we’ll take all three points and win 2 -1. That’s not me being optimistic I really do think after our performance on Tuesday, we are starting to play with a swagger. It remains to be seen if optimism comes crashing down again, but I’m hopeful.

 

Finally a few little personal anecdotes about Norwich.

 

In the late 80’s early 90’s I was working in the Oil Industry in Lowestoft and the company who were building the offshore modules for us, had hospitality boxes at Norwich Football Club.There was friendly rivalry between both sets of workers on the site. The locals who supported Norwich and of course the Boro lads who formed a large part of our management team. One particular game was immediately after the FA law change preventing goalkeepers picking up a pass back from defenders. The Boro keeper that day was Stephen Pears and a defender booted the ball back to SP expecting him to catch it and redistribute. A quick thinking Pears’y thinking about the law change, simply headed the ball back to the half way line setting up an attack and all the Boro fans in the box all stood up and applauded his action.

 

On another occasion at Carrow Road, we tended to get “visitors” to our site who professed to be Boro fans. They would arrange to come to site when strangely enough, we were due to be guests in the Norwich hospitality box. On this one occasion we had finished our meal which had been delayed slightly and we were still drinking coffee when the game started. Boro nearly scored within a few minutes and our “visitor” threw his hands up in the air but forgot he was still holding his coffee! It completely drenched and scalded one of our guys sat next to him! Our “visitor” quickly took him out to the St John Ambulance staff who were nearby, for treatment and they only returned at half time. Thankfully no great damage was done except to the reputation of our “visitor.” He was the Oil Company Safety Officer !!!

 

My last anecdote (honestly!)

 

I used to play keyboards in a band in the sixties called the Satellites. It helped support my finances when I was working as a trainee Quantity Surveyor on very low wages! It was interesting to recently read about other Diasborians experiences at the Acklam Steelworks Club. As a popular band, we played there quite often. They had a club secretary at the ASW club who liked to act as a master of ceremonies and use our microphone in between our songs. “Please get your cards for the Bingo which starts at 9.” Or, “get your tickets for the meat draw.” Finally at the end of the night he would March  up to the stage to announce, “It’s last orders at the bar folks.” This one night was no exception as he held the microphone, “ Put your hands together folks for a great band THE SATELLITES.” He then went on to say, “next week we have a great act it’s Johnny Norfolk and Dave Good.” So remember folks next week the act is……. Norfolk and Good!” Cue riotous laughter and applause which made him extremely puzzled. I must confess we struggled to play out the session and is something I will never forget.

 

So come on you Reds let’s have your predictions!

 

Let’s be avin yer! (Courtesy of Delia Smith!)

 

OFB


Andy R
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🤣🤣 Love it, Bob. Top work.


Original Fat Bob
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Original Fat Bob
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jarkko
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A few words about Josh Coburn currently on loan at Bristol Rovers. 

Middlesbrough, the 19-year-old loanee's parent club, have instructed the Gas not to play him in the FA Cup so he is eligible to feature for them later in the competition if they exercise their option to recall him in January.

The striker has been impressive since making his Rovers debut last month, scoring three goals and adding an assist in his six appearances so far.

It would be interesting to see if Carrick and co will recall him in January.  But he needs to be playing so it is a tricky one to call. A lot of things could happen, so everything is open until end of January. 

Up the Boro!

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 2 times by jarkko

jarkko
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Wigan Athletic have sacked manager Leam Richardson after they lost six of their past seven games to fall into the Championship relegation zone.

The 42-year-old led the Latics to the League One title last season in his first full season in charge.

Richardson, who had only signed a new three-year deal on 25 October, initially joined the club as assistant to Paul Cook in the summer of 2017.

He was credited with helping to save the life of Boro-born striker Charlie Wyke in November 2021 after he had a cardiac arrest in training - beginning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) process before club doctor Jonathan Tobin took over.

Well, I was at Wigan recently and saw the Boro win. Wigan looked even worse than Blackpool on Tuesday. Tough world in football. 

Up the Boro!


Original Fat Bob
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Topic starter  

I’m hoping the Boro can get something from the game at Norwich. Boro’s decent form compared against Norwich’s recent dip in home form.

The last 4 home games for Norwich, 1 win, 1 draw and 2 defeats

Boro will need to play well either way to get a result 

OFB


jarkko
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Thanks for the starter, Robin.

Here are some interesting happenings in football.

Hartlepool United have confirmed the appointment of former Middlesbrough manager Lennie Lawrence as part of the club’s boardroom staff. Lennie is 74 years old, lives locally will be at Victoria Ground at least until May 2023.

https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/sport/football/hartlepool-united-confirm-ex-middlesbrough-and-cardiff-city-manager-in-advisory-role-3913427

Second manager to leave a Championship club (Wigan sacked theirs, too).  Southampton have confirmed the appointment of Nathan Jones as their new manager following the sacking of Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Welshman Jones, 49, has left Championship side Luton Town to take up the role and has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract.

So there are some changes happening in football all the time. Luckily we have super Michael Carrick at Boro now. Up the Boro!

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by jarkko

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Ken Smith
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The Norwich v Boro match that stands out for me was in January 2005 but all for the wrong reasons. I was sitting on my apartment balcony in the warm Algarvean sunshine listening to the match commentary on the BBC’s World Service safe in the knowledge that Boro would be taking the 3 points as Jimmy Hasselbank and Frank Quedrue had both scored twice as Boro led 4-1 with less than 10 minutes remaining when suddenly the Canaries scored 3 times and if there had been another 5 minutes play would more than likely have won 5-4. The fact is that Norwich had spent most of their time before 1960 in the Third Division South as had Southampton by the way and were classed as nonentities in my mind.


Plato
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@original-fat-bob 

Love the optimism on the blog, and I think it is justified. It is lovely to think that we are under the command of a thinker who is more interested in solving tactical problems and giving his men clear and firm instructions as to how the opposition will play, and how we will nullify their efforts and collect the points. Rather than benching talented players on the grounds that they are, 'only Young lads'. I think that we will win on Saturday. Just a thought. Why are we being bothered by wannerbee clubs chasing our youths. Have we no control over these kids, or are they free to go wherever they wish? 


Ken Smith
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Although cricket and rugby league take precedence at the moment for me I too see no reason why Boro cannot win tomorrow. Strangely apart from the England v Slovakia match in 2003 the record attendance at the Riverside was on the 28th December 2004 when 34,836 watched Boro beat Norwich City 2-0, the same season as that 4-4 draw at Carrow Road. Boro at the moment are only 7 points away from the playoffs, and the last time that Boro won at Carrow Road was in April 2015 when Albert Adomah’s corner was turned into his own net by Alexander Tettey, the only goal of the match.

I think Boro will go one better tomorrow and win 2-0.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Ken Smith

Martin Bellamy
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Posted by: @ken

Although cricket and rugby league take precedence at the moment for me I too see know reason why Boro cannot win tomorrow. Strangely apart from the England v Slovakia in 2003 the record attendance at the Riverside was on the 28th December 2004 when 34,836 watched Boro beat Norwich City 2-0, the same season as that 4-4 draw at Carrow Road. Boro at the moment are only 

I can see a massive reason, Ken, but I fully understand, as I often struggle to remember what day it is too. 😉


Forever Dormo
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Thanks, Bob, for the opener. And the welcome "stories from Norwich" at the end.

I suspect it's his poor early-season form which cost Steffen his World Cup place.  He caused one or two plapitations in MY chest in several games, he lost his place in the team, and I suspect the US Head Coach must have been keeping tabs on his players - which you'd expect prior to the World Cup Finals. Pity his recent upsurge in form, which has coincided with Boro's improvement, has come too late to be taken into account.

I agree Boro's improvement on the pitch gives them more chance of an upset at Norwich than a simple glance at the league table would suggest.  I would LOVE to think we could get a win down there and I don't rule that out - it would be a REAL statement of intent - but even a draw would be good.  To be honest, I doubt anyone on here a month ago would have factored in an away win at Carrow Road as part of their predictions for the "next six games". So, in accordance with recent tradition, I will refrain from offering up a prediction for fear of angering the Football Gods, but I will nurture some hope and keep my fingers crossed.

A few additional thoughts.  The link from Bob that mentions possible Boro interest in a 19 years old midfielder from ManU as a loanee - I'd rather look to our own players and certainly to Hayden Hackney.  I'd not like to see him being reduced in line for a starting place, as he's likely to imrove greatly with game-time. I was also impressed with Pharrell Willis on his debut.  I'd rather improve OUR players than someone whose loyalty will be with their parent club, especially if it's a club like ManU.

I have a little bit of a soft spot for Norwich City.  They seem a friendly family club.  So far as I saw, there were no "issues" with the Norwich fans with whom I mixed freely on that unfortunate Wembley play-off final a few years back. And one thing you can say about Delia Smith as a cook is that her recipes work.  If you went to someone's house for dinner and saw one of Delia's books in the kitchen, you could expect a decent, proper, meal.

And, Ken, was that 4-4 game as recent as 2005?  I can remember listening to the game on the radio in my car in the car park of the old Fine Fare supermarket, which became Gateway (and no doubt later some other shop) near the Kirkleatham end/Starting Gate end of West Dyke Road in Redcar. My wife was doing the food shop and since the game was going so well at 1-4, I stayed in the car awaiting further goals.  Sadly they came at the wrong end and I agree that if the game had gone on five minutes longer we'd have lost, but from 1-4 up it felt like a loss anyway.  I can't think WHY we were shopping there as I'd left Redcar years earlier, unless we'd been visiting Mrs Dormo's parents who lived there and we'd decided to do the shopping before returning home.

 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Forever Dormo

David in Cumbria
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Thanks for the starter OFB. I wonder if the anecdotes you added were a result of euphoria as you can have a few weeks break from thinking up what to write.

Regarding Carrick, when his name first cropped up my antipathy towards Manchester United (because decades ago when they were the richest club their fans took it for granted that that made them best club and just had to turn up to win) made me wish he wouldn't become our manager but once someone joins the Boro I support and wish them a successful stay.

I have only listened to and read about 3 matches and watched the live stream against Hull City since MC arrived but we seem to have improved all over the field and the players know their roles. Good to see Fry and Lenihan forming that necessary central partnership, Smith filling the right back role and freeing Jones upfield and Giles making the left back position his priority while still getting in dangerous crosses especially from set pieces. Hopefully Howson can continue his defensive midfield duties while also getting forward and having younger players around to assist won't leave him looking as tired as he seemed at the end of last season. Akpom gets involved earlier in our attacks but still gets near the goal for when the crosses come in. If MC had been manager at the start I don't think Coburn would have been sent out on loan but with Akpom established in the team and Forss, Muniz and Hoppe having turns as the lead striker I wonder if Coburn will be recalled in January. It looks likely that he will be, as we didn't want him cup-tied, but it will depend on whether Carrick has seen enough on video to think he has something extra to offer compared to the current strikers. Disappointed that Steffen is not in the USA squad but after a shaky Boro start his confidence and judgement is improving. 

I will be content with a point from Norwich but a win will be very welcome.   


Andy R
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Ugh I’d forgotten about that 4-4 game. Petition to recall only happy occasions from now on!


Clive Hurren
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I’ve been to Carrow Road twice. It’s a nice ground, with good fans and a non-threatening atmosphere. 

We lost them  both. (Sorry Andy.) On the first occasion (2-0), I was just a young boy. I went with my Mam and Dad to visit my brother, who was in the RAF in Norfolk. My Dad, brother and I went to the game -  I can only think my Dad had planned that bit! Somehow we had managed to get seats in the main stand. It just happened to be one of Norfolk’s wettest weekends for years. Boro played in wellies, Norwich in flippers. Following the game, we walked bedraggedly back along the River Wensum to our car.  I’ve had better days. 

My second visit was in 2017. I took the train from my (then) home in Lancashire - an endless journey. Boro lost 1-0 to a fine James Maddison goal (as we did later in the season at The Riverside.) I think Pulis was manager. We were poor, barely having a shot on goal. To make matters worse, Gestede was sent off in the first half. I was spitting feathers and was heavily critical of the useless lump (though Boro appealed later and the red card was rescinded.) He was still a useless lump. Remarkably, my seat placed me next to Rob Nicholls, the editor of FMTTM. He and I chatted. I told him my nephew used to do artwork for the fanzine in its early days; he told me he had only missed one Boro game - anywhere, home and away - in something like 15 years, a fantastic record. He had only missed that game because his brother was getting married in Singapore! Respect! I often thought of Rob during the Covid shutdown and how his amazing record was taking a horrible battering. I hope he’s been able to see every Boro game since fans were allowed back. What a legend. 

UTB. If you offered me a point tomorrow, I’d snap your hand off. But I think Norwich will know they’ve been in a game. 


Clive Hurren
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By the way, OFB, I really enjoyed your opener. Great work, as ever! 


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jarkko
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Posted by: @clive-hurren

I’ve been to Carrow Road twice. It’s a nice ground, with good fans and a non-threatening ...

.... Remarkably, my seat placed me next to Rob Nicholls, the editor of FMTTM. He and I chatted. I told him my nephew used to do artwork for the fanzine in its early days; he told me he had only missed one Boro game - anywhere, home and away - in something like 15 years, a fantastic record. He had only missed that game because his brother was getting married in Singapore! Respect! I often thought of Rob during the Covid shutdown and how his amazing record was taking a horrible battering. I hope he’s been able to see every Boro game since fans were allowed back. What a legend. 

I met Rob briefly in the Boro shirt museum last month. He recognised me as I had told him in twitter that I have bought his autobio. Must be the only copy in Finland!

He had a punk band and has toured in Germany and the Netherlands. He did that, supported the Boro, has interest in archeology, arranges the park run in Boro and gets his living out of FMTTM fanzine.

He lives in the penalty area of the former Ayresome Park. I think he missed a match or two after the covid break when he got it himself, too. Hard times to be a Boro fan.

I do not know him that well but reading helps. A great Boro man. Up the Boro!


Pedro de Espana
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Another excellent piece OFB, you and Andy both deserve all the plaudits given for your sterling work. 

Enjoy the four week break after tomorrows game. I would be more than happy with a point at a not very happy venue in recent past.

 


K P in Spain
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Thanks OFB for another masterpiece. Not sure if it was a tweet or a chirp!

I would like to think we could achieve a least a point on Saturday but this will be a true test; whilst not a season defining moment it will give us an opportunity to see if the team has really progressed given the games since MC arrived have been against generally poor opposition.

A point or better will indicate that the progress we have seen is not just a flash in the pan, a defeat is likely to leave us wondering.  On what I have seen so far, I am in the former camp.  CoB 😎


John Richardson
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OFB,

Thank you for the opener, I just hope Boro can keep the cage door shut and the sheet over the top!

Jarkko, I was going to go, a near neighbour was going to take me, his wife giving me the use of her season ticket but sadly I have to stay away from crowds. I'm three days into my Radio Therapy and it goes on every weekday until December 20th, what an Advent calendar. I'll just resume my position behind the couch with my hands over my ears whilst hoping Boro provide me with some bragging rights.

As always no forecast just hope, and of course that Boro play with their new found flair and consistency.

UTB,

John

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by John Richardson

Powmill-Naemore
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Thanks OFB for [yet] another great piece to open proceedings. Particularly enjoyable to read about a couple of your memories. How the mood can be totally changed in what is really only a matter of days.  Everything and everyone's writing in here is glowing with a little joie de vivre and we all seem to be sharing a general sense of optimism.

It is (well at least so far it is) well done to SG and the selection panel; well done to MC and JW for putting the smile back onto the faces of the players; well done to Leo for having stopped the boat rocking; and well done to the players for remembering they do have a talent and they are a team. Long may all this continue. It is perhaps quite useful now that there will be an extended break from competitive fixtures, to let MC work with the squad and to maybe experiment a little in Scotland and we just might have an exciting Season 22/23 Part 2 to look forward to and enjoy.

 

Before that, our visit to Norwich tomorrow afternoon...

It has all been said. Two or three weeks ago most (all) of us would have been looking at this fixture with a lot of trepidation. Not now and quite a few are talking up the prospects of three more points to go into the break with. I think we have to be cautious about getting too carried away. Results have been good, but against some of the lesser lights of the Championship. The game on Saturday will be a litmus test about just how much we have improved in the last few weeks. In all honesty, it is most important for me that we play with belief. If we lose, that is OK, so long as we do not lose in disarray and as a collection of individuals rather than as a team unit. A point from this game would be a great achievement, but if we do deliver a victory then what a huge statement that would make and surely every team above us will take note and start watching for our result each time we play. 

 

So, Come on Boro. I am not going to make a prediction for this game, but I will predict that should we come away with all three points that by the end of January we will challenging at the right end of the table


Forever Dormo
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@john-richardson - Best wishes for you as the therapy continues. I hope the team gives you something to smile about on Saturday.

And while we are at it, I understand Sky has done a deal with Channel 4 and as a result the T20 World Cup Final will be shown live on Channel 4 on Sunday, starting at 8am.


K P in Spain
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@powmillnaemore

"The game on Saturday will be a litmus test about just how much we have improved in the last few weeks. In all honesty, it is most important for me that we play with belief. If we lose, that is OK, so long as we do not lose in disarray and as a collection of individuals rather than as a team unit."

Well said, such a valid point, it is always about the manner of the loss and not necessarily the defeat itself which is so important.

I just want to see us playing like we have and if we get beat by the better team on the day then so be it, as long as Gibson or Hernandez don't score!😎


K P in Spain
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@forever-dormo.  Weather permitting!  BBC were reporting that there is heavy rain forecast for Sunday (it's in Spain already!) and Monday in Melbourne with the possibility the Cup will be shared if a 10 over competition is not possible! 😎

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 2 times by K P in Spain

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K P in Spain
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Good to see that the club has offered Pharrell Willis a new 2.5 year contract.  The Academy appears to be doing its job and we now have a manager who will give youth a chance.  😎


Martin Bellamy
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The overall optimism that’s blooming on the Forum at present is such a tonic, so thanks to OFB for the opener and to everyone else who’s posts are full of wise words and insight. 

We’ve got a busy week coming up - a drive back up to Lancashire on Thursday morning to drop Ralf off at the Top Dog Hotel in Leyland, then down to Moreton in Marsh, ahead of our daughter’s wedding on Friday. We’re still without a house and living in our Static in Shropshire, but there are worse places to be, and the Boro’s current form is heartening and putting a smile on my face. Let’s hope we can cage the Canaries tomorrow. 


Ken Smith
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One reason why I won’t be watching the football World Cup in Qatar is because of the human rights issue, although I will watch England’s matches. The other reason is that the number of finalists has increased from 24 to 32, and will be increased to 48 for the next World Cup in 2026. That’s almost a third of the world’s number or countries. It’s completely farcical in my opinion, and although I won’t be around in 2026, will we eventually have no qualifying process, will FIFA not be satisfied until every country in the World will be represented? OK have a plate competition for those countries that have no chance of ever winning the World Cup, but at a different set of venues and at a different time to the main competition. 

At the present time only 8 countries have ever won the World Cup - Brazil 5 times, Germany and Italy 4 times each, Uruguay and Argentina twice each, and England, France and Spain once each and only 4 other countries have reached the final - Holland 3 times, Hungary and Czechoslovakia twice each, and Sweden in 1958 when they were the host country. 

It is difficult to see this years winners coming from outside of the top 8, possibly  Belgium or Portugal maybe, but certainly not an African, Asian, Far Eastern, Australasian or Central or North American country.

Each to their own of course, but I just don’t understand the insatiable appetite for those whose whole life revolves around football. I shall of course be listening to music throughout the World Cup and have no intention of watching football for a whole year which in my opinion can’t be called the beautiful game any more. There’s just so much more in my life than to waste watching any sport ad infiniteum, but of course I haven’t long to live and being housebound I need to concentrate on my other hobbies as life is too short from now on. Nevertheless do what gives one the greatest pleasure, and mine is music of which I’m quite eclectic in my taste.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 3 times by Ken Smith

Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @forever-dormo

@john-richardson - Best wishes for you as the therapy continues. I hope the team gives you something to smile about on Saturday.

And while we are at it, I understand Sky has done a deal with Channel 4 and as a result the T20 World Cup Final will be shown live on Channel 4 on Sunday, starting at 8am.

... weather permitting !


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Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @powmillnaemore
Posted by: @forever-dormo

@john-richardson - Best wishes for you as the therapy continues. I hope the team gives you something to smile about on Saturday.

And while we are at it, I understand Sky has done a deal with Channel 4 and as a result the T20 World Cup Final will be shown live on Channel 4 on Sunday, starting at 8am.

... weather permitting !

@KP ..... I should have read all the latest posts before writing my reply to FD that duplicates yours !!!


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