Saturday, November 24, 2007

Gareth Manager's Darkplace

I am concerned for the future of Middlesbrough FC manager Gareth Southgate, 37, married. A perfect captain and Boro legend as a player, he was later catapulted into a job he hadn't gone looking for, but accepted after others had turned it down and his chairman turned to him. Thrown in at the proverbial deep end of football without proverbial armbands or even any proverbial trained lifeguards on standby, he has made a decent fist of it but now, as Boro teeter on the relegation zone on the back of a woeful run of form, everything is in decline. I'm back home for the night after travelling over to see us trounced 3-0 at home by Aston Villa - yet another wholly soul-destroying football experience in a ground barely two-thirds full.


Chin up

Many supporters have turned on club legend Southgate, 37, married, firm socialist, and it breaks my heart. Regardless of how low Boro sink under his guidance, he should be immune from the kind of abuse that normally comes with footballing underachievement. As a true gent, a man of great intelligence who knows his way around a V-neck jumper and, crucially, the only man ever to lead Boro to cup victory in 131 years of the club's history, he deserves unswerving respect. Yet today at the game, when the Aston Villa fans were goading their ex-player at 0-3 with a rendition of 'Southgate, what's the score? Southgate, Southgate, what's the score?', many of the Boro supporters around me joined in. These people are cretins, and it is impossible for me to relate to them (no matter how long and hard I scour my family tree). I sincerely hate them, and think they should all be shot in the spine.

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