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06/07: Preview: Middlesbrough

Our Last Meeting
"This is our reality. We shouldn't have to explain or justify it, and we've finally stopped trying. Which is perhaps why I was walking through Middlesbrough town centre on Saturday, accompanied by a bunch of freaks in shorts, wigs, hats, face (and beard) paint and t-shirts, playing kazoos and carrying Winnie the Pooh balloons. There were a few sarcastic comments...mostly, though, we were greeted with looks of comical bemusement.

'Hang on, aren't you supposed to be miserable?'"

Ian Grant,
Middlesbrough 1 Watford 1,
Premier(not)ship(not), 06/05/00

Most Relevant Aspect of Babycare
The kitchen when she cries for her feed at 4 in the morning. A bloody long way.

Going down instead of us because:
Local hero takes over as manager. Can't fail. What is Trevor Francis doing these days?

BSaD Verdict
An entertaining by-product of our success last season has been an increase in the number of clubs willing to gamble on an unproven manager. This is likely to result in a considerable number of unsightly messes, particularly back in the Championship where too many have missed the critical detail - not that we'd appointed an untried manager in general, but Betty in particular. There are those you'd wish an ugly end to ahead of Watford-born Gareth Southgate, but I must confess to having doubts; if the new boss's ultra-cautious stage direction during the World Cup are anything to go by a Boro side that might struggle for goals anyway will do well to cross the halfway line too often. Very bottom half.