Fmttm Look Back at 2005 McClaren, Mendi, Man U and All That Euro Stuff
By fmttm
Friday 03 Apr 2020 12:36:00
Browse all Over 30 years of Fly Me articles
 
In the second of our look backs to fanzines and times gone by we are parachuted into the season 2005-2006. Steve McClaren's Boro have just massacred the mighty Man United 4-1 at the Riverside. We are still going great guns in Europe. But form in the league has been inconsistent and despite that amazing victory over Ferguie's star-studded champions we are far closer to the bottom of the table than the top. People didn't really know what to think of things at the time. But right now as we weave our way under the Shepherdson Way flyover and read the inspirational words of Ali Brownlee we can be in no doubt, we never had it so good.

Fmttm Issue 365 Boro vs Fulham Barclays Premiership 20th November 2005

Boro v FulhamAn incredible season and in some ways an incredible fanzine containing interviews with not one but two future England managers in Steve McClaren and his skipper, Gareth Southgate. We have Speckyget's Football Focussing on Boro's 4-1 victory over Man United, yes that Man U.

Oh, hang on according to S.Get that should be [Can someone find out the name of the other side 4 Manchester United 1].

“Taking nothing away from oojah” enthuses every pundit from every branch of the Pundit Tree “BUT HOW BAD WERE UNITED????”

Perhaps with that in mind the cover (by Bob Fischer) shows another bad hair day for Mendi!

“I prefer it in the middle but it keeps drifting out to the right” - remember how his central play parted the Man United defences on that incredible afternoon at the Riverside.

KERCHING a page of biting satire with all the hallmarks if not the name of Paddy D to it proclaims - Only this Gadge Makes It Official – Fordy Head of MFC's Kerching spoke to our peasants.

In announcing the new Fordy Boards would be ready for today's game v Fulham.

“Along with a live cash figure of the revenue being generated at our concourse snack bars, the Fordy boards feature a Boro Boo-ometer to measure the disapproval decibels of our fanbase.”

So, what did Steve McClaren have to say for himself? The interview was conducted not long after that massive win and unsurprisingly the Boro boss was very upbeat but I was surprised at how softly spoken he was.

“I think we have been very inconsistent this season in our performance... he blamed this largely on injuries to key players notably Stewart Downing (and Zenden) and the late signing of Fabio Rochemback and trying to find the best role for the Brazilian.

Of Mendieta playing v Man U, McClaren said.

“I've never seen him play any better..”

And back to the cover again and McClaren commenting regarding Mendieta playing centrally at Old Trafford the year before: “Manchester United commented afterwards that they couldn't handle Mendieta in this position...”

McClaren Interview

There was a bit of tactical talk, manager tactics.

“You have to impose your system onto theirs otherwise you sometimes have to adapt and maybe go back to something else.”

It is such an interesting interview he gave, talking about why he rotated players, why he opted for Pogatetz at left back and pushed French Franck inside to one of three centre backs – answer was the fitness of the Austrian. About strengthening the squad as well as rotating because they were looking ahead to the final months of the campaign. How he calls it a squad game now, utilising all 3 subs.

Who was his best signing of all to that point?

“Doriva is one of my best signings, on really Juninho's say so.”

On criticism of being a negative Middlesbrough manager, did it hurt him?

“Yes, most definitely... On Saturday 9v Man Utd) was how I want this team to be portrayed.”

Bjarte and KjellElsewhere in the edition Bjarte and his brother Kjell were being celebrated in film at Dr Browns for their incredible feat of joining the English 92 groundhopper club travelling over from Bergen (Norway).

Sadly Kjell is no longer with us now but taxi driver Bjarte continues to make his pilgrimages over to see Boro. In fact he has a season card and his last action was away at Charlton. That meant as the COVID virus struck he was told to go into lockdown back home and could not therefore drive his taxi. Like so many other fans he hopes he will still have the cash to follow the Boro on the other side of the virus.

Interestingly I forgot to put names to some of the articles in this issue and there is actually an article about titled Euro Meltdown that pointed to the predictability and non competitive nature of European competitions. He summed it up in one line “.. there's only one problem I see with European competition at the minute – it's a load of sh**e.”

I wonder if more people have watched the recent Basel and Steaua screenings than saw the games live. It was the opinion of so many sat-away Boro fans who felt that European ties were over-priced, one sided and lacked all worth and interest. Personally, I found this mindset incredibly frustrating. Travelling back home from a nail biting draw against Alkmaar or victory in Stuttgart was the stuff of dreams when watching Boro being beaten at home in front of less than 10 000 at a rain-lashed Ayresome Park. But we should not forget that for most fans the priority was the league not the cups, even if that was Europe. Or the League Cup that we had won a couple of seasons before.

Which brings us to the Gareth Southgate interview. The reason it brings us to Gareth is that is precisely why he landed the Boro manager job as he pointed this out to the chairman. That fans pay for a League season ticket, it is league success they are investing in, that is their priority.

Southgate on inconsistency said this:

“...we have got an ageing squad. It's not as if we have got lots of 24/25 year olds.” Was that the biggest problem Southgate had to overcome when he took over as manager?

About rotation, Southgate added:

“You want to keep people fresh and you want to freshen it up. We tried the other route last year and we struggled every time after European games. This year we have done better after European games.. by freshening things up it has improved the performances after Europe.”

Oh to be facing those kinds of dilemmas now. We didn't know we had it so good, did we?

About the game itself:-

“Despite twice taking the lead Fulham were beaten 3-2 at the Riverside Stadium. The game turning on a 74th minute equaliser from which Yakubu appeared to be offside.”

Our scorers in the Sunday 4pm kick off were Morrison 64'; Yakubu 76'; Hasselbaink 84'

Team: Jones; Pogatetz, Riggott, Southgate, Queudrue; Parnaby, Rochemback, Boateng, Morrison; Yakubu, Hasselbaink (Doriva 86')

Attendance: - 27,599

Referee: Uriah Rennie.

We finished the Sunday at 11th in the Premier. Two places above Newcastle United. Still in Europe too.

Dedicated to the memory of Kjell-Morten Hjartoy RIP



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