This cannot be much of a match report, because this was not much of a match, you need two teams to have a match. Three people have responsibility for that. Steve McClaren, Dean Lardarse and some joker (well I imagine he thinks he is funny) by the name of P. Vosper.

Let us start with the first of those ‘interesting’ characters. Mr. McClaren – funnily enough like Bryan ‘fancy a beer or 7’ Robson before him – is regarded highly as a coach. Rumour has it that the FA (and we all know what they know about football!) want him as the next England Coach. This is the ‘Coach’ whose team have so far this season scored just 4 times away from home in 11 Premiership games. Lets not forget that 3 of them came in one match at Three Point Lane. He has forward players of the quality of Maccarone and Boksic, yet chooses instead to start the game with a player whose outstanding natural ability seems to be in the number of pies he can consume. We have now been bored stiff twice by this poor excuse for a football team. If this is the future of English football, then best we dig up Don Revie who must surely be McClarens mentor.

Lets next talk about the unmovable object. The Desperate Dan of the football world, Dean Lardarse. Now, pie eating aside, this guy seems to enjoy scoring goals against the blues as he seems to do it everywhere he plays, and he has played everywhere. I reckon that there are three reasons he has to move from club to club. One, he probably drinks every drop of lager within 10 miles of the ground. Two, he probably eats every pie and Kebab within 50 miles of the ground and three because he is the most useless player within 50000 miles of the ground!

Then there was Mr. P. Vosper. I don’t know what the ‘P’ stands for, although I could think of a couple of examples, and neither do I care. This Assistant Referee – I wouldn’t have him assisting in the emptying of my bins – and our friend Mark Halsey, (wasn’t he responsible for sending off JFH for no reason against the Gooners last term?), somehow managed to combine to come up with the worst sending off you will ever see. For those of you who have not had the benefit of seeing it, let me try to explain what happened. In essence, Carlo caught the ball, Lardarse charged at him (probably thinking he had a pasty in his back pocket) and flattened him in the back of the net. Carlo jumped up – much thinner now thanks to being squashed – and remonstrated with Lardarse. He did not touch him with hand, foot or any other part of his body. A real melee then ensued with about 22 players (and a hot dog seller to serve Lardarse) in the goal. After it had all calmed down, Halsey spoke to the ‘Assistant Referee’ and called Carlo and Lardarse over. He then booked The fat one and somehow, for reasons totally unknown, red carded Carlo. He did nothing even worthy of a yellow, yet the person who deserved a red simply trotted off (burger in hand) ready to carry on with the game. Claudio later said that the Club will be appealing the card saying that – at worst – Carlo used his eyes to look at Lardarse, and that Carlo must have, “dangerous” eyes! Spot on with that one Claudio!!

The match – such as it was – was won with a superb strike from the ever improving Mario Stanic who has now scored 4 goals in his last 6 or 7 games.

Other than that we had chance after chance and the Smogmonsters had nothing of note until De Goey saved well from Geremi late on. To say it was one way traffic is to undersell how bad Boro are. They must have come to the Bridge with the intention of being the first side to win the FA Cup without ever coming out of their own half!

At the end of the day we are through to Mondays 4th round draw and Boro – our puppy dogs as far as Cup competitions are concerned – are dumped in the bin for another season. Thankfully we will not have to put up with their dross for another season.

The red card given to Carlo matters – whether overturned or not – because it could have cost us a place in the next round. That it didn’t is something we should be grateful for. We could also face losing him for 3 games, three very important games. I just hope that Mr. P. Vosper sleeps well in his bed tonight, that’s if he manages to see it of course, he could well end up sleeping in his garden shed as his eye sight is really that good!

TEAM: Cudicini – Babayaro, Desailly, Terry, Gallas – Lampard, Stanic (Zenden 61), Petit, Gronkjaer (Melchiot 90), Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsen (de Goey 66). Subs Not Used: Morris, Zola.

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