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Blogging With Dr P... Blogging When I Can - Honest!
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Welcome to Blogging With Dr P... blogging when I can - honest

Your Blogging With Dr P... search result is below this annoucement.
In April 2008 Blogging With Dr P... moved to Blog Bypass.

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(Feb 2010 Update): Haloscan is no more. Therefore the comments on this blog are no more. Sad, but true. I'm not paying $12 a year for the occasional comment with Echo. Apologies to all those who have commented. I have saved them and may well stick them somewhere else at some point.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 Boro Embrace The Unknown
By James Helm BBC Sport

When Middlesbrough lifted the Carling Cup trophy in February thousands of fans inside the Millennium Stadium were already turning their thoughts to what European adventures lay ahead.

"Ooooh, just think!" said an elderly woman in a red-and-white scarf. "We might get a trip to Prague or somewhere lovely like that."

Middlesbrough's first-ever odyssey into a European competition, after victory over Bolton, is almost upon us.

However, instead of the beauties of Prague, a trip to Ostrava and the industrial landscape of North Moravia beckons.

"If you told a Czech you were going to Ostrava, they'd probably think you were mad," writes The Rough Guide to the Czech Republic.

"Although the situation has improved in recent years, the city used to be regularly shrouded in a pall of pungent sulphurous smog."

Yes - Boro fans will feel very much at home.

After all, Banik supporters making the trip to the Riverside this week will find the following tribute to Middlesbrough's merits in the Rough Guide to England:

"The modern town centre is unremarkable in every way."

As a fan myself, I would have happily taken a draw against anyone, from Iceland to the former Soviet bloc.

A European campaign is what we have dreamt of since back in the mists of time.

Jack Charlton's excellent class of the 1970s (Platt, Craggs, Maddren, Boam and the rest of the local heroes) were not so far away.

But, apart from the Second Division title, all the silverware that arrived in the Ayresome Park cabinet around then was something called the Anglo-Scottish Cup.

As you ask, Fulham were beaten 1-0 on aggregate.

Then, two decades on, came the crazy days of 1996-7.

Ravanelli and Emerson jetted in for a while, and Juninho became a legend.

Boro even reached the FA Cup Final, only to fall behind to a Chelsea goal scored so early in the game that most people were still singing "Abide With Me".

All that international talent saw expectations soar, dreams waft in and Europe did not seem such a ridiculous aim after all.

What happened? Relegation intervened - instead of heading for Bayern or Barca, it was back to Barnsley.

Now, the squad is even more cosmopolitan, assembled at high cost from around the globe.

The two Steves make an impressive partnership: the adored chairman, Steve Gibson, and the much-coveted manager, Steve McClaren.

Since February there has been a new piece of silverware requiring dusting, alongside the Anglo-Scottish Cup.

The only thing I knew about Banik Ostrava was that Pavel Srnicek, the former Geordie goalkeeper, used to play for them.

Pav had proved to be an unlikely friend to me on a previous trip to the Czech Republic.

On a journey out of Prague, a scuffle started beside me at a bus stop.

One guy involved turned towards me with a menacing glint in his eye, "Ingleesh?" he screamed.

Panicked, I placated him by reeling off the names of some of the Czech footballers I knew: "Pavel Srnicek, Jan Stejskal, Ludek Miklosko." He soon wandered off.

Maybe Pav will be there to see his old club meet his former North-East rivals.

These are heady times for the players and fans of Middlesbrough Football Club.

Story from BBC Sport

[Link] - | Old Blog Search

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 (phone blog). In doctor's waiting room - getting drugs to make "poorly Paul" better. And "better" turn the phone off - the place is full of sick people! ;-)

[Link] - | Old Blog Search

Saturday, September 04, 2004 (Phone blog) Waiting for a No.1 cut in hairdressers - it's a hot, hot day in England today! :-)

[Link] - | Old Blog Search

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