After our legal advisors told us to remove our review of the Stoke City supporters at Goodison Park, we weren’t sure whether or not to continue our series. Especially as Boro fans are basically Stoke fans with a worse accent.
But we’re back. And we promise to try and be slightly less offensive this time. God knows how we’ll cope when it comes to the Goodison derby though…
Anyway, Boro, in their first season back in the Premier League for ages travelled in numbers, bringing over 2,000 fans to Goodison Park to watch them lose. Again.
They brought with them a plethora of League One chants and set the levels of expectation low early on. Why does every set of visiting fans think they’re the first to sing “Sign on” at Goodison Park? We’ve heard it all before and it wasn’t even that funny or offensive the first time we heard it. Your smiles of self-satisfaction thinking that you’ve presented us with something new and original are sorely misplaced.
But then Boro scored. Well, they increased the number of the scoresheet. They didn’t actually score did they. Alvara Negredo bundled into Maarten Stekelenberg and the ball ended up in the net and Lee Mason allowed it. Most fans would be happy. Boro just seemed to want to concentrate of winding up the old fella a few rows in front of me who – and visiting fans take note – we run a sweep on which minute it’ll be before he kicks off and the veins on his neck look like they’re about to burst.
Chants of “Who are yer?” rang out from the visitors section, while Evertonians struggled to work out what Middlesbrough was famous for. James Arthur and that stupid bridge, apparently.
Three quick fire goals from Everton quietened them down for a while, but then – bizarrely – they piped up again. “One Stevie Gibson” was their favourite in the second half. Yes, that’s right, nothing screams “ambition” more than being humped 3-1 after taking an early lead than signing your chairman’s name.
A weak attempt and “We’re the right side / left side” faded quickly when they realised they didn’t actually know their left from their right without looking down at their feet to see the letters crudely scrawled on their shoes by their mum, and a presumably ironic chant of “By far the greatest team” were other highlights of the Boro song-sheet.
But they brought big numbers, were loud in parts – and joined in with the applause for Derek Acker on 30 minutes – and, well, they’re not from Stoke, which earns everyone except Liverpool an additional point. The haircuts belonged in 1991, though, and the pretend Geordie accent loses them the point they gained by not being Stoke.
Boro earn a respectable 3 out of 5.
Half time highlight – an Everton fan and a Boro fan had been “exchanging words” for a few moments when said Everton fan walked over to the wall to offer a friendly handshake to the 30-something Boro fan. The Boro fan initially rejected it, but then made his way past about six people on his row and down five steps to shake hands. As he offered his hand, our bearded Scouse friend did that thing where you pull your hand away and put your thumb on your nose and waggle your fingers. Even the Boro fans laughed at that.
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