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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 September, 2004, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Rio ready to ride high

By Derek 'Robbo' Robson
The Tees mouth

Rio Ferdinand
Rio returns against Liverpool on Monday - if he remembers
Alright Robbo, how are you?

Very well thank-you, how are you?

I'm great, but you must be a happy chap after Boro's win in Europe.

Well it's the early sortie into Europe and you can see what's going to happen, it's the five-year plan, you can see it coming to fruition already can't you.

We'll probably win the Uefa Cup this season, probably, we won't get too big for our boots, and come about five years we'll be dominating Europe in a way that Hitler could only have dreamed of if you know what I mean.

It's good to see you're keeping your feet on the ground.

I am, I just think that's more than likely what's going to happen.

Generally it was a good week for British clubs all round, apart from the Old Firm and Man United. I bet Fergie can't wait to see Rio Ferdinand back in his defence.

That's of course if Rio's written it down anywhere. You know people use coloured dots to remind them, he's probably got one of them on his computer.

On his fridge.

Yeah, one on his fridge. Every time he goes round he gets a little reminder: Playing football Monday, must remember. It'll be nice to see him back, he has been missed in his own strange way.

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce likes a big finish
Didier Drogba scored a few goals and ruffled a few feathers as well with his celebrations, and following on from the furore over celebrations last week, Mike, from England, has a suggestion.

How about letting teams who have just conceded a goal kick off again while the other team are still celebrating? Go on Robbo, use your influence at Fifa to get this pushed through!

I'll tell you what Fifa stands for as far as I'm concerned. eFfing Influence, F All.

I hate all these people trying to stop goal celebrations, surely that's the point. Once you've achieved the point of it you might as well run around for a bit being happy, taking your T-shirts off, I don't care what they do.

Some of these stupid celebrations are bit annoying, but it's like going to see a big rock star like Bruce Springsteen.

If he did one of his classic songs and the whole band didn't end off doing a long chord with a lot of drumming before he jumped up in the air and they finished, you'd feel cheated wouldn't you.

I think you would.

It's the same thing if somebody scores a goal, but sooner or later there's going to be a goalscorer who's not going to know what to do. He'll daren't move an inch.

Just stand still and move carefully back to the centre circle without raising your arms in any direction just in case it's misinterpreted by some minority interest. It's a nonsense. Let them run around for a bit.

That statue one could be a new celebration in itself.

Well I suspect some footballer with a sense of irony will develop some sort of celebration which involves doing absolutely nothing. As long as there's no baiting of the opposition fans or nowt like that stupid I think it's great.

Gary Neville
Gary Neville estimates the size of his intellect
Barry Crowley from England says following the England players decision not to talk to the media, shouldn't the media respond in kind? No show, no dough!

Barry's in dreamland. The media need the players more than the other way round to be honest.

I don't know if you ever get a broadsheet newspaper, I do of a Saturday obviously. It gets delivered by truck now and they can't get it through the door. There's a lot of column inches to be filled with tittle-tattle and prittle-prattle from people you really wouldn't bother hearing about.

When they finished that game against Poland I was thinking that means I don't get to hear Garth Crooks talking to Gary Neville - what a disaster that was, those two intellectual giants going at it.

It's not like we miss it if they shut up. The only reason they talk to the press is cos the press want to hear summat. The press need the players more than the other way round.

Players don't come out with much do they.

There's only so many times you can hear the phrase '110%' and 'at the end of the day' before you want to throw your trainer through the television.

They're still there and it's like with the cricket they're always saying 'get the ball in the right areas', that's the cliché in the cricket. Another's 'bowling down the line'.

He's on the Bakerloo when he wants to be on the Piccadilly.

All that nonsense.

Steamroller in action
Where are the minnows?
You've moved seamlessly onto cricket. Rich from Manchester has obviously been reading your column and knows you've been enjoying your cricket this summer.

I've loved it, it's been marvellous.

He asks you what's this one-day nonsense at the moment - are you watching that Robbo?

Well I'm not really because it's pointless, pointless.

It's like watching a handful of peas being crushed by a steamroller. Some people have said why don't they make it a Twenty20 tournament and I agree with that on one level only, it makes the whole thing a damn sight quicker and gets it out of the way. There's absolutely no point in it.

And why did they decide to have it at this time of year?

I don't know. It's cloudy and cold, nobody wants to go out much and everyone's bunkering down for the winter.

Yeah that's right, we'll put on a few extra jumpers and go and watch some cricket that isn't worth watching. I'd recommend to people to stay in and watch BBC Parliament, that's entertaining stuff at the moment.

The USA were terrible.

I'm sorry, but the USA, Bangladesh, Kenya and Zimbabwe should be playing each other in a little tournament somewhere else. Until they can get their act together they shouldn't really be over here playing 50 overs a side.

They might have more chance if it were just 20, they might have some biff-bang-wallop merchant who gets lucky and tonks 100 or summat.

You just don't get shocks in cricket.

You don't because there's too big a gap. It's a waste of time.

Thomas Levet shows off his balancing skills at Oakland Hills
Thomas Levet - Le Robbo's Ryder Cup French fancy
Those comments you made last week on the USA cricket guys upset a fair few people when you described America as "a vast, lame country". Any views on the Ryder Cup?

If they could do it, the Yanks would make the whole of the middle of America one great, big golf course, a 1,879-hole golf course.

They love their golf don't they, but I think our lads will do it.

The difference between us and the Yanks is that at the end of the day we don't mind entering a team competition when there isn't a cheque at the end of it. So I say - it'll be mission done in Michigan.

I see what you've done there.

That's pretty good that. Mission done in Michigan come Sunday night.

Do you think the Americans will throw their toys out of the pram again?

They'll get a bit stroppy, but fortunately most of the players playing represent countries who were behind George Bush in the war so they shouldn't get too much flak, although Levet might cos he's French and they don't like the French.

But when it comes to the Ryder Cup, we do.

I'm a total European when it comes to the Ryder Cup, and you know why? Because we didn't win it when it was just us. We need them occasionally, just once or twice, and in this case it's marvellous, so good luck the lads.

Great stuff Robbo, have a good weekend and I'll catch up with you next week.

Will do. Ta-ta son.

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Listen to Robbo's rant

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