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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 11:23 GMT
Of Mice and Murray
Derek 'Robbo' Robson
By Derek 'Robbo' Robson
The Tees Mouth

Hello Robbo.

Hello son, you all right?

I'm OK, bit of a cold.

Rik Mayall in the Young Ones
Another sickly southerner

It's that funny constitution you have down there in the south. We never get colds up here. When you walk around wearing cap-sleeved t-shirts in temperatures of minus three you soon get hardy.

I know what it's like in London with all that smog keeping you warm.

I thought they called you lot the smog monsters!

Aye, but ours doesn't keep you warm. The icy cold blast of the North Sea soon cuts through the smog.

Well at least Boro are back to winning ways in the FA Cup.

Yes, but let's not get too carried away. It was only Nuneaton we were playing, not someone big like...Reading. Even so, we're quietly quite pleased.

A fellow Boro supporter, John, wrote in saying: Wonder if Robbo saw the contribution of eBay to Boro's plight - one fan has put Macca up for sale.

Clearly not, if we can't even flog them on ebay.

I think Macca's got to take a bit of responsibility for the way we're playing and I have to admit it's looking a bit worrying with Boateng and Southgate out, but while I wouldn't say we're too good to go down, we're not as bad as Portsmouth or Birmingham, so that might save us.

Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 7-0
But not all southerners are soft

I'm sure there would be a lot of fans who read your column who would find it hilarious if Boro went down, given all the teams you've tipped for the drop in the past!

They can smile all they want, but let's see what happens. I'm still hoping Everton might get sucked back into the slough of despond they were in when they were getting thrashed 4-0 every week.

Can't see it somehow, Robbo. Everton also won in the Cup of course last night, which saved us a Millwall-Chelsea tie, but I have to say Tamworth were very unlucky against Stoke.

Yes, that was horrendous. Right bang out of order. I think the FA should bring in a new rule whereby if you've got four or five divisions between you, or whatever it is, and you get to penalties, the lower-ranked team should be awarded the match.

God knows, they'd struggled hard enough without that sort of heart-break. They've got to have some little bonus.

Those Stoke players were celebrating like they'd beaten the Brazilian national team. They should have been hanging their heads low and reflecting on how they couldn't beat a non-league team over three-and-a-half hours of football.

Quite. And the final member of the non-league triumvirate, Burton, went down 5-0 at Old Trafford, yet didn't seem too disappointed.

Manchester United's Giuseppe Rossi
Rossi could do a job for Sven

Bizarrely all the Burton players were talking about loads of mice running around the pitch.

Yes, I think Fergie should stop picking them. Seriously, though, I'm amazed about that. Maybe they need an Old Trafford cat to get rid of them - perhaps Peter Bonetti's still free and he can go after them.

Nicky Campbell on Five Live suggested the appearance of the mice has coincided with Roy Keane's departure from Man Utd. Previously they were too scared to come out.

Yes because he kept berating them, shouting things like: "Are you men or mice?!"

And even though they insisted they were mice, Roy wasn't having any of it.

I wonder if any of these mice are on 120,000 a week?

Maybe 120lbs of cheese. It's a nice little story and I hope they continue to thrive and cause lots more mystery bobbles that make Louis Saha miss a succession of easy chances, like he did on Wednesday.

Minnie and Mickey Mouse
Are United a Mickey Mouse outift?

Man U reserves looked pretty good though, I have to say. That Rossi lad looks a right fancy dan. I'm sure there's a way we can convince him he's English, despite the fact he's got Italian and American heritage.

Anyway, well done Burton and everyone. Let's hope we have some more of the same in next year's FA Cup, because it's good fun.

Hear hear. On to the Australian Open and it was a disappointment that both of our players went out at the first hurdle.

Well I was a bit narked with Andy Murray. Everybody's had positive things to say about him and nobody really had a go at him for losing.

Everyone was saying he's only 18, it's going to take time - but he got his retaliation in first by saying the media are expecting him to win every match.

To be honest I think that's a bit out of order. It's perfectly legitimate for him to get thrashed by someone who's a bit better than him at the moment and there's no point in getting into a teenage strop about it.

That's exactly what it is, Robbo.

And for goodness sake, have a haircut! It's hot enough over there as it is, without that ridiculous hairdo.

If Henman had one thing going for him it was a decent barnet.

Murray's is absolutely ridiculous. He'll be getting on his invisible motorcycyle and joining the Hair Bear Bunch before we know it.

Hair Bear Bunch and Andy Murray
Andy Murray and the Hair Bear Bunch

Shades of George Berry?

Exactly, you can't play tennis with hair like that.

And what about Henman - 5-1 up in the fourth set and still loses.

Well, we're used to that with Henman now. I said this to you about five months ago - he's got a bad back so he should just retire - he's got the perfect excuse.

No-one will mind, they'll all say he's done a good job over the years and pat him on the back.

Not too hard, though!

What about the Indian record that wasn't against Pakistan? What was it they needed, 10, to break the biggest-ever partnership in Test history?

Yes, unfortunately the weather wasn't too good. Mind you, I think that's the only way the bowlers get a chance out there - to play in the rain.

They've got to do something about those pitches and give the bowlers half a chance - dear me!

Well done anyway, batsmen, for concentrating long enough to get 400. I can't see that world record being broken at, say, Headingley - can you?

George Berry
That's who George Berry is, in case you were wondering

Er, no! Right, we'll leave it there. Good luck to Boro at the weekend.

Thanks, we'll need it. We've got Sunderland in a couple of Tuesdays - that will really be the acid test.

Not one for the faint-hearted! Speak soon, Robbo.

Ta-ta, son.

Listen to Robbo Rant
"Maybe they need an Old Trafford cat to get rid of the mice"


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