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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 April 2006, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Top Gunners!
Derek 'Robbo' Robson
By Derek 'Robbo' Robson
The Tees Mouth

Thierry Henry celebrates

Hello Robbo, how are you?

I'm a bit edgy.

Ah yes, big match for Boro.

Well I hope we do better than Juve. If we can get an early goal we've got a chance but it'll be an uphill struggle I think.

I'll be cheering them on for you - probably a good job I'm speaking to you before the match.

Yes, you wouldn't get a word out of me on Friday, not a coherent one anyway - regardless of the result.

Quite! So did you see the Arsenal game?

Yes, it was quite boring really, but a comprehensive performance by the lads. I was a bit disappointed by Juventus - I think the Old Lady needs taking into care. Give her a zimmer frame, two pills and off to bed early, love.

I'm really chuffed for Arsenal but a bit worried about Villareal. They are the underdogs, just like Bayer Leverkusen a few seasons ago, when they knocked out Man Utd and Liverpool on their way to the final.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones
Fancy a game later, Keef?

The Gunners could have done with drawing a tougher side in an ironical sort of way, but that Arsa-Barca final you predicted is looking on the cards, son.

You mentioned Juve's nickname - The Old Lady - some of their players are getting on a bit aren't they?

Yes, although they're not as bad as Milan. With Maldini and Costacurta in the side, the combined age of the back four is about the same as The Rolling Stones.

Moving on and there's a few people up in arms regarding your comments about the Boat Race, where you suggested these guys got into Oxbridge because of their rowing rather than their academic skills.

Andrew Riach, in the UK says: The tripe Robbo wrote about the University Boat Race is some of the most ignorant, ill-informed rubbish I have ever read in my life.

I was approached by an Oxford College to potentially go there on a rowing scholarship. However, one thing was impressed upon me. If I wanted to go there, I would be required to produce work that would meet the standards Oxford demanded.


And there's more. Jim Wilson says: Sorry Robbo, but if you are going to be flippant it's a cardinal rule to do your homework. You cannot gain entry to Oxbridge on account of your sporting prowess and you are not allowed to miss or compromise your studies for the sake of the Boat Race.

Do you really think a sportsman would choose a degree in cardiac genetics to get a place in a boat crew? He would surely pick something a lot easier - like being a BBC pundit.

Oxford crew celebrate winning the Boat Race
Let's have a heated debate!

Ooooh! Catty from Jim there! Well I have no qualifications to be a BBC pundit, of course, but I'm pretty sure South Buckinghamshire University will start a course called Sports Punditry sooner or later - I might even get to be head lecturer.

Any road, I don't know much about Oxbridge and I speak about it as someone from the wrong side of the tracks so they may be right.

But these blokes are obviously all proper rowers and have been given a rowing scholarship. If they were all right at making a paper boat and sailing it across a lake they wouldn't get in on that basis.

It's pretty clear to me that if you get up at five every morning to paddle around with the ducks for a couple of hours, that's not going to compromise your studying at all, is it?

And if you spend four hours a day on the rowing machine, I'm sure you can fit in a bit of William Shakespeare somewhere.

Say what you like - in fact invite me to the Oxford University Debating Society and we'll have a debate about it. I'd love to walk around your hallowed halls, the trouble is as soon as anyone saw me they'd probably put a mop in me hand and say: "Room 7B needs cleaning."

OK, we'll see if anyone takes you up on that! One final comment on the Boat Race, which I quite like - Rob Harper from Finland says: It's a fix. The same two teams reach the final every year.

It's true. And only about four of them are British, which brings us back to Arsenal. Actually let's forget about that, pretend they're all English and get behind them.

Sir Alex Ferguson
Robbo has finally got time for United

Thierry Henry is a naturalised Englishman. I can see him with fish and chips in his lap now, whereas I couldn't when he first came from Juventus.

And what about Arsenal's trip to Man Utd on Sunday - do you think their good form can continue?

Well I hope they have a rest and let Man U win - then we can have a close finish. I can't believe I'm actually saying this but I wouldn't mind if the Chelsea-Man U game had something on it and Man U went on to sneak the title.

That's how far the wheel has turned against the fancy dans of the King's Road.

OK Robbo, that's it. I'll keep everything crossed for Middlesbrough.

Yes, let's hope we can turn Basle over.

Hope so. Ta-ta.

Ta-ta, son.

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Listen to Robbo rant!


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