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Once more the blood inside me stirs,
We’re again in London to take on ‘Spurs,
Sunshine bathes the stadium and the atmosphere’s cracking,
So, can the Boro now send the opposition packing?
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Edgar Davids’ debut is what the Tottenham crowd awaits,
And Boro have their own ‘new boy’, whose name is Matthew Bates,
He’s only eighteen years of age and a local boy, to boot,
And his inclusion by McClaren is one I certainly salute.
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Inside of sixty seconds Davids showed us his intention,
Two crunching tackles on Ray Parlour I thought worthy of a mention,
Our man was then sent ‘flying’ and that’s unusual for Ray,
Is this, perhaps, an indication of the ‘Battle of the Day?’
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Tottenham come at Boro with the sweetest of routines,
And it ended with us opened up, just like a tin of beans,
Franck was left a’ floundering and we soon became unzipped,
But Reiziger saved the Boro, as the ball was goalwards chipped.
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We’re hemmed in for several minutes and our passes we’re misplacing,
The ball now seems so hard to win and it’s shadows that we’re chasing,
Spurs fans are really happy; one can see it on their faces,
But in the opening exchanges Boro are hardly at the races.
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Parlour spotted Downing and his ball was really cunning,
Then the run put in by Downing can be best described as stunning,
His quality ball found Jimmy but then danger was averted,
For although he tried his utmost, the centre couldn’t be converted.
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Boro cleared a Tottenham corner and then Downing knocked it long,
And it was picked up by Yakubu, who then showed us that he’s strong,
He went on to force a corner that we sadly chose to fritter,
When Jimmy, from that corner, missed what appeared to be a sitter.
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Carrick picked out Mido and the Boro start to rock,
And Bates then loses out as his way he sought to block,
An overhead attempt on goal was truly acrobatic,
And Schwarzer’s save from Davids didn’t need to be dramatic.
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Spurs played tremendous football as they tore us well apart,
When Davids picked out Carrick, who almost broke the Boro’s heart,
His shot, of such great power, of which most players would be proud,
Whizzed dangerously close to goal and then it ended in the crowd.
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Jimmy laid a great ball off into the path of Yak,
But he was beaten by the pace and didn’t get a crack,
Then Schwarzer saved quite easily though a goal seemed on the cards,
But Defoe’s attempt lacked menace, from all of twenty yards.
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Viduka’s then seen warming up as Tottenham once more press,
With Boateng and Yakubu both appearing in distress,
Defoe then upped the pressure but he’s lacking in support,
And, though Captain Southgate saves the day: the situation’s taut!
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The Tottenham fans are happy and they’re constantly being thrilled,
When Davids fired a rocket, which Mark Schwarzer somehow spilled,
He hadn’t seen the danger that had suddenly appeared,
Then he thankfully grabbed it quickly and the danger was then cleared.
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A great free kick from Jimmy, was then really well directed,
But, sadly, for a corner kick the ball was then deflected,
In the main we’ve just defended but we’re very much still in it,
Then the fourth official indicates that added time is just one minute.
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The first half’s been competitive, though neither ‘keeper’s yet been tested,
Bates has been outstanding though now I fear he may be rested,
His chance among the ‘Big Boys’ he is definitely seizing,
And the overall performance, I would suggest, has been quite pleasing.
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Mendi and Yakubu give way to Morrison and Viduka,
The latter didn’t come to Boro for a load of ‘filthy’ lucre,
Within just seconds of the whistle we saw a massive Reiziger blunder,
Thankfully Mido’s touch was dreadful and the chance he failed to plunder.
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The second period’s started like a runaway express train,
And the players will all be hard-pushed, such a tempo to maintain,
Jimmy very quickly spotted Robinson off his line,
And the Boro were, apparently, just about to find cloud nine.
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With Jimmy’s touch too heavy Robinson was very much relieved,
But the golden opportunity should have seen the goal achieved,
In fact, it seemed that Boro were about to celebrate,
Things already look much better and the start’s been simply great.
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Then the Boro’s ‘feel good’ factor was quickly shattered with great woe,
When a shot that was quite stunning left the foot of Spurs’ Defoe,
Schwarzer seemed to hesitate for a shot of such ferocity,
And the hosts quickly accepted the Boro’s amazing generosity.
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After our best few minutes of the game we did deserve a tonic,
But when it went to Tottenham it really was ironic,
So now it’s down to Boro and we must soon grasp the nettle,
Take deep breaths and concentrate, for we quickly need to settle.
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Parlour was about to shoot and Davids’ foul was naughty,
Cynical immediately comes to mind for it certainly wasn’t sporty,
Robinson’s save was world-class but he definitely was worried,
When Downing burnt his fingers, so we’re not yet dead and buried.
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A wonderful move by Boro and quite possibly their best yet,
But Boateng couldn’t finish it and it landed on the net,
With Robinson prostrate on the ground and a hush in Spurs’ enclosure,
Then Big George, when it mattered, lacked the necessary composure.
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Now Downing’s heavily involved and to date he’s not stopped running,
And he knows he should have scored for the football was quite stunning,
This was opportunity number four and we should be level pegging,
But Downing flashed it over and the chance, it went a’ begging.
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Davids pulled down Boateng, who immediately did bellow,
The ref. let play continue then produced a delayed yellow,
Jimmy then fouled Edman, whom he cynically clattered,
There followed instant yellow and it’s true that Floyd looked shattered.
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Surprisingly Bates and Southgate for once failed to work in tandem,
I wonder if McClaren will send them each a memorandum?
Milo sent it wide as he launched another quick assault,
And Southgate said, “Don’t worry, son: it was entirely my fault.”
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Bates had been outstanding and through the game he seemed to cruise,
But then he gave way to Doriva to the accompaniment of boos,
Then it was quickly demonstrated that this game can be so cruel,
When Mido put an end to this most fascinating duel.
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Inexplicable was his error and a nightmare for the ‘keeper,
And the mountain facing Boro is now a great deal steeper,
The shot, from well outside the box, just trickled in from Mido,
As it crept in beneath Schwarzer it didn’t register on the speedo.
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The Boro somehow lost their way: I might as well come clean,
As Spurs take off Jermain Defoe and bring on Robbie Keane,
By then we’d simply lost momentum where we’d been promising throughout,
But, if you don’t accept the chances then in football you get nowt.
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McClaren was now fuming and at the mouth was seen to foam,
We’d been pleasing to the eye but left our shooting boots at home,
Schwarzer must have wished the ground would open up and swallow him,
But he’ll recover from his blunder, as will be known to those who follow him.
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Mark Schwarzer, some of you, would clearly like to throttle,
But he’ll win us more games than we lose and he won’t lose his bottle,
So we still await a victory in this very new campaign,
And I hope Southgate shares with Matthew Bates his Man of the Match champagne.