Jonathan Woodgate caused a bit of a stir with Toon fans over his comments that Middlesbrough’s recent history is better than Newcastle’s when speaking to the Hartlepool Mail.
He referenced Boro’s League Cup win and their UEFA Cup Final defeat, both of which came in 2004 and 2006 respectively, so what he considers recent, is anyone’s guess.
It was a bizarre claim, and one which does not stand up, particularly over the last decade or so, as we showed in a previous article.
His comments sound like those of a manager who has endured a torrid start to his inaugural role, and one desperate to ensure the Boro’ faithful stay on his side.
If his intent was to deflect from his side’s current plight, the Newcastle fans who have taken to social media to respond, have been quick to remind him of his precarious position.
Boro’ currently sit 18th in the Championship, with just one win so far this season, and are just two points above the relegation zone.
They were dumped out of the EFL Cup, losing at home to League Two side, Crewe Alexandra, in a penalty shootout, and only got that far thanks to an injury time equaliser, having been 0-2 behind.
You expect better from a former player like Woodgate
I have a lot of time for Woodgate, who was brilliant – when fit – for Newcastle during his spell on Tyneside, but ridiculous comments, which were nothing to do with the questions being asked come across as pathetic.
To try to use a rival – and one that the majority of Newcastle fans see as an insignificant one at that – to try to win favour with his own fans, are not the type of comments you would expect from a former player.
Newcastle fans were equally irked and bemused by his rant, as you can see from the following Tweets:
What does he class as recent times?
— Andy Gurr (@andy_gurr) September 12, 2019
What a clown. Did he get injured giving this interview?
— Byernysern (@byernysern) September 12, 2019
Someone’s job is on the line
— Petesy (@OwenPeterson79) September 12, 2019
Trying to get supporters on side by slagging off a rival??
— John Rogers (@JohnRog11380148) September 12, 2019
Why did he even mention Newcastle? What’s with all these former players talking about how small a club we are? If we were that small they wouldn’t even be thinking about us. Love to see it.
— Simon (@supernova_1984) September 12, 2019
Very strange statement considering #NUFC have played champions league football; have in recent history finished 3rd, 4th & 5th in the PL. Won the Championship twice; been to a European semi final. Our history isn’t much to shout about but it’s far greater than Boro’s
— Kevin Nichol (@Kevin_Nichol) September 12, 2019
This is a shame. Actually quite liked the fella. Was class when he was here.
That respect I had has now ended.
— Steve McKenna (@SteveMcKenna_) September 12, 2019
Sacked within a fortnight 👋
— Andy⚫️⚪️ (@El_Tibur0n) September 12, 2019
So have Portsmouth, Wigan and Fulham by that logic 🤷♂️🤦♂️. What is it about players from the SBR era taking cheap digs at the club?
— David Warnock-Smith (@DaveWarnok) September 12, 2019