Football: Boro put the Merson saga behind them

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The Independent Online
ANDY TOWNSEND, the Middlesbrough captain, laid the Paul Merson saga to rest after his side had taken Tottenham apart 3-0 at White Hart Lane yesterday.

Two first-half goals from the Colombian striker, Hamilton Ricard, set the Teessiders on their way to victory, the Slovakian, Vladimir Kinder, scoring the third near the end, following a dreadful mistake by the Spurs goalkeeper, Espen Baardsen.

"We all know Paul has not said anything bad about us," Townsend said after the game. "He is a great lad who enjoyed his time at Middlesbrough and good luck to him. We are just getting on with our job."

Not surprisingly, Ricard took the Sky TV award for man of the match and was awarded the champagne in a presentation ceremony during which he uttered the only words of English he appeared to know. "Liverpool, brilliant, pleased," he said.

As for Merson, it transpired yesterday that the former Boro man bought an executive box for family and friends at the Riverside Stadium only last month. He paid pounds 60,000 for a three-year lease and now stands to make an instant profit. "We have a waiting list of fans who want this box," a Boro spokesman said yesterday.

Spurs misery, page 29