Bryan Robson: Captain Marvel and all that. Still has the same tenacious qualities he had as a player. Hates to lose. But has shown a quiet, dignified side to his nature as a manager. A great bloke to have, even though he doesn't live here. Has made mistakes but will learn. Likes a challenge and it will be a challenge next season. That's for sure.
Ben Roberts: Young Ben Roberts, as he's known. His father had a bet when he was 16 or 17 that he would play for England one day. Most goalkeepers don't mature until they're past 25. He'll definitely push Mark Schwarzer in the future. A fantastic reaction keeper. It is strange to have a keeper who wears a hair-band, though.
Curtis Fleming: Can play right-back or left-back. It must be an Irish tradition; so can Denis Irwin. In physique he's like a pocket American footballer. Used to work in a clothes shop in Dublin and had a market stall. Turned down Oldham because it would have meant a drop in money.
Neil Cox: Fancies playing as an emergency keeper. Had a strong first season after coming as Robbo's first pounds 1m signing. Did poorly early on this season but, until he became a goalkeeper, has shown more mettle and stopped giving goals away in the run-in.
Clayton Blackmore: Mr Adaptable. Went to Cardiff City on loan and came back a new man - with no hair. Suddenly wanted to play in the first team rather than be a squad man. Made one appearance and got a testimonial match against Manchester United. Surely that's a record. Switched from right-back to left-back in the Chesterfield replay but midfield is his best position.
Nigel Pearson: The main reason we'll go down is because he was missing for so much of the season - after a fateful clash of heads with the cult Christian Marcus Gayle. How do you replace Nigel Pearson? You'd need someone like Nadal. It's not just the way he plays, it's his presence and the organising he does. It's like having a manager on the field. A manager in the making.
Gianluca Festa: Uncle Festa. We chanted the Addams Family theme on his debut and he thought it was a comment on his looks. Scored that day. Only scored five goals in his whole career in Italy. The difference between him and Vickers and Whyte is that when he makes a challenge he always gets past the player and gets to the ball. Voted Boro's dirtiest player in the FMTTM poll.
Robbie Mustoe: Would be the second name on any Boro fan's team, after Juninho's. Longest-serving player and the powerhouse. Makes everything tick. Just seems to go on running. Same style of player as Robbo. Goes in hard and gets hurt. There's a player like him in every good team.
Emerson: Has taken stick for his recent form but has been carrying an injury since March. If we go down people will say the trouble he caused earlier in the season was responsible. Great hairstyle, the same as a bloke who works in a bike shop in Middlesbrough. He's had a lot of success in the night clubs apparently - the bloke, that is - but he hasn't sold too many bikes.
Craig Hignett: Mr Comeback. Was on a week-to-week contract when we went up two years ago. Then John Hendrie got injured and he scored nine goals in pre- season games and combined well with Nick Barmby when the season started. Barmby couldn't combine with Juninho but he has. Rated very, very highly by the fans.
Juninho: A genius. We have a poll for the best current Boro player and the best all-time Boro player and in the eight years we've had it Juninho is the first to win both. It's not just his skill. He never gives up. At Blackburn the midfielders were tired and he took it upon his shoulders to be a one-man team. People have written to FMTTM saying if we go down they would rather he left because they don't want to see a player like him in the First Division.
Fabrizio Ravanelli: Has had a curious season but has still managed to score 31 goals. Most people thought he was going to be an English-type centre-forward but he's not, though he takes his penalties in the style of John Hickton. I know he's a good darts player because I've seen him play in his local with Gordon McQueen. He was getting 140s, 120s with every three throws. He didn't pull his tracksuit over his head when he got double top, though.
Mikkel Beck: There's a band called Beck who have had a hit called "Devil's Haircut". Someone wrote pointing out that Beck has a devil's haircut too. Jan Fjortoft was asked about him once and he said: "Becky, he loves his hair." He loves helicopters and tennis, I'm told. Scored on his Boro debut in the Coca-Cola Cup at Hereford with his right foot, which has since gone out of action.
Phil Stamp: The only player left from the team that got to the semis of the FA Youth Cup the year before Robbo came. Looks like Butch Dingle of Emmerdale. The only local lad in the team. Started as a full-back, now a midfielder. Lennie Lawrence used to say: "We'll throw Stampy on and box it up." The ideal player to box it up.
Prediction: Better chance of winning at Wembley than of staying up.Reuse content