Last on MOTD: Scunthorpe Viduka?

THE best moment of FA Cup second-round weekend so far? Not Forest Green. Not Eastwood Town. Not Blyth Spartans. No, the best moment came during ITV’s Saturday night highlights show (a show which, curiously, doesn’t appear to have a title).

During one of the round-ups, there was a caption screen to introduce the action from Scunthorpe United’s win over Alfreton Town. This caption included a rather unfortunate cropping of the Scunthorpe badge.

Let’s just say that a rude word was displayed rather prominently on the screen. As Moz from The IT Crowd would have said: “Mind your ruddy language. My ears are not a toilet.”

The rude words hurled in Mark Viduka’s direction by Middlesbrough fans yesterday weren’t quite as strong as that. But they were still quite rude. And they were the highlight of an awful final game on last night’s Match of the Day.

This truly was a weekend where swearing was king on our football highlights shows.

Last night’s final game: Middlesbrough 0 Newcastle 0
Commentator: Simon Brotherton

Viduka was once a hero at The Riverside. Such a hero, that one Middlesbrough fan (a chap called Alistair Griffin) even wrote a song about him, to the tune of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

Then Viduka left Middlesbrough for Newcastle on a free transfer in 2007. And now the Boro fans have a new song about him. It’s not quite as complimentary as Griffin’s adaptation of Cohen’s work.

As Viduka made his return from a lengthy injury absence as a second-half substitute, the Boro supporters could quite clearly be heard chanting “fat, greedy bastard”. Over the top of this, commentator Simon Brotherton said something or other about how the home fans were concerned that he might score against them.

Well, he didn’t.

But he did take the chants aimed in his direction in good spirits. Asked about his reception from Boro’s fans after the match, Viduka said: “They all love me really.”

I’m not sure they do, you know.


1. Wigan: 4 (Capello difference: +2)
2. Middlesbrough: 4 (Capello difference: +1)
3=. Blackburn: 4
3=. West Brom: 4
5. Capello: 3
6. West Ham: 2 (Capello difference: +2)
7=. Bolton: 2
7=. Fulham: 2
7=. Newcastle: 2
7=. Stoke: 2
11. Portsmouth: 1 (Capello difference: +1)
12=. Everton: 1
12=. Hull: 1
12=. Sunderland: 1
15=. Gubba: 0
15=. Arsenal: 0
15=. Aston Villa: 0
15=. Chelsea: 0
15=. Liverpool: 0
15=. Manchester City: 0
15=. Manchester United: 0
15=. Tottenham: 0

(NB: Teams level on points will be separated by Gubba difference: the number of times a team is last on Match of the Day with Tony Gubba commentating. If they are still level, they will be separated by Capello difference: the number of times a team is last on MOTD with Fabio Capello present.)


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