The rich history of Teesside

It’s fair to say that Middlesbrough are enduring a difficult first season back in the top flight. Having struggled to find the net all year – they only passed the 20-goal mark in mid-March – they’ve now sacked Aitor Karanka, seemingly without a contingency plan, and are looking like the odds-on favourites to join Sunderland back in the Championship next year.

But cheer up, Boro fans – it’s not all doom and gloom. Whilst they have seldom been competing in the upper echelons of English football, the team from Teesside boast a proud history the envy of many fanbases up and down the country, and nobody can take away the memories (even if they’ll probably have to be enjoyed from the second tier).

Steve McClaren is the butt of many jokes for his miserable spell as national team manager (and for that Dutch accent), but his time at Middlesbrough will be remembered for all the right reasons. A spot in the UEFA Cup Final in 2006 – the crowning moment in the club’s 140-year history – was an achievement that most mid-table Premier League teams will never be able replicate.

The team behind it was a heavy blend of homegrown youngsters and foreign stars – but in our all-time Boro XI (with five subs), we’ve also found room for a few golden oldies as well.

As for the manager, we’re going to bite the bullet and opt for Steve McClaren, who – for all his misgivings – presided over the most exciting period Boro fans have ever seen. We salute you, Schteve.

Don’t worry, though, we are fully aware Maccarone was useless. But come on, that UEFA Cup run ?!

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