I'm back after an extended break caused by a wine-fuelled sojourn to Bordeaux and apathy after last Saturday's dismal yet utterly predictable defeat at West Ham. Tomorrow's game may not seem particularly appealing - the prospect of paying money to watch Stuart Parnaby play as a winger would surely dismay most people. However, with Monday's scheduled defeat at Liverpool postponed, the next two Saturdays provide two winnable home games which must be used to banish any lingering relegation fears.
Our last two league games have ended with defeats to Man City and West Ham, providing uncomfortable evidence of the paucity of our squad. Fortunately, colossal German lump Robert Huth is back to cover for the suspended Emmanuel Pogatetz. Julio Arca faces a fitness test - his groin is still causing problems. I would personally be happy to devote my Saturday to caressing his toned Latin upper leg if it means we are spared Fabio Rochemback or, God forbid, Jason Euell. I'm not sure it would help though.
Lee Cattermole completes a 2 game suspension while James Morrison is serving the second of three games for his highly amusing assault on Boro's rubber-legged, gimp-faced, greasy nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo. This will hopefully give Adam Johnson a chance to play. Plenty of managers seem prepared to play right-footed players on the left. Our balance would be best served by two natural wide players, even if they are both left-footed.
Prediction: A beautiful Bank Holiday weekend on the Tees riviera spoiled only by a grim game of football - 2-1 Boro.