"frivolous". Therefore, Aliadiere is now receiving a more stringent sanction for his ludicrous mitted slap than Martin Taylor has for his amateurish attempt to amputate Eduardo's ankle. The Frenchman's ban starts tomorrow night against Sheffield United.
There are doubts over the Boro defence for the crucial FA Cup replay with Robert Huth still doubtful and David Wheater suspended. Jon Grounds and Seb Hines are likely to plug the gaps. Elsewhere, there could be a belated chance for Afonso Alves to make his full debut after a couple of bemused substitute appearances.
There was at least the welcome news that Stewart Downing's new five year contract has finally been signed. Inexplicably maligned by many, including at times a disturbingly vocal minority of his own club's fans, its not any coincidence that again Boro's best form has been inspired by an on-song Downing. Lets hope he's left to prosper at the Riverside for some time yet.