As a general rule I don't talk to footballers. Nothing personal, but the support I give them on the pitch doesn't confer any higher status on them as human beings. Grown men of my age fawning over inarticulate lads in their 20s is slightly embarrassing. I have nothing to say and nothing to offer except politeness. But then I'm not 7, or 6, or 2.
David Bentley couldn't do enough for Louis and Joe on Saturday (right). Andre Oojer, man of the match, was lovely to Elliot (left). And I was reminded that Robbie Savage got a room full of people singing Happy Birthday to Joe last May.
As for the Middlesbrough match, it wasn't a classic, but it's the kind of game that under Mark Hughes we tend to win through sheer graft and persistence. We also showed we've got more intelligent as well as opportunistic. Brett Emerton is a far better left back than an attacking midlfield player, for example.