Boro's Turkish delight
Middlesbrough FanZoner Dan Gilgan has seen his side's fortunes turn on their head in the last few weeks.
Last Updated: 21/11/08 11:35am
Middlesbrough FanZoner Dan Gilgan has seen his side's fortunes turn on their head in the last few weeks, and he thinks he knows why.
It was only three weeks ago that I suffered the humiliation of a 5-0 thrashing live on Fanzone. Leaving the commentary booth, I cut a sad and dejected figure, wondering where we would find inspiration. Dark thoughts of a relegation dog-fight were filling my mind.
Four games later and those dark hours seem a distant memory. Battling draws against Blackburn & West Ham and entertaining wins against Man City and Aston Villa have seen us jump up to eighth place and suddenly the Riverside is buzzing again.
Neutral fans will be wondering what happened to transform us from that sorry bunch, chasing shadows against Chelsea, into the sharp attacking force that destroyed Aston Villa on Sunday.
Well, the return of club captain Emanuel Pogatetz helped, and Stewart Downing re-discovered his England form, but the inspiration has been our Turkish brave heart Tuncay Sanli.
He has limitless energy, a magical touch, (reminiscent of Dennis Bergkamp), and a genuine eye for goal. His bubbling personality is infectious and has re-invigorated the side. Sunday's brace against Villa reminded us of his match winning qualities.
It's been a long time since Middlesbrough were blessed with a player of this quality and character. It is considered almost blasphemy on Teesside to compare anyone to our Brazilian maestro, Juninho but in Tuncay Sanli I'm seeing a player who is starting to dominate games in the same way the little fella did.
Juninho captured the imagination of Boro fans and inspired us to our first major trophy. It's too early to start thinking of more silverware at the Riverside but with Tuncay in the squad I can't help dreaming!