Boro Fan's Opinion On Downing To Villa
1) So, you surprised to see Stewart Downing leaving and how will his departure be viewed by Boro fans?
We have been expecting his departure for over 18 months now since the whole Spurs interest started back in 2007. The majority of the fans will be sad to see one of 'our own' move on, but we will also be very pleased that he has gone to a club that has real ambition to break into the top four in the coming seasons. A small minority of the Riverside faithful think that Downing's performances were lacklustre last season due to his inevitable departure, but I will back him all the way because, despite not being prolific in front of goal last season, he has given 100% for his club on and off the pitch.
2) Next time he returns to the Riverside (you'll be back?!) will he be clapped or booed?
Boro fans are not as fickle as other club fans. We can't moan because Downing's transfer fee will have a massive impact on the club's future. £12million will go along way, but hopefully we won't splash it all on a Brazilian flip-flop this time. The Boro fans will give him a warm welcome, no doubt.
3) Do you think £12m is a fair price or has his injury maybe knocked it down?
We know how valuable the lad is because we see him play week in week out. £12million is fair in my eyes because although he is a superb club player, he still hasn't cemented that England place so the price can't be too much. If he was a regular I would think the price would be a little higher. I'm sure I speak for most fans that £12million is a great deal for us.
4) What sort of player do you think Villa will be getting? Is he good enough to be an England regular?
Certainly not an overrated player like some North London club fans think. As I said in the first question, who will be getting a player that consistently puts 100% effort in. You will also get a player that has a great football brain. Keep a close eye on him because he hardly gives the ball away when he's in possession. As you know he has a lethal left foot. Although he didn't score any league goals last season I think he was up there with chances on target - who will get 10 goals out of him.
5) Do you think Boro will keep hold of Tuncay or will he be off as well? Seems the club are pretty set on keeping David Wheater?
Tuncay will be off as well. He is keen to remain in the Premier League and I think Martin O'Neill will put in an offer within the next week for him (sources tell me). We could lose our two best players within a few days, but we need to do it to move forward - Gibson and Lamb are slowly getting it right. We are very keen on keeping the Redcar Rock because he will be needed to get us back in the Premiership. He has so much passion and determination to succeed for Middlesbrough and it shows in every performance. He could be an England regular in a couple of years time.
6) What are your hopes for next season, do you expect to bounce straight back to the Premiership?
I want to see us win the Championship next season. If we can add a couple of experienced players to the squad and keep the likes of Huth, Wheater and O'Neil we should be right up there. I'll take any position as long as its 1st or second!
With thanks to UpTheBoro from www.middlesbrough.vitalfootball.co.uk