Harry Elliott (@harry94elliott) gives a preview of Middlesbrough FC’s first season back in the Premier League since 2009.
Middlesbrough FC finally achieved promotion back to the top flight of English football in May, pipping Brighton and Hove Albion to second position in the Championship on goal difference. Spanish Head Coach Aitor Karanka has made a blistering start to the transfer window, with the ‘Smoggies’ already having captured Victor Valdes, Marten De Roon, Antonio Barragan, Gaston Ramirez, Viktor Fischer, Bernardo Espinosa and most recently Alvaro Negredo – just to name a few!
‘Boro were also tantalizingly close to securing Borussia Dortmund’s Serbian defender Neven Subotic, only for the 27 year old to fail a medical in the north east.
However, that one bit of disappointing news has not deterred @oneboro from giving the lowdown on new boy Negredo, and how he could be a perfect fit at the Riverside Stadium:
“Boro’s ambitious summer transfers continue with the loan capture of Valencia striker Alvaro Negredo, the powerful former Manchester City man who scored 23 goals in 48 games in his only season in England.”
“A lot has been made of the Spaniard’s qualities, and his flaws, but the truth is, he is probably the perfect striker for Aitor Karanka’s 4-2-3-1 system”.
“Boro fans have long complained that the club haven’t had a striker to suit Aitor Karanka’s favoured system but in Negredo, they may finally have their man. He has a powerful physique that will worry defenders and bring team mates into play, and a quick look at his YouTube highlight reel show that he can certainly finish”.
Similarly, Victor Valdes gets the lyrical waxing treatment from @oneboro as does the magnificent work done by Aitor Karanka over the past three years:
“Valdes is a huge signing for the club. Just four years ago, he was part of Spain’s Euro 2012 winning squad and his career has been filled with trophies at both club and international level”.
“These deals, along with the other big names that Boro have been linked with this summer, show just how much the manager is a factor when players are considering a move to Teesside”.
“Karanka is very highly-rated in the game, and particularly in his own country, and sometimes Boro fans seem to forget that. A lot of players will opt for a move to the Riverside because they see it as an opportunity to work with one of the best young managers in the game at the moment”
Let it not be forgotten that Middlesbrough also boast some very capable Championship players amongst their ranks on Teeside, who will relish the chance to prove themselves in the top flight – George Friend, Daniel Ayala, Albert Adomah and Jordan Rhodes to list a handful. Experienced heads like 35 times England international Stuart Downing will equally be invaluable to the Teeside outfit as they aim to stay in the Premier League and establish themselves at a time when the financial reward is even more ludicrous than usual due to TV money.
@oneboro does not overlook the role played by strikers such as Jordan Rhodes and David Nugent:
“Rhodes was a big money buy just six months ago and he’s worked hard for his chance in the top flight, he’s not going to let it go without a fight”.
“Rhodes and Nugent are going to be given the chance to impress. Karanka has rotated from day one and he’s not going to stop now he’s achieved success with the method”.
To draw this to a close, I predict Middlesbrough to have a relatively successful year, providing their new signings gel and perform to the best of their abilities. As a neutral I look forward to the prospect of two Tees-Wear derbies this year, and wish ‘Boro the best of luck. In this writer’s humble opinion Middlesbrough FC will finish a credible 14th this year.
Read more on Middlesbrough from ‘Boro blogger oneboro.co.uk
By Harry Elliott (@harry94elliott)