Friday, 21 April 2017

Where did it go wrong for Boro?

I admit that I had Middlesbrough in my bottom three from the start of the season. I just could not see how Aitor Karanka could build harmony in his squad having walked out of the club while it was in the Championship. He made some high value signings such as Victor Valdes, Adam Taore and Alvaro Negredo, but goals were always going to be a challenge for them and it's proved their undoing with just 22 all season.
Bournemouth and Boro go head-to-head in the
biggest game of the season so far for the Cherries as they could earn their safety.
The lack of goals have led to just four wins, which is also the lowest in the league. It's slightly annoying that one of those wins also came against Bournemouth. They have changed manager and head coach Steve Agnes has stepped in, but he has not seen the kind of reaction that has given the Boro fans much hope of survival. They have really hit the rocks in April by losing to Hull City and by being unable to beat Swansea City or Burnley. Before they played Crystal Palace in mid-February Boro were 15th in the table and two points above the relegation zone. But they have only added two points from their next six games and they are looking at a quick return to the Championship.

They have not had their captain George Friend on the field for enough matches wither having played in about half the games. Ben Gibson has had a good season for them having made the most passes, the highest number of tackles and being played in all their 10 clean sheet matches - he's a player that perhaps Eddie Howe could do well to take a look at.


Despite some brave performances at the back, away games have been a lonely journey for Boro fans wanting to see wins. They beat Sunderland in their second game of the season but despite excellent draws with Man City and Leicester City away there have been few highlights if any on the road. They of course need to win almost every game now but who honestly gives them a hope of picking up half the remaining points on offer? Man City Chelsea and Liverpool are all in their last few games and so the match against AFCB has to be a must win you'd think.

The problem is it's not just on the road that Boro have faltered. Monday's defeat to Arsenal made it 15 games in a row for them without a win. Something has to change at Boro, but I'm not expecting a rearguard revival any time soon. This is the perfect opposition for AFCB to climb to safety and there can't be any excuses if they don't pick up the points on Saturday.

AFCB Home Form

Middlesbrough Away Form

Tributes will be held for former Middlesbrough player Ugo Ehiogu on Saturday who passed away this week after a heart-attack.

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