PRE MATCH STATS
After nearly six years of watching football dominated by defensive tactics, new Boro manager Jonathan Woodgate has promised to bring attacking football back to Teesside.
“I want the players to play with high energy, I want them to press, I want to commit bodies forward– that’s what we ‘were’ like.”
Woody didn’t take long to mention how he wanted Boro to play an attacking brand of football when first appointed.
An ex-Leeds and England defender, born in the North East, with no managerial experience, jumping into his first job in Englands second tier has been successful for Boro before when Jack Charlton was appointed in 1973.
The successful era similarity does not end there..
With the squad numbers announced, 40% of the current crop of players are aged between 18 to 22.
A group of young local talent wearing the Hummel Boro shirt brings back many memories for Boro fans of a certain age–It’s the spirit of 86 when the phoenix rose from the flames.
With current names unfamiliar to fans of other clubs–Aynsley Pears (21), Djed Spence (18), Nathan Wood (17), Patrick Reading (20), Hayden Coulson (21)– plus new signings Marc Bola (21) and Marcus Brown (21) and academy breakthrough players Marcus Tavernier (20) and Dael Fry (21) Boro are building for the future once again.
They may not emulate the success of Big Jacks team, or even that of goalkeeper Aynsley Pears’ dad Stephen, who was Boro keeper in 1986, either way the future looks bright.
So where will Boro finish?
Statistically speaking somewhere around 7th to 9th, but with astute purchases, a new style and fresh approach, most Boro fans will be looking to the playoffs. #UTB
More to come Pre & Post Match…
So, Jonathan Woodgate is hoping to implement a more attacking style this season, and in the Championship a player can come from anywhere to top the scoring charts as shown last season with Teemu Pukki.
It’s no great surprise that teams with high scoring forwards tend to do well. Having a clinical finisher is obviously a boost to any team, but the strikers need the right support system behind them. You rarely see forwards doing it all on their own nowadays.
The amount of goals needed to be Top Scorer in The Championship is at least 25. Four of the last six seasons have seen the top scorer rack up a minimum of 27 goals in total, while Pukki nearly hit 30 last season. He did that by clicking with the teams overall style, benefitting from a talented, creative midfield.
Four of the last five winners of the golden boot have helped their side to a top-six finish. While their goals help, the clubs tend to have enough talent around the pitch to make a sustained promotion push.
Boro will need to consider more than just the forwards when it comes to scoring goals, last season all of the top five Championship goalscorers played for teams who like to play on the front foot, and at the end of the season, analysis showed all played for clubs who preferred a patient, passing style.
Boro will need key players and an open style. The forwards will need plenty of support from midfield. Those elements should factor into wether Boro finish mid table or challenge for the playoffs.
THE LAST 5 BORO PLAYERS TO SCORE 20 LEAGUE GOALS
1. Bernie Slaven (21) 1988/90
2. Bernie Slaven (21) 1987/88
3. John Hickton (25) 1970/71
4. John Hickton (24) 1969/70
5. John Hickton (24) 1967/68