As the new football league season approaches this is our 4th campaign in the Championship. After coming so close to a playoff place last season. I really fancy us get back to the premier league, I feel this is strongest team and squad depth we had for some time. The Championship is a very competitive league and one I see wide open. Any out of 12 teams could be in with chance of promotion. The team I fancy to get promoted is Bolton with mix of these in top 6: Boro, Birmingham, Wolves, Cardiff and Blackburn.
It’s a demanding league the games come quick and fast with 3 games in a week, we start new season on Saturday against Barnsley, Then our first home game v Burnley on Tuesday Night and another home game against Crystal Palace following Saturday. It not a bad start we have avoided the teams that have got promoted from league 1 who normally start the new campaign well.
A new season brings extra expectation and a renewed optimism which as fan I can’t wait for us to get started. I believe this could be our year my prediction is 2nd/3rd, maybe that is my heart and my head prediction! The squad we already had plus the additions Mogga brought in, I think we will cope with the demands of this league better this season and learn the lessons that costed us last season.
The squad has never had so much cover in each position, Joe Bennett now has some competition for left back spot which he didn’t have last season. We have added much needed creativity to the squad in Ledesma and Winger Carayol. The return to 7 subs is great news for us and the youth talent to make a breakthrough in the first team. The likes of Luke Williams and Adam Reach have been ones that have impressed in pre season friendlies. Then we have Park, Smallwood and Main who I think will see feature a lot this season.
With all the new faces it takes time for squad to gel that’s why good for players to get a game in league cup under they belt before the big league kick off this weekend. It was all about getting into the next round, though some of the play was great at times. Leadbitter had at least 3 good chances I can see him getting a good 8-10 goals from midfield this season. Carayol a winger we have been crying out for, is what we need a player who gets the ball and goes for it taking players on and crossing ball at byline. Great to watch! Ledesma showed great link up play at times and got his first goal for Boro following in Bailey shot that was pared by Bury Keeper.
Our new captain Rhys Williams Was announced last week, he been with the club 8 years now I’m really pleased he has been given the armband. Rhys knows club inside out, what means to the fans, he fan too supporting the Boro at Derby while out injured at back last season. He well respected by his team mates, I hope this responsibility drives Rhys and all team on and gets up back to Premier League. That where our new captain deserves to be he’s top player who signed a new deal not long ago stating his ambition to play at top level with Middlesbrough.
Kevin Thomson has spoke well in pre season stating he will win the Boro fans over, I really hope it works out for him. It’s a big if, after his Boro career has been disrupted by injuries meaning he not had rapport with the fans like has done at previous clubs Hibs and Rangers. If can play first 10 games this season I think we will see best of Kevin Thomson in Boro shirt, he can help dictate the midfield and slip decent balls through to forwards.
There seems a good mix of experience and youth in squad this season, all top teams spread goals in team that’s what we need to do and not rely on Emnes all time to get the goals. I think with squad we have we will see goals chipped in from defence and midfield this season, looks like Bailey will get more forward role this season, Defenders chip in with few from set pieces. I do think see more goals from midfield this season with likes, Bailey, Leadbitter, Carayol, Ledesma, Reach and Park.
It first time since been back in championship that we have started league campaign with an away game, the performance of last season game against Barnsley will take some beating it was great watch Boro play great football one best displays of season. Passing was sublime! I be happy for us to just get the points on board tomorrow! I cant wait for season to start tomorrow at Oakwell, over 3,000 Boro fans travelling to game going be a great atmosphere lets hope winning start! COME ON BORO!