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Championship 2012/13 Preview: Middlesborough

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Club: Middlesbrough FC

Last Season: 7th in the Championship

Recent History:

It was a season of two halves for Middlesbrough last season. A fine run of early season form saw them go 11 games unbeaten. The run included 6 wins in a 7 game spell. The talk of the town was that Boro could be back on the road to the promised land, but a dismal run of form in 2012, managing only 6 wins, saw them slide down the table.

Manager Profile:

At many other clubs, runs such as the one Middlesbrough went through in 2012 would have resulted in Tony Mowbray being shown the door. However, his popularity amongst the fans means that the Riverside is fully behind their prodigal son once again as this season kicks off. Mowbray lead the club from liquidation to the top-flight as captain, and is considered a club legend. He returned to his home-town club and took them from 22nd to 12th in 2010-11.

Summer Transfer Activity:

In
Mustapha Carayol - Brsitol Rovers - £200,000
Jayson Leutwiler - FC Basel - £50,000
George Friend - Doncaster Rovers - £250,000
Jon Woodgate - Stoke City - £1.5M
Grant Leadbitter - Ipswich Town - £1.5M
Emmanuel Ledesma - Walsall - £250,000

Out
Tony McMahon - Sheffield United - £1M
Jon Grounds - Oldham - £500,000
Jon Franks - Hartlepool - £500,000
Barry Robson - Vancouver - £500,000
Matthew Bates - Released

Expected Line-Up, Formation and Tactics:

4-3-3

Steele, Hoyte, Williams, Woodgate, Bennett, Bailey, Thompson, Leadbitter, Emnes, Jutkiewicz, Ledesma.

There is no doubt that Marvin Emnes is the star of the show. After being linked with a £3M move to Swansea this summer, it is vital that Boro keep hold of the flying Dutchman. Mowbray has acted quickly to replace Robson with the tenacious Leadbitter in the midfield, and has also strengthened at the back with the signing of the experienced Jon Woodgate. The strong spine of the team also see's two academy products in Rhys Williams in defence, and Jason Steele in goal. The men from the north east will need Jutkiewicz to score more frequently than last season, and there is feeling that they may well be too reliant on Emnes for goals.

What the fans are saying:

A dream season would be promotion, a nightmare season would be not winning promotion. So it is likely that the result will be somewhere in-between. Realistically, Boro fans expect a top half finish, with a push for the play-offs come the end of the season. Whatever the campaign holds, Mowbray has the fans backing 110%.

Main Forum: http://forum.comeonboro.com/

Odds: To win division: 22/1, To be promoted: 13/2

Verdict:

Top Half Finish

Middlesbrough can expect much of the same this season, with no real marquee signings, and another year relying on home-grown talent, it is likely that they will fall short of the play-offs once again. As the odds suggest, relegation is not a possibility, meaning that a mid-table season looks on the cards for Mowbray's men.

Compiled by: @AlexAnder

Comments

  • think they got leadbitter, Ledesma and woodgate on frees
  • Er, are you sure that Hartlepool and Oldham paid 500k each for Boro players? Seems way too much to me.
  • edited August 2012
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  • Ignore the fees, my fault
  • 1.5 for woodgate if thats true then stoke must be laughing all the way to the bank
  • Er, are you sure that Hartlepool and Oldham paid 500k each for Boro players? Seems way too much to me.

    it's what my Internet research found!
    seems a lot though I agree
  • I reckon they will be top 6 Play offs, look good
  • Mid table at best.
  • Probably the best footballing side at The Den last season.
  • Mid Table
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  • Another team where there is a lot of pressure because the finances are not good. I did hear that Middlesborough had a very good youth team a couple of years back and perhaps some of those will push through.

    Tony Mowbray is a real asset and I think will see them top six.
  • Bit of a bridesmaid never the bride outfit .. somewhere around 8th
  • mparsons1 said:

    1.5 for woodgate if thats true then stoke must be laughing all the way to the bank


    Defiantly a free transfer.

  • One of my local games against a team who I'd expect to be pushing for the play-offs. Wouldn't begrudge them either as Tony Mowbray is a proper nice bloke and good old school manager.
  • "A dream season would be promotion, a nightmare season would be not winning promotion. So it is likely that the result will be somewhere in-between. Realistically, Boro fans expect a top half finish, with a push for the play-offs come the end of the season. Whatever the campaign holds, Mowbray has the fans backing 110%."

    What's in between winning promotion and not winning promotion?

    ;-)
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Roland Out!