Sunday, April 22, 2018

Why goal-shy Middlesbrough are in danger of the drop

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, English Premier League 5 Feb 2017


Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka needs to find a solution to a lack of creativity in his team

Middlesbrough suffered defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Saturday evening, which sees them just one point above the Premier League relegation zone with a third of the season to go.

The newly-promoted outfit haven’t won a game since mid-December, and have picked up the fewest amount of points since Boxing Day. And their woeful form is likely to see them relegated as things stand.

Boro can’t score goals

Middlesbrough’s biggest problem has been scoring goals this season. Since their promotion from the Championship back in May, the North-East side just haven’t been able to unlock defences in the top-flight and it could cost them their Premier League status. Aitor Karanka’s men have been so focused on their defensive structure that they’re struggling to make an impact at the other end, and they are the lowest scorers in the division as a result.

The newly-promoted outfit have scored just two goals in their last five games in the Premier League, and have registered more than one goal in a game just once since October. They have relied on their defensive resilience to pick up results, but with the club only two points clear of the bottom-three with 14 games to go, Middlesbrough need to be bold to ensure they don’t fall into the drop zone.

Away form sees them unable to build up momentum

In addition to a lack of goals, Middlesbrough can’t compete on the road in 2016/17. In the Premier League, Boro have managed just one win away from home all season, beating Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in August, picking up just six points from the 11 games that followed. Karanka’s men have scored just once in five away outings too and it’s easy to see what they need to correct to stay in the division.

Supporters will be worried with the club given the opponents Middlesbrough have beaten. There’s been a common trend with their results this season that highlights the level Boro are operating at. The Riversiders have won four of 24 games in the Premier League this season, beating Sunderland, Bournemouth, Hull City and Swansea City – four sides who are all 14th and below in the table.

Middlesbrough have picked up four points to sides in the top-half which highlights that the table doesn’t lie given their lowly position. They can’t compete with the stronger clubs and are only on-par with the ones struggling. Middlesbrough are 6/4 to suffer relegation from the Premier League this season as a result.

But can they stay up?


Crippy Cooke

Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.



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