Middlesbrough have had a mixed season till now. If they were shown a footage of their displays at the start of the season they might have been fairly pleased with their organisation and their ability to compete at his level. After a gap of 7 years, coming into the Premier League and trying to blend in is not always easy. And with the massive increase in competition this year, as it is with every passing year, it is a huge ask for the club to stay relevant in the scheme of things. And that is what Boro have successfully achieved.
After a rousing start, they showed early signs of the problems faced by every club. The ability to play at the same level for 90 minutes was not always possible and due to the lack of a uniform Premier league quality throughout the squad, they were beginning to run out of steam and it showed in their displays.
This led Karanka to tweak his tactics slightly and it was a commendable move from someone who had picked up a notorious reputation for his unwillingness to change as the situation demanded. Boro have since then played with a 3-man midfield which has seen them turn into a much more compact and tough-to-break-down side. The likes of De Roon, Clayton and Forshaw have stuck to the task well and have been able to follow the former Real Madrid Assistant coach’s instructions.
But on the flipside, the Riversiders seem to have sacrificed their cutting edge which has gone drastically blunt in recent weeks. Aitor Karanka had stressed towards the end of the summer transfer window that he was far from done being active in the transfer window and that yet new signings were required to build a team which would be capable of making a name with their performances.
And according to a report, he wishes to further enhance his attacking options after signing Rudy Gestede, with the pursuit of Bojan Krkic. The Stoke attackers haven’t been setting the world alight at Stoke and after the emergence of Joe Allen in an advanced area, it seems that the former Barcelona man might be open to a more prominent role elsewhere.
There has been a severe lack of supply to Alvaro Negredo who has had to feed off scraps provided to him via long balls and set-pieces mostly. Bojan’s technical ability and his dribbling skills along with his link-up play will afford a different dimension to Karanka. With Rhodes and Nugent expected to exit and with doubts over Downing lingering, Bojan’s signing might not be the most far-fetched thing now.