BORO MAKE A CASE FOR THE DEFENCE
I’VE spoken before about how a good strike partnership is the best way to win promotion.
But after watching Middlesbrough’s 2-0 victory over Derby last weekend, I have to say that their defensive unit could be the thing that sees them up.
Manager Aitor Karanka has got the back four really well organised and with Grant Leadbitter and Adam Clayton offering protection in front, they are a very, very tough side to create chances against.
Derby are a good attacking side who score a lot of goals. But they just couldn’t get going because every second ball was won by Clayton or Leadbitter.
Middlesbrough weren’t great to watch last year. I think Karanka was still feeling his way around and trying to make the players understand how he wanted to play.
But they know exactly what they need to do and in Patrick Bamford they’ve got the ingredient that was missing last year – a top-class striker with great energy, power, movement and, above all, an ability to find space in the penalty area.
It’s a great mix of defensive and attacking qualities and, for me, whoever finishes above Boro wins the Championship.