Premiership Preview: Middlesbrough

August 3, 2007 at 8:44 am | Posted in Football, Jackie Manuel | Leave a comment

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Are Boro in danger of the drop?

Interesting Wikipedia Fact: Middlesbrough supporters’ main rivals are Newcastle United (with whom they contest the Tyne-Tees derby), Sunderland, and Leeds United, a fact confirmed by planetfootball.com’s 2004 survey,[38] where Newcastle and Sunderland fans also considered Middlesbrough to be amongst their top three rivalries (in third and second places respectively). There is no notable rivalry with their immediate neighbours Hartlepool United and Darlington. This is mainly because the clubs have very rarely been in the same league. In fact some Middlesbrough fans indirectly support the two clubs by looking out for results and occasionally attending games when Middlesbrough are not playing.

Jackie’s Club Knowledge: It was hard not to believe Boro got the middle from their league finishes. Just promoted in 1998 they finished ninth, and while they have occasionally gotten in to Europe and occasionally flirted with relegation, Middlesbrough have finished mid-table. Christian Karembeu, Paul Ince, and Dean Windass did the job. Ah Dean Windass….if I ever start a band it will absolutely be named Dean Windass.

Worst Kit:

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Fantasy: Yakubu.

Best and Worst Possible Finish: 14th and 20th-Boro are in trouble. It seems Southgate is trying to build from the back and it is possible that Boro will have a decent defence. However with Schwarzer on his way out and Woodgate injured again, the bedrock is more than shaky. The Smoggies stayed up on the 19 goals of Mark Viduka and the 16 goals from Yak. Nobody else scored more than three. I’m not quite sure Sicknote Aliadiere or Tuncay Sanli are up to replacing the Aussie and the midfield has not been upgraded. Boro are old, and they might be at the middle of a different table next season.

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