To enhance my 2016/17 Premier League projection I’m reviewing factors that may impact each team’s strength compared with last season, as explained here. Next up Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough has a strong 2015/16 Championship campaign, fully deserving automatic promotion after finishing second. It was a success built on defensive strength, conceding comfortably the fewest goals of any Championship team.
To illustrate the relative strengths of key players joining and leaving, the numbers below compare defensive, passing and attacking strength against the average premier league player in 2015/16 (0% means at the same level as the average premier league player, greater than 0% is better and less than 0% is worse). Defensive assessment is the sum of defensive actions (tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks). Passing is number of completed passes, and attacking strength is goals plus assists (all measured per match). This isn’t a robust statistical analysis, and can be skewed due to acquisition from a weaker league or lack of minutes played – but the purpose is to simply indicate the comparative strength of incoming and outgoing players.
Unlike their fellow promoted clubs, Middlesbrough have invested heavily over the summer. And they looked to have significantly strengthened all areas of the team. Viktor Fischer, in particular, looks an interesting signing – adding attacking strength, but also (somewhat unusually for an attacking midfielder) posting exceptional defensive (tackles and interceptions) numbers last season at Ajax.
No. No change.
Significant investment should make Middlesbrough stronger.