Well the big kick off is only 2 days away and once again our main aim is promotion into the top flight, is it a realistic target? Of course it is.
Last season we proved we could compete through out the campaign and that was despite having a side littered with loan players, average players and workman like players. Of course we did have several class acts, Bennet, Williams, Emnes and Robson.
My concern going into the campaign is similar to last years, our squad may not be strong enough to achieve or ambition. Injuries, loss of form and suspensions will no doubt play a major part in the coming months.
Regarding Moggas transfer activity;
Grant Leadbitter, a terrific signing, especially when you consider Roy Keane paid £2.6 million for his signature a couple of years ago to take him down to Portman Road and he has arrived at the Riverside on a free transfer.He has a bit of everything, he can tackle, create, pass and chip in with a goal.
George Friend, signed from Doncaster, he is a left sided defender and can play several positions along the back line, he is very athletic, quick and tough an all round good defender.
Emmanuel Ledesma, arrived from Walsall, he is Argentinian left pegger, has good vision, creates space for himself, he is a clever player and has an eye for goal.
Mustapha Carayol, Right or left winger, very quick and skillful His former club was Bristol Rovers.
Stuart Parnaby, was training at Middlesbrough throughout last season, of course played in the Uefa Cup final back in 2006, he is a product of our academy and has had his fair share of injuries over the years, he is an elegant and stylish defender
Jonathan Woodgate, his ability is not open to debate, on his day he is as good as any centre back in the country, past or present, reads the game well, good in the air, excellent on the ground, good tackler and chips in with important goals,(ask the Spurs fans).
Our opening game in the Capital 1 cup against Bury went to plan, with a terrific goal from last seasons top scorer Marvin Emnes and it was great to see new boy Ledesma opening his account in a competitive match.
The biggest surprise in the cup tie was the exclusion of Scott Macdonald, He couldn’t even find a place on the bench. I have spoken to Middlesbrough Coach Mark Proctor recently, who assured me it was purely tactical and nothing to do with an injury. From the outside looking in its quite evident that Scott Macdonald and Tony Mowbray don’t see eye to eye, no doubt this stems back to the time both of them spent with Glasgow Celtic. The other thing is Macdonald is the highest earner at the football club and we cannot afford that luxury. With 2 years remaining on the Aussies contract he holds all the cards. If we don’t want to play him, and he doesn’t want to move he can sit there (Mendieta) fashion and pick up his wages.
The ones I am really looking forward to performing this season are Luke Williams, Cameron Park, Adam Reach and Curtis Main.
I would just like to wish Tony Mowbray and the team all the very best for the season, hopefully our home form can improve and the fans will turn up in droves to support their team.And this year I will be watching every home game.