Michael’s Middlesbrough Revival – Part 1

When Carrick took over the reigns at The Riverside, Middlesbrough were 21st in the table and looking worse for wear after Chris Wilder tried unsuccessfully to turn their fortunes around. Carrick was essentially an untested manager, having served as caretaker manager at Manchester United for 3 games, where he tallied up 2 wins and 1 draw in his extremely short stewardship, so coming into a side who were struggling for points was set to be a challenge for the ex-midfielder.

Carrick’s first game in charge was a narrow 2-1 defeat to Preston – but fast forward to now, and Middlesbrough have racked up a fantastic return of 22 points from an available 30 with only West Brom, Sheffield United & Burnley collecting more points than Carrick’s seemingly rejuvenated side. 

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Middlesbrough had only scored 19 goals in 16 games prior to the change in manager, yet in the last 10 games, they’ve bagged 22 as Carrick begins to implement his preferred tactical nuances and preferred starting 11. On the other end of the pitch, we can see that there have been 12 goals conceded in Michael’s reign compared to the previous amount of 21 goals conceded before his arrival – an obvious and visible improvement. Despite the lower amount of goals conceded, there has only been one clean sheet in his tenure, whereas there were 4 clean sheets before he arrived. It is clear to see that Michael Carrick’s appointment has yielded instant results for Middlesbrough, who now sit in the play-off spots, dragging them up from the relegation battle to a potential promotion push, but is this the result of the improved motivation a new manager brings, or has Carrick genuinely got what it takes to bring Middlesbrough back to the Premier League? We shall find out!

Part 2 will be a tactical analysis of the changes that Michael Carrick has implemented in the Middlesbrough team, with Part 3 presenting an overall combination of the tactical analysis of the transformation of the side, potential signings and thoughts on whether or not both Michael and Middlesbrough have got what it takes to return to the highest tier in English Football.

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