What Is The Secret To Middlesbrough’s Great Goalscoring Record This Season?

What Is The Secret To Middlesbrough’s Great Goalscoring Record This Season?

Middlesbrough have scored 56 goals in 34 games so far this season – only one team, Burnley, have found the net on more occasions than Boro in the Championship.

Since the appointment of former West Ham and Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, Middlesbrough have failed to score in just two games across all competitions.

One reason for their stellar goalscoring record (and perhaps the key reason) is the form of star striker Chuba Akpom. With lightning-quick pace and ever-improving finishing, Akpom is a very difficult player for defenders to handle. His breakneck speed makes it very risky for other teams to play a high line – allowing Boro to commit players forward without fears of being overwhelmed.

Carrick likes to cause overloads in attacking areas – to accomplish this, he instructs left-back Ryan Giles to make runs down the left, while right-back Tommy Smith tucks inside to effectively form a back three. Using this method allows Giles to create space for others and himself – additionally, he has also picked up eight assists this season.

This strategy of pushing one full-back up while the other defends has been used in the past by teams such as Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City under Pep Guardiola.

This does not leave them exposed, either – when defending, Middlesbrough will revert to a back four and Giles will drop deeper to help out.

Additionally, Carrick also encourages his midfielders to get forward and chip in with goals when possible. Marcus Forss, Riley Gree, Matt Crooks and Duncan Watmore have all scored five or more goals for Boro during this campaign.