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Well, I'm sure most fans would agree that the start has been somewhat patchy and frustrating. So what are the positives, what's going wrong and what needs to change?
After the way things had gone against Norwich and Brentford, it was fair to say that the international break had come at a good time. Usually there’s frustration when the latest round of international fixtures come about, especially given the general apathy for England right now.
It has been a resolute and assuring week for Boro fans this last week or so: after a convincing result against Bolton and a ground out draw at Villa Park last week, it would always be intriguing to see how the side progressed from there.
Honestly thought that international break would never end! After the disappointing 0-0 draw with Preston at The Riverside, it was important that Boro responded positively against Bolton and Aston Villa.
Well, that was hard work, wasn’t it? After Adama Traoré started the match by lighting up the word ‘NARRATIVE’ in gasoline across the Villa Park pitch, there seemed to be an inevitability about the mounting Villa pressure throughout the game. They had to break through eventually – didn’t they?
Following the dreaded international break, where enthusiasm for anything England related seems to be at an all-time low right now, it was a relief to get back down to the nitty gritty of domestic football.
As the disappointment and despair of last season begins to fade and we become entranced by the challenges of the new season.
The transfer deadline is approaching and despite spending over £40m and signing eight new players, Garry Monk is still active in the market.
Boro head into the first international break after a disjointed and lacklustre performance at home to Preston. It’s clear that there is still some work to be done but by the time we reach Bolton on September 9, the transfer window will have closed and we will know our final squad-list for the first half of the season.
In recent days the ability of 29-year-old left-back George Friend has been questioned by many supporters, after a poor start to a season which held much promise for the Boro squad.