Bye Bye Boyd
A man who scored more goals in the Scottish Premier League than anyone else in history, beating off names like the great Henrik Larsson and Boro’s very own Scott McDonald, Kris Boyd has sneaked out of the Riverside after just six months.
The beefy striker, who managed 164 goals in nine years that were split between Glasgow Rangers and Kilmarnock, has opted for a loan move to reignite his faltering move to England.
Having scored only six goals in 29 league and cup appearances, Boyd’s loan move to Nottingham Forest hasn’t exactly been frowned upon by fans despite the big man’s fantastic SPL record.
But in all truth Boyd’s poor work rate and less than endearing style made him unpopular at Boro from day one.
The fact that one of the major factors in Boyd’s move was money and his reported £25,000-a-week wages did nothing to turn what eventually became frustrated jeers into supportive cheers either.
Although still under contract with Middlesbrough until the summer of 2012, his latest move and blatant failure to persuade Tony Mowbray of his usefulness to the team makes a summer departure for the 27-year-old forward look ever more likely.
But Mowbray himself has praised Boyd’s effort in training, while at one point Gordon Strachan claimed that Boyd was trying too hard, quoted by BBC Sport as saying: “I can’t ask anymore from his training.”
He added: “He was actually trying too hard and I said, 'Listen, you don't need to do that', because sometimes when players try too hard, they can get frustrated.”
Scott McDonald in truth hasn’t lived up to his goal scoring billing either but his all round effort, quality on the ball and commitment to the cause won the Boro faithful over practically after his first game. Goals aren’t always everything.
But in Boyd’s case his clumsy touch, lack of involvement in interplay and general demeanour meant that his contribution to any side would seemingly only be goals but then again he hasn’t been helped.
Boro haven’t been as free scoring as the fans would have liked this season, having only scored 44 goals in 35 league games this term and until recently the midfield’s lack of creativity has often left the club’s forwards dropping back to get the ball or becoming isolated up top.
Known primarily as a poacher, Boyd never really ventured much further than the six yard box in Scotland and considering the dominance that the Old Firm clubs have in the SPL, chances were always in the offing.
The forward has shown glimpses of his finishing ability though, his goal against Sheffield United in August, which saw a rare win under Strachan, was a predatory run and shot that raised hopes early on for instance.
In the right side, with the right formation where he is not required to get too involved in interplay Boyd might hit it off, but for the cost to Boro to be both financially and strategically worthwhile he’d have to score much more regularly than he has.
The club’s quite perilous present position in the league and monetary constraints however mean that Boyd’s status as a bit part player was simply not viable considering his wages.
Mowbray has managed to bring in experienced Forest goalkeeper Paul Smith in as competition and cover for Jason Steele and Danny Coyne, while he has also hinted at bringing in a midfielder on loan as a result of Boyd’s departure.
Given that Mowbray has hinted that the deal for the Scot is beneficial to Boro financially because of a ‘discrepancy’ between Boyd and Smith’s wages certainly makes it sound like each club is paying most if not all of their respective signing’s wages which can only be a positive.
Opening the door to yet more reinforcements during Boro’s hugely important run towards the end of the season is a massive plus point and something that might help to add more of that attacking creativity that Mowbray appears to crave.
And at this point in the season when it seems like safety is the main objective as results have not yet mirrored the change in style that Mowbray has brought with him, Boyd’s departure could well be the master stroke that saves the club from a relegation dog fight.
A few goals at Forest combined with a rise in his value and an improvement in Boro’s league form could mean either the return of Boyd to a rejuvenated team or a big earner off the wage books and some money for Mowbray to spend come June.
Either way if Boyd bangs in the goals at Forest and Boro stay up no one will be complaining.
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