Finally, the manager is in place and Boro fans have a reason to be optimistic ahead of the new season. After a period of uncertainty it now seems that we have a clear direction and no more instability at the club.
But what’s next? Who’s in Garry Monk’s plans and who isn’t?
The Good, The Bad, The Boro put this week’s ‘Q of the Week’ to a number of fans.
‘If Garry Monk could only do one thing during this transfer window, what should be his top priority?’
Here’s what they had to say…
To get promoted we need to score goals. We have proven Championship forwards in Gestede and Bamford but we need to supply them. For me signing a creative midfielder is a must.
He’s got to address the lack of goals. Big problem for us. Immediate link to Assombolonga is very promising. Exactly what we need
Assombolonga? Would be a popular signing with plenty, it seems!
A No.10 – Gaston is likely to go, I don’t trust Downing or any of our current players in that position and we have Bamford who should be given a try as our main striker. We also need other strikers, but of all the positions we need – a proper, quality, creative No.10 is a definite priority.
Go get a prolific striker and ATTACK. The time for strong and stable conservatism has gone. We need a hit-man who can score goals of the many not of the few.
The one thing lacking last season was creativity. As soon as Gaston wasn’t interested last season we suffered to create anything for our strikers. Obviously, we are in a different league now, but we still need to create. I would be looking at the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Jota to come in. We are looking short upfront as well. I like the link with Asombalonga, I would like to see Gestede move on with that.
A lot depends on who goes, but we definitely need a decent creative attacking midfielder. Also, my heart says Connor Ripley will be ready for a season in the Championship, but my head is not so sure. Therefore, I think we need to get a goalkeeper in. After that, I’d be happy with the first eleven but, as we all know, squads, not teams, get you promoted
From what I’ve read on Monk he produces organised, high tempo teams that defend from the front. That’s great providing you have the quality and pace in attacking areas to hurt your oponents once you win the ball back.The priorities are therefore goalscorers and creative players who can supply them.”
I think it’s important that we try and recapture the team spirit and togetherness within the squad. This was a vital component in us being successful prior to last season which was clearly disrupted by certain individuals last season and created a divide within the squad. As well as getting rid of the ‘bad eggs’ we need to accompany that with a recruitment policy that brings in players with the right personalities and attitude to bring success both off and on the pitch. In today’s world with social media I also think that a good team spirit and togetherness helps bring a positive feeling to the fans and makes them feel part of things and we know how important the fans can be to this club. Monk apparently is a believer in the All Blacks ‘no dickheads’ approach so I’m sure in one way or another addressing this will be one of his main priorities over the next few weeks.
I’d like to see a promotion of homegrown talent. Ripley can surely lay claim to the no.1 spot. Fry and Chapman form part the latest golden generation of English football having won the World Cup. Too often Boro sign nothing squad filler foreign players who do absolutely nothing, bar holding back a place from an academy player”
When building something, starting at the bottom and looking at the foundations first is the place to start. As a first priority please take a long hard look at what we have here at Boro Garry. The heart of a very good Championship team and a category one academy. Initially, let’s not just rush out and buy mediocre players with exotic names, who are probably not suited to this league anyway. I’d rather have a Cairney than a Fabbrini, maybe even a McGeady than a Ramirez or even an Adomah than an Adama. We do not need players who think they are doing the club a favour by joining us. It’s time for players to make a step up, players who care, and that means starting with a long hard look at the core of the squad – then if any players from the academy (in your view Garry) are ready to make that step up. Then and only then, if you still require more strength, by all means, splash the cash. But please, no more exotic prima donnas.”
A key position for Boro this season is going to be the central midfield. For me, Clayton, Forshaw and Leadbitter are all very similar. We need a box-to-box type player. A player who drives forward with the ball. Leeds United’s Ronaldo Vieria, or Norwich City’s Jonny Howson comes to mind.”
Priority an attacking midfielder, we have struggled since Ramirez went for a walk and we need that type of creativity again in the Championship to be able to unlock defences that will be stubborn against us, an ideal replacement would be Jota from Brentford. He’s a sort of Ramierz /Tomlin cross breed”
Garry Monk’s priority in the summer transfer window has to be keeping hold of Ben Gibson. Although selling him would see a large amount of money come into the club, it will prove more beneficial to Boro by keeping him for the promotion campaign. Gibson and Dani Ayala formed the centre back pairing in a defence that conceded the least amount of goals in the 2015/16 Championship season, and Gibson, alongside Ayala, could again prove to be the difference in a bid to bounce back at the first time of asking
For me the key issue is squad harmony bringing the right kind of player in and getting rid of a few troublemakers is key to us getting off to a good start and regaining a winning mentality early.”
This will be different to all your other answers… Getting the right price for Gibson. Over the years we have notoriously sold players under their value, I want to see a justified price for our homegrown, international, natural leader!
“Just one?!! LOL. There are many, the pace in the team and delivery, out wide, but if it’s one thing, for me, get an experienced good keeper in. Worth 20 points on their own. I’d say, Ruddy or Hennessy.”
“He has to prioritise the way the club signs players i.e. From the scouts or by himself or a mixture of both. He also has to ensure we keep as many players from last season and introduce a striker who can step up and another No10 who can really change a game.”
“I think Monk’s main priority should be trying to get hold of a new player who can play anywhere across the front 3. For me, this would be Tom Ince and I think he would be the perfect player to spearhead a promotion push!”
“Creative midfielder!! It’s what we needed last season and need this season, thought we had in Gaston but he showed his true colours in January!”
“For me, the biggest priority is keeping hold of Gibson he’s Boro through and through and would be a key player.”
The transfers last season were mainly an absolute shambles with the exception of Bamford who I hope proves himself. We need to sell “toxic” players in the team such as Ramirez, Barragan etc and build from our core players like Leadbitter, Clayton and Gibson if we keep hold of him. No doubt Monk will have a few transfers up his sleeve to help us out.
Got to strengthen the wingers, Traore and Fischer are unknown quantities in the Championship – Ince and McGeady could be good fits.”