Vital QPR takes a look at the Championship`s newest additions – this week looking at the first of our north-east duo, Middlesbrough.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Nickname: The Boro
Ground: The Riverside Stadium – 34,988
Manager: Gareth Southgate
Uefa Cup – Runners Up – 2006
F.A. Cup – Runners Up – 1997
League Cup – Winners – 2004
League Cup – Runners Up -2004
Football League Second Division – Champions – 1926-27, 1928-29, 1973-74, 1994-95
Football League Second Division – Runners Up – 1901-02, 1991-92, 1997-98
Football League Third Division – Runners Up – 1966-67, 1986-87
Record Attendance: 53,802 v Newcastle United (First Division, 1949)
Record league victory: 9-0 v Brighton & Hove Albion – (Second Division, 1958)
Record league defeat 0-9 v Blackburn Rovers – (Second Division, 1954)
Record Buy: £12,800,000 – Alfonso Alves from SC Heerenveen
Record Sale: £12,000,000 – Juninho to Athletico Madrid
Record Appearances: Tim Williamson – 602
Record Goals: George Camsell 345
The highs and lows of English football couldn`t be better epitomised than the current plight at the Riverside Stadium. A side punching above their weight, Bryan Robson helped guide them to safety in the league with the assistance of Terry Venables back in 2001.
When Robson decided to call it a day at the Riverside Stadium after seven years in charge, former Manchester United coach Steve McLaren was brought in, with supporters divided on how much of an impact he would have.
They were left in no doubt in 2004 when McLaren led them to their first major trophy – fending off Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in the final of the Carling Cup, enabling Boro to qualify for Europe for the first time in their history.
In a season that ebbed and flowed McLaren was singled out for treatment by a minority of supporters, with one in particular taking to the field and throwing his season ticket in the manager`s direction. It was McLaren who nearly had the last laugh with Boro reaching the Uefa Cup Final.
The side were written off at every stage, but a flurry of last minute goals from the likes of derided forward Massimo Maccarone took them past Roma, Basel and then Steaua Bucarest to reach the final – where they were ultimately defeated comfortably by Sevilla, 4-0, in Eindhoven.
When McLaren left to take the England post, former central defender Gareth Southgate took the helm, given special dispensation by the FA despite not having the appropriate coaching badges. Despite a succession of big name moves to the Riverside Boro struggled to make an impact in the right half of the table.
Southgate came in for criticism from supporters when signings such as record capture Alfonso Alves failed to make an impact, with big money also spent on the likes of Marvin Emnes and Didier Digard. They were relegated in second from bottom, but Steve Gibson has opted to keep faith with Southgate for the time being.
The exodus looks to be in full flow with Stewart Downing departing for a near club record £10,000,000, which could rise to £12,000,000 depending on appearances.
West Bromwich Albion
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