When it comes to twists, turns and great sporting action, the Championship never seems to disappoint. Last year, the league served up another thrilling season, with Leeds securing promotion and the resolution of many key issues going right to the wire.
The battle to stay in the division was a particularly dramatic one, with Middlesbrough perhaps being one of the more surprising names to fall into the mix. However, the Teesside club managed to survive, thanks in no small part to a man who should arguably be regarded as a Championship legend.
— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) July 28, 2020
A successful spell
Jonathan Woodgate managed Middlesbrough for the majority of 2019/20 but, as sites like Sky Sports reported, he was relieved of his duties in June following a 3-0 home defeat to Swansea City. The club’s statement on Woodgate’s future also confirmed that Neil Warnock would be taking over the role immediately.
The move proved successful, with Warnock guiding Middlesbrough to several wins which ensured the club stayed in the division. They included a final day victory at Sheffield Wednesday, with a late Britt Assombalonga goal ensuring that the side actually finished 17th and five points clear of the relegation places.
With a tough year behind them, both the club and its fans will now be looking to the future and one big topic of discussion will be whether Warnock can work his magic once again and get Boro back in the Premier League.
The manager has an astonishing CV for winning promotions, as he has achieved the feat eight times across his career. As BBC Sport explains, that is an actual record, with his last coming at Cardiff City.
So, could he possibly do it again in the North East? At the time of writing, anyone planning to take advantage of football bets from Space Casino could get odds of 11/2 on Boro securing promotion in 2020/21. In contrast, Brentford and Watford both had odds of 9/4 on the site.
If Warnock is going to do it, he will have to undertake a little bit of a rebuild in order to put his stamp on the team. There have been a few departures due to the end of contracts at Middlesbrough, with the likes of Daniel Ayala and Rudy Gestede leaving in recent weeks. With that in mind, Warnock may well be keen for replacements, although he could be boosted by the return of some players from loan spells. For example, winger Marcus Browne has come back from Oxford United and Gazette Live has reported on how he has already stated he is keen to “hit the ground running” in the coming months.
Anything is possible
It is not often that a club which battled at the bottom of the table in one season goes on to challenge at the other end in the next, but with Warnock at Boro, it seems like anything is now possible.
The Championship always offers plenty of action and drama and the chances are that the coming season will be no different. Middlesbrough could well be an intriguing proposition and many fans will be interested to see how they perform.