Amazing isn’t it. At one time, the top goal scorer in the SPL was Henrik Larsson and he left Celtic to go to Barcelona. Now, his record has been beaten and due to Glasgow Ranger’s financial woes, they have been forced to let go of Kris Boyd who has joined his fellow Scotsman Gordon Strachan at Middlesbrough. With all respect to Middlesbrough, that is quite a drop in demand considering we now have the best SPL scorer of all time playing in England’s second tier. As much as Mr. Boyd might like to tell himself there is no pressure on him, there truly is and many will be expecting him to take the league by storm and fulfil the board’s desire to gain promotion. This could be a candidate for signing of the summer as ‘Boro have a proven goal scorer that has been consistent for years and at the age of 26, we can still expect a lot more from Boyd.
Boyd is exactly what the North East club need, as last season they could often be woeful in front of goal and although Scott McDonald showed the odd threat towards the end of the campaign, the likes of Leroy Lita failed to live up to expectation. In actual fact, Adam Johnson was their top goal scorer with seven goals in the league and eight overall and you’ll probably be aware that he joined Man City in January! Boyd isn’t a flashy player and he doesn’t try wow people, but he is brilliant at being in the right place at the right time, being a natural poacher of the ball. It’s true that he can rely a bit too much on the service he is getting, but Middlesbrough have a lot of players that can provide and the £1.4m signing of Nicky Bailey shows their intention to build a squad that can work fluidly. Strachan is keen to create a squad he really wants to work with, something that started in January of 2010 when he brought the likes of Wilo Flood, Scott McDonald and Barry Robson in.
Middlesbrough are forming a squad with a lot of depth and they now have a number of players who have experience behind them. One of the reasons ‘Boro got relegated from the Premiership in the first place was the fact that they needed to rely upon youngsters to make up their squad. ‘Boro have an excellent youth academy and it’s great that they get in the squad, but putting too many in the team at once in dangerous as they are all still learning, so mistakes are more likely. Now there is a good mix of experience and youth in the side and the majority of players have a high work rate. When you consider that Kris Boyd is coming in and Jeremie Aliadiere is going out, it makes the deal seem even better. These are two completely different players and ‘Boro fans will be glad that they are no longer watching Aliadiere stroll around the pitch and instead get to see Boyd who is always alert and looking for an opportunity.
The downside to all this though is the pressure that really does exist on Boyd. Although he considers it less pressure than Ranger, this is a different kind of pressure. It is the first time he is playing in England and many people are expecting an instant impact from Boyd; Middlesbrough fans in particular will want to see him challenge for the top goal scorer honours. Whether Boyd can handle this pressure is another question, the best thing for him would be to get a goal in the first game of the Championship season and with the game being at home against Ipswich, Boyd could send a message to all those people that doubted that his ability would transfer over.