With EFL managers dropping like flies, you have to wonder how long it will be until rumours start to circle about Jonathan Woodgate’s future.
The 28-year-old took over at Middlesbrough in the summer and has experienced a rocky start to proceedings.
His side are currently 20th in the Championship after 11 games–just two points above the relegation zone.
Woodgate made it clear when he took the job that he wanted to bring back attacking football and so far you’d have to say he has failed.
Boro have scored 11 goals in 11 games, which is a worse goal per game ratio than they had under Tony Pulis last season.
Part of that may be down to their forward options failing to fire–with Britt Assombalonga the only attacking player to score more than once this season.
One option that they’re without is Martin Braithwaite, who left to join Spanish side Leganes in the summer.
The 28-year-old’s new side are having a worse season than Boro and are rock bottom of La Liga, but do Braithwaite’s performances suggest Woodgate was wrong to let him go?
We put a spotlight on them to find out.
Braithwaite has appeared eight times for Leganes in La Liga this season, starting six games and coming off the bench twice.
The Dane has been utilised in a range of positions by manager Mauricio Pellegrino–featuring on both flanks and as a centre-forward.
In 652 minutes of league football, Braithwaite has scored just twice for Leganes, which is a poor return but perhaps understandable given his side have scored just four goals so far.
The forward’s opportunities have been few and far between, having taken just 15 shots this season, seven of which have been on target–with a respectable shot accuracy of 46.7%.
Braithwaite has been busy, however, looking to cause problems for opposition defences as often as possible–taking 21 touches in the opposing box and making eight successful dribbles.
The forward’s pass accuracy of 83% is admirable but the quality of his link-up play in the final third is slightly concerning. The 28-year-old has provided just three shot assists, has been successful with none of his five crosses, and has failed to pass the ball to a teammate in the opposition box in his last five appearances.
That could be put down to a lack of understanding with the other players in his side and the fact that he is still adapting to Spanish football but you would expect to see a vast improvement as the season wears on.
Things have not started particularly well for Braithwaite at Leganes but you can’t help thinking another forward option could be useful for Woodgate.