It’s been a difficult start to managerial life for Jonathan Woodgate.
Facing his first role in the hotseat, the Teessider has been tasked with leading the team through a difficult patch which includes a change in business model and also an significant alteration in playing style.
Woodgate made it clear that he wanted to play possession-based, entertaining football – a different approach to that of his predecessor Tony Pulis.
Results have been hard to come by with Middlesbrough sitting in the relegation zone, and while many fans praised the decision for Pulis to be replaced by Woodgate over the summer, some are now starting realise what a good job Tony Pulis did.
Here, we take a look at how the two Middlesbrough managers compare for the first 16 games of the last two seasons.
Middlesbrough’s objective last season was simply about securing a top six finish, something which Tony Pulis ultimately missed out on.
However the Teessiders got off to an excellent start to last season under Pulis, picking up an impressive 27 points from their opening 16 games.
Compare that to Jonathan Woodgate’s tally of just 13 at the same point this season, and you start to see where the differences lie.
Pulis secured seven wins and seven draws by this stage last season, and while Woodgate has matched his record for drawers, he has managed just two victories so far.
That also means that Woodgate has lost seven of his first 16 games this season, while Pulis only lost two.
If you take a look at the goalscoring record of both, it becomes clear to see why the two managers’ results are so different.
While Pulis and Woodgate saw a similar number of goals scored with 17 and 13 respectively, it’s the goals against which really sound alarm bells for the current manager.
The first 16 games last season saw a pragmatic Pulis concede just eight goals, while the same number of games has seen Jonathan Woodgate concede a worrying tally of 21 goals.
It’s those goals conceded which have played a key role in Middlesbrough’s downfall this season, and something which Woodgate will need to rectify if he’s to get closer to Tony Pulis’s performances last term.