Middlesbrough FC news: Former boss reveals Arsenal tactics as West Brom defender receives boost

Former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has been discussing the tactics he used during his time at the club, specifically how he set-up against Arsenal in the Premier League.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 7:10 am
Aitor Karanka won promotion to the Premier League with Middlesbrough in 2016.
Aitor Karanka won promotion to the Premier League with Middlesbrough in 2016.

Boro claimed a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium in October 2016 despite recording just 25 per cent of possession.

Karanka deployed a 4-3-3 formation that day, with Adama Traore and Gaston Ramirez on the flanks, and explained, during an interview with the Coaches’ Voice, how his side tried to defend outside their own penalty area.

“We were playing against Arsenal and at that time we knew Arsenal was going to have control of the game but I didn’t want to defend in our box, I wanted to defend a little bit higher,” said Karanka.

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“They played with the full-backs really, really high so we needed to be together on the pitch.

“We knew that we were dangerous in the transitions, especially behind their full-backs. The main thing is to trust yourself and go to your office trusting what you are doing for the club.”

West Brom defender ready for Boro test – Centre-back Semi Ajayi has been one of the signings of the summer after joining the Baggies from Rotherham in July.

The Nigerian defender, who has started every league game for Slaven Bilic’s side this season, has also gained confidence after earning a recall for his country and playing the full 90 minutes during a 1-1 draw against Brazil last week.

“I’m feeling really good,” said Ajayi ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Riverside. “The Brazil game went really well. I’ve given myself a lot of confidence coming up against the big stars. Hopefully I can carry that form into our league game on the weekend.”

Derby ticket details – Finally, away tickets for Boro’s trip to Derby on Saturday, November 2 (kick-off 3pm) have gone on sale to supporters with 70 Priority Points or more.

Boro have been handed an initial allocation of 1,800 seats for the game at Pride Park, with tickets set to go on general sale from 6pm on Monday October 21 subject to availability.