Michael Carrick names three Middlesbrough players who always seem to have a divided opinion

Middlesbrough have had a dreadful start to their season – but they undoubtedly have the quality to turn it around.

Michael Carrick’s men finished in the play-offs last season, and looked every bit like going up and winning promotion from the second-tier as the strike force of Cameron Archer and Chuba Akpom struck a cord towards the end of the season.

But they came unstuck against Coventry City in the play-off semi-finals, and it’s all gone wrong from there. Archer and Akpom have left for Sheffield United and Ajax respectively, and they’ve brought in signings from across the continent to help on another charge – but it’s not gone to plan so far.

What also doesn’t help is some players split opinions when taking to the field – and with fans divided over a few of their current squad, Football League World takes a look at THREE who fall into that category.

Isaiah Jones

Isaiah Jones Middlesbrough

Jones burst onto the scene at the start of the 2021/22 season and looked every bit to be Djed Spence’s alternative, with their former right-back joining Tottenham from the Teesside club following a strong loan spell at Nottingham Forest.

He was a star of the Chris Wilder era, and with four goal involvements in nine games at the start of last season, he looked destined to become a future star.

But whilst fans may hold him in such high regard, it appears that the divide starts there with Michael Carrick. The Boro boss only started Jones towards the end of last season when the play-offs were already secured and it appears that his stock has fallen even further with just two starts this season – failing to complete ninety minutes in either.

This season will be telling as to where his future will lie at the end of the season.

Morgan Rogers

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Rogers is undoubtedly a player who has vast potential. Coming through the ranks at Manchester City, he spent last season on loan at Blackpool alongside previous spells at Lincoln and Bournemouth.

But, alongside Marcus Forss, he’s not of the quality that Archer and Akpom possess. That’s no slight to who he is, simply that Akpom was vastly experienced, and Archer is a top talent who will likely get England caps in the future.

But it’s not any good for Middlesbrough that they are reliant upon the youngster to fire them to the top half of the table, and as a result of that, Rogers may come under some flak for simply being thrown under the bus in terms of their season as a whole.

Daniel Barlaser

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Barlaser joined Boro back in January, but has only started two games so far this campaign, featuring in two losses at the start of the season – and hasn’t been selected in the league since.

The north east native was a bit-part player for Boro towards the end of last season in their promotion push, featuring in just six of the first 12 games he was available for under Carrick – and starting in just one of those.

He’s evidently not a first-choice midfielder this season, and with three years left on his contract, it could be a long road ahead for Barlaser if he cannot tie down a first-team spot. Fans have been left divided at whether he will be enough to take them to the top-flight – and early signs suggest that he won’t be.

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