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Sleeping Dave

Major Surgery In The Summer Needed?

Can this squad compete on all fronts next year without major investment?  

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  1. 1. Can this squad compete on all fronts next season without major investment?



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Just to make one thing clear right now, this is not a knee-jerk reaction on my behalf. This is not a wind-up or an attempt to discredit Carlo. This is a fairly natural question after having seen the team crash out of the CL yesterday and how we have performed over the last two seasons. The squad is by no means young, and most of our key players are pushing 30+.

Now, would we be able to really challenge for the CL, EPL and FA Cup without any major investment during this summer? Was this the last chance to win the champions league for many of our stars? They have been close on many occassions but this year it felt like we gave up far too easily.

Out of our 24 man squad (Cech, Hilario, Turnbull - Terry, Alex, Riccy, Ivanovic, Bosingwa, Belletti, A Cole, Zhirkov, Ferreira - Lampard, Essien, Ballack, Malouda, Deco, Mikel, J Cole, Matic - Drogba, Anelka, Kalou, Sturridge), 12 players will be 30 or above at some stage during the 2010/11 season... That's half the squad!

Hilario (35 on Oct 21 2010)

Michael Ballack (34 on Sep 26 2010)

Juliano Belletti (34 on Jun 20 2010)

Ricardo Carvalho (33 on 18 May 2011)

Didier Drogba (33 on Mar 11 2011)

Deco (33 on Aug 27 2010)

Nicholas Anelka (32 on Mar 14 2011)

Frank Lampard (32 on Jun 20 2010)

Paulo Ferreira (32 on Jan 18 2011)

Florent Malouda (30 on Jun 13 2010)

John Terry (30 on Dec 7 2010)

Ashley Cole (30 on Dec 20 2010)

On top of that, we have other players who will be pushing on to 28-29 during next season (Bosingwa, Alex, Essien and J Cole). For me it is quite clear that our squad is too old to be able to compete on all fronts, and we have seen it on several occassions this season where we have failed to capitalise on slip-ups from our main competitors. I do not specifically put this down to ineptness from Carlo, but rather on the fact that our squad is too old and doesn't have the energy to compete on three fronts any longer. Unless we do have some turnover in our playing staff next season I think we will really struggle, and Carlo will be resigned to have to chose one or two cups to focus on.

It's fairly easy to see where most reinforcement will be needed, in midfield and attack. So over to you guys, is this squad on a steep decline or can they still compete on the highest level without major investment for the next two seasons? Was this the last chance for many to win the CL?

And pls, don't turn it into another topic whether Carlo is the right man for the job or not.

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And pls, don't turn it into another topic whether Carlo is the right man for the job or not.

And equally, please don't turn it into a transfer wankfest about the players we need to buy - we have the transfer forums for all that.

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We can compete on all fronts with that squad, but it only takes a couple of injuries to ruin the season, and as players get older injuries last longer. So, for next season at least we could compete on all fronts, but investment for the future is definitely needed.

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If we have no injuries we have a good chance of winning the PL and CL, unfortunately that wont happen. What we do need is maybe 2-3 quality younger players to come in to freshen the squad up, even if it means 1 or 2 big names leaving. Probably a striker, winger and midfielder is needed, hopefully players with a bit of pace and motivation.

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BOYSIE1   

I remember watching an interview with bruce buck in the summer saying what a busy summer it would be at chelsea 5 out 5 top class players in we got sturridge and turnball . zircoff had already signed . we been going backward for 4 years now. man u do it year by year 2 top quility players in . we have not brought well 4 ages do you think fergie would sign turnball or sturridge as 2 of his main 3summer signings This sqaud is to old now not hungry enough and far to much money in there banks if we had done it over a few years it would have been ok but we now need nearly a whole new team to take us away from this slow one paced predictable boring to watch sideways football .

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xCELERYx   

I think while me may still be able to compete on all front's with the current squad, I don't believe it would be any where near the same standard that we've seen over the years. I do believe we need to invest in a good 4-5 new and younger players. Defensively we can probably get away with not adjustments. However in midfield and attack, over the course of a long season, it will take it's toll on older players. Players like Ballack at 33/34 shouldn't be playing week in week out as he does. Rotation is needed to help keep the older players fresher, thus become more helpful when used.

Fresh and younger legs are required, if we really want to step up a extra cog and seriously challenge at a high level on all fronts. Hopefully Roman see's that and is willing to spend, while some tough decisions on current players will need to be made.

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And equally, please don't turn it into a transfer wankfest about the players we need to buy - we have the transfer forums for all that.

I voted "no" because I think this is a well reasoned post.

I agree that we have a potent but aging squad. Last night was very poignant for me in a way because -- as I saw Jose looking on as manager for another club -- I realized that the "spine" of our team is basically unchanged from his first and second seasons with us: Didier, Lamps, Ricky, JT and Petr (with Joe, Paulo, etc. supporting). There is good in that -- our squad stability is certainly a strength in some ways and Didier has developed into a better player now than he was in the first two seasons -- but it is becoming an alarming negative.

Not just because the players are older. I'm not sure any of them has -- to use an American football expression -- "lost a step" quite yet in a measurable way. But that measurable loss of ability to age is just around the corner for all of them if they haven't hit it yet. They also will -- if they don't already -- get injured more often and the injuries will be more serious, which jeopardizes our ability to handle four long competitions.

Also, I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that the times when we fail to show much urgency or desire-- particularly in league games against unfavored opponents -- and get dissapointing results often come down to complacency on the part of our "spine" players. Our "lads" -- and most of them are 10-15 years away from being a "lad" -- still put in a high work rate and high levels of professionalism, but they have also done it all more than once now in every competition but the champions league -- and I'm willing to bet they too have come to the conclusion that the CL title is just not going to happen for them.

We need new, younger players who are hungrier in all competitions and still have belief -- naively perhaps -- that the CL is possible. I'm not saying we get rid of our 'spine" but we need to reinvigorate it and start passing the torch immediately.

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Hashim   

So I here Ballack is retiring -_- Anyway, we need a real creative midfielder and a proper forward, Kakuta should have been played yesterday, at least give him some experience I would say.

We have everything else we need in the youth squad Wingers(Kakuta, Stoch etc), Strikers(Borini, Di Santo, Sturridge etc.), Midfielders(Jack Cork--Excellent Defender, great potential,) and Defenders(Mancienne, Bertrand, Rajkovic, etc.)

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Just to clarify what I mean with major investments - anything between 3-5 quality signings. Preferably in the right age bracket (22-27).

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Age isn't the problem - it is the bench.

What we need is 3 or 4 new players to replace players we don't actually have. Then we can consider getting a younger squad.

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