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Sir

Squad Status: 2013/2014 Season

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Interesting link here, an ECA Report on European Youth Academies talking about the good work Jose did with Inter's squad management and use of youth players; "Mourinho launched the so called 19+4 format in the Senior A team squad. He wanted to have 19 experienced, world class players plus 4 promising youngsters from the club academy".

I just skimmed through this. The clubs I noted all claim just 5% of foreign players in the schemes, but we know they they tend to have 30-60% foreign players by the time you look at their U21s. What is going on here? Or are the U16s pretty much an irrelevance, with the key players coming from smaller clubs and transferring across at about 16 or 17. I suspect so.

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jones   

Not sure if this is the right place to post, but I have taken a look at our attacking midfielders' productivity last season. With also De Bruyne, and possibly Schurrle joining, I added them to the list. I used goals+assist per game ratio to measure productivity, could obviously be better if it was per minutes, or something like that, but still think it gives a good impression. International games included - had to do this quickly.

1. Mata .826 (69games-19goals-38assists)

2. De Bruyne .622 (45-13-15)

3. Hazard .592 (71-16-26)

4. Schurrle .471 (51-14-10)

5. Oscar .453 (75-17-17)

6. Moses .429 (49-12-9)

First of all, Mata is insane. We cannot expect much improvement in this area, and just hope he can continue his delivery. Obviously, KDB is very productive, and this underlines his finishing and passing/crossing attributes. Hazard, even though he had a great season, still can improve in the final third. This was also my feeling throughout the season - even though he had some excellent performances it was a little bit to much of "almosts". Can, and will improve. Oscar also struggled to be as productive as I think he had the opportunities to be. But just like Hazard, the debut season is tough - Mata had just over .5 last season. Moses and Schurrle at approximately the same level, but on the other hand, these are player types that are more inclined to take up wider positions and not be as close to goal as the others.

Even though this numbers are based on different foundations, I still think it is interesting to see. We have some very productive attacking talent, and remember: these players are not playing in the striker position. Just imagine what the future holds, if we can get a striker who is scoring as well.

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jones   

Tried to make up the squad list from my hopes for the next season, with Torres, Romeu and Marin being sold/loaned out - and De Rossi, Cavani, Schurrle and Diego Lopez being bought alongside Lukaku, De Bruyne and Omeruo returning from loan. Omeruo and Lukaku are born after Jan 1 1992, which means they do not have to be registered in order to play.

Open (UEFA 17/17, FA 16/17):

1. Cech

2. Ivanovic

3. Luiz

4. Ramires

5. Torres -> Cavani

6. Mata

7. Mikel

8. Marin-> Schurrle

9. Azpilicueta

10. Oscar

11. Romeu -> Essien

12. Hazard

13. Ba

14. De Rossi

15. De Bruyne

16. Diego Lopez

Association-trained (UEFA 5/4, FA 7/8):

1. Cole

2. Cahill

3. Bertrand

4. Moses

5. Lampard

Club-trained (UEFA: 2/4):

5. Terry

6. Walker

u21s (unlimited):

1. Omeruo

2. Lukaku

3-99. The rest of the youngsters

To wrap up the speculation:

- Players in: Cavani 50m, Schurrle 15m, De Rossi 15m, Lopez 5m, Lukaku, Omeruo, De Bruyne - COST 85m

- Players out: Torres 15m, Marin 5m, Romeu 8m, Bruma 3m, Kakuta 2m, van Aanholt 4m - INCOME 37,

- NET SPEND 48m, which surely is nothing to be afraid of in terms of FFP? Offloading Torres may see us haivng to cover some of his wages, though that will see us take a massive cut, but prefer not to focus on that atm :)

Squad would be:

GK: Cech, Diego Lopez, Walker

RB: Ivanovic, Azpilicueta

LB: Cole, Bertrand

CB: Terry, Luiz, Cahill, Omeruo

CM: Lampard, Ramires, Mikel, Essien, De Rossi

AM: Mata, Oscar, Hazard, Moses, De Bruyne, Schurrle

S: Cavani, Lukaku, Ba

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cii99mn1   

Not sure if this is the right place to post, but I have taken a look at our attacking midfielders' productivity last season. With also De Bruyne, and possibly Schurrle joining, I added them to the list. I used goals+assist per game ratio to measure productivity, could obviously be better if it was per minutes, or something like that, but still think it gives a good impression. International games included - had to do this quickly.

1. Mata .826 (69games-19goals-38assists)

2. De Bruyne .622 (45-13-15)

3. Hazard .592 (71-16-26)

4. Schurrle .471 (51-14-10)

5. Oscar .453 (75-17-17)

6. Moses .429 (49-12-9)

First of all, Mata is insane. We cannot expect much improvement in this area, and just hope he can continue his delivery. Obviously, KDB is very productive, and this underlines his finishing and passing/crossing attributes. Hazard, even though he had a great season, still can improve in the final third. This was also my feeling throughout the season - even though he had some excellent performances it was a little bit to much of "almosts". Can, and will improve. Oscar also struggled to be as productive as I think he had the opportunities to be. But just like Hazard, the debut season is tough - Mata had just over .5 last season. Moses and Schurrle at approximately the same level, but on the other hand, these are player types that are more inclined to take up wider positions and not be as close to goal as the others.

Even though this numbers are based on different foundations, I still think it is interesting to see. We have some very productive attacking talent, and remember: these players are not playing in the striker position. Just imagine what the future holds, if we can get a striker who is scoring as well.

Nice stats. There's definitely a chance De Bruyne will be deemed good enough by Mourinho.

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Thanks Jones. Two very interesting (and balanced, well thought out) posts. Especially the first one.

Now let me begin by accepting that pure stats like these don't tell the whole story. Far from it. But I disagree with the ones who seem to want to disregard them almost completely. Look at Mata's stats. That's absolutely incredible and right up there with Lamps during his best seasons. That's certainly NOT to be sniffed at.

But mostly, I would like to highlight just how harshly treated Oscars been even by his own fans. The boy has been played into the ground in his debut season and he still manage to produce to Mata's levels last season. Even though Oscar has mostly played wide in the three. That he has manged those stats almost unnoticed says it all. The boy has been magnificent all season long when defending and he's showed on numerous occasions that he's not scared of getting stucked in.

He's sound tactically, has displayed a maturity beyond his years and has an amazing pressing game. This kid will be the real deal when his body gets some more core strength - something I'm sure he'll be working on this very summer. He's got balance and some strength. But we haven't seen his full potential there yet. When he gets a bit more muscle on him and after his initial adjustment period is over, we're in for a treat I reckon. Just let the lad settle at his own pace and I'm absolutely certain our patience will be returned with a real special gift.

We have seen nothing yet of the OMH. Their full potential is scary. And as you've alluded to already, with a proper striker in front of them we might just see regular fireworks at the Bridge come October or November.

Although I do think your squad is a vast improvement on last season I still don't think it's of title winning quality. Short of a top class CB, an attacking midfielder and a wide man. I know we can only have 25 players. But we could play around with U-21's etc and voila we might see greater depth.

Anyhow. My immediate reaction to the squad is that even with the ins you've proposed, I still think we're well short at CB and CM and we certainly lack another top class AM. I'd certainly not say no to Jovetic. Modric. Subotic. Lol. ic.

But to ask for Cavani, Jovetic, Modric, De Rossi & Subotic in one window might be too childish to even invite for discussion. But I'd like two or three of those five. Toss in Ibra into that pool as well. Two to three of those six.

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By the way... Am I the only one who seem to think JM confirmed KDB and RL to stay with us?

In his reply to the Belgian journalist, he suggested firstly that players should hear the news from their manager in person rather than via the media, and that he'd see and talk to all the players in July before making final decisions, but that both were essentially good enough for the first team squad.

That's me paraphrasing, btw :-)

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In his reply to the Belgian journalist, he suggested firstly that players should hear the news from their manager in person rather than via the media, and that he'd see and talk to all the players in July before making final decisions, but that both were essentially good enough for the first team squad.

That's me paraphrasing, btw :-)

Cheers Bob. I missed the PC due to work but read some transcript where he said words to that effect.

Surely both must be included. I can't see any other decision making any sense.

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jones   

I think this is as close to a confirmation you will ever get, without actually getting it confirmed. He spoke on two occasions about the two, the first one he said that they are ready, and the second one he spoke about the investment policy in strategy and how you "could bring back KDB and Lukaku at zero cost". Add to that, Lukaku has said he will be here next year, and Leverkusen director saying they will not get KDB because of his obligations to Chelsea. I will be very suprised if they are not part of our squad.

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Yeah, obviously plans can change, but right now I'd say it's more likely that KDB and Lukaku will be in the squad than not. Which I'm really happy about.

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