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Harvz

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^ Then add the tactical knowledge gap and all our criticisms regarding who plays ahead of whom is almost rendered useless.

But then again, if we all followed those rules there wouldn't be much left for us to talk about:)

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I am going to stick up for KdB and Mata here, I don't think that it was so much that they were lazy or unwilling to fight, I think the problem with them two was that they just simply did not have the engine to carry out what Jose wanted, I.e. track your marker, use your physical strengths etc. I'll admit that KdB maybe has an ego issue, but then again lots of good players do and thats what makes them good as, for me at least, confidence in one's ability is absolutely vital at elite level football.

As for Schurrle, I still don't quite get what went wrong with him, as he actually had the engine to carry out what Jose wanted and he had great off the ball movement which was handy for creating chances for both himself and others. The only reason I can think is that he must simply not have had much 'match intelligence' - by this I mean he didn't carry out orders or know how to react to certain situations - as he pretty much ticked every box in what you would look for in a 4/5th choice AM that's more than likely going to start from the bench.

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Reports suggest Remy is happy to stay (jose also wont let him go) and fight for his spot. Great news imo...good mix of strikers. The mainstay...the challenger...the high upside punt.

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GURJ SS   

Starting XI:

(GK)Courtious; (CB)Terry, Cahill; (RB)Ivanovic, (LB)Azpilicueta; (DM)Matic; (CM)Fabregas; (AM)Oscar, Hazard, Willian; (ST)Costa

Bench:

(GK)Begovic; (CB)Zouma; (DM)Mikel?; (CM)Ramires?; (AMx2)Cuadrado?, Moses?; Falcao;

Res:

(GK)Blackman; (CB/RB)?; (LB)Luis; (Mid)RLC; (AM)Traore; (ST)Remy;

24 players overall, 21 outfield players.

In my opinion, we have too many questions marks on our bench players in order to have a small squad. We need a CB/RB who will most likely be Stones. If Jose wants small but quality, then Koke, Isco and Greizman for Mikel, Ramires and Cuadrado/Moses. Currently the positions of GK, CB, LB and a little of ST has competition, the rest is far from competition for the first team. If Hazard, Fabregas, Oscar, Willian and Matic have a dip in form or get complacent, we have no option but to stick with them, because their back up apart from Mikel(who would still have to wait till Matic can't walk) isn't up for the job.

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As Curtis intimated above , Mourinho struggled with the tittle tattling to the press whilst at Madrid.

He was absolutely taken to the cleaners by the press after dropping Casillas , Ancellotti then does the same , now even Tubby has caught on and Casillas has been sent into Portuguese exile.

They could have probably saved time and money and won more if they'd only backed their man. I'm glad he's ours.

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GURJ SS   

Good points.

But one thing we should all bear in mind when we make judgments about who is picked ahead of who, which players perform, which don't etc...

Let's assume players are in the training ground for five or six hours a day or thereabouts, five days a week. That's 25 to 30 hours a week. During this time Jose and his coaching team get to see how they are performing physically, how they seem in terms of mood and motivation.

We have to base all our views on just 90 minutes a week, if they're lucky to get the full 90 minutes.

What I'm saying is - we know about 10% of what there is to know about any player at any given time, if that.

Fair point, and us as fans unfortunately have to base our opinions on limited information.

My worry is that we are trying to buy cheap and when it comes down to choosing over two players with question marks hanging over their heads, we are picking the wrong one.

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Still, on the upside , FIFA isn't out yet so we're spared the usual Aubameyang scouting reports.

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A coach who prefers to work with a smaller group of players in which all of them are sufficiently involved and motivated, rather than a larger group, in which the possibility of disaffection and spreading demotivation is greater.

This isn't a radical or novel approach. I've encountered it in business for years. You want just enough people in a project team to build real esprit de corp. It's also the basis of most super-hero and action movies.

The Fabulous Four (not Fourteen). The Three Musketeers (not the Thirteen). The Seven Samurai (not the Twenty-seven). There's a reason for this you know.

Which would be fair enough until you consider the emboldened part of your post in relation to what we have actually seen happen with the squad in recent years. We absolutely do not have a 'smaller group of players in which all of them are sufficiently involved'. We have a smaller group of players in which the game time is heavily disproportionately weighed on an even smaller pool of 12 or 13 players, far more heavily than in any other club in England.

In this sort of conversation it becomes very easy to position people in certain ways; here I'm being positioned as someone who simply hasn't considered the merits of a tight-knit group. But a tight-knit group isn't something I'd object to. What I'm worried about, again, is having too few players overall and within that too many players who are not deemed useable. It isn't 'radical' or 'novel' to think a smaller squad creates problems for a club fighting on numerous fronts for 10 months, and it doesn't simply follow that more players means a lack of motivation or disruption; there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Ferguson's United sides combined plenty of content bit-parters and a ruthless intolerance for disruptive influences.

Would, say, three more senior and useable players really cause us more problems than it solved? Struggle to imagine it would, personally.

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As for Schurrle, I still don't quite get what went wrong with him, as he actually had the engine to carry out what Jose wanted and he had great off the ball movement which was handy for creating chances for both himself and others. The only reason I can think is that he must simply not have had much 'match intelligence' - by this I mean he didn't carry out orders or know how to react to certain situations - as he pretty much ticked every box in what you would look for in a 4/5th choice AM that's more than likely going to start from the bench.

Genuine question; how many times was Schurrle hooked off at half time last season? I never had the impression that he was seen as sub/impact player, but rather as someone who was part of the starting game plan.

That he went, for me, is simply because he wasn't good enough. Given plenty of chances and seemed a likeable enough guy who left behind a few good memories, but he was too often completely absent from games.

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