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Actually Cahill played quite well, and that is probably because he knows that his position is up for grabs by Zouma.

I've been impressed by Zouma, in the very few chances he has been given a chance in serious games, but I don't think he is challenging Cahill for a place, or challenging Ramires/Mikel to be next in line at CM.

Cahill had one hell of a season last year.

I certainly don't think Cahill worries about Zouma taking his place. The more serious threat would be a LB that might allow Azpi to move to RB which would effectively threaten everyone's place.

If the LB is Baba I suspect he'll have even less impact than Luis did - at least in his first season.

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GURJ SS   

I think every season our side is lacking serious competition , its nothing new. You can pick the team every week injuries permitting.

My personal belief is there is nothing that cannot be fixed by reverting to 4-3-3 but I feel I'm a lone voice in that.

We could have a front three of Hazard-Costa-Willian , a midfield three of Matic-Oscar-Fabregas and the usual suspects in defence.

I'm all for 4:3:3; It would allow our wingers to exploit the space left by oposition fullbacks, instead of having to constantly back track. But in a 4:3:3; I think Fabregas may end up being the weak link, as he hasn't got the legs to play box to box.

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GURJ SS   

I've been impressed by Zouma, in the very few chances he has been given a chance in serious games, but I don't think he is challenging Cahill for a place, or challenging Ramires/Mikel to be next in line at CM.

Cahill had one hell of a season last year.

I certainly don't think Cahill worries about Zouma taking his place. The more serious threat would be a LB that might allow Azpi to move to RB which would effectively threaten everyone's place.

If the LB is Baba I suspect he'll have even less impact than Luis did - at least in his first season.

I agree, it would be interesting as I can see Ivanovic going to centre back. But it would take someone like Marcelo to dislodge Azpi in their first season, so unlikely to happen.

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Guest   
Guest

We're a left back (Coentrao), centre half (Stones), a CM (Koke) and a striker (Benzema) away from the perfectly balanced squad. I only expect 2 of these positions to be filled and by only one of the bracketed players.

Shame.

Edited by Hugh Jars 99

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I am concerned we have stood still, there must always be some evolution. All around us are breaking the bank and although they can still only play 11 players its going to be a lot closer if we don't start well. We had a great team and it will still be great but it will always need tweaking for which we need depth

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I am concerned we have stood still, there must always be some evolution. All around us are breaking the bank and although they can still only play 11 players its going to be a lot closer if we don't start well. We had a great team and it will still be great but it will always need tweaking for which we need depth

I'm not sure they are.

City have bought Sterling who is very similar to what they have and sold or lost Lampard, Milner, Negredo and probably Dzeko - who are very different to what they have. Delph is a bench warmer at best. While the heart of the team - Kompany and Toure are ageing and refs are watching them more closely.

That sounds like a net weakening to me.

United have bought 5 players. Darmoan and Schneiederlin are 25 and the GK Romero is 28 - they aren't world class players now, and they won't be in the future. Depay promises a great deal but remains pretty young. In a sense he replaces Januzaj as the great next hope (Januzaj having stepped backwards last season). But scoring goals in the Dutch league has never been a guarantee of success in the Prem. 39 in 90 appearances is pretty good for someone now 21. But Traore, 18 months younger, has got 17 in 49 appearances for Vitesse (a much weaker team). A lot of us want to see Traore play in a blue shirt but no one is claiming he will make a difference to our title chances.

Only Schweinsteier is a top class player, good enough to make a difference, and he had his 31st birthday last weekend.

In all this there are only 3 big money deals - Sterling, Depay & Schneiderlin. From clubs that are selling Negredo (£22m) Di Maria (£40m odd) and probably Dzeko and De Gea.

If you start talking about the lesser deals we'd have to include Nathan and Kennedy too.

On the selling side though, United have sold or lost RVP, Falcao, almost certainly Di Maria and quite possibly De Gea.

That on balance seems a weaker team than last season which remains very lightweight on CBs and undermanned up front.

They have still not replaced properly Ferdinand or Vidic and then there is that 17 point gap from last season to make up.

Arsenal have bought just Cech. A good move but not a season changing one - despite what JT says, keepers do not save you 15 points a season.Just about one could argue that they have improved given that most of their players are young and on the upward path. But by no great amount and I can't see that the spending of £12m is evidence of breaking the bank.

Gap last season - 12 points.

From the Chelsea side most are young and improving. On the down wave from last year's first eleven are JT& Ivanovic, while Courtois is on the up. Most are 24 - 26, Costa is 26, even old man Fabregas is just 28. Ramires and Mikel are both 38, but they are both likely to be fitter this year than last. Assuming Baba our changes have been marginal - swaps at LB, GK2 and CF2/3. But the squad is a bit bigger. Traore IMO is more usable than any of the so called younhg squad members we have had before (I don't include zouma in that category). And Moses (presuming he stays) is an out and out bonus.

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I'm all for 4:3:3; It would allow our wingers to exploit the space left by oposition fullbacks, instead of having to constantly back track. But in a 4:3:3; I think Fabregas may end up being the weak link, as he hasn't got the legs to play box to box.

I was imagining Cesc floating whilst Matic and Oscar did all the 'work'.

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GURJ SS   

I was imagining Cesc floating whilst Matic and Oscar did all the 'work'.

Could easily work, as Oscar and Matic have a very high work rate.

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Khobar   

I'm not sure they are.

City have bought Sterling who is very similar to what they have and sold or lost Lampard, Milner, Negredo and probably Dzeko - who are very different to what they have. Delph is a bench warmer at best. While the heart of the team - Kompany and Toure are ageing and refs are watching them more closely.

That sounds like a net weakening to me.

United have bought 5 players. Darmoan and Schneiederlin are 25 and the GK Romero is 28 - they aren't world class players now, and they won't be in the future. Depay promises a great deal but remains pretty young. In a sense he replaces Januzaj as the great next hope (Januzaj having stepped backwards last season). But scoring goals in the Dutch league has never been a guarantee of success in the Prem. 39 in 90 appearances is pretty good for someone now 21. But Traore, 18 months younger, has got 17 in 49 appearances for Vitesse (a much weaker team). A lot of us want to see Traore play in a blue shirt but no one is claiming he will make a difference to our title chances.

Only Schweinsteier is a top class player, good enough to make a difference, and he had his 31st birthday last weekend.

In all this there are only 3 big money deals - Sterling, Depay & Schneiderlin. From clubs that are selling Negredo (£22m) Di Maria (£40m odd) and probably Dzeko and De Gea.

If you start talking about the lesser deals we'd have to include Nathan and Kennedy too.

On the selling side though, United have sold or lost RVP, Falcao, almost certainly Di Maria and quite possibly De Gea.

That on balance seems a weaker team than last season which remains very lightweight on CBs and undermanned up front.

They have still not replaced properly Ferdinand or Vidic and then there is that 17 point gap from last season to make up.

Arsenal have bought just Cech. A good move but not a season changing one - despite what JT says, keepers do not save you 15 points a season.Just about one could argue that they have improved given that most of their players are young and on the upward path. But by no great amount and I can't see that the spending of £12m is evidence of breaking the bank.

Gap last season - 12 points.

From the Chelsea side most are young and improving. On the down wave from last year's first eleven are JT& Ivanovic, while Courtois is on the up. Most are 24 - 26, Costa is 26, even old man Fabregas is just 28. Ramires and Mikel are both 38, but they are both likely to be fitter this year than last. Assuming Baba our changes have been marginal - swaps at LB, GK2 and CF2/3. But the squad is a bit bigger. Traore IMO is more usable than any of the so called younhg squad members we have had before (I don't include zouma in that category). And Moses (presuming he stays) is an out and out bonus.

Can't disagree with that, other than our 38 year olds.

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Holymoly   

I think our team is lacking some serious competition for places, the team that started yesterday apart from Ramires and Remy, are untouchable. Oscar didn't start because Jose always goes negative against the top end teams, and Costa was injured. Our bench gives no competition to the starting line up, this alone will be the undoing of us. How did our players play yesterday, like players who know their position is safe.

Actually Cahill played quite well, and that is probably because he knows that his position is up for grabs by Zouma.

We should have been bold and made some big changes, yes we won the league, but not every season is the same. We pulled away from the very start and other teams started poorly. We need to strengthen in the next 3 weeks, or we will be looking at a team who will be taking more days off like they did yesterday.

I think we have missed a chance this close season. We had the opportunity to make a few key additions that would have made us virtually untouchable in the league, allowing us to focus more on the CL. Instead we will have a harder grind than last year in order to achieve the same success domestically and still be no closer to winning a second European Cup. Yes there is still a month to go in this window but it's now far too late for any additions to be game changers much before Christmas. Why, when we've been so proactive the last few years have we stumbled now. It's really rather vexing.

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