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Due to some serious mismanagement our squad was never going to be sorted in one window. 

What we have now is a squad that will be enough to make top 4, with some exciting prospects out on loan who should be able to come back next season and be genuine squad options. I'd also like to think some groundwork has been done for some players for the next couple of windows. 

As for our current lot the already very good first 11 is better than it was last year with the arrival of Kante and Luiz. I don't know about Alonso and would be amazed if he takes Ivanovic's place in the side with Azpilicueta moving to right back. He is however a much needed second choice full back that we were desperate for.

The squad is stronger, which we all thought was needed but still lacking in numbers most notably our front 6. I'd really like another genuine world class player on the right hand side but without Champions league football it was always going to be difficult. Perhaps it's better to wait until next summer rather than buying someone who is not good enough but adds a body? The pool of player's who make us stronger is very small, I fully expect us to be interested in James when he leaves Madrid.

One last thing, whilst we may be lacking in numbers the squad looks quite versatile and we only have 38 games this season that matter. The 11 that have started the season plus Luiz and Fabregas is very close to being the best in the league.

Zouma comes back, Alonso can play as a CB in a back three and with Luiz as well we suddenly look able to play 352.  Not for a whole season as we don't have the numbers but it's something that no doubt will be tried and worked on for the future.

Luiz could also push into midfield to partner Kante in the 424 Conte clearly likes. One of first subs if we are chasing a game could well be to bring on a centre half to move Luiz forward.

We also have the best player in the league, by a absolute mile, back to his best. I remember reading someone posted about his output. I think he had 7 shots, only scored one and only made 2 chances or something like that in a game where he played really well. Whilst I agree Hazard really needs to add more goals and assists to become one of the real best and he should score more when he has 7 chances I can't remember many games in the past when he has ever had 7 chances so I think he will naturally score and create more this season if he keeps going the way he has started.

I'm relatively happy with our squad as it stands, it's far from perfect but is more than good enough to meet our requirements for this season and possibly if everyone stays fit and in form maybe even win the league. 

 

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Scooba   
29 minutes ago, thevelourfog said:

My perspective is that, to be frank, we've had an understandably frustrating summer but a ridiculous, potentially disastrous last few days in the window.

We have effectively weakened the most exhaustively used part of the squad, sending out attacking players and bringing no one in. We now have only 7 players to occupy roles where we'll often use 5, sometimes even 6, of them per game. We have no room for injury, illness, suspension, loss of form or any of the other background wrangles that we have seen effectively restrict selection in the past. And the gap in quality is such that I am concerned about motivation and form; if Hazard doesn't do it, are we really going to see Pedro or Moses come in for 5 or 6 games instead? I highly doubt it.

We have spent a large sum on a CB whose playing style is completely at odds with that of the midfielder we spent a large sum on, and when CB was low down the list of what the squad really needed.

We've signed a LB whose career trajectory could be very misleading and unfair, but does not seem to suggest he is any better than the LB we've let go for the season.

I think the squad is in fairly poor shape and that is with us having spent a lot more than we become accustomed to in recent years. I am not expecting a title challenge; I am hoping that we at least are in the mix for the top 4 by March. I dread to think what the club are expecting and what they'll do when the (IMO) inevitable happens.

Negative, sure. But that's my piece said.

What a lot of rubbish. I kind of wish I just ignored this post but felt it was a necessity to correct a few things

Firstly, we have 8 attacking players for 4 positions. Hazard, Willian, Oscar, Moses, Pedro, RLC, Costa and Batshuayi. In the our 3 prem games thus far, Conte has substituted 2, 3 and 3 attackers. So it would seem that rarely will any single attacking player will continually play 90 mintues. So we have more than enough options for the 4 positions. 

Secondly, we have strengthened the defence considerable. If you were to look at player for player comparisons for example - Luiz > Miazga. Alonso > No one. Hoping to see Azpi now move to his natural right side and Alonso slot in on his natural left side. We are going to look so much more balanced and should definitely look more of a threat going forward with overlapping full backs/full backs that can become attacking midfielders. 

Overall we have at least 2 players now for every position and there is plenty of healthy competiton. Something we have lacked. I would fully expect this group of players, under Conte, to mount a serious title challenge. It's going to be pretty close to call but I believe we will win the league!

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Holymoly   
10 minutes ago, Stim said:

Biggest shock is that the window is closed and Moses is still here

Hopefully he won't let off now the pressure is off him. Our most effective impact sub so far.

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1 hour ago, Holymoly said:

Hopefully he won't let off now the pressure is off him. Our most effective impact sub so far.

I'm also pleased that Victor has got his chance to stay at the club, hopefully he grabs his opportunity. He has been very effective thus far this season for us.

I've thought that he is just below top-class on a consistent basis, flashes of very good play but doesn't perform at his highest level consistently enough to be a regular starter. Nevertheless a decent squad member, whether Conte can give him and his career the impetus, direction and level of consistent performance, plus get him mentally in the right place for him to start more games we'll have to see.

What I've noticed about Victor is that generally whichever club he has ended up at on loan from us, he starts well and his performance levels are good. The level of performance then drops off and he is not as effective.

As regards the transfers, underwhelmed by the Alonso signing, never rated him at all during his spells with the two English clubs. I've not seen him whilst at Fiorentina so can't comment, hopefully I'm wrong and he performs what's required of him. Pleased to get Luiz back, some passion, character and I've believed that his errors/lack of concentration was exaggerated - he offers far more positives for me than negatives. He can cover in the absence of Kante also.

Disappointed not to add midfield/attacking midfield option as well. Although the market is so inflated, we'd have been paying £50m+ for a viable option and there weren't too many available who had a high percentage chance of improving us.

I'd rate it a 7.5 out of 10 transfer window. Kante already looking an outstanding choice and at a very good price, in an obscenely inflated market.

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12 hours ago, bluecueball said:

We have a good chance of winning the league now. Top 3 at least:

Courtois

Begovic

Azpilicueta - Zouma - Luiz - Alonso

Ivanovic - Cahill - Terry - Aina

Oscar - Kante - Matic

Fabregas - Mikel - Loftus Cheek

Willian Costa Hazard

Pedro - Batshuayi - Moses

 

Not sure about winning the league, but yes the squad looks better and top 4 should be the realistic aim.

Still lacking a few usable bodies in attack, but that looks a proper squad, with 2 players per position. We haven't had that in a while. 

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Disappointing window considering we were linked with Morata, Koulibaly and Naingollan at the outset. That's pretty much a new spine we were planning on.

It might have been a pipe dream but we're nowhere near laying the foundations for the next few years.

Kante and Batshuayi are excellent additions, wrapped early. The rest were just the best we could do under the circumstances, with some wishful thinking thrown in, in Luiz's case.

We've maybe given the manager more options but we're still going to rely mainly on Hazard and Costa to get us into the top four. 

It was always going to take more than one window to sort out the mess we were in.    But I expected more than a patch up job.

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