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47 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

1. QFT  thanks for the work.  I suspect I'll cut and past that (and Juni's list) a lot in the next few weeks, after which sadly it will no longer be necessary.

2. And if you don't use the support players you are limiting both your options with them for the next season, and your ability to bring players you would want.

1. Thanks. Another way to look at it is; 

Arsenal(24): Debuchy, Mertesacker, Holding, Mustafi, Coquelin, Elneny, Walcott, Lacazette, Giroud, Chambers, Wilshere, Cazorla, Iwobi, Akpom

Liverpool (23): Alexander-Arnold, Klavan, Robertson, Milner, Can, Grujic, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Lallana, Clyne, Flanagan, Markovic, Ings

Man C (18): Danilo, Mangala, Otamendi, Delph, Toure, Gundogan, Sane, Jesus

Man U (22): Darmian, Lindelöf, Rojo, Shaw, Herrera, Fellaini, Lingard, Zlatan, Martial, Smalling, Carrick, Young

Tottenham (21): Trippier, Sanchez, Foyth, Davies, Wanyama, Winks, Lamela, Sissoko, N'Koudou, Llorente, Janssen

Chelsea (18): Rudiger, Christensen, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Batshuayi, Willian, Kenedy

City probably has the highest average quality/player, but seriously lack depth as well. Although their 12-18 outfielders are stronger than ours (just). Really surprised to see this, didn't realise they were so weak. 

United looking really strong. 

As does Arsenal and Liverpool. One is dragged down by the negative energy surrounding their manager, the other strongly on the up. 

If I was asked to predict how the league would end up between the top six judging by their squads and managers, I'd say;

1. Man U

2. Liverpool

3. Tottenham

4. Man C

5. Chelsea

6. Arsenal (solely due to Wenger)

 

2. Yes, and yes. 

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Rob B   

Looking at the big team's 12- 24 player squads in isolation is pointless in my opinion.

Whilst I do think we're a forward and a LWB short, I prefer to look at things another way...

Our GK is considerably better than Liverpool's, Man City's, Arsenal's and at least on par with United and Spurs. 

Our 5 central defenders are miles better than any of our rivals too. United have good options and Spurs have a really strong few, but as a bunch, ours are the strongest by some distance.

Our midfield four of Drinkwater, Cesc, Kante and Baka is also probably the strongest.  United fans may argue this with Pogba, Matic, Herrara and Carrick but we're at least on par. 

City have without doubt the strongest group of AM's and although ours are far from weak, we do lack a little bit of depth here.  Moses and Fabregas can fill in here though.  Spurs and Liverpool have a strong group too. 

Up top, we are stronger than Arsenal and Liverpool, but perhaps lacking the options of City and United. Let's not forget though that theirs are far from perfect.... Aguero is injury prone, Jesus is untested over a whole season and can perhaps be bullied out in games by seasoned pro's, whilst Lukaku lacks the guile needed for teams who will sit deep. Spurs have got a good backup in Llorente now and therefore possibly have the strongest two. 

So having a huge squad is fine but let's not forget that even with European football, 90% of the players probably remain in the team week in week out, so having a really strong core of 16 or so, might end up being more advantageous IF we can stay relatively injury free.  We have decent options with players to change a game from an attacking perspective, e.g. Fabregas, Willian and Michy,  whilst we also have players who can come on and close a game out, e.g. Zappacosta, Rudiger and Christensen. I think we have the best balance, and possibly the best coach so I fully expect us to be right up there with probably United and Spurs. (Liverpool, City and Arsenal don't have the defensive solidarity or the consistency to mount a serious challenge) 

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Holymoly   
2 hours ago, bluehorn said:

Funny stuff. I think we have the best 11 in the league, but to actually challenge for the champions league and prem simultaneously is nonsense. 

Actually our ability to challendge for the CL is only partially dependent on our squad. Assuming we can get out of the group our chances then are really dependent on the relative proximity and nature of the league games immediately before and following the knock out fixtures. I seem to remember a year when the league did its utmost to screw us over.....and failed.

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-keen-on-moving-fa-cup-semi-final-date-7586542.html

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1 hour ago, Rob B said:

So having a huge squad is fine but let's not forget that even with European football, 90% of the players probably remain in the team week in week out,

I don't think so.  I doubt if many clubs play 2 games in a week without using 15 different players and subs.

22 minutes ago, Holymoly said:

Actually our ability to challendge for the CL is only partially dependent on our squad. Assuming we can get out of the group our chances then are really dependent on the relative proximity and nature of the league games immediately before and following the knock out fixtures. I seem to remember a year when the league did its utmost to screw us over.....and failed.

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-keen-on-moving-fa-cup-semi-final-date-7586542.html

Relative proximity is much less important if you rotate the first team regularly.  Chelsea don't (at least not under JM mk II or Conte).

23 hours ago, Juni said:

this is a club that has won just two knockout ties in the Champions League in the last five years 

Staggering fact from Juni.

Only 4 clubs each year are allowed to compete in both the big club competitions in Europe.  But Chelsea just don't bother.  We only try in one (even in 2012 when we had a big broad squad we only competed in 1 competition).

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My personal opinion is that we are short a reliable/capable 2nd LWB (I.e. Telles -  I am in the camp that Alonso is great and does not need replacing), another AM (Sanchez/Griezmann - I am interested what happens in Jan here) and another strong CF (in an ideal world it would be Costa or someone of his ilk). 

I know some may say we need another CM and AM as well but both would likely get very few minutes and we do have players in the squad that can cover in an emergancy - Luiz/Chrsitensen and Moses - while Musonda is more than good enough for FA Cup/EFL/Qarabag teams. 

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19 minutes ago, Conte Kante said:

My personal opinion is that we are short a reliable/capable 2nd LWB (I.e. Telles -  I am in the camp that Alonso is great and does not need replacing), another AM (Sanchez/Griezmann - I am interested what happens in Jan here) and another strong CF (in an ideal world it would be Costa or someone of his ilk). 

I think we are three good quality players away from a really good squad. 

Exactly in the positions you mentioned. 

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Rob B   
1 hour ago, Droy was my hero said:

I don't think so.  I doubt if many clubs play 2 games in a week without using 15 different players and subs.

So I've looked into this (well 15-20 minutes) and in short there is a clear pattern.... the teams that rotate heavily, during European weeks, tend to have inconsistent/poor results, whereas the top teams who rotate just a few, don't.

For example, if you compare Man City who bombed in the Champs League AND the PL, during December, and their no. of team changes, to Real Madrid, who have arguably been the best side in Europe over the past 3 years, the difference is staggering.  

Man City used 24 different players during those three games, and lost to us, drew with Celtic, and then lost to Leicester.  Real Madrid used 17 and won 2 and drew one.   I know this is is just one example, but comparing Arsenal with Barcelona showed very similar results. For example, when did you ever see any of MSN on the bench? 

I maintain that a useable squad of 15-16 is better that 24, where half are duds - or, even if they aren't, have never played with each other so are thrown in, having not played for weeks, and results suffer.  You can't keep 24 players sharp. 

In ideal world we'd have a couple more bodies of course, but it's really not the disaster everyone is making this out to be.

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^ I think a squad is going to struggle even if like RM they only use 17 players over the week if they have a squad of just 15 or 16.
For that matter they will struggle with 21 players.

We have 19, including 3 GKs plus no kids worth mentioning.

 

(note 15/16 we also had 19 adults, worse - three of them were Djilobodji, Remy and Falcao, but we did at least have 2 U21s, Zouma and Rahman who could be expected to contribute).

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DannyLB   
32 minutes ago, Faramir said:

Hey! Page 4444!

We will have to wait until January 2018 to hit page 5555!

 

It will come down to one man and one man alone. He has practiced for this moment his whole life. Will he have what it takes though? 

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