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Squad Status: 2017/2018 Season

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1 hour ago, A Blue Essien said:

And I'll repeat: Hazard won't be available for some time yet and it stands, we don't have anyone of the same quality as Pedro or Willian to use. 

I strongly suspect he'll be back earlier than claimed.

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Just to illustrate the squad weakness, here's a matchday squad (with Morata in, Matic & Costa out, all others fit):

Courtois; Azpi, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kanté, Bakayoko, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard

Subs: Caballero, Rüdiger, Fabregas, Baker, Willian, Musonda, Batshuayi 

First XI looks like it could win the premier league, although an upgrade on Moses would be good and Cahill could be pushed by Rüdiger. However, there's no alternative to Alonso and we already have the inexperienced Musonda in the 18. One injury or suspension and we have to include the untested or the untrusted in the 18.

At the moment we're banking on continuing our run of luck with injuries and not rotating our team much despite playing hopefully 10+ more matches this season.

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3 hours ago, chiswickblue said:

Just to illustrate the squad weakness, here's a matchday squad (with Morata in, Matic & Costa out, all others fit):

Courtois; Azpi, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kanté, Bakayoko, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard

Subs: Caballero, Rüdiger, Fabregas, Baker, Willian, Musonda, Batshuayi 

First XI looks like it could win the premier league, although an upgrade on Moses would be good and Cahill could be pushed by Rüdiger. However, there's no alternative to Alonso and we already have the inexperienced Musonda in the 18. One injury or suspension and we have to include the untested or the untrusted in the 18.

At the moment we're banking on continuing our run of luck with injuries and not rotating our team much despite playing hopefully 10+ more matches this season.

Well, it looks better than it did a week ago!

The scary thing about that squad however is that to start the season you'd have to take Hazard and Bakayoko out. So if the season were to start tomorrow, it would look like:

Courtois; Azpi, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kanté, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Willian

Subs: Caballero, Rüdiger, Christensen, Kenedy, Baker, Musonda, Batshuayi 

 

Very short. But, like I said, it's better than it was last week, so whilst there's still a lot of work to do, it's starting to come together.

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xCELERYx   

On the flip side, the season doesn't start tomorrow and there is still weeks remaining of the transfer window. 

Conte could also switch from 343 and go with something else depending who is fit at the time. 

Then you have those who complain about youth not getting a chance. Now that a couple have a potential opening in the squad all of a sudden we're in need of additional established quality. Which is only going to see the same people complain about youth not getting a chance once more. Can't have it both ways. You either allow for younger players to have a potential better squad role, or you negate them all together and fill their spots with proven players who are considered more reliable. 

For now, I am happy with where we are at. Isn't like other sides are exactly pulling up trees themselves. 

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This looks light everywhere except GK and defence:

Courtois

Caballero

Azpilicueta - Luiz - Cahill

Christensen - Rudiger

Moses - Kante - Bakayoko - Alonso

TBC - Fabregas - Baker - Kenedy

Pedro - Hazard

Willian - Musonda

Morata

Batshuayi

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jones   

Our window so far looking better and better. Very happy with Morata. Complete forward. Tactically dependable and intelligent footballer. Conte is a fan. Has never been a #1 before, but will be for us and think we will see him bang in goals as well. The best option to replace Costa. Also think Bakayoko is, or at least very soon will be, an upgrade on Matic. Rüdiger looks to have the right profile, but I am even more excited to see what Christensen can do when given the chance.

As for the rest of the window, we should do all we can to land Alex Sandro. And it seems like we are using Matic as best we can to make them sell. Would be a fantastic addition, and almost make our squad complete. Think we will land Llorente as well, respected sources have talked about that transfer for some time. The loan of Tammy only increases that probability. The fact that he broke his arm and won't return in a few weeks is probably what's delaying the transfer. 

Probably need another CM though. Not sure whether Conte rates Baker, but with Fabregas being promised a bigger role it wouldn't be naive to think Baker will be his back-up. 

8 players for the 5 defensive positions: Luiz, Cahill, Rüdiger, Christensen, Azpi, Moses, Alex Sandro, Alonso. 6 of them can play CB, 4 can play WB. Would be a big upgrade on last season, especially given our ability to rest and rotate the draining WB positions. A little light in terms of injuries though, but I think it will be enough.

4 players for the 2 CM roles: Kanté, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Baker. Regardless of what happens with Baker, this is probably a little light. But Kanté never tires, Bakayoko just arrived for 40m and Fabregas is promised a bigger role in the team. Not sure a new signing here would get too much game time? Assuming 60 games and 120 CM starts, Kante gets 50, Bakayoko 35, Fabregas 30 and Baker 5? Christensen a possible back up option at DM?

7 players for the 3 AM/CF roles: Hazard, Pedro, Willian, Batshuayi, Morata, Llorente, Musonda. A lot of different options to mix between 3-5-2, 3-4-3, 3-4-1-2. Quality and depth. Pace, creativity, goals and strength. X-factor players that can come on and change the game.

All in all, this is a big upgrade on last year. It is still a bit light with 19 outfield players for 10 positions. But Rome wasn't built in a day, and it is a step in the right direction. I would be happy with this all things considered.

Edited by jones

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jangz   

Read Conte's interview.. looks we will sign Sandro.. Lorente would be a bonus.. I am worried about CM very short there.. sad we are selling matic.. a midfield of fabregas bakayako matic kante would have been brilliant :(

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Boga is a complete tank! Remember seeing highlights of him last year and was very impressed. Clearly can beat a man but also wins many fouls before getting straight back on his feet, demanding the ball and running straight at the opponent again. I was very surprised he featured so little although in fairness he was at the club which came bottom of the league before appointing Tony Adams as manager so clearly they had no idea what they were doing. 

According to reports Musonda has filled out a bit but Boga looks far closer to being first team ready in my opinion. Due to our paper thin squad he will get a few chances to impress on tour and may even earn himself a squad position.

Whether or not this equates to actual minutes is anyone's guess but until we sign somebody the spot is temporarily his. No doubt we will go to the market but if it's for a multi position player like Ox he may stick around as 4th/5th option. Certainly a far better player than the massively overrated Adama Traore who we were linked with earlier this season. Surround him with players on his technical level and above and he will flourish. Unfortunately it's the hope that kills us.

Edited by samhoward17

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Sea foot   

I was well impressed with Boga. He didn't look too far off senior squad place to me on that performance. Liked his direct style, he made their defence uncomfortable. Thought he still looked a bit green and tried to do too much but that probably has a lot to do with him trying to show the boss what he can do given a chance. I'd be happy to see him get some meaningful minutes this season.

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I know I am usually cautious about our young talent, but here we go again with the overhyping of a guy on one performance against a team that really did not come to defend (or do much at all).  Arsenal left a lot of space for our players to run with the ball into.  All of our players did so to great effect.  I'm not sure that Boga did much more than the minimum expected (but maybe I am just in the wrong discussion).

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