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Squad Status: 2017/2018 Season

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On 8/12/2017 at 1:39 AM, James Prescott said:

26 players out on loan. 

I do wonder what team we could put out with out loan army. Let's see (3-4-3 formation): 

Blackman 

Kalas, Zouma, Hector

Aina, Van Ginkel, Pasalic, Da Silva

Piazon, Abraham, Loftus-Cheek

Subs: Baxter, Miazga, Kane, Mount, Baker, Brown, Ugbo

That's actually not a bad team. Most of those subs could make the starting XI no worries. Capable of competing in the PL for sure.

Meanwhile, our actual first team squad has 19 players in our first team squad (20 including Remy), 3 injured, 1 suspended. So, currently, 15. 

That's a very flawed team. There's a little more to it than just plonking players into a position. 

Zouma isn't technically competent enough on the ball to play CB in a back three. Nor does he read the game well enough to play that covering CB role. 

Neither MvG or Pasalic offer any remote hint of defensive cover. In turn would leave the defence exposed. 

Aina and Da Silva are well below EPL level at this stage, while lacking the tactical understanding that's required defensively at WB. 

Piazon is Championship standard. And RLC hasn't got the tenacity to his game that would allow him to play in a front three at this point. 

Abraham's is one of the few that would make an impact. 

I can't help but feel there's a warped perspective regarding the quality of some of the young players we have. 

Edited by xCELERYx
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On 11/08/2017 at 4:39 PM, James Prescott said:

26 players out on loan. 

I do wonder what team we could put out with out loan army. Let's see (3-4-3 formation): 

Blackman 

Kalas, Zouma, Hector

Aina, Van Ginkel, Pasalic, Da Silva

Piazon, Abraham, Loftus-Cheek

Subs: Baxter, Miazga, Kane, Mount, Baker, Brown, Ugbo

That's actually not a bad team. Most of those subs could make the starting XI no worries. Capable of competing in the PL for sure.

Meanwhile, our actual first team squad has 19 players in our first team squad (20 including Remy), 3 injured, 1 suspended. So, currently, 15. 

Agree with the sentiment here, we've clearly let too many good players who could play a part, leave too early without having replaced them....

....But make no bones about it, that team would get relegated with a record points low.  Men against boys. 

 

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6 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

That's a very flawed team. There's a little more to it than just plonking players into a position. 

Zouma isn't technically competent enough on the ball to play CB in a back three. Nor does he read the game well enough to play that covering CB role. 

Neither MvG or Pasalic offer any remote hint of defensive cover. In turn would leave the defence exposed. 

Aina and Da Silva are well below EPL level at this stage, while lacking the tactical understanding that's required defensively at WB. 

Piazon is Championship standard. And RLC hasn't got the tenacity to his game that would allow him to play in a front three at this point. 

Abraham's is one of the few that would make an impact. 

I can't help but feel there's a warped perspective regarding the quality of some of the young players we have. 

Sure - not disputing that many of these players have faults. But it's also only a list of players who've been loaned out. 

Chalobah, Ake and Matic would all be serious squad players for us. Ditto RLC and Abraham had they stayed. 

But the fact that so many of these players James listed aren't up to scratch opens up a whole different can of worms... Like what the f are we doing? Why are we trading and loaning out these players and not focus on making the first team as strong as it can be? Why are we, seemingly, spending more resources on making the development squad tick with ins and outs than we do with the first team? 

Sounds to me we need to get our priorities straight. Start with sacking Michael "palpable discord" Emenalo. Follow that up with kicking out Marina who seems to be nothing more than a glorified assistant. Might come off harsh, but the buck stops with those two really. They are the ones who are responsible for player recruitment and transfer dealings and making sure our coach has a squad to work with.

Never mind discussing the quality of our squad options. We don't even have a squad!!! 

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7 hours ago, Sleeping Dave said:

Sure - not disputing that many of these players have faults. But it's also only a list of players who've been loaned out. 

Chalobah, Ake and Matic would all be serious squad players for us. Ditto RLC and Abraham had they stayed. 

But the fact that so many of these players James listed aren't up to scratch opens up a whole different can of worms... Like what the f are we doing? Why are we trading and loaning out these players and not focus on making the first team as strong as it can be? Why are we, seemingly, spending more resources on making the development squad tick with ins and outs than we do with the first team? 

Sounds to me we need to get our priorities straight. Start with sacking Michael "palpable discord" Emenalo. Follow that up with kicking out Marina who seems to be nothing more than a glorified assistant. Might come off harsh, but the buck stops with those two really. They are the ones who are responsible for player recruitment and transfer dealings and making sure our coach has a squad to work with.

Never mind discussing the quality of our squad options. We don't even have a squad!!! 

I'm aware of it being a list, although the way James opted to present the notion was with this head in the clouds sort of belief that such a team would actually be a competitive unit at EPL level. I was merely showcasing that it's a bit more involved than just picking a formation and putting the players we have on loan in the available positions and expecting results. Half the reason some of these players aren't actually here right now is because they're either not good enough or ill suited to our system - be that though ability, type of player, inexperience etc.

There's never going to be some conveyor belt of young players coming through who can step up into a first team role of some capacity. There's also the human side to it, where players get to a certain age and begin to want to play regular football - even if that means not at the standard we compete at. We've seen this off-season that's become a significant issue. The likes of Ake and Chalobah left, not because they weren't good enough per say, but because they are now at an age where they would rather play regular football than maybe sit and fight for games here. This season was the prime opportunity for Chalobah, we lack players in his position and he could well have utilised that situation to stake a claim with some impressive performances. Ake on the other hand, while talented, we're well covered in the position he plays so the chance for games was far less and understandably a move for him was a better situation. 

We definitely, as a club, need to look at how we're handling aspects of player development and transfers, no question. There's also only so much a club can do and when young players reach a certain age and haven't yet broken through, or are unwilling to remain patient, they're going to want to play regularly at some point. We cannot begrudge that. Even if it means losing players like Ake, Chalobah etc. As long as if we do, we include buy backs etc in the event that these players - who we've not discarded because of ability, do reach the levels we had anticipated and can bring them back to play here.

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7 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

1. There's never going to be some conveyor belt of young players coming through who can step up into a first team role of some capacity.

2. There's also the human side to it, where players get to a certain age and begin to want to play regular football - even if that means not at the standard we compete at. We've seen this off-season that's become a significant issue. The likes of Ake and Chalobah left, not because they weren't good enough per say, but because they are now at an age where they would rather play regular football than maybe sit and fight for games here. This season was the prime opportunity for Chalobah, we lack players in his position and he could well have utilised that situation to stake a claim with some impressive performances. Ake on the other hand, while talented, we're well covered in the position he plays so the chance for games was far less and understandably a move for him was a better situation. 

3. We definitely, as a club, need to look at how we're handling aspects of player development and transfers, no question. There's also only so much a club can do and when young players reach a certain age and haven't yet broken through, or are unwilling to remain patient, they're going to want to play regularly at some point. We cannot begrudge that. Even if it means losing players like Ake, Chalobah etc. As long as if we do, we include buy backs etc in the event that these players - who we've not discarded because of ability, do reach the levels we had anticipated and can bring them back to play here.

1. I don't think anyone expects a conveyor belt of young players coming through. But I think we are a few who expects a handful of players in the last decade to make the grade. Given the resources we're plowing down the academy/development squad I really don't think that's asking too much... 

2. It would have been hard for Chalobah to make a material difference anyhow, seeing as he was going to be sent out on loan anyways. I can certainly understand why he was hesitant to sign a new contract given that the last three loans he was sent out on was a waste of everyones time. Like you say, he was good enough to play a part. Perhaps if Conte had told him when he got back from internationals in the summer that "you'll be an important squad player for us and here's a new contract to reflect that" instead of "here's a new contract for you to sign and then we'll send you out on yet another loan", Chalobah's answer might have been slightly different. 

3. There's definitely a lot we as a club can do to take care of the young players we develop who clearly are good enough to play PL football. Experience comes with chances and we have seen enough **** senior players being bought for hundreds of millions of pounds over the years where a youth product would have made far more sense. The latest in that list being Ake, Chalobah, Solanke and Loftus-Cheek. Those four, together with Christensen, should really have been part of the proper squad had we as a club managed the situation properly. I also think it is extremely exaggerated to claim that all of these players demanded first team football. Yes, probably thinking they were good enough to be properly involved, but I seriously doubt any of those demanded a starting berth. If we can manage them better and incorporate them in a better way when they clearly are good enough, perhaps they would be a lot liklier to want to stay... I was also under the impression that Conte wanted to give youth a chance. That has proved to be an absolute mockery so far, I'm hard pressed to remember any manager less willing to give youth a chance.

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2 minutes ago, Sleeping Dave said:

The latest in that list being Ake, Chalobah, Solanke and Loftus-Cheek. Those four, together with Christensen, should really have been part of the proper squad had we as a club managed the situation properly.

Unfortunately at present they're not actually better than the first XI and as such would, at best, be sitting on the bench all season. These young players want to be playing football not watching the games from the sidelines with the odd run out once a month and so decided to move on. You can't criticise them for that.

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13 minutes ago, Holymoly said:

Unfortunately at present they're not actually better than the first XI and as such would, at best, be sitting on the bench all season. These young players want to be playing football not watching the games from the sidelines with the odd run out once a month and so decided to move on. You can't criticise them for that.

I'm sorry but that wiewpoint in itself defeats any argument to have more than 11 outfield players. 

It's a squad game these days (even Claudio Ranieri said this back in 2002) and it hasn't changed. It's not enough to have 11 players good enough to be starting, you need 20 players who are all good enough to be starting some games. Those four are, without discussion, good enough to be starting for us in any competition and do it without making us materially weaker. 

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I agree that we are buying way too many **** players. Ideally, we spend our money on world class players, and mix these with ready academy players. The difficult thing is getting the academy players ready though. If the gap between the best and the second bests in the squad is too big, it won't work. There is no competition for places, and the youngsters are "cones" in training. And to be fair, that is the role many of those who went out on loan had last season.

I think Chalobah would have been the perfect CM4 for us this season. Does not mean that would have been best for his career or development, but if it is true we suggested he went out on loan, and that's why he left, then that is as silly as it sounds.

What RLC needed now was a season being a regular starter. It gives him confidence and experience to build his mental game, and actually make a proper claim to bench players like Pedro and Willian. The displays he is showing at Palace suggest we are going to have a 40mp midfielder returning next summer. You can't really blame that decision, showing signs of being one of our best loan moves in recent years.

Aké was right to leave, Christensen is already ahead, has a higher ceiling and is younger.

Solanke is no point discussing, he wanted 50.000/week after scoring six league goals for Vitesse.

I'd bring Aina into the mix as well, just to prove a point. Watched the highlights of Hull vs Burton Albion. Twice lost the ball close to his own goal, that ultimately led to a goal on both occasions (one mistakenly disallowed), and then provided an assist with a great cross. Hull Daily labeled him "naive, but great going forward" (paraphrasing). Come the end of the season, Aina for sure will be way less naive in those situations. It is exactly the reason why these players are not ready, despite their extreme potential and high ceiling. They need to get the experience a top club like ours seem to not risk giving them. Whether that is right or wrong is of course up for debate, but I think a successful loan gives the player a lot more than a fringe season on the bench.

Edited by jones

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11 minutes ago, Sleeping Dave said:

1. I don't think anyone expects a conveyor belt of young players coming through. But I think we are a few who expects a handful of players in the last decade to make the grade. Given the resources we're plowing down the academy/development squad I really don't think that's asking too much... 

2. It would have been hard for Chalobah to make a material difference anyhow, seeing as he was going to be sent out on loan anyways. I can certainly understand why he was hesitant to sign a new contract given that the last three loans he was sent out on was a waste of everyones time. Like you say, he was good enough to play a part. Perhaps if Conte had told him when he got back from internationals in the summer that "you'll be an important squad player for us and here's a new contract to reflect that" instead of "here's a new contract for you to sign and then we'll send you out on yet another loan", Chalobah's answer might have been slightly different. 

3. There's definitely a lot we as a club can do to take care of the young players we develop who clearly are good enough to play PL football. Experience comes with chances and we have seen enough **** senior players being bought for hundreds of millions of pounds over the years where a youth product would have made far more sense. The latest in that list being Ake, Chalobah, Solanke and Loftus-Cheek. Those four, together with Christensen, should really have been part of the proper squad had we as a club managed the situation properly. I also think it is extremely exaggerated to claim that all of these players demanded first team football. Yes, probably thinking they were good enough to be properly involved, but I seriously doubt any of those demanded a starting berth. If we can manage them better and incorporate them in a better way when they clearly are good enough, perhaps they would be a lot liklier to want to stay... I was also under the impression that Conte wanted to give youth a chance. That has proved to be an absolute mockery so far, I'm hard pressed to remember any manager less willing to give youth a chance.

1. Of course it would have been nice to have players over the years step up and make the grade in some capacity, and it certainly should be happening given the investment we put into the academy. At the same time, there's not really been many players who have indeed been sold or released over the years that really stand out and make me think - damn, that was a mistake. This excludes players like Lukaku and KdB who were purchased purchased later in their development stages. Although, both should seemingly left because of similar reasons to that of Ake and Chalobah - guaranteed playing time. 

2. From what I understand the idea was that Chalobah was to sign a new deal and then head out on loan, although I believe this was at the time when the plan was for Matic to still be here. With Matic leaving later on, there is currently a genuine opening had Chalobah been retained. This sort of situation makes me think there is a severe break down in communication between manager and those dealing with transfers. If the plan was to sell Matic off, then Chalobah should have been given the low down on such a situation. Something like; "We want you to stay, we're planning to offload Matic and there is a opening for you to stake a claim". Rather than offloading him first, then Matic and now having diddly CM options.

3. I don't think the demand is first team football itself, but maybe more along the lines of there being guaranteed greater chance of first team minutes. Either way, it's been poorly handled by the club in terms of there being a genuine pathway for younger players to be integrated. Conte will give youth a chance provided the player himself is capable, especially from a tactical standpoint. You look back at his Juventus squads and the only real young player that regularly played was Pogba. There were a few others who got nominal minutes here and there, but the majority of his players used were entering their mid-twenties or older. One of the other young players that got a bit of a chance was Luca Marrone. He was apart of Conte's squad from the beginning, only featured a handful of times in his first season but got a significant number of games in Conte's second season. He was then sold in the third season out on co-ownership as part of a deal to claim half of    Domenico Berardi's rights. And he was also apart of Conte's Siena side the season before he joined Juventus. Otherwise early in Conte's coaching career has been  the other time younger players were given more playing time. 

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7 minutes ago, xCELERYx said:

1. Of course it would have been nice to have players over the years step up and make the grade in some capacity, and it certainly should be happening given the investment we put into the academy. At the same time, there's not really been many players who have indeed been sold or released over the years that really stand out and make me think - damn, that was a mistake. This excludes players like Lukaku and KdB who were purchased purchased later in their development stages. Although, both should seemingly left because of similar reasons to that of Ake and Chalobah - guaranteed playing time. 

2. From what I understand the idea was that Chalobah was to sign a new deal and then head out on loan, although I believe this was at the time when the plan was for Matic to still be here. With Matic leaving later on, there is currently a genuine opening had Chalobah been retained. This sort of situation makes me think there is a severe break down in communication between manager and those dealing with transfers. If the plan was to sell Matic off, then Chalobah should have been given the low down on such a situation. Something like; "We want you to stay, we're planning to offload Matic and there is a opening for you to stake a claim". Rather than offloading him first, then Matic and now having diddly CM options.

3. I don't think the demand is first team football itself, but maybe more along the lines of there being guaranteed greater chance of first team minutes. Either way, it's been poorly handled by the club in terms of there being a genuine pathway for younger players to be integrated. Conte will give youth a chance provided the player himself is capable, especially from a tactical standpoint. You look back at his Juventus squads and the only real young player that regularly played was Pogba. There were a few others who got nominal minutes here and there, but the majority of his players used were entering their mid-twenties or older. One of the other young players that got a bit of a chance was Luca Marrone. He was apart of Conte's squad from the beginning, only featured a handful of times in his first season but got a significant number of games in Conte's second season. He was then sold in the third season out on co-ownership as part of a deal to claim half of    Domenico Berardi's rights. And he was also apart of Conte's Siena side the season before he joined Juventus. Otherwise early in Conte's coaching career has been  the other time younger players were given more playing time. 

1. There's absolutely no indication that either Chalobah or Ake demanded guaranteed playing time. I think this is just the easy way out to accept them leaving. I maintain, and I think Juni would agree, had we managed them better both would still be here. 

2. I have no idea why you would have thought that. It's been a very badly kept secret that Matic was about to leave. We knew this last summer probably when Conte had to convince Matic to stay one more season. This is not a case of us being caught in the wrong foot, we took an active decision to offer a contract to Chalobah and then loaning him out again despite knowing Matic was on his way. That much should be crystal I'd have thought. 

3. Good. So Conte isn't this magical manager who gives youth a chance left right and centre. Good to have this established. 

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