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Squad Status: 2017/2018 Season

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paulw66   
1 hour ago, Sleeping Dave said:

I think we can feel a little bit more certain in who's driving the small squad issue at our club. 

It certainly wasn't Mourinho (given the squad size he's had with other clubs and now Man U). 

Not disagreeing with you, but in some ways Jose definitely cause a smaller squad by never rotating, even with players like KdB, Schurrle, Salah and Cuadrado at various times, none of whom got much of a look in. 

In 2014/15 we played Shrewsbury away in the LC, Hazard came on as sub. We then played Derby away, Hazard played 90 minutes. Swansea away, 4-0 up at half time, Hazard played 90 minutes. He flogged our best players even when we had options. 

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1 minute ago, paulw66 said:

Not disagreeing with you, but in some ways Jose definitely cause a smaller squad by never rotating, even with players like KdB, Schurrle, Salah and Cuadrado at various times, none of whom got much of a look in. 

Yes.  But not to the extent that Conte has done.  Both take some blame in this.  And it cost JM his job here (for which he may well be very greatful).

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40 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

Not disagreeing with you, but in some ways Jose definitely cause a smaller squad by never rotating, even with players like KdB, Schurrle, Salah and Cuadrado at various times, none of whom got much of a look in. 

In 2014/15 we played Shrewsbury away in the LC, Hazard came on as sub. We then played Derby away, Hazard played 90 minutes. Swansea away, 4-0 up at half time, Hazard played 90 minutes. He flogged our best players even when we had options. 

Never rotating? 

Never rotating was last season. That was litterally "never rotating" and pales in comparison to how Jose used his squad. Not saying we couldn't have rotate more under Jose, but I think it's slightly bizarre to claim he never rotated when the current incumbent is a lot worse. 

Jose always rotated but of course played his best team more often than not. However, that is hardly something that is out of the ordinary. 

Edited by Sleeping Dave

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1 hour ago, A Blue Essien said:

Again, the most striking difference between the 2 squads are the AM's.

They have 5 proper options (6 if you include Young). We have 3. 

They play 3 Am's in the starting 11 so that is 6 players for 3 positions, two of witch play as strikers. Add Moses or Cesc to Hazard, Pedro, and Willian and we have 4 wingers for two winger positions and Musonda who we don't really know will contribute anything yet so I will not include.

28 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

26 Man U players

You do realize Jose won't actually be pulling on the shirt and getting on the pitch, Conte is definitely a better option if it comes down to that! Its 25 players, 24 players if you discount Tuanzebe. (23 if you discount Matic ;-) )

34 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

If you think we can compete for CL or PL with 17 players + GKs, I think you should say so,

I don't expect us to challenge in the CL, expect to get out the group and possibly the next round depending on who we draw. I expect us to challenge for the PL, not going to say we will win it as it is too tight to call these days but I expect top 3. I've also pointed out the financial reasons as to why we don't have the same options. If we had Carrick and Young on large contracts many would still not be happy and questioning why we still have them and they haven't been replaced. I agree we are two or three players short and the club has to re-evaluate their stance on players over the age of 30 as that is the only way to keep a full squad where players don't expect to play every game. They also need to re-evaluate playing the youth players as the best ones won't stick around and the squad should have a blend of ages, other than Rashford every position in the United team is well and truly blocked for any youth player to get a shot. One could even describe it as parking the bus between youth and first teams. as I pointed out earlier this is clearly not part of our strategy. Ultimately once/if Chelsea gets that blend right it should become an evolving process where we are in a much better position long term of producing our own talent meaning we can focus transfer fees on the cream of the crop to supplement that.

35 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

But since when has having 3 fit CBs been a problem for any club?  5 fit CBs and just 12 other  outfield players sounds more of a problem to me.

One of our CB's has already played in CM this season, Azpi can play pretty much anywhere behind the AM's and Rudiger has played RB in a 4 throughout his career so we have that adaptability in our players which will help (not solve) with the smaller squad. Same as it did when we won the CL Final with a decimated squad as you pointed out. Jones has played CM not very well and Rojo has filled in at LB again not very well, they don't really have the same flexibility.

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48 minutes ago, Lump Of Celery said:

You do realize Jose won't actually be pulling on the shirt and getting on the pitch, Conte is definitely a better option if it comes down to that! Its 25 players, 24 players if you discount Tuanzebe. (23 if you discount Matic ;-) )

No of course it was a joke - which is why I referred to the Grenfall Game he played in recently.  But they do have a 21 year old GK3 who I am sure is part of the squad and appeared pre-season.

1 hour ago, Sleeping Dave said:

Never rotating was last season. That was litterally "never rotating" and pales in comparison to how Jose used his squad. Not saying we couldn't have rotate more under Jose, but I think it's slightly bizarre to claim he never rotated when the current incumbent is a lot worse. 

Jose always rotated but of course played his best team more often than not. However, that is hardly something that is out of the ordinary. 

More or less yes.

Certainly JM rotated more than Conte.  But in 14/15, we did have only 12 players with 10 PL starts (13 last year, and all 16 fit options in 15/16).
JM doesn't rotate much, Conte even less.

 

1 hour ago, Lump Of Celery said:

One of our CB's has already played in CM this season, Azpi can play pretty much anywhere behind the AM's and Rudiger has played RB in a 4 throughout his career so we have that adaptability in our players which will help (not solve) with the smaller squad. Same as it did when we won the CL Final with a decimated squad as you pointed out. Jones has played CM not very well and Rojo has filled in at LB again not very well, they don't really have the same flexibility.

One of our CB's has already played in CM this season, - which to you is proof of his flexibility, and to me is proof of how overbalanced towards CBs our squad is.
It is funny when this topic comes up, people always adjust player flexibility to suit their own argument.
Generally anyone over 5'10" ends up as a CB by the end of their career.  Nobody converts into an AM except short strikers.
We are overstaffed at CB (with Alonso and Zappocosta and probably Bakayoko as further options).  We are understaffed at AM and strike with only Moses as an option there (and I doubt he'll play there until we get the expected emergencies).
.

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paulw66   
1 hour ago, Sleeping Dave said:

Never rotating? 

Never rotating was last season. That was litterally "never rotating" and pales in comparison to how Jose used his squad. Not saying we couldn't have rotate more under Jose, but I think it's slightly bizarre to claim he never rotated when the current incumbent is a lot worse. 

Jose always rotated but of course played his best team more often than not. However, that is hardly something that is out of the ordinary. 

But Conte had less games! 

Conte didn't need to rotate as we had no Europe and after getting knocked out of the LC, it was one game a week. 

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jones   

I think our deepest worries in the squad is in attack and at wing-back. Defence is solid, and both Christensen and Rudiger will develop to become very classy defenders over the next 12 months. I think our midfield four is high quality, and also think a player like Loftus-Cheek can come back and share the box to box position with Bakayoko. Fabregas remains one of our most important players, even if someone like Verratti will always be a wet dream.

As for wing-back, I think it is quite telling how much we pursued Alex Sandro this summer, even if Alonso had a very good season. First, we need two quality options for each WB position as it is an exhausting position to play and it is a tough position for someone who is not natural to "slot into". Second, if you have a world-class player in that position, your tactics benefit exponentially: A complete player at wing back, and for the record Sandro is and Alonso is not, will allow our play to flow on a completely different level. We will continue to pursue a world class LWB, and since neither Moses or Zappa is world class, I hope we manage to replace the lesser of those two in the summer with another.

Of our current six attacking players, the overall quality is what worry me the most. These are the players that are supposed to be the x-factor of the team. We only have Hazard and Morata that are top class, and if you look at our competitors the gap is pretty worrying. PSG have Neymar, Cavani and Mbappe, and players like di Maria and Moura on the bench. City scored 7 at the week end with Aguero and B Silva on the bench. I could go on. Willian and Pedro are very good players, but they are "gel", not x-factor. Batshuayi is just not cutting it, and never will for us. Not only do we need to add at least 1, possibly 2 top class attacking players, we also need game-changers. The powerful player in the squad we sub on when we need a goal, and when opposition defenders think "oh ****, this is gonna get tough". Why we pursued Llorente, and why our squad could actually could benefit from players like Benteke, Carroll - even Crouch. They would be great assets in certain games, even if they don't have to be top class overall. All of Batshuayi, Pedro and Willian are not the future of this team. One of them could possibly stay on in a squad player role, but in my perspective we need to replace these players with a world class CF (Griezmann, Sanchez, Icardi, Belotti etc), a powerful target man as mentioned and possibly another poacher.

Even if we got one of the not very obtainable italic names above, we are still some way off PSG. Investments needed.

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The sudden flurry of hamstring injuries can surely be attributed to the added pressure of playing more games. 

The fact that we don't have a proper squad is now hurting us big time. 

Four seniors are out. That is by no means unusual. Given that we have those injuries, it means we have a squad of:

Courtois, Caballero; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Rudiger, Christensen; Zappacosta, Alonso, Kenedy; Fabregas, Bakayoko; Willian, Pedro, Hazard; Bats

14 outfielders incl Bats and Kenedy who clearly aren't trusted. We are desperately low on quality and quantity at FB, AM and S. 

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paulw66   
4 minutes ago, Sleeping Dave said:

The sudden flurry of hamstring injuries can surely be attributed to the added pressure of playing more games. 

 

We've played one extra game this season as opposed to this time last season.......

2 CL games, and one less LC game, and the quality / intensity of the first CL game was a bit like playing a LC game. 

Yes, we have a small squad but I would agree more with the "extra game" factor later in the season. 

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