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Squad Status: 2018/2019 Season

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49 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

Click bait is good.  But best is just stuff that can be cut and pasted and put up without any thinking process.

Reminds me of that chap that scored a couple in a cup game for Arsenal earlier this season,  we released him for being too small and he went to Arsenal. Back pages full of articles about the wonderkid we let go, what a mistake it was, lists of all the other ones that got away for us. England's next best thing.

Don't think he has kicked a ball since.

(Solanke and Brewster much the same as above)

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jones   

So, already starting to look ahead for next season, with a new manager (Luis Enrique?) and a likely formation switch to 4-3-3. Fingers crossed for CL football, so we can be able to recruit the top players we need. Strengthening our attack is the key, and where we should prioritize our spending. Zappacosta and Luiz to provide funds, plus possibly also Batshuayi if we can get a top CF.

GK: Courtois, Caballero, Eduardo

RB: Azpilicueta (+Moses, Rudiger)

LB: Alonso, Palmieri

CB: Christensen, Rudiger, Cahill, Zouma

DM: Kanté, Drinkwater

CM (playmaker): Fabregas, Barkley

CM (box to box): Bakayoko, Loftus-Cheek or van Ginkel

RW: Willian, Bailey, Moses

LW: Hazard, Pedro

CF: Morata, Werner*, Giroud

First XI: Courtois - Azpi, Christensen, Rudiger/Zouma, Alonso/Palmieri - Fabregas, Kanté, Bakayoko - Willian/Bailey, Morata/Werner, Hazard

*The biggest question for me is, can we get one of the four top CFs that are more than 50 % to leave this summer?

  • Griezmann (100m release clause, strongly indicated he will leave)
  • Lewandowski (seems on his way)
  • Werner (too good for Red Bull, and only two years left on contract)
  • Icardi (100m release clause)

Real Madrid, Barcelona, City and Bayern will all be looking to get one each. Will there be anyone left for us?

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Not much change there.  And I doubt the club expects to spend much (net) at current prices.  Zappacosta I see is gone - which I can't blame him for given how he has been behind Moses which is ridiculous.

I agree, no Conte (probable) means 433 or even 424, and occasionally a real 343 where Palmieri and perhaps Willian or Pedro at RB.
23 players with 433 needs to be split 3GKs, 3 FBs, 4 CBs, 5 CMs 8 AMs/CFs.  You have 3, 3 4 6 7 (though Moses doesn't really count as an AM, just a back up FB IMO).  And I don't know about Werner, but I doubt either Morata or Giroud can play as an AM while if we ever use start with 2 strikers one will be Hazard.
In other words good balance, but I would go further with 1 or 2 more AMs instead of Moses and either a CM or a CF.


I can't see RLC coming back but Abraham staying away.  And I can't see Zouma returning at all -  I wouldn't pick Zouma ahead of either Cahill or Rudiger.  He is worth far far more for a club like Stoke than he is for us, even with 2CBs/ 4 at the back.  .  
Van Ginkel would be nice in the squad but I really doubt he wants to be here rather than a mid-level PL team where he can make a proper impression.  Have we ever forced a player back against his will?
None back IMO except maybe a GK3 or an older real marginal like Kenedy or Aina. 

So I'd expect 3 cheapish purchases instead of Zouma, RCL/VG and Moses (or just keep Zappacosta as either Azpi or Alonso  can fill in at CB.  Baka too if you are keeping him).  

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jones   
18 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

Not much change there.  And I doubt the club expects to spend much (net) at current prices.  Zappacosta I see is gone - which I can't blame him for given how he has been behind Moses which is ridiculous.

I agree, no Conte (probable) means 433 or even 424, and occasionally a real 343 where Palmieri and perhaps Willian or Pedro at RB.
23 players with 433 needs to be split 3GKs, 3 FBs, 4 CBs, 5 CMs 8 AMs/CFs.  You have 3, 3 4 6 7 (though Moses doesn't really count as an AM, just a back up FB IMO).  And I don't know about Werner, but I doubt either Morata or Giroud can play as an AM while if we ever use start with 2 strikers one will be Hazard.
In other words good balance, but I would go further with 1 or 2 more AMs instead of Moses and either a CM or a CF.


I can't see RLC coming back but Abraham staying away.  And I can't see Zouma returning at all -  I wouldn't pick Zouma ahead of either Cahill or Rudiger.  He is worth far far more for a club like Stoke than he is for us, even with 2CBs/ 4 at the back.  .  
Van Ginkel would be nice in the squad but I really doubt he wants to be here rather than a mid-level PL team where he can make a proper impression.  Have we ever forced a player back against his will?
None back IMO except maybe a GK3 or an older real marginal like Kenedy or Aina. 

So I'd expect 3 cheapish purchases instead of Zouma, RCL/VG and Moses (or just keep Zappacosta as either Azpi or Alonso  can fill in at CB.  Baka too if you are keeping him).  

What is the point of three cheapish purchases when you have decent players on loan, capable of providing depth?

Prioritize spending where there are pressing needs, is what we should do.

A new CF is a must. Werner is a very good option, also because he is capable of playing on the wing. He would be a fantastic signing, is young and will improve. Same with Bailey. A pacy, direct and left-footed player is one of the things we lack in our front three. Not the finished article, but hunger and youthfulness is needed to complement and push the likes of Willian and Pedro.

The last spot in midfield, whether that is MvG, RLC or Mount for that matter, is not too important for me. All of them can do a job linking midfield with attack. That is what we lack with the five we already have. Even if we spent 25mp on a new player, there is no guarantee he would do better than the three names mentioned. And in terms of motivation to come back from good seasons at PSV, Vitesse and Crystal Palace, if you don't see an opportunity here with the struggling of Barkley, Bakayoko, Drinkwater and the aging Fabregas, then you do not believe very much in your own ability. Perfect timing to bring one of these boys into the mix.

As for Zouma, he is the easiest way we can upgrade our central defense. I agree he is behind Rudiger at the moment, but has a lot of the things we should be looking for in a partner to Christensen: pace, power and "beastyness". He is better in his positioning than what he gets credit for, and while he is not the ball playing defender that City has tons of, he is not worse than Cahill. Plus, he is a lot better in a back four than a back three.

Edited by jones

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2 hours ago, jones said:

What is the point of three cheapish purchases when you have decent players on loan, capable of providing depth?

Name the ones a manager would be willing to start in a PL game against say Palace next week.

Abraham and van Ginkel would be the only ones for me.  In an emergency I might pick Blackman, Kane, Kalas, Piazon or Kalas (though only Blackman is ever likely to return, and only as and English GK3).  

I'd rather Abraham stayed out on loan (a season not paying could seriously affect the value of an important asset.  And I'm sure van Ginkel doesn't want to sit on our bench either (whatever he politely says in public).

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jones   
3 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

Name the ones a manager would be willing to start in a PL game against say Palace next week.

Both RLC and MVG could easily start. Hell, both would have started today against City had they been here.

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4 minutes ago, jones said:

Both RLC and MVG could easily start. Hell, both would have started today against City had they been here.

Ginkel I doubt would start, but he would certainly have been first on as sub.  RLC, I think you are dreaming 2015 dreams.

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As the season is almost over, time for a summer wishlist:

1. A director of football to oversee all first team and academy matters, maintaining a consistent club philosophy even if the first team coach changes.

2. A first team coach that fits with the club's philosophy and is prepared to work within the financial reality of a club in Europe's top 10 but not in the top 5.

3. Sell a small number of players that no longer offer much to the squad. Build a squad capable of playing 433 and 4231. Use academy and loaned players as real squad options whilst investing in a couple of top class players to improve the first XI:

Courtois
Caballero 
Blackman

Azpilicueta 
Zappacosta

Alonso
Emerson

Christensen
Rüdiger 
Cahill
Zouma
Ampadu

Kanté 
New CM
Fabregas
Drinkwater
Loftus-Cheek 

Hazard
Willian
New AM
Pedro
Barkley
Hudson-Odoi 

Morata
Abraham or Batshuayi
Giroud

Out: Eduardo, Moses, Luiz, Bakayoko
In: Blackman, Zouma, Loftus-Cheek, new CM, new AM, Abraham/Batshuayi 

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4 minutes ago, chiswickblue said:

1. A director of football to oversee all first team and academy matters, maintaining a consistent club philosophy even if the first team coach changes.

Excellent.  The very role so many have been moaning about for so long!!

I'd add           4.  A few club based coaches that will last longer than the latest manager and his stooges.

Agree on a lot of the players

Blackman for Eduardo definitely.
Moses out yup.

Not sure Hudson-Odoi is ready for first team yet, and perhaps he isn't ready for a Championship loan (so why not have him around I suppose).  Maybe Mount is up to it. 
Quite sure RLC needs further loans though (and he is 3 or 4 years off ever playing CM IMO).
Ampadou is fine as CB5, if we need one.  He might be more ready for a loan than many of his older peers.  I watched the U23 game against Oxford, they had a giant 34 yo CF.  Only young Ampadou dare challenge him.  

Van Ginkel ?(but if I were VG, I'd rather be at Bournemouth)
rahman chelsea

 

2 or 3 new AMs for me.  Richarlison and Zaha would be perfect.

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59 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

Excellent.  The very role so many have been moaning about for so long!!

I'd add           4.  A few club based coaches that will last longer than the latest manager and his stooges.

Agree on a lot of the players

Blackman for Eduardo definitely.
Moses out yup.

Not sure Hudson-Odoi is ready for first team yet, and perhaps he isn't ready for a Championship loan (so why not have him around I suppose).  Maybe Mount is up to it. 
Quite sure RLC needs further loans though (and he is 3 or 4 years off ever playing CM IMO).
Ampadou is fine as CB5, if we need one.  He might be more ready for a loan than many of his older peers.  I watched the U23 game against Oxford, they had a giant 34 yo CF.  Only young Ampadou dare challenge him.  

Van Ginkel ?(but if I were VG, I'd rather be at Bournemouth)
rahman chelsea

2 or 3 new AMs for me.  Richarlison and Zaha would be perfect.

I don't think we've had anyone in charge of the club's footballing strategy, just recruitment in the past. The remit should be expanded to fill the vacuum at football board level.

Yes I forgot to add that the first team coaching staff should include some 'club men', more so than Cudicini - who's really an ambassador, not a coach.

I think Ampadu and Hudson-Odoi are too young for loans so should remain training with the first team, playing when they deserve it.

RLC and Abraham need to be thrown in the first team and given a real chance. RLC could easily be the no.8 in a midfield 3 for us. Give Abraham a chance as back-up striker and he'll force his way into the team eventually.

I'm not too sure about Cahill and Zouma as reserve CBs, although a sudden Ampadu growth spurt could solve issues in that area.

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