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Harvz

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1. we ran some of those players into the ground, particular Oscar

2. how many of the six got injured for any serious length of time? can't keep hoping for good fortune

3. what did we win?

4. Mata played more often than people like to make out, he just under performed and didn't suit the pressing game.

yes. I'd add

Players going sour for what ever reason is always a risk. Injury is one cause. A massive offer from a big club (Mata) might be another. A negative reaction to not being picked (KDB) might be another (or maybe KDB had homesickness or heard early of the Wolfsburg offer or just found the transistion to the Prem too tough or a mix of all these).

If you put injury and all the other reasons into a big "non-availablity category", it makes 6 look far too small for an area where 5 get on the pitch most games.

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3Sphinx   

I think for the AM band of 3 it would be ideal to have 5 'first-team' quality AMs that can be rotated regularly (ie. in an ideal world, replacing Salah with a more player that is more capable - eg. Di Maria, Reus).

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synavm   

It's not just the five attacking midfielders in the first team remember.

There's like another 10-15 of them on loan or in the reserves, many of which are more than capable of being a fringe player in the senior squad. I'd only back us signing another if we were selling someone like Oscar or Willian and were to bring in someone like Di Maria.

Edited by synavm

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cam4blue   

Maybe some of you will get tired with this issue, but I'm particularly worried about the home-grown rule.

Sadly this is an issue that won't be addressed at all this summer. The only way to truly address it is time (find those three extra club-trained players coming through the ranks; there are a few who could take up squad positions, and a couple already have; we'll have to see how they develop).

While it is true that we have space for a couple of association trained players, the ones who are available to buy are not even an upgrade on the players we have on loan. We may as well wait for those players to develop elsewhere rather than buying them just because we can. The few who are good enough to improve our team may be targets in the future, but they don't seem to be available now.

It's not just the five attacking midfielders in the first team remember.

There's like another 10-15 of them on loan or in the reserves, many of which are more than capable of being a fringe player in the senior squad.

Indeed. You could easily see someone like Boga getting a few minutes off the bench in won games as we rest legs. Too many options and that could never happen (and it will only happen very rarely as it is).

You can add in that Cesc is a viable option as a No.10 and Ramires will likely see use as a RW this season. Azpilicueta has seen a bit of use as a RW too, and while that isn't ideal he wouldn't let us down in a pinch (especially if doing that job off the bench to kill a game). Rather than 5 options for 3 positions it's 7 with an 8th available for emergencies. Costa has also played out wide for his previous club (and ended up there against Burnley) and Torres was used there in pre-season. And then after that you have the kids.

Also, the withdrawal of one of the attacking three is not generally like for like in a lot of games, instead being used as a means to shore up the midfield by bringing on a more defensive midfield player (MIkel or MVG for example).

I can see people wanting an upgrade on one of our starters, but I don't think we have a problem when it comes to options.

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It's not just the five attacking midfielders in the first team remember.

There's like another 10-15 of them on loan or in the reserves, many of which are more than capable of being a fringe player in the senior squad. I'd only back us signing another if we were selling someone like Oscar or Willian and were to bring in someone like Di Maria.

The problem being that we don't like to leave these players with little football at such an important age in their development, so we ship them out on loan. So our best youngsters are playing for other clubs - meaning there's little left in the cupboard if we have a few players injured/out of favour in the first team squad.

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1. we ran some of those players into the ground, particular Oscar

2. how many of the six got injured for any serious length of time? can't keep hoping for good fortune

3. what did we win?

4. Mata played more often than people like to make out, he just under performed and didn't suit the pressing game.

4 excellent points.

I'd add that KDB was so unsuitable for us he barely counted as an option.

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Indeed. You could easily see someone like Boga getting a few minutes off the bench in won games as we rest legs. Too many options and that could never happen (and it will only happen very rarely as it is).

I agree.

I'd like to see the likes of Boga/Baker/Ake getting a few minutes in such games. The only sticking point is that they need to make the bench first for that to happen. And when you consider that Salah didn't even make the bench at Burnley despite Ramires being suspended, it just goes to show how very rare such appearances are going to be.

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synavm   

Sadly this is an issue that won't be addressed at all this summer. The only way to truly address it is time (find those three extra club-trained players coming through the ranks; there are a few who could take up squad positions, and a couple already have; we'll have to see how they develop).

While it is true that we have space for a couple of association trained players, the ones who are available to buy are not even an upgrade on the players we have on loan. We may as well wait for those players to develop elsewhere rather than buying them just because we can. The few who are good enough to improve our team may be targets in the future, but they don't seem to be available now.

Indeed. You could easily see someone like Boga getting a few minutes off the bench in won games as we rest legs. Too many options and that could never happen (and it will only happen very rarely as it is).

You can add in that Cesc is a viable option as a No.10 and Ramires will likely see use as a RW this season. Azpilicueta has seen a bit of use as a RW too, and while that isn't ideal he wouldn't let us down in a pinch (especially if doing that job off the bench to kill a game). Rather than 5 options for 3 positions it's 7 with an 8th available for emergencies. Costa has also played out wide for his previous club (and ended up there against Burnley) and Torres was used there in pre-season. And then after that you have the kids.

Also, the withdrawal of one of the attacking three is not generally like for like in a lot of games, instead being used as a means to shore up the midfield by bringing on a more defensive midfield player (MIkel or MVG for example).

I can see people wanting an upgrade on one of our starters, but I don't think we have a problem when it comes to options.

Costa looked like he was being played wide when Drogba came on on Monday too.

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Faramir   

Sadly this is an issue that won't be addressed at all this summer. The only way to truly address it is time (find those three extra club-trained players coming through the ranks; there are a few who could take up squad positions, and a couple already have; we'll have to see how they develop).

While it is true that we have space for a couple of association trained players, the ones who are available to buy are not even an upgrade on the players we have on loan. We may as well wait for those players to develop elsewhere rather than buying them just because we can. The few who are good enough to improve our team may be targets in the future, but they don't seem to be available now.

Indeed. You could easily see someone like Boga getting a few minutes off the bench in won games as we rest legs. Too many options and that could never happen (and it will only happen very rarely as it is).

You can add in that Cesc is a viable option as a No.10 and Ramires will likely see use as a RW this season. Azpilicueta has seen a bit of use as a RW too, and while that isn't ideal he wouldn't let us down in a pinch (especially if doing that job off the bench to kill a game). Rather than 5 options for 3 positions it's 7 with an 8th available for emergencies. Costa has also played out wide for his previous club (and ended up there against Burnley) and Torres was used there in pre-season. And then after that you have the kids.

Also, the withdrawal of one of the attacking three is not generally like for like in a lot of games, instead being used as a means to shore up the midfield by bringing on a more defensive midfield player (MIkel or MVG for example).

I can see people wanting an upgrade on one of our starters, but I don't think we have a problem when it comes to options.

Good post. Especially agree with the conclusion.

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