Our strongest 11…

#41
It
Also a thought I've had if we are thinking that Cook and Cahill can form a partnership.

It could see Adam Smith play as the wing-back bombing up and down the flank but Kelly sit as we turn to a back three in possession.
It's an interesting tactic, at least for a while but I worry about lack of pace with that pairing, so won't suit all opponents.
 
#42
How can you pick players you have never seen play in your strongest team?
Its a totally hypothetical exercise, that serves to highlight the challenge SP faces to get the selection right but also the exciting prospect if some of these combos worked.

Every 11 we select could reasonably win any game but has weaknesses that can be exploited.

This thread is the classic optimists Vs pessimists, risk takers Vs safety first, experience Vs youth etc And in some way the discussion won't stop, just as each game passes everyone posting will acquire what they think is evidence to support their position and evidence to shoot others down....
 
#45
Surely the key point is that we now have a strong 18 available for each match.

So far this season, we have had a reasonably strong starting line up, except perhaps for Birmingham away when Davis had to play so far out of position. The issue has been the lack of options on the bench.
 

Garbo

UTC Legend
#46
IF all fighting fit??

1 Nyland
2 Smith
3 Kelly
4 Lerma
5 Mepham
6 Cahill
7 Billing
8 Christie
9 Solanke
10 Pearson
11 Lowe

best 7 for bench: Brooks/Stacey/Rogers/Davis/Stanislas/S Cook & L Cook

others Marcondes/Zemura/Ibsen-Rossi/Dennis/Kilkenny/Anthony/Moriah Welsh/ Saydee/Travers
 
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#47
3-5-3, all midfielders + Travers and wingbacks, maybe get some youth team midfielders to fill in for them. In the centre of the park, Kilkenny sits back to keep things ticking over while Christie and Billing offer attacking threat.

Travers
Lerma L. Cook Pearson
Stacey Christie Kilkenny Billing Zemura
Brooks Marcondes Stan

Actually doesn't look too terrible, may even be able to stay up if actually fielded.
 

DJ

Moderator
#48
3-5-3, all midfielders + Travers and wingbacks, maybe get some youth team midfielders to fill in for them. In the centre of the park, Kilkenny sits back to keep things ticking over while Christie and Billing offer attacking threat.

Travers
Lerma L. Cook Pearson
Stacey Christie Kilkenny Billing Zemura
Brooks Marcondes Stan

Actually doesn't look too terrible, may even be able to stay up if actually fielded.
Looks like football has evolved…
 
#49
3-5-3, all midfielders + Travers and wingbacks, maybe get some youth team midfielders to fill in for them. In the centre of the park, Kilkenny sits back to keep things ticking over while Christie and Billing offer attacking threat.

Travers
Lerma L. Cook Pearson
Stacey Christie Kilkenny Billing Zemura
Brooks Marcondes Stan

Actually doesn't look too terrible, may even be able to stay up if actually fielded.
We'd only need one more to field a Rugby League team.
 
#50
Interesting that Marcondes is not featuring much in the first 11's. Not that I don't agree because I am trying to figure out where his best position is, and how he matches up to the squad competition in that position.
 
#52
Interesting that Marcondes is not featuring much in the first 11's. Not that I don't agree because I am trying to figure out where his best position is, and how he matches up to the squad competition in that position.
He doesn't even make the bench for quite a few people. Wonder what he's thinking after yesterday's incomings.
 
#54
Something Matt Wells said on the AFCB podcast that stood out to me was 'we don't sign players to play, we sign players to train. If they train well, they can earn a place in the side' (or words to that effect).

I think every league starting XI has almost picked itself so far. Competition for places should really drive the squad forward.
 
#55
This is an interesting one, and the fact that we have debates for every position on the pitch is very exciting, especially given the youthful nature of the side.

The debate for the Goalkeeper spot is one of development versus experience. On the face of it you wood pick Nyland, late 20's, promotion with two clubs and a regular in the Norway squad. However, he hasn't actually got much more first team action than Travers, at least in England. Never seen much of him to be honest. All I know is that he has been the second or even third choice wherever he has been. Travers is a difficult one. When he debuted against Spurs a few years back, I am pretty sure everyone who was at that game would agree that has to be one of the finest goalkeeping performances for some time at Dean Court. From that game I was convinced he would go from strength to strength, but he hasn't seemed to. I am sure though he will prove to be a good keeper in the coming seasons. Surely a year as number one ought to help him achieve that. That is why I would like Travers to be first choice with Nyland as back up.

The subject of defence doesn't get any easier. For me personally you have to have a mix of experience and youth. We have both in abundance, with the addition Gary Cahill, and the emergence of Jordan Zemura and Zero Ibsen-Rossi. I will assume we will play a back four. The centre back partnership (and by partnership I mean playing with and only with the person next to you) is one we have many solid enough players for at this level, we have five in total for two positions. What I will say is you have to have one of Cook or Cahill in the best XI, never both. The idea of that makes me shiver. I am pretty sure Ted Mac could still give these the run around. What do you go for, sentiment or pedigree. Without knowing how either of their current playing capabilities I will assume that they are the same as the last time they played. With a Champions League medal, two premier league medals, you will struggle to argue against Cahill. As I have previously dismissed Cook and Cahill partnership, that leaves Kelly, Mepham and Ibsen-Rossi for the left side of centre back. As great as he has been I think we are starting to see a few flaws to Zeno's game, Mepham too has been a great asset this season and has come back a different player to last season. Surely though Kelly is certain for that role, after all he had been selected as the current captain. Also, I think he is maturing into a good player. He is definitely one for the future. For me it is Cahill and Kelly. The two full back positions are interesting. On the right you have two experienced players and on the left you have two inexperienced players. I haven't seen enough of Davis to comment on him but he would have to be some player to take JZ's spot as he has been immense since that tougo WBA fixture. Smiths versatility makes him so useful but Stacey's energy and attacking threat gets him in for me.

Is far we have:

Travers
Stacey Cahill Kelly Zemura

Now onto the midfield three. A is single or a double pivot? I think personally we have the squad for a double pivot but Scott Parker obviously prefers the single pivot in front of the back four. It depends on whether you want a playmaker or a ball winner there. Every player has there strengths and weaknesses but in my opinuin there is only one man for this role who has everything above mentioned. That is Lewis Cook. On his day he is one of the finest players yo watch... not just at this club, but in the country. I really mean that too. The two more advanced players will have to do a mix of get up to support the centre forward and come back and help the holding midfielder protect the back four. I have been open about my criticism of Billing in the past, I think we all have, but he has really shone over the last year. He has to be in. Some of the runs he makes are superb. Then you have Lerma, Marcondes and Christie. We will have to wait and see with Christie. I always admired him, never thought we coups acquire him for that little of a fee though. I think he might adapt nicely but we shall see. Marcondes was one that brought about some real excitement, for some of the fan base. Not for me though. I have never rated him. Still don't. Clever enough player but he hides for 88 minutes. Rarely does anything. I will be honest, I am just not a fan. Surely, with the way we are playing, Lerma has to be in the best XI. The way he presses, box to box runner, the way he carries the ball. All of these things make him one of the best players in the league. All about balance too. I think if either Lerma or Pearson was the holding midfielder, we coyod afford to play two of Billing/Marcondes/Christie. That would mean no Lewis Cook, though. For me the midfield is Cook with Billing and Lerma advanced.

So far:

Travers
Stacey Cahill Kelly Zemura
Lerma Cook Billing

The frontline. Options on the left. Anthony, Rogers, Lowe and Stanislas. Anthony has showed a lot of promise, but has faded in recent games showing that maybe we cannot pin our hopes on him over 46 games. Rogers is an unknown quantity. Lowe is good of the left but I see him in the long term as a striker. I think Stanislas fully fit is the best man for the job. A premier league player without a doubt. On the right, it is out of Brooks and Christie. Has to be Brooks. As for the striker. Solanke is our most valuable player. If he gets injured it could really damage us even with Lowe as cover.

This is the best XI for me.

Travers
Stacey Cahill Kelly Zemura
Lerma Cook Billing
Brooks Solanke Stanislas
 
#56
This is the best XI for me.

Travers
Stacey Cahill Kelly Zemura
Lerma Cook Billing
Brooks Solanke Stanislas
I largely agree with this analysis. There may be a whiff of bias for current players over new ones, but going with those that have already shown their stuff isn't a bad call. The new signings will have time to prove themselves to Parker on the training ground and to us with what minutes they get, if they can change our minds when they hit the field then all the better. Depending on Cahill and Cook's fitness and if they can get back to previous levels, which isn't guaranteed, there is probably a fair shout for Mepham to partner with Kelly. The only position that really is untouchable is Solanke, injuries elsewhere we have enough depth to be confident, but if he gets injured then there'll be a big step up for anyone trying to fill his role.
 
#57
[QUOTE="tindalls_hairband, post: 544324, member: 56"

I think every league starting XI has almost picked itself so far. Competition for places should really drive the squad forward.[/QUOTE]

Judging by reactions I think everyone agrees the quality of the two added improves matchday squad.

But I am not sure the extra numbers, the quality of the individuals aside, makes a lot of difference. It's the quality themselves, as just means 2 players now drop off the radar.

Also, if you're suggesting the 11s that have played, could have played better had their been more competition in training I am not sure that follows. Parker may not have had a choice at that stage, but those players had every incentive to give their utmost and best to finish off Blackpool, be competitive against Norwich, and turn over Hull. In fact had they done that, they would have made it more likely that we would have added one or none, and in so doing held their places.

Could Travers have been any more motivated with every report saying we are looking at Woodman.

Billing's under par show against Blackpool might make it hard to win back a starting place now.

It's more likely that the club and SP felt that if that's their best when they have every motivation to prove they are good enough, then we need not cover but in the case of Christie, upgrades.

Therefore, ironically those two draws and that thrashing by Norwich might just be the most 3 important results in pushing the owner, Board and SP to add the last 2 (of course he might also have worked out some were not up to it day one, it's just taken this long to get them).

Who knows, but they are all here and now we just have to wait what feels like an age to see them next play.
 
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#58
Don’t understand why everyone is picking Lerma ahead of Pearson. Pearson may be the more unfashionable pick but he is the better player, performs exactly the same role but just better.
 
#59
Don’t understand why everyone is picking Lerma ahead of Pearson. Pearson may be the more unfashionable pick but he is the better player, performs exactly the same role but just better.
People have seen a lot more of Lerma than they have of Pearson, Lerma has played several seasons in the PL and represents his country, perhaps that may help you understand? Pearson is quality no doubt about it but that’s probably why
 
#60
People have seen a lot more of Lerma than they have of Pearson, Lerma has played several seasons in the PL and represents his country, perhaps that may help you understand? Pearson is quality no doubt about it but that’s probably why
2 seasons in the Prem, in which we were pretty dire the entire time. Playing for his country isn’t relevant really, if he was English like Pearson then he wouldn’t be playing internationally. To me it’s just pretty obvious that Pearson is the better player.