The squad

#1
I took this post by @dragonm8 from another thread as I though it was worth some discussion on it's own, going through the squad area by area.

Yep I agree.

We are looking very thin on numbers, but not thin on quality with the core 13 or 14.

Lose 4 through injury and all of a sudden we're in a crisis, due to having no cover.

It can make or break you financially I guess if the squad is too big, but it can ruin your season very quickly as well if you spread yourself too thin.

Given the positive start, you'd think a couple of additions would give Tindall some backing from the board.

The fact that we were in the PL only a few months ago suggests there isn't much moolah in the pot.


Surman and Francis would make our squad look a fair bit stronger than as it stands today.

--- Goalkeepers ---
Asmir Begović
Mark Travers
Will Dennis

It seemed clear that if Begovic could find a new home he'd be off and the likely replacement was Philips from Charlton. The cards didn't fall that way for Asmir though so he's with us and is now the man in possession. No need for any new recruits here as we have an excellent prospect as second choice and would hope there's never a need for the Dennis to be pressed into action. Third choice keeper isn't a wise place for us to be spending budget at the moment so that's understandable.


--- Defenders ---
Steve Cook
Lloyd Kelly
Chris Mepham
Adam Smith
Jack Stacey
Diego Rico
Jack Simpson

We've reportedly had a bid knocked back for a CD in Davies at Preston so hopefully there is still a plan in place to bring in another quality body. In addition to that, it seems likely Daniels will get getting a new deal as long as he doesn't break down. That would leave us in pretty decent shape for quality and depth, with Ofoborh as the emergency option.

The danger is if a PL club decides to try and get Cook (West Ham linked) or Rico (Sheff Utd linked). Even given Cook's contract situation it has to be on our terms, giving us enough cash and leaving us enough time to get in a suitable replacement.


--- Midfielders ---
Dan Gosling
Jefferson Lerma
Lewis Cook
Philip Billing
Nnamdi Ofoborh

This should be an embarrassment of riches in the Championship but the players still need to be on it 100% to exert their quality over the opposition. Ease off even a little and they could come off worse in the battle, as we've seen. Still, four genuinely good players and a young player who prospered in L1 last season should be more than enough in terms of quality and depth.

There were a few murmerings but I don't think there's any realistic prospect of any of them moving on.


--- Wingers/Forwards ---
David Brooks
Arnaut Danjuma
Junior Stanislas
Rodrigo Riquelme

This is affected a little by the formation we use but there are some concerns. Sadly, season after season Junior misses big chunks of games so if we get 20 out of him then we should be thankful. That leaves the other three carrying the burden between them. That would leave us with one niggle or suspension from not having a first team sub option when a player is having a bad game.

Brooks and Danjuma have both proved susceptible to picking up one thing or another. And Riquelme is a total unknown when it comes to playing full throttle first team football twice a week. There's also the danger a PL club might hit the big red panic button and thwack a massive bid for Brooks onto our doormat.

I'd love to see another option here. If Brooks goes then it should be two but he could be the key to the season so I hope we keep hold of him.


--- Strikers ---
Dominic Solanke
Sam Surridge
Joshua King

We need King gone sooner rather than later and we then need his replacement through the door. Given the preferred formation, it looks like it will be one up front but sometimes horses for courses will demand a two which means a minimum of three first team strikers on the books.

If King doesn't get the move then we need to sit him down and make sure his head is in the right place so he can earn a move back to the PL in January.


--- Youngsters ---
Gavin Kilkenny
Jaidon Anthony
Jordan Zemura

I think a season at L1 under his belt means Ofoborh would have been playing in the Championship this year come what may so I consider him a first team squad player rather than a youngster. The other three have all shown something, either in the past, in preseason friendlies or in a cup match. Good to have as emergency options but impossible to say how well they would adapt when called upon. If so, I can only wish them the best of luck. Sometimes you are forced to play the kids and then it's sink or swim for them.


So, despite all the departures, I think we're only really three players short of the squad we need to carry some depth into the season. Daniels seems a given, then another defender and a wide forward/winger. After that it would be a case of one out one in which is something out of our hands and dependent on players being bought. In an ideal world, the only one going would be King.

The feedback coming from the club was to judge them when the window closes, not what happens at the start of it. They've got just over a week to show they really do mean to go for it this season. It doesn't need to be extravagent spending. Smart recruitment is much more preferable. A Callum Wilson instead of a Lewis Grabban.
 
#4
It does look a decent squad but you're right in that, across the board, we are a couple of injuries away from being in danger and relying on 'youngsters'... No idea in the rumours and their validity but I'd like to see one of Ben Davies or Cameron CV come in for the back, and I'd like to see a forward come in, (god knows who though)...

I have a feeling both Cook and Rico will still be here come the day after transfer deadline...
 
#5
We certainly 2-4 bodies short for me, it's correct to say that we're only a few injuries away from a big drop off in the side's quality or experience.

I'd definitely like to see Daniels signed up, similar to Rico he can play either left centre back or left wing back slots, but also offers experience to a very young dressing room. Ideally I'd also like to see a proper CB signing, more right sided, but this would cost money.

IF we got both of those, I'd then send Simpson out on loan to L1 to play every game for a season. Ofoborh can fill in any remaining gaps.

I'm worried about the wide options. We have lots of ability there, but Brooks and Stanislas can't be relied upon to play 40 games. No idea what Riquelme brings as yet. It might sound sentimental but Pugh would be a known quantity, on a free, offering depth. We don't necessarily need a star man signing there, but we do need depth.

If King goes, I worry about centre forward. Solanke and Surridge seems light for a side seriously chasing promotion in the Championship. Trouble is the King situation rumbles on and on, it might go down to the wire again. I worry we'll be left in the lurch losing King and not having time to sign a replacement. Perhaps we could preempt this sooner, with a loan until January that can be either returned if King stays or made permanent later if King goes.

Still a lot of potential work for JT and co to do, and not much time remaining...
 

bpl234

Star Player
#7
If king does go we will definitely need another 2 up top.
Tindall might be looking at things and think we have the likes of danjuma and brooks who could play off a striker .
I do hope a couple of the youth team players do get a bit of chance this year and we all have been going on about Kilkenny so wonder if he will get some game time.

also in centre midfield some added quality in there would also help us
 
#8
The winger situation depends on formation for me, if we go with a front 3 regularly like we have done in the first few games we certainly need to recruit. But we have seen two up top with 3 in the middle as well but that may of been because we didn't have anyone else fit!
 
#9
Apologies for challenging Dragonm8 on the original thread, but if I am mistaken that's 25 players, give or take any that might leave. almost double the 13. Therefore 8 injuries away from having call in extra players from the youth set up.

In fact, you can select two decent starting XI's.

Having worked to get morale back and harmony into the squad, do we think adding in 2 more really helps. After working so hard in pre and early season, who do you want to call into the manager's office to let them know they have moved down the pecking order because they are no longer central to the plan. This isn't a fantasy squad to play god with, but real people who behave badly when their heads not right and who need to be playing.

Only replace what we now lose, and hold our nerve till January, just 10 /11 weeks away.
 
#10
Apologies for challenging Dragonm8 on the original thread, but if I am mistaken that's 25 players, give or take any that might leave. almost double the 13. Therefore 8 injuries away from having call in extra players from the youth set up.

In fact, you can select two decent starting XI's.

Having worked to get morale back and harmony into the squad, do we think adding in 2 more really helps. After working so hard in pre and early season, who do you want to call into the manager's office to let them know they have moved down the pecking order because they are no longer central to the plan. This isn't a fantasy squad to play god with, but real people who behave badly when their heads not right and who need to be playing.

Only replace what we now lose, and hold our nerve till January, just 10 /11 weeks away.
We’ve lost 10 from last year’s squad and so far brought in just one. Adding at least two more is essential for squad depth.

I’d expect players to up their game at the prospect of new signings challenging their places rather than losing morale. That’s what they did when Eddie was taking us up through the leagues.
 

MB1980

Fans' Favourite
#11
We’ve lost 10 from last year’s squad and so far brought in just one. Adding at least two more is essential for squad depth.

I’d expect players to up their game at the prospect of new signings challenging their places rather than losing morale. That’s what they did when Eddie was taking us up through the leagues.
indeed, personally see not signing the right players and relying relatively untested young players as a bigger risk.

if players aren't resilient enough to accept the challenge, then they;re probably not up to a promotion push either. its up to the manager to have the ability to keep the squad focused and motivated.

squads are improved by most successful teams each season, its the way it is, nothing left-field or unusual about it. it's more unusual to not sign a number of players.
 

Garbo

UTC Legend
#12
its a longer season in The Championship..so the risks of losing players through injury or suspension is that bit higher....but I think Jason will probably not get much money to recruit in this window so will need to rotate carefully and hope that one or two of the younger players come to the fore...hopefully they will get one or two chances to shine?...realistically I can only see King going if we get a decent bid for him and with attacking players like Solanke,Suuridge,Danjuma,Stanislas and Riquelme (along with Gosling!) we should have enough firepower IMO to do okay..the goalkeeping issue could loom large if Asmir gets a long term injury...
 
#13
Check the fixture list. There's long spell of consecutive weeks with two matches a week. It's going to be brutal, not just for injuries but for players getting jaded as well.

We also can't assume every player in the squad will be in form or will have a good season. We made the mistake (or were forced to) play players in woeful touch last season and looked how that worked out.

In the seventh week of that two matched a week spell, take away the injured players, the out of form players and those in need of a breather and suddenly you really don't have any options.

Two or three extra in the squad feels essential. They'll all get game time given how the season is set up.
 

CherryBare

Fans' Favourite
#14
Check the fixture list. There's long spell of consecutive weeks with two matches a week. It's going to be brutal, not just for injuries but for players getting jaded as well.

We also can't assume every player in the squad will be in form or will have a good season. We made the mistake (or were forced to) play players in woeful touch last season and looked how that worked out.

In the seventh week of that two matched a week spell, take away the injured players, the out of form players and those in need of a breather and suddenly you really don't have any options.

Two or three extra in the squad feels essential. They'll all get game time given how the season is set up.
Yes agreed it is going to be brutal, and we need 3 or 4 players at least i think, we have a fragile squad, a number who dont have a great record of staying fit.
Seriously lacking up front, imagine if solanke got injured. Think another midfielder, centre back, hopefully Charlie signs, even think 2 forwards could be needed when king goes.
 
#15
Check the fixture list. There's long spell of consecutive weeks with two matches a week. It's going to be brutal, not just for injuries but for players getting jaded as well.

We also can't assume every player in the squad will be in form or will have a good season. We made the mistake (or were forced to) play players in woeful touch last season and looked how that worked out.

In the seventh week of that two matched a week spell, take away the injured players, the out of form players and those in need of a breather and suddenly you really don't have any options.

Two or three extra in the squad feels essential. They'll all get game time given how the season is set up.
I’m confident, that with everybody fit, we have the quality to get promotion from this league. But a lack of squad depth could totally negate that. JT says that this season we will need to use the entire squad. I’m sure on that basis that he would expect the squad to be two or three members stronger by the end of this transfer window. If not I fear that our promotion challenge could be derailed if we are slightly unfortunate with injuries and lack the ability to rest players from time to time.
 
#16
Yes agreed it is going to be brutal, and we need 3 or 4 players at least i think, we have a fragile squad, a number who dont have a great record of staying fit.
Seriously lacking up front, imagine if solanke got injured. Think another midfielder, centre back, hopefully Charlie signs, even think 2 forwards could be needed when king goes.
totally agree .
Our next 7 games up until the next international break is 2 games a week. After the international break the same up until Xmas time .

a couple new bodies in, will push people to keep their places but also think we won’t settle on a formation but will change it dependant on personnel available .

for this league I think we have a good squad even if we lose King.
 
#17
At the moment we don’t really know how good Ofoborh, Kilkenny, Zemura and Anthony are. We also don’t know what our budget is.

It’s possible these 4 are actually at the same level of anyone we could bring in on our budget.

I definitely think bringing in at least one more would be good to bring some fresh energy to the squad. I also agree with JT that we only want to add players who will improve our squad. And there’s not that many
 
#18
There are a lot of very handy PL players that won't make the 25 man squad of their clubs who would likely be available for loan. Depending on what financial demands their clubs are asking, a stellar addition at reasonable rates might be possible.

For example, Victor Moses from Chelsea. Or Saliba from Arsenal.

Or Danny Rose from Spurs. Actually no, he can get get hecked. I'm sure Milan are still chasing him even outside the window. If not he can go to Newcastle as he wouldn't want anything to do with AFCB now, would he?

The point is that these guys, and there are quite a few, won't be able to play for their clubs until January so it's either a loan to the Championship or kick their heels for the next three months. It's a very odd transfer window and I can see a few unexpected players turning up in surprising places before it shuts. Hopefully we're well prepared on all the options out there.
 

NWCherries98

Fans' Favourite
#19
Do we really need more bodies in defence? Under the assumption that we’re re-signing Daniels, I’m not sure I agree tbh.

CBs:
Cook, Kelly, Mepham, Simpson, Ofoborh

LBs:
Rico, Daniels, Zemura

RBs:
Smith, Stacey

Sure, we could maybe get another CB in, but what would actually be the point? Ofoborh has looked very accomplished there vs PL opposition, Rico has been something of a revelation there too. Daniels has played there before at PL level, and will be excellent backup at LB to Smith and Rico. Simpson is not nearly as bad as everyone makes out either. Also, Pugh would be a good LWB at this level imo.

Idk, I just think if we brought someone in, we’d all be clamouring for Simpson to go out on loan, which would leave us as we were. I’d like to see us trust the academy players, especially Ofoborh and Zemura, who have looked more than up to the task.
 

CherryBare

Fans' Favourite
#20
Do we really need more bodies in defence? Under the assumption that we’re re-signing Daniels, I’m not sure I agree tbh.

CBs:
Cook, Kelly, Mepham, Simpson, Ofoborh

LBs:
Rico, Daniels, Zemura

RBs:
Smith, Stacey

Sure, we could maybe get another CB in, but what would actually be the point? Ofoborh has looked very accomplished there vs PL opposition, Rico has been something of a revelation there too. Daniels has played there before at PL level, and will be excellent backup at LB to Smith and Rico. Simpson is not nearly as bad as everyone makes out either. Also, Pugh would be a good LWB at this level imo.

Idk, I just think if we brought someone in, we’d all be clamouring for Simpson to go out on loan, which would leave us as we were. I’d like to see us trust the academy players, especially Ofoborh and Zemura, who have looked more than up to the task.
The key is if we play 3 at the back, and get 2 injuries, starts to look light