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Taking Stock Of The Squad

(* DISCLAIMER - The following article is in no way based on any empirical data. But rather, a healthy dose of personal bias, presumptive arrogance, and pessimism thinly disguised as pragmatism.)

Alright then. Any new manager coming in without the benefit of a transfer window will need to take an honest stock of the squad he's inherited.

Any such appraisal would naturally be heavily weighted towards current form, rather than intangibles such as "future potential" and "He's a decent player, just misunderstood".

We have some players whom I could comfortably see fighting for a place in a title-challenging PL side. There's others who could do a job in a regular Top-4 Champions League side. We also have a few who fit our current status as a regular Europa League side to a tee. There's also bang average players like Xhaka (whom I consider a cross between Jonjo Shelvey and Robbie Savage). Then you have the kids who, as yet, have no business commanding a starting position in any of the PL sides. And lastly, the players who should arguably be fighting for a place in a perennial relegation-battling PL side.

Without going into too much detail, the following is a clumsy attempt at classifying the array of talent at our disposal.

The family silver - Auba, Leno, Lacazette.

Regular Top 4 level - Torreira.

Regular Europa League level (The kind of player who wouldn't look out of place in a Valencia side) - Bellerin, Holding, Guendouzi, Ozil, Pepe, Martinelli, Ceballos,Tierney

Mid-Table level (Palace/Newcastle) - Luiz, Mustafi, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Chambers

Brighton - Sokratis, Kolasinac, Emi Martinez

The "kids" - Saka, ESR, Willock, Nelson,..... I'd even go as far as chucking Mavropanos in among this lot.

Admittedly, it should go without saying that a world-class manager could whip up any group of cloggers into a footballing force of nature. But Freddie is no world class manager. At least not yet.

Any views are welcome.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

comment by The Wonky Kronke (U16927)
posted 14 minutes ago
Dont agree with your comparison of Xhaka to Shelvey and Savage. whule Xhaka has the same ability to pick up cards, they are both far more mobile and offer better protection to the defence.
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Fair enough. But to Xhaka's credit, he's always had an eye for the odd Hollywood pass, coupled with a taste for taking long shots.

More Jonjo than Savage, if you will.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

Strange that players who wouldn't look out of place at a CL club are considered EL level, but hey-ho.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

Torreira is no better standard than Holding, Guendouzi, Pepe, Martinelli or Tierney.

Martinelli is probably the most talented out of that group followed by Guendouzi/Pepe. Once Holding is fit again and TIerney is settled they will be our 2 best defenders I guarantee.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

Ozil should be part of the family silver, and Pepe should be a regular top 4 starter. The rest I more or less agree with.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

Yeah because Ozil totally contributes as much as Auba and Leno

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

1 good season is all he has had for fux sake.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

comment by You Can't Buy Class (U12019)
posted 36 minutes ago
Torreira is no better standard than Holding, Guendouzi, Pepe, Martinelli or Tierney.

Martinelli is probably the most talented out of that group followed by Guendouzi/Pepe. Once Holding is fit again and TIerney is settled they will be our 2 best defenders I guarantee.
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I also had Torreira firmly inside the Europa group, but only bumped him up so as not to leave the 2nd group blank.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

haha

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

Strange how you've put martinelli in the Europa block instead of the kids one.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

comment by Tu Meke - He'sGotRedHair! (U3732)
posted 2 hours, 51 minutes ago
Strange how you've put martinelli in the Europa block instead of the kids one.
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I did say it was a clumsy effort.

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