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Trimming The Squad


coco

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Current 1st XI Squad List:

Petr Cech 26

Henrique Hilario 33

Alex 26

John Terry 28

Ashley Cole 28

Jose Bosingwa 26

Michael Mancienne 21

Branislav Ivanovic 24

Paulo Ferreira 30

Ricardo Carvalho 30

Juliano Belletti 32

Deco 31

Michael Ballack 32

Florent Malouda 28

John Mikel Obi 21

Jimmy Smith 22

Mineiro 33

Michael Woods 18

Frank Lampard 30

Michael Essien 26

Joe Cole 27

Miroslav Stoch 19

Salomon Kalou 23

Didier Drogba 30

Gael Kakuta 17

Franco Di Santo 19

Nicolas Anelka 29

Total = 27 Players -Average age 27.26

2009/2010 Squad:

Petr Cech 26

Henrique Hilario 33

Alex 26

John Terry 28

Ashley Cole 28

Jose Bosingwa 26

Michael Mancienne 21

Branislav Ivanovic 24

Paulo Ferreira 30

Ricardo Carvalho 30

Juliano Belletti 32

Deco 31

Michael Ballack 32

Florent Malouda 28

John Mikel Obi 21

Jimmy Smith 22

Mineiro 33

Michael Woods 18

Frank Lampard 30

Michael Essien 26

Joe Cole 27

Miroslav Stoch 19

Salomon Kalou 23

Didier Drogba 30

Gael Kakuta 17

Franco Di Santo 19

Nicolas Anelka 29

Total = 21 Players - Average age 25.23

Any new players in the summer should be below 25yo, keeping the average age under 25.

What do you think ?

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surely some of them have birthdays between now and the start of next season. meaning you'd have to rethink your average

i agree with the players you have scratched out though i'd get shot of deco as well. and jimmy smith cause i heard he is sh*t

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I knocked that list together to show that its come to the point where we either target & invest in some new players (in the summer), and/or start playing the young players we already have.

All we need is an injury or two (on top of Essien/Joe missing) and LFS will have to play the young guns more and more, I for one would be happy to see them 'broken' in before the start of the next season.

If were not going to buy at least 3-4 top players in the summer (striker-left winger-2ndKeeper-left back), then we need to start playing the likes of Stoch, Di Santo, Mancienne & Kakuta now.

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I knocked that list together to show that its come to the point where we either target & invest in some new players (in the summer), and/or start playing the young players we already have.

All we need is an injury or two (on top of Essien/Joe missing) and LFS will have to play the young guns more and more, I for one would be happy to see them 'broken' in before the start of the next season.

If were not going to buy at least 3-4 top players in the summer (striker-left winger-2ndKeeper-left back), then we need to start playing the likes of Stoch, Di Santo, Mancienne & Kakuta now.

It looks like we've started trimming our squad already. An injury to a forward, keeper, and/or left back and we are down to the bare bones and we'll have to play kids, or at least have a bench full of them.

I really cannot see why we have let 2 players go in the transfer window when our squad was already weaker than out main rivals, and it looks doubtful we're bringing anyone in.

It's OK taking stock at the end of the year, but to do it midseason with an already inferior squad doesn't make any sense to me.

Perhaps it's time to bring on the kids, but will Roman be happy not to win anything for 3-4years, like Arsenal, while we're in transition?

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I think your trimming list is good and might actually happen in some extent anyway.

I think Ballack wants to stay so I don't think we will let him go. Ferreira should go somewhere he can play regularly.

Drogba, Malouda and Alex are players that are constantly linked elsewhere so that trio might go.

We are probably going to sell Pizarro to Bremen. There were stories he enjoys to play there so we shouldn't get him back.

Possible replacements: Anyone who speaks portugese, Kun Aguero, Gourcuff(?)...

I think we are going to use FDS, Stoch and Mancienne next campaign so we should start giving them some time on the pitch.

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It looks like we've started trimming our squad already. An injury to a forward, keeper, and/or left back and we are down to the bare bones and we'll have to play kids, or at least have a bench full of them.

I really cannot see why we have let 2 players go in the transfer window when our squad was already weaker than out main rivals, and it looks doubtful we're bringing anyone in.

It's OK taking stock at the end of the year, but to do it midseason with an already inferior squad doesn't make any sense to me.

Perhaps it's time to bring on the kids, but will Roman be happy not to win anything for 3-4years, like Arsenal, while we're in transition?

Maybe Roman has got more on his plate as several media articles have suggested and silverware now is of a secondary importance. The signals coming out of the club at present are definetly not good and to weaken the squad midseason doesnt make sense for a club of our supposed stature. Some lyrics from a well known 1982 song could very well refer to us now

'I picked you out, I shook you up, and turned you around

Turned you into someone new

Now five years later on you've got the world at your feet

Success has been so easy for you

But don't forget it's me who put you where you are now

And I can put you back down too '

That being though I am all for lowering the age of the squad but this should be done gradually and at the end of a campaign.

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Maybe Roman has got more on his plate as several media articles have suggested and silverware now is of a secondary importance. The signals coming out of the club at present are definetly not good and to weaken the squad midseason doesnt make sense for a club of our supposed stature. Some lyrics from a well known 1982 song could very well refer to us now

'I picked you out, I shook you up, and turned you around

Turned you into someone new

Now five years later on you've got the world at your feet

Success has been so easy for you

But don't forget it's me who put you where you are now

And I can put you back down too '

That being though I am all for lowering the age of the squad but this should be done gradually and at the end of a campaign.

DOO, DOO, DOO....DONT YOU WANT ME BABY.......DONT YOU WANT ME OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

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I don't really care about average age- it doesn't mean anything to me. it's doesn't show who is good enough or not, who's career's have halted, who needs to leave to resume their career.

I think we should look at the squad, and see where we can trim down to bring the youth team players who could be good enough close enough to the squad so they have a chance to provr themselves.

in other words;

one of the centerbacks leaves so mancienne gets a spot.

ryan bertrand comes into the squad, and hopefully gets enough exposure in cups and whatever to tell us whether it's worth pursuing.

paulo and belletti go to so they can play again. seth ofori isn't really going to be the answer, so we'll probably have to look at signing a young rightback.

mineiro goes. total waste of time as a signing, his exit will allow woods to inch closer to the squad. I'd personally keep both ballack and deco, but if deco were to leave that's another signing we need to make, either a no.10 if we want to continue with some sort of 433 variant, or a second striker if we are to move to a two striker system.

malouda goes, the most obvious departure in the squad. I'd let kalou go too. he's great against lower league sides and struggling premiership sides. this is a player who probably should be playing either for middlesbrough or in a weaker league, like holland, france or portugal. at least one signing needs to be made here, preferably two, leaving us with joe, the two new players, and a spot for sinclair or stoch (or kakuta!).

up front, if drogba leaves we will need a world class replacement. three center forwards (including di santo), plus joe and maybe one of the new wingers capable of playing up front to support will be enough if we play with one out and out striker. if not, we will need another big signing as mentioned before (if deco leaves). I'm thinking an aguero type.

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I don't really care about average age- it doesn't mean anything to me. it's doesn't show who is good enough or not, who's career's have halted, who needs to leave to resume their career.

I think we should look at the squad, and see where we can trim down to bring the youth team players who could be good enough close enough to the squad so they have a chance to provr themselves.

in other words;

one of the centerbacks leaves so mancienne gets a spot.

ryan bertrand comes into the squad, and hopefully gets enough exposure in cups and whatever to tell us whether it's worth pursuing.

paulo and belletti go to so they can play again. seth ofori isn't really going to be the answer, so we'll probably have to look at signing a young rightback.

mineiro goes. total waste of time as a signing, his exit will allow woods to inch closer to the squad. I'd personally keep both ballack and deco, but if deco were to leave that's another signing we need to make, either a no.10 if we want to continue with some sort of 433 variant, or a second striker if we are to move to a two striker system.

malouda goes, the most obvious departure in the squad. I'd let kalou go too. he's great against lower league sides and struggling premiership sides. this is a player who probably should be playing either for middlesbrough or in a weaker league, like holland, france or portugal. at least one signing needs to be made here, preferably two, leaving us with joe, the two new players, and a spot for sinclair or stoch (or kakuta!).

up front, if drogba leaves we will need a world class replacement. three center forwards (including di santo), plus joe and maybe one of the new wingers capable of playing up front to support will be enough if we play with one out and out striker. if not, we will need another big signing as mentioned before (if deco leaves). I'm thinking an aguero type.

Sensible post Gullit4

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I would like to see the average squad age reduced – it’s been creeping up for some time. An ageing squad which is playing well and winning things is fine but that isn’t currently us.

NOW is the time to do something about it before the rot really sets in. You have to look to Man Utd for an example of a club who knows when to part company with players – however good they might have been. They are continually bringing in new, younger players, but always making sure there are a number of experienced players of the very top order to balance things. Neville, Scholes & Giggs will be the next ones to move on and I’m sure Fergie will show no sentiment – they have outlived their usefulness so thanks but goodbye.

For me, the ones to go are:

Ferreira

Carvalho

Ballack

Deco

Drogba

Malouda

Mineiro (why did he come in the first place FFS?)

& possibly Belletti (but I like his versatility and he is a handy squad player)

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Ballack isn't going anywhere. He claims he's happy here and aims to extend his stay. I'm positive he'll be here next season. Whether it's good or bad for the team is a matter of opinion.

Deco just arrived and will probably be given another season to prove his worth. He may be past his best but I believe his talent and experience may help the team in the future.

One of Alex or Ivanovic will probably be sold. My choice would be Alex who for all his qualities will nver develop into a great defender, like JT, Carvalho or Gallas in their prime. Ivanovic i think has a great future and his versatility makes him a more valuable asset.

Mineiro and Ferreira are obvious choices to depart, no place in the squad for either. Malouda will hopefully bring us some sort of fee because I believe he's still rated on the continent.

I don't know about Beletti. If he's satisfied with being a bit player,he can be useful on occasion and I don't see why we can't keep him around. Either way, I couldn't be bothered.

Drogba is definitely on his way out. That's a huge hole to fill and I believe will be our biggest challenge in the summer. There are only few players who may replace him (my preference would be Benzema) and we'll have to spend big.

Kalou. I have always been his critic but at times he does show he's capable of occasional brilliance.

He's also 50/50 on my departure/stay list. If young Ivorian is happy to be a squad player instead of going to a lower tier club and play more regularly, I'd say give him another season and see what happens.

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Why sell Belletti? He can play pretty much anywhere on the right side of the pitch, and could probably play as our third keeper if you asked him nicely.

Then he'd fly halfway around the world and save some orphans from a burning building.

HAAA! That's one of my favourite comments so far!

2009/2010 Squad:

Petr Cech 26

Henrique Hilario 33

Alex 26

John Terry 28

Ashley Cole 28

Jose Bosingwa 26

Michael Mancienne 21

Branislav Ivanovic 24

Paulo Ferreira 30

Ricardo Carvalho 30

Juliano Belletti 32

Deco 31

Michael Ballack 32

Florent Malouda 28

John Mikel Obi 21

Jimmy Smith 22

Mineiro 33

Michael Woods 18

Frank Lampard 30

Michael Essien 26

Joe Cole 27

Miroslav Stoch 19

Salomon Kalou 23

Didier Drogba 30

Gael Kakuta 17

Franco Di Santo 19

Nicolas Anelka 29

Surely getting rid of Deco has more sense than getting rid of Ballack? At least Ballack has played more good games than Deco. He may not be perfect, but 3 goals in the last 3 games?

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Looks like we're losing Ivanovic, so I'd keep Alex and Mancienne as back-up to JT and Riccy.

I'm not so sure I'd let both Paulo and Belletti go either; we need to keep one of them for back-up, possibly both if Scolari sees Paulo as back-up to Ash.

Selling Deco now seems a bit of a waste. He's already here, has shown flashes of brilliance, and needs some time to settle down. BUT, we do need to make sure he has decent competition for his place. I'm not sure I'd change anything here either.

It is up front where the changes need to be made. I agree with Gullit04 that the big one will likely be replacing Didier as we couldn't possibly do that with a youngster without hurting our prospects. The other big one will be replacing Florent. I'd keep Kalou myself despite his frustrating performances. He is one of the few who looks to take defenders on with the ball at his feet, and he is still young-ish and learning. I don't think we'll be signing boat loads this summer so we don't want the squad to get stripped too bare!

I don't think squad is all that old. They are in their prime though and so must win now if they're to do it at all. The future prospects are not that great. I'm not for changing just to bring the average age down.

I'm also a bit bewildered at our seeming lack of concern in letting players leave without bringing in able replacements, in the middle of the season no less (a very competitive season that is seeing us struggle a bit). Yes, I am disappointed with the Carlo deal. Allowing him to leave on a free now doesn't help us (apart from taking him off our payroll) and in fact hurts us.

Cheers,

Butch

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I don’t think that we should be indiscriminately culling the elderly to make way for the youthful, as this would merely be following the fashion statements made ad nauseam by Wenger and periodically by Ferguson. In my book, if you are old enough and still good enough, you are in and there is no evidence to suggest that the club we support think any differently. After some of the twilight year signings we have made in the past, and more recently with Ballack, Belletti, Deco and Minero, who can possibly accuse us of being ageist in any shape or creaking form? No, the guiding principle should be the ability to perform, although having said that it does look as though high wage earning is being factored in more and more in the current financial climate and when this is aligned to length of contract, the possibility of a new contract, or what sort of bang you are getting for your buck, it does bring Carlo’s situation into sharper focus, doesn’t it? Bearing those points in mind, together with what we have to call on in terms of loanees and Reserves, or from the Academy, I would improve the age ratio next season as follows:-

Central Defence - sad to say, but persistent injuries are starting to take their toll on Riccy and JT and this makes Mancienne’s promotion actually into the first team essential, the sooner the better as far as I‘m concerned. Even from the point of view of practicality versus age, neither Alex (typical Premiership centre back) or Ivanovic (younger and potentially better) should be allowed to leave, but, unless Riccy is freed to join Jose in a Carlo-type transfer, one of these two could well go. In such circumstances, looking at what we’ve got coming through, I’d keep Alex (sorry Loz, Butch,Tim and no doubt many others), as better cover for both Riccy and JT, and fast track Jeffery Bruma to cover for Mancienne, who should get as much playing time as possible to make up for his delayed involvement on the pitch [for us] to date. Having said all that, I wouldn’t mind betting that this area will probably be resolved by wage and player-want-away issues.

Full Backs - on the left, glad to see G4 mention Ryan Bertrand (still can’t wait to wave Ashley goodbye, eh?) and I’d also put a word in for Patrick van Aanholt. Whilst neither will trouble Cole for a good few years yet their good development has to be part and parcel of the thinking behind Bridgey’s release and this abundance of young left-sided riches will doubtless see Paulo move on next season. The opposite flank is not so blessed, although we do have Shaun Cummings at MK Dons to call on and there is also the multi-talented Essien in an emergency, not to mention Ivanovic should he stay. Trust will be paramount in this area and a lack of it will, likely as not, see Belletti retained as cover for Bosingwa as well as in midfield - talking of which…

Midfield - the holding role is Mikel’s to lose and for my money should ultimately be for at least two other youngsters to gain. Jack Cork is currently playing this role at Watford and Liam Bridcutt is also more than capable of doing it, albeit in the manner of a Dennis Wise as opposed to Cork’s more angular style. Give it until the end of the season, then Minero can go and, dependant on how much faith we have in either youngster, Belletti may be expendable too, as Ballack is going nowhere and he, together with the versatile Essien, gives us enough cover.

Out wide there is every possibility that Malouda will go in the summer [or earlier] and the fact there is no sign of a replacement signing following Joe’s injury surely means an extended run in the team for Miroslav Stoch. Regrettably, unless Scott Sinclair’s star starts shining over at Birmingham, he will be overtaken in the pecking order not only by Stoch, but also by Gael Kakuta. This kid has the biggest hurdle of all to get over [in Deco] to play in what is clearly going to be his best position for us, but if he were to make it next season, either in a playmaker role or wide on the left, it could mark a major change in the club’s thinking on blooding young players compared to previous years. Deco may well be the key here and this time next season the whole high earner/low performer conundrum is likely to be encompassed in this type of choice between youth and experience.

Understudying [for that is all it will be] for Frank and Michael Essien is the only other area to consider in midfield and there are readymade candidates in Michael Woods and Lee Sawyer respectively. Woods has already been compared to Frank, by the man himself, and Sawyer looks and plays like Gerrard, but we’ll forgive him that once he’s back from Coventry and part of the general switch to youthful cover throughout the team next season. Finally, Jacob Mellis is another player who might conceivably be put in this category, although if he could be pigeonholed at all it is probably in a Frank Leboeuf mould.

Forwards - this is one area where, with the notable exception of Franco di Santo, the Reserves and Academy cannot, as yet, provide an immediate answer to our problem. Let’s not make a song and dance about it, but exactly how do you solve a problem like Didier? Unquestionably [on his day] he’s the best we’ve got, but those days are getting fewer and farther between. Due to age or attitude, he is in decline and nobody can deny that his high earner/low performer ratio is getting well out of order. Willing and very able, the likes of Frank Nouble and Fabio Borini are nowhere near ready, so here we have the area that needs most attention and money lavished on it. I’m going to bow to G4’s (and others) knowledge of Aguero on this one, but in conclusion would ask a two part question - is he really worth paying well over the odds for and, if so, shouldn’t we all have the slightest twinge of conscience when, after experiencing some recent healthy weight loss, we suddenly start bingeing on a big burger once again?

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Its not about age per se, its a lot about building a good foundation for the future, like we did several years ago when we brought in JT, Frank and Joe.

Weve signed too many OAP's over the last 3 years, and now were paying the price imo.

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