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Do we need more consistency with our team selection?


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Just a random musing from my post in the Torres thread, and I'll start out by saying I think AVB has an incredible track record and he (still) has my full support as manager, but I'm starting to become quite worried by how inconsistent our team selection is every week.

In defence we could line up with Bosingwa or Ivanovic at right back, then two from Alex, Ivanovic, Terry or Luiz in the middle. In midfield, basically take your pick at random from Lampard, Ramires, Malouda, Miereles, Mikel, Romeu etc. Then the front three? Malouda, Mata, Sturridge, Torres, Drogba, Anelka etc... every week our team changes quite drastically from the previous game.

Look at Newcastle, they're massively over-achieving this season, their back 5 have played every single game together so far this season and look incredibly solid as a result.

Personally I think it's time that AVB decided who should be part of our best XI and just preserve with it. Our back line needs some familiarity, and our front line needs confidence. Consistency is the best way to give it to them.

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Absolutely. Personally i do not think that AVB knows his strongest team at the moment, and I agree that we would benefit from stability of a defined first xi at this time.

In years gone by we could always be pretty sure that certain players would pick themselves, as they were always clearly our strongest. Players like Cech, Carvalho, Terry, Cole, Lamps, Ballack, Makelele, Essien, Robben and Drogba when fit and in their prime would always be sure to be included on a strongest XI.

However i cannot say with any confidence that this is still the case. Cech is still by far our best GK, and Ashley our best LB. But i cannot say with any certainty that Terry should still be in the first team. To be honest, this season any CB pairing of any combination of JT/ALex, Luiz and IVan all look as shakey as the next.

Bossy or Ivan at RB?

at DM you can choose any one from Mikel, Romeu, Ramires or Meireles. They all have their limitations in that position and/or lack of proven experience or quality.

CM? Lamps is often going missing in games, Ramires has bundles of energy but not always the final ball, and Meireles is rotated regularly. Josh is crying out for a run of games but is not getting his way and essien is crocked again. None of them pick themselves.

Mata out wide is slightly wasted as I see him more of a floating player in the centre, Danny is a striker being played on the wing and up top you can choose Torres, Drogba, Nico or Lukaku. All of whom look as blunt as the next.

To answer - Yes, i think we would benefit from a defined starting XI, however whether or not any of the players are performing to a high enough standard to warrant a regular place is debatable.

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I see both sides of the argument. You guys have made great cases for why a consistent XI needs to be used.

On the other hand, I like that if a player isn't performing, AVB isn't afraid to drop him to the bench. Carlo wouldn't do that last year. Our team was struggling mightily, and he refused to change things up.

Also, look at ManU. How many different formations and starting XI's does Fergie trot out there during a season? Look at Liverpool. King Kenny has gotten us 3 times in a row (all at the Bridge), by switching up his formations and personnel selections to catch us off guard.

All that being said, I don't think we have the proper personnel at the moment to be constantly changing things up. So for now, I'd agree that he needs to pick an XI and roll with it, and let them try to get into a rhythm together.

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We've got a big squad with big egos. It's become obvious to me that the players who have dropped away from contention a bit: Paulo, Kalou aren't seeing as much time as others who might also be on the way out because they are a bit more pliable than Drogba or Anelka for example.

Personally I think emptying some of the ego's might make it easier for AVB to pick a more consistent team.

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Carlo has weighed in on the subject now:


Seems like he feels the players and setup is to blame rather than the manager. After spending the previous 2 years at Chelsea he obviously has a good idea about what goes on behind the scenes.

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