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Squad Depth - not as shallow as some seem to think


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Ben Haim








That's the team that started on Tuesday - well should have started, with Mikel for Sidwell.

Whilst we have 10 players missing through injury and suspension I would say that it is a pretty good team.

Arguably the two full back would be our regular starters and whilst Ben Haim worries me, Alex looks good enough to be playing at centre half for us.

The midfield is possibly as strong as we can field. Frank is missing, but replacing one of the other three with him would not strengthen it significantly.

Upfront Cole and Kalou would most likely be starters in our strongest team.

So out of the above 7/8 would have a strong claim to a starting place in our strongest 11.

That still leaves us with:














Overall that doesn't seem like a weak squad to me.

In fact the one area that I think we are still lacking is in the wide areas. We have players to cover this but none are really in the Robben/Duff mould or class.

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Ethical - in the Berbatov thread I'm arguing the case for not buying any more wide men! Funny how the inclusion, or otherwise, of certain players affects opinion on squad requirements in general.

I'm not sure we need more wide men - maybe just better ones!

On the other hand I'm not convinced we need Berbatov so what do I know?!

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I think the main thing we need to be concerned about is our midfielders when the ACN comes around. For that will leave us with only Ballack out of your starting 3. Assuming Maka and Lamps come back from injury in time for the ACn, then we will be okay. However, any injury to a player in that position could leave us seriously weakened in the middle of the field!

During the ACN I think we could line up like this:




..........J Cole.................Lampard



An injury to a wide player (SWP or Malouda) would mean J Cole to fill their position. This would mean Maka or Sidwell to come into the holding area and then have one of them play behind Lampard or Ballack. Maka is getting old, and can't play as much as he used to, and Sidwell isn't filling us all with confidence.

Should one of the midfield 3 get injured, we could just bring in Maka or Sidwell, again. However, this is all under the assumption that everyone will be back to full fitness come the start of the ACN. If maka, malouda and Lamps are still out we would really struggle to field a decent midfield. Assuming that those 3 are still out, we would probably have to field


.....J Cole.....................Ballack



If sheva is still out, then we are relying on PIzarro and support from the midfield, for our goals!!! Personally, I think that we will see quite a bit of Scotty Sinclair in the next few weeks. I hope he "rises to the challenge"

PS. Any news on Sahar coming back, I thought his loan spell was almost up?

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Going with that line of thinking, Mac, I almost wish I could see a Ballack run midfield for a few games. Im not saying I want Lampard gone, I just think that a few games of Ballack running things in the middle might give Grant a better idea of how to use him when Lamps comes back. Maybe deploy lamps further up and let Michael run the show

And, going along with the first post, I think that we never should have sold Duff. He was a roundly capable player who was defensively responsible, yet he was given limited opportunities and restricted to the wing. Just once I wouldve liked to see him playing in "the hole"

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You prefer SWP or Malouda? 300.gif

Even allowing for his lack of composure in front of goal Kalou has managed 5 goals so far and I think he has looked our most effective wide player out on the left.

Malouda has been here for half a season, i think we should give him a bit more time as we have to Drogba, Ballack Sheva.

Why do you think Mourinho insisted on starting Malouda instead of Kalou then?

Kalou has been with us alot longer, surely if Mourinho would rate him higher he would play him instead.

Lets see what Grant does when Malouda comes back.

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