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Winning the title requires ability and form


loz

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Until Liverpool beat West Ham tomorrow (which I fully expect them to do) we are sitting in a league position which entirely flatters us. For me anyone who seriously thinks we will be sitting at the top of the table come May is bordering on delusional.

If we break up the current first team squad into three categories, one being players with the ability and form to be in a title winning side, one for player with the ability but not the form and one for the players who simply don't have the ability it doesn't, for me, make pretty reading.

Here is my take on the squad. I have not bothered with people like Di Santo, Sinclair and Stoch as they haven't had a chance or Essien as it is pointless due to the length of time he is out for and also people like Ferreira and Cudicini who have not had a chance this season to prove anything.

Ability and Form

Cech

Ivanovic

Mikel

Alex

A Cole

Carvalho

Ability but not Form

Terry

Bosingwa

Lampard

Deco

Ballack (little harsh as he has been injured a lot)

Joe Cole

Drogba

Belletti

Bridge

Not the Ability

Scolari

Anelka

Kalou

Malouda

No great surprise really that we don't have a single attack minded player in the top category and of the top category only three have been regulars (due to a combination of injuries of not being first pick players).

This is the kind of spread I expect form a mid table side (at best).

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Great analysis. Though I'm a bit surprised to see Carvalho in the Ability and Form list as he's been out for a period of time now. OK not that long as Essien is. But when he returns I expect him needing some time to regain his fitness again.

I'd fully agree on the third category of the list - is this also equal to the "paper bin - get rid of them" - category?

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I feel you are being a bit hard on Anelka who if he was playing in a fron two with a decent striker would be as good as any second striker and has done ok with limited service from the likes of some of your other non ability or form players.

a bit tough on Bos as when he is going forward he is a threat and his form has been sporadic and dependent on who is attacking our left side.

and to be honest a bit hard on Scolari as although I am in no way an admirer yet, has not been her long enough for me to say he has not got the ability.

I think he was an unnecessary replacement but if we dont give a manager a couple of seasons here I dont know how we will ever see what they have to offer.

although still far too soon for me, I reserve the right to judge a bit more after the Christmas schedule has played out :P

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I think he was an unnecessary replacement but if we dont give a manager a couple of seasons here I dont know how we will ever see what they have to offer.

although still far too soon for me, I reserve the right to judge a bit more after the Christmas schedule has played out :P

I know you're right that it needs some seasons to see the real ability of a manager but the pure thought that it takes so much time just to find out a manager is not capable is horrifying! Suffering all the years and at the end just finding out he's really crap!

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I know you're right that it needs some seasons to see the real ability of a manager but the pure thought that it takes so much time just to find out a manager is not capable is horrifying! Suffering all the years and at the end just finding out he's really crap!

the alternative is change once or twice a year then, watch as the new man gets rid of some of our players and brings in his favourites, his backroom staff and then when we lose a few games Roamn can give him a huge payoff,

that way Roman wont be able to afford to dip into the transfer market.

Seriously, lets this time make sure the manager is not up to the Job before we do it again.

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the alternative is change once or twice a year then, watch as the new man gets rid of some of our players and brings in his favourites, his backroom staff and then when we lose a few games Roamn can give him a huge payoff,

That's right, but I'm wondering if there could be cases where it's obvious that a man's ability is not up to it. I don't mean Scolari.

Seriously, lets this time make sure the manager is not up to the Job before we do it again.

Unfortunately I have the impression he could be out the door himself. He gets a lot of money. Money means responsibility. I'm prepared to do a job with great responsibility - it's hard, it's exhausting, the pressure is enormous but the reward isn't bad either. And here it's the same for me. Given the large amount of money he receives he should know for him well enough what is expected of him.

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I don't think it is hard on Bosingwa at all. First and foremost I want my full backs to be able to defend. What they offer going forward can be the difference between a good full back and a stunning full back however if they are suspect defensively then offering a lot going forward is never going to compensate enough.

Bosingwa's positioning is going to cost us against the better sides on a fair few occasions and we don't have a good enough side just now to be able to gift chances against our main rivals.

Scolari it maybe a little harsh on however in all honesty he hasn't actually done anything yet as Chelsea manager that makes me think he does have the ability to be a successful domestic manager so I couldn't really put him anywhere else.

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I don't think it is hard on Bosingwa at all. First and foremost I want my full backs to be able to defend. What they offer going forward can be the difference between a good full back and a stunning full back however if they are suspect defensively then offering a lot going forward is never going to compensate enough.

Bosingwa's positioning is going to cost us against the better sides on a fair few occasions and we don't have a good enough side just now to be able to gift chances against our main rivals.

Scolari it maybe a little harsh on however in all honesty he hasn't actually done anything yet as Chelsea manager that makes me think he does have the ability to be a successful domestic manager so I couldn't really put him anywhere else.

Thing is though Loz, first and foremost Scolari appears to want Boswinga to be able to attack, where I feel Boswinga drifts out of games is when he is forced to defend (admittedly not the best defender) but if I was to imagine how our results would have gone up to now with Ferreira (admittedly the better defender of the two) in place of Boswinga I dont think we would have the goal difference we have now or the points on the board.

again I make you right that against the top sides he may be a bit of a liability but then Scolari has the choice on either telling him to stay back a bit more and concentrate on his defending or Putting Ferreira on if he thinks we are likely to suffer down the left.

All in all I think he is a good player especsially in the system Scolari likes and really dont think Ferreira could play in that system to the same effect.

Certainly not a player I would like to see leave after the short time he's been here and the promise he has shown.

I understand your concerns about Phil and share them but believe he has not done enough wrong nor had the time in the Job to be anywhere near booted out.

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I'd also add it requires mental strength. I could forgive mistakes Scolari is making when trying to mould the team into something different, it's expected to a degree, I guess.

What is unacceptable is the total lack of character demonstrated by the team time and time again over the last few weeks when things got tough. You can't justify that by lack of money or injuries and it's down to the manager.

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Just to be clear I am not saying Scolari should be sacked. I think he deserves the same time and opportunity that I fought for Grant to get. All I am saying is that based on what I have seen so far he doesn't convince me that he has what it takes to lead us to the title.

However I do want to see him kept on and I do want him to prover me wrong. I also want to see how we get on when he has the entire squad available to him and when he has had the opportunity to identify replacements for some players who are clearly not good enough.

What I would also like to see him do is reward those players who are playing well by keeping them in the team and having the balls to drop big name players who aren't playing well.

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I think we have to accept we not might win anything this season. We had huge setbacks with not getting Robinho, losing Essien and Drogba to injuries and Deco has hard time getting back to form. Deco has been cr*p since his injury.

At the moment I'm very disappointed with the players and especially Scolari.

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Just to be clear I am not saying Scolari should be sacked. I think he deserves the same time and opportunity that I fought for Grant to get. All I am saying is that based on what I have seen so far he doesn't convince me that he has what it takes to lead us to the title.

However I do want to see him kept on and I do want him to prover me wrong. I also want to see how we get on when he has the entire squad available to him and when he has had the opportunity to identify replacements for some players who are clearly not good enough.

What I would also like to see him do is reward those players who are playing well by keeping them in the team and having the balls to drop big name players who aren't playing well.

Exactly my thoughts, glad to hear it

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I think this is getting a little bit absurd. Scolari has not convinced me that he is worthy of Jose's throne either, but I am not yet willing to say he is without the ability to win the league. Loz, Anelka is the league's top scorer, but why is he in the poorest category there?

I will freely admit that our results against fellow title contenders are total sh*t. No question about that. And I do think we have many players who are quite simply not up for it, even with the supposed master motivator Scolari.

But look at us, and look at Liverpool. Right now, co-top of the league, us with a much better GD.

Would anyone have seriously predicted us to be in this position by late November, let alone having lost Drogba, Essien and Carvalho, arguably our most important attacker, midfielder and defender and STILL be top of the league.

Let us be clear. Liverpool have been lucky. They have scraped results by the skin of their teeth, and won numerous points against all odds, in the 90+3 minute when there shouldve been almost no extra time, and have had almost every single bounce run their way. And yet we are still up there with them.

I think we are up for it, and that after we get over this rough patch of sh*t form (clearly its not just the big-boys that are giving us trouble, as Bordeaux made us look average) we can get back to playing brilliant, balls out football and crushing teams. With goals and victories comes confidence, and with defeats and blown leads comes the feeling that they will happen again.

Very simply, if we get the squad back to full strength and fill in the cracks we have seen exposed in our attackers and strikers, then I firmly believe we can do it. Everyone in England save Liverpool would give their left nut to be where we are right now, today's result aside.

If at the end of the year, these kind of cock ups have been par for the course, and we finish with nothing, then id say its time to put Scolari's arse on the firing line. But we need to give him a fair shake and stop mistaking form for class, which I think, teamwide, we are committing the sin of

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