It is a very happy new year right now after a second successive victory at Old Trafford. The recent run of results over the festive period was particularly satisfying and had we not dropped two points at home against West Brom, it would have been a perfect start for Tim after his promotion to Head Coach. With the transfer window back open it is now time for Tim, Baldini and Levy to look at the squad, including its crippling injury list and decide what we can do to ensure a successful second half of the campaign.
As supporters we always want to see big names and an influx of talent into our club but we also crave to see home grown talent breaking through and excelling. Finding the perfect balance is not easy but it can be achieved. I will take a look at our squad by position, with thoughts and suggestions on what we could do now and in the future.
There is no shadow of a doubt for me that we have an excellent keeper in Lloris and we only need to look at promising youngsters to cover him. Brad will be good for the rest of the season and Archer looks like he could provide cover in future. We should look to find a new home for Gomes now so he can be shipped out and taken off the wage bill. No additions needed right now.
Our defenders have been somewhat “Jekyll and Hyde” so far this year. With an excellent start to the season which was shattered by Man City, Liverpool and astonishingly West Ham. AVB’s high line and injuries have a lot to do with this but do we need personnel changes and additions? Walker and Vertonghen are automatic selections in my opinion and the potential of Chiriches, Rose and Fryers should be developed. Dawson should always have a squad place but his days as an automatic starter are limited or at least should be. My patience with Kaboul’s fitness and form has expired and I believe that is exactly what should happen with his contract at the end of the year. Due to Caulker’s sale and Kaboul’s issues one more centre back is required. Lescott has been mentioned as a signing and this might work as a short term fix with my ideal pairing being Vertonghen and Chiriches. Naughton should be kept as back up for right back until the summer then sold. Under no circumstances should he be used at left back again after the horror show against Liverpool. By the summer Fredericks should be able to adequately deputize for Walker. A lot of people want an experienced left back and the recall of Benny would give us this but I think a two way fight between Rose and Fryers is something that could give us strength in that position for years to come. One centre back needed and if another left back is required don’t spend any money just recall Benny.
We have an abundance of midfielders even though they are seriously depleted by injury. There is no way we should be spending any more money in this department. Recalling Carrol will help with the injury list and the addition of Bentaleb to the first team squad has been an unexpected and welcome addition. We have good wide options in Townsend, Lennon, Lamela and Chadli, great defensive midfield options in Sandro, Capoue and Bentaleb and a creative force of Eriksen, Dembele, Paulhinio, Holtby and Siggy. Carrol’s recall should be the only change with more time being given for settling and developing the abundance of new signings and young talent in this group.
The goals are finally starting to come and it is no way a coincidence that it is linked to playing two up front and a recall for Ade. Admittedly I defended AVB’s one striker policy but I don’t mind admitting being wrong on present evidence. With this new formation comes a need for new personnel however. Instead of 3 first team strikers then 4 are now required. Soldado and Ade are forming a great partnership and I do believe that Soldado will come good. Kane is adequate back up but with Defoe’s imminent and much needed departure we should go buy ourselves another quality front man. Berbatov is available and his quality is not in question but I’m not very forgiving about the events surrounding his departure. Falcao is apparently unhappy at Monaco but he would carry a hefty price tag and we can’t offer him CL football right now. I like the look of Saints Jay Rodriguez and think he could be a nice piece of business for us.
So in summary a centre back and a striker are on the shopping list for me along with a recall for Tommy Carrol. What about you and who would you like to see in Lilywhite?
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