Depth of the squad.
Posted by: Lupinehowler (IP Logged)
Date: 18 January, 2018 10:13

Whilst we are all hoping and believing that promotion will be achieved this year last nights performance against a very mediocre team did serve to highlight the fragility of the squad. It is no wonder that Nuno so consistently puts out his chosen 11 he knows that most of his backup players fall well below the first team standard. Given that players will sustain injuries during a season, serve suspensions and possibly be called away for international competitions it would be difficult to see this current squad making much impact in the Prem. I would expect some significant investment when Premiership status is gained but do feel that we may need to strengthen significantly in order to hold our own. This has been a great season so far and I would not want to dampen everyone’s spirits but last nights match was a bit of a wake up call.

Re: Depth of the squad.
Posted by: an angry wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 18 January, 2018 12:34

Theres no squad in the country that could make all those changes and have sufficient depth. We're away to a premier league club playing their first team and lose playing our second string. Look at Chelsea playing Norwich being taken to pens, Leeds losing to Newport, Wigan beating Bournemouth.. do you honestly expect our squad to have reserves good enough to beat a prem team (albeit a poor one )away from home? If they were good enough , they wouldn't be reserves in the first place and would be sold or playing more regularly. Man united have one of the deepest squads in the country and their reserves lost to Bristol city. There's no such thing as "sufficient depth". You either play close to a first eleven or don't and will always struggle as we see time and time again from every club in world football when they make that many changes.

Re: Depth of the squad.
Posted by: Arthur Tannen (IP Logged)
Date: 18 January, 2018 13:33

The squad is fine and we'll win the league by at least 15 points, I agree with angry you'll never have enough quality to make 8 or 9 changes and still be at the same level as your first 11. It probably shows we do have good depth, as we've played Swansea twice and probably should have gone through, our reserves even matched them with 10 men the first game.

Re: Depth of the squad.
Posted by: chicagowolf (IP Logged)
Date: 18 January, 2018 16:11

Quote:
an angry wolf
Theres no squad in the country that could make all those changes and have sufficient depth. We're away to a premier league club playing their first team and lose playing our second string. Look at Chelsea playing Norwich being taken to pens, Leeds losing to Newport, Wigan beating Bournemouth.. do you honestly expect our squad to have reserves good enough to beat a prem team (albeit a poor one )away from home? If they were good enough , they wouldn't be reserves in the first place and would be sold or playing more regularly. Man united have one of the deepest squads in the country and their reserves lost to Bristol city. There's no such thing as "sufficient depth". You either play close to a first eleven or don't and will always struggle as we see time and time again from every club in world football when they make that many changes.

If the FA Cup continues to be seen as second best, it will get less attention than promotion, relegation, champion's league etc.
I loved Angry's idea of having a champion's league slot on the line. Presumably this would be at the expense of on of the top premier slots you can imagine some negativity. Has anyone in authority ever floated the idea?

Re: Depth of the squad.
Posted by: Ivybridge Wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 18 January, 2018 17:39

I agree about quantity of changes - it ay no good to any team for continuity, team gelling etc. It’s not logical to think that 8-9 alterations will produce anything positive but of course there are always exceptional performances - not for Wolves last night though.

I also maintain we’ll go up with what we’ve got. We are off the boil at present but I am confident of promotion because in the league we make just one or two changes and everybody just slots in to our tried and tested formula. No reason to believe we’ll completely derail even if we have 2-3 injuries or suspensions.

I am not so convinced we’ve necessarily got the quality behind our first 11 however, certainly not for the prem.

As for the idea of a champions league place for the FA cup winner, well there’s a few of us on here and elsewhere who have advocated this over the years. It makes total sense to me ....... a true ‘champion’ i.e. the winner of a cup over the current ticker taped glory of a 4th place in the league. The trouble is there are too many vested interests in the premier league and would take some stiff proposals and negotiations from the FA for such a change, and we all know where a Premier league v FA stand off would end! That’s not to say I’d like to see it at least discussed. I do wonder if the European Cup Winners Cup had folded just before or close to the inception of the premier league, this FA cup winner / champions league placement concept might have had traction? If’s and but’s.



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Re: Depth of the squad.
Posted by: an angry wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 18 January, 2018 17:51

In my eyes, any team that finishes 4th in a league is inferior to a team that wins domestic silverware particularly the FA in terms of accomplishments. The obsession with top 4 in the media is tedious, entrance to a champions cup should be what it says on the box not a team finishing 4th. That said, the champions league is a magnificent competition, but think it could survive the top 3 instead of top 4. One option could be for the team finishing 4th to have a playoff at Wembley or wherever against the cup winners like a playoff for the champions league.

I would also take away the Wembley semi status as it devalues the final, scrap replays which prolong dreary ties making them instant knockout and have the final on a separate day to the league fixtures. I remember many times , the FA cup final was playing the same time as league matches rendering it virtually inconsequential with no one tuning in.

Re: Depth of the squad.
Posted by: Andy Fincher (IP Logged)
Date: 18 January, 2018 20:49

For a long time I have thought that the team that wins the FA Cup should go into the Champions League and not the team that finishes fourth in the Premier. However, and I may be wrong on this so please feel free to correct me if I am, but I heard or read a while ago that the decision on that would be down to UEFA and they want the top four in the Prem. to qualify.

Re: Depth of the squad.
Posted by: Cheshire wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2018 15:32

It's an interesting debate.
I seem to recall that the winners of the FA Cup always secured a place in the European Cup Winner's Cup until that was discarded. I would agree that the winners should now get a place in the champions League considering the number of games involved and the teams which need to be beaten to actually win the cup.

I find the issue of strength and depth of squad interesting also. Managers like Nuno will always stress that it's a 'squad-based' game, and praise the ability of his players to be able to step in and know what is expected of them, whether covering injuries, suspension or loss of form. But how does a manager keep a squad happy if he doesn't give them games? Walcott has just moved from Arsenal because he wasn't getting game time. This season for us has been one of experimentation followed by reliance upon players who the manager believes he can rely on. Roderick Miranda started the season in the left side of central defence, but once Willy Boly was given the chance he became the first choice in that position. Similarly Bennett has replaced Danny Batth on the right side and looks nailed on there for Championship games. The only position in our regular first team which seems to be up for grabs at present is the one Costa and Cavaleiro are scrapping for

So, in order to keep his squad motivated and perhaps happy (although some would say that isn't important) surely Nuno needs to give the squad players a game when he can, which also gives him a chance to appraise their performances, particularly in the conditions they had to play in on Wednesday. I'm sure if Vinagre hadn't been suspended he would have been in the team instead of Douglas, but we don't yet have a regular deputy for the Doc.

It must be a good opportunity for the management team to assess their players, particularly up against a Premiership team - and let's not forget the result a 'second team' achieved away to Southampton in the Carabao Cup - and to look at alternative line-ups. It is generally accepted that games in the Under 23's will give an idea, but not the same impression as first team games.

I gathered that Morgan Gibbs-White had a generally good game, Costa worked hard and was unlucky with a few efforts, Enobakhare still struggles and Mir is likely to take quite a while adapting to the English game. Perhaps the risk of losing a cup game is worth the opportunity to make these assessments - and address the potential shortfall in the first team in the near future, as both Saiss and Neves are on 9 yellow cards - one more and we lose them for two games - and also to continue assessing what new players are needed in preparation for a hopeful return to the Premier League?

Re: Depth of the squad.
Posted by: an angry wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2018 17:12

We have under 23 games/ league cups to assess players, not FA cup games that are once a year. We can't sacrifice the FA cup simply to keep players happy- the clubs status in competitive English football overrides dressing room moral in importance

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