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Schneiderlin and Rodriguez set to join Spurs too. The 11/2 to be relegated might be worth a punt.

 

Popped a penny or two on that, wanted to do a Southampton/Sunderland double, but couldn't... for whatever reason.

 

Betfair have us 6/5 to finish top ten. Now, I'm not saying we're totes amazeballs, but it's hard to see other clubs finishing ahead of us (after you get past the usual suspects).

Edited by The Fish

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Betfair have us 6/5 to finish top ten. Now, I'm not saying we're totes amazeballs, but it's hard to see other clubs finishing ahead of us (after you get past the usual suspects).

Aye, especially with the Southampton fire sale that's another team that will probably be below us. I really want us to sign another striker but if we don't I still see us being midtable, Riviere will probably get 6-8 goals (basing that on absolutely nowt mind, just setting the bar lowish for my expectation of him) and Cisse will hopefully have a bit more life about him when he returns with the variety of service he'll be getting. I think they'll start trying to bring a striker in on loan again towards the end of the window if they don't buy.

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Aye, especially with the Southampton fire sale that's another team that will probably be below us. I really want us to sign another striker but if we don't I still see us being midtable, Riviere will probably get 6-8 goals (basing that on absolutely nowt mind, just setting the bar lowish for my expectation of him) and Cisse will hopefully have a bit more life about him when he returns with the variety of service he'll be getting. I think they'll start trying to bring a striker in on loan again towards the end of the window if they don't buy.

 

I think the majority of our goal threat will come from the midfielders we've signed. I agree it's unlikely that Riviere will surpass Remy's total of last season, but I'd expect De Jong and Cabella to provide more goals than our midfield managed last year. Especially if Sissoko resumes his chance-creation.

 

Of course I'd like us to sign a 15 goal a season striker, and I'm not sure if we've finished recruitment, but currently I think the goal threat is deliberately planned to come from the midfielders, not the strikers.

 

Concerning the league, after Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd & Spurs, I just don't see 3 teams finishing above us from;

 

Aston Villa: Weak 1st team and haven't made any improvements. Senderos? Joe Cole? Kieran Richardson...

Burnley: Guts, but ultimately they're going to struggle, especially if Ings goes.

Crystal Palace: Pulis has made them solid, but like Villa, they've not yet made significant improvements to their 1st team.

Hull: Bruce will keep them up, &I think they'll improve on their highest League finish of 16th last year, but they won't broach the top half.

Leicester: They're trying to address the striker situation, but I don't think Ulloa is it.

QPR: Still buying ageing names instead of addressing very real problems in the squad. 'Arry for the chop.

Southampton: Fire Sale has destroyed not only the team that did so well last year, but can you imagine the message it gives those that've remained? Doomed.

Stoke: I actually fancy them to do well this time round, but Hughes seems to have got the balance right between Stokeing and Football.

Sunderland: Decent 'keeper, but if Borini doesn't sign they're woefully short up front. Altidore?

Swansea: Will be there or there abouts.

West Brom: I don't rate Irvine and he'd be my favourite to lose his job 1st. Reckon they'll struggle until he goes, then a brief resurgence.

West Ham: Fucking Fat Sam. Big squad, but if Valencia doesn't pick up quick, they haven't the goals.

 

Can one or two of those finish above us? Absolutely. Will three? Doubtful.

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Agreed on all points, can't remember exactly but iirc Cabella got 14 last season. French league I know but still he's a fret, and Pardew clearly sees Siem De Jong as a goal scorer seeing as he refers to him as a striker. Losing Cabaye was obviously a blow but bringing these two in has given us a bit of flexibility in midfield and less reliance on a sole outlet.

:lol: That list of teams man, looking at their squads and performances the league is full of shite.

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No we're not but we are a little more than last season since Cabella can play across the forward positions and De Jong is also capable in a few positions. It would be nice to have Grenier in as well as another striker and CB, but I dont hold out much hope of that.

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I'm not sure we are that flexible in midfield, given that we've got no out and out wingers. Not that'll play anyway!

Really?

 

I think we're very flexible;

Moussa Sissoko

Vurnon Anita

Hatem Ben Arfa

Jonás Gutiérrez

Gaël Bigirimana

Cheick Tioté

Gabriel Obertan

Haris Vuckic'

Mehdi Abeid

Jack Colback

Siem de Jong

Rémy Cabella

Yoan Gouffran

Ayoze Perez

Sammy Ameobi

 

From that we could have; very defensive 4-5-1, a very attacking 4-2-3-1, a central midfield focussed on recycling the ball with Tiote Anita and Colback, a midfield three that aims to carry the ball box-to-box with Anita & Sissoko passing Tiote, a team with two hard working wingers looking to peg back the opposition wide men with Gouffran and Sissoko keeping the creativity in the middle, etc.

 

Decent mix of experience and youth in there. I just wish our defence and forward lines were as well populated with quality.

De Jong, Cabella, Tiote, Anita, Sissoko, Colback would all be disappointed if they miss out on a 1st team spot. I'm hoping Gouffran, Ben Arfa, Abeid and Bigirimana are used properly this year though.

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You made a list including HBA, Obertan and Jonas, who are almost certain to not play. Then you named loads of central players, a couple of who have been asked to play wide whilst here but aren't natural wide players, and many that are basically, completely shit.

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I do agree that there are many options available in how we set up our central midfield though. I don't think we even have the players (that will be realistically used) to play a basic 4-4-2 without people being played out of position.

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My worry is that our shite defence is like starting every game one nil down. Given we rarely score from our appalling set pieces and our strike force looks goal shy to me, we're relying on our midfield to score a lot of goals to win matches. We really need a kickass striker.

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My worry is that our shite defence is like starting every game one nil down. Given we rarely score from our appalling set pieces and our strike force looks goal shy to me, we're relying on our midfield to score a lot of goals to win matches. We really need a kickass striker.

 

Colback is on corners now, the future is bright (His napper is anyway).

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You made a list including HBA, Obertan and Jonas, who are almost certain to not play. Then you named loads of central players, a couple of who have been asked to play wide whilst here but aren't natural wide players, and many that are basically, completely shit.

 

Even if you distil it to:

Cabella

De Jong

Sissoko

Gouffran

Anita

Tiote

Colback

 

 

Even there you have a myriad of formations, systems and tactics.

 

I do agree that there are many options available in how we set up our central midfield though. I don't think we even have the players (that will be realistically used) to play a basic 4-4-2 without people being played out of position.

 

Why do you want to play a 4-4-2? The majority of chances are created through the middle, and given we haven't a centre forward in the Shearer mould, why would you want a stereotypical winger slinging crosses in?

 

We do have a flexible midfield, but it seems to me you're not in favour of flexibility, you're in favour of a 4-4-2 with classic wingers?

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4-4-2 is still a very effective and relevant formation if you have the players - but we don't have the players.

 

We got away with it a couple of times with Remy playing off Shola but it was never properly balanced or even close to that.

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Even if you distil it to:

Cabella

De Jong

Sissoko

Gouffran

Anita

Tiote

Colback

 

 

Even there you have a myriad of formations, systems and tactics.

 

 

Why do you want to play a 4-4-2? The majority of chances are created through the middle, and given we haven't a centre forward in the Shearer mould, why would you want a stereotypical winger slinging crosses in?

 

We do have a flexible midfield, but it seems to me you're not in favour of flexibility, you're in favour of a 4-4-2 with classic wingers?

 

I just think that sometimes you need the option to go back to basics. Our lack of classic wingers restricts our options quite a bit, we'll be predictably narrow with most formations and other teams will set up accordingly. You're right we don't have a centre forward with any real quality in the air - my response to that isn't to stop wanting us to have any wide-men, it's to want us to sign a proper centre forward! That we haven't got a forward that thrives on crosses is just another indicator of our lack of real options.

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