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I think one of Rafa's biggest achievements over the summer was managing to sell Sissoko, Gini and Janmaat for £62.5mil and use the money to buy a whole alternate full XI.

 

Apart from Gayle, Shelvey and Richie the rest of the players can be rotated in and out without really affecting the quality of the team. Makes a change from having the likes of Sammy, Taylor and Shola on the bench in recent times and will be what sets us apart from the chasing pack in the last 10 games of the season

 

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Good post..! Looking at the two possible teams there, I would say that we should have very little to worry about. Even the second string noted there should be able to brush aside most clubs.

 

I'm assuming that you've effectively got the first one as the 'preferred' team - is there any specific reason why we now think Clark is better than Mbemba?

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A first and second string more than capable of competing in this division. We may need a similar overhaul if we're promoted though. But then the TV money should do the job the money received for sissoko and gini did this season.

 

Another key factor is getting rid of those players, like Sissoko, who saw us as a stepping stone club. For two long we've suffered from too many players with that mentality. Rafa has assembled a squad seemingly hungry to play for him and to win promotion at the first time of asking.

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Aye, assuming we were to go up, a few quality additions would be what's needed rather than an overhaul.  There's a few weaknesses in the squad but there's quite a few players who are more than capable of playing in the premier league and keeping team spirit and momentum delivered by a promotion is essential for any promoted side imo.

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An overhaul would be suicide if we get promoted imo.

 

if you want a first and second string capable of competing in the premiership in the way this lot can in the championship, it'll be essential. 

 

we already know dummet, anita, colback and gouffran are suspect at the highest level. i can't see the likes of henley, murphy, selz being much cop up there either. question marks remian over diame and gamez too.

 

i think we'd want to add at least 8 or 9 players, assuming Rafa wants two quality options competing for each position 

Edited by Dr Gloom
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if you want a first and second string capable of competing in the premiership in the way this lot can in the championship, it'll be essential.

 

we already know dummet, anita, colback and gouffran are suspect at the highest level. i can't see the likes of henley, murphy, selz being much cop up there either. question marks remian over diame and gamez too.

 

i think we'd want to add at least 8 or 9 players, assuming Rafa wants two quality options competing for each position

Coaching an overhauled squad is a huge challenge. Look at our early season championship form. We can't do that next season and hope to get away with it. The premier league will be a lot less forgiving.

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if you want a first and second string capable of competing in the premiership in the way this lot can in the championship, it'll be essential. 

 

we already know dummet, anita, colback and gouffran are suspect at the highest level. i can't see the likes of henley, murphy, selz being much cop up there either. question marks remian over diame and gamez too.

 

i think we'd want to add at least 8 or 9 players, assuming Rafa wants two quality options competing for each position 

You hungover mate?

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Coaching an overhauled squad is a huge challenge. Look at our early season championship form. We can't do that next season and hope to get away with it. The premier league will be a lot less forgiving.

Agree, if we're to go up we'd need to add quality in certain areas, rather than bringing in 9+ new faces. This squad is good enough to go toe-to-toe with most of the bottom 6 or so, as those teams are as good/bad as the top Championship sides.

 

A few our first team are mid-table Premier League standard already, (Krul, Mbemba, Shelvey, Ritchie, Gayle) some might grow to become that modest ambition (Sels, Darlow, Gamez, Yedlin, Lascelles, Hanley, Clark, Lazaar, Anita, Diame, Aarons, Perez, Mitrovic, Armstrong) and some will never be good enough for that (Dummett, Colback, Gouffran, Murphy) 

 

So replace those that won't be good enough and safety should be doable.

 

 

Mind you this is forgetting we've another window in the Championship where Rafa could add to the squad now, with the promise of Premier League football in 6 months. Say we brought in another CM, another winger and another fullback. Young lads from the Championship like Will Hughes, Anthony Knockaert and Charlie Taylor. Derby and Leeds aren't likely getting promoted and Newcastle likely are. 

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Dr Gloom, on 28 Oct 2016 - 09:51 AM, said:
not really, no. a bit tired. why, what have i missed? :lol:

 

 

if you want a first and second string capable of competing in the premiership in the way this lot can in the championship, it'll be essential. 

 

we already know dummet, anita, colback and gouffran are suspect at the highest level. i can't see the likes of henley, murphy, selz being much cop up there either. question marks remian over diame and gamez too.

 

i think we'd want to add at least 8 or 9 players, assuming Rafa wants two quality options competing for each position 

 

And that's ignoring the lack of caps.

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That's a good OP, nice to see our strength in depth illustrated like that. I'd like to think we wouldn't need a major overhaul if we go up, not least because I like the idea that Rafa is using this season as an opportunity to instill his culture and mentality on the squad as well as thoroughly drilling them and getting them playing in the way he wants, in addition to acheiving the immediate goal of getting us promoted, so that when we do go up we'll be hitting the ground running. I was reading an old interview with Carragher the other day where he was talking about how it took Rafa about a year to get them playing the way he wanted. By the end of the first year, in Carragher's words, they were playing like robots cos they had been so thoroughly prepared, but it did take them that first year to fully understand the systems and their roles in them. Hopefully this is what we're seeing with our lot now.

 

Of course if we do go up we definitely need a few injections of quality (I'd love to see a real world class player brought in to play instead of Perez/Diame, for a start) but at the same time I think Leicester showed last year (as did Rafa's Liverpool for that matter) that you don't need 22 world class players on your books to do well in the Premier League, provided the less gifted players are all well prepared and highly motivated. Leicester won the league with Danny Simpson first choice right back ffs! 

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I'm struggling to see positions to strengthen in for January

 

- Possibly a RW as we only have one proper one in the squad

-If Tiote leaves we could do with another CM as Rafa doesn't seem to fancy Diame there

-LB? Dummet is our weak link and Lazaar isn't getting a look in for whatever reason

-Murphy will need to be replaced at some point too but not until next season at least

 

Next summer will be equally as important as the one just gone. It's a fine line between keeping the moral going within the team of players that got you promoted and the same team of players going straight back down because they can't make the step up. See Burnley/Norwich as perfect examples

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