Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The squad, stripped

We've got a pretty big squad. 34 players listed on the website. Half a dozen or so on loan, but nonetheless, a good pool to pick from.

Or possibly not. Let's apply a few criteria: Not too old, not too shit, not too injured. And let's be unsentimental. Sorry Ledley. Who's left?

GK: None

RB: None. Possibly Kyle Walker. Or Kyle Naughton.

CB: Dawson, Kabul, Bassong

LB: Assou-Ekotto

RM: Lennon

CM: Huddlestone, Modric, Palacious

LM: Bale

CF: VdV, Defoe

Out of 34, we're left with.... 11 (plus a Kyle or two, maybe)

Now, technically, that is enough to make up a team. I've checked with Andy Gray and he's confirmed this. Whilst touching himself. But I think Thud's going to have to play in goal.

And yes, there are some known unknowns: the Kyles, of course, Danny Rose, Andros Townsend. And there are some unknown unknowns: Bongami Khumalo, the big South African central defender who might just come into his own if we get drawn into a game of Scrabble.

Generally, though, that's a lot of dead wood. Never mind ligament damage, our biggest threat seems to be dutch elm disease. Remember dutch elm disease? Absolutely massive in the 70s.

Maybe any fan of any team could do that to their squad, and the rest of us would be a bit baffled, occasionally blurting out, 'We'll have him'. Your team's like your family. You hate your own, you'd get rid of at least half of them and other people's always seem perfectly fine. (Dear members of my family, this absolutely isn't true, obviously.)

I remember reading a comment from a Sunderland fan when Alan Hutton was on loan there saying 'For God sake don't let Spurs know how good this lad is or they'll want him back. If he stays I think he'll be the best right back we've ever had'.

So, the pruning's possibly a bit sever, then. But when you consider it includes Assou-Ekotto, Kaboul, Bassong and Palacious, possibly not that severe at all.

Right, the transfer window closes in five-and-a-half days and we need about 16 players. Let's go to work.


  1. Dave. When I first read this one, I thought 'that's a bit severe'. But then, when I thought about it for a little while, I came around to your way of thinking (as I usually do). That said, if you applied the same harsh criteria to every other club in the Premier League, how many players would they finish up with? I'm not suggesting that you do this... I'm just asking.

  2. Yeah, like I say, I think all fans are harder on their own. And if a Man U fan did the same process, they might end up with 10-12. But, if we did it to the Man U squad, we'd probably be happy to keep 15+ of them. Or all of them maybe.