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?
RB: None. Possibly Kyle Walker. Or Kyle Naughton.
CB: Dawson, Kabul, Bassong
CM: Huddlestone, Modric, Palacious
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.