Date:Saturday January 25 2014
It is incredible but at the opening of the transfer window we had a squad bursting at the seams with depth and multiple options at virtually every position (albeit you could argue with the quality of some of those options). The point was that we had a full 25 man squad on the ground. We now have 7 more days left in the transfer window and suddenly everything has changed.
In the span of the window so far we have transferred out Ryan Bertrand and sold Mata and KDB, allowed Michael Essien go permanently and brought in only Nemanja Matic and Mohammed Salah pending his medical and agreeing to personal terms. This means a net loss of 2 players but lest one be fooled it is actually worse than that because both Salah and Matic are cup tied and so wont be available for the Champions league campaign. Furthermore the new 25 man squad we can list now hides some important deficits ; it includes Marko Van Ginkel who will probably not be available till late in the season if we are lucky and then there is El Nino who is out for at least a month (and we must pray it is not longer and that he does not sustain any further injuries before season`s end).
Added to this our present 25 man list includes 4 goal keepers rather than the typical 3. In case people forgot Hilario is still on our books and occupying one of those positions. In addition let us not forget too that the present 25 man list includes two players; Nathan Ake and Tomas Kalas who have virtually nil BPL minutes thus far this season and very limited high level competition experience anyway.
The point is that in a puff of smoke our once vaunted squad depth has evaporated. Let us not forget that from an injury perspective thus far this season we have actually been very lucky. Dr Carniero and her Sports medicine group have a big thanks for that but in addition we must be thankful for Divine providence that has been kind to us thus far. Compare our situation injury wise with the situation some like ManU and even the Gunners have faced and you will realize that with a few injuries we could quickly be in very bad shape.
I am particularly concerned with our full back situation where we really have just three experienced tested and tried bodies for those two positions. One of those Cesar is probably our best available option right now for both the right back and left back positions..should he get injured it is best not to imagine where that will leave us.
The question I have for the group is this; it is unlikely we are signing anyone else in the 7 days we have left in this window despite the never ending rumors linking us to this player and that. What options do we then have? We must not forget as has been said time and again that we have the equivalent of over two teams worth of players out on loan..many are locked into season long loans and cannot be recalled but that does not apply to all. If you could make the call which 1-2 players currently out on loan would you recall before the window closes to ensure we have enough competent options to ensure that our strength in depth is not compromised as we head into the business end of the season? Your views will be much appreciated. I will give my own two cents; if it were left to me I would recall PVA from Vitesse and Victor Moses from Liverpool. Your opinions and views on this issue are much appreciated. KTBFFH.
Date:Saturday January 25 2014
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