Date:Saturday July 21 2007
It's not all Doom and Gloom....
My first time submitting an article, but I just thought it was an opportune time to inject a bit of optimism into the forum. Not really anything earth shattering - just a thought that buzzed into my brain when I was looking at our (granted fairly slim) squad listing on one of the sites. That thought was 'Hey, you know - we're not half bad!'
It's just worth taking stock of the state of our current squad. Yes, it's thin, but it's also filled with talent, a lot of it young, a lot of it English, and a lot of it home-grown. It's impressive, no?
Sorenson - Denmark International GK
Bouma - Dutch International LB
Mellberg - Swedish International CB
Laursen - Denmark International CB
Delaney - Welsh International RB
Barry - English International MF (Criminally under-capped)
Petrov - Bulgarian International MF (Retired)
Reo-Coker - English U21 International MF (Captain)
Young - English U21 International MF
Carew - Norwegian International ST
Agbonlahor - English U21 International MF (dodgy mobile phone)
O'Halloran - Republic of Ireland Full International LB
Ridgewell - English U21 International CB
Cahill - English U21 International CB
Osbourne - English U16 International MF
Berger - Czech Republic Full International MF (Retired)
Maloney - Scottish Full International AM/ST
So there you have it - a team choc full of international players, a great mix of youth and experience, and even a couple of players (Young, Gabby, etc) to really get excited about now and for the future. Before you all jump down my throat, I'm only including the current internationals here - we've also got the likes of Moore and Gardner knocking on the door of the U21's. I skipped the DJ twins.
What that squad listing does show us is something we're all plainly aware of already - we need more bodies. Looking like we're trying to strengthen in the GK department, but no real disaster there if Tommy stays between the sticks for another season - he's generally pretty solid. We're lacking a RB full stop, unless Delaney has a rare injury-free run in the team, and we're possibly lacking a replacement for Berger, who is also injury prone & also getting on a bit (yet still superb quality as we saw towards the end of last season). So a new creative midfielder would be nice, but these are very rare (and apparently now, very expensive) beasts. Maybe another striker, as we're still lacking the proven 20-goal a season man...unless we already have him and just need to give him a run in the right position (step up Moore / Gabby?)
MON is doing his thing, quietly adding quality, fitting and moulding the team to his design. There is method in all that he does. This is the team that finished the 2006/2007 season with a 9 game unbeaten run and played some scintillating football at times to boot.
So all I guess I'm trying to say is that even with a red-hot transfer thread that isn't anywhere near matching up to 'real-life' (dare I say...yet?) it's not all bad, not all doom and gloom. It's actually quite exciting....
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Date:Saturday July 21 2007
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