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sonyc

How will Neil keep all midfielders involved and motivated?

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We have a midfield of riches, compared with any time I''ve known.....Howson, Tettey, Dorrans, Wes, Pritchard, Maddison and in the wing positions the two Murphys, Canos and this lot excludes the younger players or Brady who might be leaving (ditto Vadis). It means at least 5 of these will nearly always be benched. Maybe this is the modern squad, full enough to allow rotation and changes in form or is it imbalance and will result in players not having enough games? There is some heavy investment in this team...Pritchard seemingly costing near our all time highest fee. Maybe a good problem to have?

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It''s not just the league folks, we do also have 2 cup games this season to think about, and will need fresh legs for those 180 mins of football 😉

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DM: Alexander Tettey, Youssouf Mulumbu, Louis ThompsonCM: Jonathan Howson, Graham Dorrans, Anthony AndreuRM: Conor McGrandles, Sergi Canós, Jacob Murphy, Alex PritchardLM: Josh Murphy, Jacob Murphy, Matt Jarvis, Alex Pritchard, Robbie BradyAM: Wesley Hoolahan, James Maddison, Alex Pritchard, Steven NaismithSS: Steven NaismithWe know that AN is trying to move Mulumbu on, and I seriously doubt that Brady will be here much longer, so let''s take those out for starters.McGrandles is nowhere near ready and I''d expect a loan move again this season. Andreu isn''t likely to get a look in either, and as with McGrandles, I expect a loan move will appear fairly soon.Jarvis is already out for 3 months and will probably spend half the season injured anywayThis leaves us with:DM: Alexander Tettey, Louis ThompsonCM: Jonathan Howson, Graham DorransRM: Sergi Canós, Jacob MurphyLM: Alex Pritchard, Josh MurphyAM: Wesley Hoolahan, James Maddison, Alex Pritchard, Steven NaismithSS: Steven NaismithSo the only position where we really have too much competition is in the AM spot, but if Pritchard is used on the left as I think (as part of a narrower attacking trio behind CJ), then it''s between Wes and Naismith, with Maddison pushing both but possibly may be loaned depending on what AN wants to do (I''d rather play Maddison than Naismith tbh).This means that we ''only'' have 1 covering player for each position (although a number of players can cover a few positions e.g. Pritchard), which I''d argue certainly isn''t too many, is very much part of the modern squad game, and FAR better than places like Chelsea and Arsenal who have enough players to cobble dogs with!

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The answer? Make a simple adjustment to the formation -                                                      RuddyCanos Pritchard Howson Tettey Hoolahan Naismith Maddison Dorrans Jo Murphy                                                    Jerome

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The answer appears to be that we''re not going to play wide midfielders much this year. We''ll have a narrow front 3 behind the striker, so that''s Hoolahan, Naismith, Canos, Prichard, Murphey and Maddison competing for those 3 places.

If we need to play with wingers we''ll include Jarvis and a Murphey and some of our AM''s will have to sit out, but I can''t see that being very often.

Also Brady will be off, don''t kid yourselves.

I do find it kind of annoying though to be honest that people still equate playing left or right attacking midfield as the same as playing on the wing, I have to admit.

All of those players obviously aren''t competing for one space behind the striker, the role to the left or right of them will be fluid and basically the same as an AM, we''ll get width from our fullbacks and just hope Howson and Tettey have a blinding season covering the gaps and recycling play again.

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Brilliant LDC!

I do imagine the idea of having so many players to choose from means we can have more than one system to deploy making us harder to beat.

I imagine something like;

Tettey Howson

Pritchard Hoolahan Naismith

would be everyone preferred starting midfield.

However, if we need width we can bring on Murphy''s/Jarvis.

If we need stability we can bring on Dorrans or Mulumbu

Maddison/Thompson are both in development and are unlikely to be used as regularly starting players - but both are full of potential and should be involved with the squad to bring on as subs etc.

As others have said, Tettey probably won''t play every game and having Dorrans/Mulumbu as alternatives gives us depth.

As does Pritchard and Naismith with Wes.

It''s a long season in the Champ and a lot of quality bodies can help get through that.

In my eyes we have;

DM/CM: Howson&Tettey/Dorrans&Mulumbu as back-up with Thompson as a development player.

LW: Naismith/Brady (Murphy as Dev)

RW: Pritchard/Jarvis (Canos as Dev)

AM: Hoolahan/Maddison

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[quote user="Ginja"]Murphys and Maddison to go out on loan I expect[/quote]

I''m going to disagree there G, I think all are in the frame there - it''s a bit confusing the more I think about it, who will play in what position, as we have midfielders that could play ''striker'' with Jerome, some just behind or out wide - think AN has one hell of a job finding his best lineup outside defence as they all look very capable to me in a variety of positions, a nice problem to have! 👍

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Once we move on VOO, Mulumbu and French Tony, sell Brady, and loan out Jacob M and Godfrey, it will look a lot more balanced.
Howson
Josh M
Hoolahan
Pritchard
Naismith
Tettey
Dorrans
Canos
Maddison
The problem is our transfer dealings are so sluggish and unpredictable,anything could happen. I wouldn''t be surprised if Mulumbu is offered a new contract!! As much as I like Neil, his inability to build a balanced squad is something that is quite special.

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[quote user="lake district canary"]The answer? Make a simple adjustment to the formation -                                                      RuddyCanos Pritchard Howson Tettey Hoolahan Naismith Maddison Dorrans Jo Murphy                                                    Jerome

[/quote]
Subs: Mulumbu, Godfrey, Jarvis, Jacob Murphy, Andreu, Thompson

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