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Petriix

Current Squad vs Last Season

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So, we're still early in the window and we've done some good business so far, but how is the squad shaping up in comparison to last season?

With the various peripheral players moving on and some out on loan it all gets a bit confusing when we're really interested in the first team squad, so I thought I'd look at who actually played the minutes on the pitch last season and and how the comings and goings affect the expected matchday squad.

Using the data on whoscored.com I sorted the squad by minutes played to create the following:

  Player Minutes Replacement?
1
Max Aarons 21, D(R) 4049  
2
Oliver Skipp 20, DMC 3863 Billy Gilmour
3
Grant Hanley 29, D(C) 3780  
4
Teemu Pukki 31, AM(C),FW 3452  
5
Emiliano Buendía 24, M(R) 3340 Milot Rashica
6
Tim Krul 33, GK 3190  
7
Kenny McLean 29, M(C) 2717  
8
Todd Cantwell 23, AM(LR) 2635  
9
Ben Gibson 28, D(CL) 2356  
10
Jacob Sørensen 23, D(L) 1959  
11
Mario Vrancic 32, M(CL) 1719 none
12
Dimitris Giannoulis 25, D(L) 1307  
13
Lukas Rupp 30, M(CR) 1270  
14
Christoph Zimmermann 28, D(C) 1212  
15
Przemyslaw Placheta 23, AM(L) 1121  
16
Marco Stiepermann 30, D(L),M(CLR) 1019 none
17
Xavi Quintillá 24, D(L) 976 (Giannoulis)
18
Kieran Dowell 23, AM(CL) 936  
19
Michael McGovern 36, GK 816  
20
Andrew Omobamidele 19, D(C) 712  
21
Jordan Hugill 29, FW 679  
22
Onel Hernández 28, AM(CLR),FW 583  
23
Alexander Tettey 35, M(C) 465 none
24
Josh Martin 19, AM(L) 454 none
25
Adam Idah 20, FW 328  
26
Ben Godfrey 23, D(CLR) 270 (Gibson)
27
Daniel Barden 20, Goalkeeper 135 Angus Gunn
28
Bali Mumba 19, Defender 114  

 

On the face of it we're currently four first team players lighter than last season. Notably we've swapped four attacking midfielders for one. While Tettey and Martin were only used sparingly, Vrancic and Stiepermann were not insignificant parts of the squad. Even if you accept Gilmour and Rashica as direct replacements for Skipp and Buendia respectively, we're still objectively weaker than we were last season with the obvious exception of reserve goalkeeper.

Now, I'm a little bit changeable with my attitude; swinging wildly from happy-clapper to pant-wetter. Right now things are in the balance. I'm guessing we've got £20-25m remaining transfer budget from which we need to strengthen the whole squad. We're widely reported to be after a centre back and another central midfielder. But it's the attacking end of the pitch that I'm most concerned about. I really want to see another signing of a similar magnitude to Rashica so that we haven't put all our eggs in one basket.

Do I have too little faith in Hernandez and Placheta?
Do we already have enough weapons to hurt other Premier League teams?
Are we going to play so much more defensively that we won't need so many attackers?

Edited by Petriix

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More quality players need to be added to this squad to have half a chance of survival. Webber knows this and I believe he’ll deliver. 

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I think it would be better to compare this seasons squad against last time we were in the EPL and not last seasons. Are we stronger than we were 2 seasons ago 

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I'd definitely rather have Skipp and Buendia than Gilmour and Rashica. Not because the latter two are necessarily inferior, but because we know that Skipp and Buendia were excellent for us in the system that we play. Gilmour and Rashica could slot in seamlessly or be even better, but we won't know that until a few weeks into the season.

Obviously it's far too early to judge the squad as a whole, as there will no doubt be a few more incomings as well as some more outgoings before the window closes.

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2 minutes ago, Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man said:

I'd definitely rather have Skipp and Buendia than Gilmour and Rashica. Not because the latter two are necessarily inferior, but because we know that Skipp and Buendia were excellent for us in the system that we play. Gilmour and Rashica could slot in seamlessly or be even better, but we won't know that until a few weeks into the season.

Obviously it's far too early to judge the squad as a whole, as there will no doubt be a few more incomings as well as some more outgoings before the window closes.

Agreed. We know we have two big holes from last season. We hope we have two decent alternatives. We know we need further signings if we are to have any hope of staying up. There is much work to be done yet. Too early to judge. 

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Well to me I’m looking at it like this last season

                 Pukki

Cantwell   Dowell     Buendia 

             Skipp   McClean

Giannoulis    Gibson    Hanley      Aarons

                     Krul

 

and this current season we would be something like 

 

                    Pukki

Cantwell.     dowell.      rashica

            Gilmour.   McClean

Giannoulis     Gibson.      Hanley.  Aarons

                      Krul

 

On paper I’d say our 2021 is a step behind, but I actually think there could be 2 different names on that team sheet who haven’t joined yet, so just too difficult to judge at this stage.

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23 minutes ago, Dean Coneys boots said:

I disagree. Last season Skipp was massive for us. Without him we regress. So too Emi. For me we have purchased well but have a long way to go to be better. 

Much as Emi can easly tear apart the Championship he did not help us stay up last time, despite having some very good stats in his faovur

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As it stands, we’re actually weaker. Skipp and Buendia were by far and away the two best players last season who would then likely transition that same form into the Premier League.

Gilmour and Rashica are two excellent signings but in order to improve the squad these needed to be additions rather than replacements.

Long way to go of course before we start, but work to do for sure.

Edited by Bovril

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Not yet, but there are up to half a dozen players to arrive yet I feel so I expect we will at least look stronger by the time the window slams shut.

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We are not yet complete.

New Centre half, New defensive midfielder, New striker and possibly Billing

With these additions we have better quality on the bench and squad and therefore better. As it stands we are now possibly a little short on last season.

As been mentioned on many threads we need Cantwell, Rashica, Dowell to score throughout the season, with Buendia gone. We need Pukki and a new striker to score and if Billing comes in be a threat.

The last prem season we had goals from only Pukki and Cantwell, not enough.

We are building this team and making it better than last seasons. I am pleased that the talk today is of knowing that we need the spine of the team improved. That does not always mean starting positions but from the bench. But I believe we need starters in the DM and CD position and the striker needs to be challenging Pukki and possibly taking his mantle in time. I can actually see a loan here. 

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We need quality additions.  One loanee from PL to help the squad still to come.  Unfortunately because of Brexit rules we are unlikely to be able to sign any significant loans from abroad.  Last PL season loans brought in to help except for German GK would not qualify even though the help given didn't amount to much.  So memorable can't place their names but Spanish DM and German non entity in midfield in January.

Hope Webber finds some quality finds that will qualify.  CB and DM being pursued no sign of new striker which is a worry.  

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Copa America and the Euros finish this weekend. It's a great analysis, but it could change massively in a week two week's time.

Very alarming how little Idah played last season, yet some are touting him as backup to Pukki.

A long while left of the transfer window but this time next week we'll be a month away from our first game. Busy few weeks coming up!

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2 hours ago, Canary dwarf said:

someone's got a lot of time on there hands.

It took a couple of minutes to copy and paste it into Excel and change the formatting.

 

2 hours ago, Blurboy1980 said:

I think it would be better to compare this seasons squad against last time we were in the EPL and not last seasons. Are we stronger than we were 2 seasons ago 

That's a valid point. We've definitely evolved since then. I suspect that a number of the players who are still here from our last Premier League season have also significantly improved, both individually and how they fit into the team.

2 hours ago, Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man said:

I'd definitely rather have Skipp and Buendia than Gilmour and Rashica. Not because the latter two are necessarily inferior, but because we know that Skipp and Buendia were excellent for us in the system that we play. Gilmour and Rashica could slot in seamlessly or be even better, but we won't know that until a few weeks into the season.

Obviously it's far too early to judge the squad as a whole, as there will no doubt be a few more incomings as well as some more outgoings before the window closes.

I feel exactly the same. But I'll reserve judgement until we see how the rest of the Buendia money is invested.

12 minutes ago, Capt. Pants said:

Copa America and the Euros finish this weekend. It's a great analysis, but it could change massively in a week two week's time.

Very alarming how little Idah played last season, yet some are touting him as backup to Pukki.

A long while left of the transfer window but this time next week we'll be a month away from our first game. Busy few weeks coming up!

I wouldn't write Idah off just yet. He was injured most of the season but actually returned the best ratio of goals and assists to minutes played of the entire squad.

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We're certainly two players down, namely a centre-half and a centre-midfielder, and possibly a back-up striker. However, we did have a rather large squad that could use a bit of a trim so I'm not worried there. From what's coming in snippets it looks like Farke seems Idah and Omobamidele could be looking like they are making a leap. @Capt. Pants has noted his concern about how little Idah played, but he missed a lot with an ankle injury and a couple of other niggles. On top, if Pukki's consistently scoring, he's going to be consistently starting.

I'm not the only one who said Hernandez was our best player in Project Restart as being pushed back, it gave us space for a counter-attacking player. The problem we had was we had little pace throughout the team so Hernandez was often on his own waiting for others to catch up. Now Rashica looks like he's got plenty of speed on him and is aggressive with his dribbling. So, him, Pukki and one of Hernandez/Placheta should be a very fast counter-attacking unit and by definition, a counter means there's more space to run into. I would be surprised if they're not up in Farke's thoughts as a Plan B which could be easy enough to implement. We just didn't see it much last season as we spent most of it on the front foot in possession against massed defences, which negates sheer pace. That's a key reason why, IMO, you didn't see the best of Hernandez and Placheta. Ultra-quick players by definition are hindered when in tight spaces.

We haven't seen Sorensen in his best position much, but I very much suspect he's getting readied as Farke would have known Skipp is out until August, not to mention wouldn't know if he's got Skipp on loan or not. I've got a gut instinct that he just might kick on to become a real first-team presence in the midfield next season if he stays fully fit.

In terms of individual talent, I'd say we're slightly down. But I can see where a more functional team can be made with a couple of judicious additions.

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Considering this is the season where we’re supposed to establish ourselves, or at least do our damndest to stay up (within NCFC reason), then going into it with a squad which is not markedly better than - let alone on par with - the prior season will be a huge disappointment.

The absence of Skipp and Buendia is a huge loss too, easily our best and second best players from the championship team. 

So clearly we are still somewhat short at this stage, I would expect another 2/3 good signings to improve our starting 11 at the very very least.

And even then it would be difficult to tell if we were actually better off or not, I think we will struggle to see any signing individually doing better than Skipp or Emi from last season, but maybe we can be better as a team overall once the season starts?

I think if we’d kept Buendia and Skipp, then you could much more easily look at the squad pre season and said ‘yes we’re better off now’, but without those two everything gets thrown totally up in there air.

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Hanley's minutes on the pitch are a thing of beauty for last season. Fingers crossed he can do likewise next as it correlates with us being promoted, and avoiding relegation in my view. That said we still need DC backup and specialist DM, which might be tough on McLean. I still have a sneaky suspicion Rupp is being groomed for that role in case we can't get a suitable replacement for Skipp.

I'm not sure Dowell is quite ready as a starter for 10, but he did well after nailing down his place towards the end of the season - he might make the step up.

I can't see another 6 signings coming in, even if Max does go. I can see it being 1 maybe 2 and Farke drawing on the fluidity of available skills. That's where Ajer would have been a good buy.

I can see the see the squad being small but perfectly formed rather than expensive bench warmers.

 

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Currently for me and if we use the last two seasons collectively;

Jamal > Dimi

Ben > Gibson

Buendia > Rasicha

Skipp > Gilmour

Aarons > His Replacement

We're starting this season on paper inferior to the last time we tackled the Premier League.

And the we're in another position where we have players with little/No Premier League experience.

Personnel wise I still think we are a CB, CM, 10 and a proper competition/replacement for Teemu short of been able to avoid relegation.

What I am hoping for this season, is a better understanding of the division from our management team and no naivety that saw us fall very short last time.

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If we are unfortunately relegated again from the Premiership - but achieve a higher points tally than the last time we were in the Premiership.....Well, I suppose that our squad is an improvement on our last Premiership squad.....

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We have better experience in the squad now and that is crucial.

Defensively, Gibson is better than Godfrey was (at that stage he was very inexperienced and it sometimes showed), Giannoulis more composed and experienced than Jamal, Hanley more confidence and in form, Omobamidele an excellent understudy. Max more experienced.

Midfield, Gilmour, imo, if he can play like he did against England will prove to be an excellent signing, would Skipp have got into the Scotland team if he was Scottish? I'm not sure he would.  

Rashica looks a real player and is older and more experienced than Emi was two years ago and looks a more direct and attacking player to boot. Todd is way better than he was two years ago too. Idah is an interesting one too, must ready and better than two seasons ago. 

Squad wise, yes one or two more needed, but that will surely happen. Overall it ishaping up well.

Edited by lake district canary

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4 hours ago, CDMullins said:

Currently for me and if we use the last two seasons collectively;

Jamal > Dimi

Ben > Gibson

Buendia > Rasicha

Skipp > Gilmour

Aarons > His Replacement

We're starting this season on paper inferior to the last time we tackled the Premier League.

And the we're in another position where we have players with little/No Premier League experience.

Personnel wise I still think we are a CB, CM, 10 and a proper competition/replacement for Teemu short of been able to avoid relegation.

What I am hoping for this season, is a better understanding of the division from our management team and no naivety that saw us fall very short last time.

You're forgetting all the other players who've moved on: Tettey at centre back, Leitner and Trybull in midfield etc. I'd say this squad is better than the one which started the last Premier League season.

It's worse than the one which finished last season though. But hopefully we'll see some decent additions in the next few weeks. 

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