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Squad assessment


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My tuppence-worth on the state of our squad. Assumptions: we're still in this division next season, and none of our better players get snapped up in the summer (possible, but not something I can predict). I'm sure theres plenty to disagree with in here...

 

Goalkeepers

 

Crossley will get another year, I reckon, as a goalkeeper/coach. If he left Sheridan would have to find two new goalkeepers and get them settled in (and we've seen that it can take a while to get a settled team). I've not seen Bell play but wouldn't be surprised if he moved on to be replaced with a new sub keeper (or even a new first choice, with Crossley moving to a sub/coach role). On the other hand, Bell and Ollerenshaw could share reserve and youth duties.

 

Defence

 

Fine at right back (Eardley, Lomax, Hazell). Weaker at left back (Lomax, Stam I suspect could leave). Black looks good but Sheridan may want more strength in depth so he's not expected to play too many games too young. Definitely need another centre back even if Thompson stays (which I'm not keen on, but he's contracted and kicking him out may be a costly option). We've got six experienced defenders (including Lomax) and Black as an up-and-coming player; I think we need to plan for at least two being injured at any one time (Stam and Gregan, for example). I like Stam but a combination of injury record and the odd dodgy game may see him leave. While I wouldn't want to see Thompson leave just out of spite the jury is still out (not even in the same bloody court room).

 

Midfield

 

Move Taylor to his proper position and get somebody in on the other side. Liddell may be a creative force and an experienced head under pressure but I would still rather see someone with pace and trickery on the wing to pressure opposition defences into mistakes (kind of Beckham vs Bentley/Wright-Phillips). If we don't sign any wingers I'd expect it to be Taylor and Smalley (Liddell on the bench).

 

Allott's been a star man but needs a creative player alongside him and a defensive player for backs-to-the-wall games. I was hoping Kalala could be the latter but he's not shown it consistently enough so far; he's under contract so I'm not sure he'll be leaving, but I think he'll be a squad player. McDonald I like but I'm not sure what it is he does best, so perhaps another squad player. It may be slightly controversial but I'm not convinced that signing Jarrett and/or Livermore is the answer; neither is the creative linchpin nor the defensive rock that I think we need. Both would be high-class squad players. I also think that if Sheridan was serious about Livermore he'd have offered him something already or given enough assurances that Livermore's loan wouldn't have ended. For some reason I'm also not convinced Jarrett is mad keen on signing permanently (something in his interview after signing on loan gave me the impression that he's hoping this spell will put him in the shop window for another Championship club).

 

Forwards

 

Davies and Hughes will be first-choice, with Alessandra on the bench (at least until one of the first two gets injured or has a bad run of form). Assuming he signs a new deal (I'd be amazed if he hasn't been offered one) Smalley will be another backup. Wolfenden's under contract but I could see him let go or offered out on loan; I think his time is up and we need a more proven striker, not another fairly-promising-but-not-there-yet youngster.

 

Signings

 

What I'd like: new keeper (sub or first-choice); new centre-back/utility defender to replace Stam; new centre-back/utility defender to replace Thompson; utility full-back (utility is important to give us the ability to rotate with Eardley, Lomax and Black for injuries, rests, etc); creative central midfielder; defensive midfielder; two wingers; decent striker. This would mean clearing out Stam, Thompson, Kalala, Wolfenden, probably Kelly and Pearson too.

 

What I think is realistic: new keeper; new centre-back/utility defender; creative central midfielder; striker. Thompson and Kalala to stay; Stam I really don't know; Wolfenden to leave or being loaned out.

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Signings

 

What I'd like: new keeper (sub or first-choice); new centre-back/utility defender to replace Stam; new centre-back/utility defender to replace Thompson; utility full-back (utility is important to give us the ability to rotate with Eardley, Lomax and Black for injuries, rests, etc); creative central midfielder; defensive midfielder; two wingers; decent striker. This would mean clearing out Stam, Thompson, Kalala, Wolfenden, probably Kelly and Pearson too.

 

What I think is realistic: new keeper; new centre-back/utility defender; creative central midfielder; striker. Thompson and Kalala to stay; Stam I really don't know; Wolfenden to leave or being loaned out.

 

GK (understudy to Norm)

Left Back

Creative Midfielder

Left Sided Midfielder

Left Winger

Striker

 

Definitely the areas where we're weak in.

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GK (understudy to Norm)

Left Back

Creative Midfielder

Left Sided Midfielder

Left Winger

Striker

 

Definitely the areas where we're weak in.

 

As for team for next season, again using what I'd like vs what's realistic:

 

Would like

 

Crossley/GK TBD

Eardley

Lomax/DL TBD

Hazell

Gregan/DC TBD

Taylor

MC TBD

Allott

ML TBD

Davies

Hughes

 

Crossley/GK TBD

Gregan/DC TBD/Black

McDonald/Kalala

Smalley/Liddell

Alessandra/FC TBD

 

Realistic

 

Crossley

Eardley

Lomax

Hazell

Gregan

Smalley/Taylor

Allott

MC TBD

Taylor/ML TBD

Davies

Hughes

 

GK TBD

Black/DC TBD

McDonald/Kalala

Liddell

Alessandra/FC TBD

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What I think is realistic: new keeper; new centre-back/utility defender; creative central midfielder; striker. Thompson and Kalala to stay; Stam I really don't know; Wolfenden to leave or being loaned out.

 

Definitely need a new keeper, should get another season out of Crossley but would like to have proper cover in place.

 

I think we need a left back, I like Lomax there but think we could do with a left footer, Black should get the odd game to bring him through but no point rushing it. A left footed left winger is also a must. (I actually don't mind Taylor there but would like to see him swap flanks with the winger on the other side a bit more often) But we do need to have a bit more balance which can only be provided by having a proper left footer there who can get to the line and whip the crosses in with their left peg.

 

I think we are ok for centre-backs although this does involve a lot of finger crossing that we don't get the same injuries next season - Gregan, Stam, Hazell, Thompson, Pearson, Chalmers. Would rather see the money spent elsewhere.

 

Right back - Eardley, Lomax, Hazell, Youth - I think we have enough cover there, unless we move Eardley to centre mid and play Lomax there. If so we would need to bring in a left back as we would have lost Lomax there.

 

Centre-mid - I would like to see Wolfie tried as the creative midfielder, he is a tricky customer but his lack of bulk may go against him up front. Or we need an out and out creative midfielder. Allott, with Kalala as his backup and would like to see Macca given another contract, Casper to some but on his day I think he brings us something, would like to see those days more often but I think he could have his best season yet next year. If we could get Jarrett cheaply I think he would be a very good permanent addition to the squad. Or as we saw on Sat, Eardley did well in a solid midfield with Allot which allowed the front players to roam all over the place.

 

Right wing, Smalley, Taylor or Wolfie, we do need a left winger as this would free up Taylor for the right. Lids? Player/coach if possible, showed on Saturday that he has that extra yard in his head, the odd cameo here and there would be a good option.

 

Up front, Hughes, Davies, Allesandra, Wolfie, Smalley, Lids. If we can get a target man such as Clarke I think we would be sorted and have options, we would also be able to play various styles of football and formations.

 

So, my list for Summer Santa would be:

 

Keeper,

Left back,

Left winger,

Creative midfielder,

Target man.

 

How we would pay for all of this is beyond me as it seems only a few of us are renewing. Shame really as with these 5 decent additions I think we would be right up there next season.

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I don't know. Being to name replacements would mean understanding:

 

- Who's available.

- Who Sheridan wants.

- How much money their club wants.

- What package the player or their agent wants.

- Whether they'd fit in the culture/dressing room atmosphere here.

- Whether they and their family want to move to Oldham.

- Whether they want to come here.

 

Short answer: I'd love to see players who would improve our squad, but I've no idea realistically of exactly who could fill those roles.

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One thing that Shez is on record as saying is that he want's consistency, and can dig deep when things are not going well.

 

Who do you think is on the at risk register for not pulling their weight?

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One thing that Shez is on record as saying is that he want's consistency, and can dig deep when things are not going well.

 

Who do you think is on the at risk register for not pulling their weight?

 

 

All of them on more than one occassion this season.

 

Even player of the season elect, Allott, had a shocking start to his second stint at BP.

 

The kids that are new to first team football can be given some leeway given their lack of experience - so Alessandra and Smalley can be excused.

 

Norm had an awful start but has improved, Kalala and Thompson have been consistent though. Consistently crap isn't a good thing though. Stam is another one that has been much more bad than good.

 

Taylor and Eardley both with over 100 games each under their belts, still can't put together a decent run of performances on the bounce to make me think that they are going to be anything other than fairly ordinary players in this league - even though Eards is decent at getting stuck in, he can't do anything once he has the ball at his feet (I would recommend it may help if he gives Haining his boots back :wink: ). Taylor's just a tart.

 

Greegs and Lids haven't really played enough in the latter part of the season to make a judgement call, and the same I suppose goes for Hughes - though he has had to run a fairly lonely furrow up top on his own at points this season. Hartlepool away comes to mind where he looked like the only footballer in our team.

 

Davies is a sulker, Macca disappears at times when the going gets tough - though he is often the odd bit of the jigsaw and thrown in any old position to make up the eleven.

 

Rubes, well there you go, someone who has been consistently good. An odd howler here and there, but not many bad games from him at all. Along with Allott, Smalley, Alessandra and the infrequently used kids, I think that they may be the only exceptions.

 

KtF,

 

Derek.

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Hmm are you making a point exile, these are different members that didnt give their opinions in the thread that you so kindly put as >> Here>>, as a member like you i am entitled to ask for other peoples opinion and not be patronised for doing so just cos it so happens it may be in another thread. Thanks for your contribution though!!

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I don't know. Being to name replacements would mean understanding:

 

- Who's available.

- Who Sheridan wants.

- How much money their club wants.

- What package the player or their agent wants.

- Whether they'd fit in the culture/dressing room atmosphere here.

- Whether they and their family want to move to Oldham.

- Whether they want to come here.

 

Short answer: I'd love to see players who would improve our squad, but I've no idea realistically of exactly who could fill those roles.

 

 

Fair point but who would you personally like if all of the above wasnt an issue, i realise at end of the day Shez will get who he wants based on all of the above.

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Ah, good question, but I'm really not sure. I'd wait to see who gets released and cherry-pick that lot. As for spending cash money on a transfer fee, only for the central midfielder and possibly a winger (as they'd both be first choice) - the rest could be released players (like Hazell last year). I know a few names have been thrown around but I'm torn as to whether to settle for the first that comes to mind and is available, or to wait for exactly the right player.

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Goalie, left-back, centre back (replace Thompson - he makes me very nervous), left wing, centre midfield and centre forward. We're all more or less in agreement, BUT please limit the loanees. If we have to have any then they should be talented Premier youngsters who will stay for the season. We have a very young squad as it is and we have had a revolving door on the front for too long. I can clearly see the benefit of bringing in the odd one for the season providing they're really good quality, as quality counts and is hard to come by in this division in any other form. But, no more than one or two, PLEASEEEEEEEE.

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Guest oa_exile
Hmm are you making a point exile, these are different members that didnt give their opinions in the thread that you so kindly put as >> Here>>, as a member like you i am entitled to ask for other peoples opinion and not be patronised for doing so just cos it so happens it may be in another thread. Thanks for your contribution though!!

 

I was actually just trying to be helpful and didnt realise that they were different members or you were looking for even more members to post on YOUR thread.

Since your are a new member i thought YOU had missed the other thread , anyway ........

 

........so who is being patronising with your post ? :)

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Rubes, well there you go, someone who has been consistently good. An odd howler here and there, but not many bad games from him at all. Along with Allott, Smalley, Alessandra and the infrequently used kids, I think that they may be the only exceptions.

 

I think you could certainly add Lomax to the list there, and also Livermore to a certain extent. Both players with calm heads who keep the ball well and who we definitely need more of the likes of.

 

I don't mind the odd player having bad games, it happens and football is a confidence thing. But you really need around 6 or 7 players minimum to be playing steady each game and not giving much away. For most of the season there's only been 2 or 3.

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...please limit the loanees. If we have to have any then they should be talented Premier youngsters who will stay for the season. We have a very young squad as it is and we have had a revolving door on the front for too long. I can clearly see the benefit of bringing in the odd one for the season providing they're really good quality, as quality counts and is hard to come by in this division in any other form. But, no more than one or two, PLEASEEEEEEEE.

BFJ - while I don't disagree with the underlying sentiment, unless we have more strength in depth (and bear in mind the costs that involves), I don't think there'll be much of a reduction in loan signings. Other than Bertrand and Kilkenny, and arguably Jarrett, our loan signings have been to cover a lack of strength in depth or cover for key positions. I think loans are a fact of life for clubs with our budget.

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I don't mind the odd player having bad games, it happens and football is a confidence thing. But you really need around 6 or 7 players minimum to be playing steady each game and not giving much away. For most of the season there's only been 2 or 3.

I think some of our poor individual performances also reflect the lack of strength in depth. Players rushed back from injury, players clearly not on form, players without backups to challenge them for a place. I can see Eardley suffering from the same problem that got to McNiven - a lack of anyone better to keep him on his toes or to cover for him in case of a loss of form.

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Guest oa_exile
I think some of our poor individual performances also reflect the lack of strength in depth. Players rushed back from injury, players clearly not on form, players without backups to challenge them for a place. I can see Eardley suffering from the same problem that got to McNiven - a lack of anyone better to keep him on his toes or to cover for him in case of a loss of form.

 

TBH that has been one of the problems this season , when players have been off form we have not had the depth to replace them from the bench or squad.

Players have not had to play for their places kind of scenario.

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BFJ - while I don't disagree with the underlying sentiment, unless we have more strength in depth (and bear in mind the costs that involves), I don't think there'll be much of a reduction in loan signings. Other than Bertrand and Kilkenny, and arguably Jarrett, our loan signings have been to cover a lack of strength in depth or cover for key positions. I think loans are a fact of life for clubs with our budget.

 

You are right Robinson, but am I the only one who feels it can be very frustrating. It gives me the feeling that we're constantly patching and never building. A postmodern nightmare of fragmentation and displacement! That's it! The loan system is a postmodern solution to the postmodern game. Right, I'm off for a lie down.

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You are right Robinson, but am I the only one who feels it can be very frustrating. It gives me the feeling that we're constantly patching and never building. A postmodern nightmare of fragmentation and displacement! That's it! The loan system is a postmodern solution to the postmodern game. Right, I'm off for a lie down.

As long as we don't base our team and tactics around 1 loanee that will bugger off half way through the season, a few loanees to bolster the squad should be fine.

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the same number of words per post, Ross averages 1000+ :lol:

Lol...why say 1 word when a thousand will do??? Erm......hang on..... :wink:

 

Main thing though Greegs, though you'll probably deny it, I know you'll be reading them....word for word! :tongue1:

Edited by boundaryblue80
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