Summer 2019 - What do we need? And will we get it?

Separate from the transfer rumour thread, this is more to discuss what we need next season to progress and move closer to that much-talked about 'next level'.

For example, I've seen an increasing number of posts on social media forums questioning Pellegrini's tactics and decisions, so there are some that may argue that change needs to start at the top. Every chance we may only get another 3 or 4 points this season and end up 12th-14th, which would reflect pretty poorly on a manager who, I suspect, was given the target of a top 8 finish having been given a club record transfer fund.

As for the squad, we need a number of positions filling, but more importantly with the right players. Pace is so important in todays game, yet we have arguably the slowest squad in the league. Zaba, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Noble, Rice, Sanchez, Obiang, Snodgrass and Hernandez are all painfully slow. We only really have Fredericks, Antonio, Anderson, Diangana and Masuaku that have genuine pace, and there are question marks on at least two of those as to whether they'll be here next season.

Position wise, we're crying out for a top quality midfielder. A Loftus-Cheek kind of player. Not easy to find, but we really need to. That would be my priority.

We're struggling at left back; Cresswell post-knee injury is half the player he was and Masuaku isn't even a defender, so IMO we need a starting left back. No2 priority.

Up front we could need a lot of work. Carroll is all but gone, I'd be amazed if Perez is still here come July, Arnautovic may yet get his move to China and Hernandez is regularly linked with a move to Spain. Rumour is that Pellegrini wants Gomez and Dzeko, but I have serious doubts that Gomez would come (he's been linked with Barca for a start) and Dzeko is 33 and automatically falls into the 'no pace' category.

The other option we have is to promote the U23s. Should Johnson become a first team full back? Does Coventry become that midfielder we need? Do we go with Diangana and Holland on the wings, supporting Xande Silva?

For me, the biggest thing we need is new owners (although I know it won't happen). The move to the London Stadium was supposed to be the catalyst for us competing for European places and, ultimately, the Champions League. Unfortunately, G&S simply don't have the financial clout to do that, and nor do I think they are particularly competant (the Carvalho emails being the most obvious example). So, realistically, what do you think we need in the summer to become a top 8 team?



  • This is a bit of a fantasy thread if we are being honest

    Until we know what type of money Manu has to spend, and know how much genuine interest there is to get rid of the 'deadwood' its hard to predict

    Also I'd love new billionaire owners, but it ain't gonna happen....but I will play ball

    RLC would've been perfect, but that boat has sailed
    But yes, a dynamic CM to partner Rice is PRIORITY
    Would say Doucoure but hes not going to move to us

    Need a RB/LB, arguably both starters although we probably cannot afford two first XI full backs, so a starting RB and a backup LB (again no names come to mind). Sell Masuaku.

    Would like a new CB, but it's not priority (unless we can cash in ogbonna)

    Up front is a mess, think if we can get £30/35mil for Arnie we should cash in, look for a younger option from Europe
    Dzeko wouldn't be a bad shout but hes not a long term solution

    The simple fact is we more investment, but it's hard to do with no European football and FFP

    Even if we did get a new billionaire owner, we couldn't do a 'Man city's and go crazy as FFP prevents that
  • It's not meant to be a fantasy thread, Champo. It's about what we need to progress. You're right of course, a lot depends on what the budget is, but that doesn't actually affect what we need.

    And as Balbuena and Fabianski have proven this season, you don't need to spend £30m on a player for him to be a success. Hopefully some intelligent investment means we can improve our squad without having to spend another £90m (mostly because we won't have £90m to spend, IMO)
  • edited April 9
    I want Pelle to start building a 4-3-3, personally, & that doesn’t involve Lanzini as one of the three, not unless we have a player who can upgrade significantly on Noble to help Rice.

    So it’s either: Rice; Noble, CM

    Or: Rice; CM, Lanzini

    But that CM is gonna have to be some player it we are to accommodate three attackers & Lanzini. Pelle wants to play four at the back, so I don’t think it is possible to have Lanzini & Anderson both in the side from the start. The only way we could is if we had the quality of player to allow them to be carried, but that is like top four quality of player. Pelle looks unlikely to play a back three, which is the only other way you might get away with them.

    LB is a massive problem, as is RB. It’s basically a toss of a coin for who starts at the moment. I think Pelle’s first choice CB’s are Balbuena & Diop but with only five clean sheets all season, that is hardly rock solid. But then Diop & Balbuena haven’t Played since before Xmas. There is potential there but Diop is very young still to the PL.

    I think a front 3 of Yarmolenko & Anderson flanking Arnie would be very good, as was shown when we played Everton & Man Utd earlier in the season, but it relied on us having a middle three of Noble, Rice & Obiang.

    So going into next season, you are looking at:

    RB - Balbuena - Diop - LB
    Noble - Rice - CM
    Yarmolenko - Arnautovic - Anderson

    GK, CB, Fredericks, CM, Lanzini, WG, ST

    With Snodgrass as a kind of utility player.

    I think you could make a case for moving on the likes of Antonio, Perez, Hernandez, Carroll, Obiang, Masuaku, Nasri, Wilshere, Sanchez, Reid (although sadly), Ogbonna, etc but we won’t move all of them on.

    I would be more than happy to build around that 10 above.
  • I largely agree with Lukerz, but with a couple of exceptions.

    Snodgrass should be in the squad somewhere, either as the sub CM or the sub WG, but I think he has shown a lot of quality this season. I'd also like to keep Antonio as I feel he's been far more on his game in the second half of the season.

    I also feel that the sub GK spot could easily be held by Nathan Trott or Joseph Anang. Realistically we aren't going to bring someone in who's likely to be a starter, so either of those could cover the bench and league cup.

    I'd fully expect Perez and Carroll to be moved on, but the others are not givens at all and we'll have to see what happens, as I suspect they are on a fair wedge between them and we'll need at least a few out of the door to bring many in.
  • Lukerz, you've got Noble in there. Is that through choice or necessity?

    I don't think I'd be too happy if we start another season with Noble as first choice CM. I mean, would he get in any other top half PL team's midfield? When you look at the teams we're competing with - Leicester, Everton, Wolves and Watford - would he start for any of them? No way does he displace Doucoure, Pereyra or Capoue, or Moutinho, Dendoncker or Navas, or Gomes, Gueye or Sigurdsson, or Tielemans, Maddison or Ndidi.

    IMO, at least.
  • edited April 9
    I’ve got him in there because I don’t predict us spending the sort of money we would need to upgrade him to a level that would make him not needed. He is still one of our best passers & most experienced players. For me he plays until he either calls it a day or we get someone of such a high standard he is not required.

    We need goals too. Two open play league goals in 2019, both came in the same game. No goals from Arnie since Jan, no league goals from Anderson since December, no goals from Perez, no goals from Nasri, no goals from Snodgrass, no goals from Lanzini, the best finisher is only any good as a half hour sub. We may have all these creative players but we need more from them next season. Yarmolenko will make a big difference for me. He had 3 goals in 5 starts as a wide man back at the start. But we need more from them.
  • The squad needs 3 or 4 consecutive transfer windows of serious investment to allow Pellegrini to shape it as he sees fit. Unfortunately under these two bob owners that will never happen. So he's really trying to work with one hand tied behind his back.
  • edited April 10
    The owners have always said that, whilst they are not oil barons, they will provide the money where possible but that wages are always the stumbling block in the longer term. Say what you want about FFP but we know it exists. Let’s just give them the benefit of the doubt for a minute. I don’t think it is so much transfer fees but the wages we offer are the bit that stops us competing because if you seriously want to challenge the top six, you need basically your whole 11 to be on 80,000 plus. That’s how good the 11 needs to be. They need to be £100,000 a week players. I think if Pelle, Husillos & Sully wanted a player, he would stretch to a bigger transfer fee, but the wages would probably be the issue, over the course of a 4 year deal, they can’t afford it.

    We are gonna shift some serious money this summer with the likes of Andy leaving. I think it is time we reviewed what the bigger earners contribute & we’d probably conclude that they don’t offer enough for what they earn. Even Arnie, who is rumoured to be on over £100,000, hasn’t scored a league goal for 3 months. Can we justify that sort of money now? Hernandez is another. Doesn’t even regularly start. Perez? Nasri? Wilshere? We need to start looking at what they offer for what they get & make some tough decisions. We don’t have the money to be paying substantial wages to players who don’t contribute.
  • Wages should more than likely decrease a lot with the amount of people about to leave and subsequent wages. I don't think FFP will be a problem.
  • I admit we aren't going to get the financial backers we would like. Focus on a few key positions, shift the players who aren't able to take the team forward & see where that take us.

    Lukerz said "I think you could make a case for moving on the likes of Antonio, Perez, Hernandez, Carroll, Obiang, Masuaku, Nasri, Wilshere, Sanchez, Reid (although sadly), Ogbonna, etc but we won’t move all of them on". Depending on fitness we should keep Hernandez, Obiang, Wilshere and Nasri. Look to fill a couple of the back up roles from the Academy and try to buy a few players to be first choice selections such as Thiago Maia from Lille (CDM) & Gomez, I understand Barcelona aren't so keen on him as he doesn't hold a European passport. If Marco can get over his sulk then he might be worth keeping.
  • Nasri was temporary cover while Yarmalenko was out and in case Lanzini didn't recover as quickly as expected, I don't think there was ever any intention of signing him on a permanent basis.

    Wilshere isn't going anywhere, no other club will have him with his injury record and I don't think he'd be interested in a mutual.

    Sanchez is 33, he's got another season on his contract so he's not going anywhere either.

    We might be able to find someone to take Perez off our hands or he might ask for a transfer over lack of playing time.

    Carroll and Adrian will leave on frees, not sure about Zabaleta, we might give him another season as cover for Fredericks but we've got Byram coming back from loan.

    We've also got Hugill, Oxford and Fernandes out on loan with only Fernandes possibly on his way to Lyon.
  • Carroll £90k
    Adrian £50k

    Perez £70k + £4m
    Obiang £50k + £10m
    Masuaku £40k + £6m

    Byram £30k + £3m
    Oxford £20k + £8m
    Fernandes £30k + £8m
    Hugill £20k + £2m
    Cullen £10k+ £2m

    If we move on the above only, wouldn't say we've weakened the squad by much but we've recouped the best part of £40mil and £300k a week (assuming we haven't been paying the loanees wages, if we have then we almost save £400k)

    All of that is before you look at other players who could potentially

    Zab £70k
    Nasri £80k
    Arnie £100k +£30m
    Chicarito £140k (!!!) + £12m
    Ogbonna £70k + £8m
    Antonio £70k + £12m
    Reid £70k + £4m

    While I dont expect all of the above to leave (my guess is 2 of those will be gone) , it goes to show that there is the potential of getting some money from the current squad
  • Wow. When you look at those wages it does make me stop and think what a mad game this is.

    Most of those players average less than 90 minutes of football a week too.

    Crazy numbers.
  • Although the above figures are peanuts compared to:

    Eight years dedication!!, tinkering with phones. :nonono:

    At least he has the good grace to donate to charity.

    (a little off topic, sorry)
  • Just to say, I don’t think we know for sure how much any of them are on. I’ve heard the 140 figure for Hernandez before, but also broken down to say it’s less than that in basic and the rest as bonuses.
  • Not so long ago I thought we had one of the strongest squads in recent memory. Looking at the players listed above, and it don`t look so good. There is a very small spine of decent talent, but the rest are so hit and miss, or just miss, that without serious investment I think we are going to go backwards next year. I`m with Horsham, without 3 or 4 windows of splashing the cash I think we are doomed to mid table mediocrity at best. I thought I`d get my bone crushing negativity in early, anything we achieve next year above and beyond this I will be delighted with.
    Apart from Fabianski, and possibly Rice, I think we could be improved/strengthened in every other position.
  • Forgot about Balbuena and Diop, don`t think we will do a lot better than these with our budget.
  • Pelle has already said that he doesn’t think he will be spending big this summer but will probably be trying for young players who have talent but whom the big boys are not yet after eg the Diops, Andersons and Yarmos etc.
    Trouble is for the most part we can turn them them into players the big clubs will never want.
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