Our Squad - An Appraisal

On the eve of the new season, lets look at where we are and what we have squad wise.

Goal keepers.

Interesting situation to be in with it being entirely unclear right now where the hierarchy is. Karl Darlow is extremely popular with fans following his shock and sudden elevation to first choice last season. Khalid al-Rashidi remains unused and unclear what his position will be other than aback up. Evtimov has been sent out on loan. But now we have Dorus de Vries who has promotions under his belt at Swansea, but also the ignominy of relegation last year with Wolves. I did laugh when someone suggested that if we play him, that mans we will be relegated, forgetting the rest of a team dynamic. I can’t call this. Either de Vries or Darlow will start and will presumably be rotated in the League Cup. Either way, we are back to having 2 keepers, rather than 1 and an untried one. It’s a handy situation to be in. Handy, goalkeepers, get it?


We seem keen to strengthen further at the back. I can see why. The defence never looked settled or assured last season. We no longer have Elliot Ward of course who looked good. Collins divides opinion. What we do have is Jack Hobbs who will surely start, probably along side Halford. The wild card is where we see Lascelles is at in his development. Might he get a few games, chuck him in? The chase of Wilson and Morgan clearly illustrates we think he isn’t quite there. The full backs tomorrow at least will likely be Lichaj, and with Jara still a mystery absence, Harding at left back. Maybe we could see Halford right back, Lascelles in the middle and Lichaj left back, but I think the former and not the latter. The other option is to see Cohen at left back, and Lichaj right back.

We always had a glut of options in here last season, but Davies still appears to want his ball winner. What we do have now is width. Abdoun, Paterson, and Mackie are new additions who can play wide. McLaughlin seems to have gotten more game time. Lansbury if needed can play wide right. In the middle you’d look at Guedioura and Cohen probably if we play a flat 4. Cohen if he’s left back would free up a slot. I can see the older guard playing together, with maybe Abdoun or Paterson to be worked in. If we play with wide men in a flat 4, then certainly Lansbury wide right. However I think the structure would be two deeper holding men, (Guedioura and Cohen would be perfect, but maybe Lansbury) with Abdoun left, Mackie right and Cox in the middle. Cox could either drop deeper in the hole or go up front. Majewski could play the advanced midfield role. That or Lansbury with Reid dropping deeper and almost playing as a quarter back.


Two approaches. The one man at the front of an attacking midfield spear. Or two men up front. Derbyshire has pushed himself into reckoning with his pre season, Cox is probably still the main man, with Henderson as a late battering ram in the Adebola guise. Blackstock may or may not feature, but his days might seem numbered. Any future attacking signing would change this, but i can only comment on what we have at time of press, and either way they’d not feature tomorrow. As much as many don’t like him Derbyshire must surely be given a chance after his pre season. After all he’s found where the goal is. That’s half the battle. Tudgay won’t feature I’d assume. And Miller? Well yeah forget about Miller.

There is balance there, and choices of a change of shape in every position. We didn’t have this before, so going into this season there is a chance of plan B’s, which frankly we didn’t have as we entered the final stages of the season and other teams sussed out how to defend against the all down the middle approach we had implemented. Time though, to let our feet do the talking.