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The squad and next season. A bit long - soz.

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May 25, 2005
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#1
I’m looking over the squad and trying to see where it’s strong or lacking.

A couple of years ago, I felt optimistic that Law had done a good close-season job by bringing in cover for all positions. He brought in the nearly men of Chelsea, Fulham, Villa and supposedly undiscovered non-league talent. It turned out the players were not good enough for League 1 – now Championship - and injuries were very bad so we know what happened.

This time there has been less activity (so far) but it doesn’t look too bad. Looking at the squad list on the Official site, there are some players who are too good for old money third division. But is it balanced?

Donovan Ricketts looked good the few times I saw him and Howarth seems to be reasonable cover. Is Thackeray still there as a third choice?

Up front: the squad list identifies 7 “strikers” plus Cadders is so described. But the list includes Muirhead and Tesco. Aren’t these three more midfielders or wingers and all somewhat out of the same mould? I reckon they’re all good and worth being in the squad but I don’t see them as regular goal scorers, do you?
Re Cadders, Rhodes says, "He had specific trouble with his knee but we believe it has been sorted out on the continent and he's not had any worries with it for over a year now.
"The deal structured in such a way that it doesn't penalise us too much if he doesn't play - there are lots of incentives for him to be in the team and scoring goals."
So Cadders DOES have pay per play elements in his contract. I think he’ll be unstoppable. With any 2 from 3, or even 4 if MBW is asked to play out wide, there should be good running from the flanks.
The real strikers. Windass, Cooke, Symes, Sanasy and Forrest. I’ve read somebody saying how great it will be to have Deano and Cadders playing together upfront. I can’t see these 2 working well together without Cooke due to lack of height.
If Symes could get a chance and a bit of run together, how great for competition would that be! He’s only 21 and Forrest and Sanasy are still only 20. They’re not going to be Michael Owens, are they but they’re not finished yet. But unless Symes gets this run going, that established big, strong centre forward isn’t there, is he. I reckon Deano got his goals by poaching, sniffing, penalties, free-kicks and some from distance, not so much as target man from set-pieces. He’s not a young lad anymore at 36. I spy a vacancy for just one tall goal-scoring centre forward. Until then, Cooke versus Symes, with Windass as partner.
Midfield looks OK to me. MBW, Schumacher and one from Ben, Tesco and Danny C are creative. Crooks and Kearney will hopefully remain available all season and give a bit of bite and cover for the defense. Which one is the left-sided man? Is it Crooks? Tom Penford hasn’t featured at all under CT, has he?
The defense looks a bit thinner. Holloway at right back (well he’s no 2 at any rate) and Swift. Some people write in saying that Swift should be given a go. I don’t know, haven’t seen him play. He’s 21 already and a bit small. Is he that good? Left back? The only one I can recognize from the squad list is Emanuel. Is he still only 21?
The only central defenders I can recognize are Wethers, Bower and Sam Denton, who will be only just 19 when the season starts. I don’t know where Craig Bentham, Luke Richardson, Danny Ellis and Jake Wright play best or whether they could already step into the first team. I have to say that the reserve team results last season were mostly poor.
One central defender has shaken hands on a deal has he? Hope so and hope it’s a good one.

So how does all that lot fit together?

I identify 17 first team likelies: here with date of birth, age on opening day in August and height.

1 Donovan Ricketts Goalkeeper 6/77 28 6'4"
2 Darren Holloway Defender 10/77 27 6'0"
26 John Swift Defender 9/84 21 5''7"
5 David Wetherall Defender 3/71 34 6'3"
6 Mark Bower Defender 1/80 25 5'10"
16 Lewis Emanuel Defender 10/83 21 5'8"
8 Marc Bridge-Wilkinson Midfielder 3/79 26 5'6"
4 Tom Kearney Midfielder 10/81 23 5'9"
7 Steven Schumacher Midfielder 4/84 21 6'0"
12 Lee Crooks Midfielder 1/78 27 6'2"
15 Ben Muirhead Striker 1/83 22 5'10"
11 Owen Morrison Striker 12/81 23 5'8"
17 Danny Cadamarteri Striker 10/79 25 5'9"
10 Dean Windass Striker 4/69 36 5'10"
14 Michael Symes Striker 10/83 21 6'3"
9 Andrew Cooke Striker 1/74 31 6'0"
21 Danny Forrest Striker 10/84 20 5'11"

Average age 25 and a half. I call Ben, Tesco and Cadders strikers because the club does.


The others listed in the squad are:


13 Russell Howarth Goalkeeper 3/82 23 6'2"
29 Sam Denton Defender 7/86 19 6'2"
25 Craig Bentham Defender 3/85 20 5'9"
27 Luke Richardson Defender 7/86 19 5'11"
28 Danny Ellis Defender 11/85 19 6'0"
33 Jake Wright Defender 3/86 19 5'11"
18 Tom Penford Midfielder 1/85 20 5'11"
20 Kevin Sanasy Striker 11/84 20 5'8"

Conclusions:

A lot of good players with some duplication of styles but need a big centre forrad, a full back or 2 and a central defender or 2. If anything is covered, I reckon it’s midfield.

Have these reserves from last season moved on now?
Liam Flynn
Joe Colbeck
Patrick McGuire
Inderjeet Aujla
Gareth Mitchell
Sean Clifford
Anthony Doherty
Simon Ainge
I read all the reserve team write-ups and these lads got occasional good mentions.

I've been off sick these last couple of days so had time on my hands.
 

Ed

Megalomaniac
Administrator
May 18, 2005
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#2
I think this season Michael Symes will get more of a chance, For me he'd work well with Cadders and Windass. Symes has been given a lot of unfair stick from City fans. He's a 21 year old striker who's just completed his first full season with a team he stood a chance of making the bench for when not injured.

He showed against Sheff Weds what he's capable of, he was full of confidence that day the only other times he's played is when we've had nobody else and his confidence is low - How would you feel scoring your first two goals, not having the rub of the green in the next game and dumped back in the reserves? He'd already had his confidence shattered from the penalty miss that nobody else had the guts to take. He's been made a scape goat on many occassions.
 

briggus

C&B Member
May 27, 2005
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#3
Symes

Yes against Sheff Wed he looked the business and agree he is still learning his trade.

For me though when given the chance in later games his body language demeanour was surprising - he gave the impression of not being bothered, gave the central defenders little to worry about - winning nothing in the air and gave the ball away too easily.

From what I saw against Sheff Wed he has some talent but he appears to be having difficulty expressing it on the pitch in terms of consistent performances - giving him the chance to establish himself - hopefully that will change this season with an x forward as his coach - solving any shortcomings.

The reserve team should be a little stronger/ more experienced this year which may help his development.
 
G
#4
What are the chances of 3 up front: Deano and Cooke with Cadders playing off them??

Kearney (will he be fit for start of season) and Schumacher centre mids looks decent in the middle

Solid as ever centre back pairing

Its just wide that I see the weak link in our team unless MBW and Owen get firing on all cylinders

Come on City!!!

Only 2 months to go :(
 
May 24, 2005
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Between the devil and deep blue sea!
#6
Whilst i'd tend to agree with that last comment Chuckle - i struggle to criticise a player (Forrest), who turned round to the fans at Chesterfield (after missing a sitter) and put his hand up and apologised to us all - he is the biggest City fan amongst the whole squad which shows when he plays - i do agree though, i think this season is a critical season for Forrest, Symes AND Sanasy - if none of these break into the team i think it'll be see ya later!!
 
G
#7
CalderBantam said:
What are the chances of 3 up front: Deano and Cooke with Cadders playing off them??

Kearney (will he be fit for start of season) and Schumacher centre mids looks decent in the middle

Solid as ever centre back pairing

Its just wide that I see the weak link in our team unless MBW and Owen get firing on all cylinders

Come on City!!!

Only 2 months to go :(
Personally, I don't see out wide as a problem if we play MBW and Morrison.. I rate both, and think they'd do a good job on the flanks for us.

Right and left back however, is a problem.
 

Neddy

C&B Member
May 31, 2005
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#9
I think The club should forget about a left sided midfielder and because Symes and forrest and sanasy are not good enough we should go for a big target man in the mould of adebola.I see Hull have released Abraham Willbraham just the man for us i think.
 
G
#11
komakino said:
Yep, let's write off 3 young(ish) players who've played...how many games between them?
I couldn't write off Sanasy or Emanual yet meself either, I personally quite like Lewis, think he'll come good this year.
 
G
#12
I think the best city side this season with what we've got currently is:

Goalkeeper: Ricketts
Right Back: Swift
Left Back: Emanuel
Centre Back: Wetherall
Centre Back: Bower
Right Mid: Muirhead
Left Mid: Morrison
Centre Mid: Schumacher
Centre Mid: Bridge-Wilkinson
Striker: Windass
Striker: Cadamateri
 
G
#16
=================Ricketts==================

==========Holloway===Wethers===Bower====New left back======

============Schuey===Kearney===Bridge=Wilko=======

=====================Cadas=====================

===============Windass=====Cooke=================

Subs
1.Haworth
2.New centre back
3.Morrison
4.Muirhead
5.Symes
 
May 24, 2005
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#19
Swift looks like a quality player, I would love to see him play at right back regularly, I think with a chance, he could become a better player than 'Givetheballaway' can ever dream of! (Dont play him right wing though....).
 
May 24, 2005
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#20
BantamJay said:
=================Ricketts==================

==========Holloway===Wethers===Bower====New left back======

============Schuey===Kearney===Bridge=Wilko=======

=====================Cadas=====================

===============Windass=====Cooke=================

Subs
1.Haworth
2.New centre back
3.Morrison
4.Muirhead
5.Symes

Thats sort of like the team that I suggested the other day, though mine was more of a 3-4-3, with Wethers,Hollers,Bower at the back, Kearney as holding midfielder, MBW and Morrison on the wings with Schuey as the centre midfielder who gets forward, with Cadders just behind Deano and Cooke.
 
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