Promotion team 'must haves'

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PistolPete
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Promotion team 'must haves'

by PistolPete » 10 May 2019 00:49

I listened today to a snippet of Peter Crouch talking about having players at a club who demand high standards (https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/football/48199045). This made me think of the excellent Yann Kermorgant interview where he bemoaned the loss of leaders at the club.

So, the (near) necessities of a squad which will get you promoted, how many do we have/need?


:idea: Leader(s) - Every team needs someone who will do the managers job with him; someone who will make sure that the team doesn't play up or take shortcuts and hide from responsibility. Think: Roy Keane, Steven Gerrard, John Terry.

:?: Do we have them? It seems Liam Moore might be such a leader. McShane might have been once, but his diminishing playing ability would have undermined his gravitas. Do we have any other leaders in the camp? It's just speculation, but my guess would be, no. In fact, as good a guy as Moore is, I do wonder whether he's nasty enough; teams need at least one or two players you're afraid of!


:idea: Free Kick specialist - Ian Hart (and Nicky Shorey before him) was surely worth 5 goals a season for direct, indirect and corner kicks.

:?: Do we have this? John Swift is our best set piece taker these days, but I'm not sure he's a big step up on Baker. However, if neither of these are here next season, I'd say we're short in this department. Kelly, who could be a good taker, looks to have lost the trust of the decision makers. Set piece goals can win matches, winning matches breeds confidence and could in theory be the the difference of many places in the league table.


:idea: Runners. This is perhaps not an obvious suggestion, but I remember the way Stephen Hunt showed everyone up in the team with his work rate. If your winger can chase lost causes, then there's no reason for your midfielders and forwards to be half hearted. Managers like Klopp and Guardiola require all their players to relentlessly press the ball - it's not easy - but it's becoming part of the game.

:?: Do we have this? Yakou Miete is a tireless runner, Jon Dadi too. Barrow, Oliveira and swift, not so much... Losing Meite would be a blow here, and would have to be replaced. Tireless and skilful is the holy grail here, but I'd honestly settle for tireless if we can only have one.


:idea: Great Keeper. This, I believe, is the most underrated position on the pitch. Emi Martinez changed everything for us at the back. He brings calm, he gives confidence and saves possibly a goal a game.

:?: Do we have this? Well this is a problem! The very guy who has tuned us around (with of help of course from Jose, Rino, Baker, Miazga etc) is most likely, too good to come back. What we know for certain is that Walker and Jarkkola (and Mannone) are not good enough. Southwood would be a huge risk, but early signs are good. Martinez leaves a huge hole that I'm not sure many realised existed until he arrived!


:idea: X factor player - Sometimes, where you're doing everything right but can't find a goal, you need a moment of brilliance. Someone who can pick a pass out of nowhere, find a shot which threads a needle or wriggle through three tackles to break the deadlock. Dmitri Payet springs to mind, Eden Hazard, even Paul Pogba has it. In the Championship, Pablo Hernandez is able to win matches at any moment. Adel Taarabt and Anthony Knockaert both almost single handedly got their teams promoted with repeated moments of x-factorness (good word that).

:?: Do we have this? John Swift frustrates many, but he can also do the unpredictable in a good way. Modou Barrow, like Kebe, can be unplayable on his day. Nelson Oliveira is a class player. I feel we're well stacked for technically good players (caveat: on their day!) but none are truly outstanding for this league.


:idea: No bad apples. Ok, so this is the opposite of a must-have, but worth discussing. With a squad as big as ours, it's important that everyone is doing their best. If we have players who cause trouble then they need getting rid.

:?: Do we have this? Ironically, Norwich may have got rid of someone who was causing problems in Oliveira. But is it because he's a leader who is unhappy that it's a problem ? Would he be an asset if he was in the right place? Hmm, it's a big question. Another irony is how the X-Factor players also happen to be the bad apples (Pogba the 'virus', the previously mentioned Taraabt, Robin Friday?!). As far as I know, there are no out-and-out bad boys amongst the squad, but apathy can be just as dangerous!


Conclusion

We're ok in most departments, but ideally we need more of all. If we lose Meite, Swift or Moore we're definitely lacking.

What else is necessary for a promotion winning side?

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by URZZZZ » 10 May 2019 01:37

I'd always argue having versatile players is useful. Someone that isn't necessarily a first team player but can fill out many roles. Maybe not a "must have" but certainly very useful

Pretty obvious but someone who is a goalscorer (Pukki for Norwich, Sharp for Sheffield, Leeds's "goalscorer" isn't so obvious, which is why they missed out)

You'll always need a couple of taller, stronger players. Some teams lump it up the pitch for 90 minutes each game. You need someone to be able to deal with that. A team full of midgets would be bullied against some teams

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Armadillo Roadkill » 10 May 2019 08:35

My personal feeling, and I haven't checked the records to see if there's a basis in fact for this, is that we must have at least one Icelander in the Reading starting eleven if we're to get anything.

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Elm Park Kid » 10 May 2019 09:21

Maybe this is old-fashioned thinking - but I believe that a team really needs that holding defensive midfielder who everyone trusts. The Makelele figure. I'm not sure we've had one since Leigertwood.

Having a real goal threat from midfield is important in drawing defenders away from the strikers.

Full-backs who can swing decent balls into the area.

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by CountryRoyal » 10 May 2019 09:48

Good post OP.

On the flip side here is a promotion team ‘must not have’ and that’s an over inflated squad. The most successful teams are routinely the ones who use the least players!


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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Armadillo Roadkill » 10 May 2019 10:04

Loan players were once considered a hindrance. I notice that has changed in the second half of this season.

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Elm Park Kid » 10 May 2019 11:03

Armadillo Roadkill Loan players were once considered a hindrance. I notice that has changed in the second half of this season.


They got us out of the sh*t. In general you don't want to be dependent on any more than 1 or 2 loan players; and ideally they should be players you have a realistic chance of buying. Otherwise you're designing a team around players qualities that you can't possibly hope to have in following seasons.

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by maffff » 10 May 2019 11:04

We're also missing:

* a Bryn
* a Baseya

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by maffff » 10 May 2019 11:05

Armadillo Roadkill Loan players were once considered a hindrance. I notice that has changed in the second half of this season.


Never seen such a group of committed loanees who also added quality. It's usually one or the other and in small numbers.

Amazing recruitment: great players, awesome people.


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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Lower West » 10 May 2019 23:12

Armadillo Roadkill Loan players were once considered a hindrance. I notice that has changed in the second half of this season.


Not really. Kept us up. The problems still remain though. If the summer intake doesn't gel. We'll be deeper into the mire than last year.

There's a team in the making. Lacks experience and a battle hardened mentality. Retaining the likes of O'Shea is the key.

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Snowflake Royal » 11 May 2019 08:07

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Armadillo Roadkill Loan players were once considered a hindrance. I notice that has changed in the second half of this season.


Not really. Kept us up. The problems still remain though. If the summer intake doesn't gel. We'll be deeper into the mire than last year.

There's a team in the making. Lacks experience and a battle hardened mentality. Retaining the likes of O'Shea is the key.

He barely played and has gone.

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by URZZZZ » 11 May 2019 17:07

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Armadillo Roadkill Loan players were once considered a hindrance. I notice that has changed in the second half of this season.


Not really. Kept us up. The problems still remain though. If the summer intake doesn't gel. We'll be deeper into the mire than last year.

There's a team in the making. Lacks experience and a battle hardened mentality. Retaining the likes of O'Shea is the key.

He barely played and has gone.


Get his point though, you need that mix of experience and youth. Take Norwich's team this season, full of young hungry players but still that bit of experience in Krul, Hanley and Klose (last two were barely in the 11 all season but just there). Sheffield have a lot of experience in their team. We need to keep characters like Baldock around if we want to achieve success. We have 2 players who are 30 or over at this moment in time and there's talks of getting rid of both of them

I think with O'Shea, he was talking about retaining him in a coaching capacity, Gomes has said he's interested in keeping him on in that regard

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Forbury Lion » 16 May 2019 13:49

What about Promotion team "must not haves"

Troublemakers - That bad apple who is bitter at not being picked & starts to infect other players or refuses to get on the team coach. Think Danny Guthrie

Off the field issues - They affect the players, especially of they don't get paid.

Stability - the 106 team more or less picked itself, However there was still some competition in particularly up front. IF you have too many players not playing you have trouble.

Desire - You don't want a team of has beens out of contract at the end of the season or loan players who know they will return to their parent clubs, You want players hungry to succeed and play in the premier league who actually believe they will get a chance if they win promotion rather than get the club there and then see new players signed to replace them.


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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Green » 16 May 2019 13:56

If anything don't loan or soon-to-be out of contract players have more to prove and play for?

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by leon » 16 May 2019 14:48

Green If anything don't loan or soon-to-be out of contract players have more to prove and play for?


What do you have to prove and play for, Green?

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Coppells Lost Coat » 16 May 2019 15:17

leon
Green If anything don't loan or soon-to-be out of contract players have more to prove and play for?


What do you have to prove and play for, Green?


Shop window maybe?

They might want to prove they are good enough for the parent club. Or seeing the loan move as a step onto bigger and better things, that wont happen unless they knuckle down, learn and perform.

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Green » 17 May 2019 11:00

leon
Green If anything don't loan or soon-to-be out of contract players have more to prove and play for?


What do you have to prove and play for, Green?

Very little tbh leon, I've been there and done it.

Happy to see out my days in a cushy gig.

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by stealthpapes » 17 May 2019 11:17

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Armadillo Roadkill Loan players were once considered a hindrance. I notice that has changed in the second half of this season.


Not really. Kept us up. The problems still remain though. If the summer intake doesn't gel. We'll be deeper into the mire than last year.

There's a team in the making. Lacks experience and a battle hardened mentality. Retaining the likes of O'Shea is the key.


It's a bold strategy. Let's see if it pays off.

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by leon » 17 May 2019 16:22

Green
leon
Green If anything don't loan or soon-to-be out of contract players have more to prove and play for?


What do you have to prove and play for, Green?

Very little tbh leon, I've been there and done it.

Happy to see out my days in a cushy gig.


So, the Royston Drenthe of AE

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Re: Promotion team 'must haves'

by Lower West » 17 May 2019 22:19

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Armadillo Roadkill Loan players were once considered a hindrance. I notice that has changed in the second half of this season.


Not really. Kept us up. The problems still remain though. If the summer intake doesn't gel. We'll be deeper into the mire than last year.

There's a team in the making. Lacks experience and a battle hardened mentality. Retaining the likes of O'Shea is the key.

He barely played and has gone.


Not just the team that matters. It's the entire backroom of the club as well. From the owner, the CEO downwards. Wenger and Ferguson both had the support of an infrastructure during their years of success. Focus has to be off the pitch as well as on.

Easy to rubbish O'Shea and his failures in later years. Worth remembering the guy has won 5 premier titles, 1 FA Cup, 2 League Cups and the Champions League. Also played for his country 118 times. You cannot buy that experience. Let alone have the character to be a model professional for the academy players. Who better to be a role model for up and coming defenders. Or to guide Moore if he is to become Captain next season. What a great mentor to have. Take some weight off Gomes. Who'll have his hands full.

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