Yours for £1m. Need to make room for Dean Saunders
- May 24, 2007
Are we going to keep going round in circles on this?No that's you incorrectly interpreting what I'm saying into your understanding of squad depth. You seem to believe there is a planned starting 11 and the other players are depth. I don't. Not for a club that averages 60+ games a season. If you are looking at an area like CM with three starting roles your 4th or 5th option (especially in an injury hit area of the squad) is as important as your 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
This is not the 70s or 80s were you have 11 players, 2 or 3 that play when injuries hit and a super sub. I don't agree that a player bought in to a position has to be only a squad option. I didn't see Salah coming in to join Coutinho, Mane and Firmino as a move to either bring in a squad option or demote one of those three to be a squad option. I wouldn't see the same now.
So far we have been incredibly lucky with Salah and Mane missing very few games due to injury. Its not the players as they have had injuries in the past and it's not our fitness team as they can't do anything about impact injuries and haven't been able to stop other players getting injured. It's pure luck.
Even when they have had injuries we have been lucky with the timing due to the amount of our games that fit into their time injured. Mane with his latest injury missing the least number of games possible due to FA cup, a period of one game a week and the break. Salah going off in the Champions League final was fully recovered by the time we started playing again. Either of those injuries could have seen them miss 5-10 league games if they happened at different times.
Salah and Mane could pick up big injuries at any time missing 10+ league games. They will both miss lots of games next season guaranteed because of AFCON. At the same time. They both also play far too much as it is, can't really be afforded to be rested in most CL and Premier League games as we can't risk not playing them. Salah just spent two months playing through pain and bad form with an ankle injury and hardly getting any rest.
Something has to give, if it's not a player to ease the burden on them two coming in soon then it'll probably be them. Either one or both of their bodies starts breaking down into lots of niggly injuries, or one or both of them decide they've done what they can here and it's time to move somewhere else where it is less hard.
You can make an excellent paper case that we need another forward. You can get your pen and paper out and work out how many games you can give each of them and how theoretically they should all be happy.
But we are actually taking about human beings, with their own desires and motivations and egos and anxieties.
Sadio Mane and Mo Salah are brilliant, brilliant footballers with aspirations to be the very best in the world. They want to play as much football as possible. Do you want to tell them they aren’t starting a Champions League game or a big weekend league fixture because it’s Sancho’s turn to start?
If we need further depth up front (I don’t think we do) what we need is a lad who will be happy to sit behind them in the pecking order, get his 20 odd starts and not kick off if he’s not starting the big games.
We won’t be breaking our transfer record to sign this lad.