It’s often said in football that decent cover for every position is imperative if you are to be successful, particularly when challenging on both domestic and European fronts.
We’ve spoken before about the potential depth in our squad and how we could comfortably name two strong starting 11s. In fact, having a look at the squad currently, we could actually add another 11 to that.
Yes that’s correct, playing in our usual 4-2-3-1 formation, we’ve got at least 3 players for every position.
GK (3) – McGregor, McLaughlin, McCrorie
CB (6) – Goldson, Helander, Davies, Katic, Simpson, Souttar.
RB (3) – Tavernier, Zukowski, Devine
LB (3) – Barisic, Yilmaz, King
CM (6) – Lundstram, Jack, Davis, Kamara, Sands, Arfield
AM (9) – Tillman, Kent, Sakala, Wright, Matondo, Lawrence, Lowry, Hagi, McCann
FW (3) – Morelos, Roofe, Colak
We know that it’s more than likely than a few of these will be officially shown the exit door in the not too distant future, Katic and Simpson immediately come to mind. The fact remains though, that you could conduct 3 lucky dip team selections from the above and end up with 3 teams strong enough to win most domestic games with relative ease.
This is without really using the fantastic youth team that we have – exceptions being McCann and Devine (if we take McCrorie, Lowry and King as being first team fringe players now).
What’s more, there is still fluidity in these positions. For example we have Hagi as AM and Arfield as CM, but we know they can play multiple positions. Likewise Sands, Lundstram, Sakala, Roofe, the list goes on.
All well and good, “what’s the point of this?” We hear you ask.
Well, firstly, it means that if we were to offload a few players, sure Katic and Simpson will be allowed to leave, but the likes of Kamara for example, we can be confident that we have the squad depth to cope with this. The same applies to injuries. Whilst there are numerous players mentioned that are indeed still on the sidelines, our squad shouldn’t be affected too badly by these and essentially, we can pick up 2 injuries in the same position and still be okay.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly – Gio has options. Lots of them. If someone isn’t performing on the pitch, someone isn’t training hard enough, or someone needs a rest, we have an abundance of players to come in and replace them. That means that everyone should be kept motivated, hungry and well on their toes. There is no excuses for two or three bad performances in a row anymore and no reason why badly performing players can’t be instantly replaced…regardless of their playing position.
Of course, we also know some of these are untouchable regardless of form (Goldson springs to mind) so this is accounted for, but even despite the slightly slow start, there really is depth here.
And that’s what we want, no?