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Simon
July 29th, 2013, 7:07 AM
If things go well...

Being realistic...

Worst case scenario...

It's a big season for...

Keep an eye out for this young lad...

Between now and September 2nd, we need...

Simon
July 29th, 2013, 8:23 AM
If things go well...then we could be the lucky survivors of a perfect storm that allows us to put in a genuine title challenge. With United shorn of Fergie, City and Chelsea under new leadership and Arsenal continuing to regress, we really could do it. We have the first eleven to threaten the top clubs and hopefully now have the strength in depth to do it consistently. We'd need a lot of things to go our way with regards to the other teams, but I think in all honesty this is the best chance we're going to get. This time next year Bale will IMO definitely be gone and the teams around us will be out of their transition periods. I feel like we're well set to fight for Champions League spots on a regular basis over the next few years even if Bale goes, but this year is our best and probably only chance of actually winning the league. Still an outside bet though.

Being realistic...a fight for third or fourth, same as last season. I personally think we have the third best squad in the league behind Chelsea and City, we just have to hope that Moyes isn't able to emulate Ferguson's ability to overachieve with weak squads, because I think the team he's been left with is sub-standard. There isn't much to choose between us, United and Arsenal for those two spots IMO, and the gap both above and below that level is closer than last season, with City and Chelsea not massively superior and Liverpool not massively inferior. I would like to think we will now have enough to finish fourth, but then again I thought that last year.

Worst case scenario...we lose Bale, don't spend the fee right and end up at the back of the queue, fighting with Liverpool and a couple of overachieving second-tier sides for Europa League spots. Can't see us finishing any lower than sixth, but even that would be a disaster. As I say, the conditions aren't ever going to be as positive as this for us again, so we need to make the most of it, whether that is mounting a title challenge or ensuring Champions League football.

It's a big season for...a number of players. Kyle Walker needs to improve on last season as he was poor, Sandro and Kaboul need to come back from their injuries and continue to develop into the top class players they can be. Whichever striker we get in (or Adebayor if we don't) needs to provide the cutting edge we missed last year. Tom Carroll, Andros Townsend and Danny Rose must show they are worthy of a place in the squad and capable of coming in and playing well when needed.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...sadly I'm not sure there is anyone now. In previous years I've mentioned Carroll, Townsend and Caulker, and they've all developed as hoped and become part of the squad, but that well seems to have run a little dry, with no youngsters obviously on the verge of stepping up. Alex Pritchard is very highly rated, but is only on loan at Swindon, so clearly nowhere near the standard we need yet. Our two young goalkeepers Jordan Archer and Jonathan Miles are probably the closest to making that step up, but with Lloris and Friedel ahead of them I can't see either getting on the pitch for us unless we get a nice draw in the League Cup. Even then probably not as AVB wants to win every trophy going. Oh also, he's nowhere near the first team (first year academy player) but there's a young striker called Kyle Walker coming through, which would make it fun for commentators.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...to keep Bale and sign a striker. We seem like we're very close to confirming Soldado, but equally we look like we're losing our grip on Bale. Hopefully in the next couple of days we will know what's happening either way on both cases and we can move on. Beyond those, we aren't in desperate need of reinforcements - the squad is deep, the quality in the first eleven is high...we're in a position now where the quality of the starting eleven is high enough that we will struggle to sign players who can improve the side without getting into the CL.

Bad Collin
July 29th, 2013, 8:40 AM
If things go well...

If we keep Suarez and avoid injuries we could fluke a CL spot.

Being realistic...

Beating Everton for the first time in years and moving closer to the top four is a realistic target. There are too many unknowns around the club at the moment though, we could end up in a mid-table dogfight.

Worst case scenario...

Mid-table. That would be the end of Rodgers and another transition period.

It's a big season for...

Mingolet. It is a lot of pressure to take over from Peps and he has a lot to live up to.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...

Coutinho is only 21 and I think he will be one of the stars of the league this season. He has bags of skill and the best eye for a pass I have seen since Alonso.

Ibe has looked good in pre season but I don't expect him to get more that 5-10 games

Sterling will probably play more than last season, he could break through

Wisdom looks better and better every time I see him

Between now and September 2nd, we need...

I still think we need a centre back and another attacking player who can score a few goals. Obs a striker too is Suarez goes.

Peter Griffin
July 29th, 2013, 8:43 AM
If things go well...
Playoffs

Being realistic...
top half

Worst case scenario...

Well relegation, but realistically finishing anywhere below a mid table position (8-16th) would be pretty bad.

It's a big season for...
Will Hughes, Jonny Russell and Chris Martin

Keep an eye out for this young lad...
Will Hughes, if Man City dont buy him and ruin his career.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...

Probably a rb,cb and lb..got plenty in midfield and wing positions, got Sammon,Russell and Martin as Strikers and possibly Callum Ball if he doesn't get loaned out again, if he does maybe another striker to complement the other 3 on a short term basis.

JP
July 29th, 2013, 8:50 AM
If things go well... - Promotion

Being realistic... - Mid table stability with an outside chance at a run of the play-offs

Worst case scenario... - Relegation

Just to say, almost seems ridiculous to have those three answers, but it's the Championship.

It's a big season for... - Lee Clark. Took a while to win most of us round, myself included, but he finally managed to get the team playing the kind of football he seems to want in the last 3rd of the season. If we started like we finished then we're in good shape. Another start like last year and it won't be long before the vultures are cricling.

Keep an eye out for this young lad... - Every single player minus Paul Robinson given most our squad is now 22 or under. I'm not even joking. In seriousness though, Hancox impressed last year as did Ferguson who we've got on loan for the entire season now.

Between now and September 2nd, we need... Belief and team spirit. You never know...

The Rosk
July 29th, 2013, 9:03 AM
If things go well...

Top 8. The signs were there last season of a very strong nucleus to a young side, particularly with the fight and class they showed in the final quarter of the season. Hopefully all of the young players (Westwood, Lowton, Weimann, Benteke, Sylla, Baker etc) who all put in massive shifts last year will continue to improve, all on new longer-term contracts and become a really strong team.

Being realistic...

Midtable. I think we are a better team now than where we were at this point last year and we have brought in some good young players with European experience (Okore, Helenius, Bacuna, Tonev, Luna). We are clearing the dead wood whether they want to go or not (Ireland, Bannan, Bent (harsh to call dead wood but he simply won't play under Lambert)), and there are lots of young players still coming through the ranks that are knocking on the door.

Worst case scenario...

Fight off relegation again only with a less interested Benteke. Don't think this will happen but our defence at times last season was absolutely shocking and you may as well be given a penalty whenever you got a corner against us.

It's a big season for...

Benteke aside, I'd say Andi Weimann. The kid is hugely popular at Villa getting apparently 90% of the shirt sales pre-season. He was played as a right winger pretty much last season despite starting his career as a centre forward, but his work ethic and overall game is fucking incredible at times... so I'm hoping he's going to be a massive player for us this year.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...

Said this last year but he got a cruciate ligament injury, but Gary Gardner. He's got everything, we just need to see it now.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...[/QUOTE]

I wouldn't mind some experience anywhere really, even if it's someone like a Phil Neville-esque player who has been there and done that and got the t-shirt. Our oldest player in the eleven is Gabby at 27 and he still plays like a teenager. It is slightly worrying at times when Concrete Ron is the captain barking orders and he is prone to mental blanks.

Gary J
July 29th, 2013, 9:14 AM
If things go well... We stay up. Have a good run in the cups.

Being realistic... I think Steve Bruce is building a yo-yo championship squad with a longer term strategy of stability where we end up like West Brom in a few seasons.

Worst case scenario... No worst case scenario really we aren't expected to stay up and like I say I think we are planning for the long term future and the money you get this season will help with that.

It's a big season for... Steve Bruce he is eager to prove himself again because he feels harshly treated by the press after the job he did at Sunderland. I kind of see his point while he didn't do great at Sunderland he did better there then Mark Hughes did at QPR but Mark Hughes wasn't written off as quickly.

Keep an eye out for this young lad... James Chester - He will do the job for us that Michael Turner did when we first came up. I'm just hoping he stays off the radar of a few clubs.

Between now and September 2nd, we need... A lot more then we are realistically going to be able to sign,

RFF Champ
July 29th, 2013, 9:56 AM
I was watching Premier League years for last season yesterday and it showed Weimann's goal against Liverpool which was my favourite goal of last season. It proves that he's the perfect foil for Benteke because he buzzes about everywhere and is a class finisher.

Simon
July 29th, 2013, 10:12 AM
If things go well...
If we keep Suarez and avoid injuries we could fluke a CL spot.

Would it be that much of a fluke? I don't think it's out of the question that you could finish above two from us, Arsenal and United. Then again I honestly think United could be finished as a top two side now and that will almost certainly turn out to be bollocks.


Being realistic...
Beating Everton for the first time in years and moving closer to the top four is a realistic target. There are too many unknowns around the club at the moment though, we could end up in a mid-table dogfight.


Worst case scenario...

Mid-table. That would be the end of Rodgers and another transition period.


Crikey you have less expectation of Liverpool than I do, I think you'll do well this year. How long has it been since you beat Everton...can't be that long, didn't you win when Rodwell was unfairly sent off?

Simon
July 29th, 2013, 10:17 AM
If things go well...

Top 8. The signs were there last season of a very strong nucleus to a young side, particularly with the fight and class they showed in the final quarter of the season. Hopefully all of the young players (Westwood, Lowton, Weimann, Benteke, Sylla, Baker etc) who all put in massive shifts last year will continue to improve, all on new longer-term contracts and become a really strong team.

Being realistic...

Midtable. I think we are a better team now than where we were at this point last year and we have brought in some good young players with European experience (Okore, Helenius, Bacuna, Tonev, Luna). We are clearing the dead wood whether they want to go or not (Ireland, Bannan, Bent (harsh to call dead wood but he simply won't play under Lambert)), and there are lots of young players still coming through the ranks that are knocking on the door.

Worst case scenario...

Fight off relegation again only with a less interested Benteke. Don't think this will happen but our defence at times last season was absolutely shocking and you may as well be given a penalty whenever you got a corner against us.

It's a big season for...

Benteke aside, I'd say Andi Weimann. The kid is hugely popular at Villa getting apparently 90% of the shirt sales pre-season. He was played as a right winger pretty much last season despite starting his career as a centre forward, but his work ethic and overall game is fucking incredible at times... so I'm hoping he's going to be a massive player for us this year.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...

Said this last year but he got a cruciate ligament injury, but Gary Gardner. He's got everything, we just need to see it now.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...

I wouldn't mind some experience anywhere really, even if it's someone like a Phil Neville-esque player who has been there and done that and got the t-shirt. Our oldest player in the eleven is Gabby at 27 and he still plays like a teenager. It is slightly worrying at times when Concrete Ron is the captain barking orders and he is prone to mental blanks.

No way are you going to be in the relegation battle again IMO. I said the same thing last year, that Lambert was taking a risk blooding so many youngsters at once, but that if it paid off and you stayed up, you'd be much better set this year with a young, hungry but more experienced group of players. If I was a Villa fan I'd still like to have signed a couple of more experienced players instead of more young lads, but I think last year's experience should set you up well for a good season, easily mid-table and looking towards an even better future. The likes of Baker, Lowton, Clark, Westwood, Delph and Weimann will only continue to improve. My one worry is that with an over-reliance on Benteke, you're dependent on him not succumbing to second season syndrome or missing games, especially with Bent seemingly on the verge of a move to Fulham (ITK source: Richard Osman).

RFF Champ
July 29th, 2013, 10:40 AM
Villa had three players in double figures last season but hardly any goals from elsewhere, so it's an over-reliance on the front three rather than just Benteke. Helenius and Bacuna have been brought in to do that and Zog should really score more than he does. Clubs like West Ham, Fulham & Swansea who occupied the positions that Villa will hope for this season had a much larger spread of goals with midfielders or defenders bagging 5 odd goals a piece. Villa's top league scorer behind the front three was Darren Bent with 3, more than Delph, Westwood, Holman, Bannan, El Ahmadi, Ireland, Sylla and Zog put together i.e the sum of their midfield options.

Mik
July 29th, 2013, 10:46 AM
Always fun to look at last year's for posterity's sake:






As for this year, probably the most boring one of these I've ever filled out:

If things go well...

Top 10.



Being realistic...

Around mid-table.


Worst case scenario...

Being involved in a relegation dogfight.



It's a big season for...

Stephane Sessegnon. If we dont improve our squad this season will be all about putting himself in the shop window to move to a bigger club. He has the ability to be at a Champions League club quite easily.


Keep an eye out for this young lad...

Nobody you wouldnt already know. James McClean should kick on and establish himself as one of the best wingers in the country, but he's hardly unknown at the moment.



Between now and September 1st, we need...

A creative midfielder, a left back and more than anything else we really really need a goalscorer.

As so often happens as a Sunderland fan, the worst case scenario happened...and it was almost worse than that. Sessegnon was good and thankfully looks like he's going to stay, but could've been so much better and James McClean had one of the worst second seasons I've ever seen and in effect looks absolutely dog shit now, I rather hope that we sell him so that we dont feel tempted to play him.

On to this years, a lot looks similar:

If things go well...

Top half, I'd say 8-10th would be a best case scenario.

Being realistic...

Mid-table, anywhere to about 13th would be a minor improvement and considering Di Canio has built an entire squad, it'll take a little while for that to gel together. As long as we are ahead of Newcastle this year, I'll see it as progress.

Worst case scenario...

Below Newcastle in yet another relegation dog fight.

It's a big season for...

Paulo Di Canio. He talks a lot and has been given investment. He has largely talked his way into a big job and has been given the support that he has asked for by and large. It either works and he looks like a genius and backs up all of his chat, or it fails and he will likely never get a bigger job.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...

Christ, how could I know. For the first time in my life I'd honestly say that I dont know anything about at least half of the squad. I think Altidore (still surprisingly young) will score goals this season, so keep an eye out for him.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...

I still worry about the back line. Wes Brown has looked good in pre season so far, so thats like an extra player. But we've still got O'Shea who is dodgy and Cuellar from whom you can almost guarantee a major error in each game. We have no recognised goalkeeper and are looking at the moment like we will be starting the season with two midfielders in the wing back positions. I know Di Canio is looking for another midfielder and it looks like Cattermole and McClean might go (of which I have no problem), but I think that we are relatively strong there. Sessegnon will probably play more attacking this season and we've got a proven goalscorer when Fletcher comes back, I genuninely think that Altidore will score goals having seen his movement, workrate and the positions he gets himself in within pre-season games. Realistically is Fletcher can pick up 15-20 and Altidore and Sessegnon can chip in with around 10 goals each, we look like we should get goals from midfield with Johnson, Gardner, Larsson, Giaccherini, Cabral and Karlsson. Whickham is still a young enough prospect to keep around as an option here and there. I dont think that another striker is essential at the moment. However, defence does need work as far as I'm concerned.

Gary J
July 29th, 2013, 10:53 AM
Simon how on earth can you say Spurs have a better squad then Man Utd?

For a start you only have two forwards compared to Utd even if Rooney left they would still have RVP , Hernandez and Welbeck which is better then Adebayor , and Defoe.

Also Man Utd have far better options in central defence as they Rio , Vidic , Evans , Jones and Smalling compared to Vertonghen , Dawson , Kaboul and Caulker.

Spurs do have more depth in the Goalkeeping position though i'll give you that.

Simon
July 29th, 2013, 11:09 AM
Simon how on earth can you say Spurs have a better squad then Man Utd?

For a start you only have two forwards compared to Utd even if Rooney left they would still have RVP , Hernandez and Welbeck which is better then Adebayor , and Defoe.

Also Man Utd have far better options in central defence as they Rio , Vidic , Evans , Jones and Smalling compared to Vertonghen , Dawson , Kaboul and Caulker.

Spurs do have more depth in the Goalkeeping position though i'll give you that.
They have a better attack of course, but their midfield is woefully short of what's needed. In my opinion we now have three central midfielders better than anyone they have. I'm not that convinced by their central defence - Ferdinand and Vidic are still good but not as great as they were, Evans is improving, not convinced about Smalling or Jones just yet. The spine of their side looks weak to me. I'm not 100% certain I'm right or anything but I really have a feeling that that was a sub-standard team being held together by the management of Ferguson and the aura of winning he held over the club, both of which have gone with him. To be fair to Moyes, he overachieved to a similar extent at Everton so maybe he can work similar wonders, but on paper I don't think United's squad has been that great for a number of years. I'm fully aware that I have been bitten by similar statements in the past. Taking it down to the basics, I would say our defences are roughly equal, their attack is miles better, and our midfield is miles better. My opinion is partly informed by us completely dominating them in midfield in both games last year.

Having said all this, it should be taken into account that I imagine their midfield and our attack should both be strengthened significantly by the time the season starts. But I honestly think they will finish third at best this year, unless Moyes is as much of an alchemist as Ferguson was. That squad shouldn't be good enough to challenge for the title IMO.

EDIT: on the striker issue, it's worth taking into account that United play with two attackers and have four options, whereas we are playing with either one or three attackers depending on how you look at it - if you consider it to be three, then we now have five options, six if you assume we're getting a new striker - Adebayor, Defoe, Bale, Lennon, Chadli, new striker. I imagine the signing of a new striker will mean either Defoe or Adebayor leave, but any more than two senior strikers in a one striker formation is a waste.

Bad Collin
July 29th, 2013, 11:11 AM
Would it be that much of a fluke? I don't think it's out of the question that you could finish above two from us, Arsenal and United. Then again I honestly think United could be finished as a top two side now and that will almost certainly turn out to be bollocks.

Yeah, I think it is unlikely that they will drop out of the title race just because Fergie has left. I think the only difference will be that they will lack the tactical edge in key games more often.

Arsenal are weird, they could easily challenge then drop away or start shit then finish strong, either way they always finish at least fourth.

Sadly I think that the CL places are going to be a closed shop for a while, Arsenal v Spurs will be the key battle again.



Crikey you have less expectation of Liverpool than I do, I think you'll do well this year. How long has it been since you beat Everton...can't be that long, didn't you win when Rodwell was unfairly sent off?

I meant in the league, they have finished above us for the last two years.

It is a long way back to the top from where we are. If we can get 70 points next year then I think we will have done very well.

TraXX
July 29th, 2013, 11:16 AM
If things go well...
Top 8-10. This is possibly the strongest Norwich squad for 20 years and I've never been so excited for the start of the season.

Being realistic...
Mid-table consolidation again.

Worst case scenario...
Flirting with relegation. However, I believe we should have sufficient strength to avoid the drop. Barring a series of long term injuries.

It's a big season for...
All of them. It's a World Cup year and the majority of our squad are hoping to catch their international managers eye. RVW, Fer, Ruddy and Hooper amongst others will be the guys with the most to prove.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...
Several of our under 18 FA Cup winning team have the potential to go far and I expect Hughton to blood a couple of them in the cups. Carlton Morris and the Murphy twins are on the cusp.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...
I'd like another quality center back to partner Bassong. I have heard on the grapevine that Alderwiereld is still possible, and I would spaff my load if it happened. Other than that, Hughton has done the club proud with his aquisitions so far.

Ringo
July 29th, 2013, 11:18 AM
If things go well... Top One.

Being realistic... Second.

Worst case scenario... Miss out on CL. Mourinho spectacularly falls out with everyone and leaves in December. Avram Grant appointed interim boss.

It's a big season for... I'll go for Michael Essien. It's a big season for the other 3 returning loanees and the 2 new signings but unlike them Essien is 30 now. Last time he was here he looked finished but he's obviously done alright at Real. I'd love to see him even start to resemble his old self.

Keep an eye out for this young lad... We have lots of players under the age of 22 but the only one who people won't already be familiar with is Tomas Kalas (20) who will be our 4th centre back. Hoping Chalobah has a successful season at a Premier League club - he may already be good enough to feature in the squad. Some people fancy Jeremie Boga (16) to make an appearance or two in the League Cup. He's class but that might be a little optimistic. 17 year old Bertrand Traore, not technically even a Chelsea player yet, has really been impressing in preseason but can't get a work permit so will probably go on loan.

Between now and September 2nd, we need... Well we could probably do with a striker but it's not unheard of for teams to have a lot of success without a world class option up front.

RFF Champ
July 29th, 2013, 11:21 AM
What about Loftus-Cheek, Ringo? Is there any buzz about him?

Ringo
July 29th, 2013, 11:27 AM
Yep, lots. He's ready to play amongst men. He'll probably be going out on loan and there's supposedly lots of potential suitors.

Andy
July 29th, 2013, 11:40 AM
As it stands...

If things go well... Top 4

Being realistic... Top 6

Worst case scenario... Lose the CL qualifier, midtable obscurity

It's a big season for... Wilshere, Szcz, Wenger

Keep an eye out for this young lad... Jenks should get more games, Sanogo is meant to be promising, Zelalem has had a great pre-season.

Between now and September 2nd, we need... Keeper, centre back, left back, midfielder, two strikers.

Bad Collin
July 29th, 2013, 11:47 AM
That looks pretty grim Andy. All you need to do is pony up an extra 15 million and you can have one of the best strikers in the world.

MMH
July 29th, 2013, 11:58 AM
Would it be that much of a fluke? I don't think it's out of the question that you could finish above two from us, Arsenal and United.


They need to get above us first.

Simon
July 29th, 2013, 11:59 AM
Arsenal will still finish above us. If they managed it last season they can do it again. Looking back last season was a massive missed opportunity, not the way we lost that lead over Arsenal but just in general, we should have been miles clear of them. I honestly believe that's because we were missing a striker and we're now on the verge of rectifying that, but I'm sure we will find another way of underperforming.

MMH
July 29th, 2013, 12:26 PM
If things go well...

We showed last season we can challenge for a top four berth. I dont see any reason why we cant do it again. We are a better side than people realise so with a more positive outlook who knows.

Being realistic...

Status quo really but again with a bit more verve to us.

Worst case scenario...

Martinez brings has shocking defensive ideas to Goodison and our attacking players get confused with the new style we will probably play and we fall to mid table.

It's a big season for...

Nikica Jelavic I suppose. After a great start for us he was absolute garbage last season. Seemed to go into hiding and couldnt buy a goal. How Martinez sets his team up should, on paper, benefit Jelavic immensely but it depends if he wants it off.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...

Gerard Deulofeu. He looks boss.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85g-GLdFkN4

John Lundstram may get a game or two this season too which would be nice.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...

Im not even sure anymore. Probably a box to box centre mid to cover for Darron Gibson who we cant really count on to stay fit all season. Another striking option would be nice but I think Martinez fancies Vellios to do something, hes very similar to Di Santo in style.

son_of_foley
July 29th, 2013, 12:29 PM
I need to be careful here because if my Jelavic shout does turn out to be correct I might get a scouting job or something

RFF Champ
July 29th, 2013, 12:45 PM
Arsenal will still finish above us. If they managed it last season they can do it again. Looking back last season was a massive missed opportunity, not the way we lost that lead over Arsenal but just in general, we should have been miles clear of them. I honestly believe that's because we were missing a striker and we're now on the verge of rectifying that, but I'm sure we will find another way of underperforming.

Doing the transfer business earlier this season should make a difference because the opening games last season were big points lost for Spurs.

Andy
July 29th, 2013, 2:00 PM
Arsenal will still finish above us. If they managed it last season they can do it again. Looking back last season was a massive missed opportunity, not the way we lost that lead over Arsenal but just in general, we should have been miles clear of them. I honestly believe that's because we were missing a striker and we're now on the verge of rectifying that, but I'm sure we will find another way of underperforming.

Keep Bale and you'll finish comfortably in the top 3 I reckon. Lose Bale and you'll be fighting for top 4 again.

The only thing I think Spurs miss in the first XI is creativity in the middle of the park and maybe better full backs.

Hlebsfall
July 29th, 2013, 2:22 PM
If things go well...

They sign someone


Being realistic...

They don't.

Worst case scenario...

Arsenal manage to scrape 4th yet again, and there is another summer full of letdowns next year, with Wenger having the belief that his increasingly mediocre team is going to be able to get him out a hole.

It's a big season for...

All of them

Keep an eye out for this young lad...

No one is going to break through this season. More than likely Arsenal will go through their usual injury crisis, and throw some mediocre 18 year olds into the first team, who this time next year will be playing in league one.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...

A Goalkeeper
A centre back
centre midfields
some strikers
cover on the wing if Nightshade gets flogged off.

I'd expect one player at most.

The Rosk
July 29th, 2013, 2:24 PM
Nightshade ahsjsnsnssa

Fourth worst case? Really that confident? I am shocked.

Hlebsfall
July 29th, 2013, 3:01 PM
I'm saying that in respect of the fact that they never seem to buy anyone when they scrape 4th every season. What I was getting at is that it might be better if they do drop out, and they actually make a concerted effort to get some players in, rather than make these token bids they have been doing this summer.

turdpower
August 1st, 2013, 1:25 PM
If things go well...
We'll manage to win two trophies, one being the league.

Being realistic...
We'll come in the top 3 at least, hopefully. Top 2 would be nice. I don't expect us to win the league this season.

Worst case scenario...
End up out of the top 4, out of all the cups.

It's a big season for...
David Moyes? Rooney if we keep him, Kagawa if we don't.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...
I suppose Buttner could make a stake in the first team. In terms of unplayed players Lingard.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...
A midfielder. The midfielder we have needed for about 3 years. Fabregas and/or Fellaini, Modric would be nice.

Simon
August 1st, 2013, 2:05 PM
Doing the transfer business earlier this season should make a difference because the opening games last season were big points lost for Spurs.

Yeah definitely, Palace away on the opening day is exactly the type of gump game we lose before we've completed all our deals.

da_man
August 1st, 2013, 2:18 PM
If things go well...
Play-offs.

Being realistic...
This division is really really shit. We're shit but should really be in touching distance.

Worst case scenario...
Getting sucked towards a relegation battle as with last season.

It's a big season for...
Ruben Rochina. He is our best player technically by an absolute light year. We need to build the team around him.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...
Todd Kane. Right back on loan from Chelsea. Excellent going forward. Maybe a little short of being a Chelsea player but definitely a future Premier League player.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...
A couple of midfielders. Our options there are shocking at present.

Mik
August 1st, 2013, 2:20 PM
Well fucking look who it is.

Torn
August 1st, 2013, 3:08 PM
If things go well...
Champions

Being realistic...
It'll once again be close at the top, so a fight for automatic promotion.

Worst case scenario...
We get relegated and the owner gets hit by a bus.

It's a big season for...
Adam Forshaw, with the experience of a full league season behind him, getting his conditioning up to scratch and being played consistently in the middle of the park he is ready to be THE key player in our team. He's a class act for this division and extremely comfortable on the ball, hopefully can add a few goals to his game too.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...
Adam Forshaw and Harlee Dean are our two key young players who have massive futures. Both signed three year deals in the summer, which were the two most important signings of the summer really. Also George Saville on loan from Chelsea has been impressing in preseason.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...
Injuries permitting, there's not much more we have a need for. Some defensive cover is always good, we had a big need for a backup CB but we've got Nugent from Cardiff in the last day so that hole has been filled. The club has gone about it's business professionally and quickly and got in some top talent in this off season and on paper one of the strongest squads we've had in my lifetime.

Simon
August 5th, 2013, 5:41 AM
If things go well...
Play-offs.

Being realistic...
This division is really really shit. We're shit but should really be in touching distance.

Worst case scenario...
Getting sucked towards a relegation battle as with last season.

It's a big season for...
Ruben Rochina. He is our best player technically by an absolute light year. We need to build the team around him.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...
Todd Kane. Right back on loan from Chelsea. Excellent going forward. Maybe a little short of being a Chelsea player but definitely a future Premier League player.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...
A couple of midfielders. Our options there are shocking at present.

90 minutes into the season, Rochina's dislocated his shoulder and Todd Kane had a stinker :lol: poor old Paul :D

Bad Collin
August 5th, 2013, 5:46 AM
If things go well...

If we keep Suarez and avoid injuries we could fluke a CL spot.

Being realistic...

Beating Everton for the first time in years and moving closer to the top four is a realistic target. There are too many unknowns around the club at the moment though, we could end up in a mid-table dogfight.

Worst case scenario...

Mid-table. That would be the end of Rodgers and another transition period.

It's a big season for...

Mingolet. It is a lot of pressure to take over from Peps and he has a lot to live up to.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...

Coutinho is only 21 and I think he will be one of the stars of the league this season. He has bags of skill and the best eye for a pass I have seen since Alonso.

Ibe has looked good in pre season but I don't expect him to get more that 5-10 games

Sterling will probably play more than last season, he could break through

Wisdom looks better and better every time I see him

Between now and September 2nd, we need...

I still think we need a centre back and another attacking player who can score a few goals. Obs a striker too is Suarez goes.

Our pre-season has made me even more sure of these expectations; lots of nice passing but limited attacking penetration. Coutinho is magical but we need someone else there too.

We are yet to concede a goal in five pre-season games though.

Simon
August 5th, 2013, 5:49 AM
It's looking increasingly likely that despite our fantastic transfer business early on, with Paulinho, Chadli and Soldado all signed comfortably before the start of the window, we're going to end up starting the season in our usual disarray with Bale neither in nor out, Sandro and Paulinho with no warm-up games and no centre backs fit. Things were looking so rosy as well :(.

Rip
August 5th, 2013, 6:06 AM
If things go well...

Europe, and a cup run.

Being realistic...

Tenth, two cup losses to lower level sides away from home in round 2 or 3.

Worst case scenario...

Key injuries and a bad start, Pards gone by Christmas, relegation battle all season.

It's a big season for...

Paul Dummett, he's played very well pre-season and impressed on loan last year, Pards has already talked about him pushing past Santon.
Cheik Tiote, excellent first season but awful last, needs to go back to doing the basics excellently then the whole side looks better.
Papiss Cisse, after a messy summer he needs to start well and get 20+.

Keep an eye out for this young lad...

Paul Dummett, he's strong and quick, he went on loan last year and has really grown from it.
Vernon Anita, settled in after joining last year, by all accounts he's looked great in pre-season, if Tiote isn't at his best then Anita could be a huge player for us.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...

Two strikers and no-one to leave.

da_man
August 5th, 2013, 4:12 PM
90 minutes into the season, Rochina's dislocated his shoulder and Todd Kane had a stinker :lol: poor old Paul :D

I knows! :D

Still, I'm more confident now than before Sunday's game. We look have decent and will be better once Dunn is fit or the two lads we've signed from Hull start as our midfield two. Just need to ensure that in place of Rochina we play Best or DJ Campbell, Rhodes on his own just doesn't work. I've never seen Kane as bad as he was on Sunday, no worries about him.

TOP 2 THIS YEAR LADS

Simon
August 5th, 2013, 6:35 PM
Best's goal was a beast, great ball in from whoever that was as well. Why isn't lovely Robbo playing? I know he got displaced by Kean (?) but I'd have thought he would have been on the bench. I love Robbo :happysad:

Bennedy
August 5th, 2013, 6:47 PM
I think he is injured.

Simon
August 5th, 2013, 6:51 PM
Well he fucking shouldn't be.

Red Dog
August 7th, 2013, 4:45 PM
[QUOTE=Simon;7160517]If things go well...

Top 2 this year (lads) OR not Top 2 this year (lads) and Davies gets sacked. Sort of win-win.

Being realistic...

Play off defeat when the cunt picks a weakened team and we bottle it....again.

Worst case scenario...

We don't go up and he doesn't get sacked

It's a big season for...

Fawaz........ needs to show us the money! Also someone needs to score some goals

Keep an eye out for this young lad...
This Jamie Patterson from Walsall looks good. Also Daniel Abdoun from Olympiakos. Tricky winger apparently.

Between now and September 2nd, we need...

Kelvin Wilson (Danny Collins is crap) and a decent centre forward who can bang in some goals. And offload some dead wood like Miller and Derbyshire.

Peter Griffin
August 7th, 2013, 4:50 PM
Whats happening with that Jamaal Lascelles fella? I figured this may be a big year fro him, But then again what do I know :shifty:

Peter Griffin
August 7th, 2013, 4:52 PM
Best's goal was a beast, great ball in from whoever that was as well. Why isn't lovely Robbo playing? I know he got displaced by Kean (?) but I'd have thought he would have been on the bench. I love Robbo :happysad:

The best part is we let Kean go as a youngster :happysad:

Good game Sunday, Draw was fair enough, Keeping Rhodes quiet was vital.

Red Dog
August 7th, 2013, 4:53 PM
Whats happening with that Jamaal Lascelles fella? I figured this may be a big year fro him, But then again what do I know :shifty:

Dunno, Davies doesn't like young players (that he hasn't bought himself) generally so he will probably end up at Notts County in the end.

Red Dog
August 7th, 2013, 6:45 PM
Between now and September 2nd, we need...

Kelvin Wilson .
BOOM

Signing him now! Didn't expect it that quick.

da_man
August 8th, 2013, 5:02 PM
Best's goal was a beast, great ball in from whoever that was as well. Why isn't lovely Robbo playing? I know he got displaced by Kean (?) but I'd have thought he would have been on the bench. I love Robbo :happysad:

Robbo is injured but I think he'll be moved on (if possible) when he is back. Kean is a great younger keeper and we can't afford the senior player wages any more.

The cross was from Chris Taylor. An underwhelming signing but Gary Neville would love him. No fannying around, no stepovers, just gets it in the box. Could be a good asset this season.

Red Dog
August 12th, 2013, 5:21 AM
Kean is a great younger keeper
.

Looks it! Injury time, AV IT!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRLTF0SKCpo

Lagom
August 12th, 2013, 5:44 AM
If things go well... Top 5. I'd love to say Top 4, but I honestly think it's beyond us, even with a good (comparitive) season.

Being realistic... 6-8th. While we've brought in some good players, I think we are still in a period of transition, and so we'll perform much the same as the past couple of seasons.

Worst case scenario... Bottom half. I sounds arrogant, I'm sure, but with what we have at our disposal, anything below 10th would be a disaster. Rodgers would be off, as well as anyone overperforming, and we'd be back to square one.

It's a big season for... Take your pick, really. Henderson, Allen, Sturridge, Suarez, Kelly, Mignolet, all for different reasons. If I had to pick one, I'd go for Sturridge. He's got all the potential to be a top class striker, and this is a World Cup season, so he needs to be at his absolute best, and avoid injury to stand him in good stead to go as England's number 9.

Keep an eye out for this young lad... Ibe has looked impressive in pre-season, more like Zaha than he is Sterling, I think he'll get more game time due to the latter's indiscretions. Also, Coutinho. Everyone know about him now, he's just magical. The best eye for a pass that I've seen in a Liverpool shirt since Alonso, and he's not one to be pushed around by defenders. Great chemistry already with Sturridge, it could be a big year for both of them.

Between now and September 2nd, we need... With rumours of Skrtel to Napoli gaining speed, I'd say an extra centre back. And with our rumoured interest in Mkhitaryan and others, probably a creative attacking midfielder as well. Alderweireld and Eriksen would be a top scenario for me. I'd love a back-up goalkeeper who isn't Jones, but I can't see it happening.

RFF Champ
August 12th, 2013, 6:02 AM
Not really sure where Liverpool go from here. It's fair enough to call it another transition season but as shown with Suarez's attitude this summer, the best players aren't going to stick around without CL football. Also the calibre of player they're aiming for to reach the top 4, like the Shakthar midfielder, are being snapped up by teams with CL football.

There are some good young players that will improve but I can't see how the squad is going to get much better than it currently is without getting into the top 4 because it is actually a pretty good squad. The real marquee players just don't seem to want to go there and you end up spending 10million on players like Joe Allen. I'd like to see Rodgers sign another defender and if they can keep Suarez I would expect them to make a better push for the top 4 this season.

Lagom
August 12th, 2013, 6:17 AM
I couldn't agree more. We're being muscled out in the transfer market by CL teams, for players who could dramatically improve us, and get us CL football. I'm so torn on Suarez, becuase yes, I would love to keep him, and yes, I think he would actually come back in and play to the best of his abilities, but we haven't even kicked off yet, and we already know he's going to miss just under 1/6 of the season, which is mental, and given how Coutinho and Sturridge ended the season, I worry that he'll leave us a little imbalanced, and disrupt any chemistry they might be building. That said, if he leaves, it will be for megabucks, and everyone knows this. It will leave us at probably a bigger disadvantage in the transfer market, as it will drive prices way higher than they should be, e.g Carroll costing us the best part of Torres' transfer fee.

Like I said, if we could sign two players of the quality that Alderweireld and Eriksen have, I'd be more than happy, and I think we'd be capable of having a good season, but it's getting those players in that might prove the difficult part.

Bad Collin
August 12th, 2013, 6:36 AM
We badly need another player like Coutinho and another striker. During pre season we have looked very good at the back, dominated games but not scored that many goals. I think that sixth is still a reasonable target for this year. I don't see us closing up on Spurs without major investment.

Simon
August 12th, 2013, 6:39 AM
Between now and September 2nd, we need...to keep Bale and sign a striker. We seem like we're very close to confirming Soldado, but equally we look like we're losing our grip on Bale. Hopefully in the next couple of days we will know what's happening either way on both cases and we can move on. Beyond those, we aren't in desperate need of reinforcements - the squad is deep, the quality in the first eleven is high...we're in a position now where the quality of the starting eleven is high enough that we will struggle to sign players who can improve the side without getting into the CL.

In the intervening two weeks we've signed Soldado, agreed a deal for Capoue, got Sandro and Kaboul back on the pitch and still haven't sold Bale. FUCK if we do keep him we are going to be filth this year. Come on Gareth you shit.

Lagom
August 12th, 2013, 6:46 AM
We badly need another player like Coutinho and another striker. During pre season we have looked very good at the back, dominated games but not scored that many goals. I think that sixth is still a reasonable target for this year. I don't see us closing up on Spurs without major investment.

I don't know how other clubs have been getting on in their pre-season games, but 17 goals in 7 games, 2 conceded, with 5 clean sheets isn't anything to be sniffed at. I think we already have enough attacking options that somewhere down the line, someone might start to get agitated. Suarez, Borini, Sturridge, Aspas, Sterling, Assaidi, Coutinho, Alberto. That's a lot of players trying to fit into a probable three/pronged attack. The only way I can see anyone forward of the midfield coming in, is if Suarez leaves before the transfer window shuts.

Lagom
August 12th, 2013, 6:51 AM
After realising I hadn't paid attention to anyone else in pre-season, I decided to quickly google the Champions. In the same number of games, they scored one less goal (ten of these came in just two games), and conceded 11 more than we did. We finished with a 6-1-0 record, while they only managed 2-3-2.

Bad Collin
August 12th, 2013, 6:53 AM
Suarez - banned for some of the season, disinterested, will probably get another ban for something if he doesn't go on strike
Borini - shit, we need to get rid
Sturridge - Excellent
Aspas - Looked good in pre season but we are yet to see him in PL action
Sterling - Got burnt out last season, might go to prison
Assaidi - Has played for about five minutes
Coutinho - Also excellent but will be marked out of games if he is the only creative outlet we have
Alberto - Not ready for first team games

Out of that list on Sturridge and Coutinho can be relied upon to perform at the level we need. We wouldn't miss Borini, Assiani or Alberto and Sterling and Aspas are unproven.

I'm surprised you didn't mention Ibe, he looks to be a better player than most people on your list.

Lagom
August 12th, 2013, 7:18 AM
Forgot Ibe this time around, though he was my young bastard to watch.

Despite all the shit, I'm hopeful, confident even, that Suarez will screw his head on by the time his 6 games are done, and put his all in. If he doesn't do it for the team, he should do it for himself, to put himself in the shop window. That, and he has a World Cup coming up at the end of the season.
Borini seems to be a pet-project of Rodgers', much like Allen, so I don't think he's going anwhere. What frustrates me is that he's not going to do anything for us if he's not an out and out striker, whereas Rodgers seems to shift him out wide to accomodate others.
Sturridge is awesome. Playing him as a proper striker has done him the world of good, and having him supported by someone as delicate and as creative as Coutinho has made him look even better.
I think Aspas will be good for us, he's a terrier, and he seems to get himself into some good positions, though he will have to work on his finishing.
Sterling is a tough one, yes he missed the latter half of the season, but I think that was more Rodgers, as his performances didn't seem to warrant being taken out of the firing line. His record off the field is a worry, and that's why I mentioned earlier that Ibe would play more games in my opinion.
I don't know what the story with Assaidi is, he had buzz, and Rodgers went all out to sign him, but then didn't play him. He's too much like El Zhar for my liking, a luxury player who isn't good enough to afford being a luxury.
Coutinho is just immense. I don't think that spamming him with markers will help teams, because he's a drifter. If you double up on him, you leave extra space for someone else. If you man mark him tightly, he has the pace, skill and footwork, not to mention good strength, to get away from them. I think he'll be our most important player this season.
Alberto I haven't seen much of, but from what I can gather, he's right in behind the main striker, or coming in off the left wing, so he'll want to be occupying the same space as Coutinho. He's young, but 7m is a lot to spend on a potential bench player for us at this time, so I'd expect to see him get game time.

Peter Griffin
August 12th, 2013, 9:11 AM
GIVE PACHECHO A CHANCE YOU CUNTS.

Simon
September 3rd, 2013, 7:02 AM
Might be worth re-upping this now for people to return to their "What we need before September 2nd" section :D


Between now and September 2nd, we need...to keep Bale and sign a striker. We seem like we're very close to confirming Soldado, but equally we look like we're losing our grip on Bale. Hopefully in the next couple of days we will know what's happening either way on both cases and we can move on. Beyond those, we aren't in desperate need of reinforcements - the squad is deep, the quality in the first eleven is high...we're in a position now where the quality of the starting eleven is high enough that we will struggle to sign players who can improve the side without getting into the CL.

Well...since I wrote that we have lost Bale, but we also signed Soldado AND four more players. Up until Sunday people were talking about us as the team that had done the best business in the transfer window by far, but the triple-hit we took of losing Bale (even though we knew he was going), losing to Arsenal and then Ozil signing for them has put a bit of a dampener on things...but that shouldn't mask the fact that our window was exceptional. We now have a squad of real quality and depth - our only problem is that the sides around us have now strengthened to a greater extent than we expected, with Liverpool improving their problem defence and Arsenal bringing in a player who, while not strictly needed, is a world class player who will of course improve them massively. A couple of days ago I'd have had us as firm favourites for fourth, but that has maybe been pinned back a little bit now. I think the gap between first and sixth could be much smaller than ever before this year.

Goalkeepers
Hugo Lloris, Brad Friedel, Heurelho Gomes

Defenders
Danny Rose, Zeki Fryers, Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul, Michael Dawson, Vlad Chiriches, Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton

Midfielders
Mousa Dembele, Etienne Capoue, Paulinho, Sandro, Lewis Holtby, Christian Eriksen, Gylfi Sigurdsson

Attackers
Nacer Chadli, Andros Townsend, Aaron Lennon, Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor

I think that is our full league squad now. With the possible exception of left back, where Danny Rose still has a lot to prove and Zeki Fryers is a risk as his back-up (presumably Vertonghen would go out to left back in Rose's absence anyway), we have real quality everywhere in the first team and unbelievable depth.

Alf
September 3rd, 2013, 8:05 AM
LB and RB are a bit of a worry. And if Vertonghen or Kaboul get busted we are pretty fucked. I like what I've seen of Rose so far and hopefully he keeps improving. Walker needs a break, he needs a talking to, he needs a rocket up the arse.

Lamela and Eriksen could very well be the key differentiators for us this season.

Andy
September 3rd, 2013, 9:44 AM
As it stands...

If things go well... Top 4

Being realistic... Top 6

Worst case scenario... Lose the CL qualifier, midtable obscurity

It's a big season for... Wilshere, Szcz, Wenger

Keep an eye out for this young lad... Jenks should get more games, Sanogo is meant to be promising, Zelalem has had a great pre-season.

Between now and September 2nd, we need... Keeper, centre back, left back, midfielder, two strikers.

Obviously feeling a little better about this. We got a keeper and two midfielders, still feel we're short of a centre back, at least one striker and some strength in midfield. Left back problems have been eased with Monreal being back.

The addition of an established world class midfielder should be enough to boost the team and the mood around the club, but obviously we're in big trouble if there's any injury to Giroud or either CB. A Walcott injury would probably fuck us too with Chamberlain being out.

As great as this signing is we'll still need at least two more in January and four months is a long time to go without a serious injury for Arsenal.

Bad Collin
September 3rd, 2013, 10:54 AM
Between now and September 2nd, we need...

I still think we need a centre back and another attacking player who can score a few goals. Obs a striker too is Suarez goes.

Nice work Brendan :yes:

The Rosk
September 3rd, 2013, 11:02 AM
Obviously feeling a little better about this. We got a keeper and two midfielders, still feel we're short of a centre back, at least one striker and some strength in midfield. Left back problems have been eased with Monreal being back.

The addition of an established world class midfielder should be enough to boost the team and the mood around the club, but obviously we're in big trouble if there's any injury to Giroud or either CB. A Walcott injury would probably fuck us too with Chamberlain being out.

As great as this signing is we'll still need at least two more in January and four months is a long time to go without a serious injury for Arsenal.

I reckon you'll bid large for Benteke in January.

Simon
September 3rd, 2013, 11:04 AM
BC is it true this Ilori kid qualifies for England? Never seen him play but given the paucity of good young English centre backs, if he's gone for 10m+ then I imagine Hodgson would be looking at him. His Wiki says that he's played for Portugal up to U20 level so presumably he is still eligible for England (if he ever was).

Bad Collin
September 3rd, 2013, 11:09 AM
Apparently so: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/england/10282270/Roy-Hodgson-wants-Liverpools-Tiago-Ilori-to-declare-for-England.html