I know we have a big Europa League game coming up, but I’ll leave the duty of previewing that to someone else (aren’t I generous?). I was reading an article on goal.com in which Monchi was talking about our period of transition and needing an overhaul. This got me thinking about what we need to change in this transition. Because obviously we’re not a bad team but then there is also a problem, the Gijon match told us that much. So I thought that I’d go through the squad, position by position and tell you what I think needs to change. As always, feel free to tell me what you guys think in the comments.
Goalkeeper: Palop is a great keeper. Fact. But he’s getting old and the chinks in the armour are starting to show and he’s 36 years old after all. I understand that he’s still good, probably better than nearly every goalie in La Liga, but I think that we need to start giving Varas more playing time or bring in someone else like we did with De Sanctis, except give them some playing time. That way, when we need a replacement we have someone up to our standard, and aren’t like Arsenal; stuck with a goalie well below the standard of the rest of the team.
Fullback: I’d say that we’re doing pretty well in this particular department, which is lucky seeing as wide play is our greatest strength. We have Caceres, Dabo, Konko and Navarro and of course Cala out on loan and Sergio Sanchez possibly returing . This is one of the areas that needs least change, other than whether we want to keep Caceres.
Centerback: On the surface this may look fine, we have plenty of players who have all at one time or another been proven to be pretty good. This is deceptive though, as I think our defence has been pretty shaky recently. I don’t know whether this is a communication problem between our centerbacks or whether they’re just not that good. The problem here is how can we faze out the older ones but make sure that everyone can gel. Because Escude is getting past his prime I think Fazio needs more playing time to play with Alexis (though I’m not really sure how good he is). Possibly we might even get some big money from one of our many wingers which I think would be well used if we got in a really, really, good central defender.
Defensive Midfield/ Deep playmaker: Zokora. No problems there. Backups aren’t as plentiful but I think Guarente or Cigarini could deputise fairly well. Deep-lying playmakers like Cigarini and Guarente are both good and I think need to play far more instead of Romaric or Renato.
Creative Attacking Midfielder: Help! Renato and Romaric need to be sold to a midtable club and we need to bring in a proper attacking midfielder, or even better stop churning out wingers in the Cantera and get us a Spanish Pirlo. Also I think a player that we could use in this slot is Ibrahim Afellay, an attacking midfielder for PSV who’s getting a lot of attention.
Wings: Navas, Perotti, Capel, Alejandro Alfaro, Jose Carlos. ‘Nuff said.
Strikers: This one’s a bit more complicated; we have the talent, albeit it ageing talent. Negredo is coming into his own this season, Kanoute is still good, Fabiano is….well, that’s the complicated bit, so I’ll talk about that later. We also have Rodri, Acosta and Alfaro and Carlos can both play as second strikers. So Fabiano is so good but in our lately favoured formation we have opted to take advantage of oour many midfielders and Negredo has been our only striker on the pitch. So now Fabiano’s angry and in my opinion should be sold ASAP because he isn’t gonna get the playing time he wants here and there’ll be clubs in desperate need of a striker (like Juve) who will be willing to shell out millions for him which we can use to buy a creative midfielder or central defender.
There’s my assessment of what we should change. I’m probably wrong about this but to summarise I think we need to lose Fabiano and Renato or Romaric and buy a creative midfielder and centerback. Let me know what you guys think.