Started with a rubbish summer where we didn't strengthen where we needed to, didn't move on players who needed moving, we were then terrible for long stretches, so many players under-performed, no silver, hockeyed off the park in the CL at home by RM etc etc. Highlight, beating the mancs, which though a great one off day and result, we need to have are sights set a LOT higher than beating that shower.
Ally - the star man - what a keeper, MOTM in so many games.
As good as Trent finished the season when playing in the middle, he was the opposite defensively for most of it. To me it doesn't look like he wants to play RB anymore, so I don't buy the arguments of how we've done in the past. We need to shore up that side/RB, and we need a midfielder who can pass and shoot. Do the maths. Move him to midfield, get an RB.
VVD/Konate/Matip/Robbo, no real standouts, there's quality there, take a break and come back fresh.
Gomez, did himself no favors, but we have bigger problems elsewhere that mean he'll be here again.
The sh*t show was/is the middle.
Keita and Ox, the miracle men - the miracle being they weren't turfed out years before now, for a few bob.
Milly, I'd have given another year, but not to be.
Melo, what's to say. Joke signing.
Would expect Hendo to move into more of a Milly role, playing some games, not being a first starter, coming on as sub. sharing the benefits of his experience.
Fab, just have to hope he can recharge and be the player he has been. We could do with that. We need players who can work, run hard, tackle. If Trent moves into the middle, we need fresh heavy metal legs to complement that.
Thiago, can't see us move him on with 4 players already leaving. But can't see him staying fit for too many games. If he could sort the body, would be an asset.
Jones has shown he can be a useful squad player. Slightly down the pecking order from him, Elliot, stock has gone down a bit, but going nowhere. Carvalho rumours might be on way, hasn't played much, but maybe too early to judge, hasn't really had much time.
We need at least 2 midfielders, starting XI quality, hard working ball winners who can play, and probably good creative mid. We're playing catchup, so will have to spend.
Up front, Salah has been decent under the circumstances. The last of a proper top quality threesome, proven winners, front 3. When he goes, you have to wonder a bit. But he'll still be here thankfully next year. I like Jota, has goals in him, just needs to stay fit. Gapko has shown some good things, and is maybe the closest of the front guys to Bob, but needs more grit in his play, but promising. Diaz, hard to judge this season, barely played, could maybe put on a few pound. Nunez would worry me the most, has scored some goals, but missed many more targets, his general play, control, decision making has been surprisingly bad, for the huge outlay, but will likely get time. There is definitely ability there, what I don't 'yet' see is the understanding, the slick linkup, the work-rate, an obvious strongest three, things we had when we were winning trophies.
Jürgen looks wrecked. Saw a few pics and the odd interview, seems shattered after the season. Took a long time, and maybe a prompt from Pep/Stones to stumble on a plan to move TAA forward a bit at times, along with some players coming back, to put a decent end of season run of games together. Surprised we didn't move on some players last summer, maybe showing too much loyalty at times. Massive transfer window ahead, and unfortunately with how we've fallen away, there's almost no room for error. Needs to get the right players or drop the diplomacy with FSG.
On FSG, F**k em, wish they'd pissed off when they looked like they might, will have to bite that bullet sometime anyway. We've fallen back, and it was full square on the cards. Barcodes now another side with money behind them to compete against. Better the devil you know? Not F***ing necessarily. The soothing tales of how Bellingham would be coming, a nice little pipe dream floated for a bit, now well forgotten in the crash back down to reality - but oh yeah, in retrospect, it's much better to buy two good players instead of one top quality one, and how could we have been so stupid to think we could sign him in the first place. Just stump up cash fucksticks, maybe Jürgen can work some magic, maybe we can close the gap that has widened, maybe the team can get back to challenging again, maybe our stock will rise, and maybe then you can stick the for sale sign back up again and be on yer bike.