Let's Be Brutally Honest - Our Matchday Squad is No Longer Top 6 Quality

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Are We Still Top 6 Quality?


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Good post. The only additional point I’d make is that I haven’t given up on Toby yet. It’s too easy when a player has a bad patch and they’re over 30 to say they’re done, but it isn’t always the case. It can just be a bad patch.

Gary Cahill looks excellent at Palace this season after being written off by Chelsea as “shot“ a year ago.

Injury has precluded it, but I would have really enjoyed a run with Toby and Tango CB, with Japhet being able to learn from easily the most intelligent defender at the club.

I guess without even adequate DCM protection in front, our defence is always overly exposed though.

Look how good Morgan and Huth looked with Kante in front!

Because Palace's game plan is to sit back and play on the counter. In theory with a player like Zaha plus other speedsters like Ayew and Townsend it makes sense. It's perfect for Cahill because he's an old fashioned defender who puts his body on the line. He doesn't have to cover spaces because he's got a block of team mates doing it. He doesn't have to move much. Just hold fort, stick his head here, put his laces through the ball there. Perfect for him but they hardly score goals and I can't imagine their forwards are enjoying it.

Toby if we started to adopt those tactics such as the Man Utd game full time might start showing his old form again only in the sense he's being asked to always be alert and give him lots of work to do. But we'll have the problem where if your CB is constantly being called into action by design then it's not sustainable for any ambitious target and it's boring to watch.
 

Airfixx

Fucking pay me!!!
Because Palace's game plan is to sit back and play on the counter. In theory with a player like Zaha plus other speedsters like Ayew and Townsend it makes sense. It's perfect for Cahill because he's an old fashioned defender who puts his body on the line. He doesn't have to cover spaces because he's got a block of team mates doing it. He doesn't have to move much. Just hold fort, stick his head here, put his laces through the ball there. Perfect for him but they hardly score goals and I can't imagine their forwards are enjoying it.

Toby if we started to adopt those tactics such as the Man Utd game full time might start showing his old form again only in the sense he's being asked to always be alert and give him lots of work to do. But we'll have the problem where if your CB is constantly being called into action by design then it's not sustainable for any ambitious target and it's boring to watch.

David Luiz then....

:bentley:
 
Because Palace's game plan is to sit back and play on the counter. In theory with a player like Zaha plus other speedsters like Ayew and Townsend it makes sense. It's perfect for Cahill because he's an old fashioned defender who puts his body on the line. He doesn't have to cover spaces because he's got a block of team mates doing it. He doesn't have to move much. Just hold fort, stick his head here, put his laces through the ball there. Perfect for him but they hardly score goals and I can't imagine their forwards are enjoying it.

Toby if we started to adopt those tactics such as the Man Utd game full time might start showing his old form again only in the sense he's being asked to always be alert and give him lots of work to do. But we'll have the problem where if your CB is constantly being called into action by design then it's not sustainable for any ambitious target and it's boring to watch.
Of course, my point was that Toby and Jan have been completely written off as players because they’re on the wrong side of 30, when the reality for me is that the overall composition of the team and tactics is as much to blame, and a player (any player) can have a bad patch. It doesn’t mean they’re gone.

You’re spot on though, in our pomp we didn’t do much actual defending. We pressed so aggressively and “strangled” teams to the point they would turn the ball over to us easily. It worked a treat.

It’s also worth pointing out the Toby still has exceptional distribution and that’s an important part of the way we want our team to play.
 

Airfixx

Fucking pay me!!!
Of course, my point was that Toby and Jan have been completely written off as players because they’re on the wrong side of 30, when the reality for me is that the overall composition of the team and tactics is as much to blame, and a player (any player) can have a bad patch. It doesn’t mean they’re gone.

You’re spot on though, in our pomp we didn’t do much actual defending. We pressed so aggressively and “strangled” teams to the point they would turn the ball over to us easily. It worked a treat.

It’s also worth pointing out the Toby still has exceptional distribution and that’s an important part of the way we want our team to play.

Tbf, Poch had pretty much retired Jan prior to the season kicking off.... Would have made sense to have sold him then truth be told.
 

Totti

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I don’t really no. I think they can both be better in the right system and with the correct players around them (look how good Matip looks with VVD next to him, how good Wimmer looked playing in our excellent team) but I don’t rate either highly individually.

With Sanchez he’s just so poor on the ball it’s always going to be an issue. I’m more nervous when he has the ball under pressure than I am when he’s faced with a one on one. I haven’t seen any real development in that side of him since he arrived.

Again, that'll be down to highlighting Sanchez's strengths and eliminating his weaknesses - we know he is weakest on the ball out of all of our centre backs, but a competent DM in there who has the ability to take the ball off our defenders, beat the press and get it forward would almost entirely eliminate that - whereas right now, Sanchez is having to actually try and bypass that part of the pitch with his passing.

I've only really noticed Sanchez's passing get blasted over the last two seasons when Dembele and/or Wanyama's performances got less and less - they were both excellent at taking the ball from defence and distributing it further up field.
 
Of course, my point was that Toby and Jan have been completely written off as players because they’re on the wrong side of 30, when the reality for me is that the overall composition of the team and tactics is as much to blame, and a player (any player) can have a bad patch. It doesn’t mean they’re gone.

You’re spot on though, in our pomp we didn’t do much actual defending. We pressed so aggressively and “strangled” teams to the point they would turn the ball over to us easily. It worked a treat.

It’s also worth pointing out the Toby still has exceptional distribution and that’s an important part of the way we want our team to play.

Looking around the league, I don't see any quality centre backs over the age of 30.

I think the pace of the PL really puts older players in a bad spot once they lose a step or two.

Early this season Toby looked SLOW. Like really slow.

When you're having to stop 20-24 year old forwards who have loads of pace 1 v 1 because Aurier and our midfielders are never where they're supposed to be, that's a recipe for disaster.
 
Looking around the league, I don't see any quality centre backs over the age of 30.

I think the pace of the PL really puts older players in a bad spot once they lose a step or two.

Early this season Toby looked SLOW. Like really slow.

When you're having to stop 20-24 year old forwards who have loads of pace 1 v 1 because Aurier and our midfielders are never where they're supposed to be, that's a recipe for disaster.
In fairness there are very few good CB’s in the PL right now. Outside of VVD is there one world class one? Laporte is probably the next best and I wouldn’t have him at that level.

Toby is still quicker than Maguire and IMO, still the pick of our CB’s.
 

ILSpur

ESL founding member
I think the one thing that we miss most from Toby not being in the side is his vision and long passes. His ability to pick a pass and play a ball out wide or up the field to break open a play is something that nobody else in our defense is even close to being able to replicate.
 
Tbf, Poch had pretty much retired Jan prior to the season kicking off.... Would have made sense to have sold him then truth be told.
Yeah, in truth I’d written Jan off too. His demise feels more than a form thing to me, although I can still see him doing a great job in Serie A where the demands are less physical.

None the less my point about players over 30 stands. Imagine if Kane were in his 30’s. How many times after rusty returns and bad patches would he have been written off? The truth is he was just going through a bad patch, like all players do.

Matic is a great example. Utd fans had given up on him last last season / early this. His legs looked like they’d gone. All of a sudden he’s picked his level up and been given a new 3 year contract.
 
I think the one thing that we miss most from Toby not being in the side is his vision and long passes. His ability to pick a pass and play a ball out wide or up the field to break open a play is something that nobody else in our defense is even close to being able to replicate.
Not just our defence, he’s a better passer then most of our CM’s too.
 
Again, that'll be down to highlighting Sanchez's strengths and eliminating his weaknesses - we know he is weakest on the ball out of all of our centre backs, but a competent DM in there who has the ability to take the ball off our defenders, beat the press and get it forward would almost entirely eliminate that - whereas right now, Sanchez is having to actually try and bypass that part of the pitch with his passing.

I've only really noticed Sanchez's passing get blasted over the last two seasons when Dembele and/or Wanyama's performances got less and less - they were both excellent at taking the ball from defence and distributing it further up field.
You’re right of course, and Dembele leaving has really exposed so many different issues amongst our players, I’m just not sure in this day and age you can afford to have a player so deficient on the ball in any position.

The modern game is demanding ball playing GK’s, I think you’re gonna need more from your CB than Davo is ever going to be able to offer us.
 

Airfixx

Fucking pay me!!!
Yeah, in truth I’d written Jan off too. His demise feels more than a form thing to me, although I can still see him doing a great job in Serie A where the demands are less physical.

None the less my point about players over 30 stands. Imagine if Kane were in his 30’s. How many times after rusty returns and bad patches would he have been written off? The truth is he was just going through a bad patch, like all players do.

Matic is a great example. Utd fans had given up on him last last season / early this. His legs looked like they’d gone. All of a sudden he’s picked his level up and been given a new 3 year contract.

The Matic thing is weird tbh. Not sure I understand your Kane hypothesis, but I get your point...

When the perception is PHYSICAL, decline players aren't expected to bounce back so are typically phased out. Like Jan, Toby has slowed down quickly!
 
In fairness there are very few good CB’s in the PL right now. Outside of VVD is there one world class one? Laporte is probably the next best and I wouldn’t have him at that level.

Toby is still quicker than Maguire and IMO, still the pick of our CB’s.

He's the best passer but the rest of his game isn't there anymore. Not a threat in the air, doesn't run well, can't defend one on one anymore against pace.

None of our centre backs are good. Arguing over who is the best seems like a useless experiment because ultimately we need two new ones who are much better than anything we currently have.

All of them are just so limited. Sanchez is probably the best one on one defender on the team, but he can't pass and is prone to being out of position and not reading the game well. Jan's legs are gone and he's not a threat in the air anymore. Dier doesn't do anything well.

Being completely serious, Tanganga is the only one I think has a future past the next 2 years. He's athletic, can run, decent with the ball at his feet and he can work on his passing. He needs experience badly, but he looked good in the opportunities he was given.

The rest belong in the scrap heap.
 

Gatsby

95:02
Don’t agree. We have players who are capable of getting into most teams across Europe. We just need a couple of additions and a mentality change.

Kane, Son, Lo Celso, Ndombele all get into most teams. Bergwijn, Lucas, Sanchez, Lloris are good enough as well.

Players don’t become crap overnight. We just need a slight change in direction.
 
He's the best passer but the rest of his game isn't there anymore. Not a threat in the air, doesn't run well, can't defend one on one anymore against pace.

None of our centre backs are good. Arguing over who is the best seems like a useless experiment because ultimately we need two new ones who are much better than anything we currently have.

All of them are just so limited. Sanchez is probably the best one on one defender on the team, but he can't pass and is prone to being out of position and not reading the game well. Jan's legs are gone and he's not a threat in the air anymore. Dier doesn't do anything well.

Being completely serious, Tanganga is the only one I think has a future past the next 2 years. He's athletic, can run, decent with the ball at his feet and he can work on his passing. He needs experience badly, but he looked good in the opportunities he was given.

The rest belong in the scrap heap.
You might be right, albeit I’m not ready to give up on Toby yet. Either way, I think Tanganga‘s progress is best aided in the short term by playing with clever defenders like Toby.

I guess irrelevant bearing in mind the injury, but would have been nice to see them as a pair get a run earlier in the season.
 
In fairness there are very few good CB’s in the PL right now. Outside of VVD is there one world class one? Laporte is probably the next best and I wouldn’t have him at that level.

Toby is still quicker than Maguire and IMO, still the pick of our CB’s.
Coady at Wolves looks good.
 

Igula

#1 Supporter of Mason's Mates
Don’t agree. We have players who are capable of getting into most teams across Europe. We just need a couple of additions and a mentality change.

Kane, Son, Lo Celso, Ndombele all get into most teams. Bergwijn, Lucas, Sanchez, Lloris are good enough as well.

Players don’t become crap overnight. We just need a slight change in direction.

Lucas is definitely not good enough, Ndombele hasn't come close that he is good enough yet. So that leaves maybe 6 guys (Sanchez is a very iffy inclusion) out of 11, 3 of which all play upfront, which is not close to good enough.

I said no but that is probably being a little pessimistic. I think we are definitely behind City, Liverpool, United and Chelsea. Then there is a group including Spurs, Leicester, Wolves, Woolwich (probably basically in that order) that are very similar. Based in the table this year you could easily put Leicester and Wolves ahead of us and call it a day.

Honestly I think that is Ndombele is anything close to the $60 million guy we signed then we are clearly 5th, if he is the bench warming dud that he has shown to be we are 8th. He is likely somewhere in between so we are around 6th/7th.

The good news is Leicester is likely going to lose some talent and not be able to replace it right away. Wolves are likely in the same boat and I am not sure they can use their agent connections to replace the talent so easily as they did when they first came up. So those are two teams that if we make smart additions we should be able to pass and get back to the top 6.

The bad news is we haven't shown a lot of ability to make those smart additions so even if they do drop off if we make bad decisions we will remain low down the table like we are now.
 
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