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Is our team really that bad?


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Well we seem to be in most pundits predictions for relegation this season? Hopefully thats a bit of good luck? However I am struggling to think of 3 worse teams than our current squad?

That's because most people just tend to look at the last few games. It's why Phil McNulty (who has a massive hard-on for Man United, hence why he has them finishing 3rd) thinks we'll finish 17th but Sunderland, who were absolutely terrible for pretty much the entirety of last season barring those last couple of months, will finish 10th.



It's not just the pundits - Bloomberg just released a simulation with Opta (running each game 100,000 times) for next season.  More info on how they got their numbers on their site.


Not pretty reading...





how come Villa have 27.5 chance to go down and finish 18th and Hull have 27.7 and finish 17th.

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I assume because the ranking is done of ePTS, so Hull have 0.4 more than us


Still pretty depressing reading, but Bloomberg also had Brazil to win the world cup and we all know how that turned out

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When everyone's back in the picture, I wouldn't say so no.


We've now got a proper CDM in Sanchez, a decent box-to-box midfielder in Delph, a couple of tidy wingers in N'Zogbia and Grealish, a proven goalscorer in Benteke, a pretty capable back four and a good keeper in Guzan :)

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When you account for injuries and the bomb squad, we've improved in just about every area compared to last season.


Full backs in: Hutton, Cissokho

Full backs out: Luna


Centre halves in: Senderos

Center halves out: none


Wide midfielders in: N'Zogbia, Grealish, Richardson

Wide midfielders out: Albrighton


Central midfielders in: Sanchez, Cole

Central midfielders out: Sylla, Carruthers


Forwards in: Bent

Forwards out: Helenius, Bowery


Assistant managers out: Culverhouse, Karsa

Assistant managers in: Keane


Great business on a shoe-string, in fairness. Think we're a good 6-8 points better than were last year. Last bit of business is hopefully a little bit more of an attacking threat, and I think we're in about as good a shape as we could be on paper. Hopefully things are working on the training ground as well.

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Agreed. May as well add Okore into the list of centre halves in as well.


Also, although Benteke will start the season injured it's important to remember that he spent a good two thirds of last season injured/not at full fitness anyway, so if he comes back by say October and stays fit for the rest of the season we'll get a lot more out of him as well. Having Kozak fit for more than half of the season will beat last year too.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was thinking on the train today with Delph's debut how much he's improved over the last 18 months, his development has been cracking and he's a proper premier league midfielder now who's starting to influence games.


I'm not going to rate how good he is or whatever but to me he's certainly better than the likes of Noble and Steven Davis who are regular starters for teams around us.


What it does show is we acually have a decent spine starting to emerge in our team.



Cissokho (quality so far)

Vlaar (one of the most inform CBs in europe I'd say)

Delph (international quality)





I've left out the likes of Richardson, Senderos, Hutton and Weimann as even though all four have been great so far this season, their form is bound to fluctate and they'll probably have poor spells of form this season.


The good news here is that we have loads of good options on the bench this season. Once Kozak is fit he could come in for Weimann, if Senderos starts scoring own goals, then Okore can come in. If Hutton gets sent off then Bacuna can come in who did have some good games at RB in the league last season.


And we still have one of the best strikers in the league to come back into the reckoning.


I'm making a point of not getting carried away after last season when every good result was followed by horrendous form so the boring one game at a time mantra for me. However things look more steady and when you write it down and look at the names above it dosen't really scream bottom 3 to me compared to other squads.


Now if the ownership could just sort itself out....

Edited by VillaChris
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The midfield lads have really stepped up now, we look solid in that area and our strongest midfield since the Milner and Ashley Young era although that one had a lot more creativity about it.


To me that's been the main reason we've been fighting relegation the last 4 years, our midfield has been woeful in the personnel playing there and not adequately protecting the back 4.


Now Delph and Westwood have stepped up and are playing well week in week out, Cleverley looks a good addition with a point to prove and Sanchez is a good option off the bench to see out games and will be starting before long.

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