Date: 26th March 2012 at 3:02pm
Written by:

A quick companion to another article I`m working on…. I say work, I should really say ‘work`… bit hard this running a football network for a living malarky really… nearly time for my massage and I`ve a pedicure later…

I digress:

Just looking at our squad, with all the talk of us being (again) in transition:

Our squad:

Shay Given one of the best GK`s going, Ireland international
Bradley Guzan, not a bad keeper, US international, good back up

Alan Hutton, McLeish signing, Spurs fans weren`t very complimentary about him, think we can see why perhaps although he has improved a bit lately?

Stephen Warnock, gone way off form, was decent when he first came, has played twice for England, gone backwards since GH but was decent when we first had him under MON

Richard Dunne, not my favourite following last seasons exploits but again, an international player

James Collins, same as Dunne, however, again, an international player and was solid under MON

Carlos Cuellar, always solid imho, been linked before but never called up to Spain team

We then have the back up of Ciaran Clarke who before his injury was shaping up nicely and other youth players.

Stephen Ireland, mercurial, enigmatic, but if handled right, a possible gem? International before he retired

Charles N`Zogbia, again a McLeish buy, France international (2 caps)

Jean Makoun, no idea, shipped out without being given a chance despite us being told that we are short on players. A Cameroon international.

Marc Albrighton, England U21 and an up and coming player, or at least he appeared to be, he`s had limited chances this season

Fabian Delph, big question marks for the price tag and out on loan right now

Stiliyan Petrov, you don`t get more experienced from this international player, he also bleeds for the cause. He might be coming to the end of his Villa career but he`s been an important player imho

You then have the emerging Barry Bannan (question marks for me, seems to have an attitude, but hopefully he`ll settle into a decent player) Chris Herd, Daniel Johnson, Gary Gardner and Samir Carruthers.

Darren Bent… international, play him right, he scores

Gabby Agbonlahor, international, play him right, he scores

Emile Heskey, international, moving on…………….!

Then we have the emerging Andreas Weimann.

Ok, so some decent players in the mix IF managed right? Few I`d like to see gone and replaced (that goes for any squad and any fan though obviously?!)

Now… we are 15th in the table.

Which of the teams above us have better squads?

Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool for sure.

The rest?

No, I`m sorry, they have some players I`d like but I can`t see that any of these are better, or SO much better than us. Can you?

Man for man, how many of each teams players would you swap for ours? IF ours were on form, managed right and playing to the best of their ability (comparing like for like and similar form for the other teams players?)

Transition yes, because a new manager wants his own players in but does that excuse our capitulations, no shows, the many excuses and all the lapses we`ve seen this year?

Sorry, I don`t think so and although he will never point towards himself, surely the buck stops with the manager? Has he convinced himself that he is so much in transition that he isn`t to blame for the results? Or…?

6 Newcastle 30 2 50
8 Sunderland 30 5 40
9 Everton 30 -2 40
10 Swansea 30 -2 39
11 Norwich 30 -6 39
12 Stoke 30 -12 38
13 Fulham 29 -3 36
14 West Brom 30 -5 36

For me, with our players, especially the strike force (when fit obviously) we have when played correctly and supply is given to them, we should be top eight. I can see little reason for WBA, Norwich or Swansea being above us squad wise, apart from good management?

Opinions (slightly above the ‘McLeish is a swear word` please)

Do you think any of those squads ARE head and shoulders above us?

And yes, I know, the season isn’t over yet, we could end up above the teams named, however….