Players left behind for the Germany trip.

As you’ll probably already know, Ross McCormack, Gary Gardner, Aaron Tshibola and Tommy Elphick have not travelled with the squad for the Germany trip.
It seems some people are quite surprised about it, but I really can’t see why?

McCormack’s position at the club is quite simply untenable in my opinion, as although there was a PR job by Steve Bruce suggesting the player was getting a second chance etc, to me it was always rubbish. I don’t think for one minute the player would forgive the manager after “Gate-gate” and he quite simply wants out at any cost.
The only question for me is how much we’ll be able to get for him.
£7 million maybe, at a push?
Another big fat loss, but equally fat wages off the books.

Gary Gardner is another one that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.
As much as I’ve wanted him to come good for us, as he’s “one of our own”, the actual fact is he’s been poor whenever he’s played for us under Bruce and that’s the only thing the manager will have seen.
It’s a shame, as I’m sure there is a decent player in there, but there’s too much competition in midfield and I just don’t see where Gardner will get a game.
I’ve just read an article that suggests Rangers ought to go for him and I’d say that’s a great shout, because just as we all knew Sinclair would shine in Scotland, so you can see Gardner doing the same.
Fee? I’d guess at £1 million.

Tshibola was loaned out by Bruce at the first opportunity and although I don’t think he’s been given enough of a chance, it would seem Bruce doesn’t rate him at all.
I’m not sure who would want to buy him, but it certainly won’t be anywhere near the supposed £5 million we paid (another shocking bit of business) and he’ll more likely go out on loan.

And Elphick is leaving, another one we pretty much already know.
This is probably the one that surprises the most (but not much), as although there’s been plenty of speculation and it looks odds on that melted-welly face will sign him, so I’m not convinced letting him go is a good idea.
Surely he’s excellent back-up after all?
I suppose he wants to play regularly though and you can’t blame him.
£2 to 2.5 million I would hope and another fat wage off the books.

That’s all speculation on my part though and it may well simply be down to one or more of those players having a knock or personal issue or something, but certainly none of them surprise me.

Cissokho and Veretout haven’t travelled either, but again, they’re certs to be gone.
With the latter, it was interesting to read that it was indeed the club that pulled his move to St Etienne and not the player himself (thanks for that heads up “Giddyvillan”).
I unreservedly apologise for slating him on my first impressions of the story and at the end of the day if there have been better offers for his services, the club quite simply has to go with them.
It was also interesting to see that the French club were very quick to blame the player himself though.
I still suspect he might end up there, as I reckon that’s the move he wants.


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  1. johnnyuk
    johnnyuk July 22, 2017 at 6:03 pm .

    So I was looking through the squad and who I’d actually keep, and who we’d slot where… anyone left should go. Dr X said he wants the first team to be 20 players plus youth back up. From the first team I’d consider Bree and Green as youth still

    For me I’d go with 19 first teamers below and Bree/Green as 2 youth:

    GK – Johnstone and Bunn
    RB – Bree / Elmo / De Laet
    LB – Keep Amavi / Taylor
    CB – Terry / Baker / Samba / Chester
    DM / CM – Jedinak / Whelan / Hourihane
    LM / AM – Bjarnason / Green / Lansbury / Grealish
    RM – Adomah
    CF – Gabby / Hogan / Kodja

    Further youth backup (Lyden, Hepburn-Murphy, Davis, Bedeau)

    I’d expect positions considered to reinforce is anyone who contributes goals – so that could be RM/LM/AM and CF. That puts pressure on Hourihane, Bjarnason, Grealish, Gabby and Lansbury who for me are really not cutting it – but would seem time might be on their side for a while longer.

    That leaves us with McCormack, Bacuna, Elphick, Richards, Hutton Cissokho, Tishbola, Veretout, Gardner to go (that’s 9 for those who can’t count).

  2. nath
    nath July 22, 2017 at 7:40 pm .

    left back or wing back it should be said. i think green and taylor will be competing for that slot probably bjarnason . amavi i expect to be sold if any decent offer comes in.

    also jedinak will be ahead of richards at center back. he was chosen before him last season. i understand why ppl think richards will stay. but will he get a game, i doubt it and hope not. unless a bug sleeps through VP and leaves him last man standing .

    1. DSVilla
      DSVilla July 22, 2017 at 8:24 pm .

      Taylor can defend but isn’t great going forward. Green is decent going forward but nowhere near strong enough or committed enough to defend.

      That means they will both be liabilities in a wing back position. Taylor is a LB and AG a wide attacking MF.

      Amavi will go but that’s a shame as he is probably the one who could develop into a decent wing back (granted he has made a fair few mistakes defending). Clearly Bruce isn’t a fan though.

      1. nath
        nath July 22, 2017 at 8:32 pm .

        i thought about this taylor wing back. i agree i don’t think hes good enough to get decent crosses in. green on the other hand is good enough to give decent width. as for defending i think he will cope with that side.

        1. DSVilla
          DSVilla July 22, 2017 at 8:43 pm .

          Do you think? Moses is a much more muscular build. I have to admit I don’t know if Green has the stamina to play that role, as well as the tackling bit. Then again I always thought Moses was lazy and selfish, so I was surprised when he proved himself to be so good a WB.

          1. nath
            nath July 22, 2017 at 8:49 pm .

            you mentioned the one of the most important attribute for the wing back role. stamina. i just think green might be able. i think he will get a chance in the training camp and games. i know moses had never played that role and didn’t think he was suited but he had his best ever season Barcelona were so impressed they tried to snatch him away.

  3. nath
    nath July 22, 2017 at 7:59 pm .

    victor moses last season was converted to a wing back, he didn’t just manage that position, he made it his own, green could easily play that role. its basically like playing wing only hes starting further down field. 3 defenders plus the holding mid will be the defenders. the job of wing backs are the width green is my shout for the left and elmo on the right.

  4. Andrew
    Andrew July 23, 2017 at 2:25 am .

    Think it’s a bit harsh on Bjarnasson, and baseless currently, as he got injured which is why Green even got his chance under Bruce to begin with.He needs a run and he could be at least decent back up.

    Green has no attributes as a wingback, though, you’re correct. Other than maybe running, he’s not physical enough, he doesn’t have that positional sense, he doesn’t have the defensive ability. He and Grealish are more like Ibe and Sterling. Give them the ball at the half-way line and they’ll run at everyone.

    3-5-3/5-3-2 however you wanna put it, we failed miserably every time we played it last season. The only games we won, we played a 4-3-3, and we played Kodjia alone, as Hogan went down. Hogan and Kodjia aren’t going to play together and do well enough to make it stick. We have to play a 4-3-3 for Kodjia to score goals, like we did last season.

    Elmo is pretty much the only one that fits the right wingback position. Amavi maybe, he is a natural Left Back that likes getting forward. Moses is vastly different to any player we have, and Conte wants him replaced anyways., We have fullbacks, we have wingers, we don’t have wingbacks.

    I don’t think anyone really cares about losing those 6 players either. I mean I’d wish we kept Veretout, but he doesn’t wanna stay and he’ll make us more money than anyone bar Amavi if he was sold. We’ll need a center back though if Elphick is sold and we play 3 at the back, because we’d only have Baker left and I’m not sure he trusts our young center backs yet.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath July 23, 2017 at 3:03 am .

      I don’t get this wing back bollox tbh. Surely a right and left midfielder is a wing back but in a different name. When I played right midfield for a bit in my youth it was simply bombing up the field when we attacked and getting behind the ball and helping out right back when we defend. Also I would drop back into right back if our regular right back overlapped me when we countered etc. This way you can have a rht and left bk that can defend first as right or left midfielder will go forward and you can alternate who defends and who goes forward throughout the game giving you more options. Or am I missing something

      1. nath
        nath July 23, 2017 at 6:12 am .

        wing back is basically winger, but without ball you track the opposition width back. do any modern footballer tackle well lmao thats debatable. green already tracks back. we will see. i have a hunch green will get a run out at wingback.

        Bjarnasson has played the role many times before i believe so his consideration for that role doesn’t seem far fetched. taylor has all the abilities one needs for defending so does hutton but bruce didn’t want to use the system last year. probably because the wing backs failed to do their jobs which is mostly provide the width, when the team has the ball. there has to be options out wide. this makes opposition stretched which leads to more spaces for infield.

        ohahahaha is right in when he played winger he tracked back, i recall doing the same playing this role. if i didn’t track their full back i wasin for a roasting. wing back is no different to winger just maybe their starting position is alittle further back. elmo plays this role really well and this is why bruce has bought him.
        the system is 352. the wing backs are more attackers than defenders

        1. nath
          nath July 23, 2017 at 6:23 am .

          playing 3 defenders and a holding midfield these are your main defense. the 2 wing backs are the defenses out ball the wing backs will carry the ball into the midfield and beyond. strengths i guess will be stamina,able to carry the ball crossing the ball and intelligence knowing when to release the ball or move into space creating more space

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath July 23, 2017 at 11:56 am .

            But if Right midfielders or wingers drop deep they would still provide a natural outlet.

        2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath July 23, 2017 at 11:54 am .

          I think that’s the main difference Nath that right/wing back starts further back than right midfield. Though when I played in my very youth I was right winger/centre fwd then right midfield then ended at right back at end of playing days. When I was right back I defended first and was a natural as I knew every trick in the book that forwards would do as I did them myself so was always well positioned. Once I had who I was marking under control which was most of the time I’d then overlap our defensive right midfielder who would simply slot in for me when I overlapped him or went forward. He was a more than capable right back so we could interchange throughout game and keep giving opposition a different problem. Worked really well. But my point is that right midfield is virtually the same as a wing back but as Nath says starts further back unless he swaps with right midfield.

  5. nath
    nath July 23, 2017 at 6:41 am .

    as for grealish i never mentioned him for option for wing back. grealish isn’t a winger for me. reasons is i played the role as did oahahaha. so lets ask him also about grealish winger role
    but wingers provide crosses provide width track their full back. grealish doesn’t do any of these. he is always drifting infield, rarely does he cross a ball. he never tracks back.
    but the system 352 offers the perfect role for lansbury / grealish one midfielder minimum has the job of getting into box or for grealish he is attacking down the middle of midfield, which is the field position he is best at. this system along with our new defense will offer him lots of good field positions to exploit.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath July 23, 2017 at 12:09 pm .

      I agree Nath I’m not sure where I would play Grealish tbh. When I was younger and started in the right with licence to roam anywhere going forward it was because I played in a team full of plus 20 year olds. So when I was 16 I had pace and trickery and could put ball in the net. The rest of the team where more than happy to say to me you are a luxury player but offer a different dimension to team but all we want you to concentrate in is getting forward win free kicks etc and score and assist which I duly did. The captain said don’t worry about anything else the midfield will cover you when we defend and support you when we attack. Now for the cocky little twat that I was thus helped me in a lot of ways. It meant I could concentrate on what I was good at and the captain and rest of the team simplified it for me they wanted me to simply play to my strengths and let the more experienced players do the worrying which took the pressure of me. Now I guess we could offer the same courtesy to Grealish let him him have a free role and give us that dimension and let the rest of the team like Terry and co worry about everything else. This should take pressure away from Grealish as he can focus on what he’s good at as long as the other 10 players do his work for him. When I matured as a player then I started to drop back and defend etc and learned how to do that as time went on. Grealish being young should do what he’s good at then when he’s got confidence etc doing that he can learn the other parts of the game from the more experienced players like I did. This helped my transition to full back and right mid when I was in my late 20s and didn’t have that pace but I was still a better all round player if that makes sense.

  6. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson July 23, 2017 at 7:20 am .

    I like green but sorry to say he started to flag in the last 15 minutes in that last game, I definitely play him as a wingman and give him that same roll in swopping wings, Bjarnnason no from me as a central midfielder, lacking wanting in his game, its started to show to Bruce that crosses are a must and if you have the likes of our 3 strikers we need wing men, our defence is sound now play it that way for me.

  7. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 July 23, 2017 at 7:22 am .

    I agree with Nath insofar as Thor (can’t spell his name 🙂 ) seems to have been overlooked as an obvious selection to fill the left wing back role if we’re playing 3-5-2. He has stamina aplenty and can put his foot in where needed. My only reservation is over whether he can put good balls in from the wing? Thor is possibly the closest we have to a Moses (that’s not trying to suggest he’s as good!)

    I also think you are being a little harsh on him Badger. I know he missed 5 chances against Walsall but at least he got himself into good positions – a midfielder arriving late into the box; now there’s a rarity – and he does have a good scoring record. Give him time.

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