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General Squad Discussion

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1 General Squad Discussion on Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:06 pm

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The 23-player squad for the Euro's qualifier against Estonia this month:

Goalkeepers
Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Siobhan Chamberlain (Notts County), Carly Telford (Notts County)

Defenders
Laura Bassett (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Notts County), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Casey Stoney (Arsenal), Amy Turner (Notts County), Demi Stokes (Manchester City)

Midfielders
Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), Jo Potter (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Manchester City)

Forwards
Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Danielle Carter (Arsenal), Jess Clarke (Notts County), Gemma Davison (Chelsea), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Ellen White (Notts County)

2 Re: General Squad Discussion on Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:13 pm

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Williams and Moore left out due to injury which makes sense, but I'm surprised to see Duggan included considering she is hobbling around in a walking boot right now. Late drop out fitness pending, maybe? Nobbs, Chapman, Carney, Sanderson and Taylor all rested. 

We are very light on the central midfielders and it looks a bit silly when you see it in list form.

3 Re: General Squad Discussion on Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:33 pm

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I really don't see the point in selecting Duggan given her current fitness status. He is clearly rotating so why bother calling her up when the likes of Mead, Parris, Dowie etc etc could have had her place? It's a bit odd.

4 Re: Duggan on Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:47 pm

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Is it pressure from Man City because it's just silly to take her all the way to Estonia if she's going to be in a boot?  I'm thinking that Dowie's chances of being on the England squad again are very low.  Which is a shame because our forwards during the wwc really didn't score us that many goals so it would be nice to freshing up that area.

5 Re: General Squad Discussion on Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:00 pm

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You would have thought any pressure from City would come in the form of them asking that he doesn't select Duggan, not does. And even if her injury isn't anything to worry about and she will be fine in time for the game you could still make a case for her inclusion off the back of any lay-off being unnecessary. If he doesn't think we could get a result against Estonia using the six other forwards he named a whoever Duggan's alternative might have been then there is something very wrong.

6 Re: General Squad Discussion on Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:12 pm

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I'm not sure what more Bonner has to do get a call up, she has been outstanding for coming on three seasons now. And even when he is selecting new defenders she doesn't end up being one. No way is she the 11th best defender in the player pool. Also not sure why he feels the need to be selecting 10 of them in the first place for somebody like Estonia.

7 Re: General Squad Discussion on Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:32 pm

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You would have thought any pressure from City would come in the form of them asking that he doesn't select Duggan, not does.

I think that the women's side of Man City puts a lot of marketing into having England players so unlike the men's team who probably would ask the FA not to select an unfit player I wouldn't put it past the organization to want Duggan on the squad even if she's unfit.

I'm not sure what more Bonner has to do get a call up, she has been outstanding for coming on three seasons now. And even when he is selecting new defenders she doesn't end up being one. No way is she the 11th best defender in the player pool. Also not sure why he feels the need to be selecting 10 of them in the first place for somebody like Estonia.

He only called up 4 true centre-backs and the only new one is Flaherty and she is on a winning team and in excellent form so I'm not surprised that she got called up before Bonner.  One would could argue that Bonner is on even par form-wise as Stoney but I think Stoney's seniority is the reason she is being picked before Bonner.  Bonner's still young and if she keeps her head down and continues improving I see her as quality centre-back for England after the Euros.  

I don't understand why he called up so many fullbacks and then besides Duggan (who probably won't get any minutes) I'm underwhelmed at the forwards called up.  Not that we'll see any real footage but it would be interesting to see how well they play off each other.

8 Re: General Squad Discussion on Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:15 am

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Guest wrote:I think that the women's side of Man City puts a lot of marketing into having England players so unlike the men's team who probably would ask the FA not to select an unfit player I wouldn't put it past the organization to want Duggan on the squad even if she's unfit.
Is that really the kind of game we want to be playing, though? I'm sure having Duggan on the squad list will have pleased both City and the FA, even if she plays no part, as both are going overtime on her PR right now (too much if you ask me), but is that really more valuable to proceedings than giving other players a bit of deserved recognition? This is supposed to be a sport after all not a red carpet photo op. There is a story in calling up Mead for example. Or would pushing Mead steal too much limelight from Mini Messi I wonder.

9 Re: General Squad Discussion on Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:44 am

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Since you can only have 18 in a match squad and given so many defenders and forwards have been called up whilst so few midfielders have, it's pretty obvious that those who will be left in the stands will be defenders and forwards. But is this all evidence that he is content with his midfield and so is simply concentrating on what is at his disposal in the other thirds, or is it evidence that we just have a lack of ready central midfielders to choose from?

If it is the latter that doesn't bode well for the imminent future given the age of Williams, Potter and Chapman. Somebody better page the U23s and tell them to get a move on.

10 Re: General Squad Discussion on Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:05 pm

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Duggan is out. No replacement being called in.

11 Re: General Squad Discussion on Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:41 pm

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Was there a breakdown in communication here between City and Sampson? I can't for the life of me fathom why he even bothered to call her up. It looked silly when the squad was announced; now it just looks stupid. And so does not drafting in a replacement for her. Especially when there are only three midfielders. Or take another forward even, it's not like we are short of valid inclusions.

12 Re: General Squad Discussion on Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:25 am

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Especially when there are only three midfielders

I find this very puzzling. I presume that Mark will most likely go with a 4-3-3 so what happens if one of them gets a niggle and has to be subbed off? Is he going to play a defender or forward out of position when there is absolutely no need if they had brought another promising midfielder like Christiansen with them? I realise that Estonia isn't exactly France but one would think they'd still want to establish the roles, shape and discipline of the team that is preparing to hopefully win the Euros.

Was there a breakdown in communication here between City and Sampson?

It sure looks like it. Also this could have easily been avoided by just watching BT Sport last Sunday and thinking that calling up a striker who is sitting in the stand with a boot on her foot for a qualifying match in less than two weeks is probably not a wise thing to do.

13 Re: General Squad Discussion on Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:53 am

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One of the main things which stuck out in my mind during World Cup qualifying was how top heavy we were. It resulted in us scoring a lot of goals but I think far too much was made of this because the actual football itself was pretty dire at times as a consequence. After we got battered by Germany Sampson accepted that he had the balance wrong and his solution was to pretty much go too bottom heavy, which lead to some rather uninspiring performances in the next couple of games. All of this was, for me personally, why I started the World Cup with very low expectations -- although he did thankfully find the middle ground (albeit one with not many goals there) for the latter stages of that particular tournament.

I would be lying if I said I could understand the merits of returning to the unbalanced approach for Euros qualifiers as well, which is what this particular squad suggests may be coming. I would much rather see us stay with the middle ground we found and just swap new faces into something which is proven to function sufficiently in order to see if they are what is needed to provide the necessary tweaks.

14 Re: General Squad Discussion on Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:08 pm

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Lucy Bronze (hamstring), Siobhan Chamberlain (knee), Claire Rafferty (knee) and Alex Scott (hamstring) have withdrawn from the Estonia squad. Earps has been called in to replace Chamberlain. No replacements for the others.

15 Re: General Squad Discussion on Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:52 pm

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Not calling in replacements for them all now means that he at least doesn't have to worry about which out-field players to leave in the stands. Everybody bar the 3rd keeper now fits on the bench.

16 Re: General Squad Discussion on Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:07 pm

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I know it is 'only' Estonia, but there is something about only taking 16 fit out-field players to an official fixture which just doesn't sit right with me. Why so few? We have the players for a full squad of 23, he just needs to select them. If this is a case of him not believing anybody else is ready then is that not a pretty damning observation for him to be making? I mean, talk about a confidence knock: "our opposition is so poor I don't need to use a full compliment of players but you're not even good to face them". All of the possible inclusions will have faced better teams in WSL2.

Could it be a cost issue, maybe? Less players equals a cheaper trip. Or have the FA perhaps told him he can't call up so many players who don't have a central contract?

17 Re: General Squad Discussion on Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:19 pm

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If you take the originally named squad of 23 and assume all of the WC players are the centrally contracted ones, there would have been 16 central contracts and seven non-contracts all going to Estonia. If Sampson had replaced all of the injuries with non-contracted players (which he would have to because that's all he can choose from atm) it would have left us with a split of 11 contract and 12 non. I have no idea if he has to work to rules that limit the number of non-contract players he can call up at any one time, but even if there isn't I'm sure he would know the FA probably aren't going to appreciate that many being selected and so he wouldn't do it unless absolutely necessary. Which Estonia is not.

18 Re: General Squad Discussion on Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:30 pm

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Has the team traveled with a squad of 23 to all of their former qualifiers? Also are non-contracted players only paid if officially selected or are they actually not paid at all?

Central contracts have good and bad qualities. One of the worst qualities is the lack of spontaneity (ie picking non-contracted in-form players) I think we are seeing that currently.

19 Re: General Squad Discussion on Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:14 pm

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I can't remember us not taking 23 players to qualifiers. We were certainly calling up that many each time so there must have been some left sitting in the stands. It will be interesting to see if this is a one-off prompted by the amount of injuries currently or if 'only take what we need' is now going to be a policy. If it is the latter you would think such a move, when combined with our central contract system, massively restricts on the opportunity to see the untested have a go.

20 Re: General Squad Discussion on Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:36 pm

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I thought I'd continue a discussion from another thread....

Kirby, Taylor, Duggan, Clarke, Aluko, Davison, Sanderson, Carter and White. All of those have been used in the last five games. Carney needs to return at some point. That's 10 players already before you even consider others who could play themselves into contention. 

Why so many?

21 Re: Forwards on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:15 am

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Kirby, Taylor, Duggan, Clarke, Aluko, Davison, Sanderson, Carter and White. All of those have been used in the last five games. Carney needs to return at some point. That's 10 players already before you even consider others who could play themselves into contention. 

Why so many?

In the past five games there have been several injuries: Duggan, Carney, Taylor, Carter and Kirby have all been out at least one game causing other forwards to be called up to replace them. I think i read somewhere that Spacey spends more time with the forwards so Sampson might call up more than needed for her to work on their form. England definitely has problem in attack and against the top five nations we rarely score in open play. I wouldn't be surprised if in the future he keeps calling up more than needed forwards to work on their efficiency. If all players stay fit I think he already has the midfield and defenders sorted for the Euros and as Sunday showed with these qualifying games we won't get meaningfully tested defensively so he might as well use them to work on a more fluid attack and finishing.

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22 Re: General Squad Discussion on Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:41 am

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If a club manager signed nine players everybody would be saying that team needed time to gel and that would be despite them training together daily. I don't see why an international manager using nine players for five matches, and for positions in just one third of the pitch to boot, when said players would only have about a week's worth of training prior to a match, could possibly be conductive with progress. Circumstances are worse at international level, so if it takes time to gel just at club level what is Sampson hoping to achieve by making his job even harder with double the number of players and half the time.

There are quite simply too many forwards on the go. And to make matters worse it is stealing spots away from the midfield where we do actually need to be blooding in new faces.

23 Re: General Squad Discussion on Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:06 am

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Problem number one, for the squad in general not just the attack, is the central contracts. Some players are undroppable by virtue of having a deal to pay them £20k+ a year for being on the national team. If he wants to call up somebody who is on the fringes or somebody entirely new then it can only happen when a centrally contracted player is out injured or out full stop. 

Carney, Aluko, Duggan, Taylor, Sanderson, Kirby and White were all World Cup players, they will all be centrally contracted. You could argue that was too many forwards to begin with.

24 Re: General Squad Discussion on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:18 pm

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The defence was picked and settled on without any experimentation or testing whatsoever. It was there on day one. And it was a mess. But the same back line was used for match after match regardless, and eventually it started to resemble an actual line of defence. The contrast with the approach taken for the attack is pretty damn stark. Our forward line has seen considerably more variation. Two years in we still don't know his first choice. And we are still yet to resemble anything which is truly dangerous. There is probably a message in there somewhere.

25 Re: General Squad Discussion on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:35 pm

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Guest wrote:Carney, Aluko, Duggan, Taylor, Sanderson, Kirby and White were all World Cup players, they will all be centrally contracted. You could argue that was too many forwards to begin with.
I would say it's too many centre-forwards. Carney is something different. Sanderson is something a bit different again. But in Aluko, Duggan, Taylor, Kirby and White you have got a group of five which could be cut down without you actually losing attributes in the process because they all share so many. I don't think any of them are particularly easy to drop though, for varying reasons. Even if central contracts weren't a factor it is hard to imagine them not being in the squad now because they are either mainstays or too big a deal has been made of their inclusion. Maybe that is one of the reasons we are using so many forwards in the first place? He just doesn't want to make a difficult decision.

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