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Player ins & outs and all round squad discussion

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I'll be really annoyed if Staniforth leaves for exactly the same reason I was really annoyed when Rolser left. We have obviously been spending the last couple of seasons searching for pennies down the back the sofa and in Rolser and Staniforth we had two players who weren't able to contribute anything for significant time but who we couldn't get reinforcements for because we had nothing to spend. We were short of numbers of a season and a half having to leave space for them to return one day and it was bad enough that Rolser went through the exit door as soon as we got her fit again but Staniforth doing it as well would take the piss. And I know it isn't their fault and it's not them I'd be annoyed at but it would be frustrating no matter what was to blame.

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Just saw this: Washington Spirit ‏@WashSpirit 14h14 hours ago
ROSTER NEWS: Spirit waives forward Ngozi Sonia Okobi. Read: bit.ly 1mFXUVj

I wouldn't mind if she showed up at Liverpool, she would have played with Oshoala before and they might make a good pairing.

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I would love to sign the Okobi who played in that 3-3 game against Sweden at the World Cup. She scored the first goal, then made that ridiculous 70 yard through ball assist for Oshoala who got the second, and then did it again for the third from 50 yards. If you could guarantee that was the player we got it would be a no brainer.

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Unless the squad regulations have changed this season I don't think we have room for Okobi. Oshoala and White are likely taking up our two non-EU spots, I haven't heard anything to suggest either of them are Euro passport dual-nationals. If Okobi isn't either and clubs are still limited to two then she can't come. We will have to find somebody else to assist from our own half.

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I'm excited that Lundh might be a Red. Fors was amazing for us and hopefully her fellow Swede will be just as well. With the the potential of the Dutch girl and Weir joining I think that Rogers has brought in adequate replacements and I feel a hell of a lot better than I did at the end of November. The midfield, especially, will be very young but hopefully keen to prove themselves for national team call ups and less injury prone. A team with potential and to grow our future with.

I expect that if they are to bring these three players in it will be announced early next week since Twitter makes it look like the girls are backing training on Monday. I can't wait for the friendly against Piteå in February to see how well the girls are gelling.

Does anyone know if the Coombs loan has the potential of buying later on?

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Guest wrote:Does anyone know if the Coombs loan has the potential of buying later on?
Intra-WSL loans are so rare it's very hard to know how detailed the terms of the deal would be. I haven't heard anything about any clauses in this one.

I get the impression the only reason she is out on loan is because Hayes needs to make space for Carney, but doesn't want to let go of Coombs permanently just in case juggling her forwards doesn't go well and one of them wants out, meaning Coombs is needed again. If that's accurate then it wouldn't have been in Hayes' best interests to put a buy clause into the loan agreement. 

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Hayes needs to make space for Carney, but doesn't want to let go of Coombs permanently just in case juggling her forwards doesn't go well and one of them wants out, meaning Coombs is needed again

I'm not a fan of intra-league loans at all, especially with how small the wsl league is anyway. We already can't play Coombs in over 10% of our league games and anytime that we meet Chelsea in the cups. I would also guess that Hayes could recall Coombs from loan at some point in the season if Chelsea are struggling. That's why i thought it very odd that they did the whole shirt photoshoot at her announcement for her since she isn't permanently a Liverpool player. I'm happy that she's going to play for us and she is a talented player, I just wish it wasn't a loan and all the drawbacks that come from with it.

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Chelsea can only recall her against our wishes if they insisted on a re-call clause being added to the deal. They don't exist by default. I hope we didn't meet such a demand if there was one because it wouldn't be in our interests to put ourselves in a position where a player, who will presumably play a key role, could be taken back on Chelsea's whim.

The thing I'm most bothered about is who is paying her wages, us or them.

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I don't think we have room for Okobi. Oshoala and White are likely taking up our two non-EU spots,

Last year we had Stout, Oshoala, and White. The FA might have changed the squad regulations.

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I hope Staniforth stays because her game is not too dissimilar to Fara's in some ways and we now need it. But I haven't heard anything about what is going on with her other than this Sunderland link mentioned up thread. So if the only clue says she is leaving do you have to assume she is leaving? I might just do that anyway.

Sounds like Staniforth's move to Sunderland is imminent. She hardly played so it's not that she will leave a gapping whole but it is frustrating that we've been paying her the last two years for rehab just for her to go when she's healthy.

I'm hoping those other signings work out, with the girls starting pre-season tomorrow you'd think they would be close to being finalised and announced if they are going to happen.

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Staniforth did leave a hole though, not on the pitch because she barely set foot on it, but a general hole in the squad. She was still on our books while she was rehabbing and that in itself wasn't a problem because it's standard, the problem was we weren't in a position to bring in an additional player who could contribute what she couldn't at the time. We carried that hole for the best part of two seasons having to work from the expectation that she would one day return to fill it herself. And all while we were being wiped out left and right. Then when she eventually returns from injury she goes to contribute somewhere else and we do finally get a replacement but only once she has gone. The fact that practically the same thing happened with Rolser as well is a bit of a joke.

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If van den Berg is confirmed we will have a back line of Harris - Bonner - VDB - Schroder (assuming nobody else arrives)

Which means we have Williams, Omarsdottir, Staniforth and cover by Easton out / Ingle, Coombs, Weir and possible cover by Murray in

It's balanced in terms of numbers at least (so long as van den Berg is true to push Murray into the cover role). I wouldn't mind another midfielder though if possible, I've always felt we were one light in that area.

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push Murray into the cover role)
I do like the idea of Murray right in front of the back four instead of CB. I know she was young last year and she did improve a lot but some of her challenges in the box were dreadful and I think opponents later in the season went down extremely easy anytime she came near them because of her reputation. So getting her out of the backline would be immense if for no other reason than if she does give away those fouls they'll be fk instead of pk. She's strong, a great header of the ball and can make dangerous runs into the midfield. If her passing and awareness of the game increase she could become a good player for us in that position.

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Guest wrote:* It's balanced in terms of numbers at least (so long as van den Berg is true to push Murray into the cover role). I wouldn't mind another midfielder though if possible, I've always felt we were one light in that area.
It's balanced numbers wise if you just count the names on each side of the equation, but if you factor in that Staniforth barely featured it's only three players out or three and a half at most - which means that so long as Ingle, Coombs, Weir and Murray don't suffer a long term injury of their own you can argue it's 3 vs 4 and we are an option up. That extra body you want to see has sort of been found, albeit in a weird roundabout way. 

If we can afford another midfielder then I would take one just to be sure, but if not there are other areas we need to address more and should just let Zelem, Dale and Longhurst have a go. I thought the latter was particularly good in midfield last season.

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Guest wrote:I do like the idea of Murray right in front of the back four instead of CB. I know she was young last year and she did improve a lot but some of her challenges in the box were dreadful and I think opponents later in the season went down extremely easy anytime she came near them because of her reputation. So getting her out of the backline would be immense if for no other reason than if she does give away those fouls they'll be fk instead of pk. She's strong, a great header of the ball and can make dangerous runs into the midfield. If her passing and awareness of the game increase she could become a good player for us in that position.
I thought she started off very well and then lost her way once the players around her kept changing every game. It's hard to adapt to new leagues and teams without line up stability. It didn't help that our defence was completely exposed by our lack of midfield either. And her confidence was clearly shot to pieces as well; the more she tried to not make mistakes the more mistakes she made. You're right that she needs to speed up her reading of the game if she wants to be a DM, and that her runs from deep could be pretty deadly if used right.

Her first season wasn't great at all and I'm sure she knows it. But if others who had far less reason to be in poor form had the fact they were poor excused then she deserves another chance.

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should just let Zelem, Dale and Longhurst have a go. I thought the latter was particularly good in midfield last season.

Love Longhurst what a fighter. We also have Mollie Green coming through, I would like to see us give her some minutes to develop her game. If we indeed can't compete with Chelsea, Man City, and Arsenal money-wise (as seen in the last couple years with those three clubs either buying or enticing our better players away) I want us to spend time developing our own talent and with Coombs only here on loan I think continue development of Zelem, Dale and Green should be a priority for Scott.

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Once we confirm van den Berg and Lundh, do we think that's us finished or more to come?

It would give us...

GK: Chamberlain, Gibbons
DEF: Bonner, Harris, Schroder, Murray, Pacheco, vdB
MID: Zelem, Ingle, Coombs, Weir
ATT: White, Longhurst, Oshoala, Dale, Hodson, Lundh

...which would be one fullback and one forward less than the squad that finished last season not counting dev team cover.

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I would say our starting team is within the list above. I can't see anybody else coming in to take a place in the XI because that would mean bumping somebody out and I don't think those who would be bumped out have stayed or signed up for bit part. If we do add more players you would expect them to be rotation/cover options. So it's all about deciding whether there is any value to signing that or if those in the dev team would be sufficient. 

I personally would prefer signings to dev team. I have no problem with giving minutes to our youngsters but after the injuries of the last two years I think it would be asking for trouble if we reduced our number of senior players.

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I too think that we can rely on our development squad as well. However, I think that we need to at least sign another full back. Schroeder has been too injury prone and Maz is too young for her to play every game. I would also like another midfielder and defender but we could fill in those positions with the development squad. The only problem with a lack of depth is we most likely are going to lose Lundh, White, Zelem, and Maz for a few games due to the Olympics and u-20 wwc so it would be nice to have another midfielder during that time.

We have a making of a good team.

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So long as we match last season's number of senior players I'll be content. I don't mind if the squad doesn't get bigger than that or if it only gets bigger by way of adding in dev team graduates, but I'll be disappointed if we shrink. Two more signings plus van den Berg would get us back up to even. That has to be the minimum; not just because it's needed in case our injuries repeat but because it would be a horrible statement to see us still getting smaller each window even after all our highest earners move on. 

I haven't seen squat linking us to two more additions though.

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Does anyone recognise the girl next to Kate?
https://twitter.com/LFCladies/status/689482999847620608

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^ It's Coombs. I can't see anybody in those photos who shouldn't be there. There aren't many faces at all actually, so either the rest of the photos ended up catching players we can't see yet or not everybody was involved.

On a side note because I can't be bothered to start a new thread... these were taken at the Academy, are we no longer training at the stadium?

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Guest wrote:I haven't seen squat linking us to two more additions though.
As already posted, if we did get more they're not likely to be starting player profile and it would therefore be much easier to arrive undetected.

But it's also possible that we will give ourselves half a season to settle and see what, if anything, is missing from our new look squad. Waiting until the summer to add any final additions would have its merits. Though it would of course mean chancing our luck until the next window but we really shouldn't be getting wiped out between then and now.

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Guest wrote:But it's also possible that we will give ourselves half a season to settle and see what, if anything, is missing from our new look squad. Waiting until the summer to add any final additions would have its merits. Though it would of course mean chancing our luck until the next window but we really shouldn't be getting wiped out between then and now.
I don't dislike this idea in principle, but the Olympics are later in the summer than the Euros and World Cup are which means that if we carry on with breaks, tournaments and transfer windows all happening at the same time the transfer window will be later too. 

We could get an actual half way split this year unlike past years when the second half of the season has been twice as long as the first. Reinforcements would arrive later in and have less time to make a difference, and would also quite likely not be here in time to cover international duty absence which would be a big reason for having them signed in the first place.

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We won't be losing many to the Olympics. New Zealand have to get past Papua New Guinea in a double legged play off at the end of this month, and presumably they will so that's White going to Rio if selected. Only one of Lundh or van den Berg can go or it could be that neither do. Nigeria didn't qualify so Oshoala isn't going. It's two players at most, one of which can already be covered by Murray anyway.

This year's U20 World Cup has been moved from summer to winter so that is of no concern and we don't even have any players who have qualified since England didn't. The U19 Euros is 19-31 July.

So all in all I think we will get away with it relatively unscathed. Best case scenario would be losing only White and a couple of youngsters. van den Berg on top of that as well would be a little trickier. But the worst case would be White, the youngsters and Lundh just because both White and Lundh are forwards.

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