No Sancho, no Top 4... Really?

rotherham_red

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Some proper Arsenal mentality. Feck this and Feck our board and it's utter incompetency.
Again, for the third time - I am not saying that 4th is our sole and only aim. However, we are a young team which is in the process of a long rebuild, where our young players develop and come in to their own, just as our competitors are due for their own rebuild. In order to maintain that progression it is imperative that we get top 4 at a minimum. To that end, the squad as is, is enough.

What is so unacceptable about that?
 

Hoof The Ball

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Arsenal, with the addition of Gabriel and Willian; in their 2nd season under Arteta with more defensive organisation and a deeper squad, will not have as poor a season as last.
Spurs, with the additions of Hojbjerg, Docherty, mostly likely Reguilon and possibly Bale, as well as being in their 2nd season under Mourinho, will surely have a better season than last.
Chelsea, with their vast squad improvement most likely will have a very strong push for top four.

It's not a dead cert at all.
 

bosnian_red

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We have no depth in our squad and will be playing two games a week for the entire season unless we discard the cups. Yeah if we effectively pull out of the Champions League and the Carabao Cup we'll be fine and I'd bet we finish 3rd/4th, but that won't happen, and we'll have decent runs in 3 cup competitions and that'll derail the league season given the fixtures as we'll 100% overplay Shaw, Wan Bissaka, Greenwood, Martial and Rashford. All 5 have absolutely no cover to rotate, so its going to be a painful season when very quickly, we'll get into a "injury crisis" and be forced to start players who aren't good enough. Same as last season when 2 injuries to Pogba and Martial through us into a crisis.

2 injuries isn't a crisis. Its poor planning. Simple as. Thats where we are right now. Not prepared adequately.
 

Adam-Utd

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It's no guarantee obviously, if everybody stays fit then we've got a decent 11 - but they won't stay fit and at full performance for 60 matches in an 8 month period it's just not possible.

That means we will be relying on Pereira, Mata, Lingard and James more often. Chances are we will drop points when that happens.
 

Godfather

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Again, for the third time - I am not saying that 4th is our sole and only aim. However, we are a young team which is in the process of a long rebuild, where our young players develop and come in to their own, just as our competitors are due for their own rebuild. In order to maintain that progression it is imperative that we get top 4 at a minimum. To that end, the squad as is, is enough.

What is so unacceptable about that?
That we are in that "rebuild" phase since Fergie left. It's the same excuses over and over again.
 

rotherham_red

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amolbhatia50k

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Top 4 isn't the ambition FFS.

We should be finishing top 4 this season regardless of Sancho. I'd say regardless of VDB too but we've got him anyway.

The larger is that were missing out on a wonderful opportunity to sign pretty much the perfect player to solve our right wing woes which have plagued us for nearly a decade. And one of the best most exciting young talents in the game who happens to be English , at that. It's the sort of transfer the club and team needed. Losing out on Sancho, is not the end of anything but it's a huge blow in the long run. Talents like them don't become available often. Missing out one for 20 odd million and then having to watch him shine for other teams for a decade lamenting what you have on the right would be utterly moronic

It's about the long term vision not merely "top 4" which is the bare minimum.
 

rotherham_red

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That we are in that "rebuild" phase since Fergie left. It's the same excuses over and over again.
Well, if LvG and Jose had the same age profile with their squads, then you might have a point. As it is however, they didn't. So you don't.
 

rotherham_red

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Top 4 isn't the ambition FFS.

We should be finishing top 4 this season regardless of Sancho. I'd say regardless of VDB too but we've got him anyway.

The larger is that were missing out on a wonderful opportunity to sign pretty much the perfect player to solve our right wing woes which have plagued us for nearly a decade. And one of the best most exciting young talents in the game who happens to be English , at that. It's the sort of transfer the club and team needed. Losing out on Sancho, is not the end of anything but it's a huge blow in the long run. Talents like them don't become available often. Missing out one for 20 odd million and then having to watch him shine for other teams for a decade lamenting what you have on the right would be utterly moronic

It's about the long term vision not merely "top 4" which is the bare minimum.
fecking hell.

For. The. Fourth. fecking. Time. Top. 4. Is. Not. The. fecking. Ambition.

It. Is. The. Bare. fecking. Minimum.
 

Panther

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This is starting to mirror 18/19 when we finished 2nd and only bought Dalot and Fred to improve the squad whilst being linked with a ton of bigger signings. But don't worry, because when we finish 6th, it'll be because of the toxic Moyes, LVG, Mourinho... Solskjaer, and probably Pogba for the 3rd season in a row.

I just hope the Glazers & Woodward can find a competent manager to not invest in the squad next season.
 

Godfather

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Well, if LvG and Jose had the same age profile with their squads, then you might have a point. As it is however, they didn't. So you don't.
LvG gave more youth players a chance than any other coach. Turned out half of them were fecking shit. Just because we buy young it doesn't mean all of these guys will turn out world beaters and that this project will work.

Also that's not the point. Ole simply hasn't been backed enough this window. As was the case with Mou in his second season. We seem to be ok with scrapping to fourth every season which shouldn't be our ambition.
 

RedSky

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I still feel Ole was making a statement to the club by using a small selection of players post lockdown. He repeats this theme against Sevilla by delaying our subs until the very end. He was making it crystal clear that the squad depth was a big issue that needed addressing and here we are about to go into our first game of the season with just one transfer in. Massive failure of the board and club, this will become an issue yet again when we're forced to replace our first team with sub par players due to injuries.
 

harms

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We were in the best position to challenge the top-2 before the beginning of this window and Sancho would've massively helped us with that goal. Now we're not even the favourites for the 3rd place.

We should still get into the top-4, but with a few injuries we can have another significant dip in form – and who knows, there's a huge possibility that at least one of Spurs/Wolves/Arsenal/Leicester will have a great season, perform better than expected and take the 4th place. We should've built on the momentum, but Ed once again decided not to push forward while we had an advantage.
 

kirk buttercup

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I wonder if many watched Sanchos First season at Dortmund ? He was decent but not anywhere near the level Greenwood has hit in his first season . If Greenwood pushes on we are going to have a World class player without buying Sancho. Dont get me wrong I would love Sancho , but I like our team I want to see the youth come through and I would like to add a bit of experience e.g. Thiago . whilst also getting rid of our deadwood that Just wont make the Grade . I think we have made progression under Ole and expect that to continue with or without Sancho . Definitely get top 4 I'm just interested to see how close we can get to the front runners
 

Chief123

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Have you seen our depth in the wide departments? I would say our depth isn't that great either except for CM
Yes we definitely don’t have depth in certain areas. But we are in the same boat as the ones who threaten us for top 4. I just feel our boat has less leaks than the likes of Spurs and Arsenal.
 

Eugenius

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Difference between us being a top 4 side and struggling for Europa league is one or two long term injuries to Martial, Rashford, Mason or Bruno. We need more depth to confirm top 4 let alone more quality to close the gap above. Sancho would do both, but the priority needs to be getting 2 more bodies in at a similar level to our current starting XI.

Hard to believe we're willing to throw around big money on the RW and we can only find Sancho as an attainable target that will improve us.
 

GlasgowCeltic

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Slightly uncomfortable with Greenwood likely having a 50-60 game season in his second full season. He could probably do it but shouldn’t have to so hopefully Sancho happens
 

tomaldinho1

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Arsenal, with the addition of Gabriel and Willian; in their 2nd season under Arteta with more defensive organisation and a deeper squad, will not have as poor a season as last.
Spurs, with the additions of Hojbjerg, Docherty, mostly likely Reguilon and possibly Bale, as well as being in their 2nd season under Mourinho, will surely have a better season than last.
Chelsea, with their vast squad improvement most likely will have a very strong push for top four.

It's not a dead cert at all.
Don't count on this. 50/50 will be a great top 4 run or Mou's last job in the PL
 

thesheriffjw

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Plenty of players there but its cost of said players in current climate.

35m for VDB is cheap in terms of his quality,

Overall, the fullback positions need better cover and money should be spent. Why its not amazes me.

Out and out forward is also a must. James is not up to it, so if front 3get injured, who do utd turn to?
 

crossy1686

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We're still comfortably the 4th best team in the PL but it could go really bad with a couple of injuries. The most disappointing thing about this window so far is that we're in a great place to close the gap on the top 2 and it looks like we're going to absolutely squander it. I can't help but feel the club are going to be really glad fans aren't back in the stadium come October 5th due to the vitriol that will be coming the boards.
 

Dirty Schwein

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I agree to an extent, but the board seemingly haven't done their end of the bargain. Still, we have a bit of time to get some of those out and new players in, so all hope isn't lost on that front for me.

I do think some of the squad players we have been denigrating could surprise a few if they stayed, however.
With the exception of JLingz, this can happen adn I hope it does BUT I wanted us to show some intent and move away from the chasing back. The top 4 should be us, Chelsea, City and Liverpool by a mile. But with our lack of activity, we're giving the likes of Arsenal a way back in...
 

Matthew84!

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Honestly I think its gonna be a struggle, our player's were so tired towards the end of the season, now we're asking them to do it all again plus champions league games, Arsenal, Tottenham, Wolves could easily play their reserves in europe, if Rashford or Martial gets injured we are screwed
 

Bilbo

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Its important that the squad go into this season believing that they can win the title, and I'm sure that this is the mindset that Ole and the staff are trying to instil into the players.

Lets look at the facts. With our current squad since Bruno signed (and this is a significant starting point because we had a serious problem with creativity and linking our play to the front three) we amassed 32 out of a possible 42 points. 9 wins and 5 draws, and that includes wins over Chelsea, City & Leicester, so it wasn't a case of rolling over some cannon fodder. We did that with this squad, and now we've added VDB to cover us against the biggest vulnerability we had - which was an injury to Bruno and not being able to link the team effectively.

Now before anyone gets carried away I'm not suggesting that we will win the title, but what I'm saying is that with the squad we have available to us right now, if they can keep up that kind of performance consistency there is no reason why we cannot finish this season with a points total that will get us there or thereabouts. This is a young team with a solid spine and the squad is full of players that we can reasonably expect to still improve rather than decline.

There is nothing wrong with feeling positive about our prospects. We played a TON of football last season and we coped. We stumbled and look tired towards the end, but we coped. If we, as I am confident we will, add another player or two before the window closes then that only helps us further. We have to stop being so bloody miserable as a fanbase. We have a lot to look forward to this season.
 

Crustanoid

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The depth is all important and ours is terrible. It’s a massive failure by the club if we don’t strengthen. Particularly in the forward areas. It will only take 2-3 injuries which are more than likely due to the fixture congestion this year. If that happens, lower than 4th is a real possibility.

Our board are massive idiots for not seeing this and miring is in perennial mediocrity.
 

Ish

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I think everyone needs to chill on the notion that the prospects of the team in the coming season are negative if we don't get Sancho.

Last season was no doubt a lucky escape but you have to remember the context: the likes of Pereira and Lingard were among the most played players last season and that damn well isn't happening this time round. Fred will be a squad player, likewise McTominay and James. Greenwood will be starting games rather than taking 6 months to be eased in like last year and Bruno will be here the whole season. Hopefully Pogba, Martial and Rashford will be more resilient as well.

Above all, I think what we have to remember is that the best elements of our best starting XI/squad are almost all very young, or are yet to hit their individual peaks, and who will naturally improve in their consistency and decision-making as they progress. They've had one season together starting consistently and we saw the marked improvement by the end of that season and it'll be a similar story this year as well, except it'll start from a much better base line than last year.

I think we'll improve on last year irrespective of whether Sancho comes, but the margin of our improvement would increase significantly if Sancho came. That is why the inertia surrounding the deal is so frustrating to me. He could be a further catalyst to the progression of this young and very exciting team that Ole is building here, just like Bruno was, and if we didn't get him, it would be a massive missed opportunity. However, if we don't get him, it doesn't mean that the team is a write-off. This team we have right now is very exciting even without Sancho.

With the squad as is, I'd have us comfortably 4th, challenging Chelsea for 3rd.

With Sancho, I'd have us easily 3rd and with luck giving 2nd a run for its money.

Irrespective however, I'd have us playing CL footy next season.
Agreed with that.
That's not good enough...we can push on and challenge for titles with a couple of signings.
This too.
 

Nickelodeon

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Is it possible for us to have a season like Spurs or Liverpool had when they signed no one or barely anyone?

Just asking.
 

bosnian_red

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Is it possible for us to have a season like Spurs or Liverpool had when they signed no one or barely anyone?

Just asking.
In terms of no injuries? Unlikely. Klopp and Pochettino through away both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup on purpose as they didn't have the squad to handle multiple competitions (still had more depth than we have now). It was also normal seasons for them, whereas we now have a super congested season and will play weekend and midweek every single week, unless we throw away both domestic cups and rotate heavily in the Champions League. We were stretched last season even though we rotated for the Europa League. Now that luxury is gone. We're fecked injury wise unless we sign depth to keep players fresh.
 

bosnian_red

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Yes we definitely don’t have depth in certain areas. But we are in the same boat as the ones who threaten us for top 4. I just feel our boat has less leaks than the likes of Spurs and Arsenal.
Nah I'd say we have way less depth than either Spurs or Arsenal, who can also rotate for Europe and likely won't be shy to do so. Wolves only have the premier league.

Ole would be wise to throw away every domestic cup and rotate heavily in the Champions League whatever the cost. Quite simply, we don't have the squad for it.
 

Siorac

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In terms of no injuries? Unlikely. Klopp and Pochettino through away both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup on purpose as they didn't have the squad to handle multiple competitions (still had more depth than we have now). It was also normal seasons for them, whereas we now have a super congested season and will play weekend and midweek every single week, unless we throw away both domestic cups and rotate heavily in the Champions League. We were stretched last season even though we rotated for the Europa League. Now that luxury is gone. We're fecked injury wise unless we sign depth to keep players fresh.
We should play the second XI in the domestic cups anyway. No reason to risk first teamers in those, regardless of who we sign or don't sign.
 

Nickelodeon

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In terms of no injuries? Unlikely. Klopp and Pochettino through away both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup on purpose as they didn't have the squad to handle multiple competitions (still had more depth than we have now). It was also normal seasons for them, whereas we now have a super congested season and will play weekend and midweek every single week, unless we throw away both domestic cups and rotate heavily in the Champions League. We were stretched last season even though we rotated for the Europa League. Now that luxury is gone. We're fecked injury wise unless we sign depth to keep players fresh.
Why can't we throw away FA Cup and Carabao?
 

Infra-red

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We might finish 4th without Sancho, we might not. We certainly won't finish any higher than that.
 

lewwoo

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No pressure on Ole this season if we make no more quality signings. 100% on the board.
 

Amerifan

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I think everyone needs to chill on the notion that the prospects of the team in the coming season are negative if we don't get Sancho.

Last season was no doubt a lucky escape but you have to remember the context: the likes of Pereira and Lingard were among the most played players last season and that damn well isn't happening this time round. Fred will be a squad player, likewise McTominay and James. Greenwood will be starting games rather than taking 6 months to be eased in like last year and Bruno will be here the whole season. Hopefully Pogba, Martial and Rashford will be more resilient as well.

Above all, I think what we have to remember is that the best elements of our best starting XI/squad are almost all very young, or are yet to hit their individual peaks, and who will naturally improve in their consistency and decision-making as they progress. They've had one season together starting consistently and we saw the marked improvement by the end of that season and it'll be a similar story this year as well, except it'll start from a much better base line than last year.

I think we'll improve on last year irrespective of whether Sancho comes, but the margin of our improvement would increase significantly if Sancho came. That is why the inertia surrounding the deal is so frustrating to me. He could be a further catalyst to the progression of this young and very exciting team that Ole is building here, just like Bruno was, and if we didn't get him, it would be a massive missed opportunity. However, if we don't get him, it doesn't mean that the team is a write-off. This team we have right now is very exciting even without Sancho.

With the squad as is, I'd have us comfortably 4th, challenging Chelsea for 3rd.

With Sancho, I'd have us easily 3rd and with luck giving 2nd a run for its money.

Irrespective however, I'd have us playing CL footy next season.
Chelsea are the only squad in the “top 6” who have significantly strengthened on paper. With or without Sancho we’re 3rd or 4th. Maybe 2nd if Pool hits an injury patch like we had last season or City has a bad run of form and implodes. Sancho is nice to have but doesn’t by himself change our position in the league. We still have a few other holes to plug before mounting a credible title run.
 

Chief123

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Nah I'd say we have way less depth than either Spurs or Arsenal, who can also rotate for Europe and likely won't be shy to do so. Wolves only have the premier league.

Ole would be wise to throw away every domestic cup and rotate heavily in the Champions League whatever the cost. Quite simply, we don't have the squad for it.
I honestly don't understand the notion that Spurs have a stronger squad than us. A few have mentioned it here now. I absolutely disagree. In fact, lets have a look at both squads:

Spurs
Lloris
Gazzanigga

Alderweireld
Sanchez
Foyth
Aurier
Davies
Tangana
Doherty
Reguilon

Winks
Lamela
Dier
Sissoko
Sessegnon
Alli
Ndombele
Fernandes
Holjberg
Lo Celso

Moura
Son
Kane
Bergwijn


Utd
De gea
Henderson

AWB
Lindelof
Maguire
Shaw
Bailly
Williams
Tuanzebe
Jones
Laird/Mengi

Matic
Pogba
Fred
Mctominay
Bruno
Peirera
Mata
Van Der Beek
Lingard

Martial
Rashford
Greenwood
James
Ighalo

I've left out any potential signings as I still think we'll be adding Sancho to that and Spurs possibly Bale. But the difference in quality and depth is very noticeable to me. Spurs don't even have any players of quality to construct a midfield.

Yes we can argue we are one or two injuries to the front players from being in trouble. But Spurs and Arsenal both have the same problems. If you take Kane and Son out of that squad, you have a bang average group of players to work with. If Arsenal lose Aubamayeng for any length of time they are in serious trouble. I think we are hyping other squads up too much and putting our own squad down. We absolutely need to get rid of deadwood and bring in quality replacements. But we can't ignore the fact other teams have a lot of deadwood that are having to go straight into their starting elevens. We just have them as squad depth problems.
 

Sandikan

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No Sancho doesn't affect top 4. It affects that outside chance of a go at the top.
We hit top 4 having played like chumps half of last season with huge injuries to key players.
Only Chelsea have dramatically improved from below us
 

Sandikan

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Nah I'd say we have way less depth than either Spurs or Arsenal, who can also rotate for Europe and likely won't be shy to do so. Wolves only have the premier league.

Ole would be wise to throw away every domestic cup and rotate heavily in the Champions League whatever the cost. Quite simply, we don't have the squad for it.
How do we have less depth than those teams?
Tottenham have a single striker of any note.
Kane gets his yearly injury and who comes in?

Arsenal have numbers but so do we. It's about quality and very few teams have much outside the main 14 or so in the squad.
 

DRM

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Yes, really!!

Teams who you'd expect to be challenging have improved. Chelsea, Arsenal, Wolves and dare I say it spurs with the acquisitions of reguilon and potentially Bale.

We're going into the season with a massively out of form rashford and a kid still finding his feet in Greenwood. We have to compete in the CL and the domestic cups on top of the PL. Do you honestly think that front 3 can play that many games? Do you also think its fair to rely so much on greenwood at that young age? He will, like most young players, have his ups and downs. We needed more attacking power, every man and his dog knew that. We haven't got anyone and it looks like we're not going to get anyone. So yes, IMO it will be a struggle to get into the top 4. Instead of challenging city and liverpool, we're fighting again to get into a competition it seems has no bearing on which players we can sign.