No Tierney, No Partey, No Tomy, No 4th place party?

So here is the update since our humbling loss to Vieira’s palace:

  1. We lost after a very poor performance;
  2. Tierney has been injured on his knee while playing for Scotland, will be operated shortly and unavailable for the rest of the season;
  3. Partey also aggravated his thigh injury but could be 2-3 weeks out;
  4. Tomy is expected to train again after the 16th of April…

So we are

  • without our main LB for the remainder of the season;
  • without our main RB until the third week of April if all goes well;
  • without our main midfielder but do not know for how long.

Here are our options:

  • Play Cedric at RB until Tomy comes back and Tavares at LB
  • Play Cedric at RB until Tomy comes back and Xhaka at LB
  • Play Tomy when he comes back at RB and Cedric at LB
  • Play Xhaka-Lokonga as our double-pivot until Partey is back
  • Play Xhaka-El Neny as our double-pivot until Partey is back
  • Play Lokonga-El Neny as our double pivot until Partey is back
  • Play a midfield 3 with Lokonga, El Neny, Xhaka
  • Of course if Xhaka is played at LB, we would need to play other options in midfield…

We could also revert to a back 5 as Holding has been playing well…and Tavares may be more comfortable in that set-up together with Cedric…

Ramsdale – Holding, White, Gabs – Cedric, Lokonga, Xhaka, Tavares – Ode or ESR – Saka, Laca

Is that our best option in the end?

We do have a thin squad indeed and we have to make sure that we do our best with what we have but clearly we will need to invest in a CM, a FW and maybe we also need to consider keeping AMN (?) or bringing in another FB…

Anyways, race to Top 4 just got a little tougher…


18 Responses to No Tierney, No Partey, No Tomy, No 4th place party?

  1. fred1266 says:

    Partey would be a big miss

  2. RC78 says:

    It is a thigh injury so I d say 3 weeks…minimum

  3. RC78 says:

    Darwin did quite well in the second half vs Liverpool…He stood his own both physically and technically and could have even been awarded a PK after scoring a goal for Benfica…Let us see what he does in Anfield

  4. pbarany says:

    I really appreciate the structure you presented our dilemma(s).
    My answers are the first choices:
    – play Cedric at RB until Tomi comes back and Tavares at LB
    – Play Xhaka-Lokonga as our double-pivot until Partey is back

    I’m still concerned about the lack of chances we create even in 4-2-3-1 (and the consistently low xG), so I don’t recommend switching to 3-5-2. I also doubt Saka playing effectively as a forward.
    So we should revert to the good old formation and use the backup players: Cedric, Tavares and Lokonga.

    If we desperately try to play with 5 defenders I would sacrifice the striker role and play in 3-4-3 with
    Ramsdale – White, Holding, Gabriel – Cedric, Lokonga, Xhaka, Tavares – Martinelli, Odegaard, Pepe/Saka
    This way we could employ dangerous winger/forwards capable of dribbling, passing and shooting. And if we need we can substitute Holding with Nketiah (!) mid-game, and revert to 4-2-3-1 effortlessly.

  5. Positive pete says:

    Keep calm & carry on.

  6. RC78 says:

    Interesting take pbarany…

    Let us see what the match vs Brighton holds for us…

    Now, if AFC really want to compete properly next year, we ll need to beef up our squad…I would say that if we qualify for Europe, we should really go after Tchouameni in midfield. He is really phenomenal and I think he could be tempted by AFC rather than other teams because we could guarantee him playing time as a starter…There is a lot of talk about Abraham, Darwin, Isak, Lewin, Nunez and Toney as potentially joining us and again, we could lure them with Europe and playing time as starters…We need 150-160 Mln to complete these two signings

    Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, TCHOUAMENI – Saka, Ode (or ESR), Martinelli – DARWIN

    Turner – Cedric, Holding, Mavro?, Tavares (?) – Lokonga, Xhaka – Pepe, ESR (or Ode), Kostic (or Barnes?) – Laca (or Nketiah)

    We would still look a bit shaky at full-back but Tchouameni would bring a new dimension to our midfield and Darwin to our attack

  7. RC78 says:

    I just don’t understand Emery…he does wonders with 2nd tier teams like Sevilla and Villareal but struggles with bigger teams like AFC and PSG…

  8. fred1266 says:

    He only good with Spanish teams Rc78

  9. RC78 says:

    Yeah that could be it too but damn he is good with them

  10. RC78 says:

    Benzema is out of this world this season…I hope he keeps this form at the WC2022…

  11. RC78 says:

    Imagine if Benzema was our CF…lol

  12. RC78 says:

    Ten Haag to Man Utd. Excellent coach indeed and probably he will be given time to build a competitive team with a strong football identity. Bad news for PSG and Pochetinno

  13. Las says:

    Cheer up RC! We are down but definitely not out!
    As PB(arany) wrote we still have options and a fighting chance and that have to be enough. Certainly we could do some luck as well.
    After the winter session it was obvious we have a paper thin squad so no surprise here.
    I might go for a 3-4-3 formation like Ramsdale – White, Holding, Gabriel – Cedric, Lokonga, Xhaka, Tavares – Martinelli, Odegaard, Pepe/Saka (thanks PB) and go for it.

  14. RC78 says:

    M usually cautiously optimistic with a pinch of pessimistic realism 😛

    I like the 343 set-up as well but let us see what M.A has in store for us but I think that in Holding, we have a player that can help shore up the defenses lapses of our full-backs…

  15. pbarany says:

    Las, we were often lucky this season, but we could indeed use some luck in the remaining rounds. Maybe a red card (for the opponent, obviously) against Chelsea, Man U and especially Tottenham.

    RC78, here are my 2+1 line-ups for the next season:

    Ramsdale – Tomi, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, KOOPMEINERS – Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli – GOUIRI/GAKPO

    Turner – Cedric, Holding, Saliba, Tavares – Lokonga, Xhaka – Pepe, ESR, Nelson – Nketiah/Balogun

    Hein – Norton-Cuffy, Ballard, Trusty, Sousa – Azeez, Patino – Taylor-Hart, Flores, Hutchinson, Balogun/Beiereth

    Notable mentions / Subs: Okonkwo, Clark, Walters, Lopez, Salah-Eddine, Cottrell

    Possible surprise inclusions: Maitland-Niles, Mari

    Final day loan: Riqui Puig

  16. VP says:

    ditto – Keep calm & carry on

  17. LBG says:

    Given Palace ( and probably Brighton) have realised that a ” dropping” Lacazette, IF GIVEN TIME to receive and turn, can feed our wide players into the space he has vacated. And having realised it, put a shadow tightly on him. Is it time to try a new “No 9″ in Lacas current position? I suggest yes, since there is no scope for any more serious mistakes from now on!
    I believe, a newly bulked out and ” thoughtful”, Martinelli should be used there at the start on Saturday. Sure, he may get chopped ( and certainly wont be protected by the idiots in black), but could his improved toughness and in particular speed create the chances we need from the off at the Emirates? Discuss.

  18. fred1266 says:

    Great idea LBG

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