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How far is our squad off from a promotion challenge/ Championship potential?

Maybe a bit harsh in the shadow of tonight's performance but think we are a fair bit off from genuinely competing for promotion and then having the foundation of a Championship team.

Once league status is secured we should surely focus on next year's campaign ie as Steve Brown was saying...sign up those you want to keep now etc. 

By my reckoning we would need a significant rebuild along the lines of the below if we are going to seriously challenge to be one of the best 3 teams in this league over the next 2 seasons.  A pretty big task.

A month ago we looked like world beaters so not sure what has gone wrong in that time but much of our squad don't inspire as promotion material let alone having potential to compete in the championship in the next 2 years.


GK

Craig MacGillivray Yes

 Stephen Henderson  2nd/3rd choice

  

Def

 Akin Famewo (on loan from Norwich City) No

Jason Pearce (captain) No

Samuel Lavelle Yes

Ryan Inniss  If injury permits

Pape Souaré No

 Sean Clare Yes Best right back at the club

 Adam Matthews No

 Chris Gunter No

Ben Purrington Yes

 Deji Elerewe Yes as a development player


Mid
George Dobson Yes

Diallang Jaiyesimi  Squad player maybe but can't see Championship quality/ potential so only maybe

Jake Forster-Caskey Yes but hopefully injury hasn’t caused him to lose too much

Elliot Lee (on loan from Luton Town) Squad player rather than key man

 Charlie Kirk No

 Corey Blackett-Taylor No

 Albie Morgan No

Alex Gilbey  Yes

 Ben Watson No

 

 ST/FWD

Jayden Stockley (vice-captain) Yes

Conor Washington Yes

 Josh Davison No

Jonathan Leko (on loan from Birmingham City) Maybe but need to pick a position for him

Mason Burstow- keep and keep hold of him at all costs

 

So probably by that reckoning we would need one or two centre backs, cover at full backs, 3 or 4 midfielders and one or two goal scorers.

Am I being overly pessimistic?
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Comments

  • I can’t work it out mate. 6 weeks ago I thought we had a team that had been massively underperforming but had finally started to click. I thought the basis was there, competing with Rotherham and Sunderland, smashing Plymouth, Doncaster and Ipswich. We’d find the right tempo to play at, tightened defensively and looked like scoring goals. It was set up for a strong second half finish where I expected us to be the one in the play offs everyone else would want to avoid.

    All those aspects seem seem to have gone in a space of weeks. To the extent the season is effectively over.

    Im not going to lash out blaming people but it just doesn’t make sense. It can’t just be Stockley missing.
    Teams getting a good chance to have a look at us playing that formation before the matches, tiredness as we've got no strength in depth, injuries (Stockley, Washington), Covid cases... all adds up I guess.  
  • edited January 12
    Don't know about challenging for promotion but apart from some of the kids and Dobson as a squad player I don't think a single other of our players would be up to Championship football.  There is quite a gap between L1 and Championship now.  Stockley could be 3/4th choice there but Preston sold him because he was not a starter in their team and they are decidedly average.  Innis would be but can't stay fit. Jury out on Lavelle but not been overly impressed to date.
  • I agree with you @cabbles, my worry is that if TS worth is down to £85M shares in Zynex plus whatever cash he has which is unlikely to be vast then how much budget will we have to rip up and start again.  I feel our summer budget will depend entirely on Gomez and Pope
  • edited January 12
    cabbles said:
    MacGivillary - maybe
    Clare - yes
    Purrington - no
    Matthews - no
    Gunter - no
    Pearce - no
    Inniss - probably no based on injuries 
    Lavelle - no idea 
    Famewo - maybe
    Souare - no

    Dobson - yes
    JFC - no
    Gilbey - no
    Lee - no
    Kirk - no
    Morgan - no
    DJ - no
    CBT - no 
    Watson - no

    Washington - no
    Stockley - maybe 
    Davison - no
    Burstow - no idea 

    If you think I’m being extreme, I can understand.  I think results and where we are in the league speaks volumes.  People thought we were 3 or 4 players off last year.  

    I actually like Washington.  However, I don’t see him as someone taking us up.  I think Gilbey is massively overrated, and the only midfielder I think we’ve got worthy of a promotion winning team is Dobson.  

    We really are at the stage where the whole thing needs to be ripped up and started again if we want to go up.  Unfortunately a lot of these players are here next season as well.  Signing CBT until the end of next season seems crazy now.  

    I honestly think it’s that extreme 
    I'd keep Purrington, but other than that I agree. I can't see us doing the rebuild that's required though.
  • edited January 12
    The whole premise has to change if we are serious on making a push.

    Summer recruitment has got to be right and EARLY. I can't emphasise enough the advantage of getting your core sqaud together and letting them gel and bond long before a ball is kicked.

    And the recruitment has got to provide some pedigree. Not ageing defenders and midfielders (Gunter and Watson) Not journeymen wingers who can't nail down a place elsewhere(Leko, Blackett-Taylor)
    Not main strikers who are not really strikers(Washington) or strikers that are not even footballers (Schwartz)

    If TS is as serious as he says he is then it can't be done on the cheap. He will have to throw serious money at it,even at this level.
  • edited January 12
    11 first team players off the Championship. 

    Not a single player I'd point to as being ready for the step up. The only maybe is Dobson because he does have games where he looks that level. 

    The rest of the players are just far too average most games to be part of a promotion winning side. 
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  • cabbles said:
    MacGivillary - maybe
    Clare - yes
    Purrington - no
    Matthews - no
    Gunter - no
    Pearce - no
    Inniss - probably no based on injuries 
    Lavelle - no idea 
    Famewo - maybe
    Souare - no

    Dobson - yes
    JFC - no
    Gilbey - no
    Lee - no
    Kirk - no
    Morgan - no
    DJ - no
    CBT - no 
    Watson - no

    Washington - no
    Stockley - maybe 
    Davison - no
    Burstow - no idea 

    If you think I’m being extreme, I can understand.  I think results and where we are in the league speaks volumes.  People thought we were 3 or 4 players off last year.  

    I actually like Washington.  However, I don’t see him as someone taking us up.  I think Gilbey is massively overrated, and the only midfielder I think we’ve got worthy of a promotion winning team is Dobson.  

    We really are at the stage where the whole thing needs to be ripped up and started again if we want to go up.  Unfortunately a lot of these players are here next season as well.  Signing CBT until the end of next season seems crazy now.  

    I honestly think it’s that extreme 
    Gilbey is one of our best players. Shining light this season for me. 
  • As in the words of The Who.....

    Miles and miles and miles and miles.

    Yet another summer rebuild beckons. 
  • edited January 12
    J BLOCK said:
    cabbles said:
    MacGivillary - maybe
    Clare - yes
    Purrington - no
    Matthews - no
    Gunter - no
    Pearce - no
    Inniss - probably no based on injuries 
    Lavelle - no idea 
    Famewo - maybe
    Souare - no

    Dobson - yes
    JFC - no
    Gilbey - no
    Lee - no
    Kirk - no
    Morgan - no
    DJ - no
    CBT - no 
    Watson - no

    Washington - no
    Stockley - maybe 
    Davison - no
    Burstow - no idea 

    If you think I’m being extreme, I can understand.  I think results and where we are in the league speaks volumes.  People thought we were 3 or 4 players off last year.  

    I actually like Washington.  However, I don’t see him as someone taking us up.  I think Gilbey is massively overrated, and the only midfielder I think we’ve got worthy of a promotion winning team is Dobson.  

    We really are at the stage where the whole thing needs to be ripped up and started again if we want to go up.  Unfortunately a lot of these players are here next season as well.  Signing CBT until the end of next season seems crazy now.  

    I honestly think it’s that extreme 
    Gilbey is one of our best players. Shining light this season for me. 
    Jury out for Gilbey, does a couple nice runs but gives away stupid fouls each game and never scores/assists. Mildly better than the wank that is Lee. Not having him at all
  • Maybe a bit harsh in the shadow of tonight's performance but think we are a fair bit off from genuinely competing for promotion and then having the foundation of a Championship team.

    Once league status is secured we should surely focus on next year's campaign ie as Steve Brown was saying...sign up those you want to keep now etc. 

    By my reckoning we would need a significant rebuild along the lines of the below if we are going to seriously challenge to be one of the best 3 teams in this league over the next 2 seasons.  A pretty big task.

    A month ago we looked like world beaters so not sure what has gone wrong in that time but much of our squad don't inspire as promotion material let alone having potential to compete in the championship in the next 2 years.


    GK

    Craig MacGillivray Yes

     Stephen Henderson  2nd/3rd choice

      

    Def

     Akin Famewo (on loan from Norwich City) No

    Jason Pearce (captain) No

    Samuel Lavelle Yes

    Ryan Inniss  If injury permits

    Pape Souaré No

     Sean Clare Yes Best right back at the club

     Adam Matthews No

     Chris Gunter No

    Ben Purrington Yes

     Deji Elerewe Yes as a development player


    Mid
    George Dobson Yes

    Diallang Jaiyesimi  Squad player maybe but can't see Championship quality/ potential so only maybe

    Jake Forster-Caskey Yes but hopefully injury hasn’t caused him to lose too much

    Elliot Lee (on loan from Luton Town) Squad player rather than key man

     Charlie Kirk No

     Corey Blackett-Taylor No

     Albie Morgan No

    Alex Gilbey  Yes

     Ben Watson No

     

     ST/FWD

    Jayden Stockley (vice-captain) Yes

    Conor Washington Yes

     Josh Davison No

    Jonathan Leko (on loan from Birmingham City) Maybe but need to pick a position for him

    Mason Burstow- keep and keep hold of him at all costs

     

    So probably by that reckoning we would need one or two centre backs, cover at full backs, 3 or 4 midfielders and one or two goal scorers.

    Am I being overly pessimistic?
    More than half the players you've left us with are nowhere near promotion level. Career League 1/2 players for a reason.
  • Worrying if that's the case mate.
  • I'm in agreement with Cabbles. 

    I like Gilbey, but one goal this season is not a good enough return for him to continue starting in our midfield. 
  • When you compare this team with the  Bowyer play off winning team man for man, that side would smash the absolute granny out of this current crop. We're a long way from challenging for promotion.
    The 13 that played in the play off final would but.... 

    The rest of that squad wasn't that good.  Lapslie, Marshall and Reeves played over 40 games between them that season.  Solly played over 30, and regardless of what anyone says he was shot by then.

    I totally agree that we do need a "clear out" and a "rebuild", words that crop up on here a lot over the last 2 years.  But we don't need that many "better" players.

    You add, for example, Aribo, Cullen, Bielik and Taylor to this squad instead of Watson, Morgan, Kirk and Davison.  That's got to be in with a chance of the play offs.  That's 4 players, 3 of which came in one window and didn't cost a penny (of course they did but not in transfer fees). 

    The Bowyer play off winners, including the two subs who made a massive impact, 
    7 didn't play for us the season before and 2 more were youth in their brake through season.  Only 4 Pearce, BFG, Sarr and Aribo were "legacy" players. 

    It's the same for Curbs play off winners.  Illic, Mills, Youds, Bowen, Heaney and Bright all joined mid season.  7/11 hadn't been there the previous year. 

    You can do it, very quickly, I have no confidence at all we will though, based on the last 3 or 4 windows. 

  • My ideal squad for next season would be something like:

    GK - Mac/AMB (AMB might want to leave so Henderson for another year is fine). 
    RCB - Need a first teamer, someone who can play RB too. Clare and Deji as cover. 
    CB - Lavelle/Pearce
    LCB - Famewo (if we can buy him) and cover who also doubles up as cover for Lavelle in the centre (or Famewo move to the centre). 
    RWB - Competition for DJ
    LWB - Competition for Purrington
    CM - Dobson/JFC/Gilbey/Clare. Another DM to properly cover Dobson. 
    CAM - Competition for Lee if we can get him permanently. 
    STR - Two new ones to compete with Stockley and Washington. 
    CBT as an extra, more luxurious player, with the option to play wingers. 

    That's 8 new signings on top of Famewo and Lee. Probably need to buy 3 of them with 5 on loan or frees. Not sure we'll have the budget for it but I'd sell Morgan, Kirk and Davison to help fund it. 

    Gunter, Matthews, Souare, Inniss, Watson, Morgan, Kirk and Davison should be moved on. 
  • J BLOCK said:
    cabbles said:
    MacGivillary - maybe
    Clare - yes
    Purrington - no
    Matthews - no
    Gunter - no
    Pearce - no
    Inniss - probably no based on injuries 
    Lavelle - no idea 
    Famewo - maybe
    Souare - no

    Dobson - yes
    JFC - no
    Gilbey - no
    Lee - no
    Kirk - no
    Morgan - no
    DJ - no
    CBT - no 
    Watson - no

    Washington - no
    Stockley - maybe 
    Davison - no
    Burstow - no idea 

    If you think I’m being extreme, I can understand.  I think results and where we are in the league speaks volumes.  People thought we were 3 or 4 players off last year.  

    I actually like Washington.  However, I don’t see him as someone taking us up.  I think Gilbey is massively overrated, and the only midfielder I think we’ve got worthy of a promotion winning team is Dobson.  

    We really are at the stage where the whole thing needs to be ripped up and started again if we want to go up.  Unfortunately a lot of these players are here next season as well.  Signing CBT until the end of next season seems crazy now.  

    I honestly think it’s that extreme 
    Gilbey is one of our best players. Shining light this season for me. 
    Being one of our best players among this mediocrity doesn’t shine for me unfortunately.  1 goal all season.  Don’t think he’s good enough to get us out of this league.  I do appreciate I’ll probably be in the minority on that one though 
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  • JamesSeed said:
    So weird that we could look decent against Norwich, a Champs/Prem yo-yo club, then look rubbish against lowly Crewe. 
    I just don’t get it. A few weeks ago we were singing their praises and blaming Adkins, and now we want to see the back of them. I’m including myself in this btw. 

    Norwich were awful. Genuinely as bad as Crewe were today. 

    Were the same mistakes in both games, stupid decision making in the final third. 
  • JamesSeed said:
    So weird that we could look decent against Norwich, a Champs/Prem yo-yo club, then look rubbish against lowly Crewe. 
    I just don’t get it. A few weeks ago we were singing their praises and blaming Adkins, and now we want to see the back of them. I’m including myself in this btw. 

    As Brownie explained, Norwich were disjointed because they made lots of changes. They were pitiful in the first half, rather than us being incredibly good.
  • JamesSeed said:
    So weird that we could look decent against Norwich, a Champs/Prem yo-yo club, then look rubbish against lowly Crewe. 
    I just don’t get it. A few weeks ago we were singing their praises and blaming Adkins, and now we want to see the back of them. I’m including myself in this btw. 

    Players play up v a PL team as they are motivated and interested but turn up at Crewe thinking they just need to turn up to win the game and so are poor COULD be a reason (complacency).
  • I can’t work it out mate. 6 weeks ago I thought we had a team that had been massively underperforming but had finally started to click. I thought the basis was there, competing with Rotherham and Sunderland, smashing Plymouth, Doncaster and Ipswich. We’d find the right tempo to play at, tightened defensively and looked like scoring goals. It was set up for a strong second half finish where I expected us to be the one in the play offs everyone else would want to avoid.

    All those aspects seem seem to have gone in a space of weeks. To the extent the season is effectively over.

    Im not going to lash out blaming people but it just doesn’t make sense. It can’t just be Stockley missing.
    Simple ~ a pressure-free role as a Temporary manager was suddenly made a permanent pressure-filled role. Look at the results prior to this mistake and look at the results post this mistake. 
  • I think League One is much crappier than people think and modest changes can make a bid difference. Add in 2-3 really solid players and we might surprise people.

    PS- I can't believe I am more positive than most for a change! :p

  • Another way to ask the same question is -  who would Powell and Bowyer have selected from this squad for their promotion winning teams in 2012 and 2019?

    Drop Cullen for Dobson?
    Drop BWP for Washington?
    Drop Kermogant or Lyle Taylor, for Stockley?
    Drop Morrison or Bauer for Lavelle or Innis?
    Drop Jackson for Gilbey? 
    Drop Williams or Stephens for Lee?
    Drop Naby or Matt Taylor for Famweo?
    Drop Solly for Mathews?

    I would guess only Purrington would make the grade and he was there in 2019. Maybe Washington might get the nod over Josh Parker or maybe Dobson over Hollands. The rest would be some way off.  This is all a direct result of instability and under investment at the club. We attracted some quality signings in 2018 and 2019  because of the personal reputation of Bowyer as a former top player. 

    Let's not forget that club captain Pearce was actually a reserve at Wembley in 2019 and thought a bit slow back then.

    I suspect Mr Sandgaard (senior and junior) are looking for bargains and young talent on the cheap but if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it, as Roland found out the hard way. 

    Having said all that as @JamesSeed pointed out, how can the same players make Norwich City look rubbish for 75 minutes on Sunday and then get outplayed by Crewe on Wednesday?


  • I feel a Father Ted "small cow, long way away" type comparison coming on.
  • I feel a Father Ted "small cow, long way away" type comparison coming on.
    That's no way to talk about our central defence.  
  • So many floaters and coasters still in the squad 

    I'd be shipping out Soaure, Watson, Gunter, Morgan (sadly), Matthews, Kirk (wrong move at the wrong time and I hope he gets his career going again), JFC (poor bloke's physical condition can't be relied on same with Ryan Inniss I'm afraid and gutted to say. Josh Davidson needs regular football and to be a main man, a loan should do him good 

    I'd be bringing in one of Stockton from Morecombe, Oliver from Gillingham, Bishop from Accrington or Mandron from Crewe to keep Stockley honest and Matty Stevens from FGR to rotate with Washington and Burstow

    Tucker from Gillingham at centre half or Raggett from Portsmouth or the bigger of the 2 Northampton centre halves, Riley from FC Franchise and while we are picking over the bones of Gillingham. Kyle Dempsey is quality and would definitely strengthen us and give us a bit more flexibility to play a diamond. 
  • My ideal squad for next season would be something like:

    GK - Mac/AMB (AMB might want to leave so Henderson for another year is fine). 
    RCB - Need a first teamer, someone who can play RB too. Clare and Deji as cover. 
    CB - Lavelle/Pearce
    LCB - Famewo (if we can buy him) and cover who also doubles up as cover for Lavelle in the centre (or Famewo move to the centre). 
    RWB - Competition for DJ
    LWB - Competition for Purrington
    CM - Dobson/JFC/Gilbey/Clare. Another DM to properly cover Dobson. 
    CAM - Competition for Lee if we can get him permanently. 
    STR - Two new ones to compete with Stockley and Washington. 
    CBT as an extra, more luxurious player, with the option to play wingers. 

    That's 8 new signings on top of Famewo and Lee. Probably need to buy 3 of them with 5 on loan or frees. Not sure we'll have the budget for it but I'd sell Morgan, Kirk and Davison to help fund it. 

    Gunter, Matthews, Souare, Inniss, Watson, Morgan, Kirk and Davison should be moved on. 
    Pearce isn't good enough now, so he certainly won't be good enough next season. 

    We don't just need competition for Purrington, DJ and Lee, we need first team starters so they are the back up options. None of them are ultimately good enough to start for a promotion chasing side. I don't get the hype around Lee, genuinely feel that too many people over rate him. He's done nothing for weeks.

    Agree about the players to move on, but i'd keep Inniss as a back up if he can show he can go the rest of this season injury free.
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