We don’t know yet if and when the season will start and at what levels football will be played. However, we have a retained list with a strong nucleus of a side but who would you like to see come in?
Keepers - Macdonald. Covalan
Defenders - Wynter.Davis.Cameron.Slough
Midfielders- Whitfield.Hall Nemane, Buse,Andrews and Little.
Strikers - Koszela
Defence needs a couple of central defenders minimum- Lewis and Warren? The former improved a lot and can cover right back with Warren providing the experience we so desperately need.
Midfield - need at least two more - would have Vincent and CLE back.
Striker - again need at least two more. Little and Whitfield can both play in the hole possibly behind someone like Azeez. Would like to see Koszela start to challenge for a place as he is a natural goal scorer.
The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
Agree with that rjd. The tough bit will be replacing Jamie Reid though a few are saying he will be easy to replace. Come on where are we gonna pick up another 20 goal a season striker? I'm concerned that GJ will be thinking the same. He will have his work cut out to replace him Hungry, natural goal scorers like gold dust, have a premium are scarce . Even then it took three seasons for a proper clued up manager to realise where his best position was! You only have to look back at our striker goal return through many recent seasons to realise that. Only Janneh has looked the business of all the "goal scorers" that GJ has brought in even though his second spell wasn't up to much but he does have the quality and single mindedness required to make it. Azeez isn't the man IMHO and another that has always shown promise but never really delivered on the scoring front. A hard worker but little end product. Looking at that list I would say most of the midfield bar Hall who peaked more than a a couple of seasons ago need to up their game and gain more consistency. Whitfield, Buse, Namane all hard workers and have youth on their side and time to improve. Armani Little could be the most complete player we have on our books - if he can stay fit. Glimpses of real quality that need to be nurtured and get the bloody contract extended before we lose him for nowt! Like to see CLE back again he has the quality required and when on his game is a match winner. Vincent likewise another who was improving enormously with pitch time and at a higher level. Lost the "flair" factor now with Kalala departing lacked in certain departments but unplayable on his day. If he gets the right club and improves his game in certain areas he will play and do well at a higher level just as past players that were derided by many here like Paul Hall and Mussy Carayol. Center of defence must be another priority and an experienced head alongside Camaeron is a must. Warren was good and he may well be looking for a club and Joe Lewis just got better with every game he played. Koszela needs to be moving up a notch and pushing to start every game and full filling all the promise hes shown that earned him a pro contract or he will just end up as another has been - a David Bing or Ashley Yeoman. Once again I predict our Bristol City contacts will be called upon and hopefully benefit the squad in terms of quality.
Yes, replacing Reidy and what he brings is a tough ask. But it was bound to happen at some point that he would want to prove himself higher up the chain. We needed to have been promoted this season just gone to have still been in his thoughts as the next contract he might sign. I don’t think we will get as good in replacement, such has been Reidy’s quality in more recent times. I do hope his move ends up being the right one for him. Something unimaginative like City or Argyle doesn’t really appear to fit the bill, to my mind. He could do more with a Pompey or an Orient, for example, being keen, for his next step. Wish he was staying, but was sort of resigned to it ending with us for now.
Agree Kalala has talent. Infuriatingly inconsistent. He was always going to leave as his playing time was decreasing and he will have had his head turned by his trial and all that. He may well do well elsewhere. I don’t think he would have done well for us if he had stayed is my gut feeling. Just as Carayol needed his move after having a short period as a fine player for us before he did leave. I always thought Paul Hall was good for us throughout his stay. Muzzy is who I would most compare Kalala to, of the two, and it’s a good comparison, Pete.
Azeez - Not concerned if he returns or not and don’t see him as anywhere near the quality I’d like to see as a replacement for Reidy. Fairly sure it is too soon to rest that responsibility on Koszela’s shoulders but hope he can push other proven recruits (plural) all the way for inclusion.
Like you both, I’d be very happy to see Joe Lewis back. He is quality and assured in his defending. I didn’t get to see Warren such was the brevity of his stay, but all seemed impressed who saw him and wrote up on his performances, so certainly seems to fit the bill of what we need. Doubt Exeter will renew anything with him, if indeed that hasn’t already been decided. I was surprised they recalled him, tbh. Seemed like a scenario similar to Dickson going out from us when it initially happened. They didn’t play him after that either, did they?
Up front worries me the most. The middle of the park will look after itself with what we have and the connections we have. Armani Little will improve and be effective. Feel quite confident on that from what I’ve seen of him both before and since he joined us. Defence with Warren and Lewis added would be fine for me if Liam Davis remains fit.
Seems we are sticking with the same keepers. Of the two, I have been more impressed with Covolan, but both have their pluses and minuses.
I’m glad Johnson has kept most on as now was the time for that thinking in post season changes more than ever in terms of togetherness and hitting the ground running when things return. I trust Johnson to get things right in terms of recruitment and also expect the Bristol City connection to come to our aid again.
link - good background article to Nemane who has been involved with some big clubs. Frustratingly, he has shown some glimpses of quality but never blown fans away. It could be that a settled stint at the club could see him come out of his shell more. Not quite sure where his best position is but would love for him to show us what he has got.