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What Is A Squad For?

What Is A Squad For?

I always thought the idea of a squad was that you aimed for two players for each position in your 25 with, hopefully, a few who could play more than one position plus a few youngsters coming through.

You then use all these players through the season, managing the squad to cover for injuries and rotating as necessary. Reading the comments on Sandro's injury I appear to have it wrong. When you get an injury you need to go out and buy another player, the ones you still have aren't actually meant to play they just make up the numbers. There are a number of questions on this that haven't been answered by those advocating going into the transfer market.

The first is the usual one, where is the money coming from? I'm assuming we are still going to try and improve the squad where we are genuinly short, up front and out wide, so this is extra spending. The second is where exactly are you going to find a player as good as Sandro? For that matter where are you even going to find a player who's a significant improvement on Parker? If you can't sign someone who is a significant upgrade what is the point of throwing money away?

The next question is, assuming you sign someone, what about the players you still have? Livermore could easily move, David Moyes, whose judgement I respect, is apparently keen on signing him. But Parker is going nowhere, no one else is going to pay him £75k a week. He could spend the next 2.5 seasons as a hugely expensive drain on our budget.

Perhaps the most important question is what happens at the start of next season? Lets assume you've spent £10-20m buying a player and agreed a contract at say £3.5m a year (same as Holtby). Sandro is now fit and expects his place back, the new player didn't come to sit on the bench. Problems are virtually guaranteed. Add to that you've probably overspent your salary budget meaning cut backs in other positions.

To me you buy new players to replace old ones, as part of a long term plan, not to cover temporary situations. We'll miss Sandro for the rest of the season but we've just got to get on with it.

Written by jod

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Saturday January 19 2013
Time: 3:30PM


if we cant survive without one player out then something serious is wrong. we just have to get on with it
19/01/2013 15:34:00
Yep', totally agree...if we were to spend any more monies on midfielders.....then i expect, we should lose a few too. I.e...jenas, bentley, Rose, (+Gomes) hudd' ?, livermore ?.... I prefer Hudd' to be sold..over livermore..(being a Enfield lad).
19/01/2013 15:39:00
was going to write a response to the article but the vital website has thrown so much advertising in my face its *****ed me right off and its taken me 5 minutes to be able to write anything and no i dont want a new seat ******** toledo not even at 12, 40
19/01/2013 15:45:00
Competition for places .At Spurs this competition for places is not strong enough .
More Goalkeepers than Strikers ? only at Spurs :)
big cockeral
19/01/2013 15:46:00
If we bought a new defensive midfielder, it would/should be a long term Parker replacement, rather than a short term Sandro fix. Parkers style of play doesnt go well with old age.
19/01/2013 15:46:00
Words of wisdom, 123spurs.
19/01/2013 15:46:00
twice now the site has crashed as a result, what happens if dembele gets injured, that leaves us a mf 3 of livermoor parker and siggy/dempsey. bye bye champions league, not saying we need to or should have to spend but our mf is missing something
19/01/2013 15:52:00
Although Sandro is a top player ajd has been excellent, defensive midfield is probably the one place we have plenty of cover, Parker is excellent, Livermore is a real work horse, Huddlestone can sit in there and do a slightly different role (Don't forget he played every week there when we finished 4th 2 years ago) then we also have Carroll and possibly Vertonghen who can fit in there. For example, if we lost Dembele or Defoe we would be screwed as theres noone else who can do their role. WE NEED A BLOODY STRIKER
19/01/2013 16:03:00
123spurs - Exactly. How long did Arsenal do without Wilshere? Or Man U without Fletcher? The key is that by the time the Summer window closes (ideally before kick off!), you should have a rounded squad that covers all bases. There will be of course unforeseen scenarios or some things need patching up in January. We kicked off WELL deficient up front, and pretty well covered everywhere else. Sandro being out for the last half of the season only affects us as much as Parker being missing for the first half... We are fine there. This window should FIX glaring deficiencies. Up front.
19/01/2013 16:05:00
spurticus87 - our midfield IS missing something. But I think that that is part tactical, partly not having good options up front where we could change things when they aren't working. Buying a midfielder in my opinion possibly could make a difference, but it could easily make no difference - and you are stuck with a "Henderson" that we will not get rid of. We have a new inexperienced manager, and I think that as he learns, he will REALLY know what he needs when the season ends. Besides, we still need to see what Siggy and Dempsey turn out. Just buying and buying players makes you neglect the old ones, and does not give them a fair chance. We are talking about Sandro, and he took ages to settle in... So did Modric.... Bale took an ice age to find his feet after an initial bright start.
19/01/2013 16:19:00
the idea of taking a club forward is to build exactly what you describe over a period of time, in many places if not all we have 2 for 1 BUT in some places the 2nd choice is better than in others, a key example of this is cover for Sandro, where the current cover is NOT good enough for a top 4 squad. So what we should do is at any time possible when a better 2nd choice comes along we should try to but him, MVilla is just that. He also covers the what if nobody wants, what if Sandro does not come back the same player after what is clearly a VERY serious injury.
19/01/2013 16:33:00
In this case, I don't agree. Sandro is out for the season (at least), we have Scotty to cover,but he isn't getting any younger, so anyone we bring in must be a long term replacement for Scotty. Wjth an injury like Sandros, he isn't going to walk straight back into the side when he's recovered so, in this case, cover is required.
19/01/2013 16:33:00
Guyver is right. And it's unusual to agree with people for me on this sit. But, the article is also good and full of good points. I think I agree slightly more with the articles opinion though. Is Parker a starter in the first team anyway with 'The Beast' showing abs class and aggression? I don't think he is anymore. With Holtby probably filling the no. 10 role as he has at Shalke I think our midfield doesn't contain Parker. But what great depth with Parker, Hudd and Jake Livermore (a young talented individual ) . I would use our money on a striker . How long will Ade stay ? Does he want to stay? Or will he come and go (to the African nations) as he pleases. I would spend on a striker first and foremost . Defoe is brilliant and has shown he can be one of the best around. The hat trick he scored for England when paired with Rooney for England a while back was pretty lush and his form is top notch. But he is 30 and needs some help leading the line. Who we bring in? I trust in AVB and Levy. Neither man have let me down so far. (Levy hasn't for a long long time ....big respect to the man ) . Am pretty tired of people moaning about Levy. Try and remember how many good deals he gets and how awkward he is to deal with if someone wants our stars. Remember the constant stream of talent he has brought to the lane from Berbatov to Lennon, Kaboul to Dembele.
19/01/2013 16:36:00
M'Villa has literally fallen into our lap. Sandro is injured for possibly 6-9 months and Scotty is not getting younger. M'Villa can fill the void until Sandro is fully fit. Then Sandro and M'Villa can strike terror into the rest of the prem.
19/01/2013 17:04:00
id much rather we bought a striker than another midfielder
craig spur
19/01/2013 17:09:00
JOD - absolutely right. I was wondering why all the knee jerk reaction about buyiong a player to cover for Sandro We already have cover for Sandro, his name is Parker. 25 squad equals, ideally, two players for each position plus one extra goalkeeper plus two "versatile" players who can play several positions. As you say Jod, if a player gets injured the other player for that position plays and you get on with it without the knee jerk panicking. Suggesting to rush out and buy a "replacement" is rediculous
19/01/2013 17:23:00
For the money being talked about re M'Villa, not only is a shoe in fbeor Sandro or Parker, he is also a bloody bargain. He has 22 caps for France, a side a bloody site better than England, he is quality, and whats more he is an animal, a nasty piece of work, just what we need having lost Sandro. Often you can be as effective by disheartening opposition MFers by kicking them, as you are by chasing around trying to mark or catch them, they don't run as fast when they are wounded, ask Tony Pullis. The other advantage is we could off-load Livermore on loan, and sell Huddlestone, neither of these two are good enough, one can't pass, and the other can't run, simplistic but true. As for up front, don't get me started, when people who should no better start talking about Obika, or Dempsey as second striker, God help us. If Parker or Defoe get injured in the run in, we can forget any chance of top 4, and CL qualification, it will be hard enough as it is, with Adebayor poncing about doing nowt, without bringing "stiffs" in. The other factor of course is that Parker will about past his sell by date by the end of the season, so a ready made replacement won't come a miss. Incidently I'm not suggesting this instead of a striker but perhaps as well as this "phantom striker" we won't sign anyway, after all why break a 4 year old habit.
19/01/2013 18:32:00
I doubt whether Parker will stay fit or 100% for the rest of the season. That leaves us with an inexperienced Livermore and Hudd, a bloke who cant even keep up with anybody who runs past him. I would not panic buy but if somebody suitable is available at the right price then it seems sensible to least as a replacement for Parker and not Sandro.Also agree we do not know the long term prognosis with Sandro.
matt hoten
19/01/2013 18:41:00
Hot Spur, that is exactly what a squad should be, I put a post up the other day on exactly that. The problem is when you write it down and study it, our squad is a million miles away from a squad of 2 for every position, that can interchange seamlessly without weakening the team. The current discussion is a good example we have Sandro out for the season, Parker as his direct replacement, but where is the "versatile utility MFer" as back up for him. If we say either Livermore or Hudddlestone, can either come in seamlessly without weakening the team, off course not. Huddlestone may have been just about adequate 2 years ago, but we have changed, and so has he, for the worst, he is no longer good enough. Regarding Livermore, all sentiment aside, he maybe home grown, from Enfield, he may have been at Spurs since childhood etc.etc. but he simply is not top 4 quality, and would most definitely reduce our overall quality. Up front we simply do not have the options of 2 for every position at all.
19/01/2013 18:49:00
Spurticus87 if your still out there might be time to splurge on something like Ad Muncher (I don't get any ads or videos) as for the article thank you JOD I am getting heartily sick of the "Buy a player" diatribes going on in EVERY article. Sometimes i wonder if this is a fan site or a fanatics site!
19/01/2013 19:56:00
From this season, the only 5 midfielders we know who are in AVB's plans are Lennon, Bale, Dembele, Sandro and Dempsey. The jury is definitely out on Siggy, Hudd, Livermore, Falque etc whilst we're still learning whether Parker fits in. The body language looks good though between Parker and AVB and I expect him to play a major part in our season. Put all that together and there is definitely space to improve the squad if the right player is available. Not just any player but one that is better than these peripheral squad players we have. M'Vila definitely fits that category.
19/01/2013 20:03:00
Frank - I totally agree that some (even many) positions are not covered adequately, but as it happens the DM is covered. Parker was a standout performer last season (until HR knackered him) and I think is adequate stand in for Sandro without having to panic buy another DM when the money would be much better spent elsewhere, striker in particular. Those peeps saying "Parker will only last until end of season", well that's all we need. If a new DM is needed for next year that can be done in the summer. It seems from reports that Schalke have rejected an offer to get Holtby here in January, "offer unacceptable", I suppose Levy being Levy he offered them 10 bob and expected them to accept it.
19/01/2013 20:08:00
Frank - Forgot to mention, Arsenal were tracking M'Villa for a while but steered clear because he has disciplinary problems. We don't want that do we.
19/01/2013 20:11:00
WHY are people saying Parker will only play till the end of the season! Or, he's too old now ext ext blah blah. Our player of the year twice in a row....bursting into the England team and being the best player on the park is what I remember. Yes the age won't help his bulldog like game. But he also doesn't lose the ball. He reminds me of 'deschamps' the water carrier. He's only just turned 32....just in October. Give the guy a break. Look at Scholes for Christ sake. You'll see....he's obviously a model pro keeping his body well in check. He'll be great for another 2 or 3 seasons at least. Now I wouldn't start him instead of the beast personally. But you never know , Dembele might get pushed up and Parker might partner Sandro. Anywayyyyy.... Judge him on his performances (which have been great , always) and not his age you cynical gits!
19/01/2013 20:26:00
With regards to M'Villa is he only a defensive midfielder. Not seen much of him but is the West Ham midfielder a few clubs looking at a better option as he can also play centre half and if speculation is to be believed is available for £3.5 million. Not seen much of him but we know how cheap the chairman is.
19/01/2013 20:34:00
M'villa is a steal for the price offered and his wages needn't be exorbitant. Quality French international, offers us strength in midfield with/without Sandro. Yes a striker is the priority, but at 8million, it'd be a crime to pass him over.
van der haart lane
19/01/2013 20:43:00
You guts don't get it do you? See my post above, M'Villa has disciplinary problems, THAT'S WHY HE'S CHEAP, Rennes want rid !!
19/01/2013 21:12:00
*guys* not guts, lol
19/01/2013 21:13:00
In an ideal world, yes, the 25 man squad should allow for players to be injured without having to go and buy in the market. That said, we should always be looking to better our squad and there is no way in heaven that this is the 25 man squad that AVB considers ideal. As he said, he is happy with what he has. That does not mean he could not be happier. I would still suggest that Adding Negredo, Willian, Son and M'Vila or Belhanda would greatly enhance our squad, not only this year, but for years to come. Reality is that there are players we can improve upon and we have some holes at the moment. Hudd, Gomes, Rose (if BAE is to be extended) could all be sold, Livermore and Townsend loaned out (both need to be playing, neither are at the level yet where they can just be thrown in to the deep end). Negredo and Son can play at striker. Son can play across the MF and is right footed. Wilian can play striker and is a LW. M'Vila could cover off Parker and/or Dembele, although Belhanda is IMO, more the player we need as he is direct cover for Dembele and he scores a fair amount from MF. You could even do the Son, Negredo, Willian and Sissokho on a pre-contract, for under 45M allowing for Holtby and/or Sissokho to come now if the fee can be agreed. You then let the chips fall where they may in August. Some players will not fit. Others will, but the players we will have under contract will largely be young and under moveable contracts. COYS
20/01/2013 02:17:00
M'Vila has issues. Most are off the pitch and it certainly is not behaviour that other young kids don't get in to. His issue is he plays for the French National Team and they have had issues now for a decade and are trying to clean that all up. Great thing about him is he is banned from International Footy until August 2014, so we don't have to worry about him leaving for International Friendlies. At 7.5M he would be a steal as he was recently valued at 22M. At 22, he has tons of ability, a great engine and super vision. Neither a great scorer or string-puller, but he moves the ball forward and tackles well, when in control.

Sissokho was rated as highly as M'Vila about 18 months ago. He is available on a pre-contract for free. Not flashy and a little less offensive than M'Vila, he is also a brilliant player. I would suggest that he could well see his value soar as well. The thing is, from 0-15M means 15M profit. M'Vila would have to get back to 22M to do that. Sissokho, if he achieves what was expected 18 months ago, could get up to the rarified air of 20M plus. He's the real steal.

Belhanda is the one, I believe offers the most versatility. He'll cost more, both on salary and transfer fee. He's big and strong. He scores goals. Has an engine that just keeps join. Is intimidating and he definitely has an eye for a pass. I could see him becoming a Fellaini type player and he would suit us very well. A 3 man MF in a 4-3-3 with Sandro, Dembele and Belhanda would be some kind of intimidating. 3 of Negredo, Willian, Bale, Son or you could go 4-5-1 with Negredo up top, 2 of Bale, Willian, Lennon, Son out wide and Holtby tucked in behind with 2 of Dembele, Sandro and Belhanda. (I know I'm leaving out Parker, but I believe if we signed Belhanda, there would be no need for him) COYS
20/01/2013 02:33:00
Sissokho is actually more of an offensive player than M'Vila Peter, more of a Dembele than a Makelele, more likely to score you goals, but on average, won about half as many tackles per game last season than M'Vila at 1.6 to M'Vila's 3.1. Also less interceptions, but it's unfair to do a direct comparison because as I say, they are different players and Sissoko has even featured on the right wing for Toulouse.
20/01/2013 05:33:00
Considering his contract situation im surprised there hasnt been more interest for Sissoko, not the best technically, but he's a well rounded player that would add a lot to several mid table teams at least.
20/01/2013 05:38:00
Fascinating reading, when I had the temerity to suggest giving Parker a four year contract wasn't a smart move last season I was assured by everybody I was wrong. Now people are saying this will be Parker's last season ? Well guess what, if it is he's going to pick up close to £8m in wages over the next two years for doing nothing, money that the club can't afford to waste. Does it still look like a good signing ?
20/01/2013 08:37:00
spurticus87 - don't know if this will help, IE7 crashed alot for me, too many adverts etc, changed to Chrome and it seems to work in a more stable way, if you are already using Chrome!! I will retreat and keep quiet, hope that is some help though.
20/01/2013 11:58:00
"Fascinating reading, when I had the temerity to suggest giving Parker a four year contract wasn't a smart move last season I was assured by everybody I was wrong. Now people are saying this will be Parker's last season ?"

No jod, you were assured by a few people that it was a smart move, not everybody, those few people may still hold those views.
20/01/2013 15:49:00
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