Date: 17th May 2011 at 10:13am
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Looking at what we have left over this summer, as far as contracted players go, by my reckoning we have something like this…

GK Jamie Ashdown (he did sign a 2-year contract?)
DF Rocha John Rocha
DF Aaron Mokoena
DF/MF Joel Ward
MF Hayden Mullins
MF Liam Lawrence
FW Dave Kitson
FW Kanu

‘Technically’ we have Tal Ben-Haim, want him or not, but can we count on him as a player to select if needed? I think not…

We also have Lewis Stockford and Lewis Tallack who have signed as 1st year pros but they will not get a look-in at all and will, I suspect, end up being released by Cotterill – if he is still here – in 12-months time anyway!

In an ideal world you would like a squad of about 22 players and this would be with 2 players in each specified position, specialising in a left/central/right area for defence or midfield etc.

Clearly this is not an ‘ideal world’, as far as PFC goes for certain, and also players can usually fill in in other areas if needed in times of desperation. So often a ‘defender’, ‘midfielder’ or ‘forward’ can cover along that line, if not several lines, so this leaves cover all over more often than not.

A squad of 17-22 is needed and if we can put together a squad of at least 18/19 players that could all come in and do a good job that would not be bad.

For me, this is what I think we needed…

2 goalkeepers – We have one in Ashdown so another is needed a 3rd, at a push when we get desperate, can come in from the youth side or be drafted in on an emergency loan basis at anytime, as is the case with keepers anyway.

6 defenders – 3 central and 3 full backs would be the minimum to work with. All being well, in fact almost certainly needed, many of these players – especially the ‘back-up’ options could ‘double up’ and fill in adequately if/when needed in either central or full back role.

As things stand we have NO full backs, well apart from Ward who could play left or right, although midfield is probably where his future lies. Rocha John Rocha and Mokoena are the central defenders we have so it would be nice to bring in another, at least, with the minimal ability to at least match Moko.

6 midfielders – at least one recognised left, right and two central figures are needed so that is 4 of the 6. The others, and indeed the more recognised in fact, will almost certainly need to be utility men again, as with the defenders, so they can fill in in other areas.

We have Mullins and Ward as central options, although at a push either could play on the right and in an extreme push Ward on the left two but it is centrally I now see his future. There is then Lawrence at the left sided option, right also and maybe even centrally.

5 forwards – This might sound a lot but we need central strikers and wide players, these ‘should’ also be able to fit into the wide areas in a 4-4-2 formation too.

I like 4-4-2 but Cotterill is ‘probably’ going to stick with his 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation. To be honest I do not think that Kitson or Kanu will cut it as the ‘lone striker’ in such a formational and without a ‘recognised’ goalscoring striker we will struggle…

Quite clearly A LOT of work is again needed on the squad. It is ‘possible’ that numbers will be boosted by Dave Nugent and The Herminator re-signing but I think it will only be one, at best, that will agree a new contract.

We can argue that a lot depends on CSI taking over, but ‘does it’ really?

A budget should, and surely is, in place with or without the Russian’s coming in. Even if they do come in CSI’s budget should not really be extravagantly that much more!

Whatever happens we cannot conduct things like we did last summer, we do not even have the kids to fall back on – apart from the two that have signed on – in a worse case scenario this time round so it really is make or break this summer in many ways for Cotterill and PFC…

What do you think guys, what (and at this point not necessarily who name wise) do you think our squad numbers, actual numbers wise and numbers positionally, as a bare minimum requirement for next season need to be?

Leave your thoughts, as always, on what I have said and what you think below so we can discuss…

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