Here’s how TheSlaven would have the team if he was in the gaffer’s shoes….
Player of the Year will be: Afonso Alves
Top scorer: Afonson Alves – 20 goals
Newcomer of the year: Didier Digard
Young player of the year: David Wheater
We will finish:
In the Premiership: 9th
In the FA Cup: lose in the quarter final to Liverpool
In the Carling Cup: lose in the last 16 against Chelsea
Players I will sell: George Boateng (£3million), Gary O`Neil (£4million), Julio Arca (£2.5million), Adam Johnson (£4million)
Players to be promoted: Josh Walker, Seb Hines, Nathan Porritt
Players I will buy with my £21.5million (8 off the chairman and 13.5 from players going out): Didier Digard (£6), James Harper (£3million), Paul Robinson (£4 million), Jermaine Pennant (£6million)
My squad (25): Robinson, Turnbull, Jones, Young, McMahon, Taylor, Pogatetz, Grounds, Wheater, Huth, Hines, Bates, Digard, Porritt, Digard, Shawky, Pennant, Walker, Cattermole, Downing, Harper, Aliadiere, Tuncay, Mido, Alves
We will be playing: Strongest possible team in Premiership and FA Cup. Use a selection of fringe players in the League Cup
We will use the formation: 4-4-2
My starting XI and Subs: Robinson, Young, Wheater, Pogatetz, Taylor, Digard, Harper, Downing, Pennant, Alves, Mido
Subs: Turnbull, Huth, Shawky, Tuncay, Aliadiere
Comments: I would get rid of the dead wood in the squad i.e. Boateng (because of his age), Arca (hasn’t really got a settled position), O’Neil (wants to move back down South). It would be sad to let AJ go but unfortunately we will be hindering his career if we just keep him on the bench.
My starting eleven will probably change throughout the season depending on the opponents. I would play Mido ahead of Tuncay for games against the more physical sides like Everton, Portsmouth, Chelsea, Blackburn and Arsenal. Aliadiere and Tuncay will be used as impact players next season, offering width and pace.
It’s going to be difficult decision to leave Huth out of the back four but I think as far as his injuries have gone so far at the club he won’t be handed a starting role straight away. He will be brought back into the frame as the season goes on.