25 Apr 2024 12:25:15
Ed002, do you think we might finally follow up interest in Teun Koopmeiners this summer? I believe we've been scouting him for a few seasons now and correct me if I'm wrong, but he's worked with Arne Slot previously at AZ.

When I look at our midfield options now we're missing one thing that Arsenal and City have, and that is a physically dominant but mobile player. They have Rice and Rodri who can both glide around the pitch and thrive in a physical battle. When we played Atalanta, Koopmeiners absolutely bullied us all over the park. He was quicker, stronger and more imposing than anything we have in midfield.

He'd be an excellent signing in my opinion, so just wondering if our interest has moved on or not.

{Ed002's Note - Teun Koopmeiners (DM/CM) Atalanta are reluctant to sell but his agent wants the player to be playing regularly in the Champions League with Newcastle, Juventus and Napoli having declared interest. Interest of Milan shifted to Tijjani Reijnders so they can be discounted. Approaches were been made to Arsenal, Manchester United, Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea although none have spoken with Atalanta and all have other targets for now but cannot be discounted with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United having sent scouts. And Arne Slot, if he becomes Liverpool coach, knows the player well. Brighton and Aston Villa interest has gone. Juventus has a creative solution and, like Napoli, will push for a summer move. Player has made it clear he wants a Juventus move. Marseille have walked away due to the quoted cost although a change of ownership could see a huge shift for them. Atalanta are seeking €60M if pressed to sell.}

1.) 25 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 13:46:21
It is evident we need a midfield anchor/ defensive midfielder, that ain’t Koopmeiners.

2.) 25 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 16:01:40
Cheers Ed002, detailed as always!

Viktor, do we need an anchor? Endo has been very good and Bajcetic deserves a chance in pre-season before we commit to spending big on a more long term DM. Rice doesn't play as an anchor for Arsenal, Jorginho does, but that doesn't stop Rice adding physicality to their team. We lack that physicality in our midfield. I personally wanted us to sign Rabiot or Milinkovic-Savic last summer because I thought it was obvious we lacked a player of that ilk in a more box to box role. Koopmeiners can bring that to a team, but if not for us we need someone else of a similar profile in my opinion. He just makes the most sense having worked with Slot before and already being of interest ot the current recruitment team.

Szoboszlai in midfield just hasn't worked so we probably need to push him further forward as an option in the front 3 where he plays for Hungary and where he played for Leipzig. That (and Thiago going) leaves a big hole in the midfield roster so we should sign a player who can offer us something we lack which, in my opinion, is an indomitable presence in the midfield.

3.) 25 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 16:16:56
Endo is not the answer if we want to push for a league title.
He's good at what he does, break the game up and play a pass. Very safe. He reminds me of Lucus Leiva. Lovely lad, good player but not to the level to compete for the title.
We may have it at the club already with Bajectic or Trent but if not, we need someone at the level Fabinho was at in his peak.

4.) 25 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 16:40:07
Guimares at Newcastle has a release clause. Edwards liked him previously.

{Ed002's Note - Edwards does not pick the players.}

5.) 25 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 18:10:11
I don’t see Trent being a DM.

6.) 25 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 19:00:14
We were never going to win the league without a proper no 6.

7.) 25 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 19:01:41
Koopmeiners, Rabiot or Milinkovic-Savic - good grief.

8.) 25 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 21:00:26
Well we are not losing the league because we lack another defensive midfielder. We are losing it because we had injuries on key players also our forwards losed form and had bad luck with their finishing.

9.) 25 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 20:05:16
I’d have thought it was pretty clear that we needed a defensive midfielder from our extremely soft centre that teams can run through at will, MK. As has been demonstrated so well by United, Palace, Atalanta and Everton recently.

And yes he might be physical, but he has the pace and turning circle of the QE2, which doesn’t suggest a player made for the premier league. If we sign him we’d still have a gaping hole in the middle for teams to run at our defenders. The last few weeks have shown that there is a need for a top quality defensive midfielder.

You won’t find a title winning team that doesn’t have a very good or brilliant midfield anchor, until we bought Fabinho we won nothing, we were also rans.

As for Rabiot or Savic, jeez. That’s the bottom of the barrel right there.,

10.) 25 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 20:33:50
I think szobo is better further forward, but where? Is he a long term right winger, I’m not so sure. For me it’s time to put Trent in midfield, especially with Bradley coming through - he deserves more minutes than just when Trent is rested/ injured. I don’t see Trent as the six though, I think he needs to be free. So I would say we for sure need a 6, Endo can adopt a Milner type role and rotation, but no top team operated without a natural holding player.

11.) 26 Apr 2024
25 Apr 2024 22:15:32
I agree we are a soft touch. We definitely need to strengthen the midfield and my god the set pieces v Everton were disgraceful. It was like watching under 9,s v under 16’s. Cowardly.

12.) 26 Apr 2024
26 Apr 2024 04:12:02
Many may disagree with me but I see Trent as more of a deep-lying playmaker. He needs someone more defensive minded next to him though. Someone like Endo or Bajcetic is ideal but Mac in a double pivot works as well. I can see him launching balls from deep, similar to what Xabi used to do for us.

13.) 26 Apr 2024
26 Apr 2024 08:32:55
Am I missing something here? Endo has been fantastic this season - as good as anyone in the league. It’s not the player that is the issue. I don't think it is a coincidence that he’s not been in the team for half of this poor run. Tactically we’ve got it all wrong the last few games. The players who won at Fulham must be fuming to be left out for those that came in.

Our issue is lack of intensity and desire to slow everything down at a time in the season when it all needs ramping up. Not Endo.

14.) 26 Apr 2024
26 Apr 2024 09:04:47
@Drac - agree mate, If Arne comes in and adopts the 4 - 2 - 3 -1, I think TAA could quite easily be 1 of the 2 playing in front of the defence. Playing a bit deeper would suit his long range passing game and he’s not as inept a defender as sone on here would have us believe.

15.) 26 Apr 2024
26 Apr 2024 11:43:20
Most of the trouble against Everton was that we kept giving needless freekicks away which we were unable to defend. Every Freekick and corner they took went to the far post and Once it went past the blocked Virgil they had free headers. Its happened more than once this year. Defensively we are naive.

16.) 26 Apr 2024
26 Apr 2024 11:58:18
Endo, like Lucas, do their job very well.
Unless I've totally missed Endo shanking open shots on goal, then my thinking is he isn't really the problem.

17.) 26 Apr 2024
26 Apr 2024 13:10:39
Agree with everyone above who defended Endo. Really don't see him as the problem, and someone nailed it that our recent poor run has coincided with him being dropped to bring Szobo and Jones back into the midfield. With Bajcetic as back up and Macca able to cover, I don't see a DM player as a priority. Endo and Macca are probably the only senior midfielders we have who actually provide any kind of genuine tenacity so they're not the 2 I'd be looking to replace. We just need a player in there with them who is more mobile and more of a physical presence.

Also, calling Koopmeiners slow is a strange comment given how well he moves around the pitch. He's far from slow. We simply need more physicality for me. We need a Declan Rice type player. I don't really care if that is Koopmeiners but to me he makes sense given his history with Slot. I'd be just as happy with Anguissa, Reijnders, Locatelli etc. No idea if we are interested in any of them though.

18.) 26 Apr 2024
26 Apr 2024 16:20:14
Spot on, MKS and QV. It is now Endo's turn to get raked over the coals by the same people who prolly thought he would amount to nothing when he came in.

19.) 26 Apr 2024
26 Apr 2024 18:02:50
Jones was phenomenal, and central to the good form and durability, earlier in the season.
Everyone hitting poor form at the same time has, perhaps due to over extending, as always seems to be the case when we go for the quad. I prefered it when we sacrificed the worthless mug and FA cup.