People don’t like giving up on an argument.
Criticising us for not signing players who weren’t worth signing didn’t fly so rather than give up people just started criticising us for not signing men with no names. There’s been a similar evolution with the question of squad strength.
At the start of the season we were told that we had a decent first eleven but no depth to the squad. That pretty quickly looked stupid. But rather than just hold up their hands and admit they were wrong the critics switched arguments. “Ah yes” they said, “we do have depth but everybody else has a stronger squad”.
I was thinking about that while watching Liverpool lose to Wolves with a sixteen-year-old in the defence because they’d run out of central defenders and the relatively toothless partnership of Sturridge and Origi up front. They didn’t look like a team with massive squad depth.
So what’s the truth?
To me, City have the strongest squad in the league. Conversely Arsenal’s squad is relatively weak, Emery has worked wonders getting as much out of them as he has. United’s squad looks strong on paper but until Solskjaer arrived they weren’t showing it on the pitch. My question with them is more about attitude than ability, they downed tools to get one manager sacked whose to say they won’t do it again. Which leaves Chelsea and Liverpool, I’m not convinced either of them has any more depth to their squad than we do.
There’s one further consideration.
When Leicester were winning the title we were repeatedly told they would fade away because they didn’t have the squad depth of the top clubs. As it turned out they didn’t need it. Because they weren’t playing in Europe they were playing fewer games with a longer turn around than the competition. If you are playing twice a week a strong squad is critical. If you are only playing once a week its a lot less important.