1) Bye bye Kipre. I don't ******* care what you say Alex, AK47 is the #1 striker and Andrey Lozbinev is the exact same kind of poacher with even more potential. You compare him to Juric, but that's a joke. Kipre isn't a good passer, isn't creative, and has poor composure. I don't mind him as a third, emergency, striker, but that's it. Lozbinev is ready and he has legendary stock.
And Alexandre too. However, I think the advantage of Kipre is he adds something different. A Target Man. AK47 is 100% definitely our number 1 striker, and was used as such throughout. But Kipre is handy to have in the squad as an alternative, or a compliment to AK47s game.
2) The squad is unconscionably big. Several of these players need to be sold. Like 10 of them. Top of my list would be Budakov now that our Belorussian keeper is Russian.
Agreed. Budakov definitely has to go now. Not sure who else though. This is the issue when people bring in guys every year, and it's something I've CONSISTENTLY complained about in succession games.
3) Albi Gitinov isn't developing. Naturally, Alex signed him and likes the name, so he is playing him ahead of the vastly more talented Dragan Damjanovic.
Firstly, no i didn't - Dragan isn't Russian and was injured half the year. Once he was fit (and the patch fixed that Russian second nation thing) Gitinov got loads less games than Dragan.
Secondly - Dragan has reached his potential according to our scouts, Gitinov has not. Dragan is GREAT though because of his speed, and that's why, when Cassiano was injured, I chose him as our first choice Left Inside Forward (ahead of Gitinov AND Reus).
4) This was a problem in my Gladbach game as well, but Reus and Lucas are players that seem to regress for some reason as the game goes on. I'd dump them both.
Lucas was still a gun when I left things. Reus is good, but too slow in my eyes. I don't think he was a necessary signing in the first place. If we can get good money for him, we should sell him though. We have PLENTY of depth in the Inside forward positions.
5) Svec, Lashankov, Cassiano, and Ganso look as vital as when I left. I'd suggest a team modeled on Spain, basically with Cassiano playing like Iniesta on the left/inside, the other mids knocking the ball around, and then having a pure winger on the right Damjanovic/Luizao, and the poacher up top.
Two inside forwards just left us undefeated in the League, and I think works. Towards the end of the season, I actually preferred Ganso as my Left Inside Forward, and Cassiano in the middle, basically because Cassiano won us games with long shots. He is a freak, and getting him the ball more often is only a good thing.
Our best midfield - as it stands, is still Ganso, Cassiano (first two in whichever order you like), Svec and Lucas (Dragan is pushing though) with Lashankov holding.
6) Bigvava is a legit star. Wow, Lukin is only 19 years old? Anyway, we lack a world class left back still, which I think is an issue now. Someone who is as good as Bigvava. Now that most of the squad is Russian we can look foreign and I'd suggest Vladimir at Palmeiras to join our Brazilian contingent. He's shockingly good at defense and has been dropping 7.9+ average ratings in Brazil for the last 5 years.
I was looking at a guy that was really good, ande was at Lyon I think. Had a really short name. He was the ONLY guy that ticked every box for me as far as LBs go. Fast, good tackler, crosser etc. There is no point buying ANOTHER mediocre guy (like Slama was) to move Lukin back into rotation with Kryvtsov and Canevaro. My concern with Lukin is still around his strength, jumping and heading skills too. Even though I was trying to train him in those, he stats just naturally fitted LB better - fast, tackler, crosser (I think).
Anyway, good squad. Needs some trimming. I'm not kidding, I will absolutely sell Kipre when I'm running the team if I get a good offer.
Agree, and if you get a good offer, you should. But you shouldn't push him out. The guy was just the top scorer of the Champions League - I mean what more evidence do you want that he can get results. It just seems like you have a personal thing against him, and have made up your mind, regardless of results.
Alexandre and Lozbinev look good players though (I think as a poacher, Alexandre looks better - did you miss him??) and need to be given games, I agree.
Gitinov is young, and apparently still has plenty of potential (accord to all of our coaches and scouts), so keep him around the squad, give him some games. He is 21, and was doing a job for us. He isn't an absolute super star, but is great for rotation, ESPECIALLY as he is Russian. He just got called into the Russian squad for the first time too. He can also play in the middle as the attacking play maker (next to a b2b like Svec) which is handy off the bench.
We have that good young Argentinian DM coming next year (as well as that young Moldovan who I got last year and isn't a superstar, but could be!) so don't think that position needs strengthening. Honda, I think was a waste of money, as we already have Svec, but now we have him, we may as well use him. So we don't really need another CM either.
The only position I would spend money on is LB, and that'd only be for THE ABSOLUTE BEST. No settling for another 'guy we can develop'. We already have Lukin (who is a CB first) that is better than anyone like that. And the guy we can develop is that African LB I brought in last year. He could grow into something good too.