Well, that was a delightful month, wasn't it? The results were more good than bad, the club won twice in the FA Cup, and they eviscerated Everton in the Merseyside Derby. That said, a lot of the play was uninspiring, the club fell short twice in the transfer window, and the injury situation has actually gotten worse.
Now a depleted squad gets to play Arsenal twice this month, and also face a tie against Swansea, who are rarely easy to beat. It appears that they'll continue to be without the services of Jose Enrique for awhile, who's been joined on the long-term injury list by Lucas Leiva, Daniel Agger, and Glen Johnson since he went down. Several other players have come back recently, and Mamadou Sakho will hopefully return soon, but things are still looking a little rough in the squad right now.
Where that shows through the most is in the depth. This edition of the 3XI graphic required more shuffling, head-scratching, and cursing than any previous version. Thank god John Flanagan is healthy, because with Ryan "McAlves" McLaughlin away on loan, the club only has one other healthy right back, and "healthy" seems to be a relative term with Martin Kelly. As it is, I had to move Stephen Sama from center back to right back, and he's played a total of maybe two hours there in friendlies and reserve matches. That's also why Sakho is listed despite being hurt, as he's hopefully back very soon and there's literally not a sixth CB worth considering right now without him.
The return of Jordon Ibe to health and Kristoffer Peterson from his successful Tranmere Rovers loan should give the club a bit of a boost in their attacking depth. There's been very limited Reserves and Academy activity lately with which to judge how players are doing, but a 4-2 thrashing of a senior-heavy Arsenal reserves side two weeks ago featured strong performances by a number of players on this list. Fortunately, with three Reserve and four U18 matches on the docket for this month, there will be chances for these kids to get some more minutes and for us to watch them develop.
|Key: Starter (Bold), U21/Academy (Italics), Injured (Orange), Suspended (Blue), On Loan (L)|
|Goalkeeper||Fullback/Wingback||Centerback||Central Mid||Attacking Mid||Forward|
|Simon Mignolet||Glen Johnson||Martin Skrtel||Steven Gerrard||Philippe Coutinho||Luis Suarez|
|Brad Jones||Jose Enrique||Mamadou Sakho||Lucas Leiva||Luis Suarez||Daniel Sturridge|
|Daniel Ward||John Flanagan||Daniel Agger||Jordan Henderson||Raheem Sterling||Iago Aspas|
|Pepe Reina (L)||Aly Cissokho||Kolo Toure||Joe Allen||Victor Moses||Victor Moses|
|Brad Smith||Lloyd Jones||Luis Alberto||Jordan Henderson||Jerome Sinclair|
|Mamadou Sakho||Rafa Paez||Jordan Rossiter||Iago Aspas||Samed Yesil|
|Martin Kelly||Stephen Sama||Joao Teixeira||Luis Alberto||Fabio Borini (L)|
|Ryan McLaughlin||Jakub Sokolik||Jack Dunn||Jordon Ibe||Michael Ngoo (L)|
|Marc Pelosi||Andre Wisdom (L)||Jordan Lussey||Joao Teixeira|
|Joe Maguire||Tiago Ilori (L)||Cameron Branagan||Jerome Sinclair|
|Jack Robinson (L)||Sebastian Coates (L)||Yalany Baio||Cameron Branagan|
|Sheyi Ojo||Kristoffer Peterson|
|Marc Pelosi||Suso (L)|
|Conor Coady (L)||Oussama Assaidi (L)|
|Kristzian Adorjan (L)|
The graphic has been upgraded with friendlier text. Sadly, it took me far too long to realize that the previous standard was unkind to those with various kinds of color blindness. My apologies for that, and hopefully this will be easier to read for everyone.