Luke Thomas ….

I think he still has first team players that he trusts and plays.

Dieng (Ignoring the few games after the AFCON)
VDB
Fry
Ayling
Hackney
Howson
Forss

tend to play whenever they are fit. He rotates the other forward players.
I’m sorry but Fry made about the same amount of starts as McNair last season and forss is behind jones on the right.
Engel has started 31/39. So if you take out the early period where he was dropped for obrien, he’s been pretty much ever present.
You can say that is due to lack of options but bangura, obrien, Thomas and coulsen have all been available to play at periods over the season.
 
I’m sorry but Fry made about the same amount of starts as McNair last season
Didn't mention Fry last season.... I said Giles, Lenihan and Smith were all ever present. But Fry has played every match this season he has been fit.

forss is behind jones on the right.
It's hard to know really as their injuries have seemed to almost perfectly align so there's only ever been one of them available. Forss has been pretty much ever present since Carrick arrived when he's been fit.

Engel has started 31/39. So if you take out the early period where he was dropped for obrien, he’s been pretty much ever present.
He was dropped for o'brien after being hooked at half time against Sheff Wed
He was dropped for Bangura after Bristol City match when Bangura played the next couple of matches.
There was bit of rotation through December/January between him and Bangura.
He then dropped him again for Thomas in February but put Thomas back out after he was poor.
Thomas back in again yesterday.

The only other players that have been in and out like that are players like Barlaser and Greenwood who haven't really cemented themselves as first team players either but have also played plenty of matches due to injuries.

We'll see in the summer, but I think we'll try and upgrade that position. I personally think its a blatant weakness in the team but I also think Carrick's selections this season have indicated he's not totally convinced with Engel either.
 
Bangura will be first choice next season if fit, with Engel as back-up. There are too many gaps elsewhere in the squad for LB to be a priority position unless one of these two are sold.
We've not seen a lot of Bangura yet, but the signs are promising.
 
I too think his confidence probably impacting on what we see. I do think there’s a good player there. I’m sure he’d be useful on a free had we not already got two left backs
 
Bangura will be first choice next season if fit, with Engel as back-up. There are too many gaps elsewhere in the squad for LB to be a priority position unless one of these two are sold.
We've not seen a lot of Bangura yet, but the signs are promising.
That's the other option. Carrick will have seen enough of Bangura to know whether he's confident to go into the season with him as the first choice. Obviously fitness is a concern when he's picked up 3 separate lengthy injuries in his first season.

I wouldn't be surprised to see one of them leave and us bring another Left Back in.
 
That's the other option. Carrick will have seen enough of Bangura to know whether he's confident to go into the season with him as the first choice. Obviously fitness is a concern when he's picked up 3 separate lengthy injuries in his first season.

I wouldn't be surprised to see one of them leave and us bring another Left Back in.
Bangura's fitness has been shocking since he signed, has he played any more than half a dozen games before getting injured again? Backup at best for me but more inclined to move him on at the end of the season.
 
For some reason he reminds me a bit of Joe Bennett, not necessarily in play style but more of someone who played a fair few PL games but never really look like a consistently good player.
 
It's based on him being dropped for Bangura and Thomas a few times during the season. Bangura kept getting injured though so couldn't hold down a place. Thomas has been pretty poor in his starts as well but was still picked over him yesterday. He even played O'Brien at left back a few times in front of him earlier in the season until O'Brien got injured. I think Engel has only played as many games as he has out of lack of options.

There's the obvious counter argument that Carrick has rotated his players but it's not really Carrick's style. He tends to stick with the same team where he can, especially when we are winning. He doesn't tend to chop and change the defence unless it's forced. Take Ayling as an example, has started every game since he arrived. VDB has started every game he is available since he broke into the team. Fry has started every match he has been available this season. That trend runs back into last season. Giles, Smith and Lenihan played every match they were available last season. That's not the case for Engel.

We'll see in the summer but I would be fairly confident we will try and source a first choice LB.
I don't really see there being any argument for him being "dropped" other than after the Sheffield Wednesday game at the start of the season and even then he was back in to the team fairly quickly and being picked ahead of Bangura, beyond that it's clearly been normal rotation, and when both have been fit Engel has been the preferred option most of the time. You don't like Engel so you'll call it being dropped but when he's played as much as he is and often very quickly come back in to the starting lineup after a game on the bench there's not really much evidence to say he was simply dropped as if it was a result of a bad performance like the Sheffield Wednesday one.

It seems like a bit of a leap to use not being picked yesterday as an example of him being dropped rather rotated or rested considering he played the full 90 of the previous 5 games in which we haven't lost. I'd be more inclined to think it's a decision based more on Luke Thomas than any failing of Engel's.

Our defence has been pretty badly hit with injuries all season, I'm not sure there's even been much scope for rotation, but he's rotated the midfield a fair bit when we've had Hackney, Howson, Barlaser, and later O'Brien available, Silvera has been in and out of the team, more recently Greenwood and Azaz were out of the team for a few games and back yesterday, similar between Latte Lath and Coburn earlier in the season.
 
He's back in full training now, so he should feature before the season ends.

I'd play Engel until he is available.

Thomas has offered nothing whenever he's played.
Engel has had some really bad games, but he's had plenty of good ones as well.
“Engel has had some really bad games, but he's had plenty of good ones as well” - which is exactly why we can’t afford to have him as first choice left back next season. We can’t afford to have players who regularly throw in a stinker if we’re serious about going up.
 
I don't really see there being any argument for him being "dropped" other than after the Sheffield Wednesday game at the start of the season and even then he was back in to the team fairly quickly and being picked ahead of Bangura, beyond that it's clearly been normal rotation, and when both have been fit Engel has been the preferred option most of the time. You don't like Engel so you'll call it being dropped but when he's played as much as he is and often very quickly come back in to the starting lineup after a game on the bench there's not really much evidence to say he was simply dropped as if it was a result of a bad performance like the Sheffield Wednesday one.

It seems like a bit of a leap to use not being picked yesterday as an example of him being dropped rather rotated or rested considering he played the full 90 of the previous 5 games in which we haven't lost. I'd be more inclined to think it's a decision based more on Luke Thomas than any failing of Engel's.

Our defence has been pretty badly hit with injuries all season, I'm not sure there's even been much scope for rotation, but he's rotated the midfield a fair bit when we've had Hackney, Howson, Barlaser, and later O'Brien available, Silvera has been in and out of the team, more recently Greenwood and Azaz were out of the team for a few games and back yesterday, similar between Latte Lath and Coburn earlier in the season.
Pretty much what I was going to say.
 
“Engel has had some really bad games, but he's had plenty of good ones as well” - which is exactly why we can’t afford to have him as first choice left back next season. We can’t afford to have players who regularly throw in a stinker if we’re serious about going up.
Like Akpom before his good season?

Engel may come good,, he's a lot better than the Leicester PL left back we currently have.
 
We need better than Thomas. Is Thomas any better than Engel? I don’t think so. We should be looking for a better left back than our first-choice in that position, which is Engel. If the incoming player isn’t any better then I wouldn’t be signing him. We need to spend our money on improving the team, not stockpiling squad players. That was last summer’s brief.
 
but he's rotated the midfield a fair bit when we've had Hackney, Howson, Barlaser, and later O'Brien available
Hackney has played every game he's been available. Howson has played pretty much every game he's been available apart from maybe 2 or 3 matches before xmas when Barlaser had a decent couple of games. Barlaser and OBrien have been used to cover injuries or when hes changed shape. Hackney and Howson are his clear first choice in midfield.

more recently Greenwood and Azaz were out of the team for a few games and back yesterday, similar between Latte Lath and Coburn earlier in the season.

I would agree he's rotated his front 4 but that has been more to do with players not cementing their place. Greenwood, Lath, Azaz and Rogers have all been inconsistent. Jones, Forss and McGree have started when been fit.

Like I say, my interpretation of Carrick's selections is that he has his core of players that play when they are fit. He doesnt just randomly play Dijksteel in front of Ayling or randomly play Barlaser in front Hackney yet Engel is a player that has been dropped to the bench a few times through the season. He's probably played as many games as what as he has due to lack of competition. I may be wrong. Proof will be in the Summer window. I'll be disappointed if we don't upgrade him though because he's poor.
 
…. am I missing something with this lad?

I’m struggling to see how he has clocked up well over 50 premier league appearances.

Against one of the worst teams ive seen at the riverside for a while yesterday, he still looked rusty at best.

I’m not sure where his strengths lie still after half a dozen appearances. I’ve been really disappointed, assume now he was always just brought in for cover after the Bangura injury!

Shame, I was expecting so much more!
What’s concerning me is why have we loaned him? Surly they did their homework on the lad?
I don’t think Engel is bad going forward,(he can be good at times) it’s his defensive strength that seems to let him down, quite a few time we have watched quick wingers with a bit of upper body strength blast or barge past him (this is something he really needs to work on)
So when we signed Thomas (I knew very little about the lad) I was expecting this to be the fix? But he lacks even more pace and strength than Engel!!
Nothing against the young lad, it’s obvious he is lacking confidence.

Clarke for Sunderland, arguably the best winger in the division, has on more than one occasion been totally dominated by isaiah Jones…he looked pig sick….he just kept dropping back and going one on one with him, he would be a brilliant right back, but he is our best forward.
 
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