And the transfer talk is still rather quiet. Aside from the silly rumours concerning Gudjohnsen and Gallas, there haven't been any major stories concerning players in or players out. If everything stays as is, the squad will start the season like so (starting XI position): GK: Cudicini (GK). De Goey, Bosnich, Evans. D: Melchiot (RB), Desailly (CB), Gallas (CB), Le Saux (LB). Terry, Babayaro, Ferrer, Huth, Kitamirike, Cummings. CM: Lampard (CM), Petit (CM). Keenan, De Lucas, Morris, Wolleaston. W: Gronkjaer (RW), Zenden (LW), De Lucas, Le Saux, Keenan, Stanic, Ambrosetti. F: Hasselbaink (S), Gudjohnsen (S). Zola, Forssell, Cole, Oliveira. Thats 30 players, we only need 23-24 for the squad, having more means excess wages. We can fill in the reserve team with some of the other youth players. One of the keepers should go. If we can't sell De Goey or Bosnich, then Evans should go out on loan. I thought Celtic would have been a good fit for either of the backups but it appears Claudio likes having all 3 as insurance and the Hoops just bought Hedman from Coventry. Maybe we can still get De Goey back to Holland somehow. Cummings does not have what it takes yet. He was consistently beaten at LB in both the Oxford and Portsmouth matches according to reports. He should be loaned out again or stay in the reserves the rest of the season. Same for Kitamirike, he needs some more experience. We should keep hiim at Chelsea though and maybe get him some experience in the League Cup. Ambrosetti and Stanic should be sold to anyone (bundle Bogarde in too), but it probably will not happen. We have an excess of youngsters at the wings and forward positions: De Lucas, Keenan, Wolleaston, Forssell, Cole, Oliveira. De Lucas and Forssell both are ready for first team football. Keenan can cover both CM and LW so he shoudl stay as well. Cole and Oliveira will be needed while our strikers recover fitness. That leaves Wolleaston as the odd man out unless he makes major progress in our last few friendlies and in Italy. He's been bounced around the reserves and out on loan so many times it isn't quite fair to him, but he just hasn't shown the talent to be a regular first teamer so far. If he is happy at Chelsea in a reserve role he should stay, otherwise we should try to help him find first team action somewhere. I guess the result of my ramblings is that we should try and cut the excess wages if possible, therefore I don't see the point in getting any new backups with wages larger than our current backups. We don't need Baggio or Lopez. I think the only players we need now are young players at CM and all the defensive positions on cheap wages that would be willing to back up the older guys until they leave. Prutton of Nottingham Forest fits the bill. U-21 CM, promising reports on him. Forest are desperate to hold onto him but if they really need the money maybe we can tempt them by offering a piece of any sell-on fee (a la Izzet). My final say: Out - Bogarde, Stanic, Ambro, De Goey (same 4 as always). Cummings, Kitamirike, Wolleaston to reserves. In - Chelsea youngsters, Prutton. 3rd/4th place is attainable, the first month is crucial though. We need a fast start, something we have not gotten the past 2 seasons.