After tonight and hearing the thoughts of other supporters around me and on the bus, I'd be interested to hear the forums starting eleven and their reasons why?
McGregor - untouchable, will have daft moments to try and show how staunch he is, but overall he will contribute more points than non "rats"
Tav - record speaks for himself, goals and assists wise, think after getting over the hump of not beating celtic hel kick on if we hold onto him
Barasic/Halliday - from what I've seen in the Europa and friendlies, Halliday looks the more committed and it feels like he is determined to nail the LB spot down. If his name was Halisic and was Croatias first choice LB, it wouldn't be a question, but the fact Barasic is makes you wanto lean towards him more and root for him more because if he turns out to be the player we hope, he'll be much much more valuable, 50/50 in my mind.
Goldson/Edmundson - Goldson has been our first choice CB and I think its harsh to criticise him when he played nearly every game for us last season, your average performance is going to decrease when you play so many games. But Edmundson has look like the CB we want, passes beyond the first person he sees and presses every ball. I'd like to think from Gerrard's comments, Goldson isn't assured of a starting spot and based on preseason, the spot of contention is who is going to partner Edmundson, but probably wishful thinking.
Davis/Aribo/Jack - Davis dropping deep looks great, Jack does what he does and Aribo (without getting criticised for praising a player too early), hes got that class, skill and dig we missed, a box to box player that links it all together. Davis gaining more fitness and the management team recognising he performs better at the base of midfield has shown he is one of our most crucial players. If I had my preference I'd like Kamara to take Jacks place, but recently he hasn't earned it.
Ojo - has a tidy finish on him when cutting in, if he can keep his performance levels up him and Kent on either wing would be scary. In my opinion might need reminded that our league isn't a cake walk i.e Coulibally, you need to keep your performance levels high. Stewart would replace Candeias as a squad player but not as a starter, so it is dependant on Ojo performing.
Jones - TK Maxx Kent, my biggest concern is we replace Kent with him or shift Arfield out to LW and tell him to drift inside. Good squad player but not an improvement on Kent. It's funny when you see the Tims laughing at him winning young player of the year and comparing his stats to the biscuit knee they were gonna buy from Motherwell. Stats don't tell the full story, he performed in our two biggest wins of the season, and his general play and driving at players was great but not "staworthy" - I also think Hastie looks a bit nervous on the ball, and McPake looked calmer as a left winger when he came on preseason.
Morelos/Defoe - toss up here, my only concern would be Defoes abillity to hand the volume of games. They both look sharp which is great for us, Morelos also offers more outside the box. But as a club we should look to cash in on our assets at peak value (look at Fekir at Lyon last season and the value he left for) and I think this window would be Alfredos, if we can replace him with Roofe and pocket upwards of 8 mill I'd be happy.
Be interested to hear everyones thoughts, and I'd stress this is my internal thinking and it will probably differ from others, just wanted to get it out there after thinking about who I'd pick after what I've seen so far