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Depth - Most replaceable, most competition

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    Depth - Most replaceable, most competition

    Whenever a squad is announced, and throughout the following series there's always talks about who should be picked. Some players are performing, others aren't. There's generally a clear leader in absolute terms, as in one player on average is better than another player on average. Then there's talks about a player having a blip and a bad game but coming good in the next, or the next in line player coming in to motivate the incumbent to up their game. This always seems to be vested in specific needs of a game or tournament. Each player will have their own sets of supporters calling for their position in that specific game. It's rarely put in simpler terms of whether the framing of the competition between players is comparable.

    What I mean by this is simply is there competition for the spot. Like I said, there's generally the "first choice team" (absent of injuries) but then form and all that comes into it, and abilities for the specific game style and opponent. What I'm wondering is what are the positions where there can be some competition for the place not based on averages. And moreso there's always talk of "if he's injured the team is in trouble!" And that "what if they're injured" seems always to be based on the player playing well. What if they're simply playing badly.

    Look at the hooker spot. It's been pretty clear that Rory Best is the first choice hooker. Up until today no-one has clearly surpassed him and he hasn't been bad enough to drop. However if Rory Best was going through a bad spell (not an arguable bad spell, take the assumption that he is in a "theoretical" definite bad spell) and Cronin was going through an average spell, Cronin would easily be in a position to take over. If Best was playing averagely but Sherry was playing really well, Sherry would have a genuine claim to the position.

    For some players and positions the range of form wouldn't make much difference. I'd still take Zebo on an average day over Johne Murphy on a good day.

    What are those positions for Ireland, and what are the positions where this could happen in the short to medium term with the right management. Tighthead is the obvious area we're fupped. Loosehead, probably not, Kilcoyne if developed properly could take over from an out of form Healy.

    What positions could be filled based on form if form was objectively identifiable, basically?
    Last edited by Buceph; 24th-February-2013, 19:50.
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