The complete lack of consistency in team selections and lack of any sort of spine is a major reason for this dreadful season, Pickford has been the only consistent player selected and performer this year, the other 10 have been shuffled around since August. If you look at our most successful seasons in the Premier League we had a settled 7/8 players in the starting XI and a proper spine, in Martinez's first season we had Howard, (prime) Jags, Barry, Barkley & Lukaku, we had the same back 4 for probably 80-90% of games that season compared to zero consistency this season, injuries have cost us in the full back positions but we've chopped and changed the centre back pairing and none of them have been very convincing. In midfield we've had no structure whatsoever, whether it's been Gana, Morgan, McCarthy or Davies we have lacked any shape in the middle and this has resulted in the back 4 having no protection. Up top obviously DCL has worked hard but he's had very little to work with due to our lack of pace and creativity from the 3 behind and his finishing needs to develop. With the 3 behind the striker each manager has tried to shoehorn players into positions they're not capable of playing, Rooney can be effective but his lack of pace means that the games he's played in from the start should be chosen wisely, Gylfi has look a lot better in the middle, his natural position and he needs to be the no.10 going forward, Bolasie is still working his way back to match fitness and should be in and out of the team until he is properly fit, the other wing looks like it's going to be Walcott who could be a threat if he gets firing, he will hopefully chip in with a few goals to ease the pressure of Tosun.
We obviously need a left back but we also need a commanding centre back who can take control of the back 4 and fully organise it, the amount of times the back line was diagonal instead of flat last night was atrocious. We also need a creative 'deep-lying playmaker' because at the moment we've just got a bunch of average CDM's, once again someone to organise the midfield and give them some shape like Barry did but with a creative streak. If Walcott comes in and Tosun turn's out to be a decent buy then the front four could be okay with Bolasie, Gylfi, Walcott and Tosun starting and Lookman, Rooney, Vlasic, Lennon (if he stays) and DCL/Niasse as back up. A lot of work needs to be done over the next 12-18 months to get the spine back in this team to potentially give us a platform to start to think about chipping away at the top 6.