The latter point has been particularly relevant this season as Dean Saunders has tried to run the rule over a plethora of triallists without offering them anything more than a string of friendlies against variable opposition. He pointed out that Mani Assoumani played five trial games and kept five clean sheets, but the only way to workout if he was able to cut it in a more testing environment was to throw him into the first team.
Mind you, we hopefully won't have to run things in quite that way next season. Something which amused me when I looked back at that blog was that we were promiswd a first team squad of eighteen! As we've smashed the record for most players used in a season this time round, I think it's fair to say that idea went out of the window!