So far this season Dean Saunders has used 20 players to start our 7 Blue Square matches with only Mansour Assoumani and Mark Jones being ever present. Hedi Taboubi and Gareth Taylor have started six each, so is it a good or a bad thing to keep chopping and changing the side?
The old phrase of never change a winning side comes to mind so what are the teams at the top and bottom of the table doing? Top of the table Oxford have 4 ever presents and 3 who have missed one game so 64% of their team has been relatively settled. They have used 17 players so far though. Chester at the bottom have only played 5 matches so far but they have 7 ever presents. Some other sample teams Cambridge have 8 ever presents and sit in 8th position having used 14 players whilst Mansfield have 7 ever presents and 3 who have played in 6. The Stags have also only used 14 players so far this season and sit in second place in the table. Rushden, in 15th position, have used 17 with 3 ever presents and 4 more having started six matches similar to Oxford.
Whilst there will never be a definitive answer to "tinker man" or settled side due to the nature of the game the evidence above seems to point to as long as the players are good enough and play a familiar system it doesn't matter how many you use. Wrexham so far this season from this sample have used the most players whilst Mansfield and Cambridge have used the least. Yet Oxford have used 17 players and Luton have used 18 of which 4 are ever present like the U's.
One thing is certain though fans like to see a winning team and managers are under pressure to deliver one. I still wonder whether Saunders yet knows his best side from his squad. Once he does my own view is that you play them together as often as possible but then I'm not a football coach!!