Carlisle United just solved this lingering issue by beating Notts County in transfer race

Early in the summer, Carlisle has made their transfer strategy very clear.

The defender Terell Thomas, who was named as the fourth acquisition of Carlisle United’s first summer window under new ownership, may be able to assist in resolving a persistent problem that the Blues have been experiencing.

A portion of the Cumbrian squad’s fan base desired to see their team recruit players who were better than their newly acquired League Two status. The Blues were dealt a harsh reality check during the 2023–24 season, and they soon realized they weren’t prepared for playing in the third division.

However, United’s goal for the upcoming season was obviously promotion, and in order to accomplish that, their roster needed to be more League One-ready than it was the previous season, which is why they were looking to add higher-level players.

Carlisle has undoubtedly succeeded in that regard.

Thomas, who spent last season playing 40 games for Charlton Athletic in the Blues’ previous league, was linked to both Notts County and Fehérvár FC, a top flight team in Hungary.

He’s the first truly marquee acquisition of the summer, the kind that a side aiming for promotion would normally make, and his contributions should go beyond experience.

Terell Thomas could help Carlisle solve a big defensive issue

Last season, Carlisle’s defence was a complete mess; they gave up more goals than any other League One team, with an abnormally high percentage of those goals coming from catastrophic errors or just plain bad play.

The club’s current actions are a good reflection of how they feel about this part of the field. Their three new defenders and goalie demonstrate their lack of faith in the group that guided them into the opening of this window.

According to manager Paul Simpson, there is one position on the backline that requires improvement, most likely right wing-back.

The 28-year-old Thomas ought to provide Brunton Park strength and style. He, Aaron Hayden on the right, and Jon Mellish on the left make up the perfect central-defensive combination for United.

Simpson’s preferred formation is a back-three, but Mellish gives them the flexibility to switch to a back-four with the former Gateshead player in midfield. With Thomas on board, this move ought to go lot more smoothly.

The Saint Lucia skipper primarily played on the left flank for Charlton, according to Sofascore’s heatmap during the 23/24 campaign.

Mellish is a natural left-sided defender, something Carlisle hasn’t had, therefore Mellish’s signing offers the management even more tactical options.

Carlisle United’s athletic defence

Two essential attributes that Simpson highlighted as being important to concentrate on during their summer recruiting efforts were pace and athleticism.

His team’s inability to cover territory fast in League One was always a problem, especially with Sam Lavelle and Paul Huntington starting at the back.

They’re ultimately striving to put together a team that will eventually be back at their previous level, so the gap wouldn’t have been as great in the fourth tier. Reiterating past errors and fielding a team unprepared for your intended short-term goal is a waste of time.

If they had stopped there, the defense’s athleticism would have significantly improved with Hayden and Mellish on either side of Lavelle, who replaced the released Huntington. Thomas just needs to increase that step.

With their centre-backs expected to be far more equipped to handle counterattacks, Carlisle should now be able to play higher up the pitch with considerably more freedom.

As a result, they should be able to control games by spending more time in the opposition’s half than their own, something they struggled to achieve during the previous year.


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