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Cool heads and calm hearts 09:58 - Apr 2 with 815 viewssaint901

The result against Ipswich leaves us looking at the play offs short of a mathematical miracle. That of course is a disappointment and naturally some frustration about who is is blame is circulating.

It's tempting to blame the manager and his tactics. That is fair to a degree and also unfair in that he had to work with what he had and we know that the squad was perhaps two good players short of where it needed to be from the first day of the season.

Failing to correct or cover that shortfall was an error. Whose door was that at? Could the manager have tried harder to make the owners aware of this? Did the owners not have the funds? Did the strategists on the football side say that we had to manage? We'll probably never know.

Starting the season with a squad which was perhaps weaker than is could have been should have meant some compromises in style and tactics. However RM had a way of playing which took time to bed in and four games last early on were a burden we were never going to recover from without a record breaking run. And we did that with some luck, some favourable refereeing and some late, late goals. All this evened up to a point about thee/four weeks ago and left us in a good position.

The time to show what we could do was post the three week break and here we have - so far - failed. The Boro game was our season in a nutshell. Played well. Got a goal out of luck/pressure. Continued to keep the ball. Lost focus in the last 10 minutes and conceded. A draw from a game we should easily have won.

Ipswich game? They are a top 4 team at home and I would have taken a draw.

Now we are looking at playoffs and sacking the manager is not going to change that, arguably would harm us in the playoffs- and so now is not the time.

Now is the time to get to the playoffs (we could still fall out of them) and see what we get.

If we stay in the Champ, then next season we have less money and we need to assess what a realistic prospect of promotion might be if we continue to play the RM way. (My view has always been than he is a 98% manager and that 2% would always prove to be the difference).

If we get promoted, is RM the future? I think he is not but it would be hard to fire a manager who gets promoted even if it is by being 3rd/4th/5th/6th best.

We have to stay together as a team - owners, managers, strategists and players - AND fans.

end of May is when to hire and fire.
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Cool heads and calm hearts on 10:00 - Apr 2 with 807 viewsPatfromPoole

Martin is a 98% manager??????

Blimey.

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Cool heads and calm hearts on 10:05 - Apr 2 with 773 viewsgrumpy

We have enough decent players to get promoted but the manager is not good enough.
He could have closed down the game yesterday but failed to make the changes in tactics and substitutions.Look at the stats,his subs were put on after they equalized and to me looked ridiculous.
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Cool heads and calm hearts on 10:25 - Apr 2 with 733 viewsIanSouthstander

Cool heads and calm hearts on 10:05 - Apr 2 by grumpy

We have enough decent players to get promoted but the manager is not good enough.
He could have closed down the game yesterday but failed to make the changes in tactics and substitutions.Look at the stats,his subs were put on after they equalized and to me looked ridiculous.


Our game management is poor to non existent. How many points have we given up in the last few minutes of games.
3 or 4 times yesterday when we put Ipswich under pressure one of their players went down needing medical treatment, stopping our momentum and allowing their manager to get them a much needed breather .
Funny how they never went down when they were pressurising us.
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Cool heads and calm hearts on 10:34 - Apr 2 with 691 viewssaintmark1976

saint901, are you by any chance employed by the Club’s media team or perhaps as Russell Martin’s P R advisor?

Russell Martin has had season long control of what is generally regarded as the best squad in the Championship and certainly the most expensive. Having dropped 14 of the last 24 points available, yesterday’s result confirmed that he has failed to obtain automatic promotion for us.

What has caused his failure?:-

1. Constantly playing possession based tippy tappy football with no plan B.
2. Forever changing his starting eleven.
3. A complete and utter inability to use his substitutes properly to either change or see out games.

Given the above and the fact that nothing will change his approach, why would anybody entrust to him our long term future by letting him remain in position and stay in place for the Playoffs?

Swansea City fans warned us before a ball was kicked that he was useless and so it has been proven.

As I’ve posted elsewhere on the site, it’s time for Sports Republic to roll the dice and sack him now replacing him with Steve Cooper. We simply don’t have the luxury of waiting until the season’s end.
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Cool heads and calm hearts on 10:36 - Apr 2 with 678 viewsfelly1

You are right about the Boro game summing up our weakness this season.
We throw away leads more than the 3 teams above us and it's the draws against mediocre sides when we've taken the lead have killed us.
As a club we overspent our transfer budget on too many young kids who are not yet strong physically or mentally.
They should be developing at mid table Championship clubs.
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Cool heads and calm hearts on 10:37 - Apr 2 with 678 viewsdirk_doone

Cool heads and calm hearts on 10:05 - Apr 2 by grumpy

We have enough decent players to get promoted but the manager is not good enough.
He could have closed down the game yesterday but failed to make the changes in tactics and substitutions.Look at the stats,his subs were put on after they equalized and to me looked ridiculous.


The stats show that if we'd had even an average goalkeeper, we'd currently be top of the league. Last season, we'd have finished 16th instead of getting relegated. It's amazing that a massive flaw so glaringly obvious has been allowed to continue. Instead the blame has been shared around, Bazunu's disastrous role in our failures has been brushed under the carpet and he is still there costing us points.
[Post edited 2 Apr 10:37]

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Cool heads and calm hearts on 11:01 - Apr 2 with 616 viewsMytchettSaint

We were relegated with Leeds and Leicester last season. They have also lost players and had rebuilds to undertake, new managers implementing their own style on the team.

We always, always as a club, seem to explain stuff away with a shrug of the shoulders and not hold anyone to account.

The manager has to take his fair share of the blame, the 4 game spell at the start of the season was largely self inflicted. Recent team selections have baffled fans. When the big moments have come, we've come up short in them. Blame scar tissue, bad luck or even the ides of March. The table seldom lies.

We have a goalkeeper who doesn't seem to stop a lot. He was purchased as one for the future but as sure as eggs are eggs come the moment he develops and we receive a decent offer for him (if that ever happens) then he'll be off. His next club might get the benefit of these formative learning years whilst we are back to square one probably with another rookie. It begs the question, what's the point.

We bought a striker that's yet to play whilst watching Che do what Che does.

But lastly, lets discuss the people in charge making these decisions. The buck really does stop with them.

Good luck to the three teams that get promoted, we won't be. I don't want to go back to being premier league cannon fodder but championship history is littered with teams that failed to return and are now languishing in the lower reaches and league one also has a few casualties.

As the OP said, the time for inquests will come in the summer but I don't hold out much hope of SR getting things right next season either given their track record with us so far.

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Cool heads and calm hearts on 11:06 - Apr 2 with 598 viewsdirk_doone

Cool heads and calm hearts on 11:01 - Apr 2 by MytchettSaint

We were relegated with Leeds and Leicester last season. They have also lost players and had rebuilds to undertake, new managers implementing their own style on the team.

We always, always as a club, seem to explain stuff away with a shrug of the shoulders and not hold anyone to account.

The manager has to take his fair share of the blame, the 4 game spell at the start of the season was largely self inflicted. Recent team selections have baffled fans. When the big moments have come, we've come up short in them. Blame scar tissue, bad luck or even the ides of March. The table seldom lies.

We have a goalkeeper who doesn't seem to stop a lot. He was purchased as one for the future but as sure as eggs are eggs come the moment he develops and we receive a decent offer for him (if that ever happens) then he'll be off. His next club might get the benefit of these formative learning years whilst we are back to square one probably with another rookie. It begs the question, what's the point.

We bought a striker that's yet to play whilst watching Che do what Che does.

But lastly, lets discuss the people in charge making these decisions. The buck really does stop with them.

Good luck to the three teams that get promoted, we won't be. I don't want to go back to being premier league cannon fodder but championship history is littered with teams that failed to return and are now languishing in the lower reaches and league one also has a few casualties.

As the OP said, the time for inquests will come in the summer but I don't hold out much hope of SR getting things right next season either given their track record with us so far.


As the stats show, we aren't getting a lot wrong, as we'd currently be top of the league with an average Championship goalkeeper. It was the same problem last year. Incredibly, we were one of the top 5 teams in the league for fewest chances conceded but our goalkeeper let them nearly all in.
[Post edited 2 Apr 11:07]

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Cool heads and calm hearts on 11:19 - Apr 2 with 559 viewsMytchettSaint

Cool heads and calm hearts on 11:06 - Apr 2 by dirk_doone

As the stats show, we aren't getting a lot wrong, as we'd currently be top of the league with an average Championship goalkeeper. It was the same problem last year. Incredibly, we were one of the top 5 teams in the league for fewest chances conceded but our goalkeeper let them nearly all in.
[Post edited 2 Apr 11:07]


My friend said to me yesterday, we don't appear to have a keeper, just a guy with a pair of gloves that stands between the posts.

Even Che would be prolific if he was facing this bloke...

Block 13; Curva Itchen Sud

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Cool heads and calm hearts on 12:03 - Apr 2 with 506 viewssaint901

Interesting thoughts.

I was saying last August that RM is not the man to get us promoted. He was the wrong appointment. By 98% manager I mean that he gets 98% of the decisions right but when the pressure comes on and we need to get that 2% right, he often does not.

Ipswich yesterday - he should have closed the game down. Boro on Friday, same thing - don't bring on Mara/Edozie/Aribo. Bring on a defender. You could rinse and repeat that story all season.

His way of playing is one dimensional. Even 1-0 at home last five minutes, there's no urgency or change of tactic. No long ball to players with pace.

1-0 up five minutes to go, no plan to play with 5 or 6 defenders, just carry on doing the same thing and he's known all season that we're vulnerable on the break.

Those crucial 2% moments are where he fails.

It's not beyond mathematical hope that the top two places are closed to us. We still have to play two of those above us. Realistically however without a change in tactics and shape, we will not beat both of them.

I would hope that if we got to Leeds with a top two place out of reach, then he picks a team that leaves out most of the regulars (although I'm not sure he knows who those regulars are).

And no I'm not employed by SFC.
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Cool heads and calm hearts on 13:02 - Apr 2 with 457 viewsdirk_doone

Cool heads and calm hearts on 12:03 - Apr 2 by saint901

Interesting thoughts.

I was saying last August that RM is not the man to get us promoted. He was the wrong appointment. By 98% manager I mean that he gets 98% of the decisions right but when the pressure comes on and we need to get that 2% right, he often does not.

Ipswich yesterday - he should have closed the game down. Boro on Friday, same thing - don't bring on Mara/Edozie/Aribo. Bring on a defender. You could rinse and repeat that story all season.

His way of playing is one dimensional. Even 1-0 at home last five minutes, there's no urgency or change of tactic. No long ball to players with pace.

1-0 up five minutes to go, no plan to play with 5 or 6 defenders, just carry on doing the same thing and he's known all season that we're vulnerable on the break.

Those crucial 2% moments are where he fails.

It's not beyond mathematical hope that the top two places are closed to us. We still have to play two of those above us. Realistically however without a change in tactics and shape, we will not beat both of them.

I would hope that if we got to Leeds with a top two place out of reach, then he picks a team that leaves out most of the regulars (although I'm not sure he knows who those regulars are).

And no I'm not employed by SFC.


An average Championship goalkeeper in goal and we'd have won. It's not rocket science.

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Cool heads and calm hearts on 13:15 - Apr 2 with 445 viewssaint901

Cool heads and calm hearts on 13:02 - Apr 2 by dirk_doone

An average Championship goalkeeper in goal and we'd have won. It's not rocket science.


Hugely unfair to blame one player.

GK makes a mistake and the opposition score.

Centre forward makes a mistake and we can win the ball back.

Blaming one player, esp the keeper is scapegoating (born of frustration I suspect).

The issue all season has not been one player. It's been the inability to convert high possession into decent goal chances and scoring.

The Boro game (the last I was at) was typical. We scored from a Boro mistake. We made perhaps one good chance and a couple of scruffy ones. Teams like Leicester and Leeds (and all PL teams) make good chances and score.

We lack consistency in making chances not helped by the fact that RM still does not know his best team. Again for Boro, AA starts on the right wing, moves to left wing, moves to CF and then gets taken off.

In RM world all players should be able to play in all positions (which is why we get caught out passing in our own box) and therefore having a different face in any one position should make no difference. The problem is that players are better in some positions than others. If AA is 80% effective as a central striker and 70% effective on the wing, why play him on the wing?

RM is stubborn however and will not change.
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Cool heads and calm hearts on 15:14 - Apr 2 with 384 viewssaint22

Cool heads and calm hearts on 13:02 - Apr 2 by dirk_doone

An average Championship goalkeeper in goal and we'd have won. It's not rocket science.


He is a poor keeper end of
Also he now has to contend with Stephens in front of him which helps no one
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