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On This Day In History 28th March
at 09:51:53

A wonderful day, a wonderful season and a feeling that our club was secure and on the up again thanks to the incredible Marcus Liebherr. That is my favourite picture of him a quiet understated pride in what he enabled Saints to achieve. We will never forget what he did for our club. Coyrs
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Saints Still Need One More Win
at 10:29:11

There are only so many 'must win' games a team can play and lose before the inevitable happens. If we beat Norwich, and I would not put our fragile team down as favourites for that, we should be ok.

But what beyond then? The 80% owner is not interetsed in investing his money in the club as he's openly admitted - in fact it is looking like there were other motives on his part in buying into the club. The board do not seem to be focused on football issues as there is an ownership issue and a financial issue which is a much bigger distraction from footballing issues. If we stay up or go down it will be down to clubs being worse than us once again and inspite of the boards activites rather than because of them.

I do not know what the point of our club is at the moment. From the late seventies, which is when my memory of Saints starts, we often blooded the noses of richer teams and had a stong team ethic based on being better than the sum of our parts which is why we escaped relegation so often in the late 90s despite a small ground and income. (lets forget about the atrocious relegtion years in the 2000s).

We have got a brilliant infrastructure, including training facilities and youth set up but we have got an administration which cannot run it effectively, does not appreciate what we have and quite frankly is not fit for purpose.

Ralph is potenitally a great manager but he is not working in a functional organisation which is working together towards a shared and clearly defined goal.

The club needs to rebuild using the blueprint, but learning from the mistakes, of the Markus/Cortese 5 year plan. This means everyones role off the pitch is clearly defined working towards a clear strategy. Everyone involved should be dedicated to the mid term to provide stability. Everything needs to be joined up.

At the moment the disjointed performances, 'odd' player recruitment and retention policy, odd team selections etc are a reflection of the lack of focus, uncertainly, clarity of roles, joined up working and lack of communication off the pitch.

There isnt an easy fix but Goa needs to sell up, new owners need to restructure and get the right people into the important decision making roles and they need to communicate and work towards a realistic shared goal.

We should not need to put up with the mixed up mess we have become over the past 4 years and we can return to the achievements of the first few years of our return to the top flight. This does not mean spending stupid money on over paid mercenaries it means the right people in the right roles sharing the same ethic and mid term plan.

We need to get our identity back of being an entertaining, well run and united football club. Under the current administration this will not happen.
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Saints V Newcastle United The Verdict
at 18:15:06

American Saint, my point was not that we were swamped more than another average team get the better of us without working hard for it. Most teams we play know we've got several defensive mistakes in us and know if they push forward they will, and more often than not, hit us.
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Saints V Newcastle United The Verdict
at 15:56:24

What are we supposed to expect as saints fan's? I really am in the dark about our identity. We've sold our best players, replaced them with substandard footballing fodder seem to still cash in on any assets available (Yoshi and Suarez) and replace them with an unfit loanee. The saints up for sale story is very curious. Not sure what to expect.

We have in theory got a brilliant set up but there is no long term planning. Therefore we've got a very disjointed team of average to reasonably decent players on their day.

The club is sleepwalking into trouble and I cannot see the spark within the club who is to change this.

As for yesterday - business as usual. A very ordinary team turn up apply pressure and we're on the back foot. There is no spine to this team. We got lucky against villa, we were embarrassed against West ham are feckless against Burnley. Make no mistake Norwich are going to came at us from the first minute. That match will show what we're made off.

We may stay up this season but like other seasons it'll be down to the results of others not our own ability and guile. If we do stay up, at the moment there is no reason to believe anything will change next season. We'll struggle in the league, whimper out of the cups and the narcoleptic decision makers will pretend all is fine.

Coyr
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Saints At West Ham United The Verdict
at 17:19:39

Play your best players in the correct positions. We're not good enough to rest our best players until safety is mathematically gurenteed. If you stay up the team needs investment over the summer and need to keep our best players. The pre season should be used to work on the best system with the players we have and go into the new season hitting the ground running. We're in trouble this season as Ralph seemed determined to use the idiotic 5 at the back for the first few months of this season despite it not working in pre season. Thankfully the Leicester humiliation killed that did system and the results improved.

We are 5-6 players away from being competitive but it's a big call to ask for this to be fixed over the summer so the rebuilding will take a few seasons. In the meantime we need to keep are best players - no selling to make a quick buck. Mr owner over to you.
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Saints V Aston Villa The Preview
at 19:18:32

I tend to agree with you Nick that predicting tomorrow's result is a lottery as it depends on to many independent variables. Therefore it requires Ralph controlling the things he can and playing the right players in the appropriate positions.

On a point that you have mentioned throughout the season i.e. that we have a better squad now than we have had over the past few seasons - do you still believe that? The article above suggests that you don't as you are putting the outcome of the game down to things beyond our control e.g. luck or villa under performing. As far as I'm concerned that is exactly the same as the last three seasons. The difference this season is that somebody at the club decided to get rid of two established players and bringing in one untested and not match fit replacement. I'd argue this makes us weaker and more dependent on luck than this time last month and last year.

See you all in the south western tomorrow.
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Injury News For Saturday's Game Against Villa
at 11:54:11

Didn't need to be mystic meg to see this happening. Irritating.
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Hasenhuttl Trying To Avoid Unwanted Record At Home
at 19:47:51

Arsenal did pretty well playing at the library under Wenger. Maybe the silence helped the players concentrate.

The pressure certainly gets to the players at home and certain teams visiting Mary's deploy systems that make it difficult for our limited midfield to introduce a plan b to break it down.

It's not clear that Ralph is putting some of the blame at the feet of home supporters but if so it's a very cheap shot. I'd also read it as a criticism that the players confidence isn't that robust at home which is a concern.

Most saints fan's are realistic regarding what we expect of the team and the board and when the realistic bar isn't met it's no surprise we get frustrated.

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Saints V Burnley The Verdict
at 15:58:27

Didn't go due to not being able to travel down. Not a surprising defeat but disappointing that it actually happened. Weird that Bednarek was on the bench, maybe Ralph wanted to rest him in what was considered a winnable game. We are still in a relegation battle and need to pick up 3 more wins - at least before talk of safety is mentioned again.
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Ward Prowse Could Play On Saturday
at 07:25:29

Square pegs round holes. If prowse is fit play him in midfield i.e. his position. We have shipped one right back out and bought one in. It's a no brainer. If peters proves to be less affective at right back than prowse the board will have dropped a bollock. We lose prowse's ball holding and creativity in midfield when he plays RB. PTS on the board are more important than showing we can play 'total football'.
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Saints V Tottenham Hotspur The Preview
at 23:22:23

Ffs
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Cedric Soares An Appreciation
at 17:52:34

I've been asking the same question lately cjay80, but now assume it means 'did a job for us.' Most things ending in FU are usually obscene and initially my sewer brain thought it might be an insult.

I liked the theory of Cedric more than the practice but I was a fan. I think the board are incredibly short sighted in cashing in on a player of his calibre (the money saved/made is peanuts in the modern era especially as each place higher up in the league is worth a few million more than the one below) but not surprised the decision was made.

Good luck Cedric and thanks.

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Yoshida An Appreciation
at 08:08:17

I hope Yoshi has as fond memories of his time at Saints to reflect how fond measured fans are/we're of him. Never moaned, never shirked, always gave 100%. A great club man. In line with the comments above I wish Yoshi luck and thank him for his part in getting saints back into the top flight after the dark years.
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Saints At Liverpool The Verdict
at 21:12:50

SaintStu7 I can see your point to some extent but the issue with selling two defensive senior figures, even one who is only cover, leaves the club a hostage to fortune. If all works out fine and we do not have any injuries or suspensions we may be fine.

However, we now have two non match fit right backs who will take time to get up to speed and fit into the team set-up. This is providing that Valery's well enough to get on the pitch.

Armstrong is out for a few more games at least, possibly more (we don't know) and if the two right backs are not up to the task or fit enough ward prowse will need to provide cover which means two decent midfielders are not available. There is no contingency.

As for the point about slagging off the players as you mention above that was a minority of contributers to this website so that is not a fair criticism.

All may work out fine but somebody is prepared to take a massive gamble on it working out ok. Maybe all the injury issues are minor and we'll be back to full strength in a week or two. Maybe we've got two very fit raring to go efficient right backs. But we do not know.

What we can say is we have lost two experienced defenders for the sake of making a few million pounds and the decision makers have bet a few million against the possibility of losing millions should we go down. Panic selling is as bad as panic buying at this point in the season particularly after the hard work put on by the players over the past 6 weeks.
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Saints At Liverpool The Verdict
at 18:55:35

The outcome not a surprise but the score flattered them. Disappointed about not holding onto the players we had as Suarez has found form over the last few months and contributed to the uptick in the teams progress. Yoshida was a useful back up CB who could be relied on to give 100% and was a consummate professional. Who is calling the shots in player retention and made this ridiculous call e.g. to make a few million at the risk of loosing tens of millions? This is warped financial logic.

I don't want an owner who spends millions of pounds buying mercenaries and panic buys but an owner that from time to time tells us the grand strategy and doesn't sell senior players at the first opportunity would be reasurring.

I would not be surprised if come the summer senior players will be sold before untested players are brought in for a third of the price and the uncalculated risk of staying in the cash cow top flight will commence once again. When this practice eventually back fires and we go down we will be in massive trouble and the fall out will hit us, the fans hard once again.

I hope I'm wrong but I'm fed up with our club being seen as a feeder club and one that sells all assets as it's embarrassing and doesn't provide stability.
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Saints V Tottenham Hotspur The Preview
at 10:36:13

Well said Nick. I think the majority of tui readers would love to beat spuds almost more than red Merseyside. We don't have a great record against the special one (TM) but hopefully we put in a good shift and give their defence grief.
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Saints At Aston Villa The Verdict
at 09:58:48

Good report Nick and great to see the optimism is still intact. There is a very long way to go and I relieved by yesterday's report rather than encouraged but as the correctly pointed out everyone pulled their weight and contributed to a desperately needed win.

If we are to get an experienced and solid CB in the new year I think Stephens should be utilised in midfield and paired with Armstrong in the middle. Stephens is a great ball player and is an attacking minded player rather than a natural CB. I realize a team in saints position can't afford to experiment too much but I think Stephens can offer a lot more further up the field compared with the other options we have, particularly if we can get some class in at CB which will take an enormous amount of pressure off the rest of the team.
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Saints V West Ham United The Verdict
at 12:10:19

It feels like 2005-2006 season all over again with the odd encouraging result but on the whole lacking on pitch leadership, a coherent plan, substandard defenders (Jacobson, Bernard), uninspiring midfielders (Quashie FFS) and lack of quality options up front beyond a clear first choice striker (Philips). We slept walked into relegation then and that is exactly what is going on now.

Like 2005-2006 there are too many issues off the field too. History does repeat itself if lessons are not heeded. So much positive work has been undone in the last 4 seasons and this mess was entirely avoidable with bad decision following bad decision.

I’m annoyed, depressed and resigned. COYR’s.
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Saints At Arsenal The Verdict
at 11:20:04

A point at the library would usually been considered a great result but when aggregated over this season it's another usual outcome but with a heartening performance.

However not taking chances at one end and then gifting chances at the other is the same familiar story. We always go into games knowing we will concede at least one and usually more. After the two late misses there was an inevitably about what would follow.

What do we expect in the next two six pointers? The spectre of Everton is my assumption.

Unfortunately the team lacks mental strength and yesterday does not suggest hope of change for the rest of the season. The outcome was the same as usual even if the manner of the outcome was not as obvious as early in the match usual.
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Saints Name Their Price For Elyounoussi
at 23:43:49

Remember when we used to sell top notch players for top money? Now we sell mediocrity which succeeds once it leaves the fug of at Mary's.

Sell intricate talent which cannot flourish playing lumpen flat footed reductionist football.

It'll put more money in the kitty for next season's relegation battle.
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