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Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers Your Report added at 21:30:32
This dismal performnace is where all the bravado and big talk about having imporved the squad has come home to roost and has to get examined more critically.

Two players for each position? I don't think so. We've got 3 rightbacks and 1 left back (KWP isn't a LB as today showed in spades). With Stephens out we essentially have 2 CBs ready to play. For RH's two CM positions we have 3 players. Attacking midfield and striker it's all a rag bag with a lot of contenders but very little quality. But in the end on the day we bring on Shane Long when we need a goal, the lie about squad depth is laid bare. It's bad enough that Redmond gets to start pretty much every week, but bringing Long on is not just stupid, it's incomprehensibly stupid.

The sheer horror of the team's stats is getting worse and worse every week. Under Ralph we have won only 4 of our last 27 games---that's to say we've gained only 12pts out the last 81 possible pts by actually winning. This calendar year we've earned 21 points. Even leaving aside the two 9 goal drubbings, who can seriously make a case for this manager after so long?

I suspect even SFC sees the horror and I bet that the decision on him is going to come down to financial planning....at what point do we lose less by firing him than by getting relegated, is probably the calculus.
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Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers Your Report added at 21:13:19
This dismal performnace is where all the bravado and big talk about having imporved the squad has come home to roost and has to get examined more critically.

Two players for each position? I don't think so. We've got 3 rightbacks and 1 left back (KWP isn't a LB as today showed in spades). With Stephens out we essentially have 2 CBs ready to play. For RH's two CM positions we have 3 players. Attacking midfield and striker it's all a rag bag with a lot of contenders but very little quality. But in the end on the day we bring on Shane Long when we need a goal, the lie about squad depth is laid bare. It's bad enough that Redmond gets to start pretty much every week, but bringing Long on is not just stupid, it's incomprehensibly stupid.

The sheer horror of the team's stats is getting worse and worse every week. Under Ralph we have won only 4 of our last 27 games---that's to say we've gained only 12pts out the last 81 possible pts by actually winning. This calendar year we've earned 21 points. Even leaving aside the two 9 goal drubbings, who can seriously make a case for this manager after so long?

I suspect even SFC sees the horror and I bet that the decision on him is going to come down to financial planning....at what point do we lose less by firing him than by getting relegated, is probably the calculus.
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Southampton v Fulham Your Report added at 21:15:54
Whoever said above that they couldn't understand the criticism of Redmond must have had a blindfold on. Redmond normally plays like crap, but this was extreme even for him. Pretty much all of his passes were to Fulham players, he shot straight at defenders several times, he lost a bucketload of challenges that should have been his and was knocked off the ball a bunch of times. Saints' attacks just basically come to nothing when the ball reaches him in the last quarter of the field.
With Redmond, Walcott and Minamino all playing similar roles, we've had no joy. There isn't really a case for any of the three being in the side next year (or even Tuesday), but I bet at least 2 of them are.
I'm usually unimpressed by Stevens, but he had one of his better games.
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Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton Your Report added at 02:27:13
I'm stating the obvious here but a) RH screwed up again tactically, b) our majority of our players are not indisputably Premier quality, c) this team could still go down.
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Manchester City v Southampton Your Report added at 01:57:34
If Redmond and Stephens are still in the 1st team squad next year, that'll be the measure of our ambitions. Both are really NOT HELPFUL. But the bigger story here is RH's team selection. Gormless!!!!
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Sheffield United v Southampton Your Report added at 23:27:23
I wouldn't get too excited about FF's performance....yes, he caught a few things in the middle of the 6-yard box, but whenever SU sent a high cross to the far post FF was a mess. Apart from that, and apart from Diallo giving the ball away most of the time, and apart from Redmond once again being a waste of space when he came on, a good team performance, with a few tactical wrinkles that obviously confused SU. Good to have KWP back! This team's bad results have pretty much coincided with Ralph's clueless efforts at replacing him!
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 18:21:05
Another tactical catastrophe from RH, and a mostly unconfident and/or disinterested display from the players. I've seen some sad Saints teams over the years, but this one looks like they don't even cafe much. Pathetic management, arguably less effective than any of the justifiably maligned managers we've had since Koeman left..
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 15:26:01
Not worth rating the players or reporting on the match. Except maybe to give 10/10 to Austin, Long, Stephens as parting gifts. I hope. The point now is to see how this weird squad gets shuffled.
I personally want to see us be rid of Stephens, Austin, Long, Elyanoussi, Gallagher.
And I think we'll sell McCarthy too.
And I think that it would be a mistake, especially if there's not much money floating around, to outright buy Ings.

Just imagine how everyone's going to feel if our main striker on the first day next season is Ings, Austin or Long. Even the biggest optimist would have to give up at that point. So this all means we'll be needing new strikers. Clearly Obafemi is going to be one. Maybe try Carillo out under new management. But definitely at least one new striker required, as we all know.

I think loanees Reed and Hesketh will be given a chance to make the team.

And I think some youngsters will also be blooded, including Alfie Jones at CB.
But even so, a good centre back is needed, as we all know.

So I don't really expect many new signings. In fact we'll make more progress with "addition by subtraction," getting rid of unproductive resources. IMHO next year will be an evolution mostly from below with youngsters, plus a new striker and new CB.

You read it here first (ha-ha! Pretty much what everyone's been saying all season).



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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 15:25:47
Not worth rating the players or reporting on the match. Except maybe to give 10/10 to Austin, Long, Stephens as parting gifts. I hope. The point now is to see how this weird squad gets shuffled.
I personally want to see us be rid of Stephens, Austin, Long, Elyanoussi, Gallagher.
And I think we'll sell McCarthy too.
And I think that it would be a mistake, especially if there's not much money floating around, to outright buy Ings.

Just imagine how everyone's going to feel if our main striker on the first day next season is Ings, Austin or Long. Even the biggest optimist would have to give up at that point. So this all means we'll be needing new strikers. Clearly Obafemi is going to be one. Maybe try Carillo out under new management. But definitely at least one new striker required, as we all know.

I think loanees Reed and Hesketh will be given a chance to make the team.

And I think some youngsters will also be blooded, including Alfie Jones at CB.
But even so, a good centre back is needed, as we all know.

So I don't really expect many new signings. In fact we'll make more progress with "addition by subtraction," getting rid of unproductive resources. IMHO next year will be an evolution mostly from below with youngsters, plus a new striker and new CB.

You read it here first (ha-ha! Pretty much what everyone's been saying all season).



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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 06:19:22
Not worth rating the players or reporting on the match. Except maybe to give 10/10 to Austin, Long, Stephens as parting gifts. I hope. The point now is to see how this weird squad gets shuffled.
I personally want to see us be rid of Stephens, Austin, Long, Elyanoussi, Gallagher.
And I think we'll sell McCarthy too.
And I think that it would be a mistake, especially if there's not much money floating around, to outright buy Ings.

Just imagine how everyone's going to feel if our main striker on the first day next season is Ings, Austin or Long. Even the biggest optimist would have to give up at that point. So this all means we'll be needing new strikers. Clearly Obafemi is going to be one. Maybe try Carillo out under new management. But definitely at least one new striker required, as we all know.

I think loanees Reed and Hesketh will be given a chance to make the team.

And I think some youngsters will also be blooded, including Alfie Jones at CB.
But even so, a good centre back is needed, as we all know.

So I don't really expect many new signings. In fact we'll make more progress with "addition by subtraction," getting rid of unproductive resources. IMHO next year will be an evolution mostly from below with youngsters, plus a new striker and new CB.

You read it here first (ha-ha! Pretty much what everyone's been saying all season).



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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 20:28:46
I've said a few times on here that some of RH's selection decisions seem wrong--though it's true that, like yesterday, he often can use subs to rectify the problems he causes himself. And of course, some decisions get forced on him because of lack of squad quality. So yesterday, you're missing Valery and Vestergaard, so you have to play JWP out of position and have to field the ever woeful Jack Stephens. Up fron, Soms was probably the wrong choice (as Armstrong was at pains to demonstrate). And Ings is doing his best to make sure Long gets on the field from time to time. All our squad weaknesses were exposed today, in other words, and once that XI was named it was game over.
That said, Lemina had a good game, and I'm learning to appreciate Gunn.
A word abut Ings, though. As the season draws to a close, and assuming we stay up, we surely have to give some serious thought as to whether he should be bought. He scored a few, true. But he's easily injured and right now looks unfit. Unless something drastic happens to his form in the final games, his overall profile for the season won't be an argument for signing him.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 23:25:07
Nearly fell asleep a few times, the football was so bad! But all credit to Saints for holding firm, even though Albion didn't threaten much except for a short period in the 2nd half. Things to worry about, even while being positive about getting 3 points from a poor performance....1) Stephens was just embarrassing when he came on. 2) Ings still didn't look fit and basically contributed nothing. 3) Redmond is getting his attitude back, and that's not auspicious for his performances.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 23:33:07
The PL needs to be careful...the habit of assigning biased refs to top 6 teams is getting more and more blatant and transparent! Beyond that, we Saints fans need to temper our happiness for a second and ask, why this team played like clueless schoolkids in the first half, but like demons in the second? The manager's selections and tactics have made me queazy a number of times this season, and the back 3 tactic is always asking for trouble. When Spurs pressed the middle three in the first half it looked like total chaos! None of the three knew what they were doing. Bednarek transcends the chaos a bit because he's a supremely gifted player, but the other two were shaky to sat the least. This team needs to attack and press forward all the time, because the back 3 cannot cope for 90 minutes. So, play like one big car crash waiting to happen in the first half, but then come out and attack in the second and lo and behold you get a result. In the second half we had no centre forward, but that worked better than having Austin there in the first half. (Austin and Long would surely not be anywhere near this squad if a) we'd bought forward, and b) Obafemi and Ings were fit.) Moral of the story really (and we've seen it in other games), set up defensively, you suck; press and try to play real football and you pit on a better show and maybe get some points.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 23:56:17
I'm glad my bold prediction turned out well--that if Long started we'd lose, but if he didn't we'd win! And didn't he look like total rubbish when he did come on!! He looks worse the better the team around him plays.

I still question the back three tactic, especially at home against a team we ought to beat. But if we're going to do it, then Yoshida's experience, speed and calm are probably needed; even if he has his faults, he's not handing over goals to the opponents at the rate of one or more a game.

The rest of the team played pretty well, or as well as the could in a system that was pretty unadventurous.

My biggest sensation (and I bet a lot of the players share it) is relief to get another win.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 21:56:09
Not that anybody was expecting us to win, but a point would have been nice, and it seems to me it could have been possible. But the usual story...we can't score goals so a couple of mistakes at the back mean defeat. I said this here before, that it might be the case that Hasenhuttl will save us, but that doesn't mean he doesn't make mistakes. In fact, it's not very encouraging to think that this is the performance we get from his team right after he's just had 2 clear weeks to sort things out. His biggest error, of course, is sticking with Stephens who, not content with giving away a goal every game, has now upped it to two! But I think RH makes wrong decisions quite often. The JWP, Armstrong Redmond format was never going to work, and when it didn't he made another mistake by taking off Armstrong. I'm agnostic about Gunn...people seem to like him better than McCarthy, but that's an opinion based on scant evidence. And finally, let's face it, it's the manager's error to put Obafemi on if his injury hadn't properly healed! The only bright spot all day was not seeing Long in the squad!
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 00:23:52
I just read this comment on another forum and I don't know who BrotherLead is but I realised he has distilled a lot of my pain in to 2 short sentencces:
Remember 2 years ago we could never score with Long and Austin, which gravitated into last season as well? And here we are, still having to rely on the gruesome twosome up front.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 22:24:45
Hassenhuttl may well save us in the end, but it's not as if he's not making mistakes. Today he was out-strategised by Warnock who set up a defensive shape as expected, but instead of adding attacks on the break he added man-marking. Saints didn't respond at all well. We kept playing a flat line upfront that was supposed to encourage for balls over and behind the defence, but none of those balls ever happened. RH also messed up with the starting line-up, I think. Too defensive in midfield. And putting Shane Long in the starting XI is a mark of insanity whenever it happens and with whatever manager. Long had the kind of game today that surely makes his apologists ("yes, he doesn't score, but he does all kinds of other things for the team") want to eat their words and crawl into a hole. I'm picking on him to begin with because as soon as the XI was announced it was obvious we'd be lucky to score a goal in this match. That meant that what did happen was inevitable--if we concede we give up points. The fact that we equalized and then made another late concession shows it's no accident. And it's no accident that the man responsible for late concession both this week and last week was Stephens. Despite his having a mostly solid game, and even scoring a goal, he's a liability in the end. Aside from Long and Stephens (and the totally clueless Elyounoussi), nobody stood out. Our best players had average games, to put it kindly.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 23:38:08
Well that was awfully disappointing. We played about as well as we can for most of the game, but we didn;t score (yet agian) and then had absolutely no answer to Wolves' substitutions.

Our squad still lacks:
# striking power
# creative midfield influnece
# adequate central defenders.

Hughes says he might have to change things. It's good that he sees the need (CP and MP never did until it was too late). But the problem is that he hasn't got the resources to change things much for the better.

# I'd start Bednarek and Yoshida for the forseeable, but I admit that's not a Premier central duo...but nor are Vestergaard and Hoedt.

# also I'd start Ings w/ Gabbiadini, with Gallagher on the bench, but Hughes seems to have more faith in Austin (who was awful today) and Long (who's pretty much always awful).

# We need a midfielder who is creative. There simply isn't anyone in the squad that fits the bill. So if he changes things around Hughes will probably go back to Davis and/or JWP....not a clever move.

# Redmond is playing better this year, but he's still mostly ineffectual. Elyounoussi doesn't seem to have a role and his most obvious strengths are defensive rather than attacking. Armstrong also seems to have been a black box error...and should in any case be dropped straight away for the schoolboy defensive effort on Wolves' 2nd goal.

Wolves are a team that's much superior to Saints right now and, even though they didn't play great today, they put us to the sword when they felt it was time. We had no reply.

It's hard to disagree with Ali Diarea....<<We have an average squad, shite defenders and lack any creative spark. Coupled with a very average manager>>
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 02:52:12
Bednarek was the only player (apart from the goalie) who didn't completely suck. Shane Long, bless, he just shouldn't be on a premiership team. All those who like him, tell me, what has he done for us lately (i.e. in the 60 appearances)? Starting him and Redmond as front two just says, we surrender, we know we'll never score against you. Totally rubbish put up front by Hughes, and so we look at the defence...oh no, look away. More total rubbish. We shouldn't necessarily expect to get points at Anfield, especialy when Liverpool are flyinf, but we should expect better team selction and tactics, and better individual performances. This was just an insult.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 23:45:00
Hmm, not looking good is it? Stupid defensive errors lead directly to the 2 goals. As he often is, Cedric got caught having to deal with an arial ball that the CBs or goalie should have dealt with. Then Vestgergaard seemed just swing at the winning shot, but Maguire should have been closed down long before he shot. You give up those kind of goals, you're going to lose. But the defence looked shaky all afternoon in any case--even McCarthy was problematical. Vestergaard was not great by any means but he had the excuse of having had to cover up for Hoedt's many shortcomings. (Am I alone in wondering why neither the immensely experienced Yoshida nor the immature but immensely talented Bednarek is preferred to Hoedt, the weakest link?) For the rest of the team, I suppose it wasn't too bad given our current level. But goals are obviously going to be just as scarce this yea as last (and therefore points will be scarce too). Only Ings is ever going to score, Redmond had a pretty good game (I never say that!), Elyounoussi was mostly invisible, Lemina would have been my MOM except for Berty's fabulous goal, Hojberg will rue this day, and Long should be put out of his footballing misery as soon as poss.
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