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|Southampton At Sheffield United The Verdict|
As I said in previous comments I saw Lyanco making one of his very few appearances in Italy against Milan and he looked very poor even then. Saints have their work cut out there . As others have said we now know why we were able to secure Broja for the season. Bags of ability but playing him as a lone striker was ridiculous. Yes it was nice to see two new goalscorers but I still get the strong feeling that in the much more competitive Premier Lerague, its going to be SCORING goals that proves to be our Achiles heel.
|Southampton At Manchester City The Verdict|
Well done Saints! It was certainly an excellent performance; We now have some top class defenders, some still awaiting their turn with Thierry Henry exciting me as much as anyone and still to come! Livramento, Walker-Peters, Peroud, Salisu joining the likes of Bednarek and Stephens to give Ralph some real options that would even make a manager of a top six side jealous!
All we need now - ALL WE NEED! - is to develop the habit of winning matches! We need to get more shots on goal and on target. We need to find some real goalscorers and possibly Tella and Broja will bo better in the long run than Adams and Armstrong - who knows? Both Walcott and Redmond can be brilliant at times but they will clearly never be goalscorers at this level. Adams runs his heart out and I am sure his team mates are delighted to see his name on the team sheet. Armstrong has to find the back of the net - and clearly still has the time to do that. But to win matches we now need to threaten our opponents more and get those shots on target.
Sadly it seems that our Academy teams are also having the same problem - even after a relegation last season they still fail to win their matches. I just get the feeling, barring a string of unwanted injuries, that we just need one or two resounding victories with a handful of VAR friendly goals and we will be up and away. I dont know who was responsible for recruiting the latest batch of players - but whoever it was should be named, acclaimed and have a medal pinned to their chest! We now have an exciting looking squad that just need to kick start their season and we shall be beating the likes of Spurs and Arsenal, and looking ever upwards instead of looking at what lies beneath!
|Eddie Howe Holding Out For Southampton Job But Ralph Is Still The Man !|
Have to disagree with almost everyone except WestSussexSaint who in my view has it spot on. Ralph now has an excellent squad and no excuses. He lost a lot of credability during that terrible second half last season and I still believe Mssrs Ings and Vestergard left at least partly because they also lost confidence in Ralph and saw no future for themselves staying with him. To rubbish Eddie Howe is also a big mistake - the guy would be an ideal work mate ALONGSIDE Ralph _ but I guess that is too much to hope for.
Ralph has messed the defence about so much its no wonderthat half the time they dont know where they are! And how does Walker-Peters feel after showing so much promise and then being made to sit on the bench?! Ralph should be given until Christmas to produce a great run from a highly promising squad of players. If he fails he has to be shown the door!
|Southampton V West Ham United The Verdict|
Incredible! We have three points from four matches compared to just one point from the same number of matches last season ! That apparently for Saints equals progress!!!!
There were several oustanding performers on Saturday especially the much maligned Stephens and McCarthy. Salisu was a revelation - still puzzles me why we didn't see him earlier last year. Broja looks an exciting prospect and we have two excellent right full backs!
Armstrong, however, was starved of support and needs either Adams or Broja from the start. The weird 4-1-4-1 formation is presumably a gift from Ralph! You make up your own mind.
So for me - remember its Man City next - three points from our first four games is not something to be celebrating. We have some excellent players (mainly on the bench it has to be admitted!) and at least on paper look a comfortable top ten side. It is my belief that both Ings and Vestergard got tired of Ralph's shenanigans and thought themselves better off elsewhere. Perhaps Ralph deserves credit for selecting Salisu and Stephens together - at last - why did it take so long? How many more permutations are we going to see before we get a settled defence? And finally - yes the defence has been a serious concern - but I dont think Ralph's tactics give our forwards the support that they need. I hope Armstrong, Adams and now Broja will get better support from their manager than Ings did. There were some seriously clever moves in the transfer market this summer but I'm still not sure that Ralph is the man to get the best out of them.
|Southampton V West Ham United The Preview|
So the team to play West Ham is announced. Personally I cant believe Ralph's selections but presumably he knows better than I do. I cant see that he learns anything from one game to the next. Come to think of it I think the talent sitting on the bench would probably provide keener opposition for West Ham than the players he has selected! But what do I know?!!
|Southampton V West Ham United The Preview|
So here we are after another frustrating international break with some more than useful opponents under an experienced and highly respected manager. Bit it is looking lookings as if our starting line up isn't going to be very different from the one that finished last season with those dismal and disheartening performances. The difference will be the options available during the game for our manager
For me this game is as much about Moyes v Our Ralph, as it is about the quality of our own players and how many mistakes they can make in 90 minutes. We will still concede goals needlessly and I am not convinced that we will ever score enough goals with just the Armstrong/Adams partnership, but I am sure that there is promise everywhere else in the squad. I just hope Thierry Small doesn't do a Salisu and remain 'unavcailable' until next summer!
So for me its a question now of how well Ralph selects, uses and replaces his players to maximum effect, and please please please, to win some matches! David Moyes knows his business and his players. He will be a wily opponent and I fear that this could be the crucial factor this weekend!
|Southampton Need To Sort Out Central Defence Pairing For West Ham Clash|
saintmark1976 - saw your comment and have to say I agree with you that we dont score enough goals (its not JUST the defence!)and as I said on a previous thread, Armstrong and Adams have yet to prove that they are a Top Ten striking force.
This is going to be a fascinating few months, broken up as it will be by these wretched 'international breaks'. Fingers crossed but our fortunes can still go either way!
|Southampton Need To Sort Out Central Defence Pairing For West Ham Clash|
'Going forward we potentially have a top 10 side, defensively we are bottom 3, last season we counterbalanced poor defending with good attacking play, but we can't keep doing that.'
Probably that was ALL that needed to be said Nick, and certainly all this messing about changing the selected defensive players and their respective positions time after time isn't helping. Ralph again has his favourites and it would appear that Bednarek isn't one of them!
As Saints fans there is much to be excited about but once again I can see us conceeding goals to sides like West Ham and dropping more points as a result. Ralph may have to look elsewhere from his squad than rely immediately on Lyanco - clearly the guy must be given a chance but probably not just yet - I saw him play once for Torino and their whole defensive unit was a disaster that day, so perhaps I need to give him another chance!:
The one thing that I will stress, and perhaps Nick is not so strong on this as I am, the next few weeks are a big big test for Ralph himself. He doesn't have a perfect squad to play with by any means, but there seems to be some real promise and some very good reasons for Saints fans to be very excited!
|A Satisfying Transfer Window For Southampton. Part 2 The Incomings|
I'm sorry I haven't the time to read all that Nick - a kind of verbal diarrhoeasets in but I'm sure it was a great article.
For me its simple - the two strikers will do well but against top class opposition not a chance of reproducing the 'Ings' effect. Adams is never going to be a prolific goalscorer and Armstrong will need to do the business. At the back, I have seen Lyanco play and I am surprised he was regarded as the solution to the Central Defence problem. However, and I did read this bit, we dont have a bad record bringing in this type of player.
However so much now falls on the shoulders of our Ralph , who as far as I know still has no experienced assistant to work with - how I would love to have seen him team up with the likes of Eddie Howe. Anyone with half a football brain to support and guide him with his decision-making. Such a shame.
I am so often confused by Ralph's preferred team selections which always seem to include some strange' favourites' of his. The defence isshuffled around time and time again, often with players asked to play out of position, so its no wonder they dont have a clue where their team mates are half the time! As for Ralph's use of substitutes , well, I'll just settle for the comment they are either generally not summoned until the 88th minute, or simply misused completely
Of course I could be wrong!!!!!!!!!! Surely not ?! But I think the first half of this season is going to be as much about the ability and effectiveness of our Manager as it will be about all these new, and often quite exciting new players and prospects!
There there - deep breath! Come on you Saints!
|Why Is Carlton Palmer Suddenly The World's Expert On Southampton FC|
The transfer circus gives all would be media 'know-alls' the time of their lives producing a succession of sensational headlines and phrases like 'fans will be gutted' to apparently keep us amused. Carlton Palmer isn't the only one spreading ridiculous rumours and stories trying to attract the maximum attention. Even Hampshire Live tries to turn every slight movement or gesture in the fottball world into a sensational headline and an exciting chance for the reader to vote Yes or No on some obscure rumour they probably no nothing about anyway! I for one am fed up with all rubbish we are obliged to read and react to!
Thankfully the Ugly Inside at least tries to provide news that we can rely upon and avoids, where possible, the fantasy world of other writers. I'm ready to take you on again Nick for another season as I still see glaring problems remaining at St Marys. No central defender who can lead the back line, no proven goalscorer and a manager with a lot still to prove. But this is a trusted website and carry on the good work Nick!
|Southampton At Newcastle United The Verdict|
A very good summary Nick well done! If Ralph really thinks Stephens is the answer to our Central Defensive problems then I beg to differ once again. I have nothing against Stephens as a player but he does not command or organise. If Ralph keeps moving defenders around they will never learn to work together.. We still have Lyanco to follow and I hope he plays better than when I saw him briefly in Italy! The best surprise is the acquisition of Small. Who ever was responsible for this capture deserves a medal - he will soon be a great asset for Saints. So the raw material is there but the leader isn't!
Up front we cannot continue to miss chances like the one squandered by Djenepo. Neither Armstrong nor Adams looked like scoring and I worry that we really are going to miss Ings. Ralph has work to do here because if we keep conceeding at the back we are going to need two or three goals a game ourselves.
So for once we start the season with some fresh faces and very promising ones at that! I worry about Ralph's observations after a game and selections before the game. I believe the next half a dozen games should be time enough for him to sort out his first choice team with appropriate tactics. So I will leave it at that for the time being - but although Ralph is in nothing like the position poor Steve Bruce finds himself in - I am still not comfortable with our man in charge!
|Southampton May Yet Make It 9 In The Transfer Window !|
Interesting times and the experienced central defender would be a welcome addition to some promising young players coming in. HOWEVER, I still have a problem with the manager. He's enthusiastic and will clearly be kept on for this season, but more than we need an extra player Ralph needs an experienced Mentor himself. Please Ralph get an Assistant that understands the demands of the Premier League and we might just have a surprisingly good season!
|Southampton At Newport County The Verdict|
A very sensible report Nick - thank you - without getting carried away. Disappointed to see that McCarthy is now the number one keeper - that is a worry and the centre of defence will be tested Saturday and that could be another concern.
For me the Newport performance does nothing to convince me that Ralph is the man for the job. His team selections, tactics and use of substitutes baffle me when we take on stronger opposition. On the positive side we now have more strength in depth and some young players with immense promise. I wish we could have acquired a leader at the back and surely we are going to need a goalkeeper? But from the player perspective things have improved enormously so credit to those concerned- but we mustn't lose Stuart Armstrong. So good to see different players scoring the goals but the Premier League will be a different challenge and so often our strikers do not get the necessary service with the tactics employed by Ralph.
My only negative then is the manager. I was a great supporter of Ralph when he arrived, but like Ings and Vestergard I lost all confidence in him. I hope he proves me wrong but I think the manager is our Achilles heel - a nice enthusiastic guy who in my opinion is just not up to the task.
|Saints Need To Make Four Changes For The Manchester United Game|
I like the way Nick says he is a big supporter of Ralph and then criticises no less than 4 selections made for the very first game of the season. Our defence will be exposed time and time again this season and we will still fail to score enough goals. We need a proper replacement for Vestergard and if the latest rumours are correct we are not going to get one. If Ralph's team selections, tactics and use of substitutes improves 100% we just make 4th from bottom.
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