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|Saints At Burnley The Verdict|
Danso is one for the future. Always a lot to learn at CB at 20 years old. I doubt we'll be able to rely on him 100%. Nothing is like the Premiership. So unforgiving. Every mistake pounced upon. Just ask Jack Stephens or Wesley Hoedt.
Looks like the season will pan out like this: we'll improve going forward, especially against teams playing out from the back where we can win the ball back in thier half. But we'll keep conceding sloppy, avoidable goals. Keeping our heads above relegation but not comfortable.
Can only hope an experienced leader is purchased in Jan. Might cost £40m!
|Silence From The Club Irks The Fans|
The sponsorship deal with LD Sports is horrendously suspect.
It's blatantly a Gao owned company that he’s set up to pump a ton of money into the club via over inflated sponsorship deals.
Man City have recently got into a lot of trouble for doing this and will probably be banned from the 20-21 Champions League as punishment. What could they do to Saints to punish us? Points deduction? Massive fines? Relegation from the Premiership? Who knows?
But the delay on the shirts must be due to the sponsor. Maybe the club directors are having second thoughts about going through with it. LD Sports don’t really exist, they offer no services in China. I don’t know how Gao thought they could get away with this? We’ll be investigated and we’ll be in a huge amount of trouble.
|Saints V Cardiff City The Verdict|
Ralph got it wrong on Saturday. He should never have played 3 centre backs and 2 defensive central midfielders. Very rarely did any midfielders get beyond the strikers and offer something in the final third. Long and Redmond were isolated with very few options. It was like Puel was in charge again. No urgency. Pedestrian. 100 sideways passes.
The worst thing was that he didn't change it until too late. The pattern of the game was so obvious. He should've hauled off Long at half time as he offered absolutley nothing. At 60 minutes it was crying out for some changes but they only came once we were behind.
My only hope now is that Ralph will go back to the high press against the big teams coming up and we manage to snatch a couple of draws and beat Fulham. It's very difficult to see where the goals will come from though. Never mind the error prone defence. It's dejavu. We've been saying the same thing for 2 years now and it won't change until either the club actually bring in some quality players or we go down.
|Saints At Leicester City The Verdict|
This was a fantastic away performance. The type we haven't seen for a long time. Guts, determination, resilience, organisation, togetherness.... I could do on and on. You definitely create your own luck in football and we deserved it. Well done Shane Long, you've got to admire his attitude.
Ralph is doing an amazing job! This is the same set of players that were rubbish for Hughes and we were all saying we need 3 or 4 top quality players just to stay up. I honestly think if we didn't sign anyone this month then we'd still finish comfortable mid-table. We've got one of the best managers around and we'll only get better and better under him. We could be pushing for top 7 next year! Onwards and upwards!!
|The Silly Season Begins|
You're having a laugh! There is no defending the signing of Carrillo, he has to go down as one of the club's worst signings of all time! For a supposed target man he's not strong enough, not good enough in the air, poor touch, no pace, I can't actually think of one good attribute he has. Hughes didn't play him because he could see he was rubbish. When we signed him the Monaco fans couldn't believe how much we'd paid or even that we'd want to sign him. It makes a mockery of the much lauded 'black box', he couldn't have been scouted much at all. It was a desperate signing and an absolutely ridiculous one. There were probably many better strikers available for less money in the Championship. And to make it worse we are still paying the bulk of his wages. Absolute shambles under Reed & Co. Hopefully never repeated.
|Saints V Watford The Verdict|
I think the ref knew he'd made a big mistake not giving Watford a penalty and showing Bertrand a 2nd yellow. He bottled that decision, so when there was some doubt about Austin's goal he was happy to rule it out to even things up.
If it had gone 1 all with us down to 10 men I doubt we would've got a point.
As for Hughes having 2 centre backs on the bench, you can only assume they're there to make sure he can change to 3 CB's at the back to sure things up and see out the game. So then it begs the question why didn't he do that with 15 or 20 minutes to go?
|Saints V Newcastle United The Preview |
My god we need a win. Especially at St Mary's. Especially against a struggling Newcastle side. I'm not religious but I'll be praying.
|If Saints Keep Creating Chances They Will Score|
There's a new stat being used in Prem football called expected goals where they analyse the % chance of scoring from each attempt at goal. Saints currently lie 9th in this table while they're 5th for overall attempts on goal. It means the quality of chances we're getting aren't very good. Ie the quality of the final ball isn't quite there, or the touch of the striker isn't quite good enough, or the team as a whole aren't creating clear opportunities. Put it all together and you'll find that we don't quite have the necessary quality going forward to create and finish chances at Premiership level.
We either need someone like Ings to hit a hot streak and finish every chance he gets or we need to sign a top quality creator and a top quality finisher in January in order to stay up.
|Saints At Bournemouth The Preview|
If you compare Bournemouth's attack to ours its embarrassing. They've got lots of young exciting players who look to take defenders on, create space and beat them. Players with pace and skill. And they've got good options on the bench who can come on and make a difference.
Ultimately, they have a very good manager who they've managed to keep for a long time and they have bought well over the last three years. If only Saints could do the same.
|Does Hughes Have A Selection Dilemma For The Chelsea Game ?|
The thing about Gabbiadini is it's not as if he's missing tons of chances. He just doesn't any. As said in the article, he needs a smart number 10 to pick out his runs. That's his style. We don't have anyone in the style of Sigurdsson, David Silva, Christian Eriksen etc who can pick a pass and split a defence. I honestly think if you put Gabbi into the City or Liverpool side then he'd score 25+ goals a season.
And the thing about Long is he misses tons of chances.....
|Saints At Wolverhampton Wanderers The Verdict|
I think Landerwal above makes a great point. The high press was brilliant to watch as a fan, we gave teams a really tough time and really looked to impose ourselves on every game no matter who we were playing. That attitude, team spirit and work ethic meant we got the best out the players we had. Schneiderlin was world class playing that system, it suited him perfectly. Unfortunately the only way we could get back to those glory days using such a positive system would be to swap out Hughes for one of the very few managers around who know how to successfully impliment such a system.
Hughes has got maybe 5 games to save his job. 5 more games without a win and the board will have to get rid. Pellegrino was kept in the job way too long last season, they can't be seen to make the same mistake again.
Hughes did a great job keeping us up last season, we were dead and buried when he took over. The trouble is now, the players mentality is absolutely shattered. Our attackers have little confidence, our defence is shaky and struggle with the pressure, especially when we're in the lead. For the current manager to change that mentaility, that is incredibly difficult. How do you form a decent CB partnership out of Hoedt, Vestergaard, Yoshida, Bednarek or Stephens? You can't because none of them are good enough. How do you get some creativity out of our attackers? What creative attackers do we actually have?? How many of our games over the last 12 months have been described by the media as lacking quality? I hear/see it every week. We have no outstanding quality.
If Hughes turns this around in time to save his job then fair play, he truely is a great manager. The most likely scenario, he'll be gone by Christmas. We've just got to hope the board find the next Pochettino and not another Pellegrino.
|Saints At Brighton The Verdict|
Its all a bit of a headache for Hughes at the moment. Very few stand out performers or automatic 1st names on the team sheet. The danger he has is to pick players depending on our opposition and changing the system depending who we play. If you keep changing systems and players then we'll have no consistency. He's much better off picking a system where we can impose ourselves on our opposition and worry more about playing our football rather than just trying to stop the opposition. This is what Pochetinno and Koeman did. They had a system that worked (most of the time) and stuck to it (most of the time). Hughes needs to do the same.
I'd stick with 4 at the back and play 2 up top. Keep attacking in games and try to score some goals. St Mary's has been starved of goals for 2 years. Maybe try to forge a partnership out of Ings and Gabbi, and use Austin and Gallagher as impact subs. Give Redmond and Ely a run of games on the wing. Play one holding midfielder and Armstrong who can get forward at times.
|Hughes Still After New Signings But Admits Departures Are Needed !|
As it stands I think Saints will struggle to score goals again next season. We need a Lambert/Pelle style target man, someone dominant in the air who can hold the ball up and play in other attackers. Arthurfane above says Bas Dost and he'd be ideal! The likes of Gabbi and Austin would thrive playing up front with this type of player. We can't have another season of putting in tons of crosses but not having anyone good in the air to aim at. A lightweight front line only works if you have top class players like City or Liverpool and can play your way through defences.
From what I've seen I get the feeling that Elyounoussi won't set the world alight. Sorry its just the impression I've got at the moment. But I reckon Stuart Armstrong will definitely add some attacking intent from the centre of midfield and might get double figures for both goals and assists.
It looks like Hughes is lining up Ward-Prowse and Harrison Reed to cover for Cedric at right wing back.
In terms of the list above, players to get rid of:
Forster - way past his best & now 3rd choice, Gunn is an excellent addition.
McQueen - decent player but 3rd choice & will never be a starter.
Clasie - will go to Feyenoord once a fee has been agreed.
Davis - brilliant servant but now has little to offer compared to Armstrong.
Long - pace and workrate doesn't make up for utterly dreadful finishing. Not a Premiership quality player, must be let go to make room for a better alternative.
|Goalkeeper Link Highlights Media Speculation Overkill|
Fraser Forster is one of Southampton's top earners and he's on a long contract. Truth be told he could be finished at the top level. He was dreadful for nearly a year for us. He doesn't even seem to dive anymore, he just collapses slowly to either side. It makes no sense paying all that money for him to warm the bench each week. Saints need to offload him to any club stupid enough to match his wages. Transfer fee doesn't matter, let him go for £5m, just get him off the books. Then signing one of the best young goalkeepers around for £15m makes sense. Gives McCarthy good competition for the number 1 shirt.
|Saints Inquire About Liverpool Striker |
We don't need a striker like Ings or Alcacer, we've already got Gabbiadini and Austin who are that type of striker.
What we need is a quality target man and get rid of Carrillo.
6' 5" Bas Dost is available from Sporting Lisbon after scoring 70 goals in 90 games for them. He's the player the club should be pulling out all stops to sign.
|Saints Make First Signing Of The Summer|
This lad will bring goals from centre midfield. He's got a totally different midset to the rest of our central midfielders in that he actually looks to score and is hungry for goals. He can shoot from 20 yards and breaks his neck to get in the area on the end of things. A poor man's Frank Lampard if you like. It's a good addition to our squad. I'd fully expect him to be a starter in the number 10 position playing ahead of two more defensive minded midfielders like Romeu and Hoijberg.
|Saints Need Their Luck To Change !|
Lol! The league table doesn't lie. We are there because we have been one of the worst teams in the league this season. Luck doesn't have much to do with it. A terrible manager kept in the job 3 months too long and a bunch of average players is why we are where we are.
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