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On This Day In History 17th March Part 1
at 10:25:08

Wasn't at this game but I well remember the 2-1 defeat at Arsenal a few weeks later. We were 1 up with a few minutes left and well in charge of the game when they had something like a free kick that floated harmlessly for as goal kick - the referee then gave a penalty. No one ever knew why. We lived in London so were back for ITV highlights and this confirmed the mystification...
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Saints Game Off
at 18:12:25

Lovely thought bstoke but I would have thought declaring every remaining match a draw would be the more likely (and fairer) response. If reports that the virus will peak in June are true then I don't see a 'mini-season' happening.
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Saints Still Need One More Win
at 11:15:19

The relegation mark is probably likely to be 36 or 37 so 4 more will do us. The way I look at it is we needed 4 points from the last 11 games. What is the worst 11 game run in our history? I doubt it is less than 4 points. Of course we get nervous until we are over the line. The bigger problem for me is the one touched on by wessexman - will we strengthen in the summer? I don't think Ralph will walk quite yet - his record is too patchy to have impressed the 'big' clubs and, with the possible exception of Spuds, none of the 'big' jobs are likely to be available. The cynical view is that by Christmas he will have either been sacked or he will be the hero looking for a 'bigger' club ala MoPo and Koeman...
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Saints Rumoured To Be Up For Sale
at 11:23:34

We need to wait on and find out if there is any truth in this. The rumour says 250m so it may just be fairly standard testing of the market - like putting your house up for sale at twice the market value and hoping someone is stupid enough to buy. No astute businessman will pay 250m for an asset bought for 200m that has declined in quality since the purchase. I also think that any purchaser wanting to really do something with the club re football success would want to buy all of it.

Nick is right to the extent that it is better to have a boring level of 'astuteness' (as long as it keeps us up) above a reckless chancer or asset-stripper but as fans we will always, of course, want more.

It also pays to remember that Markus bought us when we were worth tuppence halfpenny. Any new sugar daddy needs a quarter of a billion up front + tens of millions to improve the squad - could it happen? We can but hope. That's all any supporter of a club outside the money-saturated elite can ever do!!
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Saints V Newcastle United The Verdict
at 11:06:19

VAR is not improving the game. It is just substituting one man (with 2 assistants) for a committee. The more humans the more 'human error'. It works for 'line' decisions like the goal line (and eg faults in tennis) but anything else is human judgement (yes offside is 'line' at the top end but I believe that 'when the ball was played' is still a judgement call). Also all reviews should be at normal speed. Slow-motion makes EVERYTHING look intentional (remember all those penalties in the last world cup??)

There is no such thing as 'A RED' or 'NOT A RED' - it will always be a judgement call. The ref (and many in the stadium) thought it was 'A YELLOW' live and most then agreed the slow motion made it 'A RED'. We hear the comentatoriat say 'at least VAR got it RIGHT' after the usual long delay. What they mean is that the human made decision was altered/not altered using criteria that is oftern left vague/undefined - does that make it 'RIGHT'??? I would get rid and introduce piecemeal when the technology is good enough to indicate the 'CORRECT' decision. We trust the goal-line technology, it quickly leads to a decision we all accept as right. All the rest is causing delay, frustration and anger - and just as much, if not more, controversy.

AS for the game - I totally agree with Nick re the usual in defense. We need to sort it. Also, now that Ings has stopped scoring our lack of goals is an issue (never totally went away - only scored more than 2 twice this season and not at all at home.) I am not, yet, worried about relegation but I see another 17th or 16th finish. I don't expect to come 5th or 6th every season but we can do better than this...
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Hojbjerg's Puzzling Instagram Post
at 23:04:23

Just the usual pointless and meaningless social media drivel methinks.

"reading too much into it" would be my five words.
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Saints Need To Follow Anfield Blueprint
at 23:00:32

Didn't really understand all the blueprint stuff. Buy cheap and sell dear was our philosophy and it worked pretty well for a short while because the replacements were as good as or better than those departing. As soon as too many duds came in through the in door we headed down the league. We either need new owners with deep pockets and a desire to spend or we need to return to signing better players. Not sure if that's a blueprint, if it is I don't see how it is Liverpool's.
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Hojbjerg Transfer Rumours Will Fuel New Contract Talks
at 15:50:47

I'm with codge on this. PEH is a likeable enough bloke but if the Spuds really did want to pay big money for him then yes please. He would be following Wanyama to oblivion but that would be his problem. As for who makes these rumours up - absolutely anyone can nowadays, and absolutely anyone does...
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Saints At West Ham United The Verdict
at 11:38:26

I agree with something in virtually all the posts and indeed with the main thrust of the article. I'd therefore like to think about Ralph's eccentric selections for this match and his very pointed after-match comments. We can just say he is an oddball trying to ape Klown at Liverpool but without the resources or perhaps he is talking to the owners/decision-makers?

He has, on the whole, been fairly docile to now with "I'm happy with the squad I have got" type comments during and after unproductive transfer windows but we are now looking forward to the summer (if we do go down from the position we are in the scale of the collapse will be such that, well, all bets will be off of course.) Next season will be one that Ralph has to produce in, for his own career. He therefore needs to let the club know that what, of course, we all know. Yes, we need strengthening in other areas (only scored more than 2 twice, and one of those against a 3rd division team, speaks for itself) but the biggest problem is at the heart of defence. How many games this season would the 'if you had swapped their CBs with ours we would have won' have been true - quite a few. If Ralph can get a couple of decent CBs he, and we, have a chance of doing a Wolves next season and challenging a lot nearer the top.

That is why he is talking loudly to the powers-that-be. If they don't support him he will leave. Also the rather odd - let's play/bring on Westergaard just to show everyone how useless he is strategy (cost us at Spuds in the cup and vs Burnley) must be a message to someone - us supporters don't need to be told, we already know! Not playing the RBs or Danso would seem to be similar gestures. At 3-1 on Saturday we needed to go for it - alright 4 or 5-1 would have looked bad but 3-3 WAS still possible - and Ralph brought Westergaard on.....

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Saints V Aston Villa The Verdict
at 10:45:16

Good win - all I am going to say is that we HAVE improved and we are going to stay up. Yes we are only 6 points off Europe but that is not going to happen. A nice comfortable mid-table finish is now within our grasp. It will be up to the club to build on that in the summer (an issue that will take up many square miles of TUI discussion space I am sure!!)

What I am seething about today is the Danny Ings clear penalty at Liverpool that wasn't given due to them going up the other end and scoring. At the time I said that the inevitable scenario where a penalty had to be given like that would happen in a game between 'small teams' Our penalty that day was far more clear cut than Burnley's yesterday. The commentariat's view was that it would have taken 'brave' officials to rule out the Liverpool goal and give us a penalty. That says it all for me - one rule for the 'elite' and a totally opposite rule for everyone else...

PS sorry for breaking the rules by talking about non game-specific issues but VAR is the issue for this season.
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Saints Transfer Window ! Good Or Bad
at 11:23:30

The club has decided we are staying up and has therefore not spent any money. It has also wrung the sponge to squeeze the last drops of cash re Cedric and Yoshi.

Good or bad? If we do stay up then perhaps better to keep powder dry for the summer but I think many of us see the way this is going. That powder may be dry but it won't be spent will it? Our weaknesses in defence need to be addressed by bringing in better players. That is not easy to do on the cheap and, this is an absolute fact, we will be relegated eventually if we don't sort the defence out. Yes we have been defending better as a team in recent weeks but our resources back there are still weak and liable to crumble. If we were to return to our early season form we would be right on the brink.

There is never any point in panicking and buying expensive rubbish (we have been there and done that) but in the end we do need to buy decent defenders, especially CBs.
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Saints At Liverpool The Verdict
at 11:11:32

Yes Boondock, good point on the Lallana sub - it is something that Klopp shouldn't do. Managers need to be mature grown-up individuals and not play to the yobs clowns. Putting on subs at the end just to wind-up the opposition is tempting I am sure but these guys are paid enormous sums to behave responsibly. I don't like this new breed of clown manager (I fear Ralph is probably one too mind!!) I blame the introduction of the totally unnecessary 'technical area' + tv coverage. Tomorrow night, every time something happens the tv will make us watch Meurinho's reaction to it - who fecken cares...
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Saints At Liverpool The Verdict
at 12:45:32

I think the article is probably over-critical - the key first goal was a penalty to us and what is VAR for if the ajudicator doesn't have the 'courage' to enforce that? We would probably have still lost but you aint going to win at Liverpool with the luck against you.

The comment about the transfer window is a good one. We have taken a risk. If Bednerak and Ings were to get season-ending injuries on Wednesday night we would be right back in trouble. We shouldn't be goung to Anfield with an emergency RB the day after the window closes. A1079 is right - we might need 40 or 41 this season. Seems fine at the moment but things change quickly down at the bottom this season, as we ourselves have proved. We have 13 games left - we got 9pts from our first 13 and a return to that form would lead to a very close finish...

Was there really no competent CB available to ensure that the above anxiety doesn't happen???
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Saints V Tottenham Hotspur The Verdict
at 19:00:10

Yes Itchen - its ludicrous that the away support section has not been moved yet.
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Saints V Tottenham Hotspur The Verdict
at 10:57:17

JWP is a better RB than Danso. Good game, fair result and we certainly do have at least as good a chance in the second game as in the first. Nice to see the cup being taken seriously.
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Everton After Hojbjerg ! Cash Or Swap Deal to Bring Ex Saint Home ?
at 17:54:26

I didn't know that 'Hojbjerg' sounded French. Schneiderlin is actually a German name. Strasbourg is on the border and has been German in the past. I don't think this rumour is true. If it was I would take 35m for Hojbjerg but think that Spiderman peaked in his last 2 years with us and has been on the way down ever since.
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Can Saints Challenge For A European Spot ?
at 13:19:05

We are definitely moving in the right direction. The difference between 14th and 8th or even 7th this season will probably only be a few points so anything is possible in that sense. We are not good enough defensively and do not have enough regular goalscorers to challenge any higher (I am happy to be proved wrong on that of course!!). I believe we finished 7-1-1 under Koeman with Mane playing out of his skin and Fonte/Van Dick in their pomp in the centre of defence. We don't have anywhere near that now, but there is no reason (other than an injury to Ings) why we can't pick up another, say, 17-20 points. We came 8th with only 48 under Puel. My sense is that we will have one more poor run befor the season is out and 41-45 is a more realistic target. We would have jumped at that after that rainy night last October - indeed we wouldn't have believed it!!

PS well done JWP - I, along with many, don't praise him very often but last night he was a key man...
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Leeds Sources Claim Che Adams Move To Elland Road Is On
at 00:03:44

Why on earth would we sell him at a loss after less than 6 months? This story started as a simple loan until the end of the season (could make sense to give him game time) but now Leeds seem to be desparate. I would be very surprised and disappointed if this happens and I don't think it will.
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Boufal Or Sims ?
at 11:54:30

I don't think either of these players will make much of a difference for us going forward. I would not lose any sleep over selling both.
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Possible Spurs Home Tie A Good Omen For Saints
at 11:52:29

Same calendar dates... My god we will be losing to Arsenal in Cardiff again for sure. Let's hope Watford win their replay because we will be beating them in the semi, ditto Wolves for the quarters - Are Norwich and Milwall still in? I can't believe it. Does this all mean that I am 17 years younger and still have some hair?

PS One of my favourite games that 4-0. I remember Chris Marsden doing a trick where he flicked it over one of their players - demonstrating our complete control over Glenda...
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