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Southampton v Manchester United Your Report added at 21:57:55
Very good point given the sending off coming with a good 20 mins of play left.

PEH perhaps not at his best but I would cut him some slack. JWP still doesn't contribute enough for me - Danso good until that brainless tackle. The centre halves played pretty well, as did Romeu and the keeper. Boufal and Cedric gave their usual performances. The player I am worried about is Adams. I know it is early days but he looks like he's finding the step up tough. We were not great up front today. Ings and Adams do not (yet anyway) look much of a partnership.

Still, I would have settled for 4 pts from these first 4 games. We need to at least double that to 8 before we travel to Poopey and then the new Spuds patch...
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Burnley v Southampton Your Report added at 13:31:15
Well my optimism disappeared as quickly as the England batsmen did the other day. The club has made its bed on the CB options and all of us now have to lie on it. Let's hope this new lad is at least good enough to form a partnership with Bednarek in a back four. Far too early to despair on the attacking front. Would have been a totally different game if we had gone 1 up but we didn't and 'capitulation' followed.
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Newcastle United v Southampton Your Report added at 10:26:30
I suppose we would forgive him if he was a brilliant defender KriSaint!!

I wonder what our points per game ratio is when both Stephens and Yoshi are both in starting XI....

Jimmy Melia's point about whether we want Ings is a very important one for the summer.
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Newcastle United v Southampton Your Report added at 13:38:16
We were at our worst in the first half - our one good CB was playing out of position and the whole thing was embarrassing. That was moderate, competent pressure from a lower-middle table side and we miserably failed to cope with it. Second half with 4 at the back we won the midfield and with a more potent attacking force we may have got a point or more. Yoshi was appalling (sorry - he was) and Stephens shouldn't have been playing, also JWP as right-back??

At least there will be absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind where we need to strengthen. I wonder how many points we have thrown away in recent seasons due to our poor purchases of defenders? Obviously a healthy goalscorer also needed...
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Southampton v Liverpool Your Report added at 10:49:53
I'm not quite as glum as the majority here. The big frustration was that Liverpool were beatable last night - or at least 'drawable'. Having said that, although our usual failings cost us, we looked a decent side for long periods. The linesman's error was costly, 1-0 at half time was needed. Also why commit at the corner when it is 1-1? Taking it into the last few mins level would have meant we got chances on the break anyway, they were desparate, not us. Still, a lot better than this would have been a few months ago.
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Manchester United v Southampton Your Report added at 10:57:06
It is a shame that the late winner will have many talking of 'typical' Saints but I think we were unlucky not to get at least a point. Gunn has won his place as first choice and JWP has improved. This wasn't a 3-2 defeat where rubbish defending handed the opposition all the goals (at Arsenal last year and Fulham this) so I am going to take the positives - even though they don't show up in the league table of course. Cardiff seem to be imploding nicely as well...

The only negative for me was the fact that forwards are not scoring. It is great that others are 'chipping in' but it would be nice for those paid to score goals to actually do so on a more regular basis
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Southampton v Fulham Your Report added at 08:38:29
Ralph isn't perfect - no one is, but he is showing encouraging flexibility. We stopped Fulham doing the only thing they do well and snapped up the inevitable mistakes at the back. Bertrand's absence was overshadowed by the CB problems but his return could be a key moment for us. We have one of the best mid-fields outside the top six and they need to keep chipping in with goals. Yoshi has to stay in ahead of Stephens. He will make mistakes but he is far better overall. A word in praise of JWP - he doesn't get a lot, certainly not from me, but he is playing better and has scored some important goals.

Manure is now a free shot with goal difference matters probably most important. Spuds on the other hand could be a bonus point (or who knows, even 3) if we play well.
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Arsenal v Southampton Your Report added at 23:07:26
This defence could get us relegated - lose to Fulham and the 'could' becomes 'will' in my view. RH publicly stated that he was happy with not signing anyone in January. I think he was lying - because if he wasn't then I think he was extremely over-confident or even foolish.

It really has reached the stage where I am desperate for a player that I don't rate very highly (Yoshi) to come back into the side. If we do survive then major surgery is needed. I would also reckon that some of the better players further up the pitch may well decide they've had enough. They have an even better view of our CBs than we do...
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Southampton v Cardiff City Your Report added at 21:37:44
I wish Nick luck in finding a positive in that catastrophe. Of course a dreadful performance and a disastrous result have got us all down and depressed but what worries me is that Ralph in his after match rant seemed genuinely surprised that our defence is useless. Ten days ago he was happily telling us we hadn't needed to strengthen during the window.

The wisdom of the January inactivity will be the issue for the rest of the season - it is all on a bit of a knife-edge now. Those centre-backs are not going to get any better and our attacking options are very limited. I would take 17th on goal difference after 38 games.
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Burnley v Southampton Your Report added at 21:31:39
Not sure we were that bad today. Very disappointing to lose 2 pts to the last kick of the match but we deserved at least a point. Next week is a real 16 pointer...
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Southampton v Derby County Your Report added at 08:30:34
2-0 leads are not our strong point. At least this sends the message that we need reinforcements loud and clear. Elyounoussi is proving to be a real Les Reed classic isn't he?

How many unmarked headers a few yards out did we let them have?
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Derby County v Southampton Your Report added at 11:30:17
Lots of deadwood but we knew that already, Four 2 goal leads blown since Chelsea home at end of last season. Ings now out for a while (again). We need to strengthen - fast....
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Cardiff City v Southampton Your Report added at 19:23:16
DPeps: " we might not have the personnel to be able to successfully do high press".

We haven't got the personnel to successfully defend either...
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Cardiff City v Southampton Your Report added at 21:01:42
It is not looking good, in fact it is looking catastrophically bad. . This defence is Les Reid's lasting legacy. They give point after point away with basic errors. God knows who the least worse two of the CBs are. Bednarek has moved up the pecking order by simply not playing. Perhaps Yoshi or Hoedt next to him. It is awful but otherwise we have to put non-specialists there which would be obscene given that we have 5 CBs. Thanks Les.

We have got to somehow squeeze a few points out of the rest of this month and even if we do the club will have a choice in January : Spend proper money on decent CBs and a forward who can score, or don't spend and we go down. All very sad and unnecessary - every one of us saw what was going on in the defence once Fonte and Van Dick went - but the problem was addressed by buying dross. Did anyone even watch Hoedt and Vestergaard play before they signed them???

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Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton Your Report added at 08:39:39
A match that confirmed what most of us have known for a long time. Basic defending lapses cost us any chance + plenty of chances not taken. This new guy will have plenty of food for thought as he reports for work today. "How bad must the other 3 CBs be?" is probably the question he will be asking.

An interesting few weeks ahead - Let's all pray for the new manager bounce because defeat on Saturday and things will be looking very grim indeed...
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Fulham v Southampton Your Report added at 19:11:49
I am sure DPeps is far too sensible to want the poison chalice that is the Saints job. I agree with his assessment, although I would probably try the giant Danish CB again and (despite yesterday's sitters) would stick with Gabby a bit longer. Obafemi is being talked up but he really should have scored himself yesterday. Even so, yes, , I would give him a run before Austin and Long. I would also put Redmond on a week of extensive crossing practice. He got to the same blade of grass that Fulham players got to (2 crosses and 2 goals) on numerous occasions and did nothing. Alright often he didn't have much to aim at but then you hold it up and wait for Charlie to eventually lumber into the area...
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Fulham v Southampton Your Report added at 22:37:08
Same old mistakes spoilt an otherwise reasonable enough performance. Our forwards don't score and our defence is very, very poor, As is often the case against the lower teams we look fine for long periods of the game but that isn't enough in this league, Fulham's defence was slightly less rubbish than ours and they had better attackers than us. Gabby missed two sitters, Austin didn't get close enough to the ball to even do that. Redmond alone put in more crosses than their whole team but they scored from most of theirs. Redmond's were usually heading practice for the defenders.

As for Hughes I think those 'you don't know what you're doing' chants should in part be a requiem for Les Reed. Our back four today was weaker than the one we played for the greater part of our first season back up. That's not Hughes' fault and the other CBs hardly inspire with any confidence. We are now in big, big trouble and it is difficult to think of easy solutions. The new manager will have hell of a job to keep us up and it will need, at the very least, new defenders in January.
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Southampton v Watford Your Report added at 20:00:32
We shouldn't get too steamed up blaming the ref - the first of his two clear errors was the penalty. It does seem that things go wrong after JWP comes on. A point was a fair result today - we needed to win and a lot of the usual problems meant we didn't. Let's blame the difficult conditions and move on to Craven Cottage. If MH is still with us he will definitely need to win that one.
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Manchester City v Southampton Your Report added at 18:29:16
A year ago our most reviled manager since Branfoot came within a few seconds of a draw on this ground. Pep moaned about our tactics making it hard for him. MH is more his type of man - pick a starting XI with JWP, Redmond and Long and then look surprised when we get hammered.

Of course the sad and blindingly obvious decline in the quality of our playing resources is not the fault of MH but I really don't know what he was trying to do today. Did he really think the three above mentioned were going to take apart City on the break and also defend ruggedly?

SaintPaulVW hits the nail on the head with his plughole - we are even weaker now than we were last season, in fact we are probably weaker than at any time since we came up. Our first game of all when we came up was an entertaining 3-2 defeat at today's opponents, who were champions then too. That starting XI probably had Kelvin Davis and Danny Fox in it but I would swap it for this lot in a second.
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Southampton v Newcastle United Your Report added at 12:20:10
I think the stats comparing Hughes with the previous manager are interesting. Assuming there is no sensation next Saturday MH will have had half a season in charge and gained 15 points. Even my maths says that 30 for a whole season.

MH can only play with what he has available but if the previous two managers were sacked because they weren't getting enough out of the strong (still labelled such in some but ever-decreasing circles) squad then where does that leave us? The people responsible for the quality of the squad also appoint the manager. It is time that they took some responsibility - resignations higher up in the club structure are now necessary (have been for some while but yesterday was a new low for me). Where that leaves MH I don't know but if he plays Long again...
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