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Southampton Linked With West Brom Keeper
at 20:14:34

Though I'm quite pleased with how the transfer window went for us, top of my list was always a sturdy keeper and we didn't get one. Everything rests on the foundation of a good keeper. He provides the leadership our center backs need. Lacking confidence in their keeper, center backs make more mistakes. Unfortunately, McCarthy just doesn't command the box consistently or strongly, and Forster has just seemed overly awkward on the balance of performances. Hopefully we don't leak goals between now and January, and we can afford Johnstone then.

In the meantime, I'm not sure I can think of a keeper we should target in the January transfer window (perhaps because it's difficult to think of keepers beyond their role in their own sides). Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Saints Need To Make Four Changes For The Manchester United Game
at 18:45:09

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think we're that far off the top 10. For me at least, this summer's transfer business has been spectacular. We got rid of dead weight—a category in which I'd place Lemina, Hoedt, Vestergaard, and Ings—for an amazing return. And we've got some very good prospects that we can throw right into battle (as Livramento showed last week). All this change will take a while to bed, though, and it starts with the defense. Salisu and Bednarek should be our first choice pairing at CB; they just need to work out communication, and they'll improve now that they've got some decent competition among the new guys. I think we'll be OK (if only because there are once again at least two teams that won't be competitive in the Prem, but mostly because we've got some good talent that will improve).

Having said all this, the one position we failed to address was keeper. I can't see Foster or McCarthy working out. If we leak goals in the first half of the season hopefully we can find a new keeper at Xmastime.

In the meantime, I think your squad selection is spot-on for ManU, Nick. Hopefully Ralph reads this site.
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Why Danny Ings Broke Southampton Hearts
at 16:36:09

These are all very good points here. But, to me at least, £30 million for an aging striker who's injured as often as he's fit and cost us half what we got for him is a no-brainer. Danny's last (and perhaps best) gift to SFC may well be the exorbitant transfer fee he somehow commanded. Hopefully, in reaping double what we paid for him, we can use the funds to find two top-notch players to fill his SFC boots.
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Saints 2021/22 Fixtures - The Toughest Start Possible Historically
at 07:17:57

A number of times a year I think to myself, "You know, it might be more fun to willingly abandon the glitzy moneyspinning ways of the Premier League for the lure of damp, day-to-day, relatively un-money-adulterated weeknights of the Championship." Today is one of those times.
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Should Southampton Sell Jannik Vestergaard This Summer
at 16:22:46

Vestergaard makes far too many mistakes to be a reliable CB. In bending over backwards to accommodate him in our back four, we've destabilized the rest of the defence. Especially given his age, and the fact that his lone purple patch for Saints was 2020, we should try to get £15m+ for him and move on.
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David Moyes West Ham Turnaround Can Give Hope For Southampton Supporters
at 19:02:11

halftimeorange has got it spot on. Ralph's naivete with respect to managing _time_ torpedoed our season. The timing of his substitutions verges on bizarre at times. But this is a local manifestation of a larger problem—that, as Liverpool showed this year as well, Heavy Metal Football only works if you've got a deep, capable squad over the course of an entire season. Once you've burnt out your players, you lose your shape and imperil your future matches bit by bit until it becomes epidemic in proportion. Heavy metal bands—Motorhead excluded, of course!—know that every few songs you need to slow it down and break out the acoustic guitar, lest the rest of the show becomes overbearing, unlistenable, and unsustainable. The same rule should hold for Heavy Metal Football (unless we can reanimate and sign Lemmy—if we can do that everything will be OK).
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Southampton At West Ham United The Preview
at 21:11:34

Ralph out, Eddie Howe in, please!
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Southampton V Leeds United The Verdict
at 19:06:08

I'm afraid that yesterday's match finally fully convinced me that Hassenhüttl just doesn't have the tactical nous to succeed in the Premier League. The match was an exact carbon copy of the reverse fixture: Leeds wait us out, clogging the wings and the top of the box, letting us pass it sideways and backwards, inviting our central defenders upfield into ample space in the middle of the pitch, and hitting us on the break when we inevitably cough it up, the trap is sprung, and we're caught out. Vestergaard took the bait time and again. I'm unsure it's fair to blame him entirely, though, because Ralph set us up precisely the same way he did last time. It was abundantly evident that no one learned anything from the last time we played Leeds. They may have been the best at exposing our naivete this season. But if you look at each of our losses you'll find the same theme to varying extents.
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Southampton V Leeds United The Preview
at 19:47:41

<Sigh>, today's show is a carbon copy of the last time we played Leeds. It's obvious we've learned nothing from that game. The script is so stale I fell asleep after the first half hour, knowing that by the time I woke up Leeds would be leading. And so it proved—because Vestergaard and McCarthy were sleeping too.
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Southampton Confirm That Ryan Bertrand Will Leave St Mary's At The End Of The Season
at 19:47:06

He's been a great servant to the club, and he's put in plenty of good (at times great) shifts for us. At the same time, I can't help but feel that over the past two years he's not been enjoying the game as much. I've silly data on this based on how long it takes him to take throw-ins; he's a master of taking the air out of the ball (as some yellow-card-wielding referees have noticed as well). I've found that the longer he's been at Saints, in general, the longer it's taken him to put the ball in play. Such observations are probably meaningless. But, to me, as a left back who was always poised to jump start the attack, I was always ready to get it going as soon as I could, as situations are developing (not after they've done). Despite his flashes of brilliance attacking down the wing and his gift for crossing the ball, I saw in such touchline "slowdown moments" a sense that he'd become jaded, and was ready for new challenges. I wish him well. I just wish he didn't string us along, so we could have got something for him at some point (when, of course, we enough players left!). Matt Targett, thou shouldst yet be a Saint at this hour!
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Saints Can Now Breathe After Fulham Defeat Ends Relegation Worries
at 01:23:45

Phew! Now i can tune out the EPL and just watch baseball!
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Ralph Hasenhuttl Reveals Strange Goalkeeper Rotation Strategy
at 06:00:31

Ralph's rotation scheme is not what it seems on the surface—it's about finding out who goes and who stays (perhaps as back-up) for next year. I'd like to see Saints sign a steady keeper on whom to rebuild our defense, and neither Foster nor McCarthy fit such billing.
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Southampton V Leicester City The Verdict
at 18:04:13

This game wasn't easy on the eyes. But i agree that it showed (1) what we've learnt, and (2) what we can build on. The best bit for me was it amply demonstrated who we can keep and who can leave. Vestergaard had one purple patch for us at the start of the season. But he's back to his old self, and with Salisu showing his quality i think i've no problems with cashing in on Vestergaard. Also, Danny Ings is fooling himself if he thinks he can replicate what he did last season, and we're showing we can play without him. So i think we can cash in on him too and let him play a bit part at Citeh (when he's not in hospital, of course). So, a defender and a striker can go, we can get good money for them, and with the funds (provided Gao doesn't pocket them!) we can replace these with players with even better ones. I'm still unhappy now, but agree with you that the future's bright, the future's red and white!
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Southampton V Leicester City Fa Cup Semi Final Verdict
at 18:04:50

FWIW, my "conspiracy theory" is that players may like working for Ralph. But they also know that his relentlessness will get them injured, and they don't want to lose transfer value (over extended injury) with the summer transfer window just around the corner. Ralph's Saints tenure may well be ending as well; its outcomes these past three months make Sparky's look fantastic! So we have a bunch of wantaways wearing our shirts for the next four weeks. Prepare for a big overhaul this summer.
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Southampton At West Browmwich Albion The Verdict
at 19:00:53

I still think that Ralph's our man. He just hasn't yet learned how to manage time. He doesn't yet grasp how to manage 90s minutes. And he really doesn't yet grasp how to manage the calendar. Heavy metal bands know that every set you need to whip out the acoustic guitar and slow things down every now and then. The same goes for heavy metal football players.
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Southampton V Brighton The Verdict
at 18:01:10

Ralph's problem has always been time management. He's run us into the ground—during a condensed season that was always going to run everyone into the ground (note how sides with deep benches are really the only ones left in the table now)—because he burnt us out by not managing the calendar well. Sure, we were flying high for awhile there, even to the top of the league, but it cost us the rest of the season! This is atop the "smaller picture" of his not managing game time well—going full-throttle throughout (no wonder we concede late so often), substitutions that occur too late to make a difference, not mapping out strategies by ten-minute increments, etc. Don't get me wrong—he's still our guy. He just has to learn to think in terms of _time_ (of which no one ever has enough, especially in the Prem), and to recognize that men are not machines.
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