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Saints Fans Should Be Careful Of What They Wish For As Potential Buyer Is Revealed
at 12:26:46

Nick, totally agree with the sentiments of the article. Goa may not have been our sugar daddy but he didnt squeeze out as much as he could from the club - at least not that we know of.

The likes of Leicester, Villa and Brighton seem to have the ideal set up for a club of our size.

Thinking back to when Markus bought us we dodged a destructive warhead with SISU who took over Coventry. We want to avoid that as all costs. Hopefully the enhanced fit and proper test asks more than what is your name and have you ever be responsible for mass genocide.
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Ralph Focusing Saints On Next Season Could Be Bad News For Ryan Bertrand.
at 11:08:07

Just a thought, maybe Ralp was a relative success in Germany because they have a winter break. Last season before the Covid intervention we were falling down the table struggling as we are now but we had two months to recuperate and came flying out of the traps in May into June. One good thing to come out of the spoilt 6 wanting to get away is an insistance on a winter break in UK which may prove to make Ralph's methods more realistic?

Regardless we need an owner to come in and set the perameters of what is possible in terms of buying (not just selling) playing staff.

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Ralph Focusing Saints On Next Season Could Be Bad News For Ryan Bertrand.
at 09:56:04

I would have thought it best to make plans for next season when we know what division we are going to be in as this is far from clear at the moment. If we win our cup final on 12 May against Fulham we'll hang on to top flight survivial. Based on the past 4 months I cannot seeing us getting much from Liverpool, Leicester, Leeds or West Ham. Newcastle and Burnley have picked up a bit of form of late (of course this is relative) so based on the form book it's between us and Brighton as to who hangs on just above relegation. But we need one more win to be sure.

The main issue in terms of building for the future regardless is getting in an owner who is looking to the long term rather than one that is looking to sell as a selling owner is not going to put money into an asset he no longer wants.

The sooner this season is over the better - whatever the outcome.
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Southampton V Brighton The Verdict
at 14:29:14

Looking at the majority of comments on this website after this result (and performance) and others over the last few months I think the majority of us are measured and rational with most realising that we are in a precarious position but not in a dire one.......yet.

Most people on this website are looking for answers and explanations for why we are in this situation compared with where we were at the beginning of the year. We have had injuries, more than our fair share, and that could be down to luck or methods - as well as not having all the fitness facilities available to the squad for getting players back quicker. But this lull has gone on for 8 weeks now and shows very limited signs of being reversed.

When things are going well all roads lead to the manager - and when they are not they also lead to the same location. Therefore it's not surprising that many of fans are starting to ask questions about Ralph's methods. This does not make people disloyal or fickle - it makes them concerned about the team and wanting it to succeed and to be proud of supporting the club again.

I was too young to remember when Lawrie Mac took over, Saints were relegated (finished 3rd bottom in the first season the bottom 3 went down rather than bottom 2) but the board stuck with him and we enjoyed one of the best eras of our history. The game has changed a lot since then and if we go down Ralph may leave or he may be given the chance to rebuild. I doubt he would and this makes the need to get things right on the pitch urgent - better the devil you know etc.

I was confident going into the game against Brighton but during the game and for the majority of the evening after it I was gutted and thoroughly demoralised. What or who needs to change to put this right?
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Southampton At Manchester City The Verdict
at 09:36:57

When is a 5-2 defeat not a thrashing? When it's Saints. Why are we so obsessed by avoiding injuries? Because we keep picking up injuries. Why do we keep picking up injuries and insufficiant cover? Because we have a small squad who play an intense press every game. Why do we have a small squad? Because Ralph said he prefers working with a small squad. But the 70/20 intense press/sit back with exhaustion match split obviously contributes heavily to picking up injuries. This cycle is self fullfilling so we are going to have to get used to feast and famine as Saints fans. We are going to equally be applauded for our entertaining attacking football but then become laughing stocks when we go on record breaking losing streaks/losing scorelines.

There has to be a middle way - I think it used to be called in game management.

The main reason we did not lose by 9 last night was because Stephens was taken off after their 5th went in and the midfield was shored up. Ralph likes to spring surprises but managerial surprises are supposed to fox the opposition not our team. Stephens was played in a position he has never featured in for Saints and this was not the game to try a crazy experiment. I have confidence in him on the ball but not defensively.

Ralph is the man for the job but he has to stop this pre-season style experimentation during the season.

COYRs

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Is Fraser Forster Set For A Return !
at 14:30:26

I'd be in favour of recalling FF into the team as first choice if this is within the league rules - after all he is the better keeper of the 3 we already have and his return to form should mean his confidence is high.
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Saints V Arsenal The Verdict
at 09:40:44

Frustrating and dispiriting - I don't think there can be too many complaints about your round up Nick. As you mention it could be a cop and paste from multiple games over the past few years.
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Saints At Crystal Palace The Verdict
at 10:29:18

If the league race was closer Managerof the season would be between Ralph and the Sheffiled Utd boss. I never lost faith in Ralph but believed he didnt have the correct tools at his disposal. He has done an incredible job over the past 6 weeks and if we keep him for a sustained time he will become our most successful manager.
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Spurs Name Their Price For Kyle Walker Peters !
at 09:26:07

Agree - he's no Gerrey Forrest
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Saints At Manchester City The Verdict
at 12:54:01

Not looking great on the whole is it. There isnt an easy fix and I am assuming that the players we have now are the players we'll have come May. If that is the case we need to look to the manager to turn things around. Again it's hard to guess what the board will do should we lose to Everton on Saturday. It will possibly depend on the nature of the performance as much as the result and the next person through the door will not be a long term appointment but another fixer.

We know that over the last 3 seasons we have stayed up as a result of there being three worst teams that us. Can we achieve that again.....do we want to, merely for the next season repeating the last.

Modern top flight football is about either spending (very) big every season or, failing that, keeping the core of a team together with a few improvements each season. Saints are not going to do the first option and we cannot seem to do the second.

There does not seem to have be an overall plan for the way Saints have operated over the last 3-4 years other than damage limitiation. Without a swift change of direction and a strong vision for the future the club will go down (which might be less frustrating than being fixture fodder in the top division.) As things stand today I cannot see the situation changing over the next months.
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Saints At Manchester City The Verdict
at 09:27:01

Great support at the ground ladies and gentlemen. If we get out of this mess you have played a massive part by keeping the faith. Together as one.
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Why Kevin Danso Has To Play Against Liverpool
at 09:55:45

Fair article Nick. I'm a massive fan of Yoshi and his commitment cannot be faulted and Stephens can look like Alan Hanson when going forward with the ball at his feet but both are back up CB's. In addition to lack of challenges in general, Vestergaard hardly covered himself in glory and was a major contributor to the downfall.

Hoedt always looked the part in terms of his physicality but there is obviously a bigger issue at play in terms of man management which prevents Ralph from picking him. It’s a shame as we’ll never find out how Hoedt would perform in a settled defence who trust one another.

That is the key – if Saints are to achieve anything positive this season they need to get the combination of leadership, calmness, robustness and fearlessness instilled into the back 5. When these qualities are in place trust, instinct and each man knowing their role binds them into a tight unit.

Whatever combinations are tried in future will require patience to find out what works which is difficult because we have been waiting for a few seasons now for the board to bring in the correct personnel – despite spending a fair amount of money trying to do so.

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Saints At Burnley The Verdict
at 16:42:14

Jesus. Can't add anything to the above. Embarrassing, amateurish defending and slow throughout. I can understand those who say it’s only one game into the new season but this comes off the back of 120 similar games over the past 3 years. The issues of the past 3 seasons have not been addressed and there is little optimism that these issues will be addressed in the immediate future.
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Hasenhuttl Imposes His Discipline On The Squad
at 17:12:08

The CB issue is a cause for concern - embedding one in pre season would be ideal. Unless Ralph has or can work minor miricles with what he has I'd be happy with the non 'Saints way' of getting Cahill in for a couple of seasons - wages permitting of course which I'm assuming would be silly.

Lemina needs to be kicked out and wages stopped for giving the frank interview about wanting out. Surly that is a breach on contract. However spoilt brats like him have all the dice loaded in their favour.

If Austin stays it's not the end fo the world - he knows where the goal is and deos not rely on fitness to perform.
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Hoedt And Cedric Could Be In Ralph's Plans
at 09:06:13

As we have seen Ralph is a coach and helps to change players mindsets and and improve as players. Hoedt physically looked the part but while he was playing in a directionless team (as we now know from MH's time in charge) he got frustrated and this led to giving away stupid fouls and bad decison making.

Hopefull Ralph can coach him and we'll seem him develop into a leader at the back. It's worth a try and if Ralph can't change him then he is a lost cause.
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The Ugly Inside TV ! Iron Man Fran Exclusive Interview
at 15:03:19

PS: Well said Nick - very very good call
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The Ugly Inside TV ! Iron Man Fran Exclusive Interview
at 14:48:37

Proud of our legend and an incredibly generous and genuine warm human being. Can't believe he has raised £700,000 so far. We'll sponsor him again as we have over the past two challenges. I know football clubs donates shirts for auction but surely all top flight clubs should announce this at their stadiums and have colletions at grounds. I'm sure they could chuck in £50,00 a peice too without too much sweat.

We are the Franny Benali society
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Saints At Watford The Verdict
at 12:26:51

Agree with comments above. Focus is on the defence as conceding goals is highlighted all the more when you don't score many. If we stay up this season we will make history as the first team not to get relegated despite not having a fit striker in the squad.
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Can Saints Make It Three League Wins In A Row For The First Time In Three Years.
at 09:39:32

A few months ago I would have said their was little point in playing this game and just give that lot the points and let both teams have a week off.

However RH has done a great job building confidence and getting into the heads of certain players. If focused Saints turns up we could get a result. After the last few results the outcome of this match has fewer negative implications for Sainst so hopefully that ensures we can play with confidence. Saints need to go into the game fully focused and not play within themselves.

With focus, confidence and a bit of luck we may get a decent result.
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Won't You Come On Over Valery !
at 07:38:47

Saints are in a no win situation. The strategy of putting players on long term deals is an insurance policy ensuring the maximum transfer fee when they leave. It clearly is not about keeping players. The only way this situation will change is if we get a man City type sugar daddy. If saints under the current regime tried to keep hold of players by paying 100,000 a week per player we'd be in financial trouble very quickly. It's frustrating but we are an average income family in a world billionaires.
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