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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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Hasenhuttl Has High Hopes For His Time At Saints
at 12:28:21

The main difference between Saints and spuds is they can keep hold of their players. Can you imagine if Eriskson, Kane, Ali, Lloris, Trippier, Vertonghan, Rose, Dier, Winks, Wanyama and Alderweireld were sold over 3 seasons and not adequately placed replaced? Hard to imagine as it's unlikely to happen as, despite their chairman' s reputation for keep tight guard on the purse, he pays the going rate for playes. That continuity makes success (which is is all relative).

The frustrating thing about our club is that other than the repeated mantra that 'we have to be self sustaining' we do not know what the boards strategy is. However as the actions of the board seem to be an average squad without much depth I'm imaging that the board are happy to gamble with staying in the top flight while preparing for life in the lower divisions should the gamble fail.

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Saints Relegation Rivals Suffer Big Injury Blow
at 08:41:38

A1079 - good point. Like Bill Shankly I'd rather concentrate on our team than any opposition (lets put aside the fact he hated Saints as we often cut his liverpoo down to size - before my time btw).

Nick, I can see why you posted this article but it's bad karma.
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All To Play For Against Fulham Tonight
at 10:18:24

The club belongs to us and various owners, boards and players will brush in and out. Nick I wish we could inject you positivity into the players and the supporters but in top flight football passion ony gets teams so far. I'm not confident we'll stay up for a number of reasons but most recently because of the results against palace, cardiff and burnley which demonstarted our main two issues - no end product and one critical defensive error per game. I cannot see how the sitaution is going to improve in the last 11 games. Lets cross our fingers and hope.

However going back to my intial point we are the Saints and that is all I care about regardless of owners and the dividion we play in. Together as one.
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A Day To Go
at 11:31:12

Agree with the above Nick. Buying in the January window is a fine balancing act between not be too eager (bidding early) but also not backing yourself into a corner (bidding with a few hours left). Brum hold all the cards on Che. He'd probably go straight into the first team with us which gives Brum an incentive to ask for more than the board would be willing to spend. If the rumours of bigger clubs being interested are true they can bid as low or high as they want in the summer knowing that their pull is stronger in terms of wages they can offer the player. We know what our boards loose strategy is - buy reasonably sell as high as possible. It puts a ceiling on what the club can achieve but we all know that. At least we have a vital component in this type of strategy - an intelligent manager. The other vital component is a sympathetic board which gives the manager the tools to do his job. This means not only supporting transfers but, more importantly, keeping hold of our best players for as long as possible.
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Saints Aim To End Relegation Worries In Next Three Games
at 13:36:28

The most unsettling thing about January is the implication that Saints need to sell before they can buy. While I appreciate that the squad needs trimming is the pot so empty that there is a genuine requirement to sell or is this being used as an excuse to make/save a few quid for the owner or board ? This issue has been raised before on this website but with the large payments received over the last few years from transfers and the ever silly amounts paid by TV I find the current financial austerity at Saints worrying and confusing. Sure we want a sensible custodian of the purse strings but we do not want a Mike Ashley?

On the player front big Sam G has not improved at all on the directionless giraffe on ice he was when he first played in the top flight several years ago.
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