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|If Saints Are Still In Top 5 After Weekend People Will Start To Take Us Seriously !|
I think we are fortunate in that our somewhat limited squad seem to be a fit bunch. However, we have come of the back of a couple of sluggish performances where we just could not get into gear. I notice the "doom sayers" on the fans forum claiming we had been worked out and that our current form would come to an end.
I too am concerned with our apparent lack of cover at the back, Stephens is a trier but lacks the consistency and makes mistakes under pressure, which he must feel under if he gets a nod. Salisu is a big unknown. Full backs are not really covered with proven quality at the top six level either.
Midfield, centrally, we have Diallo for Romeu, but replacing the legs and flair of JWP will prove more difficult, maybe Armstrong could slot in?
Up Front we have an embarrassment of riches, with the wide spots having, Redders, Walcott, Tella, Armstrong and centrally we have Long and Nlundulu - who looks like a second row forward rather than a footballer - it would be interesting to see him more, he is quick and big and seems a willing worker. 90 minutes might be a big ask for him though.
I loved the atmosphere at St Marys Sunday, even the recycling phases were applauded when in the past a semi-promising attack on the egde of the 18 yard box would have been howled at as the ball made its way back to the CB's. We need to look to be the best of the rest every year - so when opportunities like this pop up we are good enough to exploit them.
|Saints Win Ugly At Brighton ! Now Need To Start Winning Well Again|
Some encouraging signs and some for concern also - we are still within sniffing distance of the league leaders after 11 games that is a huge bonus. We now have a silly number of games between now and the end of February and it is important to maintain momentum. If we can exit that period still in touch with the Euro spots as the big boys return to European competition who knows what we could get this year.
A couple of players out of form in Armstrong and Bednerak, with Djenepo struggling to find his balance in the Premier League. With the squad fully fit and the Invisible Man now making an appearance on the bench we are better set I feel to change things around to give players a break.
|Ralph Hasenhuttl Gives A Warning To Those Yet To Sign A New Contract|
It will also govern his potential business dealings in the January window. I see we are being linked with a number of full backs so wonder if the Bertrand talks are at an impasse. Ings is probably not quite so critical - but I am sure that Ralph is planning further ahead than maybe any Saints manager in recent times.
|Gareth Southgate Could Take A Leaf Out Of Ralph Hasenhuttl's Book !|
I am pretty sure the big clubs could not give a toot if their players are picked for and play for their respective international side. They are already, and have done for years, that their star players play too many games. So not sure that argumwnt holds too much water.
However, I was watching last night and felt that Southgate has tied himself to a system, one that the top sides will always exploit. Belgium were not better than us, we arguably created the better chances, but as we know good sides score goals and keep clean sheets. Whe we have played the friendlies more often than not a few debutees come in, and it is refreshing to see their passion and desire. Pickford is coming under fire today, but I am not sure he has made a mistake in an England shirt or their is anyone significantly better. Mings played well, the other two CB's were pretty much all that was left with some experience required against a top side.
The midfield was awful - two full-back who are not wing backs but full backs that get forward, total lack of creativity or energy from the centre and a front line who all play the same way wanting ball to feet. At times they played some great little passes and created space but never finished the chances.
I also believe the FA are using Southgate as a mediator where football has sullied itself again, he has to be parent, politician and all things else - he needs to concentrate of the football and the FA need to allow him to do this and those around him need to stop blowing smoke up his arse and tell him he has lost his way and remind him what made England into a good side again.
|Injury Crisis In Football Should Send Warning To Saints|
Firstly I do not believe our schedule to have been excessive, OK a few have been off on international duty as well, but that is no more than usual, in fact our one game a week has been pretty normal. There our injuries have just been one of those things, and we all know the squad depth is fairly shallow.
The big boys with their Euro games has been a bit of a slog, but again Gomez is prone to the odd injury, and no doubt was wearing blades which have long been criticised by some players and physios a like, but that is a guess. What it does demonstrate is that although the big boys, with the exception of Liverpool, all have huge squads their managers feel that their first choice is still somewhat limited. We have not seen the level of rotation as in the past. Yes they all have enough to make a difference should they be allow 5 subs, but as a first choice they are all somewhat limited. Liverpool seem to rely a lot on their youth and have a similar squad structure to us, the other team that may prosper this season is Chelsea.
|Hasenhuttl Has A Big Call To Make On Nathan Redmond For Villa Game|
Redmond is not that quick, and his end product is at best sketchy. However, I agree that the partnership with Bertrand is a key to a lot that we achieved against Everton. The biggest frustration for me is that he stalls the attacks when he gets the ball.
I think he will be pushed this season, Armstrong will move across and Walcott will come in. I disagree with some of the assertions you make and we have to remember just how bad we were when he won those awards.
He is at the limit if his ability if the ambitions of breaking into the top eight are to be realised.
|Saints Two Players Short Of A Top 10 Team|
I do not agree that a good side will rip us apart on the break, our tactics against Spurs and Palace were deficient, we defended too high with no pressure on the ball and no pace to recover. We addressed that to some degree against Burnley, ensuring firstly they had less time in midfield to pick a pass, and secondly dropping quicker when we did not have the ball. The full backs were also more disciplined and did not over commit, although that affected our width on the counter attack at times.
I agree we need to get a leader, preferably a CB who is capable of reading the game and calling the shots. We are light in central midfield and an upgrade on Romeu would certainly lift the side a notch and an old head alongside any of the CB's would also.
|Ralph Has To Try Something Different |
All excellent points, a lumbersome Watford defence will scared to death if Long, and as you say 30 minutes of Adams, with a view to starting the game after.
KWP is better than Valery, he needs to return to some basic defending before trying so hard going forward, and Stephens has at times looked good enough but maybe because Bednerak has covered his shortfall, sometimes at his own expense.
We should guard against too many changes as destabilising the team will only make everyone look worse.
|Spurs Can't Afford To Buy Hojbjerg In Cash|
I think PEH is OK, he has shown some ambition and as yet is not playing silly games. SFC have reciprocated, no doubt honouring a verbal agreement. He has remained professional and has not said he wants to move merely that he want to win things.
If we look at the Spurs squad, who have they got that we want. Kane, Alli, Alderweirald, Sanchez all out of our budget, the real possibilities maybe LoCelso, Winks, Lamela, however they need to fit into the style of play.
Lo Celso is one I would like but that would leave us still looking to replace PEH.
|Should Saints Drop Their Price For Fraser Forster|
It was OK for us to pay Celtic 10m for him but now they want him on the cheap, and for us to soften the blow of his wage drop. I read all the pieces about a third choice keeper etc and the fact they can not meet his wages.
If we wanted to sign Coutinho how do you think telling Barcelona that he is a not a first choice pick, and can you pick up two thirds of his salary for a couple of years which is no doubt around the 200k mark would wash? We have already funded Forster to the tunes of 35k a week at Celtic, they have won the league giving them entry into the CL next year, a couple of domestic trophies, one of which was attributed to Forster playing out of his skin, and hey have charged us top dollar for all the players they have bought from us.
We also have to listen to how they are such a big club and would be a title contender in the Premiership from some of their deluded supporters. 10m and 70k a week is affordable for mid size club they can certainly afford it.
|Saints Getting back To Basics In The Transfer Market.|
A 4m signing is not a failure whatever happens. Charlie Austin, a great striker beset by injury and a suspect attitude, but like Billy Sharpe scored some notable goals.
Even at £10m in todays market if we sign a "dud" then it not a huge issue, but sign the likes of Elynoussi, Forster and some others for the money mentioned and we are paying $75k a week plus - these guys have not delivered a return on that investment. Ramirez was an enigma who may have profitted in todays side, pulling the levers as a number 10 on the break, but not the battling back midfielder under the turgid regimes that followed Koeman.
|Saints Can Start To Sell In The Summer|
@ExiledSupporter, your counter analysis started off well, however to suggest we could keep hold of Poch and Koeman when the clubs offerring CL football and a huge wage increase came calling is a little rich.
Also that judging us by avoiding relegation and a Cup run yelps of the Lowe days! I think we have progressed a little and the response of the fans to the previous seasons of avoiding relegation is testament to that. I think this piece is balanced to suggest we should be chasing the big boys and be as hard on their heels as our resources allow us to be, and when a season like this one comes along as it did under Koeman, be there to take advantage and get one of the "Prize places". Also a realistic entry point for us is through the cup and despite the recent result we preoved we can give the very best in this league a run for their money and maybe that 10% chance will fall our way at the right time!
|Can Saints Challenge For A European Spot ?|
That season we finished 6th, we did rally at the end but had a awful run before that picking up only 4 points from 8 games from mid-November until the start of January, and even with the big clubs faltering I do not think they were as weak as they are now.
That said the key to any sort of finish will be consistency with everyone bar Liverpool and possibly City beatable on our run in. We will never have a better chance to nick a 5th place but concede everything you say is probably valid too.
|Ignore The Rumours ! Sit Back And Wait !|
I am not sure how we get to blame Stephens for the goals, he missed a tackle without which the guy would have had a free shot on goal, he was woefully outnumbered the other two times. He was "partially to blame", so were 10 others!
The Che Adams thing seems to have been stirred up by a so called, in the know, Phil Hay who has been spinning this story like a top!! As this piece say most of it is BS put about by bored and/or lazy Pressers.
Finally, if we bring someone in this January then they have to be good enough to be first choice in their position, not possibly but nailed on. I mean we need to sign a Tyrone Mings type or someone of that stature - and how much do you think that will cost?
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