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|Ralph Focusing Saints On Next Season Could Be Bad News For Ryan Bertrand.|
You say Targett suffered from the ‘ home grown player syndrome’. Haven’t heard you say that phrase before so what do you mean by it?
If we cut out the self congratulatory stuff the club claims for our Academy and look at outcomes then the ratio of students turning out as Prem pros is fairly meagre . Shaw , Chambers , Targett , Reed and JWP are the only regular ex Academy players in the premier currently ( ok Walcott ,I suppose) . But Walcott, Shaw and Chambers are a relatively long time ago and Reed has been years in the wilderness until finding form in Championship Fulham.
|Back To Business For Southampton And Hasenhuttl Is The Man To Lead Us Forward|
Ralphs win rate (37%) is virtually identical to Puel’s and Pochettino’ meaning he’s our third most successful top flight manager of any length stretching back to the 80s. Only Hoddle ( 42%) and Koeman (48%) are above him . So why get rid of him ?
Having said that he’s no better than any other at turning academy graduates into regulars - Koeman was criticised for that as well. History teaches us that not many make it into Prem players so it’s hard work for managers . Of the current squad , think of the stick JWP has had over the years whilst he’s done it , Stevens sadly hasn’t quite made it and Valery is out of favour. Maybe Ralph has to take responsibility for Valery .
Another test of a quality for a manager is their transfer record. Whilst Ings and KWP have been great he also bought a one footed striker in Adams and his keynote signing in Salisu has been shrouded with incredulity by most commentators.
So Ralph , in my view, does ok on the pitch but he’s yet to prove to my satisfaction that he’s any better than average with player development or transfer activity.
|Southampton V Leicester City Fa Cup Semi Final Verdict|
Like you Nic I too have reached my Nirvana as a Saints fan. It means I give far more emphasis to the phrase ‘Que sera sera ‘ at the beginning of the chant than I do it’s ending , which in this case reads ‘ we’re not going to Wembley’.
So I entirely get your point of view. Where I’m critical of it is you seem to have very little empathy for the thousands of our supporters who want to see their team win something more than once a lifetime.
|Saints Slowly Playing Their Way Back Into Form|
Now that it’s all most impossible for Fulham to relegate us don’t we want them to survive the drop ? That way they might just then buy Lemina and take him off our payroll. We also need to offload Eloyussi , Long , Hoedt and sadly Sims . Perhaps too Valery and Gunn. Those offloads need to occur so we can afford the salaries of any ‘ hot’ players coming in such as Walcott and Minamino and pay rises for Vestergard and Ings in their new contracts.
|Southampton V Burnley The Verdict|
“🎵 We are staying up, we are staying up🎵 .
But as to how we improve on recent results I haven’t a clue. I’m told we have a good manager and I’m told that the squad is good but the results since Boxing Day don’t suggest this. Add in the embarrassments at Man Utd and Newcastle and I begin to wonder if the manager is flexible enough of thought to be the top manager we all want him to be.
|Southampton At Bournemouth The FA Cup Verdict|
Of course you can only play what’s in front of you. Trouble is most of what is put in front of us beats us, sometimes extremely easily. The conclusion from the last fifteen league games or so is that we can beat the bottom club but nobody else, including those around us in the League table. ( don’t ask me how to explain the Liverpool result because I can’t) .
Having said that ,I found myself signing last night as I went for my Indian. First Saints song to pass my lips since January 4 th.
|Southampton V Liverpool The Verdict|
Great performance all round last night. Good to see so many Academy players on the bench. But will that mean they will go on to establish themselves in a Saints starting X1? History is against them doing so. A year ago we got excited about Vokins and Smallbone in the FA cup against Huddersfield . They are still around but only as subs if at all. And theee years ago against Liverpool it looked like Sims had finally arrived with that wonder pass for Longs decisive goal ; but now he languishes at Donny Rovers. Let’s hope Ralph and the Club crack the huge gap facing Tella and N’Lundulu between one or two good performances and securing a regular starting position. And if he does it might not be too late to save them as well as Obafemin and Valery going the same way as so many one match Academy wonders sadly have.
|If Saints Are Still In Top 5 After Weekend People Will Start To Take Us Seriously !|
Going back to MOTD 2 didn’t Jenas actually say that Vestergard and Hojbjerg had good games in the middle of our defence? Or did I mishear that?
Over all I think the media are taking our football more seriously and not just seeing it as a lucky streak of form. And, again I think, this is the first weekend without the TV media mentioning our playing without referencing the Leicester 9 0.
|Saints At Brighton The Verdict|
I agree with saintpaul about not selling Vestergard to Leicester! What are we going to do about Redmond. He seems to be turning into a Shane Long replacement before our eyes. He’s fast, he runs, he harries and he crosses ( though Shane never quite mastered that basic skill) and ,sadly, he shoots like Shane. He’s even learning the poor me , what do you expect facial expressions after every miss like those worn by Long these last 3/4 years.
Danny Ings deserved better after his superb ball control delivers the pass straight to him in space; top 6 team deserve better week in week out . If we are to keep our place near the top then frankly Redmonds finishing skills aren’t up to this level.
|Josh Sims Speaks Of The Need For Regular Football|
Bettsresident. Since 1997/8 I watch about 10 games a year . My top three live moments ( not necessarily in order) would be Davies goal keeping display at Leeds 2012, us defeating Sunderland 8 0 in 2014 and the victory at Anfield in the league cup semi. They each evoke a different lasting emotion and yes I still feel the tingle I felt at Anfield that night. COYRs.
|Josh Sims Speaks Of The Need For Regular Football|
Sadly another example of how hard it is going from successful Academy product to establish Prem player. In strict business model terms it’s a design fault in the Southampton Way that after so much is invested in a product you can’t quite get it successfully launched. Sending people out on Championship loan ( Gallagher , Sims and perhaps Reed ) isn’t a sure fire answer. Languishing around st Mary’s ( Mc Queen, Valery and Sims again ) isn’t either. Is it time we invested in a feeder club at Div 1 level or abroad where we can have hands on management to bring players on , or is that against the rules these days?
As for Sims , his role in that night at Anfield is one of my top three highlights from time watching Saints live.
|Hasenhuttl Speaks On Why Obafemi Is Out Of The Picture|
I think we forget how few of the Academy stars established themselves in the premiership straight from the academy. Walcott, Bale, Oxlade Chamberlain all started in lower leagues, and although Shaw and Chambers did with us they both struggled to be their first choice with Man Utd and Aresenal in later seasons ( though injury didn’t help). Obafemi’s future will have many twists and turns on his way to hoped for success to mirror the way Stephens, Valery , JWP jiz - zagged their Premiership careers in the beginning.
|Table Topping Weekend Brings Pride Back To Southampton|
It took a bit of adjustment to look for the permutations of the forthcoming big 6 matches and how their results affect us , compared to years of doing the same for the usual suspects in the bottom six. But I could get use to it.
|Ward Prowse With His Little Magic Feet|
JWP has now clocked up 200 premier starts and 37 sub appearances. In all completions he’s made 285 appearances for us. At 23 he has scored one Premiership goal per 10 appearances.
He is the personification of the Southampton Way. Joined the club when still in short trousers and has progressed through every level . He’s been local, non - controversial and fit throughout his 8 seasons with us; he’s visibly improved and has made the set piece situations his own. He’s now our captain and has played for England.
And despite all that he’s not universally adored by us all. The major criticism is his tendency to pass back and sideways. This reminds me of Steven Davis and Matt Oakley . When they played with us their play was safe and steady not spectacular; only as they stopped playing did we realise their significance to team results.
It’s his birthday on Nov 1 st. It reminds us that he will only be 26 , so we could see him around for many years yet. Can I be the first on this website to wish him a very happy birthday and to say thanks for his contribution to Southampton F C .
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