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Southampton At Wolverhampton Wanderers The Verdict
at 10:13:46

I believe your report underlines the long-held belief amongst many Saints fans that Ralph needs some guidance when making team selections and substitutions. Too often round pegs in square holes have cost us points and this game, plus the usual round of individual errors, was another prime example. I'm convinced we have the skeleton of a really decent side. The obvious weaknesses are between the sticks (although Forster isn't the worst in the EPL) , a calming centre-back and a regularly fit playmaker. We can only assume that the new owners will soon highlight these needs and duly endeavour to rectify them.
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Southampton V Brentford The Verdict
at 16:05:53

PaleRider, With all due respect the flag being waved in the front row of the Kingsland on the halfway line yards from where I sit was definitely Albanian (black double-headed eagle on a red background). There might well have been Serbian flags elsewhere in the stadium as that would've made sense. Either way, we all had a good night.
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Southampton V Brentford The Verdict
at 10:43:09

Happy days are here again - it certainly seemed so as I walked out of St Marys. There were a lot of solid performances and stand-outs from JWP, Romeu and Perraud, the latter giving nothing away to the visitors. Broja had the Brentford defence in his pocket from early on showing his amazing speed in chasing down their 'keeper. It was noticeable that when Armando went off Brentford reorganised and became a more potent attacking force. Although he's been better of late, Mr Marmite (Nathan Redmond) reverted to type and chased patently lost causes without ever properly engaging in the game. It was good to see the oft-maligned Fraser Forster acknowledge the crowd singing his name but, we all know that one howler will have the more fickle on his back again. Finally, a clap for the referee, Stuart Attwell who wasn't overly fussy and allowed both sides to get on with things. The game was a pleasure all round and I'm sure those waving the Albanian flag were, like me, very happy with their night out.
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Southampton At Swansea City The Verdict
at 11:43:14

I agree, Saints might well have lost this game last season or even more recently but, hey-ho, we prevailed and the point about our second goal knocking the stuffing out of Swansea is spot on. They were ring rusty and probably thought they'd done enough to win however, Saints overall fitness told in the end. I thought Valery's second yellow was harsh but, he should've done better, especially against a player he must have lined up against in training. Apart from getting Valery sent off, Obafemi showed nothing and we are better off shot of him. I'd like someone to tell me what Adam Armstrong brought to the game. Apart from running around like a headless chicken I saw little to impress and he hardly touched the ball. on the other hand, the old warhorse, Shane Long stood out but, it was a Championship side we were up against. Reality will bite on Tuesday.
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Are Newcastle Seeking To Gain An Unfair Advantage By Calling Games Off
at 11:03:07

Money talks. End of. You can bet that the less wealthy clubs will get the short end of the stick off the field, exactly the same as on it.
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Southampton V Tottenham Hotspur The Verdict
at 15:52:25

No doubt about it, this was a great team performance by Saints. As for Anthony Taylor, he's obviously been coached by either or both of Mike Dean and Jon Moss. He seemed determined to undermine our team to the benefit of the opposition. Apart from Spurs' players hurling themselves to the ground like extras in some Cecil B DeMille biblical epic war scene, he also chose to totally ignore the unabated haranguing of Harry Kane which continued throughout the match. I won't single out too many of our side for praise as they all deserved some but, Perraud is a decent left-back who can defend and attack and should retain his place and, if there was any doubt about Forster, it was dispelled yesterday with his positioning and general control of his six-yard box. Only his sliced kicking let him down. I was glad I ignored the weather and the lure of Amazon when I left home. This game confirmed why I always buy a season ticket.
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Southampton At West Ham United The Verdict
at 10:29:58

I always think points on the board are better than games in hand. Whatever way you look at it, this was a good result. Saints had more of a cutting edge than WHU and, in Broja (whilst we've got him) we have a real leader of the line. Watching this game I thought, not for the first time, what a bad piece of judgement it was not to sign Antonio when we had the chance. Forster was obviously ring rusty but, I didn't feel as uncomfortable with him between the sticks as I have with McCarthy recently. Livramento needs to pass the ball when he's made a break and get back to defending all the time he's designated as a full back!
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Southampton At Crystal Palace The Verdict
at 20:41:30

I'd rather see my team going down fighting as they did last night than drifting towards relegation with a whimper as per the Arsenal game.
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Southampton At Crystal Palace The Preview
at 13:52:34

I don't think that Palace were lucky against Everton - more like Everton being fortunate not to ship a hatful as Palace battered them and then let a soft goal in. I'll be surprised if we're not under the cosh from the off. Ralph has to play round pegs in round holes and that means KWP at RB and Perraud at LB. I'd put Djenepo in ahead of Redmond, Walcott and Elyounoussi as he does tackle back and has pace. Redmond offers more of a threat than the other two mentioned but, we seriously lack height (is this a game for Shane Long) and JWP doesn't seem to be able to cross the dead ball to feet. Romeu and Salisu are shoe-ins. I'd like to see Lyanco given a run and Teller up front but, I seriously doubt such a line-up will materialise as it's too obvious.
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Southampton At Arsenal The Verdict
at 10:59:40

I completely agree. Whilst Ralph's tactics are, at times baffling, we have to accept that, currently we do not have the riches to put out a side that can compete above the lower reaches of the EPL. It's not all Ralph's fault and we have unearthed some decent affordable young talent which, hopefully will come through and help secure our status in the next few seasons. The one area where we slipped in the recent past is developing our own talent - the production line hasn't provided any stars. Saints haven't been able to move on since the Lambert/Lallana days and then too many overpaid average squad members. Until we have new owners with a real plan (a la Brentford) we'll just have to keep our support going and our fingers crossed.
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Saints Sign Keeper On One Month Contract
at 20:20:46

Anyone remember Kevin Miller? Signed for Saints in 2006 after retiring in 2005. He played seven games in the Championship which included five wins and a draw. Will history repeat itself? He was about thirty-six at the time.
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Southampton V Leicester City The Verdict
at 17:17:40

I do wonder who is picking our team or pulling Ralph's strings. If you know the keeper behind you is a bit dodgy, to put it mildly, then you and your team mates are always on edge, frightened to make an error which will often not be repaired by the man between the sticks. JWP is the captain and must have Ralph's ear. Surely he can, from his position in the centre of the pitch, see where the weaknesses are. He's said to be quite bright. Saints were the better team for long periods last night but, Ralph's predictability and our errors stole two points from us. There are now too many stand-out flaws in our play and, consequently, our confidence that are not being addressed as they're there for all to see week in week out. It is, sadly a recipe for relegation.
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Southampton At Liverpool The Verdict
at 15:53:10

The fact that the formation was wrong and was too easy to exploit was evident after about ten minutes of this game. Neither full back knew whether they should attack and leave no cover or stay behind and wait for Liverpool to attack again. So, why wait till halftime to change things? Why wait too late against Villa, Norwich, Burnley and Leeds to name but a few? Why not rest an obviously knackered Livramento? Why give Tella and Lyanco starts against the team they're most likely not to succeed against? These things add up to a manager who needs support and guidance but, will more likely lead to a round of "You don't know what you're doing" if Saints fall apart to Leicester on Wednesday. I believe we have the talent in most departments but, only confusion reigns. Sort it out, Semmens!
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Hasenhuttl Has Big Goalkeeping Decision To Make For Liverpool Game
at 17:53:44

A lot of our defensive errors start with McCarthy suddenly playing short balls into dangerous positions consequently putting unnecessary pressure on our defenders who then begin to worry whenever Alex has the ball. His distribution is unpredictable and that is one of our major problems. Taking that extra touch both in defence and attack is another and asking players to perform to their best when out of position is the third. It seems to me we need a director of football.
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Can Saints Make It A Rare Three Wins On The Bounce In The Premier League
at 11:47:07

Che Adams must start. Although he made a couple of early misjudgments he was clearly man of the match for Scotland against Denmark with an outstanding commitment and a great goal. He also worked well with Stuart Armstrong when he came on. Good to see two Saints clearly on the same wavelength.
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Southampton May Try To Land Championship Star In January
at 11:46:08

For my money. Johnstone is the best English keeper around at this time. He'd be worth whatever money is asked.
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Southampton V Aston Villa The Verdict
at 11:21:56

In the pub afterwards the general view was that we got away with one. Villa changed their tactics in the second half to almost good effect. The obviously tiring Stuart Armstrong was not providing cover for Tino and Villa targeted the youngster with Watkins, in particular, giving him the runaround. Tino showed his immaturity and began to make careless errors and sitting back and noticeably not going forward on his rampaging runs. Maybe the kid needs a rest with KWP reverting to RB and Perraud playing on the other side. KWP, of all our players, retained his form throughout the game but, his effectiveness evaporated as Elyonoussi went off the boil. By this time McCarthy was making kicking errors and the whole central defence and midfield looked jittery. We couldn't win a header up front to take the pressure off and I personally thought the introduction of Broja was ten minutes too late (and I'm not sure Adam Armstrong should've been subbed as his speed of turn was still occasionally bothering Villa). Lyanco's appearance helped steady the ship a little but, he also lost the ball under pressure. The referee was weak and El Ghazi should've gone for his blatant dive in the box. Also, Oriel, who continued to fight for every ball, could well have given Villa a penalty. Some you win, some you lose. Yes, we won and I'm delighted about that but, in my opinion Ralph needs to balance the team better according to the way the game is progressing, not make last-ditch substitutions.
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Southampton V Aston Villa The Preview
at 10:04:05

If Broja doesn't start I sincerely hope that Ralph ensures JWP puts in crosses that Adams and Armstrong A have a hope of latching onto and not a couple of feet over their heads!
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Southampton At Watford The Verdict
at 12:35:09

Simply on the subject of Adams and Armstrong A, I consider the former to have been unlucky not to score more goals than he has but, he does create chances for both himself and others. Armstrong has still to prove himself at our level. Newcastle fans said that he will only score goals if they are put on a plate for him . We've already got Walcott whose main asset is speed with little or no end product. There's not room for another in a similar mould. Our defence appears to be gelling but, our attack continues to misfire. One goal in most upcoming games after Norwich will not be enough.
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Two Big Decisions For Ralph Hasenhuttl Ahead Of The Trip To Watford
at 17:20:02

Ralph is damned if he does make too many changes and they don't come off and damned if he doesn't and Saints drop more points against Watford. We need points now. I can't see Ralph tinkering too much with the Burnley line-up because we aren't letting in too many goals. Lyanco for Bednarek is a possibility and somebody (probably Armstrong S) for Walcott must surely happen but, I would think that's about all. If Walcott plays up front and has another stinker and Saints lose, then the 'Ralph out' chorus will become louder. Playing Walcott has been a bad experiment and Theo should be dropped.
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