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Southampton v Cardiff City Your Report added at 19:53:04
Probably the best Saints have played this term. Hats off to Ryan Manning, a sole error but, otherwise his finest performance for us. Adam Armstrong was outstanding and deserved a hat-trick. I felt sorry for Che Adams. He is not showing much at the moment but, in fairness, he wasn't given much to work with today. Despite the cold it was a pleasure to be in the stadium and Cardiff simply didn't get a look-in.
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Southampton v Cardiff City Your Report added at 19:53:03
Probably the best Saints have played this term. Hats off to Ryan Manning, a sole error but, otherwise his finest performance for us. Adam Armstrong was outstanding and deserved a hat-trick. I felt sorry for Che Adams. He is not showing much at the moment but, in fairness, he wasn't given much to work with today. Despite the cold it was a pleasure to be in the stadium and Cardiff simply didn't get a look-in.
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Southampton v Fulham Your Report added at 20:06:52
So our giant centre forward gets a chance to shine and he does actually try hard. Trouble is our goalkeeper prefers to boot the ball up to our miniature right winger who is way past his best and never able to control it. Our crosser and corner taker prefers, for once, to play along the floor or overhit. Our manager decides that we shouldn't play anyone alongside said target man. Net result - ineffective centre forward who is unfairly taken off. Who is calling the shots here or, should I say no shots.
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Southampton v Leicester City Your Report added at 20:28:16
We could've shipped a hatful on another day but, we played as a team and ground out a result. Fair play to AM-N , Bednarek and Theo who often let the side down but, all put in a shift. Thought JWP had a below par game (never mind the penalty) and Bazunu's kick straight to the Leicester attacker should not be seen in this league - showed his inexperience and nerves. Alcaraz will have learned to mute his celebrations after scoring. Glad to see Vardy snuffed out.
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Aston Villa v Southampton Your Report added at 09:57:26
What a disappointment. They had Coutinho, we didn't and that was the difference between two teams who, on this performance, look destined to struggle. The Saints performance began badly with Bazanu uncharacteristically hoofing the ball straight to Martinez on four occasions, effectively stifling our play. As the game went on Salisu made his all too regular error of not playing out quickly and was nearly caught in possession. He then continually asked our players to come towards him whenever he was required to take, presumably, long throws. What was that all about? Why wasn't it sorted out on the training ground? If any player should've been subbed it was JWP. His total lack of leadership, negative play - passing backwards, even when we were running out of time and poor crosses by his usual standards, seemed to me to contribute massively to our blunt attack. It was soon obvious that Adams couldn't outjump the Villa defence but, all the balls went in high (training ground again). Djenepo showed why he received a new contract, Elyonnoussi showed why he shouldn't be given one and should've been off much earlier. I thought Larios showed massive promise in his cameo but, his name doesn't feature above but, I would've given him 7 - my highest score yesterday. There is undoubted huge talent in our squad but, if this was the best Ralph could get out of them then his days are certainly numbered. Please sign a proper target man in January - Wolves have got Diego Costa on a short-term contract. What a difference someone like that would make!
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Southampton v Manchester United Your Report added at 18:46:06
I left the ground full of hope. We have the makings of a good team. We need some height in attack and a versatile defender but, none of our starting eleven put in a poor performance. In fact, several were very good. Bazanu, Bella-Kotchap, Djenepo (!) and KWP are all worthy of mention. This was a tough game for both sides won by one brilliant move and a failure by VAR to review what appeared to be a deliberate hand movement to control the ball. This will be a hard season but, I saw my team fight for everything and that's enough for me.
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Southampton v Arsenal Your Report added at 21:20:32
I'm afraid the Fraser Forster question might already have been resolved going by the rumours regarding his likely close season departure. After a display like todays there will be a lot of interest from other clubs. At last the team fought for the result. Yes, there were errors but, as this scoreline makes us safe, it would be churlish to moan. We also saw some stand-out performances from Perraud, who had Saka in his pocket - not an easy thing to do and Perraud was out on his feet at the end. Romeu and Lyanco both impressed and the players held their formation better than any other game this season, in my opinion. A good result against a talented team who ran out of ideas after finding no way past Forster. A clap for the referee, too. He certainly wasn't whistle happy and let the two sides get on with it.
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Southampton v Coventry City Your Report added at 20:28:27
When I saw the Saints line-up I thought "Ralph doesn't care about the cup". Twenty minutes after kick-off I thought that some of the players felt the same way as there were some really poor performances. By halftime I felt really sorry for people who'd brought their kids to the stadium, maybe for the first time. Make no mistake, the selection was a disaster and if both Broja and Lyanco are out for any length of time the blame can be fairly laid at Ralph's door. He tried to get away with one and failed miserably. Walcott, Diallo, Stephens and Armstrong A were all awful but, in fairness, the latter never had a single through ball to run on to. As for Small well, he was not properly prepared for this baptism being surrounded by dead wood. I imagine his confidence has taken a battering. Redmond showed that he's not the answer. The game really changed with the introduction of Walker-Peters and, especially Armstrong S but, Coventry had got their tails up and were hard to shake off. A note to Forster and McCarthy - watch Caballero's performance and take note. He was decisive and wasn't slow to admonish and direct those in front of him. Well done, Willy!
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Southampton v Burnley Your Report added at 19:12:21
Others have asked the three questions that I'd like answers to. Why did Walcott start this game? Why did it take so long for Walcott to be subbed when it was obvious halfway through the first period that he was totally ineffective? Why was Armstrong A brought on in the 88th minute? A number of players didn't give of their best for Saints today. Thanks to Chelsea we had the two outstanding performers in Livramento and Broja. Once Broja went off we had no target man and faffed about around the halfway line when we should have been pressing for a win. Ralph's decisions leave me, at best, frustrated and, at worse, quite angry. And what weak refereeing. Two minutes extra after 45 minutes should have been about seven and at least five in the second what with substitutions.
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Southampton v West Ham United Your Report added at 20:07:48
The defence wasn't the problem but, the midfield was totally ineffective. JWP was right off the pace, Romeu slightly better, Djenepo wasteful and Redmond idle. I think Broja should start up front with Armstrong and KWP in front of Livramento. Salisu won almost everything in the air and Stephens was only slightly less productive. Perraud was really solid and Livramento looks class.
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Southampton v Fulham Your Report added at 19:39:57
I simply cannot understand why the lightweight Minamino and the perpetually wasteful Redmond played ahead of Tella. They should both have been off at halftime. Prolonging their time on the pitch could've cost us dearly when at 2-0 we started to stutter. Ralph responded but, leaving Redmond on for 90 minutes was criminal. Djenepo couldn't have played any worse. We'll always struggle in the EPL with a couple of passengers. Nice to see Stephens doing what he does best bringing the ball out of defence instead of playing one of his characteristic wayward passes.
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Southampton v Crystal Palace Your Report added at 23:07:09
The usual Jack Stephens howler which almost let Benteke in. Nothing productive from Minamino, nor Redmond. I don't especially rate Che Adams but it was he who made that third goal. Other than the introduction of Salisu I think this was an opportunity wasted to see what Jankewitz could do. Obafemi should've replaced Redmond at halftime. It was gratifying to see the opposition rattled. At least we were trying right until the end.
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West Bromwich Albion v Southampton Your Report added at 09:02:04
If this had been a three course restaurant meal I'd have rejected the starter, called the chef out to ask for my bill to be cancelled and left. Trouble was I was at home and leaving there in a huff seemed pointless, so I stayed for the dessert which wasn't much better. Recently I pondered whether Ralph was really the man to lead Saints forward and I attracted a number of minus marks. After this (lack of) performance and after Ralph had publicly said that his selections were playing for their places at Wembley I'm still pondering. Has Ralph lost the changing-room or what? This wasn't just a bad show, it was a disgrace and all concerned should hang their heads in shame. And we all know that Leicester aren't WBA. Not sure if I want to take my seat for the semi-final - I will, of course but, with much trepidation.
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Southampton v Brighton and Hove Albion Your Report added at 16:51:14
We really are in trouble but, I knew this already. There was no sense of purpose. I lost count the number of times we gave the ball away. Nobody had a good game and we were slow, aimless, Forster's kicking was wayward, there was no urgency and Ralph had no solution. To be comprehensively beaten by BHA marshalled by an ex-Saint who showed more skill and idea than our entire team is devastatingly disappointing. The Bournemouth game is now only useful as restoring confidence but, if we play like this again, I can't see us recovering until we're in the Championship.
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Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers Your Report added at 20:47:34
I just hope none of the bottom three go on a run.
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Fulham v Southampton Your Report added at 17:39:12
A real bore draw. Nothing much to say, really. We gave them opportunities they never took. We created few opportunities. Diallo looks to be a tidy passer but, like Walcott, he appears to be too easily knocked off the ball. Our defence worked hard and Stephens didn't let the side down. N'Lundulu came on but, isn't listed above. He needs more than four minutes.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 20:25:00
Thankfully, Sheff Utd ran out of steam and we coasted home but, there were worrying moments with Walker-Peters, McCarthy and, comically Vestergaard being eased off the ball by Billy sharp. Talk about david and Goliath!. Sorry but Jannik is simply too much of a carthorse for the EPL. Danny Ings seemed off the pace at times but, what I really didn't get was that when we were all over them at the end everyone seemed content to pass around in the middle of the park instead of setting Danny up for a golden boot goal. Even Danny spurned a couple of half chances to shoot. What was that all about? A good end to a chaotic season.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 19:45:09
Whether the eventual calls were right or wrong VAR spoilt this game as a spectacle. In neither case - Djenepo's foul or Boufal's handball - did any of the Newcastle players vigorously protest so, one can only assume that they did not think either a red card or a penalty should have been given. VAR adds nothing to a game and I do not believe it will survive other than to determine whether the ball has crossed the goal line. The delays in arriving at the "right" decision are making the whole game a farce but, sadly, this is a consequence of players being trained to question every whistle and simulate being fouled.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 19:08:26
For once an exciting match and, to be honest, a draw was a fair outcome. I'm still unconvinced by Adams positioning but, he did have a few productive lay-offs. Boufal reminded me of Fabrice Fernandes, predictably cutting inside and trying to beat one player too many. And then there is Nathan Redmond. Once again he drifted completely out of the game and contributed nothing in the second half. He is so frustrating to watch. Today, unlike the previous two games, our build-up play in the first half was too slow and, at times, McCarthy could and should have got rid of the ball before Palace set out their defensive stall. When Djenepo got going in the second period the game changed in Saints' favour. He was a constant threat and unlucky not to have scored a wonder goal. Danny Ings was as sharp as ever and JWP had a really good game, constantly harassing Zaha which was just as well as Zaha was always likely to create something for Palace. So, all in all, an entertaining experience.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 16:34:09
Where were our two main strikers? Is Ings supposed to link up play between the midfield and the front - he certainly doesn't. Adams was never in the game - he doesn't work hard enough for me. JWP is consistently responsible for slowing up our forward movement or, indeed, stopping it altogether. Hail Oriol Romeu and Angus Gunn, both superb. And a word, too for a reinvigorated Boufal (why was he taken off instead of JWP?) and a clap on the back for Vestergaard who made several key interceptions. The usual imbalanced performance from referee Mike Dean but, I have to agree that Danso had to walk. Kevin is likely to spend a lot of this season suspended unless his brain clicks into gear. A brilliant result all in al however, United were beatable today and with eleven men we might have succeeded.
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