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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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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 18:29:15
The most exciting moment for me was leaving St Marys to go home.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 19:38:46
This result says as much about Man City than Saints. They have a team which includes five world class players plus several very good ones who collectively are going to turn over almost every other side they meet in the EPL and, in consequence, devalues the league for the average club supporter. It is too one-sided to be entertaining. As for the Saints well, we have a young team with a few reasonable players and a number who simply haven't the talent to compete at this level. Is MH getting the best out of them - he probably doesn't have that skill to blend them as closely as possible - so, no but even if he did, we would still have lost and they did try. Got to take it on the chin, we are failing. Whether that can be turned around to survive this season is open to debate. This game reflects the investment of the respective clubs.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 18:56:43
Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again - we have no height in attack and all our crosses (bar one which Danny Ings hit on the turn) - and there were loads of them - were easily swatted away by Leicester. It doesn't matter if it's Ings or Austin, they are both essentially poachers, not target men and if Mark Hughes expects goals from either of them in any quantity, he has to play Sam Gallagher. Even if Gallagher stands in the same spot all game he'll still be likely to provide a few knock-downs, certainly more than were managed today. Worryingly, McCarthy seemed to be afflicted by a touch of the malaise that ruined Forster, especially for the second Leicester goal. Hojbjerg spoiled a good return to the starting line-up by foolishly getting himself sent off. Wesley Hoedt showed his ability in the first half and reverted to type in the second by making several errors, one leading to the Leicester opener. He is really a liability and should be replaced by the slower but infinitely more reliable Bednarek. A few other points, several players ran out of steam just after we scored - Ings, Redmond (after a very good first half), Long (who worked his socks off) and Elyounnoussi in particular and Bertrand, despite his well-taken goal, did not appear to shake the team up once Leicester equalised. That was left to Hojbjerg and, in particular, Vestergaard. To me, this looked like Saints best starting line-up and, if so, we are in for a very hard season.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 20:18:36
You could add a few more names to that list, Mikesaint - including Romeu and Lemina on this showing. For the life of me I couldn't understand why Lemina wasn't replaced by Hobjberg, if only to save him from the erratic Lee Mason. In any case, Hobjberg is amuch busier player on past showings and, in my opinion is our captain waiting because, as Codge says - the naturally reserved Bertrand is not right for the job. It shows how badly we need Vestergaard to be at the top of his game as Stephens is uncertain and Hoedt mistake-prone. There are too many sides who will be more intent than Everton in putting a fistful of goals past McCarthy. I can see some occasions when we'll need two hands to count the number of goals in a game involving Saints as things stand...and they won't be in our favour. I'm sorry for McCarthy as this wasn't the game to showcase his obvious talents in front of Southgate.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 18:44:49
Wrong system played in the first half. Much better in the second and the team needs to blend. Build-up play too slow. McCarthy still making brilliant saves but this business of passing out from the back is really risky - not just for Saints but many sides trying to emulate the Spanish. Either be sure or don't do it.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 20:06:38
Couldn't agree more about fans leaving early - I was amazed - is there only one bus back to some places? McCarthy gave the best Saints goalkeeping performance since Kelvin's away display at Leeds. That save at the end was nothing short of world-class and I seriously hope he's signed up for next season. Lemina showed what he can do and I can only think his health or his head haven't been right for most of his time with us. There are some downsides - Hoedt doesn't look good enough to me and neither is Redmond. I also think that he and Bertrand don't want to or can't play with each other. Bednarek shows promise but lacks pace and Tadic once again showed what a good player he can be if some of his teammates are performing. Romeu was also effective similar to last season but there were still too many misunderstandings and wayward passes. I'm not sure that Swansea will be relegated and we might be wishing that they beat Stoke to help us. Three points might well keep us up at Huddersfield's expense.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 19:27:42
We have to be realistic. Chelsea went up a gear a week ago and we couldn't cope. Today they exploited our obvious weaknesses. It was all very predictable but we shouldn't overlook the fact that they are a top European side and blessed with a multitude of talent whereas Saints are currently leaderless on the pitch and weak in central defence and playmaking. It shouldn't be that way but it is so there should be no raising of eyebrows. I'm afraid it's the white flag that's been elevated. We can only hope that those at the helm have the drive and ambition to right what they have plainly got wrong and they need to come out and say so if they want to retain any of their dwindling credibility.
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Oldham Athletic v Salford City Your Report added at 21:26:09
Much improved, Boufal given his head and occasionally losing it. Hojbjerg showed real class and capability, constantly breaking up United's attacks in midfield. McCarthy looked as though he'd been in between the posts all season and his kicking was mainly decent and he actually came for crosses, although he didn't always reach them. Downside was our failure to cross the ball on the ground, we lost most stuff played at head height. I think MP has to start this team against Palace with perhaps JWP making way for Gabbiadini as we have to have attacking purpose at home.
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