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Austin allowed to leave
at 14:14 26 Jan 2019

We can't use words like legend or talisman about a player who only been at the club a few years...yet somehow Charlie fits the bill of "old-fashioned centre forward " we'd got used to along with Beattie, Lambert and Pelle (maybe Kirby and Davies for older fans).
Like those mentioned, in his own way Charlie is "a real character," and I for one will miss him when he goes, but with younger talents coming along he's here on borrowed time.

His career's been ruined by a couple of fluke injuries, and having to "re-make himself " when the next new manager came along. Nevertheless Charlie has managed to grab a goal or two in vital games and help win points. Right from the his last-gasp winner on his debut at Old Trafford. ..down to the most recent match-winning goal v. Arsenal.
Alas, with 30 soon on the horizon, and a lack of pace, he won't be able to handle a 90 minute game in Ralph's new style set-up. He'll be a real bonus for a club who play with wingers who can give him the right service, and I'm certain he'll score more goals.

If any of the clubs menetioned do bid for him, we may even get our modest fee back in the auction and even a bit of small change over. Good luck Charlie - you deserve some .
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Hughes: defeatist or realist?
at 12:12 4 Nov 2018

We really need a few good breaks because whatever else one says, our "strike force" has been totally ineffective so far this season. Just 6 league goals in 10 games (with 3 to Ings and Hojbjerg (2) and one from Bertrand) but with Austin, Long, Gabbiadini and Redmond yet to open their account.

The fact that we are breaking records for "not-scoring" in games is a condemnation of our poor finishing when (once again) we are in the Prem. top 6 for shots made. We have never recovered from the loss of Pelle and Mane, and Boufal and Carrillo clearly did little to replace those talents.

Tadic was one of our most inconsistant players last season and he took an immense amount of stick from fans on this site (and others). The fact that he is showing up well in a v.g. Ajax side is perhaps shows up more of a difference between a poor Dutch league, and a very competative Premiership. Once again we started a season with 4 new players, and only Danny Ings having any sort of Prem experience, it will take time for the others to find their feet at this level. Sadly it's time we can ill afford.

IMHO Mark Hughes is a realist in that having had a good goal-scoring career himself , he also realises just what it means to have long, "dry spells" when you just can't score.
Whether he should go into the dressing room with hot cocoa and soft words - or wielding a baseball bat - is open to conjecture. I don't envy him the task.

You might console yourself with memories of previous "poor starts" (like James Beattie's in the 2002-03 season), who failed to score until the 10th game of the season, before going on a scoring streak ending with 23 Prem. goals in May - only one behind " Golden Ball" winner Thierry Henry. AH ...those were the days.

What we are looking at it football reality, and half-a dozen other clubs around us surely have some of the same questions. Defeatism is trying to find lots of excuses when you finish 18th in May.
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Who watches the Youth team games ?....
at 11:33 4 Nov 2018

well I do for one. ..and have done since the late 1960's when "the Stiffs" used to play games at The Dell. Most of the U18/U23 games at Staplewood are televised on the Club media sites, and there are often highlights of away matches.

In contrast to some of the wretched games from the first team, the younger boys are putting in good performances of late. With the best U23 lads out on loan, other names are emerging. Valery and Vokins look a good pairing at full back, with the Austrian-born Klarer looking strong at CB. Slattery and Smallbone are a v.g. MF duo, whilst Obafemi and Barnes are regular goalscorers and the team is currently top of their PL2 league - Very pleasing for coach Rahdi Jaidi.

Perhaps the emerging U18's are the most inspiring. After a poor start they have won 4 of their last 5 games with 8 of their last 9 goals coming from different players. There are some stand-out lads like full back Kayne Ramsay and winger Enzo Robise. Also noticed a new talent in 16.y.o. goalie Jack Bycroft. He's a big lad and was MoM in the latest away win at Reading saving a penalty and making several excellent saves including a great double save.

It may be a few years before we see any of them vying for a first team place, but things are looking promising and it's encouraging to see "some" Saints players who can put the ball in the net on a regular basis.
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I know we need a new striker but
at 06:34 18 Aug 2018

A month ago when the Danny Ings deal seemed to be "dead in the water", I wrote that having him and / or Charlie Austin available to partner Gabbiadini might be a good solution.

Of course "injury probelms "can affect everyone , but I'd like to see both DI and CA on hand to ring the changes when we are so desperate to start scoring goals regularly.

Even Redmond and Long scoring the odd goal would be a big bonus, and seeing Sam Gallagher getting some game time is surely only a matter of time.
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I know we need a new striker but
at 21:14 10 Aug 2018

Mmm.......10/10 for predictions.....Good call.
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Those old legendary names...
at 09:51 6 Aug 2018

When growing up I continually heard my father talking about the Saints heroes of his generation ..Ted Drake..and later Wayman, Bates, Ellerington and others.
When I became a "serious fan " my list of heroes would have included Ron Davies, David Burnside, Ken Wimshurst and ...Cliff Huxford (who sadly passed away last week).

Someone said that you realise you have grown older when you stop reading the Births and Marriages column...and begin to look at the section of those... who have passed on.
Cliff was an unsung hero (in the 1960's) who played 300+ games as defensive CB, and "didn't take any prisoners". He had his share of warnings from ref's, but Cliff great strength was..just that. I met Cliff a few times and although not overly tall, he was solid muscle from the neck down, as some who came up against him would surely confirm.

My lasting memory of Cliff Huxford (aside from his comedy routines as sub. goalie) was a rare Pompey derby at The Dell soon after the legendary Jimmy Dickinson had hung up his boots at Fratton. Pompey's new young star, Vince Radcliffe (?) took over Jimmy's role, but on that day made the mistake of trying to tackle Huxford (from behind). The lad's leg crumbled in a multiple break that almost finished his career. Huxford who was entirely innocent of any malice, was himself very upset, but his tough physique spoke for itself.

So ..just another name in the catalogue of hundreds who have pulled on a Saints shirt throughout many generations. Fans younger than I have already mourned the loss of Ball and Osgood, and it's only in such sad circumstances that their names return to our memories. Today's generation will have to listen to their father's talking about Channon, Golac, Holmes, Moran, Shilton.. .that young Shearer lad ... and of course Matt Le Tissier.

Like many fans, I await the "next successful Saints generation" to emerge, but thankfully my sons' generation will have a few hours video to look back on, whereas I have only fond memories of the many who have gone before, and whose names are just stats. ... in the record book somewhere.

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How Pleased Are You With Our Transfer Business So Far ?
at 21:58 2 Aug 2018

preferably more than a few, our goal tally in the last couple of seasons has been deplorable.

Pelle ..."sort of "...filled Lambert's boots, but since then no-one to talk about.
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Midfield trio
at 21:51 2 Aug 2018

it's a tough call as we have 6 or 7 midfielders to choose from a.t.m.

It takes time to develop a good winning partnership, especially with 3 players involved but I expect MH to ring the changes until he gets its right.

It looks as though Armstrong is the first name of the team sheet , now it's upto the others to compete for the remaining MF spots.
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I know we need a new striker but
at 21:47 2 Aug 2018

successive managers have tried JWP in varying positions. Difficult to say where he's best.

He lacks the physique to be a "Romeu" but always had second place to Davis, and whenever he was picked to start it was often as a "fill-in " for an injured player.

Everyone praises his "dead ball " skills but he seldom has a chance to get a run of games and make his own spot. In a season when few players showed up well, he was either subbed in the second half, or got off the bench near the end.
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Shaqiri
at 08:37 30 Jul 2018

Think a lot of people thought that the " Hughes Connection " might tilt the balance in our favour when he moved, but despite Stoke going down .....the World Cup showed us that he was in a different class to the rest of their relegated team.

If he were choosing between a club who played in a CL Final and one who almost went down, the a move to Liverpool must surely have been a "no brainer " from the financial , and career aspects.

Meanwhile I can continue disliking him - for the excellent performances he put in whenever we played Stoke.
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Like a team that’s gonna win the South Shields challenge cup
at 08:31 30 Jul 2018

South Shields doesn't sound to be the most fervent soccer location, but if we assume that the U23s were playing against foreign clubs fielding players at the same level , then it looks to have been a good experience with an excellent result.

Right now our U23's have a good crop of up-and-coming lads who will soon be "over age " for that level and need ... a break into the first team squad / a good loan- out, or transfer to Championship / L1 club.

This will be a crucial season for future development , so interesting to see what happens.
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Drinkwater in on loan?
at 08:18 30 Jul 2018

He had a couple of good seasons in Leicesters recovery / title win - hence Chelsea move.

Problem (as always ) is a player moving to a club that doesn't play the same formation, and let's face it an English player in a Chelsea side isn't so commonplace - is it ?

But then again the best way to di-fuse an improving side is for a Top 6 club to buy their best player(s), and them leave them on their bench .....cynical but true. Villa were never the same club after Delph left them and Leicester will miss Mahrez in the long run and the saga of " replacing Pelle and Mane " was never resoloved.

But going for Drinkwater ...(the next Steven Davis ?)....could be a good move (for Saints) and maybe the Lemina situation would sort itself out ...
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Carrillo scores (!)
at 15:50 28 Jul 2018

Saw today that Guido Carrillo scored the winner (1-0) in a game for Leganes.
also noted that Leganes sold one of their better players (Diego Rico) to Bournemouth for £10 million last week.

Obviously that will help their finances if they have to pay Carrillo's salary, but if our lad finds some scoring form we may see him back next season and start getting our money's worth. Will keep a weather eye on Leganes results in the coming season.

Carrillo was clearly out of his depth coming into the side when he did, and got little or no service, but in his defence - he wasn't the worst player in the side at a time when we needed goals and no-one was scoring.
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It Could Be Nice For Boufal
at 08:50 21 Jul 2018

of course it could be a win-win situation for both sides.

If he succeeds in his loan role then his value will increase and we can sell him to Liverpool in a years time for some huge sum.

Otherwise sense may prevail - both sides will call bygones and he can continue his long-contracted career with Saints.

At the moment he is just a negative item on a long salary list. Paying half his salary to get game time elsewhere is better than nothing.
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Ross Wilson
at 08:29 21 Jul 2018

Not so charming comments from "this charming man " who seems to have more input on Ross Wilson than many of us. If his playing history is true then I'm glad we didn't sign RW as a player, but then again a lot of people have made careers in football (and other areas) that they would not seem to be qualified for. I'm not sure what qualities are required to succeed in becoming POTUS, or Prime Minister other than the opportunity to try.

Some of the most successful coach / managers have succeeded despite their "wrong background". I grew up when Shankly was best manager in Britain for a 15 year period, I was reminded that his playing career with Preston was not so illustrious - nor his long managerial career before he took over at Liverpool. Arsene Wenger played barely 50 games at French amatuer level before beginning his coaching career. Whereas an alarming number of former top players have failed at the first hurdle, (Will be interesting to follow Lampard and Gerrard in their new managerial roles).

It's difficult to know what "qualifies " people for a job , but during my own worklife (now retired) three things encouraged me in different/difficult situations.

(1) Learn from mistakes (especially if they are other peoples).
(2) When you meet someone who has greater knowledge and experience than you have - shut up and listen(!) . You can learn more in an hour than a year in the job.
(3) When opportunities come your way, accept the challenge and remember that your past is not your future. It's your next chance to make good.

Back to Ross Wilson. None of what has been written about him suggests he should even have got an interview for the job, but he has it, and only time will tell if he is a success.
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Les Reed...Holiday, low profile or somehting else?
at 12:00 20 Jul 2018

Recently noticed that Ross Wilson had the title of Director of Football Operations... not sure where this comes in the Saints hierarchy of "Directors of ..." but also that Les Reed is conspicuous by his absence from the interview /PR/ welcoming handshakes to new signings that we'd become used to over the years.

I have a lot of respect for the things that Les did right, in the wake of Cortese's exit when in the early years everyone was walking on eggs fearing the chop for any errors made.

Les has had a lot of stick (rightly or wrongly) when things didn't go according to plan, but seldom received accolades for the success we've had along the way.

So the question is : Has Les taken a back seat, or maybe that long holiday he must be overdue... or is he just keeping his head down and avoiding the flak?. One hopes that he doesn't have any serious health issues (not uncommon for those of us in his generation).

Perhaps it wouldn't be out of place for Les to give us a wave - even if he isn't in the limelight / spotlight / searchlight ..quite so much nowadays.


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