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Saints V QPR The Preview
Saints V QPR The Preview
Friday, 1st Mar 2013 14:36

Mauricio Pochettino agrees with me every game from now on is a must win game starting with the visit of Queens Park Rangers and their much loved manager.

The focus of the build up to the game so far has all been on Harry Redknapp and thats how he likes it, Saints kick started a good little spell back inNovember when the 3-1 win at Loftus Road was the first of two straight wins, indeed the only time we have dont this all season and something that if we repeat will see us on the verge of ensuring our Premier League place for another season.

So for Saints the aim is quite clear beat QPR again and if we can then get 7 points from the 3 games after that to replicate that run in late October early December then we will be as good as safe.

Of course football isnt quite as simple as that, if it was then it would be a very boring game to watch, apologies here to any Man Utd, Man City or Chelsea fans reading here, but you are really missing out on something by knowing every season roughly where you will finish and what will happen by mid September.

The defeat at Newcastle highlighted a few flaws in our game and its now down to MoPo to show that he can eradicate them from our game, in short his main problem is at the back where both injury and poor form pose him a few questions, first one is whom does he play in central defence, he was perhaps quite right to keep faith with Hooiveld at Newcastle, but now he has to make changes, Jose Fonte is an obvious choice, but also there is Vegard Forren, why has he not featured so far, there is a reason for that, is it really fitness or something more sinister like he just isnt up to the job. For my money I would partner Fonte with Yoshida, the Japanese central dfender hasnt been perfect over the past few games but is still a better bet than Hooiveld, perhaps long term if Forren is up to it Fonte & Forren will be the man, but ist a brave man who not only throws them together for the first time, but plays two players who havent played in anger for two months and three months respectively.

The next area to consider is left back, Luke Shaw is rumoured to have a knock again, if thats the case then Danny Fox should play, Im not a fan of moving players around to accomodate so therefore I would contemplate moving Clyne to left back and putting in Fraser Richardson or even using Yoshida as a full back for instance, Fox can do a job for Saints, what is needed though is for certain elements of the crowd to get off his back, it didnt help Guly and it wont help Fox and it certainly wont help Saints, what do we want three points or being smug and barracking Fox, look at Boruc at Xmas no one would have put much money on him coming into the side as he has done, but he played through his dodgy spell and won the crowd over.

In midfield its a question of whether we play Davis and go for the pressing game as well with three high tempo players in the centre of the park or whether Pochettino feels Ramirez might just dominate things, the problem we have is that whatever formation we play we just dont have the right balance, to play Pochettinos preferred formation it needs two pacy wide men who can get back and defend and we just dont have them, whether we play Lallana, Puncheon, Ramirez or Rodriguez out wide they just dont have the engine or nous to do the job that is needed when a side breaks, especially when they do it quickly as Newcastle did last Sunday.

But perhaps we should remember that although the squad isnt as well balanced as it should be and questions really should be asked of our transfer committee here, we are still good enough to take the game to QPR and win, we are fifth from bottom for a reason and they themselves are bottom for a reason and that being the case we need to now show why we are ten points better than them going into the game.

A I said what Saints need now is another little good run that takes them to the cusp of safety, get that win tomorrow and the finsishing line is in sight, lose and its looking a long way, our manager has stated that he doesnt set targets points wise, he merely looks to win every game that comes along and thats a healthy attitude to have, he knows though that we need three wins for safety, he knows the quicker that we get them the quicker we can plan for next season.           

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tiptop added 16:02 - Mar 1
Id be happy with Fonte and Yoshida now. At the end of the day Fonte is better than Hooi, particularly when paired with Yoshida.
Left back situ makes me shudder...(+ Fox and Hooiveld? no). Cant honestly say which would be less bad scenario without Shaw.

It would be interesting to see Lallana and Punch on opposite wings again. But as you say Nic
a)defending the wing isn't their strength (Lallana prob edges Punch for that even though Punch's understanding with Clyne has been good)
b)it looks like they're fighting for one position.

Rodriguez's extra pace and work rate keep him in the team I feel so it looks like Punch may be on the bench?!.. Seems a little crazy to say.
And as for Ramirez? Hes better central and id love to see him link up with Lallana and Lambert who have a great understanding to feed off which could mean Gaston or Davis? Would be interesting to see MoPo play Gaston from the start to help get the lead.
Still, I think Gaston is bench.

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LennyJam added 17:01 - Mar 1
I would think that if we play like we have done in the last 4 games we will win
simple as that

like you said, they are bottom for a very good reason.

yes we were poor at the back against newcastle but they have turned a big corner and I can see better teams than us (like chelsea before us) getting done up at newcastle with their new pacey, powerful signings

if we play like we have since the everton game, I just cannot see us not winning
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kingslandstand1 added 17:18 - Mar 1
I'm glad MP agrees with you :-)
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slynch added 18:12 - Mar 1
How can MP agree with you if he's never heard of you or what you say? Or is there something we don't know?
How can a game be a 'must win' when nobody knows how many points anyone will have at the end of the season??
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schatfield added 18:15 - Mar 1
I can see Puncheon starting this game (and good news is he has just signed a new contract with Saints - see official site)
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1teeminants added 20:35 - Mar 1
Nick so if we criticise Fox we have to get off his back yet you slaughter hoovield every week ffs. come on


We all have our favourites, Fox is obviously one of yours despite 95 % of saints fans saying hes crap.
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ugliest added 21:10 - Mar 1
Just relax nick, hooiveld injured so does not play. So must be 3 points now
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REEDYREEDOREEDZ added 21:19 - Mar 1
Boruc
Clyne. Forren. Yoshida. Shaw.
Schneiderlin. Cork.
Puncheon. Ramirez. Lallana.
Lambert

If Shaw doesn't play then Poche has to go with Fox, and hope he doesn't have much defending to do. His delivery could be a useful extra dimension to our attack.
If Forren is 100% then it might be a good game to give him his debut.
I think Ramirez should start as we'll need the creativity to break through a defensive QPR.
The attacking midfield of Lallana, Ram and Punch should be able to create enough to get some goals. J-Rod to come on if things aren't going our way.
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ExiledSupporter added 22:45 - Mar 1
For goodness sake guys, the sort of attitude that 'ugliest' above demonstrates is completely unwarranted and unfair.

While nobody needs to agree with Nick all the time, or even some of the time; it is a very different thing to completely misrepresent his views by citing such highly selective and misrepresented evidence of his alleged favouritism with regard to Fox and antgonism towards Harding in the past. Get a grip and try to use your reason rather than obsessive prejudice.
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Whatsforpud added 23:26 - Mar 1
Trying to bed in a new defender, especially a new central defender is not easy. But playing at home against the bottom team with a poor scoring record, must be the best opportunity the manager will have to introduce Forren. If he doesn't start against QPR, he is either unfit or it was a huge mistake in signing him. The only other possibility is Pochettino prefers to ride out the season with the established group, and to assess his worth in pre-season.
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slynch added 00:14 - Mar 2
Saints finalised who would win the PL - tomorrow they decide who loses it.
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ExiledSupporter added 11:26 - Mar 2
Sorry 'ugliest' I mistakenly maligned you unintentionally...you're much more beautiful than you think! My comments were actually aimed at '1teeminants', so apologies again
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