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Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 12th August 2018 Kick-off 13:30
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.
Photo: Action Images
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