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Where Is The Central Defensive Signing ?
Monday, 8th Jan 2018 15:46

Saints fans are becoming increasingly more frustrated with the lack of incoming signings in the January transfer window, especially in the centre of defence.

Saints supporters understand as much as the next man that the January window is a very difficult one to do business in, the selling clubs prefer to hang on to the last moment to try and create more interest in a player and therefore an increase in price.

But that is not always the case and when it was announced before the year had ended and the window opened that Virgil Van Dijk would move to Liverpool on January 1st Saints supporters rather hoped that signalled that the club already had Van Dijk's replacement all lined up and ready to go.

Certainly Van Dijk had been dropped long before Xmas due to his attitude and he wasnot earning the wages that Saints were paying him, but the problem was that we lacked quality and it has cost us dearly.

Saints sit outside the bottom three only on goal difference, but it could easily have been different, if am Vokes had been marked properly, if Giroud had been marked properly and Depoitre of Huddersfield likewise we would now be 5 points better off and sat in 10th place.

That is how little room there is in this years Premier League, we can all moan about how this is the worst Saints side ever etc etc, but the reality is if we had marked those three men and not left them unmarked close in on goal then things would look a lot better, indeed if we hadn't done the same for Palace's first goal then we would be withing sight of 8th.

But we have blundered on this season trying to lacate Van Dijk and rotate players and the reality is that at the moment our defence is not good enough, with everyone fit we are touching it, but we need Van Dijk replacing and a new man forming a partnership with Weslry Hoedt, this is not anything against Yoshida and Stephens, they are just not good enough as has been shown by the soft goals conceded in the past couple of months, I can barely remember a decent goal scored against us, I would say 80% of them would not have been conceded two seasons ago and that is the difference between where we sit now and were we really should be.

Our League position is false because it is based on giving people chances that they should not get, it's been happening all season, I have just highlighted four instances in the recent past.

So why have we not tied up a new central defensive signing, if it wasn't lined up then we should not have sold Van Dijk, the fact we have £75 million in our bank only pushes up the price, it would have been better to let him rot at Staplewood than sell him because of this.

So we have some important games coming up, get in a new central defender and a striker an we are more than capable of winning them, whether or not Pellegrino is in charcge, lose them because the same players are making the same old mistakes and we are in big trouble.

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underweststand added 15:59 - Jan 8
What ?'s only the 8th Janaury....there are still 23 Days until Deadline Day..
Whenver did you know Saints sign a player in the first week of the window?.
You're beginning to sound like those fans who want to sack the Board when they haven't signed 3 players by 2nd July every pre-season.

If we are pursuing only half of the players I've seen mentioned in the media in the last month , it'll take a while to sort it out. After all it's only money and a 4-5 contract.. Let's try and be sure, eh? A bit of patience required , I think.

One thing I noted (with pleasure) .was that we DIDN'T sign Spurs Kevin Wimmer for £18 million from Spurs, Stoke did... and his efforts helped to contribute to Stoke's massive -
minus goal difference ....and Mark Hughes sacking. Bednarek on the other hand looks to be a better prospect.

montecristo added 16:06 - Jan 8
sorry I cant agree.Saints main problems do not lie in central defense at all, Stephens has barely put a foot wrong when called upon and can only get better.The main reason for not scoring goals is the failure to make decent chances all Saints work is via the channels out wide and teams have sussed that and in any event crosses from out wide are relatively easy to defend against.,good teams have a strong attacking mid presence and are capable of varying their play through the middle something that Saints have singularly failed to do all season. Davis is well past his best and was never really suited to that role anyway. The fact is good attacking mids of proven quality can cost you 50 million and are Saints even likely to shell that amount out for a player. if not our only hope is to promote from within giving Hesketh and Sims a a chance is not desperation they are good players, time to give them a chance.

LondonSaint added 16:08 - Jan 8
I would be surprised to see a new central defender come in. We already have Yoshida, Gardos, Bednarek, Hoedt and Stephens on our books. Irrespective of whether they are good enough we probably need to sell one before we buy another.

I personally think that there are several areas that need more work - a creative central midfielder (seeing as MP refuses to play Lemina there), a pacey addition on the flanks to add competition for Redmond, and a target man to finally replace Pelle would be my choices. However you dress it up in the past two years we haven't scored enough goals and our confidence has been poor - a team that doesn't score goals will always have more problems than a team that doesn't defend well.

LondonSaint added 16:10 - Jan 8
I'd like to add (in agreement with montecristo) that I would also like to see young academy players given a chance rather than reaching for the chequebook but we seem to have ditched the idea of giving our young players a chance, unfortunately...

LordDZLucan added 16:12 - Jan 8
Hoedt has hardly been a star performer either. In fact I think he’s often been worse than the others e.g. not getting anywhere near Lukaku when he scored against us, getting stranded on the left wing against Brighton when they scored and generally drifting too far left. But I don’t blame him. If the defence got a more help from the five in midfield it might perform a bit better!

UphamSaint added 16:18 - Jan 8
My thoughts are a good right back now, as Pied not at the right level, and a couple of forwards. Sell Tadic and Gabadinni, hoping Austin will recover for next season. Only need a centre half if they can uncover a gem that none of us have heard of, otherwise far too expensive. Stephens is a great prospect that we need to stick with alongside Heodt. Yoshida not up to a regular starting place, but a great reserve.

vanmans added 16:33 - Jan 8
I for one think we should have signed a Striker by now. They have had at least 4 months to sort one out. A deal should have been already lined up for a striker to be completed on the 1st Jan. Bad organisation as far as I'm concerned.

SonicBoom added 16:54 - Jan 8
What would you do if you were selling us a player in January? Make it easy and fix a price and sell in the first week? Or draw it out and push up the price?

DorsetIan added 16:57 - Jan 8
Central defenders, bit like Nos 9 & 10, need to work as a pair and to do that they need to play together consistently. That's the problem, not the individuals. End of last season Yoshida and Stephens were outstanding. MP needs to be pick his best two from those two and Hoedt and let them develop a partnership. With Cedric and Bertrand beside them and Romeu and Hojdjerg in front, we shouldn't really be having too many problems defensively.

We need another striker while CA is out, but our main issue is midfield. An experienced confident creative midfielder would make all the difference to this team. Not easy but we do have £75m to spend!

Whatsforpud added 17:17 - Jan 8
Like some posters here, I can't agree that a central defender is the biggest priority. I think that Hoedt was signed as VVD's replacement, anticipating his move out. Hoedt and Yoshida need to have a run of games together. For all his criticism, Yoshida often looks like the one to score at set pieces.
The priority is a tall striker. None of the attacking players are getting on the end of the many crosses, which are just wasted. Another Rickie please.

BuyEastleighFC4aBtea added 17:33 - Jan 8
I agree with many of my follow Saints fan here another centre half is not needed this month quite rightly a few support my view that Stevens is a class act in the making! No doubt it won't be an straightforward one direction improvement path there will be dips in form but boy he's good already world class in a few years time.
forget Walcott let's focus on the future stars but Timo Warner for a record 45 million from Germany's Leipzig this 20 year old class act is the super star

saintmark1976 added 18:15 - Jan 8
Don't expect us to buy anybody soon or spend any "proper money", after all we never do.

Please also don't loose sight of the fact that we will need a lot of money left over to buy paint for the stadium.

Bettwsresident added 18:59 - Jan 8
I agree with almost all comments, the defence, whilst troubled by injuries is in decent shape. Rather it is our conversion rate of chances to goals that's been simply appalling for the past 2 years (ever since Mane/Pelle/Long tore it up). Gabby flickered and could come again, and CA is decent when not crocked. But we need someone whose default is not to hit is straight at the keeper! I like and rate Theo, should he be prepared to return, but having looked at Guido Carrilo on youtube, whilst a decent target man, he is no Pelle.

SanMarco added 19:21 - Jan 8
I think the reason we can't afford to wait until the evening of the 31st is we have two very winnable games before then and our current squad are not winning winnable games. In recent years we have been just about safe by the January window so it wasn't so urgent.

I agree that we need a centre-half but I agree with all those who say an even bigger priority lies in the attacking areas of the pitch.

aceofthebase added 19:32 - Jan 8
Do we really have 75 million in the kitty? I have read tonight that the payment is over three years and we can only expect to see 15 million this transfer window.

Midfield and attacking players is where we should be spending money and are we going to move on a few players. I can't see any premiership team wanting any of our players and that is the present problem with our team

SanMarco added 20:23 - Jan 8
They might want one or two we don't want to sell aceofthebase...

brownk added 20:50 - Jan 8
Stephens is a class act and potentially excellent and bearing in mind he was dropped out of sight for no good reason to allow the return of Billy Big Time he has bounced back with a great attitude. He didn't sulk and he could have quite easily made a fuss to leave. No, he kept his head down and has played well on his return and credit to him filled in at right back admirably. Give me 10 Jack Stephens over VVD anytime. The mistakes leading to goals were in the most part down to Yoshida who quite often is liable to a lapse in concentration that has cost us goals. It is hard for our defence because they see chances missed that the opposition rarely miss at this level. Goals win matches and we don't score enough goals and that needs to be addressed. We also need to remember that quite a number of goals were down to Foster and McCarthy has made a positive difference and MP took too long in making that change. The best managers do not let sentiment play a part in their selection and drop players who are constantly making mistakes.
We need a quick direct winger, a target man and it would be the icing on the cake to have a playmaking midfielder who can pick a forward pass to unlock defences.

redandwhitedee added 20:59 - Jan 8
Blah blah blah. Bored of you slating Stephens and yoshida. Both of whom have more than deserved their chance now to fight alongside hoedt for the 2 main positions.
We don’t need a 5th CB after bednarek. 4 is enough. We need goal scorers not defenders. Had we had decent finishers none of the recent poor results would have happened.
Get over yourself and actually watch a game.

TeamCortese added 21:10 - Jan 8

Central defence should be the least of our worries right now. We need goals and that typically comes through decent playmakers/attacking midfielder coupled with clinical strikers. We need those players in quick before it's too late. Gabbiadini in particular will benefit from a decent playmaker. I've mentioned on numerous occasions someone like Jack Wilshere would have been perfect. This is a WC year and game time is imperative for most player looking for call-ups. Earlier in the season Jack wasn't getting much game time. Jack knows he's at an age where he needs to be performing regularly in order to become a core member of the squad. We should have tested Arsenal's resolve by offering him a competitive package--he's only got six months left on his contract. Players like Lemina, Hojberg and Romeu would be perfect playing alongside him as they will do most of the dirty work freeing him up to unlock defences. It seems that's too late now. What I don't understand is why Bournemouth were able to get him on loan last season? Surely we would have been a better attraction this season...

I think our best alternative would be Hakim Ziyech but it's very unlikely Ajax would let him go at this stage of the season. However, if we make a decent offer both to Ajax and the player, as well as use Boufal to convince Hakim to come then there's an off chance it could happen.

We also need a strong pacy striker who's an aerial threat with good hold-up play. Right now I can't think of anyone who does all those things apart from Harry Kane lol. However, I think we could try Giroud and Walcott. We should also bring in Quincy Promes and Adama Traore to replace Redmond and possibly Tadic.

We should also sell Shane Long, Steven Davis, JWP (unless he accepts he's a utility player), Gardos and Forster. Alex McCarthy has been good of late but I think we need a better keeper in the long run.

Lastly, Ryan Sessegnon would be a great addition if the rumours are true. He would more than replace Bertrand in the long term and could possibly transition higher up the pitch when he gets older.

SaintBrock added 22:27 - Jan 8
saintmark1976 is surely close to the mark. Any players brought in now cannot be expected to make much of an impact this season and would almost certainly be in a quasi developmental role ready for next year. We might spend a lot of money and still be relegated.

That in itself raises a problem as - heaven forbid - if we did get relegated we'd almost certainly have to renegotiate any new players T's & C's, salary etc for life in the Championship.

One can imagine Reed having worked out this conundrum for himself and seeing this as his excuse for doing nothing, being very reluctant to spend any money at all by nature.

I am not holding my breath on either this issue or Pellegrino's sacking. My gut tells me neither is going to happen.

Number_58 added 12:30 - Jan 9
Will a new centre back actually help us win more games? During the 11 matches in which VVD started this season we conceded 18 goals, including 4 v Leicester and 3 v Liverpool, and we only won twice. Even a world class 75 million quid player couldn't shore up our defence and make a difference. Shame Nick never looks a bit further up the field before laying the blame for our current predicament.

landerwal added 13:20 - Jan 9
New player lined up to replace VVD????? We did that at the beginning of the season with Hoedt. WE NEED MORE GOALS NOT MORE DEFENDERS.

bstokesaint added 13:24 - Jan 9
Whilst I’d love to see a replacement in the ilk of VVD, or Toby, or Lovren, all class centre backs for us, I agree with the majority of other posters that the biggest problem is our lack of goal scoring. I’m not sure that we have time to resolve this in this window unless we’ve quietly made big progress. What we really need is a Vardy-Mahrez kind of double signing. Hypothetically talking I mean. A couple of cheap players who can make and score goals for fun. The striker would probably more ideally need to be a tall striker to actually do something with set pieces, because we are so toothless right now. If we don’t win the ‘easy’ games we will without question be relegated this season. And we’d fully deserve it.

saintkev added 14:05 - Jan 9
We don't need a defender. I'm not sure we even need a striker. We need an attacking midfielder who can run past the striker (like Sadio Mane used to) and we need the midfielders to then play the ball forward occasionally. If they had done this from the start of the season and at least tried to pick out Gabbiadini's runs, then he wouldn't have lost his confidence and got so hacked off every game. We also need a Plan B of 2 up front. I believe we don't even have a Plan A. We also need a Manager who actually gives it some thought as to how we will score goals. If we scored a goal or 2 then we wouldn't invite so much pressure on us all the time, which in turn leads to conceding and then the defence facing unjustified criticism when the problem lies elsewhere.

obelisk added 16:02 - Jan 9
Given Saints precarious position with Championship football a distinct possibility next season I'd suggest that they'll have a job persuading pretty much anybody to join at the moment.

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