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Day 31 ! Day Of Destiny
Wednesday, 31st Jan 2018 08:44

By the end of Wednesday evening Saints fans will know if the team is on the road to recovery or if it is in deep trouble ! Today something has to change !

Today is a big day in the history of Southampton Football Club, by the end of it there will either be light at the end of the tunnel, or the fans willbe calling for the heads of two of its major employees.

The first issue is the transfer window, with big money to spend and issues in the team, not least replacing Virgil Van Dijk, to make no further signings before the deadline would see supporters asking major questions about whether Les Reed is still the man to oversee the footballing side of things.

There are many things that Reed has done in his time at the club, many that the ordinary fan does not see behind the scenes and therefore does not appreciate the importance of, but it cannot be avoided that Reed's major task is player aquisition and that is the area that the supporters will judge him on.

He cannot be blamed for the departures of certain players, it is not his fault that the likes of Jose Fonte and Virgil Van Dijk had their heads turned by money and were lured away by big offers, but it is his fault if he does not replace them.

A year ago despite knowing that Fonte was leaving for several months before January, Reed failed to secure a replacement for him in that month's transfer window, perhaps he thought that Van Dijk and Yoshida could cope, but the injury to the former and the lack of a new central defender meant that we were forced to throw in Jack Stephens alongside Yoshida, effectively players who were 3rd and 4th choice at best in previous seasons.

This cost us dearly, it cost us the League Cup final and it cost Claude Puel any chance he had of winning the fans over and saving his job.

Now it seems that Reed is gambling again, but this yearthe stakes are much higher and he is down to the last day.

So if he pulls a signing or two out of the hat then he might save his job or at least part of it, as mentioned Reed does much good work that the supporters do not see, but he has to be up to speed on every aspect of his job, perhaps it is time for him to take less of a role in new signings, I judge him on results, I have stuck up for him on numerous occasions when it has not been deserved, butI cannot argue against what has happened so far in this window, we have had time, we have had money, yet we have not delivered and there are now only hours to go when we should really have new signings in the team for a vital relegation clash.

That brings me to tonight's game against Brighton, we have to win it, we have dropped another place in the League and the alarm bells are ringing, Mauricio Pellegrino has had a fair crack of the whip, but if we are to make sure this season is not a disaster then today something has to change !

It does not look like it will be the playing squad, so that means the manager, if he has the same squad and keeps doing the same things then he is going to get the same results and that means ultimately relegation.

It is unnaceptable to win only one Premier League game in over three months, that is not all down to bad luck, it is down to bad management and that is plain to see in team selections and more importantly substitutions.

So today has to be the end of the line for Pellegrino if he loses, if that is the case then the fans will truly turn and that will not be good for our chances of getting out of trouble, as I say we need to be doing something different, if there are no new significant signings then the manager has to go.

Some would be asking why it is not three heads that would have to roll, the answer is that ultimately Ralph Krueger is there to oversee those running the club day by day, from this perspective, he is not hands on, on a daily basis, but now is the time when his job is coming to the fore, he has to be asking questions of Les Reed as to why we have not made signings and more importantly why the manager is still in a job.

If Krueger continues to maintain the status quo going forward that is when his job should be called into question, his role is one of corporate governance.

I would hope that today will be memorable for the right reasons, that we do make a key signing or two and that we beat Brighton and move out of the bottom three, however at 8.45am this morning I would not be putting money on either or indeed both happening.

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arfurdent added 09:00 - Jan 31
the club know they are heading for relegation and are conserving funds for executive golden handshakes
4

skiptonsaint added 09:06 - Jan 31
Good sum up Nick

I am still out on Les. He has done well in the past and deserves some slack but the worry for me is the transfer policy has gone from one looking the most visionary in the premier league with the black box etc to one that is beginnjng to look very reactionary and to be frank one of panic.

Maybe it was Kat wanting top money on her sale, other clubs catching , clubs and agents using us being interested because of our record to make deals more difficult or people using FIFA 18 !

Decisions like buying Bardenek ie one for the future rather than another CB of Hoedts standard and giving FF that giant new contract are worrying. That said if he pulls off Promes I will give him more time ..massive day for Saints
4

DPeps added 09:37 - Jan 31
We need a quality CB with experience and/or an attacker with pace who can pass and (ideally) finish

Good luck Les!
6

montecristo added 09:46 - Jan 31
I am worried that we have had our hands tied by the terms of the agreement with the premier league when Gao bought his shareholding. he is banned from exporting cash because of his possible involvement on a corruption scandal in China, and that meant he had to borrow cash outside of China to complete his purchase. The league then turned him down as a fit and proper person, and that's when a business plan was brought out to enable completion. its likely that under the plan Gao has had to agree terms on the repayment of his loan, which needless to say has to come out of Saints income. You have to ask how much of the VVD money has had to be committed to the repayment scheme thus hampering Saints in the transfer market.
3

saintjf added 09:46 - Jan 31
As we are set up a the moment I am not sure that we can beat any side near us.However there are still so many teams that could be relegated in the bottom half that being in the bottom 3 at this time does not mean all is over for Saints. We would need to change the manager if we do not win tonight. Only if they have someone lined up to replace him although I would not put money on a plan being in place to do that.
7

A_Saint_in_Stoke added 10:12 - Jan 31
I am fearful of the outcome today.
I don't feel that we will not see any new faces, but will be delighted if we do.
That does not mean that I am not right behind the manager and our team - and a 3-0 win scoreline will make me overjoyed - a small step, but going in the right direction, just as long as there is some positivity this evening?
3

Saintsfc added 10:24 - Jan 31
Nice article, though IMO it's a lot easier for a 'players head to turn' at southampton than the vast majority of other football clubs. A precedent has been set by our hierarchy for years now.. lallana, lovren, wanyama fonte etc are 100% not world class and theres a strong argument for them being just shy of top class..its just the way our club is run now (post ML); we are a family club who will never make ruthless decisions. The amount of football Stepthens and Yosh have been given last 18 months or so suggest they are going nowthere even if a 'better' footballer is available or even in the ranks (Wesley)..i've prepared myself for a quiet day..its 30 days into the window, spartak have set 30mil from day one, very honestly and publicly.. 3 weeks later we offer 25 (rejected straight away) 12 hours on - no activity.. 12 hours or so to go..still fingers crossed though
8

highfield49 added 12:40 - Jan 31
How many of us are trying to be positive with an uncomfortable feeling of dread ruining the day? At the moment I'd actually welcome the news that Mark Hughes has been appointed manager and now I feel even more depressed.
1

kevleykeegle added 13:31 - Jan 31
How many of us actually thought we’d get a marquee signing this transfer window? Whilst other clubs (and significantly those at the same end of the table) have been signing players Willy nilly, We seem incapable of doing anything in the transfer market except when we sell players.

It’s a tough time being a Saints fan but we’ve seen worse. I’m not sure, on recent years, that we’ve had such a negative manager. It’s dispiriting to be one goal in the lead and then sitting back until our opponents equalize. More worrying is that there appears to be no ability to reflect, learn and make the changes necessary to turn things around. This negativity runs throughout the club. Every transfer window we are shafted. We never learn.
6

SaintBrock added 14:55 - Jan 31
No surprises then? Did anybody actually really believe that a knight in shining white under armour was going to ride in at the last minute to rescue us?

Of course not, it was just painful to have to spend the whole wretched month of January listening to all the bulls*it coming from the ivory tower.

Do I believe we will be relegated? Yes, without a doubt whatever the result to night.

One man and one man alone is to blame for our predicament and it is not Pellegrino. He - poor hapless sod - has been out of hi s depth all season but couldn't help being useless at this level of management. Reed 'though has had the power to move him out at anytime but has failed to act though narrow self interest which he has placed above the good of the Club. It's really up to Kreuger now to sack the spineless excuse of a director.

2

dovif added 15:37 - Jan 31
Les reed’s head is in the sand. He has now got 2 transfer window to spend and he has not. If we are not out of the relegation zone and we’ll clear by the end of February. His head should be on the chopping table
3

dovif added 15:37 - Jan 31
Les reed’s head is in the sand. He has now got 2 transfer window to spend and he has not. If we are not out of the relegation zone and we’ll clear by the end of February. His head should be on the chopping table
0


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