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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