Time For Accountability At St Mary's Thursday, 1st Feb 2018 14:31
I have been patient in my comments in recent months about the club and some of the accusations levelled at it by some of it's supporters, but now it is time for some accountability.
Many Saints fans seemed happy to condemn Les Reed before he has actually done anything wrong, whilst Reed has his faults his CV would make good reading for any football club outside of the big six in English football, it has been one of constant improvement and success over a 7 year period at St Mary's since he arrived in 2010.
But perhaps his best work for the club is what has been achieved in rebuilding Staplewood and restructuring the academy and set up behind the first team, Reed should be applauded for this.
Last season might not have felt like it at times, but the statistics say it was in the top six succesful seasons in our history, although a section of the fanbase were not satisfied.
Reed might therefore be entitled to expect a little leeway this season when we hit stormy waters, but there was none of that as the fans took him to task even before the first month was over, he could do little right in their eyes, he was damned if he sold Van Dijk, damned if he didn't
I remained patient and although I was not happy that action was not taken in December regarding the manager, I understood some of the frustrations and the difficulty in replacing a manager and getting the right man without just jumping out f the frying pan into the fire.
As some raved and predicted that we would not spend the Van Dijk money I again was not prepared to condemn a man for his actions or at least lack of them until the transfer window was closed, now it is shut I am not a happy man.
I agree with many that given the Van Dijk situation we should have had his replacement lined up and ready to go at the start of the window, we should also have had some plan B's in place
Lets get this right though in terms of corporate governance before we start, Mauricio Pellegrino is in charge of the team, if he is not performing to the desired standard then it is Les Reed's job to sack him and identify a replacement as well as bringing in players.
If Reed is not doing his job then it is Ralph Kruegers role to sort the situation out and sack Reed, it is a very clear demarcation of roles within the club, ie Krueger should not be berated for not sacking Pellegrino, that should be Reed, if Reed is not doing his job then Krueger has to deal with him.
Some supporters don't grasp this concept and blame everybody.
But this January Les Reed had two specific tasks, bring in players and review the manager, he appears to have done little on either, the fact that with so much money in our coffers we landed only one player is nothing short of a disgrace and Les Reed should be accountable, likewise the manager, Pellegrino has won only one game in three months, again this is totally unnaceptable and Reed has allowed it to drag on and on to the point where the situation is now unrecoverable with Pellegrino due to the lack of faith in the fan base in him and indeed now Reed himself.
AS I say this is partly unfair, Reed has done much good work behind the scenes, but it seems that today bringing in players and sorting out an underperforming manager is a task that is beyond his capabilities and the question has to be asked if his role is too much for him and needs to be divided.
Losing Reed would be a blow in the organisational sense, much of the structure at Staplewood is down to him, but it cannot be ignored by Ralph Krueger the situation that has been allowed to develop with the first team and it's manager and the failings of Reed to deal with it.
To his credit and indeed Reed's they did not sack the manager at the first sign of stormy waters, they gave him time to show he could turn things round, Pellegrino has not done that, he has had every chance, he now needs to go.
So Ralph Krueger needs to show he is overseeing the club well, in any other department he would not let the director preside over such a decline and indeed in any other department that director would not let his head of department under perform so badly that things deterioated to this level.
Reed needs to start doing his job and Krueger his !
Results now are what matters, a month ago I wouldhave aid that just sacking the manager would be pointless unless a replacement was already lined up, now I would say different, last night I could not fault the effort of the players, they put in good performances individually, but they were not a team, they had no leadership and that has been clear for a while now, literally there is no point in Pellegrino being in charge, tactically he is naive and he can seemingly change nothing in a game, so we might as well let the crowd pick the team by poll and substitutions made by a vote on twitter, the team would have fared no better or worse last night if this had been the case and that tells you something.
So if Reed wants to keep his job he should be pro active now, with only one new signing in to the club, the playing squad is barely changed so something else has to and that is the manager, if the fans are to be rallied to get behind the team then there is only one thing left to do, sack Pellegrino and do it now.
I hate to demand something like this, but to be blunt there is not another club in the top four divisions of English Football, perhaps even further beyond that would allow a manager to win only once in 16 games and still be in a job !
That is absolutely spot on , he is the worst manager in our history and that is factual , he is absolutely ruining the team and on an individual basis I expect many of them will want out asap even if we should avoid the drop with this clown in charge , surely kelvin Davis can pick a better team than pellegrino so there's no excuse not to sack him , I fear something more corrupt is going on upstairs at st Marys and only time will tell , us fans have been shit all over this season , treated like mushrooms and left hanging for any scrap of info or decent performance and sadly neither has arisen , gao hasnt got any money behind him and I refer back to something fishy going on , Katerina liebher has sold us all a dummy on that front , love the saints , hate the board and manager , enoughs enough needs sorting NOW
Oh yeah and I forgot , Guido looks shite I hold no hope of him scoring any goals , firstly he won't get the service and secondly he just ain't up to speed with this league and will take him 6 months to adjust , so yet another fantastic bit of management by the top brass
Spot on Nick. They need to make the change now or this joker will take us down. Looking at the fixture list it seems very hard to find 5 wins in there playing like we have been all season. A manager change is needed now. Marco Silva gets my vote. He's a great motivator, plays good attacking football, gets the best out of his players, worked miracles at Hull (remember they only had 16 players when he joined and had just sold thier 2 best players) and Watford were top 6 before Everton messed that up. Get him as soon as the final whistle goes on Saturday afternoon after we've gone yet another game without a win.
I blame Reed and Reed alone...Pellegrino has made mistakes of course. Default mode is defend but what options does he have up front? For this Reed must be held accountable. I actually think the football played is generally Ok (certainly in possession) but we have lacked a goal scoring threat. Strange but at times we look like a match for the best teams in the league but we just never look like scoring! You can blame MP for this and his negative tactics, but I would argue if we had a half decent striker we would be just outside the top 6. I hope MP can turn it round and we have a good cup run. I feel a bit sorry for him to be honest-
I don't think Reed is the problem I actually don't think not signing players is the problem - we have a decent squad But I do think the manager is the problem Somebody summed it up nicely last night - Over-coached, Under-managed Technically the players are fine - passing in neat triangles, physically fit etc, but nobody knows what they are meant to be doing. Last night they looked like they had met for the first time at 7.30. There was no organisation, no plan A, never mind plan B. He shuffles players in and out, rotates them around midfield, seems to make random selections and substitutions but never seems t learn anything from it. The squad we have is good enough to stay up, but currently I can't see us winning another game.
Krueger is a problem At the top. He's a deep thinker that has a very hard time making decisive decisions. He was a terrible coach and manager in the NHL while with the Edmonton Oilers.
Reed to has to go. He's done nothing in the last 2+ years to help the senior team.
The manager. Lol how in the hell does a manager with the winless streak he has Stay So Long? Only reason is the two individuals above can make decisive decisions in a timely manner.
Every game this manager has screwed up with his lack of game management. Apparently the players love him which only means he's a push over. The fact is these current players don't know how to win anymore.
They only good decision he's made in the last week's is exile that annoying dyck Redmond to the bench or stands. The lad is a cancer.
"Losing Reed would be a blow"?????? If he was any good, he would have been hired away by a richer club.
Staplewood and the academy is a waste of money when you think about it.
It only develops players for Reed's parent club, the Scouse. When have Saints actually benefited on the field from it? Any decent player that comes through is immediately sold off-with the deal going through in hours, unlike the months and months that go by on the rare occasion when we put in a bid to buy a player.
We always hear how we have the best academy set up in the league. That's because other teams spend money on proven players. Why should any of them waste money on an academy when they can have the Saints take care of the training and development for them and then they just swoop in and pick what they need?
Last night's bench was stronger than the starting XI and for the last 4 record signings to be sat on it is ridiculous at best. I have been optimistic that MoPel would turn things around but last night it was my mind that turned. Get him out and Gary Monk in. We must not go down.
Personally I say why wait!! but this seems I'm hoping is the plan. Wait for the loss on Saturday and the then new Manager gets a week and a free hit against Liverpool and a fortnight before the next Prem Game away at Burnley with a (becoming less important by the minute) cup game in the middle which can be used as real tester. Obviously don't want the Loss but win and he might still be around I'm not sure what is best.
The team is basically the one we had last season, that finished 8th and got to the LCF final, along with a couple of good signings to strengthen it. That was the opinion of myself and quite a few others at the start of the season. My opinion has not changed. We are a far better side than our present position in the Premiership suggests. Where did it go wrong? The manager of course. You can get rid of Les Reed Kruger or any number of backroom staff and it will make absolutely no difference to the team's performance. At the end of the day it is the manager who is responsible for how well a team plays and that is why so many managers get sacked, just like MP should be. As long as any new manager can instill a sense of adventure in the players instead of fear, we can get a mid table position and maybe have a good cup run, no problem.
I think there is more likely to be a collective element to the accountability than any one individual to carry the can for what seems to me to be systemic failure.
For instance I think that it is just as unlikely that Reed has sole authority to dismiss MP (and he clearly must go) as he had total discretion in the appointment of him in the first place. No, Krueger will surely have the final say in making appointments and dismissing senior employees. After all there are large sums involved in paying off failed managers before their contracts expire, not to mention the additional costs of attracting and motivating a replacement.
It is difficult to imagine that Reed did more than produce a short list of candidates in the summer with some probable recommendations about his preferred favourites and his rationale. It is not clear, of course, that MP was the preferred first choice anyway.
Thinkn about this again; MP had had some success as a coach under several well known Managers perehapsmost notably Benitez (who's nobodies fool) but not much consistent achievement elsewhere aside from 2016/17 where he managed to get them to a safe midtable position and a cup final (sounds familiar). THat doesn't amount to very much in the way of a solid record of performance. Perhaps he is a goodish coach, but he certainly doesn't appear to have much of a broader vision suitable for managing a team and creating a winning and sustainable style of play. After all most supporters don't seem to think he even knows his best team and we are consistently befuddled by his selections and substitutions.
Aside from properly replacing Pelle and Mane and Fonte or VVD (and these are major issues) I don't have too much of a grouse with more than just a few of Reed's purchases. Yet what we don't know are the restrictions ,perhaps properly, placed on his freedom of selection of targets and the budgets he is required to work within. Again I think it is highly unlikely that he has a free hand in transfers.
No there is a collective failure here. Too much selling high and buying cheaply, too much taking a risk on a manager with few impressive qualifications/experience, too little accurate appraisal of our strengths and weaknesses of the squad at several critical moments over the last few years and insufficient care taken to keep a successful and proven manager when we had one (ie. Koeman). Oh and if it is true that Reed and Koeman didn't see eye to eye then there is another thing to think about...did Reed choose the likes of MP to ensure that he could dominate an inexperienced and weak though apparently likeable manager? Well, I don't know, but I am certain that more than simply Reed and Pellegrino have to be accountable for our current mess and that includes the owners in a big way.
I agree with the view that the buck stops with the owner(s). Katarina has retained a 20% stake in the club and insisted that she did due diligence before accepting Gao as the new majority owner. Krueger is a Liebherr man, connected to the minority shareholder, so what channel of communication and rapport does he have with Gao? Who is the piper calling the tune? Who is calling the shots?
It seems that Gao borrowed all, or substantially all, the £200 million or so to buy his 80% stake. Is he now looking to take cash out of the club to reduce his indebtedness? The January window raised about £67 million (after paying Celtic their share) and only about £20 million was spent on a single signing. So there's some £47 million net to do something with. Is Gao unwilling to reinvest this in the club? Is he looking to withdraw at least a large chunk of it to reduce his debt or invest elsewhere than in the Saints?
Recent reports that Gao was looking to develop commercial interests around the club, including buying up property around St. Mary's, worried me immensely. Perhaps he plans to build a casino (the Chinese love to gamble big time) and fly in plane-loads of Chinese to patronise it! The football club needs more investment if it is to thrive (and even just to survive in the Premiership). Does Gao have the financial wherewithal to take the club forward? I have my doubts.
I agree too that Krueger and Les Reed have dropped the ball and that the manager is out of his depth. I almost hope we lose at WBA on Saturday because that may be the final straw and bring about Pellegrino's sacking, leaving some time for a more worthy successor to salvage our season. But it should never have come to this sorry state of affairs.
We've seen what happens to most teams who fall out of the Premiership, most recently Sunderland and Hull. I fear that Saints may be on the same slippery slope.
Exiled, you’re spot on. Lots of mud slinging and finger pointing, but how can you possibly blame an individual like Reed when you have no idea on what is happening behind the scenes. It is without doubt a collective failure. Who’s to say Les can’t sack the manager because the board aren’t interested in both paying comp and bringing in a more expensive manager? Or that Les was given half of the VVD money to reinvest and no more. There are too many unknowns. All I know with some certainty is that Markus and Cortese would have worked tirelessly together to make things happen and now they’re not.
Kreger & Reed are now employees of Gao. They will have had new contracts written since the change-over with job targets that are probably more about money than football. From Gao's limited perspective Saints are just another small operating company in his extensive portfolio. As long as the financial goals that he set in agreement with his board members are being met on a continuing basis then for him all is well and he will see no reason to intervene down at that level.
Hence you can see why Kreuger and Reed will not countenance sacking expensive employees as in the cases of Pellegrino and his attendant coaches as they will have to be paid off very expensively for the remainder of their fixed term contracts and that will surely impact on individual financial targets and cause ripples that might be noticed back in China.
If The Clown resigned then Reed & Kreuger would be laughing as no compo would be due but there is no sign of the man in question having the decency to do that, so the stand off. Pellegrino may be in my view through poor and erratic team selection and tactics deliberately goading the board to sack him which they won't do. That look on The Clown's face at press calls worries me, it smacks of grim determination to get his own way.
The collateral damage in all this is the morale of the players and our probable relegation by why would he care as he won't be here to worry about it. Les will and that might just ensure that sooner or later Reed will crack and not Pellegrino.
Exiled is right - the failure is collective. I actually think that, just like Rupert Lowe a few years ago (admittedly in a totally different context), Reed and Co started to believe they had cracked it. Their strategy of buy cheap, sell dear and keep progressing seemed to work and they got very pleased with themselves. This led to the idea of a subservient manager, and over the last 18 months, has led to, as Nick says, the team playing as 11 individuals. Our 4 most expensive signings ever all on the bench - that is absurd. Purchases have been ad-hoc/willy nilly with no thought to the structure of the team. It is no good having a 'more talented' team than the other lot if that team is not actually a team. The problems going forward, seen again last night in all their glory, have been evident for 18 months and what has been done? The need for another CB has been obvious for over a year and what has been done? Although the failure is collective surely Reed is the 'responsible' individual - and therefore must go soon.
Same crap different day I'm afraid we spent seven long years to get back to premier league and now seem to be doing our best to get out of it don't know who's to blame only thing I no for sure Pellegrino doesn't know how to fix it and should have been axed by now but hasn't and now it might be too late .