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Boufal Frozen Out By Mark Hughes
Wednesday, 25th Apr 2018 08:23

Rumours have emerged that Sofiane Boufal has fallen out with Mark Hughes, Redandwhitesupporter looks at the situation.

Southampton manager Mark Hughes has reportedly stamped his authority on the squad, by freezing Moroccan star Sofiane Boufal after the player refused the instructions of his manager.

The playmaker is said to have refused to warm-up during last week's home Premier League game 3-2 loss to Chelsea, angering the Welshman and if the reports are accurate showing the kind attitude not wanted in the dressing room during these difficult times for the squad.

Boufal has been absent from the 18 man squad for the last two matches, including Sunday's FA Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea, which has raised some eyebrows.

Today's reports state that the Moroccan has been banished as a result of his actions 10 days ago, although Hughes claims the player is 'ill' in his pre match press conference last week.

Showing the fire some Saints fans were after when his appointment at the club was confirmed, Hughes is alleged to have thrown a water bottle across the St Mary's dressing room when giving the £16m signing a dressing down, leaving his future on the south coast in serious doubt.

So it would appear the end of Sofiane Boufal's time on the South Coast is neigh, although it is a shame we have only caught glimpses of the talent he clearly has in his locker.

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LordDZLucan added 08:44 - Apr 25
Yes, loads of talent but no brain. He just hasn't adapted to the Premier League and is making the same mistakes he made when he first came i.e. trying to beat his man too many times and losing the ball in the wrong areas of the pitch.

pintsizedsaint added 09:25 - Apr 25
I recall reading, about 3 years ago, an interview article with Les Reed, who was explaining what the Black Box does.

Les mentioned that Saints look beyond technical abilities etc. And also look at the player’s temperament and personality, so to ensure that Saints built a squad that focused on teamwork and common spirit.

Clearly that’s fallen by the wayside in recent years. Boufal’s reactions on (and now confirmed off) the field show he does not buy into the culture. In addition, Saints choice of managers recently have focused on potential tactical ability at the expense of whether they can actually manage/handle a team of professional football players.

We need to get back to basics next year - get back to recruiting a tightly knitted squad of players that play to their strengths and that of the collective team. It’s what got us to the Premier League and beyond. Cannot over emphasise the importance of bringing back that analysis of whether getting a technically gifted player who’s a prima Donna actually really is worth the risk.

As for Boufal, him and a few others should take a good look at themselves. And then bugger off back to Europe.

BaselSaint added 09:39 - Apr 25
There’s been serious problems in that dressing room that have worsened over the last two seasons. I don’t know if Sparky has enough time to sort it all out.

SanMarco added 10:36 - Apr 25
the end is 'neigh' - pretty suitable for our bunch of donkeys and show ponies - oh dear already broken my vow to not criticise the players until after we are down. Just couldn't resist SORRY

helpineedsomebody added 11:04 - Apr 25
you need to employ a world class chairman
then you need a very good manager

skiptonsaint added 11:28 - Apr 25
What we have done over the last few years selling so many players more or less as fast as we could to build up the clubs value for a sale was an experiment.

It hasn’t been done that aggressively before and is actually our fame point in world football

What no one knew or could predict was the effect it would have on the players once we got less lucky with our new players and we started to slip

It seems to have had a very bad impact on the players left behind and their performances and feeling of being left behind in a team with no ambition..yes other reasons , ie poor managers etc but this current squad looks shot now and the clubs profits from transfers may well be wiped out over the next few years.

I suppose we had some good times but what an absolute mess now

saintmark1976 added 11:57 - Apr 25
If true, it sums up the club's recent decline. Boufal suspects that Hughes will be gone by the end of May so there's no risk to him in throwing his toys out of the pram. As I previously posted, currently in regard to the Saints you just can't make it up anymore. Total shambles from top to bottom.

TimSaint added 12:35 - Apr 25
His goal at home to WBA showed us, the team and the manager exactly what we are capable of when we attack with pace and directness.

Why then, has it been installed into Redmond, Tadic, Boufal and JWP that the way forward is a slowly slowly approach, cut back inside, try to beat your man 3 times before fvcking up the pass or cross, or just laying it off !!

We were successful and free scoring under Koeman, using pace and being direct, but the safety first, slow approach has finally caught up with us and royally backfired this season !!

BoondockSaint added 13:59 - Apr 25
Same way he freezes out his teammates when he has the ball?

DPeps added 14:46 - Apr 25
Pintsized - the black box thing was always a bit of a myth. Our old friend Osvaldo didn't have quite the right temperament either!

dirk_doone added 15:04 - Apr 25
Pintsized, the "Black Box" was effectively our Head of Recruitment, Paul Mitchell, a brilliant anlayst of football data and an ex-footballer himself. He left to work for Spurs just over 3 years ago, We got by on 1 or 2 signings he'd already idenfitifed, including van Dijk who we were linked with before Mitchell departed, but for the last 2 years we have been reliant on his replacement, Ross Wilson, who is clearly not very good at the job. In January, Mitchell moved to RB Leipzig so you can expect them to sign some excellent players and manager over the next few years. That's when we should have brought Mitchell back here to replace Les Reed as our DOF. Maybe we still can.

dirk_doone added 15:38 - Apr 25
I remember when Mark Hughes came here as a player from Chelsea. He was only here for the money, couldn't give a flying f..k about playing for little old Saints, and scored just 2 goals in 59 games. He's not much different as a manager. No wonder, none of the players have any respect for him. What a terrible appointment he was. We weren't even in the bottom 3 when Pellegrino was sacked. Now. we're 4 points adrift.

We should have brought in a real motivator like Paul Cook.

underweststand added 16:39 - Apr 25
Lord DZ Lucan ...hit the nail on the head.

Boufal's "Goal of the Season " efforts look very impressive, as does his dribbling ability... if only he did it inside the penalty box, instead of fluffing around on the half way line.

He contributes little to overall team performances , and if we succeed in getting our investment back when he is sold .... I'd say it would be a good deal.


TeamCortese added 21:45 - Apr 25
I'd have Boufal a million times over than shite players like Davis and JWP! If this is true then we are well and truly relegated. Mark Hughes should be able to motivate and change the attitude of the whole squad--in particular the most talented ones--not single them out for acting immature!

Never mind I think we need a relegation. This will hopefully get everyone (that being our supporters) on the same page and ensure such nonsense of the clubs dealing by our owners doesn't happen again!

DorsetIan added 00:37 - Apr 26
I’m not sure who has been the bigger disappointment, Boufal or Hughes. Boufal can’t seem to manage his own skill, and Hughes can’t seem to manage any of our more skilful players.

Hughes has one last chance on Saturday to show that he can produce a winning team. So far, he has not delivered, and I cant imagine this tiff with Boufal is helping team morale.

GeordieSaint added 10:47 - Apr 26
If he has refused to warm up then it is an absolute disgrace. It is basically saying I don't want to go on the pitch and I don't respect your decisions.

KriSaint added 11:10 - Apr 26
Very disappointing behaviour from Boufal.
Where was Sims vs Chelsea in the cup?

underweststand added 20:29 - Apr 27
I'd agree with "pintsized saint " (above) 100% on his comments..

YES.. the Black Box does a lot of the groundwork, but there is also the element of having a new /strange manager coming in and wanting some of his own favourites / former players, and the Board bowing to his wishes.

Cortese's reign ended with his approving Pochettino's desire to sign and "rehabilitate " Dani Osvaldo (that story deserves a chapter of its own, along with the saga of Ali Dia ) in the Saints Book of all time Disaster Signings..

The Koeman's got their own way , and for the most part they got away with it. Clasie came at the wrong moment for him, and despite his wonder goal Martina was used quite sparingly, but seems to have little problem in getting regular starts at Everton.

For the most part; Pelle, Tadic and Mane all DAJFU and were worth the chance..although I think few of them would have made the Black Box's Top 10 .

Enter Puel...and decided to make Redmond the "new Thierry Henry" didn't quite work our, but at least he scored more goals than ever before. Getting Puels' "old boy " Pied cost Saints almost nothing, and we might have seen much more of him, had he not suffered that season long injury. He will surely join Puel next season when he's released and become a regularstarter in next season's Leicester side.

Which brings us to Boufal, who aside from scoring goals that always seem to qualify for "Goal of the Season " is like a fish out of water when asked to play along with the rest of the team, and on those rare occasions he gets possession spends his time nutmegging half of the opposition ....whilst still in his own half... before losing his balance.

Puel must have known about him from his time in France, and certainly wouldn't have said NO ..when we agreed to buy him.

Pellegrino sad chapter is only made worse by the decision to buy Carrillo in a last ditch attempt to help him save face. Once again giving the manager a chance to "buy his own former player " and go against the Black Box's recommendations . I feel sorry for Carrillo who suddenly lost his mentor when he needed him most. Like many Prem.newcomers he went through a "baptism of fire " in his early games, and it is wrong for people to think of him as the team's saviour when the "regulars" in the side were doing no better.
The size of the fee (only a drop in the Prem. Ocean) in terms of size only compounded his misery ..and ours.

Whoever is next season's manager, he will be allowed to buy in anyone he wants to (finance permitting) regardless as to where the player figures in the Black Box's listings -
otherwise he'd be stupid to accept the job if he's told he must work with what we've got and look to use more of our Academy graduates, when there is currently a drought of real talent at the level just now.

Getting a " foreign " player in and expecting them to suddenly "adjust " to new surroundings is like expecting a UFO to land at SMS and bring in next season's Mo Salah.


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