City Goal Cost Saints In The Pocket Monday, 14th May 2018 12:32
In terms of relegation Manchester City's injury time winner cost Saints nothing, but in terms of income from the Premier League it meant we missed out on a not insignificant amount of cash.
Saints fans did not feel too disappointed when Jesus scored with virtually the last kick of the game at St Mary's on Sunday, there was no feeling of dejection as there had been 8 days earlier when Everton scored in the last minute of injury time, we knew the job was done, indeed some Saints fans were almost happy that City had scored and reached that 100 points total.
But there would not have been two many smiles in the directors box, that goal meant that Saints dropped a position, with Huddersfield losing to Arsenal and us drawing we were above the Yorkshire club in 16th place and it wasn't just the fact it made the League table look a bit more respectable that was the reason for the long faces, dropping a league place meant that we only received £7.7 million in the prize money for League places, some £1.9 million down on the £9.6 million we would have received if we had held out for those final seconds.
Although in the grand scheme of things £1.9 million doesn't buy you much these days, it is still better in our bank than in Huddersfield's and from that perspective Ralph Krueger was not as happy as he might have been.
But the main thing is that we are still in the Premier League for next season and that means far more money than £1.9 million.
Raplh Krueger and his board now need to identify where we have gone wrong this term, although I suspect that they already know that, implement the changes needed and get back to what we have done so well for the previous four years.
We might have missed out on the cash but we stay up. However in our last five matches bar the Swansea game, late and last minute goals have been our undoing. Even the win over Bournemouth was marred by a injury time goal in the first half. This ability to throw away games is the most worrying aspect of our play and must be prioritised by Hughes and his staff or we will find ourselves in a similar situation at the end of the next season as were in the final games of this one.
First of all, Thanks Nic for all your hard work on this site this past season.
In the discussion whether Hughes should stay we should remember that he took Stoke to 9 th in three of his four full seasons with them .
Should we look at Les Reeds contribution to our poor performance since the league cup final 2017? His CV is appalling. Never played a game as a player despite being signed by three clubs. He was voted Charlton Athletics worst ever manager . Then he left Fulham to manage the conference south side, Bishop Stortford . From there he becomes our director of football and now Executive Director. My guess is he’s benefited from working with some exceptional people at Saints : MoPo , Koeman and the black box guy. But on his own his ability is exposed. The VVD and Fonte transfers were badly handled, no signings in recent times of under priced excellent players such as Mane, Wanyama and Clyne . MoPs appointment was a misjudgment, and the academy is no longer producing Premier ready players a la Shaw and Chambers.
There are players who should go but equally I am not persuaded that Les is the best person at the top to get us back to top 8 finishes.
The other thing that might have been missed in the all the excitement of us staying up is that it maintains the unwritten rule that the Premier League must include at least one team playing in red and white stripes.
Following Sunderland last year, had we joined Stoke in a trip to the Championship, next year would have been the first Premier League season without a red and white striped team. Saints and Sunderland have carried the flag in most years (joined by Stoke since 08/09) but neither Saints nor Sunderland were there in 06/07. Thankfully, Sheffield United popped up for that season to maintain the record.
Quite clearly, we were never destined to go down!!
Key criticism of the club from me is the way they do transfer dealings. They seem to take an age. Once we’ve identified the right player we need to do business quickly. Get them in and have a settled squad quicker.... not constant “will they, won’t they” malarkey.
I echo davepid and take this opportunity of saying thank you Nick.Its been a miserable season made bearable in some part by being able to vent my frustrations on your site.
Where do we go from here? Frankly who knows, but one certainty is that we can't continue in the manner in which the owners and the board have managed for the last couple of years.Their performance has been proven to be non acceptable to the fan base who won't be so forgiving if they simply dish up more of the same next season.
Amazingly, agree with pretty much all of the above postings, especially regarding Nick and friends output on our behalf -thank you. Particularly echo DorsetIan's view on our stripey wrapping. Whilst this seasons kit gradually grew on me, (I avoided it actually growing on me) I am a great believer in our original red and white stripe 'branding', which I believe we must return and persevere with, especially now that it's so unique in the PL. I am sure a stripey version of our old fashioned colours can be just as popular as far afield as say China, Canada and Staplewood.
highfield49 says it all for me - why should teams like us get 'prize' money anyway - we had a dreadful season. West Brom, Stoke and Swansea got 'prize' money too. It all comes from us the fans/viewers in the end. I suppose reward for failure sums up the whole economic system in this day and age...
Yes well done Nick for your work this season. Some great reply posts too by many of you. I agree it seems wrong to reward failure but that is the world we live in. I suppose we succeeded in staying up and this is part of the reward.. I think the board got lucky because Swansea etc were so poor this season. I feel it’s time for Mr Reed to go though after 2 uneducated managerial appointments nearly lost us our top flight status. Have to say I wasn’t over-enamoured by the Hughes appointment but was happy to see what would happen. Hughes has pretty much regalvanised the club on many levels brining us together to fight for survival. This was no mean feat and Hughes can’t be praised enough for what he achieved in a very short time. As such, he should be retained and given all of our support for next season. I know the squad all pulled together but feel special mentions should go to the following 3..
1- McCarthy - He has been magnificent since he came in, commanding his area and 3 clean sheets out of 4 in the ‘big games’, only beaten by a lucky deflected shot at Everton. 8 points and survival came as a result of this. 3 saves in particular stand out.. 2- Bednarek - This lad came in to the team at an incredibly difficult time, showed desire, fight and an ability to play at this level. He made less mistakes than the other CB’s and this after he must have been aware that many fans questioned his arrival. Well done Jan! 3- Hojbjerg - A player who has been in and out of the side since he arrived and probably didn’t deserve to lose his place in the team a couple of months ago after some great performances. His engine, passion and determination really boosted our midfield to dominate the big games we needed to take those points from and I think he has been huge for us.
I appreciate all the players have stepped up and the more experienced players have done what was necessary when it came to crunch time, but these 3 previously fringe players have made the difference for me. I too hope we keep the 3 young centre backs and coach them as they have promise but replacing Yoshida with a Fonte-like top quality leader at the back is vital. Hopefully lessons have been learned and we’ll be all the stronger and wiser for it next season!
Well done to all fans who were there at Leicester, Everton and Swansea for helping us get over the line.
I have enjoyed contributing to and reading other, sometimes opposing views on this very worthy website, a truly reasonable platform for debate, largely populated by supporters with some command of the English language, albeit occasionally too modern for my understanding! That the opinions expressed are thoughtful is a tribute to the astute management of Nick - so thank you for that. Now that the on-field excitement has abated, will we now see what Mr Gao intends for our not-so-little club for the coming season or will this be another frustrating summer of non-communication - other than advising us faithful how much we will have to fork out for our STs. If anyone amongst the Saints hierarchy takes the time to read what genuine fans think then, apart from loosening said Gao's purse strings and rectifying the glaringly obvious on-pitch shortcomings, please loosen your tongues and tell us what you think is realistically achievable in 2018/19 as the "we march on" mantra is beginning to sound hollow and, for goodness' sake, get rid of that bloody version of "My Way". I think I'd prefer any interpretation of "Stairway To Heaven" well, except Rolf's of course.
Still cant believe Saints staid up. I was convinced we were down. The work and effort put in by all who contribute makes this site a really interesting and essential read for me. It is good to understand why others feel as wound up as me on some issue or indeed why they might hold a completely different but well argued view on the same issue.
Agree with pretty much all of the above and can I also thank you Nick. You take a lot of stick on occasions, usually undeserved, and run this site as a real labour of love. I too was unsure about Hughes, although to be fair to them, the board were not exactly spoilt for choice. When we rightly give them a kicking for the many wrong decisions taken in the last two seasons, we should acknowledge it when they get one right, and he has been immense. One final point, it annoys the hell out of me when commentators give the club a hard time for selling our best players - as if we had any ******* choice. We either sell or we hold them to their contracts. There are countless examples of both and the result is always the same. It is the price that has to be paid for success, a great scouting system and an outstanding academy. We haven't had any of these things this season and therefore the top six will not come calling. Simples.