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Business Done At St Mary's
Thursday, 31st Jan 2019 23:03

Saints have finished the January transfer window with no signings despite trying to push a deal or two over the finishing line.

Saints tested the resolve of Birmingham City on the final day of the January transfer window but the Blues were adamant that they would not sell Che Adams unless it was truly for stupid money.

On a plus side Saints turned down several bids to take Charlie Austin on loan from Premier league clubs as well as a couple of Championship teams.

With no striker in Austin staying is a boost, although there are some that would disagree, the fact that so many clubs were after him showed that perhaps he still has something to offer at Saints, not in the starting line up, but he still remains a potent goal threat and we could have done with him in the final minutes of the game against Palace.

It is a disappointment that no central defenders arrived, but we still have enough to cope and are in a better position than a year ago both in terms of our position and the squad in general.

The rest of the Premier League saw little real business done, so in general Saints are no worse off than most.

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codge added 23:20 - Jan 31
We're still in a better position than last year does not really mean to me that they are any better and sooner or later we will pay big time for not fixing the problem that is so obvious.

darthvader added 23:28 - Jan 31
I can't believe so many have left and we have brought no one in.

DorsetIan added 00:11 - Feb 1
Ralph has already got more out of the current squad than the previous two plodders. And he is only just getting started.

Clearing out the deadwood will improve the efficiency of the team and team spirit.

This is clearly a manager who is confident that he knows how to motivate and improve players and create a winning team.

It’s a brave move to bring no one in. If we go down, he’ll look like an idiot. But we all know we are not going down. The players and the team will continue to improve and the wins will keep coming.

A_Saint_in_Stoke added 00:22 - Feb 1
Ralph has come in - and evaluated the players and our situation! He has obviously very quickly taken the view that we have several players - and has come to the conclusion that many not up to Premiership standards and has acted accordingly. He has calculated that he has enough quality to get us through to the end of this season - and keep us in the Premiership ( and feel the same as I DO - that the bottom 3 at present will go down!) His system is to work with a smaller group - enabling him to improve their overall skills .
I am certain that come the summer 2019 - the board will back Ralph 110% - and we will see a Ralph's Saints team being assembled!

Paulw1981 added 00:49 - Feb 1
I like all fans look forward to the transfer window and watch with interest to see which new players we will get to watch and hopefully improve the team. However Ralph seems to have a plan and has already improved our play and position . he seems to of removed dead wood or stagnating uncommitted players most of which I imagine were on high wages relative to our squad average wage. This is money being saved and banked for the future which will hopefully be available Should the right player become prefer this to the other option of simply buying because of expectation to do so and transferring high earning high value players who add nothing to the squad or standard of football which most of our previous managers ended up doing. Those players are mostly the ones either sold or put out to's frustrating not knowing what's going on in the st Mary's board room .but I trust in Ralph and hope he's backed accordingly by the board when he requires them to do so.

JimmyMeliaPhD added 00:49 - Feb 1
I suspect we'll be able to muddle through in terms of CBs, and also in terms of strikers, and TBH I hadn't expected there to be much action in regard to those positions. However, I did expect to see someone brought in as right back/right wing back. Behind Valery there's a huge hole that should have been filled by someone like Pied. If Valery is injured, or more likley suspended, things could get ugly!

andywelsh added 06:35 - Feb 1
With Yoshida returning soon Stephens could cover at right back plus Ralph seems to rate Kane Ramsey who can also play there.

bstokesaint added 07:27 - Feb 1
As much as I can see the need for trimming up the “deadwood” and as much as I rate Ralph I’m still struggling to see how he can coach some of the players in our weaker areas to plug the gaps. I think we needed one or two new faces to improve competition and bring some much needed strength and resolve to our shaky defence. As much as I like to see our youngsters coming through the ranks I’m not sure that many of them are there yet and we shouldn’t expect them to be able to. They need time.

dirk_doone added 07:29 - Feb 1
Obviously, Gao and Kat would have liked more sales but they know there's still the summer window for the big ones.

davidargyll added 07:29 - Feb 1
There does seem to be a universal opinion that problems for teams lurking at the bottom of the league can be instantly solved by spending a shedload on a (probably overpriced) player or two, all egged on by the media and the “excitement “ of the countdown to 11 o’clock on 31st January. But people forget that someone moving to a new team always takes time to settle in to the new place, the people, the training and playing tactics, and this is all before you think about the whole social pressure of moving, particularly with his family having to settle in to a completely alien environment, and having to find new friends, new schools etc. In other words being pressurised to spend in the transfer market almost certainly will not shorten the chances of solving the likelihood of relegation. So I for one am delighted that we didn’t go in to the transfer market at all. Apart from anything else not buying should at the very least boost the confidence of the existing squad.

Keesie66 added 07:34 - Feb 1
RH is staying true to his word... trim the squad, bring through youth players like we used to do with our Shaw's, Lallana's and so on, they were not names when they were brought into the squad.... we seem to forget that used to be the Southampton way, plenty out on loan who he will also be watching so I think he has a good feel, knowledge of the situ and I agree with him that there is no point just bringing in a second rate striker or CB when we already have CA & plenty of CB, who really would have been better out of the transfer deals that have been done by other clubs???

Keesie66 added 07:36 - Feb 1
P.S. only a sucker team would have paid say £15 million for Che "who?" Adams....

mattlegod added 08:05 - Feb 1
The one I am most surprised about is letting Cedric go and not replacing him, the rest will follow in the more sensible transfer window in the summer.

dirk_doone added 08:12 - Feb 1
Who do you think will follow in the summer, mattlegod? I predict we'll sell Bertrand, Lemina and possibly Hojbjerg then.

SanMarco added 08:18 - Feb 1
A big risk not doing anything about the defence. Obviously Ralph is in a powerful position at the club at the moment and if he is genuinely happy with this then fair enough but if injuries/suspensions/loss of form lead to us not scoring many.....

highfield49 added 08:24 - Feb 1
As much as I think Adams could have been a useful addition to the squad I'm delighted that the panic button wasn't pressed as in Carrillo mode last year. Perhaps Birmingham really did refuse to part with him but I also like to think that we refused to gamble stupid money on a player without too much pedigree. Maybe RH anticipates Alfie Jones being able to step up to the first team in the coming months rather than sign another defender? Only time will tell, but it is what it is and I'm far more confident than I was this time last year that we would be clear of relegation with games to spare come season end.

Boris1977 added 09:06 - Feb 1
Feeling nervous but I'm glass half empty when it comes to saints and football in general. The lack of options on the bench on Wednesday at 1-0 down was a worry and while I like the idea of blooding youth but wise heads are incredibly important to any team. If there are genuinely no better striker option out there that's fair enough but with the injury issues we have experienced and will anticipate I think the board are playing hostage to fortune and gambling on staying up. We'll see in the summer if anyone is bought or sold. The manager has done an incredible job with limited resources - I just hope the board is willing to back him with funds in the summer as this team does need strengthening in several key areas.

mattlegod added 09:38 - Feb 1
Dirk, I don't agree with any of those with the exception of lemina. It's clear we still need to offload Forster and I certainly do see Austin going but for a fee. Other than that I think Ralph has made it know he is happy with his squad but do expect to see a replacement for Cedric, a central defender and a forward to come in. But what do I know. One other thing I do wonder is who is doing the wheeling and dealing for players these days as we never replaced Les position in the club directly?!

ronniedavies added 09:57 - Feb 1
Poor show in my humble opinion not strengthening the attack where we are woefully short of any true class.
Come the Liverpool game (which lets face it where we hope to scupper the Scouse title hopes) we are left with a totally inadequate strike force less the services of Danny Ings due to his loan regulations.
I'm hoping this inactivity in the market doesn't come back and bite us but I fear lack of goal threat/ injuries/suspensions will catch us up in the end.

dirk_doone added 10:22 - Feb 1
mattlegod, are you just being disingenuous by pretending you don't know how the club's recruitment operates after all these years? Ralph has told the board the players he needed in this window, a striker and a right back, and this has been their response. Ralph is not the ones who puts in the bids or handles the negotiations.

Sanguin added 11:45 - Feb 1
It’s madness; everyone who suggests Ralph has a vision for the club that involves working with a smaller group of players is being downvoted; everyone who says that we need to make signings, and the only reason we haven’t is to line the owners pockets, is being upvoted.

Yes, it would have been nice to grab an exciting player or reinforce our defence. But we’re only in one competition, recent results have been more than good enough to keep us up, and Ralph specifically said we would only get players in if the deal and player were 100% right. There is absolutely no need to pay over the odds for players in this transfer window when we can wait until the summer and truly rebuild the squad to fit the manager’s playstyle.


underweststand added 12:52 - Feb 1
to bstokesaint timed 7:27 i could go along with all of your comments....but to say
.. " they need time". What time? ...and when? ..wait until next season .. or ?

....if one or two of the youngsters does turn out to be a future Shaw or Lallana, then in this market it could be saving us £20 - £30 million on a new buy who doesn't know the club/manager/ training regime etc, ...when we already have lads who may have been at the club 5-10 years and knows the ropes.

Time is Tight ....(a fav.record from 60's )... and for some it maybe too late already.

I recall that it was Luke Shaw who replaced a very experienced Danny Fox, and Calum Chambers did a good fill-in job for Clyne when he was out for several months.
Yes they have to learn, but for the lads already in their early 20's - time is short, too.


stokeysaint10 added 13:08 - Feb 1
So close, just missing one small word at the beginning of that headline... "No"

KriSaint added 17:27 - Feb 1
A positive comment on our midfield - the heart of our team - the engine room in the middle of the park:
I saw a danish interview with my fellow country man Hojbjerg 2 days ago, and he loves to be at Southampton. Captain at 23 is fantastic for him and - while at Saints - he has become good friends again with the danish national coach. He has a contract until 2021, and he said he would not mind one millimeter to extend it, if an extension was presented to him tomorrow. This is good news, as I believe RH plans to build a team around this very player and for a good reason.
Lemina has class but has been annoyingly inconsistant, and he seems....., sorry to say,..... downright un-intelligent (a.o.t. holding the record for measured top speed in a car in England). If we sell him in the summer, then let him be somebody else´s problem.
JWP and Romeu are doing consistingly well and utility man JWP even scored from the right back position vs CP.
Slattery provides acceptable back up, it seems, and therefore it was ok to let Steven Davis go to his beloved Rangers at the twilight of his career.
As most of You fellow Saints fans do, I miss quality in our defence and our attack, but RH didn´t want to spend silly money for average players in this window, and I accept that, but only if I see willingness from the club to buy new blood in the summer transfer window.
Right now we have to accept that Valery is first choice RB and that the cover players for this position is JWP and Stephens. Likewise we have to accept that we are a little thin on the LB position with only Targett and (not match fit) Bertrand.

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