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Saints Fans Need To Trust The Club's Transfer Strategy
Friday, 14th Jun 2019 09:01

Saints have made a few mistakes in recent years, but things have changed and the fans need to get behind Ralph Hasenhuttl and the club and trust them to get it right this summer.

The recent announcement of the signing of Moussa Djenebo was greeted by most on social media as a positive move, but there was still a fairly high proportion of cynical & negative comments mainly in the line of if he does well then he will be a Liverpool player in the next two years.

I can see why people would say that, but it is getting a bit tiresome now, the club has moved on from it's mistakes of the past two years, the people that those supporters were blaming for the transfer mistakes have now left the club and we have at the helm of the team Ralph Hasenhuttl a man used to working at clubs such as Saints and well versed in the job needed here.

So it is time to move forward and put the past behind us and look to the future.

People now talk of the golden times of 2014-16 under Ronald Koeman but forget the total meltdowns by some on social media in the summers of 2014 & 2015, back then suddenly every departing player was a world beater and every new arrival sub standard to those who went before.

The truth of the matter is that the Premier League has changed drastically in those 5 years, it is a case of the rich getting richer and the rest of us slipping further behind, look at that season five years ago, we had a Big Five back then and then Everton & Spurs vying to be the sixth club hoping that someone would slip up and they could sneak in.

In 2013/14 Everton finished 5th 3 points ahead of Spurs, there was nothing between them as clubs, both had potential, but both sat in similar size stadiums and were unable to truly grow their fanbase either in terms of numbers or financially.

Now the gulf between them is massive, Everton finishing 8th, 17 points behind Spurs who also reached the Champions League final.

This highlights the magnitude of Saints task going forward and how breaking into the top six is virtually impossible such is the power of that Big Six.

So we have to adapt and accept both as a club and as supporters, our targets have to be realistic and stretching, forget the arrogant boasts of Nicola Cortese, we were never going to be a top four club, look at the number of clubs outside of the current Big Six who have managed that in the last 20 years and it is basically Leicester, Everton & us , the game has moved.

So that means that as a club we have to adapt and that seems to have happened over the past 8 months or so, there have been changes in the boardroom and changes in the team management and so far all look positive.

Our transfer strategy is solid but it has had to adapt and it suffers from the fact that 5 years ago it was now groundbreaking, now all the other clubs have a version of it.

But it is not fallible and there will always be failures, yes some have been expensive, but you can say that our four big failures have all been panic buys and we have paid the price for going off piste from our usual blueprint in looking for big money signings to appease the fans, we have tried to make so called big money marque signings rather than players with potential and hungry for success.

This is nothing new, remember Gaston Ramirez and Osvaldo !

Moussa Djenepo harks back to the summer of 2014 when we signed the likes of Sadio Mane and Pelle to name but two, neither were houshold names but both had potential and we unlocked it.

We need to do get back to those basics again and it seems we have.

Yes the cynics will say that we are only fattening them up for Liverpool to move in when they have proved themselves and they are right, but that is football these days and we as fans have to accept that and as a club we have to work it to our advantage and we have to do that because we have no choice.

Gone are the days when a sheik or Russian ogliarch could roll up and pump multi millions into a club and in truth the few that did chose their clubs well, the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, clubs with big stadiums and big supporter bases that could be farmed.

The train has now left the station on this one, the Big Six are light years ahead of even the likes of Everton who have missed the boat and are five years behind even being able to mount a serious challenge to the BIg Six.

Our job as a club is to keep doing what we have done for the past five years. but keep doing it well, yes there will be a big turnover of players if we do well, but personally I would rather see us find another Virgil Van Dijk and sell him for 7 times what we paid after enjoying two years of relative success than sign ordinary players who stay for 8 years.

If a player is here for 8 years then the truth is he is not up to the standard we need, this is a harsh fact of life, we have to accept that and be realistic. The Premier League has been full of teams over the years like Stoke & West Brom, clubs were they are not selling their players for big money for a good reason, no one has wanted to buy them, eventually they pay the price.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has spoken of how we have scouted Djenepo for the last six months, this is what we do well,

Our aim is to establish ourselves as a top 10 club season in season out and then as the 7th club pushing for a Europa League spot and a cup final or two, we were on track for that 3 years ago but lost our way.

But as I said the key personnel in our last two seasons of struggle our no longer here, so let's give the new people from Gao Jisheng downwards a chance to show that they are the people to lead us forward, if we want the key players to succeed then we have to support them.

So let's make this a summer of positivity, the green shoots of that recovery are there, we can't let them be trampled by negativity, successful people surround themselves with positive people.

If Saints fail in the transfer window and do not address the key areas we need to then I will be the first to complain, but I will not do that till the transfer window has slammed shut.

But all indications are that Saints are working hard but quietly on their intended targets, so let us let them get on with that.

The Ugly Inside has always sought to give an opinion, it is not a website that merely rehashes tweets or instagram messages and claims them as news, we are not afraid to give our opinion even when it is not the popular one, but we always try to justify why we have made it.

I am a Saints supporter, I want to be proud of the club, proud of the City and proud of Saints supporters, I do not want to see it being a standing joke, but more to the point I do not want to see a section of our own supporters being the ones that make it so.

So let's show some trust in the club to get it right !

Photo: Action Images

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Number_58 added 09:19 - Jun 14
So if we don't sign those central defenders you've been banging on about since VVD left will you still be trusting the club's transfer policy?

Saintsforeverj added 09:28 - Jun 14
I totally agree with this article. The key man to the positive vibes is RALPH H. I am really looking forward to the season with him in charge of the team. He promised / demanded new signings and we already have one in. Djenepo looks strong, pacy and is young - all the things RH looks for and these attributes are exciting to fans too. A new central defender would be good but I tend to think that if we score a lot more goals and frighten defences, our defence will be under a lot less pressure anyway. A full pre-season with RH and a few new signings, I am tentatively optimistic! We might as well be really positive as stated above and pull together to have a great season.

Sanguin added 09:28 - Jun 14
Well said!

I think two of our best signings in recent years have been Hojbjerg and Bednarek, both signed young and cheap on relatively low wages.

As you say, our current problems mainly stem from signing expensive players on high wages, those high wages then make it difficult for us to move the player on.

If Djnepo succeeds then great; if we sell him for a huge profit then that’s better than having spent a similar amount of money on a player that we can’t sell and don’t feel is good enough to get in the starting 11; if Djnepo flops then him sitting on our bench should cost us less money and he should be easier to sell.

It feels this is going a little beyond the model we used when we bought Pelle and Mane, simply because the cost of players is increasingly inflated. We can’t afford to buy a promising 22 year old anymore, we have to buy a promising 20 year old.

underweststand added 09:28 - Jun 14
You just need to toss a coin on this, and hope for the best.
Players bought under one manager, may find themselves out in the cold when the next managerial change happens. There are often pleasant surprises...Bednarek couldn't get a place on the bench under Hughes, but is the most consistant defender now that Ralph is playing him. Some fans ridiculed Redmond and others had Ward-Prowse going out of the door..but without their goals we'd be looking at a Championship fixture list about now.

From a historical perspective, the majority of our " best /most successful " players came to the club for a very modest fee, and one or two cost next to nothing. The list of recent misfits who came to the club with a record price-tag began with Nicola Cortese's buy-ins of Ramirez and Osvaldo (he won't get much space in Pochettino's memoirs)...I don't need to list the latest -we all know who they are, but we broke the bank getting them and they are still with the club on long contracts and high salaries.

Now (hopefully) the decisions will be Ralph's and - if they go wrong- we'll have someone else to blame, but I hope that he knows enough to buy players who he can improve . and that the Board trust him - regardless of the size of hte fee.

lemmsy added 10:16 - Jun 14
Everybody has there opinions but it’s the reasoning behind the opinions that counts.
This is a really good article with solid reasoning behind your thoughts

wessexman added 10:19 - Jun 14
I think the main transfer policy has to be...hang on to Ralph as long as possible. Saints transfer policy can be argued for or against but it needs an innovative manager to implement. Koeman was that man and it would seem Ralph can make it work. Mistakes like the three managers in between the mentioned two has highlighted this.

SaintNick added 10:21 - Jun 14
number58, did i not make it quite clear that should the club not make the signings needed then I would be the first to take them to task, so what was the point of asking a negative question

SaintBrock added 10:30 - Jun 14
What needs to be borne in mind is that the runaway success of the top six PL teams also means that more and more of the world's best young players will want to be part of that success; the more that happens it will be increasingly difficult for them to get into those clubs let alone secure a string place in the first XI's.

There simply maybe more talent available than top clubs can accommodate to provide the career opportunities and stimulus that the young players are looking for so smaller clubs like Southampton suddenly become more and more attractive for them to get regular game time in the PL and hone their skills. The more that are affected in this way the better chance we have of keeping the really good ones and building the quality of our team.

The bar is constantly being raised as we see every year and particularly with this year's whitewash of European Finals so eventually all the established teams of the PL, of which I include Saints, will reach the levels that the current top six achieve now. Assuming there will be limits to how good football and players can become - the process of improvement very clearly cannot be infinite -maybe then the gap will close again.

The other thing to remember is that each season starts with everyone on 0 pts and with 19 games at home and nineteen games away to play. Never forget that.

JimmyMeliaPhD added 10:47 - Jun 14
The much vaunted Southampton Way is really the only rational way to go under current conditions, and it looks as if RH has bought into young and ambitious players and sell them on. The problem is the overall conditions--as Nick says, we're in "rich get richer" scenario. Nothing will change (i.e. we won't see a more competitive football world) until there's something like a salary cap. Our friend Ralph Krueger knows that, and that's probably why he's gone back to the NHL where the salary cap basically guarntees a competitive league every year.

JimmyMeliaPhD added 10:47 - Jun 14
The much vaunted Southampton Way is really the only rational way to go under current conditions, and it looks as if RH has bought into young and ambitious players and sell them on. The problem is the overall conditions--as Nick says, we're in "rich get richer" scenario. Nothing will change (i.e. we won't see a more competitive football world) until there's something like a salary cap. Our friend Ralph Krueger knows that, and that's probably why he's gone back to the NHL where the salary cap basically guarntees a competitive league every year.

helpineedsomebody added 12:43 - Jun 14
since 1885 southampton football club


NYC_Saint added 15:55 - Jun 14
I think the biggest mistake over the last few years have been the managerial appointments. The flops listed were largely to appease the managers who were subsequently fired. I don’t think Puel was terrible but I think he was the “cheap option” for the club and you get what you pay for. Now we have RH whom has so far done minor wonders. I think we can trust he will assess recruited players well and will not demand former favorites (although Former favorite Willi Orban seems a good fit).

Separately you make many good points Nick (especially players that stay haven’t really stepped up a level - I hadn’t really thought about it like that before) and we are supposedly supporters so let’s all support and be optimistic that with the current manager precious mistakes will be avoided.

aceofthebase added 18:06 - Jun 15
Optimists are always so unhappy at the end of the day when things don't work out, such as a defeat of saints. Whereas pessimists don't expect miracles but are overjoyed when things go their way and a top six club are beaten.
Don't knock the pessimists, cos I'm one!

DPeps added 08:43 - Jun 16
I'm optimistic that Ralph will be able to get the best out of the players, especially with all the fitness work he'll get them doing in close season. The transfer priorities now are a CB, another forward, and shipping out around 5 players.

On a different note, I agree with Jimmy's point about salary cap. I would go a step further and suggest the introduction a draught system too. Whatever you think about north American sport, it is at least competitive and that's largely down to the draught pick system. Seems to me that the current transfer process in the PL is broken beyond repair.
I'm not optimistic that this will happen anytime soon, however, given how long it took them to implement VAR!

ExiledSupporter added 14:17 - Jun 16
I don't think that anyone other than the most negative supporter (and why should we pay any attention to them) would have anything other than a positive view about RH's ability to take the team sufficiently far up the table to be a comfortable middle of the table side. But, much depends upon improving the quality of the squad which essentially means a) getting rid of the deadwood, b) replacing the outgoing with better quality players in key positions and c) realising the talents of some of our existing younger players and bringing them into the first team squad.

Unfortunately achieving both a) and b) probably means spending more money by the end of the transfer window than we reap from sales of the surplus to requirement players. It also demands a much more focused ability to spot bright young global talent than we have generally brought to the process since Koeman left. In the latter's case it always seemed likely that he had a veto over Read's proposed purchases and was inclined to push his own candidates (viz. Pele and Mane)

The trouble with all this 'trust the club' narrative is that recent judgements in terms of managerial appointments and the purchase (and management) of good quality younger players - I'm thinking of Hoedt and Boufal here - have been distinctly underwhelming. Bringing in young talented but inexperienced players doesn't work all that well when you are mired in relegation struggles.

I want RH to succeed, but there are several things about him that trouble me:

Firstly, we have no evidence of his ability to spot, obtain and develop quality young we? It seems to me that any judgement about this cannot be made until we are about 1/3 through next season.

Secondly, he may well be greatly constrained in whom he can buy, because we are unable to sell those who we need to derive transfer funds from, and I don't expect that he plays a big role in sanctioning departures (though that doesn't mean that he hasn't already specified those he doesn't want to keep, I'm sure he has done that some weeks ago)

Third, if the above is true he may well have to make something out of Carrillo, Boufal (neither of whom have played for him ) and Hoedt. If he's the quality of manager that we certainly have seen some glimpses of then I would expect him to perhaps be more successful in 'straightening them out' than his predecessors ever managed.

Fourth, am I the only supporter who feels that cutting the squad back by so many that any injury crisis requires heavy dependence on young reservists, can quickly lead to a struggling team and emergency purchases in the notorious Jan transfer window. I think RH needs to have a little more cover than he sometimes seems to consider necessary

Fifth, the "Southampton way" often difficult to recognise over the last three seasons, cannot be so rigid as to reject any possibility of one or two far more experienced players to bring insights and leadership and authority on the pitch to counter the relative naivety of some players that we might, by force of circumstances (injuries, bans, loss of form etc), be required to play for want of any other squad member availability.

So yes, I would like to trust them, but by the time we realise that out trust may have been misplaced (I sincerely hope not) we may be back in the type of relegation struggles recently experienced we least want to repeat

aceofthebase added 15:07 - Jun 16
ExiledSupporter My dear chap as a pessimist I must congratulate you on writing such a pessimistic rant (I'm afraid I didn't pay much attention after the first few paras.) . I'm beginning to think I could be a borderline optimist.

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