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Manchester City 3 v 1 Southampton
Carabao Cup
Tuesday, 29th October 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Saints At Manchester City The Preview
Tuesday, 29th Oct 2019 08:47

The last thing we need after Friday's debacle is a trip to Manchester City, not once but twice in the space of five days, but could it truly inspire us to great things ?

There aren't many people in the country indeed perhaps the World that give Saints any hope of coming away from the Etihad tonight still in the Carabao Cup, or indeed without getting drubbed not just tonight but on Saturday.

There are lost tribes in Borneo who could tell you what the problem is and that is our failure to deal with our central defensive issues in the summer and now it is all coming home to roost.

It is hard to give any sort of rational preview for this game, I see Ralph Hasenhuttl as a talented manager as he proved last season, but now a lone figure in the dug out with an inexperienced coaching staff that are at best offering him no help at all and at worst are encouraging him to play the players that they are familiar with.

The Ralph Hasenhuttl of last season would be bold and brave and not conservative, in the last four games he has played the same defence and in all but one of those games got the same result, soft goals conceded by the same old faces who have been doing it for years, but they are safe from being dropped because their mates on the coaching staff are counselling the manager.

Tonight Ralph has to do something different, he has been playing the same team for too long and that was never his style.

I think Alex McCarthy will come in, not so much because Gunn was at fault on Friday, indeed he can hold his head up more than most on that pitch, but firstly because McCarthy has played in the previous two cup games ans secondly Gunn needs to be out of the firing line.

In defence I would go with a back four of Valery, Danso, Bednarek and Cedric, assuming that he is fit, if he isn't then we are in trouble, but perhaps putting in Jake Vokins might be an option for his debut, yes a baptism of fire , but no one will blame Vokins whatever the result so there is nothing to lose.

The midfield is harder, we need fast wide players so Nathan Redmond is a must, Romeu & Hojbjerg in the centre and then on the other side is another difficult decision, Boufal showed against Wolves that he cannot hold his position, so perhaps Stuart Armstong is our best option.

Up front I would throw in Che Adams to give Danny Ings a rest, this is a game where Adams pace will be useful and no one will be expecting him to score, perhaps he might.

On the bench I would have Gunn, JWP, Slattery, Klarer, Slattery, Long & Ings.

No Yoshida, no Sofiane Boufal, no Jack Stephens, they have been part of the problem for three years now, they are never going to be part of the solution, harsh but true, so it is time to move forward and try to find out if the likes of Klarer, Vokins & Slattery are part of that solution, certainly they can do no worse than those who will be dropped.

If Ralph Hasenhuttl is to become a great manager at this club then he has to overcome the jobs for the boys syndrome that exists, be it in the coaching staff or the players picked.

If Ralph looks back at last December he came in and was a breath of fresh air, he worked with what he had but he wanted to get the youngsters in and clear out the old guard, now he seems to be unable to do that.

Tonight he needs to be brave, show he is the manager and not anyone else, better to fail doing things your way than to do so using methods that you do not agree with.

Photo: Action Images

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HythePeer added 09:41 - Oct 29
I'm watching the Ladies. They won 11 - nil!

arfurdent added 09:52 - Oct 29
or the cowards could reprise their performance

perazi added 10:27 - Oct 29
I have to step in and challenge the BS in this preview. Boufal has been one of our few attacking players to show something this season. After a run of good performances, he got 9 minutes as a sub against Wolves - how does that demonstrate that he he can't hold his position. Furthermore, the claim that he has been "part of the problem" for three years overlooks the fact he wasn't at the Club last season. How about no Ward-Prowse - part of the problem for the last 8 years.

SaintNick added 10:55 - Oct 29
Perazi, if you want me to take your posts with any serious consideration then perhaps you should show respect for someone else's opinion other than your own and not dismiss it as BS.

You say after a run of good performances, so lets look, so far he has made 8 Premier League appearances.

Against Brighton he came on and made a goal and he started against Sheffield Utd and made the goal for Djenepo with a nice ball to him, but apart from this he has little impact.

My feeling is he is not a team player, he plays for himself, in the 3 games after the win at Sheffield he had little influence.

At Wolves he came on with the score at 1-1 and 14 to go, he came on as the left sided midfield player to cover JWP , he failed to hold his position and althouh he went on several mazy runs which went nowhere, when he lost the ball Wolves quickly targeted JWP who was then exposed.

He might have only had 9 mins as sub against Wolves ( it was actually 14) but he showed he had no discipline and ran around the pitch doing what he wanted not what was neded for the team.

Boufal is an extremely gifted player, but I don't think he is the man for Saints, he hasn't got the discipline needed for the Premier League and especially not for a struggling team where he has to do a job and there is not enough leeway for a player to have a free role.

He is a good sub against the lesser teams at home perhaps, but that is far from proved, against Bournemouth he had a chance to create something but didn't.

No one can deny his talent, he is just not using it nearly enough, what has JWP got to do with whether Boufall is good enough or not, judge a player on his own merits not against another player


perazi added 11:09 - Oct 29
Nick - you ask " what has JWP got to do with whether Boufal is good enough or not". My point is Boufal has played far superior attacking Football in his limited opportunities this season than Ward-Prowse, who has played every minute - and apart from a penalty has been completely anonymous - many of your "readers" will have observed the same. Yet you proclaim "no more Boufal" and overlook the midfield liability JWP has been for many seasons. Don't question whether my posts deserve your "serious consideration" when your own are often littered with repetitive opinions dressed up as wise Football analysis.

highfield49 added 11:18 - Oct 29
Nick, like perazi, I have no idea why you have decided that Boufal isn't worthy of a run out against City. I've never been a great fan of Boufal since his arrival at the club but I still think he he has shown enough this season to get picked before one or two others in the squad. As for your continued assertion that the coaches are influencing team selection I find it hard to believe that RH hasn't noticed their alleged "jobs for the boys" syndrome isn't producing results! Do you really believe RH is that gullible? I'd expect Adams, Slattery and Danso to play but agree there is the potential for the likes of Vokins and Klarer to feature. Armstrong has to be given game time tonight otherwise there seems little point in having him in the squad. Tough times, again, and we can only hope that the likes of Slattery, Vokins and Klarer can step up because Vestergaard, Yoshi, PEH and JWP are letting us down week after week.

SaintNick added 11:22 - Oct 29
I have not stood up for JWP, indeed I have said he should be on the bench, Perazi you are right Boufal has played better attacking football, but we have plenty of attacking footballers all of whom have been better options this season, this is not the area we are lacking in.

I actually like Boufal as a player, but he is not the right man for the job at the moment

perazi added 11:35 - Oct 29
Yet, attacking options IS the area we are lacking in when you play Ward-Prowse in a midfield three. Because he offers nothing as an AM or box-to-box midfielder, and nothing as a holding midfielder - the team ends up with two attackers....Redmond, a winger and Ings as a striker with no midfield creativity to provide service. Thats why we should be playing a Boufal or an Armstrong and certainly a Djenpo when fit instead of Ward-Prowse.

SanMarco added 11:47 - Oct 29
Can we just have a sudden attack of flu and forfeit the match? The problem surely is that none of the options are good enough. Nick says: "but they are safe from being dropped because their mates on the coaching staff are counselling the manager" - surely the simpler truth is that the replacements are sh1te too. He has gone for a 'settled' back line - he can't go for a good one. My only request for tonight is only 2 CBs and more MF cover for the defence.

saintlee added 11:57 - Oct 29
Boufal is a maverick. Matt le Tiss was a maverick. We have absolutely no creativity in the team. Romeu and Hojberg are sitting mudfielders so lack creativity. Ward-Prowse is completely out of form so should be dropped. Armstrong, Boufal, Macarthy, Danso and Adams should all get a go tonight. Left back is a huge problem tonight so Danso will no doubt be played out of position - again.
Give those players a go. Cant be any worse than the clowns who disgraced themselves and the club on Friday night.
4-0 Saints 😂😂😂😂

I_would added 12:10 - Oct 29
Your showing a blatant disregard for facts Nick. You have unfounded prejudices against some players such as Boufal and Yoshida when Yoshida is no worse than every other clown that masquerades as a CB and Boufal is our most creative player and the only one capable of keeping their defenders on their toes. Also Ward Prowse is our worst, slowest MF culprit who is also a liability in defence and was to blame for at least 4 goals in the last month. Also Hojbjerg should have never been made captain and shouldn't be on the pitch as he has zero skill on the ball.

bstokesaint added 12:39 - Oct 29
Rather than drill down on individuals, I think Ralph needs to work out who the core of the team is and then fit the rest around that. I'm going to keep on saying until I'm blue in the face, but we need to go back to basics and stop f@rt1ng around with formations and get some consistency (4-4-2 - give it a go).. Find out who is up to the job and let them get some game time. Our current midfield does nothing to protect or link up the front men. That 'team' from Friday night need to man up and put in a display to go a fraction of the way towards an apology to the fans. Norwich beat Man C this season with a massively depleted squad with hard work and a good team ethic and Wolves did them too at their place. Stranger things have happened, but if we don't pull together and show a bit of courage then we'll be rolled over and humiliated again. We're not going to get the great season we all hoped for, but at least we can try and salvage our top flight status.

SaintNick added 12:54 - Oct 29
I would, Im not sure what you are saying is fact, you are right Yoshida may be no worse than the others it is just that he has been doing it longer so is more proven at it.

Boufal has the potential to be our most creative player but the fact is he has never convinced never been consistent.

Here are some genuine facts about Boufal, he has played 2,697 minutes of Premier League football for Saints, roughly the equivalent of 30 full games, he has scored 3 goals and had 4 assists.

So he has averaged a goal every 900 minutes or 10 games and an assist every 675 minutes or roughly 7.5 games.

For the sake of clarity JWP has played 11,536 minutes ( equals 128 games) scored 18 goals which is a goal every 640 minutes and has 21 assists which is an assist every 549 minutes.

Now I appreciate that some of JWP's goals are penalties but not that many, so the facts are that JWP is more creative going forward than Boufal, perhaps not as showy but he delivers more.

I agree JWP is not a defensive player, but he has been forced to play there due to injury etc.

Im not quite sure that JWP's record is that brilliant which puts in perspective what Boufal has produced for the club six months ago Boufal was treated as another expensive mistake by Les reed, now some tout him as the messiah.

I have dug out the facts you tell me

Stevebish added 13:18 - Oct 29
Hi Nick you point is well made but do you have the stats for just this season as that would show current form.

HythePeer added 13:29 - Oct 29
SaintNick . You have not included all the Saints' goals JWP has stopped from happening.

SaintNick added 13:29 - Oct 29
JWP 900 minutes 10 games 1 goal no assists

Boufal 384 minutes in 8 games no goals 2 assists.

Bit inconclusive in that this season JWP has had to play a lot more defensively and his one goal is a penalty.

Obviously Djenepo and Danny Ings stats are better, interestingly Che Adams has one assist in 459 minutes.

Colburn added 13:34 - Oct 29
Nick, there's lies, damn lies, and statistics.. Who created our last goal at City? I think it was Boufals brilliant touch and pull back to Romeu.. JWP (the media darling) has had a long run in the side many times. Boufal has NEVER had a proper run in our team. Most of his stats include many late appearances as sub. You are right, he has created 2 assists this season helping us to 6 of the points we have to date.. He draws fouls up the pitch, taking pressure off of the defence and defensive midfielders as much as he loses the ball, something you HAVE to accept with a maverick.. Youre beginning to sound like Carlton Palmer.. So you don't want to see a player get a run out having scored the goal of the season v West Brom, a genius goal again at a time when we were desperate for a win! So I agree with the others on here and share their confusion with your attack on Sofi whilst ignoring a bigger problem which has been pointed out by many. Our lack of creativity, because JWP and Redmond have no end product. You would play a headless chicken who gave up on Friday rather than the genius of Boufal.? Redmond constantly flatters to deceive for me, and his attitude is wrong. Its clear the midfield of Hojbjerg Romeu and JWP will take us to the championship the way things are going. This for me is a bigger problem than our defence who kept clean sheets at Brighton, Sheff U and but for a stupid ref, the same at Wolves, 3 tough places to go. I don't see our midfield shielding or creating effectively at the moment and this is what needs to change asap! And Wesley Hoedt is not the answer for our defence Nick, thats bizarre. Hopefully we will see some fight and passion tonight from whoever wears the shirt. Would be good to see more of Adams and Obafemi..

SNAILOB added 14:13 - Oct 29
Might be a silly thing to say but sometimes attack can be the best form of defense. At the moment we know our GK, defense and midfield are not up to the task. Against Leicester we lined up with 8 defensive players and the GK.
5 at the back works if the two WBs are going to support the attack - this is not happening so why bother ?
The midfield 3 are slow, ponderous and uncreative so why continue with 3 of them.
I would much rather see a bit more up front. Why can't Adams work with Ings (might benefit them both), Armstrong has some legs so put him instead of JWP (sorry but his FKs and Corners not enough to keep him in the team). PEH is your captain and has no leadership skills on the pitch and when defending never seems to be goal side.

Would like to see a change in shape rather than the same negative shite at the back week in week out

SaintNick added 14:23 - Oct 29
As I keep saying I actually think Boufal has something about him, problem is he has never shown it with any consistency, Sofi (Ugh just as bad as Yoshi lol) has started 27 games and 31 as sub, you say that JWP & Redmond have no end product I have already established that Ward Prowse has both scored and produced more assists, Redmond's total Premier League career minutes are 13,328 he has scored 22 goals ( 1 every 605 mins) and has 14 assists (1 every 952 mins) so he has an end product that is for sure.

This thread seems to have brought out all the Sofi fans in defence of him, fact is he has done next to nothing in his first couple of seasons here, he now needs to convince, his goal at Feyenoord got people salivating, now he needs to build on that.

He is going to have to do that with cameo roles off the bench and perhaps that is the way forward for him, roughly half his goals and assists have been off the bench historically.

When he came on against Wolves he had the chance to shine but didn't, he is a maverick, but at the moment we dodnt have room for mavericks, we have to get a tight formation cover our defence and work hard as a team, I dont think he lacks in work ethic, he just doesnt have the discipline needed at the moment.

I hope I am proved wrong as i do like him as a player, but the time is not right for him at the moment, thats not to say that in a month or two things might have changed.

saintmark1976 added 17:58 - Oct 29
Sorry to have to point it out to you Nick but I'm afraid your fighting the last war. For months past you have written posts supporting the club and its current bunch of players (Yoshida excepted of course) saying have patience and "everything will be all right on the night".Last Friday has changed everything and players such as Boufal must now be given a regular opportunity. The alternative is decline and stagnation with our proven under achievers, J W P and Redmond to name but two.They have had their chances and failed miserably as indeed has the manager. Put simply for you, it's time for change because the last war has been lost.

allsaint54 added 19:28 - Oct 29
And still JWP plays. I,
'D like to know the hold he's got within the club, because it certainly isn't his prowess on the field. With this midfield we're going to get trounced. Stephens, Danso out of position & Valery who can't defend. What the hell is going on. Could be worse than Friday night.

bstokesaint added 20:55 - Oct 29
Just to throw into the mix Tadic had his critics and a lot of people were glad to see the back of him. His stats weren’t fantastic I shouldn’t imagine, but he’s just been nominated for a Ballon D’Or. Is it just possible we manage to choke our most creative players with our negative football?

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