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Saints v Everton The Preview
Saturday, 9th Nov 2019 09:16

It cannot be dressed up any other way as Saints dropped into the bottom two on Friday night, the last month or so has been a disaster and now we have to beat Everton to stay in touch with the sides above us.

Saints have already taken two steps forward since that awful night a couple of weeks ago, sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to be able to move forward and the hope is that the Leicester game has been a wake up call.

But having lost that game we all have to consign it to history, forget it and look only to the future, the players and the fans have to be as one and create an atmosphere in which we can win games of football as we did last year when we beat Everton, Spurs & Wolves at home in front of a partisan crowd.

In the second half against Leicester the hard core got behind the team and they need to do that again, football supporters can change matches, we need to make today on of thos occasions.

Everton arrive with problems of their own, they are down the bottom of the Premier League with us, they have spent the money that some Saints fans have said the club should have been spent at St Mary's, but it has not brought them success or indeed much better times than us.

The question today is whether their problems will overawe them or be a catalyst for a revival, exactly th situation Saints are in, the awful injury to Andre Gomes could unite their squad and players and spur them on, as much as every Saints fan wishes Gomes well and sympathises, we cannot let them use it to their advantage.

The team that played at Manchester City is the foundation for the side Ralph Hasenhuttl should put out today with perhaps a subtle change or two, the good news is that Moussa Djenepo should play some part, personally I would like to see him come off the bench, use his pace against tiring legs.

Patience is needed, there is no quick cure at the moment, we have to earn our right to play, we do not have a god given right to win games, if we are to pull ourselves out of this mess we all have to be as one and pull together and stay with the team no matter how badly it is going, there was no way we could come back from 5-0 down at half time against Leicester, but 2-0 could be a different matter.

Photo: Action Images

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wessexman added 10:26 - Nov 9
Today's desperate game really amounts to the culmination of a misguided and arrogant belief by, now departed individuals, they could buck a trend. After the Swansea game 18 months ago, that was the time for a root and branch overhaul, not mid season as now seems to be happening. We now appear to be run on a skeleton coaching crew with Ralph cutting an increasingly forlorn figure. Many of us have warned this day would come yet there was a constant outpouring of many of our fan base accusing us of being bedwetters, not loyal fans and such like. Should we lose today, are the happy clappers going to sit on their hands? Are they going to ignore clubs such as Sunderland and Stoke and the plights they are now in? As this article rightly states, today is the day to get behind the team. But that does not disguise the fact this club lacks ambition, direction and the guile to move forward. The humiliation against Leicester was a long time coming, what surprised me the most was the fact that to so many of us it came as an absolute shock. Should we survive this season, we can only expect more of the same while this regime is in charge......COYR!

St_Gats added 12:13 - Nov 9
Good article. For now, we need to take it one week and one game at a time. Whilst the club is in desperate need of identity and passion, the fans' energy and support become all the more important. Whether or not that inspires the team to perform to a better standards remains to be seen, but we can but try. As you suggest in the article, there is no quick fix and it will take years to turn the tides on this steady decline. Let's hope for a more positive approach from Ralph today and a performance that can take us towards a much needed three points.

vanmans added 12:28 - Nov 9
A subtle change or two, I hope this means no Prowse and only 4 at the back one of those being Cedric. Time to play Adams and Ings up front. We need to go all out attack today that might just work because the defensive teams Ralph has been putting out don't.

NewburySaint added 13:27 - Nov 9
What a ridiculous thing to say-football supporters cannot change matches, that’s down to the players on the pitch.

And if fit enough to do so Djenepo should start-with Saints at the moment the game may already be over if we leave him until it’s the time to run at tiring legs!

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Letters from Wiltshire #35 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #34 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #32 by wessex_exile
Fifty years ago yesterday, Colchester United of the 4th Division pulled off the greatest cup giant-killing ever, beating 1st Division Leeds United 3-2 at Layer Road. Watched by 16,000, and the Match of the Day cameras, Dick Graham’s U’s, a rag-tag band of mostly aging journeymen, defied the odds to defeat arguably the greatest club side in Europe at the time. “The greatest cup giant-killing ever” is a bold claim, and over the years various football magazines and websites have run their own polls of which was the greatest. Whilst that day at Layer Rd always features, as the years have gone by other feats fresher in the memory have been put forward as a candidate – we probably all remember Ronnie Radford’s screamer against Newcastle, Sutton’s exploits, or even Bradford City quite recently at Stamford Bridge – but these pale into insignificance when you pause to reflect on the Don Revie side that we beat that day. Sprake, Cooper, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Giles etc – all full internationals, all household names – the only one missing was Billy Bremner, and that was because he was injured. By comparison, all we had to offer was Ray Crawford – at his peak arguably on a par with some in the Leeds side, but that peak had been ten years earlier playing for Ipswich and England. Eleven heroes didn’t just try and hold out against Leeds United, they took the game to their illustrious opponents with such tenacity, grit and no small amount of flair, and before we knew it, the U’s were 3-0 in the lead. As legs tired, Leeds got back into the game with goals from Hunter and Giles, but we held firm – typified at the death by Graham Smith pulling off an impossible save to ensure the U’s achieved the greatest cup giant-killing ever!
Letters from Wiltshire #31 by wessex_exile
And so the dust settles on another transfer window closing, and despite (my) expectations that the possibility of incoming business was going to be remote, we have instead seen a veritable flurry of activity, with no less than three coming in. Big Frank Nouble, making a very welcome return on loan from Plymouth Argyle, of course needs no introduction. Neither really does feisty Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu, here on loan last season, and this time signed full-time from Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee. Actually paying hard cash for someone did come as a surprise, presumably offset by the sale of Cohen Bramall to Lincoln for a similarly undisclosed fee. However, the fact that the Addicks have insisted on not only a sell-on clause, but a rarely used buy-back clause too, suggests (a) Wiredu’s signing fee probably wasn’t too high, and (b) Charlton are protecting those finances with these clauses. The last one, which would have been a complete surprise for me were it not for a contact leaking me the news earlier yesterday, is left-back Josh Doherty on loan from Crawley. Josh was only announced once outgoing left-back Bramall was confirmed, and presumably his loan is directly related to part-time fashion model, TV and radio celeb and former left-back Mark Wright signing for Crawley on a non-contract game-by-game basis in December. We have also released seven from the academy, Ollie Kensdale, Miquel Scarlett, Sammie McLeod, Michael Fernandes, Ollie Sims, Danny Collinge and Matt Weaire, and I’m sure we all wish them the best for the future.

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