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Is Ralph's Full Squad A Help Or Hindrance For The Trip To Arsenal !
Friday, 22nd Nov 2019 11:29

Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed that he has a full compliment of players for the trip to Arsenal , but will this help or hinder him.

With the likes of Cedric and Moussa Djenepo now fit again and Ryan Bertrand back from suspension Ralph Hasenhuttl has all of his squad available to him for the trip to the Emirates, but given that although in some respects the bulk of the side picks itself, the reality is that few players so far have played to a level that would make them an automatic choice in a good mid table side let alone higher.

On paper Saints should be mid table with the squad they have and the truth is last season Ralph attained a good points per game ratio with this squad, technically it should now be a better squad, we have retained the players we wanted to and brought in three fresh faces, so surely extra bodies should mean improvement on the pitch.

But perhaps part of the trouble is Ralph has too many to pick from at times and the players themselves are not doing him any favours in that they are under performing.

I believe that the crux of the matter is the centre of the defence, it wasn't sorted in the summer and now the continued errors from the central defenders is dragging the rest of the team down, no one can accuse Vestergaard, Yoshida and Stephens of not trying and battling, but the stark truth is they are not even Championship standard and have not got a clue about organising and holding a defence.

Ralph has tried many combinations in this area although strangely not Kevin Danso, so far all have failed, even in the two games we have won they still gifted chances to both Sheffield United and Brighton they just didn't take them.

This is now being admitted publicly and hopefully will be rectified in the transfer window to give us a fighting chance of survival, but for now we have to soldier on with what we have.

The manager needs to do what he did when he got in last year and that was work with a core of 18-20 players and stick with them and not chop and change, in this respect having such a big squad will hinder him not help him.

Too many have showed flashes of brilliance, meaning the fans call for their inclusion and perhaps this influences Ralph too much as well, but they don't back that up with consistent end product.

A good example would be Sofiane Boufal, some good work at Brighton and Sheffield as well as a 10 minute spell against Everton have seen calls for his inclusion, but the truth is those three games are not enough, it is merely repeating his fist two years at the club where he scored the odd brilliant goal and pieces of skill, but mainly ran around with no end product and this is why we are failing

Likewise the return of Josh Sims, it is unclear whether he is able to play now or whether he has to wait until his loan officially expires on January 1st, but he too is another whose reputation is far above his actual impact.

I think Josh has the ability to become a decent player, but whether that is at Premier League level is far from decided.

Some Saints fans will tell you he is the answer, but they are basing that on fleeting flashes of skill, not on actual consistent performances, Josh has started only 4 Premier League games for Saints since his Premier League debut almost three years to the day, in that game against Everton he created the winning goal in the opening minute for Charlie Austin but he hasn't kicked on.

He has added 16 appearances as sub over that time with a further assist in the League, but is that good enough, can we judge a player in his career total 573 minutes in the Premier League, this is essentially just over 6 full games in timescale, he has played under 4 different managers in this time, all have used him none have been convinced.

So Ralph has to do what he did last season, ignore the fans, get back to basics, stick with the players he thinks can get us out of it.

At the back that is difficult, he knows, the fans know and the squad knows that we have a weak link, he has to best deal with it, get some consistency and stick with a small but workable squad.

Bomb out the players who have not done it in the past and look to the future, from this viewpoint small and compact is best.

The next six weeks are crucial, get a couple of wins under our belts and add a few draws and we can strengthen in January and repeat last season, the manager needs to keep the faith with certain players, ditch others and we the fans need to keep faith with the manager.

Chopping and changing in football is never good unless you are Manchester City and can put out two sides who would finish in the top four, for the rest of us it is about staying calm and keeping the faith, Ralph Hasenhuttl is a man who can take us forward, his record up to a couple of months ago was good, back him and hope the club do too, both in the transfer market and also by giving him at least one experienced coach to help him out, perhaps a return to the club for Sammy Lee could be an option.

Photo: Action Images

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codge added 12:21 - Nov 22
Only thing l ask is you put the correct players in there natural playing positions.No more experiments please.

wibbersda added 12:28 - Nov 22
"his record up to a couple of months ago was good" Not his, but Rohl's and that's the problem.

TimSaint added 12:36 - Nov 22
Being able to play players in their proper positions will be a start.

We will certainly look more balanced with Bert on the left. It depends on whether Valery is up for it or not, but as there is possible rain forecast, perhaps Cedric will get the nod.

I expect 3 CBs to thwart the Arsenal frontline.

Arsenal's back line is not great, but I don't really see us committing enough men forward to pose any great threat - at least not for the first hour anyway.

Perhaps we should watch tapes of how the likes of Wolves and Palace have played at the Emirates this season. The end results may not have been perfect away wins (both draws), but we could learn a lot from the way they attacked Arsenal, exploited their weaknesses and created some excellent chances. After all, these are teams that we are supposed to be on a level with, if not above and we would all welcome a point away to Arsenal.

SaintPaulVW added 12:36 - Nov 22
Not just Boufal, PEH and JWP also need to show why they justify their places. Very poor this season.

If PEH doesn't want to stay, need to try to cash out at Xmas and put it toward a new CB.

saintsnutcase added 12:39 - Nov 22
You say the players are good enough for mid table. Not if he keeps picking them out of position, they aren’t. Sims at left back tomorrow?

vanmans added 12:58 - Nov 22
How can you single out Boufal for criticism when Prowse has been awful this season. When Boufal has played he has been one of our best players. It would be good tomorrow if Ralph dropped both Prowse and Redmond because neither have been producing.

10i added 13:01 - Nov 22
Oh well, so again the fans are the ones who lose the games. This time because the have an opinion, and RH, despite knowing it better of course, bows to the immense pressure of People writing on "the ugly inside".
These articles become Comedy as there is so much nonsense written in it, that it would Need an article on its own to put it right. Sentences like Boufal "is why we are failing" are just too funny to discuss them.

EarlsCourtSaint added 13:27 - Nov 22
I genuinely think Ralph needs to shake up the defence & midfield, and as much as it pains me, the JWP, Romeo, Hojbjerg partnership is simply not working, so how about this;


Valery, Danso, Bednarek, Bertrand

Redmond, Hojbjerg, Djenepo, Boufal

Adams, Ings

Nothing to lose, may as well go on the attack!!

HythePeer added 13:34 - Nov 22
Great! Everyone's fit. RH can now play 10 defenders! 🤣🤣🤣

saintmark1976 added 14:02 - Nov 22
The owners of S F C had a golden opportunity to sack the manager during the international break and chose not to.At what other Premiership club would a manager with a track record of two wins from seventeen matches and a record home 9-0 home defeat been allowed to stay? Frankly, he's clueless both in regard to team selection and tactics.Who knows what he will do tomorrow other than I suspect play the serial underachievers J W P and Redmond yet again.

KriSaint added 18:17 - Nov 22
I´d also like to start with Danso in central defense and further more I´d like us to play Armstrong from the start in stead of Romeu or JWP. In addition I´d like to play Adams in a deeper attacking role with Ings and Djenepo up front in a very attack-minded formation.
4-2-2-2 or 4-2-4.
Arsenal don´t like being attacked so I say we run them down and bombard them from the get go with this lineup:

Hojbjerg-JWP (Romeu)


allsaint54 added 19:16 - Nov 22
Wish JWP would get injured, unlikely as he doesn't run or tackle.

Newdawn2014 added 10:58 - Nov 23
why would you wish injury on one of your ? team ?

underweststand added 11:34 - Nov 23
YES it's frustrating to see players put into spots that aren't their best /natural position, but a.t.m there are very few positions that are cast iron certainties.

Neither full back spot is certain and it's fine to talk about wing backs attacking -if they aren't very good at defending. Bednarek has the only nailed-down spot in the back four , and even he has his critics on here. Romeu is fairly consistant, but no midfielder is making a "stand-out" performance every game.
For all the good press that the likes of Boufal, Redmond and Ings get for their hard work, all three are dragging themselves around midfield trying to get possession or at the very least a chance to run at goal. Thank fully Danny Ings' goal tally show his good qualities as a poacher, but he would ahve been hard put to miss several of them , and we have no-one else who seems likely to show any attacking skills.

Sorry Ralph, but Nathan Redmond is almost invisible in his new midfield role whilst last season he was terrorising defences from the left wing in every game - AND scoring goals.
Hopefully it will come right again soon, but maybe more from luck than judgement.


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