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Saints Slowly Playing Their Way Back Into Form
Monday, 5th Apr 2021 09:26

Whisper it quietly, although there are still a few things to iron out yet, Saints have started to put together a run of form, could this be just at the right time as they look to surge towards safety in the Premier League and to earn an FA Cup final place at Wembley.

The last few months have been hell for Saints fans, it seemed to be defeat after defeat, injury issue after injury issue and poor refereeing decision after poor refereeing decision.

But in the last month things have changed a little, the win over Sheffield United gave us some confidence back and although we lost to a Manchester City side who have won every game bar one in the last four months and had a blip against Brighton, the victory over Burnley gave us our third win in five games and that is a crucial boost in regaining more of our confidence.

The return of Danny Ings and Theo Walcott on Sunday was a big boost to the depth of the squad and for the first time in four months we had options in the squad that haven't been there since early December.

The starting line up against the Clarets could be said to have been our strongest line up with everyone fit aside from Oriol Romeu.

The squad seem to have that positive vibe back and it is time to focus on what we can achieve not what we can't, the last three months are in the past, but the next month or so is the future, FA Cup semi finals don't happen very often, the game against Leicester will be only our 3rd in 35 years, when they do come along we should embrace them for the opportunity it is, we did so back in 2003 but three years ago in 2018 we didn't.

With six weeks left of the season, this still has the potential to become our greatest ever season in our history and that is also something that we should embrace and enjoy and not moan about what has gone on.

For the first time in a long time it seems that good times are back, perhaps they will end in tears, but let's not worry about that till it happens, we have won only one major trophy in the club's history, this could be the second, if it is we will have won it the hard way and that will be very satisfying.

Photo: Action Images

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DorsetIan added 09:42 - Apr 5
It was a massive second half. A Burnley win, and things would now feel very flat but, yes, if we can put WBA back in their box in a week’s time, we will go into the semi-final with our tails up.

Yesterday, we had a revitalised forward line. Danny looked sharp again, Walcott can fluff his final ball sometimes but it was a lovely chip to Redmond for the winner, and Walcott can control the ball and run at defenders in a way that Djenepo can only dream of, and Redmond looks like something has clicked for him and he too was confident and taking defenders on.

All good.


erick added 10:10 - Apr 5
The play before the third goal was orgasmic. The sheer brilliance, and relentless attacking football was beautiful to see. All positives. We close that defence in the West Brom game, our possibilities this season can still be Europe

Farlow added 10:25 - Apr 5
It was a joy to watch Saints going forward not playing back at every opportunity.I,m not sure how we got Stuart Armstrong 7million hes a superstar.

halftimeorange added 10:34 - Apr 5
In my opinion yesterday threw up as many questions as answers. Should we keep Theo Walcott - not for me. Is Jan Bednarek solid enough for the EPL - doubtful. Is Che Adams good enough to get 10+ goals a season - I am not convinced. Has Ralph proved himself a versatile and free-thinking coach in difficult situations - I'm unsure. What I do know is that we need to keep Ings, Armstrong and Vestergaard and Forster, KWP and JWP (plus Romeu) are good enough and Diallo, Djenepo and Tella show promise. Can Ralph get this lot consistently playing as a team? It seemed to me that we recovered yesterday when ordained tactics were abandoned and the players did what they thought was necessary. This was particularly true of Redmond who is suddenly showing form I believed him incapable of. It will be most interesting to see what develops over the rest of the season.

DorsetIan added 11:06 - Apr 5
The danger with Walcott is focusing too much on his negatives. Notwithstanding his frustrating moments, he add an awful lot to our attacks.

I don’t think it’s a random that his return coincided with our best attacking display for ages. If nothing else he draws defenders, leaving space for others.

It can’t have been fun in the Burnley defence with Ings, Redmond, Walcott and Armstrong all running at them with pace and skill. Those four on form are a massive handful for any defence.

SanMarco added 12:03 - Apr 5
That stat about 3rd in 35 years makes me feel old as I immediately said, 'no, 5th surely, 1984 and 1986' but, they were indeed, over half of the three-score-and-ten ago.

I think the Walcott question is one over fitness and pay. I don't think we can afford to have such a highly-paid player constantly on the treatment table. With Ings often on the next-door treatment table it is too risky in my view. Adams is another intriguing problem. He rarely seems to score when he has time to think. Imagine if the shirt pull had been given and his miss at the end had have been for 4-3? Also Redmond needs tp play like he has in the last couple on a FAR MORE consistent basis. Most of the time this season he might as well have been on the third (or tenth) treatment table for all he was contributing.

All that said it is great to think about such things after watching Saints play some very good football AND WIN!!!

Colburn added 12:18 - Apr 5
Walcott has been too selfish, wants to be the hero, which is why his end product lacks logical decision making. I got the feeling that when he moved here, he thought he was doing us a favour in some way from his interview. People only focus on the negatives when they are too frequent as they have been with Theo after a positive start. It is frustrating because he has ability, clearly when he receives and runs with the ball but his head is not the smartest in possession. I agree he is more direct than Djenepo but they are different players with different styles and can both do things the other can't. I think Burnley are a poor team and Tella would equally have caused them problems yesterday. Let's not get too carried away with wins over Sheff U, Bournemouth and Burnley but at least we can see improvements and more belief again

EvertonSaint added 12:38 - Apr 5
When Walcott is on form he can be a match winner, but I have yet to be convinced he is worth a transfer fee. Several times yesterday he was found wanting and lacked the team spirit. The breakaway incident was selfish and showed he is not always a team player. Armstrong nd Redmond should have got the pass we all wanted, but for some inexplicable reason he believed he was still 21 again.
I am interested in Ralph’s comment about the transfer market being hot this summer. Does he know something we don’t? Is it because he knows about a takeover with the promise of serious investment? Ralph has done wonders with limited funds, but is the golden egg about to be laid? In Ralph we trust.

davepid added 14:06 - Apr 5
Now that it’s all most impossible for Fulham to relegate us don’t we want them to survive the drop ? That way they might just then buy Lemina and take him off our payroll. We also need to offload Eloyussi , Long , Hoedt and sadly Sims . Perhaps too Valery and Gunn. Those offloads need to occur so we can afford the salaries of any ‘ hot’ players coming in such as Walcott and Minamino and pay rises for Vestergard and Ings in their new contracts.

zonehead added 14:38 - Apr 5
A bit like the end of last season,after the break , we were sluggish against Norwich for the first 20 mins before winning 3-0 and going on great run,let’s hope history repeats

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