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Southampton At Brentford The Preview
Friday, 6th May 2022 09:55

Saints go head to head with Brentford knowing that the winner of the game will probably finish above the loser come the final Premier League table, for some Saints fans this is a game to give us a fighting chance, some bizarrely claiming it is a relegation battle.

Things are never simple at Southampton FC, we can never do things the easy way, it has been an up and down season, with good runs followed by bad runs and vice versa, but we are not the only team in the pack between 10th & 17th, most including Brentford have seen a similar pattern.

It is not a Saints thing, it is symptomatic of the way the Premier League is, if you are Liverpool or Manchester City you have the squad to win 10 games in a row, if you are one of the aforementioned pack, you don't have the squad to be able to do that, you win some because you get lucky and win some games you shouldn't and conversely you lose some you should win, it is not a Ralph Hasenhuttl thing, it is a rest of the premier League thing.

This league is becoming more like Formula One where it is no longer about the best driver, but the best car with the best engine and you get that from having the biggest budget.

You could put Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola in charge of Southampton, Brentford or Crystal Palace and the result would not be a lot different from what any of these sides have achieved this season.

As the old adage says God Is On The Side Of The Big Battalions.

So can we raise ourselves for this game, yes the ranter's and raver's have been out in force this week and yes we wont be able to change too much now until the summer, but hopefully we can get some focus and win this game.

There is not as much wrong as some would think, if Wilfrid Zaha had shot far and wide in injury time last week, then we would be 12th on 41 points, we are not the shambles that some would suggest this season.

Of course there are things that need to be addressed, but with new owners and a new era hopefully we can do that in the summer.

But for now we have to get a result in this game, so what does Ralph do ?

Truthfully there is not a lot he can do differently, he has a core of players who are first choice whatever the opposition and then he has some that are not quite putting enough pressure on for a place.

Personally I can't see much past the sides he has been putting out for the past few games, however I find it hard to work out why Adam Armstrong has barely got a kick lately.

Aside from that though what does Ralph do differently, individual players are letting him down with individual errors, players who were excellent two months ago are now awful, as the saying goes, once the players cross the white line then the manager can't affect a players performance level.

Ask the likes of Mohammed Salisu, Armando Broja, Stuart Armstrong and Moi Elyounoussi why they were so good back in January/ February and are so poor now.

It isn't always about tactics or selections or substitutions, it is about individuals being responsible for their own performances.

I am not trying to distract from the problems we have, we have to address them in the summer, but our problem essentially is individual errors and plenty of them.

We beat Brentford comprehensively back in January, we need to repeat that performance this weekend and the players need to put in a shift.

Last weekend's defeat is done and dusted, it is time to finish the season with a flourish, a win shuts up the relegation doom bringers, in two weeks time we can have the post mortem for the season, but for now lets enjoy the last three games, lets see where we are at the end of the season.

Finally be careful what you wish for, 5 years ago some fans were calling for the head of Claude Puel, they moaned about the fact they were not being entertained, Puel was sacked despite an 8th place finish and coming close to winning the League Cup.

Those fans got the new manager they demanded, they got big spending in our terms with money spent, they also got the most traumatic 18 months since we had returned to the Premier League, what hope has Ralph Hasenhuttl got ?

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dirk_doone added 10:33 - May 6
Contrasting fortunes: It's 66 years since Saints last lost at Brentford and it's 75 years since Little Pompey last won there.

highfield49 added 12:30 - May 6
Well at least we can agree that there are things that need to be addressed Nick, in the meantime I'd be a happy person if we don't lose at Brentford and even happier if we don't chuck the game away because Brentford outcompete us on the pitch.

saintmark1976 added 17:32 - May 6
“ Finally be careful what you wish for”. Well Nick I wish we didn’t have a manager who provided us with the following:-

1. The biggest home defeat ever in English top flight football.

2. The joint biggest away defeat ever in English top flight football.

3. The longest run of consecutive defeats in the history of the club since 1885.

4. Probably the only team ever to not have had an attempt on goal in an F A Cup semi final.

5. The most points dropped from winning positions of any current Premiership manager.

How’s the above for starters? Not forgetting of course not knowing his best team after three seasons and continually being unable to read a match when in progress and react proactively with tactical changes or substitutions.

Hopefully our new owners will see through the “ Cult of Saint Ralph “ and take the necessary action in the close season to replace him.

stmichael added 20:29 - May 6
When the team occupying 3rd from bottom can go to within 3 points of you if they win their game in hand and your next game is Liverpool how can it be bizarre to call tomorrow a relegation battle🤔

saintpete01 added 23:56 - May 6
You are in cuckoo Land
But you mean well

underweststand added 08:23 - May 7
If we are quoting "adages " .How about -"you are only as a good as your last game " ?
We have managed just 7 goals in our last 9 Prem. games - and not one of those was scored by a striker. Broja's early season success was great, but teams have seen his potential and his battle as a one-man strike force has resulted in little improvement.
Adams battles like a bull, but seldom gets a shot on goal, whilst Long's days as a Prem. striker are surely a thing of the past.
So I find myself asking the same question , Why not more game time for Adam .A.?
Since January he has made 5 sub. apps totalling just 73 minutes and his only start v. Chelsea was cut short at HT (we were losing 0-4 and he was replaced - by defenders).

Our disappointing League position is down to a table showing us with 13 drawn games, when just one goal in ANY of those games would have given us a further 2 points.
Whilst people are quick to moan about our defensive frailties, its the strikers who have
really let us down. If we continue to show the same brand of mediocre football we have seen in the last 2 months , we may well finish the season on 40 points.

With just 3 games left, Adam must be given some real game time, otherwise he will have to wait until August to even get a chance of being selected... let alone scoring a goal.
It's time for Ralph to give the "also-rans" a real chance to show themselves and make a genuine claim for a starting place.


Centurion added 12:23 - May 7
In early March I felt Ralph had done well with 35 points and surely cruising to a comfortable mid table finish.
However, we have only 5 points more and find ourselves looking uncomfortably over our shoulder.
I think the Brentford game is massive. Lose badly and I think Ralph will be on his way. Win, and he buys time.

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