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Saints Look To Have Premier League Safety Secured Ahead Of Liverpool Game
Friday, 13th May 2022 07:45

Southampton's Premier League safety took a big step forward on Wednesday evening when Leeds United lost to Chelsea and Everton could only draw at Watford, without a game this weekend Saints will look for safety to be secured mathematically before they take on Liverpool on Tuesday.

When Leeds United lost to Chelsea on Wednesday evening, it meant that even if they could win their last two games they can only match Saints total of 40 and to overtake us by the end of the final game, they would need to overturn a goal difference of - 18 and that is assuming we don't take another point.

So Saints will hope that they can be mathematically safe without kicking a ball after Sunday's Premier League fixture list is completed.

All eyes will be on Leeds home game against Brighton, a failure to win that will mean that they could not catch Saints and we will be safe, it is virtually last chance saloon for the Yorkshire club who go into the game with two key players in Luke Ayling and Daniel James suspended with a sending off apiece across the last two games, plus they will be without other key players.

Brighton are in good form and have built there best ever top flight season on their away forms, what could possibly go wrong ? Well this is Southampton FC we never do things the simple way.

But there are other crucial games being played, Everton are at home to Brentford, they have three games left including this one and are 4 points behind us, even if they were to lose this one, they could still potentially overhaul us with two wins in their final games.

Likewise Burnley have three games left and start the weekend 6 points behind us, they travel to Spurs and a defeat there would leave them only able to match us, they are currently +3 goals better off, so i rarely say this, but come on you Spurs.

But there is a game at the top of the table that could have a bearing on our game against Liverpool, Manchester City travel to West Ham United, if they were to win that they would be six points clear of Liverpool and that would leave the Merseyside club with a dilemma at St Mary's.

As it stands now, City are 7 goals better off in goal difference than Liverpool, if they win that could extend.

That is a big gap to make up, so do Liverpool put out their best side and go for it or do they concede defeat and concentrate their efforts on the Champions league final on 28th May.

If Manchester City were to lose at West Ham, that could be bad for us, as it would give Liverpool a chance they didn't expect, level on points with a game to go, they would surely go for it at St Mary's to bring down the goal difference and give them a fighting chance of outscoring City on the final Sunday.

So even though we aren't playing this weekend, we will have a keen interest is several games being played on Sunday, but the main one if Leeds United V Brighton, as I said if Leeds fail to win it won't mean they are relegated, but it will mean that they can't catch Saints so we definitely can't be.

Photo: Action Images

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wessexman added 08:40 - May 13
It has come to something that we have had to start looking over our shoulders, very anxiously!, and rely on other teams to stay safe. Before the Villa game, none of us expected this. it is a very damning indictment of the way the club is run, the lack of management structure aiding Ralph and add to that ralph inability to help himself at times. Having said all that, I do question the player's professionalism at times. Unfortunately, we are also a premiership side for whom the main priority is staying up and maybe a good cup run every season. And with each passing seasons, the margins are becoming tighter and tighter.
Ralph has got to get a decent coaching staff asap and really digest the saying, " horses for courses".

IWOZTHERE added 09:10 - May 13
Of course we're relieved in the short term... but do we really deserve to survive and does it auger well that the word is the transfer policy will not change? No and no!

A1079 added 09:33 - May 13
There is no pride whatsoever in surviving simply because some teams are worse than us. It is a sad indictment on the players and manager that in the last quarter of a season when we had:-
a. the opportunity to go for top 10
b. to put any lingering hopes of a relegation battle long to bed

the players have appeared to have given up and stopped playing and the manager seems to have been at a loss what to do. More importantly they have collectively let the club and the fans down.

Beyond the financial gain of staying in the PL unless we do something spectacular in the close window and Ralph learns from his mistakes and stops being so erratic in his team selections, substitutions and behaviour then survival simply means more of the same next season.

highfield49 added 09:49 - May 13
Nick, it was only two days ago that you admonished me for suggesting that we shouldn't, once again, be relying on other teams results to avoid relegation. I stand by my contention that, before Leeds lost to Chelsea, our position was very uncomfortable and that we're still unlikely to add to our points tally this season.
Whilst a couple of days ago I was thinking that the worst case scenario was still on the agenda I'm now content that we will still be in the same division next season, even though it'll be some distance from the anticipated mid table finish. That said I still believe that changes need to be made in the management and coaching departments if we're not to be in the same predicament, or worse, next season.
Hopefully I'm wrong, because I've been a strong supporter of Ralph in the past, but I don't see how he can retain his job simply by being supported by a change in coaching staff. I think the real problem is that the current coaches are only allowed to advocate Ralph's methods and have very little scope for influencing any player development or correction of tactical awareness. My concern is that, no matter how good the replacement coaches might be if they aren't given scope to upskill the players then there is no point in them being appointed. Surely the only way forward is to bring in a new head coach with a team of trusted and competent staff that can develop and motivate the new, and retained, members of the playing squad.
If the suggestion is that, at present, Ralph is being held back in his development of the team by a bunch of incompetent coaches that would suggest that the whole recruitment process is flawed. Over to you, new owners.

TimSaint added 11:39 - May 13
About 9 or 10 weeks ago, us fans were talking about the possibility of finishing as high as 8th !! Strangely, the players and management team forgot their lines and have given us an absolute abortion of performances and results ever since.

It really does show what things have come to, as this article suggests we are hoping for other teams to do us favours to help us stay up !!
Bizarrely there was even a piece last week saying that if we won our last 3, we could finish as high as 9th !! I admire the optimism and sincerely hope that we can get something out of our last 2 fixtures, but current form, formations, tactics and line ups suggest otherwise.

SaintNick added 11:51 - May 13
This is a strange division this season, as we go into the last two games, we could either stay up on goal difference or still finish 10th !

There are 13 teams that at some point have looked like they could get relegated and for whom the first target is ensuring that we dont let that fate happen.

Ralph has done wonders over the past few years, he can drag some good results out but ultimately he doesn't have enough players who can do it consistently.

"There is no pride whatsoever in surviving simply because some teams are worse than us."

This is a strange statement, surely whatever team you support you win the league or stay up because there are teams that are worse than you, should Manchester City not celebrate a Premier League title as they only won it because there were 21 worse teams !

Block8 added 13:20 - May 13
How I feel the club should deal with the manager is of no consequence, as I don't believe there is any chance of him going anywhere, unless he choses to. So my wish for next season is that we can change the way we work, as a club & team, to improve our performances.
We need to adapt our playing style so that we can change tactics, during a game, without detriment to the team (mangers job, prior to match, help from captain on day).
Before spending millions on players from lower division foreign clubs.
Enable our, better, young players to show us their value by intelligent loan deals. Is Smallbone any worse than Diallo or Caleb Watts worse than Djenepo for example, I don't think so!
If we get them out for a decent loan and they show potential, it may help us to spend more money on one quality player than two inferior ones to complete a competitive squad.
And if we can put together a competitive squad we need to give them every chance of success, by playing round pegs in round holes and sensible tactics, that do not confuse or ask players to perform roles they are clearly not capable of!
Mini rant over COYR

NewburySaint added 13:31 - May 13
Having felt that the Leeds Chelsea game was very pivotal to us in whether we would still feel nervous going into the last couple of weekend's of the season i'm now (sort of!) confident they won't catch us even if / when we do lose our last 2 games because their goal difference is so bad....thank god!

dellboysaint added 16:44 - May 13
Ralph said he was going in 2024.I think this was pretty disastrous and destroyed the motivation of the players.

A1079 added 20:11 - May 13
Ok Nick, that sentence I made was not perhaps my best one and does not really convey what I was trying to say which was that given where we were and the manner in which we have fallen away is not something to be proud of and ultimately having to rely on other results when we didn't need to is disappointing. But, yes you are right, to some extent all teams, even at the top rely on the performances and the results of those below them.

Ralph perhaps does not have the strongest squad but he said himself (and I think you did Nick) that this squad was stronger than last year. I am not sure we have a lesser squad than Brighton and Palace but they have continued to play to the end of the season. It is not the losing it is the manner in which we have lost games and the manner in which we have fallen away. I thought we may have learnt from last year but in the end overall, despite some great results at times we have not moved forward.

Oddly, I would not be surprised if we put up a good performance on Tuesday but even if we do it cannot be allowed to mask that some work needs to be done this summer. I hope we get something against Liverpool and Leicester and I am going to both wanting them to win.

SanMarco added 23:29 - May 13
Maybe he should have said 2022 dellboysaint.

This season ended up being a far too close run thing. That win v Arsenal may be what keeps us up.

onetowatch added 15:05 - May 14
Nick, it took a great performance from a skate playing for Chelsea to more or less guarantee our safety this season....that's what RH has reduced us to...

Ali_Diarea added 21:04 - May 15
We’re mathematically safe, with two games to go…all the bedwetters can relax now and change their sheets.
Calling for the manager’s head, on our budget, ridiculous!

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