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Southampton V Newcastle United The Preview
Sunday, 30th Apr 2023 09:45

St James Park has not been the happiest hunting ground for Saints in recent years and now they have to go there to play a Newcastle side looking to virtually guarantee a top four finish with a win this afternoon.

Bizarrely after Saturday's results, Saints still aren't dead and buried in the relegation dog fight, but anything less than a win this afternoon will surely just about end any lingering hopes of a miracle escape.

Ruben Selles has turned from hero to villain in the space of a month or so with some strange selections and substitutions, I truly feel sorry for him, he did not have the experience for the job and it was folly to appoint him without bringing in an assistant with both the knowledge and the experience of the Premier League that the Spaniard did not have.

The saddest thing is that it is hard to see him still being at the club next season and that is a shame, he has been thrown to the lions, when given time as a coach and assistant he could have become a good manager in future years for the club.

As it is though he is now a rabbit caught in the headlights, not sure what to do next as he tries to unpick the mess that was caused by Nathan Jones disastrous period in charge.

It is virtually impossible to predict just what the side will be, first question if James Ward Prowse, the official line was that he was ill going into the game against Bournemouth and tried to play but lost his energy levels.

Such is what has gone on this season, I think it is true to say that a large proportion of the fan base do not believe that, they think that Ward Prowse was a no show for the second half after a dressing room row, there is absolutely no actual evidence of this, but it is easy to believe and that is the problem of this season.

Too many selections this last few weeks have seen players come out from the cold and into the team only to be left out again just as quickly as Selles searches for a winning formula.

Any Saints supporter will tell you what that winning formula is, a proven striker and a leader at the back, but it is too late now, we didn't do it back in the summer nor in January, not the fault of Selles but he will be the man with his name on a Southampton relegation.

It is no use frothing at the mouth now, this season is nearly done, we have to start looking at the next one now, mistakes have been made both by Sports Republic and by those charged with the day to day running of the club, this has been a massive blow but it does not have to be terminal as Burnley have proved.

It is hard to see anything other than a defeat this afternoon, but you never know, football sometimes turns up results when you least expect them.

Photo: Action Images

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A1079 added 09:59 - Apr 30
I am going and on my way. Don't know why I am as it all feels a waste of time and money but when I purchased the ticket there was still a glimmer of hope - that is all but extinguished.

Block8 added 10:06 - Apr 30
To be honest Nick Selles has to bare an equal portion of blame for our sad demise.
He has persisted with a system that we find extremely difficult for the team to play and even more difficult for us to watch! The transition from defence to attack has reduced to one pass forward, two passes back and then a big launch upfield to a false number 9. Also Palace and then Bournemouth both realised that if they left a wide player upfield he would end up in the acres of space our marauding full back leaves, thus stretching our CB's & pulling the other full back into the middle. That creates space on the other flank & if I can see that I find it incredible our coach can't.
Lets have a serious think on who will still be here next season and start to formulate a team & system that we can actually thrive with, otherwise we will be in the Championship, or worse for a long time to come!

Block8 added 10:10 - Apr 30
Fortunately Newcastle is the perfect place to drown our sorrows!

Colburn added 10:10 - Apr 30
Selles must shoulder some of the blame for his appointment, I don't accept that he was thrown to the lions.. He would have convinced the decision makers that he was the right man and could lead us to safety when in reality, he should have been honest and said that he was not ready. He comes across as arrogant and is more negative than Jones was. The mess began a lot longer before Jones arrived, he was just the wrong appointment given the position we were in, again, too inexperienced.
I will say it again, if we'd have kept Tella, we'd have more points than what we have as he was instrumental in positive outcomes when he played. Away at Brighton a great example involved in both goals to retrieve a 2-0 defect.
The fact is the people who run the club have made mistake after mistake and the last two windows have been disastrous on the match day line ups with only 2 outfield players out of 12 playing regularly this season, Lavia and Alcaraz, to a small extent BK and CC and Edozie was used and looked a threat early doors.
If we were Crystal Palace, we'd be starting games with Adams, Mara, Sulemana and Alcaraz as a front 4,instead we've had bottle job naive clowns with no plan of attack.. So we are going down and I still don't think we'll win another game this season. What an absolute circus..

obelisk added 10:15 - Apr 30
If there's one thing to look forward to it's that this game takes us one more step to ending this miserable season. Actually it's more than just this season though. We've seen relegation form at least since the start of 2022.

I'm also given to wondering whether Jones could have done any worse than Selles who, let's not forget, has been there all season. I'm pretty sure Jones wouldn't have had Saints fannying around with the ball at the back without any sense of urgency in "must win" games.

highfield49 added 10:39 - Apr 30
It would take the most optimistic of supporters to think that escaping relegation is a possibility. Whatever the rights, and I can't actually think of any, or wrongs of appointing Jones would any of us want to see him still managing the team and ranting during press events?
The best that we can probably expect now is the minimum of humiliation and a revolution rather than evolution in the summer. The first priority is the early appointment of an experienced, mature and competent coach who can develop a winning team before next season.
It's not the end of the world just the beginning of a new era. Of course our team matters to us all, and we want to hold our heads up when we watch them play, but losing today is nothing compared to the misery of life in Sudan, Ukraine or many other parts of the world.

Fordy added 11:10 - Apr 30
Nick, I don't share your sympathy for Selles. He's been here all season yet doesn't seem to have a clue what his best side is.

In games like Palace and Bournemouth we have been uninspiring and plodding in the first half, yet still in the game at half time. Yet, instead of making changes and trying to push on, we come out for the second half exactly the same,almost inviting them to score.

If JWP did have an argument at HT, I can't blame him. It must be like being on a plane heading for a crash only for the pilot to say there's nothing to worry about.

He was a more disastrous appointment than Jones and thankfully we only have a few more games of his extraordinarily inept management.

Staycalm added 11:52 - Apr 30
Sadly, I have to agree with your assessment, Fordy. Selles is definately not the man to be managing Saits next season, just to state the bleeding obvious!!

Ali_Diarea added 12:08 - Apr 30
I don’t feel sorry for Selles, he was arrogant enough to think he was ready to manage a team in the prem, his cv definitely didn’t suggest he was ready. I’m sure the millions he will receive from SR will soften the blow when he’s unemployed.
Utterly clueless manager. Two in a row.
SR have well and truly f*cked up.

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