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23 Oct 2017 18:59:14Most of the posts go to the Southampton Banter page.

22 Oct 2017 00:15:27
Hi guys, I thought that the way the teams were set up looked a lot more balanced with Bertrand going forward on the left and creating chances. WBA are a typical Pulis team as Lee Dixon said on TV playing with almost a back six plus the awful weather conditions, we looked much better going forward, all the players worked really hard and MP made some daring substitutions which came off, Redmond looked more disciplined and creative and Boufane's goal was an absolute peach, it reminded me of Ryan Giggs goal vs Arsenal, great contender for goal of the season. When you are playing against a big, disciplined back four crosses into the box are a waste of time and I would like to see more variety there and corners. Great free kick from Bertrand! We are not there yet but if we can carry on from here the season looks brighter. Regards VS.

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22 Oct 2017 23:05:07
Good post, agreed. Really positive substitutions that changed the game. WBA are a tough side to break down 😇.

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21 Oct 2017 12:16:22
can we get quincy promes from spartak?

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22 Oct 2017 11:15:34
No he is on a promise!

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20 Oct 2017 17:34:54
Blimey, according to his Twitter and Insta pages, Virgil is finally ‘ready for the weekend’. It also seems according to the same social media outlets, Wesley ain’t that chuffed about his upcoming weekend.

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18 Oct 2017 09:02:40
Paco Alcacer linked from Barcelona on BBC.

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19 Oct 2017 07:56:14
Here's hoping. (bin Redmond, VVD and Tadic for some cash)

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19 Oct 2017 11:13:33
Not sure we need another striker - wingers and attacking midfielders are a bigger need for us right now.

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16 Oct 2017 14:14:24
Reading the Liverpool forum and they are still desperate for VVD it seems. Also Clyne is being slated and they inference is as soon as they can he will be sold on as he is not wanted.

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16 Oct 2017 23:08:22
I feel for luke Shaw. he's been publicly torn to shreds and looks broken. I know his 100 grand a week and perhaps questionable attitude but his talent is undeniable. hopefully he can find fitness and maybe a move that suits him.

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17 Oct 2017 10:01:30
Luke Shaw .
At Southampton he was treated the Southampton Way, treated as a young man, a young man with exceptional talent . who played his heart out for us, was rarely injured or missed a game, who's fitness was never in doubt as he bombed up and down the wing = England left back.
I followed him on twitter . a game of bowling with his buddies, Nandos with his mates, golf with his mates . all the things that a 17/ 18 year old should be doing!
He moves to Manchester . what do they do, shove him in some plush City Centre hotel to live . only 'mates' around, not real mates but footballers who regard themselves as celebrities! I think the first event he attended was a boxing match (from memory) where all the Man U players had ring side seats .

That same evening there were a few of Saints players in Ceno's sat eating, chatting, no show offs, just sensible guys having a chat and giggle .

So from young man going to Nandos with his mates, playing xbox . to part of the Marketing Giant that is Man U .

He was still a boy . sad . great player . great attitude.

{Ed001's Note - Clyne was similar, moved to Liverpool and it all went to his head. The clubs made a mess of things in both cases.}

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17 Oct 2017 16:38:49
It is such a shame .
I look ay Lemina we have just signed from Juventus, articulate, sociable, cheerful . plays his heart and socks off .
It seems for us, that character is a huge part of the selection process and then they are encouraged almost into a family way .
Luke Shaw didn't go from being injury free, very fit, England left back to this . shame .
Clyne was also superb .

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17 Oct 2017 16:38:49
It is such a shame .
I look ay Lemina we have just signed from Juventus, articulate, sociable, cheerful . plays his heart and socks off .
It seems for us, that character is a huge part of the selection process and then they are encouraged almost into a family way .
Luke Shaw didn't go from being injury free, very fit, England left back to this . shame .
Clyne was also superb .

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23 Oct 2017 18:47:28
Some of you guys have short memories, sorry . Luke Shaw was always injured when he was here with muscle strains.

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16 Oct 2017 11:32:56
On a positive note think Lemina is going to be an incredible purchase whether we can hold on to him could be another issue. Seems to of adapted and is bossing the game already. Great to Gabbi back amongst the goals. Not sure what FF is doing at the moment and that has to put the fear of god into those in front of him.

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16 Oct 2017 12:51:31
What does Charlie Austin have to do to be given a chance? 10 minutes at the end of a game is not enough. Long has had his fair share of chances. CA has to be given a run / starts in the team to show what he can do!

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16 Oct 2017 13:25:44
Hi Ben, I partly agree with you what about Austin and Gabbiadini up front and Long replacing Redmond on the wing, he is certainly more direct and aggressive and would give other teams more to think about and possibly restrict them moving forward. It makes you wonder at the wisdom of selling Jay Rodrigues!
Regards vs.

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16 Oct 2017 16:26:22
Good shout Vintagesaint, for me I just want to see Charlie on the pitch, and I do think it could work with Gabbi, long haworked out on the flanks for us before so yes I could see that working.

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16 Oct 2017 20:35:23
Guys, all well and good saying let's play Gabbi, Shane and Charlie. but that's all 3 of our strikers! Any injuries, we're in that brown stuff.

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16 Oct 2017 20:54:06
Hi staffs, I take your point but 9 points from 8 games is relegation form and if you look at our run of games over Xmas and run up we will not be picking up many points there. The only consolation is we are not the worst team by any means but let's not kid ourselves we are poor but not the worst but is that the height of our hopes and aspirations mid table mediocrity? The game is awash with money but I believe the standard of football has declined and Saints unfortunately epitomise this and it's not a complicated game and we look poor too often. Regards vs.

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17 Oct 2017 03:33:19
I like this scenario but it doesn't account for Davis and I think Davis needs to be in the team. He's a massive miss for me.

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17 Oct 2017 23:41:57
Hi VS. Good points again well made. Yes we need to get out of the current form. Personally, 352 with an improved Boufal could do it. But hey, who are we lol.

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08 Oct 2017 20:03:46
Reckon Walcott would be great addition. ATM anything is an upgrade going forward and he terrifies defences when in form.
Never understoood why people worry about our affording player wages and initial fees. It’s not like it’s our money!

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09 Oct 2017 02:00:22
it's not our money but it's our club and I'd rather the club didn't blow money on over priced and over paid prima donna's and end up in a situation like 2009 again or worse - end up like pompey.

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09 Oct 2017 13:47:34
We’ve no idea what finances are available so just have to trust the club to spend within their means. Our (tight) history of spending suggests we won’t be doing a ‘Pompey’ in a hurry.

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09 Oct 2017 18:47:14
Agree with Saintysaint, and also there's the fact that if we're going to spend that kind of money and change our wage structure, I just don't think Walcott is worth doing it for. He could offer something of course, but I don't think he's a game changer. He's not much better than he was 10 years ago, which is almost unforgivable imo.

Let walcott rot at West Ham or Everton like every other over the hill top 6 player. We'll keep finding players on the rise, rather than on the way down.

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10 Oct 2017 08:09:08
I agree that the club has limitations and these shouldn't be compromised; however I put on here a while back that I think Walcott would be a nice addition, while some argue he hasn't been that much better at Arsenal, remember when he played and got game time each week he was practically on the score sheet every week - something we have to consider seeing as our "goal scoring" looks epic in training and abysmal in matches. He has the confidence to run and pressurise defences, I think he is definitely worth a punt. He will do well wherever he goes I'm sure, so why don't we take advantage of it instead of West Ham (who are bloody awful) and Everton who are panic buying and spiralling into the Championship.

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10 Oct 2017 13:15:51
Walcott would be a good addition. f for 5 mill and 50k a week. not 15 mill and 120k+

He's not the player he was a couple of seasons ago and he's not the player that he should have developed in to. His development was completely stunted by Wenger, same with ox, probably the same with chambers. I don't think he has he confidence to do half of what you're saying as I think the confidence has been stripped out of him by being dropped or benched or not having a secure enough place in the team.

Plus, I don't think he would actually add much different to us. He's available and he used to play for us so in some people's eyes that's enough for us t9 completely tear up our wage structure and pay over the odds for someone who is now a very average player. Can't even get in to a shocking England team. He'll go to west ham for astronomical wages and make best friends with Andy Carroll on the treatment table.

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08 Oct 2017 00:37:28
The rumour is that arsenal won’t be offering Walcott a deal, so he’ll probably have to accept a drop in wages. Price is said to be 12m - 15m which may be worth a gamble. West Ham United are after him as well apparently, and will probably out bid us for wages. And he’ll probably want to stay in London.

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06 Oct 2017 14:13:58
For the right price Walcott would be a step in the right direction. Think a footballer plays best when he's happy and we got him because he actually wanted to come home and welcomed by the fans I can see him banging in goals. The difference between him and Redmond is he doesn't dance around the the box and then shoots like a fairy right at the goalkeeper. People say boufal is the answer as when he comes on shows sparks of genius, these same people forget that when he is given a whole game he only ever shows these brief sparks. I miss the likes of pelle and mane who went direct to goal, no of this silly dancing around in the midfield. Bit of a pass, little link up and go then go for the jugular!

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07 Oct 2017 12:35:09
When was the last time Boufal was given a full game though? He needs a run of games, he’s still used to French football where he had all the time in the world and if anyone would breathe near him he’d get a free kick. Get him up to speed with the prem and he’ll be quality.

Doubt Walcott will be an improvement tbh, too much ego in the lad now. Wants to be the main man up front and we can’t offer that and if we paid him what he wanted in wages (not that we could due to the FFP) what message would that send to the other players?

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06 Oct 2017 08:32:31
Linked with Walcott again. Not sure if he is the answer?

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06 Oct 2017 10:05:52
Older version of redmond in my opinion.

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06 Oct 2017 13:53:53
Apart from actually has a finish.

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07 Oct 2017 08:38:39
It's the same old situation wages too high and Mr Goa ain't spending this season.

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04 Oct 2017 19:59:54
I think when Boufal came on against Stoke he completely changed the game for us. I know a majority of the fan base dislike him but I feel he hasn’t had a good enough chance to prove what he can do.

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04 Oct 2017 21:31:47
Completely agree I think boufal has the potential to be world class but giving him 10mins game time now and again isn't going to help him reach his potential a bit like when poch came and left gaston in the bench.

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05 Oct 2017 15:07:05
Totally agree with above comments, I think gaston could have developed into exactly what we need right now. Boufal is unrefined class. Needs a bit of tlc to get the gemstone shinning.

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02 Oct 2017 12:50:05
Just read that the Rickie Lambert has decided to hang up his boots. Please, Please, PLEASE! Saints try and find a place for him within the club, either on the coaching roster of working with the academy kids coming through - As someone who I believe falls into the 'Legend' category, and a true lover of the club; I think he'd be a great acquisition.

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02 Oct 2017 13:51:25
Absolutely SaintBen. We have a real problem with scoring at the moment and it's mainly due to confidence belief and there is nobody better to coach them than Rickie.

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02 Oct 2017 13:51:36
Agree with you on that one SaintBen1.

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02 Oct 2017 19:20:03
Well said Saint Ben. I hope we can get him onboard at the club. In a coaching capacity of some kind. We could do with a “this is how you score so many goals! ” coach

I love the fella, enjoy retirement Sir Rickie Lambert!

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05 Oct 2017 21:42:05
At the very least he could teach Tadic a thing or two about taking penalties!

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01 Oct 2017 07:14:39
Hi Eds a couple of things, I have seen we are interested in a new striker, two in particular one from Atletico and one from Barcelona - both unable to get any game time! Have you any info on this and also during the last transfer window did Liverpool consider Toby Alderwierd, he apparently is after more money and in my opinion better than VVD, thanks in advance and love the site.

{Ed002's Note - (a) I am not aware of any approach from Southampton to Atletico about a player, but perhaps someone has suggested Kevin Gameiro, who will likely be available in January. I really don't know. (b) I suspect that the Barcelona player is Paco Alcacer who is indeed looking to move on. I am not aware of any approach from Southampton and Barcelona will be reluctant to sell in January unless they have a replacement. (c) No.}

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03 Oct 2017 10:02:55
Luciano Vietto is the chap at Atletico we were rumoured to be interested in if you believe the media.

{Ed002's Note - Southampton enquired about a loan but Atleti had no interest and I thought that was the end of it. Fenerbahce may return for him. Gameiro is the one who will really lose out.}

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03 Oct 2017 14:07:12
Seeing as we can't hit a barn door with a banjo at the moment I would expect we will be willing to splash some cash in jan.

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03 Oct 2017 19:24:56
You'd like to think although for some reason it wasn't an area of focus in the summer. selling j rod, olomola and Gallagher out on loan and obviously no strikers in. I wouldn't be surprised if January comes and goes without a striker being signed.

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18 Sep 2017 09:27:49
Everton rumours site and twitter saying the snake [Koeman] been nicked with the dirty in Ellesmere Port? Any truth in this?

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10 Sep 2017 18:38:39
What's everyone's thoughts on the currentrain situation? We've scored 1 goal from open play this season (against a 10 man West ham) .
Where are we going wrong? Is it our strike force? Or attacking playears creating a lack of opportunities?
I don't think the 4-2-3-1 works at all. I think Gabs needs a strike partner. I'd like to see the 4-3-3 return. This is when we were at our best. Obviously we had Mane whose probably one of the best wingers in the wing. But stick Redmond on the right, Tadic on the left? Then rotate between Davis, Romeu, JWP and Lemina in Midfield depending on the oppointents.
Maybe some back room coaching staff changes after I've seen so much negativity towards Black which is justified since he was head coach of a Villa that were relegated.
Probably a new goalkeeper is needed. Forester isn't good enough.

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11 Sep 2017 11:16:26
We are not Powerful enough in midfield, Romeu is the only player that can tackle, Prowse is a wast of time he gives us nothing, Tadic is scared, and weak, Redmond and Boufal are just not up to it. No shots on goal, no wonder the fans showed their frustration.
Look at the athleticism, height, power, plus skill that the Watford midfield had. As for playing one man up front, all this does is give opposition defenses a "easy day" Gabbaidini is quality but he has no way of showing this when he has to play as a lone striker. Play Austin with him alongside. Now you can see why Lambert and Pelle was good for us bringing others into the game. Sorry but we need to offload 3 players at least and get some grit and pace in midfield.
As for Foster I can't put into writing what I think of him
G S.

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11 Sep 2017 13:05:51
I agree I think that Lemina will hopefully add some power. I'm hoping that Lemina will be the sort of player that will break up play and advance forward with the ball. Like a Dembele or Kante. I think Tadic is our most technically gifted player. However, we don't get any use out of him. He plays better on the wings. Which is why I think he should play on left and Redmond on the right. Redmond isn't good enough on the left. We need to use his pace, if we have him on the right we can start to see him making runs and putting the ball in the box from good positions. Because at the moment he wants to put everything on his right.
I 100% agree. I do feel for Puel last season as he may have played Austin and Gabs up front had Austin been fit. I don't see why Pellegrino is not doing the same. It really is a no brainer if your team is not scoring add some firepower. We have good depth in an average squad, as everyone is at the same ability. I like to think that all of the midfield could walk into all of the teams that finished below us. Ideally, we would want JWP sitting deep and pinging balls about. It's a shame we haven't loaned him out. A few seasons in the Championship would have down him a world of good when we first got promoted.
I'm hoping that maybe Harry Lewis could grow this season and play next year, that would be ideal.

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11 Sep 2017 18:24:22
We didn't spend good money on Lemina for nothing!
It was quite obvious that we needed strength in midfield from virtually the first few minutes . how is it all us armchair amateurs can see that watford's midfield was fast, strong, versatile, agile . and what do we have Davis and Ward-Prowse being overrun? It does not matter what side of the pitch you put REdmond and Boufal, there is no end product and even if there is . there is no one to receive the ball . Gabbi touched the ball only 10 times in the whole game . ONCE in their area all game!

whoscored.com gives detailed analysis of each game and can be broken down into player by player.

Might give us all an insight into what on earth is going on . some examples .
Passes inside Watford's box . 12 . yep 12 all game!
Tackles in side Waford's box . 0 . that's a big fat ZERO . their defence must have loved it!

Interceptions in Watfords box . ZERO!
Aerial duels in Watfords box . ZERO!
Dribbles in Watfords box . ZERO!

Loss of Possession all game . 30 times (15 of those Tadic, Boufal and REdmond) .
And to those that say Ward-Prowse adds nothing to the team . I didn't agree until i saw his stats!
Ward Prowse touches . 14! all game! of which TEN were passes! (Rom : 69, Davis 66, Suares 93 . etc)

tackles attempted . ZERO!
dribbles . ZERO!
Interceptions . ONE .
Clearances . ONE .
Blocks . ZERO . FOULS ZERO . Aerial Duels . ZERO!

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11 Sep 2017 18:51:34
We just need to be patient. let's not forget we have a new manager and several new players to bed in. Its frustrating to see we have the same problems as last season but that is due to the lack of recruitment in attacking positions which was down to the club rather than MP. He has to coach the squad he has, the same as we have to support the team playing for us each week.

Our weakness is that we lack pace in attack, so end up playing in front of teams, failing to break with enough pace to get in behind or catch them out of position. We’re too easy to defend against at the moment. Teams know what we’re going to do before we do as we are one dimensional and nothing has moved on since last season at the moment.

The positive thing is that MP sees the problem and is shifting players around and dropping anyone who is not performing. Its logical that if the first team squad cannot perform well enough, someone in the reserves may so at some point, MP may start introducing fringe players into the match squad. let's not forget, Chelsea looked ropey at the start of last season until their new manager rolled the dice, changed formation and gambled on squad players like Victor Moses being able to do a job out of position. It paid off and MP may need to find a similar solution.

As fans, all we can do is support the team and MP and hope they find a way to turn things around. We’re only 4 games in so let's not write off the season just yet. We must understand MP will have to take risks with players and try different things. Rather than bemoan any failed experiments, we should celebrate having a head coach who is willing to shake things up to try to get us out of this rough patch.

Finally, we have to be realistic. let's not forget who we are and where we have come from. We are now a good premier league team and relegation is not on anyone’s minds at this early stage. If it is, you should feel free to book an appointment with your psychiatrist at the earliest available date. We have a model of developing young players, whose form and confidence can be up and down. Look at Pogba at utd last season for example. We can’t be too harsh on the likes of JWP and Redmond as they are still young. The same applies to Stephens, Lemina, Targett, Sims, even Hoedt etc. We must therefore accept that we will go through rough and smooth patches and our league position may be inconsistent. Short term loss for long term gain. If we can create a squad like Tottenham has, with youth and ability on its side, we could see the start of a long spell of success for the club. That’s what the club wants. That’s what we all want. It will be worth a few mediocre seasons is we can reach that goal.

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11 Sep 2017 21:52:38
This has to been posted by one of the players' wives or even mums? we were AWFUL!
We can’t be too harsh on the likes of JWP and Redmond as they are still young. -- age has nothing to do with it! they are experienced pros who simply aren't producing! there was a time when JWP was considered England's next number 10! read his stats . absolutely awful. As for Redmond, shame his skill, goals, ability don't match his highly inflated ego!
The same applies to Stephens, Lemina, Targett, Sims, even Hoedt etc
All of those players have produced the goods! and most importantly have improved as players .
The football (and I use that term loosely) produced against Watford was atrocious. I am not sure I have ever watched a game where we had no shape, no style, no drive . it was almost impossible to read our game .

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11 Sep 2017 22:27:00
VVD horror show tonight in U23s. Lost 4-0: he's well off the pace!

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12 Sep 2017 11:43:21
Several players to bed in? Lemina didn't play due to the international game, Bednarek is considered one for the future, which just leaves Hoedt as one new player. This does not warrant a complete lack of ideas, when you consider Watford have more players to bed in than us.

Would love to be more positive but I have concerns, not so much with the points but performances.

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12 Sep 2017 14:12:55
The point is Rich that your statistics based on one match do not actually shed a great deal of light on the problems our team is experiencing, they merely highlight the symptoms. Also, if you feel that 3 or4 of our starting players are not good enough, then what is the solution? You suggest none. We can’t buy anyone now. Who in the squad can come in to the first team and make such a radical difference? Lemina of course can return and looks a prospect on paper, (lets not pretend after one appearance for the first team we have it nailed on how good he is and what his strengths and weaknesses will be), but even he is a young player who will require a little time to adapt to the pace and power of our league in comparison to Serie A. Saying age has nothing to do with the performance and consistency of several of our players is either wilfully naïve or moronic.
My point about bedding in new players Gregg does not relate solely to the starting 11, especially not in relation to the one game against Watford. A team needs strength in depth to provide competition for places and for form players to come off the bench and make a difference in games where things aren’t quite working. With players like Bednarek, Hoedt and Lemina, Hojberg i. e the young players that our club is choosing to invest in rather than bringing in proven premier league performers, all will take time to find their feet with ups and downs in their performances. This will impact the first team whether they are on the pitch or competing for places.
Southampton Football Club has stated its aim is to invest in young players we can develop and bring in to the first team, rather than spending a lot of money on established players. Until those young players are on the pitch performing consistently, we continue to invest in the future of the first team rather than its present. That said, the club is not slow to invest and bring in established players to bolster the first team squad if the need is apparent. Gabbiadini is an example, coming in last January to great effect before his injury. So, if we continue to struggle in front of goal, hopefully we’ll see investment in January. Long gone are the days under the likes of Rupert Lowe where your squad at the start of the season, irrespective of the opening and shutting of transfer windows, would remain the same. Our club is now more pragmatic with its playing staff and the coaching staff if things aren’t working.
We’re 4 games in. We have a new head coach. The first team squad has not really been added to over the summer, especially in attack so we face similar problems to last season. That puts a lot of pressure on the new head coach to solve the problem going forward that Claude Puel could not. Why not wait and see how we’re doing after 10 games or on the run up to Christmas before writing off the team?

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12 Sep 2017 19:18:24
In reply to figodasilva .

It is neither moronic nor naive to suggest age is not a factor. I agree totally that someone like Simms, they have very little experience in the Premiership . but JWP has made not far off 150 first team appearances, plus over 50 appearances for various levels of the England setup .
Nathan R has made over 200! first team appearances, plus 70 for various levels of the England set up!


As for my statistics not being representative . ok here are some stats for our first 4 games,
Total Dribbles 40, 2 in the opponents box
Tackles attempted 87 . ZERO in the opponents box
Interceptions 43 . ZERO in the opponents box
Blocks 44 . 1 in the opponents box
Fouls 41 . 3 in the opponents box
Aerial Duels 77 . 9 in the opponents box .

A combination of not getting the ball in the area enough and when it does enter their box, not exactly fighting for the ball!
while we have three Gaston R's in Redmond, Boufal and Tadic, we will have lots of fancy footwork with no end product! all ending before that telling pass to poor old Gabbi waiting patiently!

What we do about it mmmmmm well JWP isn't providing much, even Davis is not producing .

Cedric VVD Hoedt Bertrand/ Targett/ McQueen
Long Romeu Lemina Bertrand/ Targett/ McQueen
Gabbi Austin.

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12 Sep 2017 21:08:03
Thanks for the response Rich.

I’m not going to bang the JWP drum much because I’m also not sure where he fits into our team – he’s not really an attacking midfielder, nor a defensive one. He would probably benefit from a 3/ 5/ 2 with Lemina and Romeu behind him to provide protection so he can patrol behind and interchange with a front two.

The problem I have with statistics is they are always open to interpretation. Yes, in the last 5 seasons, JWP has 148 appearances, but only 79 were starts and he hasn’t played the full 90 minutes of many (if any) of those games. If we say a young player learning the ropes requires a consistent run, these stats don’t tell us how many consecutive games he has played. I’m sure its not many considering he’s been around the first team for 5 seasons. His best appearance stats came last season and he provided 4 goals and 4 assists from 22 starts. Not bad for someone who is in and out of the team and utilised in several different positions when he does come in. Not only that but he’s 22. The onus is on the club to find a way to fit him into the team if they want to get the best out of him, rather than squeeze him into the starting line-up.

Like Redmond, yes they both have a good level of experience now, but age also relates to maturity and confidence levels and other related factors. If a player reaches his peak at about 27 or 28, both players have a lot of development ahead of them so is it fair we bin them now? It comes back to the argument of do you give our young players, our young English players, a chance to progress in their respective first teams, playing regularly in the premier league, or do you give up on them and drop them back to the under 23s?

Your other team stats in your first post all focused on action inside Watford’s box. As much as we would like the game to be played out in the opposition box, the majority of a match’s action takes place in the middle third of the pitch for the vast majority of teams in the vast majority of matches, so events inside the box, unless you’re playing an inept team, are going to be very limited. Also, with stats as detailed as this, I for one do not know what is average in a 90 minute game of football in the premier league, what is average in a match for a team that plays a similar system and style to us (when you are able to detect one), or even what is average for the teams that are likely to be around us in the league table. Whilst a zero stat isn’t great, how rare is it?

In any event, my point is the stats, even your new ones, don’t tell us the cause of the problem, they simply highlight the symptom, which is we are pretty blunt going forward. In my view, we struggle because we are playing in front of the opposition because we are slow in moving the ball forward and any chance of a quick break, unless a genuine one on one, is usually curtailed as the breaking player has to check his run to hold the ball up and await support. Its all very one dimensional and predictable with even the weakest teams in the prem not being stretched as we do not hit them at pace and catch them out of position.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with a 4-4-2 as most teams set up with up to 5 midfielders and three attackers when in possession, so they could bypass a 4 man midfield. Plus, Shane Long I don’t see as a wide option as, while he has some pace, I’m not sure he has the end product required either. I like playing Gabbi and Austin together though. It has to be worth a try. So a 3-5-2 perhaps with Yoshi, Stephens and Hoedt/ Bertrand (if VVD doesn’t return to the team), Cedric and Bertrand/ McQueen as wing-backs Lemina, Romeu and JWP/ Hojberg/ Davis in the middle and Gabbi playing in and around Austin.

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12 Sep 2017 22:09:33
It's great to have a 'conversation' with someone that writes sense .
Interestingly in your lineup, you omitted Boufal, Redmond and Tadic. I agree totally, I agree we don't hit opponents with pace. The initial passes forward are slowed down the minute one of those three get the ball. They then go through some song, dance, side shuffle, step over, beat the same player three times . and then try and pass . all too late as the opponents midfield and defence are all back and in position. Perhaps this is the reason for JWP's poor stats, he quite simply is not getting the ball and therefore can't control that number 10 position. To be fair, I was shocked at the stats for him . especially as the players around him had played the ball by a factor of 6 to 8 times more! .

My reason behind Shane Long was that of a similar role to Jay Rod played, out wide and cutting in (and becoming the third attacker) . It was more I was trying to think of a way to get the ball moving faster without the need for the Waltz, Tango and Side Steps .!

The three amigos remind me so much of Gaston Ramirez, a talented player who had great footwork, but so frustrating. With the modern day defender/ midfield being so agile and quick, a player that 'messes' around with the ball and then makes the pass, maybe 10 seconds after he should have, can end up being negative for the team.
GAbbi is an exceptional finisher and his positional play really does remind me of Shearer, Teddy S or Van Nistleroy . but while he takes up great positions, he never gets the ball.

A quality that we always had was great combination between the wing backs and midfield; this appeared almost non existent on Saturday.

It will be very interesting to see the formation/ team played Saturday. I have supported Saints for near on 50 years and played amateur football for near on 30 . and Saints on Saturday was quite possibly the most disjointed team I have ever seen.

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13 Sep 2017 09:33:54
I also notice that we both failed to mention Forster . deliberately or subconsciously I am not sure!
I am not sure we can continue with this man.
His ability to save a shot on goal is rapidly diminishing from
sometimes to never .

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13 Sep 2017 11:03:37
Thank you. I agree, that the best way to use a forum is to have a chat, clear the air and then hopefully, find a positive thread to look forward to Saturday rather than dread it.

I don’t see Redmond or Boufal as viable wing backs. Perhaps auxiliary forwards if we need to move a midfielder up to play off Austin? I still think this 3-5-2 lacks pace though. We’d rely heavily on the wing backs for pace. In an ideal world our attacking midfielder would also have pace too but if you look at a team like Leicester, they make do with pace in wide areas and a striker.

I don’t think Forster is the long term solution but he’s the best option from the current squad. I was disappointed the young keeper who came on loan last season didn’t get more of a chance. Forster doesn’t command his area which is odd given his size. The best example was Zlatan’s headed goal to beat us at Wembley last year. What was he, three yards away from our goal line? It was a floated cross too so Forster had time to get there. Distribution last season was frightening and barely reached the halfway line at times and he doesn’t get down quickly enough to save the low shots. I was concerned to see him dive to save Watford’s first attempt last week and he seemed to pull his hands away at the vital moment, as if he thought it was going wide.

So I’m not crazy. I do see the flaws, but I just think there’s no fixing some things at the moment and this is going to be another transitional season. Its cathartic to come on here and have a moan but at the same point, negativity can spread like wildfire and we end up jeering or booing our team which does little for their confidence this early on the season.

I hope performances can improve but it may be up and down like last year. We may see more from Hojberg now he’s more settled, Boufal may also improve and Lemina may be the new Schneiderlin. Fingers crossed. I also hope the new owners will make funds available next summer. I think the eds highlighted ffp rules may mean less spending this year, but given PSG have been able to do what they have with limited scrutiny, apparently ffp is now worthless.

On to managerless Palace. Its got draw written all over it with two teams struggling to score and low on confidence, but if we can get a lucky break, or if MP hits on a solution to our attacking issue, tactically or through personnel, maybe we can secure another three points. COYR.

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13 Sep 2017 15:42:51
I thought I would check on Gaston Ramirez to see where he is . off to Serie A .
It has been interesting (and enjoyable) to watch teams like Stoke and Watford this season. The days of big strong, slow and not too skillful players seems over. I actually loved watching the way Watford played. Their attacks were exciting and fast. There was very little messing around on the ball, quite simply fast passes to space and players on the run .
I mention Gaston because maybe the days of players like Boufal and Tadic in the PL are gone. With agile and quick defenders plus sharp midfields, the ball needs to be played quickly and accurately.
There are some very clever, highly skillful players around . I love to watch Jaun Matta, Fernandinho, Aguero . Willian . Hazard . but they all move the ball quickly and also move quickly into space .
Anyway, back to Saints .
Two up front . and most importantly GET THE BALL TO THEM :-)

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14 Sep 2017 15:23:27
Come back Guly. all is forgiven :-)

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