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22 Nov 2018 11:06:29Most of the posts go to the Southampton Banter page.

16 Nov 2018 14:26:33
Southampton are in talks with Leicester City's head of recruitment, Eduardo Macia, according to French media.

After the departure of Les Reed, the Saints' vice-president, they are looking for a complete change of the backroom staff, and Macia's appointment is a part of that change.

Macia, who was Real Betis' director of football prior to his appointment at Leicester in 2016.

{Ed001's Note - he was at Liverpool with Benitez.}

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16 Nov 2018 21:37:37
Pardon my ignorance but is Macia any good? I've never heard of him before but maybe we will be in a better position with him.

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17 Nov 2018 04:28:52
Thought we'd be looking at that guy Webber from Norwich? Is there any truth in that, eds? Many thanks in advance.

{Ed001's Note - I believe, at least that is what has been suggested from the Norwich end though obviously you have to take this with a pinch of salt as it is in their interests to say this, that he is not ready to leave the Canaries just yet. He has so far just rescued them from financial difficulties and supposedly wants to at least attempt a rebuild. Like I said, that does come from the Norwich end, so it might just be them trying to put other clubs off making him offers.}

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08 Nov 2018 10:31:08
Southampton Football Club can today confirm it has agreed to part company with its Vice Chairman (Football), Les Reed.

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08 Nov 2018 11:47:35
Clearly a statement of intent but seeing that Krueger himself released a statement, I doubt he would be following Reed out the door.
Reed did exceptionally with the Koeman appointment and made a fair share of shrewd signings. I just think his downfall is the lack of progress he displayed and his stubbornes of sticking to the same model even though it has failed for two seasons straight and didn't progress the club any further than it already is. Although few could argue that our time under Koeman is the 'hit the ceiling' period of our club, the way we regressed the past two and a half season is astounding. Nevertheless I thank Reed for playing a part in bringing European football to St. Mary's but it's time for a different approach.
Question is, knowing that the fault doesn't solely lie on Reed himself. How long will it take until the hierarchy takes action on other members they deem responsible? Is Krueger's position under threat? Hughes? Bill Green and Ross Wilson?

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08 Nov 2018 12:53:20
Ahhh Mr Benny boy! how are you? lol I agree with some of what you have said. I can sum up Reed's failures very simply. Sold too much quality in the first team and replaced with inferior rubbish. It really is that simple. You cannot be in the top flight and sell like we have. I appreciate our business model and understand we need to sell but not to the level we have. Reed and Southampton FC have proved the point. You cannot sell first team players to the level we have and expect to be successful in the premier league. You cannot simply rely on youth.

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08 Nov 2018 13:35:05
On another note, Martin Hunter out as well. Might be a dramatic reshuffling on the horizon but as long as Hughes is still at the helm, I'm not getting my hopes up. Anyways. Anyone think we should take a punt on Ralph Hasenhuttl?

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08 Nov 2018 14:33:17
Be careful what you wish for. Reed was a massive part of getting us from league 1 to European football. Can’t fault him for working with what he’s given.

Kruger has apparently been handing out bollockings all day, so can’t see him going anywhere for the time being anyway.

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08 Nov 2018 15:05:57
bill green died a year ago, I’d say his position is least under threat 😂.

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08 Nov 2018 15:29:29
Whoops.

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08 Nov 2018 21:49:22
The club we support have been corrupt for a while and the
Club we’re in a awkward situation with chairman and vice
Chairmen alike
Kat never wanted the situation but was handed it through a bereavement and it showed
Geo has at least shown his intent for the rest of the season
Which we can atleast take a certain comfort from
On wards and up wards.

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08 Nov 2018 23:36:37
Yes tick for him ( Hassenhutti) included in my top 6 (open for criticism) as probably reaching for the stars!
Raif Rangnick ( manager or DOF )
Roberto Martinez
Brendan Rodgers
Leonardo Jardim
Eddie Howe
Absolute wild cards David Wagner and Slav Jokanovic
At least we’re on the move now!
Keep On MARCHING.

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09 Nov 2018 14:18:12
Our biggest task as a club is to re-coup some of the money wasted on inferior players and then target a few choice players. Personally I feel a target striker is what has been missing since Pelle left, someone who can link play and feed others in attack as well as score himself.
As important is a bedrock centre half who can boss the back 4 and cut out the crosses which have cost us dear this season.
I think that eventually the squad needs a good pruning but it cannot all be achieved at once.
I would also spend time on finding another top scout and I'd put that before a new manager at the moment.

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10 Nov 2018 08:14:58
Some naive comments above: players left Southampton because the players wanted to leave. Once a player and their agent say they want out, the club can do very little about it, other than get a good price.
The fees for them are still being paid to Southampton therefore guaranteeing a steady source of income for the club over the next 3-5 years.

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06 Nov 2018 11:33:26
News spreading around that the gaffer will get the sack if we don't get anything from the Watford too. Yeah, I got my hopes up as well, until I saw the names lined up rumoured to replace him: Big Sam and Moysey. Honestly I'd rather thry just give the reins to Martin Hunter or even Jahidi or Fleming and give them until a week before January to assess if they're good enough to last at least the end of the season. That way even if they fail to convince it would give the board enough time to identify someone and it would give him a week to assess the squad before the january window opens to do some much needed upgrading.
Also, get Jannik back in the first team ASAP.

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06 Nov 2018 13:46:30
I'm not sure any manager would get a result with our squad but we have to start somewhere I suppose. We could try to nick Bournemouth's scout.

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06 Nov 2018 14:01:06
Vestergaard started in Footy as an attacker. maybe we could stick him up front as the big target man we have been missing.

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06 Nov 2018 15:28:56
Long time reader, first time poster; agree wholeheartedly that Hughes needs to go, I’m less optimistic about us under him than under Pellegrino and he didn’t have a bloody clue. But I can’t for the life of me see why we haven’t been linked with Ranieri? Currently unemployed, took on a Leicester side who came out of a position similar to us the year before they did the impossible, so I guess he would be willing to give it a go? Did a job with not a great Nantes team so don’t see how, in terms of player quality, we’re a massive step down albeit playing poor currently. And even if not him whoever’s in charge next game needs to start Vestergaard, give Højbjerg the armband and drop Long and Redmond for Armstrong and Gabbi/ JWP.

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06 Nov 2018 17:27:22
IF Hughes does get sacked, could the Board explain the recruitment processed used when employing him.

He clearly doesn't have a cv littered with success
He clearly doesn't have a cv littered with entertaining football

?

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06 Nov 2018 18:55:38
Agree with rich, especially as Hughes has had the back end of last season and a whole pre season. That said I can only see the logic with Hughes as a short term solution and was stunned to see him offered 3years.

Would rather stick with Hughes than Sam or moyes but let’s face it, this came from an I respected newspaper source who have prob just chucked the same old names in the hat.

Big Sam would make more sense if we were cut adrift but right now, there is enough time to give someone younger and modern to take us forward. Not to be 6th or 10th necessarily but to have an identity, a brand of football to be proud of, even if we lose more than we win. Although a younger man is my preference, rainieri does have the personality to make a difference, with maybe his successor as a no2.

When I started supporting saints 4th bottom was always the aim and although not blessed with great players, the spirit was like no other. I am sure MLT helped too!

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06 Nov 2018 21:09:23
Ranieri's an interesting idea. I'd take that over Sam or Moyes for sure.

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07 Nov 2018 00:11:34
Agree with that and also suggest Roberto Martino ( previously muted I believe)

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07 Nov 2018 00:15:18
SorryMartinez!

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07 Nov 2018 07:23:05
The same Martinez who got wigan relegated and did sweet FA for Everton while capitulating when the defensive base constructed by Moysey started disintegrating? The bloke seems a nice guy but I think that's the last thing the players need right now. Some really need a kick up their backside and someone who can balance man management and command respect is the one to do that. Problem is, I don't think anyone's available to fit that category bar Ranieri and possibly Jardim.

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07 Nov 2018 08:18:47
The very same Martinez who coached Belgium to the 2018 World Cup Semi- Finals ( not too shabby )! but the other two managers referred to are also very good candidates.
Keep on Marching!

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08 Nov 2018 00:32:27
He also won the fa cup at Wigan and kept them punching aboveboard their weight until the relegation. Is the belgium manager going to leave a major national side for Southampton? No.

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08 Nov 2018 07:25:16
Anybody considered Andre Villas Boas? does not have a bad win percentage, been out of football pursuing a career in motorsport so questions on how driven he might be (driven maybe the wrong word) but I was trying to think of young managers that we could consider and he came to mind. There is a bad article relating to his time at Zenit St Petersburg. Supposedly considering a return to football and currently learning German so thought to be headed there.

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08 Nov 2018 08:25:29
Those are rather rose-tinted views of Roberto Martinez. Yes he has taken Belgium to the semi-final of a world cup, but Belgium has player for player one of the very best teams in the world so that is playing to par, not over-achieving. Also, let's not forget there were many bumps in the road and close calls. They almost lost to a very ordinary Japan side. They did not have the tournament most expected and the finish flattered them a little.

He did well at Wigan and Everton for a time as he coaches his team to play attractive attacking football. The down side is that he has demonstrated an inability to organise a defence. So his positives are that he would bring an identity to the side and the football may be more attacking but the club's league position may not vastly improve as we could concede as many or more than we score. Plus, as posted above, he's unlikely to want to do both jobs and why give up coaching one of the best footballing nations in the world?

Ranieri is an interesting name but something happened at Leicester that saw an extraordinary collapse of form after winning the league. That's perhaps psychological and to be expected but form didn't pick up until Ranieri left.

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08 Nov 2018 09:29:13
Martinez has been highlighted as an option for Real Madrid, so I think he'll have set his sights a little higher than Saints.

My worry is that if we do identify a good, young, tactically astute manager who can breath life into our attack with his great motivational outlook. If he's any good we'll struggle to hold onto him. I'd love to bring in that mould of manager who is actually a Saints fan (but I struggle to think of any experienced or successful enough? )

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09 Nov 2018 01:31:55
Figo- agree with most of your comments re World Cup players (Belgium) but to bring together players ( 12 with EPL experience) majority from top 4 EPL clubs plus inter-continental players all used to various club methods and reimpose your own management style/ coaching/ training methods/ planning/ instruction/ motivation/ tactics squad/ team selection/ discipline and understanding are key requirements at this level and deserve recognition
Keep on Marching.

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04 Nov 2018 23:54:09
Well that was utterly embarassing. At least the Arsenal drubbing some time ago we had a few fringe players playing.

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04 Nov 2018 23:16:31
I am pleased after poking a stick at a hornets nest that so many have now become united with their recognition of the 'deep rooted' problems that exist within and hopefully will be sorted soon!
Onwards and Upwards!

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05 Nov 2018 14:30:16
Please stop just ignoring all debate and all points made by others. Even more so, please stop writing posts purely to give yourself a pat on the back.

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05 Nov 2018 18:33:39
To be fair St. John, you appeared to promote a response to your post from 123, however little in response to the other points made by him/ her and others. It’s good people disagree, which keeps sites like this going (obvs with much and fine work from Ed’s) . It is widely accepted we are in a hole, I personally think offering Hughes a 3 year contract was a mistake and said at the time, but on the other hand I don’t think we are in free fall or in need of protests. yet.

I think this is a fair point as going over old ground is almost as bad as when there weren’t any posts.

As you can probably tell I believe mistakes have been made, I do think it is reasonable for the board to update the fans, however the truth is they do once per season via an interview. However I also believe in supporting the team - as frustrating as it can be.

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05 Nov 2018 19:50:19
Debate is great and I love hearing about people's differing opinions - genuinely I do. I just find it infuriating to see a debate conducted like this one was. I wrote a post arguing against something, only to see a post the next day just saying the matter was closed with the poster clearly right! That's not how a discussion/ debate/ argument, whatever you want to call it, works. Not helpful, and not productive.

Anyway, I've said my bit. Listen if you like or think I'm a @*#$@ if you prefer. Here's to arguing about who to credit for our turnaround in 6 months time, St John!

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03 Nov 2018 08:33:13
So Man City this weekend. any predictions? Strangely, this weekend I cannot be bothered to write a preview article for the odd person who bothers to read it. City win. My thought process is that they are better than us in every way and are playing well and we are not. I don't even expect a repeat of the heroics of last season under Pellegrino where we almost pulled off a shock.

Still Watford next weekend, who are likely to be recovering from a mauling by Newcastle today.

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03 Nov 2018 10:05:22
I think Hughes will set us up to avoid a hammering. He strikes me as someone who will see a 2-0 loss to city as something to build on.

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03 Nov 2018 10:55:15
Ill take a loss as long as its only by two goals. which is unlikely. Please can we just score a goal though. Prefferably Redmond, or Hojbjerg against his former manager.

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03 Nov 2018 12:25:38
I can't see us getting anything out of this game. I'd be surprised if we can keep the goals against column down to less than 5 and I certainly can't see us even getting close to scoring.

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03 Nov 2018 12:40:23
Sneaky 1.0 Hoijberg 😂.

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03 Nov 2018 13:15:33
1.0 Hoijberg.

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03 Nov 2018 21:06:02
Can actually see it being tight until a late city goal sees us capitulate and end up losing 3-0.no doubt seen as an unlucky result by a certain mh 😂.

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04 Nov 2018 15:24:41
I write this just after the 3rd City goal goes in. 18th minute and 3-0 down against arguably the best team ever assembled in modern English football.

We will lose. Heavily

Guess the question now is, will City think it’s rugby or cricket?!

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04 Nov 2018 15:29:18
3-0 down after 18 minutes. I think MH should fall on his sword and resign at halftime. Why oh why did he start this match with Long up front. The man is absolutely clueless.

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04 Nov 2018 15:39:01
We actually start playing at 35 minutes
3.1 down.

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04 Nov 2018 17:58:22
Shane Long's most valid contribution to the game came early in the second half as he dummied a pass from Cedric to let it roll to JWP for a shot on goal. Its a shame he is at his best when he's not touching the ball.


Robbie Earle said this felt like a cup tie with a premier league side facing someone from the lower leagues. Sad but true. With points and goal difference now so much worse than last season already, (13 points, 9 gf and 11 ga last year after 11 games compared with 7 points, 7 gf and 20 ga now) will the board act early or late? Will they act at all?

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05 Nov 2018 07:56:03
Got to act early this time. I liked that we gave MP a chance last year but I don't think Hughes deserves the same benefit. Get someone in with a month to evaluate squad before Jan.

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05 Nov 2018 12:05:00
totally agree early action is needed. Benefit to doing it now is that the new manager has time to turn things around - no need for big sam IMO.

Hughes says judge after 38 games but we can judge now! I win in 11, 7 points from 11 after a full pre season and the final 8 games last season. I can only recall 3 or 4 league wins in that time.

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02 Nov 2018 00:13:33
EC Saint you seem to have missed the point by defending the current Board. Actually it was Nicola Cortese who was exec Chairman and CEO of SFC Board who brought in both Adkins followed by Pochettino. In fact Pochettino decided to quit the club when Cortese resigned in 2014.The SFC charge of being 'well run'is not disputed Surely those ( highly remunerated) individual/ s who are responsible for employing 3 dud managers 3 years runnning along with the purchase of sub-standard players combining towards the loss of millions of pounds should at least be held accountable. THAT'S My POINT.
Tee jay saint your post is on the money, AND Milky saint. YES
Keep on Marching!

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03 Nov 2018 16:46:43
I stand corrected about Cortese and his role up to 2014, although our current board's governance in hiring Koeman, clearing the huge debt that Cortese created and enactment of club philosophy, at least for me, warrant complete trust in their plans. I do not see many clubs in World football who have managed to do what this board has, without enormous investment and so this "accountability" you speak of is either their jobs or their pride. After the last, quite vitriolic conference where Kreuger was on the brink of tears, there's only one option left if we are to turn on them, again.

I would attribute some of our scouting troubles to the changing market, finding another Mané, VVD or Shaw is increasingly difficult when transfer fees are so inflated and clubs are tapping up youth players at younger and younger ages - look at Monaco and Real Madrid. I think it's admirable that we are trying to maintain an English core, have just hired a new youth scout and are competing with bigger clubs for players like Robise and Jankewitz. Mark Hughes is not my first choice for a manager but the dissent is not called for.

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31 Oct 2018 00:54:43
It is alarming to note the displeasure and discontent surrounding Southampton FC at present concerning Board members and team Management (who are responsible for the current Club's demise. The Chairman must address the Southampton supporters and explain the Club's intentions and future direction before the current situation becomes more toxic.

MH / LR / RW positions to be reviewed with the high probability of replacement. If this problem is not resolved quick smart I fear a more militant action will be taken by local supporters resulting in the boycotting of future home games.

Perhaps the club should consider an approach for Wagner (Huddersfield) / Jokanovic (Fulham) Benitez (Newcastle) / Rodgers (Celtic) to start the ball rolling. All of these coaches (excepting Rodgers) are in a similar position to our own battling the prospect of relegation but all have much inferior squads to ours but have the advantage of managers capable of producing some exciting attacking football
which SFC were renowned for in the past.

No 'll will toward MH (who has reached his capabilities) and should now consider being put out to graze in the Championship/ League1 with all the ex premiership and "nearly made it" managers - over to you Ralph!
St John.

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31 Oct 2018 05:17:11
Benitez is hardly known for free flowing football. I like the irony of every manager you suggest we look at technically doing a worse job than Hughes is this season (except Brendan)!

I do agree though, although not sure we could convince any of them to abandon ship midseason. I think Wagner could be a great option if Huddersfield go down and we manage to survive.

Maybe Pep's bored of winning. We know he likes Redmond!

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31 Oct 2018 11:11:52
haha pep.
i personally think fulham have a better squad than us, but jokavonic doesn't seem to be able to get mawson, chambers etc, to defend properly. agree with wagner, and about benitez, do we want see good football, but lose, or benitez style, but get results?

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31 Oct 2018 19:12:09
Think the problem with Fulham is they've thrown a defence together very quickly with lots of new players. Firmly believe they'll get better.

Saintlad, we had benitez style with results. It was called Claude Puel, and we forced him out because that wasn't enough for us.

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21 Oct 2018 08:11:52
Hi Eds

Is there any credibility to this Leonardo Jardim rumour? Reckon he'll be any better than Sparky, or better the devil you know?!

Cheers.

{Ed002's Note - I am not aware of any approach from Southampton to Leonardo Jardim at this time and I cannot imagine why they would look to approach him.}

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21 Oct 2018 10:44:13
Why's that Ed? Want to see Hughes stay, or just don't think Jardim is up to scratch?

{Ed002's Note - Jardim is a very good manager - but he hardly speaks English.}

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21 Oct 2018 14:13:38
Bit like poch then?

{Ed002's Note - No, he spoke good English.}

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21 Oct 2018 21:17:06
Aside from the language barrier, why would Saints not go for him and/ or why would he not go for Saints? The whys and wherefores of the managerial sack race are something I really don't understand.

{Ed002's Note - Clubs look to coaches and managers who can fit right in and improve the side. Coaches and managers look for clubs which are high profile, playing at the highest level and somewhere they can excel. Southampton pushed a good manager out of the door - other would be wary of that.}

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21 Oct 2018 22:07:46
In a nutshell, and as the original armchair fan, your first two points don't make me think Jardim/ Saints is a non-starter, in fact, quite the opposite. Saints have got a good squad, it just needs the right manager to make it work. Jardim sounds like he could be the right man for the job.

However.

Puel? Bowing to fan pressure was definitely a mistake there. All things considered, he did one hell of a job. This is what happens when you have an ice hockey coach running a football club. Are you saying that moving forward, that could be the decisive factor in terms of Saints' ability to attract managerial/ coaching talent?

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22 Oct 2018 08:24:41
I think the point that is trying to be made is questioning if Hughes is right for the job. I actually think the thought process of a lot of fans is wanting to see the club return to the style of how they played in the couple of seasons after promotion back to the pl. We played confident high press football and managers and pundits couldn't lavish enough praise on us. then came the background. the black box, the scouting and transfer policy was admired and studied up and down the country, and possibly further afield. Now it seems those have all changed or adapted from those exciting times to what I csn only see as a hope of pl longevity and stability, it looks like we play with a huge fear of losing and our transfers of late have been supposedly out of the box ready to go. however I don't think its working, we have conducted our transfer business terribly for a good couple of years now and I fear 2 things, firstly we keep going through managers like underpants as they're being drilled that whatever you do don't lose and secondly if, if we get relegated would we have the structure in place to handle the championship, which has become a very strong, very rich league. I hope someone takes the breaks off and we're able to find that suitable balance of excitement and fight but right now, top to bottom I'm not so sure where we are or where we go.

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25 Oct 2018 09:43:26
it doesn't help when ex players are criticising the manager as well. The fact is puel wasn't appreciated till he left and he has a similar issue at Leicester where fans want him out (if u believe the press) . Playing deep is ok if you have out and out pace up front which we didn't. For me the squad doesn't look fit enough to play a high press game. Were Koeman more popular with the squad (apparently arrogant and didn't do social work) he may still be here and we may still be playing that game.

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03 Oct 2018 20:55:14
Eds any insight into what is going on at our club? Positives (If any) and negatives. Your opinion would be appreciated too. Thanks.

{Ed002's Note - It was never going to be anything but a tough season. Awful as it sounds, staying up will be a win-win situation for the club. I have not spoken to anyone for a while but it strikes me there seems to be a lack of a sustainable plan right now.}

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18 Sep 2018 00:27:13
Hi guys

Well that was nailbiting! First half positives Lemina, Hoojberg, Redmond actually producing some good runs, Danny Ings a real handful. Brighton woeful.
Second half- Everyone retreating into their shell, going 2 up never looked enough. When Brighton got their free kick I knew they would score and then you know Saints they were always going to concede. I worry about the entire back 4 Betrand and Cedric look lightweight and Hoedt and Westergaard look immobile and certainly not physically intimidating.

You can blame jwp for the penalty but he should not have been marking Duffy, it was a totally unequal physical mismatch. So we have a lack of leaders or people willing to take responsibility, these guys are highly paid seasoned pros but for me what is worse we cannot string 3 passes together and resort to hopeful long balls forward to 2 small forwards with no hope of winning them.

Again too many balls back or sideways and a lack of movement off the ball, throw ins are a waste of time and so many passes poorly weighted or poorly placed and we always look overrun in midfield. Why oh why do we keep inviting teams onto us we cannot defend, I was hopeful this season but now not all any physical teams or better passing teams which is just about everyone and we will get slaughtered. Saturday at Anfield we will be lucky to keep it to single figures.

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18 Sep 2018 07:16:35
We shouldn't be dropping points from a 2-0 lead at home. That should be the end of it. I don't MH made the right calls with his subs last night. Unfortunately, Brighton's first goal came straight after our second goal meaning that he probably didn't have enough time to assess the game. However, he then brings on JWP and Gabbaidini. JWP is one of the worst physical midfielders in the league. I don't know how those substitutes were meant to serve a purpose to our lead, he then went on to give away a penalty. According to the SS commentators we've had dropped 11 points from leads during MH time with us. It's now 13. He's only managed 13 games.

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18 Sep 2018 10:26:59
Sorry but that was pathetic. 2-0 ahead and only need to see the game out so we bring on 2 of the smallest and least defensive minded players. After that I think that we are going to struggle to finish this season anywhere other than bottom 3. How Hughes can think we'll see a game out with players that can't tackle is beyond me.

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18 Sep 2018 10:48:45
To me the biggest concern from start to finish was that we didn't have any kind defensive balance at all! Players just ran like headless chickens around. We made it so easy for BHA to attack even they were very poor.

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18 Sep 2018 11:24:58
The go to argument every time we get a bad result should not be to blame the players for not taking responsibility, not caring enough or not showing enough passion whilst adding they are highly paid. So are all Premier League players. I remain confident in the abilities of the players. Instead, when there is collective shortcoming, coaching must be an issue. I’m not talking simply about the formation here. Yes, I think a 4-4-2 in the modern game and with the players that we have is outmoded, impractical and ineffective, but I see no identity, style, plan, individual or team improvement. No tactics specific to our players strengths, nor to beat the opposition. Just the same players running around each week and playing out the same directionless 90 minutes over and over.

Last night’s result wasn’t bad luck, nor a lack of responsibility by the players. Brighton’s pen was a result of the defensive tactics used for corners. We mark zonally hence the mismatch between JWP and Duffy. If the marking was wrong, it was because the preparation and tactics were wrong rather than anyone hiding or not doing their job. Brighton specifically switched their tactics and formation to a 4-3-3 to overrun our midfield and, ignoring the limpness of the first half, for the time it was used properly in the second half, it was very effective. MH made no changes to counteract Brighton’s supremacy, a huge momentum swing in their favour, despite only an average first half from us and seeing us come under increasing pressure in the second.

But crucially, there doesn’t seem to be any plan when we attack. Its totally reliant on the individuals on the pitch working it out for themselves. I recently watched the Man City doc on Amazon and the little glimpses into Pep’s coaching were fascinating. Everyone delights in the attacking freedom of Barcelona, Bayern and Man City under Pep, but its not the freedom he gives the players that allows this; its precisely the opposite. He drills his players with and without the ball. In certain situations, the players need to be in specific positions and they repeat the action over and over so everyone knows where on the pitch they should be and the player on the ball learns instinctively where his options are. Pep shows his players where the defenders will be, whether they will press or stand off and what they should look to do in any given situation. Obviously a match doesn’t play out exactly as one predicts, but most actions will remain effective. If things aren’t working as expected, the coaching still pays off as the players have plans B and C conditioned into them from prep for other games which will still feel natural and play fluently. Incredible.

So when I see us attack and the players looking uncertain, hesitant, it just makes me think the coaching falls short. When I see us defend and look so flustered, its because the coaching is lacking. The players aren’t sure what to do and if something isn’t working, they’re not told how to fix it. MH doesn’t make changes from the touchline quickly. Even when subs came on, they didn’t improve us and invited Brighton on. Pep’s clearly a bit of a control freak, but so are most of the best managers in the world. They understand at this level, every detail, every action is crucial and can make or break the game. That’s why they want more control, not less. You can’t just hand the game to the players and say its over to you. That’s not to absolve the players for their shortcomings but I think these are exaggerated by a lack of good preparation and coaching. Are our players better than those at Bournemouth? In the main, yes. Are Bournemouth a better team? Yes. Why? Coaching. Simples.

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18 Sep 2018 13:32:49
Yep agree with you figo. I wondered why not a single defensive substitute came on after 2-0. we had Gabbi, Davis and JWP who gave the pen away. why did we not see Yoshida or targett? . seems obvious that brighton will try and win set pieces after their first goal. coaching does seem a bit crazy.

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18 Sep 2018 18:32:30
Hi figo

I agree with you regarding the coaching but I believe it goes beyond that. These are top players who have played a lot of football and too many players went missing last night, there are not enough leaders on the pitch. We all remember John Terry, Steve Bruce barking orders at everyone, we don't have that the second half too many players went missing and in the end Brighton wanted it much, much more than us, Glenn Murray was starved of any decent service but he kept going the whole 90 minutes and was never going to miss that penalty. We used to talk about a team having a spine going from keeper to forward but we don't have that! We have spent £50m this summer and we seem no better off, you mention Bournemouth and I am a big admirer of Eddie Howe, this is a team that punches above it's weight totally consistent with limited resources but when they buy a player they will spend big if necessary and they rarely make a mistake, they play entertaining football,
score goals and are always competitive and look like the new Burnley. I agree with the coaching as we could barely string 3 passes together and the idea of us playing out from the back on the ground in neat little triangles is light years away. I think that we can get hung up on formations, our problem which has been deep seated for some time before MH is we play like Manchester United happy to invite teams onto us 'defending' deep and then break the only problem is we can't defend and when we break it's normally too slow and ponderous. We lack players who will tackle consistently and hard over 90 minutes and then use the ball intelligently. Brighton were woeful in the first half and we should have created and scored more, they were there for the taking. In the past I have questioned the teams fitness as we seem unable to see out the whole 90 minutes and nothing seems to have changed, I also watched the programme on Man City and you are right Figo they play beautiful simple football and it is all about drill and repeated practice Chelsea, Liverpool are playing the same way and Wolves are a joy to watch. I feel MH needs to really get hold of this squad which we know has quality players, getting them believing in themselves and their team mates and taking personal responsibility for their positions. I hope we see a significant improvement on Saturday at Anfield as otherwise I believe we could be in for a hiding.

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18 Sep 2018 19:53:39
Ha Ha - we want to defend and counter but can't do either. Too true!

If the players at your disposal aren't suited to play a certain way, you play to their strengths.

We do need some sound leadership on the pitch, I can't disagree, but I feel that the players will be less flappable if they had a clear plan to follow. I just don't see one.

I'm now going to watch Liverpool take on PSG. I wonder how they'll cope against us after a dry run warm up against those guys.

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18 Sep 2018 21:04:14
I agree with you but I go back to my point these are seasoned professionals and we cannot string half a dozen passestogether, it's amateurish in the extreme.

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19 Sep 2018 09:21:30
The downfall and lack of leadership seems to have been lost when we sold Fonte. You'd expect someone to stand up and become a leader. Davis is captain, but he rarely plays anymore. Bertrand wears the armband, but I'd question his attitude towards the club. A lot of our squad still remain from our best season: Bertrand, Cedric, Romeu, Long, Yoshida, Davis, JWP.

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19 Sep 2018 16:39:49
hojbjerg for captain.

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06 Sep 2018 01:01:59
What's your realistic prediction for winter break and final season position? I think around the winter break, we will be 8 - 14 place and come the end of the season we will be finishing around 10th position (maybe even challenge for 7th and 8th place) . Feel it might be a little optimistic but I think we can do it.

Not sure if mark Hughes is the way to go and say we are in the relegation zone come winter break, should we stay with Hughes or get a new coach? Who would take over as manager?

I see us taking 3 points vs Brighton which would be nice to gain momentum for upcoming games.

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06 Sep 2018 12:22:09
Hmm not entirely sure. hopefully top half both times but.
yeah agree with the Hughes point.
yep hopefully three points against BHA, but there a decent side and cannot be written off. seem to like beating man u so.

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06 Sep 2018 13:25:21
I have to let my head rule my heart and say that I think we will finish the season around 13th or 14th place. Not sure about MH but we have to give him a run until Christmas and if we're in bottom 6 look for someone else but that makes it awkward for the January transfer window having someone new that doesn't know the players or what positions that need strengthening. Also depends on who is available to come in and take over. With our recent record of manager ins and outs a lot of managers wouldn't even look at us.

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07 Sep 2018 12:49:42
Its still very early days but I think we'll eventually finish somewhere between 10 and 15. We'll see the trend of the top 7 or 8 being streets ahead of the second tier teams who duke it out with each other in what will be a tight finish.

I don't think Mark Hughes will go unless we are playing terribly and back in the relegation zone with no hope of turning things around. He will likely get more time than the previous two managers as the board seem to rate his experience.

By the winter break we'll see the league taking shape in its two tier structure, but spots between 9 and 18 will probably be separated by no more than about 10 points. We'll be in that mix somewhere but I only see us picking up around 15 points between now and then.

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08 Sep 2018 18:32:10
Hi guys

I think we have made a reasonable start to the season nothing earth shattering but fair. I think the key to improving is to cut down on the stupid sloppy mistakes e. g. Everton away last year 3 points instead of 1. I was encouraged against Crystal Palace admittedly without Zaha but to score 2 goals and keep a clean sheet shows promise. I understand people's reservations about MH but last season there were not many managerial choices and I was encouraged by our transfer dealings, it looks like Danny Ings could be our missing link as long as he stays fit. I
also believe this club needs a season of relative stability where we are comfortable league wise hopefully providing the platform for good cup runs and no more nailbiting finishes. I
haven't seen too much of our football this season and let's hope MH doesn't tinker too much with the formation. As figo wrote there are few points covering many places in this league and the ability to cut out sloppy mistakes, lapses in concentration ( how a player cannot concentrate for 90 minutes baffles me? ) can make all the difference between a good and mediocre season. don't forget we also had a new owner at Xmas, I think the first 4 games have been an eye opener who would have credited Watford and Bournemouth being at or near the top of the table, it just shows what can be achieved with a modest budget, and good training and motivated players. We all know this league is a marathon not a sprint but I am optimistic we can have a good season playing entertaining football and looking forward to Saturdays. Regards vs coyr.

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09 Sep 2018 18:32:31
I like the look of this squad.

All of a sudden there is character flowing throughout the squad. This has been missing.

Based upon this and the potential of many in the group I predict an improving situation as the season develops. 7/ 8th for me, and somewhere along the way a strong cup run.

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12 Sep 2018 12:49:47
We all get very optimistic don't we after 1 victory!
I would be delighted with a top 10 finish/ if we finish with more than 50 points.
However, I can't see this happening. We now struggle to get regular victories. And I think all other teams around us are as good as us if not better, with the transfer market being what it is it has allowed other teams in the bottom half to strengthen their squad. The likes of Brighton, Bournemouth, Watford, Newcastle are all at the same level as us. Because of this the premier is so much tighter, 2 seasons ago we finished 8th but only 6 points off Watford who finished 17th.
A few seasons ago I would have said we were the best team outside the big 6, now I just can't get behind that statement.

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13 Sep 2018 17:15:06
Hi SaintUS - Another great topic you’ve brought up

I think we’re good enough to be just below Everton (assuming they have the season they ‘should have’) in the top 10 - between 8th and 10th (so 9th then! )

It’s a bit of a dog eat dog division though isn’t it. One moment you could be looking like a lost cause and heading down down deeper and down, the next could be one little spark to change the status quo and pick up a few wins or points and go right up the league table and be hanging around just outside the big boys. Alongside Arsenal then!

I won’t rule out relegation for the Saints But I’d also not rule out use finishing top six or seven. No idea, and that’s part of the ‘beauty’ of the Premier League. The beautiful game and all that

Keep Hughes. I like him as a man and as a manager. I liked him loads as a player too. Think he’s starting to find his best team - although it’s often at the expense of my fave players (What a goal Steven Davis scored for Northern Ireland the other day, quaaaaality player) but yeah. Backing Hughes all the way.

Three points against Brighton would confirm my enthusiasm. Defeat may just curb it.

Good stuff, good mix of comments. Up The Saints!

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14 Sep 2018 17:54:22
Wow, I am loving some of the positivity - I want some. I don’t rate Hughes but would take him happily over MP2 but not CP, Koeman or of course MP1. I’ve been of the same opinion in the 12 games or so he has managed and although too early to fully judge, I have not seen a recent signing that could develop into a great player and high sale. This is supposed to be our module, or so I thought.

Honestly speaking I am struggling to see past 14th. I think we can feel somewhat fortunate to be on 4 points, although I missed the Everton game.

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14 Sep 2018 19:48:11
Haha Saint Etienne. Just need Rossi and Parfitt now. lol.

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15 Sep 2018 14:14:33
It's very hard to judge, but between 11-14th is what I expect. Looking at the players we have by position, it's false to believe that Newcastle, Watford, Bournemouth etc are at our standard; the bench however is a different matter.
Hughes isn't a bad coach and he has clearly tried to improve upon his coaching weaknesses: being vocal during the game, creating stronger relationships with the players and developing other systems. I think that we can progress under him to the level we were just before Poch came in - with a core of young, hungry English players (Targett, Sims, Jones, Slattery, Obafemi (Irish, yes) and others) that can emulate that promotion team. But in the longer term we need someone more dynamic, I like Giovanni van Bronckhorst of Feyenoord, so that we can return to European heights.

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27 Aug 2018 22:40:38
Harrison reed gone on loan to blackburn then.

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29 Aug 2018 05:27:29
Don’t understand that one.

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30 Aug 2018 14:40:08
And now sam McQueen to Boro.

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31 Aug 2018 10:31:20
I get mcQueen, he had two guys in front of him and was never going to get a game. Think this is probably best for Reed's development since he was never going to get enough game time for us, but I had considered him our backup rb, so wonder what our plan is there now he's gone.

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01 Sep 2018 09:08:18
Yeah can see that and targett is playing well at the moment, I just wondered if McQueen had more about him going forward, he started as a left winger and was always more impressed with his forward play. thought he could of been a decent option but good luck yo him and hope he comes back even better. I've said before I actually rate reed McQueen and Sims good enough to be starters for Southampton but we've packed the squad with so many expensive foreigners that they can't get s look in. maybe hughes plan is get them all up to speed match ready, flog of all the dead wood next summer and bed them into the team next year. who knows 😬 hope they all do well.

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03 Sep 2018 12:06:38
I think it's good that we're sending these players out on loan. It'll be good for them to get the experience. Instead of playing under 23 football. However, my one issue is that looking at the teams from the weekends no one has actually started any games, apart from Jones and Carrillo who actually scored this weekend vs Real Madrid.

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09 Aug 2018 17:13:40
A little underwhelming but not the worst. Just have to hope gabbi and Charlie stay fit I suppose. Here's to the new season!

{Ed001's Note - Danny Ings is on the way mate.}

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09 Aug 2018 17:32:08
Deal sheet in. Ings on his way to Soton. Source:bbc sport transfer day feed.

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09 Aug 2018 18:11:45
Well to be fair to the club with ings on loan this has been a pretty successful transfer window. We look to have strengthened in the right areas and with Hughes in charge this could be an enjoyable season. loaning Ings is the right way for the player and us because this try before you buy scheme was the only way anyone could possibly contemplate taking him . So for me the club get 8.5 out of 10 so COYR let's take Burnley after their Europa travels on Sunday all the best for the season guys regards vs.

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09 Aug 2018 20:52:31
Thanks ed. Hadn't heard about ings! Not bad loan deal. COYS!

{Ed0333's Note - how does it feel to get a player from Liverpool instead of the other way round. Shame you couldn’t take Clyne and Lalana back mate.

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09 Aug 2018 20:59:59
If we can get zings to play for us as he played at Burnley playing off either Austin or Gabbiadini we’ll have made a good move. Not entirely sure why we didn’t just get on with it and sort this all out a lot earlier.

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10 Aug 2018 16:26:56
Get rid of jay Rodriguez who was far better than Ings before his long term injury and sign Danny ings who's now in the exact same position for 20 mil after signing Monaco's 4th choice striker for 20 mil also. maybe we should of just kept Rodriguez and saved ourselves 40 million pound. Southampton have undone everything good they have done in about 2 seasons. And I'll be amazed if we stay up. On the brightside Shane long Charlie Austin and Danny ings might hit double figures combined this season, league starts that is days out injured I expect their smash treble.

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11 Aug 2018 03:37:56
Loving the positivity SRG!

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12 Aug 2018 15:38:55
Not being negative but I would just wish Redmond would take a few chances and stretch their defences a bit more
He’s got the ability but lacks the confidence
Anyway a point against a solid Burnley isn’t the end of the world.

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12 Aug 2018 22:10:11
Completely agree Diggy, but I actually thought he did a better job of that today than he did last year. He seemed a lot more direct when he got the ball.

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13 Aug 2018 20:25:14
Ings was immense apart from one offside he did nothing wrong. Redmond was much better but beats three then checks watch sterling goes till the end good or bad Vestergaard got better through the game much better with 4 at the back and Stephens more than capable at rb in back 4. Austin and redmond either need to close properly or not bother thought CA was very poor surprising full ore season with no reported jiggles would rather see big Sam start.

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08 Aug 2018 14:47:18
Eds, today we're being linked with Lobotka and are said to be leading the chase for Ings alongside Palace. Any truth in the former and have you heard any updates on the Ings situation since your last posts on it?

{Ed002's Note - I am not aware of Southampton interest in Stanislav Lobotka but Spurs have looked to him as an option after losing out on their preferred choice to replace Dembele, but may not see value in the €35M asking price. Napoli are still looking to add another midfield player after Ruiz and have a declared interest. Interest from Southampton remains with Ings as Alcacer is looking out of the question. The interest of Leicester has gone. After getting nowhere with Babacar and Aleksandar Mitrovic, Crystal Palace have turned to Ings.}

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08 Aug 2018 21:31:31
Many thanks Ed002.

Whilst Ings presents a bit of a fitness gamble, I'd rather him over Welbeck if there is any truth in that rumour.

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08 Aug 2018 23:07:31
Please let us sign a striker. Please.

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