04 Jan 2018 15:16:18
I've taken a few days to digest the Palace result, the contents of Ralph K's Echo interview and the posts coming in on here before posting anything further myself as, to be perfectly honest, the Palace result was a sickener.

It was Ralph's view pre-Palace that MP's job is perfectly safe and the board have effectively written off the first half of the season because of the negative effect of the VVD transfer saga. He accepts they took a gamble on keeping him and whilst he doesn't admit it explicitly, his comments on the poor effect on the rest of the team, together with the agreement to sell VVD now, suggest the gamble failed. It was concerning that he spent the rest of the time saying it paid off financially for the club, when surely that decision can only be realistically made at the end of this season when the team's league status is finalised.

However, his answers are pretty consistent on MP. He's had to carry the can for the VVD turmoil and the board are pleased with how he has done this together with his coaching of the team. They have obviously seen something we haven't as the team is not improving on the field, but again, he puts this down to turmoil which should subside now VVD is gone.

It's difficult to believe that the team will suddenly find its feet, given the low levels of confidence and belief in the players at the moment. But one or two quality signings could make a real difference to performances and results to follow. The proud part of me wants to bemoan our links to Walcott because it feels uninspiring/ underwhelming. That said, if I'm objective I must accept we are a team currently in 17th place in need of players with league experience who can assist us with goals and pace and he ticks those boxes. He would give us another dimension so why not?

Whilst I don't wholly accept Ralph's view that VVD caused all of our first half issues, we must all agree that there was a dark cloud over the squad whilst he was here. We don't know who forced him back into the side - maybe it was the board rather than MP as they were desperate to try to make their gamble look worthwhile and that explains why they're grateful to him for sucking it up and following orders? Maybe not.

The one conclusion I can draw is that MP seems like he will be here for the season at least. The board aren't interested at the moment in replacing him and will give him time post-VVD to make his mark. The problem is, post-January, if MP were to leave, a new manager would have to make do with the squad left for him, rather than have a window to bring in any fresh faces so in my view, MP is likely to stay. So the board are rolling the dice once more. Let's all hope their luck's in on this one.

1.) 04 Jan 2018
04 Jan 2018 16:36:27
Good post but unfortunately don’t agree that MP will be here till the end of the season unless we go on some unlikely run of results. They are already seeing the gates tumbling, just because the attendance says what it says it doesn’t mean the people are actually there. It is the same at Arsenal where there can be swathes of seats empty but because they are sold season tickets they count for the attendance. If we stick with the current manager and get relegated how many season ticket holders will actually renew next season, I reckon if they’re lucky about half of them. It is all so unnecessary and could be sorted if the board weren’t so pig headed.

2.) 04 Jan 2018
04 Jan 2018 17:08:53
I agree with saint chris, it seems quite obvious to me the saints team are not playing for, or supporting their manager. Those who watched the CP game must agree that as soon as saints scored they took there foot of the pedal, it was like the team had all realised they had cocked up and they shouldn't have scored, because saints stopped playing and allowed CP back into the game, the whole game disintergrated into a farce saints were giving the ball away continually. I don't know if you saw this but about 5 mins before half time saints somehow managed to get onto the ball and bertram was running up the wing no defewnders in front of him when he suddenly stopped turned around and passed the ball back to stephans the crowd started shouting and giving him a hard time when he smiled and pointed to his watch or wrist indicating he was playing for time I mean wtf is that all about it was not as though there was about a couple of seconds to go or there was no one to pass the ball forward to, I mean playing for time you got to be kidding me


3.) 04 Jan 2018
04 Jan 2018 19:30:15
Like you Figo, I haved not posted for a while. I have watched, I have listened, I have inwardly digested what is going on.
The VVD situation being the reason for the current situation?
this is a copy of my Facebook posting today .

The signs of a good manager include, changing formations to win a game, changing formations when losing, changing game play at any time through the game FOR THE BENEFIT of the team, holding onto a winning position, adjust the team/ formation to counteract any changes the opposition may make, making the right substitutions, making substitutions at the right time, motivating your team . score out of 8 . a big fat ZERO!

They can dress this any way they like, they can blame anything . but as Roy H has proved with Crystal Palace and Big Sam at Everton, a good manager is absolutely crucial to not only how to play in the PL but survival too.

We are in absolute free fall, we are destined to be relegated if nothing changes. Do I now believe MP can change things round, absolutely NOT.

look at the Palace game, we were comfortable, moving the ball around, we scored. What did Roy do? change the formation, the players, the game plan . and aided by playing for a draw!

Will signings change anything .

i am firmly of the belief that we have fallen behind in the average quality of our players. While Lemina, Hoedt and gabbs have been good signings - to that I can now add Hojbjerg, he has been awesome! and playing like a captain, running the show.

MP relies almost exclusively on Tadic and Redmond being the providers to the attack, they are quite simply not good enough. I believe the quality of defenders in the PL has moved forward and are now too agile, quick and intelligent for these two.

I would like to add, JWP has definitely upped his game!

in summary, we have to change managers before its too late . it nearly is sadly.

4.) 04 Jan 2018
04 Jan 2018 20:52:47
Really good post south_hants_rich. Some fans may perceive it to be pessimistic in approach but I think its realism. I, like many others on this site are hugely passionate about Southampton FC and having been a fan since 1979 and seen some wonderful highs and not so wonderful lows, this period of time is a deep low. We are rudderless.
I also believe the discourse from the chairman has changed too, regarding expectations of the club, including us being a small club, competition in the league increasing (and us seemingly unable to adapt to this change of perspective), and the VVD saga being a contribution to this low. I think it's an absolute farse to suggest this and not just own up and admit the appointment was a poor judgement on their behalf.
I believe, if we do appoint new players, we will not improve results, not because I'm a pessmistic, (in fact I'm an optimist (albeit a realistic optimist) but purely because we have a very poor manager who is extremely inflexible in his approach, and I don't see an improvement week in week out.
Our style of play has gone backwards and that's difficult to accept when a 'we march on' mantra is being advocated by the club. The current situation stinks of the 2004/ 2005 season and we know what happened in May of that season.

5.) 04 Jan 2018
04 Jan 2018 22:37:54
Quoted. By pellegrino

For me he (Ralph) is great because we used to talk about preparation, motivation, about the challenge we have got in leadership with a group of men in every organisation in our life we all need the same – belief, values. We talk about the team.
For me it’s great. Even Les Reed has been working as a manager. They have been involved in professional teams and they know this world and what we have to do to try to be stronger and this for me is magnificent.
The Saints boss was quick to praise Krueger and revealed that he sat down with the first-team squad to eat during the day, along with vice-chairman Les Reed and head of recruitment Ross Wilson.

I like the bit where they say les Reed a manager
This reminds me of a certain Rupert trying to run the boardroom and the team which as we know didn't work
Step up sir Clive and history has completely repeats itself
Just seems a bit of a mess really god knows what the players think.