01 Feb 2018 11:28:37
OK, so we've endured another depressing result which causes anger and frustration but after a night's sleep, its time to take stock.

The Transfer Window

In my view, the transfer window was not perfect for us as I think we would've benefited from at least one more attacking player. I applaud the board in trying for a player of Promes' quality and it's a shame it didn't come off. I see little worth in reports that we'll return in the summer for him as that will surely be dependent in the first instance on us still being in the Prem and secondly, whether anyone else with greater financial clout and who can offer European football comes in. There is little point in dwelling on whose fault it is that he didn't come as there are three parties involved in negotiations and neither we, nor the newspapers, really know what's going on. There've been reports that the player was reluctant (understandably) and that Spartak made things difficult so it seems unfair to blame our board for the deal collapsing. Every club suffers disappointment in every window but January is notoriously difficult.

Plus, we did sign someone. let's not let the disappointment of not signing Promes overshadow that. Carrillo is an exciting addition and it was great to see him get some good game time last night. I think he could cause the opposition real problems and he looks competitive and up for a fight so lots of boxes ticked. The other good thing is that he seems the sort of player who benefits from having a second striker play off him. This will encourage MP to play two up top which is something we've all wanted to see.


The consensus is pretty clear on this forum at least that MP has failed to convince any of us that he is the man to turn our fortunes around. I think many called for his removal too soon but now, with only 13 games in the season left, performances and results not really improving and the teams around us all seeing an upturn, we are under considerable pressure. The board now has to make a very difficult decision and I think it should be made now, today, not after the West Brom game.

Whilst I don't think our squad is overloaded with quality, I would agree with the view that we have a better squad then a number of other teams who are faring better than us and we should not be where we are in the league. Its frustrating because we are so close to being out of trouble. Last night presented a golden opportunity for us to jump right up the table with a win as other results went our way, but the opportunity was missed and by some margin.

Under CP we didn't score many goals, but at least we worked well as a defensive unit. MP's undoing has been that the team does not defend as well (I sympathise partly as a number of goals conceded this season have been down to individual player errors rather than a failure of the defensive system) but we also continue to be frustrated in front of goal. If your attack is poor, you must defend well or, if you can't defend, you must attack strongly in the hope of outscoring your opponent. We fail to do either so it is unsurprising to see results drifting.

The board have three choices. 1) Back MP for the remainder of the season come hell or high water. If we go down with him, we stick with him and see if we fare better in the Championship. It would seem nonsensical to stand by him up until relegation and then remove him. 2) Give MP another game or two to see if he can turn the fortunes of the club around by playing Carrillo and perhaps a different formation in the search for goals. However, if the board do this, they must give the incoming replacement enough games to have an impact. Also, the replacement must be a manager and not someone from the Saints coaching staff. 3) Sack MP now and replace him by the West Brom game so the incoming manager has as many games as possible to improve performances and results.

Whilst I think we all agree that MP is unlikely now to turn things around, managerial talent remains thin on the ground. Marco Silva is free but is not a long term solution as he is likely to be head hunted if he does sort us out and jump us up the table. The fans and players need to be secure in knowing the manager isn't going to jump ship as soon as one of the big 6 flutter their eyelashes. I think we all need someone who is going to stick with us, see us as a project, one that he is fully invested in so that he is tied to our success. My fear is that taking the long-term view may mean another riskier appointment of someone early in their managerial career. If it pays off, it will be fantastic, but if it doesn't we are back to square one. We can't keep hiring and firing managers every season. We have to stick with someone at some point and ride any dips in form. The trouble is identifying that person.

1.) 01 Feb 2018
01 Feb 2018 12:52:24
Good well argued post figodasilva. The only point I would make is we haven’t got time now for the board to do their usual 2/ 3 week thorough interview process. We need someone now like Silva and if that means giving him a deal until end of season then so be it.

2.) 01 Feb 2018
01 Feb 2018 17:27:54
You say we don't have time but Watford sacked silva and had Garcia in place within 8 hours so if they've thought about it done their due diligence this could be wrapped up quicker than we think
I'm at a point where I'm lost with what saints are doing trying to do and want to do
I do think we're to good to go down but unless someone can aucostrate a strategy I think the writings on the wall

I did get the chance today to watch pellegrinos interview for West Brom and he looks broken lost and beaten.

3.) 01 Feb 2018
01 Feb 2018 17:52:37
figo, I always find your posts pragmatic, so thanks for sharing
not being picky but aspiring to 'perfect' isn't on my mind, being good enough is, and we clearly aren't that. I think the players have lost confidence in MP TBH.
The transfer window dealings will not improve the situation, when you consider the changes other teams have made, the systems need to change
As you looking for a long-term change of manager (if a change occurs), well I'd take a short-term solution now, to keep us in the league, reactive yes, but something needs to change fast, if something isn't working get it fixed

We look like a team struggling at all areas of the pitch

Seen Mark Hughes has been mentioned as a media replacement, and you're right there are few quality managers available at the mo,
Frustrating watching this.

4.) 01 Feb 2018
01 Feb 2018 17:58:11
're figos post
As always a very thoughtful and well considered post, I think we are now between the proverbial rock and a hard place. I will be honest I have been advocating sacking MP for some months and it gives me no pleasure to say so, we have 13 games left and we continue to either squander opportunities or fail to create enough. I have to say I feel the transfer window has been a disaster, we sell vvd for a huge profit which we all knew was going to happen and bring in 1 player and fail with a very late half hearted attempt at a high class player that we don't know for certain wants to come here either now or in the summer. It looks as though the relegation issue will go to the wire to be settled on the last day and unfortunately with 25 games played, this manager cannot pick a settled side, makes baffling substitutions normally too late to effect the game.13 games is potentially 39 points about half would see us safe but on past performances I'm not confident that we can achieve this. Evidently last night Brighton started quicker and sharper than Saints which isn't necessarily Mp's fault so possibly the players are low on confidence. I agree Sfc's policy 're managers has reached the point where I believe our credibility is low and top players do not want to come here. The Premier League is a unique business, we play football but we are in the entertainment business pay guidelines go out the window, relegation is not an option at a club like sfc cannot afford relegation. We need stability with quality in the manager not a cheap option that few people had heard of previously. Now is not the best time to recruit but how do we feel about Silva, Hughes long term or any others because I have this this awful feeling that we are going down if we carry on as we are. Your opinions welcomed. Regards vs.

5.) 01 Feb 2018
01 Feb 2018 18:30:14
I think last night sums up perfectly why MP is not the man for the job. As all other posters have pointed out, last night was just bizarre. brighton are the lowest scorers in the division; 17 before last night's game. But he played as if we were against Man City and the like. We didn't need 5 in midfield and the five he picked (as figo pointed out), appeared to be a random selection of players, neither based on the opponents tactics or an attempt to win the game.
if ever there was a team to attack it was Brighton, leaky defense and poor attack. There was only one team on the pitch that was playing to win . Brighton . the other team were playing not to lose.
We can not argue with the quality of our signings . but last night in a must win game, we had our four most expensive signings on the bench?
and when he finally brought Carrillo on, our shape was disjointed. Carrillo went up front but Shane seemed to drop back to midfield .

Let's be honest . it has to be the end for MP . and now! he quite simply does not know how to win a game, the absolutely fundamental requirement to stay in the PL.

6.) 01 Feb 2018
01 Feb 2018 20:46:53
VS has kindly reminded me that we sold VVD at the beginning of the window which I didn’t really factor in in my assessment. When I do consider that, the window must be considered a failure not because his transfer meant we had a promise of incoming funds to spend, but rather, we sold our star player. The one player in our team who set the bar really high last season every game he played.

I guess I overlooked the loss of the player as it effectively happened in the summer when he went on strike and he never once put a real shift in for the first team this season. I’d just gotten used to us not having that star player anymore. But this window provided an opportunity, albeit a slim one, to find another star player, or two for the first team. Or in the very least, recruit a good centre back to provide competition and, or cover. I hope Carrillo proves to be a star for us.

As for a new manager, I would happily take Marco Silva as he at least demonstrated last season and this, the ability to take a dysfunctional team and make it greater than the sum of its parts. As far as Mark Hughes is concerned, Stoke stagnated under him, as has every other team he has managed.

I do not think he has significantly improved any team he has managed, he failed to stamp any identity onto his Stoke side (who have instantly improved under Paul Lambert) and was unable to reverse the downward slide of their form and results, not just this season but pretty much every on in which he has managed. Stoke and West Brom under Hughes and Pulis were the perennial hit 40 points and go on holiday midtable teams of yesteryear.

If its shortterm, you have to go with someone with a proven track record in this league and that’s Silva all day. If he didn’t want to stay on for the long term or could not guarantee his head being turned if he continued beyond this season, the club can take stock and review in the summer where a more long term signing could be considered.

7.) 02 Feb 2018
02 Feb 2018 12:27:36
If it does "go to the wire" we will need to have the game of our lives versus Man city!

8.) 02 Feb 2018
02 Feb 2018 15:29:06
I think Mark Hughes would be a good shout as a short term option; he has the experience to keep us in the league this year. I don't think he's the right appointment beyond this season though, so for me it would depend if he was interested in managing us just for the rest of the season.

Marco Silva I'm torn on - I wouldn't hate it if we hired him but I do think we're causing ourselves a problem in 1/ 2 years when he wants to leave.

9.) 03 Feb 2018
03 Feb 2018 09:42:55
Mark Hughes would be an excellent choice, he would know which games to go all out for 3 points. We need 4 wins and 3 draws to have a chance of staying up as I feel there are 5 clubs who will not win many more games this season.