19 Apr 2018 22:17:34
Well what a load of rubbish that was
Saw the 3 goons in the crowd you could see the enjoyment on their faces
Watching the same boring rubbish we've been subjected to all season
Probably thinking to them selves maybe we should have given Koeman more money after all
I just don't understand why in the last 20 minutes we didn't go for it
Yes Leicester came on strong at the end but that's because of our substitutions
Davis why?
Prowes was having a good game and Davis has been out for ages
If they come out with I need him for Sunday garbage I give up
Don't they want to stay up then
Austin for long that worked didn't it Jesus as soon as long was off the pitch bang the game changed against us
Then Redmong well enough said he made a dramatic difference to the game when he came on as usual
Another good turn out of saints on a Thursday night and they go home wondering why the f##k did I bother.

1.) 19 Apr 2018
19 Apr 2018 23:18:12
JWP substituted once again . and as you say why? he was playing well. Bringing Davis on just didn't work, was clearly not up to speed and virtually played no part at all. taking Long off again; this totally changed the game. Leicester pushed up almost immediately, knowing they didn't have to worry about his speed. Tadic was muxh better against Chelsea but this time seemed to not be in the game at all. Redmond . no value at all when he came on.

i didn't understand why we seemed to play out for a draw, so I had a good look at the table and just maybe that one point could be the decider. Swansea have Chelsea, Man City and then Bournemouth away. so potentially no more points until they play us. IF we win that game that means max points Swansea can achieve is 36 (if they beat Stoke last game) . That leaves us needing 7 points only to draw level on points. 2 wins and a draw would be enough and fingers crossed not losing by too many to Man C!

If we had lost tonight we would have needed 3 wins in a row as we would need 8 points - I have assumed we lose to Man C .

2.) 20 Apr 2018
20 Apr 2018 06:16:06
I am with you mate that’s exactly how I read it.
Plus let’s hope City thrash Swansea to assist us on goal diff.

3.) 20 Apr 2018
20 Apr 2018 09:11:33
Our biggest game of the season, every game is a big game. But we're now 4 points adrift and every game we have the opportunity to close the gap but we haven't managed to win. I was saying the same about MP all season and now it looks the same at MH, do they not understand the team?
We had such a defensive mindset the whole game, don't get me wrong, with RB and CS as our fullbacks 3 CB's at the back gives them the chance to attack which is what we want, but at the same time, you need midfielders who are good footballers. I don't get that for PEH and Romeu, sure they're good players but they don't have the skill to be able to control the tempo of the game. But we never once looked in control of the game, we had a few good attacking moves and SL fluffed so really good chances.
My question to MH
- Why are we setting so defensively?
- What even is our formation? Tadic and JWP just seem to float
- Why is Austin not starting?
- Why do you not know how to make subs?
Take the Chelsea game for example - being 2-0 up is where you look at taking off JWP for a defensive player, not when you're drawing 0-0 in a game that you need to win.
Rich you make a good point about Swansea and their fixtures, but we can't rely on other teams losing their remaining matches if this is why we think MH has played for the draw.
The style of football under MH does not make any sense, we don't look like a threat going forward, the only we will ever score if the other team make a load of mistakes. I'd like to see a 4-3-3:
CDM's x2: PEH, ML, OR, SD
CAM: DT, JWP/ Boufal

4.) 20 Apr 2018
20 Apr 2018 11:16:46
hang on we were saying he had got us scoring!
i say stick with back three but play two strikers with one attacking midfielder.

5.) 20 Apr 2018
20 Apr 2018 11:48:13
Saintjay, I appreciate that you’re annoyed by the result last night but you seem to have forgotten the games played after we lost to West Ham. We’ve played a 4-3-3 most of the season and it hampered our attacking play as our fullbacks didn’t have the confidence to get forward and we ended up playing in front of the opposition with little penetration. The only time we got behind the opposition defence was when we played with Redmond as a winger on his natural right side, but we don’t have a natural left winger so the side is unbalanced.

MH has come in with so few games to go, he doesn’t have the time to make big sweeping changes. He’s tweaking. He has tried 4-4-2 but that weakened us defensively (as it did under MP2). Against Chelsea (and most of the Arsenal game) we played the 3-4-2-1 formation and it served us well. The benefit to this system is that with the ball, it gives Bertrand and Cedric the confidence to bomb forward and give us width, leading to 3 of the 4 goals we have scored in the last two games. Cedric and Bertrand achieved 2 and 1 assist respectively. Without the ball, Bertrand and Cedric can tuck in to make a back 5, Tadic and JWP drop beside PEH and Romeu to make a midfield 4 leaving Long up top to hassle any deep player with the ball or chase clearances. If there is a quick counter against us, we should still have enough players available to defend in a 4-4-2. It wasn’t the formation that let us down against Chelsea, but the players failing to cope with a motivated Giroud and MH failing to acknowledge this and correct it quickly enough.

We’ve struggled to score all season but we have scored 4 in the last 2 games. Defensively, we have struggled all season and whilst we have conceded 3 a game since MH took over, we have played Arsenal and Chelsea who have the technical ability to finish consistently ruthlessly when teams lower down the league do not. We will not concede 3 goals every game, as proved last night.

I think its also worth highlighting again the effect of the team’s mentality. We’ve seen all season how some games they seem fired up and ready, whereas for others, they seem timid and panicky. Irrespective of the formation and MH’s instructions, I think there were signs of that again last night. Don’t forget that Leicester hammered us at home, we were playing away, we’re under much greater pressure now then we were then and Leicester are still a team that has the capability of being clinical with Jamie Vardy being in good goal scoring form. So for the team not to implode as it has before, for us to get our first clean sheet under MH, for us to pick up a very valuable point in a tough away game should all be seen as positives. The team faced a stern test last night and they came through it with something to hold on to.

I do not question the team’s formation, but I think you’re right to question the personnel. Shane Long’s work rate up top is not matched by any other forward in our squad. However, as was evidenced again last night, his finishing is sub-standard. The best chance of the game fell to him and he should have scored but he’s not a natural finisher. Austin is a natural finisher but doesn’t work as hard so its difficult to play him as a lone striker. Ideally we could have Long and Austin playing together but as we’ve seen a 4-4-2 doesn’t work and a 3-4-1-2 would also leave us exposed defensively. Maybe Long could take one of the positions behind Austin, though that would require defensive discipline on his part when we don’t have the ball and no silly freekicks.

JWP is playing the same starting position as Kevin De Bruyne but he’s nowhere near as effective and aside from set plays, struggles to affect the game from such an advanced role.

Our midfield two are primarily there to provide a screen for the back three when the wing backs push up. With so many teams playing 3 midfielders, our two can easily find themselves outnumbered if one of the wingbacks or attacking midfielders doesn’t read the play and drop to help defensively. I disagree that PEH and Romeu aren’t good enough with the ball to pass the ball out from there. Both have demonstrated the ability to find a teammate in short interchanges or from distance if they are given space. PEH’s enthusiasm and workrate are high and help to lift the team. We have no-one else in the squad who is a reliable defensive midfielder with better passing abilities. Lemina sadly has struggled since Christmas and I think that’s a mental issue and the need for time to adapt to the league as much as anything else.

There’s the rub. You can certainly look at our team and say that players aren’t as effective in their roles as we would like, but the problem is, when you look at our squad and the list of any possible replacements, the list is often very short and the players not starting are undeniably less effective in terms of their overall performance for the team than the alternative. As I said before, if you play Austin up top, his defensive work will be less than Long’s. You drop Long in to one of the attacking midfield roles then you lose the craft of Tadic (when he plays well) or the set piece ability of JWP. You also ask Long to play in midfield when we don’t have the ball which is not a natural position for him so will be quite a gamble. If you bring Sims on, where would you play him in this formation to get the best of him? The same with Gabbi or Carrillo. Lemina is unreliable at the moment, Davis is just back after a couple of injuries, is McQueen a better option than Bertrand? Offensively perhaps, but defensively? Pied for Cedric anyone?

With so few games remaining, MH can’t continue to experiment too drastically with the team and expect the players to win games, as that is the position we are in now. The team looks more effective in attack with the current formation and for long spells, we have looked comfortable defensively. Its now on MH and the players to learn from their defensive errors whilst not retreating and reducing our potency in attack. A first clean sheet against a thorny Leicester side will give the players confidence they are moving in the right direction.

6.) 20 Apr 2018
20 Apr 2018 14:53:35
i disagree with hojbjerg not passing very well from deep. he has a very good eye for a pass as proved for that ball to bertrand against chelsea. he is our best option next to romeu atm so MH just needs to work out where the more attacking midfielders and strikers can fit in.

7.) 20 Apr 2018
20 Apr 2018 15:28:50
Diggy, I didn't see any enjoyment on the faces of the 3 goons sat in the crowd at all? They looked like goons, that's for sure, but unhappy goons.

But I completely agree, what a bizarre game and approach from us. We might be the first team to ever play like we want to go down. It wasn't the players this time Imo, it was a manager who says all week we need to be positive and play without fear, and then sets the team up to play with fear! Strange. Championship here we come, barring 3 wins on the bounce which is impossible to imagine.

8.) 20 Apr 2018
20 Apr 2018 16:38:06
Figo . Pied for Cedric . absolutely. Don't think Cedric is the Cedric of old. his defending is on par but his crossing and offensive play is not. Pied has always looked good.

A point against a team with a good attacking record was excellent. I am not sure I can think of one mistake the defense made. but some of our passing was atrocious.

9.) 20 Apr 2018
20 Apr 2018 16:47:41
Agree 3 wins look very unlikely indeed! Although I still feel 7 points may be enough. Can’t see Huddersfield gaining another point to be honest.

10.) 21 Apr 2018
21 Apr 2018 07:16:58
Figo ad ever spot on,