21 Aug 2018 16:25:44
A little, or lot, surprised at us letting Josh S out on loan. Having seen Matty T go out on loan, play regularly, help Fulham to promotion, play superbly . and then come back to warming the bench! there is now no incentive to go and show what they are capable of- unless they simply would like to play football. which after all is there life.

Feel sorry for Matty and don't think Josh has been given a fair chance.

1.) 21 Aug 2018
21 Aug 2018 16:55:24
Its sad. In an awful season he looked our bright spark. certainly more than ready for premiership football and has been for a while. I tgink it represents the new "southampton way" pay top money for mediocre players in the hope we will keep cashing the premier league cheques. harrison reed, Sam McQueen, josh sims. among some. a long list that I've felt looked ready and were performing well at a high standard. I don't get it and I would rather come 17th with those boys than mid table with carillos and alike.

2.) 22 Aug 2018
22 Aug 2018 10:35:41
So now we pay top money? Two weeks ago the board were too tight and determined to get us relegated by not spending enough?

I can see the logic of Sims going. Even though I agree he should be given chances, he was always going to be on the fringes. Targett is a real success story of the loan system imo having excelled at Fulham, and while he's stuck behind Bertrand right now, it's a long season so let's wait until more than two games have been played to say he's not in our plans.

3.) 22 Aug 2018
22 Aug 2018 11:57:31
I actually think that it'll be refreshing for him to go play in the championship. Our biggest problem is not loaning out our youth players. More often then not, we could have loaned out these players and yet they find themselves playing under 23's football or sitting on the bench to have a 15 minute cameo.
The lack of youth players that have come through the ranks in the last few seasons has been extremely low. These players have been knocking on the door for the last few seasons and actually haven't got anywhere with their career. let's take Reed and Gallagher, they were brought into the squad 5 seasons ago by Poch because of injuries, now if we have any injuries these guys can't get into the team because of the size of the squad. So I'd rather see these guys loaned out and play week in and week out and contribute to another teams success.

4.) 22 Aug 2018
22 Aug 2018 12:14:32
I agree its frustrating as every fan wants a young homegrown player to get behind and be proud of. Targett has shown he can play at this level, Sims has shown he can play at this level. But Gallagher hasn’t and Harrison Reed still has question marks over his best position and whether he can play in the Premier League. Let’s not forget that Targett aside, we also have Jack Stephens and JWP who are academy products who are getting games in the senior set up so its not all bad.

If I’m honest, if someone had such ability they were knocking down the door, they would likely get a chance. I just don’t think we have anyone who’s quite there yet. Sims is exciting but he’s still very raw and inconsistent. I expect to see Targett this season, especially if Bertrand continues as he has in the first two games.

We must also frame our aspirations in the context of the season the club has just endured. Playing young players carries an inherent risk. When we were higher up the league and doing well, the risk is lower as the rest of the team are playing well enough to carry young players, but when the first team is struggling, the risk seems all the greater and with the club not keen to repeat last season, they’re less likely to field an unproven player.

But I don’t think the club is going to shift to buying in young starters every season when there is no need to. At the fans forum, Les Reed stated they’re now looking to recruit youth players who have the potential to play on the international stage. ‘Premier league potential’ is too low to be the talent threshold as every Saints starter plays for their country. I see merit in this approach, as we want to focus on the best young players, but there are also several flaws. Firstly, you’re dramatically reducing the pool of players you consider good enough and it also puts us in direct competition with the biggest teams in the world. This is why the club wants to highlight the Mane success; to entice players wanting to use us as a stepping stone. We may not be a big club, but we’re stable and will give you your big break if you join us.

Secondly, not every player develops at the same rate and some can make an unexpected leap when given the chance to play in the senior side. Plenty of good young players in international youth sides don’t go on to reach their potential and many deemed not good enough for their country at youth level, develop for their club teams and earn a place at the peak of their career. Does this approach mean that we no longer consider those players? It does suggest a leaning towards individual ability rather than team cohesion and less focus on top quality coaching. It also implies that our focus is to be a poor man’s Manchester United rather than a rich man’s Bournemouth or Burnley. Personally, I’d prefer to be the latter if I’m honest but this cannot be achieved with a revolving door of players.

If we take a look at a player we were linked with in the summer, James Maddison, he had a very good season in the Championship with Norwich and earned a call up to the England U21s. He’d previously made an U20 squad but didn’t play due to injury. But he was by no means in and out of the England side or seen as a key player growing up. The season before last, he spent most of it on loan at Aberdeen. Leicester took a calculated risk in not only signing him but starting him in their first two games of the season. This was a player with one Championship season under his belt, albeit a good one. He’s hit the ground running and looks like he will play an important part in their league campaign at the age of just 21. If he carries on playing this way, there will be no questioning his ability and right to be starting, but 3 or 4 years ago at Coventry or even in his early Norwich days, he wasn’t part of the national set-up. So would 16 or 17 year old James Maddison be deemed worthy? We must hope so. Certainly seems to remain an aspiration of the club to develop its own talent and bring it into the first team if they are as capable.

LR stated that talent is cyclical and that does appear to be the case. He also highlighted we have a number of very talented young players at the 12-14 age range so it may be that, if our loanees don’t have great seasons around the country, we have to wait another few years to get the next wave of exciting young players through. In the meantime, the club has little incentive to gamble on our young players with question marks, when they’re able to entice players with international and European club competition experience by being a stepping stone. But if any of our young players can go out on loan, earn valuable match experience and have a season as successful as Matt Targett last season, then they will have earned the right to come back and compete for starting places with the senior side.

5.) 22 Aug 2018
22 Aug 2018 18:24:01
Saints 123.I've not mentioned any point last week about the board not spending enough money. Think you've got me confused with someone else, I thought we had a great transfer window and felt every poaition was addressed. my only criticism may be that we didn't ship out more midfielders but if there are no takers then we can just give them away. I was just saying that gone are the days of the old Southampton way. times have changed and we are spending a lot of money on players, our last 3 signings have broken our transfer record. I didn't say its bad . just different I understand why but I also said what I would prefer. and I actually think sam mcqueen and josh sims looked as good as anyone when given a chance. I just think there is an apprehensive approach due to the concern of premier league survival. I could well be wrong and they may not be good enough, fit enough, strong enough physically or mentally so I am merely offering my view on the younger players.

6.) 23 Aug 2018
23 Aug 2018 10:40:30
Not you specifically Rayzer - was just making the point that the club really can't win. If they don't sign players, they're criticised. If they don't play youth, they're criticised. I think we should all stop trying to over-criticise every decision and just understand whether there is a rational reason for doing what they've done.

To the youth point, I don't necessarily think we've lost touch with the Southampton way, which has been to sign high-potential young players with resale value ever since the new regime took over. It's natural that when we were rising from league 1 to the premier we brought a lot through from our own academy, because we were in a position where these players could grow alongside us. Now we're established in the premier league, we're asking them to make much more of a leap to join the first team, which will lower the number of players we're able to bring through. I agree some of these players need a chance, but we have to be smart about it, because as much potential as Mcqueen, Sims etc. have, if we give them all their chance at once, we start to look a lot like a Championship team.

It's a tough balance to strike, and I think we may have made a mistake not keeping Sims, but I think its unreasonable to expect the same number of academy products in the first team as when we were rising up through the leagues.