01 Sep 2018 15:01:37
Just seen the line up for todays game against Crystal Palace. disappointed yet again!

Why no Sam Gallagher . no Gabbiadini (okay he is not in form) but all we have is Charlie Austin and the continual perseverance with Shane Long is doing my head in!

No Stuart Armstrong - is he injured?

Also Yoshida on the bench, would rather see Hoedt step to the bench and see what Vesterdaard and Yoshida look like.

Prediction 0-0 half time - Palace to take the lead after half time. Shane Long will get substituted after 60 - 70 minutes with desperation setting in for Charlie to try and get a draw!

If we lose today, then there has to be a big question mark over Mark Hughes. We have the players in the squad but we are too predictable . Shane long wasting a starting berth and that's my view .!
Pee'd off Pete second week in a row. :- ( ( (.

1.) 01 Sep 2018
01 Sep 2018 15:29:23
This is Palace without Wilf Zaha. Looks like they're playing 4-4-2 as well. Could be a boring goalless draw.

2.) 01 Sep 2018
01 Sep 2018 17:48:00
Or it could be Palace 0-2 Saints. Well played lads.

3.) 02 Sep 2018
02 Sep 2018 12:01:43
Hoijberg played his best game for saints yesterday
Hughes seems to have tapped into his ability to ping the ball around and to try to create more from out midfield
He played some beautiful cross field balls yesterday commanded the midfield
Scored and I thought ran the show for us
9 out of 10 performance for me.

4.) 03 Sep 2018
03 Sep 2018 11:48:25
Firstly, a very welcome win and 3 points. Gift-wrapped though they were, that is two wins in a week and we can go into the international break with some good feeling. It was encouraging to see Bertrand and Cedric look to overlap often and create width. As another poster has highlighted, Hojberg delighted in having greater time to play forwards with willing runners ahead of him which allowed him to demonstrate a range of passing. His work was complimented by that of Lemina who worked hard from box to box and showed signs of recovery from what has been a lengthy series of disappointing performances.

I also think that Nathan Redmond had another good performance to add to the others so far this campaign. He has used his pace and skill to great effect at times to unsettle defences and create chances for himself and team mates. He too is showing very encouraging signs of a return to form after a quiet season last time out. Another game and another goal for Danny Ings who is having a very positive impact already on our attack which will hopefully only improve as his understanding with those around him develops. The players we have at our disposal in attack remain an exciting prospect which could be electric if harnessed correctly.

I could leave it there, but there is a ‘but’ to both this win and the midweek cup win against Brighton. It suffices to say on the latter that both side’s were much altered from Premier league outings but we arguably have greater strength and depth than Brighton with much first team experience taking the field compared to our opponents and even then, it too until very late in the game for us to score.

As for this weekend, we were playing a Palace side without Wilfred Zaha. Palace have played 12 games without Zaha and lost all 12 since their last win in his absence. You may recall their most torrid moments last season were without him compared to their assured results and performances in the starting 11. Even Roy Hodgson accepts that it is a major issue for them.

In the absence of Zaha, Palace lined up in a 4-4-2 formation similar to our own. This did little to aid their performance but meant we were playing like-for-like and had a better foothold in midfield. The first 45 minutes was pretty dour as Palace seemed reserved and uncertain and we struggled to create any real clear cut chances. Its unclear whether this was a return to Saints’ slow starts, conservatism in an away game or a little anxiety starting to creep in. It was perhaps fitting that the first goal came from individual error rather than brilliance. The ball from Cedric was a teasing one but Sakho was unconvincing in ducking under the pass, concentrating more on Shane Long than the ball. It was almost as if Martin Kelly behind him had called for him to leave it, only he hadn’t, made clear when he simply watched the ball bounce across in front of him whilst simultaneously letting Ings run off his back to stab home. Good ball, good finish, awful defending.

We then had the momentum and looked to score again. Shane Long’s injury brought an early introduction for Charlie Austin who came on and looked a little short of sharpness and fitness for the time he was on the pitch. His desire to score should be applauded but perhaps it would’ve been better for a player up to match speed and in form to take the penalty rather than Austin. Hindsight is a wonderful thing they say. The penalty miss proved a catalyst for Palace to realise they were lucky to still be in the game and so they snatched momentum and attacked and pressed for the remainder of the game. If they had an inform goal scorer in their side, they created enough chances to win the game but as it was, they needed Benteke to find a goal from somewhere. He failed to find the target, even when only about 3 yards out.

The forward press in search of a goal and fatigue can often lead to being caught on the counter and that’s how we scored our second. It was a well worked goal from start to finish and fitting that Hojberg scored it having played so well. He is much better for his teammates when driving them forward with his talent on the ball as opposed to diving too angrily into challenges or diving for penalties as last week. His performance was the perfect response to the disappointment of last week.

So confidence should be taken from a positive second-half performance, individually and collectively. Next we are at home to Brighton who will prove a tricky opponent in a couple of weeks time. But its another game, at home, they we should be looking to win to avoid placing too much pressure on the games against teams more likely to finish in the top half of the table.