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08 Aug 2018 14:47:18
Eds, today we're being linked with Lobotka and are said to be leading the chase for Ings alongside Palace. Any truth in the former and have you heard any updates on the Ings situation since your last posts on it?


{Ed002's Note - I am not aware of Southampton interest in Stanislav Lobotka but Spurs have looked to him as an option after losing out on their preferred choice to replace Dembele, but may not see value in the €35M asking price. Napoli are still looking to add another midfield player after Ruiz and have a declared interest. Interest from Southampton remains with Ings as Alcacer is looking out of the question. The interest of Leicester has gone. After getting nowhere with Babacar and Aleksandar Mitrovic, Crystal Palace have turned to Ings.}

1.) 08 Aug 2018 21:31:31
Many thanks Ed002.

Whilst Ings presents a bit of a fitness gamble, I'd rather him over Welbeck if there is any truth in that rumour.

2.) 08 Aug 2018 23:07:31
Please let us sign a striker. Please.



17 May 2018 14:30:49
If you haven't read Ralph Kreuger's interview in the Echo, here's a brief summary.

He offers himself as the sole person responsible for the events of this season, whilst simultaneously saying it was not the fault of just one person. He believes some tough lessons have been learned so all involved should stay on to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. Changing personnel is counter intuitive as the new people coming in will not have shared the tough experience of this season and learned the same lessons. It's a different way to look at things and perhaps correct, but the fans will want to be reassured with affirmative action to prevent another slump.

Well, happily RK acknowledges the club left the Southampton Way behind and so we'll be looking to return to that strategy. Great news right!? Well, yes and no. RK's primary focus as chairman is to represent the new owner by balancing football and finances. So, when he envisages a return to the Southampton Way, he means the financial element as well as the football.

Lets rewind to the not so distant past. What were your expectations for the club during the summer transfer windows over the last 4 or 5 years? Remember? Great! That's what we'll have to enjoy/ endure once more. You see, returning to the Southampton Way on the pitch for RK also means to apply the previous approach to transfer dealings. We'll sell our best players for as much as possible and recruit younger players to develop and sell on in the future at profit. RK says we should then take pride in watching our old players achieve wonderful things like reaching the Champions League final with their new side. Err. no. That's a bit like telling you that although your girlfriend left you for someone better, you should be happy for her when they win the lottery.

Remember too that its not just the fans that take issue with this policy. Our two best manages of recent times have left stating their frustration at being unable to build a team and plan ahead as they had no idea what their team would look like from season to season. Will MH be any different? RK is confident he's the right man to unite the team but how can he when the faces in the changing room will change so often?

RK advises that Mr Gao won't be investing any money in the club. Therefore, our transfer funds will come mainly or solely from player sales. Perhaps not this summer as we still have the majority of the VVD money to spend, unless that money is being used to improve the training facilities and entertainment for fans on match days as RK outlines. If the money is available, we start from a good place and can still strengthen this summer with a view to moving up the league. But then we'll have to see some of our favourite players leave and be replaced by others we may have no affinity with. Its like a football version of speed dating. Just when we get to know and like them, RING, there goes the bell and they're moving on. It might be great for the financial side but the fans are being asked to support the club rather than the individual players. I don't buy it. Surely that's grounds for a divorce between fans and club rather then a foundation for unity.

At least it's a World Cup year.


1.) 17 May 2018 16:22:15
Hi figo

Excellent post and I agree totally with your sentiments. I think it will be interesting as the club has yet to announce the appointment of MH as permanent manager, how long does this process take with only one candidate? . The transfer window opens tomorrow and season ticket holders are being asked to renew admittedly with prices held at last year's level, but as you state it's same old saints not showing any ambition but happy to keep turning over players for a profit. Its a bit rich that the club show no real loyalty to the players or fans, can you blame the players feeling the same way? 're RK's comment on spending money on the training facility why it is only 4-5 years since construction finished and it was hailed as leading edge, years ahead of its time so where is the need for big expenditure? It will be interesting to see how much of the VVD money is available for players plus moving on some other fringe players e. g. Clasie who haven't featured. Its interesting that nobody is really taking responsibility for MP2's appointment and how disastrous that was on a 3 year contract which cost money to settle early! The premiership as RK says is unique but it is not just about football, it is entertainment, theatre, drama and the connection between fans and players. As you say figo this has been eroded and I hope that this is not the Board and owners view of the 'Southampton way'
going forward.

2.) 17 May 2018 16:41:15
I was thinking exactly the same thing re: the MH appointment. He said at the end of the season he would love to take the job on and he expected Saints to move quickly. Saints have said publicly now they see him as the right man for the job and they're in discussions. and that's it. Nothing for some time now. There's a sticking point somewhere and it may well be financial or length of contract, but if I was MH I would like some reassurance that the core of the squad I want to keep and build around will still be here for next season. If the club can't give him that assurance, or he doesn't like the idea of the high player turnover, it could be a deal breaker.

3.) 17 May 2018 21:47:18
I would ‘echo’ the comments - it is a fine post.

The summary is spot on and covered everything. About Hughes though, he is in a fairly good position, as on paper we were going down and he saved us. Whilst I am grateful and have no issues with him getting the long term job if a suitable strategy is in place, no one knows for sure if we would have stayed up anyway. Although it’s speculative, we could have potentially stayed regardless of who was at the help, a point that should be considered is that it got worse before it got better. However again, stoke may have stayed up under Hughes, I seem to recall his points average would have been enough.

That said and again on paper, he saved us and reputation would naturally be restored to an extent.

4.) 17 May 2018 22:16:10
Totally agree with both above posts but there is just something that is bugging me. They allowed Mr GAO to take majority control of the club with to put it mildly very little confidence in his financial ability to finance the club if required in the future. I feel this is a major stumbling block for any progression for the club to ensure a stable future . Just maybe the SOUTHAMPTON WAY doesn’t suit other potential investors who really want to be more involved with the club and not happy with the board as it is. The delay in appointing MH smacks of the last two seasons with obviously something holding it up, probably as you say money and confirmation of the squad availability for next season. Don’t know about anybody else but the communication from the club to the supporters is virtually nothing apart from a rather sheepish interview with Adam Blackmore. However they were amazingly quick to post the new season ticket great deals and wanting our money now before we have any idea of what the set up will be next season. I personally find the recent business far from the Southampton Way and if they want to know what that is, hold a fans forum they might learn something, but I doubt it.

5.) 17 May 2018 22:33:36
So basically we are expecting nothing to change then lol.

6.) 18 May 2018 11:08:37
They’ll be holding a fans’ forum in August I believe so perhaps an opportunity to get some points across and find out more. I can’t find any trace of an official fan club/ union which would be a better way for the fans to approach a forum. Anyone know of one?

What will be pointless is if 100 fans turn up all shouting and disorganised. Then, at the next forum there’s an entirely different group of fans all asking the same questions as last time or wasting time with questions that are unhelpful. Given that the fans are many, availability of tickets will likely be luck of the draw on application and views broad, it would be better if there was an official supporters’ club, independent but recognised by it as representing the fans, where member fans are invited to air their views to representatives who then put select questions to RK and whoever else turns up. This official supporters’ club can then circulate the minutes of the forum to all its members so everyone can read what was discussed without it being edited by the Echo or the FC. Otherwise, fans will feel as if they don’t have a voice if they don’t get to attend a forum, making them pointless.

For the club’s part, if they feel the forum is just an opportunity for people to come and shout or abuse them when things aren’t going well, or they are disorganised and messy there’s a risk they’ll just draw a line under it.

7.) 18 May 2018 15:07:42
Figo I would be the first to second you as the level headed representative to put an organised sensible discussion with the board and the management putting forward supporters views and recommendations for the club to take on board. Why not try to organise something I believe you would get very firm backing from the majority of the supporters.

8.) 18 May 2018 20:55:48
Thanks Chris. I wasn't really thinking about me. Right now, I feel far from level headed about what is happening.

I may consider it. I've still not found anyone official. I'll drop a line to the SFC supporter relations contact and the Football Supporters Federation to see if there is anyone official. I'd rather just join than set something up as it will require a fair amount of time to be committed. But, if there is no-one out there it seems to me the only sensible way to have our views aired with the club constructively.



09 May 2018 11:40:24
Eds, there are reports today we've turned down the chance to sign Max Meyer from Schalke for just under £9m. Is there any truth in this? I know Meyer has fallen out with Schalke but he's a genuine prospect isn't he? Do you think it was his attitude that saw us turn him down if we did so?


{Ed001's Note - it is not as simple as that. He was offered around by his agent, his club were still trying to get him to sign a new deal. There was no price set or anything, just clubs not wanting to get involved in January.}

1.) 09 May 2018 13:13:54
OK, so just the papers highlighting a link to us to add a bit if spice to the story when in fact he was being shopped around to a number of clubs. I like what I've seen/ heard about him playing wise though. Any thoughts on his ability to kick on in the premier league?

2.) 11 May 2018 16:07:31
Interesting striker worth looking at from St Pauli - Marvin Ducksch, currently on loan to Holstein Kiel, has scored 18 goals this season plus 11 assists.



20 Mar 2018 12:07:12
As we have a boring two week break with no football, I thought I'd take the opportunity to quickly review my predictions for the end of season positions. I can't find my old article of a couple of weeks back on the site so can't remember all I said but I think my predictions have altered a little.

Swansea I expect to finish highest of the current bottom nine teams with around 41 points. BHA still have a tough run in but they've accrued more points at this stage than I expected so I see them being safe now, finishing on about 38 points. I predict Newcastle and Palace will finish with the same or thereabouts points total.

At the bottom, I don't expect WBA to move and Stoke have Arsenal, Spurs, Burnley and Liverpool still to play along with West Ham, Palace and Swansea so I can't see them picking up more than 5 points from their run in, leaving them on 32 points and in the relegation zone.

The real scrap is over that final relegation spot and it will be us duking it out with West Ham and Huddersfield for the right to play Premier League Football next season.

As expected, Huddersfield have really started to struggle lately, even more than I expected. They're left with only 7 games, including the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal. They also face Newcastle, Brighton, Watford and Everton. Three weeks ago, I could see them winning one of those games or nicking two or three draws, but now. I think they'll really struggle to finish on anything higher than 34 points.

West Ham have 8 games left and face Chelsea, Arsenal, Man U, Man City and Leicester in their run in. If points from those games seems unlikely, West Ham will be focused on getting as much as they can from their game with us, Stoke and Everton. I can see West Ham performing well enough in one of those three games to get a win provided the natives in East London don't continue to stage protests and undermine their own side's chances of getting wins. Anyone playing West Ham at the London stadium will know the importance of scoring first and turning the home fans against their team. West Ham are in the stronger points position than us, but their form is the most unpredictable. They really could finish anywhere between 30 and 36 points. Anything less than 34 is asking for real trouble.

We too have the luxury of 8 league games left, but due to our progression in the FA Cup, two of those will be midweek fixtures and there is of course the Semi-Final against Chelsea, in what will be a rather heavy-going conclusion to the season. MH will have to be careful to get the balance right in training between improving fitness and stamina of players, whilst not over-working them and leaving them fatigued. We still lack a goal scoring striker at the moment, so the imminent return of Charlie Austin could be the difference. We have Arsenal, Chelsea and City to play, mixed in with West Ham, Swansea, Bournemouth, Everton and Leicester. Our midweek catch-up games will be the Leicester and Swansea games, making what already looked like tricky fixtures that little bit harder unless we're playing with confidence and momentum from performances in the matches around them. Like West Ham, we remain somewhat of an unknown quantity, with a new manager. As a rival to escape that final relegation spot, the West Ham game couldn't be more important in determining where we'll be playing our football next season. A win will place us above West Ham (and possibly Huddersfield too) and the pressure will then be on them for at least a week (or in Huddersfield's case, I would expect them to be in trouble for the rest of the season) . Anything less than a win and West Ham and Huddersfield stay above us for the time being and the pressure is on us to get the points required to go above one of them. With those fixtures, we'll be relying on Huddersfield and West Ham to continue to wobble whilst finding something like 6 or 7 points from our final 7 games. This unpredictability means we could also finish with a points haul of anything between 30 and 36 points. Our goal difference gives us the edge over our rivals if we can match their points tally. I still think we'll need as little as 34 points to stay up, but at this stage, its hard to tell whether that target will be reached with comfort or hover tantalisingly out of reach.


1.) 20 Mar 2018 13:23:21
Perfectly put as ever Figo! The only other thing in our favour is the bounce we get which Huddersfield won’t have and which the hammers had and don’t have now.
That puts us psychologically at an advantage.
Also those two teams are not going to change formation now. We have had to which should work for us particularly with Chaz coming back.

2.) 20 Mar 2018 18:14:42
I was thinking about what Mark H might say to the players before the West Ham United game . and in all honesty I think he will simply say 'GO WIN IT' .
he will totally instill the WE MUST WIN THIS GAME mentality . and I think the players will respond accordingly.

I also think there isn't a better time to play Chelsea in the PL and cup . and likewise Arsenal . both teams very hit n'miss . and if the passion showed by the whole team against Wigan is repeated . I am positive we could get something out of both these games.


3.) 20 Mar 2018 20:25:46
Figo, as always a great post, I remember your article well and actually I was thinking of some kind of follow up.

I agree with most except 2 of your points.

Huddersfield - if my memory serves me correctly they had a good February, collecting 6 points from 3 games. They have since lost to palace, whilst this put us in the bottom 3 it also dragged them back in it. Not great form but they have a points to game ratio to suggest they ‘may’ have enough.

34 points - I believe to get safe, it will be more like 36, I think we will achieve this under MH.

From there I / we will be happy and probably wondering what the future holds. I don’t think it is right to have dogs at the new owners though, they have not been here long. But assuming it is right about LR being the ‘brains’ behind the whole club playing that stupid formation at every level, I worry he may dictate to the permanent manager.

4.) 20 Mar 2018 21:54:15

5.) 21 Mar 2018 06:26:29
We have some tough games ahead as do the other relegation scrapers around us but we’re in a position where Hughes has already changed and brought something to the table as in our formation and belief
Potentially we could beat Chelsea twice in a week which would be pretty amazing
I honestly think we’re in the best hands now to get out of this with the following results

West Ham win
Swansea draw
Arsenal draw
Chelsea win
Chelsea win
Bournemouth win
Leicester loss
Everton win
City loss
And then my alarm clocks just goes off and I’ve woken up from my dream
Plus we’ve also lifted the FA cup and Mourinho admits on live television we were the better team without any excuses.

6.) 21 Mar 2018 12:28:54
Whilst we all feel a little more positive with the change of manager, we’ve yet to really see whether MH will provide a bounce or not. The players did play well second half v Wigan but as I say, we need to see them carry the second 45 minutes into the next match v West Ham and then on for the remainder of the season. Playing the odd good game/ half is nothing more than we were achieving under Pellegrino.

I’d worry if MH simply tells this team to ‘go and win’ the West Ham game. This remains a young, inexperienced side at its heart – McCarthy, Hoedt, Stephens, Lemina, Hojberg, Boufal, Sims, Carrillo all lack experience for various reasons and MH has highlighted that in his view, the players could do with more individual instruction and preparation than they were previously receiving. First and foremost, MH needs to ensure each player is well prepared tactically, understands their individual role and is capable of executing it on match day under pressure. These players do all need motivating but if they’re simply told to go and win a huge stakes game without the foundation of confidence and momentum, they may simply crumble under the pressure. It’s clear the team is fragile so I think the message needs to be ‘you CAN win this game’ and MH must convince them. If this squad can find self-belief, trust their team mates and trust the tactics, it will free them up to express themselves. That’s the key to winning.

On the Huddersfield point Gregg, they’ve lost two and drawn one of their last three games but its not the results but the manner that is of note. This month, they’ve failed to score in their three games and against Palace at home, they were totally dominated by a fellow struggler. Palace are better with Zaha back but Huddersfield’s strength has been their defence this season. They’re not going to score a lot of goals so if their defence starts to wobble, they could be in big trouble. Right now, I can’t see them getting too many more points. They may surprise me, yet again, with a big result against Newcastle, Brighton or Everton. I think their best chance of a win is against Watford but even that’s not easy. If teams have sussed them out or their performance levels drop now, they could have it tough.

My 34 points guesstimate is based on Huddersfield only picking up a couple of draws in their remaining fixtures a I suspect they may take that last relegation spot if that happens. Maybe its just wishful thinking as 33/ 34 points gives Saints a more makeable target.

I think, moving forward, the club needs invest in a better coaching team across all levels. They need to hire not only better coaches, but more of them if they want to ensure that the teams remain attractive to young players, they develop to their full potential and that they are able to integrate seamlessly into the first team as intended. As for senior players, the head coach needs to have a true understanding of each player and their best position, decide the formation that best suits and then recruit a few players to ensure there aren’t any square pegs in round holes. In today’s game, young players are coached to perform specific roles by the top sides. Central midfield is not really a defined position anymore. Instead, you’re an anchor man, defensive or deep-lying playmaker, a box to box midfielder, advanced playmaker, roaming playmaker and on and on. Left and right backs can be attacking, defensive, wing-backs or full backs. Now more than ever, its crucial for the club to ensure that each season it knows the best formation for the players and any players brought in fit naturally into that system. That’s the art of team building. Not just buying the best young players, but the best players that fit into your system. If not, that new signing will not be able to play to their potential.

7.) 21 Mar 2018 19:16:52
So the two big games for me where I think we can get maximum points is against West Ham and Swansea, simply because I think we have the better squad than both teams. Swansea has come under great form, but the change of management should favour us. The worrying thing for me is that we've got Arsenal and Chelsea back-to-back. However, both teams are underperforming and again, we'll see what effect Mark Hudges has.

These next two weeks are crucial and I would say that the break has come at a perfect time, because of our form only a few players have been called up to their national squads, which should give Hughes some time to know what he's working with and prepare for the West Ham game. Facing Man City on the last day is a massive burden for us, they will have probably won the title by then and if they're still in the Champions League, they should be focussed on that. However, if they're breaking records I expect it to be a bad game.

8.) 22 Mar 2018 14:06:04
Agree on last game. Let’s hope it’s not a thumping 8/ 9 -0 and screw our GD!



14 Feb 2018 20:29:19
{Ed's Note - figodasilva has posted a new article entitled, Finishing positions for the bottom half of the Premier League


1.) 19 Feb 2018 11:10:56
Nice article Figo! I've posted my predictions for Saints remaining fixtures below.
Burnley Away - Draw
Stoke Home - Draw
Newcastle Away - Loss
West Ham Away - Loss
Arsenal Away - Loss
Chelsea Home - Loss
Leicester Away - Loss
Bournemouth Home - Win
Everton Away - Win
Man City Home - Draw

Very pessimistic view here and I would like us to get results against other struggling teams, I just don't think it'll happen. Maybe we can go to Burnley and host Stoke and win both of these games. That'll put us in a better position to stay up. But with only 5 wins from 27 games, we don't seem to have a winning mentality about us and based on everything that has happened so far I can't see us turning around and going on a 5 game winning streak.

2.) 19 Feb 2018 17:05:16
I wouldn’t go to the bookies with them predictions 😂.

3.) 19 Feb 2018 19:43:51
You'd get some amazing odds.

4.) 20 Feb 2018 11:28:44
I might have to stick a couple of quid down on that then haha. What results would you say would be different, obviously looking back at what I've said 5 losses on the bounce is probably unlikely.

5.) 20 Feb 2018 12:21:35
My predictions would be
Burnley away - Draw
Stoke home - win
Newcastle away - draw
West Ham away - draw
Arsenal away - loss
Chelsea home - loss
Leicester away - loss
Bournemouth home - win
Everton away - loss
Man City home - loss
That will put us on 35 points, just hope I’m wrong and we get some more wins. Our season is going to be decided in the next 4 games.

6.) 20 Feb 2018 18:26:33
I think you're right that the next 4 games are going to be very decisive on the points front. We must also remain as tight as we can against Arsenal and Chelsea, frustrate and perhaps nick a point off one of them. If we are to lose several, it will be important to keep goal difference under control. There's every chance that one or more places could be decided by good in the end. Everton remain pretty pants with few goal scoring chances created. I'd like to think we have a chance up there of at least a point.

That's your predicitons for our run in but looking at the other teams, how many points do you think they'll pick up? If you work through say the bottom 6 teams and have a guess at their season end points total, it may be 35 points could keep us safe. I know it sounds like a low total but it could.

7.) 20 Feb 2018 20:32:59
I'm never right and my predictions are always awful so I reckon

Burnley - win
Stoke -draw
Newcastle -loss
West ham -loss
Arsenal - loss
Chelsea- loss
Leicester - loss
Bournemouth - win
Everton - loss
City - draw

34 points and hoping 3 teams do worse.

So if you are a betting man go opposite everything I've put and you might stand a chance! 😬.

8.) 21 Feb 2018 02:26:11
I believe we can win most of the remaining games. Here is my prediction:

Burnley - draw/ win
Stoke - win
Newcastle - win
West ham - win
Arsenal - draw
Chelsea- loss
Leicester - draw
Bournemouth - draw
Everton - loss
City - loss.

{Ed0333's Note - You’ll against Newcastle and Evertonians lose against Arsenal. The rest I agree with.

9.) 10 Mar 2018 22:17:40
Saint jay is 3 from 3.maybe we should of put a couple of quid on it.




figodasilva's banter posts with other poster's replies to figodasilva's banter posts


10 Aug 2018 18:14:19
{Ed's Note - figodasilva has posted a new article entitled, Southampton FC: A look ahead to the 2018-19 season




29 Jun 2018 14:06:51
Elyounoussi is an excellent signing. Very excited about that one. Armstrong will be a useful addition if he can replicate his 16/ 17 form. He struggled last term with niggly injuries and form so let's hope he can find his feet again. It's a relief to get a couple of new faces in after a quiet start to the window. Still one or two places to strengthen i. e RB, CB and FW/ ST. A young GK competing for first team would be good (maybe Gunn) but not crucial, and a right-sided forward now Tadic has gone but we're nearly there.


1.) 29 Jun 2018 21:20:07
Elyounissi can play in all 3 forward positions so I wouldn't necessarily say a FW or ST is our main priority. If you look at all of our forward options when they were on a good run they performed really well. I think this next season can be a really good season for us with a potential top 7 finish and maybe a Leicester as they were nearly relegated the season before they won the prem!

As regards to center back, it looks like we are strengthening those areas with the likes of Marlon Santos. Bednarek has heaps of potential and seems to have a goal threat similar to the way Fonte used to have. COYR.

2.) 30 Jun 2018 13:53:53
While Elyounoussi can play across the front, he is most comfortable playing on the left and I’m not sure at this stage we should be pinning our striking hopes on him should CA get injured at some stage of the season as is par for the course.

Gabbi can also play as a striker but requires a very different style of service so is more likely to benefit from playing against certain teams rather than being a regular striker. CA remains the only specialist striker we have so I’d like to see someone else brought in. Elyounoussi may prove to be our Mo Salah, but as he’s very much the exception to the rule, its more likely that he’ll take time to settle with his new team and the league.

Links to Marlon and Vestergaard are all well and good but I think we need an experienced centre back to lead the back line. We really missed this last season and if rumours from Stoke be believed, I’m not sure MH focuses a great deal on defensive training so it’s the best way for Bednarek, Hoedt, Stephens and anyone else who comes in to learn.

3.) 30 Jun 2018 22:07:18
Absolutely agree figo. I would love to see another Pelle type player but I've been looking to see who might be available and there's not many like him around. Not many decent CBs around in our price range either so we might be going with what we have plus another young upcoming defender. Looking forward to next season though.



11 Jun 2018 12:45:54
Hi Eds, I see Liverpool have released Jon Flanagan and wondered if he may be of interest to someone like us. Do you know anything about his condition and prospects?

He's only 25 and when he was introduced at Liverpool, he looked full of potential. I do note he's had a couple of knee injuries that hampered his progress and was loaned out to Burnley last season and Bolton this, making a total of about 20 appearances which suggests his form isn't what it was or perhaps his injury hampers him. Injuries aside, I also note he had a run in with the law earlier this year. So is he fit enough to play consistently from what you hear? If so, he could at least provide back up for Cedric if not competition for a starting spot. Maybe a fresh start would help him find form?


{Ed001's Note - he has never recovered mentally from his injuries and that has kept him on the fringes on loan spells. He clearly suffered badly during the long lay off, drinking way too much and getting into trouble. He probably needs a drop down the leagues to play regularly and try and get back to some kind of form.}

1.) 11 Jun 2018 14:18:39
Cheers Ed. Its always a shame to see a young footballer chewed up and spat out.

{Ed001's Note - I guess, though he has endeared himself to no one with his actions.}



Should Mark Hughes should be kept on at Southampton FC for the long term?

14 May 2018 15:54:04
{Ed's Note - figodasilva has posted a new article entitled, Should Mark Hughes should be kept on at Southampton FC for the long term?


1.) 16 May 2018 13:18:55
Good article Figo, nicely put. The argument against comparing his win % against the others is that he only managed a handful of games. 2 against the top 6.

I personally do not think we should keep him on. I like him and he was brought into the club to do one job, keep us up. And if I'm being honest we got very lucky not to be relegated. The games we won, the team and everyone knew we needed to win them. We played tight and as a group. I didn't see any major changes with our team going forward under Hudges and we're still a few marquee signings away from being where we want to be. I don't he would develop the squad, over a number of seasons. I think we would see a decline if we kept him on. Sure we probably wouldn't get into another relegation scrap but at the same time, I don't think we would witness the attacking that we want as fans.

Although, saying that I don't want him to stay. I also can't see who we would replace him with. The board has got their last 2 managerial appointments wrong. The Leicester fans now have the same issues with CP as we did.

MH offers Premier League stability but not growth. With him, in charge, we would probably be finishing between 8th and 12th and that would frustrate a lot of fans.

My biggest pain this season is that we've dropped so many points. I know it's probably a stupid stat to look at, but if we stopped all games at 80 minutes, we would have 10 more points this season. Including, 2 draws against Man City. We conceded 9 goals past the 80 minutes and only scored 4. 2 of which were in games where the goal didn't affect the result (5-2 VS spurs and 4-1 vs Everton) . This needs to be addressed and ultimately, I think a lot of these goals could have been prevented had the manager made the right call with their substitutions.

Whatever the call I hope the board makes it soon, as we've already seen Big Sam and now Moyes released from their clubs. We either need to say thanks to MH for his hard work but we're going with another signing or give the man a new contract.



Southampton FC need a solid long term strategy 10 May 2018

10 May 2018 13:49:11
{Ed's Note - figodasilva has posted a new article entitled, Southampton FC need a solid long term strategy 10 May 2018





figodasilva's rumour replies


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08 Aug 2018 21:31:31
Many thanks Ed002.

Whilst Ings presents a bit of a fitness gamble, I'd rather him over Welbeck if there is any truth in that rumour.




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07 Aug 2018 20:26:25
Jay Rodriguez has done little to justify an increase in transfer fee so that's more down to the market rather than us missing a trick.

JWP remains an enigma to me. I really want him to be good as his set places are so impressive, but he just doesn't seem to have to the speed of thought required to succeed in the premier league as a midfielder at this stage. That may be solved by getting more game time but also, it may never come for him. As it is, he has been given a decent number of opportunities to show something and I just don't think he has it in his locker. For England's sake rather than Saints, I hope I'm wrong.

For me, a sale works well for both parties but £10m is a poultry sum given they have recently sold Richarlison for £50m. They can have Davis for £10m if they want. As you say, £15m would be more tempting if it gives us time to bring in someone with experience to strengthen the team.




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04 Jul 2018 11:44:20
Thanks very much for the comprehensive breakdown ed002.

I think Vestergaard could be a great signing. I'm also surprised that interest in Gibson has curtailed but put that down to fee if there's a lot of competition for his signature. Santos looks a bit dodgy from the stats but I've not seen him play so am happy to trust the scouts know far more than me.

Some don't rate Shaquiri but I'm not one of them. I think he has shown time and again he has the capacity to unlock teams on his own. He is criticised for being selfish at times but when you look at the low quality around him for Switzerland and Stoke, its not surprising. He scored 8 and had 7 assists last season, having a hand in 15 of Stoke's season total of 36 goals last term. One player helping an ineffective team score 42% of their goals. Phil Neville said his performances and attitude for Stoke last season were a disgrace ahead of Switzerland's game v Sweden on Monday. Phil Neville is an idiot.

It would be great if we could bring in Ings and he could stay fit and find some form. He was so good before his injuries. Would be a gamble though.




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21 Jun 2018 13:33:16
I would be surprised if the club targets anyone who is not young with the potential to develop within our first team. Any links to established or senior players are likely just empty rumour. One or two wise heads could assist in defensive positions so we may look at more experienced players there if MH is uncomfortable with our defence as is, but I think we're more likely to sign younger players to add competition and depth to the squad and perhaps to liven up the first team a little. I can't see the likes of Wilshere, Sturridge, Rogic, Armstrong, Mooy fitting in with the clubs aims for the window. Pione Sisto looks lively for Denmark so would be a welcome addition. Pace, trickery, quick feet, confidence.




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25 May 2018 22:04:21
Given that when Gao took over, the club was reorganised internally, the board likely looks different now to when it did when we were promoted. On the basis of last season, the answer to your question is no. They are not geniuses.

Its right that in order for a club to grow in size, you must increase the fanbase domestically and globally. The best way to do so is to play good football and compete for things. Then, not only do you get televised more, but it allows interest and support of the team to grow. SFC is not the first club to try to spread its name to other parts of the world but people are likely to shrug and say ‘who? ’ rather than ‘tell me more’. Its folly to think that by simply telling people about the club support will duly follow. People from Southampton support Saints as its their home club and they have an affinity with it. People from other countries will want to find a team they can watch fairly regularly and that competes for domestic titles and wins more than it loses. Without the affinity, they’re more likely to lose interest and follow a team that does. Why wouldn’t they?

I’ve not read anywhere that Gao intends to buy a feeder club in Europe. I understand he’s looking to invest in Chinese football. RK spoke of a feeder team relationship in Europe as we had one previously, but even if Gao was to buy one, I’m not sure that in itself makes us a more appealing purchase. Its twice the number of football clubs and twice the number of headaches.

People seem to think that investors can make loads of money from football but that's only the case for the super rich. Look at how Abramovich is struggling at the moment. Mike Ashley? You only make money from one of the elite clubs and SFC is not that. Consider the route Tottenham have taken and that looks like the most viable path for those clubs who are not super rich. If I was looking to invest in a club now, Tottenham would be intriguing because you can see that by injecting a little bit of money, they could probably challenge for titles, progress in the Champions league, reach a global audience. Kerching. When you look at SFC, people will see small club, small fanbase, no global reach, going backwards in the Premier League and at risk of relegation and the financial pitfalls of the same. The experiment of the stepping stone club seems to be failing now after some initial success.

Is the club in a better position now than it was when we were promoted? Yes. Our debts have been reduced, (by people who have now moved on) we’ve largely done well on net transfers and with the increase in TV money in the last two seasons, things are much better. But as a business, the club remains a drain, which is why Katerina Liebherr sold it. Is Gao a genius for trying to make the club a more viable business? No. If he didn’t, he would be a looney throwing good money after bad. Is he looking just to improve it and sell it? Perhaps. But where does that leave us as fans and the football team?

There’s no hint of genius in the points you’ve set out. Its a business strategy and not a novel one. If they were really geniuses the focus would be, in the first instance, on making the football team the best it can possibly be. Then, they would have an enticing product to market to fans and potential investors around the world.





figodasilva's banter replies


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14 Aug 2018 10:38:53
I can understand the frustration with Gabbi but he came on as a sort of right winger and that is not a role he is either familiar with or comfortable playing. He did manage to get on the end of a cross but he was well behind the back post leaving such an acute angle, scoring was highly unlikely and there was also a defender and goalkeeper between him and the goal. The percentage play was to head it back across goal as he did but there was no-one there to benefit. Sometimes, the speed of play dictates that you have to make an educated guess as to the best thing to do without having the luxury of a glance across the field to see where your teammates are. I think its extremely harsh to criticise him for not scoring a near impossible header and for heading it back across goal to no-one in red and white, when we were pushing for a goal and he had a reasonable expectation that with two strikers on the pitch and another attacking midfielder who can play as a striker, someone would gamble and make a late run towards goal.

Gabbi hasn't always done himself any favours when he has played but he has largely been played in a system that doesn't suit him. He is not a lone striker who enjoys holding up play and when playing on the right, he likes to drift into central spaces to link up with a striker. That was not possible and not necessary on Sunday as Redmond, Ings and Elyounoussi all occupied the spaces he likes to play in. He therefore stayed wider and could have little impact on the game.




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13 Aug 2018 11:41:09
I said in my pre-match article that three centre-backs could cause us issues in the game and so it proved. Bertrand and Cedric were kept pinned back by Burnley’s wide men and that meant we defended with 5 and our attacks were forced through a very narrow corridor which played entirely into Burnley’s hands. I was very pleased with Vestergaard’s performance though. Chris Woods is quite good at bullying centre backs but Vestergaard gave as good as he got if not better. I expected Woods to get the better of him physically but none of it. Loved seeming him pushing Woods around at times. He past his first real test well.

I was also pleased with Redmond’s performance. His ability to beat players and some direct running worked well in both halves to keep the Burnley defence on their toes but there were flashes in the second half especially where they couldn’t touch him. That’s the sort of performance we want to see from him every week.

We all agree that Saints improved with the formation change half way through the second half. With more time, we could have scored the all important winning goal and its frustrating that this formation wasn’t used from the off. Ings’ link-up play was very good when he came on, should have been awarded a penalty and he helped to revive a flagging attack. Mo had some good flashes too.

Before the game I said I would take a draw and so I’m not to disappointed with the draw. I was happy there were more positives in the performance that I was expecting both defensively and offensively and I feel more confident we have the right players here for us to have a good season. We just need the man in charge to put the player’s in their best positions to realise their full potential.




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10 Aug 2018 18:21:55
A diamond? Interesting.


Cedric Vestergaard Hoedt Targett


Hojberg Armstrong

Gabbi Chaz Mo.




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10 Aug 2018 08:59:55
Ha Ha - shot down in flames.




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09 Aug 2018 14:48:57
Cedric does need stronger competition at right back but we have players who can cover their in the interim. The problem up top is more pressing because both Austin and Gabbi struggled for goald last season, Austin's age is against him when considering his fitness and injury history and I don't think he can play 38 league gams, let alone cup appearances. Gabbi can play as a striker but if we play in a 3-5-2, who is he going to play with? If we only play one up top, Gabbi has already shown he isn't suited to it with the direct football we have been playing. I would steer clear of Welbeck but Ings has shown what he can do with a run of games and even if he comes as back up to Austin, I'd rather him on the bench then Shane Long.