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05 Dec 2018 13:32:39
I'm sure we've all been reading up about our new manager over the last few days (he's been confirmed now) so its genuinely exciting for someone of his calibre and potential to be taking over the first team. We know RB Leipzig played some exciting stuff under Hassenhutl, along with previous teams. He has shown an ability to get the best from a squad and importantly, to integrate youth with experience.

The thing that struck me though, is that this guy has a great reputation as a person. An inspiring and enthusiastic coach who, despite his success and the interest he has generated, has kept some humility. Bayern wanted him to take over not too long ago but he turned them down as he felt it was too early in his career and he wanted to keep learning and building experience before taking on such a job.

The board has demonstrated its desire to sort this mess out and quickly so they deserve great credit. Not only for acting swiftly but for getting their, and probably our, number one target for the head coach role. We've spoken of Hassenhutl on here since the MP2 days! Unlike the last three appointments, RH has a strong reputation and is seen as a progressive coach who likes attacking pressing, high-energy football and developing youth.

I presume it was down to Ross Wilson to identify the best candidate and get the board's approval and if so, it's a positive reminder of his abilities. There is now talk that the club will not be looking to appoint someone with the same broad scope of powers that Les Reed enjoyed. If Hassenhutl can pull the squad back together and Ross Wilson works closely with him to identify playing and coaching targets to bring on board, we can have faith in the club getting back on track without a DOF.

Exciting times are back at St Mary's. Its been a while.


1.) 05 Dec 2018 14:17:42
Hopefully figo he's not going to have all that positivity drained from him by the hierarchy who have grown this drab football brand for the last couple of years. i'm very excited to hopefully see the high press high intensity game back. and hopefully the fitness and confidence levels will quickly step up.

2.) 05 Dec 2018 14:22:29
Agree with you there Figo. There remains an unknown (to a degree) as to how the new coach will adapt to a new league, but all the indications are that he has the required depth of tactical insight and emotional intelligence required to succeed in the premiership. Sadly MH was of a dying breed of English managers (a la Keegan) who have passion and effort but who lack breadth of tools required to succeed. I am impressed with the decisiveness of the board following the protracted prevarication around MP2 and share the view that a rush to appoint a DoF would be ill advised. A positive couple of weeks after 2 years of drift. St David.



03 Nov 2018 08:33:13
So Man City this weekend. any predictions? Strangely, this weekend I cannot be bothered to write a preview article for the odd person who bothers to read it. City win. My thought process is that they are better than us in every way and are playing well and we are not. I don't even expect a repeat of the heroics of last season under Pellegrino where we almost pulled off a shock.

Still Watford next weekend, who are likely to be recovering from a mauling by Newcastle today.


1.) 03 Nov 2018 10:05:22
I think Hughes will set us up to avoid a hammering. He strikes me as someone who will see a 2-0 loss to city as something to build on.

2.) 03 Nov 2018 10:55:15
Ill take a loss as long as its only by two goals. which is unlikely. Please can we just score a goal though. Prefferably Redmond, or Hojbjerg against his former manager.

3.) 03 Nov 2018 12:25:38
I can't see us getting anything out of this game. I'd be surprised if we can keep the goals against column down to less than 5 and I certainly can't see us even getting close to scoring.

4.) 03 Nov 2018 12:40:23
Sneaky 1.0 Hoijberg 😂.

5.) 03 Nov 2018 13:15:33
1.0 Hoijberg.

6.) 03 Nov 2018 21:06:02
Can actually see it being tight until a late city goal sees us capitulate and end up losing doubt seen as an unlucky result by a certain mh 😂.

7.) 04 Nov 2018 15:24:41
I write this just after the 3rd City goal goes in. 18th minute and 3-0 down against arguably the best team ever assembled in modern English football.

We will lose. Heavily

Guess the question now is, will City think it’s rugby or cricket?!

8.) 04 Nov 2018 15:29:18
3-0 down after 18 minutes. I think MH should fall on his sword and resign at halftime. Why oh why did he start this match with Long up front. The man is absolutely clueless.

9.) 04 Nov 2018 15:39:01
We actually start playing at 35 minutes
3.1 down.

10.) 04 Nov 2018 17:58:22
Shane Long's most valid contribution to the game came early in the second half as he dummied a pass from Cedric to let it roll to JWP for a shot on goal. Its a shame he is at his best when he's not touching the ball.

Robbie Earle said this felt like a cup tie with a premier league side facing someone from the lower leagues. Sad but true. With points and goal difference now so much worse than last season already, (13 points, 9 gf and 11 ga last year after 11 games compared with 7 points, 7 gf and 20 ga now) will the board act early or late? Will they act at all?

11.) 05 Nov 2018 07:56:03
Got to act early this time. I liked that we gave MP a chance last year but I don't think Hughes deserves the same benefit. Get someone in with a month to evaluate squad before Jan.

12.) 05 Nov 2018 12:05:00
totally agree early action is needed. Benefit to doing it now is that the new manager has time to turn things around - no need for big sam IMO.

Hughes says judge after 38 games but we can judge now! I win in 11, 7 points from 11 after a full pre season and the final 8 games last season. I can only recall 3 or 4 league wins in that time.



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.




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


10 Dec 2018 11:28:06
Whilst its always going to be disappointing to lose to a team like Cardiff, we are in a similar position to last season where we cannot simply look at opponents in isolation and say we should or shouldn't beat them. Sport is rarely so predictable.

RH had 24 hours to prepare the team for Cardiff as the team had a rest day on Thursday after the midweek Spurs match. His emphasis in press conferences has been that in the first instance, his focus is on making the team harder to beat. He wants to the team to work together to press the ball and be more proactive but that requires close teamwork and a good understanding to be effective. RH has therefore also underlined that the majority of his work will focus on mental and tactical coaching.

There is no time for fitness coaching now. The games are too thick and fast and if the team are to change their style of play and work cohesively, the focus must be on drilling the players, a la Pep and Sarri et al, where they need to be on the pitch with and without the ball, what their options will be, when to press and when to hold shape. Rehearsing over and over until it becomes instinctual, or automatic as RH says. This will need to be reapplied for each different formation RH wants us to play and with each player.

It is therefore a point of fact that the sharpest players who can adapt and learn quickly and have the highest level of fitness to meet the intensity required will be the ones we see starting. RH has already accepted that the personnel may dictate the formation but until he has worked with the players for several weeks and gauged their abilities and understanding, performances may continue to be inconsistent and the starting 11 likely to chop and change.

The short term goal in terms of the first team then is making us hard to beat. Defensive coaching, teamwork, proactive football, drilling the players. We should expect little more until after Christmas at least. They usually say a head coach requires 6 months to get the team playing their way. Sarri is still working on Chelsea, Pep had a whole season to bring Man City together before their brilliance of last season, Jurgen Klopp too had most of the season in 2015/ 16 finishing 2 places below us in 8th before helping Liverpool kick on. We shouldn't expect a true RH style Saints until next season. This season, its just about working hard to stay up.

As we saw last season, the lower half of the table is tight and it will remain so this time around. So it make little difference where we are come Christmas or the turn of the year. What matters is where we are after 38 games.


1.) 10 Dec 2018 15:30:11
I agree with your words completely . but :-) I am not sure where we go with the problems in defence. Man Marking/ Zonal Marking/ Not losing your man/ positional play can all be coached and coached and coached. BUT the mistakes we are seeing are absolutely the most basic of mistakes that you get coached out of you when you are under 10! like dribbling in your own box, passing across the box, messing around with the ball in dangerous spots . What we have seen Hoedt do regularly and now we can add Vestergaard to that, is to play in a way that is absolutely not to a professional football standard. It is bizarre!

Our new manager is very highly regarded and technically excellent . but all of the good work can be undone in one moment of madness on the pitch, although it's been many moments of madness.

Not tracking your man let's hope is coached out of them. Marking and positional play can be coached . but making defensive mistakes like Saturday and virtually all season .?

2.) 10 Dec 2018 17:50:29
Figo, totally agree that being heard we to beat, tactics are and should be the priority. However the noises I heard are that the players are already having a shock to the system as apparently the warm up is like a month 2 session of insanity and the players feel more tired. Just doing that hasn’t made them more tired and worked out than they have felt in months. Sounds like the fitness aspect has already begun.

3.) 11 Dec 2018 08:48:11
It's disappointing that this has happened, from what you have said Gregg. This really makes the two last appointments to be shocking. I remember Bertrand saying in an interview when MH was first appointed that the efforts in training had gone but for them to go up so much more now just underpins how bad the previous appointments had been.

There's been a lot of problems with our squad. When was the last time we've seen the same team play like 3 games in a row? I think RH needs to decide on the best 11 that will play his style well and stick with those games. Football is a team sport, so all of these fans saying that the we need a new goalscorer a new CB, I believe that the squad will be improved and the style of football and the teamwork this brings into the squad will start to get us results.



03 Dec 2018 10:40:01
Now that MH has been sacked, I find myself in a bit of a quandry. I'm pleased the board are continuing to act decisively with a view to turning things round, but I'm anxious they don't rush the appointment of the next head coach.

They employ a Director of Football/ head of football operations to make the decisions about on-field matters as they acknowledge they don't have the insight to do it. So, are they the best placed to pick the replacement, even on a temporary basis? My thought would be no.

So I am hopeful that this move comes because after 4 weeks of looking, a new DOF has been identified, interviewed and perhaps an announcement will made about that in the coming days. The chosen man has identified in interview the person or a shortlist of head coaches he wants to work with and now the board will pursue those head coaches to work with the new DOF.

We'll find out in due course what will come of it. My fingers are crossed that the board will stick to the plan of pursuing this rebuild in logical order and appoint the football brain to decide the way forward and not try it themselves. The problem is, I've lost a bit of faith and trust in the decision making, as I'm sure many have. They're making the right noises which restores some hope, but the next few weeks leading up to the January transfer window may prove crucial not only to this season but the club moving forward.




Would sacking Mark Hughes as Manager of Southampton FC be a mistake at this moment in time

11 Nov 2018 15:09:59
{Ed's Note - figodasilva has posted a new article entitled, Would sacking Mark Hughes as Manager of Southampton FC be a mistake at this moment in time


1.) 12 Nov 2018 11:21:58
Makes good sense but is very scary as it maybe to late to get the right manager once Reed is replaced.

2.) 12 Nov 2018 21:39:56
Thing is with mh. is it him or is the club? Would any manager coming in be held back by the same restraints so until there's some clarity about back room issues I don't thonk it matters who the manager is.

3.) 13 Nov 2018 08:17:23
Agree guys. The two failings are most likely to occur if Saints take too long to replace LR and then MH, or if they sack and replace MH before a new DOF is brought in. Its vital that the club employs the right people to match their vision for the club, the long term strategy and I think they need the DOF to help them determine what that vision and strategy is. If they hire poorly, they could end up forcing unsuitable people to adapt and it will fall apart.



Southampton v Bournemouth Preview 20 October 2018

19 Oct 2018 15:28:44
{Ed's Note - figodasilva has posted a new article entitled, Southampton v Bournemouth Preview 20 October 2018




Southampton vs Chelsea 7 October 2018

04 Oct 2018 10:39:17
{Ed's Note - figodasilva has posted a new article entitled, Southampton vs Chelsea 7 October 2018





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08 Nov 2018 08:25:29
Those are rather rose-tinted views of Roberto Martinez. Yes he has taken Belgium to the semi-final of a world cup, but Belgium has player for player one of the very best teams in the world so that is playing to par, not over-achieving. Also, let's not forget there were many bumps in the road and close calls. They almost lost to a very ordinary Japan side. They did not have the tournament most expected and the finish flattered them a little.

He did well at Wigan and Everton for a time as he coaches his team to play attractive attacking football. The down side is that he has demonstrated an inability to organise a defence. So his positives are that he would bring an identity to the side and the football may be more attacking but the club's league position may not vastly improve as we could concede as many or more than we score. Plus, as posted above, he's unlikely to want to do both jobs and why give up coaching one of the best footballing nations in the world?

Ranieri is an interesting name but something happened at Leicester that saw an extraordinary collapse of form after winning the league. That's perhaps psychological and to be expected but form didn't pick up until Ranieri left.




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04 Nov 2018 17:58:22
Shane Long's most valid contribution to the game came early in the second half as he dummied a pass from Cedric to let it roll to JWP for a shot on goal. Its a shame he is at his best when he's not touching the ball.

Robbie Earle said this felt like a cup tie with a premier league side facing someone from the lower leagues. Sad but true. With points and goal difference now so much worse than last season already, (13 points, 9 gf and 11 ga last year after 11 games compared with 7 points, 7 gf and 20 ga now) will the board act early or late? Will they act at all?




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18 Sep 2018 19:53:39
Ha Ha - we want to defend and counter but can't do either. Too true!

If the players at your disposal aren't suited to play a certain way, you play to their strengths.

We do need some sound leadership on the pitch, I can't disagree, but I feel that the players will be less flappable if they had a clear plan to follow. I just don't see one.

I'm now going to watch Liverpool take on PSG. I wonder how they'll cope against us after a dry run warm up against those guys.




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18 Sep 2018 11:24:58
The go to argument every time we get a bad result should not be to blame the players for not taking responsibility, not caring enough or not showing enough passion whilst adding they are highly paid. So are all Premier League players. I remain confident in the abilities of the players. Instead, when there is collective shortcoming, coaching must be an issue. I’m not talking simply about the formation here. Yes, I think a 4-4-2 in the modern game and with the players that we have is outmoded, impractical and ineffective, but I see no identity, style, plan, individual or team improvement. No tactics specific to our players strengths, nor to beat the opposition. Just the same players running around each week and playing out the same directionless 90 minutes over and over.

Last night’s result wasn’t bad luck, nor a lack of responsibility by the players. Brighton’s pen was a result of the defensive tactics used for corners. We mark zonally hence the mismatch between JWP and Duffy. If the marking was wrong, it was because the preparation and tactics were wrong rather than anyone hiding or not doing their job. Brighton specifically switched their tactics and formation to a 4-3-3 to overrun our midfield and, ignoring the limpness of the first half, for the time it was used properly in the second half, it was very effective. MH made no changes to counteract Brighton’s supremacy, a huge momentum swing in their favour, despite only an average first half from us and seeing us come under increasing pressure in the second.

But crucially, there doesn’t seem to be any plan when we attack. Its totally reliant on the individuals on the pitch working it out for themselves. I recently watched the Man City doc on Amazon and the little glimpses into Pep’s coaching were fascinating. Everyone delights in the attacking freedom of Barcelona, Bayern and Man City under Pep, but its not the freedom he gives the players that allows this; its precisely the opposite. He drills his players with and without the ball. In certain situations, the players need to be in specific positions and they repeat the action over and over so everyone knows where on the pitch they should be and the player on the ball learns instinctively where his options are. Pep shows his players where the defenders will be, whether they will press or stand off and what they should look to do in any given situation. Obviously a match doesn’t play out exactly as one predicts, but most actions will remain effective. If things aren’t working as expected, the coaching still pays off as the players have plans B and C conditioned into them from prep for other games which will still feel natural and play fluently. Incredible.

So when I see us attack and the players looking uncertain, hesitant, it just makes me think the coaching falls short. When I see us defend and look so flustered, its because the coaching is lacking. The players aren’t sure what to do and if something isn’t working, they’re not told how to fix it. MH doesn’t make changes from the touchline quickly. Even when subs came on, they didn’t improve us and invited Brighton on. Pep’s clearly a bit of a control freak, but so are most of the best managers in the world. They understand at this level, every detail, every action is crucial and can make or break the game. That’s why they want more control, not less. You can’t just hand the game to the players and say its over to you. That’s not to absolve the players for their shortcomings but I think these are exaggerated by a lack of good preparation and coaching. Are our players better than those at Bournemouth? In the main, yes. Are Bournemouth a better team? Yes. Why? Coaching. Simples.




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07 Sep 2018 12:49:42
Its still very early days but I think we'll eventually finish somewhere between 10 and 15. We'll see the trend of the top 7 or 8 being streets ahead of the second tier teams who duke it out with each other in what will be a tight finish.

I don't think Mark Hughes will go unless we are playing terribly and back in the relegation zone with no hope of turning things around. He will likely get more time than the previous two managers as the board seem to rate his experience.

By the winter break we'll see the league taking shape in its two tier structure, but spots between 9 and 18 will probably be separated by no more than about 10 points. We'll be in that mix somewhere but I only see us picking up around 15 points between now and then.





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06 Dec 2018 10:33:04
The positives are that we gave away 2 goals from set pieces which is something that a bit of organisation will be able to sort out fairly quickly. Targett was also freakishly unlucky on the third. We created a good few chances, hit the woodwork three times and forced good saves from their keeper including one worldy from Hojberg so we didn't show ourselves up too much.

Otherwise, as you say, it was a bog standard performance from us - ponderous in defence and attack for the most part and individual errors frustrating at both ends.

Hassenhutl's reputation is very strong and he is considered one of the most promising coaches in world football. Other managers from the German leagues have done very well recently in our domestic leagues and the style of football Hassenhutl was deploying with RB Leipzig suits this league perfectly. He may well simply get the team organised and functional this season and then look to have them play more expansively next season so we may need to be patient, but after tonight's performance, I cannot wait for him to get us playing well again.




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28 Nov 2018 14:30:45
Rayzer, I would take relegation and a positive, committed rebuild over another mediocre journeyman manager seeing us relegated this season or next, playing turgid football and losing more often than winning.

I would take entering a competitive league where we have a chance of winning something or going through to the play-offs on the back of a positive rebuild, giving our academy talent a chance and allowing ourselves the time to build a squad and identity over staying in an uncompetitive league monopolised by 7 rich clubs and the others all scrapping for something between 8th and 17th place.

I would take winning more games than we lose over the course of the season in the Championship, reigniting the positive feeling around our club and our football once more, over paying any more money to watch our team lose to teams both big and small, surrendering points meekly and living with the ghost of relegation looming as early as every Christmas.

I do not believe the Premier League is the be all and end all of football in this country. None of us watch football and support Southampton because of the Premier League. We love the game and will follow our team wherever they are. The Premier League is simply a marketing tool and a money-making venture for businessmen. Give me cheaper tickets any day. We may be on television less but if more of us can afford to go more regularly, what’s the real loss?

Unless we are bought by a super rich person seeking little to no return on the money they inject into our club, we will never be able to compete with the elite in the country. Money has ensured that there is a distinct divide between the haves and have nots. At least in the Championship, we would get to be one of the former. Perhaps its double standards to bemoan the Premier League’s money-gap whilst accepting relegation with a Financial parachute payment that injects more money into our coffers than most Championship rivals, but this is not an ideal world where football is played merely for sport rather than the money. So whilst money continues to make the game go round, if there’s a financial hand-out on offer we should take it. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Unless someone has an idea how to take money out of the equation and make the game truly competitive on a level playing field again?




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24 Nov 2018 10:24:14
I think there have been some interesting names mentioned in the posts on this topic. Hassenhutl, Lampard, we've seen Wagner and now Daniel Farke at Norwich come in from second tier in Germany and do great things.

My personal pick at the moment - I'd love to see someone like Hannes Wolf who looks an exciting young coach at Hamburger SV. He's only just started there though so think a move is unlikely.




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22 Nov 2018 10:54:37
Terrible idea. Its another example of backwards thinking and looking to hire someone because they have experience and I am so tired of hearing fans interested in hiring someone who will shout at players or give them a kick up the backside. That’s what so many said about MH coming in and unsurprisingly the effect has been non-existent.

We need a modern head coach, supported by a coaching staff, that can develop these players technically and mentally. That can coach effective tactics as well as improve the understanding of players in respect of their individual roles and working as part of a cohesive team. A head coach with a system and style of play that matches the aspiration of the fans and the club. Listen to Ross Barkley’s comments about the change in coaching since Sarri took over at Chelsea. A manager with a style of play is teaching the players how to perform in that system, similar to Pep and Poch and other modern coaches.

Its not enough to rely on the players to adapt and outplay an opposition if they are not properly prepared through coaching. It is not enough to believe someone shouting at the players will make them all play better. It is not enough to expect someone telling the players they’re great to improve performances either. That is football coaching of two decades ago. Time to move on.




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13 Nov 2018 09:14:11
Yes I was being sarcastic. Its about the level of coaching I expect from MH but represents the lowest form of coaching.

I wasn't attacking you south_hants_rich or questioning your experience. I simply believe what I said. I totally agree that the best way to win a football match is to concentrate on performing your role to the best of your ability and not get distracted in petty squabbles. But this team is dysfunctional and has been for some time.

I don't disagree with your view on Bertrand. I'm not sure he's the best Captain we could have but I felt the same of Steven Davies too.