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10 Sep 2017 18:38:39
What's everyone's thoughts on the currentrain situation? We've scored 1 goal from open play this season (against a 10 man West ham) .
Where are we going wrong? Is it our strike force? Or attacking playears creating a lack of opportunities?
I don't think the 4-2-3-1 works at all. I think Gabs needs a strike partner. I'd like to see the 4-3-3 return. This is when we were at our best. Obviously we had Mane whose probably one of the best wingers in the wing. But stick Redmond on the right, Tadic on the left? Then rotate between Davis, Romeu, JWP and Lemina in Midfield depending on the oppointents.
Maybe some back room coaching staff changes after I've seen so much negativity towards Black which is justified since he was head coach of a Villa that were relegated.
Probably a new goalkeeper is needed. Forester isn't good enough.


1.) 11 Sep 2017 11:16:26
We are not Powerful enough in midfield, Romeu is the only player that can tackle, Prowse is a wast of time he gives us nothing, Tadic is scared, and weak, Redmond and Boufal are just not up to it. No shots on goal, no wonder the fans showed their frustration.
Look at the athleticism, height, power, plus skill that the Watford midfield had. As for playing one man up front, all this does is give opposition defenses a "easy day" Gabbaidini is quality but he has no way of showing this when he has to play as a lone striker. Play Austin with him alongside. Now you can see why Lambert and Pelle was good for us bringing others into the game. Sorry but we need to offload 3 players at least and get some grit and pace in midfield.
As for Foster I can't put into writing what I think of him
G S.

2.) 11 Sep 2017 13:05:51
I agree I think that Lemina will hopefully add some power. I'm hoping that Lemina will be the sort of player that will break up play and advance forward with the ball. Like a Dembele or Kante. I think Tadic is our most technically gifted player. However, we don't get any use out of him. He plays better on the wings. Which is why I think he should play on left and Redmond on the right. Redmond isn't good enough on the left. We need to use his pace, if we have him on the right we can start to see him making runs and putting the ball in the box from good positions. Because at the moment he wants to put everything on his right.
I 100% agree. I do feel for Puel last season as he may have played Austin and Gabs up front had Austin been fit. I don't see why Pellegrino is not doing the same. It really is a no brainer if your team is not scoring add some firepower. We have good depth in an average squad, as everyone is at the same ability. I like to think that all of the midfield could walk into all of the teams that finished below us. Ideally, we would want JWP sitting deep and pinging balls about. It's a shame we haven't loaned him out. A few seasons in the Championship would have down him a world of good when we first got promoted.
I'm hoping that maybe Harry Lewis could grow this season and play next year, that would be ideal.

3.) 11 Sep 2017 18:24:22
We didn't spend good money on Lemina for nothing!
It was quite obvious that we needed strength in midfield from virtually the first few minutes . how is it all us armchair amateurs can see that watford's midfield was fast, strong, versatile, agile . and what do we have Davis and Ward-Prowse being overrun? It does not matter what side of the pitch you put REdmond and Boufal, there is no end product and even if there is . there is no one to receive the ball . Gabbi touched the ball only 10 times in the whole game . ONCE in their area all game! gives detailed analysis of each game and can be broken down into player by player.

Might give us all an insight into what on earth is going on . some examples .
Passes inside Watford's box . 12 . yep 12 all game!
Tackles in side Waford's box . 0 . that's a big fat ZERO . their defence must have loved it!

Interceptions in Watfords box . ZERO!
Aerial duels in Watfords box . ZERO!
Dribbles in Watfords box . ZERO!

Loss of Possession all game . 30 times (15 of those Tadic, Boufal and REdmond) .
And to those that say Ward-Prowse adds nothing to the team . I didn't agree until i saw his stats!
Ward Prowse touches . 14! all game! of which TEN were passes! (Rom : 69, Davis 66, Suares 93 . etc)

tackles attempted . ZERO!
dribbles . ZERO!
Interceptions . ONE .
Clearances . ONE .
Blocks . ZERO . FOULS ZERO . Aerial Duels . ZERO!

4.) 11 Sep 2017 18:51:34
We just need to be patient. let's not forget we have a new manager and several new players to bed in. Its frustrating to see we have the same problems as last season but that is due to the lack of recruitment in attacking positions which was down to the club rather than MP. He has to coach the squad he has, the same as we have to support the team playing for us each week.

Our weakness is that we lack pace in attack, so end up playing in front of teams, failing to break with enough pace to get in behind or catch them out of position. We’re too easy to defend against at the moment. Teams know what we’re going to do before we do as we are one dimensional and nothing has moved on since last season at the moment.

The positive thing is that MP sees the problem and is shifting players around and dropping anyone who is not performing. Its logical that if the first team squad cannot perform well enough, someone in the reserves may so at some point, MP may start introducing fringe players into the match squad. let's not forget, Chelsea looked ropey at the start of last season until their new manager rolled the dice, changed formation and gambled on squad players like Victor Moses being able to do a job out of position. It paid off and MP may need to find a similar solution.

As fans, all we can do is support the team and MP and hope they find a way to turn things around. We’re only 4 games in so let's not write off the season just yet. We must understand MP will have to take risks with players and try different things. Rather than bemoan any failed experiments, we should celebrate having a head coach who is willing to shake things up to try to get us out of this rough patch.

Finally, we have to be realistic. let's not forget who we are and where we have come from. We are now a good premier league team and relegation is not on anyone’s minds at this early stage. If it is, you should feel free to book an appointment with your psychiatrist at the earliest available date. We have a model of developing young players, whose form and confidence can be up and down. Look at Pogba at utd last season for example. We can’t be too harsh on the likes of JWP and Redmond as they are still young. The same applies to Stephens, Lemina, Targett, Sims, even Hoedt etc. We must therefore accept that we will go through rough and smooth patches and our league position may be inconsistent. Short term loss for long term gain. If we can create a squad like Tottenham has, with youth and ability on its side, we could see the start of a long spell of success for the club. That’s what the club wants. That’s what we all want. It will be worth a few mediocre seasons is we can reach that goal.

5.) 11 Sep 2017 21:52:38
This has to been posted by one of the players' wives or even mums? we were AWFUL!
We can’t be too harsh on the likes of JWP and Redmond as they are still young. -- age has nothing to do with it! they are experienced pros who simply aren't producing! there was a time when JWP was considered England's next number 10! read his stats . absolutely awful. As for Redmond, shame his skill, goals, ability don't match his highly inflated ego!
The same applies to Stephens, Lemina, Targett, Sims, even Hoedt etc
All of those players have produced the goods! and most importantly have improved as players .
The football (and I use that term loosely) produced against Watford was atrocious. I am not sure I have ever watched a game where we had no shape, no style, no drive . it was almost impossible to read our game .

6.) 11 Sep 2017 22:27:00
VVD horror show tonight in U23s. Lost 4-0: he's well off the pace!

7.) 12 Sep 2017 11:43:21
Several players to bed in? Lemina didn't play due to the international game, Bednarek is considered one for the future, which just leaves Hoedt as one new player. This does not warrant a complete lack of ideas, when you consider Watford have more players to bed in than us.

Would love to be more positive but I have concerns, not so much with the points but performances.

8.) 12 Sep 2017 14:12:55
The point is Rich that your statistics based on one match do not actually shed a great deal of light on the problems our team is experiencing, they merely highlight the symptoms. Also, if you feel that 3 or4 of our starting players are not good enough, then what is the solution? You suggest none. We can’t buy anyone now. Who in the squad can come in to the first team and make such a radical difference? Lemina of course can return and looks a prospect on paper, (lets not pretend after one appearance for the first team we have it nailed on how good he is and what his strengths and weaknesses will be), but even he is a young player who will require a little time to adapt to the pace and power of our league in comparison to Serie A. Saying age has nothing to do with the performance and consistency of several of our players is either wilfully naïve or moronic.
My point about bedding in new players Gregg does not relate solely to the starting 11, especially not in relation to the one game against Watford. A team needs strength in depth to provide competition for places and for form players to come off the bench and make a difference in games where things aren’t quite working. With players like Bednarek, Hoedt and Lemina, Hojberg i. e the young players that our club is choosing to invest in rather than bringing in proven premier league performers, all will take time to find their feet with ups and downs in their performances. This will impact the first team whether they are on the pitch or competing for places.
Southampton Football Club has stated its aim is to invest in young players we can develop and bring in to the first team, rather than spending a lot of money on established players. Until those young players are on the pitch performing consistently, we continue to invest in the future of the first team rather than its present. That said, the club is not slow to invest and bring in established players to bolster the first team squad if the need is apparent. Gabbiadini is an example, coming in last January to great effect before his injury. So, if we continue to struggle in front of goal, hopefully we’ll see investment in January. Long gone are the days under the likes of Rupert Lowe where your squad at the start of the season, irrespective of the opening and shutting of transfer windows, would remain the same. Our club is now more pragmatic with its playing staff and the coaching staff if things aren’t working.
We’re 4 games in. We have a new head coach. The first team squad has not really been added to over the summer, especially in attack so we face similar problems to last season. That puts a lot of pressure on the new head coach to solve the problem going forward that Claude Puel could not. Why not wait and see how we’re doing after 10 games or on the run up to Christmas before writing off the team?

9.) 12 Sep 2017 19:18:24
In reply to figodasilva .

It is neither moronic nor naive to suggest age is not a factor. I agree totally that someone like Simms, they have very little experience in the Premiership . but JWP has made not far off 150 first team appearances, plus over 50 appearances for various levels of the England setup .
Nathan R has made over 200! first team appearances, plus 70 for various levels of the England set up!

As for my statistics not being representative . ok here are some stats for our first 4 games,
Total Dribbles 40, 2 in the opponents box
Tackles attempted 87 . ZERO in the opponents box
Interceptions 43 . ZERO in the opponents box
Blocks 44 . 1 in the opponents box
Fouls 41 . 3 in the opponents box
Aerial Duels 77 . 9 in the opponents box .

A combination of not getting the ball in the area enough and when it does enter their box, not exactly fighting for the ball!
while we have three Gaston R's in Redmond, Boufal and Tadic, we will have lots of fancy footwork with no end product! all ending before that telling pass to poor old Gabbi waiting patiently!

What we do about it mmmmmm well JWP isn't providing much, even Davis is not producing .

Cedric VVD Hoedt Bertrand/ Targett/ McQueen
Long Romeu Lemina Bertrand/ Targett/ McQueen
Gabbi Austin.

10.) 12 Sep 2017 21:08:03
Thanks for the response Rich.

I’m not going to bang the JWP drum much because I’m also not sure where he fits into our team – he’s not really an attacking midfielder, nor a defensive one. He would probably benefit from a 3/ 5/ 2 with Lemina and Romeu behind him to provide protection so he can patrol behind and interchange with a front two.

The problem I have with statistics is they are always open to interpretation. Yes, in the last 5 seasons, JWP has 148 appearances, but only 79 were starts and he hasn’t played the full 90 minutes of many (if any) of those games. If we say a young player learning the ropes requires a consistent run, these stats don’t tell us how many consecutive games he has played. I’m sure its not many considering he’s been around the first team for 5 seasons. His best appearance stats came last season and he provided 4 goals and 4 assists from 22 starts. Not bad for someone who is in and out of the team and utilised in several different positions when he does come in. Not only that but he’s 22. The onus is on the club to find a way to fit him into the team if they want to get the best out of him, rather than squeeze him into the starting line-up.

Like Redmond, yes they both have a good level of experience now, but age also relates to maturity and confidence levels and other related factors. If a player reaches his peak at about 27 or 28, both players have a lot of development ahead of them so is it fair we bin them now? It comes back to the argument of do you give our young players, our young English players, a chance to progress in their respective first teams, playing regularly in the premier league, or do you give up on them and drop them back to the under 23s?

Your other team stats in your first post all focused on action inside Watford’s box. As much as we would like the game to be played out in the opposition box, the majority of a match’s action takes place in the middle third of the pitch for the vast majority of teams in the vast majority of matches, so events inside the box, unless you’re playing an inept team, are going to be very limited. Also, with stats as detailed as this, I for one do not know what is average in a 90 minute game of football in the premier league, what is average in a match for a team that plays a similar system and style to us (when you are able to detect one), or even what is average for the teams that are likely to be around us in the league table. Whilst a zero stat isn’t great, how rare is it?

In any event, my point is the stats, even your new ones, don’t tell us the cause of the problem, they simply highlight the symptom, which is we are pretty blunt going forward. In my view, we struggle because we are playing in front of the opposition because we are slow in moving the ball forward and any chance of a quick break, unless a genuine one on one, is usually curtailed as the breaking player has to check his run to hold the ball up and await support. Its all very one dimensional and predictable with even the weakest teams in the prem not being stretched as we do not hit them at pace and catch them out of position.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with a 4-4-2 as most teams set up with up to 5 midfielders and three attackers when in possession, so they could bypass a 4 man midfield. Plus, Shane Long I don’t see as a wide option as, while he has some pace, I’m not sure he has the end product required either. I like playing Gabbi and Austin together though. It has to be worth a try. So a 3-5-2 perhaps with Yoshi, Stephens and Hoedt/ Bertrand (if VVD doesn’t return to the team), Cedric and Bertrand/ McQueen as wing-backs Lemina, Romeu and JWP/ Hojberg/ Davis in the middle and Gabbi playing in and around Austin.

11.) 12 Sep 2017 22:09:33
It's great to have a 'conversation' with someone that writes sense .
Interestingly in your lineup, you omitted Boufal, Redmond and Tadic. I agree totally, I agree we don't hit opponents with pace. The initial passes forward are slowed down the minute one of those three get the ball. They then go through some song, dance, side shuffle, step over, beat the same player three times . and then try and pass . all too late as the opponents midfield and defence are all back and in position. Perhaps this is the reason for JWP's poor stats, he quite simply is not getting the ball and therefore can't control that number 10 position. To be fair, I was shocked at the stats for him . especially as the players around him had played the ball by a factor of 6 to 8 times more! .

My reason behind Shane Long was that of a similar role to Jay Rod played, out wide and cutting in (and becoming the third attacker) . It was more I was trying to think of a way to get the ball moving faster without the need for the Waltz, Tango and Side Steps .!

The three amigos remind me so much of Gaston Ramirez, a talented player who had great footwork, but so frustrating. With the modern day defender/ midfield being so agile and quick, a player that 'messes' around with the ball and then makes the pass, maybe 10 seconds after he should have, can end up being negative for the team.
GAbbi is an exceptional finisher and his positional play really does remind me of Shearer, Teddy S or Van Nistleroy . but while he takes up great positions, he never gets the ball.

A quality that we always had was great combination between the wing backs and midfield; this appeared almost non existent on Saturday.

It will be very interesting to see the formation/ team played Saturday. I have supported Saints for near on 50 years and played amateur football for near on 30 . and Saints on Saturday was quite possibly the most disjointed team I have ever seen.

12.) 13 Sep 2017 09:33:54
I also notice that we both failed to mention Forster . deliberately or subconsciously I am not sure!
I am not sure we can continue with this man.
His ability to save a shot on goal is rapidly diminishing from
sometimes to never .

13.) 13 Sep 2017 11:03:37
Thank you. I agree, that the best way to use a forum is to have a chat, clear the air and then hopefully, find a positive thread to look forward to Saturday rather than dread it.

I don’t see Redmond or Boufal as viable wing backs. Perhaps auxiliary forwards if we need to move a midfielder up to play off Austin? I still think this 3-5-2 lacks pace though. We’d rely heavily on the wing backs for pace. In an ideal world our attacking midfielder would also have pace too but if you look at a team like Leicester, they make do with pace in wide areas and a striker.

I don’t think Forster is the long term solution but he’s the best option from the current squad. I was disappointed the young keeper who came on loan last season didn’t get more of a chance. Forster doesn’t command his area which is odd given his size. The best example was Zlatan’s headed goal to beat us at Wembley last year. What was he, three yards away from our goal line? It was a floated cross too so Forster had time to get there. Distribution last season was frightening and barely reached the halfway line at times and he doesn’t get down quickly enough to save the low shots. I was concerned to see him dive to save Watford’s first attempt last week and he seemed to pull his hands away at the vital moment, as if he thought it was going wide.

So I’m not crazy. I do see the flaws, but I just think there’s no fixing some things at the moment and this is going to be another transitional season. Its cathartic to come on here and have a moan but at the same point, negativity can spread like wildfire and we end up jeering or booing our team which does little for their confidence this early on the season.

I hope performances can improve but it may be up and down like last year. We may see more from Hojberg now he’s more settled, Boufal may also improve and Lemina may be the new Schneiderlin. Fingers crossed. I also hope the new owners will make funds available next summer. I think the eds highlighted ffp rules may mean less spending this year, but given PSG have been able to do what they have with limited scrutiny, apparently ffp is now worthless.

On to managerless Palace. Its got draw written all over it with two teams struggling to score and low on confidence, but if we can get a lucky break, or if MP hits on a solution to our attacking issue, tactically or through personnel, maybe we can secure another three points. COYR.

14.) 13 Sep 2017 15:42:51
I thought I would check on Gaston Ramirez to see where he is . off to Serie A .
It has been interesting (and enjoyable) to watch teams like Stoke and Watford this season. The days of big strong, slow and not too skillful players seems over. I actually loved watching the way Watford played. Their attacks were exciting and fast. There was very little messing around on the ball, quite simply fast passes to space and players on the run .
I mention Gaston because maybe the days of players like Boufal and Tadic in the PL are gone. With agile and quick defenders plus sharp midfields, the ball needs to be played quickly and accurately.
There are some very clever, highly skillful players around . I love to watch Jaun Matta, Fernandinho, Aguero . Willian . Hazard . but they all move the ball quickly and also move quickly into space .
Anyway, back to Saints .
Two up front . and most importantly GET THE BALL TO THEM :-)

15.) 14 Sep 2017 15:23:27
Come back Guly. all is forgiven :-)



16 Aug 2017 11:34:28
Looking at current rumours the Chelsea want in for Cedric a deal worth 15m. Do you know if there is any truth behind this Eds?


{Ed002's Note - He has been discussed on a number of occasions but I am not aware of an offer at this time.}

1.) 16 Aug 2017 13:17:17
Even if he goes surley not for 15m.

2.) 16 Aug 2017 16:17:56
Think Cedric is worth at least 25 million and even then I don't think saints will sell.

3.) 16 Aug 2017 16:27:44
Eds the Liverpool fans saying VVD could still get done and that Saints might be waiting to see if Lpool qualify for CL and if they do they wouldn't stand in his way. This sounds ridiculous to me and deluded. Do you think there is any truth in this at all? Sorry to ask but they all seem to think so!

{Ed002's Note - All sorts of things can happen.}

4.) 16 Aug 2017 19:56:26
Thanks as ever Ed. Just seen Kruegers statement so Saints holding firm! Good on them.

5.) 17 Aug 2017 09:48:12
Ignore the Liverpool fan sites. They're just desires, not news. If you believe them they've signed him 57 times.

6.) 17 Aug 2017 11:16:45
Thanks Wandering Saint. They really wind me up!



24 Jul 2017 11:32:12
Has anyone seen our 25 squad that taking to France. I can see it's missing VVD, but that's a given since he's acting like a child. But Cedric is also missing, is he injured or could he also be off?


1.) 24 Jul 2017 12:16:14
Hopefully vvd given a deal play and grow up and a move can happen if fee is paid that is acceptable and it is done in the right way in the next window or next summer. See soared linked to Chelsea now? Hopefully loop will have to recall sakho as he is still in their books and coutinho goes to Barcelona like Suarez and mascherano did and forces the move.

2.) 24 Jul 2017 16:19:20
Cedric's been given extra time off since he played in the confed.



06 Mar 2017 12:21:07
Isn't it funny how fast a season can change? I'm not talking about because we've won two games in row.
But with Fonte leaving and VVD being injured we're now leaking goals. However, the signing of Gabbiadini and we now seem to be scoring for fun.
What is everyone's thoughts on this?


1.) 06 Mar 2017 12:56:54
My thoughts are that the season is over now so it's all irrelevant. We're not going down, we're not getting into europe, so I hope the people behind the scenes are making moves to get our transfer business done early for a change because there are no real distractions from here on in.

2.) 06 Mar 2017 14:54:54
Come on Saint91, still something to play for. look at the incredible run in we had last season, we were in a similar position as we are now. The last 12 games we went 8 wins, 2, draws, 2 defeats. So anything is possible with Saints scoring freely at last, cheers.

3.) 06 Mar 2017 15:50:34
Think he needs to put Cacares in.

4.) 07 Mar 2017 09:59:25
I agree about Caceras. I think we should go 4-3-3 with Caceras, Romeu and Davis in front of the back 4.



19 Jan 2017 17:20:45
Fonte to West Ham.

What is everyone's thoughts? I'd say that's a downgrade. It's such a shame he's been at the club for 7 year, our longest serving player and captain.


1.) 19 Jan 2017 18:50:49
That's what happens when you are badly advised by agents. There's only one winner out of it and that'll be me Mendez

2.) 19 Jan 2017 19:29:52
Fonte has made a fool of himself he was expecting to be a big deal at Manchester United or Liverpool but will end up warming the bench at West Ham what a come down I bet his contrace will be no better than what we've offered him but he's made his bed so jog on bye thanks for your service don't come back you are NOT bigger than SOUTHAMPTON FOOTBALL CLUB.

3.) 19 Jan 2017 21:11:51
It's a shame how it's happened, but he is still a club legend! Can never fault that.

4.) 20 Jan 2017 07:38:32
It is a sad. I think he went so far that there was no going back. It's his final big, signing-on fee pay day but that's all it is.
I shall remember him as a Southampton great but we move on. I hope.

5.) 20 Jan 2017 16:34:00
If only france had won the euros, maybe he wouldn't be so cocky!

6.) 20 Jan 2017 19:22:15
It's a strange move in my opinion. Reports are suggesting he will be in 65k a week compared to the £45 he was on at saints. That said, £45k was before our improved contract offer. I would suggest our new contract offer was for 1 year and for around 50-55k per week. Can't blame the guy for taking a sideways step with a 2 year contract for an extra 20k a week. We do need a replacement and I disagree with the above comment i. e. Sakho for 12m based on Fonte going for 8, as we still have LOST our captain!

7.) 20 Jan 2017 20:01:12
Don't think you get 10 percent in your pension if u ask for the move nobody can doubt he has been one of our best players ever. Took a step down to join us and took us on a great ride. Not to be played in the europa was a disgrace and whoever took it should not be at the club good luck Jose and saints will say 8m good business




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


10 Dec 2017 13:53:38
Awful substitution decisions from MP. Should have subbed Tadic for Davis/ Lemina much sooner. Jack Stephens was outstanding, the line-up worked very well.


1.) 11 Dec 2017 06:26:34
I tend to agree. I was hoping for changes a little earlier as some players were looking tired. But I think he for the line up and tactics right at the start. A back four when we were pressing forward with JWP dropping back to make a back 5 when we were defending.
Good to see Austin scoring again. Stephens looked very comfortable on the ball plus Forster is now playing with confidence.

2.) 11 Dec 2017 08:24:52
I don’t like to slate players but Redmond needs dropping he was shocking yesterday he doesn’t tackle he jogs back pointing to players and has lost all confidence when attacking. Drop him and give others a chance great finishing from Austin but fitness clearly a worry puffing after 20 mins clone long and Austin be worth 50m all day.
Need : points v Leicester now playing well but not winning or getting points again. Wenger moans re time wasting his players have 100 touches and the ball is where it started.

3.) 11 Dec 2017 09:30:45
Yes, I missed the first 10 minutes of the game but we seemed on top, again we were looking to defend out a 1 goal lead, it's not the right attitude to have to win games.
I think Austin did a great drop with a fitness yesterday, he actually looked pretty quick and sharp and spent a lot of time chasing down Arsenal's defenders.
I think Redmond played pretty well, he isn't the best player defensively and made a lot of lazy tackles, but his pace looked like an asset when he was on the pitch, I think it's between him and Boufal for a place in the starting 11 at the moment. And he looks better than Boufal.
Bad/ Good points from the game
Bad points
Letting Arsenal have so much possession
Bad substitutions. As I said we should have brought on another CM sooner to close down the ball as Tadic wasn't really dropping. You could see on left side we had Bertrand and Redmond/ Boufal back defending, but on the right, we only had JWP, whose not an RB, so would have looked from support from Tadic
Good Points
Good tactics and organisation - Back 5 kept a good line and playing into a 4 at the back when we had the ball
Good flowing football - we didn't have much ball time yesterday but when we did we had a lot of good 1 touch flowing moves.

4.) 11 Dec 2017 13:58:06
the problem with Redmond is he broke once and over ran the ball then had a 55 make in his favour and slowed down rather than get stuck in. when they break Bertrand looks to have more conviction, his game is pace so he needs to show it and push on. I like the guy and think into a real player he is however a luxury we can't afford at the moment. I would rather play Bertrand/ McQueen down the left if not boufal. if they could play every week I would play lemina/ romeu and hjoberg . Also stephens was magnificent I think he beat as many players as our attackers and defended very maturely. we sat to deep and didn't take our chances again only criticism.



20 Nov 2017 12:11:08
One of the massive problems I'm having this season is the types of goals we are conceding. Very soft goals, our defence constantly reacts too slow to everything. Liverpool's 3rd goal on Saturday, FF makes the initial save and no one reacts to it. VVD played simply awful, drifted out of position for Salah's second goal. If he didn't follow Firmino.


1.) 20 Nov 2017 13:29:12
The reality is if you make a save that’s great but you have to push the ball out of the danger area back into the box is not an option. Also keep swapping who is playing at the back is stupid hoedt could’ve made a challenge for the second goal but held back that is something game time brings. Agreed VVD is a liability with play hoedt/ Stephens/ yosh and wingbacks or 2 from 3 every week. All that free kick training videos and we get one and don’t hit the target same old same old. I would rather see VVD in midfield while romeu is banned alongside Lemina at least then someone can tidy up behind him.



02 Nov 2017 18:37:13
Based on the recent posts on this page I'd like to get your opinion on what you think the best starting 11 would be to play against Burnley. Do we look at changing the formation? Which players will deliver best at producing attacking free flowing football that is good to watch on the eye?
Here's my starting 11:
RWB: Cedric
CB: Yoshi
CB: Hoedt
LWB: Bertand
CDM: Romeu
CM: Davis
ST: Austin
ST: Gabbiadini

Here's how I imagine and would want it playing. 3 solid CB's against a team that are good at attacking in the air. This would give the wing backs the opportunity to attack using the width of the pitch. I would want JWP and Davis supporting them also, but the triangle in midfield would allow us to keep possession in the midfield with one of the strikers dropping deep to help. It's not a very fast team, so I wouldn't expect it to be much use on the counter, but I think this would be the best line-up for what MP is trying to achieve.

I think the best thing about our midfield especially is that there is a lot of depth. Which does offer us a lot of flexibility, for example if the above wasn't working and we weren't creating chances you could look at swapping off one of the CM's and one of the ST for Boufal and Redmond and play a 5-2-3. One thing that we didn't like Puel doing last season when we were in Europe was rotating the squad. However, this season I don't think we've done it enough. It took MP long enough to start playing 2 up top.


1.) 02 Nov 2017 21:33:41
if I was picking the team I'd go for (basically a diamond pushed further forward)

GK: Forster
RB: Cedric
CB: Hoedt
LB: Bertrand
DM: Romeu
DM: Lemina
AM: Davo
AM: Boufal
ST: Gabbiadni

Very fluid with plenty of defensive cover - 2 DM's and Davo can drop back to CM if needed, plenty of attacking power with 2 AM's and Lemina bounding forward, the quality of JWP's set pieces and the ability to put JWP and Boufal on the wings if more width is needed.

2.) 03 Nov 2017 15:01:56
-McQueen (I think Bertrand needs a kick up the ****, not been impressed with him this year. Looks lazy and I think he's the one to watch out for in terms of pulling a VVD. If we're playing 5/ 3 at the back instead of 4, I think we won't miss him as much since Sam is better going forward than defending)
-Boufal (CAM - let's give him a chance to be the centrepiece. Wing backs will provide the width. )

3.) 03 Nov 2017 20:07:51
If you're going for an attacking LWB in McQueen (or Target, been scoring and assisting in the U23's) then I'd put JWP on as RWB. Need his set piece delivery. With the 3 CB's would be an attacking 352 formation 😇.

4.) 04 Nov 2017 18:18:23
Interesting idea SS. I've been thinking about JWP's role at the club and where he needs to go and RWB isn't a bad idea. I've been thinking he could be developer as a RM a bit like a David Beckham.



01 Nov 2017 09:29:54
Just wanted to throw this question out there.

It's clear that everyone that comes to post on this page agrees that FF isn't a good enough GK for where we want to be going as a club and it's clear that we do not have a suitable replacement.

So realistic, what GK do you think would be best for us to sign.


1.) 01 Nov 2017 10:40:38
Why not try Alex Mc first?

2.) 01 Nov 2017 10:48:17
I agree with Cyprus each PL club should have two top quality keepers nearly all the rest have. Give Alex a go if he is no better than FF he shouldn't be here. Just seems the management don't see what we see concerning Fraser's dodgy keeping.

3.) 01 Nov 2017 10:51:48
Yes, I think we should give him a run-out, but clearly, he's not impressing in training if he hasn't been called up yet. He might be better than FF but I don't see him as a long-term replacement or as a GK that is at the standard of where we want to be. However, yes I would immediately want him in the squad as Fraser's goalkeeping is costing us points.

4.) 02 Nov 2017 12:16:33
Just to add a neutral viewpoint; being picked week in week out doesn't always mean you are the best keeper at the club.

As a Liverpool fan I've had to endure 4 years of Simon Mignolet. 90% of Liverpool fans will tell you Karius or Ward are better keepers, and yet they still get relegated to cup games by Klopp.

Forster is actually the only keeper in the Premier League who I feel is worse than Mignolet. FF was barely good enough for Scottish football. Alex McCarthy is a player I've not watched since his Reading days. Back then though, he showed more quality than I have ever seen from Forster. For some reason, Premier league managers nowadays seem scared to make a big call, even when they believe it would be better for the team. It is the easy option to stick, as people will just say "obviously he is training the best" and "the managers sees them everyday, so he knows best". Managers know that. That's why they do it. Better the devil they know than the devil they don't!

That's my outside view though. Apologies if it was unwelcome!



23 Oct 2017 10:24:09
I'm finding it hard to understand/ conclude what is going on with our team and what we are missing. Since the start of last season we've managed to score 49 goals, Burnley the only team on less (47).
Looking at the goal that Boufal and Gabs scored, they're the type of the goals where they've taken it upon themselves to score.
But where will the goals come from, I think it showed how woeful we are in attack on Saturday as West Brom just sat back and allowed us to attack and keep the ball. And our end product was awful everytime, the crossing the final pass was poor from every player. You had Bertrand and Cedric really attacking really well and their quality in the final third was shocking. Had Boufal not had produced that moment of magic it would have been another 0-0 draw.
So what needs to be done to our team, to start scoring goals? What is our best current starting 11? Is the coaching structure/ managers decisions not set up to get the best out of our team?


1.) 23 Oct 2017 11:37:39
Hi Jay, I do agree partly with you certainly Bertrand going forward was more effective and I thought we looked to create more chances. In our defence WBA came here for a point at least and at times were playing 6 at the back. What I fail to understand when you are playing a big, tall back four why keep lobbing in crosses which they will happily deal with all day? We need to be smarter and try and play around or through which we did try more on Saturday. Saints are not the only team guilty of this watching football you can see how few teams actually create decent chances and you see supposedly talented players failing to deliver a decent ball in. Let's face it the players can't complain about pitches when they play on these immaculate surfaces that us amateurs could only dream of. I agree with you the game had 0-0 written all over it and players need to keep the ball better and our movement without the ball needs to be much better. I was heartened though we were taking players on and trying to make things happen. I was encouraged by the performance and hopefully MP is gaining the players confidence and he knows the players strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately we are not Man City, United or Tottenham with their goal scoring talent but also we are not Everton or Liverpool! lol. If the players can play with more confidence and fluidity, pace and control, I believe we can play in a more stylish successful way.
Regards vs.

2.) 23 Oct 2017 12:31:57
I agree with you Vintagesaint. It just seems to me like the smallest thing seems to annoy me at the moment. Just a few of these I picked up on, on Saturday.
Crossing the ball with no Ariel threat
Not moving the ball quick enough - players in midfield holding the ball more often than not a few seconds longer than usual
Not using the width - spent a lot of time holding the ball in the center of midfield
No support out wide for Bertrand and Cedric - Bertrand's quality comes when he works with a winger that stays on the wing, but the 4-3-2-1 formation didn't allow him to do this
We don't look great when we are put under pressure. West Brom just sat back and allowed us to keep the ball. Any team that can keep up a high tempo and will pressure our back 4, will create errors
I might be completely wrong posting this but I think this wasn't the case a few seasons ago. I'd like to see us play with 2 fast wingers. Lemina is probably the best signing we've made, and what he is brilliant at doing is breaking up the play and moving the ball forward. I think if we had 2 wide wingers that he could play the ball out wide too, we would be lethal on the counter-attack.

Although I am being negative, here are some positives from the game.
It's good to see our midfield looking so comfortable with the ball at their feet
Lemina is quality. I've mentioned it above, but that signing was a steal
Yoshida had another very, very good game. However, I don't like him on right side of the CB's as his right foot is very weak.

3.) 23 Oct 2017 15:22:48
Hi Jay
I believe you are absolutely right we need to be prepared to take more risks, it won't succeed every time and the players have to be brave and take responsibility. Too much football now is played going backwards and sideways and players just doing enough with no penetration. I have no problems with players losing the ball trying to take a player on in the opponents half and when we lose the ball, work hard to win it back. Yesterday Kane and Alli for Spurs both scoring goals but dropping back into defence when needed . Again I agree we dwell too long on the ball, we need players running forward with the ball and other players busting a gut to support them and if the move breaks down running just as hard to get the ball back or support the defence. I see Spurs high tempo, high pressing game as the way forward and back to where we were under Pochettino. Coyr.

4.) 23 Oct 2017 16:16:33
Good posts guys I think you more or less have said it all but I would just like to add just two things. 1. When you have a goalkeeper that can't do the basics as in catching the ball or distributing the ball it must make the defence nervous. They need confidence that the guy between the sticks can be relied upon which he can't. 2. Looking at Lemina he is so comfortable on the ball that he should be playing in a more attacking midfield position. He can drift past players and possibly open the opposition up and make them second guess what he is going to do, we have not played the high line since the days of Pochettino which worked very well. We will never score goals with slow approach play and negative passing sideways and backwards. I may be unpopular here but I would have given Claude Puel another season, you just can't keep changing managers it causes confusion for the players changing from one style to another. The way things are going we may change again before the end of the season if the goal tally remains abysmal. We got away with one at the weekend with a worldly but against the top teams we are going to have to score goals because they will score against us, that is almost a cast iron certainty.

5.) 23 Oct 2017 16:56:57
Hi Duke,
I absolutely agree with you Forster should be commanding his area and varying his distribution too often his kicks out are headed back by opposition defenders, he also needs to work on his mobility, too often he looks like a big, cumbersome lump. Let's hope the management and players are working on all these points and more.
Regards vs.

6.) 24 Oct 2017 09:32:07
Hi all. I was starting to think people only post on here when we lose and they have something to moan about. Looks like I was only half right. Ha Ha.

I think you’ve all touched on several of the reasons why we struggle in attack but you also have to put each game in context. As you highlighted VS, West Brom showed no attacking intent in the first 45 mins against us and there will be plenty of teams who come to St. Marys and play the same way. It’s what most mid to lower league teams will do away from home. That doesn’t suit our current style of play because we play possession football building from the back which only draws out teams with real attacking intent. That’s why in the last season or two we fare better against the bigger teams who press and harry all over the pitch. We have the talent to keep the ball for the most part and create space that way, but this is impossible when the opposition sit in their defensive positions and simply try to clear and intercept when you get close to them.

I can understand the frustration with crossing the ball into the box when we lack height up top but Arsenal and Man City still do it without a real target main to aim at. Its more about when you cross and the accuracy. A well hit cross can still evade defenders and land sweetly on the head or foot of a striker so its worth carrying on. Also, again in the game against West Brom, they played defensively and narrow which was a double blow to us on Saturday as we played a narrow formation. The width had to come from our full backs and the crossing was not the best. Its amazing to think it, but if you watch any premier league game, you’ll only see a couple of crosses come in that are, or deserve to be, converted. It’s a fine art and even the best in the game have a low conversion rate on crosses, but that doesn’t make it a pointless exercise. Especially when your play is forced wide by a defensive team playing narrow.

Jay, I don’t believe we are more susceptible to a pressing team than anyone else. The whole point of the tactic is to apply pressure and force mistakes and it does work a lot, but I think all of our players (FF excluded) have enough confidence and ability with ball at feet to use the ball effectively or read the danger and get rid if nothing else is on. A high press as a tactic can be very effective for teams but it requires a very high level of fitness, which places players’ bodies and health under duress so carries its own risks in that regard, but also means that you are, as a team, playing a high line. If you are not perfect in your intent to press and win back the ball, then you run the risk of being caught with a swift counter. Even the best exponents, like Barcelona, left themselves susceptible to several clean breakaways against good teams, and at least one one-on-one with the keeper each game, or so it seemed. I’m not sure we are good enough to succeed with that system at the moment. Certainly we can’t rely on FF to shut out such a high percentage of shots.

MP switched the formation on Saturday to try and make us less open defensively. The balance appeared better but it’s hard to see against a team that only attacks you in the second half. They changed formation and that opened the game a little, allowing us more joy going forwards. I’m not a fan of the diamond formation as it’s narrow and relies on the full backs delivering good crosses. If they have an off day, it becomes a struggle to create. But, as I’ve said before, MP is mixing up the team, finding out who can play where under pressure. Who his reliable players are and that’s all positive. The team have shown they are flexible and have several formations in their locker. Though I think we’re yet to find our best formation/ starting 11, we sit in the top half and are doing enough. This is a transitional season for us and it’ll take a little while to get things right.

7.) 24 Oct 2017 10:40:16
Good post Figo agree with most of it however you can't quote Man City successfully playing wide with no height in the middle. It is the pace they play the ball which catches defences out and when you have two of the world's best attacking midfielders as in De Bruyne and David Silva you have a distinct advantage to most. The difference mainly is they both score goals and provide multiple assists, we don't have anybody that can do that. That is why I suggested playing Lemina in a more attacking position, might not work but worth a try?

8.) 25 Oct 2017 09:12:43
So I didn't want to touch on FF with this post as he has been awful so far this season and we all know that and I think I've posted this before, but I'm finding it hard to understand what has happened to him. When we first purchased he was solid at commanding his box, I know he hasn't always been the most athletic GK, but it's difficult to find that balance as a GK, someone who can command in the air and pull off amazing saves. But on Saturday, he came out to make basic catches and dropped them. Yet he'll then go and make an incredible point-blank save, but this is only due to his size as he can cover off more of the goal.
Do you guys think he's too comfortable and not being challenged, if I was the manager I would make it known that he can get dropped. Is McCarthy actually better than him?

9.) 25 Oct 2017 22:10:05
It’s a shame but looking at his career as a whole, he’s been very much a back-up option until we tried him in the first team. He’s had one standout season for us, albeit helped by a good team in front to protect him. It seems now, that good season was the anomaly and though he does appear very low in confidence at the moment, his average level is only good enough as back-up for a top 10 side.

His distribution is poor, his height and size should make him a commanding presence but he rarely leaves his line to claim crosses and when he does, he’s a spiller. He struggles to get down for low shots, and sometimes makes strange decisions about how best to tighten the angle and male himself bigger. I see little anticipation or football intelligence so I struggle to see a solid attribute at the moment.

I don’t believe either Alex McCarthy or Stuart Taylor present real competition for places but then I don’t see that as FF’s problem. His confidence is low and putting him under even greater pressure is likely to back fire. That said, the lack of competition is a major issue and the club must be aware but failed to act last summer, as with our attacking shortages. I hope the aim is to invest either in January or the coming summer. If there’s no-one in the youth teams, maybe we’ll find another loanee.

10.) 25 Oct 2017 22:24:13
Jay there's only one way to find out and that's play him, he can't be any worse or am I being too critical.

11.) 26 Oct 2017 07:18:29
The GK position for England is there for the taking so if the possibility to be England number one is not enough to push FF then I don't think a stronger 2nd choice at Southampton will change much. I don't think he should be dropped to try and push him I think he should be dropped to save us points, if he comes back stronger then that's great.




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26 Oct 2017 09:01:03
Hi Ed's. What's your opinion of him, in terms of Southampton getting rid of him? Do you think we were right in doing that or do you think we should have kept him on?


{Ed002's Note - I think he should have stayed. He is a good guy.}



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12 Sep 2017 12:05:35
Yes, I am familiar with how this works. I just don't see Davis being reliable enough to be added as another attacking threat. We would essentially have 3 CB's and 3 CM's who are defensive minded. You would want someone that can sit in behind the front 2 that can move the ball about fast and get it out to the wing but would also provide support for Cedric and Bertrand. I would say that currently, Tadic would be the best person to do this.




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11 Sep 2017 13:05:51
I agree I think that Lemina will hopefully add some power. I'm hoping that Lemina will be the sort of player that will break up play and advance forward with the ball. Like a Dembele or Kante. I think Tadic is our most technically gifted player. However, we don't get any use out of him. He plays better on the wings. Which is why I think he should play on left and Redmond on the right. Redmond isn't good enough on the left. We need to use his pace, if we have him on the right we can start to see him making runs and putting the ball in the box from good positions. Because at the moment he wants to put everything on his right.
I 100% agree. I do feel for Puel last season as he may have played Austin and Gabs up front had Austin been fit. I don't see why Pellegrino is not doing the same. It really is a no brainer if your team is not scoring add some firepower. We have good depth in an average squad, as everyone is at the same ability. I like to think that all of the midfield could walk into all of the teams that finished below us. Ideally, we would want JWP sitting deep and pinging balls about. It's a shame we haven't loaned him out. A few seasons in the Championship would have down him a world of good when we first got promoted.
I'm hoping that maybe Harry Lewis could grow this season and play next year, that would be ideal.




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11 Sep 2017 07:35:06
That could work. However, that seems way too defensive. 5 at the back and 3 midfielders that have no presence in attack. Obviously, you'd have Bertrand and Cedric attacking the wings.




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31 Aug 2017 22:24:18
I agree. The international break may help us out. With a lot of first team players still at camp it'll hopefully give them some time to get their heads down.





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11 Dec 2017 09:30:45
Yes, I missed the first 10 minutes of the game but we seemed on top, again we were looking to defend out a 1 goal lead, it's not the right attitude to have to win games.
I think Austin did a great drop with a fitness yesterday, he actually looked pretty quick and sharp and spent a lot of time chasing down Arsenal's defenders.
I think Redmond played pretty well, he isn't the best player defensively and made a lot of lazy tackles, but his pace looked like an asset when he was on the pitch, I think it's between him and Boufal for a place in the starting 11 at the moment. And he looks better than Boufal.
Bad/ Good points from the game
Bad points
Letting Arsenal have so much possession
Bad substitutions. As I said we should have brought on another CM sooner to close down the ball as Tadic wasn't really dropping. You could see on left side we had Bertrand and Redmond/ Boufal back defending, but on the right, we only had JWP, whose not an RB, so would have looked from support from Tadic
Good Points
Good tactics and organisation - Back 5 kept a good line and playing into a 4 at the back when we had the ball
Good flowing football - we didn't have much ball time yesterday but when we did we had a lot of good 1 touch flowing moves.




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30 Nov 2017 11:31:35
Also, to add to the first goal, MP called for two players in the wall, FF only wanted one. If we had, had two that kick would've probably hit the second player, or DB would have taken it differently. Also, a man on the front post could've prevented that. You need to be very picky when conceding goals from free kicks to avoid that same thing happening in the future.




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30 Nov 2017 08:22:05
Yes, I think after the Liverpool result MP has realized, the need to change formation against big clubs. We set up very defensively, FF made some good saves and routine ones. It feels as though Pep might have said they'll sit back if you've got space take the shot on. Luckily none of Cities shots from distance were worrying apart from the winner. It is a lessons learnt scenario I think, we need to stop allowing players too much space outside the box. We've conceded a few goals this season from those scenarios.
Again we could argue we weren't the clinical side. 3 big chances to score from inside their 6 yard box and we missed all of them. Had Hoedt scored in the first half, it would have been a totally different game.




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20 Nov 2017 12:33:00
I feel let down by the board this season. I do feel that MP was not the first choice for the board as a new manager. Since we sacked CP and he did not leave, I was expecting a quick turnaround of staff but that did not happen.
I always view our board as organized and risky, when it comes to recruiting a new manager. If you look at Poch, he was a very risky signing but paid off. I would say Keoman was a risk due to his lack of PL experience but he paid off. Again, we looked for the same qualities in terms of trophies from CP but he did not pay off. And we've clearly done the same with MP. Which, thus far has not paid off. I do feel the road that the club want to be heading, is that they will have wanted a manager with CL or UFEA cup experience. MP achieved the exact same as us last season but in Spain.
I don't want our board to become the sort of club that sacks off manager after manager. I'd like us to hold onto MP, let him recruit new players. Give him some time. At the end of the day he can tell the team to press, but once they step onto the field it's up to them how the play. I think his main problem is his lack of PL experience and the squad he has. The squad is big and we haven't really had any unfortunate injuries yet. We could line up anyway as we have the depth to cover that. He likes the 4-2-3-1 as did CP, but that formation his never worked for us. Keoman and Poch both played 4-3-3. With Poch's side playing with a lot of fluidity.
I think we should look at playing 4-3-3. My strongest team from midfield would be.
CM - Romeu (he would just sit and cover as he has done since he joined)
CM - Lemina (breaks up play brilliant, could become deadly on the counter)
CM - JWP (I'd like to develop him into the sort of midfield that can move the ball fast. Get the ball to his feet and move it out wide fast)
RW - Redmond (Mainly for pace, I would want him to just focus on getting down the flank and putting the ball in low across the face of goal)
LW - Long (Probably the fastest player in the squad has a good work-rate, would make him lethal on the counter)
STR - Gabs (Best out of a bad bunch, our most likely source to score goals, we'd just need to keep the ball out of the air)

Then we have the flexibility to change the formation with subs. For example, we could simply bring on Boufal or Tadic to add the extra bit of creativity. We could take off both wingers and bring on Austin and Davis, switching to a diamond midfield, which would be more effective for playing keep ball, which could be done if we were in the lead. We could take off a CM for a CB and start playing 5-2-3.




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18 Nov 2017 21:56:26
I think we just need to clear out our squad. Didn't watch the game but supposedly the first goal was a mistake made by Tadic. He hasn't been good enough this season, think he needs to go. Shane Long hasn't scored in 10 months he needs to go, he brings nothing whatsoever to the team. Bertrand and VVD both don't want to be at the club they should go. Replace these players with academy players (Stephens, Targett and Sims), we haven't managed to bring through academy players and establish them into the first team since Shaw.
FF still plays every game, even though he is probably the worst GK in the PL. It's an embarrassing decline that is rapidly happening.
I don't feel like the manager knows the squad or enough about the PL to do an antiquate job. We had an okay run going when he played two up top. Then for some reason he went back to 4-2-3-1 and it just isn't the right formation for what we have. If you're playing that formation you need a target man, SL and MG are not target men.
As for Black I don't know why any board would want to hire a first team coach from a team that got relegated. How would that ever help us get top 6?
VVD "Best defender in the PL" - we've played worse with him in the squad. We were much better with Stephens and Yoshida. The only thing that has been inspiring so far this season is the signing of Lemina apart from that we've been shockingly bad. We can't score goals, we don't set-up to score goals. The manager has a big squad and doesn't know how to use any of the players. Boufal for example, he is a very talented footballer. However, he's still very immature, wants to do slick skills against every defender he comes up against and you just can't get away with that in the PL. He is most effective as a substitute against a tired defence, where his skills will cause mistakes and create chances.