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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


23 Jan 2018 07:30:30
What's everyone's current stance with MP. Clearer we think he should be sacked, but how long will it be until the board gets rid of him? If we lose to Brighton this weekend, do we think that'll be his last game.
The way he speaks about it he doesn't seem nervous at all. He sees how close the table is and thinks a few good results and we'll no longer be in danger. But I don't see us collecting good results anytime soon. Whatever, happens he'll need to completely turn this season around to keep his job in the summer.
And I think this has become the problem at the club and the board. They're not proactive enough. You look at all the decisions in the past year.
- We prematurely sacked Puel without having ano instant replacement and because of that we've ended up signing what was probably the clubs 5th choice
- Realising we had a scoring issue last season and not addressing it until now (and we're just reading rumours)
- Not selling VVD. All the fingers have pointed to VVD for our position in the league. Why didn't we just cash in knowing he was unsettled
- Still not sacking MP. The results haven't been convincing. There's no signs of a turnaround. The draws to Arsenal/ Utd/ Spurs are good results but no wins in 11 and no actual convincing wins this season shows that MP should've probably been proactively in November.


1.) 23 Jan 2018 08:43:50
I can see why everyone at the club likes MP. He is positive and optimistic, yet realistic about the club’s position on and off the pitch. He takes responsibility and emphasises the need to work harder, find consistency and turn these performances into wins. It may all be rhetoric but it always helps to carry hope over to the next match. I would still really like to see him succeed at the club but the timing hasn’t worked in his favour. He’s joined the club in the middle of a takeover that may have stymied finances over the summer and with several players unhappy and unsettled at the club; the team’s best player actively agitating for a move to Liverpool. If the club is to back him, it must be with acceptance that relegation is possible given the current situation. If not, they need to ensure that the new manager has sufficient time to turn fortunes around. In other words, the sooner the better. But I do not think the club should compromise the style of play we all wish to see simply to cling on to a Premier League place.

I disagree that the board are not proactive and the examples you’ve given support that. You can’t be retroactive and prematurely do something. Puel was sacked at the end of the season when the players were going off on holiday – along with all other players – once everyone could take time to sit down and review the season. The club probably considered it had time to find a suitable replacement and I think they did so in relatively good time. Especially if some of their initial targets were genuinely as ambitious as we are led to believe and ultimately turned us down.

The scoring issue was most likely erroneously considered a result of having a defensively minded coach in Claud Puel. The club has to carry that one, not MP. They are responsible for signings, not him. As far as this window is concerned, as fans, we all want signings to be instant but negotiations with other clubs over the various transfer fees, clauses and conditions are now almost as complicated as the player’s contract. The club want to take time to negotiate the best financial deal for the club and if this takes a little longer, so be it. We are a club with the finances that we have. Also, the club will need to work hard considering we are trying to recruit in a notoriously difficult winter window and we are currently threatened with relegation.

On VVD, it was a gamble by the board and it has backfired. However, I for one was pleased over the summer to see Liverpool rebuffed after their poor behaviour and it was great to hear the club say we are no longer a selling club. The club gave VVD time to get over it and have been proactive in selling him immediately in the next window available having acknowledged their mistake. Wishing he was sold in the summer now is with the benefit of hindsight. None of us knew that we would continue to be as blunt this season as we were last as most of us also wrongly felt that the team’s lack of goals was down to coaching style rather than personnel.

I think the board genuinely acknowledge the errors they made and how MP’s hands were tied in the last window. He has taken on an average side and tried to turn things round under a shadow. Equally, most managers say that it takes about 6 months to translate their ideas to a new team. This must surely be effected by league position and confidence and we have seen the players sitting deeper in deeper in games not because of MP’s instructions at half time, but because they’re terrified of losing a lead and dropping points. Several players have come forward in interviews and said this. Its not MP. Its them deciding to take fewer risks. The players have not turned up for two or three games and given up, but this has usually been followed by a positive response. There have been a number of good performances against the best teams in the league so I guess the board believe there are positive signs. I still see MP lasting a while yet as the board will want to give him the full season if they can. In addition, they will know with the managerial options out there, every replacement represents a significant gamble. Changing managers does not always keep teams up.

2.) 23 Jan 2018 12:05:22
I still personally think that MP and his coaching staff are not up to PL level. I say this because he is known as a defensive coach, he was with Alaves and did reasonably well with them last season. What I don’t understand is why we appointed him to replace Claude Puel, We basically got rid of CP because we weren’t scoring goals and we were producing dull unattractive football in the second half of last season. Why then employ a manager who was more defensively minded than his predecessor? The main worrying thing for me is that his set up and coaching has been really poor especially defensively. Having watched our recent games in detail our man marking in the box has been very poor and that is not just the fault of the players it is also down to being coached poorly. We have some quality defenders in my opinion but somehow they seem to be all over the place at times. I just think we need a new head coach that knows the PL and British football in general and has the ability to tough it out in probably the hardest league in the world.

3.) 23 Jan 2018 12:32:22
Very good post figo.

4.) 23 Jan 2018 13:19:41
Like Figo, I don't agree with you when you say the board aren't proactive. Whatever you think of the Puel decision, it was a proactive move to not be satisfied with 8th and chase further improvement. If anything, they were too proactive there. I also agree with Figo on VVD - they were in a difficult situation. If we'd just caved and sold him, you'd criticise that. So they gambled, kept him, and it didn't work. Either way you would be criticising the board for their handling of that situation, so they really couldn't win.

I think it's difficult for the board to recruit during this window because they're looking at players who have long-term potential in line with our ambitions to challenge the top 6, yet are willing to join a team in our current (albeit hopefully short term) situation. Personally, I still think it's the right approach to be looking for players that fit our long term vision rather than going out and signing players in a panic to stay up. I'd like to think (though I'm less and less confident! ) that we still have enough quality to get ourselves out of this situation. That said, Promes please!

5.) 24 Jan 2018 08:40:58
Interesting stuff there guy's, good to hear people's points of view. I'll be honest, I thought anything less than a win on Sunday would have been MP's chips bearing in mind how much of a tall order that would have been. I was fully expecting us to get mullered against Spurs, perhaps if Eriksen had been fit it would have been different, not that I'm grumbling over a point with things the way they are. It's been said on here before about Coaching, I'm in agreement. I think this needs to be dissected somewhat, I think its clear something is lacking here. A creative team now just had no ideas, or they are being prevented from being so. I appreciate this is also tactics based, but I think most of us are clear that Saints should be on more points than they are. The football that Pellegrino has come from is vastly different to the "best league in the world"; bit of a step up and sadly he is still struggling at the bottom rung. I think we have to take the plunge and change the mananger; I accept I was a Puel hatter and wanted him gone and I am now eating my words. But he came from Ligue 1; similar in many ways and he had lots of experience. Silva would be a good shout, I think he was on the list. Its a shame MP didn't go before christmas as then a new boss could get some new blood in and utilise the market. I think that the board are more patient than most clubs but ultimately it can't be argued this is a results business and we don't have the results.

6.) 24 Jan 2018 11:00:33
I think the big difference between MP and CP or RK is his lack of experience as a manager and the teams he's managed. You look at his record and the only big team on the list is Valencia, who he only managed for 21 games, so he's already been in charge of us longer. Whereas Puel and Keoman have both won trophies, yes they had no premier league experience but had managed teams in the Champions League.
MP seems like a massive gamble that hasn't paid off. I think they were after another Pochettino and that hasn't happened. Who at the time was a big gamble and had been sacked by a relegation bound Espanyol. However, a 19% is quite frankly terrible and I think I was a bit harsh when I said the board is not proactive enough. Basically, slaughtering them for not being mindreaders and foreseeing this current situation.
Maybe the problem lies with the coaching change. We had CP last season who was defensive minded and wanted to keep possession of teams, this doesn't seem like MP's approach and that dynamic shift in the field probably hasn't worked.
Although, looking at the rumours and the money we could be willing spend does suggest that the board's transfer policy has slightly changed. Now realising that we have the power to make clubs spend an awful amount of money on players e. g. VVD £75m, it seems like they've realised we could spend £30m on Promes and if he does come in and play well and then decide the leave we'd probably get more than £50m for him. So we'd made 20m more. I think they've realised that the inflation on transfer spending his increased so much in the last 2 seasons, that we need to spend more to get better players and if they do play off we'll surely make our money back.

7.) 24 Jan 2018 22:42:45
Saint jay we are not getting 75 million pounds probably about 60m but in instalments so no big wedge to splash out with. I’ll say it again we got rid of CP and employed a new coach that was 100% more defensive minded than he was.

8.) 25 Jan 2018 09:09:09
Yes, Chris, I understand the VVD money won't be a big sum of money and we haven't been handed 75m of disposable cash that the stakeholders have just cashed into their banks!
I think you mistook what I was trying to say. I was just saying that now the board has probably realised that they can spend more money on players because the transfer market has changed. I've always had the impression that they don't like the gamble, spend big. For example, Dani Osvaldo. But I think the difference between now and a few seasons ago is that big clubs spending more than £50m isn't uncommon anymore. Think about if we had kept Mane, Lallana and sold them now, we could easily pocket £50m+ for them.
Again, I'm not saying that MP isn't a defensive coach. I feel like his tactics are not about keeping high possession like CP and slowly try and break down a team. His seems to be more about playing fast flowing football that cuts teams apart and our first team adapting to this has been a problem.

9.) 25 Jan 2018 09:24:59
I think his knife is a bit blunt 😄 Can’t remember what the edge of my seat feels like.



09 Jan 2018 08:53:02
I'm now seeing gossip of scousehampton after Tadic. It wouldn't be the worse player to go in that direction. His work rate is poor. If we could get anything above £15mil for him I'd be happy, and just maybe if we get rid of him the board might actually look at signing a playmaker.


1.) 10 Jan 2018 06:32:07
I'd like to see hakim ziyech come in as his replacement.

2.) 10 Jan 2018 23:16:53
A bookmaker offered 4/1 on Tadic going to Liverpool. The same bookie offered 1/5 on him staying at Saints. He's not going anywhere.



05 Jan 2018 14:32:10
With the latest link to Guido Carrillo from Monaco, what are all of your opinions in our obviously transfer strategy.
It seems clear that a lot of signings we've made in the past 3 seasons are players who are out of sorts and aren't playing first team football for some of the best clubs in Europe. I. E
Bertrand - Chelsea
Romeu - Chelsea
Lemina - Juventus
Gabbiadini - Napoli
Højbjerg - Bayern Munich.


1.) 05 Jan 2018 16:16:04
So you're saying the formula for the black box, that was once the envy of they premier league and the world over is to buy quality players who want to leave their current teams? . well that's cracked it! 😜 I am only joking. Its a good point, with that said who can you see coming in? Mp says up to 6 targets? If we are successful with 2 who would you like to see?

2.) 05 Jan 2018 16:44:11
A new manager
and a goal scorer who can cut it in the EPL please.

3.) 05 Jan 2018 16:58:23
If I could pick any 2 that I think are realistic then I'd say Dembele and Sessegnon, as there'd be heaps of potential in those two.

If you're talking about 2 players most likely to help us if this season ends up as a true relegation scrap, I'd say Carroll and a keeper.

4.) 05 Jan 2018 17:50:52
I would personally say no to Caroll and Sturridge as they're both too injust prone for my liking. I don't know enough about Carrillo to comment. However, his goal to game ratio isn't great, which is a worry.
I think that Walcott could be a good addition to the squad. I wouldn't say he is as injury prone as DS and AC. He has a lot of Premier League experience and has goals in him.
If MP is going to continue with his torrid 4-2-3-1 formation that hasn't worked on 1 occasion this season I would say we desperate need 3 attacking midfielders with good work rates.
I would argue that Hesketh and Sims would make the jump into the first team squad. I think it would be good to get everyone playing together as they're just going to get older and it would challenge the likes of Boufal/ Redmond and Tadic.



04 Jan 2018 09:18:24
I think the most frustrating thing for me is the amount of points we've dropped from winning positions. For of the last 10 games where we haven't managed a win we've taken the lead and not pushed on and then have drew 1-1 or lost 2-1. This happened against Brighton, Arsenal, Huddersfield and Crystal Palace. If we have won these games we would have 9 extra points and the pressure would be off. And I think it is down to the manager as we start off positively, take the lead and then try and hold a 1-0 lead. He said it himself on Tuesday, we didn't try and get another goal after scoring a first. Surely, that's down to his tactics?
I remember watching the Brighton and being appalled because we just let them come at us and the equaliser was inevitable.
I simply think MP is out of his depths and doesn't understand the league or the team. He doesn't seem to make the right substitutions, in the Arsenal game they had like 80% of the possession and we just sat behind the ball, we did defend well but he should have brought on fresh legs to try and win the ball back and he didn't.
The way we've been playing I can't see us just magically winning a game and that changing our whole season around. If we win at Fulham this weekend that would be great, but if we don't I can't see MP lasting much longer as a manager. As there's no way he's going to be able to achieve what CP achieved last season.




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.

5.) 19 Dec 2017 12:20:07
My thought. I would like to see Gabbiadina play up front with Charlie Austin, 3 at the back, 2 attacking backs, 3 man midfield, and 10 up front :)




saintjay's rumour replies


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

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




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12 Mar 2018 21:58:20
Do you think they'll go for the long term solution? Or only an interm manager for the remaining games. The interm makes sense for me, someone that can keep us with the games remaining.




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11 Mar 2018 07:50:23
And this is the big problem. No one wants to play for Southampton, no one cares enough. These players still get paid every week, win or lose. We're a feeder club, the only reason people join us is to get a bigger move away. There is no passion, honestly I think relegation will be the best thing for us, we can have a yard sale and get rid of all the deadweight. I'd rather have us playing in the Championship with players that want to actually play for the club where the badge means something to them.




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




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

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





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25 Apr 2018 14:14:37
Hi Figo, just the point out JWP has actually contributed with 5 assists this season and played 1659 minutes. Meaning he's contributing to goals every couple of games. He's a difficult player to discuss, I think for Saints fans he's been around for years and still not managed to cement his self in the first team. I still think we could've sent him out a loan a few seasons ago to get some first-team football.

His set-pieces are too good to leave out, but we can't rely on putting someone in the starting 11 that may have an impact IF we get a set-piece in a dangerous position.

And I agree with Figo, he doesn't know his best position and neither do we. I don't think he as what it takes to be a modern-day CDM, a lot of these players have the ability to win the ball and drift the ball upfield and turn the attack into defences. JWP's lack of ability to take on players shows that he couldn't take on this role. Could we play him out wide and have in crossing in balls from deep? Like a Beckham? Or have him play just behind the attackers and try and get into goalscoring positions. Like a Lampard. The Championship could be a good thing for his development if he doesn't get fished away.

As for Boufal I would imagine he's been messing around with his usual tricks in training being entertaining and I'm assuming MH doesn't have the patience for this. Boufal is technically the most gifted player in the team and watching him can be very entertaining. However, if everytime he gets the ball in training he's looking at using some unbelievable skills, I can imagine any manager would get short with this, especially considering the position we're in.




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20 Apr 2018 09:11:33
Our biggest game of the season, every game is a big game. But we're now 4 points adrift and every game we have the opportunity to close the gap but we haven't managed to win. I was saying the same about MP all season and now it looks the same at MH, do they not understand the team?
We had such a defensive mindset the whole game, don't get me wrong, with RB and CS as our fullbacks 3 CB's at the back gives them the chance to attack which is what we want, but at the same time, you need midfielders who are good footballers. I don't get that for PEH and Romeu, sure they're good players but they don't have the skill to be able to control the tempo of the game. But we never once looked in control of the game, we had a few good attacking moves and SL fluffed so really good chances.
My question to MH
- Why are we setting so defensively?
- What even is our formation? Tadic and JWP just seem to float
- Why is Austin not starting?
- Why do you not know how to make subs?
Take the Chelsea game for example - being 2-0 up is where you look at taking off JWP for a defensive player, not when you're drawing 0-0 in a game that you need to win.
Rich you make a good point about Swansea and their fixtures, but we can't rely on other teams losing their remaining matches if this is why we think MH has played for the draw.
The style of football under MH does not make any sense, we don't look like a threat going forward, the only we will ever score if the other team make a load of mistakes. I'd like to see a 4-3-3:
CDM's x2: PEH, ML, OR, SD
CAM: DT, JWP/ Boufal




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16 Apr 2018 08:34:19
It was a disheartening game to watch, to watch a 2-0 lead be destroyed in 10 minutes wasn't just. And knowing that Marcus Alonso has got away with that horrible tackle, shows it was an unfair afternoon. I just MH could have done more to prevent this from happening. Before the first goal, should he have looked at bringing on Lemina for Tadic all JWP, this would have ensured more defensive cover.
I've said it before with JWP, we should have tried to get him out on loan to give him some valuable first time experience. As at the moment his set piece deliveries don't quite make up what he lacks, but his deliveries were ace on Saturday. Not one bad delivery.




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08 Apr 2018 18:36:56
Our team next year should be:
GK: Harry Lewis
RB: Pied (think Cedric will leave)
CB: Stephens
CB: Yoshida
LB: McQueen
CDM: Reed
CAM: Hesketh
LAM: Sims
ST: Gallagher
Play youth players and build a quality team, that wants to play for the club.
Newcastle have somewhat done the same.




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03 Apr 2018 11:00:01
I'm hoping the result puts everything into perspective for MH. He's probably not to blame but at the same time, I saw a lot of route one football that you would expect from Hughes and it did not work once.
Again 4-4-2 not a good formation for our squad. Tadic and Redmond are not good wingers. We don't have a midfielder that can play as part of a 4-4-2.
From what I've seen 4-3-3 would probably be out best formation to play.