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Review Of The Day 25th April 2018

25 Apr 2018 08:14:52
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Review Of The Day 24th April 2018

24 Apr 2018 07:03:39
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Premier League Match Preview Monday 23rd April 2018

23 Apr 2018 08:43:52
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Review Of The Day 23rd April 2018

23 Apr 2018 07:41:17
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Fraser Forster

22 Apr 2018 19:13:45
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22 Apr 2018 17:52:41
Guess we get rid of the whole squad but keep anyone under 23.

Build again with home grown players and a manager capable of managing.

But that means the whole board being replaced. Will it happen?

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22 Apr 2018 18:50:51
Swans good annihilated as predicted.
V difficult for players to have fully focused today when got a cup final v Bournemouth on Sat. Robbed of a goal again lol.

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22 Apr 2018 20:18:41
Why would that mean the whole board being replaced? Who says there aren't very sensible people on that board being shouted down by a few leaders who have got it wrong?

I don't agree with people saying we need to completely annihilate our board. We need to accept that that change is needed, and take an honest look at what worked to get us to where we were, and what stopped working to get us where we are. Personally I doubt a sensible and honest assessment like that would lead us to just sacking them all and starting again. We need to be brutal about finding the problem, but I have no doubt there are people there capable of being a part of the solution.

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22 Apr 2018 20:35:17
I was excited to see the team MH picked for the semi final .
What I never expected was to see was that none of the midfielders attempted to make any telling passes? no incisive passes, forward passes, over the top passes . well to be honest, absolutely no passes
that serviced the attack. It was bizarre to watch . even Lemina looked side wards and backwards .

Well Swansea got stuffed so at least something bright comes out of today.

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22 Apr 2018 21:57:55
I’m not sure anything quite so drastic as getting rid of the whole squad is required. If we stay up, some of the team are getting too old to contribute effectively, some are not quite up to scratch and its evident strengthening will be required and a new head coach with commitment to a long-term project, more and better coaches for the first and youth teams. If we do end up being relegated, those older players, or those not quite Premier league quality will likely be up to scratch in the Championship.

I’m not sure today’s match was tough to prep for or commit to. Most people starting were the regulars bar Austin and Lemina which led to a change in formation. I think its fair to say that the 3-5-2 didn’t work. As expected, with two forwards staying central, the wingbacks struggled to get forward as they couldn’t benefit from the neat interchanges on either flank with Tadic and JWP that have been so effective in recent weeks. The midfield three were all defensively minded with PEH and Romeu doing as they have in recent weeks but with Lemina doing the same. No-one took the initiative to drive forward and link midfield and forwards so the forwards were isolated and we ended up playing hopeless long balls or sideways and backwards. It reminded me of the good old days under MP2.

The second half was much better once MH changed our formation back to what has been the norm of late. Tadic and Redmond provided the support required to the Austin as the lone forward to give us some real attacking impetus and suddenly Bertrand and Cedric were released. We were very unlucky not to score in this period as we had our best spell. If only Wesley Hoedt had defended rather than bending over and spreading his arms like he was impersonating an Ostrich with its head in the sand.

I think MH needs to take several notes from this match moving forward. Firstly, we need to keep the 3-4-2-1 formation. Secondly, Austin is much more of a goal threat than Shane Long and if we are to score consistently in our run in as we need to, Austin needs to play as the lone striker. He did admirably up top for the last 30 minutes of the game and played the full 90 today so he has it in him. Redmond is definitely an option with Tadic behind the striker. Provides more going forwards than JWP with pace, technical ability and he can drift out wide and put crosses in from the goaline. Lemina is not a reliable option in midfield going into these key games. He played much, much better in the second half when we going forwards but the first half was littered with the usual slips, slow thinking and backward passing, even when he had time to turn and move forwards. If we are doing well going forwards, I’m sure he will be an able deputy for one of our midfielders if required but let's keep him on the bench at the start.

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22 Apr 2018 22:03:01
Team was more like what I want to see, although still can't really understand no JWP.

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24 Apr 2018 11:10:07
In the position we are in and given he is a dead ball specialist, I am not sure why JWP does not play the full 90. With him on the pitch, with Austin’s finishing, we are in with a shout.

I seem to recall rumours of Boufal falling out with MP2 and now Hughes. Pattern?

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24 Apr 2018 17:01:52
This is the on-going JWP debate and honestly, it makes me wish that you were allowed to make rolling substitutions like in hockey when the men’s team used to bring on their penalty corner specialist, just for that set piece and when it was done, send him back to the bench.

JWP is an excellent technician from set pieces but we may have only a handful from attacking positions in any one game and despite his excellent delivery, the number of goals scored from set pieces remains relatively low. He has scored 3 goals and has 3 assists to his name this season from 28 appearances. Any method of seeking to score is valid and if we have an expert on the pitch to make it more likely, it’s a sensible way to go, but given these stats, that player must contribute something else.

In patches during the season, JWP has seemed to offer more with increased work rate being the most notable factor. But otherwise, he seems to offer very little. Defensively, he makes less than one tackle per game, and is dribbled past almost once per game. Offensively, he has scored 3 goals from 28 appearances, has 3 assists, averages 1 shot per game, roughly 1 key pass a game and almost no dribbles. In respect of his passing, he averages one cross a game, less than one long ball and he attempts on average 27 passes per game with an accuracy of 79%.

In summary, he offers little defensively other than an obstacle and going forwards, he rarely shoots, rarely scores, he doesn’t run at players in a direct way, he doesn’t have pace, he doesn’t try to beat people on the outside, he doesn’t cross. So the stats back up the view held by most that JWP tends to sit in an advanced position and play neat little passes to people nearby, but taking no responsibility himself to create or score.

Does he want to be the heartbeat of the team? Most teams that have a player that keeps things ticking over will place that player in a deeper role. Think of players like Kante, Matic, Fernandinho, or Dembele to a degree. They average between 65 and 87 passes per game with an accuracy of around 90%. Its perhaps unfair to compare JWP to players from the biggest teams but it’s a marked difference. The player in our team who performs that kind of role is Romeu and his stats are more comparable with 57 passes pg and 83% accuracy. I’m not sure JWP has the defensive skill set.

I’m not sure even JWP knows his best position and those coaching him at the moment seem to be doing little to allocate him a role and help him develop the required skillset to impact a game. He’s still only 23 so time is just about on his side, but he remains in my view and old fashioned centre midfielder and the modern style of play has left him behind.

As for Boufal, he was clearly a bit miffed with MP2 given his goal celebration against West Brom, but if he wants to play, he needs to be more consistent. He's contributed so little in the time he has been afforded. I suspect he'll be going to a new club if we stay up. Maybe he'll find his feet in the Championship otherwise.

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24 Apr 2018 18:25:02
Hi Figo, thanks so much for that info, some really what hehile points with stats to back it up. When you look at it that way I guess I can understand the reasoning for not giving him the 90. However I seem to recall games ‘changing’ recently when he goes off, or we suddenly seem to have a free kick in a promising area, or of course I am clutching at straws!
I also recall not loads but numerous decent deliveries that have not been finished, with Austin back, perhaps his assists will increase - I guess my point is that with clinical forwards, a midfielders stats can be impressive, but in a team struggling to finish with confidence, it doesn’t matter how good the delivery is. For a prompt lad he seems to care, perhaps Boufal and co do too of course, but somehow I don’t see that in the body language.

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25 Apr 2018 11:39:55
*worthwhile
*pompy

:)

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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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25 Apr 2018 14:17:28
I certainly take your point on the poor scoring return from our strikers reducing the number of assists, but I do not recall any games where JWP has caused havoc in the opposition box with his passing, leaving us tearing our hair out because he is doing all he can and its our strikers who are missing golden chacnes. If you look at Trent Alexander-Arnold whipping balls in from deep positions and turning the opposition back four, JWP doesn’t do this. David Beckham as an old style right midfielder too would make space for himself to cross and create chances regularly and was therefore seen as an attacking threat. JWP doesn’t do this. So even his lack of pace, mobility isn’t really an excuse for failing to deliver crosses, or even through balls when in a more central position.

I also agree that when he goes off, especially when we’re chasing a game as we have been of late, we miss him when we are awarded set pieces in attacking positions as no-one in our team can deliver a killer ball like he can. But that doesn’t answer what contribution he would have made prior to and after that set piece. Perhaps the only reason we are attacking more fluently and winning free kicks and corners is a result of him being off and a better attacker being on. I think its fair to say, certainly in my experience anyway, that I only miss him when we waste an attacking set play due to poor delivery. Otherwise, I’m not sure I can tell in most games whether he is actually on or off the field.

Also, to be clear, this isn’t intended as JWP bashing. I would love to see him step up and start making an impact but I feel he no longer has such a strong argument of lack of experience or youth on his side. He needs to develop stronger attacking or defensive attributes if he is to justify his place in the starting 11 of any Premier League side. He’s another player who may benefit from a spell in the Championship if we are to drop down. If he can hone his game there, it could be the making of him.

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Review Of The Day 22nd April 2018

22 Apr 2018 07:05:45
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Premier League Match Preview Sunday 22nd April 2018

22 Apr 2018 06:41:56
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Nick Pope

21 Apr 2018 17:24:18
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Premier League Match Preview Saturday 21st April 2018

21 Apr 2018 08:28:03
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Review Of The Day 21st April 2018

21 Apr 2018 07:59:22
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Football-Rumours Editors Premier League Season Awards

20 Apr 2018 10:34:11
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Review Of The Day 20th April 2018

20 Apr 2018 06:51:40
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19 Apr 2018 22:17:34
Well what a load of rubbish that was
Saw the 3 goons in the crowd you could see the enjoyment on their faces
Watching the same boring rubbish we've been subjected to all season
Probably thinking to them selves maybe we should have given Koeman more money after all
I just don't understand why in the last 20 minutes we didn't go for it
Yes Leicester came on strong at the end but that's because of our substitutions
Davis why?
Prowes was having a good game and Davis has been out for ages
If they come out with I need him for Sunday garbage I give up
Don't they want to stay up then
Austin for long that worked didn't it Jesus as soon as long was off the pitch bang the game changed against us
Then Redmong well enough said he made a dramatic difference to the game when he came on as usual
But
Another good turn out of saints on a Thursday night and they go home wondering why the f##k did I bother.

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19 Apr 2018 23:18:12
JWP substituted once again . and as you say why? he was playing well. Bringing Davis on just didn't work, was clearly not up to speed and virtually played no part at all. taking Long off again; this totally changed the game. Leicester pushed up almost immediately, knowing they didn't have to worry about his speed. Tadic was muxh better against Chelsea but this time seemed to not be in the game at all. Redmond . no value at all when he came on.

i didn't understand why we seemed to play out for a draw, so I had a good look at the table and just maybe that one point could be the decider. Swansea have Chelsea, Man City and then Bournemouth away. so potentially no more points until they play us. IF we win that game that means max points Swansea can achieve is 36 (if they beat Stoke last game) . That leaves us needing 7 points only to draw level on points. 2 wins and a draw would be enough and fingers crossed not losing by too many to Man C!

If we had lost tonight we would have needed 3 wins in a row as we would need 8 points - I have assumed we lose to Man C .

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20 Apr 2018 06:16:06
I am with you mate that’s exactly how I read it.
Plus let’s hope City thrash Swansea to assist us on goal diff.

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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:
GK: AM
RB: CS
CB: JS/ JB
CB: MY/ WH
LB: RB
CDM's x2: PEH, ML, OR, SD
CAM: DT, JWP/ Boufal
RW: SL
STR: CA/ MG
LW: NR/ JS.

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20 Apr 2018 11:16:46
hang on we were saying he had got us scoring!
i say stick with back three but play two strikers with one attacking midfielder.

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20 Apr 2018 11:48:13
Saintjay, I appreciate that you’re annoyed by the result last night but you seem to have forgotten the games played after we lost to West Ham. We’ve played a 4-3-3 most of the season and it hampered our attacking play as our fullbacks didn’t have the confidence to get forward and we ended up playing in front of the opposition with little penetration. The only time we got behind the opposition defence was when we played with Redmond as a winger on his natural right side, but we don’t have a natural left winger so the side is unbalanced.

MH has come in with so few games to go, he doesn’t have the time to make big sweeping changes. He’s tweaking. He has tried 4-4-2 but that weakened us defensively (as it did under MP2). Against Chelsea (and most of the Arsenal game) we played the 3-4-2-1 formation and it served us well. The benefit to this system is that with the ball, it gives Bertrand and Cedric the confidence to bomb forward and give us width, leading to 3 of the 4 goals we have scored in the last two games. Cedric and Bertrand achieved 2 and 1 assist respectively. Without the ball, Bertrand and Cedric can tuck in to make a back 5, Tadic and JWP drop beside PEH and Romeu to make a midfield 4 leaving Long up top to hassle any deep player with the ball or chase clearances. If there is a quick counter against us, we should still have enough players available to defend in a 4-4-2. It wasn’t the formation that let us down against Chelsea, but the players failing to cope with a motivated Giroud and MH failing to acknowledge this and correct it quickly enough.

We’ve struggled to score all season but we have scored 4 in the last 2 games. Defensively, we have struggled all season and whilst we have conceded 3 a game since MH took over, we have played Arsenal and Chelsea who have the technical ability to finish consistently ruthlessly when teams lower down the league do not. We will not concede 3 goals every game, as proved last night.

I think its also worth highlighting again the effect of the team’s mentality. We’ve seen all season how some games they seem fired up and ready, whereas for others, they seem timid and panicky. Irrespective of the formation and MH’s instructions, I think there were signs of that again last night. Don’t forget that Leicester hammered us at home, we were playing away, we’re under much greater pressure now then we were then and Leicester are still a team that has the capability of being clinical with Jamie Vardy being in good goal scoring form. So for the team not to implode as it has before, for us to get our first clean sheet under MH, for us to pick up a very valuable point in a tough away game should all be seen as positives. The team faced a stern test last night and they came through it with something to hold on to.

I do not question the team’s formation, but I think you’re right to question the personnel. Shane Long’s work rate up top is not matched by any other forward in our squad. However, as was evidenced again last night, his finishing is sub-standard. The best chance of the game fell to him and he should have scored but he’s not a natural finisher. Austin is a natural finisher but doesn’t work as hard so its difficult to play him as a lone striker. Ideally we could have Long and Austin playing together but as we’ve seen a 4-4-2 doesn’t work and a 3-4-1-2 would also leave us exposed defensively. Maybe Long could take one of the positions behind Austin, though that would require defensive discipline on his part when we don’t have the ball and no silly freekicks.

JWP is playing the same starting position as Kevin De Bruyne but he’s nowhere near as effective and aside from set plays, struggles to affect the game from such an advanced role.

Our midfield two are primarily there to provide a screen for the back three when the wing backs push up. With so many teams playing 3 midfielders, our two can easily find themselves outnumbered if one of the wingbacks or attacking midfielders doesn’t read the play and drop to help defensively. I disagree that PEH and Romeu aren’t good enough with the ball to pass the ball out from there. Both have demonstrated the ability to find a teammate in short interchanges or from distance if they are given space. PEH’s enthusiasm and workrate are high and help to lift the team. We have no-one else in the squad who is a reliable defensive midfielder with better passing abilities. Lemina sadly has struggled since Christmas and I think that’s a mental issue and the need for time to adapt to the league as much as anything else.

There’s the rub. You can certainly look at our team and say that players aren’t as effective in their roles as we would like, but the problem is, when you look at our squad and the list of any possible replacements, the list is often very short and the players not starting are undeniably less effective in terms of their overall performance for the team than the alternative. As I said before, if you play Austin up top, his defensive work will be less than Long’s. You drop Long in to one of the attacking midfield roles then you lose the craft of Tadic (when he plays well) or the set piece ability of JWP. You also ask Long to play in midfield when we don’t have the ball which is not a natural position for him so will be quite a gamble. If you bring Sims on, where would you play him in this formation to get the best of him? The same with Gabbi or Carrillo. Lemina is unreliable at the moment, Davis is just back after a couple of injuries, is McQueen a better option than Bertrand? Offensively perhaps, but defensively? Pied for Cedric anyone?

With so few games remaining, MH can’t continue to experiment too drastically with the team and expect the players to win games, as that is the position we are in now. The team looks more effective in attack with the current formation and for long spells, we have looked comfortable defensively. Its now on MH and the players to learn from their defensive errors whilst not retreating and reducing our potency in attack. A first clean sheet against a thorny Leicester side will give the players confidence they are moving in the right direction.

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20 Apr 2018 14:53:35
i disagree with hojbjerg not passing very well from deep. he has a very good eye for a pass as proved for that ball to bertrand against chelsea. he is our best option next to romeu atm so MH just needs to work out where the more attacking midfielders and strikers can fit in.

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20 Apr 2018 15:28:50
Diggy, I didn't see any enjoyment on the faces of the 3 goons sat in the crowd at all? They looked like goons, that's for sure, but unhappy goons.

But I completely agree, what a bizarre game and approach from us. We might be the first team to ever play like we want to go down. It wasn't the players this time Imo, it was a manager who says all week we need to be positive and play without fear, and then sets the team up to play with fear! Strange. Championship here we come, barring 3 wins on the bounce which is impossible to imagine.

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20 Apr 2018 16:38:06
Figo . Pied for Cedric . absolutely. Don't think Cedric is the Cedric of old. his defending is on par but his crossing and offensive play is not. Pied has always looked good.

A point against a team with a good attacking record was excellent. I am not sure I can think of one mistake the defense made. but some of our passing was atrocious.

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20 Apr 2018 16:47:41
Agree 3 wins look very unlikely indeed! Although I still feel 7 points may be enough. Can’t see Huddersfield gaining another point to be honest.

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21 Apr 2018 07:16:58
Figo ad ever spot on,

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Jordon Ibe

19 Apr 2018 20:54:40
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