09 May 2018 01:59:36
Fantastic result and safety all but secured. Would be nice to be "mathematically" safe if it wasn't for Moss though. Wouldn't want the jacks finally showing up and putting 10 past stoke now do we?

The question that needs to be tackled: Should Sparky be offered a long term contract? Would be harsh on him to kick him out after what he has done but I'll be honest if Fulham don't get promoted I think the club should go all out to bring in Slav. That being said I wouldn't mind if MH stays on at least for the season. He has more passion for the club in a strand of hair than both our past two managers combined! Couldn't get any worse than those two.
Thoughts? Sparky to stay? If not, who?

1.) 09 May 2018
09 May 2018 09:54:00
Firstly, it was great to get the win last night. Agree it’s a shame that we couldn’t have taken maximum points from Everton but I think that’s down to us as much as John Moss. Last night’s match was huge in light of the final round of fixtures so well done to the team. But we’re not safe yet and the players cannot believe they are. We can’t expect Man City to turn up and play in third gear, we have to be ready for them to be at their best. The good thing is, we don’t need to worry about what Swansea do now as we can focus on doing the job right in our game and even a loss should be enough to keep us up.

On the Mark Hughes front, I’m very pleased he’s been able to turn the team’s fortunes around thus far but my concerns about him are long term, not short. He’s an experienced manager with a settled coaching team who’ve come in and brought belief and more structure to training and the squad has benefitted. But that doesn’t mean his team building has suddenly improved, his tactics, his long term man management. He’s had a bit of a run in with Boufal but he’s easy to kick into the reserves as he provides little. How would he deal with unsettled key players? We may have some over the summer.

Also, his record with us is lost 4, drawn 2, won 3. Still too many in the loss column at the moment. We have conceded 13 goals in those 9 games which is too high. I personally think its too early to call whether he deserves to keep the job based on results as 10 games is too few, but thus far the results haven’t been stellar, the performances have been better in snippets but still inadequate at times. Last night wasn’t a comfortable win. We got the lucky breaks we didn’t previously but it was pretty unnerving to watch.

Saints need a manager who is going to identify the core members of the squad for the long term and build a team around them. Recruitment is key. Stoke’s recruitment with Hughes there was awful. We have no reason to expect it will be better here. (I still think Les Reed needs to be replaced. ) We also need a manager who is going to strengthen the coaching staff and have the team play the football we want to see. A manager who is prepared to give youth players a chance to play in the first team. It was nice to see Sam McQueen play a few minutes last night but we haven’t seen him at all this season and Sims has been restricted to a handful of minutes. Will this change under Hughes next season? I don’t know. Finally, the manager needs to be able to bring the squad together and get them playing better than the sum of its parts. Its not something Hughes is renowned for.

I know he showed passion last night but let's not forget Mark Hughes is a spikey, highly competitive personality. He was ready to go to war against the city of Swansea on Sunday after the hotel fiasco. He has said in the press he doesn’t do relegation and whilst he’s talked this down a little, he believes he’s better than that. His view of himself has been tested in his time with us and so last night’s win must have come as a huge relief for him on a personal level as well as for the sake of the team. I don’t mean to imply that’s the only reason he was so happy, but it certainly played an important part in his reaction.

I personally would still prefer to see an upcoming manager with experience of football in England so the likes of Gary Rowett and Slav, Marco Silva if his head has deflated. A new long term strategy built with input from the manager and the head of football to ensure that we move forward again. Mark Hughes is the easy call and I would be amazed if he didn’t keep his job for next season, but I’m not sure it’s the right long-term call. The owner now has to show his mettle or we may spend another season drifting.

2.) 09 May 2018
09 May 2018 11:59:38
Like your post Figo, a balanced view of Hughes and without emotion. People are saying give him the job because he has (probably) kept us up and I can see why people would say this.

That said and for the reasons you have given there is an argument to politely and gratefully part ways, as long as the replacement is not another CP or MP2.

If Stoke lose, looks like 34 points would have been enough as you predicted.

3.) 09 May 2018
09 May 2018 13:14:39
Surly carlio has to be the biggest wast of money we have spent going to take some doing to sell in summer and get at least half the money back thoughts!

4.) 09 May 2018
09 May 2018 13:18:22
If Huddersfield hadn't picked up all of their last 4 points, I would be more confident. Ha. Swansea look a little toothless but will have to throw it all at Stoke. All depends on whether Stoke turn up and play for pride or not. They could hold Swansea if they do. I'll be keeping a careful eye on the City game tonight as well to see whether they're in autopilot ahead of the world cup or whether the weekend was just a blip.

5.) 09 May 2018
09 May 2018 17:56:21
Carillo signing was purely MPs doing and the board backed him. MP was a really nice man but he did not have a clue what type of football or footballer was required in the premier league. He will be loaned out to a French club and we will end up losing 15 million on him. We will get our money back or maybe a small profit on Boufal and I think Bertrand Soares and Forster will leave.

6.) 09 May 2018
09 May 2018 18:33:02
Durham on Talksport trying to incite Stoke to roll over to get one over Sparky. The players must be up for Sunday as you get freak results last game of the season and City could do us for 6 if we think it’s completely done.
If we are losing by three or four at half time and Swansea are 2 up they could get another 2 second half.
I know it’s very unlikely but not impossible.
Let’s hope the boys give it all and don’t try and park the bus as it could be dangerous.

7.) 09 May 2018
09 May 2018 18:54:26
You really do have to look closely at the celebrations and how much Hughes has meant to many of this squad.

I personally think he could motivate this team to do well next season. Ok he's a gamble but he's much much better than the last two . It is unlikely that Hughes had a great input to the buying of players at Stoke but I think he could be an asset over the summer.

He has a bit of Jose about him. He take a the pressure off the players and takes it himself. I think the boards recent record of purchases has been a bit dodgy so they could do with a bit of experience behind them.

I think if you asked players who want to stay and want the best for SFC I think they would go for Hughes. I am not a great fan of other names mentioned above.

They would be an even greater risk so I would go for Hughes. We desperately need a period of continuity and as an ex Saint I think Hughes is our man.

8.) 09 May 2018
09 May 2018 19:02:45
Arsene's out of work?!

9.) 09 May 2018
09 May 2018 19:55:50
That thought had crossed my mind also.
Wonder if Leicester are thinking of approaching Arsene?

10.) 10 May 2018
10 May 2018 09:14:58
I don't think we can base a couple of big wins. On our decision to keep Hudges. We want someone that can come in and develop a squad, in the same fashion MP has done at spurs. And looking in what the board has done with their last signings, this will has been in their best interests.
I must say, MH decision to bring on MH for an injured JB just after bringing on Long did seem very rogue! But it paid off for us. We were very organised on Tuesday night and our guys were solid from the aerial threat of Swansea. Saying that, we've won games by the scruff of our neck, not all results have been convincing.