26 Sep 2021 16:05:46
Can anyone tell me what Tella has done wrong to not even get on as a sub with Long preferred today . something is terribly wrong when he we have to play a right footed player at left back . Surely Ralph has had more than enough chances to get it right and drastic action must be taken if we are to avoid relegation.

1.) 26 Sep 2021
26 Sep 2021 16:16:32
Ralph looked a broken man on the touch line today. Draws are ok, but if you don’t win, you are under pressure. Fundamentally he eeds to play players in their position. As good as KWP is he had a few opportunities to deliver from the left, but he checked inside to his right. Perraud needs to be LB from now on. If Livremento can’t be dropped, the he has to moved into LM. Also Adams and Armstrong are too similar - we need contrast, maybe a Tella or Broja. Chelsea next…….

2.) 26 Sep 2021
26 Sep 2021 16:39:53
This is 100% Ralph doing and he does not deserve to keep his job!

Where to start ……

Not only didn’t he start Tella but he brought Djenepo and Long on before him!
Djenepo - absolutely not up to the standard, continues with his dire distribution.
Redmond picked again
KWP played out of position? No one in the game thought we’d manage to sign Perraud. Wanted by top clubs but we managed it. So what do we do? Drop him to the bench and play a left back in his position! Perraud is a great crosser of the ball, something very much needed.

If he wants to play KWP, play him left back and move Tino onto the wing or midfield.

It was obvious we were awful from the first few minutes but worryingly Ralph (again) stuck to his plan.

Interesting listening to Jo Tessem now a commentator on Solent . said it as it it . no structure, no game plan.

If we are to win games we need service to the front men.
Redmond and Djenepo can not play. Tella and Broja have to play. Perraud has to play .

This can not carry on.

3.) 26 Sep 2021
26 Sep 2021 18:14:18
Although I think Ralph needs to go. I don't think many other managers will be able to get much more out of this squad. We don't have a very good squad, it's as simple as that. Our best player this season has been a teenager that we've signed from Chelsea (that had never played in the Premier League before) .

We've become so boring to watch, long balls pumped forward, trying to catch the defence out but it doesn't work (clearly works on the training field as Jinemez walked the ball into the net eariler)

Ralph's system doesn't work. We'll never create chances with right footed players playing on the left. They slow down the play so much. We've got no one on our that can create a bunch of chances a game.

I personally don't have a problem with Ralph playing KWP at LB. He was probably one of our best performer today. However, going forward it'll never work as he needs to cut it back onto his right foot.

4.) 27 Sep 2021
27 Sep 2021 00:33:57
I’m not sure we have a system at all?
I think they are reverting to long balls as they have no faith in Redmond and Djenepo to provide decent crosses or through balls.
These two weaken the team so much, especially Djenepo who is quite simply awful!
Playing kwp ahead of Perraud in Perraud’s position is insulting. First team regular, voted best left back in the french league . to being dropped!
It matters not that we signed Broja and Perraud, he is not playing them?
As for Tella … most exciting academy prospect. gets a few chances and looks superb … and now . Djenepo and long picked ahead of him!

Ralph has to go, if only for his love of Redmond!

5.) 27 Sep 2021
27 Sep 2021 09:32:23
Feel sorry for Djenepo being blasted here. He brought a much needed spark of energy to the pitch yesterday. But he like Redmond offers no end product.

It's a mixture of things but no one seems to take any responsibility in our team. No one tries to make anything happen, none of our attacking players coming deep to try and get on the ball.

6.) 27 Sep 2021
27 Sep 2021 14:25:34
Not much to add to the posts other than to say that Ralph’s love for Redmond will cost him his job and our place in the PL.
Why no Tella? Look at the youngsters Arsenal have faith in like Emile Smith-Rowe and Sakka. Give Tella a run and he would flourish just like they have.
Finally, and whilst many will not agree with me, you simply cannot play Romeu and JWP in the same team and expect to win PL matches. Both are too slow physically and mentally - there is no creativity or attacking threat from either. And what has happened to JWP dead ball deliveries?
Please sign my petition: I never want to see Redmond in a Saints shirt again.

7.) 27 Sep 2021
27 Sep 2021 15:46:15
Yesterday's game was a frustrating watch, with issues persisting from previous performances this season.

For me, our main issue when we attack is the slow delivery of the ball from front to back. This has been an issue since last season. We do hit several long direct passes from front to back, and when delivered accurately, they provide opportunity. In contrast to other posters, I don't think we do it enough. We also throw in the occasional line breaking pass to get behind the opposition midfield, but again, too infrequently.

Instead, we look hesitant on the ball most of the time and I agree that something has to give in the JWP/ Romeu axis for us to become a little more progressive. With the system as it is, with the ball Saints attack with a 3-4-3/ 3-3-4 formation which sees our centrebacks split and one of the central midfielders drop into the space between them. From that position, neither Romeu or JWP look to play progressive passes forward and rather simply look to recycle the ball or break up play if lose possession.

That leaves one central midfielder who usually sits between the opposition's lines of attack and midfield to create passing lanes with our defensive line, but often means they are targeted and swallowed by the opposition's midfielders. This takes them out of the game as a progressive passing option as they are forced to pass backwards or sideways.

On the flip side, this floating midfielder can interplay and draw opposition bodies out of position to open up passing lanes either side, so in sacrificing themselves as an attacking passing option, its possible with the right movement and interplay to create options for others. This is where the line splitting passes come in, as we saw a couple from Bednarek yesterday just bypassing our midfield, and that of Wolves, to get to our attacking midfielders.

These narrow attacking midfielders also help to create space by drawing opposition wide midfielders in, or even full backs, to create space in the wide channels for our attacking full backs to try and exploit.

For this system to work, the ball needs to get from our defensive third to the attacking third as quickly as possible to catch the opposition cold and create an overload with our full backs, attacking midfielders and strikers all working together against a back four. This more direct approach doesn't need to come at the expense of control or possession. Whilst some of our long balls lack accuracy in terms of finding a Saints player, this is also the trigger for our high press as we fight hard for the second ball, looking to force a turnover close to the opposition goal and catch them sleeping.

What we're doing all too often at the moment is slowing attacks down. When the ball is played backwards, or sideways, or when wide players have to cut back on to their stronger foot, it affords the opponent valuable seconds to recover into defensive positions and shut down the spaces. There have been several moments in every game this season that one of our attacking players has made a run from deep looking for a pass behind the opponent's back four, when there is room for such a pass to be made, but the opportunity is turned down, in favour of a safe sideways or backwards pass. In the time of Danny Ings, this pass in behind was a main weapon with usually Ings himself making the run. Those runs are still being made despite Ings no longer being in the team (evidence that this is encouraged through coaching) but for some reason, JWP and Romeu are regularly turning it down. Plus we currently have the right footed left back who is reluctant to overlap and attack the byline in behind the opposition defence as his left foot isn't quite up to it, meaning even if the ball does get forward down our left side quickly, the attack is likely to break down as we cut back inside through either KWP or Redmond.

So this comes back to the main point. Perhaps, JWP and Romeu are being too pragmatic. I would consider this being a change in philosophy by JWP that has helped us concede fewer goals of late, but this was evident last season. Its like we're still being haunted by the ghost of pragmatic possession, fearing giving the ball away more than sabotaging our own attacking opportunities.

I think Perraud has been fine when he has played. I don't know whether the fear was him coming up against Traore but as it turned out, Traore only came on late and then played through the middle. I'm still not entirely sure why Tella isn't playing, or why Broja isn't given a start. Perhaps there is something in training that we don't see.

I have doubts about the front 2 pairing. Armstrong I think would be more effective sitting slightly deeper at times if he prefers to shoot from range and he has the pace to get behind centrebacks if the right ball is played from a deeper position. He doesn't seem to have the guile nor stature to get by defenders at the moment. Che Adams is a good outlet, is strong and competes well for the ball, but once that has been done, he doesn't offer enough goal threat for me. He's often stuck outside the box when we attack or arrives too late to get a shot off. He doesn't seem to offer an aerial threat in the box either, so whilst our wide play often encourages crossing, we lack targets to hit and have little option but to cross low or cut back. Broja is different as he has guile, speed and aerial presence. I can understand the logic of only wanting to use him as back up as he remains the player of another team and surely its better for our long term future if we can get our own players playing better before we rely on someone who may well only be here for the season.

But then if we play these personnel, perhaps a different system is required to get the best of them. A font three, not dissimilar to Liverpool with Adams battling for the ball and flicking it on from a deeper position to the speed of Tella and Armstrong? Maybe a midfield 3 with someone like Diallo or Armstrong who can play more progressive passes from there, to counter the more pragmatic Romeu and JWP.

Maybe there is another solution that can get these players working in the 4-2-2-2. Maybe they will grow in to their positions and in a few weeks time, these doubts may be gone. On the back of 2 impressive draws against the Manchester teams and West Ham, and only a 0-1 loss to Wolves who we bettered for much of the game, I don't think we're in need of a revolution. But the early signs are there of imbalance in the team that will need to be rectified somehow in order to get our attack firing and alleviate the pressure on the defence to keep clean sheets.

8.) 27 Sep 2021
27 Sep 2021 17:54:10
JWP is a weird one for me. I've noted him as one of most sensible midfielders in the PL. He seems to never give the ball away, he's very good a not mopping up and not taking risks. Rarely playing the ball forward? I do wonder why this is? As someone who is supposedly our best passer and the best set piece specialist in the league. Why doesn't he take more risks? Do you think Ralph has told him not too or does he not have faith in his ability? Admittedly his set piece ability comes down his technique which he can't mirror in open play.

Che Adam's is a weird one for me. In my opinion he is our best "creative" asset from open play. He often makes a decision fast and moves the ball quickly, his passing is usually accurate but his finishing is poor. I personally he needs to play every game, but maybe should be played a bit deeper.

I definitely think something needs to change. After nearly 3 years in charge Ralph still hasn't figured out the best way to break down a stubborn team with the assets he has.

9.) 27 Sep 2021
27 Sep 2021 21:02:21
I’ll make your day worse .
Ralph has asked Tino not to play so attacking!
I also hear kwp is not happy playing left back …

JWP is a very interesting one. When we had vestergard, who can literally play the ball to anywhere on the pitch with either feet, JWP would often call for the ball from
Vestergard and then play one of those meaningless, sideways, backward passes. As you say, he rarely if ever, plays an over the top ball, a defence splitting pass. It’s not he doesn’t have the ability to play a ball superbly, but only from a dead ball?
As others have also said on the banter page, you can not play JWP and Romeu IF you want to win. Fine if you are 1-0 up with ten minutes to go! Both are slow, too negative.

Che Adams - a very, very clever player. Reads the game well but the chopping and changing of the front line won’t help Che in any way. Ralph has even added Redmond into the front line Ahead of Broja and Che!

As for no Tella? Have you read Ralph’s reasons for not picking him? Clown!

Djenepo - effort 10/ 10 . end product 0 And while I understand he makes an effort, end product is what he is on the pitch for!

Jo Tessem was a breath of fresh air in Solent .
‘This team has no game plan, no structure’

I forgot about dropping Perraud? Fantastic player with an amazing cross …. Not seen anyone cross so well since Shaw.