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07 Oct 2023 22:19:58
Another reality check!

So after a reasonably sound performance at Stoke (hardly brilliant as RM stated), we mess up again and don`t get an easy 3 points today.

Good start but, as so often, the longer the game goes on the more we lose the initiative. All this possession football is supposed to tire the opposition out but they still looked full of running to me.

First substitutions added very little and inevitable mistake at back is punished. Waste of time (again) bringing on those game changers Mara and Aribo,

Shame we could not swap goalkeepers with Rotherham and as many are saying Manning HAS to go. Give Bree a chance and switch KWP as I suspect a 19 year old Larios if ever fit is not going to solve LB problem. Crying shame Perraud not kept.

Quarter of the season gone. we are 9 points above the bottom 3. we are 11 points behind the top 2.

If we can`t beat Rotherham we will need to look down the table rather than up. Difficult away games coming after international break.

St Michael




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05 Nov 2023 15:26:18
Another late winner - we will be getting a reputation. Actually, I would suggest this was one of our most complete performances of the season.

Last week I said Saints might be riding their luck. But fair play, the harder they work the luckier they become. Yes, Milwall hit the bar but Bart made more saves in one game than he ever did with us.

Also pleased to see an unchanged side/later substitutions and much, much better second half intensity. How does Stewart get a start at present?

Shame no Bednarek next week as West Brom will be a big test.

Just hoping we can keep the improvements coming through and we can become serious play-off candidates.


St Michael



28 Oct 2023 21:33:58
So, it is 3 weeks since I last posted (on Southampton Rumours rather than Banter).

The message from RM and the local media seems to have been `be patient` and `we are improving`.

Well I have been patient and we are improving. I am a long way from my first desperate post.

BUT we have been lucky. Leads lost at Hull and Preston. Last gasp goals meant 4 points instead of 1 point. Well done the players.

Today our first goal was probably offside and Baz was fortunate not to give away a penalty. They say the harder you work the luckier you get so well done (?) RM.

We again started well and like Leeds/Rotherham should have been out of sight by half time but 46 mins to 70 mins seems to be our downfall. Again we seem to have lost the initiative and wobbled and after Birmingham scored we looked a mess. We seem to have no answer to the fast counter attack. Our luck continued. The one great criticism of the vintage Barcelona/Spain sides was for all the intricate passing on the edge of the opponents box not many goals came as a result. Saints are the same - for all our possession we create no more goal chances than our opponents. Thankfully it does seem we finish games strongly but the relief when AA scored was there for all to see.

Whilst we remain as far behind second place as we did 3 weeks ago, at least there is more distance from the relegation zone. It does give cause for some optimism.

Keep a settled team (without Manning), make room for Stewart and find 2nd half intensity as our good fortune can`t be relied on and we could be smiling albeit not so much as during our last brief stay in the Championship. COYR.

St Michael

1.) 29 Oct 2023 00:16:11
Good post …
What I’m really struggling with, while trying to see the positives, is that each of our last results could have been the reverse score. if our opponents were sharper in front of goal .
Last two games .
Saints possession 72% 13 shots versus 11 shots
71% 11 shots versus 10 shots

How in so little possession is our opponents near on matching our number of shots.
because an extraordinary amount of the opponents possession is in our half.
We are so readable, so predictable, as others have said, we are being laughed at .
the Preston game they were literally waiting for a wayward pass, a delay in passing . they knew exactly where and how we were going to pass.
but still Martin continues with his rhetoric .
I have names it possession obsession…
He doesn’t care how many we concede or how few we score, he goes on about how possession we have.
Whilst I am really pleased at our league position, I’m actually of the opinion it’s because the quality is poor.
Martin is so obsessed with his way being the right way, that he can’t help forcing it on the team.
Our league position is hugely inflating his already huge ego.
If we were playing any EPL team, we would get destroyed.
If I was managing a club that was allowing so many shots against with very little possession. I would be studying the videos, discussing with coaches . it would be a long conversation .
Our game plan is giving opponents too much opportunities.
This rise up the league while not playing great football, has to end somewhen.
I have never known a me me me manager before, so deluded that he thinks our current position is all his doing.

2.) 29 Oct 2023 12:10:10
I agree - normally I find myself bemoaning our bad luck but yesterday we definitely caught the breaks - Baz’s rush of blood to the head was a nailed on pen and our first goal was a smidge and a half offside.

They say luck balances out so rather than overthink it, just roll with it knowing that it won’t be long before we get a perfectly good goal disallowed etc.

A few post match thoughts:

I thought Downes had a better game yesterday.

Bree played like Bree.

Sulemana is different class.

Collectively not as strong as the League 1 squad from a few years back.

Well on course for a record low number of clean sheets ever!

Not too long now to the January window!

3.) 30 Oct 2023 11:22:22
Millertime .
Downes definitely better when allowed some freedom to move the ball around, even pass forward!
Our goals were well worked goals, with getting into the box much quicker, even getting down to the byline and passing back!
I wonder how many of the previous games we could have killed off, had we been quicker with the balls into the box, instead of the incessant messing around .

I do worry that our current run and league position is simply feeding Martin’s ego and his belief that his way is right…
Possession football at all costs is not going to keep working.
the suicidal playing around with it at the back, is going to shoot us in the foot!

It’s good to see a happy crowd, it’s good be winning again.
but let’s see how good we really are,
Let’s move it quicker, into the box quicker and get it the average and below average teams to bed .

4.) 31 Oct 2023 05:39:45
Following a smart recent addition-maybe just maybe a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel with the introduction of Coach Colin Calderwood perhaps he can persuade/influence Russell Martin’s hard wired decisions to become tempered into a more attacking system and with the potential return of Ross Stewart and Juan Larios plus 2/3 astute signings in January a serious push for promotion suddenly becomes a reality! .Keep On Marching!



30 Sep 2023 18:05:19
Agree with Manny561 and 2408.

There was hope today with a line up that included Sulemana, Alcaraz and Stu.

These 3, alongside AA, at least meant for the first 45 mins we had some attacking intent/directness and pace. Detected slightly less rustyball and maybe RM has gone for a little `tweak` All good news.

HOWEVER (whilst expecting a reaction from Leeds in the second half) we did our best to turn a potential victory into a draw. Better finishing from Leeds and we might not have been so happy tonight.

We reverted to sideways/backwards passing and again lost possession too often resulting in dangerous turnovers (we always seem to lose the 50/50 tackles) and being subjected to fast counter attacks

The goal conceded, ponderous play and the tiring of Sulemana and Alcaraz (who needs more games to get back to where he was last season) led to a very difficult period between 60 to 80 minutes which I suggest we were fortunate to survive.

Thankfully we did, and hopefully the system will continue to be tweaked to play to our forwards strengths and even accept that it is ok for our defenders to hoof it clear when in danger.

In conclusion, much better at times. A very welcome win. Don`t get carried away. We still have GK and LB to sort out and probably one CB. Now for Stoke.

St Michael

1.) 01 Oct 2023 10:45:34
Don’t get me wrong, this result has to backed up against Stoke and beyond.

There were better signs of intent and the passing was noticeably more direct in the first half. Hopefully when they analyse the game this will be glaringly obvious (it was to us! ) and the good performance and intent in the first half will be taken forward. We did retreat a lot in the second half, but that’s probably down to confidence issues and not wanting to throw it away.

Let’s go again, build on this and climb that table.


2.) 02 Oct 2023 21:21:00
The Stoke game is very important. It will show if RM is prepared to play a different way to the strengths of certain players or the fist half of the Leeds game was down to players taking the initiative.



23 Sep 2023 20:56:35
This is my first post although I have been reading the many excellent comments on this site for some time now.

Today was so bad I need to vent my feelings. The Club is becoming an embarrassment.

My Dad took me to see the Saints at the Dell in 1966 when Mike Channon scored on his debut v Bristol City.

Then started a 57 year love affair with Southampton FC. The despair today at what is happening to our Club is like nothing else.

Watched the whole game live and yet again came away with anger and shame. We could have lost by 4 again today.

We can`t play like Man City because we don`t have players of their quality. There were so many times today when we just needed to clear the ball NOT try to pass our way out of trouble.

The script is the same every game.
1) Hapless defender loses ball. Speedy opposition attack and shoot. Bazunu dives too late. Goal conceded.
2) Slow deliberate attack breaks down. 3 fast forwards converge on our one slow defender. Another goal conceded.

We are all experts in our armchairs/on the terraces BUT are SR any better. Jones/Selles/Martin no idea.

Swansea happy to see Martin/Manning go. Everton ecstatic Holgate gone.
Downes/Fraser/TBH poor. Jury out on Smallbone.

Yet Sulemana/Alcaraz/SA don`t start and I never thought I would be wishing to see Jack Stephens back!

Forget about inverted full backs and get back to basic proper defending otherwise sadly League 1 here we come.

St Michael

1.) 23 Sep 2023 22:20:44
Welcome St Michael - a very insightful first post and few would argue with your comments.

Talking of Mike Channon, I wonder what he would make of the carnage which is happening before our eyes.

Of all the post match comments RM has surpassed himself yet again - “we’re in a difficult moment” he says.

Call me old fashioned but since when has a month been classed as a ‘moment’. Oddly enough there is no mention of month in my dictionary!

Which once again proves beyond any doubt that RM is ………. (I will let you fill in the blank) .




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23 Sep 2023 21:35:27
Agree. RM is clearly deluded and stubborn.

Definition of madness - keep on doing the same thing but expect a different outcome. He has to go next international break. Graham Potter please come here not Everton?

Would love to see us in training. Surely Martin must have seen AA/Fraser and Sulemana running at Bernard Manning and fellow comedians. Oh sorry forgot Manning wouldn`t be anywhere near the LB berth. And probably the forwards would not trouble Baz with a shot on target. It`s only opposition forwards who continually trouble him with goalbound efforts.

St Michael