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04 May 2021 23:34:57
You have to respect Mauricio pochettino for high fiving Sergio Aguero when he came on in the champions league semi final . that shows an understanding and respect of the game we love!




07 Mar 2020 13:07:06
Today will be an interesting test of Ralph's team selection. I am hoping he moves JWP back into the number 10 role and uses on of the two right backs we had on the bench last week! Without Armstrong and Smallbone both injured, will be bring back Romeu? I hope not . how about being brave and having PEH and JWP with Djenepo and Boufal outside them .
back to the 'go for the win' mentality.


1.) 07 Mar 2020 14:49:03
Good to see Ralph reads this forum 👍
Great team selection today 😁.



10 Nov 2019 00:02:25
ok it's statistics time, and these have shocked me .
2018/ 2019 and 2019/ 2020 seasons
Romeu 43 0
JWP 38 0
PEH 42 3 (0 this season)

so our midfield are not only slow, can't tackle, they have provided ZERO assists this season . and only 3 over two seasons .


1.) 11 Nov 2019 15:23:04
I think it's a bit harsh to judge Romeu based on his assist rate as he is a defensive midfielder that doesn't get forward. JWP on the other hand should have assists next to his name as our primary set piece 'specialist' - although he barely gets the ball passed the first man from corners.

Looking at our overall assists from the first team, no one really adds anything in this field. There is no standout player that has got near 10 assists over the past 2 seasons.

Redmond - 4 assists last season, 0 this year
Ings - 3 assists last season, 0 this year

We are definitely missing a creative head in midfield, but we need a composed CM that can break up play with a composed head and move the ball forward, sort of like Schneiderlin.

2.) 12 Nov 2019 16:25:52
just to add Sofiane Boufal : 2 assists in 4 1/ 2 games!
The name that sprang to mind with a 'composed head and move the ball forward' . STEVE DAVIS . worked his socks off, has great awareness on the pitch, always looking for the forward pass!
Oh we sold him .
there must be a free agent out there somewhere we can sign ASAP.

3.) 13 Nov 2019 08:34:17
I agree Rich, Boufal is probably our most creative player, even though he is wasteful, he gets in good positions on the pitch and is unpredictable. I feel he should be getting more game time than he has been.

RH needs to use the international break to regroup and go back to the basics. If he wants to use his 4-2-2-2 he needs to drill this into the squad. Setting up to defensive does nothing for us. If we utilise and use the 4-2-2-2 formation correctly and press as a squad of players we will create chances. At the moment we are just sitting back and waiting for the opportunity, we need to start getting into the faces of our opponents. Pressing up top will relieve pressure from our defensive, if our defensive shape is good enough then other teams will struggle to break us down.

4.) 14 Nov 2019 00:00:59
I agree with you saintjay . but . pressing is all well and good if when you don't have the ball you can defend/ tackle . and most importantly get the ball back!
I think, like me, you have realised that our midfield is a huge part of the problem. Pressing is good and i love to see it, but let's say we press and yet again one of those stupid 'give away' passes. the opposition are bearing down on us .
our midfield . JWP can't tackle, can't track back quick enough . he's out of the game. Same for Romeu!
So now the opposition have in effect run straight through us .

Sound familiar? Leicester .

there has to be some free agents out there we are allowed to sign now!

More worryingly Ralph has not be sacked . so that means they believe in him? are they watching different games to us? they way he sets up, the way he changes things, his substitutions . his lack of tactical know how . ie 3-1 down playing awful, being over run . no changes til 70+ minutes .

ok so Ralph not sacked . so they believe in him .
so they must think it's the players . well what you going to do about it SFC!

5.) 14 Nov 2019 23:05:51
If we keep with Ralph they have got to provide him with new faces to fit his formation. At the moment drop those who are not performing - Redmond, Bertrand, Vestergard, PEH and JWP. Bring in Vokins, Boufal, Stephens or Yosh, Slattery and Adams. Back in the day Lawrie Mc would have signed Cahill and Toure on frees for decent wages to bring experience to the squad, help in training too. We now need to sign either the best in youth or pay over the top for quality to add. Having said that Ya Ya is still available!



30 Sep 2019 15:56:38
Not posted for a while, but thought i would share my thoughts on RH.
I am starting to worry he is doing a 'Mourinho'; ie alienating himself from certain players. Clearly a difference between RH and Bertrand, Cedric and his latest Valery.

Playing Cedric on the wrong wing, Danso in a position he never plays ie right back . what was he trying to prove against Bournemouth? how to lose?
PLaying Danso instead of Bertrand previously . and now playing Vestegard RB instead of Valery .

If he is trying to bring their ego's down to earth, it's the wrong way to do it!


1.) 01 Oct 2019 03:03:36
It’s confusing with respect to Cedric’s last minute. withdrawal at Tottenham with no explanation offered when so much tactical planning would have been invested prior. Very Peculiar, . We know Ralph is well respected coach but his ‘man- management style would only be known to those closer to him. Perhaps certain players have attitudes not tolerated by him. He obviously requires the 100% support of Squad Players to maintain discipline. It is noticeable however that the dramatic rise of Leicester (under Brendan Rodgers ) & Schalke inGermany (under David Wagner) less time RH has been sorting SFC out!

2.) 01 Oct 2019 17:08:14
I think, for whatever reason, he has diverted focus away from tactics etc and onto the man management side. To play Danso right back was bordering on insanity, to move Vestegrard to right back with Valery on the bench was bizarre. I know a lot of people do say they have contacts in the club, but i do have direct contact with a lot of the younger players and some of the younger ones recently added to the first team squad. I was aware of his spat with Cedric and various other things. He seems to not like egos. While i understand that a bad ego can be negative for a team, a positive, cocky ego can be good for the team. WE are talking about professional footballers who need some cockiness to 'say' to the opposition, we're not afraid of you!
Bertrand has an air of that but why not, he is a good player, gives his all, been there done it. Cedric has won the Euros!

They didn't get where they are being nice, quiet, reserved people!
Maybe someone like Valery it's a different story, he's suddenly come from nowhere and just maybe he has got a bit full of himself.

Maybe RH needs to concentrate on his tactical skills and stop trying to play what is almost devils advocate!

Charlie Austin is a different category - relegated to training with the Under 21/ 23s and i am told was made to clean cars . how true i don't know.

3.) 06 Oct 2019 08:39:58
I think you may be reading more into the situation than is actually there. Team selection is nuanced and match specific and shouldn’t be reduced to simple player – coach disagreements. RH has highlighted that YV has been struggling in training and his performance has dipped. He also underlined its not a case of not trusting YV. He is a young player, still developing and his from will be inconsistent. But now he has been training hard and is looking to be involved v Chelsea.

The club failed to invest in full back positions again this summer despite selling, so we have two right backs, one of which stated a desire to leave over the summer and the other is young and still learning. On the other side, we have one left back in Bertrand.

We praise RH for taking a stern approach with players, insisting they invest in his vision or they drop out, but then when things on the pitch aren’t perfect, you think we should bemoan his approach and say he’s going too far? We should second guess why certain players aren’t playing?

About Valery, RH has already spoken this week. Cedric pulled out against Spurs because of a calf injury sustained during the week’s training and aggravated in the pre-game warm-up. RH also explained the reasons for his line-up choice v Spurs which is perfectly sensible. Yes, experimenting with Danso in a full back position in the past has been unsuccessful, but so what? Given our scant options, I’m perfectly happy for the head coach to try a few things to see what works.

Comparing our team to Leicester and Schalke is ridiculous. Leicester have a very talented squad of players with a balanced blend of youth and experience that should see them challenging for European places this season. That alone is not down to Brendan Rodgers. Schalke have played 7 games so far under David Wagner and a season’s performance cannot be judged after 7 games.

Also, what’s the point in repeating silly rumours about Charlie Austin that you yourself state you don’t know are true? They are the seeds of undermining our head coach and sewing them does nothing but harm. If this forum is to become a negative spiral of nonsense and a platform for sharing unfounded conjecture then I for one will be checking out. Its disappointing that this forum is far more active when we aren’t playing well compared to when we are struggling. I understand why that is, but perhaps things would feel slightly less bleak if there was a positive post for every negative one.

Given we are only 7 games into the season, shouldn’t we just let things develop and see how we get on? RH has already demonstrated more ability than our last few head coaches and given the ability levels in our squad, we cannot expect too much. We are targeting a finish between 10 and 14 place this season. Anything more is unrealistic at this stage. Its frustrating that we are not playing better at the moment but RH has done enough to earn our trust and patience. let's not be hyper-critical before the season really starts to show its colours.

4.) 06 Oct 2019 12:56:27
Just let RH do the job that he was brought in for. He can only work with what he has so we have to give him time.

5.) 06 Oct 2019 13:29:19
He played a left sided centre half in a position he had never played - right back, while moving CEdric to left back and Bertrand on the bench. FACT
It was either stupid or naive or both :-)

6.) 06 Oct 2019 13:32:02
and to add, it didn't work we were absolutely awful! not surprisingly . and as someone who has supported Saints for 52 years, just sometimes criticising the manager is allowed :-)

7.) 11 Oct 2019 16:41:33

Had Bertrand been fully fit, I don't believe he would have played Cedric at LB and Danso at RB.



20 Jan 2019 11:20:33
I think the problem I have had til now is the (misguided) belief that as professional footballers, they shouldn't need to be told how to play. I have sat back and watched and thought what the dickens is he doing, why did he make that pass, why did he not close that player down. Koeman was a manager that used to watch, analyse and guide the players and he left.

But SIR H. is different, he adds the dimension of passion! many are saying 'oh its great Bednarek, redmond, [other player]' has upped their game. but reality is they were great players, but just needed that tweak. that direction, that steering and now we have it! an exceptional manager in every way. And I know some think we'll lose him to a 'bigger' team, but fingers crossed he loves it here :-)


1.) 20 Jan 2019 12:03:17
He will likely leave by the end of next season. by which point we should be rejuvenated and be able to replace him with similar. not the boring dross of a puel or Pellegrino.

It's no good having good players with no direction. Not in the modern game. Also having good players with just "passion" will work for a while but eventually come undone tactically. RH has given them the passion and fight and got the new manager bounce, but he's also sorted us out in terms of fitness, work rate, organisation defensively and a plan when attacking. All of which means it can actually LAST!

2.) 20 Jan 2019 14:12:37
Hopefully the owners/ directors will realise that you can't run a club the size of ours purely as a business. I know that nobody will just throw money at a club the size of Southampton but they must know that if we don't invest we will fall down through the leagues again. Last time that happened we were lucky enough to get Marcus in to rescue us but that's unlikely to happen again. Unfortunately with smaller clubs it's a matter of speculate to accumulate. I just don't think that our present owners are willing to put the money in which makes me question their love of the club. With a little investment RH might be open to staying with us to see if he can get us back to where we were a few years ago.

3.) 20 Jan 2019 19:55:24
I agree that with a bit of investment in new players, RH will stay. He seems to like the club and as he has said before he isn't ready for a big club yet. The fans also seem to love him and he appreciates it, even after matches you can see him looking at the travelling fans or at home.

4.) 20 Jan 2019 21:59:25
You never know if we look after him he might be an old fashioned manager that likes to hang around and see where he can take us. He knows that we'll never be a big club but if he likes a challenge you never know. Whatever he decides in the future I think we need to back him as much as we can now.

5.) 21 Jan 2019 11:33:00
Have you guys watched the fans conference that both Ralphs did last week? Kreuger underlined the whole financial situation. Although Mr Gao hasn't invested a lump sum of money into the transfer window yet, every penny that the club makes goes back into the club. From player sales to match day tickets. They're unlikely to invest in January, but he has hinted that they will be looking to recruit heavily in the summer.

RH summed it up perfectly, by saying that we can't always sign expensive new players and that he'd rather sign someone young into the club that he can develop, so another Bednarek or Hojbjerg or Redmond. Essentially reinstalling the "Southampton way". I mean look at all the players we've spent a lot of money on and how they've worked out:
Vestergaard - okay he's come into the first team under RH but no one has been rating him all season
Carrillo - he played like 2 seconds last season now he's off on loan
Boufal - he's gone off on loan elsewhere
Lemina - good player, but I doubt he'll be able to get into our current team

I just don't think we'll ever be able to please our fans. Half of them want to see youth players coming through the ranks, then the other half want to see millions spent on new players.

6.) 21 Jan 2019 11:29:09
Does anyone think he might get the best out of Carillio and Boufal?

7.) 21 Jan 2019 11:44:49
I would love to change back to the old Southampton way by signing young, hungry players and develop them. Rumours are we trying to sign Clarke from Leeds. "The Southampton Way" type of player. :)

Ralph seems to be really happy here and I hope he will stay at least 'til the end of his current contract. Hopefully much longer!




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04 Dec 2021 18:10:53
What on earth was JWP doing?
Firstly the awful pass out of defence, Romeu awful tackle to give away the free kick .
But what was JWP doing sprinting towards our goal as the free kick was taken?
Three of their players played onside!

While Ralph continues to play two holding midfielders against every opponent, we will always struggle as an attacking force.

JWP was awful today .


1.) 04 Dec 2021 18:30:16
How predictable … same old.
JWP handed them the equaliser on a platter then had the audacity to try and milk applause at the final whistle.
There is something wrong with the team mentality.
Getting tighter down at the bottom and this was a game we simply needed to win.
I have said all season and most of last that Romeau and JWP are not a winning combination. Lots of huff and puff but not much else. Oh well, Arsenal up next…

2.) 04 Dec 2021 18:58:25
Team sheet regardless of opponent, regardless of form .
McCarthy Redmond JWP Romeu

But it’s playing this pair every game that is our downfall. I’d love to see the ‘heat map’ for JWP .
at least Romeu does try and push up, but he simply doesn’t have the speed to recover once out of position.

We really need to start winning games soon.



01 Dec 2021 19:24:36
So here we go again .
Favourites picked again

Romeu and JWP holding midfielders .
Romeu : too slow, poor tracking of his man, poor reading of the game, often fouls due to his being caught out, adds virtually zero attacking threat or decisive passes

JWP : too slow, plays too deep, his dead balls are becoming very predictable rarely reaching a saints player

McCarthy : lost for words, no where near as good as Forster in every aspect of goalkeeping

Armstrong : Ralph's latest favourite.
Shoot first look for a better option after,
Poor passing, poor positional play, poor teamwork, often wanders way out of position,
not an intelligent player
Should never be picked ahead of Broja

Redmond : a favourite of Ralph's but I have no idea why . I don't need to list his faults, they are so obvious to all!

Bednerek: a good player, reads the game well, but not as good as Lyanco

They will exploit our slow midfield and if we are not careful, will completely overrun us


1.) 01 Dec 2021 19:45:49
15 minutes in .
Saints playing quicker, one touch football.
Good movement on and off ball .
Mmmm not like watching Saints ??

2.) 01 Dec 2021 19:54:09
It’s a shame the excellent play hasn’t extended to McCarthy!

{Ed047's Note - that was a bit of a howler!

3.) 02 Dec 2021 01:18:06
A much improved performance but needs to be capitalised on- although don’t expect a leopard to change it’s spots, Ralph must be held accountable (following several below par performances) Diallo replacing Ward-Prowse,Lyanco replacing Bednarek and Forster replacing McCarthy.The majority.realise it’s a necessary improvement but does the big fella have the balls!I I think not-but surprise me!,

4.) 01 Dec 2021 23:43:51
Ed: not the first howler of the season and it won’t be his last

{Ed047's Note - he’s an odd one, makes great saves and howlers all in the same match.



27 Nov 2021 14:14:17
Fantastic to see Ralph has changed formation for Liverpool.
Great to see a three CB's that include lyanco, also Perraud playing left back!
I'd also been calling for Broja, Adams and Armstrong to be on the pitch at the same time. Like to see Adams float around as his link up play is exceptional!

Not sure what McCarthy has to do to be dropped, let's hope no mistakes from him.
We have a superb defence today with two holding midfielders - this is when you play these two, not against Norwich!

Looking forward to this one very much.


1.) 28 Nov 2021 00:16:01
Replying to my own post : well I was looking forward to this game.
Firstly our three up front - clearly they had never played together, clearly they had not spent much time practising 3 up front. What it did confirm
Is that Armstrong is not PL standard; poor distribution, poor vision. not a team player. Why Ralph took off Che I have no idea, should have taken Armstrong off.

This is all about Liverpool skill than us being poor.
Their inter passing, speed of play, use of the ball . well it’s a joy to watch



21 Nov 2021 23:31:32
To quite Ralph after the Norwich game .
"It's hard to understand why Southampton lost".
Really? Where shall we start?

You are not playing the best goalkeeper, you are playing your favourite!

You are not starting with Broja
You are not starting with Lyanco
You are not picking Tella, despite your other favourites Redmond and Djenepo not playing
Your substitutions were terrible
Your reaction to Norwich changes was zero
You are playing KWP out of position
You have the best Left back on the bench
You brought in Walcott
You took off Romeu
You keep playing two holding midfielders

In summary

You are not picking your best team week in week out


1.) 22 Nov 2021 02:39:46
It’s laughable at reported Ralph’s comments to Dean Smith that NCFC may avoid relegation yet -YES DUMBASS AT OUR VERY OWN EXPENSE-they are only 2 wins below us in the League now. Start recognising your own Team’s League position rather than crowing about the opppsition chances of survival!



18 Nov 2021 17:05:39
Che Adams : I've said it before, very intelligent player! Would like to see him play with Broja, or even behind Broja and Armstrong.


1.) 19 Nov 2021 00:01:08
Agreed Rich.- l believe if Ralph could accomodate and harness these 3 players together correctly they would become a force for any opposition.

2.) 19 Nov 2021 15:15:25
Che reminds me of Rickie Lambert. Can play out wide, can cut in and provide superb service.
He’s probably better at the wider role than all our wingers! But he can also play through the middle.




south_hants_rich's rumour replies


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02 Oct 2021 08:43:22
It is bizarre that Ralph can not spot what is so obvious to thousands. He keeps changing the forward line, but with virtually no service coming in from midfield/ wingers, we’ll never score goals. The contribution to attack from Djenepo and Redmond is virtually zero; add in the two defensive midfielders in Romeu and JWP and there isn’t a hope in hell of one of them doing a defence splitting pass.
In fact most of our attacking impetus comes from Tino and Perraud/ KWP
As everyone is saying, playing KWP at right back and move Tino forward. But I’m guessing just like Ralph’s stubbornness over not playing Tella, he will only play Tina at right back….
Another game against a great manager and team. Their manager will change the dynamics of their team multiple times over the game; Ralph will bring in Djenepo….




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18 Aug 2021 15:38:55
Nothing of value to bring on? You mean subs?

For starters.




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16 Aug 2021 18:52:46
So Ralph will play him on the left wing and Diallo centre back . apologies for my cynical answer . losing the faith after another Ralph debacle.




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09 Aug 2021 12:29:41
SaintG . first time I’ve known you to be so disillusioned.
I know how you feel, both you and I life long Saints fans, but feeling we still don’t have direction .

But we do now have two fantastic full backs, Perraud will add so much more to the team.
So just maybe with Salisu coming up to speed, we’ll have an excellent defence.
I do worry about Redmond and Djenepo. It doesn’t matter who we have up front, if they don’t get the ball they can’t score. Redmond and Djenepo break up more of our attacks than they create!

Midfield needed bolstering big time. JWP playing way too deep to influence games.

Armstrong overlapping with KWP or Perraud will be a sight to behold!

Let’s hope Ralph has also learnt to not play players out of position. although his desire to use Djenepo as a wing back has me baffled? Djenepo has never been able to tackle and often is studs up when he does.




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25 Feb 2021 16:12:33
Overpaid pretenders : one standout pretender is Redmond, to be playing him upfront is bizarre.
Not quite good enough - sadly I think Bertrand is past his best by quite a way.
Stephens - simply not good enough

The bednerek and vestergard partnership worked very well, but now Salisu is on the team sheet, that partnership is gone.





south_hants_rich's banter replies


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08 Dec 2021 08:59:51
Teejay : you know and I know, that even if Caballero kept 10 clean sheets, saved 4 penalties, made some worldly saves … McCarthy would be picked, even if caballero was still with the club …




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07 Dec 2021 13:03:34
Ralph and the goalkeepers . or should that be goalkeeper.
Firstly, McCarthy. it seems no matter how badly he plays, no matter how many mistakes he makes, Ralph picks him. That is the real issue here!
The chances of Forster being injured at the same time were pretty remote, considering Ralph never picks him for PL matches! Even after his superb performance against Chelsea in the cup, that wasn’t enough, McCarthy has made awful mistakes in several games in a row, but sadly Forster can’t grab his chance!
Ralph clearly has problems with man management, after a succession of players have left with not one thanking or mentioning Ralph. But his incessant picking of favourites has to stop, but by who? Is there no one at the club he answers to?

As for Winks, what a kick in the teeth that we bring in someone to play; or just maybe he will play with the new guy on the bench ……….

As for who’s running the club, it would seem Ralph!




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04 Dec 2021 18:58:25
Team sheet regardless of opponent, regardless of form .
McCarthy Redmond JWP Romeu

But it’s playing this pair every game that is our downfall. I’d love to see the ‘heat map’ for JWP .
at least Romeu does try and push up, but he simply doesn’t have the speed to recover once out of position.

We really need to start winning games soon.




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01 Dec 2021 23:43:51
Ed: not the first howler of the season and it won’t be his last


{Ed047's Note - he’s an odd one, makes great saves and howlers all in the same match.



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01 Dec 2021 22:49:11
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the game.
Redmond was superb in the first half, with lots of quick passes, clever passes. He seemed to play further inside than normal and it worked. Second half he seemed to have been pushed wider, I’m guessing on instructions.
Overall I liked the way we played. As you say, awful mistake for their goal and against the run of play.

Armstrong is definitely a hindrance, awful positional play, awful distribution, shoots before looking for a pass, rarely plays any inter passing with teammates. When he went off and Ely came on, it made a huge difference to our play.

The usually defensive and slow midfield pairing of Romeu and JWP, seemed more fluent. Both pushing up, one pushing up, and more positive.

Ralph definitely seems to be learning fast.