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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!



11 Mar 2018 23:58:19
There are so many posts on here bemoaning the selling of our 'best' players and replacing them with 'rubbish' . but players like Mane, Pelle were players we 'plucked out of the air'. Even Poch was someone that no one was watching as a manager. We have bought players from Bayern M, juventus, napoli who actually are great players, more established that some of our 'best players' were before we signed them.

What has happened is they have joined a team that has gone very backward in it's choice of manager. From great tacticians who could adjust the formation, spot shortcomings in opponents . to someone who . trying to being polite . seems to have absolutely no idea how to change / adjust formations / tactics based on the opponent and state of play.

I have no doubt (fingers crossed) that MP will be sacked in the next few days; if he is not i would like the hierarchy to explain why not. The club gave him the chance to manage in the PL and he simply ios not up to it. The PL is the best league in the world in terms of depth. MP could never understand how a team with 35% possession and two shots on goal could beat us . MP . welcome to the PL! or rather . goodbye.


1.) 12 Mar 2018 07:14:24
Absolutely spot on, players are doing what they are tol and have become totally disallusioned as a result of the clown tactics. When have we ever seen Bertrand give anything less than 100%?

2.) 12 Mar 2018 20:57:01
thank god!




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09 Mar 2020 23:37:14
It has disappeared off Saints Twitter?




24 Feb 2020 14:29:52
Never thought I would posting this, but absolutely pleased for the progress by Jack Stephens. Just sometimes we have to accept we are looking in from the outside and that it is the professionals within the game that see things we don't.

I was all for sending him off to some lower division!

Clearly encouraged to run with the ball, he is very impressive!


1.) 25 Feb 2020 10:35:52
Jack Stephen's is arguably our best CB, I personally think he's better than Bednerak. And failed to understand how he hasn't been able to cement a place in the starting 11 our the past 3 seasons. When he stepped up to replace Fonte and partnered Yoshida under Puel, we had one of the best defences in the league during that period of time (6 clean sheets in 14 games) . His positional play is outstanding, he's become great as the last man and is very good with the ball at his feet.

Does anyone think that he could get called up to the England Squad? I think there's a few Saints players knocking on the door and he's one of them.

2.) 25 Feb 2020 11:45:45
Looks like you could be right saintjay. Seems like Danny might get another chance and JWP is knocking on the door again. Would love to see Stephens get a chance too. All depends on how much Southgate has been watching us I suppose.

3.) 25 Feb 2020 19:16:17
All three certainly deserve a place. I'm not sure how Ings would get on, as England don't play the same style as football as we do. Southgate would have to alter the lineup to suit him. JWP should get a call up, he's proven that he's a versatile DM, a position that the England team doesn't really have a preferred player of choice (apart from Hendo) . I also don't see why Stephen's couldn't get into the squad, considering Southgates called up Mings and Tomori in the last few outings.

4.) 26 Feb 2020 01:40:12
I'm sure that Danny Ings would do ok. He is a very intelligent player and I'm sure that he can adapt to Southgates system.



05 Feb 2020 00:39:10
If we play Romeu tomorrow we are in trouble. I have watched the Liverpool golds over and over again! Ever had one of those mates that arrived just as the bus pulls away, was last to the party. cue Romeu . watching his man drift away and score, terrible fouls in dangerous places . too slow for the modern game (sadly)


1.) 05 Feb 2020 09:15:09
I've been saying this for several months. He's becoming a liability in the middle of the pitch. Most of the tackles he makes are fouls, he's too slow and gets caught out of position too often.

2.) 05 Feb 2020 09:43:49
Oreo had his best spell with us under Puel when he played at the base of a midfield diamond. His deeper positioning then played to his strengths and allowed him to break up play without having to use his speed (or lack of it) and avoided pushing him high up the pitch. The style Ralph wants to implement sadly doesn't suit him and we were better off going for Josh Brownhill before he left for Burnley.

3.) 05 Feb 2020 20:34:15
He has played fairly well this game.

4.) 05 Feb 2020 22:49:50
He’s played very well? Were you watching a different game? Positional play awful . tacking awful . back tracking awful . distribution awful . speed awful . should have left Boufal on and swapped Romeu for Armstrong.

5.) 10 Feb 2020 19:50:46
I was completely off on the player in question. Was getting confused with another player from a previous post.



01 Feb 2020 16:56:10
Well that worked out well getting rid of Cedric! JWP who has been immense in the number 10 role plays right back. Romeu back in and showing exactly why he hasn't been playing ie slow, predictable, gives away fouls and doesn't track his man .
and absolutely no penetration down right!


1.) 01 Feb 2020 19:26:58
I was secretly hoping that the reason Valery has been out the squad is because Ralph's been working with him and turning him into an unreal player. Again, he was out the squad. To be fair, even if we didn't get rid of Cedric he would've been out due to injury so we would've probably used the same squad. But Jack Stephen's at rb and bringing Vestergaard into CB would've been the better option I think for today. I just hope the defeat isn't a catalyst for us and regain form when we face Burnley in a couple of weeks.



24 Nov 2019 00:36:57
Really surprised not to see some positive posts on here about today's game.
That was the first game in a very long time that we didn't set out to 'not lose' but actually play to win.

What a difference the team is with a modified midfield. Our midfield has been way too slow, static, poor at passing . well to be honest everything. Remove Romeu (finally) ! and we have JWP playing more of the number 10 role, Armstrong providing speed, positive passing, attacking play!

And a back four that looked solid, that played well together, looked to get forward, looked for telling passes. Ob up front added speed, Redmond slightly better, but he still doesn't get it, Ings is the goalscorer! give him the ball in and around the box and he'll score. so pass to him more!

As for when Djenepo and Boufal came on, they ran Arsenal ragged and were it not for poor finishing could have had five!

So Ralph - stick to that formation COYR.


1.) 25 Nov 2019 14:43:32
Back four must be the way forward especially for the next few games. 4-2-3-1 actually suits our players, option to 4-2-2-2 with the players available to come on.

McCarthy Cedric Bednarek DANSO Bertrand Hojbjerg Armstrong Redmond JWP Boufal? Ings

Agree from other posts to maybe hold one of Boufal/ Djenepo on the bench, tough call but maybe Djenepo’s pace off the bench would be more influential, but I’d rather he played longer. Not sure. But looking at how Watford, West Ham, Newcastle, Norwich and Villa are playing, we shouldn’t be scared.

Christmas will also be tough but looking at our fixtures from February 8 onwards, our run in is kind so staying in touch until then is satisfactory to me.

Play like that more and for gods sake will you take your bloody chances. Cedric’s square ball to Obafemi, Redmond not taking an early shot and squaring to Djenepo for the arsenal defend to get back. AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH.

2.) 27 Nov 2019 00:14:27
very well done to Saints team and Coach for their turnaround performance v Arsenal. Hopefully the turning point we’ve all been waiting for. personally Armstrong in the middle was key to making us quicker and more mobile which lifted others performances. Have always agreed with S/ H RICH our mids were sluggish previously (the other two will be looking over their shoulders) With the future possibility of two exiting quick young fullbacks and a quality c/ back we could be on the charge.! The appointment of Matt Crocker as DOF is a very smart move also. Keep On Marching!




south_hants_rich's rumour replies


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14 Jan 2021 21:53:17
Our selection is not just about a young player who can score and is a free agent. A huge emphasis is put on character, lifestyle etc when Southampton are interested in someone, they watch, watch, listen, enquire, watch and watch . often in ‘secret’. You can be absolutely sure Ralph knows exactly who he wants . at the moment he is seeing who he can ‘tune’ . Vestergaard and Prowsey spring to mind.




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08 Jan 2021 22:57:11
Why would we? Yes we could have him as another option, but Ralph is building his squad around a core of players, with excellent ‘stand ins’ especially making full use of the academy. He has created a tactical plan that is being taught to every level at Southampton.
I think we will see a reduction in buys and an increase in bringing players through.




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08 Dec 2020 17:50:16
Credit definitely has to go to Vestergard. I was told by one of the U23 players that he can pass the ball with either feet to anywhere on the pitch, along the ground or over the top.
Well I watched since then and wow, can this man pass very accurately. Clearly Ralph has spotted his potential and encourages his passing anytime he likes. I’ve also noticed that V now seems to take up different positions at set pieces ie standing in more space, running onto the ball. He used to be ‘lost in the noise’ surrounded by other players. This reminds me of good ol Claus L, he scored only 2 goals in over 400 professional games, but was up for virtually every dead ball situation. I used to think, ‘get out the way’ . well Vestergard is now positioning himself superbly and the goals are flying in!




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15 Jun 2020 23:31:01
For the first time ever on this site, I can bring my Applied Physics and over 20 years of statistical analysis (but no geek! ) . i have been shouted at, insulted, laughed at and mocked . but I think with my head and not with drama. I won't lecture you, i will leave two facts that are FACTS . under 65 deaths . ONE PER MILLION.
under 16 deaths . TWO IN 15 MILLION both sadly gravelly ill.





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10 Mar 2020 10:30:51
There was a post on Twitter from Southampton Football Club on their official site of the sale of the club to Red Bull and has now been approved by the FA? It disappeared and no mention anywhere?





south_hants_rich's banter replies


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22 Jan 2021 23:34:14
If only Danny would take a step back and look at all the players that ‘big moves’ turned into disasters. In fact it’s easier to look at the other way round - the only player who’s career grew and grew was Van Dyke; to be fair to him, one of the greatest centre backs ever. But other that not much to shout about, even Rickie Lambert was never the same!
Does Danny want to be a squad player elsewhere? I doubt it. Is he playing the best football of his career? Absolutely without doubt . surely £££££s won’t sway him .




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08 Jan 2021 23:02:41
Diallo was absolutely superb. It was not just his ball control, but his passing, vision, positional play . amazing!
Great to see our player choice is back on track after some awful purchases. I like the we didn’t just buy him
And put him in the first team, but instead spent time on the training ground, . the result . first team player!




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04 Jan 2021 23:11:14
Dallio . awesome player!
And as for the rest of the team and the result .? awesome!
Big difference . Liverpool have injuries, so once again reshuffle the team. Southampton play several u23 players and keep their structure 👍👍.




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30 Nov 2020 17:45:56
With regards to Long, I used to be a fan, but like you I can’t see what he brings to the team anymore. As for the second half, I watched their goals over and over again. Poor marking and poor tracking of man.
This shows what a very sharp and clever player can do. He anticipated very well and we were caught ball watching. But onwards and upwards, it’s not every day you play against someone with his goal scoring stats!




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07 Nov 2020 08:14:39
What is exciting is the way we are playing. Moving the ball around quickly, superb inter passing, switching play, positional play, man marking, hunting in packs. and so on and so on. We have all but eliminated the poor passing we were infamous for; I think I counted only one misplaced pass out of defence.
I do think Walcott has made a difference, his reading of the game, his runs and passing are all superb. We also now have multiple options each time a player has the ball. So used to an attack build up and then just stop with no where to go. no longer . 442 and options everywhere!

We are simply an absolute joy to watch!