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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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11 Nov 2018 10:47:27
On Field Discipline . or rather total lack of!
What is going on with our discipline? we were never like this! Hoedt getting involved any time he can . Redmond . Lemina . Bertrand .

Ten minutes to go and they were concentrating on everything and anything accept . football!

If this is all another of MH's distraction tactics, well it worked perfectly . it distracted our team from holding on for the win!


1.) 11 Nov 2018 11:32:41
Its quite common to see a struggling team lose its discipline. Whether they are anxious about the result or cross with each other or themselves, that frustration and anger builds as they put more pressure on themselves and make rash decisions that bear no resemblance to ones they would make under less pressure.

2.) 11 Nov 2018 18:25:01
No I don't agree . 'It's quite common to see a struggling team lose it's discipline' . the discipline was not so much about bad fouls, it was about their disgraceful behavior in terms of wanting to 'fight' their opponents at every opportunity. As for Hoedt, it's a shame he doesn't put so much effort into his play and concentration that he does into his self appointed 'hard man' style?

As for him shouting abuse at McCarthy for not coming for a ball. It was not in a place for him to come for it . Hoedt should have read the situation better and looked to clear.

I don't believe Bertrand is right for the Captain's job. He to wanted to argue any chance he had, even after his awful tackle that was a clear penalty. A captain should be getting in there and stopping situations get out of hand, directing his team both football wise and mentally .
Bring on Hojberg . attitude, strength, desire, leadership .
and a good example!

3.) 11 Nov 2018 18:48:50
Agree to disagree on my response then. My experience is that when you see players playing aggressively and shouting at team mates for no reason, they’re often deflecting attention away from themselves and their anxiety.

If you think MH told the players to go out there and do that, perhaps he did. Maybe he thought it would give the team an edge over their opponents or the performance would be better if the players were more aggressive. Excellent coaching if that was his contribution to turn our poor form around as it clearly worked brilliantly.

Hojberg is young and driven but he’s very competitive, is more a moaner than a morale booster and his youth and nature may mean his man management is not up to scratch to be captain. let's not forget that he’s already been sent off this season for a very stupid double booking. If its let's aggression you want to see from your team, perhaps Hojberg is the exact sort of captain you should be opposed to.

4.) 11 Nov 2018 19:56:45
I am guessing that your reply was very tongue in cheek as if you considered the way we behaved as 'excellent coaching', then i'd hate to see bad coaching. It got us precisely no where. Ten minutes to go and some of our players are behaving like a sunday afternoon park game. The Dog and Cat playing the Shield and Dagger where two guys that once dated the same girl when they were 14 decide to sort it out!
I have no idea what you sporting experience is and I 'usually' enjoy reading your posts, but the way to hold on to a lead is to CONCENTRATE on the football. Maybe Hojberg is young but has a fantastic attitude and very wise head . who else would could be Captain? Bertrand is not being a Captain in any capacity at all .
and yes I will 'agree to disagree on my response then'

Just to clarify I have played two sports at national league level, football in a variety of leagues, cricket in a variety of leagues . and crochet at Word Series Level :-) . and I nearly forgot, part of a team that one a National Championship (and no not Darts) . and while I have seen nerves, niggles, arguing . the manager or captain managed problems on and off the court/ pitch .

5.) 11 Nov 2018 20:36:15
I thought it was little old ladies who did crochet 😂.

6.) 13 Nov 2018 09:14:11
Yes I was being sarcastic. Its about the level of coaching I expect from MH but represents the lowest form of coaching.

I wasn't attacking you south_hants_rich or questioning your experience. I simply believe what I said. I totally agree that the best way to win a football match is to concentrate on performing your role to the best of your ability and not get distracted in petty squabbles. But this team is dysfunctional and has been for some time.

I don't disagree with your view on Bertrand. I'm not sure he's the best Captain we could have but I felt the same of Steven Davies too.



21 Aug 2018 16:25:44
A little, or lot, surprised at us letting Josh S out on loan. Having seen Matty T go out on loan, play regularly, help Fulham to promotion, play superbly . and then come back to warming the bench! there is now no incentive to go and show what they are capable of- unless they simply would like to play football. which after all is there life.

Feel sorry for Matty and don't think Josh has been given a fair chance.


1.) 21 Aug 2018 16:55:24
Its sad. In an awful season he looked our bright spark. certainly more than ready for premiership football and has been for a while. I tgink it represents the new "southampton way" pay top money for mediocre players in the hope we will keep cashing the premier league cheques. harrison reed, Sam McQueen, josh sims. among some. a long list that I've felt looked ready and were performing well at a high standard. I don't get it and I would rather come 17th with those boys than mid table with carillos and alike.

2.) 22 Aug 2018 10:35:41
So now we pay top money? Two weeks ago the board were too tight and determined to get us relegated by not spending enough?

I can see the logic of Sims going. Even though I agree he should be given chances, he was always going to be on the fringes. Targett is a real success story of the loan system imo having excelled at Fulham, and while he's stuck behind Bertrand right now, it's a long season so let's wait until more than two games have been played to say he's not in our plans.

3.) 22 Aug 2018 11:57:31
I actually think that it'll be refreshing for him to go play in the championship. Our biggest problem is not loaning out our youth players. More often then not, we could have loaned out these players and yet they find themselves playing under 23's football or sitting on the bench to have a 15 minute cameo.
The lack of youth players that have come through the ranks in the last few seasons has been extremely low. These players have been knocking on the door for the last few seasons and actually haven't got anywhere with their career. let's take Reed and Gallagher, they were brought into the squad 5 seasons ago by Poch because of injuries, now if we have any injuries these guys can't get into the team because of the size of the squad. So I'd rather see these guys loaned out and play week in and week out and contribute to another teams success.

4.) 22 Aug 2018 12:14:32
I agree its frustrating as every fan wants a young homegrown player to get behind and be proud of. Targett has shown he can play at this level, Sims has shown he can play at this level. But Gallagher hasn’t and Harrison Reed still has question marks over his best position and whether he can play in the Premier League. Let’s not forget that Targett aside, we also have Jack Stephens and JWP who are academy products who are getting games in the senior set up so its not all bad.

If I’m honest, if someone had such ability they were knocking down the door, they would likely get a chance. I just don’t think we have anyone who’s quite there yet. Sims is exciting but he’s still very raw and inconsistent. I expect to see Targett this season, especially if Bertrand continues as he has in the first two games.

We must also frame our aspirations in the context of the season the club has just endured. Playing young players carries an inherent risk. When we were higher up the league and doing well, the risk is lower as the rest of the team are playing well enough to carry young players, but when the first team is struggling, the risk seems all the greater and with the club not keen to repeat last season, they’re less likely to field an unproven player.

But I don’t think the club is going to shift to buying in young starters every season when there is no need to. At the fans forum, Les Reed stated they’re now looking to recruit youth players who have the potential to play on the international stage. ‘Premier league potential’ is too low to be the talent threshold as every Saints starter plays for their country. I see merit in this approach, as we want to focus on the best young players, but there are also several flaws. Firstly, you’re dramatically reducing the pool of players you consider good enough and it also puts us in direct competition with the biggest teams in the world. This is why the club wants to highlight the Mane success; to entice players wanting to use us as a stepping stone. We may not be a big club, but we’re stable and will give you your big break if you join us.

Secondly, not every player develops at the same rate and some can make an unexpected leap when given the chance to play in the senior side. Plenty of good young players in international youth sides don’t go on to reach their potential and many deemed not good enough for their country at youth level, develop for their club teams and earn a place at the peak of their career. Does this approach mean that we no longer consider those players? It does suggest a leaning towards individual ability rather than team cohesion and less focus on top quality coaching. It also implies that our focus is to be a poor man’s Manchester United rather than a rich man’s Bournemouth or Burnley. Personally, I’d prefer to be the latter if I’m honest but this cannot be achieved with a revolving door of players.

If we take a look at a player we were linked with in the summer, James Maddison, he had a very good season in the Championship with Norwich and earned a call up to the England U21s. He’d previously made an U20 squad but didn’t play due to injury. But he was by no means in and out of the England side or seen as a key player growing up. The season before last, he spent most of it on loan at Aberdeen. Leicester took a calculated risk in not only signing him but starting him in their first two games of the season. This was a player with one Championship season under his belt, albeit a good one. He’s hit the ground running and looks like he will play an important part in their league campaign at the age of just 21. If he carries on playing this way, there will be no questioning his ability and right to be starting, but 3 or 4 years ago at Coventry or even in his early Norwich days, he wasn’t part of the national set-up. So would 16 or 17 year old James Maddison be deemed worthy? We must hope so. Certainly seems to remain an aspiration of the club to develop its own talent and bring it into the first team if they are as capable.

LR stated that talent is cyclical and that does appear to be the case. He also highlighted we have a number of very talented young players at the 12-14 age range so it may be that, if our loanees don’t have great seasons around the country, we have to wait another few years to get the next wave of exciting young players through. In the meantime, the club has little incentive to gamble on our young players with question marks, when they’re able to entice players with international and European club competition experience by being a stepping stone. But if any of our young players can go out on loan, earn valuable match experience and have a season as successful as Matt Targett last season, then they will have earned the right to come back and compete for starting places with the senior side.

5.) 22 Aug 2018 18:24:01
Saints 123.I've not mentioned any point last week about the board not spending enough money. Think you've got me confused with someone else, I thought we had a great transfer window and felt every poaition was addressed. my only criticism may be that we didn't ship out more midfielders but if there are no takers then we can just give them away. I was just saying that gone are the days of the old Southampton way. times have changed and we are spending a lot of money on players, our last 3 signings have broken our transfer record. I didn't say its bad . just different I understand why but I also said what I would prefer. and I actually think sam mcqueen and josh sims looked as good as anyone when given a chance. I just think there is an apprehensive approach due to the concern of premier league survival. I could well be wrong and they may not be good enough, fit enough, strong enough physically or mentally so I am merely offering my view on the younger players.

6.) 23 Aug 2018 10:40:30
Not you specifically Rayzer - was just making the point that the club really can't win. If they don't sign players, they're criticised. If they don't play youth, they're criticised. I think we should all stop trying to over-criticise every decision and just understand whether there is a rational reason for doing what they've done.

To the youth point, I don't necessarily think we've lost touch with the Southampton way, which has been to sign high-potential young players with resale value ever since the new regime took over. It's natural that when we were rising from league 1 to the premier we brought a lot through from our own academy, because we were in a position where these players could grow alongside us. Now we're established in the premier league, we're asking them to make much more of a leap to join the first team, which will lower the number of players we're able to bring through. I agree some of these players need a chance, but we have to be smart about it, because as much potential as Mcqueen, Sims etc. have, if we give them all their chance at once, we start to look a lot like a Championship team.

It's a tough balance to strike, and I think we may have made a mistake not keeping Sims, but I think its unreasonable to expect the same number of academy products in the first team as when we were rising up through the leagues.



03 Apr 2018 16:53:34
Once again I have sat back and had a think/ read/ watch before writing.
It is quite obvious that very few, if any, of the players have ever been involved in a regulation scrap.

A lot of criticism has been aimed at Tadic for the whole season . and rightly so. He proved without doubt that he absolutely no idea how to 'up his game'. He played the same as he has all season, like a prima donna. This was the game to fight for everything, to chase everything, to play positive. He did none of that! Redmond stuttered, spluttered, the odd decent ball . but quite clear he also was unable to drive himself to a greater level of fight.
Some of the defending was almost amateur in tackling, distribution, positional play and reading of the game.
So now as others have said on various forums, this is time to play a team with fight, passion. a fire in their belly . and an absolute desire to NOT GET RELEGATED.
Yoshida has to come back in! Long has to play! Simms has to play! and after watching so many wasted dead ball situations against WHU, JWP has to play! both for his skills and his passion for this club!
Davis has to play!
CA up front . aggressive and passionate and can score. MG in behind CA .
Betrand and Cedric are just not themselves. Their lack of cover is blunting any attacking option they used to provide. Get Simms and Long on the wings and you know they will get much more support.
As for the midfield . JWP Davis Romeu . three work horses without the skill of Lemina . but it is not skill we need there, it's composure, distribution, defence and fight!


1.) 03 Apr 2018 18:14:32
Hi rich
You are absolutely right there is no leeway we have 8 games and we have to compete in all of them. I think that too many of these players want out in the summer and are not in the least interested in whether Sfc stay up or not. I am totally amazed at their attitude because most of the usual suspects who want away will be regarded as luxuries and the modern premiership game is based on competing and no team can afford to carry players who may or may not turn up for that game! None of us care if we play ugly we need performances and results, let's hope all the players finally realise this. I am just disappointed that it is taken this long for the penny to drop. I totally agree that should we survive we need to have a real cull of the deadwood and if we are relegated this will be forced on Sfc. I hope that we survive and move forward.
Regards vs.

2.) 03 Apr 2018 19:14:29
McCarthy Soares Yoshida Stephens Bertrand with a 3 man midfield of Romeu Davis protecting and jwp in a more advanced role, Sims and long playing off Charlie Austin. Use Boufal/ Hojbjerg/ Lemina/ Gabbiadini/ McQueen from the bench and we’ve got a chance to reach 34/ 35 points. Persist with Tadic Redmond and especially Carrillo and we will get 31 points! Time for men not over paid premadonnas.

3.) 03 Apr 2018 23:12:38
Absolutely spot on .
Every player you mention will fight for every ball, chase every ball .
We no longer have time for dancing prima donnas . one trick ponies .
and any messing around on the ball!

4.) 04 Apr 2018 18:49:17
Makes you wonder why we knew the answers and the management team who were being paid megabucks didn't, I am not saying that about MH just the previous brigade. I remember the relegation battles of many seasons ago, not pretty but the players gave everything. Those days have sadly gone forever. Bournemouth being the top team on the South Coast just about sums it up who would ever have thought that.

5.) 05 Apr 2018 09:30:13
Bournemouth fight for everything and they have a manager who reacts to going behind by making significant changes to the shape of the team. They must have clawed at least 12 points this season from losing positions, commendable spirit and management.

6.) 05 Apr 2018 16:16:25
I am pretty sure we could have got Eddie Howe a while ago if we had really tried. Might have brought a couple of their excellent players with him. There you go, that’s history.

7.) 05 Apr 2018 19:51:12
I have two thoughts on this. Firstly, on the passion point, I’m not sure ‘passion’ alone wins you football matches and I’m also not entirely convinced that our last two league performances are a result of our side lacking passion. Its more to do with confidence and mental strength. As fans we’re very quick to blame underperformance on players being paid too much and not really caring about the club. Whilst in some cases that may be true, I do not believe it’s the case with the majority, if any, of our squad. Before we start pointing the finger at the players for not caring enough, we should perhaps allow for mitigating factors like pressure, youth, form, coaching and very low confidence given the season they’ve had so far. There are also a number of players still learning to play with one another with different roles in different formations. All whilst staring relegation in the face and entering each game knowing we must try to win/ not lose and any mistake in this league could be punished.

Further, given our league position, competence or hard work is not enough; an end result is required. So whilst the knee-jerk reaction is to look at someone like Shane Long to come on and run around tirelessly and kick the opposition a lot, his scoring record is abysmal and he has missed some clutch chances this season. We don’t need someone else who will choke in front of goal when a chance comes his way. Nor is he a winger. Shane Long is not a creator of chances. He is not going to beat his man often and pick out our striker in the box with a pinpoint cross.

This leads me on to my second thought about the comments on this thread. We will of course debate formations and starting personnel as is usual when the team is struggling, but the single biggest determining factor on our season now will be luck. As things stand, our fate is not in our hands. We are in the relegation zone and reliant on two other teams performing worse than us over the remainder of the season. That will require luck. At the same time, we will need to accrue as many points as we possibly can over the final 7 games which will require luck in players finding form and confidence, MH finding the right formation and personnel, no more injuries to our key players, ref’s making calls in our favour when we need them to, and even certain teams perhaps underperforming and missing opportunities to beat us if we offer them.

That may sound a little pessimistic but it isn’t meant to be. Its one of the reasons why we love football so much and we should keep that in mind as we follow the team on this run in. If we are to stay up, we’ll need to have the rub of the green or in the very least hope our luck is better than someone else’s (x2). There are so many little things that decide a football match, we can either choose to examine these and debate each one, or cross our fingers and roar on the team every game with the hope that in the end, the luck ways more heavily in our favour.

8.) 06 Apr 2018 09:15:58
Not sure who disagreed Figo but I think that is the best piece you have ever written which more or less is a true reflection of just about everything that has happened or not happened this season. It is very easy to blame the players but let’s face it, it goes much deeper than that. These players are talented and can do so much better but unfortunately their confidence IN THEMSELVES is rock bottom. When you start doubting your own ability it can have a devastating effect not just in football but more or less anything in life.

The running of SFC is flawed from the top downwards which is scary. If we do and hopefully we will, get the luck you describe and survive do you think it will change anything at the club. I doubt it considering that the main culprits for the demise of the club more or less employ themselves with nobody above them to sack them. The only weapon we have to change things as supporters is to protest but I’m afraid they won’t listen. So Saints get lucky starting this weekend, it’s overdue for sure.

9.) 06 Apr 2018 09:19:54
it's not often I disagree with you Figo but this time I do :-) I / we were not implying that we field a team of passionate players that are devoid of skill. More that we field players that have plenty of skill AND passion. Tadic plays the same regardless of the opposition! the only time he shows any emotion is when he feels he has been fouled and does that pathetic hand posturing to the ref! rarely tackles, rarely chases back. So he negates any positive effect Bertrand or Soares has in that they are reluctant to go forward. Redmond and Boufal are the same. the days when our wing backs and left midfield/ wing worked beautifully together are long gone. We have three players that just don't work well with the wingbacks.

As for needing luck, needing refs decisions going our way, opposition under performing . yes they all might help. But our fate is in our hands if we perform as we know we can. And players on the pitch that have a desire to fight for every ball.
No long is not a winger or great scorer but he opens up games and the opposition become much more cautious in their open play, knowing that he is prowling around, chasing them down.

Let's hope he makes the changes he said he would make. I would bring back Yoshida, he was playing his best football since at Saints, scoring goals too . and has played lots with JS.

10.) 06 Apr 2018 14:34:33
I understand that South Hants Rich, but my point is that its not passion this side lacks. Or arguably, skill. They haven’t shown much of late but as I say, that’s a result of low confidence rather than passion. If Tadic is not playing well (which he isn’t), its not because he’s not passionate enough. Its because he’s out of nick and his confidence is shot. Much like with Fraser Forster, Bertrand, Hoedt, Cedric, Lemina, Romeu, Redmond, Boufal, Gabbi, Carrill and even Long. It’s a lengthy list and I’m not sure anyone can claim all of them lack passion, but its clear they’re all low on confidence and self-belief. I’m not sure however that there is a second string of players who will come in and turn the season round.

Getting the team to play as well as it can is a big job for MH in light of his failure to achieve that very thing at Stoke where he knew the players much better. In order to play as well as we can, the players need to regain confidence and form, which will be part coaching judgment by MH and part luck in finding the solution quickly enough to turn the ship around.

Whether its an uncomfortable admission or not, the team that plays the best or with the most passion is not always the team that wins. Sport is not so black and white. If the opposition we face is at their best as well, every match will be difficult to win. Tightly contested matches can be decided by the finest margins and that may be a choice made by a player or referee. Large errors can go unpunished if luck is on your side, or small ones can lead to a goal against that seems harsh.

Mathematically, we have enough points available to finish higher than Palace and Huddersfield (Goal Difference permitting), but its unrealistic to think our fate is in our own hands when football matches and final league position is determined by so many factors above and beyond passion and skill.

11.) 08 Apr 2018 11:51:31
Bit late to this, but just reading through and I can't ignore Chris. "makes me wonder why we knew the answers and they didn't" (or something to that effect) .

Chris, please give some justification for this. Are you honestly so deluded as to think that we, as fans, knew all the answers? What possible evidence can you give for that, because from where I'm standing we know none of them. We've bickered amongst ourselves and booed the team at every opportunity; engineered the sacking of Puel; made self-righteous claims a year later about how he should never have been fired; turned on his replacement extremely quickly. I really could go on.

Even if you want to ignore all of these negative things we fans have contributed to, how can you say we knew the answers? Just because we sit on here and say what we think should be done doesn't mean we're right. Just because the board do something different and it doesn't work doesn't mean that what we wanted would have worked.

I don't know if I've misunderstood what you're saying but if I haven't then that statement is arrogant to the point of delusion and stupidity. If we fans were in charge we would be in West Brom's position right now. God that has made me angry. Right, rant over. Let's beat those damn Gunners.

12.) 08 Apr 2018 16:57:56
If I understand the original point correctly, I must say I agree. Losing is one thing but in the past two league matches there has been a complete lack of fight. You don’t need skill or confidence to work hard. That said, and to agree with Figo, hard work alone or passion does not win you matches, however it is a bare minimum us paying fans can expect. Don’t get me wrong, I have never booed myself at a match, but I can appreciate why some do.

Regarding long, Even had he not scored today, he gave it his absolute all and at times looked like he was forcing mistakes through being a nusience. We have to give him credit for that, don’t we? Perhaps Carrillo and Gabbi could get more goals, however they are hardly on fire themselves. I guess this is the reason we all love the game, because so many arguments and point of view.

I have to say, although we lost, I feel so much better than at the end of the last few games.

For some reason, I still look at the table and think we can do this.



14 Mar 2018 00:08:34
Can I ask Ed who you think we should go for as the new manager?

us armchair supporters don't have the insight you clearly do .

thank god you also agree with our doubts over Hughes .


{Ed001's Note - it depends on what you are looking for. Do you just want someone to save you right now or someone for the long term? If it is long term then I would suggest someone like Gasperini, who has Atalanta competitive in European football on a comparatively small budget. He is available and is happy to utilise youth academy products and look for bargains in the transfer market that can be sold on later. He would be my suggestion.}

1.) 14 Mar 2018 15:41:27
Didn't know about Gasperini, so just had a read on ESDF Analysis .
which incidentally I had never heard of anyway. Talk about detailed analysis of a manager and team setup/ structure/ tactics.
Now I know exactly why you mention Gasperini!
thank you Ed for your reply.

{Ed001's Note - very welcome mate.}



20 Jan 2018 17:05:25
Officially in the bottom three!


1.) 20 Jan 2018 17:28:10
And we will be there all week 😕.

2.) 20 Jan 2018 17:53:39
Emphatic win tomorrow! let's pay em back for boxing day and start digging out of this hole! Come on you saints!




south_hants_rich's rumour replies


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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 :-)




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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 :-)




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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.




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07 Aug 2019 00:38:24
Difference between Josh and Boufal is that Josh is aggressive, fast, positive and intelligent . exactly the attributes need in the PL . should never let him go .




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05 Jan 2019 11:51:56
A very believable (but sad) story. We forget that footballers are all human and actually real people! When we are going through a bad time, splitting up with a loved one, we can hide within our lives, family and friends. but footballers can't. When we have an injury, be that a bad back or something more serious, it affects our lives . but rarely our career. I met a young player recently who was out with a knee problem for many months, he was clearly down about it.
But . personal problems or not . the harsh reality is . Is FF really that good a goal keeper . mmmm.





south_hants_rich's banter replies


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08 Oct 2019 17:40:24
I'm not sure whether 'new' players will make any difference. I am starting to wonder whether Danny Rohl was the mastermind behind RH. Bayern Munich don't just employ anybody. RH looks totally devoid of ideas at the moment. To not tweek the team in any way at half time and then continue with the same formation/ tactics almost to the end was bizarre. It was obvious we were being outplayed, out thought .
Very strange .




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07 Oct 2019 19:20:27
There are those that are trying to put a good spin on the game. It was absolutely dreadful. Worrying was that we came out second half in an identical formation and playing style. Chelsea came out and had changed their play completely.
Even with 20 minutes to go and losing by 2 goals, we still made zero tactical changes . it was awful.




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07 Oct 2019 09:22:38
by the way, VW only played twice this season - the modern footballer needs more. When was the last time you saw OR make a defense splitting pass, over the top ball for some one to run onto?

If one of our midfield is never going to make defining passes, that gives the opposition a huge advantage as they can concentrate on closing down our play maker.




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07 Oct 2019 09:02:35
'not part of his job in the team'?
When i say do something, I mean do something other than pass twenty feet left/ right/ back. He is too slow, gives away way too many fouls, often unnecessary and in dangerous spots. It has to be part of the modern day footballer skill-set to do more than tackle (badly), pass (badly) ,




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06 Oct 2019 21:16:21
Our midfield is devoid of skill/ something different. I just can't see what purpose Romeu now serves? Yes I hear time and time again he breaks up play, BUT DO SOMETHING WITH THE BALL! AS for WArd-Prowse, what has happened to him? he went through a stage of being more aggressive, tacking more, but it has completely changed the skill part of his game. He is chasing around like a headless chicken trying to tackle. His positional play is awful, his vision has disappeared.
As for playing Danso in position, now that's a novel idea and a good one!
Gunn . absolutely awful!
Ings movement and positional play is superb . how about giving him the ball!

And as soon as Boufal was introduced back into the team, we were a different team! much more mobile, dynamic, quicker . smarter. WE needed him today!

As for not making the two last substitutions until near on ten minutes to go, bizarre .