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Anyone willing to admit... 09:44 - Nov 10 with 1916 viewsIngskneeslide

that 8th place and a cup final was actually pretty good for a club like Southampton and that maybe they shouldn’t have moaned that the football was a bit dull for some of the season and the manager gave boring interviews? That was only a few years ago ffs, look how things have fallen apart since then! Its far from the only reason we’re in the shït but if we are ever lucky enough to get back into that sort of position in the next decade I hope our fans have long enough memories to remember that maybe they’re not always right...
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Anyone willing to admit... on 09:46 - Nov 10 with 1144 viewsarfurdent

you do have a valid point

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Anyone willing to admit... on 09:50 - Nov 10 with 1139 viewsthis_charming_man

Nah, his interviews sent me to sleep. We should have given the job to Neil Warnock or Ian Holloway

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Anyone willing to admit... on 09:57 - Nov 10 with 1117 viewsKennington

It was the beginning of the end as at that time we still had some quality in the team. At that time though the fans had no idea that the board would start to run the club into the ground and employ substandard coaches, scouts etc and make catastrophic player signings. If we knew that then yes Puel should clearly have stayed, but we all thought Europe was possible not relegation battles.

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Anyone willing to admit... on 09:59 - Nov 10 with 1114 viewsVulcan_Saint

He was boring mostly, but there were some great matches too. Liverpool away was fairly decent I seem to remember in the cup,

If you support Saints you have to realise we are and always have been a small/medium sized provincial club who punch above occasionally. I’ve seen us win one major trophy. I remember in 2003 after the game in Cardiff speaking to Arsenal fans. They almost seems indifferent to winning the FA cup as at the time they won the cup or at least appeared in the final almost every year it seemed. And I just thought to myself if only you knew how much it meant to Saints fans to have won the FA cup on that day....

In summary, accept who we are as a club. If not then go and support a top 4 side.
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Anyone willing to admit... on 10:31 - Nov 10 with 1067 viewsA1079

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I personally never called for Puel to be sacked and at the time, I recall feeling a little uncomfortable about getting rid of a manager who had got us to a cup final. However, I could at the time, see why fellow fans wanted him to leave, because the football was largely dull and insipid and it was not what we were used to or expected of a Southampton team (but the cup final, he took the leashes off and we played beautiful football and won alot of friends - and then perversely he went back to type after the final). Puel did have a decent squad so the reasoning for such dull football was difficult to comprehend, but to be fair to him, may be he understood our weaknesses and the methods compensated for that. Also, much is made of finishing 8th, but I think despite finishing 8th, we were closer to the relegation places points wise than the top 6, so the final finishing was a little misleading. It was a poor league that year and points were distributed more evenly.

In terms of his interviews - yes, he did not come across with much gravitas and you sensed that that may have been an issue in the changing rooms - who knows! I was not bothered that his interviews were dull, I don't put much weight on manager and player interviews anyway - they all trot out the same sort of stuff, unless you are someone like Klopp, who plays to the media love in.

I would say that Puel, was and has since been a man of dignity and there is no doubting he is a decent guy and honest. But, at the time, replacing him for his insipid style of football seemed the right thing as in all honesty, we could only see that continuing into the next season. What we did not expect is the board to make a whole line of bad appointments and decisions which would have such a negative impact on the club and it is not the fans pressure to replace Puel that was wrong, but the owners and board continual failures to make good decisions and seemingly asset strip the club which is why we are where we are today - in a mess.
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Anyone willing to admit... on 10:33 - Nov 10 with 1066 viewsRon11

Anyone willing to admit... on 09:59 - Nov 10 by Vulcan_Saint

He was boring mostly, but there were some great matches too. Liverpool away was fairly decent I seem to remember in the cup,

If you support Saints you have to realise we are and always have been a small/medium sized provincial club who punch above occasionally. I’ve seen us win one major trophy. I remember in 2003 after the game in Cardiff speaking to Arsenal fans. They almost seems indifferent to winning the FA cup as at the time they won the cup or at least appeared in the final almost every year it seemed. And I just thought to myself if only you knew how much it meant to Saints fans to have won the FA cup on that day....

In summary, accept who we are as a club. If not then go and support a top 4 side.


Not like Bournemouth then, who just beat Manchester United at home in their 11,000 seat stadium.
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Anyone willing to admit... on 10:48 - Nov 10 with 1050 viewsthis_charming_man

Anyone willing to admit... on 10:31 - Nov 10 by A1079

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I personally never called for Puel to be sacked and at the time, I recall feeling a little uncomfortable about getting rid of a manager who had got us to a cup final. However, I could at the time, see why fellow fans wanted him to leave, because the football was largely dull and insipid and it was not what we were used to or expected of a Southampton team (but the cup final, he took the leashes off and we played beautiful football and won alot of friends - and then perversely he went back to type after the final). Puel did have a decent squad so the reasoning for such dull football was difficult to comprehend, but to be fair to him, may be he understood our weaknesses and the methods compensated for that. Also, much is made of finishing 8th, but I think despite finishing 8th, we were closer to the relegation places points wise than the top 6, so the final finishing was a little misleading. It was a poor league that year and points were distributed more evenly.

In terms of his interviews - yes, he did not come across with much gravitas and you sensed that that may have been an issue in the changing rooms - who knows! I was not bothered that his interviews were dull, I don't put much weight on manager and player interviews anyway - they all trot out the same sort of stuff, unless you are someone like Klopp, who plays to the media love in.

I would say that Puel, was and has since been a man of dignity and there is no doubting he is a decent guy and honest. But, at the time, replacing him for his insipid style of football seemed the right thing as in all honesty, we could only see that continuing into the next season. What we did not expect is the board to make a whole line of bad appointments and decisions which would have such a negative impact on the club and it is not the fans pressure to replace Puel that was wrong, but the owners and board continual failures to make good decisions and seemingly asset strip the club which is why we are where we are today - in a mess.


The reason for his dull football wasn’t difficult to comprehend at all.

First half of the season we had a fixture pile up with playing Thursdays in Europe and Sundays plus our run in the league cup. You can’t play high energy, pressing football all the time with that sort of fixture and travel congestion

Second half of the season Fonte got sold and Van Dijk got injured so he was left with two terrible centre halves who if we had played attacking football would have got carved open.

People have selective memories with Puel, the go on about him being boring but forget about the beating Liverpool home and away, winning 4-0 at Middlesbrough and 4-3 at Watford, and so on. They just remember his interviews and a few dull games at the end of the season

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Anyone willing to admit... on 11:02 - Nov 10 with 1026 viewsdirk_doone

Puel was a mediocre manager, not as bad as Hughes & Pellegrino but not as good as Koeman and Pochettino.

Puel was the last manager to benefit from the Mitchell recruitment era.and you only have to look at how RB Leipzig are doing now to see what a massive impact Mitchell has on a club of any size.

Paul Mitchell left for Spurs at the end of 2014 so when Puel took over we still had quite a few quality players left. But, we got far fewer points (46) under Puel than we did with Koeman (63) the previous season. If Ralph had the same squad now, we'd probably be in a similar position. Even with the strong squad he had at Leicester, Puel only lasted 14 months before they sacked him.

Admittedly, for our size, we are traditionally the most underachieving club in the country but there is no getting away from the fact that the stats show we have the 12th biggest fan base in the country this century and so our expected league position should be in the range 6th-18th and for most of the last 50 years that's where we have been. We have had 13 top 8 finishes in that period so they are not that unusual.

Admittedly, we have only reached 6 cup finals because we usually get knocked out in semi-finals but clubs like Bradford City, Swansea and Wigan have reached the league cup final so it is by far the weakest of the competitions and not at all surprising to find a club the size of Southampton in the final, although the last unfashionable club to actually win it (which we didn't) was Birmingham in 2011.

Leicester are a similar-sized club to Saints but they have much more ambitious fans and owners. You won't find any of them wishing they still had Puel as their manager. They expect and get better than that.

Perhaps the lack of ambition of our fans permeates its way to the owners and managers.

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Anyone willing to admit... on 11:10 - Nov 10 with 1015 viewsIngskneeslide

Anyone willing to admit... on 10:48 - Nov 10 by this_charming_man

The reason for his dull football wasn’t difficult to comprehend at all.

First half of the season we had a fixture pile up with playing Thursdays in Europe and Sundays plus our run in the league cup. You can’t play high energy, pressing football all the time with that sort of fixture and travel congestion

Second half of the season Fonte got sold and Van Dijk got injured so he was left with two terrible centre halves who if we had played attacking football would have got carved open.

People have selective memories with Puel, the go on about him being boring but forget about the beating Liverpool home and away, winning 4-0 at Middlesbrough and 4-3 at Watford, and so on. They just remember his interviews and a few dull games at the end of the season


The Liverpool semi-final performances are particularly ironic in hindsight. He got the wrong side of some of our fans because he didn’t play Klopp-esque attacking football or give Klopp-esque ‘entertaining’ interviews but in both of those semi-final matches (both without van Dijk) he absolutely schooled Klopp, Liverpool had no idea how to get round us and we should’ve been out of sight in the first leg and by half-time in the second leg.

Apart from one or two matches at the end of last season we haven’t come close to playing some of the football we played under Puel. If he had gone ultra defensive in his second season then maybe fans would’ve had a right to moan but considering what he achieved in one season he more than earned the right to have another transfer window but our spoilt brat fans (and sadly the board) had other ideas.
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Anyone willing to admit... on 11:17 - Nov 10 with 1006 viewsdirk_doone

Anyone willing to admit... on 11:10 - Nov 10 by Ingskneeslide

The Liverpool semi-final performances are particularly ironic in hindsight. He got the wrong side of some of our fans because he didn’t play Klopp-esque attacking football or give Klopp-esque ‘entertaining’ interviews but in both of those semi-final matches (both without van Dijk) he absolutely schooled Klopp, Liverpool had no idea how to get round us and we should’ve been out of sight in the first leg and by half-time in the second leg.

Apart from one or two matches at the end of last season we haven’t come close to playing some of the football we played under Puel. If he had gone ultra defensive in his second season then maybe fans would’ve had a right to moan but considering what he achieved in one season he more than earned the right to have another transfer window but our spoilt brat fans (and sadly the board) had other ideas.


I agree that our performances in the latter stages of the league cup were very good and I don't think many Saints fans would dispute that. However, I still think that if Puel hadn't subbed Gabbiadini, we might well have won the final. That substitution turned the game in United's favour and I remember at the time, many of us saying, oh no, what's he doing? It was a huge mistake, which cost us dearly, as was leaving Fonte out of our Europa League team.

Puel was by no means our worst manager but he was by no means our best either. He was average and few average managers who fail to enthuse the fans last very long at any club.

This 'entitled', 'spoilt brat' fans argument is quite frankly pathetic. Saints fans have been far less spoilt than fans of nearly all other clubs of a similar size and reacted far less angrily than most would have done under similar circumstances.
[Post edited 10 Nov 2019 14:11]

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Anyone willing to admit... on 11:21 - Nov 10 with 993 viewsthis_charming_man

Anyone willing to admit... on 11:10 - Nov 10 by Ingskneeslide

The Liverpool semi-final performances are particularly ironic in hindsight. He got the wrong side of some of our fans because he didn’t play Klopp-esque attacking football or give Klopp-esque ‘entertaining’ interviews but in both of those semi-final matches (both without van Dijk) he absolutely schooled Klopp, Liverpool had no idea how to get round us and we should’ve been out of sight in the first leg and by half-time in the second leg.

Apart from one or two matches at the end of last season we haven’t come close to playing some of the football we played under Puel. If he had gone ultra defensive in his second season then maybe fans would’ve had a right to moan but considering what he achieved in one season he more than earned the right to have another transfer window but our spoilt brat fans (and sadly the board) had other ideas.


If I remember rightly in 4 games against Liverpool that season we won two and drew two without conceding a goal. We also got to the league cup final without concedeing a goal including winning at arsenal

I remember going to the Burnley game that season, we won 3-1 and had something like 30 shots at goal, a few weeks earlier we had won 3-0 at West Ham and a few weeks later we won easily at Bournemouth 3-1 too I think

No ever mentions these games.

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Anyone willing to admit... on 11:26 - Nov 10 with 977 views130yrs_and_one_Cup

The harsh reality is that too many of your fans have always thought your club was much bigger and better than it really is.

This psyche has always held your club back, because you can’t just go with the flow and accept that clubs always rise and fall. This feeling translates itself into frustration and your lack of atmosphere in the stadium, and lack of silverware.

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Anyone willing to admit... on 11:39 - Nov 10 with 967 viewsdirk_doone

Anyone willing to admit... on 11:21 - Nov 10 by this_charming_man

If I remember rightly in 4 games against Liverpool that season we won two and drew two without conceding a goal. We also got to the league cup final without concedeing a goal including winning at arsenal

I remember going to the Burnley game that season, we won 3-1 and had something like 30 shots at goal, a few weeks earlier we had won 3-0 at West Ham and a few weeks later we won easily at Bournemouth 3-1 too I think

No ever mentions these games.


Liverpool weren't all that back then. We finished above them in the league the previous season and took 4 points off them. It was only after they bought Mane and Van Dijk that they became much better than us.
[Post edited 10 Nov 2019 11:39]

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Anyone willing to admit... on 11:39 - Nov 10 with 964 viewsIngskneeslide

Anyone willing to admit... on 11:17 - Nov 10 by dirk_doone

I agree that our performances in the latter stages of the league cup were very good and I don't think many Saints fans would dispute that. However, I still think that if Puel hadn't subbed Gabbiadini, we might well have won the final. That substitution turned the game in United's favour and I remember at the time, many of us saying, oh no, what's he doing? It was a huge mistake, which cost us dearly, as was leaving Fonte out of our Europa League team.

Puel was by no means our worst manager but he was by no means our best either. He was average and few average managers who fail to enthuse the fans last very long at any club.

This 'entitled', 'spoilt brat' fans argument is quite frankly pathetic. Saints fans have been far less spoilt than fans of nearly all other clubs of a similar size and reacted far less angrily than most would have done under similar circumstances.
[Post edited 10 Nov 2019 14:11]


That’s my point Dirk, for most of my Saints supporting life 8th place and a cup final has been unicorn talk and yet when that became a reality for a few seasons a part of our fan base turned into Arsenal fans and starting whinging about how boring it all was. All I’m saying is be careful what you wish for. Also, this isn’t me talking with the gift of hindsight, many fans warned about it at the time
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Anyone willing to admit... on 11:48 - Nov 10 with 944 viewsthis_charming_man

Anyone willing to admit... on 11:39 - Nov 10 by dirk_doone

Liverpool weren't all that back then. We finished above them in the league the previous season and took 4 points off them. It was only after they bought Mane and Van Dijk that they became much better than us.
[Post edited 10 Nov 2019 11:39]


They had bought Mané he was their joint top scorer that season, they finished 4th in the league
So not quite the level they’re at now but still a very good side.

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Anyone willing to admit... on 11:48 - Nov 10 with 943 viewsdirk_doone

Anyone willing to admit... on 11:39 - Nov 10 by Ingskneeslide

That’s my point Dirk, for most of my Saints supporting life 8th place and a cup final has been unicorn talk and yet when that became a reality for a few seasons a part of our fan base turned into Arsenal fans and starting whinging about how boring it all was. All I’m saying is be careful what you wish for. Also, this isn’t me talking with the gift of hindsight, many fans warned about it at the time


Personally, I don't usually call for the sacking of managers and I didn't when Puel was here. The ambition of the owners is the real key to success. Where might we be now if we had Leicester's owners and they had ours?

But, at least we're not like little Pompey, stuck in the lower divisions, losing a local derby 4-0 at home.

[Post edited 10 Nov 2019 11:52]

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Anyone willing to admit... on 12:48 - Nov 10 with 889 viewsI_would

Quality players gone. We're now s***e. Simple. As regards watching Puel's team, no thanks, I'm a football fan. I can understand people liking his 'means to an end' style if they don't understand or appreciate the game of football.

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Anyone willing to admit... on 13:11 - Nov 10 with 871 viewsIngskneeslide

Anyone willing to admit... on 12:48 - Nov 10 by I_would

Quality players gone. We're now s***e. Simple. As regards watching Puel's team, no thanks, I'm a football fan. I can understand people liking his 'means to an end' style if they don't understand or appreciate the game of football.


Log out. Log in as straight_pass. Like i_would’s post.
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Anyone willing to admit... on 13:36 - Nov 10 with 851 viewsMrangry25

I want to watch football not the dross that we have had to put up with over the last 3 seasons. We pay the sixth highest priced season tickets in the Premiership so I think I have the right to question the type of football I would like to see.
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Anyone willing to admit... on 13:36 - Nov 10 with 851 viewsI_would

Anyone willing to admit... on 13:11 - Nov 10 by Ingskneeslide

Log out. Log in as straight_pass. Like i_would’s post.


and shake it all about. What the f*** are you on about you moron?

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Anyone willing to admit... on 13:43 - Nov 10 with 841 viewsSaintsforeverj

I wanted Puel to go but in hindsight, I think I and we were wrong. He deserved another season after a cup final and 8th place finish. The football was dull and boring but can we not all see why? Puel knew that we had to play defensively to prevent conceding a hateful of goals as the defence / team is cr@p. We all know that now don't we.

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Anyone willing to admit... on 16:26 - Nov 10 with 788 viewsBuenosSaint

Anyone willing to admit... on 13:43 - Nov 10 by Saintsforeverj

I wanted Puel to go but in hindsight, I think I and we were wrong. He deserved another season after a cup final and 8th place finish. The football was dull and boring but can we not all see why? Puel knew that we had to play defensively to prevent conceding a hateful of goals as the defence / team is cr@p. We all know that now don't we.


Took me a while to dig this thread out and interesting to read it now in hindsight. I was disappointed on the whole that Puel was let go....

https://www.fansnetwork.co.uk/football/southampton/forum/196665/what-is-the-meas

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Anyone willing to admit... on 16:35 - Nov 10 with 778 viewsSonicBoom

Just because we went downhill from there doesn't mean we should have kept Puel. He was a turgid little man and played turgid football despite having a better team.
Leicester sacked him and improved.
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Anyone willing to admit... on 16:45 - Nov 10 with 771 viewsSaintsforeverj

Anyone willing to admit... on 16:35 - Nov 10 by SonicBoom

Just because we went downhill from there doesn't mean we should have kept Puel. He was a turgid little man and played turgid football despite having a better team.
Leicester sacked him and improved.


I'm not sure. Ralph isn't a turgid little man but we lost 9 0 and the team is the worse I have seen. Under Puel we got to a cup final, yes a national cup final and we finished 8th. If it wasn't for a refereeing mistake, we would have won the cup. And we won at Annfield, yes we beat Liverpool away. Now say we should have got rid of the turgid little man.
[Post edited 10 Nov 2019 16:46]

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Anyone willing to admit... on 19:02 - Nov 10 with 720 viewssaintwizzler

Anyone willing to admit... on 16:45 - Nov 10 by Saintsforeverj

I'm not sure. Ralph isn't a turgid little man but we lost 9 0 and the team is the worse I have seen. Under Puel we got to a cup final, yes a national cup final and we finished 8th. If it wasn't for a refereeing mistake, we would have won the cup. And we won at Annfield, yes we beat Liverpool away. Now say we should have got rid of the turgid little man.
[Post edited 10 Nov 2019 16:46]


If VVD hadn’t of got injured we would of won that cup and Puel would of been a hero.
Fine, fine margins.

He knew he was gone after the cup defeat.
That is when the rot set in.

The club need to take a long look at themselves and get back to basics.

We thought that we had the answers, It was the questions we had wrong.

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