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Saints At Manchester United The Verdict
at 09:56:47

I thought that Harry Maguire's post match comment captured the spirit of our game best. "They press like mad" he said of the Saints, and that is exactly the point. The high pressing game we have been playing is not only entertaining and exciting for the fans (even if we draw or lose), it is also the best means of defence. For too many seasons we have been watching endless back-passing and cross-field passing and not enough pushing forwards at the opposition defence. At long last we have changed this, and what a difference it has made. Ings looked exhausted by the end but Redmond was still going strong and the introduction of our top Irishmen Shane Long and Michael O'Befami meant we kept up the relentless pressure. Great work from everyone.
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Saints At Everton The Verdict
at 10:26:38

I'm completely with West Sussex on this one - Saints have become entertaining once again. It is an inevitable part of the high press game we are now playing that we leave ourselves open at the back and let's be fair to Everton, it was a great goal scored against us. We would all have happily taken a draw if offered prior to this game and the outcome reflected the efforts of both sides. A great game and a pleasure to watch. No complaints here!
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Saints V Manchester City The Verdict
at 11:25:22

Whenever there is a surprise result like this (we don't win at home, on TV or against City) I like to go to the opposition's local paper and fan comments to see what they make of it and for a bit of perspective. The strong impression I got from that is not that they think their team played badly or that there were a lot of individual errors but rather that Saints put in the most incredible, stout display of defending they've ever seen and were always dangerous on the counter-attack. A lot of respect earned from the City fans yesterday, whilst most of us Saints were left just emotionally drained. What a fantastic evening!
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Ralph Signs New Deal
at 12:47:00

Good news indeed. I was one of those who thought he should go after the horrible night that shall not speak its name but as I admitted later, I was wrong and the Board took the correct decision. RH is a thoroughly decent and honourable man who has shown his commitment to the cause and ability to learn from his mistakes. His humility in the bad times and joy in the good has been an inspiration and I am very glad he remains with us.
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Saints V Newcastle United The Verdict
at 11:02:06

Not sure who you were responding to here Nick - I certainly was at the game!
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Saints V Newcastle United The Verdict
at 10:48:55

Not sure that I agree with you M'Lord. We actually played better after the sending off because the opposition came at us and there was more room at the back for us to get through on goal. Until then it was like trying to thread the eye of a needle. Newcastle were sitting deep and hoping to score on the break, which of course all changed after they gained a one man advantage. I actually thought that we might sneak a win, especially in the first part of the second half where we were terrific and Shane Long was unlucky not to score.

Then he was withdrawn and things started to go wrong. The defence was having to work extremely hard and were not getting any relief from a fast paced attacker to keep Newcastle on their toes. An individual mistake became almost an inevitability and Valery was indeed the man at fault. He had done pretty well until then but that goal was completely avoidable and represented a serious lack of concentration on his part.

Now, I don't know if Long was injured or knackered but taking him off the field rather than bringing fresh legs on in defence was in my view a tactical mistake. In the end this is what led to the goal. A very disappointing afternoon therefore but not one that can be blamed on the referee (who it turns out was correct though I didn't think so at the time) or any one man.
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Protest March Planned On Saturday
at 18:54:21

Totally agree, W Ham were excellent against Liverpool yesterday and unlucky not to get at least a draw. We will be hard pressed to contain them, especially Antonio who is a really excellent player, would have him in our squad in a heartbeat.
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Saints V Aston Villa The Verdict
at 10:41:06

There is much to agree with here, and it was certainly a commanding performance from the team, but we are so used to disappointment at home that I doubt there was supporter in red who didn't fear an equaliser in the additional four minutes at the end! It was a super-cool finish from Armstrong, who must have had to strive mightily to avoid the rush of blood to the head which would have caused him to miss, but really we shouldn't have had to wait this long for a second goal. So many missed opportunities in the first half that could have cost us dear. The whole team should be made to watch and watch again that second goal so as to drive home the point that when in front of goal you need to keep calm and hit the target.

That being said, a great afternoon's entertainment!
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Lallana Mooted For St Mary's Return
at 17:57:13

No. Its a business decision not an emotional one (though that's also a "No). He was forever getting injured when he played for us and will surely be even more crocked now. Waste of money.
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Yoshida An Appreciation
at 19:29:47

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, I come not to bury Ceasar but to praise him!

But I'm afraid that's exactly what this article does as many others have commented. Yoshida was a worthy defender with a heart of oak and I wish him well. He did a great deal of good for the club and will always hold a place in our hearts.
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Saints V Wolverhampton Wanderers The Verdict
at 17:18:42

Extremely high quality responses to a well-written article - nothing to add!
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Saints At Leicester City The Verdict
at 16:53:31

In over 40 years of watching the Saints I don't think I have seen a swifter or more dramatic turnaround in our fortunes. Like many others I was resigned to a spell in the championship after the game that shall not be mentioned unless there was a root and branch change of personnel at the club but I was wrong and am pleased to have been wrong. Defending from the front as Colburn rightly says is the key difference but that by itself is not enough, the defence has tightened up and the midfield has become the engine-room of the team it should be.

First on MOTD too, that doesn't happen often!
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Boufal Or Sims ?
at 19:20:47

I've never been a fan of Boufal though there was one game recently where he played well and impressed me (can't remember which one offhand) but overall I think he is an expensive luxury and will never play consistently well for the team. Josh Sims has more potential so of the two, he's the one to keep.
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Saints V Tottenham Hotspur The Verdict
at 09:56:56

Now, rather
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Saints V Tottenham Hotspur The Verdict
at 09:56:03

As this article says, that game was to football what lumber-jacking is to marquetry, and all the better for it! I've not seen a better holiday game since Herne Bay v Guernsey two years ago, played on Whitstable Town's potato field of a pitch and with similar levels of sophistication (barring the Ings' goal which was pure class). If anything tells us what has changed since before Christmas, this is it - don't try to do pretty football, just get stuck in, defend from the front and tackle like you mean it. JWP deserves special mention for the haymaker you could hear all round the ground. Much better, praise where praise is due, Ralph has started to turn the ship around. No try to maintain some consistency.

PS brother in law says he's not made a final decision yet about the season tickets........
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Saints V Crystal Palace The Verdict
at 12:58:03

Well that game answered one of my criticisms of the team very firmly - it was really entertaining to watch!

I agree with other posters that a draw was a justified outcome for both teams. who were really going for it but we still look at bit frail at the back. In fairness, players were tracking back (particularly to push Zaha out to the wings - he may be a pantomime villain but I wouldn't have mind him in our line-up) but the defence remains the main issue. JWP - the butt of much criticism - has played really well in the last two games and young Armstrong is developing into a useful player but as others have said, for sheer excitement value, Djenepo is the man even if he has that infuriating habit of Fabrice Fernandez (remember him?) of beating the same defender three times over!

Maybe, just maybe, we might be heading for mid-table mediocrity?
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Saints At Chelsea The Verdict
at 09:33:39

Add me to the list of humble-pie eaters Highfield! Who'd have thunk it! Caution calls of course as we will have to maintain that form at home, which has been the difficulty all season but the lesson learned is that if the ball and the team moves forwards at pace, good things are more likely to happen. Agree with others about the excellent team goal and particularly enjoyed the little celebratory jig from our Irish fella, O'Befami!
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Saints Fans Are Optimistic About 2nd Half Of The Season
at 14:00:32

Its the hope I find so difficult to cope with, disappointment is easy!
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Saints V West Ham United The Verdict
at 20:21:18

I have waited until Monday evening before posting but am still angry with what I saw on Saturday. As I've said before, sacking the manager is a necessary but not sufficient condition for progress up the league. The team is simply not playing well enough and probably is not good enough to survive in this league. Over the years I've watched Saints go up and I've watched them go down. This is definitely go down time and they know it. Even if by some miracle we survive this season unless there are massive structural changes over the summer it will be the same next year.

At half time on Saturday my dear brother in law said "That's it, we aren't renewing the season tickets" He said the same thing last year at about the same time (and if memory serves the year before and probably several times before that) but this time I think he really means it and frankly who can blame him. The management needs to remember that we, the paying public, have to put up with this rubbish and in the end the market will decide - and we won't.
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Saints V West Ham United The Preview
at 17:46:15

Up to a point 1970, I expect their manager is a bit on the concerned side!
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