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|Southampton V Leeds United The Verdict|
Sense of frustration with the manager and coaching team continues. In pre season we played 3 at the back and it clearly didn't work. Against Spurs we played 3 at the back and it clearly didn't work. Against Leeds we played 3 at the back and it clearly didn't work. Finally they go to a back 4 and we look like a different team. When we play 3 at the back we look like a disorganised shambles for whatever reason and sit too deep, don't have enough bite in midfield and virtually nothing up front. Change to 4 4 2 or 4 2 2 2 and we play further up the pitch and are more proactive. 3 at the back and everyone seems to be looking around expecting someone else to be doing the job required. Bazunu looks good. KWP Kotchap Salisu (or a new signing) and Perraud in defence, Adams and A.nother up front and 4 from any 10 in midfield. I also feel JWP isn't a captain and isn't indispensible because his corners and free kicks have been poor for a while now.
|Southampton At Leeds United The Verdict|
A point was a fair result but I feel we are back to where we were after the first few games of the season. Having good spells isn't going to win us many games and although I have accepted it as just part of the fun of being a Saints fan, Ralph still mystifies with his choices. Our shape for most of the match was not very convincing and as usual he left it way too late to bring subs on and change anything.
On the players I think the defence did OK but got away with it a couple of times. Midfield looked good at times but disjointed with players seemingly not sure where they were supposed to be playing. Playing Diallo cut down our attacking options tho I thought Adams put in a shift as he always does. Broja seems to have lost form since all the hype which might be good in terms of us buying him but he needs a break.
Also Ralphs explanation about Redmond and Dnepro was strange. Redmond has played well when given a chance this season and feel he is a far better player than Ellyonoussi who is very inconsistent and always tries too much.
Like earlier in the season we are failing to take chances and not making the most of good positions around the box.
On the plus side another JWP work of art and maybe KWP should play up front as he seems to be able to dribble better than most players in the Prem Lge!
|Southampton V Manchester City The FA Cup Verdict|
I saw this as two main issues.
1) our inability to finish when good chances come and also make the most of good positions around the box. A Armstrong seems to has lost his ability to even hit the target tho he put in a really good shift overall. We should have started with Broja and Adams.
2) Our defensive frailties. Stephens is a player who would give his life for Saints and has a really good performance occasionally but he is always prone to mistakes and has been all through his career. Salisu was rash in his movement for the penalty but having seen it several times I still can't see how it was given for a hand on the back. Very harsh!
I prefer 3 at the back because that allows Salisu or whoever to come out and challenge to snuff out attacks.
I do find Ralphs choices sometimes baffling but being a Saints fan is always a rollercoaster and I for one am quite enjoying the ups and downs of this current ride!
|Hasenhuttl Highlights Saints Playbook In Success Of Youngsters And An Older Face Or Two|
I have been one to doubt his ability particularly in regard to picking players in strange positions, tactics and substitutions and last season and the start of this along with the first team, the age group teams fared poorly. But maybe a few factors have turned this around and maybe it has taken time to get the practices he preaches working well. With Ralph as our manager the one thing you can be sure of is that it is never boring and for that I love him.
|Southampton V Leicester City The Verdict|
I think we have had a goalkeeping problem for a while now. On their day they are both good keepers but neither is consistent enough at this level!
Defensively I thought we were poor with both goals having chances to stop them scoring in the run up to each one.
KWP was good going forward but had a 10 min spell where he almost givted them 2 goals. He tries too much sometimes.
Salisu was good but he tends to overcomit himself which was what lead to the first goal.
Bednarek seems to have lost a bit of his edge
Livramento was I feel poor defensively for the second goal and is getting sussed out going forward more now.
Midfield Romeu awsome as usual and JWP played ok but still not back to his best.
Wide I thought Redmond had one of his best games for a while and Tella is still developing but worked hard tho needs to improve his heading
Adams worked hard and deserved his goal
Armstrong is I feel a selfish player who doesn't look around him but just heads towards goal which is easily dealt with by the defence
Broja is a player I would start every time because he scares the opposition and although a bit raw will improve with playing time.
Ellyonoussi flatters to decieve with little end product and I would play Lyanco ahead of Bednarek who maybe needs a rest!
Finally, our shooting is poor with little power and straight at or too near the keeper. Get Lambert in to give them some lessons!
|Southampton At Norwich City The Verdict|
A few points to make.
But first I want to say I like Ralph and overall I support him. But it is incredibly frustrating to see his strange team lineup decisions, strange tactics and poor substitutions.
1) He said he played Diallo on the right of midfield to strengthen up that area. For goodness sake we are playing the worst defence in the league.
2) He keeps playing Ellyonoussi when despite some nice touches there has been very little end product.
3) KWP is a right back and although he has done well he can't go down the line and cross with his left foot. Everyone has suggested he play on the right with Livraminto but clearly Ralph doesn't like that idea.
4) The marking and awareness on both goals was poor.
5) McCarthy has been fairly good but maybe time to give Fraser a chance.
6) How many games have we dominated in the 1st half and then lost it in the second. Ralph doesn't seem to learn fron his mistakes.
7) His subs rarely if ever work out. Walcott was poor, Broja got no service and why bring on Lyanco when we are loosing?
8) Tella could have started on the right and should have come on in 2nd half. Don't know why Ralph doesn't give him any game time but if I was him I'd ask for a transfer as the tea lady has more chance of playing than he does.
9) In the game itself although we dominated we spent a lot of time mucking around the outside of their penalty area without creating many clear chances. Our balls into the box were poor and our shooting not accurate.
So overall not happy and don't think we will get much at Anfield if the same pattern of line up madness, tactical ineptness and illogical substitutions continues!
|Southampton V West Ham United The Verdict|
I think peoples view of the whole game is being clouded by the last 15 mins when we looked on top and could have scored. For most of the game our passing was woefull and our ball control very poor. It's good to play a more defensive game against certain teams but Armstrong had no support and every time Redmond/Ellyonoussi/Dnepro got the ball they tried to take on too many people and lost the ball. I also though Livramento had his worse game for us and looked exhausted towards the end. Ralph is useless with his subs either leaving them too late or taking off/putting on the wrong players at the wrong time. I also would play KWP at right back and Livramento right midfield. Perraud did well and Salisu and Stephens had good games but I always feel there is a lapse of concentration in both of them. Armstrong did all that was asked so will probably be dropped for next game.. JWP has been poor on place kicking all season and looks out of sorts and Romeu was hampered by early booking.
|I'm Sorry Ralph ! But You Got The Selection Wrong At Everton|
Happy that Ralph is our manager but strange team choices seems to be something we have to accept from him every now and then. I think back to the disasterous choices regarding Danso as when I first started noticing this. This was the first game of the season and not a time for taking risks. Play your best team. Saying some players did well in pre season is an excuse. KWP should have been at right back, Armstrong on right and Tella on left and Stephens has his good games but we all know he is not quite good enough at this level. If players were tired after the summer bring on subs later. And on the matter of subs it is another recurring theme that he leaves it too late when the team clearly is flagging and needs a boost. The best way to deal with the Livramento/KWP situation is I think to play 5 at the back with Livramento (who is tall and strong as well as skillful), Badnarek and Salisu/ incoming in the centre, Perraud and KWP as wing backs, JWP/Romeu/Armstrong in the middle and Adams/Tella/Armstrong (2 of) up front. If Ralphs strange selections continue we will have a hard task to avoid relegation. On the keeper front I think we should sell them both and get one decent keeper because they are both ok but have lost their mojo at this level.
|Ralph Hasenhuttl Reveals Strange Goalkeeper Rotation Strategy|
As others have mentioned both are good keepers on their day but neither are matchwinners like for example Martinez at Villa and neither is very good with the ball at their feet. I would look to sell them both and bring in someone who can make a difference week in week out.
|West Brom Defeat Relieves Pressure On Southampton This Weekend |
I like Ralph and in the main I support him. But his decisions and tactics do worry me at times. He spent the first lockdown doing a playbook to be used by all the teams at all levels. Our first team had a bright start that has faded and we are statistically one of the worst teams in the league since Xmas. Our PL2 team and Under 18's have mostly been getting hammered all season. Most games we try and go at it hammer and tongs for 30/45 mins then run out of steam and in the second half we struggle. How about playing on the break for the first half and going for it in the last 30 mins. There appears to be no plan B. Positional choices and substitutions also seem to be strangely chosen with little success all season.
We need a fundamental rethink over the summer. Maybe we need to bring an old head like Sammy Lee to work with Ralph.
On the player front I would sell Forster and McCarthy as they are both good but not quite matchwinners or consistent enough so buy 1 top class keeper. We need a centre half with pace/physical presence/leadership qualities who will shout and get his fellow players moving. So many goals this last 3 years have come about by bad defending be it poor anticipation or ball watching. We need 2 new centre halfs and player who can perform right across the back (Calum Chambers), Bertrand if he stays is OK but we need a better left back and back up for KWP. In midfield JWP needs an enforcer like Romeu because Diallo could play the JWP roll but is not strong enough to be the tough tackler. Harrison Reed could have done it he has played well for Fulham this season. Give Jankewitz a go.
Out wide we need to pass on buying Walcott and Minamino and with the emergence of Tella and giving Ellyonoussi another chance I think we are ok.
Up front I don't think Ings will go and with Adams and Tella/Redmond also as options we might still need one more forward although OBafemi is coming back.
We should sell Forster/McCarthy/Vestergaard or Bednarek/Stephens/Hoedt/Lemina/Long/Some of the younger fringe players like Vokins and N'Llundulu who maybe aren't good enough at this level.
If Ralph goes I'll put my name in the hat for the job!
|Southampton At Everton The Verdict|
There are 2 main issues as far as I can see
1) We just don't have the depth of squad needed at this level and if we are going to loan out players we should have some sort of clause to recall them if needed. I suspect that the financial situation is worse than we are being led to believe.
2) I still support Ralph and want him to continue as our manager even if we go down but I have always felt his decisions over positions and substitutions to be a little confusing and illogical going back to his treatment of Danso and continuing to the present day. Bednarek is not a right back and that was clear 2 games ago so why keep playing him there. With KWP and Diallo hopefully back on saturday if fit I would play Dnepro at RB because he has pace and his spidery legs make him difficult to get past.
|Southampton At Everton The Preview|
Agreed our problem has been a long list of injuries, some bad decisions by the officials and some plain old bad luck but the overiding issue is the lack of depth in our squad. Of the young players coming through as far as I can see only Tella has put in a half good performace required at this level, the others have either not looked up to speed or look like they are lacking in confidence. I am hoping we play five at the back and I would play Dnepro on the left. For all his headless chicken faults he has the powers of spiderman when people try and get past him. I would also stick with Adams up front as he always puts in a shift. So McCarthy Bertrand, Salisu, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Dnepro. In the middle JWP and Armstrong. Upfront Adams and Ings with Redmond floating.
|Chinese Owners Cease Operations Of Football Club|
I think there clearly is a serious financial problem when you have to farm out the only cover you have at full back to keep the wage bill down. It is a tough time for many people and institutions at the moment and the financial level football clubs operate at means it doesn't take too much to have a problem. I don't think Gao has necesarily done anything wrong but I don't think he is a good fit for us as a club and our aspirations.
We have bought badly over the last few years and our young players coming through haven't been good enough to succeed at this level leaving the squad quality low outside our best 13 players and vulnerable to the sort of injury list we have had over the last few weeks. In the old days we would have had a couple of solid old pros towards the end of their career to fill in the gaps and provide the experience and mentality to steady the ship.
If we can avoid relegation I think we need a complete overhall of how we do things and hopefully a new owner in place to move us forward rather than just survive.
|Southampton At Leeds United The Verdict|
Same old same old. Bright start and missed chances. Run out of steam and lose the game. Ralph has always mysified me a bit sometimes with his team selections and tactics going back to his misuse of Danso last season. We need points so maybe eeking out a couple of boring defensive draws is what is required. Play 5 at the back 3 in middle and 2 to play on the break. With all our players fit maybe go back to the high press but at the mo we haven't got the team to make it successful!
|Southampton V Aston Villa The Verdict|
Just going to comment on 2 things. VAR is a good thing but the way it is being implemented isn't. As regards handball it should simply be a judgement as to whether it was intentional or not and did it hit the aarm below the shoulder. Forget about the rest of the stupid complications they add which gives too many grey areas. So in this case it should have been a penalty. On the offside it should be determined by the position of the feet and not any other body parts. I would also say that the line on the screen is quite thick and could have been moved a little to the left or right with no discernable difference except it might have changed the decision. It needs a computer algorithm to determine it like the goaline decisions not the shaky hand of a ref. Make VAR simple and people will accept it more as opposed to what we have now which is a farce!
|Southampton V Arsenal The Verdict|
Don't want to be too negative as we did at least create a few chances but assessing the players firstly, MaCarthy has been pretty consistent all season but does have the odd mistake in him. Forster always looks a bit nervy to me and although managed clean sheets was not heavily tested. At the back Vokins not there yet and looks a bit lacking in pace when caught out of position, Stephens can put in a good performance but last night wasn't one of them and it is basic errors he is making. Also feel sometimes that I could go and make a cup of tea while waiting for him to decide what to do with the ball. Bednarek consistent. Valery not good enough defensively but would make a good right side midfielder. Armstrong usual consistent performer. Diallo excellent until Ralph pulled off one of his strange tactical decisions and put him left back. JWP fairly quiet and very deep most of the game. Walcott is beginning to look like a headless chicken running in to blind allies instead of looking up to see where his teamates are so no end product and no service for Ings or Adams. As far as I could see Ings and Adams put in a shift and had very little to work with and some things didn't come off. Nllundulu looks to me a bit slow and leggy and for his height doesn't win enough in the air. Redmond needs to get his confidence back and would prefer him as starter and Theo as impact sub.
I do feel tho that Ralph will work on these players failings and with the injured returning we will come good in the last part of the season.
|Southampton At Leicester City The Verdict|
Wasn't Smallbone on the left? Difficult game and mistakes were made particularly by the ref, but a learning experience for some of the younger players and when we get back the spine of the team we will be ready to fly again. Be good if we could offload some of our uneeded players and bring in a couple with some experience but that doesn't seem likely.
|Injury Crisis Worsens For Saints|
Not a big fan of Stephens but you dismiss him too easily. Has performed well and suspect he will play instead of Bednarek. Doubt he will swap KWP so suspect he might put JWP in there again knowing he will do a solid job and put Diallo on for his debut. Up front either Long, Walcott or even Redmond might be a good plan.
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