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Saints At Wolverhampton Wanderers The Preview
at 12:40:30

Let me put it this way Nick. JWP has made 240 or so appearances for Saints - I've seen most of them. By any objective standard he has shown no capacity for "flourishing" in the 10 role. Nor has he had success when played wide right or left. His appearances as a FB have been failures. When played as a CM with one other, we have been steamrolled in midfield - and when played in a midfield of three there is always too much pressure put on Romeu to cover WP's defensive and positional deficiencies. THat's why your view is hard to take seriously.
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Saints At Wolverhampton Wanderers The Preview
at 11:59:49

Your comments about Ward-Prowse confirm you know very little about Football. In all his 200 plus appearances WP has never successfully managed the 10 role...or any other role for that matter. Your previews have become laughable, blinkered opinion pieces.
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Danso Must Play In The Centre Of Defence At Wolves
at 12:53:26

Nick - it's about time you let go of your incessant criticism of Yoshida and focused attention on the appalling JWP. How he is being shoe horned in to playing every minute this season is a primary factor in our awful performances. Oh, and if you had seen Danso playing for Austria u/21s the other night you might not be spruiking him for Saturday.
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Saints At Brighton The Verdict
at 21:34:44

To take up St Brocks post,I too wonder about Ralph’s comments re Boufal - the guy is an attacking force who also tracks back - players like Boufal, Djenepo and Redmond are the players who are going to win games for Southampton - there is still so much dross in the team. When is Ward-Prowses automatic selection in the side going to come under scrutiny.? Surely his most ardent fans must admit his displays this year have been mediocre at best . On a positive note, Saturday’s result is a life line even if the performance was wobbly.
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Why Kevin Danso Has To Play Against Liverpool
at 10:19:08

What is it with you Nick, and Yoshida? Your two year broken record assault on MY has reduced you to a dogmatic hack. Everyone knows our central defence has been a problem, particularly with the losses of VVD, Fonte and Toby. Just the same, when you line up Yoshida with our other CBs he is clearly as good if not better. Get off his back.

Why don't you cast a forensic eye on our midfield as it stands. For the umpteenth time v Burnley we learned that JWP can never hack it as a CM with one other. Why don't you jump up and down about the erosion of our mid-field strength?

You used to froth at the mouth arguing Shane Long was as effective an attacker as Sadio Mane - your track record isn't that smart.

We know Yoshida isn't the best CB to play for the Club - but he has been far from the worst. Give it a rest!!!
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Five Minutes And You're Almost There !
at 23:37:37

Nick's "articles" have become laughable opinion pieces. Blinkered, tunnel vision krap. Yoshida HAS proved you wrong time and again - but you carry on overlooking the many limitations in our squad and zero in on someone like Yoshida who time and again in the last two seasons is left to try and retrieve our leaky midfield or flanks manned by fill in full backs and wingers. Of course he isn't on the same level as VVD, Toby and Fonte at his best, but with decent CB partners he is more than adequate. And to answer your question, he would easily get a game in many lower half Prem sides, including on the evidence of the past fortnight Wolves, Newcastle and Watford.
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Saints At Newcastle The Verdict
at 22:48:52

The one part of your critique you've got right is the last sentence praising Lemina's return - it was a rollicking 45 minutes underlying how much our midfield has missed him. A midfield of PEH, Romeu and Lemina is definitely our best lineup and needs to be employed until we are mathematically safe.

I presume when you talk of "it is fine to talk of loyalty and good club men and there is a reason long serving players are just that and can't get a move elsewhere" you are referring to Yoshida - your favourite scapegoat - it is true he was responsible for one of the goals, but he nearly scored a brace and saved the game and overall has had a good season - it didn't help that Yoshida and Bednarek were forced to play out of position. It's true that Jack Stephens has fatal flaws as a CB and really needs a move to a Championship Club to regroup his career. And by the way the CB you defend and praise, Hoedt is the one whose recruitment you really should be questioning.

How about highlighting how appalling JWP was for the fourth game in a row? One of the reasons our CBs were under pressure was the perceived need to shoehorn Ward-Prowse in somewhere - in the last four weeks he has demonstrated he can't play CM in a 4-2-4 against a strong team; is limited as a wide right attacker due to lack of pace, movement or quick feet and the RB/wingback experiment failed and essentially led to the 2-0 deficit as Newcastle exploited the Sims/Ward-Prowse weakness on the right side. I know JWP had a string of 4 or 5 good games where his dead ball skills flatter the limited other parts of his game - but if there's one thing Ralph has got wrong since he arrived it's the belief that WP should be undroppable or un-subbable. There's a reason that he cannot get a move elsewhere as a long serving player too!
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Harrison Reed Injury Could End His Season
at 10:34:16

Harrison Reed is a much better player than Slattery will ever be - as things stand, Romeu and PEH are better CMs; Ward-Prowse is not a CM, and then there's Lemina, who if he regains fitness is ahead of Reed, though he can play further forward in midfield. I hope Reed gets another opportunity, if not, another Club will pick him up - even if it is a Championship Club.
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Saints Take A Step Nearer Safety Without Playing
at 22:47:55

I think A1079 has nailed it - don't go the early crow until averting relegation is certain; and at the moment it isn't!
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If Only Ralph Had Been Here At The Start Of This Season !
at 22:04:14

Yes, whoever appointed Ralph deserves the keys to the City. There's been a lot of flak directed at the Board and Administration - most of it justified; Reed being replaced was long overdue, but Ralph's appointment has literally saved the Club's bacon....well almost.

I still think the squad is alarmingly weak with a gradual decline over two seasons. If/when we confirm our status for next season Ralph will hopefully get his chance to reshape the playing group.

Just watching Arsenal beat the Geordies had me thinking Ralph could have them challenging for the title.....let's hope he stays with us!
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Saints At Brighton The Verdict
at 23:53:33

Agree, it was a gutsy win and for an hour we looked the far superior side. The substitution of Ings with Gallagher changed everything. It's an uncomfortable fact that Gallagher does not meet the required level - he was slow and at times clumsy and with the subsequent replacement of Armstrong we lost all our speed and counter attacking threat which allowed Brighton to push forward knowing they weren't under threat of conceding a second. At times in the last 20 minutes we looked more like a Hughes or Pellegrino side; if not fearful, very nervy and forced deeper and deeper.

I thought Sims should have been the one to replace Ings for two reasons - his performance v Spurs which changed the game, should have been rewarded on merit with more playing time, and his presence would have given us the movement and space to keep the counter attacking outlet.

A word about JWP - he has rightly deserved praise for his improved form in the past 6 or 7 games but he was poor on Saturday - in part this was the 4-4-2 system which saw him playing wide right and he's just not the player for that position he and Valery were consistently beaten for speed and offered little in attack meaning we were narrow and compressed for most of the second half. Again on merit and performance both JWP or Valery could have been subbed....Sims for JWP and Stephens for Valery. Great result though and well done to Hojbjerg, Romeu, Yoshida, Armstrong and Redmond - all very good on the day.
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Oriol Romeu Speaks Out
at 22:11:21

Good write up. One of my favourite players too - ridiculously overlooked by Pellegrino and Hughes. Fearless midfielder with great strength, intercepting and tackling skills. OR also has a good eye for a pass and never goes missing during a game. He surely will be offered a contract extension - my favourite memory is a game v Spurs when he and an in-form Wanyama went at it and Oriel got the better of Vic on the day. Only a bonus that he appears a very good human being and I quite like his politics too......a true Catalan!
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Ward Prowse Gets Second England Cap
at 10:11:33

Hudson Odoi and Rice have much more expansive careers ahead than Ward-Prowse, who got into the squad due to injuries. Stop hyping up a player who has improved for Saints in the past 6 - 7 games but will never be a justified first team inclusion for England.
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Forster Appearance Sparks Social Media Speculation
at 12:12:57

The only case for McCarthy being sold and Forster retained is that Alex Mc is a saleable asset and Forster is an expensive liability who we cannot offload. Ralph has made it clear FF has no future at the Club - the problem is the ridiculous contract he is commanding and the understandable lack of interest any other Club has in buying him.
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They Should Never Have Left Southampton ! Players That Have Titanic'ed
at 22:08:12

Thanks for the article - great reading. Of all the players you mentioned Schneiderlin remains for me the greatest disappointment - so good for us and so mediocre upon leaving. Conversely, there have been a few who have or are fulfilling their careers - no-one more so than Sadio Mane; some scoffed at claims he was a world class player when at Saints, but I don't think many are now.
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Saints V Tottenham Hotspur The Verdict
at 09:59:45

Sims turned the game on its head with his pace, movement and incisive touches. Make no mistake he put Spurs back on their heels and lifted Saints by taking pressure off the midfield and CBs. Criticism of Yoshida is ridiculous and wide of the mark. The whole side was dazzled off the park in the first half by a dazzling Spurs display - to single one player out is poor and exposes the writers bias. Great free kick from Ward-Prowse, he has improved , but the rest of his game is not at the level of his dead ball skill. Sensational result - great comeback
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Why James Ward Prowse Is No More Mr Nice Guy
at 22:00:30

JWP has played better in the last few games and deserves credit for that. Whether that results in a longer term improvement on what he has shown in the previous 200 plus appearances is still to be proved.

As for the "no more Mr Nice Guy stuff" - if spitting at the feet of an opponent; faking throwing the ball to Zaha's face and then clapping and cheering when Zaha was sent off is being a tough guy, I'd prefer the meek and mild JWP. Just the same, Zaha was a complete prat and deserved the red card!
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Hoedt On Verge Of A Move To Spain
at 10:44:17

Hoedt is easily the worst of our CB's and quite rightly Ralph is moving him on. About time you owned the mistake you made in labelling him our best CB.
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Hasenhuttl Is Getting The Best Out Of Players
at 10:30:30

I thought Ward Prowse was pretty ordinary apart from a well taken penalty and a few well taken corners - that was his first goal since last February. What else did he do of real value? He doesn't look a different player at all. Romeu, the best player on the pitch by a mile, was forced to control the midfield by himself because JWP is most certainly not a CM/DM. As for Shane Long - nothing different from him really; worked hard as usual - won a penalty through a crazy challenge on the edge of the penalty box when not in a threatening position, and then scored a goal which was deflected in by their goal keeper - some well overdue luck.
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Motivation Organisation And Fitness Returning To The Saints Squad.,
at 09:31:44

I'm struggling to remember Ward-Prowse's "former glories". I think RH might be the Manager to send the "dead ball specialist" on his way" - he will never be a Premier League player of any substance. Romeu is a different case - I expect the new Manager to get OR back to his best; and the team will be better for it.
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