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Semi final match ..who would you start with ?
at 17:06 14 Apr 2021

A semi-final is no time for experimenting so I'd be surprised if he made any changes to defence or midfield – no matter how bad they were on Monday. Also they've shown in the past that they can up their game.

Ings & Armstrong are shoo-ins up front. As for the rest, any of them could be a match winner on their day. It's an occasion when experience counts so I'd probably go with Redmond & Walcott again, although Adams is looking confident & I wouldn't complain if he kept Theo out.

It's great to have Djenepo as a bit of a wildcard on the bench – as long as he brings him on in time to affect the result.
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West Brom Game Matchday Thread
at 19:24 12 Apr 2021

Bartley's shoulder was offside & it obscured the view of Diagne's upper body, so you can't say with 100% certainty whether Diagne was offside or not. That's just how it is.
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West Brom Game Matchday Thread
at 19:07 12 Apr 2021

Trying hard to wear my unbiased hat, the VAR decision was the only one they could give. When it comes to offside, the point of VAR is to make it as objective as possible. On the VAR cameras, the bloke's shoulder wasn't in view so they couldn't say definitively whether he was offside or not.

On that basis they couldn't overrule the on-field decision. If there was no VAR it would still have been given as offside.

Unlikely to make a difference anyway.
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Am I being Tooo Optimistic?
at 15:03 1 Apr 2021

Do you reckon there'll be a black market in tickets? I suppose with that number they could easily do ID checks on the gate.

The '76 Wembley ticket cost me £25. A lot of money then but probably the best £25 I've ever spent – and I did get £15 of it back from the bookies. Not sure I'd do it now. Wembley is a bit of a soulless experience these days. A bit like watching it on TV but with queues & expensive beer.
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International Breaks
at 20:35 26 Mar 2021

Didn't watch the game but, according to the pundits, Stuart Armstrong didn't have a good game last night in one of his fairly rare international starts. As his performances for Saints have improved, so he seems to have been picked less & less for Scotland.

I can't understand why he isn't one of the first names on the team sheet. Have his well-publicised physical issues got something to do with it or is he just being asked to play in a different role?
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Ings to City?
at 23:38 22 Mar 2021

Once it becomes clear that Ings is off, is he still an automatic starter (when he's fit, of course)? We dropped Hojbjerg and, whatever you think of the guy, you couldn't question his professionalism.

It's not as though Ings has been in great form lately.
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Who do we want?
at 18:04 21 Mar 2021

Both teams that have beaten us 9-0. That's a coincidence.
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VAR
at 15:21 20 Mar 2021

It's not VAR that's changing the laws, it's the clowns at IFAB. These are the people who should be telling us what they're doing & why. I don't understand why they've got so much power.
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Set pieces
at 08:57 19 Mar 2021

Believe it or not, Dunk's goal on Sunday was only the fourth we've conceded from set pieces (exc. penalties!) this season. Only Fulham, Arsenal and Man City have let in fewer.

I'm always worried about Saints' high line for free-kicks, but seems like it works.

Good analysis:
https://www.prostinternational.com/2021/03/18/foot-on-line-stay-high-and-leave-s
[Post edited 19 Mar 16:52]
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Singing about the opposition
at 18:52 15 Mar 2021

What he's saying is that you could get jailed for a maximum of 10 years for performing an act that risks causing serious annoyance to a section of the public. Most worrying is the extra powers this gives to the police.

For anybody old enough to remember, it reminded me of Not the Nine O'clock News & the charge of wearing a loud shirt in a built up area during the hours of darkness. (I'm not sure they'd get away with that sketch these days, so I won't add the link.)
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Don't worry, we're staying up
at 16:52 14 Mar 2021

You can still get odds of 50/1 against Saints getting relegated (behind Newcastle, Brighton & Burnley). Exit the cup next week & lose the next two PL games & I might get worried.

[This post in no way advocates gambling ]
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Saints V Brighton Matchday Thread
at 14:27 14 Mar 2021

Unless he hits it straight at the keeper.

Harsh to criticise somebody who's scored 3 in 3 but if Adams wants to be a top notch Premier League striker he really needs to develop some finesse. For that big second half chance he needed to place it. Trying to break the back of the net isn't the only way to score.
[Post edited 14 Mar 15:00]
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Newcastle v Villa
at 21:59 12 Mar 2021

I've just wasted two hours of my life watching this total dross. I thought West Brom v Newcastle on Sunday would take some beating but somehow this one managed it. At times it was laughable. Both sides will point to injuries but that doesn't explain the total lack of quality all over the pitch.

Hopefully one point won't be enough for Newcastle.
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Chris Wilder
at 18:03 12 Mar 2021

If the story is that he wouldn't agree to somebody else overseeing transfers then I suppose he had to go. The purchase of Brewster, Ramsdale & Burke (sounds like a firm of undertakers) for £50 million was a bit of a disaster. Although, to be fair, in the past they'd recruited quite well.

Should also serve as a salutary warning to those who want us to throw money at the transfer market. In the price range (fees & wages) we're competing in, every purchase is a risk. Comparing the likes of KWP, Salisu & Diallo with the above suggests we're getting something right – although finding strikers to hit the ground running is always harder.
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Saints At Manchester City Matchday Thread
at 22:03 10 Mar 2021

That's the impression I had too, but not strictly true. The completion rates for short – medium – long passes in 20/21 (all competitions) are:

FF: 100.0% – 87.5% – 34.1%
AM: 99.3% – 98.7% – 34.5%

FF attempts a much higher proportion of long passes (over 30 yds) than AM.

https://fbref.com/en/stathead/player_comparison.cgi
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Prince Harry & Meghan Interview
at 21:02 9 Mar 2021

The estimated additional tourism revenues are £550m p.a. They certainly wouldn't dry up. People would still come to the UK & visit royal palaces even if royals didn't occasionally reside in them.

It's not a question of our current setup or none. There are examples of modern monarchies across Europe that seem to function perfectly well without the class-ridden baggage that comes with ours.
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Squad depth
at 19:48 9 Mar 2021

Better quality costs – both in transfer fees & wages - and even then the Premier League is littered with transfer disasters. Who in their right mind would think Joelinton is worth £40 million or Kepa an incredible £72 million?

Realistically we're looking for players with the potential to be better than our starting 11, rather than just bodies to sit on the bench. Trouble is lots of other clubs across Europe are looking for the same thing. In this marketplace any buy represents a gamble. For every Van Dyke & KWP you unearth there are dozens of Hoedts & Leminas.

It would be good to think that our recruitment process (I assume the black box is still going) is somehow better than the rest but in reality it probably isn't. Let's hope for the best.
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Prince Harry & Meghan Interview
at 17:06 9 Mar 2021

What??? What's ISIS got to do with it?
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Weds
at 17:02 9 Mar 2021

Difficult decision for Ralph on the RB position.

Risk starting with KWP again & have hardly any chance, or save him for Brighton & have no chance. If he goes for the latter I'll be viewing from behind the sofa again.
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Cricket at the Rose Bowl question
at 16:08 9 Mar 2021

In normal times I try to do it once a year. Haven't had guests personally but I've never seen checks at the hotel entrance so, in practice, it's probably difficult to stop. Just as well to be discrete, though. On one occasion reception challenged somebody when I was checking in but they just said something like they were going to the restaurant & kept going.

Hope the weather stays fine.
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