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Saints At Crystal Palace The Verdict
Sunday, 4th Dec 2016 12:57

As days at the office go they don't get much worse than this as Saints conceded two soft goals in as many minutes to throw the game away.

Did Saints play badly ? I would say that they didn't, however they cannot gift goals as they did against Palace and expect to get anything out of a game.

With 36 minutes gone Saints looked comfortable, Palace were rarely threatening and you felt that only one team would win the game, yes chances created were not great, but Saints looked to have taken control and ready to squeeze the home side.

Then came one of those moments in football that you cannot legislate for, 999 times out of a thousand Fraser Forster would have smashed an innocuous back pass up to the half way line, but it bobbled from hitting his standing foot and he missed it leaving Benteke with a tap in.

If that wasn't bad enough it disrupted Saints concentration and within 2 minutes they had conceded another and you felt that there would be no way back.

The rest of the game was mainly Saints attacking but they rarely looked like troubling the keeper and the one moment they did saw Jose Fonte smash a straight forward shot miles wide and you knew the game was up.

There has been a lot of hand wringing on social media and moaning but I think we have to take this defeat on the chin and remember that this time last year we went through just as bad a period yet still kicked on.

This year we have already achieved more than last and there is no reason why we can't achieve more.

There are those that say we lack a goalscorer, but it is not really that it is more about creating chances and we failed to do that yesterday, again memories are short, a year ago Mane went five months without a Premier League goal and Pelle disdn't score much mid season.

The truth is that Thursday night is more important than the trip to Palace, if we beat Be'er Sheva and qualify for the Europa League last 32 hen this week has been a success and we can build on that to make it a great second half of the season and with the opportunity to perhaps buy a player in January.

Saturday at Selhurst Park was frustrating , we were not three goals worse than Palace, but it was one of those days im afraid and we have to put it behind us and move on, we have a lot to cheer about at present and we should not let a bad day or two at the office overshadow what we are doing this season.

Sometimes you have a step back to move forward, we have been lucky these last few years in that for the last 7 years we have always improved our league position, that was always going to be difficult to continue, but that does not mean the World is going to end.

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SonicBoom added 21:55 - Dec 4
I thought the whole point of rotation in the cups, Europa league and premier was to keep players fresh, give all the squad a chance and to be competitive in the workload of games. Right now we have no idea what performance we will get from any line up.

aceofthebase added 22:19 - Dec 4
Cedric had a great game but what a pity it wasn't at Right back. Fonte to blame as well as forster for first goal but Fonte was covering for the absent Cedric. Second goal Cedric nowhere to be seen and the third goal he was hiding near the penalty spot. His job is to stop the crosses and he continuously fails to do this. All the goals came from his side and that speaks volumes.

IanRC added 23:22 - Dec 4
Coincidence that Redmond is back and we fall apart ?

steve73 added 23:56 - Dec 4
That performance left me feeling strangely empty and devoid of passion for the team...much like 8 of the 11 that started. Prior to this one I was starting to think that some course correction had taken place, there had been a bit more bite and drive to our play...but we kind of bent over and accepted Palace were going to give us a flaccid rodgering. Bad game, terrible result. Remember Mike Osman joking that for ages he thought we were called Southampton Nil? That gag works again.

Brunsdon added 01:15 - Dec 5
Painful to watch after the first goal foster turned to the players boxes behind the goal and looked up was he lookin for Southgate or something

SaintDownUnder added 01:56 - Dec 5
I think the concerning thing about this result is the fact we have to bear in mind that Palace had lost their last 7 going into this game - we just got beaten by a very average team.

The second point of concern is that our 'achievements' this season have come against very average teams - beating Inter, Arsenals B/C team etc etc. The reality is whenever we come up against a good side we look like we have gone backwards from last year. i think we are still adapting to Puels methods.

The route cause of this is the fact we are short on goals. You are right Nick,Mane and Pelle both had spells where they didn't score and they coincided with the two spells last season when we lost 5 straight games to opposition we should have beaten, we missed out on CL football by 4 points - its fine margins..

Last season both Pelle and Mane contributed 11 goals and 6 assists each - 22 goals and 12 assists, we scored 59 coals all season - 37% were sold in the summer and replaced with Redmond.

I'm hopeful that with decent game time Cederic and Bertrand can create more and that will lead to more goals - but whilst i'm an optimist by nature, we cant be blind to the fact that January is really important to the club.

BoondockSaint added 03:27 - Dec 5
Staying in the Prem is the most important. Even with the generous parachute payments, it is a huge financial hit.

I know some will disagree, but the only things that count are winning the Prem, the Champions League or the FA Cup.

The rest are just ways for owners to sell tickets and make money during the week when their stadia would otherwise be vacant. They are consolation prizes, participation trophies so fans don't feel bad and will come back and pay again next year

As Pardew said of the Paint Cup "It's a nice day out for the fans", and it can be fun for fans to combine travel with seeing their favourite team play in Europa League. But they are second tier.

Yes finishing mid table is not ideal, but "having a good cup run " is nothing to brag about-it means you lost, nothing else.

OK, cynical rant over---On a less serious note: Well done Bournemouth in spite of Boruc having one of his classic Keystone Kops Sundays!

SanMarco added 08:42 - Dec 5
Brilliant post SaintsDownUnder.

I would just add that Mane's pace would often open up things for e,g, Long even when it wasn't a direct 'assist'. Also re Puel's methods - is he showing the board that they've made a huge mistake over Redmond by playing him so often? No, of course not, but you are right - things need to be addressed in January or we may be nearer that relegation line than we would like to be.

Fordy added 09:02 - Dec 5
We have had a couple of times recently where we have needed to win the second half to get anything and have come out after the break looking very lacklustre. Saturday was one, Prage was another. I don't know if CP is not one for rousing half time talks but maybe if we can at least change the team at half time we might get some sort of reaction.

SaintStu7 added 14:52 - Dec 5
How can finishing 6 or 7th be our ambition!! Yes we must stay in the division but ambition is winning something that we can remember for years to come. We have never won the League Cup so that is ambition. Very poor result but please get a grip. Liverpool lost to Bournemouth, how do you think they feel this morning? Stop moaning and get behind your team. Debate is good but negativity gets us nowhere.

TeamCortese added 08:46 - Dec 6
If Fonte or VVD are sold January or the Summer I expect someone from the board to be sacked!!!!!

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