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Josh Sims Goes Out On Loan
Monday, 20th Aug 2018 19:09

Saints fans will be a little baffled why the club have let Josh Sims go out on loan for the rest of the season, but there is method in their madness.

Josh Sims will join Reading on loan for the rest of the 2018/19 season and judging by initial comments on social media some Saints supporters are not happy that the club have allowed him to go out on loan.

But they should perhaps look at the bigger picture, whilst there can be no doubt that Sims is a great talent, that talent has to be nurtured and not rushed.

Last season injury restricted his appearances, but even after his return from injury he could not push himself into the first team, he started just 1 Premier League game with another 5 appearances as a substitute.

His one start came in the home game against Stoke City a game that was perhaps a low point in the season a 0-0 draw at St Mary's in what would be Mauricio Pellegrino's penultimate game in charge, Sims played 76 minutes before making way for Sofiane Boufal.

His 5 sub appearances in the League totalled 85 minutes and in truth his only meaningful contribution came in the draw at Burnley where his last minute cross was slightly over hit and needed Guido Carrillo to somehow get on the end of it and from the dead ball line knock it back for Gabbiadini to fire home

Initially when Sims came on the scene he looked a breath of fresh air, but even in that first season he could never truly force his way into the side, he showed glimpses but for one reason or another in the last two seasons he started only two Premier league games, the first his debut and the 2nd the aforementioned Stoke game and has managed only 11 as sub.

But the perception of Sims is perhaps greater than the reality, at least at the moment !

There is no doubt he is a talent, but in that short period of time he has played under 3 managers and none have seen him do enough to make them consider him a starter in the team. The odd burst of pace, the odd decent run and the odd good cross excite the crowd, but the reality is that he needed to do it a little bit more often.

So his actual impact has been minimal in that time, some would say that they would prefer him to Nathan Redmond, but compare Redmond's contribution at the end of last season to Sims and it was more critical especially since he netted at Everton a vital goal for a vital point.

This season Sims finds himself down the pecking order, Mark Hughes has a lot of wide options, Redmond, Elyounousi, Armstrong even Ward Prowse not to mention playing Bertrand or Cedric as wing backs, if he had stayed in the squad he would perhaps have struggled to get a game and at the moment we need men not boys in the team to get us off to a good start this season.

So as much as I like Josh Sims and i truly believe he has the talent to succeed not just at St Mary's but in the Premier League, he needs a season out on loan to toughen up and find that mental attitude to take the game by the scruff of the neck more often than he has done so far.

Hopefully he will come back next season stronger and ready to really show us what he can do, I know it will disappoint some supporters that he has gone, but we have to trust Mark Hughes to do what he feels is best for the team and sometimes a loan move is doing just that and looking at the bigger picture.

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A_Saint_in_Stoke added 19:54 - Aug 20
Sorry - But I feel that it is totally the wrong way to go. Josh, in my opinion, has been hard done by, he is now ready to be given his chance in the Premiership.I'm delighted for Josh he deserves first team football, and Reading will be the benefactors.

BoondockSaint added 20:04 - Aug 20
Nic, must be something wrong with your autocorrect--it's substituting "Josh Sims" for "James Ward-Prowse"!

underweststand added 20:17 - Aug 20
NOT disappointed - it's a good move and a win-win situation for Josh and the club.
Josh is part of the group to come through the Academy with Gallagher, Reed, Targett and Stephens who have all had loan-outs and this has helped improve their game, but not to the stage that they are seriously challenging for a first team spot....YET.

In the Fans Forum, Les Reed made the point that most of the first team squad are internationals and therefore the required standard for a Prem. place is now much higher.

The group (Walcott, Bale, Surman, Dyer and Oxlade-Chamberlain) all came through at a time when we were in L1 and Championship, and yet still struggled after they left.
It was only after Shaw and Chambers moved on that people saw the challenge of the highest level was difficult to maintain, and of the current crop even JWP, McQueen and Targett all fall short of commanding a regular first team spot. Not because they aren't good enough but (at the moment) that they are second best to some good talents.

Josh Sims will get regular game time and (at 20) has a good chance of improving his game and (hopefully) returning as a better player in a year or two.

We may see one or two more getting similar loan out deals and some real experience to help improve their talent in the long term at a time when it's make or break for them.

Interestingly, the current U23 squad includes at least half-a-dozen teenagers who were still U18s just a year ago. The standard is getting better all the time, but regular first team football demands more than just a few good appearances off the bench.


grumpy added 20:22 - Aug 20
If Josh Sims does well at Reading they will want to buy him.
I like seeing young players given a chance in OUR team.

saintmark1976 added 20:24 - Aug 20
That would be Redmonds one goal from twenty three appearances last season would it Nick?

Sims is a player who was deserving of being given a chance to prove himself. For reasons nobody of sound mind can fathom Redmond gets chance after chance to confirm beyond all reasonable doubt that he's simply currently not Premiership quality and never will be.

The season long loan of Sims just confirms what I have thought for months now.The Saints managment team have completely lost the plot.


A1079 added 20:40 - Aug 20
I am sorry Nick, but I don't agree. Josh Sims should be here with us. If Liverpool can blood new young players into their team, challenging for the title and playing in Europe, why does it seem such a difficult task for us?

You say there is a method in their madness. I am not sure what their strategy and method is, apart from trying to claw back some revenue and if that means farming out some of our potential first team players who I feel is ready to step in and up if we face an outbreak of injuries as the season wears on, then we may live to regret it.

SaintNick added 20:41 - Aug 20
Im not saying that Redmond had a great season, but he still scored a goal and had several assists, Sims hasnt yet made the breakthrough that his talent deserves, but there is a good reason for that.

Saintmark you say the saints management team have lost the plot, but what has Sims done in pre season to suggest that he is ready to truly challenge for a first team spot ? I saw four pre season games against opposition who were nothing special, he didnt take games by the scruff of the neck.

I truly rate Sims but I find myself constantly having to point outbad points of players i like to try and highlight that sometimes players who have made contributions are not appreciated, Redmond will not do much right in many peoples eyes, against Burnley he had a good game but still some people could not bring themselves to recognise that.

Redmond is only 3 years older than Sims, but by 21 the same age Sims is now he had played 107 Championship games and 34 Premier League games, he didnt achieve that by luck.

In his first season at Saints he scored 7 Premier League goals in 34 games that wasnt a bad total, yet he was the whipping boy.

Sending Sims on loan will toughen him up get him experience he hasn't got, he has looked good mainly as an impact player when a couple of moments of skill look good, but he couldnt break through under 3 managers at St Mary's including two who were supposedly being ordered by les Reed to play the kids.

As I said in the article i think Josh Sims is a great talent, but he needs to get experience in a competitive enviroment, he is 21 and has barely played the equivalent of half a dozen games in terms of minutes on the pitch, hopefully he will go to reading a boy and come back a man

saintmark1976 added 22:25 - Aug 20
I stand by my remarks Nick. Globally what better proof do you want in regard to the management teams inadequencies given the fact that under their supervision the club has fallen from being top six material to relegation fodder in a little over two years? Despite having the ninth biggest income stream in the Premiership we have managed to win only seven out of the last forty Premiership games. With respect to you, how much more evidence do you want?

Granted the decision in regard to Sims is at micro level compared to the above mentioned but to me it just further confirms the downward spiral the club now finds itself in because of spectacularly poor previous and ongoing management.

Returning to Redmond, I accept that football is about opinions. You appear to suggest that he's a proven Premiership player and worthy of continued selection, I do not.On that basis I suggest that all we can do is agree to disagree.


mikesaint added 09:31 - Aug 21
Hopefully this is just the beginning for Saints loaning players out. We have a lot of players that need a season out on loan to toughen up and find that mental attitude, Ward-Prowse and Stephens to name just two.

davepid added 13:44 - Aug 21
I’m relaxed about Sims going out on loan. However, I’m struggling to recall anyone else we’ve sent out on loan to improve in a lower division actually retrurning stronger and claiming a regular first team slot. Any suggestions ?

I will remember his run out of defence to well into the Liverpool half before accurately passing to Long to score the winner at Anfield two seasons ago in the league cup semi final. Happy memories.

Jesus_02 added 14:22 - Aug 21
The club has lost its way.

Maybe its the right decision. But it exposes the failure of the current administration. We no longer have "The Southampton Way".

Like Gallagher, Reed and Target. Sims talent should have been nurtured at Saints by playing along side top 6 standard players. Instead we have a whole host of average players. If he stays he will learn to be average at best as that's what he has to aim for.

What will he learn at Reading and who will he learn from?

Best of luck to the Lad, he is going to need it

Sanguin added 15:05 - Aug 21
I think this is a great move. Yes, I’d like to see him in the Saints squad but given how large the squad is there’s no way he consistently gets on the bench. This will guarantee him game time and give him an opportunity to grow his game and experience. At 21 he’s still very young, hopefully he can come back at the end of the season and really start to kick on and challenge for a starting place in the team.

saintmark1976 added 16:26 - Aug 21
Sorry, I appear to have got it wrong yesterday.

Purely for the purpose of good order, it's seven of the last forty two Premiership games we have won.

TeamCortese added 18:33 - Aug 21
I really f*cking hate the management staff at our club so much right now. None of them have a clue!

DPeps added 19:47 - Aug 21
Hughes doesn't seem to want to play the youth. on that basis it's not a bad move.
Clement hasn't demonstrated that he's a great manager, but he is a good coach, so hopefully Josh will learn some things

GeordieSaint added 20:20 - Aug 21
Good, it is all about minutes on the pitch and Simms will find that difficult this year at saints. Being sent on loan shouldn't be seen as a demotion but an apprenticeship. A good number of englands World Cup squad went out on loan including Kane and Pickford. Unfortunately one of the issues with the wealth of the premier league is the short termism and the need for results. Some of the fans complaining about Hughes not playing young lads would be calling for his head if he did and lost a couple or calling the board unambitious for not making signings. The only way these lads would have been sure of regular game time was if we had been relegated.

SanMarco added 22:50 - Aug 21
Sims is a popular player with Saints fans so there was bound to be a certain resistance to this news. Davepid's point about loanees is a good one - I can't think of any in answer to his question. This is more likely the precursor to an eventual sale than a bid to raise him up to premier level - and it is not immediately obvious to me how playing, however regularly, in a lower-half second division side is going to do that.

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