Saints At Liverpool The Verdict Monday, 24th Sep 2018 11:21
It was always going to be on the cards and there seemed to be an atmosphere of "lets just get this over with !" amongst both the Saints team and supporters.
I would like to say this was a bad day at the office, but in the grand scheme of things it probably wasn't, although Liverpool scored three goals, two of which we gifted, it was a bad time to play Liverpool and we ended up with the same result everyone else has got against them this season.
Ironically when Liverpool scored neither keeper had seemingly touched the ball, when Alex McCarthy made a vain attempt to claw back the ball as it rebounded off Wesley Hoedt, it was his first touch of the game and given that the ball was already over the line, as we kicked off he still hadn't touched it when the ball was live as such.
It was always going to be hard, we were always going to struggle going forward without Danny Ings, but we battled manfully and although it was tough going with Shaquiri, Mane, Salah & Firmino playing some sublime one touch football we stuck at it.
You knew it wasn't going to be our day with the final kick of the first half, when the referee signalled 2 minutes of injury time you wondered where he had got that from, there had been no injuries no stoppages, but the story of Saints season, soft free kick given against us and we are punished.
That took away any lingering hope that we might get back in the game, at 2-0 there was always a chance that if we sneaked one back there might be an unlikely draw, but at 3-0 we were dead and buried.
Perhaps the stats tell the story of the game, although Liverpool had 61 % possession they only had 12 shots on goal and only 4 on target, they dominated possession, they buzzed around, but we battled to stop them getting in and hurting us, ironically as has been the case for a while lapses in concentration letting us down, on the first goal, four players could have been said to have not exactly been covered in glory for their part.
But we have to accept that we were facing a Liverpool side in full flow, they have the best attacking force in the country at the moment, they have options, if the four attacking players who strated for them aren't in form, then they still have Sturridge and also Adam Lallana when fit, in comparison Danny Ings who most would agree is our top striker was 7th in line behind those half dozen, that is what we are up against these days in the Premier league.
So we have to chalk this one off, regroup and look to Wolves next week, this was a test, the result has been neutral, although we were not great we were not truly awful either, we can move forward from this with a little optimism in that we have played our most difficult game of the season.
On a last note yes we did have only one shot on target that in the last minute, but it wasn't our first effort, that fell to Vestergaard in the first half who saw his header go a yard wide.
Although this was a predictable result I think that, for most of us, a mere 3-0 loss at Anfield this season is a relief, rather than the drubbing many of us feared. There is much criticism of Mark Hughes as both a trainer and a manager but, the question remains, has he been given the tools to do the job? We have to wait and see whether this group of players has the ability and, more importantly, the will to fight to avoid relegation over the course of the season. The wheels came off the Bournemouth bus on Saturday and I personally think that a good number of clubs will be involved in the battle to stay up and, quite likely a a lower points total than usual will achieve safety. Trouble is Saints just don't seem to have really gelled yet and they need to do so soon or we will see heads drop further and lower attendances at St Mary's which will not improve the pervading sense of doom. Got to start hoping for the team as a whole to perform throughout the game, not individuals having a decent 45 minutes here and there.
As it was on the cards we would lose this one feel MH should have given Sam G a game alongside Long and at least the midfield would have two different targets to aim for as we werent going to get past Liverpool playing their game.At least he would have seen how Sam handled it.
Picked a team to lose. Did lose with a whimper. Only happy I didn't go. Fans deserve better.
Hughes is tactically appalling and we are sleep walking into another relegation battle. The only happy news is there are at least 3 other useless teams in this league too so (somehow) we just need to keep our noses ahead of them.
Personally, I don't like all this talk of accepting we are inferior and we just roll up to the top 6 clubs and take the beating and be happy its a game ticked off. We are not performing as a Premier League club and should be worried whether we can get more points than 3 other teams. Whilst some may say its realism, it smacks of a defeatist attitude which has permeated this club for too long. Even in our struggling times in the 90's we used to pride ourselves on giving the odd top team a real game and occasionally getting the result. All that has gone - and with it, erodes my passion for the club. Don't get me wrong, this isn't on the basis of one spineless performance - this is on the basis of 2+ seasons.
a defeat next week against wolves & they will have to look at his position big mac said once do you want your assets on the field or in the bank well we know now where the new owner wants his money, hes done nearly the same as the owners of man utd morgage the club up to the hilt.
Saints have 6 points from 5 games so well in front of the relegation battle total. A win at Wolves we’ll keep everyone happy and move on. Liverpool are miles ahead of us as in the 80.s so take a chill pill. Did you all think we would keep them out for a point ? Not many will do that this season.
I’m not used to just accepting defeat. As Tiger says the teams of the 90’s didn't just accept that they were inferior. We were but we ground out results by getting stuck in as a team. I think the article DPeps posted the other days sums up my thoughts of this club at present. We have massively lost our way. I admire the eternal optimists who just put their hands over their ears and cheer wildly, whilst turning a blind eye to what they see on the pitch week in week out (the club need these people), but the truth is there is something really wrong with this club right now. In the first three seasons back in the Premiership we had a proper vision. The people at the top were clear in their goals and had the right managers in place to do the job. After that everything else just fell into place. Cortese for all of his over-inflated ego knew what it took to achieve success and was ruthless in the process. Liverpool wouldn’t have been able to cherry pick from us in those days. We were talking about breaking the "glass ceiling on the top clubs", we had 5-6 players in the England squad, we played beautiful football and everything was rosy. A couple of seasons on we have an anonymous owner, a board with an unknown strategy, a recruitment team who couldn’t pick a bogey and a manager who’ll do for the moment, well until the fans call for a new one (not long now..). There is no link-up. The players look disinterested and it’s hardly a surprise. I was gutted when I took my boys to their first game against game earlier in the season and they turned around and said “it was boring” and “do we ever score any goals?” And I couldn’t lie to them. We are as dull as dishwater right now and accepting a standard just above relegation seems to be acceptable. So much for regularly cementing a top 10 place before building up to challenge the top six. Maybe Cortese did come across as wildly optimistic but in all honesty everyone bought into it and we all had a period of time when we really enjoyed the football. I can’t see anything changing until the club has a complete overhaul. Such a shame. Sorry Markus you have well and truly been let down.
One of the things you turn up for week after week when supporting a so called lesser team, is that you see the passion, desire and will of your team and the chance of taking a scalp or two from those so called greater teams. I can't see us picking up a scalp this season on the evidence so far.
Wrong way round Simmo: 5pts from six games. If we lose next week Hughes will have 13 pts from 15 league games - that's worse than MP's 18 from 30 (even I can do the maths).
Of course 'Hughes Out' and 'lack of a leader on the pitch' will all be offered as solutions/reasons (we've got an English-speaking manager now so we have to ditch that one) but I think halftimeorange's question about whether the manager has been given the tools for the job goes to the heart of the matter. A side that was very nearly relegated needed more than 'fine-tuning' - what realistic choices did Hughes have? Gallagher or Austin to sit in VVD's pocket all game or Long and Redmond who run around and never score? Either way Saints 0 was as big a banker as the Liverpool win.
Our squad is lacking in real quality and the sale of Tadic weakened it further. We are heavily reliant on Ings staying fit and scoring lots of goals + a defence able to work out how to carry out basic marking at set-pieces. We also need at least one of the new mf signings to work out. I really hope I am wrong but I see another long and painful relegation struggle this season. If that is the case then surely those responsible for player sales/buys must finally accept responsibility and resign - they also appoint the manager and, if it is eventually decided that Hughes is no good, they will have appointed three duds in a row...
A brilliant post bstokesaint which sums up perfectly where the current owners and management have collectively taken us. I particularly liked the comment in regard to the recruitment team.
Not a lot else to say except to point out that out of our last forty six Premiership fixtures we have only managed to win eight, can't all be down to bad luck and poor refereeing can it? Then again if your sat in Switerland or China counting your money I don't suppose it matters.
Our season won't be determined by the performance and results away at teams like Liverpool. But it will be determined by performances and results at home to teams like Burnley, Leicester and Brighton. We've got 2 points from those games, which is a poor return.
I think Hughes was a decent enough appointment towards the end of last season for the predicament we were in. However, under Hughes we have gone from not being able to score to not being able to hang on to leads, a problem which I would attribute to physical and mental coaching, as well as tactics and game management.
I would have more sympathy for Hughes if he didn't have years and years of PL experience. In my view, the next few weeks are crucial for his future at the club
The way we defend for corners is shocking. It's truly laughable and for that you have to blame the manager and / or coaching staff. Watch Matip's goal again...
- 5 liverpool players in the box - 11 saints players in the box - no-one on either post - no-one anywhere near 6'5" centre half Matip - no attempt to block his run
Vestergaard made a fair effort to make up the ground and challenge but this is an accident waiting to happen. You give people free headers or a run on you at any level then you will likely concede if the delivery is right. When the free player in question is a giant it's even more likely.
Hughes must carry the blame for that. It wasn't just Saturday. It was the same with the equaliser against Brighton albeit then our smallest player was tasked with blocking the run of their biggest (absurd again). Tactically inept and we will continue to concede soft goals until it's fixed.
and don't get me started on Hoedt. How we don't play Yoshida is beyond me.
We were almost certainly going to lose at Liverpool and it does not really matter as few sides will get much from them. Trying to get something from an in form Wolves is the next challenge. That will matter.
FFP has led directly to the creation of the most lopsided unbalanced First Division in FL history. Surely the administrators are not happy with this situation. The current modus operandi will kill football as a major sport in this country. Where is the aspiration for young kids when the top division is drowning in a flood of no-name mercenary foreign imports who happen to be cheap and have agents that can compromise immigration laws.
I am sick to death of watching the likes of Mane, van Dick, Salah, Hazard, Aubameyang or whatever his name is farting about on our pitches like prima donnas in a ballet, when they have no knowledge of our traditional game nor interest in it other than to milk the cash cow for as long as it still gives milk. Players who will bugger off at the drop of a wallet and couldn't give a stuff about tradition or loyalty or fans.
I am sick of the sycophantic commentators of the BBC and Sky Sports who lap it all up and willingly promote this fiasco of a circus even though had this happened in their day they would never have got a game and today would be window cleaning in obscurity.
Top level football today stinks of unfairness and the smell in the air was all too obvious at Anfield on Saturday.
I have zero interest in the PL these days even 'though my love of the Saints marches painfully on. I go to some matches more out of habit than for any expectation that it will be enjoyable or even meaningful. It has become a duty rather than an exciting day out.
Most of you (above) have said the same thing we all thought. Liverpool began their season like awhilrlwind that has turned into a hurricane. They are already up and running like a well-oiled machine. Just pleased we didn't get massacred and concede half a dozen.
Although a defeat was on the cards, it's a crime that we didn't go down to some decent goals, instead of gifting them the game in the first half. Hoedt has been (indirectly ) responsible for more than a dozen lost points this year and shows no sign of learning from his mistakes. Vestergaard is beginning to find the Prem.level is more of a challenge than he thought , and why did our back line " play statues " when Shaquri's free kick rebounded off the bar, and with 4 Liverpool players following it in..any of them could have scored.
I think MH has been reading all your comments (Nick), because he still can't convince himself that Yoshida CDAJFU. What a nice fellow Shane Long is..but why in heavens name is he playing as striker when he only scores once a year. Sure he can run 35 mph but manages to miss every chance he gets when inside the box.
SOLUTION: Long, and Hoedt OUT....Yoshida and Elyounoussi IN. I won't get into the Cedric arguement but if we are to replace him, then why is Matt Targett on the bench when he looked like MOM in the League Cup game at Brighton.
IF we have a (fit) Charlie on the bench and Danny Ings on the pitch...why not play them together rather than using Charlie as a late sub?. Last season Pellgrino didn't start to use Charlie regularly until we had lost 13 HOME points..to date we've already lost SEVEN. Wake up Mark..we're not going to solve our defensive problems overnight, but at least we shoould be getting some goals in up front.
Whatever the whys and wherefors of Saturday's performance, we have a real problem on our hands because of our manager. We all know we had to take what we could get at the time, he may have got us out of a spot, and yes to a degree I agree about the squad maybe needing freshening up but just look at Sparkys' statistics as a manager; according to Wikipedia: played 600 won 228 drawn 152 lost 220 winning %age 38.0 Even if you exclude his time at Wales it's still no more than 40% win rate but much more importantly he loses as many as he wins which is dreadful. And worse, only 29% wins in his time with us at the Saints These figures do not lie, that is his long term managerial record. If we are to survive he needs to get his Saints average up to his long-term average; if so we get to 50+ points, if it stays where it is, 40 if we are lucky. PS MH's only accolade as a manager was Manager of the month...in October 2007; I don't know whether to laugh or cry...
The board could do better. I believe we can all agree on that. Maybe we could have better players. How many strong players WANT to come here? We are a stepping stone club. Players come here to get playing time and exposure so that they can get a contract with a “bigger club”.
In my opinion, the issue on Saturday (and for most of the season) is heart and character. Outside of Hojbjerg, Ings and McCarthy, who is playing with heart? Bertrand, the captain, does not demonstrate leadership or passion. He quits on the game. Redmond shows promise, but fails to play defense. Cedric continually gets burned. Hoedt and Westergaard make poor decisions.
This team does not have the character or drive to win. Once a goal is scored against them, their body language and attitude is poor.
First step, change the captain. I have long been a fan of Bertrand. Until early last season. Award this to someone passionate and with leadership skills. Allow players with drive to start. Award academy players with passion. If those do not prove successful, change the manager.
We need heart. We need character. We need skill. Only one of those can be purchased. If the players cared as much as the supporters, we would be top 10 year in, year out.