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Nathan Redmond Proving His Critics Wrong !
Monday, 15th Oct 2018 10:47

For some reason Saints fans have to have a scapegoat, for the past couple of seasons,Nathan Redmond has felt the brunt of the fans ire, but this season he is showing that he might just become a hero!

Saints supporters always seem to need to have a pantomime villain, it was a bit before my time but I'm told in the 1960's it was Jimmy Melia, I then remember Lew Chatterley coming in for a lot of stick in the mid 70's although that was nothing considering the abuse his manager Lawrie McMenemy was getting from the Dell crowd.

Even Alan Ball was not immune, in his final games for the club a section of the crowd were on his back and so it continued over the years, David Armstrong initially struggled to settle after his arrival and it took time for him to win over the crowd.

Tim Flowers, Francis Benali had their moments with the crowd on their back as did Iain Dowie and a host of others, Kelvin Davis when he joined the club took 3 years before he won the supporters over and Pelle was given stick on his home debut and ironically cheered every time he won a header, Sadio Mane was touted as the worst ever signing Saints had made by some only weeks before exploding into life and propelling Saints into 6th place and himself into a big money move to Liverpool.

Nathan Redmond arrived at Saints as a 22 year old with promise, he had scored 6 times for Norwich in their relegation season from the Premier League and was tipped for the top.

His problem at St Mary's though was on his arrival Saints lacked a centre forward or at least one that was fit and so firstly Redmond was not played in his best position as a wide man who could cross a ball with accuracy, but as an out and out striker which did not really suit his game, to add to his problems Claude Puel touted his as the next Thierry Henri and in some fans eyes that aligned his as the pet of a manager who would soon become a scapegoat himself.

All things being even Redmond had a reasonable first season in difficult circumstances, he scored 7 times and also an ability to create big chances, but even when you add the winner against Liverpool in the first leg of the League Cup semi final this was not good enough in some peoples eyes and the mention of his name would usually provoke negative comments, many from people who had never seen him play.

Last season was not a great one for him, that cannot be argued, but in his defence it was not a great one for anyone else either, but his contributions although not great in number were usually vital, 3 assists for the season was a reasonable tally and only Ryan Bertrand had more for Saints, Bertrand's single goal for the season scored at Everton was again vital in keeping us up.

But his game was not just about the statistics that show, at Burnley our last minute equaliser is remembered mostly for Josh Sims cross and Manolo Gabbiadini's goal, few remember that it was Redmond who picked up the ball in the centre of midfield and ran at Burnley opening up space for Sims on the right, in truth Sims overhit his cross and it took a big effort for Guido Carrillo to keep it in play and knock it back for Gabbiadini to take the plaudits , with no one mentioning Redmond's contribution.

Similarly against Bournemouth Redmond won the ball on the edge of our area and laid a nice ball for Lemina that caught Bournemouth on the break for our opening goal, Redmond might not have always shone but he has a knack more than most for being involved when it counts.

This season something has changed for Redmond, he seems to have lost the fear that he had last season, when he seemed scared to take on players and all too often checked back and laid the ball short, this term he is going at players and looking better for it, he is getting a lot more balls into the box, last season in 31 games he only got in 69 crosses, barely two a game, this season in 8 games he has got in 30, almost double the amount per game from last season.

Saints aren't firing on all cylinders that is for sure, but Redmond is starting to look like the player he could become, he is still lacking someone to aim for in the centre although with Danny Ings he has a goal scorer to try to hit.

If Saints are to start to pick up, then it needs players like Nathan Redmond to play to their potential, it needs the supporters to get off his and indeed several other players in the teams backs and encourage them to play football not make them frightened to do so.

Footballers play best when they play without fear, that is not the atmosphere at present, Nathan Redmond is still young and is showing he has matured, if some of his team mates can show the same then we can start to move in the right direction again.

Social Media means everyone is a critic, the aura surrounding St Mary's at the moment is one of negativity, we all need to focus on what we want from Saints, personally I want us to pull through this awful spell and come out stronger on the other side, things will not change over night, we need a little bit of luck, a little bit of effort and to all kick in the same direction.

Nathan Redmond has been a model professional at Saints on the field in the way he has conducted himself, he may just prove his critics wrong and like some of his illustrious predecessors as scapegoats like Pelle, Mane, Hojbjerg and McCarthy turn the fans round and help Saints get back on track.

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helpineedsomebody added 11:51 - Oct 15
for me ist name on the team sheet+i think he is pretty close to joining up with england this season

bstokesaint added 12:34 - Oct 15
Nick, I think you are doing Saints’ fans a slight injustice in that a lot of clubs tend to get on the back of certain players. I think this has become more rife with social media when finding a villain has become the ‘in’ thing to do, almost like a collective bonding of channelled negativity. It makes me laugh to think back to the stick that Pelle and Mane had to endure. Personally I think you’re on dicey ground by alienating any player whilst they’re wearing the shirt and giving it their all. The only time any player should be given stick is when they don’t put in the effort or let the club down by doing something stupid. Otherwise they should be given full support. I for one am glad to see Redmond on the up. It’s nice to see some promise actually developing. For me previously my concern was not his lack of effort (he always wants the ball and doesn’t shy from commitment), but it was more his body language with other players. He appeared to be constantly bickering with Bertrand, amongst others, and it did make you wonder if frustrations were boiling over.

BoondockSaint added 13:29 - Oct 15
"For some reason NIck has to have a scapegoat, for the past couple of seasons,Yoshida has felt the brunt of the Nick's ire."......

undertoomers added 14:59 - Oct 15
We''ll be able to compare Redmond to the Bournemoth left winger (Fraser) on Saturday. In my opinion (so that's 99% fact) Fraser has overtaken Redmond. N.R. won't get injured because he wouldn't dream of going in for a 50-50. When did you last see him win a tackle,when did you last see him make a proper tackle?. Ive seen it from Elyonouzi . No, too often when he is going forward with the ball, as soon as a big ugly opponent get's to him he then looks to pass it instead of being brave & go past him. HE IS LIGHT WEIGHT. I'm a Saint's supporter ,so I want him to do well, but i'm not naive and love isn't blind.


underweststand added 15:32 - Oct 15
Before he joined Saints I didn't rate NR and the £10 million seemed a big outlay on our meagre transfer budget. Sadly his early performances bore out my original thoughts.
In time he went from bad to worse and it didn't help when he wasn't chosen regularly by Puel and Pellegrino, and when he did play it was often out of his bestposition.
To me he is a left winger and we should play to his strengths.

I think part of this is down to his personality and confidence in his own game.
Speaking as a grandfather, I see NR as a young man who still has a bit of "growing-up " to do , and judging by the videos of training sessions at Staplewood, he seems to be the squad "joker" with a sort of "schoolboy humour" and always playing to the camera .

Nothing wrong with a joke, but maybe he sulks a bit too much when out of favour , whereas a more mature player would understand you have to do that bit extra in training and then wait for your chance to impress in match time.

I am reminded of Lawrie Mac's comment that in handling players ... "you need to kick some ...and kiss the others ". A comment echoed a few weeks back when MH made a similar statement about certain (un-named) players in the squad who didn't always respond in the way he intended /expected..
As a player I recall MH was " natural " striker and perhaps his attacking philosophy has gone home positively to NH, as he seems like "a totally new signing " compared with his previous seasons. Perhaps in time, that £10 miilion will seem more like a "steal ".

I'm sure he has more goals in him (maybe not as many as Claude Puel foresaw when comparing NH to Thierry Henry), but his attacking bursts are very dangerous to watch, but too often he tends to stop and look for someone to pass to, when many of us might encourage him to have a shot on goal. I think he has the makings of a v.g. player and he might look better playing in a side that wins a few more games and then everyone's confidence would get a lift.


SaintBrock added 17:12 - Oct 15
Redmond came here with attitude, no doubt about that and it showed. During warm-ups he was never doing his exercises properly taking no notice of the fitness coaches and just doing the odd stretch when the others were putting their backs into every exercise. He was always clowning around too which can be funny or friggin' annoying depending on your point of view and as underweststand commented he did this all the time at Staplewood as well.

Obviously he was allowed to get away with it to his detriment as a player. He wasn't fit enough or taking his career seriously enough and most fans could see this and made sure he got to know about it. They called him out and deservedly so. If this is called 'being on his back' so be it.

This year there has been a change in his whole attitude, he seems far more dedicated to his job and far more professional and this too shows on the pitch. Maybe Hughes has had a word or maybe he took some notice of whatever it was that Guardiola said to him last season. Maybe boththeir messages were the same.. "Stop mincing about like a prima donna and take your job seriously!"

Maybe contract renewal time is approaching? Who knows.

Even so he is nowhere near to being a complete player yet and the jury must still be out on his overall level of talent. He is no Sterling that's for sure and he is nowhere near the National team right now.

Nevertheless it is good to see that the penny has dropped with him and he has reformed his attitude

DPeps added 17:18 - Oct 15
I'm not sure Redmond is quite at the stage where he's proving his critics 'wrong'. He needs to score and assist way more in order to do that.

However, he is slowly getting better, and crucially he's one of our few players who actually moves forward with the ball. It's the final ball that invariably lets him down.

I watched an interview with Redmond recently and he came across as a genuinely good guy who's not had the easiest run of things in his life. I hope for all our sakes that he can continue to improve.

halftimeorange added 19:02 - Oct 15
When Nathan came to Saints, Norwich fans I know were glad to see the back of him. He's certainly not been a crowd pleaser in his tenure at St Marys and the point made about him shying away from robust tacklers is a valid one, as is his previous bickering with other players, particularly Ryan. This season Redmond shows more positivity and is using his pace to some good effect however, he should be scoring goals and I believe he would in a better side than we presently have.

SanMarco added 19:30 - Oct 15
More likely Redmond has stayed the same while everyone around him has got worse. He will start confounding his critics when he starts scoring (I was going to put 'regularly' after that but just scoring would be a good start).

Colburn added 11:11 - Oct 16
This piece surprises me with its timing. Did Redmond just get a brace of assists or goals in the last game or 2? Don’t think he’s proved anyone wrong yet.. Behaves and drives his car like a spoliled brat. His attitude is his problem and he needs to grow up fast.. many players can look good but it’s only the end product which counts and he has been woefully short in the areas he is supposed to shine. I would rather see Sims playing as he has an end product. I think part of the reason we were so poor last year is because our creators didn’t perform. Tadic was lazy and more concerned by his own fame and Redmond delivered little. Hence we we poor and the whole team and squad looked worse for it, always having pressure on our defence cos we couldn’t produce enough up top.. The problem with Redmond is his personality and attitude and I hope for his sake he changes it quickly and becomes a top player, but I just can’t see it happening. Time to blood our youth and stop loaning them all out season after season if they have showed they already have enough.

skiptonsaint added 14:14 - Oct 16
I agree with Sanmarco

Yes a bit better this season but 1 goal in a season and almost a quarter. The rest of the team really has slipped If this is the best we can now find to praise.


saintmark1976 added 22:24 - Oct 16
Nick, Redmond isn't a quality Premiership player now and he never will be in the future. He couldn't maintain a place in a very poor Norwich side when they were relegated and has had chance after chance with us but has not improved.

Redmond has pace and some close ball control but lacks a footballing brain. Add in the fact that he does not like the physical side of the game and goes missing for large parts of every match and you have the reason why the crowd get after him.

If he never played another game for us I suspect most fans would have forgotten about him by the end of the month. He's simply not very good in my opinion.


luffy22 added 22:38 - Oct 16
I don’t think he has proved anyone wrong, When he arrived he was not up to the required standard, what he needed was a couple of years in the reserves learning his trade in a less pressured environment, and being coached. he was shipped into a first team too early in his career.

I actually think we have failed him by not training him in the background, he is getting better but has missed the opportunity to be world class,


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