Saints V Fulham The Verdict !
Thursday, 28th Feb 2019 09:29
It wasn't a great game but Saints got the job done, claimed the three points and pulled clear of the relegation zone.
After a week of meltdown in the bottom three Saints went out and earned their first clean sheet under Ralph Hasenhuttl and in doing so a deserved win and jumped above Cardiff out of the relegation zone.
This wasn't a pretty game and it was won by two first half goals from Oriol Romeu and James Ward Prowse, it was a disappointment that we didn't kick on and get more and truly put the game to bed but at the final whistle we had won comfortably and won well.
There will be more defeats this season, perhaps even on Saturday, but we have to keep focus and remember it is games like this that will decide our fate and either keep us up or send us down not defeats at Arsenal and the like.
This was a team effort and the manager picked the right team for the job and here I will give praise to Yoshida in his first game back for putting in a solid display.
The most heartening thing though was the team spirit shown, they all worked for each other and reaped the rewards.
Now we need to keep that focus and not panic every time we drop points.
Photo: Action Images
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|davidargyll added 09:43 - Feb 28|
Quite right although don't let's get too carried away: let's be brutally frank, our defence was average at best and Fulham hit the post ... twice, so we were lucky. But then RH I reckon is just that, lucky! Long may it last. But Oh the joys of climbing up to the dizzy heights of 17th...!
|simmo400 added 09:55 - Feb 28|
Match Cardiff the next 10 games and where safe. If we cant we deserve to drop. Trouble is we will be having the same chat in 12 months time like we have this season. Getting boring really.
|SanMarco added 10:05 - Feb 28|
Well done Ralph and the players. If we can get through the next two still level or better than Cardiff I back us in the last eight. My main concern is injuries - we certainly need the midfield to keep chipping in with goals because the forwards aint going to do it. No Tadic or Gabby in the run-in....
|mattlegod added 10:11 - Feb 28|
Well it was job done and a much needed three points in the bag, a clean sheet and a home win. Although there has been recent improvement, seeing Bertrand back was a huge positive as was Yoshi ( I never thought I'd be saying that 2 years ago!). With the exception of ings for Austin that has to be our preferred team for the remainder of the campaign. COYR
|richsaints added 10:21 - Feb 28|
Job done nothing more but at least we have given ourselves a chance and it's still in our own hands.was never going to be pretty with what was at stake especially when we went 2 up so many times we have lost that lead but at least this time it worked out ...come on the saints!!
|lemmsy added 10:37 - Feb 28|
I’m not a moaner but this was a poor game,ultimately it’s the resuthat counts , especially in this one . I don’t see Cardiff getting more than 6 points & ive got us down for another 7 so I believe will survive but a little of the new manager bounce has evaporated
|Boxingman75 added 10:46 - Feb 28|
Wasn't Ralph's 1st clean sheet , that was away at Chelsea
|highfield49 added 10:58 - Feb 28|
We all know that there will be no easy games between now and the end of the season. In fact looking at the gulf between the top group and the rest I think it fair to say that the league is now based on a ridiculous imbalance of financial clout. We have enough ability in the squad to survive and then bring in a few players in the summer but let's not kid ourselves that we can ever truly compete on such an uneven platform. Credit has to be given to Redmond, JWP and PEH for their massive performance step up under RH and I only hope that the vultures don't start circling in their direction. Ok, no money was spent in January but looking at the players recruited by teams around us I'm not convinced that was a bad thing. Mepham looked more out of depth against Arsenal than any of our derided central defenders and it wouldn't surprise me at all if we finished above Bournemouth this year. As everyone says, not a great performance against Fulham but a great hard working team effort and if Ings can get fit and stay fit we should pull well clear of the relegation places.
|CautiousOptimist added 11:12 - Feb 28|
Really pleased I decided to go to this game in the end. I agree it wasn’t a particularly good game, and take the point about not getting too carried away.......but there were some real positives to be had out of that.
The defence looked pretty calm and collected (although if Mitrovic had been more prepared to play football rather than wrestle we might have been in trouble) and Bertrand gives us much more of an attacking option, we’ve really missed him. JWP had a great game and it was a fantastic to see the midfield as a whole looking so positive and purposeful. Charlie didn’t get many chances but I thought his link up play and overall work rate made a real contribution. He did looked knackered by the second half though.
Some tough games ahead but at least this puts us in the best possible position for the team ( and the supporters) to go into them with the right attitude.
|SaintBrock added 11:41 - Feb 28|
Fans are happy for a few days, why else do they go to see football matches. That beer will be tasting much better tonight.
Not only that but cats all over town will have a smile on their faces today.
|lemmsy added 12:05 - Feb 28|
Excellent comments highfield
No point in buying players that are wrong just to keep people quiet , we do need to invest but not at any cost. Ie Fulham spent £100 min +.
Stay up & hope Ralph can do his thing
|aceofthebase added 12:15 - Feb 28|
Good team effort, but adding a toughie like Mitrovic into our attack and we would be so much stronger.
Bertrand had so much free space and he used it well, going forward rather than the usual backpass and indicating boot it forward,
Yoshi, as usual, was keeping our defence together and should keep his place with Stephens on the bench.
Prowse is getting tougher, what a strong tackle that was! The midfield contributing with goals is what we need, forwards must get their act together.
Valery did not have a great game but this lad has tons of promise and must be encouraged to go on those tricky runs.
I'm hoping that Ings can regain his place and form but we are still short of a 'Mitrovic' forward with a bit of quickness and clout, despite his misses last night.
I'm also hoping we can gain a few points from the top teams, certainly more hopeful than a week ago.
|bstokesaint added 12:23 - Feb 28|
There is no point in getting carried away, but nothing wrong with temporarily enjoying the relief of getting through this with three points and a clean sheet (great to have Yoshi back).
It still irks me Nick that you suggest that games like Fulham will determine our season. That’s not true. We should be looking for something out of EVERY game. No team has a divine right to a victory and if we could pick up points against some of the other top teams we wouldn’t need to be concerned with what others like Cardiff do. It’s disappointing that we’ve been reduced to this mentality. It shows how far we’ve fallen.
|arthurfane added 12:52 - Feb 28|
Agree with previous posters this was by no means a stellar performance, but we got the job done against a really poor side.
Quite a few positives to take - JWP's best and most complete game in a Saints shirt; he ran himself into the ground, scored, and that tackle to set up the Hojbjerg chance was brilliant. Austin put in a good stint, albeit I feel we desperately need to sign a quick, powerful striker in the summer (more easily said than done). Defence looked assured, and Gunn (although he didn't have much to do) looked comfortable - gathered a testing shot near the end, the kind Forster would have spilled at the feet of the striker.
I do agree with Nick about the importance of this game - yes, bstokesaint, all the games are important, but this takes the pressure off getting something out of the Spurs and Utd games. Hopefully we can get 2 or 3 points from them - that would be an excellent haul.
I feel this season is all about limping to the finish line. We know there are a few glaring deficiencies in the squad - we chose not to strengthen in Jan as we've learnt from our past mistakes and wasted money. The board now need to back Ralph in the summer and allow him to completely overhaul the squad - IF we stay up.
|underweststand added 15:08 - Feb 28|
Sometimes you need to grind out a result, and this game was a fairly good example.
Good performances all over the pitch, although we might have hoped for another couple of goals but Fulham didn't take advantage of their tactical change after HT.
Interesting to see that some of the best performances were from ; Bednarek, JWP, Romeu and Yoshida ...4 players who hardly got a look-in during Hughes' regime.
Now to see if we can get any change out of the next 2 games against top 4 opposition.
For most people (and the " media experts" in partivcular) we'll get zero points...so it's up to the team to prove them wrong. On the forthcoming games, it seems that the matches against Brighton and Bournemouth, may be the answer to a lot of the questions.
|KriSaint added 15:32 - Feb 28|
I didn´t relax until the final whistle and was a little disappointed tha we didn´t bury them and win at least 3-0. That said, I´m very happy with these 3 deadly important points being on the board before the next tough games. My only critics regarding the match squad is,
where is Simmsy? Please don´t telll me that Mohamed E. deserves to be on the bench in stead of Simms. Please explain, Ralph.
|halftimeorange added 17:28 - Feb 28|
When asked how the two teams played I replied that Saints were ordinary and Fulham were awful and that's the truth of it. I agree with most of the comments above, there was considerable effort by us all over the pitch but not that much finesse. Had Mitrovic had more support we might have been in trouble. Redmond was at his most frustrating again blasting a couple of shots over from distance when passing was the better option, then passing when running at Fulham might have been favourable. And Bertrand, whilst very talented, should at least have learned to cross with his right foot instead of passing back. JWP showed his teeth when tackling in their half but dithered on the ball in ours. I think what I'm saying is we lack players of real class but we have earnest triers which could carry us through. Oh, that Mitrovic was leading our line. All that said, the better team won and I, for one, thought Valery had a good game, provided a good outlet on the right and takes no prisoners.
|underweststand added 17:46 - Feb 28|
As a tailpiece to this thread I note that Fulham sacked Ranieri today (Thursday) and i ask myself if losing to Southampton is the bottom of the barrel in the Football World.?
We can go back to 1986 and see that a young substitute named ...Matthew Le Tissier came on and scored twice ina League Cup tie against ...the mighty Man.Utd... and two days later MU sacked their manager Ron Atkinson.
Fast forward a decade of two and we saw that having jumped ship (from Saints) to go back to Spurs...Glenn Hoddle got the sack after Saints beat them at White Hart Lane......
More recently MU must have reached the end of the patience with Jose Mourhino after Saints went 2 goals up after 20 minutes at SMS ...pity we let them off the hook and ended up drawing, but the MU Board sacked him afterwards.
Can we expect Pochettino to feel the breeze if we put one over on Spurs at our forthcoming meeting ...stranger things have happened in Football..
So why do so many clubs underestimate Saints as a footballing entity, and see a defeat by us as- the last straw.?
|Ripleys_revenge added 17:52 - Feb 28|
Very happy with the win, and agree that Bertrand clearly gives us so much more than Targett. We have really missed him, and if we had similar capabilities on our right flank (something like Clyne a couple of seasons ago) we would be twice the side we are now. Really can't put enough emphasis on the wing backs, especially playing a back 3 / 5.
Not knocking valery by the way, but he's clearly got a lot of development to go!
Otherwise, pleased to see Hojberg boss things in the middle and big shout out to both Austin (who gave everything last night) and to Shane Long who looked a lot more fired up than the last game at St Marys...
|SaintBrock added 18:11 - Feb 28|
I suggest underweststand that Ranieri's sacking has more to do with Fulham accepting that they are down and preparing for life in the Championship. Ranieri was only on a short term contract so might as well pay him off early and get on with the job of setting themselves up to return to the top flight first time.
|bstokesaint added 18:58 - Feb 28|
You got to feel for Ranieri, he guides relegation favourites to Leicester to Premier League success, which is arguably the greatest sporting achievement-upset I’ve ever witnessed, and it’s been seriously down hill since then.
|brady100 added 22:52 - Feb 28|
Shout out to Jan Bednarek. I’ve rarely seen anyone time tackles better. He’s a proper defender, tackles, heads it and uses the ball simply and quickly with a very low error count.
|SaintBrock added 10:44 - Mar 1|
Yes he is and he should teach tackling to James!
|TeamCortese added 07:43 - Mar 2|
Great result! 4-5 wins needed. On to the next one...
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Letters from Wiltshire #23 by wessex_exile
As I’ve been providing updates on the ongoing US presidential election, it is worth mentioning that the Electoral College votes have now been cast, which formally confirms Biden as the new President-elect. Normally a formality, as the losing candidate has usually long-since conceded defeat, but these are far from normal times, and America has far from a normal lame-duck President. Still, at least the threat of members of the Electoral College ignoring the popular vote in favour of an outcome demanded by Trump has failed to materialise. In the UK, new Covid tiers were announced this week, with London going into Tier 3. Colchester stays in Tier 2, but only just, with as far north east as Maldon, Braintree and Chelmsford also moving into Tier 3 – and as if you need reminding, Tier 3 means no supporters at matches.