Saints Need To Come Through Festive Period With Heads Above Water
Tuesday, 24th Dec 2019 10:03
Saints have three tricky games over the Christmas and New Year period, if we are to avoid relegation we need to come through them in good shape.
The win over Aston Villa bought us some relief from the relegation battle and the psychological advantage of being out of the bottom three on Christmas Day, but the run of matches during the festive period usually goes a long way to sorting out the wheat from the chafe and this year may be no different.
Saints probably have a tougher trio of games than the rest of their rivals and if they are to keep their heads above water then they need to pick up some points as they not only need to keep Aston Villa below them, but also not only make sure the bottom two don't make up ground as well as try and keep the teams above us in sight.
Those predicting doom and gloom a few weeks ago have seen three wins in the last five games have pulled us up and out of the relegation zone and we need to make sure that we are still in a healthy position come the end of New Years Day.
Last year saw us boosted with two straight wins before Xmas before losing twice and drawing at Chelsea put us back into trouble.
But after that we picked up and stormed up the table and we need to make sure we have a better platform to build on than a year ago.
I still maintain that we are a good team, we just have a poor defence and the hope is that if we can be out of the relegation zone after a very poor first half of the season, then we can surge forward if we can sign a decent central defender.
The reality is that even without a new signing we are stronger than we were a year ago, we have the same squad boosted by an in form Danny Ings, plus the addition of Moussa Djenepo and Che Adams as well as the return of Sofiane Boufal.
Of course we have problems no one is denying that, but we now seem to be acknowledging those problems exist and we are dealing with them, hopefully with success and that means we can have a good second half of the season.
But first we have to get through the next three games and none will be easy for various reasons, that being the case I would suggest that a return of three points would be if not great satisfactory, although probably a par score would be 4 points and achievable.
Ralph Hasenhuttl seems to have had to deal with issues in his squad, that can be the only conclusion for the absence of Yan Valery and Kevin Danso, but he seems to be dealing with the issues behind the scenes and they must have had a negative affect on results.
So the Xmas period will be tough and perhaps we will like last year not have a great time, but I think we are better placed than others around us to start to pull clear in the New Year, we have come through a bad period stronger than before.
The Southampton Way is often spoken about, but that is not just on the pitch it is off it as well, Saints fans in the past had a reputation for getting behind their team when the going got tough, even when there where issues in the boardroom, we supported the club as an entity and the team as it's representation.
Owners players and managers come and go, the Club and it's supporters are the constant, the modern era has changed a lot in supporting football clubs, but essentially it is still the same, get behind the team.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 31 bloggers
Letters from Wiltshire #09 by wessex_exile
There’s enough doom and gloom about concerning the coronavirus pandemic to last several lifetimes, and let’s face it, 2020 really does suck. I’m pretty sure we’re all in need of some positivity right now, something to set our sights on, a goal if you will. Mine came to me in a blinding flash of inspiration as I prepared my wake-up mug of caffeine this morning – never, in all my years of following Colchester United, have I got even close to watching every single match of a season. I suspect I’m not alone in that, even diehards like noah must miss the occasional one or two each season. Kind of thanks to coronavirus (bizarre huh) and the relaxed approach to match streaming on Saturdays, I’m currently on 8/8, today being the 9th. Why not, I thought, make it all season without missing a game? There’s a lot of ifs, buts and maybes in that, not least if we do emerge from this crisis before the end of the season and the streaming gets canned, but for now I have my goal…
Letters from Wiltshire #08 by wessex_exile
Lots of discussion this week on football forums, including here, on two subjects – the petition to lobby parliament to allow limited numbers of supporters back into football grounds, and of course the return of that old chestnut from Man City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano, introducing Premier League ‘B’ teams into the EFL. First off, I don’t mind admitting I’ve signed the petition ( https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552036 ), as have 192,779 others at the time of writing, though I don’t actually think it’ll make any difference. I can completely understand why some do not think this is a good idea, as second-wave spikes of coronavirus infection pop up all over the country (mainly because – let’s face it – some people are dicks and can’t be trusted to sit the right way on a toilet). But to me, the two go hand in hand (not dicks and toilets) – whilst football clubs throughout the country struggle financially without spectators, we are always going to be under threat of this sort of ‘B’ team nonsense as a condition of financial support from the Premier League fat cats. They got their way in 2016 with the EFL trophy, who’s to say they won’t again when the financial squeeze really starts to tighten its grip without paying customers through the turnstiles? Robbie has featured prominently in this debate in recent weeks, and looks like he will again on Sky tomorrow if this tweet from Sophy Ridge is anything to go by -
Letters from Wiltshire #07 by wessex_exile
Welcome to Matchday #4 everyone, with the U’s making a reasonably solid start to the league campaign, undefeated, two clean sheets, only one goal conceded and sitting comfortably just outside the play-offs. I’d probably feel more comfortable if we were scoring a few more at the other end, so it’s good to see Chuck getting back into action. The big news that’s grabbing most of the column inches now is of course that President Trump is in hospital with coronavirus. Now there are many out there in the social media world who consider this somewhat poetic irony, given his (mixed) messaging on the subject since the crisis began, and there are more than a few wishing that it ends very badly for Trump. I’m not one of them, but I was reminded this morning of a famous quote “I have never killed anyone, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction”. Often misattributed to Mark Twain, it was Clarence Darrow in his 1932 work The Story of My Life. For those, like me, who consider Inherit the Wind probably the best courtroom drama ever made, Darrow was the lawyer in the real Scopes Monkey Trial.
Letters from Wiltshire #06 by wessex_exile
Here we are again, back in the (now) much-maligned EFL Trophy and a home tie against West Ham United U21s, and I think probably our last chance to stay in the competition? Robbie’s most recent rallying cry has been to “buy, buy, buy” when it comes to iFollow streams, and with the likelihood of supporters getting to matches receding, making streaming probably our only viable revenue stream, who can blame him. As an exile, I was never expecting I’d have many opportunities to see the U’s in the flesh this season, so he’s rather preaching to the converted as far as I’m concerned, but I do like the loyalty scheme he’s put together.
Away days by Andyconky
Many pounds have been spent and many train tracks have been travelled but who doesn't love an away day. Doesn't matter if its Chester or Chelsea or Lincoln or Liverpool, it's all good fun with a sense of adventure of what may happen.
[ Vote here ]