Ralph Admits Defensive Problems
Wednesday, 11th Mar 2020 09:16
Ralph Hasenhuttl has admitted that Saints poor form of late has been down to poor defending, see what he has to say here.
I said back in January that Saints had taken a calculated risk in not signing a central defender, something that has been a problem at the club since before Hasenhuttl arrived in December 2018.
I felt then that the Club were confident that they had enough in the squad to stay up with some to spare and therefore gambling on getting through the final months, initially that looked good and several good wins boosted the fan base and for a while all the comments on social media had been relatively positive, some even suggesting that one of our defenders should get a call up for England.
But the truth is bad players don't become great overnight and vice versa and in a week when the club has publicly admitted it was willing to transfer Jannik Vestergaard in the summer, Ralph has shown that he is aware of the problem.
Hasenhuttl has expressed his frustration at the soft goals we keep conceding, errors that have left us losing 4 out of the last 5 games and have taken us from a position where we were in with a shout of a Europa League place, to now looking nervously over our shoulder if this run continues.
The manager said on the situation:
Asked why they’ve struggled for success at St Mary’s, Hasenhuttl said: “We concede too many goals at home. It’s simple.
“In the end, this costs you a lot of wins and a lot of points.
“The draw isn’t really our result because we either win or lose.
“It’s really crazy.
“We have a lot of wins this season but also a lot of defeats. We have exactly the points we deserve and not more. We are not better than 34.
“If we want to be better than the 34, then you must have more home wins which is our goal for the future.”
The Austrian is spot on, I have said for most of the season going forward we are a top 10 side, but defending we are not even Championship Level, some will defend our central defenders by saying that the strikers have missed chances, yes that is true, but football isn't like that, no striker puts away every chance, but at the back it is tougher, strikers can afford to miss sitters, goalkeepers and defenders cannot afford to make mistakes, so although it is true that you need both units to be functioning at 100% strikers get a second chance when they err, defenders and keepers don't.
Harsh but it is the reality, the simple reason that we don't take more points at home is that on the road we are naturally deeper and this suits us, we can cover up our defenders shortcomings and not allow teams to get in behind us, but at home it's different, we can push teams back, but that exposes our weaknesses and the first is we can't defend on the break, Wolves ripped us apart on the break, both Burnley and Newcastle won it on the break and even Villa had several chances that they did not take.
Hasenhuttl knows this but what can he do ? sadly only what I have been saying all season, hope that this like the Villa game is one of those days we get away with it.
He knows that it doesn't matter what he does on the training ground it is not going to change things, some things in football cannot be coached into you, you have to have them in you, an ability to read the game, an ability to concentrate for 90 minutes and the ability to talk , Mark up and organise.
Everyone has their opinion about why we are struggling, but the reality is that we can now only play what we have in the squad, so all we can do is put in the kind of support we saw at St Mary's in the second half on Saturday against Newcastle and help get our team over the line, then we can start to reorganise in the summer.
Photo: Action Images
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