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Ralph Wants To Break 50 Points Barrier
Monday, 20th Jul 2020 15:52

Ralph Hasenhuttl is going into the last game of a long season with one aim and that is to break the 50 point barrier, something that the club has not achieved since 2016 under Ronald Koeman and rarely in the Premier League.

Ralph wants to finish the season with a flourish and hit 50 points a landmark they will achieve if they can draw with Sheffield United on Sunday, but the Austrian wants all three to finish in fine style.

He said:

“There are still three more to get, so let us get those because 50 points is the target now.

“It’s amazing, especially when you see where we were coming from in October.

“It’s been an unbelievably long and strange season but now we are in a fantastic position and have the chance of another win.”

The last time Saints hit the half century was in 2016 when 63 points was enough to hit sixth position our highest League finish since the mid 1980's, the fact that a win over Sheffield united will bring us within 11 points of that figure is remarkable given the low point we found ourselves in back in October and November.

Last year we ended up on 39 points a slight improvement on the 36 points in 2017/18 which saw us come close to relegation, Claude Puel's season saw an 8th place finish secured with only 46 points a total already beaten, although this years table is far different than 3 years ago.

Ronald Koeman's two seasons were the glory years with 7th and 6th place finishes achieved with 60 & 63 points respectively and it should be noted that Mauricio Pochettino's only full season when he finished 8th was secured with 56 points, a win over the Blades will bring us only 4 short of that total.

In our first season back in the Premier League we got a respectable 14th with 41 points a number we have already smashed this season,

So out of our 8 seasons back in the top flight this is going to be our 4th best points tally whatever happens on the final day.

Even going back to our 13 season stint in the Premier League before our relegation in 2005 we rarely hit the 50 point mark in a 38 game season although we achieved 50 in 92/93 from 42 games and 54 two seasons later again from a 42 game season, but even the latter on a points per game ratio would only equal 48.85 points, lower than this season.

If we can get the three points on Sunday then we will equal the 52 points in 2000/01 our final season at the Dell and a 10th place finish.and Gordon Strachan's points haul in finishing 8th in 2003/04.

This perhaps puts Ralph Hasenhuttl's job into perspective, a win in the final game will see him have the joint 5th best season's record out of 26 season's in the Premier League.

This shows that after a shaky couple of years we have the foundations to move forward again, we have dropped so many silly points this season we could easily have beaten Pochettino's total in a season that is generally seen as being a good one.

So reaching the 50 mark would be a great and fitting way to celebrate coming back from adversity and showing that the past is now firmly behind us and we can look forward to the future with confidence.

Time to give the board and football club the benefit of the doubt and start to believe we can achieve things again.

Photo: Action Images

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InsideOut added 15:55 - Jul 20
Thanks, I was just wondering how many times we reached 50 points in the prem.

A1079 added 16:17 - Jul 20
I think what we have achieved this season, given how it all started and the low point through the autumn and going into the start of December is tremendous, in fact, very satisfying.

Who amongst us and indeed in the footballing world would have suggested that we were anything other than relegation candidates before Christmas. I think it is all the more satisfying in that Ralph has achieved this with broadly the same set of players who must have been in the depths of despair in October and November. It is a vast credit to him and the players (who have a mixed set of skills and abilities and no one would suggest we have anything like the best team in terms of quality). But, Alf Ramsey said that you do not always have to have the best players to have a good team. That at the end of the day is what has been achieved. Rather than going into melt down Ralph and the coaching staff pulled them together into a unit and got their mindset to change and with it their belief and hunger.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't suddenly believe all is milk and honey and it is a given that next season is suddenly going to be a whole lot different. This is an opportunity for the club to build on this year and to ensure that Ralph can strengthen the team and with it their belief. We do lack depth in quality, we do still need some key experienced players. Our home record is pretty atrocious and we dangerously rely on one player to bring home the goods. If we want to go to the next platform and phase then we cannot afford to stand still and be complacent. But, the foundations are there and we have the manager to make us a force in the PL and not just a bit part player.

dirk_doone added 16:50 - Jul 20
This is wrong, Nick: "Ronald Koeman's two seasons were the glory years with 7th and 8th place finishes achieved with 60 & 63 points respectively" We, in fact, finished 7th and 6th.

It still doesn't compare with the glory years of the 80s though. when we finished 2nd and 5th and had 5 top 8 finishes in 6 years.

We quite often finish in the 6th-12th range and this will be our 22nd top 12 finish in our 43 seasons in the top flight.

A1079 added 17:32 - Jul 20
Nothing thus far has quite matched the 80s Dirk. I am just pleased that I was old enough to appreciate having experienced it. We really did give the "big boys" a run for their money then. Obviously football etc has changed alot since then and it is harder now to compete financially.

WestSussexSaint added 18:54 - Jul 20
As mentioned on an earlier thread, as soon as we secured the 2 wins needed to effectively be safe, the rest of this season was all about building for next season. Ralph learned from last season where the players were on the beach for the last few games once safe and has set the right tone this time. Credit the players as well for responding in the right way and clearly keeping themselves fit during lockdown.

I agree with A1079 in that there are still issues to address particularly with the squad depth but the platform is now there to build on and with Ralph’s new contract there is no reason why the next 3/4 years shouldn’t be all about top half football.

SaintNick added 08:40 - Jul 21
Dirk thanks for pointing out my error, I knew we finished 6th so just got something else i my head when I was typing, I agree with you the glory years were back in the late 70' 80's, but I was comparing the Premier League years to put this season in perspective.

Football is a lot different than back in the early 80's prior to the big money coming into football, back then the top 5 places would be Liverpool plus teams like Saints, Forest, Villa, Ipswich and Everton, we could compete, nowadays times have changed and money talks.

Thats why I'm cmparing ths season with the Premier league years and not the 1980's or any other era, things were a lot different then and it would not be fair to do so

SanMarco added 13:04 - Jul 21
Yes - exactly. I reckon coming 6th now is in many ways an equal achievement to the 2nd in 1984. The neoliberal takeover of football created hierarchies that stopped the likes of Saints, QPR, Norwich, WBA et al (all second placers before the EPL) from having such high aspirations. Yes, Leicester did it but that was far more incredible than say Derby in the 70s.

This season shows that 'smaller' sides with decent money behind them can challenge for the 3rd-6th zone but Saints did it under Koeman without enormous resources. We CAN do it again but we need to keep the manager, keep Ings and spend very wisely indeed.

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