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Barclays Premier League
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Hasenhuttl Has A Big Call To Make On Nathan Redmond For Villa Game
Friday, 30th Oct 2020 09:24

With the return of Theo Walcott to the squad for this weekend's trip to Aston Villa, Ralph Hasenhuttl has a decision to make, one that will split Saints fans down the middle, here we take a look at the situation.

For some reason even though he scored on his debut for the club, some Saints fans cannot seem to have anything good to say about Nathan Redmond, since signing in the summer of 2016 he has been a regular started under four different managers and although it has to be admitted that season 2017/18 wasn't his best, his third season saw him voted both Fans' and Players' Player of the year in 2018/19.

If you look at Redmond's contribution's in his four season's at the club and compare them with that of Sofiane Boufal who arrived at the same time there is no comparison, yet it seems the same people who slag off Redond happily tell me we should have kept Boufal for another year.

But that isn't enough for some and the moment his form dips the knockers seem to be out, I have a recurring dream where Saints win the Champions League Final in a thrilling game against Liverpool played in the Neu Camp, but as the trophy is about to be lifted the man next to me says "Nathan Redmond was sh*t" I think that sort of sums up the situation.

Mind you he is in good company, 18 months ago there were many saying we should not complete the Danny Ings permanent deal as he was injury prone and had only scored 7 goals, a year ago James Ward Prowse was getting dogs abuse.

But the decision by Sky to award Redmond man of the match against Everton seems to have riled the Redmond haters and I have had quite a few conversations where this has been called into question by some, I am being a little polite here.

In fairness I do agree that Redmond was not man of the match by a long chalk, but I also can see why it was awarded, yes he was struggling to get his game together, but he was contributing and he worked hard to get behind the ball when we lost it and his partnership with Ryan Bertrand not only negated the Toffee's attacking thread down our right but created space going forward which we exploited well.

But Redmond just didn't seem to be able to catch a break, his own chances seemed snatched and when he did create and could have perhaps had an assist, we didn't finish the move off when perhaps we should have.

So in my opinion Redmond's own work rate and willingness to keep going rather than hide, turned what could have been an awful game into one that contributed and played a part in the victory, it was generally agreed by all that we ripped Everton apart on our right side, he played a part in that, with his link up play with Ryan Bertrand.

Yes he was struggling to find his man and pass the ball at times, but then again so was Stuart Armstrong who looked decidedly rusty after his Covid 19 self isolation, but he like Redmond kept going and I haven't seen him criticised in the way Redmond has, perhaps because of his disallowed goal.

For me Redmond is a player that has an end product, he doesn't run around like a headless chicken, he can hold his position and link up well with others, Saints have changed the way that they have played a little with the emergence of Che Adams and with Redmond's season being a little stop start he needs to get back into the groove.

I certainly would play him ahead of Moussa Djenepo who although scored against West Brom , had played little part in the game before the goal, he struggled to make the runs that offer options and create space and openings, Djenepo has to have the ball at his feet or have it put into space to run onto, he isn't a clever player off the ball.

But Ralph has a decision to make ahead of the trip to Aston Villa, for some it is clear cut, Walcott in for Redmond, but it is not as easy as that, firstly Walcott played on the right at Chelsea, will the manager want to shuffle the playing pack to accommodate the dropping of Redmond, if he does that will he move Armstrong to the left or simply swap Walcott for Redmond.

But perhaps Ralph will be thinking differently, he will be aware that the Bertrand/Redmond partnership is one that works well, he might also feel that Stuart Armstrong himself was off the pace against Everton, we don't now how much Covid 19 has taken out of the Scot, certainly he was able to cruise home in the final 20 minutes as we passed the ball without too much pressure, but it will be different at Villa Park.

Finally perhaps Ralph sees that there is no reason to change the starting line up, it won the game against a then unbeaten Everton side, after all we won the game, we won it with our most comprehensive performances we couldn't afford to carry a passenger and there is evidence to say we didn't.

Theo was thrown in straight away for his debut at Chelsea as we had little other experienced options with Armstrong self isolating and Djenepo injured, against Villa he might think we have the right balance, in the pace of Redmond and the work rate of Armstrong.

Perhaps he will hold back Walcott to run at tiring legs, although he could also do that with Redmond.

Football is a squad game, Saints squad is what it is given our resources, but I do think that we are well served this season for wide players, Redmond, Armstrong, Djenepo and Walcott all offer different things and we also have several youngsters waiting in the wings, it is a nice dilemma for Ralph Hasenhuttl to have.

Photo: Action Images

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WestSussexSaint added 09:31 - Oct 30
I think Redmond has to start this game. But Ralph needs to be in his ear saying that his place is no longer guaranteed and he needs to produce every game. Walcott is on loan and so Ralph should be loyal to his permanent players and give them every chance to succeed until there is overwhelming evidence a change is needed.

I don’t disagree that Redmond works hard but I do disagree about his end product. It isn’t what it should be for an established first team player.

pwithers123 added 09:55 - Oct 30
Redmond is a vital player in the system being played because - even when he is not on song - he can take the ball in the tightest areas up front and hold it under pressure. Playing high press can leave the defence exposed badly if ball retention is poor. Ball retention at the attacking end/phases is also VERY much harder - and Redmond does that really well. His passing under extreme pressure is also good. In addition - the intense running effort he makes plus his link up understanding with Bertrand - all these aspects are vital to the team - and you can see the drop -off when he is not there. We are not so fluent.

The recent problem he seems to be having is that One The Ball for critical dribbles or shots at goal - he seems to have lost something ?? Confidence ?? Touch ?? But on those aspects - he is not where he was previously. ???

IanRC added 09:58 - Oct 30
I thought Djenepo was much better than you say but as you conclude a nice problem to have.

felly1 added 09:59 - Oct 30
I think Redmond is a good quality player for us and has bags of invaluable experience that count for alot compared to the exciting but erratic Djenpo.
It all comes down to unreasonable expectations in my opinion.
For a good while we got used to Lallana and Mane playing in a similar role for us and many fans expect that kind of level of quality performer week in week out, and they are just not being realistic.
It's a bit like the fans that get on the backs of our central defenders without realising they were spoilt by witnessing Van Dyke, who is now regarded as the best in the world! Along with Lovren, Alderweireld and Fonte.
It's very rare you will get players with that level of quality playing for us.
You have to be realistic.

kevleykeegle added 10:27 - Oct 30
Redmond has been a great player for us over the years. He has clearly lost his shooting boots, but this is temporary. Dropping him won't give him the confidence boost he needs. He needs to play through this barren patch and this seems to be Ralph's philosophy too. It is not as though he disappears from the pitch when he does play. He is grafting hard. When a goal or two goes in I am confident that a player of his quality will find his mojo.

Block8 added 10:50 - Oct 30
Have to agree with Kevley on this. I think Redmond is very much a confidence player and if he starts a game well, he shines. Equally if he has a few poor touches early the fear factor sets in and he holds back. There is and never has been any question marks over his work rate & he and Bertie work well together. I think it frustrates some fans & that I understand because there is so much more ability in Redders than sometimes is on show in my opinion. So I would start him as this is the side Grealish will be attacking from.

Sanguin added 11:06 - Oct 30
I don't think Redmond had a great game against Everton, but he still made some impressive runs. I still think he's one our best players and is incredibly hard working. I agree he's hard to drop, but also agree that some competition for his spot should do him good.

d_ember added 11:14 - Oct 30
Redmond is not that quick, and his end product is at best sketchy. However, I agree that the partnership with Bertrand is a key to a lot that we achieved against Everton. The biggest frustration for me is that he stalls the attacks when he gets the ball.

I think he will be pushed this season, Armstrong will move across and Walcott will come in. I disagree with some of the assertions you make and we have to remember just how bad we were when he won those awards.

He is at the limit if his ability if the ambitions of breaking into the top eight are to be realised.

SaintPaulVW added 13:52 - Oct 30
I was surprised at NR's MOTM award against Everton. I thought there were other candidates who had better games.

I agree with a lot of the above, he is a hard worker, links well with RB, but, the end product just isn't there at the moment. If he can improve on that, then I think his place is safe.

I_would added 14:10 - Oct 30
Easy decision, he's rubbish.

claus5 added 14:55 - Oct 30
i would must have made the mistake of thinking the discussion was about
JWP! Or is it another of our players he/she hates?


Scrappy2020 added 16:46 - Oct 30
I have said before Redmond is a confidence player,I'm sure Ralph knows this and will have spoken to him,just dropping him does not help so get off his back!.Yes he needs a goal but he improved as the game went on and I noticed he switched wings with Armstrong in the first half which shows he is trying to put things right,yes he should start and see how it goes,good luck to him!!

theralpholution added 16:58 - Oct 30
Redmond stood out in a poor side and now he must up his game to keep his place. Ralph's training methods and recruiting mean there is more competition in the side and the running which previously helped Redmond stand out is now matched by so many other players in the team.

Something that was noticeable in the Chelsea game was the contrast between Redmond and Walcott's games. Walcott was direct, running straight at the Chelsea defence and either shooting or crossing when in good positions. This is something Redmond doesn't do and although he gets into good positions, is wasteful or slows up attacks by over elaborating. Djenepo has a bit to learn and his all round game is not yet at Redmond's level but already he has more composure in front of goal and will continue develop.

The bottom line is that if Redmond wants to keep his place he needs to learn how to regularly produce goals and assists, something that he hasn't managed so far.

I_would added 17:16 - Oct 30
Is that Santa Claus or Del Boy Claus or LesLie Claus ? What a trolling (I'm going to comment on a comment) moron.
Yes unfortunately Redders is below standard as well as Prowsey but for different technical reasons which, of course, you wouldn't have a clue about even if I explained it one syllable at a time to your granite filled cranium.

ssxsaint added 17:30 - Oct 30
C'mon I_would give it to us. Let us all benefit from your genius.

AirFlorida added 17:54 - Oct 30
My frustration is in Redmon's finishing. When he get in a position to test the keeper he either scuffs it or his foot turns in to a Toblerone when he gets a shot off. I like what he brings to the team and he certainly gives defenders a hard time, I just wish he'd give keepers a hard time too.

I_would added 19:42 - Oct 30
No shortage of trolling morons on here, easy to spot as they always comment on a comment never having any opinions of their own. Nick thought he got rid of all the rubbish but they're still lurking and limit their input to spitting personal bile instead of commenting on football matters.

SanMarco added 22:29 - Oct 30
Redmond originally came into the side as we started our post-Koeman slide and a lot was expected of him. That comment about him being the new Henry was not particularly helpful either. I have never been totally convinced by him but hopefully competition from Walcott will make him more consistently raise his game. When he is good he really is good but it doesn't happen often enough for me.

saintmark1976 added 12:08 - Oct 31
Redmond has good close ball control and pace. Unfortunately he hasn’t got a footballing brain where picking a pass or shooting for goal is concerned. Should we still play him in the starting eleven? At the moment -yes. Going forward I’m not so sure.

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