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Josh Sims Speaks Of The Need For Regular Football
Friday, 20th Nov 2020 10:40

This won't please many of Saints fanbase, but Josh Sims has given the first indication directly from his own mouth that his future lies away from St Mary's.

Josh Sims has been an enigma at St Mary's he initially burst on the scene with a scintillating home debut against Everton exactly four year to the day in a weeks time aged only 19, he played a part in that season and his run and subsequent pass in the dying minutes of the EFL Cup semi final 2nd leg at Anfield suggested there was a lot of good things to come from him.

But a serious knee injury at the tail end of that season kept him out until January 2018 and by then Saints were dropping down the table like a stone and he found it hard to break into the side in the second half of the season, he only got one start plus 6 appearances of the bench.

Mark Hughes didn't seem to rate him and he was sent out on loan to Reading for the season, a loan that was terminated in the January with the winger not being able to break into the Championship sides team either.

Although he had a small burst at the tail end of that season under Ralph Hasenhuttl, a run of games that suggested that he might have a future at the club, it seems that Ralph didn't see it that way and the club were unsure of what to do with him, two ill advised loan spells at New York Red Bulls meant that last season was a wash out and he has now not played for Saints since May 2019.

This season he was sent out to Doncaster Rovers on loan, some would say a surprising move in that the Yorkshire club are a League One side and you would have thought that Championship clubs would have been interested.

Sims like ex team mate Harrison Reed seems to have a reputation amongst Saints fans that is higher than the one he has with other football clubs, Reed spent time on loan with three separate Championship clubs, but Sims does not seem to have succeeded at that level, that in itself is surprising given some of his displays for Saints, is it a question of motivation or application on his part, or is he genuinely not good enough even at Championship Level.

Sims himself has had this to say at to the Doncaster Free Press:

“I’m at the stage of my career where I need to be playing regular football.

“I had a taste of that when I first broke through at Southampton but various circumstances and injuries, I’ve not been able to carry on there.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time there, I broke through and did well but now I need to get regular football.”

Sims added: “I broke through and was really enjoying myself playing in the Premier League. The injury happened at a horrible time for me but that’s just football and life.

“You’ve got to just find a way to get through those tough times.

“Luckily for me the injury didn’t happen again like you see happening to a lot of players with knee injuries. I had good people around me.

“Now I just need to push on and build from those years and play regular football.”

To be honest Sims is spot on with what he is saying, he will be 24 by the end of this season, he has started only 3 other games for Saints since his debut plus another 16 as sub.

His use of words indicate that he accepts his future is not at St Mary's going forward, that a fine run of games will not propel him back into first team contention and a new contract.

He needs to be playing now and like Harrison Reed find a club where he can feel wanted and benefit from that, over the years Sims has played a grand total of 573 minutes of Premier League football for Saints, that is barely six full games, he has not scored and has just 2 assists to his name.

In his short career at Doncaster so far he has played 399 minutes, there is a chance that by Tuesday of next week he could have exceeded that total in just 8 League games for the Yorkshire club, that stat tells you how little Sims has played at Saints in the last four years, that he has now scored his first ever League goal plus 4 assists, emphasises that he needs regular football now.

Perhaps he will eventually become a regular Premier League player, but like Harrison Reed he needs games under his belt and he needs to be able to show the rest of football what he can do, he hasn't been able to do that at Saints.

He has had some great moments, his explosive debut, that run & pass at Liverpool and a great display against Wolves, but they are in the past and those in charge at Saints don't seem to feel that he can do those things on a regular basis.

Good luck to Josh Sims I truly hope we see him in the Premier League at St Mary's again, it just won't be in a Saints shirt and I think he now knows and accepts that

Photo: Action Images

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davepid added 12:25 - Nov 20
Sadly another example of how hard it is going from successful Academy product to establish Prem player. In strict business model terms it’s a design fault in the Southampton Way that after so much is invested in a product you can’t quite get it successfully launched. Sending people out on Championship loan ( Gallagher , Sims and perhaps Reed ) isn’t a sure fire answer. Languishing around st Mary’s ( Mc Queen, Valery and Sims again ) isn’t either. Is it time we invested in a feeder club at Div 1 level or abroad where we can have hands on management to bring players on , or is that against the rules these days?

As for Sims , his role in that night at Anfield is one of my top three highlights from time watching Saints live.

SaintNick added 13:00 - Nov 20
No club can hope to get every member of it's academy set up to become a first team regular, throughout the last 45 years or so for every Steve Williams, Steve Moran, Le Tiss etc there have been a dozen others who have either left without playing a first team game, those who played a handful and some who played a little more but never became great players.

If we got 1 genuine first team regular out of the academy every 3 years it would be good going, the trick is to achieve this and get some profit on those who dont quite make the very top

Bettwsresident added 13:34 - Nov 20
Top 3. It is my number 1.......I tingle at the thought of it. The game against Newcastle in 93 when Le Tiss scored those 2 wonder goals was good, but that goal in that game in the 91st minute, with that tension....

davepid added 17:24 - Nov 20
Bettsresident. Since 1997/8 I watch about 10 games a year . My top three live moments ( not necessarily in order) would be Davies goal keeping display at Leeds 2012, us defeating Sunderland 8 0 in 2014 and the victory at Anfield in the league cup semi. They each evoke a different lasting emotion and yes I still feel the tingle I felt at Anfield that night. COYRs.

underweststand added 18:59 - Nov 20
Its an achievement to get through our Academy and get game time with the First team, but its very difficult to establish yourself longer term. Sometimes the player may never go further because; they aren't better than the regular, or however talented they will never get past incumbent who maybe a class act anyway.

Others tried but never made it; Harrison Reed, Matt Targett, Sam Gallagher plus a dozen others from the U23's who got no further. Those who did fill the space did well, Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Luke Shaw were already in place, but the rest are just memories (as Nick noted above). Of course, sometimes we lose some by misfortune; Danny Ings (first time around) and Tyrone Mings (who went on to greater things) - only because Nicola Cortese's cost-cutting measures started with scrapping the Youth teams when he took over the finanaces.

I'm afraid that Josh Sims will become another " victim " of the system. A player who I liked from Day 1 but "circumstances" went against him, and although Ralph may have been impressed by his recent showing at Doncaster, the real question remains ..... who would you axe from the present team in order to bring him in ?

The likes of Jack Stephens and James Ward-Prowse outlasted the system and were in place when it mattered but although many are called, very few are chosen.

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