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Southampton At Leicester City The Preview
Sunday, 22nd May 2022 08:23

Saints travel to Leicester with absolutely nothing on the game, will this be the final appearance for the club for several players ? whatever the line up this is the end of one era and we then start another !

The Premier League will have a tense gripping finale at the top and at the bottom, but between Wolves in 8th and Everton in 16th all that is up for grabs is a bit of prize money for each place they move up or down.

Saints cant move up a position, but they can drop down a place if Everton win at Arsenal and we fail to win at Leicester, or if we lose and they get a draw.

But as i say, it doesn't mean a thing, we have to look to the future and not the past and address the issue going forward, moaning about our last 11 games when we picked up just 5 points is understandable, but we have to put the frustrations behind us and concentrate on next season.

The first 26 games of the season showed we don't have a bad team, the last 11 the game at Leicester showed that we have issues.

But they are not issues that cannot be addressed in the summer and some are ones that hopefully our new owners will address, the foundations are in place, we need to build on them.

So I am not bothered about the trip to Leicester, i am merely interested in the individual performances of certain players.

Clearly we have been let down by poor performances from players who were doing much better earlier in the season, why did players like Mohammed Salisu, Jan Bednarek, Armando Broja and Stuart Armstrong suddenly go from key players to shadows of their former selves.

So the question is who out there will we be waving goodbye to, certainly Fraser Forster is seemingly the first out of the door and more will follow.

There should be no booing of the team or manager, I fully understand why people would do so, but in the situation we are in it achieves absolutely nothing, we have to look to the future and that starts at the final whistle today.

Leicester themselves have little to play for, they cant move up a place, and although Brentford and Newcastle could draw level with them, goal difference is not going to give them a realistic chance of jumping above the Foxes.

Brighton are the only team who could jump above them, they are one point behind, but they would need to win to do so and be reliant on our result.

This season promised so much just three months ago, but the disappointment is about what we should have achieved rather than what we have.

Three years ago when Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived we were a club in turmoil, whatever you think of the Austrian he has kept our heads above water and ensured that we have remained in the Premier League and that has been the aim, now we can perhaps hope that we can take a step further, but with the way the League is now, how high that step can be has to be looked at with realism.

Look at the teams around us, perhaps only Brighton & Leeds can truly claim they have over achieved , Palace are about par, the likes of Villa, Everton, Leeds etc are all in a worse position.

5 years ago we finished 8th and reached the league cup final, that wasn't good enough for some, fan pressure forced out Claude Puel, look what happened next, be careful what you wish for !

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JoeEgg added 09:14 - May 22
" why did players like Mohammed Salisu, Jan Bednarek, Armando Broja and Stuart Armstrong suddenly go from key players to shadows of their former selves."

I've been telling you why all season. Because we have a manager who fails to understand the Premier League and a coaching staff which offers little or no support.

The new owners need to sort these problems out quickly before we lose ALL our best players!
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highfield49 added 10:00 - May 22
You seem optimistic that a few signings and a few leaving the club will turn things around Nick but I'm not convinced. In my view there is too much mediocrity in the coaching and player development areas that has to be critically reviewed and acted upon.
You rightly post that some players have lost form or not progressed over the season and that is a concern but not quite the root of the problem. The bigger concern for me is that the likes of Tella, Diallo, Adam Armstrong, Small, Djenepo, Smallbone and Valery who should have been able to step up to the plate when others lost form have shown little influence themselves when the opportunity has arisen. They're not bad players but equally they don't produce enough in a very competitive league.
When the first team is reliant on Elyounoussi, Redmond, Long, Adams and others to produce when Stuart Armstrong, Broja, are struggling and Stephens expected to be better than Bednarek or Salisu the lack of top quality becomes more and more obvious.
So, to get to the point, the final game at Leicester isn't the springboard for next season in my view but more the point where the club has to make big decisions about why so many players have achieved so little over a whole season of development.
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darthvader added 10:06 - May 22
Get it over with . Then appoint a quality number two to Ralph who can tell him to change things during a match when it needs it or before it needs it . If no number two can be found then pick a random saints fan as we can all see it happening during the game and i for one would do it for a choc ice .
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SaintPaulVW added 10:20 - May 22
Despite Ralph huffing and puffing I'm expecting the usual on the beach level of performance today. Rather that than the torment that Leeds and Burnley fans are going to go through.

Not too sure what incredible transformation in playing staff and coaching staff is expected over the summer. Sports Republic aren't going to put any real money in themselves. So it will be a gradual transformation financed by player sales/ freed wages.

I think some players are looking to be on their way, Bednarek, Djenepo Redmond, Walcott, Long and obviously Forster are almost certainties for me, Romeu highly likely. However I suspect unless there are cheap alternatives then most of those semi regulars will be filled by existing squad players. Tella, Smallbone, Diallo, Adam Armstrong are now in the frame, good or bad.

In my view we need 4 players 1st choice keeper, Solid DM captain material, Midfielder/Winger who can make intelligent long passes, 25+ goal a season striker. Those additions would bring the best out of the other players. Budget for that 80-100 million - so unless JWP or Salisu, is cashed in, I really can't see it happening in one hit.

Just got to wait and see but I can't see the manager and half the squad being sacked.

COYR
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LordDZLucan added 10:33 - May 22
Ffs prize money in the Premier League is £2.2m per place. Since when were we a club that could turn down that sort of money? So there's plenty riding on today's game - £2.2m in fact. And there was plenty more riding on the games over the last 2 months that we haven't shown up in. To throw away the prospect of earning another £10-15m is nothing short of scandalous for a club with our finances and someone should pay the price.
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geezershoong1 added 10:42 - May 22
I suspect there maybe a growing minority who want to see us bashed today to convince the board that changes all around need to be made.
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wessexman added 11:22 - May 22
Claude Puel was brought in to oversee managed decline. The real boss was Les Reed who had convinced himself he had re-invented the wheel. Redmond had arrived before Puel was appointed. Yes we finished 8th...but Watford were 17th on only 6 fewer points. We were spoilt by the Koeman years and a large amount of the fan base then harboured unrealistic expectations. I can name you at least 3 occasions over 4 decades where we finished in a very promising position and failed to kick on. I agree whole heartedly Ralph has kept us up.....against the odds at times. But, there is a fundamental problem at the club regarding the mentality of board/manager/players. These bizarre/dangerous dismal runs we go on after a promising spell which sees us virtually safe is nothing short of scandalous. It seems nothing can be done to stop these kamikaze runs? Who takes responsibility for them? Unlike many fans, I am not convinced there is an awful lot more money to spend than under the previous regime. Therefore, the board (who also carry much of the blame) must now think very carefully about the way ahead. Is Ralph the man? If not, have they identified a suitable candidate? Is the whole sale clear out going to happen? Are we going to appoint decent coaches? The Walcott signing has been a typical example of muddled thinking by the club. Are we now going to persue the Ox from Liverpool? Rumour has it McCarthy has signed a new contract while Fraser is discarded..... We have spent nearly two years intergrating Salisu into the "Southampton Way". Hmmm..... Let us hope we ARE going to see a root and branch overhaul and rethink of policy. Get rid of vacuous slogans such as " we march on" and get real and more transparent. If we don't, that trapdoor will open.
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saintmark1976 added 13:10 - May 22
One of your most ridiculous posts ever Nick and frankly there have been a lot to choose from lately, your review of the Liverpool game being another absolute corker.

In particular perhaps you can enlighten us all how you appear indifferent to a possible additional £2.2 million place money when not long ago you were pleading with us all to buy club merchandise to bolster the club’s balance sheet? Have you caught the malaise that appears to have infiltrated the club at every level and Ralph in particular?
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