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Saints Confirm That Alex McCarthy And Jack Stephens Will Stay
Friday, 10th Jun 2022 15:38

Southampton FC have confirmed that both Alex McCarthy and Jack Stephens were offered new terms and accepted during the 2021/22 season, why that was announced when they signed the deal God only knows.

Rumours persisted from October time that both Alex McCarthy and Jack Stephens had signed new deals although for some reason the club did not release this to the press, the only evidence being that McCarthy's agent appeared on a list of those that Saints had paid during 2021.

These deals were tied up before the new owners arrived and also before Ralph Hasenhuttl appeared to lose faith in both players.

Stephens started in the team early in the season before picking up a knee injury, he would make a total of 11 appearances in the team, 6 of those coming before Xmas and after that he would make just 5 more appearances to end with a grand total of just 810 minutes Premier League action.

The season before that he made just 18 appearances, meaning he only appeared in 29 games out of 76 he could have.

You feel that he like McCarthy is rather fortunate that he signed the contract earlier in the season before the new owners arrived.

Having said that although I do not feel that he is a Premier League quality defender, he does have a role to play as a squad player, his issue is really consistency and he can play small bursts of games well, but then his form tails off, he is an ideal man on the bench.

Alex McCarthy as well is a good man on the bench, but he has rarely been first choice for an entire season in his career, either at Saints or previous clubs.

The truth is though, that had they left on free transfers this summer it is highly unlikely either would have been picked up by another Premier league club and that for me is the benchmark.

However the situation is what it is, they can play a valuable role this season from the bench and do provide some experience.

Willy Cabbalero has been offered a new deal and Shane Long is in talks, what this shows is that the new regime are valuing having a squad with some experience in it.

But although I suspect the initial response from some supporters on this news will be one of horror and accusations of a lack of ambition will fly, the truth is we now need to wait and see who will leave and who will stay and more importantly who else will come in.

Last season is touted by some as a disaster, but like the previous season, it held plenty of promise until February time when it tailed off.

What it did show though is that we have the foundations of a decent team, we now need to build on them and that rebuilding is well under way.

Photo: Action Images

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highfield49 added 15:59 - Jun 10
It can't be April 1st surely?

IanRC added 16:01 - Jun 10
Just why ?

Hope this isn’t the limit of our ambition…….

Stevebish added 16:18 - Jun 10
See I always though Stephens would be better if he moved in to the defensive midfield position as his ability to drive forward with the ball is really good and in the position with central defenders behind him he is less likely to make mistakes that lead to goals

LoisDeem added 16:39 - Jun 10
We've just let go of the best contender we had for the position of goalie. This is in keeping with our usual position as a 'selling club'. So, is it an improvement that a fee wasn't involved, and we've kept the understudy and an emergency loanee? This is Saints.

codge added 17:47 - Jun 10
Say it ain’t so,having to watch Stephens for another season will be to much can only hope he stays on the bench.

SanMarco added 18:12 - Jun 10
When will there be good news? This sure ain't it...

Block8 added 18:29 - Jun 10
Not an accusation of lack of ambition but keeping players we have little use for is merely blocking the route for our youth. I personally have no problems signing experience but experience we intend to play, surely is the way forward. Passing on experience when not playing is a job for the coaching staff!

OoohTerryHurlock added 18:40 - Jun 10
Why in God’s name have we given new contracts to Alex McCarthy and Jack Stephens. They are Championship level at the very best. Our manager wants a severe talking to. If we are to move forward, we must get rid of players like this. I’m at a complete loss for words.

sandywelsh added 19:00 - Jun 10
Alex McCarthy and Jack Stephens should have been on top of the released list they are both Crap.

saintmark1976 added 19:11 - Jun 10
Pathetic lack of ambition on the part of the new owners added to which we have hired a replacement coach with no Premiership experience whatsoever. Not forgetting of course that there is a strong suggestion we now want to purchase a lightweight Liverpool reject who couldn’t cut it when he played for us before, whilst letting Stuart Armstrong go to Middlesbrough on loan.

Our current odds to be relegated are at 3/1.That looks like a bargain on the basis of our close seasons dealings so far.

landsdownsaint added 19:13 - Jun 10
Dear god .

wrathoftazz added 20:29 - Jun 10
Foundations of a good team? Umm where did we finish?

Naff manager signs naff players (or gives them new contracts). Not only are Ralph's tactical decisions beyond a joke, letting him loose with signing decisions is also wayyyy out there.

We BARELY survived relegation last season with this group of muppetts. But its ok, Ralph is god... yeah right! I've had better bowl movements than he is at managing.

redwight added 09:37 - Jun 11
The nightmare continues.

Boris1977 added 10:48 - Jun 11
I like jack Stephens he cares about wearing the shirt and I agree that he'd be much better deployed in midfield pushing forward. Okay he's not regular premiership quality but he is a decent squad player for a club like Saints.

Alex McCarthy on the other hand getting a new deal is not a great sign on several fronts - including the purchase of a genuine 1st choice goalkeeper.

After several years of financial austerity at the club looking to continue is our club in the sh#t financially? Are the owners hedging bets on going down without a massive wage burden against spending money and then going down with new players on expensive wages ? This is a serious question as in this new and likely to get more expensive to stay in the top flight a club like Saints probably can't afford that gamble. I've got no problem being a championship club particularly if the alternative is going out of business just trying to keep up with the Joneses but it would be good to know that the club is currently sustainable.


felly1 added 11:03 - Jun 11
I like Jack Stephens and Mccarthy. Good to have a couple of English players about a squad of many nationalities.
Obviously not great players and hopefully will be surrounded by some better players, they can do a job for us at times.


Ali_Diarea added 11:40 - Jun 11
Your definition of a squad player is very different to mine. If, as you you say, Stephens is not premier league standard (and I would agree with you) then how could he be a good squad player?

You want players on the bench who can come on and add something, change a game or see a game out. You don’t want championship players on the bench, hoping that you don’t need to bring them on and hoping a first team player doesn’t gets injured.

felly1 added 13:20 - Jun 11
The age old problem that forever exists of what fans want and what a club like Saints can afford.
I sometimes think our fans haven't read into what the new owners have made very clear their intentions of how the club will run.
It's fair enough if this makes you unhappy.
Doesn't change the reality though does it. I'm positive and optimistic by nature and I'm looking forward to next season and a fresh start.
I'm also realistic about where we may end up and results going against us.
Relax and enjoy the sunshine people, it's not important.

landsdownsaint added 15:52 - Jun 11
I’m notsure the PL works like that felly1, you can’t carry players like Jack Stephens at that level & he’s been at ours for years & has never improved, u could stick him next too Beckenbauer &!here’d be no improvement

felly1 added 18:33 - Jun 11
Hi Landsdownsaint,
Certainly would only see him as a squad player not a regular starter. If we were a bigger club with more spending power then he wouldn't be here for sure.
But he's played about 150 games spread out over the last 6 years under a number of different managers whilst we've remained the Premier league.
I would assume for all his failings the managers and the club in general see something in him that we possibly don't.
Probably the same applies to Mccarthy as well and again I hope we bring in an improvement on him.

highfield49 added 09:39 - Jun 12
Just about every supporter is probably trying to be optimistic and looking forward to a new season and fresh start felly1. My problem is that the fresh start has already been jaded by the prospect of McCarthy and Stephens playing any part in the team next season. We know exactly what their limits are and neither is going to improve technically or mentally, in short they are not good enough at top level. Maybe Caballero and Long have a role as experienced squad players who wont let us down if asked to leave the bench, sometimes youth and inexperience are too risky when substitutes are required.
At present I'm feeling let down and a bit cheated because I was hoping that £millions wouldn't be squandered on wages for players who will contribute little or nothing next season.

Peterx added 09:16 - Jun 13
I'm ok with Shane getting another year with the 5 subs rule change. Provided his pace and energy is still mostly there. There are some games we will need him to make an extreme nuisance of himself for the first 45 mins and then replace him at half time.

underweststand added 11:29 - Jun 13
Aha, so we have two players on contract for the next couple of years, who will not be first -choice in a Ralph start side - so what's new ?. We've battled with that problem ever since we signed the likes of Hoedt, Lemina, Boufal, etc we all know - the list is endless.

The best we can hope for is that we sign good new talents to balance the squad and can get good loan outs / transfers for those who are still " marketable " .
The very least we can expect is that we will need to have 4 goalkeepers on the "26 list " for Prem. games - but only play one of them regularly during the season.


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