25 Oct 2019 21:00:56
It's 8:45pm. And Saints are losing 0-5 at home. It doesn't matter how good the opposition is or that we're down to 10 men. If me and my mates were playing Leicester at home we'd probably be no worse than 7 down. It's desperate and it's depressing.

This isn't all Ralph's fault. He can only do so much to train defenders to defend. But nor can he stick with the same methods and expect rapid improvements with the same players.

1 point in 5 at home. Joint worst defence. Worst home run in 18 years.

Get Gunn out. Get Vestergaard out. Get Ward-Prowse out. Bertrand will be out - you know it's bad when an entire stadium sees their own player commit a foul and basically gasp instead of complain. Romeu looks slow. Yoshida looks slow. Valery looks lost. Ralph looks lost.

Play. Danso. Where. Danso. Wants. To. Play. Play McCarthy - he CANNOT be worse than Gunn has been in the last few games.

Play some kids - it's getting stale and it's getting worrying. Two games at the Etihad next week, we could concede 20 in 8 days. It's going to take a long time to recover.

Sacking Ralph isn't the solution - we aren't going to get anyone better. Hopefully this kicks him into gear and he doesn't abandon ship.

But we are also due a relegation - not many teams skirt with danger for so long and escape back into long term security.

Oh how I fear for the 10 boys sat listening to Ralph right now. I will take 7. I will currently accept a 7-0 home defeat because it is that bad. But I can't watch anymore. It's too painful. But boy do I respect the fans braving the gales to suffer through this.

{Ed001's Note - what happened to the high press, high intensity football Ralph was supposed to play? Your team just rolled over from the start and had almost no intensity apart from the front two. Ings was just about the only player bothering to press.}

1.) 25 Oct 2019
25 Oct 2019 21:29:26
We’re too weak. As soon as we go down a goal or a man (or both at the same time) we treat the game as gone and just don’t have any belief. It’s 0-7 as I type and think this could be 9. Of course the players care, but they just don’t seem to have any self conflicts or belief. It’s sad.

Ralph looks to be headed the way of Jose, just depressing himself into oblivion - he isn’t not trying but he just doesn’t seem to really believe. I’m not even that angry watching this I am just so so sad that the side moulder by Nigel - full of passion and pride for the shirt is dead.

Think this is our year to go. The weak-willed need to be culled and we need the passion back - I believe Ralph can help be a part of that but he needs to get out of this funk he seems to be in and get back to the Arsenal 3-2 maniac. Just now, like the players on the pitch, he seems to have given up.

{Ed001's Note - it does have the look of a team that has given up it must be said.}

2.) 25 Oct 2019
25 Oct 2019 21:56:01
That’s it. That’s a Premier League record defeat. We’ve conceded 9 - NINE - goals in a game of football. I don’t care we went down to 10. Teams have won games with 9 men. That is a disgrace. This is disgusting.

Heads are going to roll. I know I can’t swear here but ******* **** **** ****** ********* that was horrid.

Southampton 0-9 Leicester City.

That has just happened to my club. Two hours ago I turned on with some belief we might get something from this game.

God knows what Ralph is going to say in a few minutes.

3.) 26 Oct 2019
26 Oct 2019 00:10:53
He looked confused as our defence does every week
No quick fix from this type of result
Players who haven’t played well over the last few weeks need to be dropped
That’s it
problem is do we have enough players in the squad to do that type of move otherwise it could get a whole lot worse.

4.) 26 Oct 2019
26 Oct 2019 10:06:05
Before writing I thought i would check the PL official stats for the game.
possession 27.5% 72.5%
touches 479 911
passes 270 696

In answer to where has Ralph's high pressing game gone? And indeed the one player running his socks off and pressing every player, Ings! (and while i'm at it, the in form scorer) gets taken off!
We have the most static, slow midfield possible. Ward-Prowse has gone from play maker to running around like a headless chicken TRYING to tackle. Romeu too slow, Hoejberg trying hard but trying to cover the whole midfield to make up for the deficiencies around him - always asking for the ball, but often out of position.

But let's look at TACKLES, 20 in the whole game! sooner or later our static midfield and slow defence was going to get caught out by some sharp, fast play and players. If your midfield is not quick then they need to be great tacklers otherwise the opponents will run through you - as did Leicester.

It was obvious from the first few minutes that we were not good enough in midfield, Leicester were running through us, round us, over us. Ralph needed to make a change very quickly; the only change that would have helped was Armstrong, quick, sharp, fast - but nope he stuck with JWP again. I was going to check JWP's stats but there was no need to - if the whole team only made 20 tackles in 90 minutes, then that tells as story, particularly as Leicester had possession over 72%! well we clearly didn't press and we clearly didn't try and get the ball bacl - otherwise known as tackling!

WE got what we deserved, Ralph has stuck with this midfield for a while and i have ctiticised it on here for a few weeks.

But to compound it all last night, rather than play a pressing game, they decided to play a stand and watch game? players not tracking players, static defense. Valery not defending and when he did have the ball make awful passes?

And finally the substitutions and the subsequent change of team formation, well more players' positions. What was it? Valery to left midfield, stephens to right back, WArd Prowse to right back at one point before being moved to centre midfield . Danso left back (blimey played in the correct position - hand on a minute he's a left centre back) .

I give up . coffee time .

But i'll mention it again, ONE TACKLE EVERY 4+ MINUTES . DISGRACE - and that's down to several things, lack of passion, lack of speed, lack of ability.

{Ed001's Note - that was the big disappointment for me. That lack of passion. You can take it when your team is not as good as the opposition, it happens and we can all accept that. However, when they don't try and make up for that through working harder and showing desire, well that is unacceptable. The least that a player should ever do on that pitch is give 100%, I don't know if half of your players even got over 50% effort last night. If it hadn't been raining, most of those shirts would have been bone dry, because very few worked up a sweat!}

5.) 26 Oct 2019
26 Oct 2019 12:09:46
Wouldn’t blame Ralph for saying you lot are going out at the Etihad on Wednesday and you are playing for your fans - bar Bertrand of course. Even if it’s 5-0 but we TRY then that is something. It’s not as if they’re tired from last night’s evening stroll.

Then next weekend, or at least going forward, this HAS to be the side;

McCarthy; Cedric, Bednarek, DANSO AT LCB, Bertrand; Boufal Hojbjerg Armstrong Djenepo; Redmond Ings.

Bring through Slattery, Ramsay, Klarer, N’Lundulu, Hamblin, Ferry, Tella. Che and Obafemi need confidence and a lucky break. Romeu, Yoshida, Vestergaard, JWP need time away.

If we can’t defend, playing an extra one is just a wasted body - play a back four, get more people in the natural positions and give Danny some support. Let Ralph play his preferred formation - we have the players for it. Look at that 11. That is a very capable, potentially top 10 XI. And stop getting sent off.

6.) 26 Oct 2019
26 Oct 2019 13:08:44
We all know that we don't have a 25 goals a season striker, we all know that we don't have the most skillful midfielders and we all know that we don't have the most capable keeper and defence but I thought that we had a squad of players that would work for each other and graft and give 100% effort for the club. After watching a rerun of last nights debacle it's painfully obvious that is not the case. I've never seen a team roll over and accept an absolute pounding like my team did last night. Every player apart from Ings should donate this months salary to charity because none of them can say that they've earned it. I've been a Saints supporter for 57 years through ups and downs but last night was the first time that I've actually been embarrassed to admit to being a Southampton FC supporter.

7.) 26 Oct 2019
26 Oct 2019 16:16:58
ED001, I watched this month from the comfort of my living room and within the first 5 minutes I was cursing at the screen re the lack of High Pressing and Leicester were already running the defence ragged.
But IMHO the game was lost before the kick off. I have a question; who won the toss? If it was Leicester and they elected to play with the wind, great decision. If Saints won and elected to play against the wind it was a terrible. There is nothing worse for a goalkeeper or defender to be playing with wind and rain driving into their faces and it told. ….

{Ed001's Note - that is a good point, I never saw who won it to be honest. I can't remember who kicked off, because they would have lost the toss (unless that rule has been changed and I haven't noticed).}

8.) 26 Oct 2019
26 Oct 2019 16:27:55
Its hard to assess what happened last night. Impossible to review objectively because it raises such passion. My knee-jerk reaction is to agree that the players aren’t good enough. We have a good coach so the problem must lie with them as the only constant in this long run of poor performance.

If its not about ability, then perhaps there’s a psychological issue with the team. Sure, Hojberg is hyper-competitive but most of the players seem to want to win, as any professional does, but lack the character to really go out and take it. JWP got on my nerves last season as he got into players faces, winding them up and cheering cards and sendings off, but I’d rather see that than the meek status quo on display against Leicester.

Bertrand, a senior member of the team, made another foolish error that cost the team dearly. Valery underlined why RH has been reluctant to play him this season. Don’t forget, a few weeks back, he was being questioned by some of you about this, but since Vlaery’s return to the first team, all he has done is confirm RH’s concerns. Leicester attacked mainly down the left and he was powerless to stop them. He moves to right back and looked positive going forward but again, naive defensively and switched off for Perez’s goal at the far post.

JWP is poor option at right back. He hasn’t the pace or ability to be a wide attacking threat, nor has he the defensive capability to be a strong enough obstacle to opponents. He is a youthful relic of football from a bygone era. Romeu has been slow in mind and body for some time now. Ings and Redmond don’t seem to play well together. They aren’t reading each other well and often chase the same ball rather than making runs off each other. There’s little cohesion amongst our centrebacks for the most part and Gunn in goal is not commanding in any way.

That is a whole heap of problems. I feel for RH because you spend the week planning for resilience, pick what you think is your best 11 and then, across the board, everyone falls way short of where they need to be. You know they’re better than that because you’ve seen it on match day. You look at the bench and you have just three substitutions. All you can do is use them and move personnel around the pitch and hope to paper the cracks as best you can. He tried several formations and positions, but with little benefit. RH does look low, but who wouldn’t after last night!?

More concerning is the general performance level of the team so far this season. There’s been too little of the pressing, aggressive team that RH wants. A team that’s hard to beat and in your face. Leicester were the embodiment of cohesion, attacking with pace and fluidity; we were the antithesis. Jamie Vardy was kept quiet for long spells. Chilwell, Perez, Tielemans all scored, highlighting runs from deep and out wide that were not tracked and our central defenders were swamped.

The players seem to have reset to their default malaise. The club must back RH in his attempts to alter this in any way he can. As fans, we would do well to follow the example of the many who continued to sing and support for the 90 mins. Another long season lies ahead.

9.) 27 Oct 2019
26 Oct 2019 23:20:48
I don’t know why I keep watching the highlights. I guess I still can’t believe we lost 9 (NINE) - 0. Not a word from anyone today. I feel for the Twitter team having to report on it. I’d have wanted to sit the lot of them down and watch full highlights first thing this morning. Have a clear the air session. Show them videos of the fans - of that young boy who got his Christmas present of an absolute thrashing.

Even though it’s only a game this will haunt people - it’ll haunt me for months if not years regardless of what happens in the meantime. They need to just CARE. Strip back this fancy light show, Instagram videos of the cool kids, clappers. We don’t need that. That’s isn’t the Southampton way.

We need to stop being a marketing opportunity. And bring back our BLOODY STRIPES. It can’t be a coincidence our kits have been as bad as our performances in the last few years. Four red stripes. Three white. Some red and white trim, a tiny bit of black is allowed, no stupid logos. It doesn’t really feel like we’re a proper football club anymore, the 90 minutes on the pitch each week seems to be a side show to what the owners want to use the club for.

It’s just sad. 9-0. It really really happened.

10.) 27 Oct 2019
27 Oct 2019 01:49:58
SaintGGsy : in answer to your suggested team selection . absolutely 100% spot on! Not only is there a good defense in there, there is a fluid, fast, exciting, fast midfield, and of course Ings and Redmond - although REdmond has to accept that Ings is a much better goalscorer and pass to him!

I don't think players have become bad players, i think the game is moving on at a rapid pace (maybe the Eds could pass professional judgement on this) Once it was only Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool that played fast, exciting, technical football; the rest really were the rest, we played these sort of teams hoping for at best a draw. There was a whole load of Premier teams that played very uninspiring football, long ball football, 11 men behind the ball football .

And now . every team in the PL is trying to play football, exciting football, technically good, tactically good. Gone have the days of going to Man U for a draw, playing for that one chance of a breakaway goal.

Saints have in glimpses have played some good football. but all it needed was Mr Rogers saying to his players . 'look their midfield don't press, they don't tackle, they don't make telling passes. let's go get 'em' . and he is absolutely dead right!
They had absolutely no fear of us at all! I never played pro football but i played at many levels and in many leagues - always being reminded of who to look out for, who not to leave unmarked, who not to give too much space to.

Think of one Saints player that Brendon Rogers warned his players about yes Ingsy . but as he probably said, don;t worry lads he won't get the ball!

Put yourself in a manager's shoes and ask yourself, what would be your team talk against SAints . and there lies the problem!
If you don't fear your opponent, you can concentrate on your game plan without hindrance. Leicester were superb, they played like we were not on the pitch, trouble is we weren't!

Just to reiterate, turn the tablesm think as if you were an opponent . what would you fear, who would you be cautious of, who would you close down, who would you give no room .

it's sad isn't it? because when i asked those questions of Saints, i realised how little any one fears us .

BOUFAL and DJENEPO . now they should be feared (and Ingsy)

11.) 27 Oct 2019
27 Oct 2019 21:29:25
Although the players were extremely poor I still do think Ralph has a lot to answer, how many teams go a goal and a defender down, and then 3 goals down and do not bring on another defender? Not to make a change until we are 5-0 down is shocking. I think he thinks he is some sort of tactical mastermind and is waiting for these silly changune formation several times and players playing out of position to work so he gets all the plaudits in the press, end of the day it's not working and we just need some points on the board now and I think he and the team need to up their games.

12.) 27 Oct 2019
27 Oct 2019 22:08:30
I am sure (i hope) Ralph is still getting used to the quality in the PL. His subsitutions, changing/ swapping players positions, is something i am not sure i have ever seen. He seems to think it is ok to, for example; substitute player A for player B, putting B where A was. Simultaneously moving C to D and D to C, E to Z and Z to G and G to F and F to H . in other words move the players around like some game!
JWP for example, played in three different position in 15 minutes .

Anyway, let's see what happens. If he continues to play Gunn, JWP, Romeu, Vestergard, there is no hope sadly as Ralph clearly can not see what is very clearly evident! Make Ingsy captain - that man will run for ever! what a leader he would make.

13.) 28 Oct 2019
27 Oct 2019 22:42:42
With regards to not bringing on that extra defender, we still had the personnel to play a 4-4-1 and just sit in - playing 5 at the back may have - in his mind - left us even more vulnerable in midfield (not that that would have made a difference in the end anyway) . Unfortunately he forgot that even playing 10 at the back we’d still concede.

He, like the club, just need to go back to basics. It’s like trying to untie a knot. You bash it about, try and loop this through that thinking it’ll work, stick you teeth into it and eventually lose sight of the fact that you only needed to pull two pieces a certain way to unravel it in the first place.

4-4-2. Play a player where they are meant to play. Defenders defend, full backs push a bit further forward, centre mids break up attacks and defend the CBs, goalie dive in the way of the ball if it’s going towards the goal, wingers be tricky and look to beat your man and cut inside or get to the byline, forwards link up, hold up the ball, create space. That’s all we need to think about right now.

Next 4 games just get confidence, belief and cameraderie back, because after that we have Watford, Norwich, Villa, Newcastle and West Ham - and really we need 10+ points from them or we’ll be adrift at Christmas.

14.) 28 Oct 2019
28 Oct 2019 17:16:22
I think we're starting to see shades of past managers in RH. Whereby he seems like he chops and changes the squad in order to try and botch a result. We drew 1-1 with Wolves and he kept the same squad. I feel like he might be a bit lost without Danny Rohl. He is to blame and so are the players.

I think Ralph needs to stick with what he feels is his preferred method of football. 4-2-2-2. His squad on Friday is far to negative, we will never get where we want by playing 5 defenders and 2 defensive midfielders. Redmond and Ings are not good enough to carry our team and score all our goals.

At the end of the day football is a team sport, we can harp on about how bad indivdual players are but if they come together as a unit, defend as a group, press as a group, play as a group we will beat teams. Chopping and changing the squad hoping to get a result won't work, Ralph needs to pick the best players for his preferred 4-2-2-2 and stick with that team.

I'm hoping that the result is exactly what we need to change things and come together as a tight squad.

15.) 30 Oct 2019
30 Oct 2019 12:10:30
I think that RH has realised that the players he has are not good enough to play his preferred 4 2 2 2 pressing game. The players that he has to pick from are too slow and not skillful enough so he's just trying anything to see if they stumble on a workable system. Really fear for our premiership survival without massive investment.