28 Oct 2023 21:33:58
So, it is 3 weeks since I last posted (on Southampton Rumours rather than Banter).

The message from RM and the local media seems to have been `be patient` and `we are improving`.

Well I have been patient and we are improving. I am a long way from my first desperate post.

BUT we have been lucky. Leads lost at Hull and Preston. Last gasp goals meant 4 points instead of 1 point. Well done the players.

Today our first goal was probably offside and Baz was fortunate not to give away a penalty. They say the harder you work the luckier you get so well done (?) RM.

We again started well and like Leeds/Rotherham should have been out of sight by half time but 46 mins to 70 mins seems to be our downfall. Again we seem to have lost the initiative and wobbled and after Birmingham scored we looked a mess. We seem to have no answer to the fast counter attack. Our luck continued. The one great criticism of the vintage Barcelona/Spain sides was for all the intricate passing on the edge of the opponents box not many goals came as a result. Saints are the same - for all our possession we create no more goal chances than our opponents. Thankfully it does seem we finish games strongly but the relief when AA scored was there for all to see.

Whilst we remain as far behind second place as we did 3 weeks ago, at least there is more distance from the relegation zone. It does give cause for some optimism.

Keep a settled team (without Manning), make room for Stewart and find 2nd half intensity as our good fortune can`t be relied on and we could be smiling albeit not so much as during our last brief stay in the Championship. COYR.

1.) 29 Oct 2023
29 Oct 2023 00:16:11
Good post …
What I’m really struggling with, while trying to see the positives, is that each of our last results could have been the reverse score. if our opponents were sharper in front of goal .
Last two games .
Saints possession 72% 13 shots versus 11 shots
71% 11 shots versus 10 shots

How in so little possession is our opponents near on matching our number of shots.
because an extraordinary amount of the opponents possession is in our half.
We are so readable, so predictable, as others have said, we are being laughed at .
the Preston game they were literally waiting for a wayward pass, a delay in passing . they knew exactly where and how we were going to pass.
but still Martin continues with his rhetoric .
I have names it possession obsession…
He doesn’t care how many we concede or how few we score, he goes on about how possession we have.
Whilst I am really pleased at our league position, I’m actually of the opinion it’s because the quality is poor.
Martin is so obsessed with his way being the right way, that he can’t help forcing it on the team.
Our league position is hugely inflating his already huge ego.
If we were playing any EPL team, we would get destroyed.
If I was managing a club that was allowing so many shots against with very little possession. I would be studying the videos, discussing with coaches . it would be a long conversation .
Our game plan is giving opponents too much opportunities.
This rise up the league while not playing great football, has to end somewhen.
I have never known a me me me manager before, so deluded that he thinks our current position is all his doing.

2.) 29 Oct 2023
29 Oct 2023 12:10:10
I agree - normally I find myself bemoaning our bad luck but yesterday we definitely caught the breaks - Baz’s rush of blood to the head was a nailed on pen and our first goal was a smidge and a half offside.

They say luck balances out so rather than overthink it, just roll with it knowing that it won’t be long before we get a perfectly good goal disallowed etc.

A few post match thoughts:

I thought Downes had a better game yesterday.

Bree played like Bree.

Sulemana is different class.

Collectively not as strong as the League 1 squad from a few years back.

Well on course for a record low number of clean sheets ever!

Not too long now to the January window!

3.) 30 Oct 2023
30 Oct 2023 11:22:22
Millertime .
Downes definitely better when allowed some freedom to move the ball around, even pass forward!
Our goals were well worked goals, with getting into the box much quicker, even getting down to the byline and passing back!
I wonder how many of the previous games we could have killed off, had we been quicker with the balls into the box, instead of the incessant messing around .

I do worry that our current run and league position is simply feeding Martin’s ego and his belief that his way is right…
Possession football at all costs is not going to keep working.
the suicidal playing around with it at the back, is going to shoot us in the foot!

It’s good to see a happy crowd, it’s good be winning again.
but let’s see how good we really are,
Let’s move it quicker, into the box quicker and get it the average and below average teams to bed .

4.) 31 Oct 2023
31 Oct 2023 05:39:45
Following a smart recent addition-maybe just maybe a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel with the introduction of Coach Colin Calderwood perhaps he can persuade/influence Russell Martin’s hard wired decisions to become tempered into a more attacking system and with the potential return of Ross Stewart and Juan Larios plus 2/3 astute signings in January a serious push for promotion suddenly becomes a reality! .Keep On Marching!