28 Aug 2021 09:44:19
Match day musings. if the PL is divided into 3 leagues - top 6, mid 8, bottom 6 would good progress over 3 years be winning the mini league at the bottom this year, securing mid table position next season and then knocking on the door of a European spot the season after?
Given our current squad which is characterised by young and emerging talent, there is clearly potential and the next 18 months are likely to be a mixed bag; mostly cloudy with some bright spots. After that, we can expect prolonged periods of sunshine with just intermittent drizzle. Maybe not the best analogy, but that aside, would fans settle for this - a 3 year plan with success this season measured by survival and team/ squad development?
Personally, I'm never normally that patient but I do accept the views of others on this forum that as a club, there is a plan they are working to. I just hope that the man in charge proves me (and other posters) that he has the ability to see it through.
Enough of all that now - what about today? Would you take a draw now or should we aim our sights higher?
2-0 Saints - come on!

1.) 28 Aug 2021
28 Aug 2021 11:45:19
I’ll start with more Ralph stats :
No clean sheet in their past 23 PL matches
Lost 11 out of 12 of their last PL away games
Lost 62 points from winning positions in the PL since Ralph took over
The man to take us forward with his ‘book’?

I’m hoping we don’t start with the same 11 from Everton and Man U.

Replace Walcott and Djenepo with Any combination of Mo, KWP or Tella

That will give us two great wings, more importantly we have removed the two players who consistently break up our own attacks by both holding on to the ball too long and giving it away. Redmond add to that list.

We need to get the ball to the front men, we also need goals from the midfield, as per the cup game.

But most importantly, if we do go behind, or the opponents change formation/ tactics, let’s hope Ralph has added the long lost missing chapter - ‘Change Tactics’.

2.) 28 Aug 2021
28 Aug 2021 12:06:35
You won’t find me arguing with you on the stats. I’ve long said, great bloke, but tactically clueless and far too stubborn. I would have had Eddie from down the road in long ago.
Walcott and Redmond are hopefully squad players called upon for cup games and cover. I’m not ready to write Djenepo off just yet in spite of lack of final ball - I think he will improve, but only time will tell.
It feels a bigger game today than it should - a defeat will
mean a dismal one point from opening 3 games whereas a win would represent a decent return. For me, the acid tests is West Ham at home in a couple of weeks time. They’re a team who seem to have kicked on - we should consider ourselves on a par with them in terms of what we can achieve.

3.) 28 Aug 2021
28 Aug 2021 13:16:01
The only difference is they have a tactically astute manager and we don’t!
But I’m hoping for a win today. We have the team to win this match, Newcastle bad start, so let’s go for it.
Redmond is better than Djenepo but still runs into blind alleys, still holds the ball too long, stalls attacks too much .
Tella should start every game over the other three .

4.) 28 Aug 2021
28 Aug 2021 14:25:37
Djenepo starts again ….

5.) 28 Aug 2021
28 Aug 2021 15:33:27
Djenepo won't want to see too many replays of his miss from 3 yards.

6.) 28 Aug 2021
28 Aug 2021 16:19:20
So the second half starts, Newcastle have upped their game… we change nothing . they score .
oh we now change Djenepo.
bring on broja we need a goal!

7.) 28 Aug 2021
28 Aug 2021 16:30:25
This is where Ralph is found wanting … we need to make changes.

8.) 28 Aug 2021
28 Aug 2021 17:01:03
I thought that Ralph had a lightbulb moment last week but back to normal today.

9.) 28 Aug 2021
28 Aug 2021 17:18:57
If you are going to play the high press, you can not give the ball away. Redmond awful at retaining possession, Diallo very sloppy . but it was a penalty 👍👍

As for Ralph . Newcastle changed their game, they simply upped their tempo, pushed up more - fundamental changes . and we changed nothing!

Mo was superb. Much better use of the ball.

10.) 29 Aug 2021
29 Aug 2021 11:18:02
My faith in Djenepo was misplaced at St James yesterday - horror miss! Thumbs up to Mo whose first instinct is to go forward.
Unless we buy proven quality - someone like Winks maybe, (and of course a GK) then we may as well stick with what we have. Any more incomings will make Ralph more confused than he already is.
For the first time in many years (probably ever) I would not be able to pick the best starting XI - I do know that it wouldn’t include Stephens or Walcott or Redmond (albeit Redmond had an impact off the bench yesterday) .
If Stuart A was fit - would he start. Che is off the pace - would you rest him and start with Tella - it isn’t easy which I suppose is an indication of the strength of the bench.

11.) 29 Aug 2021
29 Aug 2021 11:51:31
Redmond’s contribution was the excellent cross for our goal. Other than that it was the normal hesitant, greedy, poor decision making, poor use of the ball Redmond. His off ball contribution amounts to pointing out where others players should be, while doing nothing!
Djenepo can’t shoot, can’t cross, can’t pass, can’t hold the ball, awful distribution, runs into corners etc

If we are to progress as a team, we have to accept these two plus Walcott are not up to it. As I keep saying, playing the high press requires players who do not lose the ball or give it away; these three do that all the time.

Mo : very clever player. When he has the ball he is constantly looking for the best option. That might be back or sidewards sometimes, but rarely lost the ball or gave it away. Mo added so much to the dynamics of the team, he must keep his place.

Che is now looking off the pace, we have sped our game up and he, while an intelligent player, is not up to it.
I would have broja and Tella in the team; broja up front is a monster, Tella on the wing is menacing.

We very nearly got caught out yesterday by an opponents change of tactics and Ralph’s not reacting to it.
As you say, any more signings and Ralph will be even more confused. Dallio was the wrong person to bring on yesterday, has a habit of giving the ball away which he duly did and nearly lost us the game.

I would have pushed KWP forward and put Perraud left back.

12.) 29 Aug 2021
29 Aug 2021 12:17:55
may i suggest that the real problem is the coaching staff.
we need to get a tactical coach to work with RH and give him guidance and support.

13.) 29 Aug 2021
29 Aug 2021 17:09:47
Actually s h rich I agree with much of your comments re. Borja and Tella being selected to play along with KWP further forward of Livramento and Perraud restored at left back. If this proved successful JWP could end up on the bench (if Ralph has the balls) with Romeu (who has been a warrior) but has got a little slower these days and a. quality D/ M replacement required The future looks bright since SFC. assembled their best young squad for a few years (since the removal. of all the dead wood)! It would be a bonus if we could make Broja’s move permanent next season ( if not someone very similar) . I also agree with SA Saint suggestion for a tactical coach to assist Ralph ( which I also posted some months ago) . As the jury is still out the big question remains who will be at the helm when the Team shows it’s full potential? PS Apparently Pompey have a promising young Keeper—Summer 2022?

14.) 29 Aug 2021
29 Aug 2021 22:15:32
Johnny st - you are absolutely right. In the squad are players who can transform this team into a powerful midfield, a fast, technical, dynamic midfield . but Ralph sees ward prowse and Romeu as the core of our team.
Like you I disagree. Prowsey is not dynamic enough, he is old school… tends to creep back and back, I’ve wondered if he is hiding a lack of fitness? But his stats show him covering a huge amount of ground. So why? Why does he think he should spend his time interpassing with the back four?
As for Romeu, way too slow, yes he’s a warrior, but the modern game can’t spare a player to be just a warrior; they need to be a scorer, a crosser, a provider… Romeu is none of these.
While we are defending Romeu is fine, but when we are in the front foot Romeu (and prowsey) serve very little purpose .
Tella should start every game …
Tino, perraud, kwp, broja, mo, too …these are the core players to take us forward .

15.) 30 Aug 2021
30 Aug 2021 10:06:03
Shame we wasted money on Walcott’s wages because we could have used those to supplement the Ox’s return. I absolutely agree with comments about JWP and Romeu - you won’t create much with both of them in the middle of the park.
Whereas the Ox is always looking to turn defence into attack and is strong defensively if he need to help out.
Wouldn’t make a bad captain either if JWP finds himself on the bench.
Problem is, would Klop let him go - I doubt it.