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26 Apr 2024 18:36:02
The spirit the team need now

Gents, it's been a shocking week. Automatic promotion is gone, key players are down and we just took a battering. The pundits have written you off, the fans have written you off and some of you have given up.

You now have two choices. Wallow in misery like boys or fight like men.

Winning at Wembley is every footballers dream and you have that golden opportunity. Who has what it takes? Who is willing to chase, to get stuck in, to be bold for this team. Do it for you, do it for Stu, do it for the fans.

We have spent a season playing sideways, now we need to go forwards. This is your chance to step up and be a hero. Fight for your place in the team. Do not look back and regret what could have been. Give it all you've got.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

1.) 26 Apr 2024 22:42:36
I feel at this point I’d love to hear from an Ed (or 2408 who I’ve been trying to guess who you are) .
I’ve played various sports at a reasonable level, but I've never encountered a situation where the coach wanted us to do ‘plan A’ when clearly it was plan B or C or D that was needed .
How do the players get RM to change his ways, admit defeat, listen to the players .
why don’t the players on the pitch say f**k with this nonsense and unleash themselves ….

This is where my understanding ends.
Imagine being an attacking midfielder or an attacker, Waiting for that one defence splitting pass, That defence splitting run.
But all you get is sitting back and watching huge amounts of possession, but not where you want it to be.
So in reality, can the players just do it their way?

{Ed001's Note - it is quite common, you usually know it as 'losing the dressing room'. That is characterised by players ignoring instructions and doing what they think is right. Which is strange to me as I grew up with Liverpool dominating everything and that was the secret of their success. They put players together who knew how to play and just let them play. In fact there are a number of the players who tell stories about how they would ask for tactical instructions and be told that they should figure it out for themselves (well not in so many words, usually it involved them being told to go forth and multiply). Nowadays coaches want robots who just do as they are told, rather than thinking for themselves.}


2.) 27 Apr 2024 08:13:24
Complerely agree South_Hants_Rich and Ed001. Our flair players are being suffocated and they need the freedom to play. Stoke is a free pass. We should experiment and I hope the players push for that, if RM doesn't.

Give Lumley and Stephens a half and McCarthy and Bree a half. See who deserves their starting spot.

Give Sulemana and Fraser a real shot. We may need that pace against a high press and that tenacity in a cup final.

Take players on, put some crosses in the box. We are going to have an aerial threat with Ross Stewart coming back soon.

Go 4 2 3 1, put Sulemana up top, AA as CAM, put Jack Stephens in goal! Shave JWPs hair and pretends he's Will Smallbone. Anything!

Lets try something new. Give the players a free reign, show some fighting spirit, get the fans on the edge of their seat. At least for 30 minutes!


3.) 27 Apr 2024 17:59:29
Thank you Ed001 for that great reply …
I can understand that a coach may spot a shortcoming in someone’s game. but as you say, the modern coach, especially RM, are telling the players what they need to do!
Love the Liverpool story . cheers again

{Ed001's Note - very welcome.}


 

 

01 Jan 2024 10:32:29
Happy New Year everybody! It has been a pleasure posting with you. As an expat that does not get to see many games, it is great to hear what is going on from those closer to the action.

Reading some rumours about strikers and wingers coming in.

@Eds, any rumours with substance?

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

{Ed002's Note - Fabio Carvalho (AM/LW) He has no clear future at Liverpool, certainly in the short-term so a loan to perhaps Southampton or Leicester would be best for all. Liverpool would also consider him as a player they could let go in any part exchange transaction.}


1.) 02 Jan 2024 09:17:28
Thank you Ed002.

Hearing we are in the market for at least 1 striker e.g. Ings and/or Biovski and an AM or winger e.g Carvalho or Diallo. Is this abou right?

{Ed002's Note - Yes but much will depend on the summer and if promotion is achieved.}


 

 

19 Dec 2023 10:48:55
Jan rumours suggesting we could see
KWP out and Ben Johnson in
Che out and Ings in?

Would you take that scenario?

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

 

 

14 Aug 2023 15:26:17
Curious on who people think we should sell or keep out of Mara, Aribo, Lyanco, Bree, Perraud and Sulemana?

Hearing rumours that Onuachu may be off back to Genk with a swap deal for a right winger (think we are already strong here with Tella and Ameyaw).

Plus ABK going back to Germany. Then Holgate coming in on loan as a replacement (plus Downes for JWP). Maybe even Mccarthy to Everton.

50m spent on a quality GK, CB and Striker is what I think we all want now, with no more out the door. Then I think playoffs is achievable.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

1.) 14 Aug 2023 18:24:01
I would keep sulemena if he is willing to fight and perraud is a good player and should be strong at this level. The others could go and I wouldn't be too upset although lyanco will give you passion, although I would play him as a dm not a cb


 

 

31 Mar 2023 17:57:59
If you are curious what Saints need to stay up, it is probably 36 points, which is 13 from our last 10 or 3 wins and 4 draws.

This is based on an analysis of the min needed to survive over the last 10 seasons and final table projections based on the avg. points this seasons and the last 6 and 10 games.

Can we do it? If we avg. the same points per game over the season or last 10 games then no. If we maintain our form in the Selles era, then potentially yes.

This would give us 3 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses in our next 9 and needing a point on the last day to make it.

Saints are top of the bottom 9 clubs over the last 6 games. The other teams hit 13% fewer points than their season average, whereas we hit +62%. We will need that trend to continue, to have a chance.

Going to be a thrilling finale, either way and hope the stats are useful.

Here is a reasonable best case scenario:

Wins: Palace, Fulham and Bournemouth
Draws: West Ham, Forest, Newcastle and Liverpool
Losses: Man City, Arsenal and Brighton

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

1.) 06 Apr 2023 16:05:31
If you're really curious as to what Saints need to stay up I think we can say an absolute miracle


2.) 08 Apr 2023 19:56:45
At this point, I agree with you!


 

 

 

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!'s banter posts with other poster's replies to SaintThatAKickInTheHead!'s banter posts

 

13 Jun 2024 21:35:56
How would you spend 70m to 80m to secure survival?

Read an excellent article on GiveMeSport that found promoted clubs, who stayed up, spent a net avg. of 87m on transfer fees (or 101m excl. Brentford) over the last 6 seasons vs relegated sides at 46m

Given we have already spent 20m on THB, how would you spend roughly 70m to 80m?

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

1.) 17 Jun 2024 19:42:54
Downes 20m Abraham 20m rodon or another delay with option to buy. Plus we sell tall Paul sullemana or play him abk dcc rp lyanco


 

 

10 Jun 2024 07:42:44
Pleasantly surprised that the bookies are giving us a 64% chance of staying up!

With sides around us facing manager losses and points deductions, we real, ly need to seize the moment.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

1.) 10 Jun 2024 09:12:09
It will be interesting to see if the premier league actually implement their rules correctly. If they do you could well see Everton Forest Leicester, to name a few, receive significant points deductions. Everton have got to sell players, they have an ageing squad and no money. Pickford has literally kept them up for the past 3 years with outstanding performances.

{Ed001's Note - Pickford? When has he done that? He is awful. Most of his saves look flashy, but that is a result of poor positioning and then you have to factor in that he almost always pushes it straight back into danger. He is not the reason they have stayed up, not even close. If anything he is a hindrance to them. If he learnt how to position himself properly, most of his saves would look easy and he would just gather up the ball cleanly. Though to be fair, I suppose compared to the keepers Saints have had in recent years he is fairly decent. I think you have had probably the worst set of Premier League keepers of all time. If you had a decent one last time around you probably wouldn't have gone down.}


2.) 10 Jun 2024 20:12:15
The wonderful thing about football is that differing opinions are thought provoking.


 

 

31 May 2024 11:04:22
I am a numbers nerd and was curious to get some stats behind the best transfer strategy. So, I took our last 10 transfer windows into a spreadsheet and looked at the strategy of the 22/23 promoted sides that all stayed up vs the 23/24 sides that all got relegated.

Here are 7 takeaways

1. Big Leagues: Our PL starters have come from the Scottish (80%), Germanic (73%) or Premier League (62%). Our worst leagues have been Belgian, Swiss and Latin leagues (32% success rate)

2. Small Leagues: Championship players have a 55% first-team success rate vs PL at 62%. Though only 9% have been stars vs PL at 40%. The U21 leagues gives as many stars as flops.

3. Age: The sides that got promoted and stayed up recruited a much higher % of experienced players (over 27) than younger players (41% to 20%) vs relegated at (13% and 33%)

4. Fee: The sides that stayed up spent more on a few quality signings, then filled their squad with experienced loan/free players. Saints have more success with free/loans than those under 10m

5. Positive Record: We have a good record of defenders from London clubs, midfielders from Scottish leagues and experienced strikers, so Ben Johnson, Matt O'Riley and Chris Wood?

6. Weak Record: Saints have a poor record of picking wingers (Mane aside) and Goalkeepers. So, let's not try and play smart and focus on proven players in these positions, before Moneyball

7. Key Positions: The sides that stayed up focussed on defenders and GKs from the PL, Bundesliga and Latin leagues rather than young midfielders from the championship or smaller leagues.

Hope these stats are interesting and food for thought.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

1.) 02 Jun 2024 15:04:09
This could be Matt O'Riley could be a good signing. He already has a previous relationship with Martin and is overall a good midfielder and could be our 'ward-Prowse' I don't think he's is as good at free kicks but he sure is helpful in creating chances.


2.) 03 Jun 2024 06:53:59
Matt O' Riley looks interesting, though not followed him closely.

Celtic midfielders have done well for us e.g. Wanyama and Stu, so have players under RM before e.g. Downes.

Our CAM needs depends on what happens with Alacaraz and Stu.

Celtic already turned down 20m for O'Riley, so he will be a big buy. I would focus on GK, CB, DM, LB and ST first, then look at CAM and LW.

The secret to success seems to be a few big money signings from the PL, Scottish League or Bundesliga, then some shrewd loan and free transfers. Better to have 3 proven 20m+ signings and 3 loans then 6 at 10m


 

 

29 May 2024 09:21:05
Excited to be back in the Premier League and looking forward to posting with you all next year!

Top on my wish list is Downes, a spine of experienced Premier league players, plus some championship and Scottish stars.

To loan out young players for experience, limit the moneyball signings and keep some in the kitty for Jan. Then I think we can have a good crack at it, while being a stronger side if we drop down.

Here are some early transfer thoughts based on rumours, performance and contracts. Players to leave or loan in brackets.

GK: TBC (Lumley or McCarthy)
RB: Ben Johnson (Bree)
LB: Perraud (2 of Larios, Manning, Meghoma)
CB: 1 or 2 of Van den Berg/Joe Rodon/ABK/CC (Lyanco)
CM: Downes, Matt O'Riley (Charles)
RW: Whittaker/Gnoto/Brooks (Ameyaw)
LW: Summerville/Jack Clarke and Fraser (Edozie or Sulemana)
AM: Szmodics/Alcaraz, Lallana (Rothwell)
ST. 2 of Ings/Chris Wood/Broja/Rutter/Carlton Morris (Adams, Mara, Ballard)

Would love to hear your thoughts

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

1.) 30 May 2024 08:16:41
Championship to premier league is a huge step up for a striker, very few make it successfully. I like Whittaker and he potentially has the best chance of making that leap, his finishing is very good. Ben Johnson would be an excellent squad player as he can play both full back positions. Caleta car has been outstanding for Lyon this season, I really would like to see him and ABK back, that would give us 4 quality centre backs. Josh Brownhill maybe worth a punt as he’s out of contract, MCcatee from Man City? It’s going to be interesting what happens and let’s hope lessons have been learnt within the recruitment department.


2.) 30 May 2024 17:52:47
You tend to find the championship strikers that make it in the premier league, are ones that got promoted with a club. So fingers crossed Armstrong may be able to continue some sort of scoring from.


3.) 31 May 2024 08:51:04
Ben Johnson seems shrewd. We have a good record of RB and LBs from London clubs (Bertrand, KWP, Clyne) . KWP will go at some point, so we have a replacement ready.

Also see former Saints Clyne and Soares are out of contract - could add depth and leadership. ABK, CC and Perraud would be welcome, if they want to return.

I think Whittaker or Jack Clarke is worth a punt. If we get relegated and AA leaves, we have an integrated replacement. I agree with Saint Kenny that most success stories are part of a promoted side though.

Matt O'Riley sounds interesting. We have a good record of midfielders from Scottish clubs.

I feel we need a proven Premier league GK and DM. West Ham are savvy negotiators and I can seem them taking Downes to the wire. In a 4 2 3 1, another DM is needed.

I am feeling more positive now. With 5 solid signings and a few carefully considered punts we have a shot.


4.) 02 Jun 2024 11:22:52
Definitely need to look at experience of premier league. Brownhill has another year on his contract, my mistake. There are some really good players who made moves, much to early in their careers, to top 10 premier league clubs. They might need a good pre season and an arm around the shoulder, good players don’t suddenly become bad players they just need encouragement and to actually play. That scenario is where I believe we will pick up a few gems if the recruitment department has a mind to do so.


5.) 02 Jun 2024 22:26:05
Those type of signings would be great.

I did a geeky little analysis comparing the signings of the promoted sides that all went down this year vs the promotion sides that all stayed up the year before.

Big takeaway was that the sides that stayed up bought 2x more PL experienced players aged over 27 (few big money signings and then loans or frees) with a focus on defence and keepers vs relegated sides with more young, championship midfielders.

We need a balance but with a tilt towards PL.


 

 

04 May 2024 20:51:09
Result did not matter but good win for team confidence today and great to see a goal off a long ball.

We are 4-1 up on aggregate against West Brom and 5-2 vs Leeds this season so should go in with our heads held high.

Our form is average but it is for the other playoffs sides too. I watched the highlights on the Leeds YouTube channel and their fans think they will bottle it.

Looking forward to the games ahead.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

 

 

 

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!'s rumour replies

 

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13 May 2024 16:20:27
Completely agree. An away draw is a reasonable result and we should be confident playing at home on Friday.

I watchd the Leeds game highlights on their YouTube channel and it was interesting to read their fans believing they will bottle the playoffs.

So nobody is blowing anybody away and we have a very good chance.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

 

 

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27 Apr 2024 08:13:24
Complerely agree South_Hants_Rich and Ed001. Our flair players are being suffocated and they need the freedom to play. Stoke is a free pass. We should experiment and I hope the players push for that, if RM doesn't.

Give Lumley and Stephens a half and McCarthy and Bree a half. See who deserves their starting spot.

Give Sulemana and Fraser a real shot. We may need that pace against a high press and that tenacity in a cup final.

Take players on, put some crosses in the box. We are going to have an aerial threat with Ross Stewart coming back soon.

Go 4 2 3 1, put Sulemana up top, AA as CAM, put Jack Stephens in goal! Shave JWPs hair and pretends he's Will Smallbone. Anything!

Lets try something new. Give the players a free reign, show some fighting spirit, get the fans on the edge of their seat. At least for 30 minutes!

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

 

 

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02 Jan 2024 09:17:28
Thank you Ed002.

Hearing we are in the market for at least 1 striker e.g. Ings and/or Biovski and an AM or winger e.g Carvalho or Diallo. Is this abou right?

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

{Ed002's Note - Yes but much will depend on the summer and if promotion is achieved.}


 

 

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02 Jan 2024 09:02:39
Completely agree with both comments.

Seems RM has fallen into the trap of trying to put all the best players on the pitch, even in their secondary positions. It may make some key players happy that they are not on the bench but not something to be playing around with, especially Mid season.

Also gives me a concern SR are considering selling KWP, so are trying Stephens in his position and then will get a replacement winger. This could cost us promotion, we need to keep our PL players.

While recent results have been positive, progress is needed. Thumping a team's B side with their head not in the game over the holidays is one thing, winning when teams are fighting for every point in the last 10 games will be something else.

We have Leicester, Ipswich and Leeds away in the final 20 games. Ipswich and Leeds have already played twice, so they have an advantage. The table going to be very close. We need to have our best players in their best position moving the ball forward with purpose to get promotion.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

 

 

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26 Sep 2023 15:16:34
Great article and agree with all your sentiments.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

 

 

 

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18 Jun 2024 09:26:01
I would rather 4-5 experienced players on a loan/free and 4-5 key signings at 15 to 25m, rather than 10 unproven at 8m

We need players who can hit the ground running and do not need time to adjust like Mara, Edozie, Orsic, Charles.

Also looking at Romania and Slovakia's big wins yesterday, players with team spirit, fight and heart

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

 

 

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15 Jun 2024 07:42:29
Agreed.

I don't mind the odd over 32, under 22, foreign league punt but let's get solid players in at GK, LB/RB, DM, RM/LM and ST as a priority. Not risks like Bazunu and Onuachu.

Shocking stat, of the 15 paid SR signings, only 1 played in the playoff final (Aribo) and that was because Stu was injured.

80% of paid signings were not quality starters in the PL or Championship. Though THB, Downes and Fraser were smart business as loans - more signings like these please.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

 

 

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14 Jun 2024 22:32:24
I do see value as an experienced leader in the dressing room, to steady the ship in the last 20 mins, as a local lad who might be up for the fight and as a spanish speaking mentor for Alcaraz (if he returns)

On a free transfer, worth a punt, especially as Stu is gone. Frees up funds to invest in a GK, ST, DM and LB/RB. Will give it a shot and see.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

 

 

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05 Jun 2024 23:09:19
Great post and completely agree lesleee

We need proven PL players throughout the spine. One unexpected advantage of our slow build up play is that players past their prime can be suited to it, so we have a chance of picking up experienced players, at the end of their contracts.

Championship and youth players are a 50/50. Let's not put too much pressure on them and ensure we have an alternative.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

 

 

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04 Jun 2024 23:13:55
100%. The promoted sides that stayed up bought experienced goal keepers and defenders.

This should be our focus, especially with young CBs like THB and ABK, we need experience in goal.

SaintThatAKickInTheHead!