Southampton banter 2

 

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04 Feb 2024 00:00:17
What a day - as a birthday treat my wife treated me to hospitality at Rotherham and TBH my expectations weren't high. I was wrong. Most importantly Saints won and played reasonably well over the 90 mins.

My abiding memory will be sitting next to ex Saint Gerry Forrest in the lounge and regaling in the teams he played in (1985-1990).

He was the main VIP having begun his career at Rotherham and returning after his 5 years at Saints. A true gentleman.

And a word for the generosity of the Rotherham fans who were magnanimous in defeat saying we were by far the best team that had played at their (small but beautifully designed) stadium.

Great day, great result (thanks to Preston for the cherry on the top) and how amazing was our support - the whole end of the stadium.

I was in a padded seat overlooking the halfway line but boy did I miss being amongst the Saints fans. Every time I get used to singing 21, 21 undefeated, they change the words a week later!

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04 Feb 2024 06:55:48
Happy Birthday Millertime!

A win and Saints moving up into the automatic promotion places must have been a nice birthday treat.

04 Feb 2024 10:11:47
Thank you SaintThatAKickInTheHead!

Yes - a perfect day!

Now for Watford - the games are coming thick and fast but I feel we have a squad with depth and choices to stand the test.

02 Feb 2024 09:02:54
Poor window for us we needed a LB and ST and brought in a CM and RW. We did keep KWP tho.

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02 Feb 2024 10:08:16
We were on our limit for loan players in matchday squad and because Holgate and his representatives delayed signing for Sheffield Utd, wedidn’t have time for another loan. I think the board have learnt a financially painful lesson about panic signings, but for Lavia, Jwp and Livramento the club would be in financial ?. Loans make sense, take Downes for instance. We would have to pay 12 million for him plus 50,000 a week salary ( match his existing contract) that is 25 million over 5 year contract, we paid million loan fee and 30k of his wages equaling 2.5 million, a saving of 2.5 million a season. I know sometimes you can turn a profit on transfers but those days are becoming increasingly difficult unless you buy young players and blood them straight away, we can’t jeopardise possible promotion by changing the current squad in making risky signings. The club also has to balance the books, it owes a lot of money to many clubs for signings made in the last 4 years.

02 Feb 2024 10:20:05
Agree. If THB or Jan or KWP get injured fir any length of time we are light and it weakens us.

06 Feb 2024 13:52:58
As if by magic Nico Lawrence is back and promoted to the first team. They do listen. COYR

31 Jan 2024 23:01:26
Most disappointed to see Charley Alcarez go out on loan, in my opinion one of the best young talents we have had at the club for a very long time, let's hope that this does not affect our season and that the Management know what they are doing

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31 Jan 2024 19:06:49
Those fussing about Alacaraz (one guy said he was believes he'll develop into world class like bale :/). I don't see that at all, I believe we can easily secure promotion without him this season and that's saying something. He's not bad sure, but I wouldn't say there was anything exceptional about him that that has been there in the early days of our other top class young talent.

Juve have decided to loan him then pay a decent price for him if he turns out to be what they want. Honestly I think it's decent business for everyone. Juve are being cautious and not wasting cash like so many clubs do on players that end up flopping. I generally think he will be back at the club after his loan though, not because he's crap but just because juve will probably realize that have someone just as good in their own academy that they don't need to fork £30mil on. I mean he scores the occasional goals and dazzels here and there, but I mean who doesn't, i'd take Stuey Armstrong over him any day if the week and as for us if he does go then even with 15% of fee going to River plate we still double our money.

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30 Jan 2024 11:55:03
Alas, I fear we may have signed the wrong 'B'.

Latest news is that subject to a medical David Brooks is joining on loan from Bournemouth. I was far more excited at the prospect of Benson from Burnley.

Brooks won't offer much more (if at all) than Stuart Armstrong. Benson on the other hand has electric pace and an eye for goal.

I think our need is greater elsewhere in the squad - especially with Sulemana due to return from injury.

Take Rothwell - I don't see what he offers - he was very poor at Watford looking slow and lacking a first touch. When he went off, Smallbone looked masterclass in comparison.

If Brooks does arrive, he will add to the selection headaches.

By the way, I'm a firm believer in playing your best team - constant rotation can be very demoralising. Expecting players to play two games in a week is not unreasonable given the science and diet applied to modern day recovery. Remember when we only had one sub allowed (some of you may remember no subs!) but I suppose that was when it was more of a 'man's game' (in physical terms).

I'll finish where I started - unless something happens quickly, the window will be best remembered for who we kept (KWP please God) rather than who entered the building.

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30 Jan 2024 14:24:55
Or remembered for the loss of our luxury player Charly to Forest. I do hope not

31 Jan 2024 08:31:15
Or Juve. Couldn’t make it up

31 Jan 2024 12:46:50
It’s interesting that Juve clearly rate him and see his potential whereas we are happy to turn a tidy profit.

There’s a lot more to come from Alcaraz who will push on with better players around him.

As I said before, very disappointed that Benson didn’t join. Brooks is a short term plug that probably suits him better than us given his place in the Wales team and need for game time. Hope I’m wrong

31 Jan 2024 13:41:25
Alcaraz is not suited to RM system, he gets caught on the ball too much. A potentially very good player who needs to play in a less regimented system. The fee, if correct, seems eye watering but let’s hope RM can bring someone in more suited to our current style of play. Brooks will be a very good player in the championship and can play in stueys position or wide. The player we must keep is KWP, we look a totally different team without him.

31 Jan 2024 15:23:58
Am truly gutted to lose Charly. Selling our best players again. If Russ didn’t want him he should have said so start if the season. The lad is only 20 and massive career ahead. He will be a top player in the world. Another Bale watch and see. I feel they should have tried to fit him in better. Our loss ultimately

29 Jan 2024 19:47:13
Hi Ed's
Question to you .
So we all found Martin arrogant, obsessed with his way of playing .
has literally achieved nothing in football.
Has taken teams backwards . so his arrogance has no foundation

so . what has changed?
Do you think he's listened to people?
Do you think he's tweaked his tactics?
I do think that he has at his disposal, a better squad than he ever had.
It's a strange one and a remarkable run that we are on.
The players seem to love him.
Yes, we are now playing a settle team with a settled formation.

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30 Jan 2024 04:45:47
Whilst congratulations are offered to Russell Martin for the teams sudden turnaround in fortunes could this also be attributed to the capture of well respected Coach Colin Calderwood or.is this pure coincidence from 30/10/23? Every Club in the top 6 will have their opportunity for promotion hinged on how astute they have performed in the transfer market before 1st.Feb.

30 Jan 2024 09:36:41
Heh St John, good to hear from you - it’s been a while!

The one thing I do agree with RM on, is that the run will not count for very much if we miss out on promotion.

I too have been highly critical of our style of play - pedestrian and pointless in the early part of the season. Now, we are playing (for the most part) with high energy and moving the ball quickly - there’s so much more attacking intent. Had we been playing like that from the start of the season there wouldn’t have been the level of condemnation against RM.

However, we’re not out of the woods yet - the first hour at Watford on Sunday (albeit with a much changed side) was a throwback to pre-run days and we should probably have been beaten.

So, I’m far from being converted - RM has changed the way we play but there’s still a way to go.

28 Jan 2024 16:57:47
Had I posted at half time, I'm sure the editor would have censored my language!

As one of 9000 travelling fans, like many around me, we felt short changed by RM's staring line up.

Our B team is just not good enough - the kids he played looked just like, well, kids playing men's football. No shots on target, didn't win individual battles and actually looked like they' just had their Sunday lunch.

On the hour, the 4 changes made a big difference and we carries a threat.

So pleased our run didn't end at Watford!

What with the replay and a possible 5th round at Liverpool, February will be a busy month.

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22 Jan 2024 22:32:27
1-1 draw between Leicester and Ipswich.

Not so bad - puts another dent in Leicester's supremacy at the top and Ipswich didn't get a morale boosting win.

We won't know the impact of this result until May but for now - all good.

Having watched the game on Sky, I don't think either team looked better than us.

If we can eradicate the occasional complacent/careless tippy tappy football at the back and build on the recent faster pace and purpose football we will be fine.

If rumours are to be true, I am encouraged by the efforts we are making to bring in more quality up front.

Lots of reasons to be cheerful but we've got to forget about this amazing run and focus on the next three games

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23 Jan 2024 10:59:06
I wouldn’t change our existing front three .
Fraser, Adams and Armstrong are good together.
I know, I’m the only one that likes Adams, if you watch when other players score, you will always see his in and around the box poaching.
If we do bring in anyone else as an attacker, they should wait their time and be on the bench. just like Fraser. But since he’s started from the beginning, his skill is a joy to watch.

I was disappointed with Ipswich, I could see exactly why we’ve gained so many points on them.
Leicester play much faster and dynamic football. Should have put the game to bed

20 Jan 2024 20:27:43
Congratulations to the Saints now 20 league games unbeaten.

HOWEVER as I said on 14th January, we are still lacking the killer touch. Total first half domination but what should have been 4-0 was actually 3-1.

Second half was a nervous watch. Stephens error was shocking. Swansea hitting woodwork twice/Baz superb reactions again. Fine margins - could have been so different. Nearly Norwich again.

Agree Millertime - there are still too many times when playing out from the back is too dangerous.

We must keep KWP and hopefully Adams. Maximise points before visits to Ipswich/Leicester and Leeds which will be decisive.

COYR

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20 Jan 2024 21:16:32
Make you right St Michael

22 Jan 2024 12:32:04
The record run we are on is incredible and has been a joy to watch.
I definitely think we have added some different play since Calderwood joined.
Not only were we messing around with it at the back, but we were sooooo slow to get the ball forward.

Anyway. loving Adams, Armstrong and Fraser as the front line, with the midfield pushing up. Much more dynamic with Stuey on the pitch.
Loving the over the top balls too, been a long time since we played like that.
Teams are finally scared of us! Players with so many options that poor ol Swansea were not knowing whether to press, tackle or hold off .

But we’ve got to stop giving opponents so many chances! Swansea could have had 4/5 goals . luck, poor finishing and great saves, meant they only scored one.

Stephens a steady defender but not good enough to play the way we do.

Tonight I will be watching . coyr

20 Jan 2024 19:50:48
That first half was something special - total football. They're not mugs Swansea but we made them look second rate.

Loved the chanting "21 21 undefeated ."

That just didn't seem possible back in September - an incredible run.

I'm in an ever decreasing minority about insisting on playing it out from the back. Sure - it's great until it's not and it nearly wasn't when Jack Stephens all but gifted them a late goal. In fact there were a couple of occasions when we nearly shot ourselves in the foot. It's about decision making and game management and we're not there yet.

Still, one look at the table makes the world look a brighter place and who knows, Preston could make it a little brighter if they get something at Leeds and Ipswich don't beat Leicester.

Maybe I'm being a little greedy now, but in this world you should always dream big!

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