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Hoedt Explains Why He Had To Go !
at 09:45:27

Bottom line is that Ralph didn’t want him, and we will likely never know the reason. Fans are entitled to their opinions, but we don’t have the facts to make informed judgements. We saw Hoedt on match days, but Ralph saw him every day in training. He obviously wasn’t impressed, and that’s good enough for me. Move on...
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Saints At Derby County The Verdict
at 13:44:36

Hasenhuttl is doing exactly the right thing in having a look at all his options, but I have no doubt there will be some players incoming. I can’t believe he wouldn’t have been given some assurances about that prior to joining. Whilst not particularly well known over here previously, the German media were amazed we managed to recruit him with his profile there.

For those expecting instant miracles, don’t forget he is having to make huge changes in tactics, fitness and mentality half way through the season, which is not easy. We need to accept that the remainder of this season is going to be a battle, but he’s capable of keeping us up. If he does, then with some personnel changes in the summer and a full pre-season, I’m confident there are exciting times ahead!
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Saints At Huddersfield The Verdict
at 15:26:44

Best manager since Pochettino.
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Pellegrino Needs To Play To Our Strengths Not Our Weakness
at 12:07:03

Pochettino was never rigid. He was just committed to certain basics of how he wants his teams to play. He was certainly never as passive as we are now, and is turning out to be the great manager I predicted at the time he left us. (Check the archives!) His teams play without fear, and in my opinion did more to change the mindset of our club than anyone. Sadly missed!
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Stop The Player Witch Hunts Now !
at 13:53:41

In fairness Nick, you may not abuse Yoshida, but you certainly pick on him. I noticed in your Brighton report that you managed to get a dig in even though he wasn’t even playing, by saying he ‘wouldn’t get into their team’. Pretty sure he would actually, and as others have said, central defence is the least of our problems at the moment in any case. If we are judging purely on errors, Forster is way out in front.

On a more general point, I have been attending Saints games since 1968 and can honestly say I have never abused any of our players during the game. It’s totally counter-productive. However, I can understand the frustration at the moment as, for whatever reason, we are currently performing way less than the sum of our parts. With due respect to Brighton, their entire squad is probably worth half the market value of the back four alone we fielded on Sunday. We need to be much more assertive in these games, and Pellegrino is falling into the same trap as Puel. We seem to have an inferiority complex. Wouldn’t have happened under Pochettino!
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Pochettino Criticises Luke Shaw
at 13:17:25

I would agree that he left too early, but we need to remember the role of agents in these situations. He was obviously poorly advised, as at 18 years old moving was a huge decision he probably wasn’t capable of making. Age apart, anecdotally Luke is perhaps not the sharpest tool in the box, so badly needed sensible guidance. Shame, because he is talented....
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Saints V Brighton The Verdict
at 20:52:39

Yoshida would have saved that header.....
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Ronald Koeman Sacked By Everton !
at 19:48:14

PS.....Everton a more ambitious club. Really? Easy to confuse ambition with money I suppose...
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Ronald Koeman Sacked By Everton !
at 19:39:14

As I said at the time, he didn’t really want to go, but tried to call our bluff and lost. Made some money, but probably blown his Barca chance. Sad, but he made his bed.

On a more general managerial point, I also said he is not in the same class as Pochettino, who was a far greater loss. Anyway, we march on, as they say.....
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Saints Can Look At Top Six Finish After A Solid Start To Season.
at 13:53:36

Blimey Nick. You never miss an opportunity to have a go at poor old Yoshida. Good job he’s not been playing in goal, as if he had been playing like Forster you would have been trying to get him arrested or deported by now! I agree that he may not be as good as our other central defenders, but only because they happen to be exceptional. He is still very competent and has definitely improved over the last couple of seasons. More importantly, his commitment to the cause is unquestionable, unlike some others. Don’t forget it’s a team sport. Sometimes the best individuals are not the best choice.....
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Pellegrino Needs To Get Back To Basics Against Crystal Palace !
at 18:51:04

For what it's worth, the comparison between us and Palace with De Boer just illustrates how our approach is far more coherent than pretty much any other club. The fault there is not De Boer's, it lies entirely with those who appointed him not having any sort of long term plan or objective. Their stated intention was to introduce a more attractive, sophisticated style of play after Allardyce, but that takes more than 4 games. A coach brought up at Ajax was never going to 'stick to basics', especially when he was hired specifically to not do that! I watched the game against Burnley on Sunday, and they should have won. If they had, he would probably still be there, which is nonsensical. Palace just live hand to mouth, with their primary motive staying in the Prem, so simply panicked. If I was a Palace fan, the appointment of Woy would hardly set the pulse racing.
The difference with us is that we have an established structure which Managers fit into, and whilst the playing style may differ slightly, it is not as drastic as Allardyce to De Boer. We need a bit more patience. As Pellegrino said on Saturday, if everything was perfect he would still be in Argentina!

Finally, I think you do Watford a disservice Nick. Yes, they scored long range goals, but they still count as far as I'm aware. They were better organised, quicker and stronger than us all over the pitch, and it was obvious that we had our hands full after the first 10 minutes....
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Plenty Of Wolves Tickets Left For League Cup Tie
at 10:38:07

As one of five season ticket holders from Abingdon, I can only speak for our family, but the reason we are not going is much more simple! At this time of year, the traffic on the A34 is horrendous, and despite leaving early for the Swansea game, it took us 3 and a half hours to travel 50 miles, and we only just made kick-off. For night games, this means leaving work early along with with all the associated hassle. There are a fair number of regular supporters I know of who do not live in the immediate Southampton area, and obviously there will be many more I don't, so I'm sure this is a significant factor.

As regards the football, I'm encouraged by what I've seen so far this season, and whilst I'm sure there will be an addition or two to come, assuming we keep VVD the squad is pretty strong without major surgery in my opinion. Just a matter of Pellegrino getting more out of what we already have.....
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Eric Black Set To Stay On At Saints Within A New Look Back Room Team.
at 13:42:04

As a matter of interest, presumably all those so certain that Eric Black was 'part of the problem' last season spent many hours observing training sessions, and interviewing other staff and players....
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Is a change in Saints transfer strategy needed to progress ?
at 14:02:13

Some decent points here, but Wolf660 hits the nail on the head when he refers to FFP. I've talked about this numerous times before in this 'selling club' debate. We cannot, at the moment at least, offer the same wages as the top 6 due to the massive gulf in income generated. Even a sheikh would not be allowed to put in unlimited cash, and Man City will probably be the last club to have been able to do this.

Our selling is therefore not a strategy as such, merely a byproduct of the excellence of our recruitment policy. We are no more a selling club than any other. It's just that we have more players big clubs actually want! A lot of our sales were no doubt reluctant, but forced by financial reality. The difference now with VVD is that we are more established in the PL, so were able to offer longer contracts, hence more control of the situation.

We will continue to build gradually because we have to....
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Jay Rod linked with £12m West Brom Departure.
at 13:37:41

A post from the usually reliable 'Jack Schitt' at the weekend confirmed JRod would be allowed to leave in the interests of all parties. Interestingly, VVD and Bertrand less likely to go.

We will see.....
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Claude Puel Reported To Be In Talks With French Club
at 08:25:44

Morning Boondock. Don't get me wrong. I hate it as much as anyone when we sell our best players, even more so when they all seem go to Liverpool! The trouble is though, we don't know what goes on behind the scenes. It may be that only Liverpool made bids that were acceptable, or at all. And yes, it has made them stronger at our expense, but the sheer weight of money would have made that inevitable anyway. I agree with you about a salary cap, but Bosman and FFP don't help clubs of our size either. I'm not saying Les is perfect by any means, but I think he has got more right than wrong over the last few years.

Bottom line is we all want Saints to do well, and there's no doubt that despite the cup final and 8th place finish we have gone backwards in football terms this season. With the proposed takeover etc the next week or two could be interesting.....
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Claude Puel Reported To Be In Talks With French Club
at 10:07:47

BoondockSaint. You're perfectly entitled to your opinion of course, but given the financial gulf between us and the top six clubs, I would be interested to know what you would have done differently. Refuse to sell perhaps, and be stuck with an unhappy player until his contract runs out and we let go on a free, with far less money to replace? It's 2017, not 1977. If players want to go, they go. That applies to every club from Barca and Real Madrid downwards. There is a football pyramid now, and the only reason we sell more than most is that our scouting, recruitment and coaching is superior to most of our peers. (And yes, Les is behind that too!). That means we have a higher proportion of quality relative to our position in the pyramid. The time to start worrying is when none of the big clubs want our players. That would mean we were failing.....
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Claude Puel Reported To Be In Talks With French Club
at 18:19:22

For all the Les Reed haters out there, you do realise that he is a major reason for our success in recent years? There is an interesting perspective from a Sunderland fan in 'The Roker Report' which I suggest you look up. (Sorry, don't know how to add the link!)

And sorry to disappoint. Les will have his say in transfers regardless of who the manager is. Anyone not aware of this is simply not paying attention!
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Who Is The Bookies Favourite For Next Saints Manager ?
at 15:38:16

As usual, some extraordinary (and hilarious!) comments on here. Anyone thinking that David Moyes or Roy Hodgson and the like anywhere near fit our profile has just not been paying attention for the last 8 years or so!

And as for the suggestion that Eddie Howe has spent more money on players than us. Please! That's like saying an unemployed man using his overdraft to eat the spends more than a millionaire living in the south of France. Bournemouth have nobody the big clubs want, so have a fraction of our income. If Liverpool wanted one of their players, do you really think they could say no? They sold Ritchie to a Championship club......
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Saints At Chelsea The Verdict
at 12:33:19

As Lucan says, our main problem at the moment is a lack of physicality. Costa's first goal was a prime example. He simply outmuscled Bertrand. All the top teams are powerful as well as skilful, whereas we have mostly skill. Under Poch, we had Wanyama and Schneiderlin, and did well against the big teams as we could not only match them, but overpower them in midfield. VVD is a huge loss, hopefully only temporary, as was Vic at the start of the season.

Bottom line is, I don't think there is a lot we can do now for the rest of this season, but I happen to trust our club knows what it's doing, and we have been linked again to Carvalho, who is just the sort of presence we need for next year. Add a Fonte replacement, and most importantly, keep VVD for at least another season, and we can do a lot better....fingers crossed!
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