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Professor

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  1. Could be changes to the line-up just because Sunday to Thursday is a short recovery period, and there may be players needing to recover from knocks. On the other hand, some players not available for the City game could be back in the reckoning. With two games next week to prepare some rotation seems likely.
  2. Walker-Peters is playing too well. His price will be going UP!
  3. Professor

    Hojbjerg

    If he wants to win silverware, why go to Everton? Probably because no better club is interested. Players sometimes get an inflated opinion of their own ability and he seems to be one of them. Anyone got a 'Not Wanted on Voyage' sticker?
  4. Do you remember the days when a goal from Rickie Lambert was such a certainty that you it felt as if we had a one-goal start in every match. It's beginning to feel like that with Danny Ings. On Sunday, it would be nice to see Shane Long as his starting partner, with his speed setting up some chances. Much as I can sympathise with the idea of giving Adams his chance, I'd rather have him on from the bench later in the game. At the back, there are at least two issues for Ralph to consider. In the back four, like a few others, I felt that Vestergaard did a lot to restore his reputation this week. On the other hand it's hard to overlook how Jack Stephens has grown into the CB role. The partnership with Bednarek is a strong one and I suspect that with Stephen's suspension completed, he will be back in the side. Defensive midfield is more of a problem. Højbjerg is normally ahead of Romeu for selection, but with his refusal, so far at least, to show a wish to stay at the club, the difference between them could be cancelled out by lack of commitment. Romeu played well against Watford and should retain the shirt. In attacking midfield, Smallbone's assist for Danny Ings' first goal against Watford ought to allow him to keep his place. A tough one because of Armstrong's goal against Norwich, but as in the Watford game, I think it's likely that Ralph will prefer Smallbone to start, but giving way to Armstrong later in the game.
  5. A year or two ago, I had high hopes for Callum Slattery but by this season it began to feel he was missing the boat. Would have expected him to be a first team regular by the age of 20 but he's now 21. Not even a regular stating spot for De Graafschap doesn't bode well. A career in the lower divisions might be the best he can achieve but it would feel like a wasted talent.
  6. Professor

    Che Adams

    According to the BBC website, Jamie Vardy is on a 9-game goalless run. He obviously has a lot more game time than Che. Luck plays a great part in which attempts on goal go in the net, and the best of strikers can't guarantee how often he will be the player who is on the end of a goal scoring attempt. As others have said, Che pays an important part in the team when he gets a chance, as shown by his making of the goal for Stuart Armstrong against Villa. He is third in line striker, behind Ings and Long but as the song says, His Day Will Come.
  7. 40 points is often seen as the safety benchmark. but not always necessary. Saint's record in recent years has been as below, with two years of squeaky bum time but still safe on less than 40 points. . 2016 6th - 63 points 2017 8th - 46 points 2018 17th - 36 points 2019 16th - 39 points 2020 12th - 34 points from 27 games (11 to go) On form, we shouldn't lose at West Ham on Saturday but even if we did, we aren't going to go from an average of 1.25% points per game, to nil. We haven't been in the relegation struggle for some time, despite some disappointing results in February but because we are football fans, many of us will fear the worst until it's mathematically impossible to go down. It's still interesrting to watch the forunes of the threatened clubs. For me, I hope that Brighton and Bournemouth both survive. Having three south coast teams at the top level is something that at one time, I'd never have expected.
  8. Tamesaint is correct that the application of VAR is being abysmally managed with ridiculous errors and inconsistency of decisions. But also, VAR enables things which no referee could ever have seen, being found and to be examined in miniscule detail. The purpose of the rules is being lost, which should be to ensure a fair game. Instead the focus has moved the miniscule of the laws, such as whether a player's arm is beyond a defender's foot, by a couple of centimetres, regardless of whether any advantage was gained.
  9. I agree. I did wonder when both strikers were substituted but both subs proved their value. Michael was causing all sorts of problems for Villa and Che was unlucky that his excellent strike was saved No striker can guarantee that a keeper won't prevent a shot going in; same thing happened to Ings with his attempted touch past the keeper earlier in the game. But Che making the second goal with that magnificent pass was something many players wouldn't have achieved,
  10. The owner does have the final say on how the club's money is used but let's not confuse 'investment' with 'expenditure'. Investment is not expenditure because you expect to get invested money back, with a profit. Expenditure is just that; money spent and gone. It can only be replaced by earning more income. The club can spend it's income but financial Fair Play, as far as it's effective, is intended to have stopped the wild spending as we saw in the early days of Abramovich, buying a club and recruiting players without limits. Man City are now facing some retribution with a two-year ban from the Champions League. Financial fair play is a long way from restoring a fair competition but our owner is still unable to pump his own money into the team without regard for the consequences.
  11. The Premier League is now about unbelievable sums of money with players earning far more in a week than most football supporters earn in a year. Its made the game all about money with results at Any Cost. Playing football, 'playing the game' is now a laughable anachronism. The outcome is constant cheating. Players know that punishments for cheating don't matter and so do the coaches and managers, who only ever complain about cheating by the other team and are blind about cheating by their own team. VAR was intended to make some difference, but has only resulted in more inconsistency in decisions. One serious area for cheating are the is the attempts to gain penalties. The penalty kick is far too great a reward for many real fouls that happen where there is no chance of a goal from open play. Off the field, cheating by clubs also includes finding ways to avoid the Financial Fair Play rules. The Manchester City case is a rare example of seeing these inadequate rules being tested. The football authorities need to take very serious action to recover our great game from the various sicknesses it's suffering from, but money is at the root of all of them. Sorry not to offer solutions, but they are far beyond any simple football fan. We are just the fodder from which the money is extracted.
  12. Professor

    Villa build up

    Quite pleased that the Sussex rivers are too high for me to risk crossing them to to the match. Surely, we'll win this one, but a draw or defeat would be so depressing that I can't face the possibility of a miserable drive home. I've been a Saints' supporter long enough to have watched defeats, right back to Third Division days but the home form now, against sides we should easily be competing with, is beginning to get me down. It'll be interesting to see the line-up. Ralph's pre-match comments suggest to me that, rather than bring Valery in, he might move Stephens to RB. Not an easy decision because Stephens and Bednarek seem to have been the more reliable centre pair, but depends on whether he thinks Yan is ready for a return. At least I can follow the action from the comfort of a chair at home without facing the rotten weather we've got outside, over this way. I can see I'm not alone as the club are still pushing tickets. I sincerely hope those of you going to the game are rewarded with a good win and not just by 1-goal, which that leaves everyone on tenterhooks to the final whistle.
  13. What's this about 9-0? I get quite a positive impression from what many journalists say and write about Saints. Its certainly makes a nice change from the repetitive coverage of the usual suspects. My impression is that the club has quite a good following amongst London journalist and MotD pundits. They must get as bored as the rest of us with the same three or four clubs. So let's not complain when a paper such as The Guardian gives Saints some decent coverage.
  14. Surely talk about Adam Lallana is just that. Talk. His move to Liverpool in 2014 was a bad idea, money over loyalty, poorly handled and not much of a career move, due in part to injuries, but even when fit he hasn't been a stand-out player for them. It's all very well having some medals to clean but they aren't worth a lot if you didn't contribute much to the team that won them. There wouldn't be talk linking him to Southampton if he wasn't a former player, which is no qualification for a signing.
  15. Professor

    Shane Long

    Long has done a brilliant job at getting himself back as a first choice starter in the team and catching the eye again of his international manager. He's a player you wouldn't want playing against you with his speed and commitment. Journalists are speculating that it will be a two-year contract extension. Sounds about right.
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