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Thread: What do you want our club to 'be'?

  1. Default What do you want our club to 'be'?

    A few years ago, being a Saints fan felt great. We had the core of the team that had seen us win double promotions, with a smattering of bought-in quality. We had Mauricio Pochettino, then Ronald Koeman. We had successfully recruited some up-and-coming stars. Then many of these stars - who had been patting or kissing the badge - got a whiff of interest from top-six clubs, had their heads turned, and they were off. How did that feel? Like some kind of betrayal.

    The vitriol directed at Jack Stephens today, both on here and on Twitter, has me seriously thinking about what I actually want our club to be. Would I really prefer it if the club was awash with cash, so that it could recruit mercenaries to be parachuted in to tap the badge until a better offer comes in? Or would I prefer to be a bit lower down the table and to watch the likes of Jack, JWP, Slattery, Targett and before them Bale, Walcott, Shaw, Le Tis etc? Players who actually have some connection to the club and at least some sense of loyalty.

    It really does sadden me that fans are so quick to turn on Jack, who has developed well and has been playing some good football lately. Yes, he's more limited in the air than some CBs, but he's got pace and he's gifted with the ball at his feet. Who remembers the through-ball for Redmond not long ago? Has anyone noticed how well he carries the ball out from the back, and starts off attacks?

    Would I rather watch Jack, and support him and the rest of the lads, or would I rather the club spunked a load of cash on someone from abroad who I've never heard of?

    Honestly, I'm a bit torn. Obviously I want us to stay in the Prem, but I also want the club to have a soul. So many PL teams have very little connection to the area other than the fans themselves. There are quite a few without any players from the UK in the first XI, let alone from near the club.

    So - to those people calling Jack a **** because he made a mistake, I say **** off. If you're only interested in results and league position, why not support Man City? I prefer the Southampton Way, and I like the fact that the club seems to be getting back in tune with those values. If you're a Saints SUPPORTER, then how about you actually show the lads some SUPPORT?

  2. #2

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    I definitely like seeing us developing our own players. There’s a balance with buying a core group of quality players.
    Our current league position is due to poor past management and some terrible purchasing. The youngsters Ralph has played haven’t let him down at all. Very pleased to see slattery slotting in & having a pretty solid first league start.



    I like Stephens and thought he had a good game. He was being fouled by crouch and instinctively raised his hand. You do wonder if not for the McCarthy incident whether the ref might have given the foul. He’ll probably drop back to the bench with yoshi back and that’s fine.

  3. #3

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    I am happy that we do our best.

    Think of the spirit of the 90's, always the underdog fighting to stay up against all odds.

    We were never complacent or arrogant and we were glad just to stay in the top league.

    We had a 27 year run in the top league, yes 27 years !!!!! I think that was the joint 6th longest before we got relegated. Now that was something to be proud of and impress people when you met them.

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    I want to watch good football, played the right way, like we had up until summer 2016. I don’t care if we’re 10th, 8th, 6th or whatever, I just want to be entertained. I like seeing young players develop but only if they’re good enough.

    As for Stephens, I’m not quick to turn on him. In fact I have consistently thought he wasn’t a Premier League player since he played under Puel. I’ve no idea how he gets off so much lighter than Hoedt if I’m honest.

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    I’d like us to mix our recruitment a bit more.

    I’d like us to look at signing some players around the age of 28, as well as youngsters who we buy in the hope of selling them on. We’re a sort of football brokering service.

    Lawrie Mac was brilliant at recruiting a mix of players.

  6. #6

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    A lot of criticism of Stevens following the Palace game also which was largely unjustified. He made no more errors than most others that day and mostly made many good challenges and decisions. My mate that I sit next to had him MOTM. Wasn't at today's game so can't comment.

    I used to like the pressing style and fitness that Adkins implemented, which Poch maintained and Koeman too albeit slightly less so.

    Fit players and a close eye on the academy is where I like to see us. It looks like my dreams have come true!

  7. #7

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    It's certainly a lot more satisfying supporting a team of players who at least seem to care a little what happens to the club rather than the size of their instagram following

  8. #8

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    I would like a team with a strong enough mentalty not to **** themselves everytime they take a lead. If we stay up, I believe Ralph will give us that team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
    I want to watch good football, played the right way, like we had up until summer 2016. I don’t care if we’re 10th, 8th, 6th or whatever, I just want to be entertained. I like seeing young players develop but only if they’re good enough.

    As for Stephens, I’m not quick to turn on him. In fact I have consistently thought he wasn’t a Premier League player since he played under Puel. I’ve no idea how he gets off so much lighter than Hoedt if I’m honest.
    Fair play if you don't rate Stephens. I do but can understand why others don't, though in mitigation he's hardly had a smooth ride with the mess around him for the last few seasons.

    Though I would suggest the reason Hoedt got more grief is that he comes across like a Billy big boll*cks who very much believed his own hype and cost a significant fee whereas Jack came in for peanuts from Plymouth and is sort of one of our own.

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    Open and honest

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    Why the fascination with academy players?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    Why the fascination with academy players?
    Tribalism, sentimentality and that sort of thing probably play a significant part it is undeniable. Hardly a bad thing though. It's that sort of irrationality that perpetuates fan culture in a heavily commercialised and uneven sport.

    In some measure I view it as essential to how our club can ever hope to be 'successful'. We all know we can't compete toe for toe in financial terms with other clubs though an academy consistently producing quality can help a club punch above their weight both through financial dividends and on the pitch quality. There is also the hope, perhaps a little naive, that players with an attachment to the club put that extra 10% in that drives results. I'm probably a bit of a sap but I love the 'hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard' mantra that I believe we have/had on the wall at either St Mary's or Staplewood.

  13. #13

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    Someone tell Jack Stephens his mum has registered on Saintsweb.

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    I’d like a Saints team that is as good as it can be, plays an enjoyable to watch football style (it’s certainly improving, but clearly our current players are limited), and starts to recruit wisely!!
    Yeah I know the recruitment bit can be hit and miss, but we’ve had a hell of a lot more misses than hits recently...
    Some pacey players in the summer will help, we are very pedestrian all over the pitch, and pace is key if you want some measure of success.
    Academy players are fine, but only if good enough. Slattery starting today kind of suggests our squad is very limited versus what Koeman had. You’d normally blood young players as subs coming on with 10 minutes to go....
    Shows how weak our squad is really.
    * yes I realise a number of sure starters are injured/away currently.

  15. #15

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    I'm all for giving academy players a chance while they're developing (17-22). That's plenty of time to determine if a player has what it takes for this level in which case they stay, or we should sell and open up the pathway for another youngster. That's all moot with Stephens because he's 25 now. He's essentially at his peak. Personally I don't think he's at the standard to be starting, a backup player at best. On that front, i'd much prefer players like Stephens and other academy players making up our bench rather than signing a bloated squad like we'd done the last 3 year. Put the money in the best 1st XI we can and then let the academy look after the rest of the squad. Stephens should realistically be 4th or 5th choice (if we play a back 3) and we should look to have 3 quality players ahead of him.

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    Default What do you want our club to 'be'?

    Quote Originally Posted by UpweySaint View Post
    Tribalism, sentimentality and that sort of thing probably play a significant part it is undeniable. Hardly a bad thing though. It's that sort of irrationality that perpetuates fan culture in a heavily commercialised and uneven sport.

    In some measure I view it as essential to how our club can ever hope to be 'successful'. We all know we can't compete toe for toe in financial terms with other clubs though an academy consistently producing quality can help a club punch above their weight both through financial dividends and on the pitch quality. There is also the hope, perhaps a little naive, that players with an attachment to the club put that extra 10% in that drives results. I'm probably a bit of a sap but I love the 'hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard' mantra that I believe we have/had on the wall at either St Mary's or Staplewood.
    The blurb about academies (in our case) is a money making exercise.

    And it works, look how excited some of you get with academy players. Look how Valery is being over hyped. Slattery should be no where near our team yet people saying he had a great game. JwP would have been sold/Loaned years ago if he was say, Clasie....

    Thrusting kids in has partly got us into the mess. When we had lallana and shaw in the side, we also had real quality around them. Plus the fact they were miles better than any of the current lot

    I would rather we had the best players possible over the bizarre route we have gone down in Jan, which could very easily back fire

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
    I want to watch good football, played the right way, like we had up until summer 2016. I don’t care if we’re 10th, 8th, 6th or whatever, I just want to be entertained. I like seeing young players develop but only if they’re good enough.

    As for Stephens, I’m not quick to turn on him. In fact I have consistently thought he wasn’t a Premier League player since he played under Puel. I’ve no idea how he gets off so much lighter than Hoedt if I’m honest.
    Absolutely agree with this.

    I want to watch enjoyable football, with youngsters coming through, backed up by some older pros that still care - almost in the 80s/90s "Saints way". I don't want us to be spending over the odds and recruiting mercenaries, and I don't really care where we finish, as long as we regularly give the big teams a bloody nose, get the odd cup final and maybe win one. The odd European tour would be nice too

    As for Stephens, he made one mistake, but he has improved under the new manager. However at 25 he's old enough not to be youth and man up to his mistake and not do it again.

  18. #18

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    Points. Winning. Don't care how we do it. We can win 1-0 with a last minute penalty every game then that's fine by me. If we did that, we'll win the league. Screw this "Southampton way" PR crap.

  19. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mcbendy View Post

    It really does sadden me that fans are so quick to turn on Jack, who has developed well and has been playing some good football lately. Yes, he's more limited in the air than some CBs, but he's got pace and he's gifted with the ball at his feet. Who remembers the through-ball for Redmond not long ago? Has anyone noticed how well he carries the ball out from the back, and starts off attacks?
    This is the crux of it. Yes heís good with the ball at his feet and adept at bringing it out and setting up play, but, first and foremost he is a defender whose job is to prevent goals. Thatís where his weakness is - as a defender.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Instant Classic View Post
    Points. Winning. Don't care how we do it. We can win 1-0 with a last minute penalty every game then that's fine by me. If we did that, we'll win the league. Screw this "Southampton way" PR crap.
    That's basically the Puel way. We got plenty of points but the football was excruciating to watch and I went from watching most matches to hardly watching any until fairly recently. That taught me that I need to enjoy the football and see some kind of team cohesion even if there are fewer points.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by norwaysaint View Post
    That's basically the Puel way. We got plenty of points but the football was excruciating to watch and I went from watching most matches to hardly watching any until fairly recently. That taught me that I need to enjoy the football and see some kind of team cohesion even if there are fewer points.
    We'll agree to disagree. We're all entitled to our own preferences.

    You'd rather play nice football and finish 10th than win every game scrappy and win the league?

    Obviously it's never gonna be as black and white as that but I'm genuinely curious as to which you'd prefer.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbendy View Post
    A few years ago, being a Saints fan felt great. We had the core of the team that had seen us win double promotions, with a smattering of bought-in quality. We had Mauricio Pochettino, then Ronald Koeman. We had successfully recruited some up-and-coming stars. Then many of these stars - who had been patting or kissing the badge - got a whiff of interest from top-six clubs, had their heads turned, and they were off. How did that feel? Like some kind of betrayal.

    The vitriol directed at Jack Stephens today, both on here and on Twitter, has me seriously thinking about what I actually want our club to be. Would I really prefer it if the club was awash with cash, so that it could recruit mercenaries to be parachuted in to tap the badge until a better offer comes in? Or would I prefer to be a bit lower down the table and to watch the likes of Jack, JWP, Slattery, Targett and before them Bale, Walcott, Shaw, Le Tis etc? Players who actually have some connection to the club and at least some sense of loyalty.

    It really does sadden me that fans are so quick to turn on Jack, who has developed well and has been playing some good football lately. Yes, he's more limited in the air than some CBs, but he's got pace and he's gifted with the ball at his feet. Who remembers the through-ball for Redmond not long ago? Has anyone noticed how well he carries the ball out from the back, and starts off attacks?

    Would I rather watch Jack, and support him and the rest of the lads, or would I rather the club spunked a load of cash on someone from abroad who I've never heard of?

    Honestly, I'm a bit torn. Obviously I want us to stay in the Prem, but I also want the club to have a soul. So many PL teams have very little connection to the area other than the fans themselves. There are quite a few without any players from the UK in the first XI, let alone from near the club.

    So - to those people calling Jack a **** because he made a mistake, I say **** off. If you're only interested in results and league position, why not support Man City? I prefer the Southampton Way, and I like the fact that the club seems to be getting back in tune with those values. If you're a Saints SUPPORTER, then how about you actually show the lads some SUPPORT?
    Yours is the voice I here outside of the forum. It is not just tedious reading people slagging off our players on here it is embarrassing. I just hope the players don't read some of the comments on here, it can hardly foster affection for our club. Mid-table for me please and a good cup run, blending youth with experience and the occasional glamorous foreign signing to generate a bit of excitement.

    I salute your post.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    Why the fascination with academy players?
    Why not? Isn’t the point off academy players to bring new talent through to the first team? If they aren’t good enough then we still hope that they will fetch a decent fee so that we can reinvest. Would you have us just dump the academy and buy up “outsiders?” I wouldn’t say there is a fascination with academy players, but I think most normal people prefer to see home grown players succeed rather than picking off proven talent from elsewhere.

  24. #24

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    fighting to finish in the single digits on a regular basis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Instant Classic View Post
    Points. Winning. Don't care how we do it. We can win 1-0 with a last minute penalty every game then that's fine by me. If we did that, we'll win the league. Screw this "Southampton way" PR crap.
    This I enjoy football the most when we win..

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by doddisalegend View Post
    This I enjoy football the most when we win..
    Absolutely!

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    Like Millwall. They know what they are, they are never going to be a massive club but they are a proper community club the polar opposite of the happy, clappy, shirt wearing, photo taking helmet fans that populate all premier league clubs.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turkish View Post
    Like Millwall. They know what they are, they are never going to be a massive club but they are a proper community club the polar opposite of the happy, clappy, shirt wearing, photo taking helmet fans that populate all premier league clubs.
    What's wrong with being happy, capping, wearing a shirt or taking photos?

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    Personally loved the fact that 7 players in the squad yesterday were academy (counting Stephens). As Ralph said previously, the young players are more receptive of his methods. Should they continue to play a part this season and we stay up, it'll be a great experience and development for them. Even if there are mass changes/signings in the summer i have faith that Ralph will still persist with trusting the academy.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turkish View Post
    Like Millwall. They know what they are, they are never going to be a massive club but they are a proper community club the polar opposite of the happy, clappy, shirt wearing, photo taking helmet fans that populate all premier league clubs.
    A club that sings about killing policeman, what wonderful people. Also watching the recent FA Cup game vs Everton there were loads of shirt wearing Millwall fans - so not sure your vision of them is based on reality.

  31. #31

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    A club that produces the occasional world class player (bale, shearer, Le tiss) or develops a world class player on their way up (van dijk, aldervierld, mane) while playing attractive football and giving the big boys something to think about. An occasional trip to Wembley every now and the odd run out in Europe.

    I accept we're never going to be one of the big boys or win the league.

    All this while being a good community club.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) using Tapatalk

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Instant Classic View Post
    We'll agree to disagree. We're all entitled to our own preferences.

    You'd rather play nice football and finish 10th than win every game scrappy and win the league?

    Obviously it's never gonna be as black and white as that but I'm genuinely curious as to which you'd prefer.
    I suppose if you could guarantee at the start of the season that we were going to scrape our way to the title with boring football, most would take that and look forward to the outcome. Otherwise I'd take progressive, intelligent football over dull every day in the expectation that either way a league title is vanishingly unlikely.

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangelyBrown View Post
    A club that produces the occasional world class player (bale, shearer, Le tiss) or develops a world class player on their way up (van dijk, aldervierld, mane) while playing attractive football and giving the big boys something to think about. An occasional trip to Wembley every now and the odd run out in Europe.

    I accept we're never going to be one of the big boys or win the league.

    All this while being a good community club.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) using Tapatalk
    Thatíll do for me

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    Funny how we never had these types of threads clamouring to support the ‘academy lads’ when we were winning most weeks under Poch and Koeman.

    Stephens earns 50k a week, he’ll get over some abuse on Twitter. If he doesn’t like it he can always delete his account anyway. He is 25 or whatever, not 18.

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGTL View Post
    Funny how we never had these types of threads clamouring to support the ‘academy lads’ when we were winning most weeks under Poch and Koeman.

    Stephens earns 50k a week, he’ll get over some abuse on Twitter. If he doesn’t like it he can always delete his account anyway. He is 25 or whatever, not 18.
    Yeah but he's "one for the future"

  36. #36

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    A pocket superclub, tucked in underneath the top 4, occasionally having a foray into the Champions League, more often going deep into the Europa, and wining the FA cup. Feeding the European elite from a never-ending production line of young talent emerging from the academy, and bringing on the next generation of Guardiolas, Poches and Klopps. We were knocking on the door of this status a few short years back, but fell back due to failing to replace key people well (Koeman, Mitchell etc..)

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    Agree with the point that we shouldn’t abuse our own players but not sure about the rest of the OP.

    Bale, Walcott, Shaw and the word loyalty should not be used in the same sentence, all three combined made less appearances for Saints than Dusan Tadic.

  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Instant Classic View Post
    We'll agree to disagree. We're all entitled to our own preferences.

    You'd rather play nice football and finish 10th than win every game scrappy and win the league?

    Obviously it's never gonna be as black and white as that but I'm genuinely curious as to which you'd prefer.
    As you say never going to be as black and white as that but I'd go for win the league ONCE with carp 1 0 wins then onto entertainment and mid table finishes every season thereafter.

  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Instant Classic View Post
    What's wrong with being happy, capping, wearing a shirt or taking photos?
    Turkish likes his men shirtless

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