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What is needed to Improve?


Professor
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Saints have earned 57 points this season from 35 games. Swindon have got 66 from 36 games, so its not surprising that they looked the better side on Tuesday. There's a lot of talk about us doing a Norwich or Leeds next year, but they have 78 and 71 points from 36 games. This gap is not down just to those first few weeks. Despite some good results there are still poor ones, even against teams that are nearer to League 2 than to the Championship. So, what is the way ahead?

This is not a 'Pardew Out' thread, although on another thread its said he might choose to go. Whether he stays or not, other clubs have found that no manager is all good or all bad - Hull for example, even Chelsea - so its more than just a simple, knee jerk, change the manager. We like a lot of our current players, we argue about who are thye best 11, but is it simply that we do need more quality, that there are still weak points? And how do you get a team that will perform nearly every week, the manure of League1?

 

Answers on a post card to N Cortese c/o SMS

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We are the Man City of L1 so on that basis anything other than championship form is an underachiement. You can use excuses for this season as we didn't have an ideal start, but from now on theres no excuse.

 

I'm not going to say what I think is needed to improve us because at this stage I don't want to write AP off.

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Players are good enough - therefore sadly the manager is in the spotlight.

 

The "best XI" players are good enough, but we don't have the cover or quality in certain positions to change tactics.

 

That reflects on a Sh1t or bust decision back in January instead of the careful improvement plan.

 

NC funded it, AP manages it, in their way each is to blame but the manager has to do the best he can with what he has. Danny Wilson would I am sure love to have many of our players to add to his squad, so yes AP is under pressure.

 

BUT he can get out of it, he simply has to start showing the tactical nous in the remaining games when teams stop us from playing.

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NOW BUT were not at beginning of season

 

1st few games probably not - however I did expect a better return from the 1st 10 games.

 

No team in L1 has quality throughout the side - opening game we have 6 or 7 players that would walk into any L1 side.

 

Now we have the best squad in L1 no question

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1st few games probably not - however I did expect a better return from the 1st 10 games. No team in L1 has quality throughout the side - opening game we have 6 or 7 players that would walk into any L1 side.

Now we have the best squad in L1 no question

A lot of people would agree, but I'm not sure how it stacks up with drawn games such as Brentford, Exeter and Wycombe, and defeats to Swindon and Tranmere, especially Tranmere.

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A lot of people would agree, but I'm not sure how it stacks up with drawn games such as Brentford, Exeter and Wycombe, and defeats to Swindon and Tranmere, especially Tranmere.

 

What we have to remember is we are a big scalp and the smaller clubs such as Wycombe set their stall out to stop us playing in anyway they can and anything else they get is considered a bonus. This we have to overcome plus teams raising their game at SMS.

 

Teams prepared to have a crack at us, mostly we beat. Next season may be different as most will have already played at SMS etc and if we can get a good start the pressure of playing catch up all season will not be there.

 

We are a good side, have an enthusiastic realistic manager, a superb owner, fabulous stadium and brilliant fans. Lets all try and be positive!

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1st few games probably not - however I did expect a better return from the 1st 10 games.

 

No team in L1 has quality throughout the side - opening game we have 6 or 7 players that would walk into any L1 side.

 

Now we have the best squad in L1 no question

 

Not in central midfield we don't. If schneiderlin or Hammond is either injured or off form, we can only replace with Paul Wotton. For me this is a key area of squad depth which needs improving over the summer.

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For next season we need to improve the squad in central midfield so that we have more options than just Hammond and Schneiderlin. James being back is decent cover but I think someone with a bit more experience would be good - a better version of Wotton. We also need to get off to a flying start, which should be more possible than this season with a more settled squad, a decent pre-season and no -10 points to content with psychologically. If we can convert about half of the 12 draws that we have had so far this season into wins then we will be in position to challenge for the top two places.

 

This season has been a freak year for points scored by the top 6. Hopefully next season won't be the same and we will be able to challenge with the sort of form that we have shown since October this season.

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Not in central midfield we don't. If schneiderlin or Hammond is either injured or off form, we can only replace with Paul Wotton. For me this is a key area of squad depth which needs improving over the summer.

 

Yep I agree we need another CM - however how many teams in L1 have quality replacements in each position.

 

Most L1 sides struggle to field a decent 1st 11 let alone having 3 or 4 quality replacements chilling out on the bench.

 

If Wotton or James had to play a few games each a season, we should still be far too good for everyone in L1

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Not in central midfield we don't. If schneiderlin or Hammond is either injured or off form, we can only replace with Paul Wotton. For me this is a key area of squad depth which needs improving over the summer.

 

100% agree, but I'm sure AP doesn't need telling this either.

A settled pre-season, a couple of key additions, off-loading some deadwood, and we can start the season out of the blocks with a settled and confident side (I hope)

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1st few games probably not - however I did expect a better return from the 1st 10 games.

 

No team in L1 has quality throughout the side - opening game we have 6 or 7 players that would walk into any L1 side.

 

Now we have the best squad in L1 no question

 

No we did not.

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Need a good old fashioned midfield general. Someone who can mix it up and lead the team.

 

Hammond is our captain at the moment but i'm not sure what qualities he brings to the table in that regard.

 

Other than that - not a lot wrong as some of our football has suggested recently. Yes some results have been very disappointing but performances against Norwich/Leeds/Walsall/Huddersfield have been superb so we do have the potential/ability.

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Players are good enough - therefore sadly the manager is in the spotlight.

 

Were you there on tuesday? They were no where near good enough. A good player is someone who keeps it up week in week out, ours don't so prehaps they are not as good as there legaue one busting prices suggest they are. Players are allowed off days but ours are having two three off days a month which makes me wonder how good they are. We need players who don't just turn it on when they're in the mood. For me only Lambert has been consistently good this year (and even he had a nightmare on tuesday)

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Saints have earned 57 points this season from 35 games. Swindon have got 66 from 36 games, so its not surprising that they looked the better side on Tuesday. There's a lot of talk about us doing a Norwich or Leeds next year, but they have 78 and 71 points from 36 games. This gap is not down just to those first few weeks. Despite some good results there are still poor ones, even against teams that are nearer to League 2 than to the Championship. So, what is the way ahead?

 

Swindon weren't the better side on Tuesday. They survived an onslaught in the first half and then got their noses ahead. That said they were professional, put two men on Puncheon and Lallana whenever they got the ball, battled and, with a little luck, deserved the points.

 

There will always be poor results, even in a league winning side. ManU got beaten by Leeds for example, Chelsea by Wigan. To think that you won't or can't lose, will result in you losing.

 

If you take the first 10 games out of the picture, our form has been excellent. More blips than we'd like but, with a bit of tightening, enough to do a Norwich or a Leeds (FWIW I think Leeds will end up in the playoffs).

 

However, to answer your questions. There's one thing we shouldn't do, and one thing we should.

 

Shouldn't: Ditch Pardew. Anyone who suggests as such is more reactionary than Rupert Lowe. A new manager would bring instability, want to play in a new way and require new players / gelling time etc. etc.

 

Should: Vary the system. This is the pana cota. We should be able to play a different way than relying on Pucheon and Lallana. An approach for cancelling play like Swindons and for turnip patch pitches.

 

Easy isn't it.

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Swindon weren't the better side on Tuesday. They survived an onslaught in the first half and then got their noses ahead. That said they were professional, put two men on Puncheon and Lallana whenever they got the ball, battled and, with a little luck, deserved the points.

 

There will always be poor results, even in a league winning side. ManU got beaten by Leeds for example, Chelsea by Wigan. To think that you won't or can't lose, will result in you losing.

 

If you take the first 10 games out of the picture, our form has been excellent. More blips than we'd like but, with a bit of tightening, enough to do a Norwich or a Leeds (FWIW I think Leeds will end up in the playoffs).

 

However, to answer your questions. There's one thing we shouldn't do, and one thing we should.

 

Shouldn't: Ditch Pardew. Anyone who suggests as such is more reactionary than Rupert Lowe. A new manager would bring instability, want to play in a new way and require new players / gelling time etc. etc.

 

Should: Vary the system. This is the pana cota. We should be able to play a different way than relying on Pucheon and Lallana. An approach for cancelling play like Swindons and for turnip patch pitches.

 

Easy isn't it.

 

Totally agree

 

Must be tough living in SDwindon this week

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There's one thing we shouldn't do, and one thing we should.

 

Shouldn't: Ditch Pardew. Anyone who suggests as such is more reactionary than Rupert Lowe. A new manager would bring instability, want to play in a new way and require new players / gelling time etc. etc.

 

Should: Vary the system. This is the pana cota. We should be able to play a different way than relying on Pucheon and Lallana. An approach for cancelling play like Swindons and for turnip patch pitches.

 

Easy isn't it.

 

Agree - even though i don't know what a 'pana cota' is ;)

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What we have to remember is we are a big scalp and the smaller clubs such as Wycombe set their stall out to stop us playing in anyway they can and anything else they get is considered a bonus. This we have to overcome plus teams raising their game at SMS.

 

Teams prepared to have a crack at us, mostly we beat. Next season may be different as most will have already played at SMS etc and if we can get a good start the pressure of playing catch up all season will not be there.

 

We are a good side, have an enthusiastic realistic manager, a superb owner, fabulous stadium and brilliant fans. Lets all try and be positive!

 

well said Martin!

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We can't win ugly or dirty and until we can (we need different players to do this at times) we will struggle at the away days of Exeter, Wycombe and Tranmere.

Its a simple observation really, there is no other answer.

Hopefully AP knows it too otherwise we are ****ed in this league for a long time!

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We can't win ugly or dirty and until we can (we need different players to do this at times) we will struggle at the away days of Exeter, Wycombe and Tranmere.

Its a simple observation really, there is no other answer.

Hopefully AP knows it too otherwise we are ****ed in this league for a long time!

 

We HAVE won ugly at times this season. Second half V Leeds wasn't exactly one for the purists.

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Alain Perrin is right. Despite the "professor"'s assertion I thought that Saints were actually the better side on Tuesday, but it was far more marginal than the dominance we enjoyed against Walsall, Huddersfield and even Leeds. Some people seem to want to draw conclusions by working backwards from the result when in fact a lot of luck comes into play on any given day.

 

Unfortunately the position we are currently in means that any slipups are magnified.

 

The best we can hope for is to hang on to as many of the decent players as possible over the Summer ready for a good campaign next season.

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Not in central midfield we don't. If schneiderlin or Hammond is either injured or off form, we can only replace with Paul Wotton. For me this is a key area of squad depth which needs improving over the summer.

 

Agreed, another centre midfielder (schemer!) is required. Going to have to be tough too to cope in L1.

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We are the Man City of L1 so on that basis anything other than championship form is an underachiement. You can use excuses for this season as we didn't have an ideal start, but from now on theres no excuse.

 

I'm not going to say what I think is needed to improve us because at this stage I don't want to write AP off.

 

This season isn't over yet , the -10 was this season - not last.

It will effect the outcome our our points tally whatever happens.

We have, in fact WON 57 points this season...just feel glad the FA didn't find reasons to deduct 15, 20 or 30 points !

Edited by david in sweden
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