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Reflection at the mid point...


Kingsland Red
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Whatever happens at Everton, we will be in 9th place at the half way point of the season.

We are currently two wins clear of 10th place but maybe not consistent enough to stay with those above us.

So we're in a little league of our own, but with 13 points to the magic forty, maybe in a position where we can play with a freedom and kick on.

Here's hoping, it's been a thoroughly enjoyable season so far; and on our day the football is great to watch - Hull and today being examples of the freedom of movement and quality of passing, with no weight on the players' shoulders.

I don't think the players will get casual so, as a minimum, hopefully we can pass at least Newcastle for a top 8 finish.

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Will have played nearly all the sides above us away and have a good run of games coming up. Not a bad position to be in.

 

Quite right, get the next couple of games out the way and the rest of the season looks quite good. Saying that we lost at home to Villa then turn Cardiff over away.., so who really knows?

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1,5 point per game. Would give 57 at the end of the season if we keep that up.

Last year 8th team had 49 points and 7th 61 points....

 

Some annoying results despite good performances, Villa in particular and some annoyingly bad performances, Norwich and West Ham spring to mind...

Showing that we can compete with anyone on the day and goes into every game with the right attitude imo.

Another 3-4 players from being a good top 8 force sniffing on 4th.

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Reflection is its great to be where we are but its nearly as high as we can ever consistently stay.

 

Nearly?

 

I think its been a great season so far. I loved mixing it with the big boys and going to arsenal challenging for the top spot. Even recently I think we've been subject to some extreme circumstances and can hold our head high. Villa, Sunderland Spurs and Norwich were disappointing but that's going to happen.

 

I've a real belief that with about 3 1st team signings (CB?, AM? FULLBACK?) we could mount a European challenge. It's happening baby!

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Well chuffed with the progress so far, although am mightily disappointed with the dip in form due to injuries. Villa and Spurs at home stand out from most as I really think we'd have got at least 4 points from those games. Terrible foresight from our management/recruitment team not to bring adequate defensive cover, espically with the money spent on Dani which isn't looking too good a decision currently.

 

the January transfer window will give us a very good indication of where NC wants us to finish depending on whether reinforcements are bought in.

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Some great moments, Liverpool away the highlight, some frustrating & disappointing. Draws at home to WHU & Sunderland and defeats to Villa & Norwich wrankle particularly. By and large though I think we proved in the opening 2 to 3 months of the season that we have a first XI capable of challenging for the top 6, but the last month or so has also proved we do not had a squad capable of doing so. Injuries have certainly taken their toll and some of those players filling in simply are not good enough for a top half Premier League club.

 

Looking at the bigger picture though, we are progressing very nicely as a relatively new Premier League team. With key players returning and a good run of fixtures to come between January and March, I expect us to comfortably finish in the top 9 and then push on again next summer. Another three or four signings to match the calibre of signings we saw last summer, whilst keeping our star players would move us on considerably.

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Well we have 27 points right now, at this stage last season we had 15 (with one more game played)…so I guess that means we've done a darn sight better than last season.

 

It's difficult to predict what's going to happen really, if we go on another good run we can finish top 8, if we pick up more injuries and go on another tumble down the leagues we may end up in a similar position to last season, maybe a bit higher.

Edited by BlakeySFC
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The only disappointment is that recent injuries have shown up how much we need our first choice keeper and our first back 'five'.

Our defence was so good up until Arsenal and it's almost like Boruc's brainstorm set in a little jitteriness across the back four no matter which four defenders we were perming...

 

Get Artur back in goal, get the back four back to full strength and I really fancy us to finish in the top 4-6.

 

We fear no-one, few teams can live with our movement and we've only been beaten by ourselves really!!

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The only disappointment is that recent injuries have shown up how much we need our first choice keeper and our first back 'five'.

Our defence was so good up until Arsenal and it's almost like Boruc's brainstorm set in a little jitteriness across the back four no matter which four defenders we were perming...

 

Get Artur back in goal, get the back four back to full strength and I really fancy us to finish in the top 4-6.

 

We fear no-one, few teams can live with our movement and we've only been beaten by ourselves really!!

 

I think you forgetting that in football there will always be injuries suspensions and loss of form of players so in the PL there is a requirement for a large squad of players something the club has not got

 

We have done really well but we sometimes forget that other teams are all trying to improve as well and the teams above us have been in the PL for years and have been able to develop large squads of good players I just cannot see us breaking into the elite group

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The great thing about our season so far, is that in no match (that I have seen anyway) have we really looked like we were in a much lower class than the opposition.

 

As a long standing (suffering?) saints supporter, it's so great not to have those typical games where we don't turn up and get whipped by 6 or 7 goals.

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Been a fantastic season to be a Saints fan - particularly until late October! Stand out players so far; Lovren, Shaw, Rodriguez, Lallana. Honourable mentions for Davis, Schneiderlin, Clyne and Boruc as well. As well as we've played, if the club are serious about playing in the Champions League, it is quite clear that they need greater squad depth and a higher calibre of players coming in. Would like to see a new GK, young LB, CB and an attacking midfielder coming in before the start of next season.

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It's been lovely. I'd like a top 6 finish with Lallana, Lambert and Rodriguez going to the World Cup, Lambert and Rodriguez to hit 15 goals each and blooding some more youngsters. Don't really care about the cup this year.

 

I am up for a good cup run as I doubt we will get much higher than we are now but you never know

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Whereas our season has been pretty incredible so far, let us not be blinded by over optimism. The past 7 games have shown what can happen with injuries not to mention the possible effect that bans would have on results. We currently sit 12 points off of the top position. A look over one's shoulder shows we are 11 points off the bottom three. We've a healthy gap below us but a failure to recruit one or two players in the transfer window may prove dangerous.

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I think we have done very well so far this season. The luxury of a fantastic start [pretty much unheard of for us] and a real identity with our style of play, it has been great that we are now a team that is acknowledged as a good team. When you look at the teams above us the only one that I would like to think we could possibly end up above is Newcastle but the others, Arsenal,Man City,Chelsea Liverpool,Everton, Man U, Spurs, these will take dramatic progress to be above after a whole season. I would say 9th place is pretty much on par and would probably be slightly disappointed if we finished beneath this position. Any thing above would be exceptional.

I can really see that if we can get in a few more players and keep our best ones, with a few more of the young lads coming through, that we could very well move into the top 6 in the next season or 2. The biggest thing we need now is stability for the next 3 to 4 years minimum ......................................

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Why not? Our first 11 is top 4 standard, any team would fall apart if their entire defence, Dm and keeper got injured, our squad isn't that bad we've just had a ridiculous amount of injuries lately

 

I dunno, besides Newcastle every team above us has a far deeper squad. Imagining some of the teams City, Arsenal etc could field in our situation is terrifying.

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I think the best we can hope for in the league is 6th, but we will need to strengthen in January or be very lucky with injuries to achieve that.

 

Hopefully now that chances of either being relegated or qualifying for Europe in the League are obviously far fetched we will put a half decent side out in the FA Cup.

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The key at the start of this season was to see some progression, and the evolving of the club into an established premiership club. That is now happening, ''It's happening''...etc!

 

The key with us over the last 5 years, is that we do it properly. The way we've built and evolved this team over the years is a model for any club. Fair enough, we've had some money to spend, but we've done it right. Even though we've had some duds, that happens at any club in any situation - but the majority of additions we've made over the last few years have evolved and improved us as a club.

 

A few years back I thought NC was a complete nutter when he suggested 50% of our team being home grown in the PL, but credit him - he's not far wrong. We've invested a lot in the academy and we will continue to churn out PL ready youngsters. I think his dream of us being the English Barcelona is a bit nuts, but who knows? He's not really been proven wrong on any of his other statements thus far. There's obviously a real drive and ambition internally.

 

But overall, I think this is season is where most people hoped and expected us to be. Middle of the table, no real trouble and an outside chance of a little European chase. Progression is the key, and we're doing it in the right way.

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The key at the start of this season was to see some progression, and the evolving of the club into an established premiership club. That is now happening, ''It's happening''...etc!

 

The key with us over the last 5 years, is that we do it properly. The way we've built and evolved this team over the years is a model for any club. Fair enough, we've had some money to spend, but we've done it right. Even though we've had some duds, that happens at any club in any situation - but the majority of additions we've made over the last few years have evolved and improved us as a club.

 

A few years back I thought NC was a complete nutter when he suggested 50% of our team being home grown in the PL, but credit him - he's not far wrong. We've invested a lot in the academy and we will continue to churn out PL ready youngsters. I think his dream of us being the English Barcelona is a bit nuts, but who knows? He's not really been proven wrong on any of his other statements thus far. There's obviously a real drive and ambition internally.

 

But overall, I think this is season is where most people hoped and expected us to be. Middle of the table, no real trouble and an outside chance of a little European chase. Progression is the key, and we're doing it in the right way.

 

Perfect post. Let's see how it gets demolished! ;)

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The great thing about our season so far, is that in no match (that I have seen anyway) have we really looked like we were in a much lower class than the opposition.

 

As a long standing (suffering?) saints supporter, it's so great not to have those typical games where we don't turn up and get whipped by 6 or 7 goals.

 

Away at Chelsea we were totally outclassed (in the second half anyway), and for large periods of the Spurs game they tore through our defence like it wasn't there. But aside from those two examples, we have looked competitive against the very best opposition.

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http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2013/dec/27/tactical-review-strike-partnerships

 

Penultimate paragraph, Saints being used as the example of the new style of passing and possession.

 

Am excellent article and if you check my posting history ive long been an advocate of clubs returning to 4-4-2 and calling for saints and England to do so. It won't be long before we see pacy wingers again and a big 'en and little 'en up top with team playing football how it should be, forgetting this poncey foreign tippy tap football and get it forrrrrrrrrrward, into the mixer nice and early.

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