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Crunch Time And Something Has To Change


Glasgow_Saint

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:mcinnes: another one supporting the strategy of losing games! maybe you haven't thought this through but if we win games this will give us better points + goal difference which could be important at the end of the season.

 

You know, I had never thought of that!

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It makes some very good points. A few months ago people were talking about the champions league, that we were brilliant and unstoppable. We are on a bad run and it's the first real test of Pochetinos career at Saints as to how he turns it round. The Chelsea game was a worry as whilst we were beaten by a very good side the players also seemed to lack a bit of confidence and fight once we went a goal down. Of course, it isn't what people want to read so will be dismissed as negative and boring but the truth is that Nick makes some very valid points and with a reasonable run in front of us now things do have to change, ie get back to winning ways and keeping clean sheets.

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It makes some very good points. A few months ago people were talking about the champions league, that we were brilliant and unstoppable. We are on a bad run and it's the first real test of Pochetinos career at Saints as to how he turns it round. The Chelsea game was a worry as whilst we were beaten by a very good side the players also seemed to lack a bit of confidence and fight once we went a goal down. Of course, it isn't what people want to read so will be dismissed as negative and boring but the truth is that Nick makes some very valid points and with a reasonable run in front of us now things do have to change, ie get back to winning ways and keeping clean sheets.

 

In fairness the whole, injuries/form debate has been beaten to death here.

 

Most agree its got more to do with injures & facing the very best in the league, than anything else.

 

Others want to pin it on the ineptitude of the club/management.....

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In fairness the whole, injuries/form debate has been beaten to death here.

 

Most agree its got more to do with injures & facing the very best in the league, than anything else.

 

Others want to pin it on the ineptitude of the club/management.....

 

Not really. Every team gets injuries. People seem to be taking delight at the demise of West Ham and lamblasting Alladyce as a manager yet ignoring West Hams injuries are worse than ours. Yes we've had injuries and there have been individual errors but one win in nine is poor by any standards. People seem to be forgetting that the team Pochetino has had available is not dissimilar to the one Adkins had to chose from.

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Peeps lapped up the positive articles and we had tons of posts and threads highlighting the repetitive pro saints/mopo articles.

 

For some reason discussing the extended poor form is off limits and the past 12-14 games should not be discussed as we have had a couple of injuries?

 

You guys go for it, you can bring yourselves all the way down, however you please.

 

I've moved on some time ago mind.

 

If we don't start racking up some points against the 'lesser' teams in the next few weeks then that's a whole different story.

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It makes some very good points. A few months ago people were talking about the champions league, that we were brilliant and unstoppable. We are on a bad run and it's the first real test of Pochetinos career at Saints as to how he turns it round. The Chelsea game was a worry as whilst we were beaten by a very good side the players also seemed to lack a bit of confidence and fight once we went a goal down. Of course, it isn't what people want to read so will be dismissed as negative and boring but the truth is that Nick makes some very valid points and with a reasonable run in front of us now things do have to change, ie get back to winning ways and keeping clean sheets.

 

I think the back end of last season wasmt so great, it was a bigger test seeing how we started, in fact, the first few games werent exactly explosive.

Why do things have to change? That wouldnt suit your agenda would it? You could see how you hated it when we were doing well, kept patronising people about CL quotes etc. and waited, biding your time, knowing that you may get another bite of negativity. And so you have now the opportunity, though you must be worried about our forthcoming fixtures, what if we win most of them?

 

We're a long way off top 4, some way off top 6, but realistically, we have seen recently what we need to achieve to get into the top 8 consistently.

I think for a team emphasing on home bred talent, playing 4 regular players from our Div 1 days,

we have come a long way, far from a finished article, but say we finish top half this season, the real test is how consistent we are next, the only club to do have done that outside the so called top 6 (4 + Liverpool, Spurs) has been Everton, and you cannot say that they have a squad or international superstars. they have proved over the last few years that they can consistently finish in the top 7/8, and now thay may well be kicking on. We have players like Shaw, JWP and Chambers coming through, playing first team football at eighteen years old, FFS, how good do you think we might be in a few years if we keep the players and keep some stability at the club. Decent coaches like MP need to be assured that there is a long term plan here, not feel under presure not to lose three in a row.

Read fergie's book, the underlying theme weas that there would be hard times whilst transitional periods took effect, and surely taht is where we are at presently.

 

But all you want to do is say, well, "if he doesnt win the next few games, then he should go...."

 

You have to ask two questions;

 

Is MP a good coach, has he proved it on the pitch?

Have we got good enough players for the PL? Now and in the future?

 

I think the answer to both is yes, but all in time.

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I think the back end of last season wasmt so great, it was a bigger test seeing how we started, in fact, the first few games werent exactly explosive.

Why do things have to change? That wouldnt suit your agenda would it? You could see how you hated it when we were doing well, kept patronising people about CL quotes etc. and waited, biding your time, knowing that you may get another bite of negativity. And so you have now the opportunity, though you must be worried about our forthcoming fixtures, what if we win most of them?

 

We're a long way off top 4, some way off top 6, but realistically, we have seen recently what we need to achieve to get into the top 8 consistently.

I think for a team emphasing on home bred talent, playing 4 regular players from our Div 1 days,

we have come a long way, far from a finished article, but say we finish top half this season, the real test is how consistent we are next, the only club to do have done that outside the so called top 6 (4 + Liverpool, Spurs) has been Everton, and you cannot say that they have a squad or international superstars. they have proved over the last few years that they can consistently finish in the top 7/8, and now thay may well be kicking on. We have players like Shaw, JWP and Chambers coming through, playing first team football at eighteen years old, FFS, how good do you think we might be in a few years if we keep the players and keep some stability at the club. Decent coaches like MP need to be assured that there is a long term plan here, not feel under presure not to lose three in a row.

Read fergie's book, the underlying theme weas that there would be hard times whilst transitional periods took effect, and surely taht is where we are at presently.

 

But all you want to do is say, well, "if he doesnt win the next few games, then he should go...."

 

You have to ask two questions;

 

Is MP a good coach, has he proved it on the pitch?

Have we got good enough players for the PL? Now and in the future?

 

I think the answer to both is yes, but all in time.

 

It does make me laugh whenever anyone posts anything that others dont agree with they have an agenda.

 

Believe me mate, should we ever reach the champions league and challenge at the top of the table no one would be happier than me, I was a season ticket holder for years and apart from a spell in the mid 00's barely missed a home game between 1990 and last season.

 

The reason the CL comments were laughable was because it was clear to anyone that had a bit of sense that we were a long, long way away from being good enough to challenge the top 4. Of course whenever i said that i was trolling or "had an agenda" and i was told the CL was possible and the top 6 inevitable. Now i've been proven right i still have an agenda apparently because i'm pointing out we are on bad run, the squad isn't as good as some thought it was and even claiming that i'm saying MP should go if we dont win the next few games. i'm sure you can find the quotes of me saying this as you remember it, or did you make that bit up?

 

Last season MP was still in his honeymoon period, now he's been here a year and we are on a bad run so he does face a few difficult decisions and a bit of task to turn it round. In truth it's his first real test in his time here. Yes we have had injures but there have also been some strange tactical decisions in the last few weeks as well.

 

Maybe you should read what i post before leaping to assumptions

Edited by Turkish
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The thing is, 9th would have been acceptable, but following our good start I think many people's expectations changed. I don't mean Champions League qualification but at least a push for a 6th/7th place finish, which now looks as likely as relegation. However, we have half the season still to go and there's time to turn things around. For me, another centre back is an absolute must. We've given ourselves a chance in the cup and have a favourable draw, but we look a bit lost in mid table, need to get the confidence back and at the very least make a push for 7th, even though it looks unlikely. Rumours have been very quiet though, we certainly need to keep Lambert, and good cbs are hard to come by but it can be done

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The thing is, 9th would have been acceptable, but following our good start I think many people's expectations changed. I don't mean Champions League qualification but at least a push for a 6th/7th place finish, which now looks as likely as relegation. However, we have half the season still to go and there's time to turn things around. For me, another centre back is an absolute must. We've given ourselves a chance in the cup and have a favourable draw, but we look a bit lost in mid table, need to get the confidence back and at the very least make a push for 7th, even though it looks unlikely. Rumours have been very quiet though, we certainly need to keep Lambert, and good cbs are hard to come by but it can be done

 

The only people whose expectations have changed are those that got carried away in the first place.

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why we only garnered 5 points in that run, one of the worst runs we have had in our Premier league career, only perhaps beaten by our four points from the opening 9 games last season.

 

Only perhaps? Well no, it IS beaten by it.

 

They are probably right, but if we have made one mistake this season it is effectively creating two squads within one, there is definately a first choice of around 13 players who played week in week out till fairly recently and then the rest of the squad who seem to have become completely de motivated as has been shown by some lacklustre performances from them. -

 

Don't agree with that at all. We've seen rotation this system with Lambert/Osvaldo, as well as the midfield of Davis/JWP/Rodriguez/Lallana/Ramirez. Then you've got those who haven't been rotated - Cork and Chambers - who have not toounmotivated to me!

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Poor article with little substance. Peeling away all the blindingly obvious statements about needing to win more, the only real point it makes -and one within MP's control- is that we've created two squads within one (if people can be bothered to get that far).

 

Even here, not sure what its driving at: that we lack squad depth? How is that a mistake when we're only into our second season in the prem and it will take time to overhaul a championship squad without a QPR shock-and-awe makeover that has rarely been shown to work?

 

Alternatively, it might mean that MP has demotivated fringe players. How? Not playing them because they're largely dross? Indeed, when he does give them opportunities to get match practice, stake a claim, feel part of the squad e.g. the league cup, he's slaughtered by the simpletons on here - note the irony its the same simpletons who think this article is very good :lol:

 

There's a whiff of an attempt to say that MP has been sussed out without any evidence. With the exception of West Brom last year and possibly Swansea this year (which we won), can't think of many, if any games where teams have exposed the flaws of the system. In fact, its held up pretty well against all styles and formations.

 

So we might not finish in the Champions League places but that will only come as a mild surprise to a tiny minority -and to be fair they hoped -rather than expected- it.

Edited by shurlock
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Poor article with little substance. Peeling away all the blindingly obvious statements about needing to win more, the only real point it makes -and one within MP's control- is that we've created two squads within one (if people can be bothered to get that far).

 

Even here, not sure what its driving at: that we lack squad depth? How is that a mistake when we're only into our second season in the prem and it will take time to overhaul a championship squad without a QPR shock-and-awe makeover that has rarely been shown to work?

 

Alternatively, it might mean that MP has demotivated fringe players. How? Not playing them because they're largely dross? Indeed, when he does give them opportunities to get match practice, stake a claim, feel part of the squad e.g. the league cup, he's slaughtered by the simpletons on here - note the irony its the same simpletons who think this article is very good :lol:

 

There's a whiff of an attempt to say that MP has been sussed out without any evidence. With the exception of West Brom last year and possibly Swansea this year (which we won), can't think of many, if any games where teams have exposed the flaws of the system. In fact, its held up pretty well against all styles and formations.

 

So we might not finish in the Champions League places but that will only come as a mild surprise to a tiny minority -and to be fair they hoped -rather than expected- it.

 

Good post. Nail on head.

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We have had a few injuries - I accept that, we have also had a tough(ish) run of fixtures. However does that tell the full story? Mopo was supposed to take us to the next level and was backed heavily in the summer. As it stands however mopo has the lowest career win ration of all prem managers and one of the lowest in the top 4 English leagues.

 

We finished the end of last season with 0 wins in 6 and now we have one in nine – the high press is the problem imho, its just not sustainable for a squad our size and quality. It works for Barcelona as they have a squad full of world class players. Is it a failing of mopo that he doesn’t seem to have a plan B and is still persevering with his one tactic despite its limitations

 

Managers are judged on results, not performances – mopo has not delivered enough results and the stats highlight that.

 

Nonsense, we are doing fine. In the last 9 games Villa was the only really poor result.

 

In the last 9 we have played Chelsea twice, Arsenal, Man City, Spurs plus Everton and Newcastle away. Which of these do you think we should be expecting to win with key players injured?

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We have had a few injuries - I accept that, we have also had a tough(ish) run of fixtures. However does that tell the full story? Mopo was supposed to take us to the next level and was backed heavily in the summer. As it stands however mopo has the lowest career win ration of all prem managers and one of the lowest in the top 4 English leagues.

 

We finished the end of last season with 0 wins in 6 and now we have one in nine – the high press is the problem imho, its just not sustainable for a squad our size and quality. It works for Barcelona as they have a squad full of world class players. Is it a failing of mopo that he doesn’t seem to have a plan B and is still persevering with his one tactic despite its limitations

 

Managers are judged on results, not performances – mopo has not delivered enough results and the stats highlight that.

 

You look at the manager stats (I know they are of interest to you as you like to update them on nearly every thread) and I'll have a look at the league table. I will also watch the games and pass judgement based on the way the team are playing.

 

As far as I'm concerned, this is the first time I can honestly say Saints have the potential to beat any team they face. I'm not saying they will (as results obviously show) but the potential is there. Some of the football being played is the best I've seen for a long time from a Saints side. Our biggest problems at the moment are injuries and squad depth. Yes I know injuries affect all teams but it is a fact. Also, our back up defenders and Goalkeepers are just not good enough (Chambers excluded) and the poor judgement in recent games from Gazzaniga, Yoshida and Jos have shown how bad our 'second string' are. Unfortunately this is something that will take time to address.

 

All in all, for halfway stage, I'm very happy

 

Think problem most posters seem to have with your OP is that you seem to be a poster just itching for the opportunity to say 'I told you so' IF it all goes wrong.

 

Personally, I have a little bit more faith in MP based on what i've actually seen

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I wonder if the people who yelled abuse at him and never wanted to see him in a Saints shirt just over a year ago agree with that.

 

Probably. Such is the hypocrisy of some of our more special fans.

 

Windows, no its not the video, they are both woefully inadequate for this level, atleast Kelvin has half an excuse due to age

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I understand both sides of the reactions here.

 

But, it has to be said that the current situation has exposed our transfer policy as being woeful and naiive.

 

We've spent a fortune on two players that have spectacularly failed to deliver, sometimes even turn up, at the cost of adding strength-in-depth to the squad to cover spates of injuries. And now we are paying the price.

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how come, when we were doing very well and sat 3rd, Nick was full of "lets wait 3 more games before we can judge" and then after those three games passed, it was "lets wait 3 games to see where we are"

 

how come NOW its time to judge and only the last 6-8 games...why not wait another 3?

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I understand both sides of the reactions here.

 

But, it has to be said that the current situation has exposed our transfer policy as being woeful and naiive.

 

We've spent a fortune on two players that have spectacularly failed to deliver, sometimes even turn up, at the cost of adding strength-in-depth to the squad to cover spates of injuries. And now we are paying the price.

 

But, do you remember when we used to just bring in back up players and rely on the dross to pull us out of trouble? 2004-2005 especially? Jacobsen, Neilson, Davenport, Barnard etc...

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I understand both sides of the reactions here.

 

But, it has to be said that the current situation has exposed our transfer policy as being woeful and naiive.

 

We've spent a fortune on two players that have spectacularly failed to deliver, sometimes even turn up, at the cost of adding strength-in-depth to the squad to cover spates of injuries. And now we are paying the price.

 

I am quite surprised to say that I completely agree with what you are saying we have not done that well in the Transfer.

 

I think we have been very lucky to have achieved 9th Position which realistically is nearly the highest we can achieve as I dont think that a team in League 1 four years ago can compete consistently with the clubs in position 1 to 7 who have built large squads over quite a long time.

 

Yes you are right we are now playing the price of not having a large PL squad and not resolving the GK situation especially as Davis and Gassa were our preferred goalies 18 months ago we were very lucky to get Boruc but did very well to get him so fit

 

My main gripe is that we got in a number of players over time and gave them relatively 'long' contracts when they were never going to be suitable for the PL but that is probably something very difficult to manage but we still have Fox Barnard Jos Forte Sharp still hanging about

 

But it is really good to be in the top half of the PL with a relatively young squad much better than when we were high in the League with Strachan

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I understand both sides of the reactions here.

 

But, it has to be said that the current situation has exposed our transfer policy as being woeful and naiive.

 

We've spent a fortune on two players that have spectacularly failed to deliver, sometimes even turn up, at the cost of adding strength-in-depth to the squad to cover spates of injuries. And now we are paying the price.

 

I half agree with your sentiments Alps, for me Ramirez is a player with incredible ability but I cant disagree he just doesnt fit the system. For the pressing system to work you need everyone working hard, he simply doesnt.

 

Ossie was required though, we simply needed a new striker and I find it a little unnerving that he is being written off already.

 

How anyone decided that we didnt need a new keeper though is beyond me, Boruc is obviously no 1 but his deputies are woefull. Other than that you can understand the reasons for having a smallish squad, our advancement has been too rapid, you add quality by spending money, building a squad takes time.

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I understand both sides of the reactions here.

 

But, it has to be said that the current situation has exposed our transfer policy as being woeful and naiive.

 

We've spent a fortune on two players that have spectacularly failed to deliver, sometimes even turn up, at the cost of adding strength-in-depth to the squad to cover spates of injuries. And now we are paying the price.

Yes and no, IMO. Ramirez wasn't the player we needed as a priority at that time; CB was much more in need of top class reinforcements. This summer our priorities were a top class striker to compete with/take over from Rickie plus one (or two if possible) top ten quality centre backs. We got both of those, Lovren has been a sensation and while Osvaldo looked the man on paper, he simply hasn't delivered. But it was definitely a position we needed to bring in, its just the choice of player hasn't worked out so far. But the decision not to strengthen the GK ranks was mystifying and could be a real body blow.

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I understand both sides of the reactions here.

 

But, it has to be said that the current situation has exposed our transfer policy as being woeful and naiive.

 

We've spent a fortune on two players that have spectacularly failed to deliver, sometimes even turn up, at the cost of adding strength-in-depth to the squad to cover spates of injuries. And now we are paying the price.

 

You are right. Gaston has been a big disappointment and Osvaldo has yet to impress on a consistent basis.

 

The WBA game coming up,though will be revealing:

 

scenario 1: Comfortable win= we can be confident of a good league finish and take the Cup seriously.

 

Scenario 2: Narrow win = Think we will have to put our efforts to grind out the necessary points to finish between 10th and 12th.

 

Scenario 3: Draw= disappointing and I think we could be in a long drawn out season as we limp over the safety line.

 

Scenario 4: Defeat = alarm bells ringing loud as we slide into the relegation mire.

 

I hope it is scenario one after WBA, but Saints never make things easy !

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What a terrible article....

 

It fails to take into account the games we are supposed to win, the games we could get a draw and those we should write off. As countless people have said we have just come out of probably our hardest run of games going into them with around 60% of our 1st team out injured. To expect us to beat teams like Chelsea, Arsenal and Citeh is just silly. Teams like Everton and Spurs would have been teams Id expect maybe a point from at home but Everton was away. The Villa game was a screw up. We now go into a better run of games with 3 of the bottom 5 and other mid table teams. Other then Arsenal we don't have to play any other big club or anyone inside the top 10 until march... If we come out of that group of games in the same form or points attained then fair enough write up about how things are going bad. But while we are 9th and having played pretty much all the teams above within a month it is stupid.

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What a terrible article....

 

It fails to take into account the games we are supposed to win, the games we could get a draw and those we should write off. As countless people have said we have just come out of probably our hardest run of games going into them with around 60% of our 1st team out injured. To expect us to beat teams like Chelsea, Arsenal and Citeh is just silly. Teams like Everton and Spurs would have been teams Id expect maybe a point from at home but Everton was away. The Villa game was a screw up. We now go into a better run of games with 3 of the bottom 5 and other mid table teams. Other then Arsenal we don't have to play any other big club or anyone inside the top 10 until march... If we come out of that group of games in the same form or points attained then fair enough write up about how things are going bad. But while we are 9th and having played pretty much all the teams above within a month it is stupid.

 

Pretty much agree with most of this! Some common sense reasoning......

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It makes some very good points. A few months ago people were talking about the champions league, that we were brilliant and unstoppable. We are on a bad run and it's the first real test of Pochetinos career at Saints as to how he turns it round. The Chelsea game was a worry as whilst we were beaten by a very good side the players also seemed to lack a bit of confidence and fight once we went a goal down. Of course, it isn't what people want to read so will be dismissed as negative and boring but the truth is that Nick makes some very valid points and with a reasonable run in front of us now things do have to change, ie get back to winning ways and keeping clean sheets.

 

It really doesn't make any good points to anyone with half a brain.

 

His basic two points are...if we lose all our games we will be in relegation battle. Same applies to Man U!

 

His other point is we need to examine reason for one win in last nine.

 

OK will help him with this;

 

1) Chelsea H

Top 3 side and..

lost to this...

Cech

28 Azpilicueta

03 Cole

12 Mikel

24 Cahill

26 Terry

10 Mata (Oscar - 53' Booked )

07 Ramires

09 Torres

17 Hazard (Essien - 85' )

14 Schürrle (Willian - 53' )

Substitutes

05 Essien

11 Oscar

19 Ba

22 Willian

23 Schwarzer

29 Eto'o

33 Kalas

 

2) away to Everton top 4 side. Away. Narrowly lost 2-1. More shots. More possession.

Martinez said " Day defeat by Sunderland in the process.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez:

"It was a completely different test to the one we had on Boxing Day. Southampton are a very god side and we knew that and we had to be perfect in our performance and the two goals were of outstanding quality.

"To see the way we got the winning goal was very satisfying and the nature of the victory was also pleasing considering the players we had out.

"We defended well and had real concentration which we needed against Southampton"

 

3) beat Cardiff 3-0 away.

 

4) lost to spurs. Lost narrowly 2-3 to the team in 7th. Unlucky own goal. 57% possession. 17 shots.

 

 

5) Newcastle . away against 6th. Creditable draw. We had 60% possession

 

6) man city. Drew with 2nd placed side. 55% possession. 55% possession against top players. Pellegrini said " "It is a good point. I don't feel like we lost two points.

"In all the other games away I felt like we deserved more but here this was the result that both teams deserved."

 

7) lost 2-3 Villa. Only really disappointing game. Freak game. 78% possession. 30 shots! BBC said It was only the third time Saints had conceded at home all season, and the hosts' confidence did not appear dented as they continued to monopolise possession and create goalscoring opportunities, flurry of chances, domination..

 

8) Chelsea lost away to team in 2nd. Reports we deservedly in lead and on top at half time. Chelsea on top 2nd. Only after unfortunate injury to Boruc did we lose.

 

9) lost away to top side in league - Arsenal. Had more possession. Gifted them the lead. Martin Kweon said Arsenal lucky to win. Wenger recently said we were one of best sides they have faced this season.

 

Only freak Villa game would be described as real disappointment even for team in top 9.

 

We got 5 points - what would fans have predicted at start of season from those? Even if thought we would do well. 7 would be a decent return.

 

If we play like that for next 9 we will get more than 5.

 

We lost Boruc, Clyne, Lovren, Fonte, Shaw, Scneiderlin and Wanyama during that tough period - all back 7.

 

So not sure what valid points you mean? Need to get points to stay up? Easier games are easier time to get points?

 

Not worried at all - if playing badly maybe

 

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

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It really doesn't make any good points to anyone with half a brain.

 

His basic two points are...if we lose all our games we will be in relegation battle. Same applies to Man U!

 

His other point is we need to examine reason for one win in last nine.

 

OK will help him with this;

 

1) Chelsea H

Top 3 side and..

lost to this...

Cech

28 Azpilicueta

03 Cole

12 Mikel

24 Cahill

26 Terry

10 Mata (Oscar - 53' Booked )

07 Ramires

09 Torres

17 Hazard (Essien - 85' )

14 Schürrle (Willian - 53' )

Substitutes

05 Essien

11 Oscar

19 Ba

22 Willian

23 Schwarzer

29 Eto'o

33 Kalas

 

2) away to Everton top 4 side. Away. Narrowly lost 2-1. More shots. More possession.

Martinez said " Day defeat by Sunderland in the process.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez:

"It was a completely different test to the one we had on Boxing Day. Southampton are a very god side and we knew that and we had to be perfect in our performance and the two goals were of outstanding quality.

"To see the way we got the winning goal was very satisfying and the nature of the victory was also pleasing considering the players we had out.

"We defended well and had real concentration which we needed against Southampton"

 

3) beat Cardiff 3-0 away.

 

4) lost to spurs. Lost narrowly 2-3 to the team in 7th. Unlucky own goal. 57% possession. 17 shots.

 

 

5) Newcastle . away against 6th. Creditable draw. We had 60% possession

 

6) man city. Drew with 2nd placed side. 55% possession. 55% possession against top players. Pellegrini said " "It is a good point. I don't feel like we lost two points.

"In all the other games away I felt like we deserved more but here this was the result that both teams deserved."

 

7) lost 2-3 Villa. Only really disappointing game. Freak game. 78% possession. 30 shots! BBC said It was only the third time Saints had conceded at home all season, and the hosts' confidence did not appear dented as they continued to monopolise possession and create goalscoring opportunities, flurry of chances, domination..

 

8) Chelsea lost away to team in 2nd. Reports we deservedly in lead and on top at half time. Chelsea on top 2nd. Only after unfortunate injury to Boruc did we lose.

 

9) lost away to top side in league - Arsenal. Had more possession. Gifted them the lead. Martin Kweon said Arsenal lucky to win. Wenger recently said we were one of best sides they have faced this season.

 

Only freak Villa game would be described as real disappointment even for team in top 9.

 

We got 5 points - what would fans have predicted at start of season from those? Even if thought we would do well. 7 would be a decent return.

 

If we play like that for next 9 we will get more than 5.

 

We lost Boruc, Clyne, Lovren, Fonte, Shaw, Scneiderlin and Wanyama during that tough period - all back 7.

 

So not sure what valid points you mean? Need to get points to stay up? Easier games are easier time to get points?

 

Not worried at all - if playing badly maybe

 

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

 

Surely if our squad is good enough and aiming to finish 6th we should be winning these games?

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Surely if our squad is good enough and aiming to finish 6th we should be winning these games?

 

Yes.

 

Shows the level of expectations that people are disappointed.

 

Shows how close we are.

 

We were not thrashed in any, closest was Chelsea at home.

 

Even with injuries etc we were close to beating Spurs and Villa, and drawing at Everton. That's how close the margins are as well would have put us top 6 now - why we are targeting that level.

 

But we didn't!

 

So top 6 would not be unreasonable target.

 

However, we are always going to drop points in easier games or games when on top. Which is why I think its a target if things go very well (or other teams do badly!).

 

I said when season started young squads often have dips in form but thought would finish 9th.

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Yes.

 

Shows the level of expectations that people are disappointed.

 

Shows how close we are.

 

We were not thrashed in any, closest was Chelsea at home.

 

Even with injuries etc we were close to beating Spurs and Villa, and drawing at Everton. That's how close the margins are as well would have put us top 6 now - why we are targeting that level.

 

But we didn't!

 

So top 6 would not be unreasonable target.

 

However, we are always going to drop points in easier games or games when on top. Which is why I think its a target if things go very well (or other teams do badly!).

 

I said when season started young squads often have dips in form but thought would finish 9th.

 

The season we got relegated We were close to beating Arsenal at Highbury and not thrashed by Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton who all qualified for the champions league that season. Indeed we actually beat Liverpool and Drew at home to Everton who equalised In injury time. Was that seasons squad good enough to target top 6 too?

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Yes.

 

Shows the level of expectations that people are disappointed.

 

Shows how close we are.

 

We were not thrashed in any, closest was Chelsea at home.

 

Even with injuries etc we were close to beating Spurs and Villa, and drawing at Everton. That's how close the margins are as well would have put us top 6 now - why we are targeting that level.

 

But we didn't!

 

So top 6 would not be unreasonable target.

 

However, we are always going to drop points in easier games or games when on top. Which is why I think its a target if things go very well (or other teams do badly!).

 

I said when season started young squads often have dips in form but thought would finish 9th.

 

It does indeed show how close we are.

 

Not in the slightest bit close.

 

Top 6 was never realistic this season, certainly not for last year's team as you so memorably and dopily claimed.

 

Every team in the league has got ten points worth of coulda shoulda woulda moments, so using that to justify top six being realistic is just ridiculous.

 

We are where we are. And it's about right.

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It does indeed show how close we are.

 

Not in the slightest bit close.

 

Top 6 was never realistic this season, certainly not for last year's team as you so memorably and dopily claimed.

 

Every team in the league has got ten points worth of coulda shoulda woulda moments, so using that to justify top six being realistic is just ridiculous.

 

We are where we are. And it's about right.

 

 

Completely agree with this.

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I remember this time last year West ham had few easier games at the start of the season and made a good start. Then they faced a tougher run Lost a few. And dropped down the table. At the time people on here were quick to claim they were where they were due to their easy start and were now at their true level. Funny how that doesn't apply now.

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I wonder if the people who yelled abuse at him and never wanted to see him in a Saints shirt just over a year ago agree with that.

 

He fumbles a lot, but I like to call it controlled fumbles. He is a bit of a clown though and reminds me of Grobbelaar in the 80's.

 

Think we will have a great run from now to mid march and on to the end of the season we will win more than we lose. 8th.

 

So all you moaners get it out your system before Saturday 3pm..... Or maybe half time ;)

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I remember this time last year West ham had few easier games at the start of the season and made a good start. Then they faced a tougher run Lost a few. And dropped down the table. At the time people on here were quick to claim they were where they were due to their easy start and were now at their true level. Funny how that doesn't apply now.

 

Someone makes a great start every season and then drops. It rudely think we are going to pick up from now. If we lose Saturday I, as mentioned before will start to glance down the table. Saturday I think is a huge game and will define how we fair the rest of the season. Lose to WBA at home and I will be scratching my head a little.

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It does indeed show how close we are.

 

Not in the slightest bit close.

 

Top 6 was never realistic this season, certainly not for last year's team as you so memorably and dopily claimed.

 

Every team in the league has got ten points worth of coulda shoulda woulda moments, so using that to justify top six being realistic is just ridiculous.

 

We are where we are. And it's about right.

 

I don't agree with your comment about top 6 being unreasonable, with a full team and no injuries we can beat anyone, and you can guard against the risk by having depth in positions, which we are lacking, but one or two in a few positions would not effect too much, 8 out and having to rely on our 3rd choice keeper no one could guard against. To say it's unrealistic now is perchance inclusive of a bit of hind-sight? I do agree that we are where we are, and perhaps this can be used as justification to show how we CAN progress, but with a bit cash on back up's in some areas. we are in Limbo at the moment, where a win or loss means nothing as we're going nowhere fast, but if we could just get back to winning ways we can only hope that someone ****s up above us in a big way for us to progress. But this reminds me to much of the old days and it being required for us to stay up.

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I don't agree with your comment about top 6 being unreasonable, with a full team and no injuries we can beat anyone, and you can guard against the risk by having depth in positions, which we are lacking, but one or two in a few positions would not effect too much, 8 out and having to rely on our 3rd choice keeper no one could guard against. To say it's unrealistic now is perchance inclusive of a bit of hind-sight? I do agree that we are where we are, and perhaps this can be used as justification to show how we CAN progress, but with a bit cash on back up's in some areas. we are in Limbo at the moment, where a win or loss means nothing as we're going nowhere fast, but if we could just get back to winning ways we can only hope that someone ****s up above us in a big way for us to progress. But this reminds me to much of the old days and it being required for us to stay up.

 

We're agreeing. If we had three/four more players at Waya/Lovren class and very lucky with injuries then yeah. Top six, possibly.

 

We haven't though. (which is fine, as six or seven massive signings in August would have been too risky)

 

No hindsight from me either, I said 8th/9th/10th in the summer.

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I think we are in a good position and an over-reaction on the UI. What needs to change is Jos and Fox moving out on loan-perm deals, surprised at Yoshida seemingly leaving so might need a couple of new defenders; one CB and another that can play there and cover LB as Shaw is looking jaded. The keeper situation can wait until the summer. Other than defenders, I think the squad is evolving nicely, Chambers has been a huge bonus and JWP will come out of his dip in form quickly. Wanyama and Boruc fit will restore solidity and Osvaldo will feature more post-ban. Lallana is getting just better and better and Steven Davis continues to be Mr Consistent when he features. Morgan's head might get turned if Deschamps continues to ignore him but have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

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Injuries are only a problem if the squad depth isn't there to cover it, which is precisely our problem now and no revelation to any Saints fan. We've got two or three problem positions where we're not covered, and maybe one position where we're just not strong enough full-stop, which is why I was surprised when MP announced that we wouldn't be doing any business in Jan. I hope they've revised that plan; it was mad to start with and predicated on the notion that no-one would get crocked.

 

Although the sight of a Premier League team plummeting to its doom is not uncommon, I don't think we'll get relegated, but I do think MP could be in danger if results continue to elude us, and not a great deal to disagree about in Nick's article. We're floundering a bit, no-one is calling for MP's head, but we'll need to shake things up in order to progress.

 

The "it's the injuries" lather doesn't wash with me. It's not like injuries are a fledgling concept like Hawkeye that clubs have only just found out about. We haven't got sufficient cover and it has cost us.

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It really doesn't make any good points to anyone with half a brain.

 

Not worried at all - if playing badly maybe

 

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

 

Oh dear Nick, rose tinted specs blocking your vision? Not scoring enough goals, conceding too many soft goals and not picking up enough points is surely the definition of playing badly.

 

I guess you have had previous with Illingsworth but that does not automatically make his viewpoint brainless. The sycophantic nonsense that you sometimes come out with is equally puzzling to most neutral observers.

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Pap, you're such a voice of reason.
I am going to assume that you mean this non-sarcastically and that right now, a small plaque bearing both my name and the legend "voice of reason" is winging its way to Liverpool.Did the delivery people give a time at all, d'yknow?
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The main issue is strength in depth. Everton for example had Baines out injured, Oviedo has come in and done a fantastic job. Shaw gets injured, we have Fox to come in, says it all. Also, all of these possession stats and injury excuses really mean nothing when we have failed to win the game. We are 5/6 Quality players away from even beginning to think about challenging for a top 6 spot, so a long, long way. So forget about the fact that we had 55% possession against Man City, it's rather insignificant

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The main issue is strength in depth. Everton for example had Baines out injured, Oviedo has come in and done a fantastic job. Shaw gets injured, we have Fox to come in, says it all. Also, all of these possession stats and injury excuses really mean nothing when we have failed to win the game. We are 5/6 Quality players away from even beginning to think about challenging for a top 6 spot, so a long, long way. So forget about the fact that we had 55% possession against Man City, it's rather insignificant

 

Don't agree about 5 or 6.

 

Goal keeper, centre back, attacking player, left sided cover. If we had four quality players there we would be Everton's equal. In fact, if Lukaku and Lambert had swapped sides in our match against them, I think we would have won as Lambert was awful.

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