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Matthew Le God

Guaranteed top half top finish four years in a row - 1st time ever in Saints history!

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Tonight's result... Leicester 1 - Tottenham 6

 

Means Saints are guaranteed a top half finish.

 

That is now 4 top half finishes in a row...

 

2013/14 - 8th

2014/15 - 7th

2015/16 - 6th

2016/17 - 8th or 9th or 10th

 

DAIu0ZVXoAAwoad.jpg

 

(Bournemouth & Leicester can't both win on Sunday as they play each other)

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Nice one

 

P.s. I've got a copy of the script of how this thread will go. PM me if interested.

 

:)

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Still can't believe Stoke wont finish 9th

 

2014: 9th

2015: 9th

2016: 9th

 

Sad times

Especially as they are a level 2 club and we're a level 3 club.

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Yep, it's impressive and the club should be proud. This season not as good as some of the previous ones but still we're easily safe and above most. To be honest it's who owns us is more a pressing issue than who manages us next season.

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Desperate

 

FF as a Saints historian you should realise that being in the top half of the Premier League 4 times in a row IS a big thing for Southampton FC. The only period that can match it in our history is the 5 top half finishes in 6 years between 1980 and 1985. Even with our disappointing home form we are still living in good times!

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Nice one

 

P.s. I've got a copy of the script of how this thread will go. PM me if interested.

 

:)

 

Puel out. :rolleyes:

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Good news, especially for those of us old enough to remember relegation battles year after year. And a great cup run and performance in the final. If this is a bad year, I can live with that.

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ironic really, my god so many of our fans have got so spoilt the last few years, so that now we have achieved this in this manner it seems perverse even.

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We have a clear route to 8th. Totally in our control.

 

If we now lose to Stoke, Puel needs to be fired.

 

Not sure you're serious, but I know some are. As a lifelong Saints fan I'm saddened by the Club's Management leaving Puel hanging on a thread until the season is over. Certainly less than the vote of confidence I'd expect if I'd made sacrifices to join the club. Despite some pretty bad luck with injuries to key players and terrible scheduling (surprised no-one has commented on this - our Christmas schedule and delayed 'catch-up' games have done us no favours) we're in 8th place and should stay there. If we learned how to score penalties again (got to be some coaching focus on that) we'd already have 8th place secured.

 

Sure, I have questions about the style of football we play. It's frustratingly boring and turgid at times. Four 0-0's in a row at home is not acceptable. Lowest goal tally, home points etc. But then we've also seen some terrific games that give you pause for thought that we can actually play attractive attacking football - the League Cup Final being top of mind.

 

You can't lose your best player and your top scorer and not expect to have some difficulties. I've not heard him use this as an excuse ever - he's got on with what he's got.

 

Puel deserves an opportunity to learn the PL for a season (Man Utd did it with...who was it...oh yes, Alex Ferguson...he did okay in the end).

 

He needs a clear brief; we are an attacking team...style is just as important as points, it's not one or the other.

 

I suspect the cageiness from Ralph and Les is because Puel himself hasn't decided if he likes it here or not - I wouldn't blame him for thinking he was sold a pup (we're not a selling club any more - ha ha) and that he's got a whingeing bunch of ingrates in the stands.

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Not sure you're serious, but I know some are. As a lifelong Saints fan I'm saddened by the Club's Management leaving Puel hanging on a thread until the season is over. Certainly less than the vote of confidence I'd expect if I'd made sacrifices to join the club. Despite some pretty bad luck with injuries to key players and terrible scheduling (surprised no-one has commented on this - our Christmas schedule and delayed 'catch-up' games have done us no favours) we're in 8th place and should stay there. If we learned how to score penalties again (got to be some coaching focus on that) we'd already have 8th place secured.

 

Sure, I have questions about the style of football we play. It's frustratingly boring and turgid at times. Four 0-0's in a row at home is not acceptable. Lowest goal tally, home points etc. But then we've also seen some terrific games that give you pause for thought that we can actually play attractive attacking football - the League Cup Final being top of mind.

 

You can't lose your best player and your top scorer and not expect to have some difficulties. I've not heard him use this as an excuse ever - he's got on with what he's got.

 

Puel deserves an opportunity to learn the PL for a season (Man Utd did it with...who was it...oh yes, Alex Ferguson...he did okay in the end).

 

He needs a clear brief; we are an attacking team...style is just as important as points, it's not one or the other.

 

I suspect the cageiness from Ralph and Les is because Puel himself hasn't decided if he likes it here or not - I wouldn't blame him for thinking he was sold a pup (we're not a selling club any more - ha ha) and that he's got a whingeing bunch of ingrates in the stands.

Nice post. Go Canucks!

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Saints were actually guaranteed a top half finish before a ball was kicked in the Leicester v Spurs match.

 

Hate to contradict MLG, but the 0-0 draw with Man Utd was sufficient to guarantee we finished in the top ten (barring perhaps an insane GD swing).

 

It would be great to finish 8th and a decent achievement. But hard to celebrate too much. Our first season going backwards in the league. The gap to 7th is huge - let alone the top four. If we go backwards in terms of points next season as much as we did this season, we would be heading for near-certain relegation next year.

Edited by SaintBobby
typo

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Not sure you're serious, but I know some are. As a lifelong Saints fan I'm saddened by the Club's Management leaving Puel hanging on a thread until the season is over. Certainly less than the vote of confidence I'd expect if I'd made sacrifices to join the club. Despite some pretty bad luck with injuries to key players and terrible scheduling (surprised no-one has commented on this - our Christmas schedule and delayed 'catch-up' games have done us no favours) we're in 8th place and should stay there. If we learned how to score penalties again (got to be some coaching focus on that) we'd already have 8th place secured.

 

Sure, I have questions about the style of football we play. It's frustratingly boring and turgid at times. Four 0-0's in a row at home is not acceptable. Lowest goal tally, home points etc. But then we've also seen some terrific games that give you pause for thought that we can actually play attractive attacking football - the League Cup Final being top of mind.

 

You can't lose your best player and your top scorer and not expect to have some difficulties. I've not heard him use this as an excuse ever - he's got on with what he's got.

 

Puel deserves an opportunity to learn the PL for a season (Man Utd did it with...who was it...oh yes, Alex Ferguson...he did okay in the end).

 

He needs a clear brief; we are an attacking team...style is just as important as points, it's not one or the other.

 

I suspect the cageiness from Ralph and Les is because Puel himself hasn't decided if he likes it here or not - I wouldn't blame him for thinking he was sold a pup (we're not a selling club any more - ha ha) and that he's got a whingeing bunch of ingrates in the stands.

 

I agree with this.

 

I actually think Puel has done good work behind the scenes, and whoever the manager is next season will benefit from that. Hopefully it is Puel, and he is given the opportunity to turn it around. He's a title winning manager who has led a team to the Champions League semi-finals. He's probably the most successful manager to have ever managed Southampton. It will click next season, guaranteed.

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Nice post. Go Canucks!

 

Thanks Dark Munster! Don't know how you know the Canucks, but if you follow hockey our Canucks make Saints performance this season look totally stellar...from Presidents trophy winners twice in a row to second bottom in the league this year...and can't even win the lottery to get first pick for best players next year!

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Mark Lawrenson reckons

 

Southampton are guaranteed a top-half finish and can make sure of a top-eight finish with a win, which underlines that they have had another very good season.

 

Think that's how most outsiders will see it in the end of season round ups, in the press, over the next week or so.

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Very odd attitude for an "historian".

 

I was mischievously playing the poster not the post.

It is undoubtably a very credible achievement for a club our size and I watched Spurs goals go in with glea, but the tone of the post was a little bit overblown. It reminded me of those wartime newsreels that tried to boost morale.

Edited by Fitzhugh Fella

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I think I'll wait until Sunday before celebrating this achievement, if we lose to Stoke and somehow end up below WBA and Bournemouth there's no way that could be considered a success.

Even though we are currently 8th one place off a Europa spot we are much closer points / performance wise to the bottom 3.

 

future generations may well look back at this four year period as a golden era of top 8 finishes and a cup final so I suppose we should all try harder to appreciate it a bit more.

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I think I'll wait until Sunday before celebrating this achievement, if we lose to Stoke and somehow end up below WBA and Bournemouth there's no way that could be considered a success.

Even though we are currently 8th one place off a Europa spot we are much closer points / performance wise to the bottom 3.

 

future generations may well look back at this four year period as a golden era of top 8 finishes and a cup final so I suppose we should all try harder to appreciate it a bit more.

 

 

In the end all people remember is the league position couldn't tell you many points we had in previous seasons with out looking it up but I can usual remember where we finished in the table.

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2013/2014 : 56 points.

2014/2015: 60 points.

2015/2016 63 points.

2016/2017: 46-4X?.

 

I'm not gonna applaud that. Keeping thing "as is" could be disastrous. Im sure the club will take actions like Ralph has indicated.

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If we were in exactly the same position, with exactly the same points, with exactly the same Europa League and Cup run, but played more beautiful, attacking football, nobody would be calling for Puel to go.

 

This level of top-flight consistency IS a big deal for a club of our size, who not so long ago were fearful of going out of business. When we were promoted the one thing we all called for was establishing ourselves in the top flight, which we've done. No sane person really expected us to continue to improve our league position every single year without fail, as there are constraints that we and most other clubs cannot overcome, even with unlimited funds, due to the rules of the league.

 

But... this is Saints, our fanbase have been brought up on drama and need something to get worked up about, so if there isn't anything, we'll go and find it. We're upset about a top-10 finish in the Premier League.

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If we were in exactly the same position, with exactly the same points, with exactly the same Europa League and Cup run, but played more beautiful, attacking football, nobody would be calling for Puel to go.

 

This level of top-flight consistency IS a big deal for a club of our size, who not so long ago were fearful of going out of business. When we were promoted the one thing we all called for was establishing ourselves in the top flight, which we've done. No sane person really expected us to continue to improve our league position every single year without fail, as there are constraints that we and most other clubs cannot overcome, even with unlimited funds, due to the rules of the league.

 

But... this is Saints, our fanbase have been brought up on drama and need something to get worked up about, so if there isn't anything, we'll go and find it. We're upset about a top-10 finish in the Premier League.

 

Maybe there's room to have mid / upper table stability and be entertained? Doesn't have to be one or the other.

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2013/2014 : 56 points.

2014/2015: 60 points.

2015/2016 63 points.

2016/2017: 46-4X?.

 

I'm not gonna applaud that. Keeping thing "as is" could be disastrous. Im sure the club will take actions like Ralph has indicated.

Be careful what you wish for.

 

After a lot of fence-sitting I now hope we keep Claude for at least another season. I'm now convinced that behind the apparently dull exterior there is a good football brain.

 

And for every unsubstantiated report of player fallout, there is evidence of him developing talent. I hope we keep key players: if we do, we've got the core of a very good team and I want to see what he does without injuries and with gaps resulting from lack of replacement.

 

And if we do lose players, let's see how he builds his own team.

 

A new manager now will mean another season of transition with risks. Yes, I would like more goals and hopefully having the right strikers playing regularly will help. As an aside, in his few minutes on Weds, JRod looked more like his old self and I'm hopeful.

 

I don't buy into the mantra that we play boring football, maybe because I've been at several away games where the fluent passing has been impressive. I understand the frustration at St Mary's, but there's a danger that the atmosphere there will become toxic.

 

Get behind the team on Sunday, make a lot of noise and stop believing the grass is always greener.

 

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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The measure of the manager is not that he makes mistakes, but how he learns from his mistakes.

 

Puel is a cautious manager who likes to defend deep in a compact unit and hit on the counter attack. When in possession he likes to keep possession and let the other team work and tire. We are a team who are very neat tidy box to box in possession, but our caution prevents fast attacking football and our players haven't yet worked out the transition and to be clinical. Do we have the players to play the Puel system. Can the players we have learn to be more clinical. Time will tell.

 

I went crazy when JWP was again subbed against Man United, but the change did not open the game as it did previously because Boufal seemed to understand his role better. The mistakes of before certainly appeared to have been worked on and that suggests to me that Puel is learning.

 

The problem is how can you take a cautious man and change him into a risk taker and there lies my problem.

 

His persona, character and poor English make me question whether he fits the 'Southampton Way'.

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Our record in the past 4 seasons is definitely something to be really proud of and shows that generally the club have been very well run in that period.

 

That said, the trend in points, performances and apparent morale throughout the club since the latest manager arrived is not so good. So I think there is a discussion to be had about the best way forward after Sunday. Think much will come down to how Puel is regarded by players and other staff. I have no idea on this as not ITK and don't really listen to all the gossip. If Claude still has support of senior players, I'm sure he will stay. If not it may be best to make a change now rather than saying "let's see how first 10 games of new season go".

 

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

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IF there are tensions between Manager and players then R & K will have to take this onboard when considering the Managers future.

 

I am sure that in any team there will be some players upset about not playing but if the squad is generally unhappy about the tactics employed and/or training arrangements then this will be reflected on the field of play

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Our record in the past 4 seasons is definitely something to be really proud of and shows that generally the club have been very well run in that period.

 

That said, the trend in points, performances and apparent morale throughout the club since the latest manager arrived is not so good. So I think there is a discussion to be had about the best way forward after Sunday. Think much will come down to how Puel is regarded by players and other staff. I have no idea on this as not ITK and don't really listen to all the gossip. If Claude still has support of senior players, I'm sure he will stay. If not it may be best to make a change now rather than saying "let's see how first 10 games of new season go".

 

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

That's fair and balanced. We don't really know what his relationship us with Les and the players, but we may be about to find out.

 

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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Our record in the past 4 seasons is definitely something to be really proud of and shows that generally the club have been very well run in that period.

 

That said, the trend in points, performances and apparent morale throughout the club since the latest manager arrived is not so good. So I think there is a discussion to be had about the best way forward after Sunday. Think much will come down to how Puel is regarded by players and other staff. I have no idea on this as not ITK and don't really listen to all the gossip. If Claude still has support of senior players, I'm sure he will stay. If not it may be best to make a change now rather than saying "let's see how first 10 games of new season go".

 

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

 

 

I think people need to look at the bigger picture with regards to points rather than just the manager.

 

Had we kept Mane, Pelle, Victor and Fonte this season would they be worth and extra 15pts between them over the course of the season?

 

European football more often than not has an impact on English teams ( especially mid sized PL teams) league performances.

 

Losing a player of VVD quality and your top scorer to injury for half a season each is also going to cost you points.

 

We actually had a proper cup run this season to more games and another distraction frim the league

 

The big teams have also raised their game this season some have improved and the others are certainly no worse than last season.

 

When you factor in these things added to the poor quality of lasts summers transfer a drop in points is hardly surprising

 

I'm not saying the manager has got everything right this season but I think he has a tougher job than many people give him credit for.

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IF there are tensions between Manager and players then R & K will have to take this onboard when considering the Managers future.

 

I am sure that in any team there will be some players upset about not playing but if the squad is generally unhappy about the tactics employed and/or training arrangements then this will be reflected on the field of play

 

This is the crux of the issue for me. If a lot of the players are unhappy, I'm not sure he has done enough this year to earn preference over them. One or two players may be a problem, sure, but if it's a general issue in the camp, then chances are there is something wrong.

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FF as a Saints historian you should realise that being in the top half of the Premier League 4 times in a row IS a big thing for Southampton FC. The only period that can match it in our history is the 5 top half finishes in 6 years between 1980 and 1985. Even with our disappointing home form we are still living in good times!

6 in 7 actually, and even the season we failed we were top of the bottom half. 8th, 6th, 7th, 12th, 2nd, 5th. We also had more points per game in 82-83 than this season and scored 54 goals (even allowing for extra 4 games of course). The football was also somewhat more exciting.

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Tonight's result... Leicester 1 - Tottenham 6

 

Means Saints are guaranteed a top half finish.

 

That is now 4 top half finishes in a row...

 

2013/14 - 8th

2014/15 - 7th

2015/16 - 6th

2016/17 - 8th or 9th or 10th

 

DAIu0ZVXoAAwoad.jpg

 

(Bournemouth & Leicester can't both win on Sunday as they play each other)

 

And still, no home league wins this year, no goal at home for nearly 7 hours, and our worst league performance for 4 years.

 

Puel is a dead man walking. But says a lot about the club that even after a bad season, we are still in a position to achieve 4 consecutive top ten finishes. Imagine if we had a manager who knew how to attack, break down teams, and score goals!!

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Great news

No doubt you will back the club when they dismiss Claude?

 

No doubt you will be giving Les Reed the credit he deserves for his substantial role in the club achieving this historic feat ?

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And still, no home league wins this year, no goal at home for nearly 7 hours, and our worst league performance for 4 years.

 

 

 

Puel is a dead man walking. But says a lot about the club that even after a bad season, we are still in a position to achieve 4 consecutive top ten finishes. Imagine if we had a manager who knew how to attack, break down teams, and score goals!!

 

 

I imagine if we had a manger who could do that its because he got some better players in....

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And still, no home league wins this year, no goal at home for nearly 7 hours, and our worst league performance for 4 years.

 

Puel is a dead man walking. But says a lot about the club that even after a bad season, we are still in a position to achieve 4 consecutive top ten finishes. Imagine if we had a manager who knew how to attack, break down teams, and score goals!!

 

We beat Leicester and Palace at home in league this calendar year. Think that's it though.

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I think people need to look at the bigger picture with regards to points rather than just the manager.

 

Had we kept Mane, Pelle, Victor and Fonte this season would they be worth and extra 15pts between them over the course of the season?

 

European football more often than not has an impact on English teams ( especially mid sized PL teams) league performances.

 

Losing a player of VVD quality and your top scorer to injury for half a season each is also going to cost you points.

 

We actually had a proper cup run this season to more games and another distraction frim the league

 

The big teams have also raised their game this season some have improved and the others are certainly no worse than last season.

 

When you factor in these things added to the poor quality of lasts summers transfer a drop in points is hardly surprising

 

I'm not saying the manager has got everything right this season but I think he has a tougher job than many people give him credit for.

 

 

I've highlighted the important bits...

 

The first two names you mention, yes... I think it's reasonable to say that in at least 5 games, our problem was nothing more than not being able to score. We frequently created chances but just couldn't do anything with them, so if we had two more goal scorers in the team, we might have won those games.

 

Fonte and Wanyama wouldn't have earned us an additional 15, IMO. Fonte especially just wasn't the Fonte of old this season.

 

We didn't buy a quality goal scorer when we needed it, nor give them enough time to get prepared and settle. That's our biggest failing this season.

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I've highlighted the important bits...

 

The first two names you mention, yes... I think it's reasonable to say that in at least 5 games, our problem was nothing more than not being able to score. We frequently created chances but just couldn't do anything with them, so if we had two more goal scorers in the team, we might have won those games.

 

Fonte and Wanyama wouldn't have earned us an additional 15, IMO. Fonte especially just wasn't the Fonte of old this season.

 

We didn't buy a quality goal scorer when we needed it, nor give them enough time to get prepared and settle. That's our biggest failing this season.

 

We are also not playing our top goalscorer even though he is fit to play and has been for some time. I can only think the strategy is to boost Rodriguez's value before he is sold in the summer. "Hey Newcastle, if we're going to sell one of our regular starters, we're going to need a decent offer for him!"

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Not sure you're serious, but I know some are. As a lifelong Saints fan I'm saddened by the Club's Management leaving Puel hanging on a thread until the season is over. Certainly less than the vote of confidence I'd expect if I'd made sacrifices to join the club. Despite some pretty bad luck with injuries to key players and terrible scheduling (surprised no-one has commented on this - our Christmas schedule and delayed 'catch-up' games have done us no favours) we're in 8th place and should stay there. If we learned how to score penalties again (got to be some coaching focus on that) we'd already have 8th place secured.

 

Sure, I have questions about the style of football we play. It's frustratingly boring and turgid at times. Four 0-0's in a row at home is not acceptable. Lowest goal tally, home points etc. But then we've also seen some terrific games that give you pause for thought that we can actually play attractive attacking football - the League Cup Final being top of mind.

 

You can't lose your best player and your top scorer and not expect to have some difficulties. I've not heard him use this as an excuse ever - he's got on with what he's got.

 

Puel deserves an opportunity to learn the PL for a season (Man Utd did it with...who was it...oh yes, Alex Ferguson...he did okay in the end).

 

He needs a clear brief; we are an attacking team...style is just as important as points, it's not one or the other.

 

I suspect the cageiness from Ralph and Les is because Puel himself hasn't decided if he likes it here or not - I wouldn't blame him for thinking he was sold a pup (we're not a selling club any more - ha ha) and that he's got a whingeing bunch of ingrates in the stands.

 

I take it that you don't go to home games and haven't paint nearly £1500 to watch the clouds go by because they're more interesting.

 

As far as 'hanging on a thread' is it not possible that something hase been mutually agreed but not yet announced?

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Great news

No doubt you will back the club when they dismiss Claude?

 

This is what I don't get. Fine to be positive if you believe in a manager and can explain why, but that's not it. Just bizarre club spokesman stuff and will contradict previous points to accommodate any change in fortunes or new decisions by the club. Have no idea what his actual opinion is, if he has one.

 

Top half for 4 years is good, but not sure what that tells us about Puel? That he inherited a club comfortably established in the top half and might just about hang on to 10th place? People seem to be reading a lot into positions in a table where there's just a few points between a lot of teams. The gap to Everton shows our real decline this season, our goal difference shows our real decline.

 

I'd forgive any of that, I'd forgive coming 14th IF I thought there was reason to believe more time was cause for optimism. But we are exactly the same as we were at home to Watford in Puel's first game, as we were in all Europa away games, as we've been so often all year. We've beaten really poor sides and come nowhere near the good ones. That cries out tactical failures. 1 goal at home to Spurs, United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City. We traditionally give these sides a great game at home. Fine if you lose, they have better players, but we've always done well. The cautious garbage of this season and playing into their hands has been painful to watch.

 

When you add in failure to win at home to Watford, Sunderland, West Brom, Hull, Bournemouth and West Ham it's amazing we're as high as we are. We scored a total of 4 goals at home to those 6 sides. That's a truly embarrassing record.

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