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Saints 0-2 Arsenal - Reaction

Man of the Match v Arsenal  

113 members have voted

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  1. 1. Who is your Saints Man of the Match from the Arsenal game?

    • Alex McCarthy
      6
    • Yan Valery
      1
    • Jack Stephens
      0
    • Jan Bednarek
      9
    • Ryan Bertrand
      3
    • Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
      1
    • James Ward-Prowse
      8
    • Stuart Armstrong
      19
    • Nathan Redmond
      4
    • Michael Obafemi
      0
    • Danny Ings
      39
    • Kyle Walker-Peters
      20
    • Shane Long
      3

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  • Poll closed on 27/06/20 at 19:00

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Fart-arsing around at the back beyond our capability levels 0, Arsenal 2.

A lot of it comes from Hojberg playing it back because he doesn't have a control turn, and his play-reading is weak.

I'm far from convinced by either Obafemi or Valery. They don't seem to be learning from experience, and the "they're still young" excuse is wearing thin.

Redmond was poor, for me. It was like the Redmond of a couple of years back - three or four silky touches followed by the choice between disappearing up his own arse or playing it back.

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Posted (edited)

I don't feel too bad about the result, to be honest. To put things in perspective, Pompey haven't beaten Arsenal for 62 years.

If, when I started supporting Saints in the 1960s, I'd been told that we'd be in the top flight for most of my life, I'd have been very pleasantly surprised.

I remember in the 1965/66 promotion season we played a home friendly against Arsenal and lost 1-3. I thought, wow, it's going to be a struggle to survive in the company of teams like that. Well, the win v Norwich secured our 44th season in the top flight. I never dreamed we'd be another Arsenal, Man United or Liverpool but neither did I dream that we'd ever achieve that.

Edited by Nordic Saint
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44 minutes ago, derry said:

Hojbjerg is just deluded if he thinks he can play for a top team. He is not a good footballer, a poor reader of the game together with poor judgement and poor passing isn't really the answer for us let alone a top team.

Tell that to the Managers and recruitment teams of Everton, Leicester and Spurs.

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That was poor. Valery has gone backwards. Not looking forward to watching Vestergaard v Troy Deeney

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Arsenal did to us what we did to Norwich. Both teams played at a similar level of intensity, but there was a clear gulf in class on display.

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1 hour ago, hypochondriac said:

Very harsh to drop Mccarthy. 

Agreed. He had a mare today but needs to redeem himself on Sunday.

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3 minutes ago, Shroppie said:

Agreed. He had a mare today but needs to redeem himself on Sunday.

The problem is that there's the talk of an "uncharacteristic" error here - by my reckoning, he's made six such "uncharacteristic" errors in the 21 league games he's played.

Man City away - came to punch a cross, missed it, directly leading to the winning goal. 1 point cost.
Arsenal away - came to punch a cross, missed it, directly leading to a 96th-minute equaliser. 2 points cost.
Newcastle away - failed to hold a relatively tame shot from distance, directly leading to a late winner. 1 point cost.
West Ham away - failed to hold a simple cross, dropping it at the feet of the striker to give West Ham the lead, shortly after we had equalised and were on the front foot in the game. 1 point cost.
Arsenal home - presents the striker with an open goal, AND spills a shot to the feet of another attacker. 1 point cost.

Angus Gunn has looked pretty ropey this season, too, but I don't think there is another keeper still in the league (West Ham very quickly binned that Roberto fella who looked like he'd won a competition to play in goal for them) who has made as many errors that have directly resulted in a goal as McCarthy.

We have three first-team goalkeepers (in terms of stature and salary), all of whom have strong credentials, and yet none of whom appear to have the unqualified faith of either the fanbase or coaching staff. Given the other defensive problems, it's a dilemma we could really do without.

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He’s a Championship keeper who wouldn’t be in the team at all without Forsters complete loss of form. Like CBs, we’ve got loads of them but not a decent player between the lot.

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1 hour ago, Saint Billy said:

Give Smallbone and Tella a run seeing that we are practically safe.

Safe? Watch that 10 point gap disappear over the next couple of weeks. 

Bring back lockdown. At least we didn't have to endure this inconsistent crap every week. 

Our run in isn't as easy as people seem to think. I think we'll be lucky to get 4 points from our remaining games. 

 

 

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I mean thats so saints isnt it. Lose to two defensive disasters !! Nice we're safe but christ its wash and repeat isnt it.

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1 hour ago, stevegrant said:

I genuinely don't understand how you don't see that the game has moved on from "lump it up to the big man" and "a pass backwards is SCANDALOUS RETREAT".

Normally I would agree but we do not have a defence or a goalkeeper with the necessary quality and skills to play about with the ball in front of our own goal. So surely the only other option is to get the ball out of the danger zone whichever way possible. Its not pretty or clever but lets face it neither is the quality of our squad.

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1 minute ago, Saint Billy said:

Normally I would agree but we do not have a defence or a goalkeeper with the necessary quality and skills to play about with the ball in front of our own goal. So surely the only other option is to get the ball out of the danger zone whichever way possible. Its not pretty or clever but lets face it neither is the quality of our squad.

But then at the same point, we don't have an attack who can benefit from 'balls lumped up top'. 

We lack quality down the spine of the team to compete consistently, we'll get the odd good results (esp. away from home) because of our pace on the break, but we need more quality through the spine in order to be classified more than a relegation flirter every year. Then maybe we can start dominating games at home rather than continue to play this passive tippy tappy game which has haunted our home games for the last 3 years.

PEH is a culprit in that. If we can use his exit as a way to add a midfielder with mobility, pace and strength then we'll be laughing. Easier said than done though.

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We've given more points to teams than teams have won against us this season !

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42 minutes ago, Sidney Fudpucker the 3rd said:

 

Safe? Watch that 10 point gap disappear over the next couple of weeks. 

Bring back lockdown. At least we didn't have to endure this inconsistent crap every week. 

Our run in isn't as easy as people seem to think. I think we'll be lucky to get 4 points from our remaining games. 

 

 

Erm no. We are safe. We would have to be overtaken by 4 other teams, some who are ten points behind us with seven games left. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sidney Fudpucker the 3rd said:

 

Safe? Watch that 10 point gap disappear over the next couple of weeks. 

Bring back lockdown. At least we didn't have to endure this inconsistent crap every week. 

Our run in isn't as easy as people seem to think. I think we'll be lucky to get 4 points from our remaining games. 

 

 

4 more points would just mean we are even more safe than we already are now.

Edited by CB Fry
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1 hour ago, verlaine1979 said:

Arsenal did to us what we did to Norwich. Both teams played at a similar level of intensity, but there was a clear gulf in class on display.

This sums it up better than anything I've read. When we played Norwich it was like playing a medium-level Championship side after the first 10 mins. Arsenal did the same to us today.

And it really does kind of feel like a pre-season friendly somehow. The pace/intensity just isn't there, from us or most of the teams I've seen so far.

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1 hour ago, hypochondriac said:

Erm no. We are safe. We would have to be overtaken by 4 other teams, some who are ten points behind us with seven games left. 

We were safe when we beat Palace in January. Since then we've lost every game except Villa and Norwich and will still stay up comfortably.

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6 hours ago, S-Clarke said:

But then at the same point, we don't have an attack who can benefit from 'balls lumped up top'. 

We lack quality down the spine of the team to compete consistently, we'll get the odd good results (esp. away from home) because of our pace on the break, but we need more quality through the spine in order to be classified more than a relegation flirter every year. Then maybe we can start dominating games at home rather than continue to play this passive tippy tappy game which has haunted our home games for the last 3 years.

PEH is a culprit in that. If we can use his exit as a way to add a midfielder with mobility, pace and strength then we'll be laughing. Easier said than done though.

regulation flirter is right. there is some quality on this team, but it is woefully inconsistent (Redmond, JWP, Armstrong, DJenepo). And then we have Championship quality players filling key positions (Valery, Stephens, Vestergaard, Adams, Obafemi, maybe Bedernek)

 

We have enough quality to stay up in the PL, but without upgrades at GK, CB, CM, and RB we will be regulation flirters again next year. A distributer who is forward thinking would be nice too, but i think Armstrong could fill that role if given the opportunity.

I feel like Djenepo could have possibly been a difference maker today on the offense side of the ball. I have lost faith in Obafemi, not that i ever had much.

Changes for Sunday? Pretty much start all of today's substitutes - Romeu, Walker Peters, Long, oh.. and Vestie (gulp)

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Two pointers I took from game, Valery should never wear a Saints shirt again and sign KWP on a permanent deal. Looked tidy when he came on last night and did more in 30 secs than Valery did in 2 games!

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No surprise really, always seem to be upbeat for a home game against an opposition supposedly in disarray...then give them two easy goals.

I would play Gunn next game as those sort of mistakes last night are not acceptable at this level.

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10 hours ago, Nolan said:

Rubbish. He had no idea what was behind him. He had his back square to their goal.

His positioning was wrong.

His position was wrong, if Arsenal were in possession of the ball. But they weren’t.

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7 hours ago, Bobbyboy said:

And it really does kind of feel like a pre-season friendly somehow

The reaction after the first goal suggested this, no one really seemed pissed off giving that goal away.

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The Arsenal love in before, during and after the game on Sky got on my nerves. This was compounded by the lack of quality in defence and attack last might.

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Am I glad I didn’t have to pay to watch this tripe. Any Manager worth his salt knows our weaknesses and two of them yesterday were Valery and Hoy. Arsenal at the moment are not very good but even they made us look mediocre. An early Christmas present from Mc C and quite a few decisions that never seem to go our way. The studs up tackle into Bertie certainly earned a Red but the Ref didn’t even give the offender a yellow. Watford will be testing and unless Ralph gets to grips with where the dangers are I can’t see very many points for us in the near future.

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11 hours ago, saintwbu said:

Hojbjerg quality of pass wasn’t the issue for the first goal - his decision to pass it immediately back towards our goal (twice) was. How can we play with a CM who has absolutely no awareness of what’s around him whatsoever, and does not possess the ability to turn on the ball. Twice he was given the ball and with no shoulder check he bounced it straight back to our goal - the first one was unforgivable, he had all the time in the world and a turn would’ve put us on the front foot and acres of space. Absolutely pathetic, drags our team down and is hugely culpable for our poor home form - he does not suit a possession game one bit. Good riddance.

That does my head in too. He had loads of time to turn and set up an attack. I would give Romeu a go at Watford and give Smallbone a chance in some of the less physical games. 

 

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8 hours ago, Hayling Saint said:

Was I Watching this on Sky or Arsenal TV? (very Biased Commentary)

It was pathetic wasnt it. Alan Smith was so Arsenal centric it was unbelievable. Did any Arsenal player commit a foul in his eyes? Did Arsenal lose to Brighton last saturday by any chance? It only got mentioned every couple of minutes. 

Thank God I normally attend matches and dont listen to coverage like this very often.

 

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I’d got out of the habit of post match depression during the break ! So maybe not fans negativity causing poor home form or do the players think the season is over for them because they think Saints are safe ? 
 

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I thought it was poor all round last night.  Even when we did have more possession we didn't look like we'd do anything with it.   I cant say I can pick out one player that played well.

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13 hours ago, beatlesaint said:

Well Walker Peters has to stay in that team barring injuries now surel

 

13 hours ago, beatlesaint said:

Well Walker Peters has to stay in that team barring injuries now surely

Sorry but Valery was really not very good (is not very good) against Norwich and should not have started. Destabilised the back four. McCarthy's distribution has always been Division One and that was Conference, frankly. Obafemi does absolutely nothing but lollop around with his chest out giving the big I am without giving anything to the team. Hojberg continues to play like he really believes he should be playing for Spurs if only he could get better at this playing football/passing accurately lark. Too many long balls easily cleared. Not enough attacking the man and forcing things (ooh, it was hot), and generally idealess in the final third. That said, had good patches, without really offering anything. Always very frail at the back and looked like conceding, and not enough quality interplay between midfield and attack. Ralph picked the wrong team, they made mistakes, we weren't very good, and we will doubtless give our fans another coronary as we leave it very late to scrape that last three points.One day we will not do this. But I suspect I may not be alive to see it. Roll on getting outmuscled by Troy Deeney in the next one. Boo

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I actually thought we weren't terrible bar the two howlers which led to goals. We looked good in Midfield, especially during the second half.

If we consider the natural football hierarchy a loss against Arsenal is expected. Watford next week is now key - they are ateam we should be beating if we ever have aspirations of being a top half team.

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13 hours ago, Lighthouse said:

He’s a Championship keeper who wouldn’t be in the team at all without Forsters complete loss of form. Like CBs, we’ve got loads of them but not a decent player between the lot.

Is Forster back training with us now the SPL has finished, I havent seen him in any pics? May be worth looking at between now and the end of the season, he's come back after a strong 6 months, maybe some confidence has returned. Even if it's just to raise his fee?

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16 hours ago, obelisk said:

St Mary's really is a voodoo venue for Saints. We need to burn a Wicker Man or something.

Was that Pompey shirt ever found?

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Not even MOTD wanted to analyse that! Skipped straight past the post-match for us.

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18 hours ago, stevegrant said:

I genuinely don't understand how you don't see that the game has moved on from "lump it up to the big man" and "a pass backwards is SCANDALOUS RETREAT".

Firstly the players have to recognise their limitations. McCarthy isn't a competent passing keeper. His control is ponderous and it is better not to expose him. Far better he belts it long than gets caught like last night. He also had a close call against Norwich. We are aimless with our possession at the back unlike top sides who are moving and manoeuvering the opposition. We on the other hand just get into trouble as the opposition know this and close us down.. Away we are a different team altogether. At home our tempo is too slow as we try and keep possession. we are just not good enough.

Secondly I didn't advocate lumping the ball except to clear dangerous situations, I want to see the ball passed forward quickly to the forwards with high tempo movement. Until we stop playing the way we do at SMS we are not going to start winning regularly at home. The dire results speak for themselves.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, derry said:

Firstly the players have to recognise their limitations. McCarthy isn't a competent passing keeper. His control is ponderous and it is better not to expose him. Far better he belts it long than gets caught like last night. He also had a close call against Norwich. We are aimless with our possession at the back unlike top sides who are moving and manoeuvering the opposition. We on the other hand just get into trouble as the opposition know this and close us down.. Away we are a different team altogether. At home our tempo is too slow as we try and keep possession. we are just not good enough.

Secondly I didn't advocate lumping the ball except to clear dangerous situations, I want to see the ball passed forward quickly to the forwards with high tempo movement. Until we stop playing the way we do at SMS we are not going to start winning regularly at home. The dire results speak for themselves.

The thing now though is we have fairly quick forwards with Redmond, Ings, Long and Obafemi so instead of fannying about with it at the back we could actually put teams under pressure instead of giving them 5 minutes to regroup everytime we think about attacking. 
 

I’ve lost count of the number of times co-commentators/pundits/fans have said Southampton need to be quicker. It isn’t an issue away from home and it shouldn’t be rocket science to fix at home.

Edited by beatlesaint

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Posted (edited)

That was a pretty poor show Saints. A few attitudinal problems in there to be sorted out Ralph.

Sleeping at the wheel is a criminal offence and McCarthy and Hojberg should be ashamed of themselves. In fact why bother with Hojberg, we know he's off so let's build a team for next season and forget him. At least Romeu would give his all for the cause.

If the plan was to let Arsenal have the ball and wear themselves out in the first half then attack them in the second, without those stupid individual mistakes it might have worked.

What to make of Jan Valery? Lost his way for sure but he is still young and a rather inexperienced player so the coaches need to work on him. Obafemi showed his limitations once again and Ralph must be tiring of him. Is Adams off one wonders.

 

 

Edited by Charlie Wayman

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1 hour ago, derry said:

We are aimless with our possession at the back unlike top sides who are moving and manoeuvering the opposition.

This is absolutely true. When we pass the ball around at the back and between defensive midfield and the keeper, it's like we're doing it because we've been told that that's what good teams do without actually having a clue what it is they're trying to achieve by doing it. Neither Bednarek nor McCarthy are comfortable with the ball at their feet, and you can't play out from the back properly if 2/5 of your players can't participate. 

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2 hours ago, derry said:

Firstly the players have to recognise their limitations. McCarthy isn't a competent passing keeper. His control is ponderous and it is better not to expose him. Far better he belts it long than gets caught like last night. He also had a close call against Norwich. We are aimless with our possession at the back unlike top sides who are moving and manoeuvering the opposition. We on the other hand just get into trouble as the opposition know this and close us down.. Away we are a different team altogether. At home our tempo is too slow as we try and keep possession. we are just not good enough.

Secondly I didn't advocate lumping the ball except to clear dangerous situations, I want to see the ball passed forward quickly to the forwards with high tempo movement. Until we stop playing the way we do at SMS we are not going to start winning regularly at home. The dire results speak for themselves.

Agree totally. Nothing riles me as much at St Mary's as the back four passing sideways and backwards, especially when we are chasing the game when behind on the score. Last night we were punished by it tragically for us, but comically and humiliatingly for anybody else watching the match. The team was capable of at least a draw last night, if not a win and yet we had to gift wrap a goal to Arsenal in such a bizarre fashion that I am still seething over it a day later.

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Spot on. I have seen zilch progress at home this season. It’s the same old same old and makes me wonder if RH is as smart as some think. 

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35 minutes ago, Wes Tender said:

Agree totally. Nothing riles me as much at St Mary's as the back four passing sideways and backwards, especially when we are chasing the game when behind on the score. 

This.

Since Ralph arrived we have seen less of it as he demands players to move the ball forward but last night we were back to our old worst habits. Walker-Peters was particularly guilty; even from advanced positions he passed the ball 20/30 yards back into his own half several times. His mindset was clearly to play a pass and make 100% certain he wouldn't give the ball away to Arsenal (which presumably in Ralph's eyes is the cardinal sin). It is either an abdication of responsibility that makes players do it or sheer laziness. In last night's heat wave it was probably a bit of both.

It wasn't that long ago that we were going apoplectic with rage every week because JWP passed backwards every time he had the ball but under Ralph's tutelage he has developed the self belief not to do it.

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13 hours ago, Charlie Wayman said:

This.

Since Ralph arrived we have seen less of it as he demands players to move the ball forward but last night we were back to our old worst habits. Walker-Peters was particularly guilty; even from advanced positions he passed the ball 20/30 yards back into his own half several times. His mindset was clearly to play a pass and make 100% certain he wouldn't give the ball away to Arsenal (which presumably in Ralph's eyes is the cardinal sin). It is either an abdication of responsibility that makes players do it or sheer laziness. In last night's heat wave it was probably a bit of both.

It wasn't that long ago that we were going apoplectic with rage every week because JWP passed backwards every time he had the ball but under Ralph's tutelage he has developed the self belief not to do it.

I thought that this aimless passing sideways, backwards, sideways, backwards started with Puel. Unfortunately he taught it so well that it has now survived 3 subsequent managers.

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16 minutes ago, Tamesaint said:

I thought that this aimless passing sideways, backwards, sideways, backwards started with Puel. Unfortunately he taught it so well that it has now survived 3 subsequent managers.

I'll agree with you that the energy and urgency in attack that Ralph has been trying to develop was largely missing.

But to be fair, I think you need to consider the conditions. It was 31c in the shade and much hotter in the sun and I don't think it would have been realistic to keep up a high energy game. Under the circumstances patient possession was understandable.

Conceding the first silly goal was critical. But for that I think we'd have been content to play more like the away team sitting back.

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The habit of playing the ball backwards has become an obsession, even our throw ins invariably go backwards and when free kicks from attacking positions also go backwards I despair and think 'well, we deserve to lose'---and we do, eleven times on our own ground in one season, What does it take to make us change and go forward?

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Problem is that counter attacking teams require the opponents to attack. Thats why Chelsea have not been as good at home. If teams defend deep they can rely on our defence to mess up when they do come at us and then have something to defend before we mess up again. Whilst Im not 100% in favour of a big centre forward Giroud types do help. I have been keen on us getting Ivor Toney from Peterborough reminds me a bit of Cyrille Regis, strong and fairly decent in the air.

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During the Norwich match Ralph was coaching the players throughout the match including when to pass and direction . As Redmond said with Puel he was only following orders. So perhaps Ralph is imposing his tactics which don't work if the players can't keep ball and burst forward as he imagines . If the players are unsure / worried about their role then they make mistakes . Just saying ...

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Highest defensive mistakes leading to goals in the league I believe, it's pretty clear where our problems are.

We need a new defence, pretty much all of them bar Bertrand could do with upgrading, including the GK. But realistically we at least have to sign a right back and a centreback that actually improve the first eleven.

Overall performance was hardly terrible, especially given the heat, I mean how many top level international sides do we see playing summer tournaments where they are flat and stale, but you can't gift opponents easy chances like that.

With Armstrong, Ings, Redmond, JWP, Djenepo when fit, I think we have enough threat/creativity to be a top 10 if not a top 8+ challenging side, and when they fully play Ralph's style we trouble anyone.

But you can't expect to win games by giving away easy chances. 

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3 minutes ago, tajjuk said:

Highest defensive mistakes leading to goals in the league I believe, it's pretty clear where our problems are.

We need a new defence, pretty much all of them bar Bertrand could do with upgrading, including the GK. But realistically we at least have to sign a right back and a centreback that actually improve the first eleven.

Overall performance was hardly terrible, especially given the heat, I mean how many top level international sides do we see playing summer tournaments where they are flat and stale, but you can't gift opponents easy chances like that.

With Armstrong, Ings, Redmond, JWP, Djenepo when fit, I think we have enough threat/creativity to be a top 10 if not a top 8+ challenging side, and when they fully play Ralph's style we trouble anyone.

But you can't expect to win games by giving away easy chances. 

I think you can work with Bednerek - he just needs more quality around him, he's our most capable CB without question. Jacks' come on leaps and bounds, but he's still below the level we were used to. If we want to hover around relegation and bottom half of the league, then yeah...he's perfectly adequate. But if we want to improve and push up, we need a much much better starting player than Jack.

New RB, New CB, New CM. That's what I'd see as the 3 main priorities for us. We've been prone to leaving an obvious hole every window and just 'getting on with it' with a below adequate option, but let's hope we actually capture our major issues this time - first main window without Ross too, so I'm much more optimistic. I hope all his 'advise' has been long deleted!

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21 hours ago, derry said:

Firstly the players have to recognise their limitations. McCarthy isn't a competent passing keeper. His control is ponderous and it is better not to expose him. Far better he belts it long than gets caught like last night. He also had a close call against Norwich. We are aimless with our possession at the back unlike top sides who are moving and manoeuvering the opposition. We on the other hand just get into trouble as the opposition know this and close us down.. Away we are a different team altogether. At home our tempo is too slow as we try and keep possession. we are just not good enough.

Secondly I didn't advocate lumping the ball except to clear dangerous situations, I want to see the ball passed forward quickly to the forwards with high tempo movement. Until we stop playing the way we do at SMS we are not going to start winning regularly at home. The dire results speak for themselves.

But we can only do what teams will allow us to do with their own systems - there are two teams on the pitch, and the opposition are allowed to have tactics to negate our strengths. It's only teams who are either so much better than us that they don't need to worry about it or teams who are very stupid who come to St Mary's and play a high line and allow us to play balls into the channels for the likes of Long and Redmond to run onto.

If we play more direct, Long might win a few flick-ons, but because the opposition defence is so deep, more often than not the second ball ends in the keeper's hands or out for a goal kick. It's easy to defend against. In my opinion, the faster and more direct passes need to be horizontally rather than vertically - switching the direction of play quickly (in the way that Liverpool seem to have pretty much perfected) opens up much more space in attacking areas than playing a quick out ball to the centre forward.

In the heat of Thursday evening, it's far better for us to maintain possession even if that involves a pass backwards from where it can then be moved across to a less-populated area of the pitch - there's no benefit to having to do all the running in 30+ degree heat, it's a fast track to knackering yourself out very quickly. The high pressing game that Ralph wants us to employ is obviously much more difficult in this sort of heat, and I think there's a natural necessity to slow the game down at times when we're in possession in "sterile" areas in order to allow us to have enough energy to press properly in the final third.

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