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Palace v Saints - Match and Reaction


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2 minutes ago, woodsaint1 said:

Just offering an opinion. As usual anyone who is critical is deemed to be wetting the bed 😴. You're getting a bit wound up taking two of my comments to task

Sorry mate I just thinks it too early after one game to be too negative. I didn’t think we were that bad today. But, as you say, it’s all about opinions 😉

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1 minute ago, HedgeEnder said:

Sorry mate I just thinks it too early after one game to be too negative. I didn’t think we were that bad today. But, as you say, it’s all about opinions 😉

Not sure anyone is being that negative to be honest, just offering opinions. As you said, everyone's opinion is different and we all have different types. So labelling others that have a different opinion to yours as bedwetters is a bit silly.

We didn't play well at all, in my opinion. If that's our standard then we are in for a pretty long season. But it won't be, so we'll be in the mid-table zone again which is about fair for us.

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When is Armstrong expected back? 

Poor game, watch without the crowd noise, it's awful behind closed doors games like that. Makes going to non league even more appealing. 

I predicted in build up thread that a Palace side with 5 defenders injured would keep a clean sheet. Typical saints first game of the season. 

Will be interesting to see the line up v Brentford on Wednesday night. 

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1 hour ago, S-Clarke said:

I'm not sure what Ralph see's in Smallbone during training to suggest he's a like for like for Armstrong?

Smallbone looks like a bog standard clogger midfielder to me, doesn't look like he has attacking instincts and likes to play the safe pass. Good option in the squad and he will mature I'm sure, but he's certainly not an Armstrong replacement.

We haven't got an Armstrong replacement. You're right about Smallbone but Djenepo and Boufal are too much individual players who may pull off something special but haven't got Armstrong's passing and vision.

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Romeu showed today how limited he is in midfield, he should be a squad player at best, not a regular starter.

I would've taken him off and put Smallbone central when Djenepo came on.

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1 minute ago, Appy said:

Romeu showed today how limited he is in midfield, he should be a squad player at best, not a regular starter.

I would've taken him off and put Smallbone central when Djenepo came on.

He is very limited, but he's still decent enough. Still pretty technical, but too slow in my opinion. Like you said, squad player and in the team for certain games etc. We really need someone to step in and replace him as a regular, I'm sure Ralph wants that but it all depends on how much finance is available.

Romeu was bought as a squad player for us under Koeman and I have no issue having him in the squad, I'd still expect him to play 20 odd games a season.

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I'm disappointed but not down about that. The "teachable moment" was there in the first half, but it was about 30 minutes long, and we committed the cardinal sin of going one-down (needlessly) to a Hodgson team. Most of what we were doing wrong was what we were doing wrong before going on a tear last year, and Ralph fixed it. Ideally, we fix it in pre-season but that didn't happen. Bringing on Vestergaard was intended to help us move the ball out a bit quicker but then we needed to hold Bertrand back to cover Vestergaard's lack of pace. That cost us offensively down the left. It was one of those days I think, and I'll only start getting concerned if we keep reverting to the back two ping-pong, slow passing and lack of movement that are the antithesis of Ralph's style. But we won't because he'll fix it.

Armstrong is behind only Danny Ings on my list of players I fear losing from the line-up. Romeu's performance underlines that we really need that new DM, and we need to get Salisu fit.

And somebody needs to have a word in McCarthy's ear about when it's time to go long rather than play a short pass to a defender with someone up his arse.

 

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1 hour ago, Baird of the land said:

Just think if we lose to Spurs we are suddenly going away to a Burnley team we've foundered against before with zero confidence and zero points and the idea of a nice start could become a horrendous one..

 

Well, Oliver Holt in last week's Mail on Sunday had Saints down to be relegated along with Fulham and West Brom! 🤣

Interesting that Ralph said in the week that the team were not as fit as when they came back after lockdown and I think that that edge in fitness played a key role in our performances at the end of last season. Hopefully that sharpness will return soon.

 

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Hodgson did a number on Ralph tactically today.

Missed Armstrong, has become a vital link with Ings and Che.Ings and JWP looked jaded after England I thought. Smallbone needs a season or two learning man’s football with a progressive manager like Robinson at Oxford. Looked like one of the U17s had snuck on. If he can stand out in L1 have another look next summer. I know Djenepo was inconsistent last year but odd not to get him on earlier.

High line didn’t work. Zzzzz all round really. Busy few weeks ahead for Crocker and Semmens to bring some a few new faces in and move a few more of the Les flops on.

Edited by saint1977
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2 minutes ago, saint1977 said:

Hodgson did a number on Ralph tactically today.

Missed Armstrong, has become a vital link with Ings and Che.Ings and JWP looked jaded after England I thought. Smallbone needs a season or two learning man’s football with a progressive manager like Robinson at Oxford. Looked like one of the U17s had snuck on. If he can stand out in L1 have another look next summer. I know Djenepo was inconsistent last year but odd not to get him on earlier.

High line didn’t work. Zzzzz all round really. Busy few weeks ahead for Crocker and Semmens to bring some a few new faces in and move a few more of the Les flops on.

He is a long way above League One standard. I think you've forgotten how shit that level is.

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8 minutes ago, Matthew Le God said:

He is a long way above League One standard. I think you've forgotten how shit that level is.

 

8 minutes ago, Matthew Le God said:

He is a long way above League One standard. I think you've forgotten how shit that level is.

Only games I’ve seen him make an impact I’m are an awful Huddersfield side (lower champ) and Villa (played like they were Champ) so could be an argument for a Champ club. Either way, needs a season of man’s football regularly, looks physically well off it at present for the Prem in his last few games. 

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2 minutes ago, saint1977 said:

 

Only games I’ve seen him make an impact I’m are an awful Huddersfield side (lower champ) and Villa (played like they were Champ) so could be an argument for a Champ club. Either way, needs a season of man’s football regularly, looks physically well off it at present for the Prem in his last few games. 

I used to think that JWP was too lightweight but Smallbone takes it to another level. 

Whilst MLG is right in what he says about being way above League One level in terms of ability, he needs to go out on loan purely to get the experience of fight and physicality. We can’t afford any passengers in this league, teams will wipe the floor with us otherwise.

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Not surprised but we did make a new record,no wins in the last eight first games of the season. Have reservations about Ralph’s selection today. How did Redmond play the whole match when it is quite obvious he just didn’t perform. Che and Danny didn’t get any service and were chasing back to get the ball. I hate ‘crab football’ yet we still seem to play it often. Pitta Patta in midfield cost us yet again. It’s only the first game of the season and it’s what we deserved on the day. Spurs won’t be easy but I am always the eternal optimist before kick off. It’s just what follows that busts that hope. 

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BBC gave the Palace keeper the MOM so can't be that bad, one of those games that goes either way but honestly Palace are going to go down IMO if they play like that at home all the time, can't expect to park the bus, give 70% possession away and hope their keeper makes good saves to win the game. Typical rusty Saints opening game of the season, looked more like a pre-season game, just not enough crispness to break them down, but should get better I reckon. 

After last year we should know not to worry about a little bit of a sluggish start. 

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3 hours ago, Scully said:

We almost stole a draw but Saints deserved to lose that on balance. Not sharp enough and Palace were pretty stalwart.

Were we watching the same game? Saints easily the more creative team...70% possession, more shots than Palace and more on target. Their goalkeeper MOTM. We needed more creativity and speed in midfield for sure, missed Armstrong -  but we were better than Palace who did their classic score on the one chance they get early against the run of play then defend deep.

Adams played well and was unlucky not to score. Stevens excellent. Romeu, Redmond and JWP had poor games, Ings not enough service.

Concerned that Long is the go-to striker when we need a winner.

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28 minutes ago, Chez said:

Whenever we are without Armstrong we seem to lack zip and thrust. Invariably we underperform and fail to win. 

Ralph knows it too and that’s probably why he was so angry about losing him. 

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Disappointed that we didn't have the urgency and energy evident after the restart. We missed Armstrong: he attacks the box, can see a pass and can shoot too.

Conceding was careless and critical: it let Palace sit back like an away team. But it was also one of those days when Adams and Ings would normally have scored but it didn't happen. Having said that, we got lucky more than once. 

I'm sure Ralph will have some serious words this week 

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Sluggish first half performance but I thought we were OK second half.  Had any of the Redmond, Adams or Ings chances gone a few inches beyond the keeper’s dive we would have been saying a good start.  Fine margins sometimes.

 

Thought Vest was our best player second half, also impressed with Adams work rate and hold up play.  Overall disappointing but it’s one game and Ralph will get into them I am sure.  Definitely need to strengthen midfield squad options before deadline day.

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When you hear that Palace had 4 pre season games and we just had the Mickey Mouse marathon against Swansea they looked like they knew what they were doing compared to us looking pretty at times but looking toothless. Whilst some are pointing the finger at Smallbone and his inexperience he was no less effective than the player on the opposite side of the pitch with 10 years under his belt. Redmond was bloody awful. 
Still Palace played in a way that doesn’t suit the Hasenhüttl blueprint - at the end of the day same shit different season to kick off proceedings.

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  • Lighthouse changed the title to Palace v Saints - Match and Reaction

I couldn’t see any of the game so can’t really offer much of an opinion but there really does seem to be a psychological issue with this squad. Consistently, truly abysmal home form for several years, then when we’ve got 9 dead rubbers in empty stadiums they all turn up.

Now when there’s something to play for again, we put in another non-performance and half the team goes missing.

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Really disappointing from Saints today. The passing was back to being slow and, two decent saves from the keeper aside, we didn’t create any decent chances.

Ralf has talked about working on getting better in possession, I’m thinking that is a work in progress....

Hopefully given a few weeks on the training ground we will start to see everything we had last season combined with the attacking play to break down teams like Palace. I think most would agree that that has been a big problem for some time.

I’m thinking this is the 1 step back to go 2 forward.

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3 hours ago, Matthew Le God said:

He is a long way above League One standard. I think you've forgotten how shit that level is.

It’s a subjective opinion but Smallbone is not way above league 1 standard. Did nothing today and needs to improve on his  stamina and mentality. I’m all for giving youth a chance but so far Smallbone hasn’t taken his chances.

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I think Hodson had worked out an excellent tactic l game against us.

I worry that others will do the same, soak up the pressure and hit us on the break.thankfully there aren't many Zahas around.

Redmond was anonymous but on TV you can't tell whether he had a bad day or was marked out of the game.

I wonder if Boufal may be part of the answer against packed defences.

Just have to hope the Ralph can work on tactics to overcome this.

 

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3 hours ago, hasper57saint said:

Not surprised but we did make a new record,no wins in the last eight first games of the season. 

Weird stat, where did you hear that? It’s been 7 seasons without a first day win not 8, and we had a worse run from 99-00 until the 2011-12 season

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28 minutes ago, cambsaint said:

I think Hodson had worked out an excellent tactic l game against us.

I worry that others will do the same, soak up the pressure and hit us on the break.thankfully there aren't many Zahas around.

Redmond was anonymous but on TV you can't tell whether he had a bad day or was marked out of the game.

I wonder if Boufal may be part of the answer against packed defences.

Just have to hope the Ralph can work on tactics to overcome this.

 

It's happened before, particularly clubs like Burnley and Newcastle who did the double over us last year, happy to let us have the ball and sit deep waiting to counter attack. We struggle with that. 

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The club thought we'd be ready so didn't need to have a proper pre-season in terms of playing games. How many other clubs didn't bother with their preparations? Insanity that that was green-lit. Today we were disjointed, lacked energy and ideas and now it'll take us a handful of games just to get into the swing of things, and it's totally our own fault.

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2 hours ago, aintforever said:

We always start slow but I think it's obvious we need a decent replacement for PEH.

I think it's also obvious that Smallbone isn't ready for Prem Football yet.   You can't carry a player while he develops his game and fulfils potential.     His only attribute at the moment is that he's tall and has an athletic build, though that athleticism doesn't translate to his play.   I'd be interested to hear other people's opinions of WS.

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6 hours ago, aintforever said:

We always start slow but I think it's obvious we need a decent replacement for PEH.

Basically same team we finished last season with and that done ok. Just felt the issue was creating chances and there was nothing on the bench to change things up too much. When teams are sitting that deep Djenpo and Long are pretty ineffective as they are not the most creative players.

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Not wanting to go all Billy Bean...but gees, fans react so massivley to results not performance. That was a 5/10 performance but if Danny Ings had scored in the last minute it would be treated on here like an 8. Without that goal, it's being treated like a 2.

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8 hours ago, JRM said:

It's happened before, particularly clubs like Burnley and Newcastle who did the double over us last year, happy to let us have the ball and sit deep waiting to counter attack. We struggle with that. 

Yup, mainly because we're not a side dependent on possession. So when the other team doesn't want the ball, we're screwed.

 

Something Ralph needs to fix.

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2 hours ago, SaintBobby said:

Not wanting to go all Billy Bean...but gees, fans react so massively to results not performance. That was a 5/10 performance but if Danny Ings had scored in the last minute it would be treated on here like an 8. Without that goal, it's being treated like a 2.

Totally agree.

Also I  think that if we'd have scored first we'd have won it. Palace are very good at keeping a lead, I think the commentator said that they haven't lost in their last 22 games (inc yesterday) when they scored first (W 18, D4).  It's easy to focus on how badly (averagely) Saints played but Palace are well organised and difficult to penetrate when they drop deep.  

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9 hours ago, cambsaint said:

I think Hodson had worked out an excellent tactic l game against us.

I worry that others will do the same, soak up the pressure and hit us on the break.thankfully there aren't many Zahas around.

Redmond was anonymous but on TV you can't tell whether he had a bad day or was marked out of the game.

I wonder if Boufal may be part of the answer against packed defences.

Just have to hope the Ralph can work on tactics to overcome this.

 

Boufal is a mystery. I agree, I think he is one of a few players in the squad who could make a difference against teams that want to sit deep. He has good close control and can work through defences. Granted, what he does next isn’t always helpful, but against teams like Palace he’d be a better bet than Djenepo. 

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13 hours ago, hypochondriac said:

The midfield was the main issue today. Zero dynamism and the attackers had no service at all. 
 

Summed up the problem, imo. I fail to see any positives from that display, none. We were pedestrian all over the park.

Two very average teams on the field today. I’m glad there no spectators there as they would have had their pocket picket, poor value. 

13 hours ago, hypochondriac said:

 

 

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Speed of moving the ball was the issue today, the slowness we associated with puel and pelligrino was there and the I dont know what to do horizontal, backwards passing was the preferred option.

Romeu too slow & sloppy, Redmond too safe.

Thought both Che and Danny played well, the slowness of us moving the ball resulted in the palace easily getting those blocks back in place.

What i would do for a Naby Keita clone in our midfield and a direct runner off our left flank

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4 minutes ago, RobM said:

Boufal is a mystery. I agree, I think he is one of a few players in the squad who could make a difference against teams that want to sit deep.

Disagree, these players are the ones you want 1v1 with the last defender. They are not as effective trying to do their skillz with 2/3 players on them. Similar to Djenepo, was very ineffective when he came on.

Need a creative no10 type, quick little 1/2s, incisive flicks and through balls sitting in the gaps to break these teams down. Just my two cents, might be wrong but I ain't a footie manager :)

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14 minutes ago, Norm said:

Summed up the problem, imo. I fail to see any positives from that display, none. We were pedestrian all over the park.

Two very average teams on the field today. I’m glad there no spectators there as they would have had their pocket picket, poor value. 

 

It was like the polar opposite performance from the majority since the restart. Not sure if it was lack of fitness or just missing Armstrong but there was just no speed in anything we did. Hard to blame Adams and ings because they simply got nothing. We badly need some midfield reinforcements to provide some impetus and urgency. 

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12 hours ago, Vancouver Saint said:

Were we watching the same game? Saints easily the more creative team...70% possession, more shots than Palace and more on target. Their goalkeeper MOTM. We needed more creativity and speed in midfield for sure, missed Armstrong -  but we were better than Palace who did their classic score on the one chance they get early against the run of play then defend deep.

Adams played well and was unlucky not to score. Stevens excellent. Romeu, Redmond and JWP had poor games, Ings not enough service.

Concerned that Long is the go-to striker when we need a winner.

Stephens excellent, really? I thought the defence was all over the place yesterday and would have been punished far more severely by a better team.

Certainly did miss Armstrong and the lack of depth in the squad is painfully obvious in certain areas. Agree with others that Smallbone needs to be loaned out to the Champ or L1 as he is nowhere near PL level yet. He has been largely anonymous in almost every game he's played.

Adams the best of a bad bunch and unlucky not to score with his effort.

Disappointing start but we will improve.

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We looked OK for the first 10 minutes or so but we are always vulnerable to the counter attack or ball over the top when teams sit back and have pace up front with the way we play the high line.

Romeu's lack of pace as the defensive midfielder - and our centre back's lack of pace only makes this worse.   

But once Palace scored it was more or less game over as they sat back even deeper and just hit us on the break with the pace of Zaha, Ayew and Townsend.  And we didn't have the creativity to break down a 10 man defence. Maybe Armstrong would have made a difference to this - but we didn't really have a plan B.

I would have brought Long on and gone a bit more direct to get behind the Palace defence.

Djneppo is a left winger who likes to cut in - and should be the competition for Redmond.  We don't really have an alternative to Armstrong on the right.  Maybe Sims would be worth a go as cover.

Boufal seems to be on his way - as although he has a  bit of magic his end product is poor and  he doesn't really have the discipline for Ralph's system. Plus he only has a year left on his contract and he probably earns too much for us to extend it - and the club have said anyone who only has a year left on their contract will be sold. He also seems to be better on the left as well.

Romeu only has a year left as well - and due to his lack of pace I don't think he'll be offered another contract either.  I wouldn't be completely surprised if he leaves if we can bring in another central midfielder.

I have  the feeling we need to shift 2 or 3 players out before we can bring anyone in  - due to lack of transfer funds and space on a heavy wage bill.  The failure to move on players like Hoedt, Carillo, Forster and Boufal (and get fees for players like Lemina and Elyounoussi) is causing us a real problem.

We really need to bring in a box-to-box midfielder, an attacking midfielder to play on the right and a target man to give us a plan B up front.

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15 hours ago, Winnersaint said:

Surprised no muppets have been on here yet to moan about the long hard struggle ahead yet!

Self contradictory. Only you have suggested that, Mr Muppet... Only joking!

Otherwise a sluggish performance with a touch of lazy arrogance about it but main factor was that we were not ready, individually or as a team. Physically and tactically we need to get our heads down and get working hard this week with two tough games coming up. Ralph clearly was aware of this in his pre-match remarks but how much of our energy and rhythm can we get back before next weekend? 

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29 minutes ago, Rebel said:

We looked OK for the first 10 minutes or so but we are always vulnerable to the counter attack or ball over the top when teams sit back and have pace up front with the way we play the high line.

Romeu's lack of pace as the defensive midfielder - and our centre back's lack of pace only makes this worse.   

But once Palace scored it was more or less game over as they sat back even deeper and just hit us on the break with the pace of Zaha, Ayew and Townsend.  And we didn't have the creativity to break down a 10 man defence. Maybe Armstrong would have made a difference to this - but we didn't really have a plan B.

I would have brought Long on and gone a bit more direct to get behind the Palace defence.

Djneppo is a left winger who likes to cut in - and should be the competition for Redmond.  We don't really have an alternative to Armstrong on the right.  Maybe Sims would be worth a go as cover.

Boufal seems to be on his way - as although he has a  bit of magic his end product is poor and  he doesn't really have the discipline for Ralph's system. Plus he only has a year left on his contract and he probably earns too much for us to extend it - and the club have said anyone who only has a year left on their contract will be sold. He also seems to be better on the left as well.

Romeu only has a year left as well - and due to his lack of pace I don't think he'll be offered another contract either.  I wouldn't be completely surprised if he leaves if we can bring in another central midfielder.

I have  the feeling we need to shift 2 or 3 players out before we can bring anyone in  - due to lack of transfer funds and space on a heavy wage bill.  The failure to move on players like Hoedt, Carillo, Forster and Boufal (and get fees for players like Lemina and Elyounoussi) is causing us a real problem.

We really need to bring in a box-to-box midfielder, an attacking midfielder to play on the right and a target man to give us a plan B up front.

Whilst I agree with the majority of this, I don't see how Shane Long would've made a difference really. With their defence being so deep, there wasn't any room in behind for the strikers to exploit. 

We lacked a technical attacking player yesterday. Armstrong would've made a difference but we need a proper player to challenge for that position as Smallbone adds next to nothing in that position. Personally I think we should've gone for one of Eze or Benramha. Shame they are both at/going to Palace! Very good signings for them IMO.

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A few things that I consider have been highlighted after that performance:

  • Salisu will play with Stephens once he's fit enough and has adapted to the way Ralph wants him to play. Taking Bednarek off for tactical reasons at half time was a surprising move, but hints at where he sees the problem in defence being.
  • The manager doesn't really trust any of his options off the bench to be game changers. Boufal looks likely to be sold, he left it very late to bring on Djenepo, there was no CM at all, Tella is young and lacks experience while Shlong and Obafemi can run and chase, but are unlikely to unpick a packed defence, especially when the service from midfield is so poor. Hopefully, that means reinforcements will be brought in.
  • Tactically, the two number tens are not really wingers, so it's essential that the full backs run in behind and get decent crosses in. They were both pushed very far up the pitch yesterday, making us very vulnerable to counter attacks with fast wingers and we know a lot of teams will have been looking at that. Bertrand's crossing was also awful from what I saw, so must improve if our strikers are to thrive.
  • The international break and one player missing through injury certainly had an impact, but this was a shadow of the team we saw in July, so why was everyone else looking so off the pace? Has some complacency crept in? The players definitely looked short of match practice and we were all surprised that more friendlies were arranged. I hope it's not going to take too long to get them back up to speed and fit.  
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1 hour ago, skintsaint said:

Disagree, these players are the ones you want 1v1 with the last defender. They are not as effective trying to do their skillz with 2/3 players on them. Similar to Djenepo, was very ineffective when he came on.

Need a creative no10 type, quick little 1/2s, incisive flicks and through balls sitting in the gaps to break these teams down. Just my two cents, might be wrong but I ain't a footie manager :)

Armstrong fills that role, but we haven't got backup. We missed him.

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