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Saints vs Brentford - Match Thread


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3 minutes ago, hypochondriac said:

Honestly though who else is there to play? We are bare bones on the bench and who wants to rely on long and Obafemi for anything? Vestergaard maybe? We don't have a replacement rb or lb, no other cms. It's a mess. 

Yep was thinking during the game we have such a thin squad we don’t really have the option of changing much up or any reliable players on the bench. 

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1 minute ago, Saint-Reece said:

Yep was thinking during the game we have such a thin squad we don’t really have the option of changing much up or any reliable players on the bench. 

We have djenepo who lacks any match sharpness and that's literally it without boufal yet I've been told we are getting rid of him too. 

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4 minutes ago, hypochondriac said:

Honestly though who else is there to play? We are bare bones on the bench and who wants to rely on long and Obafemi for anything? Vestergaard maybe? We don't have a replacement rb or lb, no other cms. It's a mess. 

Don't have a decent rb never mind back up. KWP dosn't cut it for me. CB's are currently the same sub-standard options that they were for much of the season. Midfield is weaker than 12 months ago, and up front we're reliant solely on Ings.

Won't mention GK's either. 

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1 minute ago, Saint-Reece said:

Yep was thinking during the game we have such a thin squad we don’t really have the option of changing much up or any reliable players on the bench. 

I thought our squad was overbloated andwe couldn t recruit because of this

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2 minutes ago, stevy777_x said:

I thought our squad was overbloated andwe couldn t recruit because of this

We still have a load of players out on loan that we can't get rid of or the likes of forster on obscene wages. Our core squad is pretty tiny though and we have almost nothing on the bench. Ideally we would get at least another 3 in. 

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What a humiliation to be totally outclassed by a lower division team and to be told by our local commentators that we were outplayed, outfought, out thought and knocked out by the better team, the team that put in greater effort and desire all over the pitch. Our performance tonight was totally unacceptable and the team needs to hang their heads in shame.

And as the manager, Ralph needs to take his share of the blame. He picked the team, he devised the tactics, he failed to improve their performance after a dire first half, and he also failed to make the substitutions that might have changed things until it was way too late.

Spurs didn't get off to a great start in their first match, but if we play and defend like we did against Crystal Palace and Brentford, they have enough to give us a good spanking.

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50 minutes ago, HarvSFC said:

The dangers of finishing so strongly last season was that we were going to get complacent, but Jesus Christ, we exceeded expectations on how royally we could toss up the break between seasons.

Semmens has always talked a good game and has admitted to making mistakes previously, but then I think most of us on here would also be good talkers if we were replacing Ralph Kreuger. He now has further questions to ask if he has one of those behind closed doors meetings with select fans again:

Number one being, how costly was the shirt sponsor debacle. We are a club who is very much counting every penny. Every poster on here could see there was something off with LD Sports, yet the club did not do their due diligence on them, if they aren’t connected to Gao, then this is really poor.

He suggested in the last public fan forum that we would be appointing a director of football, who was already employed at a club to follow the appointment of Matt Crocker in a shake up at the top of the club. This has seemingly died a death.

Not necessarily a Semmens issue, but why was our preparation for this season so poor/bizarre? One pre-season match, while every other club was playing multiple. I don’t know why we thought just playing the one against Swansea was the way to go and why we had to be different from the rest of the pack, but it clearly has not worked and we are clearly playing catch-up. The communications with fans have also been bizarrely poor during this period. Not expecting the world, but you would think Danso was just a figment of our imagination, and everyone else who was released from last season’s squad.

Finally, why have we gone into a new season with only an unfit centre-back being our one addition to the squad. Not counting KWP, as he finished the season with us. This was a team who were fighting relegation the majority of last season… again and we are sticking with the squad. Even the best teams need to improve and keep refreshing their squads. Look at Tottenham now compared to two years ago… The unsellables is an okay excuse, but then look at most Premier League teams and they also have unsellables and are still adding to their side. Palace from Saturday, who are now in talks with Benrahma for £25m have Sakho, Benteke, Sorloth, Wickham and Riedawald… It was clear that we had identified McKennie as a midfield reinforcement, but he went to Juventus, okay, can’t blame the club there, we then move on to an alternative… Errrrr…..

For the team, I don’t think the Adams-Ings partnership works. It didn’t at the start of last season, Ings only bagged one in his first seven matches last season, then Adams was dropped and we know the rest… I think Adams is trying to make the same runs as Ings, he is, or at least was a goalscorer at Birmingham, so they are trying to do the same job. Whereas, and I know he isn’t a fan favourite on here, I think Long creates more space for Ings up top and keeps the defenders occupied more than Adams does as a nuisance more than anything.

The high defensive line, sweeper keeper is just a mess. Barcelona/Bayern Munich exposed how shit a high line can be and they’re using world class defenders, we simply cannot play it, as Stephens and Bednarek have only ever played well with whatever we were doing after we dropped the three at the back last season. Also, McCarthy just isn’t a very good footballer and got an early stupid booking as well as could have been lobbed early on, but fortunately the Brentford attacker went for a weak curler.

The Smallbone/Tella situation. It looks like we’re just using the youth team for the sake of it, because we have one. Neither are ready for the first team, if they ever will be and should be well away from our starting eleven.

I was thinking Redmond needed to be hooked for a couple of games before his injury to show he is in danger of losing his position in the team, as he has reverted to type, and dare I say even got worse than when he was booed off the pitch against Tottenham seeing some of his passes tonight (the one he put straight out for a throw-in on the halfway line with no pressure as well as putting the Brentford player through.) But, then who do we have to replace Redmond? Nobody. Potentially why his form has dropped off a cliff.

This was also our current strongest eleven minus Salisu and Armstrong playing against a Brentford side, who didn’t have three of their key players from last season in Watkins, Benrahama and Raya.

I think that’s it. You never know with Saints and we could actually step up against Tottenham and hopefully this is just a stupid reactionary post and I am forced to eat my words. But, this is how I feel after that shoddy performance. There will be no acknowledgement of the fans who paid £10 to watch that, fortunately I wasn’t one of them, but it seems like the players couldn’t be bothered without any fans there.

A great summary.

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RH saying in his post match that with the team we currently have its going to be difficult to win games. What!!??!? This is the exact same team that was on fire just over a month ago. How can it go so wrong in such a short period? Can blame the lack of time with the players, or their fitness, but RH has to take some ownership too. Other teams are in the same position. Hopefully this was a message to the owner to dig deep. On the plus side we've had a big wake up call in a cup game and just one league game in. Plenty of time to rectify it

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Saints have been pedestrian through the middle for years now. Watching Hoj run through treacle wasn't much fun, but now he's gone, neither of our first choice CM pair have the stride to advance into space with the ball. We've missed Armstrong's more direct running the past two games, but are we seriously banking our season on him?

Oh, and I still think Adams isn't good enough. Either his technique lets him down or his anticipation lets him down - there's just always some reason why the chance goes begging.

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I haven't watched the game yet (not sure I will now) - but I'm curious to know how Tella went? Acknowledging that it sounds pretty poor all around, but did he show promise or give any indication he might play a bigger part this year? It's one of the great things about following saints, seeing the young guys come through (desperately searching for positives and dry sheets).

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3 hours ago, maxi_sopez said:

maybe selling all of our backup centre mids to Fulham wasn't a good idea. 

 

Indeed. We had no choice about Reed given the option but to shift Lemima and Hojbjerg as well with no replacement is inexcusable. We start the season with a threadbare midfield, which is just negligent, particularly when we ask them to run so much. 

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43 minutes ago, benjii said:

Indeed. We had no choice about Reed given the option but to shift Lemima and Hojbjerg as well with no replacement is inexcusable. We start the season with a threadbare midfield, which is just negligent, particularly when we ask them to run so much. 

It is inexcusable - as is the belief that players like Smallbone and Tella would be ready/good enough to start the season with.    

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25 minutes ago, Saint_clark said:

Where has this idea we only had one preseason match come from? I thought we had 3 or 4.

Only one was actually reported by the club wasn’t it?
 

The supposed one against Fulham wasn’t reported by either club and the only others I can remember were a load of u23 friendlies. 

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That was a terrible game, straight out of the Pellegrino collection of inept home performances. 

Brentford are a good away side and we played into their hands, let us have the ball, we over commit , they hit us on the break with gaps all over the place. 

Tella looked like he'd been on the Stella with his positioning, midfield had no control of the game. 

Fitness looks poor. 

Confidence is low. 

Club seems in a mess with mysterious loss of sponsorship contract, shirts off sale. Highly paid wasters Carillo, Hoedt etc using up the wage bill. 

No cup run, not much for fans to get excited about. 

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8 hours ago, hypochondriac said:

We still have a load of players out on loan that we can't get rid of or the likes of forster on obscene wages. Our core squad is pretty tiny though and we have almost nothing on the bench. Ideally we would get at least another 3 in. 

We cant get rid of them because they arnt worth the money we laid out and definitely not what were asking for ,who wants poor to mediocre players........wait .....we do .Our squad isn't anywhere deep enough in game changing players to come into the squad and push for regular starts.

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That was a terrible game, straight out of the Pellegrino collection of inept home performances. 

Brentford are a good away side and we played into their hands, let us have the ball, we over commit , they hit us on the break with gaps all over the place. 

Tella looked like he'd been on the Stella with his positioning, midfield had no control of the game. 

Fitness looks poor. 

Confidence is low. 

Club seems in a mess with mysterious loss of sponsorship contract, shirts off sale. Highly paid wasters Carillo, Hoedt etc using up the wage bill. 

No cup run, not much for fans to get excited about. 

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10 hours ago, Baird of the land said:

Hopefully there will be some changes for Spurs because that was dire. You can't keep rewarding appalling displays.

I'd say long is about the only player who came out with any credit imo, which is marginal anyway as Ralph deemed to give him only 5 minutes on the pitch.

5 minutes was all Long needed to waste a good cross from Obafemi. Long was right in front of the Brentford goal and according to the commentator 'got his feet muddled up'. Summed the game up really. 

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9 hours ago, HarvSFC said:

The dangers of finishing so strongly last season was that we were going to get complacent, but Jesus Christ, we exceeded expectations on how royally we could toss up the break between seasons.

Number one being, how costly was the shirt sponsor debacle. 

He suggested in the last public fan forum that we would be appointing a director of football, who was already employed at a club to follow the appointment of Matt Crocker in a shake up at the top of the club. This has seemingly died a death.

.... but why was our preparation for this season so poor/bizarre? 

Finally, why have we gone into a new season with only an unfit centre-back being our one addition to the squad. Not counting KWP, as he finished the season with us. ....… It was clear that we had identified McKennie as a midfield reinforcement, but he went to Juventus, okay, can’t blame the club there, we then move on to an alternative… Errrrr…..

For the team, I don’t think the Adams-Ings partnership works. ....

The high defensive line, sweeper keeper is just a mess.  as Stephens and Bednarek have only ever played well with whatever we were doing after we dropped the three at the back last season. Also, McCarthy just isn’t a very good footballer 

The Smallbone/Tella situation. It looks like we’re just using the youth team for the sake of it, 

I was thinking Redmond needed to be hooked for a couple of games ...

This was also our current strongest eleven minus Salisu and Armstrong playing against a Brentford side, who didn’t have three of their key players from last season in Watkins, Benrahama and Raya.

I think that’s it. You never know with Saints and we could actually step up against Tottenham and hopefully this is just a stupid reactionary post and I am forced to eat my words. But, this is how I feel after that shoddy performance. .... but it seems like the players couldn’t be bothered without any fans there.

Many good points raised that go beyond the match thread.

I've said the same regarding our 'end of season' form. Quite how they came back fit and fighting after a three month break, but not after another break for about half that time is a very poor reflection on all involved.

Recruitment - yes, what happened to the Director ? You're left hoping its been put on ice pending investment and takeover but it's more likely just inept management (again).

Signings - can't be may clubs who haven't strengthened. Even the likes of Palace investing beyond us, and ridicule all you like but Brighton's signing of Nivea does show a modicum of ambition (albeit misguided and not a signing I wanted for us, but the investment is being made). Salisu - pleased with it, but we await to see him. 

Don't think we've given the appearance of being a well run club since Koeman's first season, that was gradually undone by Reed and Wilson.

What next ? I expect we'll sell Boufal to even further weaken our options then see our intended target (Rashica for example, or whoever) sign elsewhere. 

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9 minutes ago, LGTL said:

Much has already been said. Imagine if JWP or Romeu gets injured, who the hell comes in for them? Transfer policy an utter mess once again and has been for years. 

Indeed. Ideally you'd actually want two cm signings so jwp can have a rest every once in a while. 

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Pre-season optimism has well and truly gone. Almost feels like it was a waste after the restart, we were playing great then for nothing, and now at the start of the season we are awful. May only be 2 games in, but another defeat on Sunday and things are looking worrying

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Wish I hadn't of paid £10 for that rubbish last night, it ruined the rest of my evening.

People saying "we were so fit when we came back from lockdown, why are we not fit now?" are forgetting you couldn't do anything else, but exercise over that period. This time, they could swan off on holiday doing instagram videos etc.

We have been so far off the pace the first two games it's worrying. Palace had their whole back line missing and Brentford played most of their second team and they were both miles better than us.

* Romeu - Not good enough and far too slow. Centre mid who is strong, powerful and can get us up the pitch quickly is a MUST!

* Centre Backs - The first 2 games they have reverted back to being awful. The quicker Salissu is fit the better. I would drop Bednarek. Backwards passing, zero pace and always worries me.

* Tella is no better than Sims and it appears we are playing Tella to show people we are using the youth system. If they are not good enough, don't play them.

* Long and Ings is the best striker partnership and I would sacrifice Adams to get confidence back and the pressing we have lacked so far

* The high line with the full backs so far forward will be our demise. When you have centre backs with no pace, we will get hammered by top sides. Son and Moura will have a field day Sunday and I am extremely worried about Sunday.

This is not be a bed wetter, it is plain to see for an average fan that watches Saints. A lot of work to do and investment needed (that won't happen).

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It's disappointing that we have come back to the start of this season so different to the end of last (but this is Saints!). I didn't watch the match but the comments on here and the post match comments from Ralph are deeply worrying .

I had hoped that we would have just repeated the end of last season preparation, how our players could get, to quote Ralph, be unfit after only 3 weeks away seems to me not understandable. People say that we only had one pre=season friendly but I seem to recall that we only played one against Bristol City before the restart.

Hope Ralph can sort this out quickly because the players that people are criticising now after 2 games are the same ones that were praised 2 months ago.

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This side/squad is nothing without extreme fitness and the ability to run and compete with tenacity. To come back so obviously off the pace after just a short break shows a lack of control by the management and a lack of discipline from professional footballers who should know better. The Prem League is relentless and unforgiving and those who start off playing catch-up face a long uphill struggle. Our optimism has vanished and our worries that we have not recruited well enough look to be well founded. Ralph and the coaches/fitness team have a massive job on their hands if we are not to sink into a relegation scrap. Would also like to know why we seem to be playing an even higher line than last season - it doesn't work and leaves us hopelessly exposed as already proved after just two games against opponents we should expect to beat.

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If we get rid of Boufal and dont sign anyone else, we're currently an injury or two away from fielding a team including Smallbone, Tella and Slattery in a Premier League starting line up. None have shown they're good enough (yet) and wont be being carried through games with world class players next to them - there's only one way that's going to go...

The point about Tella - definitely agree that he seems to be playing only because he has come through the youth team. I dont think he was even one of the stars of the youth team? He seemed to be a willing runner, but very raw, much like Obafemi when he first came on the scene (and still is)!

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11 hours ago, HarvSFC said:

The dangers of finishing so strongly last season was that we were going to get complacent, but Jesus Christ, we exceeded expectations on how royally we could toss up the break between seasons.

Semmens has always talked a good game and has admitted to making mistakes previously, but then I think most of us on here would also be good talkers if we were replacing Ralph Kreuger. He now has further questions to ask if he has one of those behind closed doors meetings with select fans again:

Number one being, how costly was the shirt sponsor debacle. We are a club who is very much counting every penny. Every poster on here could see there was something off with LD Sports, yet the club did not do their due diligence on them, if they aren’t connected to Gao, then this is really poor.

He suggested in the last public fan forum that we would be appointing a director of football, who was already employed at a club to follow the appointment of Matt Crocker in a shake up at the top of the club. This has seemingly died a death.

Not necessarily a Semmens issue, but why was our preparation for this season so poor/bizarre? One pre-season match, while every other club was playing multiple. I don’t know why we thought just playing the one against Swansea was the way to go and why we had to be different from the rest of the pack, but it clearly has not worked and we are clearly playing catch-up. The communications with fans have also been bizarrely poor during this period. Not expecting the world, but you would think Danso was just a figment of our imagination, and everyone else who was released from last season’s squad.

Finally, why have we gone into a new season with only an unfit centre-back being our one addition to the squad. Not counting KWP, as he finished the season with us. This was a team who were fighting relegation the majority of last season… again and we are sticking with the squad. Even the best teams need to improve and keep refreshing their squads. Look at Tottenham now compared to two years ago… The unsellables is an okay excuse, but then look at most Premier League teams and they also have unsellables and are still adding to their side. Palace from Saturday, who are now in talks with Benrahma for £25m have Sakho, Benteke, Sorloth, Wickham and Riedawald… It was clear that we had identified McKennie as a midfield reinforcement, but he went to Juventus, okay, can’t blame the club there, we then move on to an alternative… Errrrr…..

For the team, I don’t think the Adams-Ings partnership works. It didn’t at the start of last season, Ings only bagged one in his first seven matches last season, then Adams was dropped and we know the rest… I think Adams is trying to make the same runs as Ings, he is, or at least was a goalscorer at Birmingham, so they are trying to do the same job. Whereas, and I know he isn’t a fan favourite on here, I think Long creates more space for Ings up top and keeps the defenders occupied more than Adams does as a nuisance more than anything.

The high defensive line, sweeper keeper is just a mess. Barcelona/Bayern Munich exposed how shit a high line can be and they’re using world class defenders, we simply cannot play it, as Stephens and Bednarek have only ever played well with whatever we were doing after we dropped the three at the back last season. Also, McCarthy just isn’t a very good footballer and got an early stupid booking as well as could have been lobbed early on, but fortunately the Brentford attacker went for a weak curler.

The Smallbone/Tella situation. It looks like we’re just using the youth team for the sake of it, because we have one. Neither are ready for the first team, if they ever will be and should be well away from our starting eleven.

I was thinking Redmond needed to be hooked for a couple of games before his injury to show he is in danger of losing his position in the team, as he has reverted to type, and dare I say even got worse than when he was booed off the pitch against Tottenham seeing some of his passes tonight (the one he put straight out for a throw-in on the halfway line with no pressure as well as putting the Brentford player through.) But, then who do we have to replace Redmond? Nobody. Potentially why his form has dropped off a cliff.

This was also our current strongest eleven minus Salisu and Armstrong playing against a Brentford side, who didn’t have three of their key players from last season in Watkins, Benrahama and Raya.

I think that’s it. You never know with Saints and we could actually step up against Tottenham and hopefully this is just a stupid reactionary post and I am forced to eat my words. But, this is how I feel after that shoddy performance. There will be no acknowledgement of the fans who paid £10 to watch that, fortunately I wasn’t one of them, but it seems like the players couldn’t be bothered without any fans there.

You've covered the situation well.

What baffles me is Ralph saying last night the pre-season had been poor. Why? Who is to blame? Surely it was roughly the same for the other 91 clubs (time-wise), so was it our sloppy organisation? In which case as manager surely he is responsible as he is for player fitness. According to him some players came back unfit something that historically would have resulted in a fine and banishment into the stiffs/U23s until fully fit, but is Ralph saying he is now picking them anyway? He is on record as saying he likes working with smaller squads which may be fine in less demanding Leagues but not the PL. For a man who has a reputation of being thorough his post-match comments didn't make a lot of sense.

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11 minutes ago, Charlie Wayman said:

I paid £10 to watch this, worth every penny 😉

One thing that is different this season is the mid-half refreshment and coaching break. Maybe there was something in those energy drinks?

Me too, still at least the monies are supposedly split between the 2 clubs like gate receipts.

Maybe at 22 minutes 30sec into a half a designated player needs to go down requiring treatment for a minute to feign a drinks break. That said Ralph had 15 minutes in the middle to stir the pot and light a fire under them in the last 2 games and that achieved bugger all!

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4 minutes ago, Fitzhugh Fella said:

You've covered the situation well.

What baffles me is Ralph saying last night the pre-season had been poor. Why? Who is to blame? Surely it was roughly the same for the other 91 clubs (time-wise), so was it our sloppy organisation? In which case as manager surely he is responsible as he is for player fitness. According to him some players came back unfit something that historically would have resulted in a fine and banishment into the stiffs/U23s until fully fit, but is Ralph saying he is now picking them anyway? He is on record as saying he likes working with smaller squads which may be fine in less demanding Leagues but not the PL. For a man who has a reputation of being thorough his post-match comments didn't make a lot of sense.

Didn't hear the interview, only read the reported comments. Did seem that he appeared a bit disaffected, and you wonder what 'promises' he's been sold on investment, 'jam tomorrow'' , and how long he'll put up with the false promises from an absent owner.

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1 hour ago, hypochondriac said:

Indeed. Ideally you'd actually want two cm signings so jwp can have a rest every once in a while. 

2 CM’s, an attacking midfielder and a striker (arguably a CB depending on This new lad) if we want to be anywhere near top half. 
 

another season of battling relegation. Such a waste given we have a very good manager 

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Ralph's clearly frustrated. This is not a normal start to a season. I can understand that during lockdown Saints made players maintain fitness, but that it couldn't be viable to impose the same regime at the end of the season. Then there was no time for a pre-season and the urgency we had on restart isn't there. Norwich was a must win game to avoid getting sucked into relegation. We haven't got that now. Then there was the idiotic international break that should have been cancelled. You could see how angry Ralph was at losing Armstrong, who is crucial.

Maybe some teams who were able to be relaxed about restart and who took the lockdown as a Summer break will benefit now. After putting less pressure on players during lockdown, they could have a proper pre-season. Ralph will turn it round, but he needs the team together for a severe bollocking.

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15 minutes ago, SKD said:

2 CM’s, an attacking midfielder and a striker (arguably a CB depending on This new lad) if we want to be anywhere near top half. 
 

another season of battling relegation. Such a waste given we have a very good manager 

If you think we're signing those, you're in cloud cuckoo land. 1 or 2 midfield is the most we'll see.

And we're not relegation fodder. We're badly prepared for the season start but this team put together an unbeaten run of 7 games and once they're sorted out, can do it again.

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10 minutes ago, Shroppie said:

Ralph's clearly frustrated. This is not a normal start to a season. I can understand that during lockdown Saints made players maintain fitness, but that it couldn't be viable to impose the same regime at the end of the season. Then there was no time for a pre-season and the urgency we had on restart isn't there. Norwich was a must win game to avoid getting sucked into relegation. We haven't got that now. Then there was the idiotic international break that should have been cancelled. You could see how angry Ralph was at losing Armstrong, who is crucial.

Maybe some teams who were able to be relaxed about restart and who took the lockdown as a Summer break will benefit now. After putting less pressure on players during lockdown, they could have a proper pre-season. Ralph will turn it round, but he needs the team together for a severe bollocking.

You say there was no time for pre season friendlies, I think most other clubs had 3 or 4, we had 1.  We look miles off the pace, confirmed by Ralphs comments regarding the fitness/sharpness that the players have come back in...

I've been saying the squad is far too thin for months, and last night proved that.  We have no alternatives.

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The last two games were unadulterated dross. 71% possession at Palace, 66% possession against Brentford. Probably half of that was the back five and a fair bit more from the two midfielders. Nearly every time our possession goes over 50% it almost always represents lots of backwards and sideways in our own half. The only thing that achieves is the time it allows our opponents to get goal side and stifle us.

Our biggest problem is allowing the goalkeeper to get involved and recycle more of the same, The forwards need quick ball so stop the defenders and midfielders from just aimlessly passing it around because eventually we'll lose the ball as for Palace's goal. The marking for Brentford's first goal was atrocious and nobody attacked the ball. The second goal was a shambles everybody out of position, no shape and the scorer unmarked.

Our best results have come from high tempo quick attacking with early passing up to the forwards. Armstrong is a big miss at the moment.  Leaving Djenepo on the bench was rediculous whilst playing Smallbone out of position and Tella. We need to get back to our High tempo and stop exposing our pedestrian centre backs. They looked awful in the last two games. Redmond has to stop checking out and passing backwards, Its a complete mess at the moment.

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1 hour ago, saintjimbo83 said:

 

* Tella is no better than Sims and it appears we are playing Tella to show people we are using the youth system. If they are not good enough, don't play them.

 

Sims was at least a stand out player in the youth teams. As was Hesketh. The fact that they haven't been deemed good enough for this level yet we're promoting the likes of Tella and Smallbone, who only their mothers would have noticed in the u23s, is a troubling development.

Only Obafemi, of their group, really caught the eye. And he's not exactly special - I doubt he'll be a PL player long term.

Frankly, our youth development has been rotten since Prowse and co came through at once.

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2 minutes ago, qwertyell said:

Sims was at least a stand out player in the youth teams. As was Hesketh. The fact that they haven't been deemed good enough for this level yet we're promoting the likes of Tella and Smallbone, who only their mothers would have noticed in the u23s, is a troubling development.

Only Obafemi, of their group, really caught the eye. And he's not exactly special - I doubt he'll be a PL player long term.

Frankly, our youth development has been rotten since Prowse and co came through at once.

Agree with this, we seem to churn out a succession of ineffective shortarses who aren't physically up to it. 

Reed milked the plaudits for the succession of talent coming through, and we were likened to Ajax. But Ajax do it year after year, we unearth a gem a lot less frequently than that (MLT and his age group under Dave Merrington was exceptional (1987/8), after which.. Wayne Bridge (1998?).. Bale (2006?)... Shaw/Chambers/JWP (2013). Not a bad track record but there are  gaps and more barren years in there to assume that SFC youth development is always the answer.

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Could be worse, I know this idiot who bought 2 season tickets on the following presumptions-

a) would actually be able to go and watch a game in the near future and

b) we were on for a really good season!

What an fool that Toussaint is!  I've heard he would be that keen to go now even if he could.

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12 hours ago, verlaine1979 said:

Oh, and I still think Adams isn't good enough. Either his technique lets him down or his anticipation lets him down - there's just always some reason why the chance goes begging.

Absolutely 100% this.

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It's a strange one, we had the club saying how we managed 'lockdown' really well, and we've replicated the same situation this 'small pre-season' as it worked before, but that always stunk of serious complacency.

It's a totally different scenario, it wasn't a break during a season, it was a stop and then a start of a new season. It looks like everyone got complacent and we are frighteningly underprepared. 

The squad is too small, even the manager is saying as much. Even Semmens has said he'd like to do more, but 'we know our limits'. I think the buck stops with a certain Gao and whilst he is in charge we will drift around in no mans land, hoping not to get relegated. Sounds like a laugh.

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5 hours ago, Shroppie said:

If you think we're signing those, you're in cloud cuckoo land. 1 or 2 midfield is the most we'll see.

And we're not relegation fodder. We're badly prepared for the season start but this team put together an unbeaten run of 7 games and once they're sorted out, can do it again.

I don’t think we’ll sign that, I’m pointing out what we need. 

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