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Arsenal 1-1 Saints - Reaction


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A shame that we didn't beat the Arse and go second a couple of points behind Liverpool, but then Leicester lost and we went above them on equal points, and we're breathing down Spurs' neck in third. This was probably the best chance of beating Arsenal away the state they are in and for most of the match we were by far the better team. They had a man short for quite a period of the match, but it is often the case that it is hard to break down a team with its back to the wall and they defended resolutely and could have stolen the win when that late header from Holding hit the corner of the goalpost. We also came that close too and could have scored a couple more goals with better finishing. As the commentators are starting to realise, we are the real deal at the moment. Our organisation, teamwork, passing, movement, are top drawer now. All of the defence, midfield and attack combine well together. It is strange to watch an Arsenal team giving us that much respect to play three at the back in an attempt to close us down out wide, but they failed, because our high line gained possession high up the pitch and we were first to most balls and tackled and closed down well.

Ralph got the substitutions spot on again, with enough time to cause problems with fresh legs. A straight swap of the two wide midfielders Walcott and Armstrong for Djenepo and Redmond added pace and trickery, but as Arsenal packed their defence doggedly, it remained difficult to kill off the match. Had they played like the Arsenal of old, we would have beaten them with our current style of play, so Arteta was probably right to be so cautious in his tactics bearing in mind his current dire position.

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Should have won, but I'll take a point. Hopefully it gets Danny one game nearer full sharpness - we can all see he's just a little bit off it. Given that though, I was a bit surprised N'lundulu wasn't given 5-10 mins near the end to throw his weight around in the box. And i would have given Theo ten more mins to turn and run at them after the sending off. 

 

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Slightly disappointed not to get the win, on the overall balance of play. But we didn't really do enough to deserve it.

I think if people are going to claim we should have had a penalty then they should also have had one in the first half, the incidents were quite similar. FWIW, I think the ref and VAR got both calls right - not enough contact to really impede either attacker.

You can point to Redmond's effort against the bar, which was a lovely move, but they had the header off the bar late on as well. 

Ultimately, for all our tidy possession and neat passing, we didn't create any other clear chances because they defended well.

Our goal came about from a delightful through-ball and calm finish from Theo; theirs came from a superb mazy run from Saka and an excellent, pinpoint finish from Aubameyang.

Draw was a fair result.

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16 minutes ago, SuperSAINT said:

Think the release clause was mentioned by David Ornstein (or The Telegraph).  

Fair enough, I hadn’t seen that. Guessing that would have been leaked by his agent. 

If the figure I’ve been told is correct then he’ll have plenty of interest and I think we’ll struggle to keep him. 

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So Ings has been back for 2 and a half games where hes notched up a goal and an assist, but reading on here you'd think he was done 🤷🏽‍♂️. Worth mentioning Che with another great assist. His build up play and contribution to the team has been excellent this season

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3 hours ago, OttawaSaint said:

I think this game shows that we are 6-10 position. We have to be on or close to on our game every week and having hot and cold players like Redmond, Armstrong, Walcott and Djenepo hurts us a bit. 

That's OK. We're fun to watch and doing really well. Would be nice to see us crack the top 6 but I think when the games come thick and fast we'll have to rotate a bit and be weakened as a result.

Don't disagree that NR, SA, TW and MD can run hot and cold, but the flip side is we have four good quality wide attacking players who can be inter-changed and the Club haven't had that luxury for some time.   The draw was a fair result having not pressed home the advantage of the first half.   Romeu so good again tonight; likewise Vestergaard, Adams and KWP.

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Breaking down a packed defence has always been a problem for us. Currently we seem to lack a Tadic or a Gaston who can find the defence-splitting pass. Although Djenepo and Redmond ran at them a couple of times with a chance or two resulting, this wasn’t frequent enough. I wonder if there isn’t some merit, for the last couple of minutes, in sending Vestergaard up to play centre-forward and put crosses into the box. 

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11 minutes ago, Kingsland Codger said:

Breaking down a packed defence has always been a problem for us. Currently we seem to lack a Tadic or a Gaston who can find the defence-splitting pass. Although Djenepo and Redmond ran at them a couple of times with a chance or two resulting, this wasn’t frequent enough. I wonder if there isn’t some merit, for the last couple of minutes, in sending Vestergaard up to play centre-forward and put crosses into the box. 

We could have brought N'Lundulu on for the last ten minutes if we'd wanted an alternative to passing the ball around. I was disappointed that we didn't. It seemed the perfect time to bring him on to batter the Arsenal defence, who faced no real physical challenge from our forwards at the end and were just going through the defensive routine that they must have practised in training hundreds of times. Remember exactly 2 years ago when we beat Arsenal 3-2 with 3 headed goals, the last one coming from Austin near the end of the game when he came on as a sub.

 

Edited by Nordic Saint
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The air went out of the game when matey got sent off - just a wall of Red & White we couldn’t make openings because we couldn’t get them to come out of defence.

Bit weird to see a team like Arsenal defending for their lives and wasting time. Years ago with 10 men they would have still been pushing hard for the win. Still one more point in the bag, keeps the tally ticking over.

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Just now, John Boy Saint said:

The air went out of the game when matey got sent off - just a wall of Red & White we couldn’t make openings because we couldn’t get them to come out of defence.

Bit weird to see a team like Arsenal defending for their lives and wasting time. Years ago with 10 men they would have still been pushing hard for the win. Still one more point in the bag, keeps the tally ticking over.

Although some of our fans like to think of us as little Southampton who should be happy if they manage to avoid relegation, the truth is over the last 12 months and the last 38 games, we are one of the top 3 teams in the country so 3rd is where you'd expect us to be - it's no fluke - whereas Arsenal are 15th and had lost their previous 5 games. We were the bookies favourites to win this game. The first half performance wasn't any great surprise; not winning the game against a poor Arsenal side down to 10 men was. One of the TV commentators mentioned early in the game that there weren't many of the Arsenal players who Southampton would want to swap any of theirs for.

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5 hours ago, Mowgli said:

Yeah - 10 days is a hell of a goal drought

For him it is! Anyway it's not so much the lack of goals but how pissed off he looks whilst playing, he normally plays with a big smile on his face all game but since his injury he's looked permanently annoyed and gotten fed up with his teammates when they haven't passed him the ball to the point of waving his arms and shouting in frustration.

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1 hour ago, Saint_clark said:

For him it is! Anyway it's not so much the lack of goals but how pissed off he looks whilst playing, he normally plays with a big smile on his face all game but since his injury he's looked permanently annoyed and gotten fed up with his teammates when they haven't passed him the ball to the point of waving his arms and shouting in frustration.

Another 0ne making something of nothing 

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1 hour ago, Saint_clark said:

For him it is! Anyway it's not so much the lack of goals but how pissed off he looks whilst playing, he normally plays with a big smile on his face all game but since his injury he's looked permanently annoyed and gotten fed up with his teammates when they haven't passed him the ball to the point of waving his arms and shouting in frustration.

I think you're reading too much into this. Knowing the high standards he sets for himself, it's more likely he's just frustrated that he's still getting his match sharpness back and has so far not been able to reach those standards.

Seriously, how many top players (let alone strikers) come back from over a month out after surgery and manage to re-find their best form immediately? 

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1 hour ago, rooney said:

Disappointed somewhat that we did not win, but shows how far we have come. We played very well in fact like Arsenal used to and they played like we used to pre-Ralph.

Che and KWP were outstanding I felt.

Che and Kwp were indeed brilliant.

We had too many passengers last night. Armstrong and Ings had a shocker!

I’m noticing more and more that Bertrand is not getting down the left flank like KWP is. Think we are losing that option we used to have.

Another thing we need to focus on is free kicks into our area, we are giving free headers most of the time.

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Think we're looking in leggy in games well before the end. First half performances against United and Arsenal have both been lackluster for much of the half. We just don't have the same movement up front and a lot of lazy passes going astray with no pressure. There were periods in this match were I stopped moaning about misplaced passes only because Arsenal were just as liable to give it back to us...😆

Ralph needs to rotate. It was crying out last night to start Redmond/Djenpo/Diallio. Unless we're going with those 3 vs man city?

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1 hour ago, wild-saint said:

No chance, what’s the point in giving him a pay rise only to lose him for £30m. We will get that anyway.

So what hunch figure comes to your mind when SKD says: "If the figure I’ve been told is correct then he’ll have plenty of interest and I think we’ll struggle to keep him."?

That wording suggests a lower than we'd hope for release clause to me?

Edited by trousers
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1 minute ago, Saint86 said:

Think we're looking in leggy in games well before the end. First half performances against United and Arsenal have both been lackluster for much of the half. We just don't have the same movement up front and a lot of lazy passes going astray with no pressure. There were periods in this match were I stopped moaning about misplaced passes only because Arsenal were just as liable to give it back to us...😆

Ralph needs to rotate. It was crying out last night to start Redmond/Djenpo/Diallio. Unless we're going with those 3 vs man city?

An interesting point. I agree, some rotation is the way forward imho. Arsenal weathered the storm and were building dangerous moments in front of our goal.  We were brilliant in the first half and some periods in the second half, but had Arsenal not gone down to ten men I think we might have lost. 

We have options on the bench now and it will give opportunities for talented players. I can't see us maintaining that stunning pressing style throughout matches for the whole season otherwise.  Ralph will have this in mind, I'm sure.

I'm happy with the 1-1 draw.  I don't think we're yet ready to be top of the Premiership. But we can pressure the rich clubs all the way, because Europe is a real possibility.

Fantastic progress guys.

 

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It's easy to forget but just before the sending off that game was Arsenals for the taking. I think Ralph was right to make the changes he did although Theo still looked full of running. The passing was too slow for the last 20 minutes - we got round the back a few times but I'd have liked Redmond in particular to have linked up with KWP more when he was on the right. When Bertrand did make forward runs the ball rarely came to him and just got slowly played inside or backwards. I'd like to have seen Daillo on for Romeu to speed the passing. But only minor gripes relly. Theo's goal was fantastic and Che's link up play is starting to remind me of SRL. 8 points from 15 is about right since the Int Break and could have been more - great times to be Saints supporter.

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Strange game, football. If we'd won that but Leicester had won and Liverpool/Tottenham had drawn, we'd have been level on points at second but 4th in the table instead of 3rd. So much depends on how other teams do.

I'm never in favour of wanting a result decided by a penalty unless the foul is one that prevented a clear goal-scoring chance.  Too often, penalties are too big a reward, on top of which, simulation has had a seriously negative effect on the game.

It seemed to me that a string of lapses led to the Arsenal goal, so I'd put the result down to midfield defensive errors, rather than failure to score a second, although against 10 men, you cant help feeling they should have done better.

Lastly, I do agree that Ings hasn't yet recovered from his injury. He may be physically fit but something is missing from his game.

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Just watched the sports news on the BBC News channel.... guess which of these statements they went with for their 10 second report on the Arsenal v Saints game....?

"Arsenal ended their home losing streak with a draw against Southampton"

or

"Southampton continue to impress, moving up to 3rd with their 6th undefeated away result in a row"

pondering simon rex GIF by Simon Rex / Dirt Nasty

 

 

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1 minute ago, Chickendippers said:

I think Ralph was right to make the changes he did although Theo still looked full of running

Given both wide men were swapped at the 60 minute I suspect the changes were pre-arranged and made with Saturday in mind.

Agree that Theo still looked full of running.  I think his ability to drop deep, collect on the half turn and then drive with the ball really gives us something.

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17 minutes ago, trousers said:

So what hunch figure comes to your mind when SKD says: "If the figure I’ve been told is correct then he’ll have plenty of interest and I think we’ll struggle to keep him."?

That wording suggests a lower than we'd hope for release clause to me?

Do you think he's seen the contract?

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13 hours ago, Chez said:

Agree, although to be fair Arsenal did carry a threat down their left and before the red were perhaps favouriites to go on and wi the game. As soon as they got a red that meant we'd get a draw, but we dont have the craft to unlock ten men deep behind the ball.

That's the way I saw it too. Arteta shut his team down once the sending off happened. Without that we may well have lost as their confidence returned a little and Saka was single-handedly driving them up the pitch. 

A point gained IMO considering Saints looked a little jaded I thought and Arsenal were never going to get beat 5 in a row at home. 

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2 hours ago, Sheaf Saint said:

Seriously, how many top players (let alone strikers) come back from over a month out after surgery and manage to re-find their best form immediately? 

Nevermind loss of form, loss of fitness too. Even these elites will have some regression in full fitness potential, possibly even more so. 

I was marathon fit two weeks ago but my race ended up in Tier 2 so couldn't compete. I was on for 2.55 ish having trained well all autumn. Just two down weeks since and I can feel a lot of the sharp-end fitness draining away. 

Ings will be fine given another week or two to get back his sharpness. 

Edited by jasonb
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21 minutes ago, trousers said:

Just watched the sports news on the BBC News channel.... guess which of these statements they went with for their 10 second report on the Arsenal v Saints game....?

"Arsenal ended their home losing streak with a draw against Southampton"

or

"Southampton continue to impress, moving up to 3rd with their 6th undefeated away result in a row"

pondering simon rex GIF by Simon Rex / Dirt Nasty

 

 

I think some people need to be a bit thicker skinned when it comes to media headlines. There are plenty out there praising our form and I’m willing to bet a trawl through the other 19 PL forums (and Pompeyonline no doubt) would yield a few grumbles about, "the media love in with Southampton." We have to accept that us being temporarily 3rd isn’t unprecedented or interesting.

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Overall I continued to be impressed with the individual and overall improvement in the team in particular Vestergard, Adams and Romeu with no real weak spots.
Disappointed that we couldnt make the numerical advantage count (same as v Spurs last season) but it could have been worse if Holdings header had gone in at the death,

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31 minutes ago, trousers said:

Just watched the sports news on the BBC News channel.... guess which of these statements they went with for their 10 second report on the Arsenal v Saints game....?

"Arsenal ended their home losing streak with a draw against Southampton"

or

"Southampton continue to impress, moving up to 3rd with their 6th undefeated away result in a row"

pondering simon rex GIF by Simon Rex / Dirt Nasty

 

 

I see yesterday the anti-Saints BBC reported on 

"West Brom sack Bilicand turn to Big Sam"

but they did not report on

"Southampton continue to employ Ralph Hasenhutl because he's doing an excellent job"

Absolutely disgraceful.

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14 minutes ago, CB Fry said:

I see yesterday the anti-Saints BBC reported on 

"West Brom sack Bilicand turn to Big Sam"

but they did not report on

"Southampton continue to employ Ralph Hasenhutl because he's doing an excellent job"

Absolutely disgraceful.

Stu Francis Tour Dates & Tickets 2020 | Ents24

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Deflated too after that. Definitely not wanting to over commit and get hit on the break and lose the point. They still had aubameyang on the pitch remember.

maybe some tiredness too, but expected more from the two fresh 10s on the pitch. Could have stuck Vest up for the last 5 minutes or N’Lundulu for something different. 
 

might be learning for how to breakdown 10 men as plan A no longer works.

Walcott my MoM. He got the goal with a nice finish and got the man sent off. Definitely our best 10 on the night. Still frustrates me and get that “no footballing brain” ringing in my head. Maybe that comes more with games, working with Ralph and the smarter players around him.

 

not a pen for me. I’ll take not getting that one against the marginal one that was given at Brighton. Cant have all the luck all the time (otherwise we would be Liverpool....)

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How refreshing that many of us are seeing this as 2 points lost rather than 1 point gained. After 50+ years supporting the Saints this still comes as a pleasant surprise to be thinking this way. Great to be looking up the the table rather than down. 

Our football last night was crisp and full of quality. Ralph has done a remarkable job with this group of players. No "marquee" signings. Just good, honest professionals.

I think if Danny was was really on his game then we would have won. That is not a criticism of him. He is our talisman. At 90-100% we win that game. At 70% then not quite. There were occasions when I was on my feet with anticipation but the first or final touch was not quite where it was 2 months ago. I repeat, that is not a criticism. He knows better than any of us.

Overall what a fantastic season. Third place on merit. But we have to beat the big 6 if we are to take the next step. Roll on Saturday. 

  

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Disappointing not to win but have to respect a point at the Emirates, players were clearly managing their fitness. Saints kept the Arse below them and made progress up the table, a good day at the office. However as someone pointed out it is very tight at the top, a couple of losses and teams will drop down quickly. Just need to keep this form going, players will be suspended or injured soon and that will be a real test.

I thought Ings played well, lots of harrying and whilst he hasn't quite got his sharpness in front of goal back yet, he remains a big asset. We need more of that from Theo, he was bang up for that game, probably feeling the pressure from Redmond. You can see he is playing for a contract to finish his career. Shows what a decent squad can do for a team.

Bertrand is clearly playing deeper under instructions, Saints conceded goals down the left when Bertrand went too far forward in our early games so probably a good tactical decision. He also needs to manage his fitness as a tough set of fixtures coming up. Ralph has no experienced back up at LB so I can understand his caution.

I don't think I can ever remember a time when Saints outplayed Arsenal so comprehensively away from home. Need to enjoy this season the vultures will be circling soon.

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2 hours ago, eelpie said:

An interesting point. I agree, some rotation is the way forward imho. Arsenal weathered the storm and were building dangerous moments in front of our goal.  We were brilliant in the first half and some periods in the second half, but had Arsenal not gone down to ten men I think we might have lost.

We have options on the bench now and it will give opportunities for talented players. I can't see us maintaining that stunning pressing style throughout matches for the whole season otherwise.  Ralph will have this in mind, I'm sure.

I'm happy with the 1-1 draw.  I don't think we're yet ready to be top of the Premiership. But we can pressure the rich clubs all the way, because Europe is a real possibility.

Fantastic progress guys.

 

I don't disagree.

Teams are figuring us out now in so much as they are setting up to mitigate our style. Against sides with quality players like Man United, Arsenal, Wolves its showing.  We've looked leggy in all of those games, and its led to dropped points in all those games!. We are pressing and winning back the ball in dangerous areas, but they're defending in numbers and slowing down the tempo which is limiting how many effective chances we actually create. The when we're tired, they hit us 😕

We're then tiring and it is very evident in all of those games that we are movement is dropping off up front, and that are runners start making sloppy passes that give away the ball or stunt attacks, often under no pressure - and okay, we press back and usually win the ball back - but this requires more energy and gives dangerous sides opportunities to catch us in the transition and break.

Above all things, i really think Ralph needs to start rotating to a degree. Its not possible for players like JWP, Romeu, and Armstrong etc. to play at the same output game after game. Rotating for players like Redmond, Djenpo, Diallo etc will keep the players fresher and improve our overall effectiveness for me. Secondary point, if we don't rotate, then when we do need the "squad" players, they won't be as fluid within the team.

And by rotate, i simply mean that for example, we start Armstrong one game, sub him on 65-70min for say Djenpo, and then reverse that for the next game. (I.e. start Djenpo last night against Arsenal, and start Armstrong against city) etc. With the heavy fixture congestion currently I just don't see that its feasible to play the same starting 11 every game multiple times per week - especially when we're playing teams like city that can rotate.

Maybe Ralph will play Djenpo and Redmond starting over Theo and Armstrong against city? But i can't see him playing anyone over JWP and Romeu as it stands, and those 2 do need a bit of a break!

Loving Saints at the moment, and really enjoying our success and fair play to everyone at the club. I know we have limited means compared to the teams we're up against... but we do need to be smarter with our squad for me!

 

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Saint88 wrote

"Teams are figuring us out now in so much as they are setting up to mitigate our style. Against sides with quality players like Man United, Arsenal, Wolves its showing.  We've looked leggy in all of those games, and its led to dropped points in all those games!. We are pressing and winning back the ball in dangerous areas, but they're defending in numbers and slowing down the tempo which is limiting how many effective chances we actually create. The when we're tired, they hit us"

Good post and that is true of all teams really, Spurs have made a good start but their reliance on Kane and Son is pretty obvious, and teams are cutting off their supply line. Liverpool aren't finding this year anywhere near as easy, Leicester are starting to struggle, Everton have had to change things and so on. Who would have thought Premier League teams have top notch scouts and researchers and several DVD players. Nobody gets a free ride in this league.

However adopting mitigating tactics comes at a cost, both Arsenal and Brighton had to play a lot deeper and at a higher tempo. That should make things difficult for them and give Saints an edge, if they can avoid the same pitfalls themselves. It is working so far. The exception was Utd, their chaotic setup and bizarre tactics/team selection negates against any strategy, however when they have such individual talent in depth to call on they are difficult to handle, as Saints found out.

Great season to be a Saints fan, they aren't going to win the league and Champions league place is probably a stretch but a Europa Cup campaign will do nicely in 2021/22

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5 hours ago, trousers said:

So what hunch figure comes to your mind when SKD says: "If the figure I’ve been told is correct then he’ll have plenty of interest and I think we’ll struggle to keep him."?

That wording suggests a lower than we'd hope for release clause to me?

Well i guess it depends on whose side of the table you are talking. Sounds like the release fee is the sticking point. Maybe Ings side is £30 million and we are saying no chance its more like £45million.  At £30 million we might as well keep the additional wages and sell him for £25+ if we get an offer next summer. I see little point in paying more in wages and letting him go for a modest fee in the summer anyway.

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3 hours ago, Saint86 said:

I don't disagree.

Teams are figuring us out now in so much as they are setting up to mitigate our style. Against sides with quality players like Man United, Arsenal, Wolves its showing.  We've looked leggy in all of those games, and its led to dropped points in all those games!. We are pressing and winning back the ball in dangerous areas, but they're defending in numbers and slowing down the tempo which is limiting how many effective chances we actually create. The when we're tired, they hit us 😕

We're then tiring and it is very evident in all of those games that we are movement is dropping off up front, and that are runners start making sloppy passes that give away the ball or stunt attacks, often under no pressure - and okay, we press back and usually win the ball back - but this requires more energy and gives dangerous sides opportunities to catch us in the transition and break.

Above all things, i really think Ralph needs to start rotating to a degree. Its not possible for players like JWP, Romeu, and Armstrong etc. to play at the same output game after game. Rotating for players like Redmond, Djenpo, Diallo etc will keep the players fresher and improve our overall effectiveness for me. Secondary point, if we don't rotate, then when we do need the "squad" players, they won't be as fluid within the team.

And by rotate, i simply mean that for example, we start Armstrong one game, sub him on 65-70min for say Djenpo, and then reverse that for the next game. (I.e. start Djenpo last night against Arsenal, and start Armstrong against city) etc. With the heavy fixture congestion currently I just don't see that its feasible to play the same starting 11 every game multiple times per week - especially when we're playing teams like city that can rotate.

Maybe Ralph will play Djenpo and Redmond starting over Theo and Armstrong against city? But i can't see him playing anyone over JWP and Romeu as it stands, and those 2 do need a bit of a break!

Loving Saints at the moment, and really enjoying our success and fair play to everyone at the club. I know we have limited means compared to the teams we're up against... but we do need to be smarter with our squad for me!

 

More players should benefit, and hopefully we'll become a harder squad to predict. It will be good to see some of our talented footballers continuing to be given opportunities too.

 

 

 

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Redmond never seems to back himself to beat a fullback on the outside. If he can't drift across, he just stops and passes off square or backwards. Djenepo was hit and miss yesterday, but at least when he was one on one he tried to get by his marker several times, and we had a couple of good cut backs as a result. Redmond was isolated against his full back several times, but never even attempted to beat him.

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Quite often release clauses come into effect at a certain time, would be very surprised if we let him sign the deal in january and the release clause is there for evveryone to activate in the summer.

 

Could see it coming into effect in 2022.

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10 hours ago, trousers said:

Just watched the sports news on the BBC News channel.... guess which of these statements they went with for their 10 second report on the Arsenal v Saints game....?

"Arsenal ended their home losing streak with a draw against Southampton"

or

"Southampton continue to impress, moving up to 3rd with their 6th undefeated away result in a row"

pondering simon rex GIF by Simon Rex / Dirt Nasty

 

 

To be fair the Arsenal story is the bigger story.

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23 hours ago, trousers said:

That makes me think it'll be £30m tops... (?)

Sorry, only have 3 posts. As I understand it, he/his agent want it to be a bit less we want it to be a bit more. Would expect to meet in the middle (my opinion) and I’m guessing it’ll be somewhere between 30-40m. 
 

I’m due a catch up soon, so I’ll see if there is any update. Impression I got a couple of weeks ago was that it was practically done. 

 

4 hours ago, Appy said:

Quite often release clauses come into effect at a certain time, would be very surprised if we let him sign the deal in january and the release clause is there for evveryone to activate in the summer.

 

Could see it coming into effect in 2022.

Possibly the case. Don’t know the ins and outs I'm afraid. Although the fact his agent is pushing for a clause isn’t a good sign (in my personal opinion). 

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