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Everton vs Saints - Match Thread


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24 minutes ago, Sidney Fudpucker the 3rd said:

1. Do people honestly still think we'll stay up? If so, how? We don't even be able to pick up points in the games that look winnable on paper. 

2. If we do stay up, what do people honestly think is going to happen next season? 

If we don't go down this year, then we're definitely going next year. This club is fucked. 

 

Maybe you should visit a few porn sites....take some time to chill and enjoy yourself!

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Well we've improved, only shipped one goal, but that was enough to win the game.  

I said after the Leeds game that we need to see signs of improvement, and to be fair there were small signs in the game.  We didn't fold after the early goal and stayed in the game, I know we created fucking nothing,  but for us that's not unusual.  At least the game wasn't out of sight after the first half.  I thought Stew, Moussa and Vest were good, after that we were poor to average. 

I don't normally dig out players, but as with everybody else, I just cannot see how Redmond stayed on the pitch for so long.  I don't know if that was a confidence issue or what, but he was awful, we would have been better playing with ten men. 

Massive game coming up, lose it and confidence really will be rock bottom.  Is there a 'Ralph Out' thread yet? 

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4 minutes ago, Chez said:

Playing a CB at right back has really killed us. Not only does it make us vulnerable against pacy wingers, but we offer next to nothing going forward. KWP was having a wonderful season. We haven't just lost a little quality and balance, we've lost a huge piece of what made us good. I have no answer to that problem. When is KWP going to be back? 

We really need Ings to find another goal or two out of nowhere. We create little. I am not sure we ever did create a lot, but he seemed to find a yard and a finish from somewhere. Without those goals and the set piece goals where  are we going to get goals from?

 

He's a huge part of how we play, it's noticeable how much better we are with a decent full back in the side.

Good news is that he is potentially in contention for Saturday. if not then, next week.

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Just now, Lord Duckhunter said:

If we’re going to play a centre half at right back it has to be Stephens. 

Absolutely, if Ralph persists with this idea, at least Stephens has experience playing there, not much more but a little. He didn't do much wrong against Newcastle earlier in the season.

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Missed the last 20 minutes which sounds like it was the best part of the game for us, but the truth is Ralph said it - this is not the same team that we had in the first half of the season that did so well...three youngsters and a bench of Academy players.

The pivotal miss for us is KWP for me. I thought he was out for months, so what have I missed about people saying they hope he's playing Saturday?

Not only does he have pace to cover back at RB, but he also provides attacking options that create chances for the front two, whoever they are. Suddenly we've lost both an attacking and a defensive strength. Bertrand is well past his prime. Bednerak is an okay CB and a terrible RB. None of our Academy players have convinced me they're good enough for PL status. We can fill in at DM, but not at RB or LB. I don't rate Valery, but what were they smoking when they let him go - if ever there was a time for him to be there to prove himself this is it. Crazy decision. Voikins too. 

We have to go back to basics and get a defence that knows how to defend. 

Today - Armstrong tops, Djenepo really played hard for the shirt and out of position at the end, JWP solid, Foster looked sharp - not his fault for the well-taken goal. The rest...meh...Salisu needs a complete mindset re-set...grow a pair and start bossing the game, Redmond - just learn how to not give up possession, not to give stupid niggardly fouls away, how to shoot on target and come back when you can do that, Adams, it's more than brute body strength it's anticipation and having a shot, Ings...where have you gone? come back please. 

Everybody should spend an entire training session shooting the ball into an empty net just to remember what it feels like for the ball to go into the net again!

 

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11 minutes ago, mrfahaji said:

Not sure I agree with that actually. When I saw the team I thought it looked very lightweight and it struck me that Ralph was hoping to stick to his (footballing) principles and just picked players who would most likely manage to deploy our 'forward' pressing. However the risk is with that approach you're likely to leave yourself open. Perhaps at the moment, especially away from home against a side doing well in Everton (even if they're not actually that good), we would be better off taking fewer risks and keeping it tight. Making ourselves hard to beat and trying to nick a goal. Obviously at some point in the game you do need to be more adventurous, and fair enough to say we should have done so earlier, but with a side low on confidence, I'm not sure 'risk taking' from the start is actually the right approach.

I didn't suggest taking risks and going totally gung-ho from the start. The point I was trying to make is that, as a team, we should be taking calculated risks throughout the game when the opportunity arises. No risk no reward and that is us at the moment I'm afraid. We need to be harder to defend against and presenting more of a threat in the final third because that induces panic and the chances will come.

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25 minutes ago, Vancouver Saint said:

Missed the last 20 minutes which sounds like it was the best part of the game for us, but the truth is Ralph said it - this is not the same team that we had in the first half of the season that did so well...three youngsters and a bench of Academy players.

The pivotal miss for us is KWP for me. I thought he was out for months, so what have I missed about people saying they hope he's playing Saturday?

Not only does he have pace to cover back at RB, but he also provides attacking options that create chances for the front two, whoever they are. Suddenly we've lost both an attacking and a defensive strength. Bertrand is well past his prime. Bednerak is an okay CB and a terrible RB. None of our Academy players have convinced me they're good enough for PL status. We can fill in at DM, but not at RB or LB. I don't rate Valery, but what were they smoking when they let him go - if ever there was a time for him to be there to prove himself this is it. Crazy decision. Voikins too. 

We have to go back to basics and get a defence that knows how to defend. 

Today - Armstrong tops, Djenepo really played hard for the shirt and out of position at the end, JWP solid, Foster looked sharp - not his fault for the well-taken goal. The rest...meh...Salisu needs a complete mindset re-set...grow a pair and start bossing the game, Redmond - just learn how to not give up possession, not to give stupid niggardly fouls away, how to shoot on target and come back when you can do that, Adams, it's more than brute body strength it's anticipation and having a shot, Ings...where have you gone? come back please. 

Everybody should spend an entire training session shooting the ball into an empty net just to remember what it feels like for the ball to go into the net again!

 

Well done for fronting up Vancouver Saint!!   I knew you would!    Your summary is right on the money.    What you missed would have frustrated you further in that Djenepo and particularly Vestergaard missed gettable goal chances.  As you suggest, many are hoping for KWP's return and Diallo for that matter, even though Armstrong did a remarkable fill in job tonight.    

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Vehemently disagree in what I'm reading with people saying "we should've drawn" and that "if we play like that v. SHU we will win."

We created the square root of eff all for 80 minutes against a Everton side who never left second-gear. Redmond having a bad game is expected at this point, but Bertrand had an absolute shocker.

Armstrong looked alright going forward and given he was played in a new position for him I think he had a good game. Tella had a handful of bright moments, the one-two with Armstrong. Djenepo is a trier and completed one of his trademark mazy dribbles down the byline (think its only lead to a goal against Watford last year but was nice to see some intent).

The less said about the rest of them the better.

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1 minute ago, SupersonicSaint said:

Vehemently disagree in what I'm reading with people saying "we should've drawn" and that "if we play like that v. SHU we will win."

We created the square root of eff all for 80 minutes against a Everton side who never left second-gear. Redmond having a bad game is expected at this point, but Bertrand had an absolute shocker.

Armstrong looked alright going forward and given he was played in a new position for him I think he had a good game. Tella had a handful of bright moments, the one-two with Armstrong. Djenepo is a trier and completed one of his trademark mazy dribbles down the byline (think its only lead to a goal against Watford last year but was nice to see some intent).

The less said about the rest of them the better.

Yes but after the 80 minute mark the Djenepo opportunity after being teed up by Armstrong and the Vestergaard scuffed shot while slipping could easily have earned the draw, no?  

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5 minutes ago, SupersonicSaint said:

Vehemently disagree in what I'm reading with people saying "we should've drawn" and that "if we play like that v. SHU we will win."

We created the square root of eff all for 80 minutes against a Everton side who never left second-gear. Redmond having a bad game is expected at this point, but Bertrand had an absolute shocker.

Armstrong looked alright going forward and given he was played in a new position for him I think he had a good game. Tella had a handful of bright moments, the one-two with Armstrong. Djenepo is a trier and completed one of his trademark mazy dribbles down the byline (think its only lead to a goal against Watford last year but was nice to see some intent).

The less said about the rest of them the better.

You overlook the two gilt edged chances squandered by Djenepo and Vestergaard both of which should have seen the Everton net bulge.

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3 minutes ago, austsaint said:

Yes but after the 80 minute mark the Djenepo opportunity after being teed up by Armstrong and the Vestergaard scuffed shot while slipping could easily have earned the draw, no?  

 

1 minute ago, Teddeer said:

You overlook the two gilt edged chances squandered by Djenepo and Vestergaard both of which should have seen the Everton net bulge.

Well that's the thing. Yes we could've walked out with the draw, but given how little we created for so long it was hardly a performance deserving of it. Today wasn't unique in that respect - seemingly every game we have multiple chances like those you've mentioned - if every saints shot that should've seen the net bulge actually went in we would be 10-15 points better off.

Ultimately, given how the onus was on us to take the game to them we did not create anywhere near enough chances. During Project Restart, we played a game in which we would move the ball patiently to make openings so we could play the killer ball.

Tonight's display was not patient build-up, it was cowardice - there was not enough urgency, players were afraid to run with the ball, and the high risk passes that could split the defence were not played often enough (to an extent this is because we're missing KWP).

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10 minutes ago, SupersonicSaint said:

 

Well that's the thing. Yes we could've walked out with the draw, but given how little we created for so long it was hardly a performance deserving of it. Today wasn't unique in that respect - seemingly every game we have multiple chances like those you've mentioned - if every saints shot that should've seen the net bulge actually went in we would be 10-15 points better off.

Ultimately, given how the onus was on us to take the game to them we did not create anywhere near enough chances. During Project Restart, we played a game in which we would move the ball patiently to make openings so we could play the killer ball.

Tonight's display was not patient build-up, it was cowardice - there was not enough urgency, players were afraid to run with the ball, and the high risk passes that could split the defence were not played often enough (to an extent this is because we're missing KWP).

Agree with much of what you say, not brave enough or bold enough to take risks so we just keep playing round in circles and going back towards our own goal.

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Oh look at that, Forster played well and Redmond played woefully. Who could have predicted that? No more listening to the geniuses on here who said those two things were impossible, please Ralph.

Edited by niceandfriendly
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4 hours ago, Saint Billy said:

I don't want to cast all the blame on Redmond for another loss, but my god, it seems that most of our attacking play breaks down when it gets to Redmond.

A slightly better effort in the second half but overall yet another toothless display. It does seem that unless we get a free kick that JWP  might dispatch we have no chance of getting a result.

It's definitely not all Redmond's fault, obviously, but right now he's playing terribly and has been for weeks and weeks.

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4 hours ago, Lee On Solent Saint said:

Absolutely, if Ralph persists with this idea, at least Stephens has experience playing there, not much more but a little. He didn't do much wrong against Newcastle earlier in the season.

He got caught way out of position for one of Newcastle's goals. Both Stephens and Bednarek aren't decent right back options annoyingly.

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Pretty sure that if we had Romeu and Diallo available then JWP would be covering at RB.

Presumably Ralph thought Valery was a defensive liability - and perhaps Stephens to a lesser extent-  so has given Bednarek the position but it is does massively stifle us going forwards. 

If that match wasn't in the context of a long run of defeats then you'd say we held our own, played alright but got undone by the one moment of quality in the match. But seeing as that moment is never coming from us, it's all a bit depressing. 

I thought Armstrong was our best player. Forster looks confident again. Djenepo did OK and if he had just got that shot on target then we would have scored a lovely team goal.

Redmond should be behind Tella, Watts, Chauke, Lee Holmes, Kayne McClaggon, Omar Rowe and Your Mum in the pecking order. 

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Last night was so frustrating at times we looked ok and did some good moves but there was absolutely zero threat in the final third third from us and Everton knew that, at one point we had 70% posession & Everton were more than happy for us to have it as we didn't do anything dangerous with it whatsoever, they literally didn't have to get out of second gear and reserved energy for the next game, we only decided to bring the game to Everton in the final five minutes there can be no excuses for that where's our sense of urgency!

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9 hours ago, Norm said:

Ralf, “We took risks in last 10 minutes “. Wow, the last 10 minutes. I’m amazed he actually said that, really am.

This is now a major part of the problem. WGS always said you have to be brave on the ball to win matches and that's true. When we were doing well in the Autumn we weren't afraid to take risks, which often led to chances, because there was confidence that if we lost the ball, we'd work hard to win it back and could defend.

Now we're afraid of the consequences of losing the ball and we've become too risk-averse and therefore predictable and less dangerous. The loss of confidence can be put down to the injuries and constantly changing team. The settled team knew each other, trusted each other and their reactions and plays were almost automatic. 

With Ings out, and then Redmond, followed by Armstrong, Djenepo and Walcott at different times, the elements of the press lost their automation. Losing Vestergaard broke a solid understanding at CB and made us more vulnerable and at the same time, with Romeu and/or Diallo out the ability to win the ball back and stem opposition attacks in midfield vanished. It became too easy for teams to find attacking passes. Then finally losing KWP we've an attacking threat, an out ball and pace in defensive covering have all been missed.

Since Danny's been back you can see his frustration: things just aren't working and he's not getting the service which arises from quick, incisive and imaginative passes.

It'll be contentious, but although Salisu will eventually be a good player for us, at the moment he is nowhere near justifying breaking up the Bednarek/Vest partnership. I thought we improved significantly when he went off. You can't underestimate the importance of understanding in a settled defence.

And I feel sorry for McCarthy. Playing behind a constantly changing defence has affected his confidence but for me he should still be first choice. FF doesn't relieve pressure as he's permanently rooted to his line. His kicking was ok last night and he made a couple of timely dashes out to collect through balls, but I don't think he covered himself in glory for the goal: he was easily dumped on the floor and rounded from an acute angle.

So, we obviously need KWP and Diallo back (although Armstrong was brilliant in that position). Then, for me, preferably McCarthy back but definitely no Salisu. His time will come, but not now 

I think Ings and Tella could work together. Redmond is a liability at the moment so my AMs are Armstrong plus Djenepo/Minamino.

 

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Ralph cannot and should not be immune to a bashing from fans, this run of form is horrendous and any other manager in charge and the vast majority would be calling for his head.

Our full backs are a big part of how he wants to play, especially when he has no plan B. Why on earth does he keep playing Bednarek there? He should have changed it at half time and put Djenepo out there and Tella in front of him. Bednarek as a right back is like playing with 10 men.

Redmond is god damn awful, it is painful and laughable to watch. He is sooooooooooooo weak and can't beat a man, he is pointless. 

What is more alarming is Everton played the whole game in 2nd gear and looked so comfortable until the last 10 mins.

Sheffield United is such a big game, Lose and the what confidence we have is gone and you have to wonder about Ralph in charge. 

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I rate Ali Dia above Redmond, I really do. If you've ever wondered what Souness saw in Dia, you have to ask what Ralph sees in Redmond. Dia in the 20 minutes he played for Saints, managed to beat a player and nearly scored. Redmond on the other hand too often looks like he's playing for the other team.

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10 hours ago, Saint Keef said:

I think I noticed a couple of differences between the two teams.

When we got a corner or a free kick, Everton used a tactic known as DEFENDING. When they got a corner or free kick.....WE DIDN'T.

When Everton passed the ball it more often than not went to an Everton player. This obviously confused Redmond, because when he passed the ball it also went to an Everton player.

Bertrand was also confused. He obviously thought we were winning, because every time he got the ball, he would stop and waste a few seconds before eventually....pause.....after a few seconds.....pause.....he would......pause......pass it backwards.

Bednarek was like a fish up a chimney at right back. He looked better when he moved back to the middle.

The only positives were Armstrong who I thought was our best player by a mile and I also thought Djenepo gave his all again as well.

In summing up though, I think it is fair to say, it was definitely Jack Stephens' fault!!!!

 

 

Totally agree with the Bertrand assessment of his game from you , hes not seemed to be enjoying his roll for about past 2-3 seasons now .Every now and then like the rest he will turn up and look interested in the game and what hes there to do. There seems to be no real challenge for him in that position, so there's an arrogance that's crept in . As ive said before is there no one in the whole club- team -squad set up that can actually be right back back up?....just play players in their trained squad positions simple eh? . Man City will rip us apart unless we show more than we have done in recent dour performances that's a nail on. Watts for Redmond or Tella for Redmond,hes done nothing since Pep gave him the world beater chat walking off the pitch at City,anyone else remember that ? Why not put Ferry up front with Ings or Djenepo , Dan(whatever) just a taller and stronger looking Long. Jak (whatever) if he cant get a game now seems to have very little chance to nail in a postion that Ralph can trust. If Everton had scored the 2nd when they thought they did it would have been a torrid game to watch.Everton didn't have to play like they were playing for a win against Liverpool .

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10 hours ago, Jonnyboy said:

Ralph sounds like he is trying to talk himself into believing when he doesn't really believe what he's saying himself. 

He has the "deer in headlights" look which I remember seeing in AVB and Tim Sherwood when their days were obviously numbered.

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45 minutes ago, Shroppie said:

This is now a major part of the problem. WGS always said you have to be brave on the ball to win matches and that's true. When we were doing well in the Autumn we weren't afraid to take risks, which often led to chances, because there was confidence that if we lost the ball, we'd work hard to win it back and could defend.

Now we're afraid of the consequences of losing the ball and we've become too risk-averse and therefore predictable and less dangerous. The loss of confidence can be put down to the injuries and constantly changing team. The settled team knew each other, trusted each other and their reactions and plays were almost automatic. 

With Ings out, and then Redmond, followed by Armstrong, Djenepo and Walcott at different times, the elements of the press lost their automation. Losing Vestergaard broke a solid understanding at CB and made us more vulnerable and at the same time, with Romeu and/or Diallo out the ability to win the ball back and stem opposition attacks in midfield vanished. It became too easy for teams to find attacking passes. Then finally losing KWP we've an attacking threat, an out ball and pace in defensive covering have all been missed.

Since Danny's been back you can see his frustration: things just aren't working and he's not getting the service which arises from quick, incisive and imaginative passes.

It'll be contentious, but although Salisu will eventually be a good player for us, at the moment he is nowhere near justifying breaking up the Bednarek/Vest partnership. I thought we improved significantly when he went off. You can't underestimate the importance of understanding in a settled defence.

And I feel sorry for McCarthy. Playing behind a constantly changing defence has affected his confidence but for me he should still be first choice. FF doesn't relieve pressure as he's permanently rooted to his line. His kicking was ok last night and he made a couple of timely dashes out to collect through balls, but I don't think he covered himself in glory for the goal: he was easily dumped on the floor and rounded from an acute angle.

So, we obviously need KWP and Diallo back (although Armstrong was brilliant in that position). Then, for me, preferably McCarthy back but definitely no Salisu. His time will come, but not now 

I think Ings and Tella could work together. Redmond is a liability at the moment so my AMs are Armstrong plus Djenepo/Minamino.

 

Dead right on Salisu, good player no doubt on that, but he's 21 and still learning. The Bendarek/ Vestergaard partnership is the most solid at the moment.

Ralph has to find a consistent team, at the moment they are strangers to one another.

 

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2 hours ago, Mr X said:

Last night was so frustrating at times we looked ok and did some good moves but there was absolutely zero threat in the final third third from us and Everton knew that, at one point we had 70% posession & Everton were more than happy for us to have it as we didn't do anything dangerous with it whatsoever, they literally didn't have to get out of second gear and reserved energy for the next game, we only decided to bring the game to Everton in the final five minutes there can be no excuses for that where's our sense of urgency!

I don't hold with this idea that Everton didn't get out of second gear. They were desperate for the three points and, if stepping up a couple of gears would have clinched the game earlier, you can bet they'd have done it. They had no extra gears they didn't use. For all the fears about our defence I thought we kept things reasonably tight and the stats prove we didn't afford them too many chances. Not many are mentioning it but, our biggest area of concern right now is creating chances and scoring goals. Ok, some of that may be down to playing Bednarek as right back and we certainly miss KWP's forward runs so, hopefully he'll be back soon to add that to our game. However, it is more than just missing him - we are far too slow in transition and not prepared to risk flooding bodies forward so every attack just peters out with little or no end product.

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11 hours ago, Saint Billy said:

I don't want to cast all the blame on Redmond for another loss, but my god, it seems that most of our attacking play breaks down when it gets to Redmond.

A slightly better effort in the second half but overall yet another toothless display. It does seem that unless we get a free kick that JWP  might dispatch we have no chance of getting a result.

I lost count of the times Redmond lost the ball.  He should have been taken off. All our corners and only once did we head the ball. when Salusi headed  over. A very poor nervous display all round.

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1 hour ago, Singapore Saint said:

I rate Ali Dia above Redmond, I really do. If you've ever wondered what Souness saw in Dia, you have to ask what Ralph sees in Redmond. Dia in the 20 minutes he played for Saints, managed to beat a player and nearly scored. Redmond on the other hand too often looks like he's playing for the other team.

You are a fool if you really believe this!!!

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If people want change then they must hope that Ralph steps down voluntarily because there is no way Semmens can sack him. There is no money to pay off his contract and he and Ralph are too close and in this together right up to the armpits.

Mr Gao has stayed out of sight and left it to these people to run the club sustainably but even he must be on the brink of saying enough is enough! You don't get rich by being Mr Nice Guy and the only surprising thing is that he hasn't intervened before. 

Laissez faire and wishful thinking are luxuries that management and fans have afforded themselves since this bad run started but it has got us nowhere. Something needs to change and change soon if the season is to be saved.

 

On a positive note, big shout out for Stuart Armstrong 👏! Pity we don't have eleven of him.

 

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If the shoe had been on the other foot with those last 2 chances and we were 1 up at least one of them would have been taken.

Salisu promising, but I found i pathetic how a big brawny centre back lies on the floor after his duals with Calvert Lewin. Lewin was wallowing i it and Salisu was petrified.

If he doesnt toughen up he will fall away. Having centre halves more worried about a pretty hair style never has cut it with me.

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Armstrong showed what a difference it can make having a player who can actually run with the ball, box to box, what we were missing was anyone making runs into space to play off him, several times he wanted to play a one-two with no one there to support him. 

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1 hour ago, Shroppie said:

This is now a major part of the problem. WGS always said you have to be brave on the ball to win matches and that's true. When we were doing well in the Autumn we weren't afraid to take risks, which often led to chances, because there was confidence that if we lost the ball, we'd work hard to win it back and could defend.

Now we're afraid of the consequences of losing the ball and we've become too risk-averse and therefore predictable and less dangerous. The loss of confidence can be put down to the injuries and constantly changing team. The settled team knew each other, trusted each other and their reactions and plays were almost automatic. 

With Ings out, and then Redmond, followed by Armstrong, Djenepo and Walcott at different times, the elements of the press lost their automation. Losing Vestergaard broke a solid understanding at CB and made us more vulnerable and at the same time, with Romeu and/or Diallo out the ability to win the ball back and stem opposition attacks in midfield vanished. It became too easy for teams to find attacking passes. Then finally losing KWP we've an attacking threat, an out ball and pace in defensive covering have all been missed.

Since Danny's been back you can see his frustration: things just aren't working and he's not getting the service which arises from quick, incisive and imaginative passes.

It'll be contentious, but although Salisu will eventually be a good player for us, at the moment he is nowhere near justifying breaking up the Bednarek/Vest partnership. I thought we improved significantly when he went off. You can't underestimate the importance of understanding in a settled defence.

And I feel sorry for McCarthy. Playing behind a constantly changing defence has affected his confidence but for me he should still be first choice. FF doesn't relieve pressure as he's permanently rooted to his line. His kicking was ok last night and he made a couple of timely dashes out to collect through balls, but I don't think he covered himself in glory for the goal: he was easily dumped on the floor and rounded from an acute angle.

So, we obviously need KWP and Diallo back (although Armstrong was brilliant in that position). Then, for me, preferably McCarthy back but definitely no Salisu. His time will come, but not now 

I think Ings and Tella could work together. Redmond is a liability at the moment so my AMs are Armstrong plus Djenepo/Minamino.

 

Good post, and it underlines the folly of Bednarek at CB. Had a good pairing with Vesty, got disrupted by latter's knee injury but back now so no excuse for not retaining the partnership options available in the spine of the team. As others have said, Jack is the blatantly obvious back up at RB, sure he doesn't offer as much going forward as KWP but fairly solid defensively at RB, more so than CB arguably. Someone in the coaching or senior playing side - Danny or JWP - needs to have a word with Ralph if KWP isn't ready for Bramall.

If Diallo is back that will add mobility to the midfield with JWP although I thought Armstrong was our best player by a distance last night, followed by Moussa. If Stu can play both games, get Diallo back in and Moussa higher up the pitch. I'd go for 3 in the middle and Moussa/Tella just off Danny. He looks the only player who will be brave on the ball and try to feed Danny earlier. People moaned about Theo but we haven't half missed him, and not just the running, it's the experience and ability to settle the team down. Get Jan and Jannik back together at CB. Tella for Adams as well, he's hideously out of form and confidence, at least Tella might create some space and commit people. Decent cameo at Leeds. Nathan back to the bench, Minamino if he's ready again for some time in last 30 minutes with lack of starts in Tella's legs. Cautious with hamstrings as KWP came back too fast for me. 

Tough for Salisu last night - DCL is one of the best English-type CFs I've seen for years. Bednarek might have fared better. 

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A coomon theme is that we miss KWP in attack but we also miss Walcott on that side as the pair would press high up the pitch and win the ball back for our attackers. that meant we could afford to have Berttrand and Redmond being more solid and occasionally raiding forward to mix things up. Losing KWP wrecks any attacking threat on the right and means any attacks are slow (especially when they get to Redmond) or go backwards as we cannot rely on an attacking threat down the left. One of the reasons we improved in the last ten minutes is that Djenepo went to right back and Bednarek played central again. And I'm not recommending Djenpo in that role full time, we need a specialist RB - Kayne Ramsey perhaps?

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Some of the u23 games I've seen Ramsey in he's played centre back, has he just been filling in there or is that his preferred position? 

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11 hours ago, Lord Duckhunter said:

If we’re going to play a centre half at right back it has to be Stephens. 

Ralph has probably effectivley destroyed Jan's confidence playing him at RB and it will take time to restablish his rapport and connection with Vest when he resumes as his partner

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Spare a thought for Djenpo having to play at RB. His positional play is laughably bad bless him. But he's not for lack of trying, he covers a tremendous amount of ground and doesn't stop running - I keep finding myself saying, ffs where is djenpo, only for him to sprint back and make a tackle. He does get beat and allow crosses in too much though - but i don't blame him for that.

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Agree for comments above. For a very long time now (almost criminally long), far too many of our attacks break down with Redmond. He's seriously lacking in confidence and belief. The number of times he runs straight at a player, does a step over, and runs the ball into their waiting foot is just poor. As are all his little flicks and poor pases that give the ball away, waste the team's running and stamina, and just put us back under the cosh when we should be pressing them in their 3rd. He has to be dropped surely? On current form he is worse than Djenpo, Walcott (not fit i know) and Tella... just shouldn't be starting.

And Che Adams looks like another man shot of all belief sadly. Feel for him a bit. The team are so low on confidence right now that we're struggling to create anything. We aren't getting players in the box like we used to, and even when we do, they aren't chancing the runs off the final defender etc that we used to. Its all become very static.

Once Diallo and KWP are back we'll be fine (assuming no more injuries). But this whole period has been a terrible reminder of just how weak the squad is currently - and its not likely to change with our finances.

Personally thought that JWP and Armstrong were very good yesterday. The former especially rarely gave the ball away, was one of the few players always coming deep, receiving it under pressure, recycling the possession and tidying thigs up. Armstrong, JWP and Ings must simply be the first 3 names on the team sheet for saints. Lose any one of those and we are going to be in the shit.

Edited by Saint86
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3 hours ago, Shroppie said:

This is now a major part of the problem. WGS always said you have to be brave on the ball to win matches and that's true. When we were doing well in the Autumn we weren't afraid to take risks, which often led to chances, because there was confidence that if we lost the ball, we'd work hard to win it back and could defend.

Now we're afraid of the consequences of losing the ball and we've become too risk-averse and therefore predictable and less dangerous. The loss of confidence can be put down to the injuries and constantly changing team. The settled team knew each other, trusted each other and their reactions and plays were almost automatic. 

With Ings out, and then Redmond, followed by Armstrong, Djenepo and Walcott at different times, the elements of the press lost their automation. Losing Vestergaard broke a solid understanding at CB and made us more vulnerable and at the same time, with Romeu and/or Diallo out the ability to win the ball back and stem opposition attacks in midfield vanished. It became too easy for teams to find attacking passes. Then finally losing KWP we've an attacking threat, an out ball and pace in defensive covering have all been missed.

Since Danny's been back you can see his frustration: things just aren't working and he's not getting the service which arises from quick, incisive and imaginative passes.

It'll be contentious, but although Salisu will eventually be a good player for us, at the moment he is nowhere near justifying breaking up the Bednarek/Vest partnership. I thought we improved significantly when he went off. You can't underestimate the importance of understanding in a settled defence.

And I feel sorry for McCarthy. Playing behind a constantly changing defence has affected his confidence but for me he should still be first choice. FF doesn't relieve pressure as he's permanently rooted to his line. His kicking was ok last night and he made a couple of timely dashes out to collect through balls, but I don't think he covered himself in glory for the goal: he was easily dumped on the floor and rounded from an acute angle.

So, we obviously need KWP and Diallo back (although Armstrong was brilliant in that position). Then, for me, preferably McCarthy back but definitely no Salisu. His time will come, but not now 

I think Ings and Tella could work together. Redmond is a liability at the moment so my AMs are Armstrong plus Djenepo/Minamino.

 

Spot on mate

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2 hours ago, Charlie Wayman said:

If people want change then they must hope that Ralph steps down voluntarily because there is no way Semmens can sack him. There is no money to pay off his contract and he and Ralph are too close and in this together right up to the armpits.

Mr Gao has stayed out of sight and left it to these people to run the club sustainably but even he must be on the brink of saying enough is enough! You don't get rich by being Mr Nice Guy and the only surprising thing is that he hasn't intervened before. 

Laissez faire and wishful thinking are luxuries that management and fans have afforded themselves since this bad run started but it has got us nowhere. Something needs to change and change soon if the season is to be saved.

 

On a positive note, big shout out for Stuart Armstrong 👏! Pity we don't have eleven of him.

 

It feels to me like Gao is caught between not investing too much in the club so he can get the most back when he sells (which looks to me his only interest) and watching the value of his asset diminish as it plummets towards relegation. I suspect that he rode his luck with the underinvestment and even losing players off the wage bill at the window, thinking that our points tally would be enough. He's probably sweating a bit more now, but it likely will be. We can only hope that the buyer has enough confidence too. Getting 6 more points as quickly as possible will likely twist their arm. Then we can possibly hope for Ralph to be rejuvenated with a full squad that his (pretty rigid) playing style requires. At the moment, though, stasis.

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I think it's unfair to single out Redmond for a lot of what is going wrong.  Neither Ings, Adams or Moussa would've scored a higher mark than Redmond in the first half.  That's not to say Redmond would've scored more than a 4 or 5 out out 10 but if people are going to abuse Redmond I'd like to know why the other front 3 are not afforded the same "advice". 

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5 minutes ago, notnowcato said:

I think it's unfair to single out Redmond for a lot of what is going wrong.  Neither Ings, Adams or Moussa would've scored a higher mark than Redmond in the first half.  That's not to say Redmond would've scored more than a 4 or 5 out out 10 but if people are going to abuse Redmond I'd like to know why the other front 3 are not afforded the same "advice". 

Adams at least showed a bit of strength and ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play (at times). Moussa was somewhat hamstrung in an attacking sense because he was being forced to stay back and provide cover for Bednarek. Ings didn't do much up front because he got no service, and on the occasions he came deep to retrieve the ball, he had very little support and couldn't do it all on his own.

Redmond consistently slowed down/stifled our attacks, gave the ball away needlessly, failed miserably all night to take on a man and beat him, and when he did track back to help out in defence he either gave away stupid free kicks or wimped out of tackles altogether. He was a complete non-entity, as he has been ever since he had that purple patch that earned him an England call up a couple of years ago.

When you consider how long he has been here now, his overall goals and assists stats relative to his number of appearances is just appalling. We just can't afford to carry passengers like that, when his supposed role is so crucial to our attacking style.

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We seem to have reverted to the Puel/Pellegrino/Hughes days of passing sideways and backwards.  The stats on successful completion of passes look good but there is no end product in the final third. Yes, Redmond especially is guilty of that but it is symptomatic of a team without confidence. We also appear increasingly to be just a first half side which opponents must be aware of.

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For a start, Bednarek needs a sharp kick up the backside. In the first half he had plenty of possession and just hesitated, its in his DNA, instead of taking the initiative he chickened out turned back and played a short ball back to Vestergaard etc. This happened every time he had possession. For us it was a disaster as we rely on the full backs initiating and supporting attacks. The best thing he could have done in the circumstances was put the ball down the line behind Digne and let Ings and Adams try and hunt it down then push up into the space. It is also an ongoing problem when he is centre back as he almost never plays forward always sideways or backwards. It's all very well keeping possession but not if we aren't drawing the opposition out, at least Vestergaard can hit decent long diagonal passes mostly accurately.

I quite like Salisu he does a lot of good things including quickly passing forward rather than sideways. I was really unimpressed with his marking of C-L. Standing close and trying to outjump him was crass. He should have to backed off and given himself the room run and jump. A ruthless Centre Back would have piled in under the ball and poleaxed C-L in the process. It's not how brave somebody is when bullying a smaller player its how brave he is when he is going to get regularly clattered and knows it's on it's way.

Our whole team game is out of shape. The balance that was there early on in the season has disappeared. Until we get KWP and Diallo back we need to adjust the shape. 4-3-3, 5 3-2, or maybe 4-2-3-1 or a variation on that, play the back 4 as a defensive line unless it is three centre backs with two wing backs.  4-2-2-2 and 4-4-2 are unbalanced by the players unavailable and the demands on the full backs.

Forster was ok, Armstrong was a revelation, Vestergaard, JWP were decent. The front two were getting too little too late, feeding on scraps. Adams looks like he hasn't a clue how to read the play or when to make runs. Djenepo put in a proper shift and was brave. Bertrand was subdued and needs to step up to the plate, We were better when Bednarek and Vestergaard were reunited and more balanced with Djenepo then raiding down the right. Redmond needs a talking to. He needs to attack all out when he is forward and stop checking out. If he is going to keep doing that he needs dropping until he gets the message.

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3 minutes ago, derry said:

For a start, Bednarek needs a sharp kick up the backside. In the first half he had plenty of possession and just hesitated, its in his DNA, instead of taking the initiative he chickened out turned back and played a short ball back to Vestergaard etc. This happened every time he had possession. For us it was a disaster as we rely on the full backs initiating and supporting attacks. The best thing he could have done in the circumstances was put the ball down the line behind Digne and let Ings and Adams try and hunt it down then push up into the space. It is also an ongoing a problem when he is centre back as he almost never plays forward always sideways or backwards. It's all very well keeping possession but not if we aren't drawing the opposition out, at least Vestergaard can hit decent long diagonal passes mostly accurately.

I quite like Salisu he does a lot of good things including quickly passing forward rather than sideways. I was really unimpressed with his marking of C-L. Standing close and trying to outjump him was crass. He should have to backed off and given himself the room run and jump. A ruthless Centre Back would have piled in under the ball and poleaxed C-L in the process. It's not how brave somebody is when bullying a smaller player its how brave he is when he is going to get regularly clattered and knows it's on it's way.

Our whole team game is out of shape. The balance that was there early on in the season has disappeared. Until we get KWP and Diallo back we need to adjust the shape. 4-3-3, 5 3-2, or maybe 4-2-3-1 or a variation on that, play the back 4 as a defensive line unless it is three centre backs with two wing backs.  4-2-2-2 and 4-4-2 are unbalanced by the players unavailable and the demands on the full backs.

Forster was ok, Armstrong was a revelation, Vestergaard, JWP were decent. The front two were getting too little too late, feeding on scraps. Adams looks like he hasn't a clue how to read the play or when to make runs. Djenepo put in a proper shift and was brave. Bertrand was subdued and needs to step up to the plate, We were better when Bednarek and Vestergaard were reunited and more balanced with Djenepo then raiding down the right. Redmond needs a talking to. He needs to attack all out when he is forward and stop checking out. If he is going to keep doing that he needs dropping until he gets the message.

Bednarek is a very good CB who is struggling to do a job as a FB/wingback, which isn't really in his DNA. He doesn't need a "kick up the backside": he needs to play CB with Vestergaard. I'd rather see Djenepo or Stephens as emergency RB.

Armstrong wasn't a revelation, except in the way he adapted to playing DM whilst still putting in runs and getting forward. He has been one of our best players.

Vestergaard is getting back to his best after his layoff. JWP was excellent, retaining and recycling possession. Salisu will be good, but he's not challenging Bednarek and Vest as first choices. 

Ings and Adams weren't really at the races. You can complain that they weren't getting the ball in the right place early enough, bit I didn't see a lot of movement to open up space for the pass.

 

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37 minutes ago, derry said:

For a start, Bednarek needs a sharp kick up the backside. In the first half he had plenty of possession and just hesitated, its in his DNA, instead of taking the initiative he chickened out turned back and played a short ball back to Vestergaard etc. This happened every time he had possession. For us it was a disaster as we rely on the full backs initiating and supporting attacks. The best thing he could have done in the circumstances was put the ball down the line behind Digne and let Ings and Adams try and hunt it down then push up into the space. It is also an ongoing problem when he is centre back as he almost never plays forward always sideways or backwards. It's all very well keeping possession but not if we aren't drawing the opposition out, at least Vestergaard can hit decent long diagonal passes mostly accurately.

I quite like Salisu he does a lot of good things including quickly passing forward rather than sideways. I was really unimpressed with his marking of C-L. Standing close and trying to outjump him was crass. He should have to backed off and given himself the room run and jump. A ruthless Centre Back would have piled in under the ball and poleaxed C-L in the process. It's not how brave somebody is when bullying a smaller player its how brave he is when he is going to get regularly clattered and knows it's on it's way.

Our whole team game is out of shape. The balance that was there early on in the season has disappeared. Until we get KWP and Diallo back we need to adjust the shape. 4-3-3, 5 3-2, or maybe 4-2-3-1 or a variation on that, play the back 4 as a defensive line unless it is three centre backs with two wing backs.  4-2-2-2 and 4-4-2 are unbalanced by the players unavailable and the demands on the full backs.

Forster was ok, Armstrong was a revelation, Vestergaard, JWP were decent. The front two were getting too little too late, feeding on scraps. Adams looks like he hasn't a clue how to read the play or when to make runs. Djenepo put in a proper shift and was brave. Bertrand was subdued and needs to step up to the plate, We were better when Bednarek and Vestergaard were reunited and more balanced with Djenepo then raiding down the right. Redmond needs a talking to. He needs to attack all out when he is forward and stop checking out. If he is going to keep doing that he needs dropping until he gets the message.

I think it's harsh to criticise Bednarek just because he wasn't providing a good game as a wing back. That's not his game, never will be. He shouldn't have been there and I hope he's not there again. It totally broke us with him playing there, fish out of water springs to mind.

He's a decent CB when in the middle, but that's all. He shouldn't ever play anywhere else.

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10 hours ago, JRM said:

Some of the u23 games I've seen Ramsey in he's played centre back, has he just been filling in there or is that his preferred position? 

in the first teams games he has played in, he has certainly looked like a CB playing at right back to me. If he is a right back and still can't get a game when we are desperate, then you have to wonder why we offered him a new two year deal. 

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4 minutes ago, Chez said:

in the first teams games he has played in, he has certainly looked like a CB playing at right back to me. If he is a right back and still can't get a game when we are desperate, then you have to wonder why we offered him a new two year deal. 

Fairly sure he's a CB by trade, who can operate as a RB if required. Certainly not the RWB role though from what i've seen.

Not entirley sure why we offered him a contract, the coaches see more of him than us I guess, so they must know more than we do.

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23 hours ago, Chapel End said:

I started laughing at "positive "  because after that I knew the rest would be bollocks 

Not quite sure how you think the rest is bollocks when it's a fact that we have only taken 4 points in the last 30?

Looking at your other posts, you seem to get some kind of kick from trying to ridicule and belittle other people for having an opinion that isn't the same as yours. Quote... "You do talk some crap mush. Stick to slagging Redmond off and you wont look so stupid."

This is a forum. A place for people to share views and opinions. This may come as a bit of a disappointment and a shock, but they're not all going to be the same as yours. That doesn't make people stupid.

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12 minutes ago, Sidney Fudpucker the 3rd said:

Not quite sure how you think the rest is bollocks when it's a fact that we have only taken 4 points in the last 30?

Looking at your other posts, you seem to get some kind of kick from trying to ridicule and belittle other people for having an opinion that isn't the same as yours. Quote... "You do talk some crap mush. Stick to slagging Redmond off and you wont look so stupid."

This is a forum. A place for people to share views and opinions. This may come as a bit of a disappointment and a shock, but they're not all going to be the same as yours. That doesn't make people stupid.

Well said Sydney ...... 

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