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Saints 1-2 Brighton - Match Thread


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Two terrible goals to concede. But aside from that we were, generally, rubbish.

There's no point doing like-for-like substitutions for average or poor players. You're bringing Redmond and Nlundulu on, not Aguero and Silva. You can't just carry on doing the same thing that has not worked for 70 minutes and hope for the best. 

I think that was one of the worst performances this season. Several players playing really badly and making stupid mistakes, a few looking knackered or half-arsed and a manager looking spent.

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I never like criticising the team I've supported for over 60 years, but today ...! ...*!# /// *^^ ?

Ralph was correct in saying it was the worst display of the season,  (and probably a few other seasons, too).

All this nonsense about giving grades to our players was out of the door.  Who was the worst of the worst ?

Given the injury situation we picked the strongest side available, but we have so few alternatives just now.

We need two, perhaps three more wins to feel safe, but on this display ....where are they coming from? 

The only plus was that after a very long drought Ché Adams has 3 goals in the last 3 games ...as for the rest? 

Right now only a Cup Final place would brighten life, but after today's show, I'm beginning to doubt that possibility. 

 

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What frustrates the shit out of me is that we only really have one "take responsibility" player (maybe two) and a ton of "shift responsibility" players.

Armstrong is usually looking to make something happen with a bit of directness and aggression, and KWP can do that if he knows he'll be used when he pushes forward. More often, with KWP, he pushes up, isn't used, and has to scramble back because the ball has been played back into our own half.

Pretty much everyone else is looking to shuffle the ball to someone behind or beside them - and players who are capable of taking on a defender don't even consider it. The main responsibility-shifters are Bednarek, JWP, Bertrand and - of course - Redmond. Sadly, Djenepo and Tella are in the process of joining them.

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Just now, Teddeer said:

Our movement off the ball today was non existent. I think 11 dustbins would have shown for the ball more and probably been quicker.

Dont let the disappointment make you be silly 

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3 minutes ago, Chapel End said:

Dont let the disappointment make you be silly 

Yeah, it's a tongue in cheek comment but come on - we just didn't show for the ball. I lost count of the number of times the player with the ball looked for options and then had no choice but to go backwards and recycle.  Nobody attempted to pull away from Brighton's back four and come shorter to put themselves between the lines and make them think a bit and pull them out of shape.  For the most parts they were allowed to defend very comfortably. 

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TERRIBLE! If there's an opposite of 'Up for it' that was it. We were second to everything, slow, ponderous, totally second-best to everything. For such a crucial game I just do not get it. So frustrating to watch. 

Any of those people who were saying not so long ago they'd rather beat Wolves in the Cup than have the three points next game feel different now?

If we play like that I cannot see us getting another point.

We are in serious danger of going down this season. 

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2 hours ago, redkeith said:

When Ralph started out, we played low possession football, not worrying o=about giving away the ball, but concentrating more on winning it back and then moving it quickly  towards the opposition goal.

I was about to say the same thing. At that time we saw high tempo pressing, hunting the opposition down, forcing mistakes to turn the ball over. Then with the ball, using the high tempo approach to create space so that we could play those clever little triangles to move us up the pitch quickly. Today that was pretty non-existent throughout the game (apart from 2 or 3 decent fast paced moves) and in many other games we have only been able to sustain it for the first half at best.

I am convinced we are suffering from player burn out due Ralph's preferred playing style & frequency of games. Bielsa's teams have often suffered the same fate. Leeds blew promotion the season before last for the same reason, although obviously they overcame it last season & have held their own this season (albeit with only 3 points more than Saints at the moment).

Presumably Ralph's current approach of recycling the ball endlessly is designed to try to conserve energy in the hope that one or two opportunities will open up. But that doesn't seem to happen often, mainly since opposition teams seem to play the high tempo press against us and we have nowhere to go.

If this suggested 'burnout' is a real thing, we just have to hope that the less frenetic schedule after the international break will help a bit. 

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A deeply concerning performance, and with Fulham looking nothing like a bottom six team, we have to inject some energy into these last few games.  I personally won’t be comfortable until we get 40 points and that looks a long way off the way we are playing.  As an absolute minimum we need two wins, or one win and three draws, given our goal difference and the games are running out where that looks likely.  

A number of players individually under performed today, particularly KWP and Armstrong who are usually two of our best and most consistent players.  Minamino also anonymous, and with him and Armstrong failing to protect full backs we looked over run on Brighton counter attacks while ponderous going forward.

Seemed to take until stoppage time to figure out that you can’t play easily through a defensive block of ten Brighton players and so you need to get width and whip crosses in.

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3 hours ago, hypochondriac said:

This was the game where I have started to lose some faith in Ralph. 

This....his pained expressions and muttering to himself did not inspire confidence at all.

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6 minutes ago, Forester said:

A deeply concerning performance, and with Fulham looking nothing like a bottom six team, we have to inject some energy into these last few games.  I personally won’t be comfortable until we get 40 points and that looks a long way off the way we are playing.  As an absolute minimum we need two wins, or one win and three draws, given our goal difference and the games are running out where that looks likely.  

A number of players individually under performed today, particularly KWP and Armstrong who are usually two of our best and most consistent players.  Minamino also anonymous, and with him and Armstrong failing to protect full backs we looked over run on Brighton counter attacks while ponderous going forward.

Seemed to take until stoppage time to figure out that you can’t play easily through a defensive block of ten Brighton players and so you need to get width and whip crosses in.

Given our current form, I think it's highly unlikely that we will get 40 points.  Gotta hope that 36 will be enough and pray for the best.  No way will we be getting 40 points though. 

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23 minutes ago, benjii said:

Two terrible goals to concede. But aside from that we were, generally, rubbish.

There's no point doing like-for-like substitutions for average or poor players. You're bringing Redmond and Nlundulu on, not Aguero and Silva. You can't just carry on doing the same thing that has not worked for 70 minutes and hope for the best. 

I think that was one of the worst performances this season. Several players playing really badly and making stupid mistakes, a few looking knackered or half-arsed and a manager looking spent.

I'd agree with that, Adams having a run of scoring one positive. 

Tella and Minamino both ineffective, Armstrong looked knackered. 

Defence disorganised, Forster disappointing for the first goal  

I boo'd them off at the end. 

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5 minutes ago, JRM said:

I'd agree with that, Adams having a run of scoring one positive. 

Tella and Minamino both ineffective, Armstrong looked knackered. 

Defence disorganised, Forster disappointing for the first goal  

I boo'd them off at the end. 

Minamino is a frustrating one, clearly technically gifted and seems intelligent, but he looks so out of his comfort zone. It all happens too quickly around him and by the time he's realised what's going on, he's either been dispossessed or had his pass cut out. This was a common theme of his Liverpool spell as well and why he barley played there.

Shame really, but not much good news there for Liverpool either. I think they should just cash in on him and let him have a career in a league much more suited to appreciate his technical ability.

Edited by S-Clarke
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The common theme today was that we could not win the ball or keep it when we did get it. We consistently and constantly lost the 50/50 balls. Is this something that can be corrected by coaching? I seriously don't know. 

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Forster just can’t get down to those , as we know but why wasn’t Vest marking Dunk ? 
 

All the sideways and backward passing was mainly due to Brighton getting back and defending in depth , cutting out options. We did look ineffective in the second half and a lot of head shaking etc at every mistake teammates made .

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2 minutes ago, BallBoy said:

The common theme today was that we could not win the ball or keep it when we did get it. We consistently and constantly lost the 50/50 balls. Is this something that can be corrected by coaching? I seriously don't know. 

It's probably a combination of fitness and confidence to be honest. They look out on their feet to me, exhausted both physically and mentally. Some of their passing was panicked and we dallied on the ball too often.

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My summary of where we are 

Ralph is a very likeable guy that goes without saying and I really hope that he can turn this around and get the team to click once again.  It's is true that injuries have played a major part in our slump in form but that said he should still be getting whatever team he has available fired up and for whatever reason he isn't yes we've had individual errors at times but you don't feel like we have that belief anymore.  When it worked it was decent football to watch but as we've been in poor form for so long I don't feel like Ralph knows how to mix it up to grind our results or what changes to make to the team, there is a repeated pattern of us generally being ok for the first half & not turning up second half, there is an amount of stubbornness to Ralph's setup.  Obviously we just have to get through this season & get to that safety points level.  But ask yourself. Would two nine Nils, numerous second have collapses, numerous 3-0 plus defeats be acceptable under  any other manager? Ralph deserves the goodwill for what he achieved in our good run, but is he as good a manger as we initially thought? I'm not so sure.

 

 

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In terms of our attitude towards this mess, bizarrely if we had fewer points it might focus us. But we are playing with complacency in addition to all the other rubbish things we're playing with. So little fight to go along with so little ability, at the moment. What a spiral we're in, certainly it began with injuries and rubbish VAR but it's morphed into simple old fashioned terrible form. 

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33 minutes ago, East Kent Saint said:

Forster just can’t get down to those , as we know but why wasn’t Vest marking Dunk ? 
 

All the sideways and backward passing was mainly due to Brighton getting back and defending in depth , cutting out options. We did look ineffective in the second half and a lot of head shaking etc at every mistake teammates made .

Don't we do zonal marking? If so then Dunk runs towards Bertrand's zone and the corner kick taker aims for him. As long as the corner is accurate then he's got a relatively unchallenged header.

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7 minutes ago, Greenridge said:

I only watched the second half. Please tell me we were better than that dire display in the first half. Please! 

Umm what you call the "dire display" in the first half was our good half! and to be fair we were decent for 20 minutes, second half we didn't turn up whatsoever & worryingly there was not fight or desire  or bottle just going through the motions once they scored their second 

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10 minutes ago, Greenridge said:

I only watched the second half. Please tell me we were better than that dire display in the first half. Please! 

We were marginally better in the first half, at least we had some shots. Once Brighton took the lead they sat back and it was up to us to break them down. Sadly we are spectacularly poor at doing that.

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4 minutes ago, The Cat said:

Don't we do zonal marking? If so then Dunk runs towards Bertrand's zone and the corner kick taker aims for him. As long as the corner is accurate then he's got a relatively unchallenged header.

We don’t mark zones. We mark empty spaces.

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One of the critical faults in Saint's game is the almost 100% ingrained habit that when a forward run into space is made instead of playing the player in, the player in possession ignores the run and recycles backwards and sideways. As time goes on that leads to less runs and sometimes no runs because what's the point, as the ball isn't going to come. Added to that as the players know the ball is going sideways nobody tries to decoy a marker to create an opening for the runner.

We are completely one dimensional. Bednarek is a game killer, he is frightened to play forward. Today in the first half he played a few forward balls. Nothing in the second half.  Ralph needs to reset completely starting tomorrow. His original statement was win the ball and get it forward quickly, if lost, gang up and win it back quickly. Now just get back to that.

Brighton must have been delighted with our ball recycling giving them all the time in the world to mass their defence. FFS we scored our goal from a cross Dunk wasn't able to deal with. After they scored we should have been bombarding their penalty area with crosses, quick forward balls and runs. In injury time we were still recycling the ball across our back four.

 

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I don't care about the FA Cup - even if we win we that game we won't win the Cup - a part of me wants us to lose so there can be no confusion that premier league survival is the only priority we have for this season and we have time to do it. I reckon we will need 38 or 39 points to stay up. 

That abysmal performance today - really all we had to do was not lose and we had no fight, no mettle - and our bottom-of-the-league form suggests the 5 or 6 points we need are far, far from guaranteed. Sheffield and West Brom are down.

Fulham are in form and look good to pick up wins - I'm sure folks have noticed how well Harrison Reed and Lemina are playing for Scott Parker (can we recall Lemina btw?) Brighton have been getting less points than they deserved for a while now and deserved their points today. Burnley were brilliant last game and have way too much grit vs us. Newcastle are now my hope for slumping...jeez how significant is that pathetic performance against 9 men and the Danny Ings miss off the inside of the post now?!

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Think the lackadaisical, laissez faire attitude of the team was summed up as the minutes were vanishing - ball trundles back to their keeper who just stands there, we just stood there too, then someone must have said to Che “bloody go and make him pick it up”. 
I haven’t felt so “meh” at a Saints game for ages!

I they don’t buck their ideas up, Bournemouth with a weekend off getting back to the big time will likely give us a right runaround.

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Sadly we are now playing cowardly football. Slow, backwards and sideways. The only one of players that tries to make things happen is Armstrong and whilst I like him, his technical ability is limited, but he tries. No one else has the courage. The end of the game says everything about this team, last kick of the game was Redmond passing backwards and sideways.

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1 minute ago, derry said:

One of the critical faults in Saint's game is the almost 100% ingrained habit that when a forward run into space is made instead of playing the player in, the player in possession ignores the run and recycles backwards and sideways. As time goes on that leads to less runs and sometimes no runs because what's the point, as the ball isn't going to come. Added to that as the players know the ball is going sideways nobody tries to decoy a marker to create an opening for the runner.

We are completely one dimensional. Bednarek is a game killer, he is frightened to play forward. Today in the first half he played a few forward balls. Nothing in the second half.  Ralph needs to reset completely starting tomorrow. His original statement was win the ball and get it forward quickly, if lost, gang up and win it back quickly. Now just get back to that.

Brighton must have been delighted with our ball recycling giving them all the time in the world to mass their defence. FFS we scored our goal from a cross Dunk wasn't able to deal with. After they scored we should have been bombarding their penalty area with crosses, quick forward balls and runs. In injury time we were still recycling the ball across our back four.

 

Why play the ball forward derry when you can go backwards??????...sooooomuch safer?......Oooooppss we lost again!

 

 

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The endless ball recycling has been going on for ages.  I recall posting (while we were near the top) that I find it tiresome to watch.  Our Xg (or what ever it is) was low earlier in the season, but we were playing well and picking up wins/Ings was scoring.

Now, we are just terrible and the manager clearly has no idea what so ever on how to change it.  He just seems intent on doing the same thing over and over and expecting (hoping?) a different outcome.

Hassenhuttl is just a bang average manager for us, in line with so many others.

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2 hours ago, benjii said:

There's no point doing like-for-like substitutions for average or poor players. You're bringing Redmond and Nlundulu on, not Aguero and Silva. You can't just carry on doing the same thing that has not worked for 70 minutes and hope for the best. 

I cant remember the last time substitutions have changed the game in our favour. We often get worse, not better.

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50 minutes ago, Mr X said:

Umm what you call the "dire display" in the first half was our good half! and to be fair we were decent for 20 minutes, second half we didn't turn up whatsoever & worryingly there was not fight or desire  or bottle just going through the motions once they scored their second 

I meant the 2nd half was dire @Mr X lol. Glad to hear we were marginally better in the 1st! 

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We were nervous in everything we did hence all the square and backward passing and desperately trying not to lose possession, ironically 99 percent of the time we ended up giving them back possession anyway. It was an awful display to witness and unfortunately has highlighted Ralphs inability to get it right. Lovely guy but sorry his days have to be numbered.

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Piss poor performance, and despite Ralph's comments we just didn't seem motivated or organised from the start. Tella was an inivisible man for much of the game.

At one point one of our delicate little flowers was 'outmuscled' off the ball by NIvea. Says it all.

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2 hours ago, S-Clarke said:

Bednarek is an oddity, isn't he.

When he's on form I think he's a decent, solid, no nonsense centre back. He's nothing spectacular and he's never going to be playing in the CL, but he's decent.

However, when he's off form then christ on a bike he's beyond bad. Not just a little bit bad, but it's like he forgets how to play football, forgets how to defend, loses his head. He is a proper liability for us right now, bad enough that I'd drop him.

Yes, I agree, when Bednarek is good he’s good but when he’s bad he’s fecking awful. Sadly, this sickening affliction applies to most of our other players as well.

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10 minutes ago, Badger said:

Piss poor performance, and despite Ralph's comments we just didn't seem motivated or organised from the start. Tella was an inivisible man for much of the game.

At one point one of our delicate little flowers was 'outmuscled' off the ball by NIvea. Says it all.

I think Lallana having more physical presence than our midfield sums it up really. We hardly won any of the 50/50s, too weak physically and mentally. 

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5 minutes ago, OttawaSaint said:

What’s the point of N’Lundulu anyway? He’s hopeless. He just comes on and fouls players. 

Is that the best we’ve got? A lumbering carthorse? 

Neither he, nor Tella are ready for premiership football yet.  N'Lundulu is a long way off. 

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Poor squad for a while that overachieved last calendar year.

When redmond is your first sub to get you back into the game you know our squad depth sucks.

Realistically you would expect Tella would come off bench if we had a few better players not start these games but at least he is direct.

We are playing like we did before Leicester smashed us, I think the players natural default after a few losses is to be the guy who doesn't mess up rather than win the games.

Get the comments about Ralph but seriously who can change a game for us who is fit. Square pegs in round holes doing a job at the mo.

Too many players who need a rest to be fresh can't due to injuries and their performances have tailed off.

 

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4 hours ago, CanadaSaint said:

What frustrates the shit out of me is that we only really have one "take responsibility" player (maybe two) and a ton of "shift responsibility" players.

Armstrong is usually looking to make something happen with a bit of directness and aggression, and KWP can do that if he knows he'll be used when he pushes forward. More often, with KWP, he pushes up, isn't used, and has to scramble back because the ball has been played back into our own half.

Pretty much everyone else is looking to shuffle the ball to someone behind or beside them - and players who are capable of taking on a defender don't even consider it. The main responsibility-shifters are Bednarek, JWP, Bertrand and - of course - Redmond. Sadly, Djenepo and Tella are in the process of joining them.

It's a very good point you make about the scarcity of "take responsibility" players we have in the side.   Armstrong,KWP, Romeu (when fit) and occasionally Diallo.    People don't like criticism of Ward-Prowse, but objectively, take his dead ball game out and your left with one of the most conservative, static "non-responsibility players we have.     The experiment with Tella should soon be closed off; he just doesn't have the control or touch to be starting in an attacking four.   Another deflating afternoon however you dress it up and it certainly looks like a flop to safety being sought out, not a comfortable mid-table finish.

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The only hope I can see at the moment is that over the last 12 games Newcastle have only won two more points than us, and don't look like getting many more (they've got Brighton away next). The annoying thing is that three of their points were when they played us with nine men. That game, and this one, were just as sickening as the calamity at Old Trafford. 

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32 minutes ago, austsaint said:

It's a very good point you make about the scarcity of "take responsibility" players we have in the side.   Armstrong,KWP, Romeu (when fit) and occasionally Diallo.    People don't like criticism of Ward-Prowse, but objectively, take his dead ball game out and your left with one of the most conservative, static "non-responsibility players we have.     The experiment with Tella should soon be closed off; he just doesn't have the control or touch to be starting in an attacking four.   Another deflating afternoon however you dress it up and it certainly looks like a flop to safety being sought out, not a comfortable mid-table finish.

Either utilise Tella's pace with some long balls over the top or don't pick him. He is not suited to the tip tap, sideways, backwards rubbish.

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18 minutes ago, LaptopSaint said:

The only hope I can see at the moment is that over the last 12 games Newcastle have only won two more points than us, and don't look like getting many more (they've got Brighton away next). The annoying thing is that three of their points were when they played us with nine men. That game, and this one, were just as sickening as the calamity at Old Trafford. 

Newcastle have 3 very good players coming back after the international break.

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