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Saints 1-2 Brighton - Match Thread


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I think only the bottom two sides are worse than us right now. The stoppage time play summed it up really, still trying to play out from the back (slowly), and ran out of time barely halfway up the pitch. We look like a team of strangers who haven't trained together at all . Excuses are running out fast for Ralph, we don't expect to be world beaters but this level of shite is unacceptable. Every team has the same problems with injuries, fixture density etc but our players seem to have regressed to league one standard of performance, particularly Redmond, who today couldn't even control the f****ng football let alone do anything useful with it. The 2nd half display was the worst I've seen for a long time, considering the limited nature of the opposition.  I don't expect to win against Bournemouth or Burnley either.

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4 hours 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.

 

Completely agree. Ralph used to say get the ball forward quickly and win it back up the pitch. Now we are playing wildly different football - why?

We never pass the ball forward quickly now....

Ralph used to say ‘we only need a small squad’ now he says we need a big squad ! Why? 

Ralph just can’t make his mind up....

Players are definitely not playing for him now. We get worse and worse with no winning attitude from the Manager or the players surprise surprise ....

I wonder what the tactics will be next game ? Yes they will be identical. Slow, predictable, gutless and clueless..... Far too many square and backward passes which provide no threat or possibility of hurting our opponent. 
It would actually be funny if we marked up for a throw in even. Come on Ralph you are well off the pace, wake up and let’s see a change of tactics and philosophy next game or if not you should feel the consequences...  

Considering you have lost the players maybe though it is now too late.... 


 

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A truly horrific display today. :(

 

Got ourselves back into it once through another nice Che finish, and just for a short while, looked like we'd found some belief down the back of the sofa - and might just go on and score again.

As per the norm however, the half time whistle signaled the end of our afternoon's work.

Once that second Brighton goal went in, anyone who watches us with any regularity could see within moments that we were not going to get anything out of the game. We are physically and mentally a spent force right now. 

The players simply knew that we did not have what it takes to do it again. There is nothing left in the tank, and we are running on empty.

It is a certain type of burn out. The kind of mental and physical fatigue that follows investing such an enormous effort for so long whilst believing in what we are doing, only to see that effort repeatly thwarted, in our case, usually by bad luck, poor composure, and abysmal officiating decisions. Eventually there comes a point where you've "hit the wall" as the expression goes. It sucks all the life out of you, and even if the will remains - there is just nothing left in you to fight with. Because at a subconscious level, you know that nothing you do will suffice, the belief has gone, and you can't manage to drag yourself up to go to the well once more.

It is a psychological barrier that comes with being both physically and emotionally ran through. A paralysing fear of failure that grips you. And that is where we are right now as a team. It is hard to come back from, for as long as the issues keeping that barrier in place remain. We really need the international break right now, to give us a chance to regroup.  What the bossman says is correct. We are not getting enough time to work on all the issues we know we have right now, nor sufficient time to prepare in our customary depth for each upcoming opponent, which is crucial to the way Ralph works. This, coupled with the brutal physical and mental exhaustion our vastly under-manned squad is dealing with right now, is killing us.

The one positive is that our squad are all so out of form right now, that hopefully the majority of our lads will be overlooked for international selection, and actually give us some much needed time to recover, regroup, and spend some crucial time working on the catalogue of current flaws in our system.

Try not to give up on the lads. The will is still there, but the body and mind are shot. It can be amazing what a difference getting enough rest and preparation time can make.

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10 hours ago, Micky said:

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. 

i am going to be a bit more optimistic and say 42 points

wins - Burnley, West Brom  (6 points)

draws - Leeds, Fulham, Palace  (3 points)

losses - Spurs, Liverpool, West Ham, Leicester

 

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Just reading Dan Sheldon's 'The Athletic' article this morning and I think from that it is clear that Ralph was severely unhappy yesterday with the lack of impact of the subs yesterday - which is fair as they were abysmal and offered nothing. He was also clearly was frustrated at the backwards and sideways passing (specifically mentioned as a moment where Redmond and Djenepo in forward positions ended with a ball back to Bednarek).

 I am starting to doubt Ralph, but I also think the players need to take a lot of the blame and we need to clear out some of the losers that we have, which are consistent with when we struggled previously (eg Bertrand, Redmond) even Bednarek to a degree - although I think he just needs dropping as he is making a lot of mistakes and looks like he is running through treacle at the moment!

Following from the above I am pretty sure Ralph said pre Brighton that Theo and Ings should be back after intl break, although I may have imagined that.

Just imagine how this precious lot would wilt even more infront of the fans at the moment, good job this bad form isn't just down to us piling pressure on the poor souls like last season. ;) 

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I have come to the conclusion that the players are mentally jaded. With two or three injuries and a thin squad they are not up to playing twice in one week. I’ve just had a quick scan through the past fixtures and our drop in perform started with the increase in frequency around the end of the year. 
 

Let’s not forget that before yesterday they had four away fixtures all in the north of England. Even allowing for flying there and back that still leaves little time for mental and physical recovery. 

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8 minutes ago, Whitey Grandad said:

I have come to the conclusion that the players are mentally jaded. With two or three injuries and a thin squad they are not up to playing twice in one week. I’ve just had a quick scan through the past fixtures and our drop in perform started with the increase in frequency around the end of the year. 
 

Let’s not forget that before yesterday they had four away fixtures all in the north of England. Even allowing for flying there and back that still leaves little time for mental and physical recovery. 

The poor little lambs and they only get paid peanuts. My heart bleeds for then with such a hard life. We can't expect them to play all those games with very little rest for that money.

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1 hour ago, Teddeer said:

The poor little lambs and they only get paid peanuts. My heart bleeds for then with such a hard life. We can't expect them to play all those games with very little rest for that money.

I’m not sure where you’re getting your medical information from but I’ve spoken to a physio and she confirmed that you can’t cure muscle injuries and fatigue by rubbing bank notes on them.

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1 hour ago, Lighthouse said:

I’m not sure where you’re getting your medical information from but I’ve spoken to a physio and she confirmed that you can’t cure muscle injuries and fatigue by rubbing bank notes on them.

My point is that maybe for the money our pampered players are paid we are entitled to a little more blood, sweat and commitment than we've seen of late from some of them.

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Why in injury time losing 2-1 were we passing the ball about at the back??  We even had a goal kick and took it short and knocked it about at the back.  What is wrong with lumping it upfield, even putting Jan up there as a target man.  Ralph blamed players, but he did not change the tactics even at that late stage.

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Think its safe to say Ralph is getting found out. I kinda hoped he was operating on a level beyond my apelike comprehension but now I'm not so sure it wasn't just ings carrying us this entire time 

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43 minutes ago, Teddeer said:

My point is that maybe for the money our pampered players are paid we are entitled to a little more blood, sweat and commitment than we've seen of late from some of them.

I can’t say I’ve really seen anything I’d call a lack of effort. I’ve seen a lack of talent, squad depth, confidence, tactical awareness, purpose, urgency, financial investment, flexibility, variation, luck, mental resilience, concentration, dynamicism and creativity but not effort.

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48 minutes ago, kenneth_kenobi said:

Why in injury time losing 2-1 were we passing the ball about at the back??  We even had a goal kick and took it short and knocked it about at the back.  What is wrong with lumping it upfield, even putting Jan up there as a target man.  Ralph blamed players, but he did not change the tactics even at that late stage.

It's not even so much as lumping it forward, it's showing more purpose and urgency with the forward passing. It was very backwards/sideways for way too long.

The crazy thing for me is that it was only in the 91st min that we actually put some purposeful balls into the box/in and around the box. 91st min FFS? What was stopping us doing that before?

Are these players half asleep and it took the forth official to hold up the numbers to make them realise that time is nearly up? Our players act like incredibly dumb people sometimes.

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1 hour ago, Scully said:

Think its safe to say Ralph is getting found out. I kinda hoped he was operating on a level beyond my apelike comprehension but now I'm not so sure it wasn't just ings carrying us this entire time 

I tend to agree, once ings mind went elsewhere we have been truly awful, obviously every team is going to miss their main striker but we have had zero drive & motivation since then, it's like the players don't realise we aren't out of danger 

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before his injury Vestergaard was picking out dangerous long passes to the forward line at will and causing lots of problems. Apart from the odd long pass he has now settled back into the sideways and backwards pass. Is this under instruction or have they lost the confidence to pick out a player now?, or is it that the forward line are not working now to find the spaces?.

Something is wrong but you would of thought that the coaching staff would know but apparently not.

Personally I think another 9 goals against us in one match has totally killed all confidence and now they are all running scared, oddly enough, with no confidence they all seem to be trying to play the safe ball which more often than not is intercepted by the opposition anyway, so even that is not working.

 

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4 hours ago, Whitey Grandad said:

I have come to the conclusion that the players are mentally jaded. With two or three injuries and a thin squad they are not up to playing twice in one week. I’ve just had a quick scan through the past fixtures and our drop in perform started with the increase in frequency around the end of the year. 
 

Let’s not forget that before yesterday they had four away fixtures all in the north of England. Even allowing for flying there and back that still leaves little time for mental and physical recovery. 

Agree.

This is why our players play for lowly Saints god forbid they ever become top 6 players and then have to deal with flying around Europe on midweek too.

Apart from City who have a luxurious squad and rotate at will, the likes of Fernandes/Rashford at Utd, Liverpool’s front 3 and then Kane/Son and other various top players are able to play 2/3 times a week at a far higher level.

However I acknowledge these are technically far better players who don’t have to exert as much efforts because they are better with the ball, and equally there is no point comparing our front forwards to the top 6. 

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1 hour ago, Saint Billy said:

before his injury Vestergaard was picking out dangerous long passes to the forward line at will and causing lots of problems. Apart from the odd long pass he has now settled back into the sideways and backwards pass. Is this under instruction or have they lost the confidence to pick out a player now?, or is it that the forward line are not working now to find the spaces?.

Something is wrong but you would of thought that the coaching staff would know but apparently not.

Personally I think another 9 goals against us in one match has totally killed all confidence and now they are all running scared, oddly enough, with no confidence they all seem to be trying to play the safe ball which more often than not is intercepted by the opposition anyway, so even that is not working.

 

That's probably because he is not seeing options to spray the long incisive balls to. A combination of our opposition cutting off this route, having become aware of this tactic and probably more so, our players going MIA following our nosedive in form. 

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6 hours ago, Whitey Grandad said:

I have come to the conclusion that the players are mentally jaded. With two or three injuries and a thin squad they are not up to playing twice in one week. I’ve just had a quick scan through the past fixtures and our drop in perform started with the increase in frequency around the end of the year. 
 

Let’s not forget that before yesterday they had four away fixtures all in the north of England. Even allowing for flying there and back that still leaves little time for mental and physical recovery. 

No different to any other clubs outside of the top 8. There is no excuses for the run we've been on. Yesterday was a disgrace in the 2nd half. Can't believe people are still defending Ralph and the team.

 

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5 hours ago, kenneth_kenobi said:

Why in injury time losing 2-1 were we passing the ball about at the back??  We even had a goal kick and took it short and knocked it about at the back.  What is wrong with lumping it upfield, even putting Jan up there as a target man.  Ralph blamed players, but he did not change the tactics even at that late stage.

The times they do that. It drives me round the bend. Hoof it up the front and hope for the best. More chance of scoring than faffing around at the back tippy-tapping to each other. 

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1 hour ago, Sarnia Cherie said:

The times they do that. It drives me round the bend. Hoof it up the front and hope for the best. More chance of scoring than faffing around at the back tippy-tapping to each other. 

In American Football they call that a ‘Hail Mary’

Worth a try surely.

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Something has changed in our pressing as we don’t press teams anywhere near as much as we did in the first third of the season.

The problem is we are still playing the same style without the press which just doesn’t work.

We used to rely on quick turnovers in the last third for a lot of our chances and goals but that is not happening now.

When we do get the ball back in our half all the opposition have to do is sit back and watch us pass back then across then maybe gain 20 yards to then go back and across again.

Either get back to the fierce press we used to use or change the whole system.

Not sure we are really capable of either now.

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When we move the ball forward quickly when it gets to the forwards it then begins the backwards recycling bullshit that lets opposition recover and get bodies behind the ball.

Every time we have been crap since ralph joined this has been a consistent feature of our game by our wider forwards, this is not an instruction from him its the mentality of them. 

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When we lost 9 nil vs Leicester the players said they have lost there identity as a team.

Things changed after that and so did the results. Teams couldn’t cope with our players all over the pitch.

We would have something like 12/16 shots on goals.

Now I think we have gone back to the pre Leicester days and we no longer work as a unit anymore. Gone are those attempts on goal and we are lucky to bring one good save from the keeper per game now.

 

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With premier League football being a game of fine margins I'm convinced that all of our problems boil down to the players being completely knackered and some key decisions going against us at exactly the wrong time. Our high intensity game needs players to be at peak fitness and mentally sharp which is being hampered by not having enough good players to rotate, a loss of confidence in officiating and a packed schedule.

Where Ralph is letting us down is in his complete failure to recognise this and sticking to his guns in the vain hope that we will ride this out.

IMO the solution was staring us in the face when we played Chelsea - let the opposition have the ball, defend well and look to nick a goal on the break. Building some confidence by grinding out some results would have helped us reset. Instead we've gone back to the lacklustre possession based football that relies on sustained high energy that we simply don't have.

What's worse is this isn't unique. The only side who are successfully managing to keep up the energy levels required to play a high intensity press without changing tactics are poor brave Leeds (who in my opinion will get found out next season when the world realises there isn't anything special about them).

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23 hours ago, Norm said:

Looking at our remaining fixtures, I can only see 4 points. 3 v WBA and 1 v Fulham. Might be enough, just.

I think we could lose to Fulham and get a point off Palace. 

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 Hi Fans - Your favorite Troll here - Anybody watch the Daints today ??  Which way were they kicking ?? NOT towards the Opponents Goal, that's for sure.  I've said it before and I'll say it again ..   It looked like the 73/74 season, when we were 6th in table in January, and 3rd from the bottom by the end of the season. Everybody was so blind, they just could not or would not see it

Ring a bell  ??   We were in the Top Three a few short months ago, so what happened ??  We were playing good football, going Forwards even. So who ordered the dramatic change ??  Don't need much of a brain to work that one out  NO AMBITION

WHY do our "Best" players always end up leaving ??  Because they want to be part of SUCCESS.

We are owned by people that do not give a monkeys toss about Football, NO AMBITION, NO INVESTMENT

For those that knock me ..... come back and do it when we are RELEGATED,  ( because that is where we are heading )

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3 minutes ago, SaintRichmond said:

 Hi Fans - Your favorite Troll here - Anybody watch the Daints today ??  Which way were they kicking ?? NOT towards the Opponents Goal, that's for sure.  I've said it before and I'll say it again ..   It looked like the 73/74 season, when we were 6th in table in January, and 3rd from the bottom by the end of the season. Everybody was so blind, they just could not or would not see it

Ring a bell  ??   We were in the Top Three a few short months ago, so what happened ??  We were playing good football, going Forwards even. So who ordered the dramatic change ??  Don't need much of a brain to work that one out  NO AMBITION

WHY do our "Best" players always end up leaving ??  Because they want to be part of SUCCESS.

We are owned by people that do not give a monkeys toss about Football, NO AMBITION, NO INVESTMENT

For those that knock me ..... come back and do it when we are RELEGATED,  ( because that is where we are heading )

You only post on this website when you've decided we're going to be relegated you fucking weirdo.

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3 hours ago, SaintRichmond said:

 Hi Fans - Your favorite Troll here - Anybody watch the Daints today ??  Which way were they kicking ?? NOT towards the Opponents Goal, that's for sure.  I've said it before and I'll say it again ..   It looked like the 73/74 season, when we were 6th in table in January, and 3rd from the bottom by the end of the season. Everybody was so blind, they just could not or would not see it

Ring a bell  ??   We were in the Top Three a few short months ago, so what happened ??  We were playing good football, going Forwards even. So who ordered the dramatic change ??  Don't need much of a brain to work that one out  NO AMBITION

WHY do our "Best" players always end up leaving ??  Because they want to be part of SUCCESS.

We are owned by people that do not give a monkeys toss about Football, NO AMBITION, NO INVESTMENT

For those that knock me ..... come back and do it when we are RELEGATED,  ( because that is where we are heading )

It’s not the owners you should be blaming it’s the Chairman and Manager who have no ambition and thence no winning mentality.

The club is run by losers which is evident in the way the players just go through the motions.

The low success we aspire to across all areas of the business management drives a spirit of good losers - jolly well played chums - well done and hard luck... 

I am sure the owner will not be as pleased and rightly so.

 

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I think in the normal course of events the owner would be kicking arses and the manager/players might respond but what are the sanctions? He could sack Ralph but not the players and who would be manager now ? We are in the prem now but only a second rate manger would be take charge .

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4 hours ago, captainchris said:

It’s not the owners you should be blaming it’s the Chairman and Manager who have no ambition and thence no winning mentality.

The club is run by losers which is evident in the way the players just go through the motions.

The low success we aspire to across all areas of the business management drives a spirit of good losers - jolly well played chums - well done and hard luck... 

I am sure the owner will not be as pleased and rightly so.

 

The people running the club have no money as the owner has none. 

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5 hours ago, captainchris said:

It’s not the owners you should be blaming it’s the Chairman and Manager who have no ambition and thence no winning mentality.

The club is run by losers which is evident in the way the players just go through the motions.

The low success we aspire to across all areas of the business management drives a spirit of good losers - jolly well played chums - well done and hard luck... 

I am sure the owner will not be as pleased and rightly so.

 

Not sure why you think Semmens is a loser. Chairman can only operate within the limits set out by the owner(s). Ultimately the owner(s) are to blame. Not saying Semmens is all good but he is constrained by Gao and Ms Liebherr. 

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11 hours ago, captainchris said:

It’s not the owners you should be blaming it’s the Chairman and Manager who have no ambition and thence no winning mentality.

The club is run by losers which is evident in the way the players just go through the motions.

The low success we aspire to across all areas of the business management drives a spirit of good losers - jolly well played chums - well done and hard luck... 

I am sure the owner will not be as pleased and rightly so.

 

How on earth have you worked that out?

It's the owners fault we are where we are. The chairman is actually doing a pretty sound job in the circumstances whilst the 'owner' is AWOL.

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