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Saints 1-0 Villa - Match Thread


MotM?  

161 members have voted

  1. 1. MotM?

    • McCarthy
      2
    • Livramento
      1
    • Salisu
      13
    • Bednarek
      0
    • KWP
      16
    • Romeu
      36
    • JWP
      28
    • Elyounoussi
      5
    • S. Armstrong
      0
    • Adams
      26
    • A. Armstrong
      33
    • Lyanco
      0
    • Diallo
      0
    • Broja
      1


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59 minutes ago, CB Fry said:

Absolutely delighted that Ralph made a tactical switch very early in the second half (ten mins in) that changed things enough to stop the Villa onslaught and even things up. It made sense because as others said it released our full backs again. 

People have moaned (i say people, me) about Ralph’s tendency to make no changes until it is too late. Well, let's appreciate what he did last night.

And at least now we have lost the tag of "they've lost the most points from winning positions" that yer commentators absolutely love to blather about. Clean sheets and solid one-nil wins literally the opposite of that shit. Fantastic Ralph.

Agree with this, RH tactical changes have been far more sharp this season. However he has a much stronger bench this year wihich gives him better options. Where we too harsh last season when his option was to bring in djneppo or Walcott?

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4 minutes ago, hypochondriac said:

Just popped back in to say isn't it glorious to get a win on a Friday? All weekend to be able to enjoy any of the rest of the footie knowing we already have our three points. Absolutely superb. 

It'll be even sweeter if Everton and Leicester both lose tomorrow, as we could end up climbing into the top half on GD.

Too much to ask for though?

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42 minutes ago, Chez said:

by measured, I meant he didn't sell himself like he did last night. He was excellent at Chelsea, no doubt about it. He wasn't last night, he was made to look a mug early on after coming on. I think you may have missed that or I am dreaming, which is very possible. A lack of sleep can do that to a man. 

I'm struggling to recall when you may be referring to. I could have missed it, may well have been refreshing the old beverage. But if you are talking about the header he should not have gone near, then very harsh! He was miles off it, yes should not have been drawn in but it was a nothing high ball and he just went to nick it, I wasn't too critical about it. 

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13 minutes ago, hypochondriac said:

Just popped back in to say isn't it glorious to get a win on a Friday? All weekend to be able to enjoy any of the rest of the footie knowing we already have our three points. Absolutely superb. 

Agreed, post celebration hangover not withstanding. Can't believe some on here can only find things to whinge about after a vital and deserved win. UTS.

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28 minutes ago, hypochondriac said:

Just popped back in to say isn't it glorious to get a win on a Friday? All weekend to be able to enjoy any of the rest of the footie knowing we already have our three points. Absolutely superb. 

Yep, cracking start to the weekend. Looking forward to seeing City spank Utd to keep the pressure on our top 8 rivals. 

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7 minutes ago, stknowle said:

Agreed, post celebration hangover not withstanding. Can't believe some on here can only find things to whinge about after a vital and deserved win. UTS.

At times there aint anything as strange as Saintsweb.

Ralph knockers are also absent. I wonder why.

 

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5 minutes ago, egg said:

Yep, cracking start to the weekend. Looking forward to seeing City spank Utd to keep the pressure on our top 8 rivals. 

Particularly sweet because these are the games where ordinarily we lose and it craps all over the weekend I had planned. I'm going to enjoy this one. 

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9 hours ago, notnowcato said:

Tino, very poor??  Seriously. 
 

None of the team were close to poor tonight. The second half was a tough watch but every player gave everything to get the 3 points. 

Yes, seriously. Take off your rose tinted specs. Gave the ball away on numerous occasions, was no threat going forwards and was defensively all over the place. He is 18,he is going to have poor games sometimes, it's not a criticism, just an honest assessment. Over 90 minutes we were not that special last night, but fought well to hang on to our narrow lead. 

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What a great night at St Mary’s. Cannot get behind anyone saying certain players were poor, that first half was as good as i’ve seen us for years, we absolutely played them off the park. Elyounoussi was fantastic first half, as were Che, Arma, Romeu and KWP particularly. I thought our tackling last night was absolutely superb, won the ball back so easily at times when it looked like we may be in trouble. I didn’t think Tino was poor at all, first half I thought some of his touches and composure on the ball really showed his class - every time he was about to get away they just fouled him.

The second half was always going to be different and it was, they went for broke after half time but still didn’t create any chances where i’d say they should have scored. The only keeper who made saves all night was Martinez. 

Good subs from Ralph, i’ve always been Ralph In but my one criticism has been his subs and the timing - well he clearly has much more trust in his bench this season and rightly so, we have some genuinely good options now. Valery and Smallbone both didn’t make the bench yesterday, whereas last season they may have been starting, that shows the depth we have now.

I said in the summer teams like us don’t need a 20 goal striker, almost no team outside the top 4 ever has one. If we stopped conceding silly amounts of goals then we’d be fine. Well, so far, so good. We’ve really tightened up. 

Great atmosphere, great goal, great night. Shite referee though, jesus christ he was bad.

 

 

Edited by saintwbu
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31 minutes ago, VectisSaint said:

Yes, seriously. Take off your rose tinted specs. Gave the ball away on numerous occasions, was no threat going forwards and was defensively all over the place. He is 18,he is going to have poor games sometimes, it's not a criticism, just an honest assessment. 

Which specs were you wearing? 🤔

can't see scooby-doo GIF by Head Like an Orange

 

Edited by Matthew Le God
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1 hour ago, Chez said:

really? After a very measured display against Chelsea I thought last night he dived in (getting mugged) and looked bad myself - just the player the Torino fans had described. Maybe I am focusing too much on the negative.

I think he is still getting to grips with the style of football in the UK. That will take time and he needs to communicate with the other 2 CBs.

He is clearly a dynamic player. He really goes for it and has good anticipation.

His passing and attacking threat add a new dimension as well.

Time will tell whether he is good enough to maintain a place,  but he isn't a disaster.

 

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Thanks for the appreciation of my earlier note.  I was on a real high when I got home last night.  Just loved the whole evening (apart from the lack of goals 2 and 3 early on - oh and I thought the fire and light show before the game was embarrassing).  There was a sort of raucous mayhem vibe all evening - not sure if it was the alcohol, fireworks or the clear night but chaos reigned.  Brilliant banter between rival fans on the way to the game. So much positivity and black humour.

As for the individual performances I've read some of this thread now which showed me how differently we see performances.

I thought everyone played well and that's the point about a proper team performance.  Having said that I thought KWP, JWP and Adams stood out and could all be motm.  Salisu and Tino have been head and shoulders our best players this season but they both had their worst game last night in my opinion.  They weren't bad, just both had many more mistakes in them than we are used to.  Everyone else was in between.  I thought Bednarek was much stronger than recent games.  Moi was excellent first half when we had the ball, but is a bit lightweight when we don't.  McCarthy continues to spread calm - apart from one terrible clearance.  His distribution is good unless he tries to go long.

It was really the ultimate game of two halves.  So much changed in the second half that it seemed like a different match.  One example.  First half all our goal kicks were played short.  Second half all played long.  It seemed like a premeditated decision, not sure why we would do that.  Last season I would have called it panic and fear but last night it looked like a tactical change.

Anyway onward and upward.  Thats 10 from 12 in our 5-game mini season.  Norwich away to come so plenty to be upbeat about

  

Edited by The Left Back
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1 hour ago, jimmer42 said:

Villa were much bigger than us and starting to out muscle us as they changed to a Wimbledonesque long ball 'get it in the mixer' approach and were looking dangerous with the Arial approach. I think the Lyanco substitution and switch in formation was the pivotal moment in us getting the three points......plus SArmstrong was knackered

All in, Ralph's game management was spot on last night, both in personnel changed and timing.

Spot on.  Lessons 1,2 and 3 from our four top eight seasons:  clean sheets win you games, clean sheets win you games, clean sheets win you games,……

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2 hours ago, Chez said:

really? After a very measured display against Chelsea I thought last night he dived in (getting mugged) and looked bad myself - just the player the Torino fans had described. Maybe I am focusing too much on the negative.

Lyanco was outstanding at Chelsea but even then I thought as the game wore on he did start to dive in more - almost as though he was believing his own hype. Last night he helped to provide an extra physicality in the centre of defence which had been missing, but did make a few mistakes when he dived in. 

Very interesting footballer though with loads of potential ; physicality, some pace, ball playing skills and a wonderful spirit. It's that spirit that we somehow need to bottle so that it is used as a positive but balanced out when the situation needs calm. The great thing is that he has many of ingredients needed to be a great footballer, and he is still very young for a centre half. He can be coached and will mature. 

I suspect that it will be a roller coaster ride with him; fans will love that spirit, but he will always be liable to giving away a soft goal through diving in or being too extravagant. However, Saints don't have too many players like that and in the longer term he may prove to be an inspired buy. 

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I’ve been critical of him in the past but you’ve gotta laugh, last season Ralph was fairly getting pelters for not being quick enough to make subs or change formation when the tide was starting to turn, then last night he does exactly like that by bringing on Lyanco and apparently it’s a negative substitution and the wrong decision.

Poor guy can’t win.

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1 minute ago, bpsaint said:

I’ve been critical of him in the past but you’ve gotta laugh, last season Ralph was fairly getting pelters for not being quick enough to make subs or change formation when the tide was starting to turn, then last night he does exactly like that by bringing on Lyanco and apparently it’s a negative substitution and the wrong decision.

Poor guy can’t win.

Only if you are selective in reading posts. I have not seen that but you can always find something contradictory to say ‘poor guy can’t win’

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38 minutes ago, Lighthouse said:

Too much borscht.

I like borscht. My wife is Russian (technically not a Russian dish), and her mum makes a lovely one when we go to visit (Burgess Hill, not Russia).

I always thought there was a (slightly) boring debate on it being Polish or Ukrainian.

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34 minutes ago, WALK DMC said:

Lyanco was outstanding at Chelsea but even then I thought as the game wore on he did start to dive in more - almost as though he was believing his own hype. Last night he helped to provide an extra physicality in the centre of defence which had been missing, but did make a few mistakes when he dived in. 

Very interesting footballer though with loads of potential ; physicality, some pace, ball playing skills and a wonderful spirit. It's that spirit that we somehow need to bottle so that it is used as a positive but balanced out when the situation needs calm. The great thing is that he has many of ingredients needed to be a great footballer, and he is still very young for a centre half. He can be coached and will mature. 

I suspect that it will be a roller coaster ride with him; fans will love that spirit, but he will always be liable to giving away a soft goal through diving in or being too extravagant. However, Saints don't have too many players like that and in the longer term he may prove to be an inspired buy. 

I thought Lyanco was fine yesterday. There was an instance where he tried to dive in and intercept in midfield and didn't quite get there. However, in a three i don't particularly mind him being aggressive and trying to intercept in that area of the pitch. The interesting thing to see is how he copes when part of a 2.

Edited by Baird of the land
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20 minutes ago, Baird of the land said:

I thought Lyanco was fine yesterday. There was an instance where he tried to dive in and intercept in midfield and didn't quite get there. However, in a three i don't particularly mind him being aggressive and trying to intercept in that area of the pitch. The interesting thing to see is how he copes when part of a 2.

left us wide open and made me very nervous about what kind of player we have.  That said, Fonte was exactly the same when he first joined us - diving in too, much thinking he could make every ball - but he didn't get punished, as we were in league 1 and had time to develop/refine his game. Lyanco doesn't have that luxury, all be it, he is cover at the moment. 

Edited by Chez
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From i where I was sitting, we controlled the 1st half with the ball, and the second half bar the initial 10 minutes, without the ball. I think Ralph’s automatism was very visible last night given the amount of covering provided in different areas of the pitch, compared to Villa who looked a disjointed outfit in comparison.

For me, Salish was my MOTM, bar a couple of dubious pass backs, Simply because he marshalls the defence so well. Livramento has obviously been ear marked for special treatment by the opposition, as he is now closed down far quicker than earlier in the season. Just part of the learning process he will go through..still played well.

 

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2 hours ago, whelk said:

May have been discussed earlier in the thread but what the fuck can a manager scribble down that all the Villa players were reading?

 

I wondered that as well. It was first half so if it was tactical it didn't work.
Can only gues it was "buck your fucking ideas up or I'm having your balls at half time"
or
"Tell the ref there's another £500 in it for him if El Ghazi stays on till half time"

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1 hour ago, Mr Saints said:

The second half was a proper battle and we hung in there really well, last season I think we would have crumbled. I’ve been critical of Ralph but he was spot on last night, reacted quickly with Lyanco and the formation switch. Great stuff.

Yep, there's a marked difference this season to last. Likewise, if Villa had rightly gone down to 10 before halftime last night then I think we'd have gone on and hammered them, last season it would have just stagnated in the middle of the park.

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50 minutes ago, Billy the Kidd said:

I like borscht. My wife is Russian (technically not a Russian dish), and her mum makes a lovely one when we go to visit (Burgess Hill, not Russia).

I always thought there was a (slightly) boring debate on it being Polish or Ukrainian.

I had it in a restaurant in Latvia once and the waiter there said it was Ukrainian. On the other hand I had a Polish ex. Girlfriend and whenever we went to visit her mother in Łódź, she made it as a ‘traditional Polish’ dish. On the other hand that whole Polish/Lithuanian dynasty once incorporated large parts of western Ukraine around Lviv, so you could argue either is true.

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The first half was excellent, but once again we struggled to create clear cut opportunities for the likes of Armstrong and Adams. Armstrong's finish was class, but you wouldn't count that as a clear cut opportunity - it was a speculative effort which he took superbly, so I still want to see more from the 10's in terms of creating. We had all the game, we controlled the middle of the park with ease...but none of that matters if we don't get enough goals, as teams always come back into the game.

...As we saw in the 2nd half. It was inventible that they'd get better and we were certainly pinned back at the start of the second half, at a point it was relentless and it didn't look sustainable - so Ralph changed it. From that moment on, we still didn't regain full control...but we snuffed out Norwich and nullified their tactical changes they made at HT, so from there on in it was a bit huff and puff and Villa struggled to get in behind like they were.

We still had a decent chance in the 2nd half too, with Adams header...but it was a decent save by their keeper.

Overall it was very positive in the fact that we kept a clean sheet, we weathered the storm and we have it about us to change our approach when it was clear we were being outnumbered - that's a massive positive for me.

MOTM for me was JWP, Salisu not far behind...but he needs to cut out those sloppy blind back passes. He didn't even look before he passed back on a couple of occasions, he's got a casual way about his game that needs to be coached out slightly as everything else is top notch.

Great run of form though, we needed this. We had a shitty start in terms of the teams we played but even in those games I always felt we were competitive (Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City, WHU etc). The only downer was probably Wolves at home...but overall, based on the fixtures we've had....you cannot now argue with our start, it's very solid.

Edited by S-Clarke
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2 minutes ago, S-Clarke said:

The first half was excellent, but once again we struggled to create clear cut opportunities for the likes of Armstrong and Adams. Armstrong's finish was class, but you wouldn't count that as a clear cut opportunity - it was a speculative effort which he took superbly, so I still want to see more from the 10's in terms of creating. We had all the game, we controlled the middle of the park with ease...but none of that matters if we don't get enough goals, as teams always come back into the game.

...As we saw in the 2nd half. It was inventible that they'd get better and we were certainly pinned back at the start of the second half, at a point it was relentless and it didn't look sustainable - so Ralph changed it. From that moment on, we still didn't regain full control...but we snuffed out Norwich and nullified their tactical changes they made at HT, so from there on in it was a bit huff and puff and Norwich struggled to get in behind like they were.

We still had a decent chance in the 2nd half too, with Adams header...but it was a decent save by their keeper.

Overall it was very positive in the fact that we kept a clean sheet, we weathered the storm and we have it about us to change our approach when it was clear we were being outnumbered - that's a massive positive for me.

MOTM for me was JWP, Salisu not far behind...but he needs to cut out those sloppy blind back passes. He didn't even look before he passed back on a couple of occasions, he's got a casual way about his game that needs to be coached out slightly as everything else is to notch.

Great run of form though, we needed this. We had a shitty start in terms of the teams we played but even in those games I always felt we were competitive (Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City, WHU etc). The only downer was probably Wolves at home...but overall, based on the fixtures we've had....you cannot now argue with our start, it's very solid.

Good post but we played Villa 😉

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Result - great first half, nervy second - thought we took too long to adjust to Villa's tactical change, although they were always going to improve second half.

Couple of things I would have liked to see was bringing on Peraud second half to see if his left footed crossing would have had more impact (KWP was great but didn't trust his left foot) and alternating corner taking - JWP was too predictable and not that great last night, we saw previously with Redders that we looked more dangerous. Just try someone else once in every 3 corners to keep the opposition guessing.

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Excellent first half, should have scored more and killed them off as they were not at the races. S.Armstrongs miss at the back post was awful for a player of his quality, if that had been a centre-back there you'd be annoyed but it would be understandable, hopefully just lack of match sharpness. 

Great to see JWP back to more his best, he's been sluggish and a little bit off so far this season, but it almost looks like his enforced break did him good, he was everywhere, even still pressing hard in the 97th minute, he was intercepting, he battling well and his passing was a lot more progressive when it needed to be and he was even popping up in positions to get some shots which I feel he hasn't done for a while and produced a shot almost as sweet as Armstrong's for the goal that produced a great save from Martinez. 

We just need to be sharper in the final third still, I think we have decent strikers who will score, we just need to get them a few more chances. Like 2nd half Elyounoussi drove forward on the counter and just held on to the ball too long, when he had the strikers running through, one of which would have led to a clear 1v1 for Armstrong, just feel that is what is lacking from our number 10s, they work hard, are good runners with the ball and can take a man on but they lack that vision and composure just to slide a ball through with good weight. You have to wonder had Ralph come earlier what he could have done with someone like Tadic and he might have re-invigorated him.

Fair play to Ralph though for the changes, they started humping it with some physical guys forward and he reacted, I thought all 3 centre-backs had excellent games, Lyanco had one little rush of blood to the head charging forward to try to win it and then leaving space behind but hopefully that is something he'll learn you just can't do in the PL, the game is too quick. Aside from that I thought he brought some aggression, aerial prowess and some pressure breaking passes and bringing the ball out of defence, he has abilities that the other two don't have. Salisu was were good overall, bullied their players to be honest but maybe a little laid back at times and Bednerak just quietly and efficiently did his job. 

KWP was very good too, caused them all sorts of problems but you do wonder whether a left footed player might have created more chances with that space. 

You kind of see the media talking that Villa deserved a point, but I didn't really see that. We dominated the first half completely, they created very little even in their little spell after half time and the better chances/moments in the 2nd half were still created by us, Adams produced another great save from Martinez, Armstrong broke through and Tuanzebe cleared him out, getting a yellow with an argument that could have been red as I seriously doubt Targett is catching Armstrong at all. Plus as mentioned Moi just had to slip a ball through to Armstrong and he was free and clear on goal. Plus they should have played like 60 minutes with 10 men, though overall we deserved to win.

One final minor criticism, McCarthy's kicking is utter crap and creates some nervous moments. 

We look very hard beat, massive improvements defensively and we have good squad depth to keep up the work rate up for longer to hold on to leads, we look like a very annoying team to play against, just feel we need to create a few more chances to have a comfortable season. I think if we can do that and the strikers get on a run we could easily be looking top half maybe pushing higher, but if not I think we will be in the flirting with danger but probably ok sort of 12-15th range. 

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We are playing some good stuff, one day we might win by more than a goal, stress levels through the roof again. All credit to Ralph and the team. He's rebuilt some stability and confidence in the defence, but if we stay solid we can pick up enough points. I would say we could do with a striker like Ings but he's injured, wishing him well in a relegation battle.

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10 hours ago, CylonKing said:

The big problem I have is the faff with throw ins, corners and free kicks. We....are....so....slow....at....taking....yawn.... I've bored myself now. Just hurry it up. Once they are in position, you are unlikely to score. Get on with it. Rather 2-0 than watching you lot handing a ball back and forth to build up 7 mins of injury time.

This is 100% a new, deliberate tactic of ours this season to slow games down. We have lost way too many points from winning positions not to try something new. It also means that we can get more rest in between our effort to press. 

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1 hour ago, Lighthouse said:

I had it in a restaurant in Latvia once and the waiter there said it was Ukrainian. On the other hand I had a Polish ex. Girlfriend and whenever we went to visit her mother in Łódź, she made it as a ‘traditional Polish’ dish. On the other hand that whole Polish/Lithuanian dynasty once incorporated large parts of western Ukraine around Lviv, so you could argue either is true.

Yeah, i thought it was from their history together. And lets face it that part fo the world has been so interlinked who know what is what.

Tasty wherever you got though.

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3 hours ago, bpsaint said:

I’ve been critical of him in the past but you’ve gotta laugh, last season Ralph was fairly getting pelters for not being quick enough to make subs or change formation when the tide was starting to turn, then last night he does exactly like that by bringing on Lyanco and apparently it’s a negative substitution and the wrong decision.

Poor guy can’t win.

He did win. It's the type of decision that's only right if we go on to win. Dangerous strategy but we held out and McCarthy didn't have to make a save. No one enjoys watching it and it's horrible having a second half feel about 3 hours long, but it worked so good for him. 

I'm all for Diallo coming on and changing midfield shape to alter the game. Switching to a 3 or 5 at the back is Ralph's call and it's definitely positive that he's being more proactive rather than sitting back and watching. 

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