Why Pochettino has to manage fans' great expectations

Daily Echo: Mauricio Pochettino Mauricio Pochettino

COME on, then, hands up.

If told back in early August that Saints would be ninth in the Premier League going into Christmas Day, how many of you would have been unhappy with that news?

Bearing in mind that last Christmas, Saints didn’t give you their heart only to take it away the very next day, they went into December 25 fourth bottom and very much involved in the relegation dogfight.

This year, Saints have saved you from tears – well, until recently – and are currently 11 points off the drop zone.

Almost certainly, they will be in the Premier League for a third successive season in 2014/15, banking those mega millions as a result.

So, good news, eh?

Well, it doesn’t really seem that way at the moment, does it?

Saints head into Christmas Day having banked just two points from six games – the worst run Mauricio Pochettino has overseen since his arrival 11 months ago.

Granted, some of those six games are among the hardest in the top flight – Arsenal and Chelse away.

In addition, they also faced a free-scoring Manchester City side and a Newcastle team enjoying a good run.

So, why the long faces that accompanied Sunday’s 3-2 home loss to Tottenham, a side who – lest we forget – went into the game above Saints in the table?

It’s not as if Saints lost at home to Crystal Palace or Fulham, is it?

And, it’s very much worth remembering, only three years ago Saints went into Christmas having just lost at home to Brentford in the third division.

That is how far Saints have travelled in a short space of time.

But still ....

... there remains a nagging feeling of doubt starting to creep in among some supporters.

Just over a month ago, Saints were sitting very pretty in third place, just a couple of points off top spot.

Could it really be that Pochettino was some kind of current day footballing alchemist?

With just a couple of astute additions to the squad that finished 14th last season, could he transform Saints from relegation candidates to European Champions League possibles?

For a few weeks, the league table allowed fans to dream.

And why not? When your club has teetered on the brink of obscurity in modern times, you are allowed to believe.

The last six games, though, have had the same impact as a bucket of freezing cold water being thrown over you.

As injuries have started to bite deeply into what is not a large squad, Saints’ top-four ambitions have been exposed.

Why, in the last week or so even Manchester United have climbed above them in the table!!

Pochettino out!!

Of course I jest.

To many, the events of the last month or so have come as little surprise.

Pochettino’s first choice team could well be a top-ten side.

Behind that, though, Saints have players good enough to star in a Championship promotion side, but not necessarily of sufficient quality to maintain that top-ten position.

That is the way of football.

Certain players are good enough to get you to a certain level. After that, better players need to come in.

The likes of Jos Hooiveld and Danny Fox almost certainly fall into that category if your ambitions lie in the top half of the Premier League.

Behind them, Paolo Gazzaniga has come in for criticism recently, but he is a young lad with less than 20 Premier League games to his name.

It has been unfair to expose him, and he needs to come out of the firing line.

But Saints have no-one else at the moment unless you want an even younger and more inexperienced keeper (Cody Cropper) to have faced the might of Manchester City et al.

You could argue that Pochettino has been unlucky to be hit with a spate of injuries all at once.

But that is also the way of football.

You could equally argue that Saints were handed one of the kindest starts to a top flight season you could wish to have, and went on to make the most of it.

The next few weeks will be intriguing as the transfer window opens.

Having splashed out the best part of £70m in a year and a half, this is by far and away the most expensive Saints squad in history.

But this is the richest English top flight in history, and no one should be under any doubt that Nicola Cortese needs to write more big cheques if he wants his ambitious plans for the club to materialise.

For a club like Saints to finish mid-table in the Premier League, just a few years after being in the third division, is a massive achievement.

Never forget that.

Having had a taste of the top four, though, raises expectations.

Mauricio Pochettino now has to manage those expectations, as well as an injury-depleted squad ...

Comments (27)

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8:19am Tue 24 Dec 13

Sally Hamilton Original says...

If we don't strengthen we will finish mid table, which at least is consolodating. If we want to finish higher we need to strengthen. Simple as that
If we don't strengthen we will finish mid table, which at least is consolodating. If we want to finish higher we need to strengthen. Simple as that Sally Hamilton Original

8:19am Tue 24 Dec 13

Portswood Pete says...

Not sure we made the most of an easy start, drawing with Sunderland & West Ham and losing to Norwich was not a good start. Got to say though other than those we did well, we could've been top had we won those games.
Not sure we made the most of an easy start, drawing with Sunderland & West Ham and losing to Norwich was not a good start. Got to say though other than those we did well, we could've been top had we won those games. Portswood Pete

8:50am Tue 24 Dec 13

batesieboy says...

I put my hands up to feeling slightly deflated. A little like at the end of last season. Saints were in a position to really push on during the last six games or so of last season. Saints had just beaten Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea. But a failure to win very winnable games let the season end like a damp squib. Same has happened in the last six games so far this season. We need to really come out of this mini-slump. Apart from maybe beating Liverpool away, we haven't really done anything outstanding...we were easily capable of a top ten finish last season. So that would not really show much progress, in my humble opinion. (Head down behind the parapets now for expressing it!)
I put my hands up to feeling slightly deflated. A little like at the end of last season. Saints were in a position to really push on during the last six games or so of last season. Saints had just beaten Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea. But a failure to win very winnable games let the season end like a damp squib. Same has happened in the last six games so far this season. We need to really come out of this mini-slump. Apart from maybe beating Liverpool away, we haven't really done anything outstanding...we were easily capable of a top ten finish last season. So that would not really show much progress, in my humble opinion. (Head down behind the parapets now for expressing it!) batesieboy

8:52am Tue 24 Dec 13

Tirau Dan says...

When Dejan and Vic were added I thought 8-6 may be possible but if we added a top striker we could make Europe as per SFC objective. The striker was added and we all hope he'll show us more than glimpses. The injuries came and the leaks were sprung.. our fans each have a baler in the voice and every chorus of OWTS pumps the water out and keeps the lads buoyant.
There is nothing to panic about, we will finish upper mid table with no additions. Add ons always take time to settle especially if they aren't fit enough for our game. If we did finish mid.. I will always remember the joy of being up there briefly and will fondly remember some of the best passing football the club has ever produced.. But I hold faith with the squad as is and believe in their ability to get through and finish high.
It's Christmas eve in NZ, corny movie on the box and grand kids pressies are wrapped and ready for lunch tomorrow.. Can't wait to see their glow and you know what? I feel that way every time I think of SFC, Markus, his family and Nicola.. Merry Christmas everyone.. COYR
When Dejan and Vic were added I thought 8-6 may be possible but if we added a top striker we could make Europe as per SFC objective. The striker was added and we all hope he'll show us more than glimpses. The injuries came and the leaks were sprung.. our fans each have a baler in the voice and every chorus of OWTS pumps the water out and keeps the lads buoyant. There is nothing to panic about, we will finish upper mid table with no additions. Add ons always take time to settle especially if they aren't fit enough for our game. If we did finish mid.. I will always remember the joy of being up there briefly and will fondly remember some of the best passing football the club has ever produced.. But I hold faith with the squad as is and believe in their ability to get through and finish high. It's Christmas eve in NZ, corny movie on the box and grand kids pressies are wrapped and ready for lunch tomorrow.. Can't wait to see their glow and you know what? I feel that way every time I think of SFC, Markus, his family and Nicola.. Merry Christmas everyone.. COYR Tirau Dan

9:08am Tue 24 Dec 13

Buddy SFC says...

Simple fact , 5 of the defensive 7 were out on Sunday including fielding a third choice keeper ..............

Top 10 good result , top 8 stunning .......... we need some luck on the injury front and everyone to get together to help pull them on for the rest of the season !

I have watched some stunning football this year and with the right players back including Jose and Luke we will bounce back. As for January yes we need more strength in depth but that is hard to find in this window, look at Forren. We should continue developing the 'Southampton Way' and with us all getting behind team , manager and 'The Don' .......... Great years ahead !
Simple fact , 5 of the defensive 7 were out on Sunday including fielding a third choice keeper .............. Top 10 good result , top 8 stunning .......... we need some luck on the injury front and everyone to get together to help pull them on for the rest of the season ! I have watched some stunning football this year and with the right players back including Jose and Luke we will bounce back. As for January yes we need more strength in depth but that is hard to find in this window, look at Forren. We should continue developing the 'Southampton Way' and with us all getting behind team , manager and 'The Don' .......... Great years ahead ! Buddy SFC

9:15am Tue 24 Dec 13

Seedhouse the Unrepentant says...

I must confess when we were riding high I didn't think we were capable of such a poor run of results, 2 from 18 is awful. What was worrying about the Spurs game was that we failed to beat a poor side and deserved to lose, not so in the other games. Arsenal should have been 0-0 but for a moment of madness by Boruc. Chelsea bar 20 mins did not dominate us, Man City admitted to being delighted with a point, Newcastle should have been a win but for a defensive error and Villa was a freak result - 22 shots against 3. But against Spurs we were crap.
I must confess when we were riding high I didn't think we were capable of such a poor run of results, 2 from 18 is awful. What was worrying about the Spurs game was that we failed to beat a poor side and deserved to lose, not so in the other games. Arsenal should have been 0-0 but for a moment of madness by Boruc. Chelsea bar 20 mins did not dominate us, Man City admitted to being delighted with a point, Newcastle should have been a win but for a defensive error and Villa was a freak result - 22 shots against 3. But against Spurs we were crap. Seedhouse the Unrepentant

9:23am Tue 24 Dec 13

Stroppy_gramps says...

Personally I'm quite relaxed about the whole thing.

Top ten at Christmas is fine by me.
Personally I'm quite relaxed about the whole thing. Top ten at Christmas is fine by me. Stroppy_gramps

9:23am Tue 24 Dec 13

Barney123 says...

Not sure what to make of this article. Starts off on a good footing and well structured but ends up being some kind of diatribe of the Sports Editor's thoughts. Did he run out of time to write this before signing off for Christmas? Pleased I haven't paid to read this!
Not sure what to make of this article. Starts off on a good footing and well structured but ends up being some kind of diatribe of the Sports Editor's thoughts. Did he run out of time to write this before signing off for Christmas? Pleased I haven't paid to read this! Barney123

9:54am Tue 24 Dec 13

andoru says...

Personally, I won't accept anything less than winning the Champions League title this season.
Personally, I won't accept anything less than winning the Champions League title this season. andoru

10:04am Tue 24 Dec 13

rossofficial10 says...

Sally Hamilton Original wrote:
If we don't strengthen we will finish mid table, which at least is consolodating. If we want to finish higher we need to strengthen. Simple as that
spot on
[quote][p][bold]Sally Hamilton Original[/bold] wrote: If we don't strengthen we will finish mid table, which at least is consolodating. If we want to finish higher we need to strengthen. Simple as that[/p][/quote]spot on rossofficial10

10:12am Tue 24 Dec 13

REDARMYRULETHESOUTH says...

AT LAST some reality written about the current situation - instead of the usual we have strength in depth because of the Saints Academy ... blah blah

The Article rightly highlights that Danny Fox and the Hoover are NOT PREMIER LEAGUE.

Where it does not go far enough with the HANDS UP POLICY is highlight the debacle of the Goalkeeping situation at SFC. We have only ARTUR BORAC who is any good at this level and if he gets injured again - we are in trouble. WE HAVE NO BACK UP OR PLAN B. Having Kelvin on the books distorts the reality - he is not good enough - can you remember FULHAM AWAY last year and the soft goal he gave them and the battle we had just to secure a point.

KELVIN and GAZZA are GOAL LEAKERS. (FACT)

THAT SAID I TRAVEL TO CARDIFF AWAY AND WOULD WARMLY SUPPORT KELVIN. (He is a good shot stopper rather than Gazza's record of 6 shots on Target vs Villa and Spurs - 6 goals let in)

THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE - I WISH ECHO AND THE CLUB WOULD FRONT UP TO THIS AND SFC STRENGTHEN AT THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY.

Kelvin needs a good Defence in front of him and we need Jose (we have no better at the moment) CLYNE AND SHAW ASAP.

WE HAVE DONE WELL THIS SEASON AND TO SECURE TOP HALF OF THE TABLE IS REALISTIC.

WE ARE THE MIGHTY SOUTHAMPTON.

TO CARDIFF - FOR A RESULT.

RED ARMY 2013 - FIGHT AND WIN.
COYR.

P.S. WE HATE POMPEY
P.P.S MERRY XMAS
AT LAST some reality written about the current situation - instead of the usual we have strength in depth because of the Saints Academy ... blah blah The Article rightly highlights that Danny Fox and the Hoover are NOT PREMIER LEAGUE. Where it does not go far enough with the HANDS UP POLICY is highlight the debacle of the Goalkeeping situation at SFC. We have only ARTUR BORAC who is any good at this level and if he gets injured again - we are in trouble. WE HAVE NO BACK UP OR PLAN B. Having Kelvin on the books distorts the reality - he is not good enough - can you remember FULHAM AWAY last year and the soft goal he gave them and the battle we had just to secure a point. KELVIN and GAZZA are GOAL LEAKERS. (FACT) THAT SAID I TRAVEL TO CARDIFF AWAY AND WOULD WARMLY SUPPORT KELVIN. (He is a good shot stopper rather than Gazza's record of 6 shots on Target vs Villa and Spurs - 6 goals let in) THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE - I WISH ECHO AND THE CLUB WOULD FRONT UP TO THIS AND SFC STRENGTHEN AT THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY. Kelvin needs a good Defence in front of him and we need Jose (we have no better at the moment) CLYNE AND SHAW ASAP. WE HAVE DONE WELL THIS SEASON AND TO SECURE TOP HALF OF THE TABLE IS REALISTIC. WE ARE THE MIGHTY SOUTHAMPTON. TO CARDIFF - FOR A RESULT. RED ARMY 2013 - FIGHT AND WIN. COYR. P.S. WE HATE POMPEY P.P.S MERRY XMAS REDARMYRULETHESOUTH

10:12am Tue 24 Dec 13

Jesus_02 says...

This season has been awesome so far. I have believed that we could get a result at the beginning of EVERY match.

The lower leagues felt like this but I completely expected, that once we got back to the Premier League, I would find myself looking at the next 6 fixtures wondering where we might pick up points.

Everyone at saints still look like they are pulling in the same direction.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

COYRs
This season has been awesome so far. I have believed that we could get a result at the beginning of EVERY match. The lower leagues felt like this but I completely expected, that once we got back to the Premier League, I would find myself looking at the next 6 fixtures wondering where we might pick up points. Everyone at saints still look like they are pulling in the same direction. HAPPY CHRISTMAS COYRs Jesus_02

10:14am Tue 24 Dec 13

REDARMYRULETHESOUTH says...

rossofficial10 wrote:
Sally Hamilton Original wrote:
If we don't strengthen we will finish mid table, which at least is consolodating. If we want to finish higher we need to strengthen. Simple as that
spot on
AGREE AND ACCURATE ASSESSMENT.

COYR
[quote][p][bold]rossofficial10[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sally Hamilton Original[/bold] wrote: If we don't strengthen we will finish mid table, which at least is consolodating. If we want to finish higher we need to strengthen. Simple as that[/p][/quote]spot on[/p][/quote]AGREE AND ACCURATE ASSESSMENT. COYR REDARMYRULETHESOUTH

10:29am Tue 24 Dec 13

Saint. says...

DE as the club say " Our dream is real"

Please try and find a positive spin sometimes, no one really does not expect things to be plain sailing to the top!! Just going through a sticky patch with injuries and having to deal with games with slightly weaker players at times. That's football! MP is still developing a team in his mould in terms of personnel! He still got NA players good / average as they are! Along with that he bringing youth into the team, and not one has really let us down!
Yes spuds saw the weak side of Hoo and Fox and went for it all the time! But spuds was not all that really!! We gifted them the game, and it spuds bandwagon who is making it a better deal than it really was! MP was brilliant bringing on Gallagher in the end like that! Would NA? No way!!
DE you too easily over look the fact that nearly every manager in this league have sung our praises! Many media too! Nearly all to a T has said we are the best playing side in the league! We have played nearly every team off the park, and the ones we lost, we lost, but we still out played many of them! So wake up DE the future bright......very bright, the future is red and white!

To all Southampton FC fans, MP and back staff, Southampton FC players, and most of all NC, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
DE as the club say " Our dream is real" Please try and find a positive spin sometimes, no one really does not expect things to be plain sailing to the top!! Just going through a sticky patch with injuries and having to deal with games with slightly weaker players at times. That's football! MP is still developing a team in his mould in terms of personnel! He still got NA players good / average as they are! Along with that he bringing youth into the team, and not one has really let us down! Yes spuds saw the weak side of Hoo and Fox and went for it all the time! But spuds was not all that really!! We gifted them the game, and it spuds bandwagon who is making it a better deal than it really was! MP was brilliant bringing on Gallagher in the end like that! Would NA? No way!! DE you too easily over look the fact that nearly every manager in this league have sung our praises! Many media too! Nearly all to a T has said we are the best playing side in the league! We have played nearly every team off the park, and the ones we lost, we lost, but we still out played many of them! So wake up DE the future bright......very bright, the future is red and white! To all Southampton FC fans, MP and back staff, Southampton FC players, and most of all NC, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Saint.

10:52am Tue 24 Dec 13

saint christopher says...

Good, balanced article that does actually sum up the situation pretty well. We all got a bit carried away over the first 10 games and conveniently forgot that in the football garden things are not actually black and white but all manor of other colours - some very bright but others grey, pale and even sombre.

But you know what? It is that juxtaposition (not a word one sees on here every day) of colours that gives the picture interest and vitality. This season is going to be a right old mix - and we'll enjoy it all the more for it!

Happy Christmas all.
Good, balanced article that does actually sum up the situation pretty well. We all got a bit carried away over the first 10 games and conveniently forgot that in the football garden things are not actually black and white but all manor of other colours - some very bright but others grey, pale and even sombre. But you know what? It is that juxtaposition (not a word one sees on here every day) of colours that gives the picture interest and vitality. This season is going to be a right old mix - and we'll enjoy it all the more for it! Happy Christmas all. saint christopher

11:04am Tue 24 Dec 13

Epsom Saint says...

Good positive article Echo, well done. And I like a bit of Wham at Christmas!
Good positive article Echo, well done. And I like a bit of Wham at Christmas! Epsom Saint

11:12am Tue 24 Dec 13

Shrewdsaint says...

Happy with and proud of the team, the manager, the chairman, the fans and especially the academy lads. Not many fans of other teams can say that.
Happy with and proud of the team, the manager, the chairman, the fans and especially the academy lads. Not many fans of other teams can say that. Shrewdsaint

11:24am Tue 24 Dec 13

Southampton boy says...

We are not playing as we did at start of season we we're pressurise high up the park we have a couple of players not up to playing in the prem and if we are to finish in the top ten then we need a couple of players to strength the team in depth I understand we need to give the academy lads a go but we need to do this with balance. But with that said I think we can still finish in the top ten need to get points over Christmas like Cardiff 3 points Everton 1 point and a point at home to Chelsea that would a good Christmas so come lads heads up and let's do this COYR's
We are not playing as we did at start of season we we're pressurise high up the park we have a couple of players not up to playing in the prem and if we are to finish in the top ten then we need a couple of players to strength the team in depth I understand we need to give the academy lads a go but we need to do this with balance. But with that said I think we can still finish in the top ten need to get points over Christmas like Cardiff 3 points Everton 1 point and a point at home to Chelsea that would a good Christmas so come lads heads up and let's do this COYR's Southampton boy

11:50am Tue 24 Dec 13

Maine Lobster says...

The Premier League normally has one team every year that has a surprising start and sits higher than anyone would have expected. This year it is Saints. Unfortunately, now the injury issues have hit hard, the various first choice players not available has brought us down to earth and the results have dried up. The difference for the top sides is that they have strength and depth. Sadly, Saints don't have that and that has showed in the steady fall down the table. We should be OK with returning players, but we must strengthen or risk being dragged into a relegation fight if the rot sets in.
The Premier League normally has one team every year that has a surprising start and sits higher than anyone would have expected. This year it is Saints. Unfortunately, now the injury issues have hit hard, the various first choice players not available has brought us down to earth and the results have dried up. The difference for the top sides is that they have strength and depth. Sadly, Saints don't have that and that has showed in the steady fall down the table. We should be OK with returning players, but we must strengthen or risk being dragged into a relegation fight if the rot sets in. Maine Lobster

12:17pm Tue 24 Dec 13

el caballo santos101 says...

the game against spuds was the first game this season that I thought we might not get a result. seeing our team sheet wasn't the only thing that made me think like that, spuds sacking another manager the week before and then seeing that adebayor was picked for the spuds, we all know how he was treated by AVB and he had a point to prove. our players didn't help and gifted them chances.
Cardiff is winnable and I think we have too much for them, even though we are missing some important players. lets go out there and give them hell! our travelling support will be as loud as ever and will show the welsh how to sing.
9th at Christmas i great and we all hope we can get our players fit and healthy and the team back to its best, if we do we will soon be back climbing the league.
merry Christmas to all saints fans around the world.
the game against spuds was the first game this season that I thought we might not get a result. seeing our team sheet wasn't the only thing that made me think like that, spuds sacking another manager the week before and then seeing that adebayor was picked for the spuds, we all know how he was treated by AVB and he had a point to prove. our players didn't help and gifted them chances. Cardiff is winnable and I think we have too much for them, even though we are missing some important players. lets go out there and give them hell! our travelling support will be as loud as ever and will show the welsh how to sing. 9th at Christmas i great and we all hope we can get our players fit and healthy and the team back to its best, if we do we will soon be back climbing the league. merry Christmas to all saints fans around the world. el caballo santos101

12:35pm Tue 24 Dec 13

Velleity says...

One good thing about this season: With the exception of the Wet Spam game every single one has been exciting. Maybe not all in the way we've wanted but still all worth watching.
One good thing about this season: With the exception of the Wet Spam game every single one has been exciting. Maybe not all in the way we've wanted but still all worth watching. Velleity

6:36pm Tue 24 Dec 13

st1halo says...

Maine Lobster wrote:
The Premier League normally has one team every year that has a surprising start and sits higher than anyone would have expected. This year it is Saints. Unfortunately, now the injury issues have hit hard, the various first choice players not available has brought us down to earth and the results have dried up. The difference for the top sides is that they have strength and depth. Sadly, Saints don't have that and that has showed in the steady fall down the table. We should be OK with returning players, but we must strengthen or risk being dragged into a relegation fight if the rot sets in.
I don't really agree with what you're saying here as you make it sound like our success so far is accidental. Neither do I beleve that strength in depth is necessarily the true issue. I'm quite sure that if you went to all the top teams and took out the (first choice) central defensive midfielder, three out of four of the back line and the goalkeeper, they would all struggle. It's easy to presume we have no depth but if, say, Fonte was the only injury and we replaced him with Hoov in our usual backline it wouldn't be a problem, only a slight weakening of the team. Our problem has been the proliferation of injuries to our defence, in fact all of our defence bar Lovren, in a short period of time. Very unusual and something few, if any teams would be able to deal with.

STID
[quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: The Premier League normally has one team every year that has a surprising start and sits higher than anyone would have expected. This year it is Saints. Unfortunately, now the injury issues have hit hard, the various first choice players not available has brought us down to earth and the results have dried up. The difference for the top sides is that they have strength and depth. Sadly, Saints don't have that and that has showed in the steady fall down the table. We should be OK with returning players, but we must strengthen or risk being dragged into a relegation fight if the rot sets in.[/p][/quote]I don't really agree with what you're saying here as you make it sound like our success so far is accidental. Neither do I beleve that strength in depth is necessarily the true issue. I'm quite sure that if you went to all the top teams and took out the (first choice) central defensive midfielder, three out of four of the back line and the goalkeeper, they would all struggle. It's easy to presume we have no depth but if, say, Fonte was the only injury and we replaced him with Hoov in our usual backline it wouldn't be a problem, only a slight weakening of the team. Our problem has been the proliferation of injuries to our defence, in fact all of our defence bar Lovren, in a short period of time. Very unusual and something few, if any teams would be able to deal with. STID st1halo

6:56pm Tue 24 Dec 13

saintbobby says...

REDARMYRULETHESOUTH wrote:
AT LAST some reality written about the current situation - instead of the usual we have strength in depth because of the Saints Academy ... blah blah

The Article rightly highlights that Danny Fox and the Hoover are NOT PREMIER LEAGUE.

Where it does not go far enough with the HANDS UP POLICY is highlight the debacle of the Goalkeeping situation at SFC. We have only ARTUR BORAC who is any good at this level and if he gets injured again - we are in trouble. WE HAVE NO BACK UP OR PLAN B. Having Kelvin on the books distorts the reality - he is not good enough - can you remember FULHAM AWAY last year and the soft goal he gave them and the battle we had just to secure a point.

KELVIN and GAZZA are GOAL LEAKERS. (FACT)

THAT SAID I TRAVEL TO CARDIFF AWAY AND WOULD WARMLY SUPPORT KELVIN. (He is a good shot stopper rather than Gazza's record of 6 shots on Target vs Villa and Spurs - 6 goals let in)

THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE - I WISH ECHO AND THE CLUB WOULD FRONT UP TO THIS AND SFC STRENGTHEN AT THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY.

Kelvin needs a good Defence in front of him and we need Jose (we have no better at the moment) CLYNE AND SHAW ASAP.

WE HAVE DONE WELL THIS SEASON AND TO SECURE TOP HALF OF THE TABLE IS REALISTIC.

WE ARE THE MIGHTY SOUTHAMPTON.

TO CARDIFF - FOR A RESULT.

RED ARMY 2013 - FIGHT AND WIN.
COYR.

P.S. WE HATE POMPEY
P.P.S MERRY XMAS
You know REDARMY, others have said this very true assessment of the situation and for some silly reason get lots of thumbs downs from the illerati or rose-tinted glasses brigade.

Anyone who does not think the club has done amazingly over the last 3 seasons would be nuts - even if they exist at all.

But, but - has anyone kept a note of the statistics of all our games. If my memory serves me right, time after time they show we have achieved a higher percentage of POSSESION in so many games, I am sure the majority. But, again, we have not won the games for the obvious reason that we didn't score enough goals. Now we still are not scoring enough and worse still are now conceding too many. Obvious result is points are being lost.

Injuries are really bad luck, but it happens and as others have said we do not have the depth required.

The 3 positions all are highlighting need strengthening are really a valid assessment. I fear if we do not get them a top 10 may be difficult.

Up the Saints, forever!,
[quote][p][bold]REDARMYRULETHESOUTH[/bold] wrote: AT LAST some reality written about the current situation - instead of the usual we have strength in depth because of the Saints Academy ... blah blah The Article rightly highlights that Danny Fox and the Hoover are NOT PREMIER LEAGUE. Where it does not go far enough with the HANDS UP POLICY is highlight the debacle of the Goalkeeping situation at SFC. We have only ARTUR BORAC who is any good at this level and if he gets injured again - we are in trouble. WE HAVE NO BACK UP OR PLAN B. Having Kelvin on the books distorts the reality - he is not good enough - can you remember FULHAM AWAY last year and the soft goal he gave them and the battle we had just to secure a point. KELVIN and GAZZA are GOAL LEAKERS. (FACT) THAT SAID I TRAVEL TO CARDIFF AWAY AND WOULD WARMLY SUPPORT KELVIN. (He is a good shot stopper rather than Gazza's record of 6 shots on Target vs Villa and Spurs - 6 goals let in) THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE - I WISH ECHO AND THE CLUB WOULD FRONT UP TO THIS AND SFC STRENGTHEN AT THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY. Kelvin needs a good Defence in front of him and we need Jose (we have no better at the moment) CLYNE AND SHAW ASAP. WE HAVE DONE WELL THIS SEASON AND TO SECURE TOP HALF OF THE TABLE IS REALISTIC. WE ARE THE MIGHTY SOUTHAMPTON. TO CARDIFF - FOR A RESULT. RED ARMY 2013 - FIGHT AND WIN. COYR. P.S. WE HATE POMPEY P.P.S MERRY XMAS[/p][/quote]You know REDARMY, others have said this very true assessment of the situation and for some silly reason get lots of thumbs downs from the illerati or rose-tinted glasses brigade. Anyone who does not think the club has done amazingly over the last 3 seasons would be nuts - even if they exist at all. But, but - has anyone kept a note of the statistics of all our games. If my memory serves me right, time after time they show we have achieved a higher percentage of POSSESION in so many games, I am sure the majority. But, again, we have not won the games for the obvious reason that we didn't score enough goals. Now we still are not scoring enough and worse still are now conceding too many. Obvious result is points are being lost. Injuries are really bad luck, but it happens and as others have said we do not have the depth required. The 3 positions all are highlighting need strengthening are really a valid assessment. I fear if we do not get them a top 10 may be difficult. Up the Saints, forever!, saintbobby

11:11pm Tue 24 Dec 13

bluewhiteandred says...

happy xmas
happy xmas bluewhiteandred

2:17am Wed 25 Dec 13

hedge end bob says...

st1halo wrote:
Maine Lobster wrote: The Premier League normally has one team every year that has a surprising start and sits higher than anyone would have expected. This year it is Saints. Unfortunately, now the injury issues have hit hard, the various first choice players not available has brought us down to earth and the results have dried up. The difference for the top sides is that they have strength and depth. Sadly, Saints don't have that and that has showed in the steady fall down the table. We should be OK with returning players, but we must strengthen or risk being dragged into a relegation fight if the rot sets in.
I don't really agree with what you're saying here as you make it sound like our success so far is accidental. Neither do I beleve that strength in depth is necessarily the true issue. I'm quite sure that if you went to all the top teams and took out the (first choice) central defensive midfielder, three out of four of the back line and the goalkeeper, they would all struggle. It's easy to presume we have no depth but if, say, Fonte was the only injury and we replaced him with Hoov in our usual backline it wouldn't be a problem, only a slight weakening of the team. Our problem has been the proliferation of injuries to our defence, in fact all of our defence bar Lovren, in a short period of time. Very unusual and something few, if any teams would be able to deal with. STID
I agree with what you are saying but, most of the other clubs in this league have premiership players as back up, even though they may be poor prem players. Our club in my years of support(62 YEARS) have NEVER spent so much money in such short space off time and therefore raise the expectation levels so high that they can not be gained with our present squad. We now have too thank those players for helping our club up where we are today but, they will not take our club up to the next level. NIGEL was quickly shown the door for this reason and it was the right move as we can all now see but maybe not at the time when it happened.
I love my club and will support it until i can not any longer. MAYBE at times i sound as if i don't suport them 100% but i always will.
Sunday's game was a wake up cal fo me and a few others just like myself . That dont mean too say we have stopped supporting the club. We are the best club in the world and the only club shirt i wan't to wear.
[quote][p][bold]st1halo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: The Premier League normally has one team every year that has a surprising start and sits higher than anyone would have expected. This year it is Saints. Unfortunately, now the injury issues have hit hard, the various first choice players not available has brought us down to earth and the results have dried up. The difference for the top sides is that they have strength and depth. Sadly, Saints don't have that and that has showed in the steady fall down the table. We should be OK with returning players, but we must strengthen or risk being dragged into a relegation fight if the rot sets in.[/p][/quote]I don't really agree with what you're saying here as you make it sound like our success so far is accidental. Neither do I beleve that strength in depth is necessarily the true issue. I'm quite sure that if you went to all the top teams and took out the (first choice) central defensive midfielder, three out of four of the back line and the goalkeeper, they would all struggle. It's easy to presume we have no depth but if, say, Fonte was the only injury and we replaced him with Hoov in our usual backline it wouldn't be a problem, only a slight weakening of the team. Our problem has been the proliferation of injuries to our defence, in fact all of our defence bar Lovren, in a short period of time. Very unusual and something few, if any teams would be able to deal with. STID[/p][/quote]I agree with what you are saying but, most of the other clubs in this league have premiership players as back up, even though they may be poor prem players. Our club in my years of support(62 YEARS) have NEVER spent so much money in such short space off time and therefore raise the expectation levels so high that they can not be gained with our present squad. We now have too thank those players for helping our club up where we are today but, they will not take our club up to the next level. NIGEL was quickly shown the door for this reason and it was the right move as we can all now see but maybe not at the time when it happened. I love my club and will support it until i can not any longer. MAYBE at times i sound as if i don't suport them 100% but i always will. Sunday's game was a wake up cal fo me and a few others just like myself . That dont mean too say we have stopped supporting the club. We are the best club in the world and the only club shirt i wan't to wear. hedge end bob

7:44am Thu 26 Dec 13

SiamSaint says...

I think Simon has been dipping into the egg-nog. Don;t blame the fans for unrealistic expectations. It was MoPo himself who talked up Europe, called his team amazing, said there were no limits.. or was that just they way you interpreted him? What the club has accomplished is little short of miraculous (although our displays against Norwich, Sunderland, Wet Spam and Swansea were forgettable this season). It's the players that deserve great credit for keeping their heads down and getting on with it. Fans can and must be allowed to criticise - it costs money to support a team and criticism is part of passion.
I think Simon has been dipping into the egg-nog. Don;t blame the fans for unrealistic expectations. It was MoPo himself who talked up Europe, called his team amazing, said there were no limits.. or was that just they way you interpreted him? What the club has accomplished is little short of miraculous (although our displays against Norwich, Sunderland, Wet Spam and Swansea were forgettable this season). It's the players that deserve great credit for keeping their heads down and getting on with it. Fans can and must be allowed to criticise - it costs money to support a team and criticism is part of passion. SiamSaint

3:58am Sun 29 Dec 13

davokin says...

As a saints supporter for more than 40 years .I find the hatred and cretinous ranting against pompey in so many letters is embarrassing to many sfc fans .Do these peanut brains who write such vitriol get a kick from sending this nonsense week after week. Advice get a life you dopey lot.
As a saints supporter for more than 40 years .I find the hatred and cretinous ranting against pompey in so many letters is embarrassing to many sfc fans .Do these peanut brains who write such vitriol get a kick from sending this nonsense week after week. Advice get a life you dopey lot. davokin

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