Defeat can't mask Saints progress under Pochettino

Daily Echo: Mauricio Pochettino Mauricio Pochettino

THAT Saints were disappointed with a narrow defeat at Everton shows just how far they have come in 2013.

It is 11 months since Mauricio Pochettino’s reign began with a relatively nondescript goalless draw against the same opponents at St Mary’s.

But as 2013 ends with Saints ensconced in the top half of the Premier League, despite yesterday’s result, Pochettino can be very proud of what he has achieved so far.

Everton’s motto – Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, meaning Only the Best is Good Enough – is writ large around Goodison Park but could just as easily apply to Pochettino and his players.

For Saints these days, a 2-1 defeat away to a very handy Everton side is not good enough – by their high standards. But despite ending the year with one win in their last eight games, there is plenty of cause for optimism going into 2014 – for Saints as well as Everton.

In many ways, Everton are Saints’ northern cousins, for the similarities between the clubs do not end with the Merseyside club’s Latin motto.

Both have young, upwardly mobile managers doing a fantastic job in Pochettino and Roberto Martinez.

It is their ability to bring through and nurture top English talent that binds them.

Their creative players stood out yesterday.

Lallana and Barkley make for a particularly interesting comparison as they could well be on the same plane to Brazil at the end of the season.

Barkley is a formidable specimen.

There are shades of Wayne Rooney in his determination to influence games at such a young age (he was still a teenager until a few weeks ago).

While Lallana cuts a much slighter figure than Barkley, who has the build of a middleweight boxer, his ability is just as impressive, if not more so, than his Everton counterpart.

Both will have been very disappointed not to have scored yesterday, each having missed the target.

As a boyhood Everton fan, a goal at Goodison Park would have capped a memorable week for Lallana, following his Christmas Eve wedding.

His Cruyff flick to put in Rickie Lambert yesterday was another perfect example of his wonderful ability to improvise.

Lambert was wrongly flagged offside, while Lallana put wide a gilt-edged chance of his own making after a clever flick from Rodriguez’s pass took him between Distin and Osman.

Barkley marred an impressive display by side-footing wide from eight yards out. But, like Lallana, his natural ability bodes well for the future of both his club and England in 2014.

Comments (19)

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7:15am Mon 30 Dec 13

St.henley says...

Umm I think mp has been at the club less than a year come on echo! Saints have been competing in the top flight for 15 months!
Umm I think mp has been at the club less than a year come on echo! Saints have been competing in the top flight for 15 months! St.henley

8:31am Mon 30 Dec 13

Saint Jinx says...

We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points).
We would be down and out well before Easter.

I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.)

It is a little bit worrying.
We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points). We would be down and out well before Easter. I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.) It is a little bit worrying. Saint Jinx

9:42am Mon 30 Dec 13

MrMojoRisin7 says...

St.henley wrote:
Umm I think mp has been at the club less than a year come on echo! Saints have been competing in the top flight for 15 months!
Shoddy journalism yet again
[quote][p][bold]St.henley[/bold] wrote: Umm I think mp has been at the club less than a year come on echo! Saints have been competing in the top flight for 15 months![/p][/quote]Shoddy journalism yet again MrMojoRisin7

9:58am Mon 30 Dec 13

OSPREYSAINT says...

MrMojoRisin7 wrote:
St.henley wrote:
Umm I think mp has been at the club less than a year come on echo! Saints have been competing in the top flight for 15 months!
Shoddy journalism yet again
We celebrate the appointment of Poch on 18th January 2014, and mourn the loss of Nigel at the same time.
[quote][p][bold]MrMojoRisin7[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]St.henley[/bold] wrote: Umm I think mp has been at the club less than a year come on echo! Saints have been competing in the top flight for 15 months![/p][/quote]Shoddy journalism yet again[/p][/quote]We celebrate the appointment of Poch on 18th January 2014, and mourn the loss of Nigel at the same time. OSPREYSAINT

10:09am Mon 30 Dec 13

donni1437 says...

Saint Jinx wrote:
We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points).
We would be down and out well before Easter.

I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.)

It is a little bit worrying.
Chin up Jinx, what a great year it's been. We're on the up and Poch needs time to build a squad. He's only had 1 transfer window. Let's see what we have in 2 or 3 seasons time. Rome was not built in a day. A part of this squad were brought in to play Champ and League 1 footy. I'll judge once he's had the time to build a proper squad. There isn't much between us and Everton, they have had the rub with injuries and are an established prem side while we've had some massive players missing of late and only in our 2nd season.
[quote][p][bold]Saint Jinx[/bold] wrote: We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points). We would be down and out well before Easter. I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.) It is a little bit worrying.[/p][/quote]Chin up Jinx, what a great year it's been. We're on the up and Poch needs time to build a squad. He's only had 1 transfer window. Let's see what we have in 2 or 3 seasons time. Rome was not built in a day. A part of this squad were brought in to play Champ and League 1 footy. I'll judge once he's had the time to build a proper squad. There isn't much between us and Everton, they have had the rub with injuries and are an established prem side while we've had some massive players missing of late and only in our 2nd season. donni1437

10:18am Mon 30 Dec 13

only1chopper says...

What was most pleasing of all was seeing Gaston get minutes on the pitch, he looked a different player, scored a cracker, tracked back and looked to be playing with a smile on his face. We all know he has talent, and I really feel we will reap the rewards of him taking that step back, reassessing his mental attitude and realising what it takes to cut it in poch's starting 11. All we need now is a real goal poacher, someone we were clearly missing yesterday. And also rid of the league 1 and championship players we still have on our books!
What was most pleasing of all was seeing Gaston get minutes on the pitch, he looked a different player, scored a cracker, tracked back and looked to be playing with a smile on his face. We all know he has talent, and I really feel we will reap the rewards of him taking that step back, reassessing his mental attitude and realising what it takes to cut it in poch's starting 11. All we need now is a real goal poacher, someone we were clearly missing yesterday. And also rid of the league 1 and championship players we still have on our books! only1chopper

10:23am Mon 30 Dec 13

Rising_Son says...

Saint Jinx wrote:
We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points).
We would be down and out well before Easter.

I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.)

It is a little bit worrying.
Given that we've got 27 points after 19 games, a further 10.5 in the next 19 would give us 38.5, which would often guarantee safety. So, it is a little bit worrying, a very little bit, mind you.
[quote][p][bold]Saint Jinx[/bold] wrote: We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points). We would be down and out well before Easter. I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.) It is a little bit worrying.[/p][/quote]Given that we've got 27 points after 19 games, a further 10.5 in the next 19 would give us 38.5, which would often guarantee safety. So, it is a little bit worrying, a very little bit, mind you. Rising_Son

10:50am Mon 30 Dec 13

saint christopher says...

donni1437 wrote:
Saint Jinx wrote:
We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points).
We would be down and out well before Easter.

I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.)

It is a little bit worrying.
Chin up Jinx, what a great year it's been. We're on the up and Poch needs time to build a squad. He's only had 1 transfer window. Let's see what we have in 2 or 3 seasons time. Rome was not built in a day. A part of this squad were brought in to play Champ and League 1 footy. I'll judge once he's had the time to build a proper squad. There isn't much between us and Everton, they have had the rub with injuries and are an established prem side while we've had some massive players missing of late and only in our 2nd season.
Exactly right.

As Shearer said on MOTD2, Saints are currently the same as perhaps 50% of the teams in the PL in having a first team that on its day can beat anyone, but as soon as injuries and suspensions kick in don't have strength in depth.

Where we will begin to have an edge over many of the others (who will continue to desperately try and enlarge their squads by spending tens of millions of pounds in the hope they hit on the right mix) is as our Academy players are increasingly used and get experience and begin to form a squad with strength in depth - young, hungry for success, and all committed to playing the "Southampton Way".

This year we may have to settle for mid table or just above, and it might take another 2 or 3 years more, but by then we can be challenging for top 6 - and doing it the right way as an example for others to follow.

In the short term I also think its time to give Gaston a regular starting role, dare I say it at the expense of RL who cannot surely continue to be considered our main striker. He's given his best, and if a Championship side came in with a £1M+ offer in January I think we should be prepared to let him have another challenge (perhaps with Nigel?). As for Osavaldo its pretty clear that his goal the other week is going to be a one off as he clearly doesn't figure in MoPo's future plans. Can see him going in January and the money used elsewhere. On the other hand I may be wrong on all counts but so what - happy New Year to all.
[quote][p][bold]donni1437[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Jinx[/bold] wrote: We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points). We would be down and out well before Easter. I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.) It is a little bit worrying.[/p][/quote]Chin up Jinx, what a great year it's been. We're on the up and Poch needs time to build a squad. He's only had 1 transfer window. Let's see what we have in 2 or 3 seasons time. Rome was not built in a day. A part of this squad were brought in to play Champ and League 1 footy. I'll judge once he's had the time to build a proper squad. There isn't much between us and Everton, they have had the rub with injuries and are an established prem side while we've had some massive players missing of late and only in our 2nd season.[/p][/quote]Exactly right. As Shearer said on MOTD2, Saints are currently the same as perhaps 50% of the teams in the PL in having a first team that on its day can beat anyone, but as soon as injuries and suspensions kick in don't have strength in depth. Where we will begin to have an edge over many of the others (who will continue to desperately try and enlarge their squads by spending tens of millions of pounds in the hope they hit on the right mix) is as our Academy players are increasingly used and get experience and begin to form a squad with strength in depth - young, hungry for success, and all committed to playing the "Southampton Way". This year we may have to settle for mid table or just above, and it might take another 2 or 3 years more, but by then we can be challenging for top 6 - and doing it the right way as an example for others to follow. In the short term I also think its time to give Gaston a regular starting role, dare I say it at the expense of RL who cannot surely continue to be considered our main striker. He's given his best, and if a Championship side came in with a £1M+ offer in January I think we should be prepared to let him have another challenge (perhaps with Nigel?). As for Osavaldo its pretty clear that his goal the other week is going to be a one off as he clearly doesn't figure in MoPo's future plans. Can see him going in January and the money used elsewhere. On the other hand I may be wrong on all counts but so what - happy New Year to all. saint christopher

10:51am Mon 30 Dec 13

saint Compo says...

only1chopper wrote:
What was most pleasing of all was seeing Gaston get minutes on the pitch, he looked a different player, scored a cracker, tracked back and looked to be playing with a smile on his face. We all know he has talent, and I really feel we will reap the rewards of him taking that step back, reassessing his mental attitude and realising what it takes to cut it in poch's starting 11. All we need now is a real goal poacher, someone we were clearly missing yesterday. And also rid of the league 1 and championship players we still have on our books!
Maybe the smile on his face is because he's got his plane tickets for his flight out!

COYR
[quote][p][bold]only1chopper[/bold] wrote: What was most pleasing of all was seeing Gaston get minutes on the pitch, he looked a different player, scored a cracker, tracked back and looked to be playing with a smile on his face. We all know he has talent, and I really feel we will reap the rewards of him taking that step back, reassessing his mental attitude and realising what it takes to cut it in poch's starting 11. All we need now is a real goal poacher, someone we were clearly missing yesterday. And also rid of the league 1 and championship players we still have on our books![/p][/quote]Maybe the smile on his face is because he's got his plane tickets for his flight out! COYR saint Compo

11:06am Mon 30 Dec 13

up saints says...

Rising_Son wrote:
Saint Jinx wrote:
We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points).
We would be down and out well before Easter.

I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.)

It is a little bit worrying.
Given that we've got 27 points after 19 games, a further 10.5 in the next 19 would give us 38.5, which would often guarantee safety. So, it is a little bit worrying, a very little bit, mind you.
unlucky too have both davies and boruc out at the same time.if not we would have them 10.5 points extra now.no need to panic
[quote][p][bold]Rising_Son[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Jinx[/bold] wrote: We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points). We would be down and out well before Easter. I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.) It is a little bit worrying.[/p][/quote]Given that we've got 27 points after 19 games, a further 10.5 in the next 19 would give us 38.5, which would often guarantee safety. So, it is a little bit worrying, a very little bit, mind you.[/p][/quote]unlucky too have both davies and boruc out at the same time.if not we would have them 10.5 points extra now.no need to panic up saints

11:18am Mon 30 Dec 13

Seedhouse the Unrepentant says...

saint Compo wrote:
only1chopper wrote:
What was most pleasing of all was seeing Gaston get minutes on the pitch, he looked a different player, scored a cracker, tracked back and looked to be playing with a smile on his face. We all know he has talent, and I really feel we will reap the rewards of him taking that step back, reassessing his mental attitude and realising what it takes to cut it in poch's starting 11. All we need now is a real goal poacher, someone we were clearly missing yesterday. And also rid of the league 1 and championship players we still have on our books!
Maybe the smile on his face is because he's got his plane tickets for his flight out!

COYR
Why would that be?

If you are a young footballer plying your trade you will want to be in the Prem. We are in the Prem with a great set up especially the training facilities. It's obvious the players have a great team spirit and that makes going to work easier. Yes you might have aspirations of a Man City or Arsenal but you only achieve that by playing really well and getting noticed.
[quote][p][bold]saint Compo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]only1chopper[/bold] wrote: What was most pleasing of all was seeing Gaston get minutes on the pitch, he looked a different player, scored a cracker, tracked back and looked to be playing with a smile on his face. We all know he has talent, and I really feel we will reap the rewards of him taking that step back, reassessing his mental attitude and realising what it takes to cut it in poch's starting 11. All we need now is a real goal poacher, someone we were clearly missing yesterday. And also rid of the league 1 and championship players we still have on our books![/p][/quote]Maybe the smile on his face is because he's got his plane tickets for his flight out! COYR[/p][/quote]Why would that be? If you are a young footballer plying your trade you will want to be in the Prem. We are in the Prem with a great set up especially the training facilities. It's obvious the players have a great team spirit and that makes going to work easier. Yes you might have aspirations of a Man City or Arsenal but you only achieve that by playing really well and getting noticed. Seedhouse the Unrepentant

11:30am Mon 30 Dec 13

Seedhouse the Unrepentant says...

saint christopher wrote:
donni1437 wrote:
Saint Jinx wrote:
We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points).
We would be down and out well before Easter.

I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.)

It is a little bit worrying.
Chin up Jinx, what a great year it's been. We're on the up and Poch needs time to build a squad. He's only had 1 transfer window. Let's see what we have in 2 or 3 seasons time. Rome was not built in a day. A part of this squad were brought in to play Champ and League 1 footy. I'll judge once he's had the time to build a proper squad. There isn't much between us and Everton, they have had the rub with injuries and are an established prem side while we've had some massive players missing of late and only in our 2nd season.
Exactly right.

As Shearer said on MOTD2, Saints are currently the same as perhaps 50% of the teams in the PL in having a first team that on its day can beat anyone, but as soon as injuries and suspensions kick in don't have strength in depth.

Where we will begin to have an edge over many of the others (who will continue to desperately try and enlarge their squads by spending tens of millions of pounds in the hope they hit on the right mix) is as our Academy players are increasingly used and get experience and begin to form a squad with strength in depth - young, hungry for success, and all committed to playing the "Southampton Way".

This year we may have to settle for mid table or just above, and it might take another 2 or 3 years more, but by then we can be challenging for top 6 - and doing it the right way as an example for others to follow.

In the short term I also think its time to give Gaston a regular starting role, dare I say it at the expense of RL who cannot surely continue to be considered our main striker. He's given his best, and if a Championship side came in with a £1M+ offer in January I think we should be prepared to let him have another challenge (perhaps with Nigel?). As for Osavaldo its pretty clear that his goal the other week is going to be a one off as he clearly doesn't figure in MoPo's future plans. Can see him going in January and the money used elsewhere. On the other hand I may be wrong on all counts but so what - happy New Year to all.
Do you really think having finally broken into the England side, with a world cup around the corner and with his main competitor Andy Carrroll out that Rickie Lambert is going to move to the Championship? He has spent his entire football life trying to get to the Prem and this is only his second season so I doubt he's ready to step down just yet!
[quote][p][bold]saint christopher[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]donni1437[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Jinx[/bold] wrote: We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points). We would be down and out well before Easter. I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.) It is a little bit worrying.[/p][/quote]Chin up Jinx, what a great year it's been. We're on the up and Poch needs time to build a squad. He's only had 1 transfer window. Let's see what we have in 2 or 3 seasons time. Rome was not built in a day. A part of this squad were brought in to play Champ and League 1 footy. I'll judge once he's had the time to build a proper squad. There isn't much between us and Everton, they have had the rub with injuries and are an established prem side while we've had some massive players missing of late and only in our 2nd season.[/p][/quote]Exactly right. As Shearer said on MOTD2, Saints are currently the same as perhaps 50% of the teams in the PL in having a first team that on its day can beat anyone, but as soon as injuries and suspensions kick in don't have strength in depth. Where we will begin to have an edge over many of the others (who will continue to desperately try and enlarge their squads by spending tens of millions of pounds in the hope they hit on the right mix) is as our Academy players are increasingly used and get experience and begin to form a squad with strength in depth - young, hungry for success, and all committed to playing the "Southampton Way". This year we may have to settle for mid table or just above, and it might take another 2 or 3 years more, but by then we can be challenging for top 6 - and doing it the right way as an example for others to follow. In the short term I also think its time to give Gaston a regular starting role, dare I say it at the expense of RL who cannot surely continue to be considered our main striker. He's given his best, and if a Championship side came in with a £1M+ offer in January I think we should be prepared to let him have another challenge (perhaps with Nigel?). As for Osavaldo its pretty clear that his goal the other week is going to be a one off as he clearly doesn't figure in MoPo's future plans. Can see him going in January and the money used elsewhere. On the other hand I may be wrong on all counts but so what - happy New Year to all.[/p][/quote]Do you really think having finally broken into the England side, with a world cup around the corner and with his main competitor Andy Carrroll out that Rickie Lambert is going to move to the Championship? He has spent his entire football life trying to get to the Prem and this is only his second season so I doubt he's ready to step down just yet! Seedhouse the Unrepentant

11:34am Mon 30 Dec 13

Beer Monster says...

Rising_Son wrote:
Saint Jinx wrote:
We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points).
We would be down and out well before Easter.

I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.)

It is a little bit worrying.
Given that we've got 27 points after 19 games, a further 10.5 in the next 19 would give us 38.5, which would often guarantee safety. So, it is a little bit worrying, a very little bit, mind you.
Adding the caveat that predicting the future points tally based on current form is for illustration purposes only and may be liable to change etc (anyone guess what line of work I've spent most of my career?)

Being pessimistic (i.e. no away wins for the rest of the season) for the remaining 19 fixtures, I'd have us down to finish on 50 points. With the squad back to it's full potential for most of those, I don't see why that can't be 60+

Keep the faith
COYS
[quote][p][bold]Rising_Son[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Jinx[/bold] wrote: We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points). We would be down and out well before Easter. I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.) It is a little bit worrying.[/p][/quote]Given that we've got 27 points after 19 games, a further 10.5 in the next 19 would give us 38.5, which would often guarantee safety. So, it is a little bit worrying, a very little bit, mind you.[/p][/quote]Adding the caveat that predicting the future points tally based on current form is for illustration purposes only and may be liable to change etc (anyone guess what line of work I've spent most of my career?) Being pessimistic (i.e. no away wins for the rest of the season) for the remaining 19 fixtures, I'd have us down to finish on 50 points. With the squad back to it's full potential for most of those, I don't see why that can't be 60+ Keep the faith COYS Beer Monster

11:50am Mon 30 Dec 13

Chris1991 says...

So SRL is not scoring as many goals as previously. Well he is certainly making a few. His ball to J Rod on boxing day was sublime and if you really watch, he does that all the time. Far too premature to be thinking of letting him go. What we need is someone who can finish. We make enough chances. Had we taken them, we would still be I the top 4.
So SRL is not scoring as many goals as previously. Well he is certainly making a few. His ball to J Rod on boxing day was sublime and if you really watch, he does that all the time. Far too premature to be thinking of letting him go. What we need is someone who can finish. We make enough chances. Had we taken them, we would still be I the top 4. Chris1991

12:23pm Mon 30 Dec 13

THE12THMAN says...

Saints lost to an almost full strength Everton side by the odd goal, We had two penalty shouts turned down by a ref who doesn't seem to like us. Goodison has always been a tough place to go for any team, so Let's all look forward to the Chelsea game and Take 3 points off them COYR.
Saints lost to an almost full strength Everton side by the odd goal, We had two penalty shouts turned down by a ref who doesn't seem to like us. Goodison has always been a tough place to go for any team, so Let's all look forward to the Chelsea game and Take 3 points off them COYR. THE12THMAN

12:50pm Mon 30 Dec 13

right back in the bar says...

I'm not down on the recent run of results and I don't stand accused of being falsely positive/optimistic. Villa and Spurs are the only aberrations in my mind - even then the results from those games reflect the known weaknesses among second choice defenders. City and Newcastle were good results; but we are not yet good enough to take on Chelsea and Arsenal at their places (but getting there); cardiif shows we have the beating of the bottom half, and yesterday we were robbed by yet another 'look at me' performance from Mark Critenberg. In the games we have lost we have maintained high standards and quality of football and had dominant phases. The pieces are falling into place quicker than we could ever have hoped. We will get another run together and move up again; MP has every right to feel pleased with the work that has been done. All our players continue to improve under this regime's coaching and stewardship (Spider a case in point; he is immense now); all that is needed is better quality cover in one or two key positions.
I'm not down on the recent run of results and I don't stand accused of being falsely positive/optimistic. Villa and Spurs are the only aberrations in my mind - even then the results from those games reflect the known weaknesses among second choice defenders. City and Newcastle were good results; but we are not yet good enough to take on Chelsea and Arsenal at their places (but getting there); cardiif shows we have the beating of the bottom half, and yesterday we were robbed by yet another 'look at me' performance from Mark Critenberg. In the games we have lost we have maintained high standards and quality of football and had dominant phases. The pieces are falling into place quicker than we could ever have hoped. We will get another run together and move up again; MP has every right to feel pleased with the work that has been done. All our players continue to improve under this regime's coaching and stewardship (Spider a case in point; he is immense now); all that is needed is better quality cover in one or two key positions. right back in the bar

4:25pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Costa Baz says...

Luck always plays it's part in football.
We have seen, when at full strength, that we are more than a match for the "lesser" teams, and also showed we had the ability to mix it with the likes of Manure and Liverpool, away.

That our run of injuries occurred at a time when we have been playing mainly top of the table teams, may, in hindsight, be a blessing, as by the time we play the return matches against the bottom half teams, we may well be back to full strength and go on another run, like at the start of the season.
Plus the experience for our second and third string players, has been invaluable as they will (in the most part) be more ready and more able to fill in, when needed in the future.
Luck always plays it's part in football. We have seen, when at full strength, that we are more than a match for the "lesser" teams, and also showed we had the ability to mix it with the likes of Manure and Liverpool, away. That our run of injuries occurred at a time when we have been playing mainly top of the table teams, may, in hindsight, be a blessing, as by the time we play the return matches against the bottom half teams, we may well be back to full strength and go on another run, like at the start of the season. Plus the experience for our second and third string players, has been invaluable as they will (in the most part) be more ready and more able to fill in, when needed in the future. Costa Baz

11:49pm Mon 30 Dec 13

St. Case says...

Saint Jinx wrote:
We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points).
We would be down and out well before Easter.

I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.)

It is a little bit worrying.
Moron! Keep in mind that we have 27 points at the end if this year, with half the games played. Your logic is lame...
[quote][p][bold]Saint Jinx[/bold] wrote: We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points). We would be down and out well before Easter. I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.) It is a little bit worrying.[/p][/quote]Moron! Keep in mind that we have 27 points at the end if this year, with half the games played. Your logic is lame... St. Case

4:04am Tue 31 Dec 13

just kidding says...

saint christopher wrote:
donni1437 wrote:
Saint Jinx wrote:
We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points).
We would be down and out well before Easter.

I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.)

It is a little bit worrying.
Chin up Jinx, what a great year it's been. We're on the up and Poch needs time to build a squad. He's only had 1 transfer window. Let's see what we have in 2 or 3 seasons time. Rome was not built in a day. A part of this squad were brought in to play Champ and League 1 footy. I'll judge once he's had the time to build a proper squad. There isn't much between us and Everton, they have had the rub with injuries and are an established prem side while we've had some massive players missing of late and only in our 2nd season.
Exactly right.

As Shearer said on MOTD2, Saints are currently the same as perhaps 50% of the teams in the PL in having a first team that on its day can beat anyone, but as soon as injuries and suspensions kick in don't have strength in depth.

Where we will begin to have an edge over many of the others (who will continue to desperately try and enlarge their squads by spending tens of millions of pounds in the hope they hit on the right mix) is as our Academy players are increasingly used and get experience and begin to form a squad with strength in depth - young, hungry for success, and all committed to playing the "Southampton Way".

This year we may have to settle for mid table or just above, and it might take another 2 or 3 years more, but by then we can be challenging for top 6 - and doing it the right way as an example for others to follow.

In the short term I also think its time to give Gaston a regular starting role, dare I say it at the expense of RL who cannot surely continue to be considered our main striker. He's given his best, and if a Championship side came in with a £1M+ offer in January I think we should be prepared to let him have another challenge (perhaps with Nigel?). As for Osavaldo its pretty clear that his goal the other week is going to be a one off as he clearly doesn't figure in MoPo's future plans. Can see him going in January and the money used elsewhere. On the other hand I may be wrong on all counts but so what - happy New Year to all.
Well Saint Chris I was with you all the way up to your last paragraph. I disagree with you about Rickie, In my humble opinion he has many years left with us yet. He is an amazingly creative player who, if keeps fit enough, will still be a formidable force for the team for several more years. Unfortunately the jury is still out on Osvaldo and you may well be right about his future here. I am willing to give him the benefit of doubt and hope he will settle, or at least try a bit harder. For a guy with a hard man persona he seems a little timid to me. I would like to see him get stuck in a bit more. Just my 5 cents worth.
[quote][p][bold]saint christopher[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]donni1437[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Jinx[/bold] wrote: We are a good side but - if, and I say IF, we lose to Chelsea, that will be only 5 points out of a possible 27. Equivalent to about 21 points for a whole season at that rate (0.1852 of a possible 114 points). We would be down and out well before Easter. I know that it is peaks and troughs, but we are losing our winning habit and, of course, it shows that we don't have too much strength in depth. Obvious stuff, some may say, but we have needlessly given points away, just like we used to in the old days (Aston Villa, Spurs, etc.) It is a little bit worrying.[/p][/quote]Chin up Jinx, what a great year it's been. We're on the up and Poch needs time to build a squad. He's only had 1 transfer window. Let's see what we have in 2 or 3 seasons time. Rome was not built in a day. A part of this squad were brought in to play Champ and League 1 footy. I'll judge once he's had the time to build a proper squad. There isn't much between us and Everton, they have had the rub with injuries and are an established prem side while we've had some massive players missing of late and only in our 2nd season.[/p][/quote]Exactly right. As Shearer said on MOTD2, Saints are currently the same as perhaps 50% of the teams in the PL in having a first team that on its day can beat anyone, but as soon as injuries and suspensions kick in don't have strength in depth. Where we will begin to have an edge over many of the others (who will continue to desperately try and enlarge their squads by spending tens of millions of pounds in the hope they hit on the right mix) is as our Academy players are increasingly used and get experience and begin to form a squad with strength in depth - young, hungry for success, and all committed to playing the "Southampton Way". This year we may have to settle for mid table or just above, and it might take another 2 or 3 years more, but by then we can be challenging for top 6 - and doing it the right way as an example for others to follow. In the short term I also think its time to give Gaston a regular starting role, dare I say it at the expense of RL who cannot surely continue to be considered our main striker. He's given his best, and if a Championship side came in with a £1M+ offer in January I think we should be prepared to let him have another challenge (perhaps with Nigel?). As for Osavaldo its pretty clear that his goal the other week is going to be a one off as he clearly doesn't figure in MoPo's future plans. Can see him going in January and the money used elsewhere. On the other hand I may be wrong on all counts but so what - happy New Year to all.[/p][/quote]Well Saint Chris I was with you all the way up to your last paragraph. I disagree with you about Rickie, In my humble opinion he has many years left with us yet. He is an amazingly creative player who, if keeps fit enough, will still be a formidable force for the team for several more years. Unfortunately the jury is still out on Osvaldo and you may well be right about his future here. I am willing to give him the benefit of doubt and hope he will settle, or at least try a bit harder. For a guy with a hard man persona he seems a little timid to me. I would like to see him get stuck in a bit more. Just my 5 cents worth. just kidding

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