2012: Saints pace odyssey

Daily Echo: Steve De Ridder Steve De Ridder

Nathaniel Clyne’s signing is a recognition on the part of Nigel Adkins that there is a major weakness in his squad ahead of their Premier League season – a lack of pace.

Make no mistake, pace is king in the Premier League.

And, for all the wonderful things about the Saints squad who have achieved so much in the past couple of seasons, pace is almost entirely absent.

The only exceptions are striker Jonathan Forte , who rarely even makes the bench, and winger Steve De Ridder , who has been a bit-part player since arriving last summer.

Let’s be clear, not everyone in a Premier League side has to have searing pace. It’s not a pre-requisite to play at that level.

But every side must have some somewhere, particularly in wide areas.

Full backs will come up against pace, and Premier League full backs you face will be comfortable with skill but are likely to get ruffled by pace.

Clyne’s signing is a sure signal that Adkins has recognised all this and is trying to do something about it because, pace aside, you wouldn’t think Saints really needed another right back.

Frazer Richardson was marvellous last season, a steady and consistent defensive influence who, as it happens, was in the top ten of the entire Championship assists list.

And this for a man who doesn’t take any set-pieces.

It was a remarkable achievement and it is a shame for Richardson that it’s his place under direct threat by the signing of Clyne, who will surely be used an offensive, attacking right back.

Deputising for Richardson was Danny Butterfield , such a crucial part of the League One promotion winning season, but his role seems even further marginalised by the arrival of Clyne.

That Saints have continued their summer signing theme by bringing in more young British talent is something to be applauded in many ways.

It is a gamble, though, because it is another player with no Premier League experience coming into a squad that collectively have very little between them.

An interview in Holland with potential Saints signing Alexander Buttner also revealed that he was told if he joins he will be used as a left back.

It’s another indication that, no matter how well Richardson and Danny Fox did last season, Adkins is shaking things up.

He is treading that fine line that so many managers face when their side has got promoted.

They know they need better players to make the step up.

But they have to try and convince their squad that the new faces are merely competition for places because, if they suspect they are direct replacements, you can get resentment.

If that festers, which is generally result driven, you have big problems.

In amongst the other summer arrivals yet to sweep into St Mary’s will surely be some pace in attacking wide areas too.

Hence Adkins’ interest in Dutch international Jeremain Lens.

Clyne’s signing is as sure a signal as any that Adkins is only too aware of this potential shortcoming ahead of the new campaign.

Comments (11)

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2:08pm Fri 20 Jul 12

Datarater says...

"Frazer Richardson was marvellous last season"

What!! Right back was our weakest position defensively.
"Frazer Richardson was marvellous last season" What!! Right back was our weakest position defensively. Datarater
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Fri 20 Jul 12

tenerife saint says...

I am hearing rumours of a quite serious ding dong involving Nigel after the Andrerlecht game. have I missed something?
I am hearing rumours of a quite serious ding dong involving Nigel after the Andrerlecht game. have I missed something? tenerife saint
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Fri 20 Jul 12

Paul Lucas says...

Good article Adam and spot on concerning resentment in the players & squad.

I think he's looking long term with the youngsters he, or they actually, have bought in. He will also be aware that if these youngsters turn out to be good enough at International level, that he will need equally reliable players to slot into the team whilst they go on International duty. Jack Cork & Jay Rod prime examples.

I think there are more to come in yet. Maybe the rhetoric concerning Europe is actually the club's ambition. The signings so far would seem to prove what they are saying
Good article Adam and spot on concerning resentment in the players & squad. I think he's looking long term with the youngsters he, or they actually, have bought in. He will also be aware that if these youngsters turn out to be good enough at International level, that he will need equally reliable players to slot into the team whilst they go on International duty. Jack Cork & Jay Rod prime examples. I think there are more to come in yet. Maybe the rhetoric concerning Europe is actually the club's ambition. The signings so far would seem to prove what they are saying Paul Lucas
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Fri 20 Jul 12

Stnick1982 says...

tenerife saint wrote:
I am hearing rumours of a quite serious ding dong involving Nigel after the Andrerlecht game. have I missed something?
I read the same. I imagine this is media driven. Can't really see what big arguments would happen over a 45 minute friendly in which we lost 1.0 to a champions league side
[quote][p][bold]tenerife saint[/bold] wrote: I am hearing rumours of a quite serious ding dong involving Nigel after the Andrerlecht game. have I missed something?[/p][/quote]I read the same. I imagine this is media driven. Can't really see what big arguments would happen over a 45 minute friendly in which we lost 1.0 to a champions league side Stnick1982
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Fri 20 Jul 12

RisingSon says...

tenerife saint wrote:
I am hearing rumours of a quite serious ding dong involving Nigel after the Andrerlecht game. have I missed something?
A ding dong? Who with? What about?
[quote][p][bold]tenerife saint[/bold] wrote: I am hearing rumours of a quite serious ding dong involving Nigel after the Andrerlecht game. have I missed something?[/p][/quote]A ding dong? Who with? What about? RisingSon
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Fri 20 Jul 12

Darkangelv2 says...

Datarater wrote:
"Frazer Richardson was marvellous last season" What!! Right back was our weakest position defensively.
I felt our left was weaker as Fox let every cross into the box.

Richardson was better going forward too given that the majority of Foxes assists were from dead balls.
[quote][p][bold]Datarater[/bold] wrote: "Frazer Richardson was marvellous last season" What!! Right back was our weakest position defensively.[/p][/quote]I felt our left was weaker as Fox let every cross into the box. Richardson was better going forward too given that the majority of Foxes assists were from dead balls. Darkangelv2
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Fri 20 Jul 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

tenerife saint wrote:
I am hearing rumours of a quite serious ding dong involving Nigel after the Andrerlecht game. have I missed something?
This has been posted on at least two threads with no substance, no source and probably no truth, I have looked at the usual rumour sites and can find no references, so either put some meat in the sandwich or bin it.
[quote][p][bold]tenerife saint[/bold] wrote: I am hearing rumours of a quite serious ding dong involving Nigel after the Andrerlecht game. have I missed something?[/p][/quote]This has been posted on at least two threads with no substance, no source and probably no truth, I have looked at the usual rumour sites and can find no references, so either put some meat in the sandwich or bin it. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Fri 20 Jul 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

OSPREYSAINT wrote:
tenerife saint wrote:
I am hearing rumours of a quite serious ding dong involving Nigel after the Andrerlecht game. have I missed something?
This has been posted on at least two threads with no substance, no source and probably no truth, I have looked at the usual rumour sites and can find no references, so either put some meat in the sandwich or bin it.
It turns out to be a report in the Sun, need I say more? NC and NA not seeing eye to eye after the Anderlecht result, at least they were taking it seriously, most of us were treating it for what it was, a pre season warm up.
[quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tenerife saint[/bold] wrote: I am hearing rumours of a quite serious ding dong involving Nigel after the Andrerlecht game. have I missed something?[/p][/quote]This has been posted on at least two threads with no substance, no source and probably no truth, I have looked at the usual rumour sites and can find no references, so either put some meat in the sandwich or bin it.[/p][/quote]It turns out to be a report in the Sun, need I say more? NC and NA not seeing eye to eye after the Anderlecht result, at least they were taking it seriously, most of us were treating it for what it was, a pre season warm up. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

8:04am Sat 21 Jul 12

george chivers says...

Darkangelv2 wrote:
Datarater wrote:
"Frazer Richardson was marvellous last season" What!! Right back was our weakest position defensively.
I felt our left was weaker as Fox let every cross into the box.

Richardson was better going forward too given that the majority of Foxes assists were from dead balls.
Yep agreed. Fox failed to close down Jimmy Kebe properly twice against Reading. Result 2 crosses 2 goals.

He was stood 2.5 yards away from Kebe instead of 1 yard.
[quote][p][bold]Darkangelv2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Datarater[/bold] wrote: "Frazer Richardson was marvellous last season" What!! Right back was our weakest position defensively.[/p][/quote]I felt our left was weaker as Fox let every cross into the box. Richardson was better going forward too given that the majority of Foxes assists were from dead balls.[/p][/quote]Yep agreed. Fox failed to close down Jimmy Kebe properly twice against Reading. Result 2 crosses 2 goals. He was stood 2.5 yards away from Kebe instead of 1 yard. george chivers
  • Score: 0

9:32am Sun 22 Jul 12

hamblepoint says...

I would agree with those who comment on the poor marking of both Fox and Richardson. Open spaces for the opposition - Blackpool away a case in point.

With regard wide speed maybe NA thinks Tadinari Lee solves this equation?
I would agree with those who comment on the poor marking of both Fox and Richardson. Open spaces for the opposition - Blackpool away a case in point. With regard wide speed maybe NA thinks Tadinari Lee solves this equation? hamblepoint
  • Score: 0

11:53am Mon 23 Jul 12

saintdave1976 says...

All players already know this!!! It's the prem!!! They should try and try again!!! Just like punch is doing so well done punch!!! It's definitely a sqauad game in the prem!!! Its big business now!!! We need everybody thinking and moveing in the same direction!!!
All players already know this!!! It's the prem!!! They should try and try again!!! Just like punch is doing so well done punch!!! It's definitely a sqauad game in the prem!!! Its big business now!!! We need everybody thinking and moveing in the same direction!!! saintdave1976
  • Score: 0

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