Ex-Saint Watson: Adkins needs battlers to complement his creative stars

Gaston Ramirez

Gaston Ramirez

First published in Saints News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

NIGEL Adkins needs to add two “dogs of war” to his Saints squad during the current transfer window to help ensure Premier League survival.

Adkins is believed to be targeting a new centre half as he bids to strengthen his back four options for the second half of the season.

He has already been linked with Cagliari’s Italian international defender Davide Astori, a player Adkins admits he is aware of.

Ex-Saints striker Gordon Watson is adamant that Adkins could do with more top flight experience and know-how, to add “another piece to his artillery”, during the next few weeks.

Saints were one of the Premier League’s biggest spenders during last summer’s transfer window, shelling out over £30m.

But only one of their signings, midfielder Steven Davis, had ever played in the Premier League before.

And it is that lack of top flight nous that Watson believed contributed to Saints’ faltering start to the campaign. Now he wants to see Saints bring in some experienced heads – one in the centre of defence and one in central midfield.

“There are hardly any negatives when you look at the squad,” Watson said.

“I said back in early November, when people were calling for Nigel to be sacked, that Saints should stick with him.

“I have always said we are capable of staying up.

“As a half-term report, Saints can give themselves a pat on the back. No one should be unhappy at where they are in the table.

“They hardly signed anyone last summer with Premier League experience, so they have had to learn.

“The same goes for the manager – Nigel didn’t have any Premier League experience, so he has had to learn every week.

“And they have learnt and improved as they have gone along.

“They have only lost two out of the last ten. But I would like to see Nigel sign a ‘dog of war’ in defence and another in midfield.

“Those players might just be cover, and they might just provide a strong voice in the changing room.

“They can be an extra piece to Nigel’s artillery, and they could give the side a presence.

“There’s not that much experience in the dressing room with regards to a Premier League dogfight, and there’s not that much experience in Nigel’s backroom staff for the same thing.

“We could do with some players who know how to close out for a 1-0 win.

“With the benefit of hindsight, we could have done with someone like that in the game at Stoke.

“We do try and play football, but sometimes – certainly away from home – you need to be able to change.”

The goalkeeping situation is a major talking point at Saints again after Kelvin Davis was dropped for Tuesday’s game with Arsenal, Artur Boruc winning a shock recall.

“I don’t know what Kelvin had done wrong,” said Watson.

“The goalkeeper situation has left me a bit puzzled.

“But I wouldn’t sign another keeper this month. We’ve got three already, so one would have to leave.

“We don’t have a problem scoring goals.

Rickie Lambert has been exceptional, Jason Puncheon has surprised everyone, and Gaston Ramirez is improving.

“We see the best of Ramirez when Adam Lallana is not in the team, as those two are very alike.

“We’ve got Luke Shaw and Danny Fox at left back, and Nathaniel Clyne and Frazer Richardson at right back, and Jack Cork did very well there the other night.

Jose Fonte and Maya Yoshida have improved, Fonte more so than Yoshida. The jury is still out on him, for me anyway.

“Sometimes he’s a bit too conservative.”

Comments (5)

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11:46am Fri 4 Jan 13

InCortesewetrust says...

Joey Barton? ****! But good and French too iv heard him, Scot Parker? But more likely to go to West hoof,
Joey Barton? ****! But good and French too iv heard him, Scot Parker? But more likely to go to West hoof, InCortesewetrust
  • Score: 0

11:50am Fri 4 Jan 13

Peter Godwin says...

Nice to read Simon Carter and the DE echoing the fans thinking for once. However I can't agree that Gaston is better when Lallana isn't playing. These two are the genuine class acts of the team and when we have them both playing again I'm sure a wonderfu synergy will develop.

Like everybody else,Carter makes no mention of Tanadari Lee. What is this conspiracy of silence?
Nice to read Simon Carter and the DE echoing the fans thinking for once. However I can't agree that Gaston is better when Lallana isn't playing. These two are the genuine class acts of the team and when we have them both playing again I'm sure a wonderfu synergy will develop. Like everybody else,Carter makes no mention of Tanadari Lee. What is this conspiracy of silence? Peter Godwin
  • Score: 0

11:55am Fri 4 Jan 13

Thornhill Saint says...

Peter Godwin wrote:
Nice to read Simon Carter and the DE echoing the fans thinking for once. However I can't agree that Gaston is better when Lallana isn't playing. These two are the genuine class acts of the team and when we have them both playing again I'm sure a wonderfu synergy will develop.

Like everybody else,Carter makes no mention of Tanadari Lee. What is this conspiracy of silence?
When asked about Clyne, Lallana and Gazanigga Adkins was informative yesterday. Nobody asked about Chung. I am sure if they had, or at previous events we might know by now,
[quote][p][bold]Peter Godwin[/bold] wrote: Nice to read Simon Carter and the DE echoing the fans thinking for once. However I can't agree that Gaston is better when Lallana isn't playing. These two are the genuine class acts of the team and when we have them both playing again I'm sure a wonderfu synergy will develop. Like everybody else,Carter makes no mention of Tanadari Lee. What is this conspiracy of silence?[/p][/quote]When asked about Clyne, Lallana and Gazanigga Adkins was informative yesterday. Nobody asked about Chung. I am sure if they had, or at previous events we might know by now, Thornhill Saint
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Fri 4 Jan 13

elvisimo says...

agree we need a couple of players who are experienced and 100% on their game 100% of the time. Would also hope we dont have to wait until the end of January.
agree we need a couple of players who are experienced and 100% on their game 100% of the time. Would also hope we dont have to wait until the end of January. elvisimo
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Fri 4 Jan 13

right back in the bar says...

bring in a battler yes maybe but I still want to be uttering the immortal words of Brian Glanville at matches (this isn't football, this is art) and admire the fine geometrics shapes unfolding in Saints play.
bring in a battler yes maybe but I still want to be uttering the immortal words of Brian Glanville at matches (this isn't football, this is art) and admire the fine geometrics shapes unfolding in Saints play. right back in the bar
  • Score: 0

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