Coventry City 4 Saints 1

Daily Echo: Jack Cork contemplates as Coventry celebrate their fourth goal Jack Cork contemplates as Coventry celebrate their fourth goal

JAN Poortvliet will probably feel the 4-1 defeat at Coventry was a missed opportunity.

After two good wins in their last two outings, it was a game that Saints could afford to lose – well, as much as you can afford to lose any game.

But even a point at the Ricoh Arena would have rounded off an excellent week. After a tough and at times shaky start to the season, Saints seemed to have cracked it.

They didn’t play particularly well against Doncaster but got a terrific away victory.

They followed that with a better performance against Norwich, but still not as good as they are capable of and got another win.

So, travelling to Coventry in confident mood, you felt a decent performance and at least a point would give a sense of momentum going into the international break.

The scoreline as much as the defeat leaves Saints plenty to reflect on during the international break. There are still doubts over some aspects of the team for Poortvliet to ponder. Saints need to bounce back quickly when they return.

Adam Leitch

In fact even a good performance and a narrow defeat might have just about achieved the same.

But what happened at Coventry meant the break will be spent ponder more on problems that still exist rather than everything that has gone right.

The formation is the main thing being questioned.

With the way Saints are playing, the extent that the full backs will be exposed is a lingering concern.

Opposition managers have picked up on it, loading diagonal balls out wide, playing pacy widemen, doubling up with an overlapping full back.

You feel a little for those at left and right back as they find themselves in the firing line.

Saints have also been vulnerable to quick counter attacks for much the same reason – pouring forward in numbers, giving the ball away cheaply and then being left open.

Poortvliet has to decide whether the formation is the problem or whether the personnel he is playing in the various positions needs changing. Or, of course, he may feel it is a matter of time before it comes right – but if he opts for that approach he needs things to go well after the international break.

With five games in two weeks coming up, Saints can’t afford a few more defeats.

They did start well at Coventry. They were moving the ball around nicely but, again, didn’t take full of advantage of it.

Adam Lallana dragged wide from distance while David McGoldrick couldn’t quite get enough on a teasing cross from Joseph Mills.

Saints paid the price as Coventry took the lead on 26 minutes.

It came from both wide areas as down the left the chance was created for Leon McKenzie to cross to the far post where Jay Tabb stormed in off his wing to beat Mills to the ball and head home.

Saints had a chance to respond quickly but McGoldrick failed to hit the target when the ball was pulled back to him 12 yards out.

Coventry started to apply the pressure and should have scored a second when they won a penalty.

Ollie Lancashire caught Leon Best just inside the area as he ran across him.

Elliott Ward stepped up and tried a cheeky chip but merely stabbed a gentle catch to Kelvin Davis, who will never have an easier penalty save to make.

The Sky Blues didn’t relent, however, and had another great chance when Best found himself free at the far post but struck the woodwork when he should have scored.

The pressure paid off, though, on 34 minutes. Aron Gunnarsson chucked in a long throw, Ward flicked it into the six yard box where McKenzie had lost marker McGoldrick and finished past Davis into the bottom corner.

It could have been even worse at half-time had Davis not stayed strong and saved with his body when Gunnarsson was through.

Poortvliet made no changes at the break but saw his side concede three minutes after the restart.

Again the ball was out on the left as McKenzie played in overlapping full back Danny Fox, whose low cross picked out Best sliding in to turn home from close range.

Poortvliet made a triple change and Saints did get better as Coventry let their standards slip.

Saints gave themselves a glimmer of hope on 63 minutes when Bradley Wright-Phillips mis-hit a shot that Andrew Surman headed home, showing great reactions.

After Michael Doyle had blasted over from eight yards, Saints had a glorious opportunity. McGoldrick was in with just the keeper to beat but his effort was weak and provided a comfortable save for Keiren Westwood, before the keeper made a tougher save from Surman at his near post.

That woke Coventry up and they sealed the win with three minutes remaining as Freddy Eastwood stood up a far post cross and Tabb again ran off his wing to volley home and leave Saints with a feeling of what might have been.

Comments (26)

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7:41pm Sat 4 Oct 08

The Real Denzil says...

Well what can you say.
Well what can you say. The Real Denzil

7:43pm Sat 4 Oct 08

Southseachris says...

Poor full-back/defensive play like this will always mean we struggle in the table.
Poor full-back/defensive play like this will always mean we struggle in the table. Southseachris

7:43pm Sat 4 Oct 08

UTS says...

Been said all season and its obvious again, no experience at the back ! And ditto playing only one upfront !!!!!!!!!!!!

Been said all season and its obvious again, no experience at the back ! And ditto playing only one upfront !!!!!!!!!!!! UTS

7:54pm Sat 4 Oct 08

saint Compo says...

A worrying performance, especially at the back but 20 shots with only 5 on target says a lot too.

Jan keeps signing additional midfielders but it's the back four that needs strengthening.

McGoldrick is supposed to be a striker and should be playing off the front man (Pekhart, or John when fit again). He's not a winger.

With today's available personel, the starting line-up should have been:

Davis; James, Cork (or Wotton), Perry, Surman; Wright-Phillips, Gillet (or Wotton), Lallana, Robertson; Pekhart, McGoldrick

Keep the faith. COYR
A worrying performance, especially at the back but 20 shots with only 5 on target says a lot too. Jan keeps signing additional midfielders but it's the back four that needs strengthening. McGoldrick is supposed to be a striker and should be playing off the front man (Pekhart, or John when fit again). He's not a winger. With today's available personel, the starting line-up should have been: Davis; James, Cork (or Wotton), Perry, Surman; Wright-Phillips, Gillet (or Wotton), Lallana, Robertson; Pekhart, McGoldrick Keep the faith. COYR saint Compo

8:20pm Sat 4 Oct 08

LLMK says...

Just play 4 4 2!
Just play 4 4 2! LLMK

8:25pm Sat 4 Oct 08

King Sausage says...

JP, we have a great academy. Lets get some experience in for balance.
To the board. Give JP a chance and sanction some experience, you never know we could get a more than two wins on the belt.
I'm keeping the faith.
JP, we have a great academy. Lets get some experience in for balance. To the board. Give JP a chance and sanction some experience, you never know we could get a more than two wins on the belt. I'm keeping the faith. King Sausage

9:18pm Sat 4 Oct 08

JMC says...

Defense....Defense..
......Defense!!!! Jan going on about not will to win etc same old!! How about basics learning how to defend! Very disappointed. I've tried to have an openmind. Why bother though!
Defense....Defense.. ......Defense!!!! Jan going on about not will to win etc same old!! How about basics learning how to defend! Very disappointed. I've tried to have an openmind. Why bother though! JMC

10:50pm Sat 4 Oct 08

SammyD5889 says...

Just got back from the game, where I sat three rows behind a certain Mr Leon Crouch!
We played well up until they scored the first goal, then the heads just seemed to drop. The problem with having such a young squad is that they lose belief straight away after going a goal down, the game changed completely after we conceded.
The decision to award a penalty against us was shocking, but not as shocking as the penalty itself, easy save for Kelvin.
Glad to see JP make 3 subs when things weren't going well, we had nothing to lose, just a shame the subs didn't make a huge impact.
We just need to keep the faith, big game against Watford in a couple of weeks, hopefully a few more than recently will turn up to support the lads.
Just got back from the game, where I sat three rows behind a certain Mr Leon Crouch! We played well up until they scored the first goal, then the heads just seemed to drop. The problem with having such a young squad is that they lose belief straight away after going a goal down, the game changed completely after we conceded. The decision to award a penalty against us was shocking, but not as shocking as the penalty itself, easy save for Kelvin. Glad to see JP make 3 subs when things weren't going well, we had nothing to lose, just a shame the subs didn't make a huge impact. We just need to keep the faith, big game against Watford in a couple of weeks, hopefully a few more than recently will turn up to support the lads. SammyD5889

8:05am Sun 5 Oct 08

Rudd Gillett says...

ex Saint scoring against Saints shock! Saints lose on Sky shock! We are crap not a shock!
ex Saint scoring against Saints shock! Saints lose on Sky shock! We are crap not a shock! Rudd Gillett

12:00pm Sun 5 Oct 08

Shazza (the genuine article, not an imposter) says...

Unfortunately we are too lightweight at the back, if we can pull off the odd result like doncaster / Norwich we should be safe. But we're not experienced enough in defence, pinning our hopes on ageing Perry / Svennson is clutching at straws. This is a tough league and you need tough experienced players and a tough experienced manager. We got our pants pulled down yesterday and there will be plenty more games like that, where the oposition will take full advantage of our defensive frailties.
Unfortunately we are too lightweight at the back, if we can pull off the odd result like doncaster / Norwich we should be safe. But we're not experienced enough in defence, pinning our hopes on ageing Perry / Svennson is clutching at straws. This is a tough league and you need tough experienced players and a tough experienced manager. We got our pants pulled down yesterday and there will be plenty more games like that, where the oposition will take full advantage of our defensive frailties. Shazza (the genuine article, not an imposter)

12:05pm Sun 5 Oct 08

Denzil says...

LOWE OUT,

And take your Dutch boyfriends with you.
LOWE OUT, And take your Dutch boyfriends with you. Denzil

12:06pm Sun 5 Oct 08

moe says...

James is not a right back, he's got no idea what he is doing there and was to blame for the first goal as he was ball watching.
This is compounded by playing McGoldrick infront of him, as he's got no idea what he's doing on the right wing (especially defensively).
Surman has to start in the middle, he and Lallana are the only ones that are going to create anything. He and Cork ran the game against Norwich and looked superb.
James is not a right back, he's got no idea what he is doing there and was to blame for the first goal as he was ball watching. This is compounded by playing McGoldrick infront of him, as he's got no idea what he's doing on the right wing (especially defensively). Surman has to start in the middle, he and Lallana are the only ones that are going to create anything. He and Cork ran the game against Norwich and looked superb. moe

12:12pm Sun 5 Oct 08

Shazza (the genuine article, not an imposter) says...

Denzil wrote:
LOWE OUT,

And take your Dutch boyfriends with you.
Don't you have anything constructive to say?

I'm emailing Phill Burner...
[quote][p][bold]Denzil[/bold] wrote: LOWE OUT, And take your Dutch boyfriends with you.[/p][/quote]Don't you have anything constructive to say? I'm emailing Phill Burner... Shazza (the genuine article, not an imposter)

12:57pm Sun 5 Oct 08

Denzil says...

Shazza (the genuine article, not an imposter) wrote:
Denzil wrote: LOWE OUT, And take your Dutch boyfriends with you.
Don't you have anything constructive to say? I'm emailing Phill Burner...
That is constructive.
[quote][p][bold]Shazza (the genuine article, not an imposter)[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Denzil[/bold] wrote: LOWE OUT, And take your Dutch boyfriends with you.[/p][/quote]Don't you have anything constructive to say? I'm emailing Phill Burner...[/p][/quote]That is constructive. Denzil

5:22pm Sun 5 Oct 08

criky1 says...

This has nothing to do with Lowe. For a start, the country is in a recession whether the big wigs wants to admit it or not, and Southampton has gone from bad to worse over the last few years leaving it without the faithful it had under Strachan. Lowe is probably one of the best men to keep this club alive and from falling into liquidation which it nearly did under Leon Crouch and God only knows what he was trying to do. The results on field show this when a club has to cut back all over the place, to be able to keep profitable. Weve got ourselves a half decent manager, im sure he knows the defense isnt working well, but thats something to build on, not to say "You were all rubbish, im bringing in new people now". It takes time. Keep up he faith, we will be back in the PL before long. COYR!
This has nothing to do with Lowe. For a start, the country is in a recession whether the big wigs wants to admit it or not, and Southampton has gone from bad to worse over the last few years leaving it without the faithful it had under Strachan. Lowe is probably one of the best men to keep this club alive and from falling into liquidation which it nearly did under Leon Crouch and God only knows what he was trying to do. The results on field show this when a club has to cut back all over the place, to be able to keep profitable. Weve got ourselves a half decent manager, im sure he knows the defense isnt working well, but thats something to build on, not to say "You were all rubbish, im bringing in new people now". It takes time. Keep up he faith, we will be back in the PL before long. COYR! criky1

5:35pm Sun 5 Oct 08

Costa Baz says...

MISSING

LAST SEEN BEFORE THE SEASON KICKED OFF.

REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DISCOVERY OF ALL THOSE "TRUE FANS" WHO KEPT TELLING THE REALIST FANS THAT PLAYING THE KIDS WAS THE RIGHT WAY FORWARD.

WHERE ARE YOU WHEN YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOU???

As he would have said on the Royle Family, "True fans, my ar*e"




MISSING LAST SEEN BEFORE THE SEASON KICKED OFF. REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DISCOVERY OF ALL THOSE "TRUE FANS" WHO KEPT TELLING THE REALIST FANS THAT PLAYING THE KIDS WAS THE RIGHT WAY FORWARD. WHERE ARE YOU WHEN YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOU??? As he would have said on the Royle Family, "True fans, my ar*e" Costa Baz

7:42pm Sun 5 Oct 08

Condor Man says...

hopefully by the New Year transfer window we'd have sold on Rasiak, Skacel and Saganowski which would free up some cash to bring in some old heads, perhaps ones that are currently out of contract and looking for clubs.
We just have to make do with what we have for the time being. There is a pattern emerging- win some, draw some, lose heavily. As long as 3 clubs finish below us in May I'd be happy.
hopefully by the New Year transfer window we'd have sold on Rasiak, Skacel and Saganowski which would free up some cash to bring in some old heads, perhaps ones that are currently out of contract and looking for clubs. We just have to make do with what we have for the time being. There is a pattern emerging- win some, draw some, lose heavily. As long as 3 clubs finish below us in May I'd be happy. Condor Man

8:19pm Sun 5 Oct 08

UTS says...

Condor Man wrote:
hopefully by the New Year transfer window we'd have sold on Rasiak, Skacel and Saganowski which would free up some cash to bring in some old heads, perhaps ones that are currently out of contract and looking for clubs. We just have to make do with what we have for the time being. There is a pattern emerging- win some, draw some, lose heavily. As long as 3 clubs finish below us in May I'd be happy.
We could of had two or three loans in the last couple of months to sort out the defence. But Lowe decided to do what he thought was best. Pulis and Gasmi me up !

[quote][p][bold]Condor Man[/bold] wrote: hopefully by the New Year transfer window we'd have sold on Rasiak, Skacel and Saganowski which would free up some cash to bring in some old heads, perhaps ones that are currently out of contract and looking for clubs. We just have to make do with what we have for the time being. There is a pattern emerging- win some, draw some, lose heavily. As long as 3 clubs finish below us in May I'd be happy.[/p][/quote]We could of had two or three loans in the last couple of months to sort out the defence. But Lowe decided to do what he thought was best. Pulis and Gasmi me up ! UTS

8:26pm Sun 5 Oct 08

Reality-man says...

Don't like to say i told you so but I TOLD YOU SO!! Saints are rubbish. Wake up,smell the coffee
Don't like to say i told you so but I TOLD YOU SO!! Saints are rubbish. Wake up,smell the coffee Reality-man

8:29pm Sun 5 Oct 08

The Real Denzil says...

Shazza (the genuine article, not an imposter) wrote:
Denzil wrote: LOWE OUT, And take your Dutch boyfriends with you.
Don't you have anything constructive to say? I'm emailing Phill Burner...
I thought I read on the site the other day you had an ASBO banning you from public libraries, how you managing to post.
[quote][p][bold]Shazza (the genuine article, not an imposter)[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Denzil[/bold] wrote: LOWE OUT, And take your Dutch boyfriends with you.[/p][/quote]Don't you have anything constructive to say? I'm emailing Phill Burner...[/p][/quote]I thought I read on the site the other day you had an ASBO banning you from public libraries, how you managing to post. The Real Denzil

8:29pm Sun 5 Oct 08

Exile says...

Crikey1 is right, we have a half decent manager, but that is part of the problem. He is obviously a decent man but that is simply not enough to ensure survival let alone to get us into the top half of this league (obviously the play-offs are out of the question)
Unless we have more experienced players on the pitch ie. the right mix of youth and experience AND the right formation AND the right selection AND some more balls (of the cojones kind)we will be in deep trouble for the whole season.
The defence is hopeless James is out of position (not his fault)doesn't have the necessary pace and gets no protection from anyone that we have so far selected to play on the right in front of him; he also lacks sufficient physical presence. Either use Cork there or get in an experienced right back on loan (oh for the days of Chris Baird there!)

It is no good playing some sort of Christmas Tree formation and pronounce it total football when we don't have the right mix of players to operate it. Where is Skacel who has got a decent left foot and experience- play hiom on the left of midfield and put Surman into the centre of midfield? Instead we get in Smith who is young (yet again), cheap and unable to hold down a place in a side like Millwall (remember they're a division below us)

There is no point in going out with just one striker (we all saw that Robertson against Coventry couldn't make anything out of negligible chances without a strike partner to take some of the defenders attention...and then in desperation we play with four strikers and for 15 minutes worry Coventry until it dawns on them (how thick are they)that we have become completely outnumbered in midfield and that it was easy to play through us.

If we are going to play some combination of Robertson, Peckhardt, John, Wright-Phillips and McGoldrick (only 2 out of 5 please JP)let's establish who it is and let them get to know each other playing in a 4-4-2 formation and stop asking strikers to be wingers.

Since we do not seem very adept at cutting out crosses (and exposing Davis inadequacy in this dept - though he has been brilliant at shot stopping all season) why don't we try this against our opponents? We never go to the by-line (to be fair Holmes did before his injury) like McKenzie did to create their first goal.

Weaving nice patterns in midfield is great, very pretty but it breaks down at the edge of the penalty area and although we have plenty of shots most of them are ridiculously wayward or tame ( like McGoldrick's soft shot at the end)

Finally we can't go on with a central defensive partnership dependant upon one experienced player in Perry who has in no way let us down but is slow, one admired and experienced player who may only play 25% of the season at best, slow but physically intimidating, and a young lad who is a bit reckless has a poor first touch and is not particularly physical. Given that Wayne Thomas has succumbed to the injury jinx we must get another big defender in on loan asap before any more calamities like QPR and Coventry become the norm.

If we don't challenge and compete with some of the better teams in the division then we will be in big trouble and an awful lot of it will be self inflicted
Crikey1 is right, we have a half decent manager, but that is part of the problem. He is obviously a decent man but that is simply not enough to ensure survival let alone to get us into the top half of this league (obviously the play-offs are out of the question) Unless we have more experienced players on the pitch ie. the right mix of youth and experience AND the right formation AND the right selection AND some more balls (of the cojones kind)we will be in deep trouble for the whole season. The defence is hopeless James is out of position (not his fault)doesn't have the necessary pace and gets no protection from anyone that we have so far selected to play on the right in front of him; he also lacks sufficient physical presence. Either use Cork there or get in an experienced right back on loan (oh for the days of Chris Baird there!) It is no good playing some sort of Christmas Tree formation and pronounce it total football when we don't have the right mix of players to operate it. Where is Skacel who has got a decent left foot and experience- play hiom on the left of midfield and put Surman into the centre of midfield? Instead we get in Smith who is young (yet again), cheap and unable to hold down a place in a side like Millwall (remember they're a division below us) There is no point in going out with just one striker (we all saw that Robertson against Coventry couldn't make anything out of negligible chances without a strike partner to take some of the defenders attention...and then in desperation we play with four strikers and for 15 minutes worry Coventry until it dawns on them (how thick are they)that we have become completely outnumbered in midfield and that it was easy to play through us. If we are going to play some combination of Robertson, Peckhardt, John, Wright-Phillips and McGoldrick (only 2 out of 5 please JP)let's establish who it is and let them get to know each other playing in a 4-4-2 formation and stop asking strikers to be wingers. Since we do not seem very adept at cutting out crosses (and exposing Davis inadequacy in this dept - though he has been brilliant at shot stopping all season) why don't we try this against our opponents? We never go to the by-line (to be fair Holmes did before his injury) like McKenzie did to create their first goal. Weaving nice patterns in midfield is great, very pretty but it breaks down at the edge of the penalty area and although we have plenty of shots most of them are ridiculously wayward or tame ( like McGoldrick's soft shot at the end) Finally we can't go on with a central defensive partnership dependant upon one experienced player in Perry who has in no way let us down but is slow, one admired and experienced player who may only play 25% of the season at best, slow but physically intimidating, and a young lad who is a bit reckless has a poor first touch and is not particularly physical. Given that Wayne Thomas has succumbed to the injury jinx we must get another big defender in on loan asap before any more calamities like QPR and Coventry become the norm. If we don't challenge and compete with some of the better teams in the division then we will be in big trouble and an awful lot of it will be self inflicted Exile

9:12pm Sun 5 Oct 08

Lehman Bros Banker says...

Dear Rupert

Gordon Brown in league with Peter Mandelson is almost as laughable as you buddying up with the poison dwarf Michael Wilde. It will all end in tears.

Dear Rupert Gordon Brown in league with Peter Mandelson is almost as laughable as you buddying up with the poison dwarf Michael Wilde. It will all end in tears. Lehman Bros Banker

9:19pm Sun 5 Oct 08

sjames29 says...

it was a disappointing result seeing as it was only the defence that let us down, everything else was fine... well... we do need two frontmen and not mcgoldrick.

cork should be played at the back with thomas, that has been the only secure pairing i have seen all season. And that was against birmingham. they only managed one shot in that match.

skacel at left back and james at right back. with svensson or perry on the bench.
it was a disappointing result seeing as it was only the defence that let us down, everything else was fine... well... we do need two frontmen and not mcgoldrick. cork should be played at the back with thomas, that has been the only secure pairing i have seen all season. And that was against birmingham. they only managed one shot in that match. skacel at left back and james at right back. with svensson or perry on the bench. sjames29

10:20pm Sun 5 Oct 08

F Fan says...

Costa Baz wrote:
MISSING

LAST SEEN BEFORE THE SEASON KICKED OFF.

REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DISCOVERY OF ALL THOSE "TRUE FANS" WHO KEPT TELLING THE REALIST FANS THAT PLAYING THE KIDS WAS THE RIGHT WAY FORWARD.

WHERE ARE YOU WHEN YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOU???

As he would have said on the Royle Family, "True fans, my ar*e"




The only “true fan” debate I have seen is about those who stay away from St Mary’s because of Lowe. The youth option was pretty much forced upon the club by the financial position. But, yes, I was one of those who took a positive attitude at the start of the season.

I posted after the West Ham game, “ what a revelation they were. One touch football played at pace; great width provided by Holmes … Schneiderlin has undoubted class and Gillett was a revelation … but the back four as a unit probably lack a bit of height … I still think Surnam is too good a creator to play at left back …. the greatest credit, however, must go to the management. They have totally changed the way the team plays in such as short time. No hoofing the ball up the park; playing to feet with one touch passing … the players working in triangles as they go forward and hunting the ball in units when possession was lost. Both the defence and the midfield worked well as units but perhaps not quite so well up front … McGoldrick played the best I have ever seen him .. but I still don’t think he has enough about him … The team looked well motivated and worked hard … we must not read too much into it but what I saw was hugely encouraging … If this really is what sees as his first eleven, then we should be selling some of the more established players on high wages and use the funds to bring in some cover at full back … The whingeing stay-aways missed a treat. These players and this management deserve the backing of all true fans. Anyone boycotting home games is without doubt harming the club and poor crowds might well be the greatest danger the team and the club face this season. It is likely that this team is too inexperienced and a bit lightweight to challenge for promotion this season but keep the faith and we might build something very good indeed”.

I don’t regret a word of that mate. And I don’t think it has proved to be far off the mark. We do need some more experienced full backs and a centre half; we do need Surman in midfield; low crowds is the big danger to keeping our best players and getting in some defenders; we are not sharp enough in the box. None of that makes the strategy wrong headed in the circumstances.

Now – remind us – what was your alternative strategy at the start of the season - with no money to spend and the need to cut a couple of £million off our recurrent costs?
[quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: MISSING LAST SEEN BEFORE THE SEASON KICKED OFF. REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DISCOVERY OF ALL THOSE "TRUE FANS" WHO KEPT TELLING THE REALIST FANS THAT PLAYING THE KIDS WAS THE RIGHT WAY FORWARD. WHERE ARE YOU WHEN YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOU??? As he would have said on the Royle Family, "True fans, my ar*e" [/p][/quote]The only “true fan” debate I have seen is about those who stay away from St Mary’s because of Lowe. The youth option was pretty much forced upon the club by the financial position. But, yes, I was one of those who took a positive attitude at the start of the season. I posted after the West Ham game, “ what a revelation they were. One touch football played at pace; great width provided by Holmes … Schneiderlin has undoubted class and Gillett was a revelation … but the back four as a unit probably lack a bit of height … I still think Surnam is too good a creator to play at left back …. the greatest credit, however, must go to the management. They have totally changed the way the team plays in such as short time. No hoofing the ball up the park; playing to feet with one touch passing … the players working in triangles as they go forward and hunting the ball in units when possession was lost. Both the defence and the midfield worked well as units but perhaps not quite so well up front … McGoldrick played the best I have ever seen him .. but I still don’t think he has enough about him … The team looked well motivated and worked hard … we must not read too much into it but what I saw was hugely encouraging … If this really is what [the manager] sees as his first eleven, then we should be selling some of the more established players on high wages and use the funds to bring in some cover at full back … The whingeing stay-aways missed a treat. These players and this management deserve the backing of all true fans. Anyone boycotting home games is without doubt harming the club and poor crowds might well be the greatest danger the team and the club face this season. It is likely that this team is too inexperienced and a bit lightweight to challenge for promotion this season but keep the faith and we might build something very good indeed”. I don’t regret a word of that mate. And I don’t think it has proved to be far off the mark. We do need some more experienced full backs and a centre half; we do need Surman in midfield; low crowds is the big danger to keeping our best players and getting in some defenders; we are not sharp enough in the box. None of that makes the strategy wrong headed in the circumstances. Now – remind us – what was your alternative strategy at the start of the season - with no money to spend and the need to cut a couple of £million off our recurrent costs? F Fan

8:44am Mon 6 Oct 08

NewforestSaint says...

Sorry guys but you all make me laff!! The squad is what we have, JP has to make do with the squad that we have. It is a very, very young squad, this season is going to be a rollercoaster ride - get used to it!! All those couch potatoes sitting at home expecting this squad to get to the play offs/promotion are just barking up the wrong tree. This season will be a success if we avoid relegation - indeed I will celebrate as hard as I possibily know how to, if we stay up!! Get off your bums, get behind the kids and support your team - regardless of results - it is support they need.
Sorry guys but you all make me laff!! The squad is what we have, JP has to make do with the squad that we have. It is a very, very young squad, this season is going to be a rollercoaster ride - get used to it!! All those couch potatoes sitting at home expecting this squad to get to the play offs/promotion are just barking up the wrong tree. This season will be a success if we avoid relegation - indeed I will celebrate as hard as I possibily know how to, if we stay up!! Get off your bums, get behind the kids and support your team - regardless of results - it is support they need. NewforestSaint

5:49pm Mon 6 Oct 08

Costa Baz says...

F Fan wrote:
Costa Baz wrote: MISSING LAST SEEN BEFORE THE SEASON KICKED OFF. REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DISCOVERY OF ALL THOSE "TRUE FANS" WHO KEPT TELLING THE REALIST FANS THAT PLAYING THE KIDS WAS THE RIGHT WAY FORWARD. WHERE ARE YOU WHEN YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOU??? As he would have said on the Royle Family, "True fans, my ar*e"
The only “true fan” debate I have seen is about those who stay away from St Mary’s because of Lowe. The youth option was pretty much forced upon the club by the financial position. But, yes, I was one of those who took a positive attitude at the start of the season. I posted after the West Ham game, “ what a revelation they were. One touch football played at pace; great width provided by Holmes … Schneiderlin has undoubted class and Gillett was a revelation … but the back four as a unit probably lack a bit of height … I still think Surnam is too good a creator to play at left back …. the greatest credit, however, must go to the management. They have totally changed the way the team plays in such as short time. No hoofing the ball up the park; playing to feet with one touch passing … the players working in triangles as they go forward and hunting the ball in units when possession was lost. Both the defence and the midfield worked well as units but perhaps not quite so well up front … McGoldrick played the best I have ever seen him .. but I still don’t think he has enough about him … The team looked well motivated and worked hard … we must not read too much into it but what I saw was hugely encouraging … If this really is what sees as his first eleven, then we should be selling some of the more established players on high wages and use the funds to bring in some cover at full back … The whingeing stay-aways missed a treat. These players and this management deserve the backing of all true fans. Anyone boycotting home games is without doubt harming the club and poor crowds might well be the greatest danger the team and the club face this season. It is likely that this team is too inexperienced and a bit lightweight to challenge for promotion this season but keep the faith and we might build something very good indeed”. I don’t regret a word of that mate. And I don’t think it has proved to be far off the mark. We do need some more experienced full backs and a centre half; we do need Surman in midfield; low crowds is the big danger to keeping our best players and getting in some defenders; we are not sharp enough in the box. None of that makes the strategy wrong headed in the circumstances. Now – remind us – what was your alternative strategy at the start of the season - with no money to spend and the need to cut a couple of £million off our recurrent costs?
My strategy has never changed. You don't play more than 5 novices in the team at any one time.
We were told there was no money, then we signed Schneiderlin for €1m, money that would have paid the wages of 3 decent and experienced free transfers or loanees.

As I have said before, the only people who know the true state of our finances are the board and their bank manager, so whether we really needed to go down this "youth player only" route will not be revealed until the relevant end of year accounts are revealed or when we go into administration.

The small attendances will probably cause that, or at least force the sales of Surman, Lallana & Davis, leading to worse results, more kids and smaller crowds.

But getting back to my original post, WHERE ARE ALL THOSE "TRUE FANS" who cursed, cussed & threatened anyone who saw this route as flawed, and said so?

Why are they not on here saying positive things about the team?
[quote][p][bold]F Fan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: MISSING LAST SEEN BEFORE THE SEASON KICKED OFF. REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DISCOVERY OF ALL THOSE "TRUE FANS" WHO KEPT TELLING THE REALIST FANS THAT PLAYING THE KIDS WAS THE RIGHT WAY FORWARD. WHERE ARE YOU WHEN YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOU??? As he would have said on the Royle Family, "True fans, my ar*e" [/p][/quote]The only “true fan” debate I have seen is about those who stay away from St Mary’s because of Lowe. The youth option was pretty much forced upon the club by the financial position. But, yes, I was one of those who took a positive attitude at the start of the season. I posted after the West Ham game, “ what a revelation they were. One touch football played at pace; great width provided by Holmes … Schneiderlin has undoubted class and Gillett was a revelation … but the back four as a unit probably lack a bit of height … I still think Surnam is too good a creator to play at left back …. the greatest credit, however, must go to the management. They have totally changed the way the team plays in such as short time. No hoofing the ball up the park; playing to feet with one touch passing … the players working in triangles as they go forward and hunting the ball in units when possession was lost. Both the defence and the midfield worked well as units but perhaps not quite so well up front … McGoldrick played the best I have ever seen him .. but I still don’t think he has enough about him … The team looked well motivated and worked hard … we must not read too much into it but what I saw was hugely encouraging … If this really is what [the manager] sees as his first eleven, then we should be selling some of the more established players on high wages and use the funds to bring in some cover at full back … The whingeing stay-aways missed a treat. These players and this management deserve the backing of all true fans. Anyone boycotting home games is without doubt harming the club and poor crowds might well be the greatest danger the team and the club face this season. It is likely that this team is too inexperienced and a bit lightweight to challenge for promotion this season but keep the faith and we might build something very good indeed”. I don’t regret a word of that mate. And I don’t think it has proved to be far off the mark. We do need some more experienced full backs and a centre half; we do need Surman in midfield; low crowds is the big danger to keeping our best players and getting in some defenders; we are not sharp enough in the box. None of that makes the strategy wrong headed in the circumstances. Now – remind us – what was your alternative strategy at the start of the season - with no money to spend and the need to cut a couple of £million off our recurrent costs? [/p][/quote]My strategy has never changed. You don't play more than 5 novices in the team at any one time. We were told there was no money, then we signed Schneiderlin for €1m, money that would have paid the wages of 3 decent and experienced free transfers or loanees. As I have said before, the only people who know the true state of our finances are the board and their bank manager, so whether we really needed to go down this "youth player only" route will not be revealed until the relevant end of year accounts are revealed or when we go into administration. The small attendances will probably cause that, or at least force the sales of Surman, Lallana & Davis, leading to worse results, more kids and smaller crowds. But getting back to my original post, WHERE ARE ALL THOSE "TRUE FANS" who cursed, cussed & threatened anyone who saw this route as flawed, and said so? Why are they not on here saying positive things about the team? Costa Baz
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