COMMENT: January success for Saints

Basingstoke Gazette: Dani Osvaldo Dani Osvaldo

This January has been a very successful one for Saints.

Looking ahead to the transfer window in late December nobody could have imagined what a remarkable month it would be for the club.

Nicola Cortese departed, Katharina Liebherr took over as non-executive chairman and record signing Dani Osvaldo had a bust up with Jose Fonte, got suspended and then shipped out. There was also some football played too.

It has been a real rollercoaster of a month, one of those rollercoasters that starts stationary and propels you forward as if you’ve been fired out of a slingshot.

Saints had to make the most of the hand they were dealt though and they have done very well indeed.

The headline grabber on a damp squib of a deadline day in Premier League land was Osvaldo’s switch to Juventus.

Saints simply had to get rid of him before the transfer window shut.

His very presence around the place for the remainder of the season could have proved quite toxic, and for a squad whose strength lies partly in their unity and togetherness, it was a real danger. He could have blown that wide apart.

Mauricio Pochettino has every right to feel let down by Osvaldo.

He knew the player and was confident he could control his notoriously fiery temper. In the end though there is no helping some people and, as Pochettino correctly pointed out, each individual is ultimately responsible for their own actions.

The warning signs had been there and it was something of a standing joke that it was only a matter of time before an explosion went off.

It nearly did against Aston Villa, a minor tremor was felt with the ban for violent conduct against Newcastle and then we got the big bang in the form of an alleged headbutt on Jose Fonte.

Most people who have been in a competitive team at any level have probably had an argument and maybe even a bit of pushing and shoving with teammates. It’s par for the course. What happened this time crossed that line by some distance.

Saints had to do the best deal they could for the club and this looks about as good as it could get.

Osvaldo is gone on loan, and he’s off the wage bill.

The only downside to the move is that he isn’t completely gone.

If he is a success then Juventus may choose to activate their option to buy him by May 31, in which case Saints make a €4m profit on their initial payment.

If he isn’t successful and doesn’t have a great World Cup then Saints may have another headache in the summer.

You cannot blame the club for this though. Negotiating these sort of major deals so late in the window is incredibly hard and this looks like a very acceptable option all round.

Of course, such is football, that it doesn’t exactly seem things have worked out badly for Osvaldo.

Many Saints fans will remember the Italian media stories when Saints were chasing him in the summer and it seemed Osvaldo wasn’t all that keen to join.

He has hardly delivered much of note on the pitch since he’s been here, as 13 appearances and three goals in more than half a season underlines. Not quite what you hope for for you €15m.

After all that and the problems he’s caused, he gets to move on to Juventus, a major world force who might well provide him with a Serie A winners medal in a few months. That’s football these days.

Saints move on though and still look ahead to a bright future, this matter dealt with in a commendable manner and with plenty of credit deserving for interim CEO Gareth Rogers.

Back to December again, and the big fear was that Luke Shaw and Rickie Lambert might go. You would have got long odds on Cortese and Osvaldo instead.

But it is good news that Saints have held onto every player they wanted to.

Lambert appeared close to leaving before Cortese’s departure but now stays, and with Osvaldo out of the way is as important as ever.

Shaw is also here at least until the summer, though expect some sizeable bids for his services to really test Saints, and his commitment, then.

Keeping the core of the squad together was vital for Liebherr in terms of steadying the ship in the wake of Cortese’s exit.

She said nobody would be sold, meaning nobody who Pochettino wanted to be kept would be sold, and it was important for her to deliver on that promise – and she has.

Saints have been busy shipping players out, but ones that are surplus to requirements, and that is very important and positive for the future too.

Any manager will tell you that you don’t want extra senior pros hanging around. Saints have a nice bunch of guys and not troublemakers in that bracket, but even so it’s not right.

The fact they need games can take up places in the under-21 side as they figure as overage players and blocks up a natural pipeline for development.

That has been well and truly unclogged.

Aaron Martin and Tadanari Lee have moved on to pastures new after having their contracts ended by mutual consent.

Lee Barnard has joined Southend on loan until his contract expires in the summer.

Danny Fox is on loan to Nottingham Forest until the end the season when his move will become permanent.

Billy Sharp is going to get regular football at Doncaster, where he is a hero.

Jason Puncheon has been sold to Crystal Palace, ending an intriguing four years at St Mary’s. It has been a big dipper type rollercoaster of ups and down, but in the end he goes for a nice little £1.75m fee.

He wanted to be at Palace for personal reasons. It’s where he grew up, where his family is and good luck to him.

With Emmanuel Mayuka also out on loan still, there is only one senior player knocking about at St Mary’s who has no chance of first team action, and that is Jonathan Forte.

It does feel like the end of an era with some of these guys going. They have been promotion heroes and a huge part of the journey to where Saints are now.

But times move on and for the sake of them, the club, and the youngsters coming through, it’s only right that they continue their careers elsewhere.

A few Saints fans have expressed their disappointment that the club haven’t signed anybody, but looking at it dispassionately you again have to conclude they have done the right thing.

Without wishing to put too much of a dampener on things, Saints do not have masses left to play for this season.

There potentially is the FA Cup, but they haven’t prioritised that as of yet.

In the league they have looked for some time as if they will finish in the ninth position they currently occupy.

It is feasible they could maybe go up or down a place, but upper midtable is where they will finish.

Of course they can still progress as a side ahead of next season, and that is very important.

But they have a strong squad and there is no requirement whatsoever for them to have paid over the odds for anybody else right now.

Look at the fees being paid for some players in January – they are way over the top.

Saints are now shopping up and around the top end of the marketplace. To convince clubs to sell those sort of players in January is very hard, and only large amounts of cash normally do the trick.

Pochettino surely would like another centre half and another striker, the positions most clamoured for by Saints fans, but he knows it is better to wait until the summer.

High calibre players are then available for fair fees.

Even if Saints signed a brilliant striker and he scored 20 goals between now and the end of the season, the chances are Saints probably won’t finish higher than eighth anyway, so what is the point of spending £5m over the odds to get them now?

It might not be exciting or sexy, but it’s good business sense and perfect logic that Saints have followed.

They haven’t got carried away in the emotion of it and have made the right decision.

And if anybody still needs consoling, let’s talk about the young players.

How brilliant has it been watching all this fantastic talent trundle out of the academy and into the first team? It’s made people proud to call themselves Saints fans.

A lack of cover for Luke Shaw at left back after Fox left will actually mean a chance for another youngster in Matt Targett.

Osvaldo departing will mean more minutes and experience to Sam Gallagher, experience that he would never have got had Saints signed a big name for a big fee.

Once more you have to conclude it’s good for the club.

There is a real air of positivity around St Mary’s at the moment, and this transfer window has illustrated perfectly just why we are right to be so optimistic about the future of this club.

Comments (49)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:39am Sat 1 Feb 14

Beondajoke says...

Id just like to say good luck and a big thankyou to all the players (whether it be temporary or permanent ) who really were an important cog in an amazing squad who embarked on our rise to the Premiership.... (with exception to Captain Jack Sparrow who wants to swashbuckle and gain his pieces of eight from elsewhere). For those who said they were dead wood then so be it but to me they be the wood that kept the mighty RED flame burning and rising to the top. COYR and 3 points at the Fulham !!!!!
Id just like to say good luck and a big thankyou to all the players (whether it be temporary or permanent ) who really were an important cog in an amazing squad who embarked on our rise to the Premiership.... (with exception to Captain Jack Sparrow who wants to swashbuckle and gain his pieces of eight from elsewhere). For those who said they were dead wood then so be it but to me they be the wood that kept the mighty RED flame burning and rising to the top. COYR and 3 points at the Fulham !!!!! Beondajoke

7:09am Sat 1 Feb 14

AdamG10 says...

I'm very happy that the club want to keep giving the academy lads the opportunities for first team football. We are in the right position in the league now to bring a few more of them through without too much pressure on them. Gallagher proved he can step up against Arsenal the other night and I wouldn't bet against him starting at Fulham today and scoring! Matt Targett will now have a chance to come through at left back too. Harrison Reed has looked excellent with the time he's had here and there this season. We could field half a team of 18yr olds now in the first team and still hold our own against a lot of clubs in the league. That speaks volumes for the future of the club! I agree at we didn't need to panic buy in January and pay over the odds. I'm sure we will add a centre back and another striker to the squad in the summer when prices aren't so ridiculous. 3 points today please lads!!!
I'm very happy that the club want to keep giving the academy lads the opportunities for first team football. We are in the right position in the league now to bring a few more of them through without too much pressure on them. Gallagher proved he can step up against Arsenal the other night and I wouldn't bet against him starting at Fulham today and scoring! Matt Targett will now have a chance to come through at left back too. Harrison Reed has looked excellent with the time he's had here and there this season. We could field half a team of 18yr olds now in the first team and still hold our own against a lot of clubs in the league. That speaks volumes for the future of the club! I agree at we didn't need to panic buy in January and pay over the odds. I'm sure we will add a centre back and another striker to the squad in the summer when prices aren't so ridiculous. 3 points today please lads!!! AdamG10

7:41am Sat 1 Feb 14

Costa Baz says...

I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points.

What happened to "one match at a time"?

I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated.

We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.
I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points. What happened to "one match at a time"? I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated. We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part. Costa Baz

7:43am Sat 1 Feb 14

brighton saint says...

Great article DE....credit where credit is due....looking forward to a successful February and Sir Rickie banging in a few goals and getting on that plane to Brazil...well stoked he wasn't sold for any amount of silly dosh...he is a Saints legend and it would have been a very sad day to see him go. COYS and 3 points today with a Lambert hat trick ! Hang 10
Great article DE....credit where credit is due....looking forward to a successful February and Sir Rickie banging in a few goals and getting on that plane to Brazil...well stoked he wasn't sold for any amount of silly dosh...he is a Saints legend and it would have been a very sad day to see him go. COYS and 3 points today with a Lambert hat trick ! Hang 10 brighton saint

7:54am Sat 1 Feb 14

johnlennonar says...

Not even a thank you or Im sorry things didn't work out :-O Stupid prat
Not even a thank you or Im sorry things didn't work out :-O Stupid prat johnlennonar

8:17am Sat 1 Feb 14

JohnItaly says...

Costa Baz wrote:
I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points.

What happened to "one match at a time"?

I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated.

We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.
You certainly haven't incurred my wrath as I'm inclined to agree with you. Two wins and two draws from the next four games (very doable) would see the relative safety of 40 points by the time Liverpool visit St Marys on 1st March, but as you say a couple of "unfortunate" results and nerves will kick in. When things are going your way a young exuberant side full of confidence is one thing but when it is necessary to "grind out" results under pressure a couple of experienced heads are required, particularly at the heart of the defence, which we lack. Today's game is very winnable. Start off the way as against Arsenal, get a couple up by half-time and the game should be there for the taking. My big fear is we once again dominate the game, have more attempts on / off target but lose by the odd goal. That scenario would dent confidence levels. Until 40 points are reached I regard every game as a "must win" and I'm very sure MoPo adopts the same attitude. 3 points today please.
[quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points. What happened to "one match at a time"? I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated. We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.[/p][/quote]You certainly haven't incurred my wrath as I'm inclined to agree with you. Two wins and two draws from the next four games (very doable) would see the relative safety of 40 points by the time Liverpool visit St Marys on 1st March, but as you say a couple of "unfortunate" results and nerves will kick in. When things are going your way a young exuberant side full of confidence is one thing but when it is necessary to "grind out" results under pressure a couple of experienced heads are required, particularly at the heart of the defence, which we lack. Today's game is very winnable. Start off the way as against Arsenal, get a couple up by half-time and the game should be there for the taking. My big fear is we once again dominate the game, have more attempts on / off target but lose by the odd goal. That scenario would dent confidence levels. Until 40 points are reached I regard every game as a "must win" and I'm very sure MoPo adopts the same attitude. 3 points today please. JohnItaly

8:26am Sat 1 Feb 14

BracknellSaint says...

Can anybody shed any light on why Lambert was going to move on? Does he want to leave? Did Cortese want to get shot of him?
Can anybody shed any light on why Lambert was going to move on? Does he want to leave? Did Cortese want to get shot of him? BracknellSaint

8:35am Sat 1 Feb 14

West Cork Saiint says...

Yep, February could define our season. Great business in January all things considered. Keep the faith. COYS
Yep, February could define our season. Great business in January all things considered. Keep the faith. COYS West Cork Saiint

8:53am Sat 1 Feb 14

SaintKerswill says...

Good article DE. What's the chances of an all English eleven appearing at some point before the end of the season?
COYR.
Good article DE. What's the chances of an all English eleven appearing at some point before the end of the season? COYR. SaintKerswill

8:59am Sat 1 Feb 14

Saint Stag says...

I hate it when people say we have nothing to play for, its the beginning of February for Pete's sake!!! There is loads to pay for! We can still finish in the top 6 with a strong finish......what an achievement that will be in only our 2nd season back in the top flight! I would be setting a final target of 62 points. With 15 games remaining, with the squad we have that is doable..The FA Cup has to be a realistic target aswell, although we had a crappy draw away to Sunderland THE TIE IS VERY WINNABLE! With two of the big 4 going out in the 5th round a Semi Final place is up for grabs and from there you never know!
I hate it when people say we have nothing to play for, its the beginning of February for Pete's sake!!! There is loads to pay for! We can still finish in the top 6 with a strong finish......what an achievement that will be in only our 2nd season back in the top flight! I would be setting a final target of 62 points. With 15 games remaining, with the squad we have that is doable..The FA Cup has to be a realistic target aswell, although we had a crappy draw away to Sunderland THE TIE IS VERY WINNABLE! With two of the big 4 going out in the 5th round a Semi Final place is up for grabs and from there you never know! Saint Stag

9:08am Sat 1 Feb 14

Chriops says...

Seems like a fair analysis of the window. So many fans seem disappointed that we didn't bring anyone in, and I do understand that. However, removing Osvaldo, and utilizing Sam Gallagher will advance his development.

Our season so far has been excellent, but blighted by lack of depth - a result of our recent past, but without that past the club wouldn't have been purchased by Marcus. Now we need to look forward. We will sail through the rest of the season, and probably finish where we are - a good second season, probably the best one could hope for without a sugar-daddy owner.

It remains to be seen what Katharina Liebherr has in mind for Saints. Hopefully we'll have something from the board once it's established about long term plans. In the meantime, lets hope that we don't pick up so many injuries in the rest of the season.

For me nothing has changed, and I'll still be supporting Saints each time they walk onto the pitch.

COYRs
Seems like a fair analysis of the window. So many fans seem disappointed that we didn't bring anyone in, and I do understand that. However, removing Osvaldo, and utilizing Sam Gallagher will advance his development. Our season so far has been excellent, but blighted by lack of depth - a result of our recent past, but without that past the club wouldn't have been purchased by Marcus. Now we need to look forward. We will sail through the rest of the season, and probably finish where we are - a good second season, probably the best one could hope for without a sugar-daddy owner. It remains to be seen what Katharina Liebherr has in mind for Saints. Hopefully we'll have something from the board once it's established about long term plans. In the meantime, lets hope that we don't pick up so many injuries in the rest of the season. For me nothing has changed, and I'll still be supporting Saints each time they walk onto the pitch. COYRs Chriops

9:23am Sat 1 Feb 14

Clever Dick says...

It seems that a few clubs were sniffing around some of our players and were nicely put in their place. Apparently Ars were after Morgan and were told £15Mil and Swansea's offer of £3mill for JC was nothing less than an insult. Probably a few more we never heard about either. Anyway the club was true to it's word and never let go anybody we want to stay. I suspect the summer may see a few changes that we don't want to see but unfortunately money talks. But now we move forward this season and if we play every game like we did last Saturday we needn't be worrying about 40 points. We are good enough to get 50 and more and by beating the teams like Newcastle and Everton we can still climb above them.
It seems that a few clubs were sniffing around some of our players and were nicely put in their place. Apparently Ars were after Morgan and were told £15Mil and Swansea's offer of £3mill for JC was nothing less than an insult. Probably a few more we never heard about either. Anyway the club was true to it's word and never let go anybody we want to stay. I suspect the summer may see a few changes that we don't want to see but unfortunately money talks. But now we move forward this season and if we play every game like we did last Saturday we needn't be worrying about 40 points. We are good enough to get 50 and more and by beating the teams like Newcastle and Everton we can still climb above them. Clever Dick

9:25am Sat 1 Feb 14

fairdinkum says...

Saint Stag wrote:
I hate it when people say we have nothing to play for, its the beginning of February for Pete's sake!!! There is loads to pay for! We can still finish in the top 6 with a strong finish......what an achievement that will be in only our 2nd season back in the top flight! I would be setting a final target of 62 points. With 15 games remaining, with the squad we have that is doable..The FA Cup has to be a realistic target aswell, although we had a crappy draw away to Sunderland THE TIE IS VERY WINNABLE! With two of the big 4 going out in the 5th round a Semi Final place is up for grabs and from there you never know!
I'm with you here, Stag. Good positive attitude. Onwards and upwards
[quote][p][bold]Saint Stag[/bold] wrote: I hate it when people say we have nothing to play for, its the beginning of February for Pete's sake!!! There is loads to pay for! We can still finish in the top 6 with a strong finish......what an achievement that will be in only our 2nd season back in the top flight! I would be setting a final target of 62 points. With 15 games remaining, with the squad we have that is doable..The FA Cup has to be a realistic target aswell, although we had a crappy draw away to Sunderland THE TIE IS VERY WINNABLE! With two of the big 4 going out in the 5th round a Semi Final place is up for grabs and from there you never know![/p][/quote]I'm with you here, Stag. Good positive attitude. Onwards and upwards fairdinkum

9:32am Sat 1 Feb 14

warrens 76 says...

What a very good article Adam…congratulatio
ns.
What a very good article Adam…congratulatio ns. warrens 76

9:40am Sat 1 Feb 14

Costa Baz says...

Chriops wrote:
Seems like a fair analysis of the window. So many fans seem disappointed that we didn't bring anyone in, and I do understand that. However, removing Osvaldo, and utilizing Sam Gallagher will advance his development.

Our season so far has been excellent, but blighted by lack of depth - a result of our recent past, but without that past the club wouldn't have been purchased by Marcus. Now we need to look forward. We will sail through the rest of the season, and probably finish where we are - a good second season, probably the best one could hope for without a sugar-daddy owner.

It remains to be seen what Katharina Liebherr has in mind for Saints. Hopefully we'll have something from the board once it's established about long term plans. In the meantime, lets hope that we don't pick up so many injuries in the rest of the season.

For me nothing has changed, and I'll still be supporting Saints each time they walk onto the pitch.

COYRs
Actually, your comment about what Katharina Liebherr has in mind, raises a very good talking point.

Does the removal of, for want of a better word, the deadwood, and no purchases now, mean we will have more money for bringing in top quality players, in the summer?

Or does all the above, plus retaining our best "assets", mean she is preparing the "business" for selling, once Premiership status has been confirmed?

Either option would make good business sense, but should it be the latter, I would hope the sale would take place before the next transfer window opens, and not as it is closing.
[quote][p][bold]Chriops[/bold] wrote: Seems like a fair analysis of the window. So many fans seem disappointed that we didn't bring anyone in, and I do understand that. However, removing Osvaldo, and utilizing Sam Gallagher will advance his development. Our season so far has been excellent, but blighted by lack of depth - a result of our recent past, but without that past the club wouldn't have been purchased by Marcus. Now we need to look forward. We will sail through the rest of the season, and probably finish where we are - a good second season, probably the best one could hope for without a sugar-daddy owner. It remains to be seen what Katharina Liebherr has in mind for Saints. Hopefully we'll have something from the board once it's established about long term plans. In the meantime, lets hope that we don't pick up so many injuries in the rest of the season. For me nothing has changed, and I'll still be supporting Saints each time they walk onto the pitch. COYRs[/p][/quote]Actually, your comment about what Katharina Liebherr has in mind, raises a very good talking point. Does the removal of, for want of a better word, the deadwood, and no purchases now, mean we will have more money for bringing in top quality players, in the summer? Or does all the above, plus retaining our best "assets", mean she is preparing the "business" for selling, once Premiership status has been confirmed? Either option would make good business sense, but should it be the latter, I would hope the sale would take place before the next transfer window opens, and not as it is closing. Costa Baz

9:46am Sat 1 Feb 14

Sally Hamilton Original says...

I personally think its naive of saints to have not replaced Osvaldo. It's all well and good bringing through talent but we saw with wanyama, lovren and Ramirez how quickly you can lose players (2 in one game)... So if that happened then we would only have Guly. Quite gutted at our lack of signings... I agree Sam can play and I want that but... He faces serious risk of burnout...good luck to the lad though he must be so excited
I personally think its naive of saints to have not replaced Osvaldo. It's all well and good bringing through talent but we saw with wanyama, lovren and Ramirez how quickly you can lose players (2 in one game)... So if that happened then we would only have Guly. Quite gutted at our lack of signings... I agree Sam can play and I want that but... He faces serious risk of burnout...good luck to the lad though he must be so excited Sally Hamilton Original

10:17am Sat 1 Feb 14

Confucious says...

BracknellSaint wrote:
Can anybody shed any light on why Lambert was going to move on? Does he want to leave? Did Cortese want to get shot of him?
Mrs Wilson says insiders at the club were putting very long odds on Rickie leaving. In fact slightly shorter odds were being put on a gigantic green and blue spotted dragon suddenly appearing at St Marys and burning down the Northam.

Rickie himself told everyone he would barricade himself into St Marys with a box of hand grenades and a machine gun before letting any other club take him.

Cortese said he would rather be turned into a 30ft long two ton lump of sh!te than become known as the man who sold Rickie Lambert.
[quote][p][bold]BracknellSaint[/bold] wrote: Can anybody shed any light on why Lambert was going to move on? Does he want to leave? Did Cortese want to get shot of him?[/p][/quote]Mrs Wilson says insiders at the club were putting very long odds on Rickie leaving. In fact slightly shorter odds were being put on a gigantic green and blue spotted dragon suddenly appearing at St Marys and burning down the Northam. Rickie himself told everyone he would barricade himself into St Marys with a box of hand grenades and a machine gun before letting any other club take him. Cortese said he would rather be turned into a 30ft long two ton lump of sh!te than become known as the man who sold Rickie Lambert. Confucious

10:17am Sat 1 Feb 14

ottostrasser says...

I have often criticized some of The Echos "Cut and Paste" journalism but
that was a very very good article. I agree with pretty much everything that you
have said. Well done Adam.
I have often criticized some of The Echos "Cut and Paste" journalism but that was a very very good article. I agree with pretty much everything that you have said. Well done Adam. ottostrasser

10:20am Sat 1 Feb 14

dadofmy3sons says...

Can anyone tell me who Fulham will actually have available to play today?
What a mess they are in.
This game is of no interest to anyone outside of the two teams playing and will almost certainly feature as the last game on MotD tonight. Personally I am pleased with that as we can consolidate our mid-table position and continue to slowly but certainly bring through more players in the Saints way.
All the headlines in December were about how we would not be able to keep hold of young players and how the "big" clubs would cherry pick everything we have striven to promote through our own academy.
Here we are in February with all the players we wanted to keep and most of the dead wood gone, and the one trouble maker offloaded at possibly a profit.
But back to todays game.
How can we possibly fail to win?
This is the game that is the real test, not Arsenal.
Not that often we go into a league game as such blatant favourites.
Can anyone tell me who Fulham will actually have available to play today? What a mess they are in. This game is of no interest to anyone outside of the two teams playing and will almost certainly feature as the last game on MotD tonight. Personally I am pleased with that as we can consolidate our mid-table position and continue to slowly but certainly bring through more players in the Saints way. All the headlines in December were about how we would not be able to keep hold of young players and how the "big" clubs would cherry pick everything we have striven to promote through our own academy. Here we are in February with all the players we wanted to keep and most of the dead wood gone, and the one trouble maker offloaded at possibly a profit. But back to todays game. How can we possibly fail to win? This is the game that is the real test, not Arsenal. Not that often we go into a league game as such blatant favourites. dadofmy3sons

10:26am Sat 1 Feb 14

justaSaintsfan says...

Saints also proved they are bigger and better than Dani Osvaldo!
Saints also proved they are bigger and better than Dani Osvaldo! justaSaintsfan

10:29am Sat 1 Feb 14

damoose says...

My Daughter lives in Fulham, so I`m going up to take my Grand-son to his first ever Saints game,so please bless this boy with a win today lads COYS
My Daughter lives in Fulham, so I`m going up to take my Grand-son to his first ever Saints game,so please bless this boy with a win today lads COYS damoose

10:41am Sat 1 Feb 14

Gosport Red and White says...

Good article, but isn't it about time Saints did prioritise the FA Cup? That's what supporters still dream of. With a team who can beat anyone on their day and being relatively safe in the League lets go for a couple of days out at Wembley.
Good article, but isn't it about time Saints did prioritise the FA Cup? That's what supporters still dream of. With a team who can beat anyone on their day and being relatively safe in the League lets go for a couple of days out at Wembley. Gosport Red and White

10:42am Sat 1 Feb 14

SnapperSaint says...

I think Adam has just provided us with a very good mid-term, status report and it makes very satisfying reading, well done!
We still have a lot to look forward this season and quite apart from keeping our best players and lining up a few more from the academy, our greatest asset and good fortune has been in retaining the services of Pochettino!
I think if he had left when Coertese did we would be in a very different place than we are now, so let's hope he stays in the summer too.
I think Adam has just provided us with a very good mid-term, status report and it makes very satisfying reading, well done! We still have a lot to look forward this season and quite apart from keeping our best players and lining up a few more from the academy, our greatest asset and good fortune has been in retaining the services of Pochettino! I think if he had left when Coertese did we would be in a very different place than we are now, so let's hope he stays in the summer too. SnapperSaint

11:05am Sat 1 Feb 14

BehindEnemyLines says...

Great article Adam, hit the nail on the head, Saints offloading a lot of players critical to getting us to where we are today but unlikely to have a role in where we need to be.
We now have 7 months to review where we are an get ready for a summer of getting the right players in.
Aaron, Billy, Danny, Jason, Chung and Lee thanks for riding along...best of luck....Oh and Dani too f only to ensure we get full value in the summer.
Great article Adam, hit the nail on the head, Saints offloading a lot of players critical to getting us to where we are today but unlikely to have a role in where we need to be. We now have 7 months to review where we are an get ready for a summer of getting the right players in. Aaron, Billy, Danny, Jason, Chung and Lee thanks for riding along...best of luck....Oh and Dani too f only to ensure we get full value in the summer. BehindEnemyLines

11:08am Sat 1 Feb 14

Jon Forte says...

Unfair of you to claim I have no chance of first team football. I'm back and training hard. Nothing is impossible.
Unfair of you to claim I have no chance of first team football. I'm back and training hard. Nothing is impossible. Jon Forte

11:45am Sat 1 Feb 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

Jon Forte wrote:
Unfair of you to claim I have no chance of first team football. I'm back and training hard. Nothing is impossible.
I would genuinely like to see JF on the bench!
[quote][p][bold]Jon Forte[/bold] wrote: Unfair of you to claim I have no chance of first team football. I'm back and training hard. Nothing is impossible.[/p][/quote]I would genuinely like to see JF on the bench! OSPREYSAINT

11:51am Sat 1 Feb 14

el caballo santos101 says...

I think its been a great window, we have cleared probably £100k+ from the weekly wage bill. brought in around £2mill from sales/loans and have off loaded Dani, most likely for more money than we paid.
we haven't paid silly money for players we might not need and the academy is still producing the stars of the future.
last January we paid over the top for 1 player who never even played for us. forren looked to be a panic buy and we were fortunate to get our money back.
the best business of the window though was that we kept all the important players, manure and chelski etc have made their feelings known about several of our players but were put firmly in their place, I hope we can do the same in the summer. if we want to keep progressing then we need to keep our best players.
lets beat Fulham today and get as many points as we can until the end of the season. COYR`s
I think its been a great window, we have cleared probably £100k+ from the weekly wage bill. brought in around £2mill from sales/loans and have off loaded Dani, most likely for more money than we paid. we haven't paid silly money for players we might not need and the academy is still producing the stars of the future. last January we paid over the top for 1 player who never even played for us. forren looked to be a panic buy and we were fortunate to get our money back. the best business of the window though was that we kept all the important players, manure and chelski etc have made their feelings known about several of our players but were put firmly in their place, I hope we can do the same in the summer. if we want to keep progressing then we need to keep our best players. lets beat Fulham today and get as many points as we can until the end of the season. COYR`s el caballo santos101

12:08pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Velleity says...

JohnItaly wrote:
Costa Baz wrote:
I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points.

What happened to "one match at a time"?

I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated.

We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.
You certainly haven't incurred my wrath as I'm inclined to agree with you. Two wins and two draws from the next four games (very doable) would see the relative safety of 40 points by the time Liverpool visit St Marys on 1st March, but as you say a couple of "unfortunate" results and nerves will kick in. When things are going your way a young exuberant side full of confidence is one thing but when it is necessary to "grind out" results under pressure a couple of experienced heads are required, particularly at the heart of the defence, which we lack. Today's game is very winnable. Start off the way as against Arsenal, get a couple up by half-time and the game should be there for the taking. My big fear is we once again dominate the game, have more attempts on / off target but lose by the odd goal. That scenario would dent confidence levels. Until 40 points are reached I regard every game as a "must win" and I'm very sure MoPo adopts the same attitude. 3 points today please.
Look, we've averaged 1.5 points per game with our current squad. Are you seriously suggesting that we will suddenly switch to 0.5 points per game? We have 15 games to get 8 points. So we could draw every alternate game and lose the other ones and survive.

I understand there is a need to be cautious but I suspect you're each in the grip of unreasonable pessimism.

Relax and enjoy a season without relegation fears. Shame it's not a season when we could be battling for top four but enjoy it anyway.
[quote][p][bold]JohnItaly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points. What happened to "one match at a time"? I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated. We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.[/p][/quote]You certainly haven't incurred my wrath as I'm inclined to agree with you. Two wins and two draws from the next four games (very doable) would see the relative safety of 40 points by the time Liverpool visit St Marys on 1st March, but as you say a couple of "unfortunate" results and nerves will kick in. When things are going your way a young exuberant side full of confidence is one thing but when it is necessary to "grind out" results under pressure a couple of experienced heads are required, particularly at the heart of the defence, which we lack. Today's game is very winnable. Start off the way as against Arsenal, get a couple up by half-time and the game should be there for the taking. My big fear is we once again dominate the game, have more attempts on / off target but lose by the odd goal. That scenario would dent confidence levels. Until 40 points are reached I regard every game as a "must win" and I'm very sure MoPo adopts the same attitude. 3 points today please.[/p][/quote]Look, we've averaged 1.5 points per game with our current squad. Are you seriously suggesting that we will suddenly switch to 0.5 points per game? We have 15 games to get 8 points. So we could draw every alternate game and lose the other ones and survive. I understand there is a need to be cautious but I suspect you're each in the grip of unreasonable pessimism. Relax and enjoy a season without relegation fears. Shame it's not a season when we could be battling for top four but enjoy it anyway. Velleity

12:26pm Sat 1 Feb 14

milton road says...

I see it as a disappointing month in many ways, yet it has shown our calibre. NC's departure was a blow, however we look at it. It had everyone from players, fans and manager ask questions about the future and that is still unclear.
To keep the likes of Shaw we have to keep Pochettino I think. If we can't then I do think a lot of things go up in the air.
He is making the right noises about wanting to stay but it does need to be finalised with a big fat contract sooner than later.
The situation with Osvaldo was sad, yet one can only wonder about a player who is watching his international future fade because he cannot get regular football here. The only way out is to move, after all this is his last chance of a world cup. Well he has his wish. A player who never really settled into our system and was more a damp squib than the fire cracker we were hoping for.

Not buying players, this is something that has been against club policy from the off, the January window has only ever been one used by us in desperation. Much the same as loan players, we have had the odd one, but we have al;ways seemed to have had the attitude that we want our own players. In the early days we did have the likes of Papa and Antonio, but in the early days we had no players and were building a team. yet its not been something we have delved to in great depth.

The up is how Chambers who little is written about has stepped up and is a real challenge to Clyne. That the likes of Gallagher may just come in for games and give us a really fast front line that doesn't hold up the play.
Lambert who is loved and whilst is becoming an old war horse has a great influence in the dressing room and pitch and is still a quality player.
An owner who now actually comes and watches and even smiles in a full director box and who i do believe whether she keeps or sells will ensure the clubs progression is protected.

Were we right not to buy in this window? I understand Poch and the fact that the way we play takes a player maybe 5-6 weeks to work themselves into. We are mid table or as said on the Guardian pod noted we are amazingly the only mid table club. Those above us fighting for Europe those below trying to avoid relegation. Yet the sky is still the limit, we still have 16 games and one thing about this saints side they never give up.
In a season when its been great to be a Saints supporter to see a depth of youngsters and players who have come with us from the very ashes of the phoenix, its like having a family.

If summer comes and the dream is still on then I think Shaw will stay.
I see it as a disappointing month in many ways, yet it has shown our calibre. NC's departure was a blow, however we look at it. It had everyone from players, fans and manager ask questions about the future and that is still unclear. To keep the likes of Shaw we have to keep Pochettino I think. If we can't then I do think a lot of things go up in the air. He is making the right noises about wanting to stay but it does need to be finalised with a big fat contract sooner than later. The situation with Osvaldo was sad, yet one can only wonder about a player who is watching his international future fade because he cannot get regular football here. The only way out is to move, after all this is his last chance of a world cup. Well he has his wish. A player who never really settled into our system and was more a damp squib than the fire cracker we were hoping for. Not buying players, this is something that has been against club policy from the off, the January window has only ever been one used by us in desperation. Much the same as loan players, we have had the odd one, but we have al;ways seemed to have had the attitude that we want our own players. In the early days we did have the likes of Papa and Antonio, but in the early days we had no players and were building a team. yet its not been something we have delved to in great depth. The up is how Chambers who little is written about has stepped up and is a real challenge to Clyne. That the likes of Gallagher may just come in for games and give us a really fast front line that doesn't hold up the play. Lambert who is loved and whilst is becoming an old war horse has a great influence in the dressing room and pitch and is still a quality player. An owner who now actually comes and watches and even smiles in a full director box and who i do believe whether she keeps or sells will ensure the clubs progression is protected. Were we right not to buy in this window? I understand Poch and the fact that the way we play takes a player maybe 5-6 weeks to work themselves into. We are mid table or as said on the Guardian pod noted we are amazingly the only mid table club. Those above us fighting for Europe those below trying to avoid relegation. Yet the sky is still the limit, we still have 16 games and one thing about this saints side they never give up. In a season when its been great to be a Saints supporter to see a depth of youngsters and players who have come with us from the very ashes of the phoenix, its like having a family. If summer comes and the dream is still on then I think Shaw will stay. milton road

1:08pm Sat 1 Feb 14

JohnItaly says...

Velleity wrote:
JohnItaly wrote:
Costa Baz wrote:
I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points.

What happened to "one match at a time"?

I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated.

We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.
You certainly haven't incurred my wrath as I'm inclined to agree with you. Two wins and two draws from the next four games (very doable) would see the relative safety of 40 points by the time Liverpool visit St Marys on 1st March, but as you say a couple of "unfortunate" results and nerves will kick in. When things are going your way a young exuberant side full of confidence is one thing but when it is necessary to "grind out" results under pressure a couple of experienced heads are required, particularly at the heart of the defence, which we lack. Today's game is very winnable. Start off the way as against Arsenal, get a couple up by half-time and the game should be there for the taking. My big fear is we once again dominate the game, have more attempts on / off target but lose by the odd goal. That scenario would dent confidence levels. Until 40 points are reached I regard every game as a "must win" and I'm very sure MoPo adopts the same attitude. 3 points today please.
Look, we've averaged 1.5 points per game with our current squad. Are you seriously suggesting that we will suddenly switch to 0.5 points per game? We have 15 games to get 8 points. So we could draw every alternate game and lose the other ones and survive.

I understand there is a need to be cautious but I suspect you're each in the grip of unreasonable pessimism.

Relax and enjoy a season without relegation fears. Shame it's not a season when we could be battling for top four but enjoy it anyway.
Perhaps I'm being a little over cautious rather than unreasonable pessimism.
[quote][p][bold]Velleity[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JohnItaly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points. What happened to "one match at a time"? I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated. We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.[/p][/quote]You certainly haven't incurred my wrath as I'm inclined to agree with you. Two wins and two draws from the next four games (very doable) would see the relative safety of 40 points by the time Liverpool visit St Marys on 1st March, but as you say a couple of "unfortunate" results and nerves will kick in. When things are going your way a young exuberant side full of confidence is one thing but when it is necessary to "grind out" results under pressure a couple of experienced heads are required, particularly at the heart of the defence, which we lack. Today's game is very winnable. Start off the way as against Arsenal, get a couple up by half-time and the game should be there for the taking. My big fear is we once again dominate the game, have more attempts on / off target but lose by the odd goal. That scenario would dent confidence levels. Until 40 points are reached I regard every game as a "must win" and I'm very sure MoPo adopts the same attitude. 3 points today please.[/p][/quote]Look, we've averaged 1.5 points per game with our current squad. Are you seriously suggesting that we will suddenly switch to 0.5 points per game? We have 15 games to get 8 points. So we could draw every alternate game and lose the other ones and survive. I understand there is a need to be cautious but I suspect you're each in the grip of unreasonable pessimism. Relax and enjoy a season without relegation fears. Shame it's not a season when we could be battling for top four but enjoy it anyway.[/p][/quote]Perhaps I'm being a little over cautious rather than unreasonable pessimism. JohnItaly

1:37pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Clever Dick says...

JohnItaly wrote:
Velleity wrote:
JohnItaly wrote:
Costa Baz wrote:
I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points.

What happened to "one match at a time"?

I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated.

We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.
You certainly haven't incurred my wrath as I'm inclined to agree with you. Two wins and two draws from the next four games (very doable) would see the relative safety of 40 points by the time Liverpool visit St Marys on 1st March, but as you say a couple of "unfortunate" results and nerves will kick in. When things are going your way a young exuberant side full of confidence is one thing but when it is necessary to "grind out" results under pressure a couple of experienced heads are required, particularly at the heart of the defence, which we lack. Today's game is very winnable. Start off the way as against Arsenal, get a couple up by half-time and the game should be there for the taking. My big fear is we once again dominate the game, have more attempts on / off target but lose by the odd goal. That scenario would dent confidence levels. Until 40 points are reached I regard every game as a "must win" and I'm very sure MoPo adopts the same attitude. 3 points today please.
Look, we've averaged 1.5 points per game with our current squad. Are you seriously suggesting that we will suddenly switch to 0.5 points per game? We have 15 games to get 8 points. So we could draw every alternate game and lose the other ones and survive.

I understand there is a need to be cautious but I suspect you're each in the grip of unreasonable pessimism.

Relax and enjoy a season without relegation fears. Shame it's not a season when we could be battling for top four but enjoy it anyway.
Perhaps I'm being a little over cautious rather than unreasonable pessimism.
3points today and three against Stoke will put us safe. Then we go on another run and we'll end up well above mid table.
[quote][p][bold]JohnItaly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Velleity[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JohnItaly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points. What happened to "one match at a time"? I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated. We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.[/p][/quote]You certainly haven't incurred my wrath as I'm inclined to agree with you. Two wins and two draws from the next four games (very doable) would see the relative safety of 40 points by the time Liverpool visit St Marys on 1st March, but as you say a couple of "unfortunate" results and nerves will kick in. When things are going your way a young exuberant side full of confidence is one thing but when it is necessary to "grind out" results under pressure a couple of experienced heads are required, particularly at the heart of the defence, which we lack. Today's game is very winnable. Start off the way as against Arsenal, get a couple up by half-time and the game should be there for the taking. My big fear is we once again dominate the game, have more attempts on / off target but lose by the odd goal. That scenario would dent confidence levels. Until 40 points are reached I regard every game as a "must win" and I'm very sure MoPo adopts the same attitude. 3 points today please.[/p][/quote]Look, we've averaged 1.5 points per game with our current squad. Are you seriously suggesting that we will suddenly switch to 0.5 points per game? We have 15 games to get 8 points. So we could draw every alternate game and lose the other ones and survive. I understand there is a need to be cautious but I suspect you're each in the grip of unreasonable pessimism. Relax and enjoy a season without relegation fears. Shame it's not a season when we could be battling for top four but enjoy it anyway.[/p][/quote]Perhaps I'm being a little over cautious rather than unreasonable pessimism.[/p][/quote]3points today and three against Stoke will put us safe. Then we go on another run and we'll end up well above mid table. Clever Dick

1:40pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Rising_Son says...

BracknellSaint wrote:
Can anybody shed any light on why Lambert was going to move on? Does he want to leave? Did Cortese want to get shot of him?
Or was it simply that the press wanted a sensational story?
[quote][p][bold]BracknellSaint[/bold] wrote: Can anybody shed any light on why Lambert was going to move on? Does he want to leave? Did Cortese want to get shot of him?[/p][/quote]Or was it simply that the press wanted a sensational story? Rising_Son

1:43pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Saint. says...

Nothing left to play for? That approach is why Saints have not archived much in silver ware for sometime and why many outside of Southampton view us as a small club! Quite simply DE our glass is half full, not half empty!

January is a tough market to deal in yes, but no one a part from inside the club know if the people who replaced NC in negotiations was up to it and can make it happen or simply and most likely they came with over inflated prices/demands.

As to a twenty goal man! Ridiculous statement! Southampton FC needs one which is very clear!! We are playing teams off the pitch! Two best examples of this is Man city and Arsenal both in contents of what they have done to other teams and what we did to them! Both games were four points dropped! We won the game in many respects but the most important part of points does not reflect this. These are not the only games we dropped points. Saints need a regular goal scorer who puts the fear of God into he oppositions defence like Ricky was in our back to back promotions!

Now we should of had that in Osvaldo. But the guy proved to live to his reputations to be a head case, or did he look to make a move back to Italy? I think the latta as he has taken a massive pay cut as well!

Now as it stand Saints have looked after the fringe players very well, and balanced the books at the same time! Good also if you wish to sale in the summer, as well as good business sense.

So the bright side really is that for what ever reason we did not replace a 15 million striker in Osvaldo. MP has and will have to now show more faith in Gallagher and hope he fulfils his obvious potential So if the very young man does and I think he will! Then Saints could easily hit either sixth, fifth, or an outside fourth. That's what MP and the team will aim for I am sure. They have not given up DE because we half way through the season, the glass is half full and we are playing well and we are best placed to push on from here!

Come on Sam and be that twenty goal man and take Saints up and into Europe!!
Nothing left to play for? That approach is why Saints have not archived much in silver ware for sometime and why many outside of Southampton view us as a small club! Quite simply DE our glass is half full, not half empty! January is a tough market to deal in yes, but no one a part from inside the club know if the people who replaced NC in negotiations was up to it and can make it happen or simply and most likely they came with over inflated prices/demands. As to a twenty goal man! Ridiculous statement! Southampton FC needs one which is very clear!! We are playing teams off the pitch! Two best examples of this is Man city and Arsenal both in contents of what they have done to other teams and what we did to them! Both games were four points dropped! We won the game in many respects but the most important part of points does not reflect this. These are not the only games we dropped points. Saints need a regular goal scorer who puts the fear of God into he oppositions defence like Ricky was in our back to back promotions! Now we should of had that in Osvaldo. But the guy proved to live to his reputations to be a head case, or did he look to make a move back to Italy? I think the latta as he has taken a massive pay cut as well! Now as it stand Saints have looked after the fringe players very well, and balanced the books at the same time! Good also if you wish to sale in the summer, as well as good business sense. So the bright side really is that for what ever reason we did not replace a 15 million striker in Osvaldo. MP has and will have to now show more faith in Gallagher and hope he fulfils his obvious potential So if the very young man does and I think he will! Then Saints could easily hit either sixth, fifth, or an outside fourth. That's what MP and the team will aim for I am sure. They have not given up DE because we half way through the season, the glass is half full and we are playing well and we are best placed to push on from here! Come on Sam and be that twenty goal man and take Saints up and into Europe!! Saint.

1:48pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Costa Baz says...

Clever Dick wrote:
JohnItaly wrote:
Velleity wrote:
JohnItaly wrote:
Costa Baz wrote:
I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points.

What happened to "one match at a time"?

I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated.

We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.
You certainly haven't incurred my wrath as I'm inclined to agree with you. Two wins and two draws from the next four games (very doable) would see the relative safety of 40 points by the time Liverpool visit St Marys on 1st March, but as you say a couple of "unfortunate" results and nerves will kick in. When things are going your way a young exuberant side full of confidence is one thing but when it is necessary to "grind out" results under pressure a couple of experienced heads are required, particularly at the heart of the defence, which we lack. Today's game is very winnable. Start off the way as against Arsenal, get a couple up by half-time and the game should be there for the taking. My big fear is we once again dominate the game, have more attempts on / off target but lose by the odd goal. That scenario would dent confidence levels. Until 40 points are reached I regard every game as a "must win" and I'm very sure MoPo adopts the same attitude. 3 points today please.
Look, we've averaged 1.5 points per game with our current squad. Are you seriously suggesting that we will suddenly switch to 0.5 points per game? We have 15 games to get 8 points. So we could draw every alternate game and lose the other ones and survive.

I understand there is a need to be cautious but I suspect you're each in the grip of unreasonable pessimism.

Relax and enjoy a season without relegation fears. Shame it's not a season when we could be battling for top four but enjoy it anyway.
Perhaps I'm being a little over cautious rather than unreasonable pessimism.
3points today and three against Stoke will put us safe. Then we go on another run and we'll end up well above mid table.
I'm not being pessimistic, as I clearly stated that I didn't think we would suffer the same fate as Blackpool.

I just don't like the arrogance of thinking we have nothing left to play for, and the assumption that we just have to turn up in order to gain points.
This is the time of the season when even the worst teams in the league start fighting for points.
[quote][p][bold]Clever Dick[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JohnItaly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Velleity[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JohnItaly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points. What happened to "one match at a time"? I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated. We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.[/p][/quote]You certainly haven't incurred my wrath as I'm inclined to agree with you. Two wins and two draws from the next four games (very doable) would see the relative safety of 40 points by the time Liverpool visit St Marys on 1st March, but as you say a couple of "unfortunate" results and nerves will kick in. When things are going your way a young exuberant side full of confidence is one thing but when it is necessary to "grind out" results under pressure a couple of experienced heads are required, particularly at the heart of the defence, which we lack. Today's game is very winnable. Start off the way as against Arsenal, get a couple up by half-time and the game should be there for the taking. My big fear is we once again dominate the game, have more attempts on / off target but lose by the odd goal. That scenario would dent confidence levels. Until 40 points are reached I regard every game as a "must win" and I'm very sure MoPo adopts the same attitude. 3 points today please.[/p][/quote]Look, we've averaged 1.5 points per game with our current squad. Are you seriously suggesting that we will suddenly switch to 0.5 points per game? We have 15 games to get 8 points. So we could draw every alternate game and lose the other ones and survive. I understand there is a need to be cautious but I suspect you're each in the grip of unreasonable pessimism. Relax and enjoy a season without relegation fears. Shame it's not a season when we could be battling for top four but enjoy it anyway.[/p][/quote]Perhaps I'm being a little over cautious rather than unreasonable pessimism.[/p][/quote]3points today and three against Stoke will put us safe. Then we go on another run and we'll end up well above mid table.[/p][/quote]I'm not being pessimistic, as I clearly stated that I didn't think we would suffer the same fate as Blackpool. I just don't like the arrogance of thinking we have nothing left to play for, and the assumption that we just have to turn up in order to gain points. This is the time of the season when even the worst teams in the league start fighting for points. Costa Baz

2:04pm Sat 1 Feb 14

dadofmy3sons says...

Football is a funny old game.
NUFC losing to Sunderland who are charging up the table
We are proper mid-table and if Villa lose we are going to be at least 5 points safe, 8 if we beat Fulham and only 2 points off 8th.
This is the perfect oppurtunity to blood young players when there is no pressure, not that we have needed this before as we just keep giving youth their head.
The only downside to this is that Sunderland gaining confidence before our cup tie. Poyet has definitely turned it around and it makes Di Canio look even more of a plonker.
If Rickie is back fit today will he get the start or will Gallagher be given another start?
Does JWP get the nod from kick-off or Steve Davis?
The battle between Callum and Nat for the right back slot, will it lead to Callum getting closer to the right sided midfield he was before?
Does Victor get to start even though Jack has performed admirably?
Is this the oppurtunity to give Gazza some game time?
If we are comfortable in the second half do we give Targett a run out to see how he does?
Crikey! !
What a brilliant time to be a Saints fan.
Back to the streaming game, hope to be able to find our game live too!
Football is a funny old game. NUFC losing to Sunderland who are charging up the table We are proper mid-table and if Villa lose we are going to be at least 5 points safe, 8 if we beat Fulham and only 2 points off 8th. This is the perfect oppurtunity to blood young players when there is no pressure, not that we have needed this before as we just keep giving youth their head. The only downside to this is that Sunderland gaining confidence before our cup tie. Poyet has definitely turned it around and it makes Di Canio look even more of a plonker. If Rickie is back fit today will he get the start or will Gallagher be given another start? Does JWP get the nod from kick-off or Steve Davis? The battle between Callum and Nat for the right back slot, will it lead to Callum getting closer to the right sided midfield he was before? Does Victor get to start even though Jack has performed admirably? Is this the oppurtunity to give Gazza some game time? If we are comfortable in the second half do we give Targett a run out to see how he does? Crikey! ! What a brilliant time to be a Saints fan. Back to the streaming game, hope to be able to find our game live too! dadofmy3sons

2:42pm Sat 1 Feb 14

north wales saint 2 says...

Have been away on holiday with limited internet access so am sorry this seems a little late.Obviously very surprised at N C,s departure can also understand Katterina,s wanting to get involved as it is her money but what bothers me is her father who was obviously an excellent business man entrusted the total running of the club to N C who did everything right from a fans point of view in getting the club back to the promised land in such a short space of time.Whoever she gets in to replace him will have a hard act to follow.Also as everyone on here seems to agree we need to keep hold of Mo Po.Three points today please but another uncertain future lies ahead
Have been away on holiday with limited internet access so am sorry this seems a little late.Obviously very surprised at N C,s departure can also understand Katterina,s wanting to get involved as it is her money but what bothers me is her father who was obviously an excellent business man entrusted the total running of the club to N C who did everything right from a fans point of view in getting the club back to the promised land in such a short space of time.Whoever she gets in to replace him will have a hard act to follow.Also as everyone on here seems to agree we need to keep hold of Mo Po.Three points today please but another uncertain future lies ahead north wales saint 2

2:46pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Chriops says...

Costa Baz wrote:
Chriops wrote:
Seems like a fair analysis of the window. So many fans seem disappointed that we didn't bring anyone in, and I do understand that. However, removing Osvaldo, and utilizing Sam Gallagher will advance his development.

Our season so far has been excellent, but blighted by lack of depth - a result of our recent past, but without that past the club wouldn't have been purchased by Marcus. Now we need to look forward. We will sail through the rest of the season, and probably finish where we are - a good second season, probably the best one could hope for without a sugar-daddy owner.

It remains to be seen what Katharina Liebherr has in mind for Saints. Hopefully we'll have something from the board once it's established about long term plans. In the meantime, lets hope that we don't pick up so many injuries in the rest of the season.

For me nothing has changed, and I'll still be supporting Saints each time they walk onto the pitch.

COYRs
Actually, your comment about what Katharina Liebherr has in mind, raises a very good talking point.

Does the removal of, for want of a better word, the deadwood, and no purchases now, mean we will have more money for bringing in top quality players, in the summer?

Or does all the above, plus retaining our best "assets", mean she is preparing the "business" for selling, once Premiership status has been confirmed?

Either option would make good business sense, but should it be the latter, I would hope the sale would take place before the next transfer window opens, and not as it is closing.
Apparently we have freed up approximately £150k a week in wages, so potentially that's the wages for 2-3 good players.

I'd say it made excellent business sense, and I'd far rather not rush any signings. Lets make sure we do our due diligence on incoming players next time please.
[quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Chriops[/bold] wrote: Seems like a fair analysis of the window. So many fans seem disappointed that we didn't bring anyone in, and I do understand that. However, removing Osvaldo, and utilizing Sam Gallagher will advance his development. Our season so far has been excellent, but blighted by lack of depth - a result of our recent past, but without that past the club wouldn't have been purchased by Marcus. Now we need to look forward. We will sail through the rest of the season, and probably finish where we are - a good second season, probably the best one could hope for without a sugar-daddy owner. It remains to be seen what Katharina Liebherr has in mind for Saints. Hopefully we'll have something from the board once it's established about long term plans. In the meantime, lets hope that we don't pick up so many injuries in the rest of the season. For me nothing has changed, and I'll still be supporting Saints each time they walk onto the pitch. COYRs[/p][/quote]Actually, your comment about what Katharina Liebherr has in mind, raises a very good talking point. Does the removal of, for want of a better word, the deadwood, and no purchases now, mean we will have more money for bringing in top quality players, in the summer? Or does all the above, plus retaining our best "assets", mean she is preparing the "business" for selling, once Premiership status has been confirmed? Either option would make good business sense, but should it be the latter, I would hope the sale would take place before the next transfer window opens, and not as it is closing.[/p][/quote]Apparently we have freed up approximately £150k a week in wages, so potentially that's the wages for 2-3 good players. I'd say it made excellent business sense, and I'd far rather not rush any signings. Lets make sure we do our due diligence on incoming players next time please. Chriops

2:55pm Sat 1 Feb 14

warrens 76 says...

dadofmy3sons wrote:
Football is a funny old game.
NUFC losing to Sunderland who are charging up the table
We are proper mid-table and if Villa lose we are going to be at least 5 points safe, 8 if we beat Fulham and only 2 points off 8th.
This is the perfect oppurtunity to blood young players when there is no pressure, not that we have needed this before as we just keep giving youth their head.
The only downside to this is that Sunderland gaining confidence before our cup tie. Poyet has definitely turned it around and it makes Di Canio look even more of a plonker.
If Rickie is back fit today will he get the start or will Gallagher be given another start?
Does JWP get the nod from kick-off or Steve Davis?
The battle between Callum and Nat for the right back slot, will it lead to Callum getting closer to the right sided midfield he was before?
Does Victor get to start even though Jack has performed admirably?
Is this the oppurtunity to give Gazza some game time?
If we are comfortable in the second half do we give Targett a run out to see how he does?
Crikey! !
What a brilliant time to be a Saints fan.
Back to the streaming game, hope to be able to find our game live too!
You have written the best comedy script since Soap!
Will Ricky confess to Adam that Osvaldo made inapproriate noises, will Boruc reveal his secret Cruyff obsession find out in the next episode of Saints!
[quote][p][bold]dadofmy3sons[/bold] wrote: Football is a funny old game. NUFC losing to Sunderland who are charging up the table We are proper mid-table and if Villa lose we are going to be at least 5 points safe, 8 if we beat Fulham and only 2 points off 8th. This is the perfect oppurtunity to blood young players when there is no pressure, not that we have needed this before as we just keep giving youth their head. The only downside to this is that Sunderland gaining confidence before our cup tie. Poyet has definitely turned it around and it makes Di Canio look even more of a plonker. If Rickie is back fit today will he get the start or will Gallagher be given another start? Does JWP get the nod from kick-off or Steve Davis? The battle between Callum and Nat for the right back slot, will it lead to Callum getting closer to the right sided midfield he was before? Does Victor get to start even though Jack has performed admirably? Is this the oppurtunity to give Gazza some game time? If we are comfortable in the second half do we give Targett a run out to see how he does? Crikey! ! What a brilliant time to be a Saints fan. Back to the streaming game, hope to be able to find our game live too![/p][/quote]You have written the best comedy script since Soap! Will Ricky confess to Adam that Osvaldo made inapproriate noises, will Boruc reveal his secret Cruyff obsession find out in the next episode of Saints! warrens 76

3:07pm Sat 1 Feb 14

DisplacedFan says...

Not seeing our energy. Get Cork on.
Not seeing our energy. Get Cork on. DisplacedFan

4:22pm Sat 1 Feb 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

Lala at last
Lala at last OSPREYSAINT

5:18pm Sat 1 Feb 14

REDARMYRULETHESOUTH says...

ANOTHER FAMOUS SAINTS WIN !!

(Not since 1947 have we won at the cottage !!)

WELL DONE ARTUR (1str Half) and ADAM RICKE and JROD FOR THE GOALS !!

RED ARMY-RED ARMY-RED ARMY-RED ARMY.
NUMBER ONE ON THE SOUTH.
ANOTHER FAMOUS SAINTS WIN !! (Not since 1947 have we won at the cottage !!) WELL DONE ARTUR (1str Half) and ADAM RICKE and JROD FOR THE GOALS !! RED ARMY-RED ARMY-RED ARMY-RED ARMY. NUMBER ONE ON THE SOUTH. REDARMYRULETHESOUTH

5:30pm Sat 1 Feb 14

redsnapper says...

Amazing a good positive article about SFC and on the button. Why spend money now when we are where we are in the Prem . I think we have seen the instant benefit of mad Dani leaving with a scintillating performance at the Cottage!
Amazing a good positive article about SFC and on the button. Why spend money now when we are where we are in the Prem . I think we have seen the instant benefit of mad Dani leaving with a scintillating performance at the Cottage! redsnapper

7:51pm Sat 1 Feb 14

saintbobby says...

Costa Baz wrote:
I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points.

What happened to "one match at a time"?

I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated.

We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.
I agree totally and from last year my satisfaction was going to be 42 points and 17th, which meant what we achieved was a great effort, It is fairly certain that this year there will be a bonus. This is,a realistic attitude to take in what is our 2nd amazing season in the PL.

When we see the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal spending money like water, we have to accept we are still new boys. But I am very proud of our lot and reckon, to be honest, they have done better than we dared hope in August.

I just hope that our biggest young stars will look at Le God and Terry Paine and take in board their loyalty to the Saints. Even Mick Channon realised he made a boo-boo and came back to us after his spurn at Manchester City, if I remember correctly.

Talking of City that is now my only fear when we have to travel to The Etihad. This team, to quote Tim Sherwood is the best on the planet. We drew brilliantly at SMS but their goal-scoring power is unbelievable. The Sky commentator said something about however hard you try against them, you might just as well not turn up. Oh, dear!

But, great 3 points today and Saints forever!!
[quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: I expect this will incur the wrath of many, but even with 32 points on the board, I just wish people would save the "nothing much to play for" type of comments until we have reached 40 points. What happened to "one match at a time"? I don't like to tempt fate and can still remember Blackpool being in a similar position, at a similar time of year, failing to get across the line and being relegated. We have a far better team, than that Blackpool side, so I don't expect the same fate to befall Saints, but it just needs a couple of " unfortunate" results going against us, for nerves to start playing it's part.[/p][/quote]I agree totally and from last year my satisfaction was going to be 42 points and 17th, which meant what we achieved was a great effort, It is fairly certain that this year there will be a bonus. This is,a realistic attitude to take in what is our 2nd amazing season in the PL. When we see the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal spending money like water, we have to accept we are still new boys. But I am very proud of our lot and reckon, to be honest, they have done better than we dared hope in August. I just hope that our biggest young stars will look at Le God and Terry Paine and take in board their loyalty to the Saints. Even Mick Channon realised he made a boo-boo and came back to us after his spurn at Manchester City, if I remember correctly. Talking of City that is now my only fear when we have to travel to The Etihad. This team, to quote Tim Sherwood is the best on the planet. We drew brilliantly at SMS but their goal-scoring power is unbelievable. The Sky commentator said something about however hard you try against them, you might just as well not turn up. Oh, dear! But, great 3 points today and Saints forever!! saintbobby

8:44pm Sat 1 Feb 14

F Fan says...

north wales saint 2 wrote:
Have been away on holiday with limited internet access so am sorry this seems a little late.Obviously very surprised at N C,s departure can also understand Katterina,s wanting to get involved as it is her money but what bothers me is her father who was obviously an excellent business man entrusted the total running of the club to N C who did everything right from a fans point of view in getting the club back to the promised land in such a short space of time.Whoever she gets in to replace him will have a hard act to follow.Also as everyone on here seems to agree we need to keep hold of Mo Po.Three points today please but another uncertain future lies ahead
How strange - that post seems to refer to a long time ago - but of curse it wasn't.
[quote][p][bold]north wales saint 2[/bold] wrote: Have been away on holiday with limited internet access so am sorry this seems a little late.Obviously very surprised at N C,s departure can also understand Katterina,s wanting to get involved as it is her money but what bothers me is her father who was obviously an excellent business man entrusted the total running of the club to N C who did everything right from a fans point of view in getting the club back to the promised land in such a short space of time.Whoever she gets in to replace him will have a hard act to follow.Also as everyone on here seems to agree we need to keep hold of Mo Po.Three points today please but another uncertain future lies ahead[/p][/quote]How strange - that post seems to refer to a long time ago - but of curse it wasn't. F Fan

9:32am Sun 2 Feb 14

Buddy SFC says...

A stunning few weeks, seeing KL smiling after the Arsenal game and watching young Sam on his PL debut , 9 English players , three 18 yr old's and one 19 yr old when Arsenal couldn't field a single English player at the start ! Alex O-C looked like a fish out of water and I think he's sad he's not part of the party ....... Sir Rickies 100th goal ............... and let's remember , we are still building , Yosh coming in to fill the big boots left by Lovren !!

What a season, 10th Great , 9th awesome and 8th ???? Well that would be the icing on the cake, an unusual January but I think it could end up being a fundamental one for the future of Saints FC ....................
.

Loving it !!!!!!!!
A stunning few weeks, seeing KL smiling after the Arsenal game and watching young Sam on his PL debut , 9 English players , three 18 yr old's and one 19 yr old when Arsenal couldn't field a single English player at the start ! Alex O-C looked like a fish out of water and I think he's sad he's not part of the party ....... Sir Rickies 100th goal ............... and let's remember , we are still building , Yosh coming in to fill the big boots left by Lovren !! What a season, 10th Great , 9th awesome and 8th ???? Well that would be the icing on the cake, an unusual January but I think it could end up being a fundamental one for the future of Saints FC .................... . Loving it !!!!!!!! Buddy SFC

9:44am Sun 2 Feb 14

milton road says...

How we can drop Corkie after several MOM performances in recent weeks was beyond me. Wanyama was obviously not match fit and in fact it was rather embarrassing first half, the only surprise was that he stayed on as long as he did. He is a good player when fully fit but not sure he is as good as Cork.

Three good points closed the gap a little on Newcastle and M Utd. It is still not beyond the realms of catching them. How we finish is in our hands only Spurs and City of the top teams away and only 4 at home. We have varied our game over the last couple of months better, not always relying on the slow build up but now mixing it with a fast and devastating counter attack.
How we can drop Corkie after several MOM performances in recent weeks was beyond me. Wanyama was obviously not match fit and in fact it was rather embarrassing first half, the only surprise was that he stayed on as long as he did. He is a good player when fully fit but not sure he is as good as Cork. Three good points closed the gap a little on Newcastle and M Utd. It is still not beyond the realms of catching them. How we finish is in our hands only Spurs and City of the top teams away and only 4 at home. We have varied our game over the last couple of months better, not always relying on the slow build up but now mixing it with a fast and devastating counter attack. milton road

2:00pm Sun 2 Feb 14

el caballo santos101 says...

milton road wrote:
How we can drop Corkie after several MOM performances in recent weeks was beyond me. Wanyama was obviously not match fit and in fact it was rather embarrassing first half, the only surprise was that he stayed on as long as he did. He is a good player when fully fit but not sure he is as good as Cork.

Three good points closed the gap a little on Newcastle and M Utd. It is still not beyond the realms of catching them. How we finish is in our hands only Spurs and City of the top teams away and only 4 at home. We have varied our game over the last couple of months better, not always relying on the slow build up but now mixing it with a fast and devastating counter attack.
cork wasn't dropped, he was feeling a bit tired after running his socks off in the last few games. Big Vic wasn't match fit, but how is he going to get match fit if he doesn't play? cork and Big Vic have different styles and the way they play affects spider and the team differently.
its a great problem to have though isn't it, and a lot of other teams would like to have the same problem and to have all three of them in their team.
is there a better time to be a saint?
[quote][p][bold]milton road[/bold] wrote: How we can drop Corkie after several MOM performances in recent weeks was beyond me. Wanyama was obviously not match fit and in fact it was rather embarrassing first half, the only surprise was that he stayed on as long as he did. He is a good player when fully fit but not sure he is as good as Cork. Three good points closed the gap a little on Newcastle and M Utd. It is still not beyond the realms of catching them. How we finish is in our hands only Spurs and City of the top teams away and only 4 at home. We have varied our game over the last couple of months better, not always relying on the slow build up but now mixing it with a fast and devastating counter attack.[/p][/quote]cork wasn't dropped, he was feeling a bit tired after running his socks off in the last few games. Big Vic wasn't match fit, but how is he going to get match fit if he doesn't play? cork and Big Vic have different styles and the way they play affects spider and the team differently. its a great problem to have though isn't it, and a lot of other teams would like to have the same problem and to have all three of them in their team. is there a better time to be a saint? el caballo santos101

9:36am Mon 3 Feb 14

Emsworthsaint says...

Beondajoke wrote:
Id just like to say good luck and a big thankyou to all the players (whether it be temporary or permanent ) who really were an important cog in an amazing squad who embarked on our rise to the Premiership.... (with exception to Captain Jack Sparrow who wants to swashbuckle and gain his pieces of eight from elsewhere). For those who said they were dead wood then so be it but to me they be the wood that kept the mighty RED flame burning and rising to the top. COYR and 3 points at the Fulham !!!!!
Beyondajouke is right. We should all recall THE moment when the tide turned. We were 0-2 at half time to MK Dons. Nigel brought on Johnathon Forte who scores 2 and Lee Barnard gets the winner, from then on, we chased up league 1 and finished second. To Lee and Johnathon, we remember you.
[quote][p][bold]Beondajoke[/bold] wrote: Id just like to say good luck and a big thankyou to all the players (whether it be temporary or permanent ) who really were an important cog in an amazing squad who embarked on our rise to the Premiership.... (with exception to Captain Jack Sparrow who wants to swashbuckle and gain his pieces of eight from elsewhere). For those who said they were dead wood then so be it but to me they be the wood that kept the mighty RED flame burning and rising to the top. COYR and 3 points at the Fulham !!!!![/p][/quote]Beyondajouke is right. We should all recall THE moment when the tide turned. We were 0-2 at half time to MK Dons. Nigel brought on Johnathon Forte who scores 2 and Lee Barnard gets the winner, from then on, we chased up league 1 and finished second. To Lee and Johnathon, we remember you. Emsworthsaint

9:19pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Emsworthsaint says...

OSPREYSAINT wrote:
Jon Forte wrote:
Unfair of you to claim I have no chance of first team football. I'm back and training hard. Nothing is impossible.
I would genuinely like to see JF on the bench!
Remember, the tide turned when Saints were 0-2 down in 2009 vs MK Dons.

On comes Johnathon Forte, hits 2 goals, Barnard hits the. Winner and we pushed on to runners up in League one.

We remember....
[quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jon Forte[/bold] wrote: Unfair of you to claim I have no chance of first team football. I'm back and training hard. Nothing is impossible.[/p][/quote]I would genuinely like to see JF on the bench![/p][/quote]Remember, the tide turned when Saints were 0-2 down in 2009 vs MK Dons. On comes Johnathon Forte, hits 2 goals, Barnard hits the. Winner and we pushed on to runners up in League one. We remember.... Emsworthsaint

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree