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Saints eliminate Spartak Trnava
We had to play the away game in Trnava first and this time the match was decided by a late goal by Jordy Clasie who played a one-two with Juanmi and scored with a fierce strike!
We played well as a team. The lads realise now that they shall have to give the full 100% to earn their place in the squad, but they are also simply getting used to each other while Juanmi is playing better every time!
Unfortunately, Fonte had to go off injured. Yoshida replaced him and he played decently enough.
A solid game which we definitely deserved to win.
Will Juan Miguel Jiménez López become the revelation of the 2015-2016 season?
The return match at St.Mary's was clearly our best game so far.
We scored no less than four times with Pellè actually managing to score his first goal of the season. But it was Juanmi who was our best player to-day with both a goal and an assist.
Now because Wanyama had received a yellow card we brought on Gastón Ramírez, who (as it turned out later) played his last game for Southampton.
It would seem that we are ready for the start of the new Premier League season...
Ramírez leaves Saints
Just before the start of this new Premier League season we completed a deal with Olympiacos. Gastón Ramírez had decided to leave the club and try his luck elsewhere so we chose not to turn down Olympiacos' £6.5M bid.
So now the season will begin in earnest with an away game against none other than... Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane!!
Solid back to back wins there
Good price for Gaston
I've always thought back up defenders for Saints may struggle in the big games so will be interesting to see how they fare if any injuries/suspensions occur during season
Yoshida is a great pro and IRL can play lb and rb and even DMC, but with Gardos out injured it's only Caulker other than him! Stephens and Turnbull are out on loan and good prospects!
What do you think about the 4-1-3-2 formation with Pellè and Mané as striker duo?
That's the formation I used in the Spurs story because nobody played well as AMC (the number 10 position).
If the two-striker tactic doesn't work I'll switch to 4-1-3-1-1 (which is what I used in the Feyenoord story) and try out Ward-Prowse or Mane as AMC behind Pellè.
Mane IRL would certainly suit that role. I find my AMCs never perform particularly well on CM though; I still play with them though.
We've not played with wingers for five years now so 4131 isn't "unrealistic."
Most realistic would be to play 2 CBs 3 DML DMR DMC 2 CM CM 2 AMC 1 CF.
Stalemate at White Hart Lane
So our first league match of the season had to be at White Hart Lane of all places!
Now because Mané was back from his injury we had him play alongside Pellè instead of Juanmi. That was one tough decision, because Juanmi had played so well in the pre-season Intertoto Cup games, but this was Tottenham and not FC Aarau.
As was to be expected, Tottenham played well but we still could have scored after just ten minutes when Pellè hit a volley from way out, but he scooped it just over the crossbar! There were precious few scoring chances after that one moment, but just before half time Clasie fouled Davies and was shown a yellow card.
Pellè had the best chance to score in the first half, but Lloris kept a clean sheet.
So in the second half we brought on Ward-Prowse for Clasie with Wanyama moving to the defensive midfielder position. That worked well enough and we created a couple decent chances but overall, if truth be told Tottenham was the better team. Their defence especially was simply superb!
For the final ten minutes of the match we brought on Juanmi for Mané, but that made little difference - or perhaps it was too little, too late? - and the game ended in a goalless draw.
A fair enough result considering the fact that both goalkeepers played so well and neither team really deserved to win to-day.
We were a bit lucky that N'Jie did not have his day, but with Lloris playing so brilliantly we never had a real chance to score any goals, either. Still, not losing the first match of the season is perhaps what mattered most to us.
Our next League opponent will be West Brom, but first it's Eintracht Frankfurt.
Last edited by samsami; 31-10-15 at 08:24 AM.
Good away draw - could have won it as well but you know how good Lloris is!
I'd be pissed off and banging on your door if I was Juanmi - performs in matches then gets dropped!
Pellè and Mané fail to impress in Frankfurt
On Wednesday, just four days after our first Premier League match, we lost our Intertoto Cup match in Frankfurt where Mané seemed to be struggling while Pellè also has to find his best form yet.
On paper Pellè and Mané may be the ideal striker pair for Saints, but there does not seem to be the necessary click between them. In fact, most shots on goal come from our midfielders.
Mané is back from his injury, but why is he not delivering?
We did not play all that well, but interestingly in every single game so far, including the one at White Hart Lane, we have consistently produced more shots on goal and more shots on target than our opponents. Our strikers just seem to have trouble finding the net, though.
So for the second time in a row we did not score in a match against a fairly strong opponent.
Mané continues to struggle for form, but Juanmi delivers
Three days later, on Saturday, we had to play West Brom. We needed to win this match after the goalless draw at White Hart Lane in our opening match of the season. And to win we would need to score again!
And sure enough, we played a lot better than in Frankfurt, although Mané was still struggling for form. So when there were no goals in the first half we decided to bring on Juanmi. And once again Juanmi delivered! In the 75th minute Tadic hit the ball ahead of him in the area and Juanmi drove a right-footed shot low towards the goal and found the net! A huge relief for the the team and for the crowd at St.Mary's!
Ten minutes later Wanyama (who else?) scored with a header and so the three points were in the bag!!
Wanyama keeps scoring important goals...
Once again we created more scoring chances than our opponents - but again Mané was our weakest link.
Last edited by samsami; 01-11-15 at 10:24 AM.
Unfortunate against Frankfurt but I don't see Mane as a striker
Juanmi scores again then
Ooooo lets see the new tactic then!
Mane will not be a long term solution I don't think.
Will need another forward alongside Pelle.
Unless you go one up front of course.
Saints qualify for UEFA Cup
In our midweek match we managed to defeat Eintracht Frankfurt this time and Mané actually found the net, albeit with an easy finish after Pellè had hit the ball in low and Rensing could not hold onto it.
We played very well as a team but even though Mané scored a goal he still looked a bit lost playing alongside Pellè so next Wednesday, when we play Hammers in our third League match, we will start with a new formation. We have a full week to try it out in training and we shall need that. It's a match we really have to win!
Saints qualify for the UEFA Cup by defeating Frankfurt at St.Mary's
And it hardly comes as a surprise that Wanyama was important again to-day. He may be playing out of position, but he is by far our club's top scorer!
Jordy Clasie also managed to find the back of the net for the second this season. He is having a good first season at Saints. Clasie is actually the reason that Wanyama is playing as central midfielder now.
Wanyama was named Man of the Match. As long as he plays like this he is indispensable to Saints. Yoshida was also brilliant to-day!
This victory means that we have qualified for the UEFA Cup and our first opponent in this European competition will be FC Minsk.
But for now we shall have to focus on the Premier League as we will be playing West Ham a week from to-day. We have relatively 'easy' opponents at this early stage of the Premier League season, which could be an advantage but it does mean that we have to win as many matches as possible and we cannot afford making mistakes.
Amazing win there as that was a tricky game given the first leg
Decent 1st round opponents as well
Just read the story from start to finish
Does Last Bow mean that you won't be writing another story after this? Hope not!
Good to see that you've decided to test the squad out first before signing players. Great fee on Gaston.
Nicely navigated your way through to the UEFA Cup after that hiccup in Frankfurt.
Get Wanyama signed up to a new deal
And yes, my first goal is to test the squad and have the best players sign a long-term contract!
Mané and Ward-Prowse want new contracts and Wanyama I'm not sure yet.
Ward-Prowse insisted on having a minimum fee release clause of just 4.5M and I don't want that!!!
Last edited by samsami; 02-11-15 at 04:12 PM.
Pellè and Mané successful against Hammers
A week after we defeated Eintracht Frankfurt we played West Ham at St.Mary's using our formation. To the surprise of many of our fans Ward-Prowse played as attacking midfielder right behind Pellè, our lone striker, while Mané played as attacking central midfielder. This meant that Rodriguez dropped back onto the bench.
We had a long talk with Mané and Ward-Prowse earlier this week since they were unhappy about their contracts, and they have now indicated that they like their new roles and both of them have just signed a new contract, even without the minimum fee release clause that Ward-Prowse insisted on earlier!
And the new formation worked like a charm to-day! In fact, all three of them played exceptionally well. After just seven minutes Ward-Prowse laid the ball off, Tomkins tried to intercept but he could not control the ball and Pellè scored with a simple finish!
Pellè scored his second goal of the season with the assist coming from Ward-Prowse...
Five minutes into the second half Mané scored our second goal with the assist coming from Wanyama. So it would seem that we really are on the right track. At least we are winning our games against the so-called 'weaker' teams!
Remarkably, though, for the first time this season with this new formation we created fewer scoring chances than our opponents, but we outplayed them nevertheless!
Our next match will be away against Leicester City, another great opportunity to try out our one striker formation.
Last edited by samsami; 03-11-15 at 04:02 PM.
Good win and great to see the duo signing new deals
Believe to achieve! It is possible! I think I finished 6th in my first season with Saints on last update!
"Oh oh oh it's magic, you know! Tadic and Graziano!"