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Redknapp69
09-12-15, 03:30 AM
What a result v Schalke :clap:

I think you'll win the fugal now Pool not there - as others have said you have beaten better but it is all on the day I guess so who knows!

Think positive on games in hand and tough run in - your destiny is in your hands :)

samsami
09-12-15, 10:26 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints limp to a disappointing draw

Of our seven remaining League games the home match against Swansea was the only one we really expected to win. So what went wrong?

Rodriguez gave as the early lead with a long shot and everyone counted on an easy victory, even when Ings equalised after hitting the ball on the half volley.

But Targett and Forster did not look good and barely ten minutes later King hit the ball towards Montero in the area and Montero beat Forster to the ball and scored a second goal for Swansea!! Of course this was a huge blow for us and we quickly brought on Bertrand for Targett who was clearly having an off-day.

In the second half we decided to bring on Stekelenburg for Forster(!) and those two changes actually did make a difference, only when Pellč finally scored it was ruled out because Soares had strayed offside.

Next we brought on Davis for Wanyama(!) and finally we created some decent chances! First it was Rodriguez who almost found the net and a minute later Clasie picked up the loose ball and after having shown King a clean set of heels he tried a pot-shot at goal and scored the equaliser!

http://s6.postimg.cc/buqkd2p5d/clasie.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Too little, too late? Clasie scored the late equaliser for Saints.

But that was the best we could do and so at the beginning of our very hard run-in we have already dropped two very important points in the race for European football...

http://s6.postimg.cc/bffak2381/Swan.png (http://postimage.org/)

An off-day (even for Foster and Wanyama) which none of us had expected after we had just reached the UEFA Cup Final!

http://s6.postimg.cc/bo89w8qmp/Swan_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/4novh7e8h/Swan_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

West Ham drew their game with Everton (2-2) which helps a bit, but Liverpool defeated Stoke City so things are beginning to look rather bleak for us.

On Wednesday it's Chelsea and on Saturday it's our last home match of the season against Liverpool. Losing at Stamford Bridge would be nothing to be ashamed of, but we do need to defeat Liverpool at St.Mary's. So it's really all or nothing then!

http://s6.postimg.cc/dy0zkqoy9/Table32.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/61gicidht/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

ebfatz
09-12-15, 10:53 AM
Still in your hands.

Chelsea will be tough as they've only had three defeats.
Liverpool should be beatable. (Sorry Redders!)

samsami
09-12-15, 11:04 AM
Still in your hands.
Chelsea will be tough as they've only had three defeats.
Liverpool should be beatable. (Sorry Redders!)

lol.... and glad you're still an optimist :)
but we have an almost impossible run-in with only one game at home; could not be tougher!
we shall need to beat Liverpool and Crystal Palace (away) and Sunderland (away) as those are the 'easy' games - sigh....

Mark
09-12-15, 11:28 AM
European hangover, perhaps!

kuy
09-12-15, 12:31 PM
What a terrible time for Forster and Wanyama to have an off day!

I hope you've put everyone on light training, or no training at all, to keep the fitness up?

samsami
09-12-15, 01:46 PM
European hangover, perhaps!

But one we could not afford!


What a terrible time for Forster and Wanyama to have an off day!
I hope you've put everyone on light training, or no training at all, to keep the fitness up?

You're right. We'll have to with the current limited squad depth.

Redknapp69
10-12-15, 02:27 AM
you have 3 games in hand v west ham and everton - you should catch them easy no matter who the opponents - just 1 win needed really

I think you underesitmated the mighty Swans but just a bad day at the office at exactly th wrong time - I hope you gave athem a "poor performance" warning!

Liverpool looks like a game you can't lose to them

Go all out in next 2 games - got a weeks break to recover then

samsami
10-12-15, 08:55 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints rescue a point against Chelsea

Chelsea started with an attacking formation and in the fourth minute they already came very close to scoring when Modric took the ball on the bounce and shot, but Forster got across to tip it wide! Minutes later Hazard smashed the ball in low but he put it just wide. Pedro also almost scored when he blasted the ball towards the top corner but it went flying over the bar.

And there were more chances for Chelsea! Fŕbregas tried to curl one in from long range but he put it narrowly over, and when Oscar hit a fierce shot, it also went narrowly over the bar. And just before half-time Forster did well to turn the ball away after a great free-kick struck by Modric.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4iv81rjkh/Matic_SOuthampton_Tackle.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Chelsea clearly had the upper hand to-day

We realised we could not just sit and do nothing as we would never survive the onslaught, so in the second half we replaced Clasie by Davis. We desperately needed to get back into the game and Clasie was clearly struggling as central defensive midfielder. Wanyama took over Clasie's position, but it did not make any difference at all.

And in the 54th minute Fŕbregas floated the ball into the area from the right and Matic got well above Davis to win the ball and knock it down for Pedro who controlled the ball well and calmly scored for Chelsea!

That seemed to be it, to those of us who had still been been hoping for a goalless draw. And things did not improve after that goal, either. So we brought on Ward-Prowse for Tadic and Juanmi for Pellč, hoping against hope for some kind of miracle, but instead Chelsea almost scored again when Rodriguez could not stop Fŕbregas going past him and smashing the ball in low! Fortunately Forster managed to parry it!

http://s6.postimg.cc/luvkn7d1t/forster.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Forster was superb again after his off-day against Swansea

And then, as so often happens in football, when Chelsea somehow failed to score that second goal suddenly we got a chance as well! Initially Begovic did well to turn the ball away after a pot-shot by Juanmi, but Mané picked up the loose ball, took it on his right foot and buried it in the top corner! A small miracle after all! In the 84th minute we had equalised!!

Of course, the game was not over yet. Chelsea needed to win this match and they came close! Hazard hit the ball on the volley from way out but it went over the bar. Modric smashed the ball towards the top corner, but Forster did fantastically well to get his fingertips to the ball! Modric whipped in the corner and Ivanovic rose above Targett and powered a header at goal but Mané managed to get in front of the header. And finally, Modric got past Mané and drove a right-footed shot low towards the goal but Forster managed to save the ball again!

So when the final whistle was blown we felt like we had won the match, but of course all we had gained was one point. But at the end of the day it could just turn out to be a very important point!

Chelsea, on the other hand, had lost two precious points in the race for the Premier League title.

http://s6.postimg.cc/6cxyp9txt/Chelsea.png (http://postimage.org/)

Forster almost single-handedly prevented Chelsea from defeating us. He was brilliant again after his dip in the match against Swansea, but even so Chelsea should obviously have beaten us to-day!

http://s6.postimg.cc/8g8dwxtqp/Chelsea_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/k9asewfkh/Chelsea_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Two other crucial matches were played. Man City defeated Everton (2-0) while Crystal Palace was held to a draw (1-1) by Newcastle.

http://s6.postimg.cc/6r3w2m3f5/Table33.png (http://postimage.org/)

On Saturday Liverpool will visit St.Mary's and for both teams it will be all or nothing!

Mark
10-12-15, 10:14 AM
You've done very well to get a point at Stamford Bridge! (regardless of what is happening IRL :D).

Here's hoping you can win that game in hand to go back up to 4th. At the very least, let's hope you can secure European football for next season just in case there's no glory in the UEFA Cup!

Redknapp69
10-12-15, 10:17 AM
Helluva point - that could be massive come end of season

Great response from Forster!

samsami
10-12-15, 04:23 PM
You've done very well to get a point at Stamford Bridge! (regardless of what is happening IRL :D).
Here's hoping you can win that game in hand to go back up to 4th. At the very least, let's hope you can secure European football for next season just in case there's no glory in the UEFA Cup!

If we don't end in 4th place, will we play UEFA Cup next year even if we win the Final this year? Or Champions League?


Helluva point - that could be massive come end of season
Great response from Forster!

Yes, Forster is the one who can perhaps help us reach fourth place!

ebfatz
10-12-15, 10:26 PM
Top 4 is Champions League regardless of winning the UEFA Cup.
That is the only way you'll get in.

Any other finish will see you in the UEFA Cup next season.

samsami
11-12-15, 10:02 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints defeat Liverpool !!

On Saturday 7th May we had to play Liverpool in what could well be the most important match of the season for our lads. And it was also our final home match of the season, so we played in front of a capacity crowd and they were no going to let us get away with anything less than a victory!

http://s6.postimg.cc/vn7w3pjo1/fans.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
The home crowd at St.Mary's demanded nothing less than a victory

Fonte was back from his injury so Yoshida returned to the bench after five somewhat disappointing performances. We also had Bertrand replace Targett as left defender. Targett has not been playing too well lately and seems to need a break.

Both teams needed to win this match, but in the first twenty minutes nothing much happened until Benteke picked up on the loose ball and hit a ferocious right footed strike, but he put it high and wide. A little later Clasie was shown a yellow card for tripping Clyne, but Clasie was playing too well for us to consider replacing him.

And Clasie showed his value ten minutes later when Pellč took the ball past Rossiter and shot hard and low. Mignolet managed to beat the ball away but it was Clasie who picked it up and scored the important opening goal!!

Things looked good now, but it did not last long. Just seven minutes later Clasie's opener was already cancelled out by Benteke who brought the ball forward and scored with a fierce shot!

Tension was mounting now and we were ready for the break when Clasie passed the ball into the area looking for the run of Pellč who unleashed a volley at goal! Mignolet could only parry it and this time it was Tadic who picked up the ball and hit a hopeful looking shot and found the back of the net!! Mignolet did not even move!
http://s6.postimg.cc/hs9ll8p8x/Dusan_Tadic_527088.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Tadic scored Saints' second goal against Liverpool

So we were 2-1 up now, but as was to be expected Liverpool were the attacking team in the second half and when Wanyama was shown an early yellow card we brought on Rodriguez to replace him. Like Targett, Wanyana had not been playing well lately anyway. Certainly not anything like at the beginning of the season when he was the club's topscorer.

Tadic also received a yellow card, but just like Clasie he was playing too well to be replaced. Instead we brought off Ward-Prowse and brought on Davis. But even with two fresh midfielders we could not take control of the match although Pellč actually did score a goal when he took the ball on the bounce and shot, but it was ruled out as Tadic had strayed offside.

After that it was all Liverpool and we could barely prevent them from scoring! Fonte slid through Benteke and was shown a yellow card and a little later Lallana crossed the ball low from the right to Coutinho who fired it in low and hard, but Forster got across to tip it wide!

With three minutes remaining we brought on Juanmi for Mané, who seemed exhausted, but even so Sakho almost scored a last minute goal for Liverpool when Coutinho lobbed the ball right in the direction of Clyne who centred it. Sakho jumped with Soares and won the ball and headed it towards the goal, but he put it just wide! And immediately the final whistle was blown!

So our fans started celebrating for the very last time this season, while our players began to realise that it's up to them now to try and finish the season successfully in the last four away games, without that important support of the home crowd.

http://s6.postimg.cc/aadf9bgsx/Liv.png (http://postimage.org/)

Liverpool actually produced more shots on goal than we did, but a superb team performance gave us this much-needed win. Clasie was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/t1ar5qlzl/Liv_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/4d9jshzo1/Liv_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

The bad news is that Clasie has been banned for three of the remaining four English matches, after collecting 15 yellow cards.

Two days later, on Monday 9th May, Liverpool lost again, this time to Man Utd (0-2) while West Ham defeated Newcastle. In fact, West Ham are our main rivals now!!

And finally, on Wednesday 11th of May Liverpool played their third League match in six days and this time they managed to beat Crystal Palace 1-0.

http://s6.postimg.cc/t595zqgup/Table34.png (http://postimage.org/)

We have some very important away games to play and with West Ham doing so well, anything can still happen, especially since West Ham have two home games to play and if they win both of them....

http://s6.postimg.cc/xpvceo0k1/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

We have a full week's break now, but then it's all five of those games in ten days, so the training schedule will be drastically changed!

Mark
11-12-15, 11:05 AM
An excellent victory! Well done :ok: I can see Benteke fitting well into your team.

Amazing that you still have 3 games in hand which could see you into 4th. Big game coming up soon though.

ebfatz
11-12-15, 03:46 PM
Great win. Some only have one game left.

You'll be way above them by the time they play it!! :ok:

samsami
11-12-15, 03:52 PM
An excellent victory! Well done :ok: I can see Benteke fitting well into your team.
Amazing that you still have 3 games in hand which could see you into 4th. Big game coming up soon though.

As do Man Utd - but those games may be worthless for us. I'm not too optimistic.
The odd thing is that we have to play Sunderland after Sunday 22nd May when everyone plays their final League game!


Great win. Some only have one game left.
You'll be way above them by the time they play it!! :ok:

Well, yes, but chances are that we lose to Man Utd and Man City as those are both away games. So then we have as many games as West Ham and they would still have two more points than us.

kuy
11-12-15, 04:08 PM
Big win!

Redknapp69
12-12-15, 02:05 AM
[QUOTE=samsami;270871]

so we played in front of a capacity crowd and they were no going to let us get away with anything less than a victory!


The home crowd at St.Mary's demanded nothing less than a victory



I wonder how many times you had the load the save to beat the mighty Pool :; :lol:

Clasie 15 yellow cards :eek: :shocked:

4th place wrapped up now for me

I don't see West Ham winning both games left and you have 2 reasonable games and then anything out of either Manchester game should get you 4th

I assume you'll go all out v Palace and review who is available for UEFA final?

samsami
12-12-15, 10:19 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints on track in the battle for Champions League qualification

On Saturday 14th May we played Crystal Palace with Bertrand still replacing Targett as left defender and with Wanyama as central defensive midfielder for Clasie, who is banned. Rodriguez and Ward-Prowse were our central midfielders in this match.

But the wingers in our successful formation also often play an important role and this time it was Mané who showed his value for the club by scoring not one but two important goals, one in the first half and one early on in the second half!

The first goal was scored by driving the ball in low after an assist coming Rodriguez. Crystal Palace played well, though, and Wickham equalised with a great header after he got above Van Dijk to win the ball.

The game was in balance so in the second half we brought on Targett for Bertrand, who had received a yellow card and was playing too carefully. And it must be said that Targett did quite well.

Mané almost scored after two minutes but McCarthy did well to get his fingertips to the ball and Dann got in and cleared the danger. However, seven minutes later McCarthy could not prevent Mané from scoring when he skipped past Dann and past Ward and smashed the ball in low on his left foot!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/6u2xgsq1d/Southampton_v_Crystal_Palace.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Mané found the net twice against Crystal Palace

We were clearly the better team now and created several decent scoring chances and when Ward hacked down Targett with two feet he was shown a red card so Crystal Palace had to finish the game with ten men. Therefore, we brought on Long to replace Pellč - partly to give him game time as we would like to sell him to one of the clubs that are currently interested.

Long played well enough, but there was only one more goal, scored by Tadic, only it was disallowed as Wanyama was in an offside position. Still, the three points were in the bag and we stay on course for Champions League qualification!

http://s6.postimg.cc/vfk9778pd/Crys.png (http://postimage.org/)

We played quite well and deserved to win this match, but what on earth is wrong with Wanyama?? On the other hand, not just Mané but Van Dijk, Fonte and Forster also played brilliantly again!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4rxuot2oh/Crys_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/5nuc49ccx/Crystal.png (http://postimage.org/)

The table looks very good now, but West Ham have two home games remaining while we have to play three tough away games so we can't be too confident yet.

http://s6.postimg.cc/966c0nd8x/Table35.png (http://postimage.org/)

But first it's the UEFA Cup Final. A match that we would love too win, of course, but not as much as we covet Champions League qualification!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5iqkul51t/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Since we shall have to play Man Utd and Man City without the suspended Jordy Clasie, how can we help Wanyama get out of his serious dip in time?

http://s6.postimg.cc/wabe6z5xt/Form.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
12-12-15, 10:43 AM
Great away win there

Why is Mane unhappy?

Has Wanyama position changed since formation change (when he was on fire)

Maybe he's just knackered after a long season!

samsami
12-12-15, 10:57 AM
Great away win there
Why is Mane unhappy?


Beats me! Nor do I know what he means by 'the manager taking action against Shane Long'.
There must be some kind of cultural problem here! We're obviously not communicating :)

http://s6.postimg.org/j1pi0p6fl/MAne.png (http://postimage.org/)


Has Wanyama position changed since formation change (when he was on fire)
Maybe he's just knackered after a long season!

No, he has always played as MC, but now he will have to replace Clasie of course. Still, DMC should be his preferred position, and not MC so that puzzles me, too.

Mark
12-12-15, 12:37 PM
Good win!

Wanyama must be just burnt out from carrying the team at the start of the season :D

Hopefully one more will will secure the CL spot!

samsami
12-12-15, 02:21 PM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints hit by further injuries in training

During our final(!) day of training on Monday 16th of May two more players suffered injuries and will probably not be available for any of our four remaining matches against Lyon, Man Utd, Man City and Sunderland on 18th, 20th, 22nd and 24th of May.

Both Targett and Wanyama left training early and will be out for about 10 days.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ybpd7w1xt/Targett.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/nde3ppdch/Wanyama.png (http://postimage.org/)

Targett's injury is the least of our worries as he seemed to be ready for a break and Bertrand is very capable and experienced.

Wanyama's injury is a major blow though, even if he has not been playing well lately, because Clasie will be unavailable against Man Utd and Man City.

For the UEFA Cup Final Clasie is available, but Van Dijk is banned for that match and now Targett and Wanyama will be unavailable as well.

Beardo
12-12-15, 03:08 PM
Going to be a tense finish. Good luck !

Redknapp69
12-12-15, 06:15 PM
Pretty horrific timing for those injuries :frusty:

samsami
12-12-15, 06:39 PM
Going to be a tense finish. Good luck !

Thanks. It will be tense indeed. Barely dare to watch anymore :)


Pretty horrific timing for those injuries :frusty:

As if they did it on purpose! The very last day of training! And neck injuries both of them, too!
Ten days and Sunderland is in eight days so perhaps I'll have them play anyway. Especially if that turns out to be the all-deciding match.

ebfatz
12-12-15, 07:13 PM
Those injuries add a heap more tension certainly.

Should have laid off the heading in training. :lol:

samsami
13-12-15, 10:48 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Lyon much too strong for Saints

On Wednesday 18th of May we played Lyon in the UEFA Cup Final at the Telia Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.

http://s6.postimg.cc/nromgsc7l/831386_w2.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Dijk was banned for this match and Wanyama and Targett were both injured in training on Monday so Bertrand and Yoshida played as left defender and central defender and Clasie as central defensive midfielder.

Lyon seemed keen to get the early goal and unfortunately they got it, too! In the fifth minute Forster took a goal kick but Valbuena gathered up the loose ball and hit it in low and scored!!

Of course this was a major blow for our lads who struggled to get back into the game, and it wasn't easy! Lyon have a great team and they actually scored a second goal when Valbuena played the ball past Fonte and struck it with fury. Initially Forster pushed it away, but Morel collected the ball and applied the finish!

It was clear that this was not our day so in the second half we brought on Juanmi for Mané and Long for Pellč as we shall need both of them in our final three Premier League games and we did not want to risk any further injuries.

With twenty minutes to go we also brought on Romeu for Clasie in order to give Romeu some game time. After all, he will have to play against Man Utd and Man City now that Wanyama is injured and Clasie is banned. And Romeu played very well, but even so Beavue managed to score a third goal for Lyon!

http://s6.postimg.cc/7jhkysi4x/romeu.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
With Clasie banned and Wanya injured Saints have to rely on Romeu now

Then things got even worse for us when Rodriguez had to go off injured!! Not only did we have to finish the game with ten men now, but this also means that Rodriguez will not be available for our final three League games!

http://s6.postimg.cc/55lv2jzkh/Finale.png (http://postimage.org/)

We never had a chance. It's a simple as that. Lyon were far too strong for us to-day.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5skrs2wgh/Finale_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/un49m5hap/Finale_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So we now have no less than four key players injured or banned for the important Premier League games against Man Utd and Man City! In addition to Wanyama and Targett, Rodriguez is now also injured. And Clasie is banned for the next two matches!

At least we still have Romeu and to-day he played very well as defensive central midfielder, but things rather look bleak for us what with the injuries and our demanding schedule.

Redknapp69
13-12-15, 11:29 AM
Very disappointing end to the European campaign :(

I can't help feel you gave up the ghost too early by subbing at HT. What if you got an early goal back?

I think you have 4th ( or better) wrapped up so a shame those subs were made but understandable you want to secure a CL spot

I was worried by the DC pairing but they did OK to be fair!
Forster had an off game letting in 3 from 5 shots on target

Rodriguez a further blow as well :frusty:

But very well done for getting that far and beating done good teams along the way :ok:

Puts Saints on the map for attracting players in summer :)

samsami
13-12-15, 02:39 PM
Very disappointing end to the European campaign :(
I can't help feel you gave up the ghost too early by subbing at HT. What if you got an early goal back?
I think you have 4th ( or better) wrapped up so a shame those subs were made but understandable you want to secure a CL spot.
I was worried by the DC pairing but they did OK to be fair!
Forster had an off game letting in 3 from 5 shots on target
Rodriguez a further blow as well :frusty:
But very well done for getting that far and beating done good teams along the way :ok:
Puts Saints on the map for attracting players in summer :)

That's my main goal, besides CL Qualification: Attracting players! I wonder how big of a difference that will make, whether or not we qualify for CL.

At the end of the season I will publish player ratings and stats as well as my shortlist of interested players.

Mark
13-12-15, 03:31 PM
Ouch, what a sad way to end the European adventure. Just goes to show that there is still a bit of work to do with the squad. Unlucky!

kuy
13-12-15, 04:24 PM
Real shame, I hate it when you don't do yourself justice in a final - especially when you'd had such an amazing run to get there! Got to go out and wrap up that fourth place now to make up for it :ok:

samsami
13-12-15, 06:49 PM
Real shame, I hate it when you don't do yourself justice in a final - especially when you'd had such an amazing run to get there! Got to go out and wrap up that fourth place now to make up for it :ok:

We have to play Man Utd, Man City and Sunderland (all three of them away games)
West Ham will be playing Arsenal and Stoke (two home games)

http://s6.postimg.org/966c0nd8x/Table35.png (http://postimage.org/)

ebfatz
13-12-15, 10:33 PM
You hold 4th at the moment so the advantage has to be with Southampton.

Reall unlucky in the UEFA Final. Just didn't turn up.

samsami
14-12-15, 08:18 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints lose at Old Trafford

On Friday 20th May we travelled to Manchester to play the Premier League leaders and as everyone had already expected, Man Utd won the match - and the title!

Without Clasie, Wanyama, Rodriguez and Targett we were unable to stop Man Utd who had the full support of the home crowd. Winning the title at Old Trafford was what they wanted and it is exactly what they got.

Within twenty minutes Martial scored the deciding goal after Schweinsteiger had fed Young. Young chipped the ball forward to Martial who scored with a fine strike!

At the end of the first half Darmian was foolish enough to head-butt Steven Davis so he received the red card and we suddenly started believing in a good result again. But even though we did enjoy a lot of possession of the ball and we produced numerous shots on goal, precious few of those shots were on target and we never really came close to scoring, except in the 88th minute when Long, who had just replaced Mané, smashed the ball towards the top corner, but it came back off the crossbar!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ixdb1h7f5/long.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Shane Long was the only one who came close to scoring at Old Trafford

But if truth be told, it would have been more than we deserved.

http://s6.postimg.cc/hhtctscsx/Man.png (http://postimage.org/)

Man Utd allowed us to have possession of the ball and we produced quite a few shots on goal, but in reality even with ten men Van Gaal's lads were in full control of the game.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4cdunoixd/Man_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/ah5d10b0x/Man_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, West Ham came very close to beating Arsenal, even though they were down 0-2 at half time! Like Man Utd they had to finish the match with ten men, but in the 88th minute Alexis Sánchez scored with a long shot to help Arsenal pull level!

And that was exactly what we needed! In fact, that late equaliser could be just what we need most right now in this tight race for Champions League Qualification!

http://s6.postimg.cc/h13jtlzo1/West_Ham.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/i8m2zkf69/Table36.png (http://postimage.org/)

The day after tomorrow, on Sunday 22nd May, we will be playing Man City while West Ham will be playing Stoke City.

And then, on Tuesday 24th May we shall have to play our final Premier League game of the season against Sunderland! By then that game may no longer matter - but more likely it will be the most important match of the season!

ebfatz
14-12-15, 10:23 AM
It's good that you will know what you have to do and the last game will not be played at the same time.

Good luck. Although with Man City's leaky looking defense, you might have a chance of sewing it up with a game spare.

Mark
14-12-15, 11:37 AM
Arsenal being 9th is crazy!

A tough defeat to take given you were playing 10 men. Here's hoping you can get that 1 win needed in the final two games!

samsami
14-12-15, 02:37 PM
Arsenal being 9th is crazy!

Not as crazy as Chelsea IRL :)

Redknapp69
14-12-15, 09:59 PM
Your bench looked horrendous in Man U game!

Good luck in next game :pray:

samsami
15-12-15, 09:24 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Stalemate not enough for Saints

Sunday 22nd May was officially the final day of the Premier League season, even though we will still have to play Sunderland on Tuesday!

We had to play Man City at the Etihad Stadium still without Clasie (banned) and without Wanyama, Rodriguez and Targett who are all injured. Romeu, Davis and Bertrand were filling in for them.

Meanwhile West Ham United, our main rivals, played Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. And of course Everton and even Liverpool are also still in the race.

Man City seemed keen to get the early goal, but there was an early yellow card shown to Zabaleta when he tripped Romeu. Still, City were the better team and Nasri had the first chance to score when he tried a bicycle kick but he put it just wide.

A little later Zabaleta attempted to hit the ball in low but it hit the woodwork and bounced clear. De Bruyne tried a pot-shot at goal but it was well held by Forster and a low drive by Yaya Touré struck the bottom of the post and went wide!

At half-time West Ham was down 0-1 against Stoke City because Afellay had scored after 30 minutes. Everton was down 1-0 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and Liverpool was down 0-1 against Sunderland at Anfield! So with all of these half-time scores we would already have qualified for European football!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/3nihrei8h/city.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Man City was the stronger team to-day

In the second half Man City remained the better team although the first chance was for Tadic with a header, but Hart beat the ball away. He also pushed the ball away after a fierce shot by Pellč.

But that's all the scoring chances we got and Man City remained in control of the game. In fact, if it hadn't been for Forster they would have scored at least one or two goals to-day.

Meanwhile, at the Britannia Stadium Sakho had equalised for West Ham and Moses had scored from a penalty. Three minutes later Sakho scored a third goal for the Hammers and it was clear that they were going to win their match!

Still, there was nothing we could do about that. We brought on three subs, but it did not change things around. On the contrary, Sterling almost scored for City when he blasted the ball towards the top corner, but Forster did well to turn the ball away and in the end we counted ourselves lucky to be able to leave the Etihad Stadium with one point in the bag!

West Ham won their match (3-2) while Everton and Liverpool both lost their final League game of the season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/kinzfjs9d/City.png (http://postimage.org/)

Man City was by far the better team. Only Forster played brilliantly and managed to keep a clean sheet again.

http://s6.postimg.cc/h99k9345t/City_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/tgdaqna35/City_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So now it does all come down to that one final match at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday!

http://s6.postimg.cc/kb4xws6oh/Table37.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
15-12-15, 10:19 AM
Oooooooh - you need to win then in next game

And away from home against a team with nothing to play for

You could roll them over easily but they could play with freedom

Still in your own hands . . . .

Good luck!

P.S - West Ham goals against :eek : :shocked:

samsami
15-12-15, 10:28 AM
Oooooooh - you need to win then in next game
And away from home against a team with nothing to play for
You could roll them over easily but they could play with freedom
Still in your own hands . . . .
Good luck!
P.S - West Ham goals against :eek : :shocked:

They must have played 'with freedom' at Anfield as they beat your Pool 0-1. But we'll see.
West Ham's goals against is curious, yes!

Mark
15-12-15, 12:03 PM
You can do it, Sunderland have Coates, Brown and O'Shea in defence :lol:

samsami
15-12-15, 12:50 PM
You can do it, Sunderland have Coates, Brown and O'Shea in defence :lol:

They sold Brown (6.80) to Wolves for Ł75K and O'Shea (6.35) hardly gets to play.
When they played Liverpool their defenders were Van Aanholt (7.34), Coates (7.03), Kaboul (7.20) and Yedlin (6.74)

Beardo
15-12-15, 01:38 PM
When is the big game being played ?

samsami
15-12-15, 01:41 PM
When is the big game being played ?

Tuesday 24th May. I will post the result tomorrow morning, together with the average player ratings of the 2015-2016 season.

kuy
16-12-15, 01:13 AM
All in your hands now :ok:

As well as Arsenal, check out Tottenham down in 13th - not a good season for North London!

samsami
16-12-15, 08:17 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints qualify for Champions League!!

While Sunderland set their stall out to attack - after all, what did they have to lose? - Pantilimon gathered up the loose ball and kicked it upfield, but it was Mané who picked the ball up and flicked it on for Tadic to blast it towards the top corner and score the opening goal for us in the very first minute of the match!!

We could not have asked for a better start and it made a huge difference! Suddenly our lads realised that the prize they were playing for, Champions League qualification, was theirs for the taking and they were not going to let it slip through their fingers now!

And we never gave Sunderland a chance. In fact, Ward-Prowse should have scored five minutes later but Pantilimon saved well and held the ball. Tadic and Pellč also come close to scoring but they failed to find the net.

Still, we were never in any real danger, but we certainly breathed a lot more easily when Ward-Prowse finally did score our second goal with a fine header!

This was what we have been playing for this whole long season! We may not have won any trophies, but the fourth place is as good as any trophy we might have won, or even better!

http://s6.postimg.cc/9x443jlxt/Sund.png (http://postimage.org/)
We played well, but Fonte, Wanyama and Mané all failed to impress and our subs did not do any better, except perhaps Juanmi. This long season has obviously taken its toll for some of our key players and especially for Victor Wanyama.

http://s6.postimg.cc/i02aev6j5/Sund_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/5dwgvrtg1/Sund_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And while our players and fans are celebrating and getting ready to go on their well-deserved holidays, we have a lot of work to do before we shall be ready for the next football season!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ase35ntn5/Ratings.png (http://postimage.org/)

The following players on our short list have indicated that they might be interested in joining Southampton now that we have qualified for Champions League football.

http://s6.postimg.cc/kof65azf5/Short_List.png (http://postimage.org/)

Diego Costa is unsettled at Chelsea, because he does not get enough game time. Of course that does not mean that Chelsea will let him go or that we can afford his salary or even that he will be successful if we did manage to sign him, but he could be just who we need in the Champions League!

Rodriguez and especially Götze seem world class players and because they don't play in the Premier League, we may have a better chance to sign them. They are expensive, but perhaps we can entice one of them to join us?

Van Beek and Kongolo are young but show a lot of promise at Feyenoord and we definitely need more defenders, but so far Feyenoord have not agreed to let them go. Perhaps they will release them now that the season is over?

CMCZ
16-12-15, 08:45 AM
If I could pick out of this short list Rodriguez and Götze would be my choices (to replace Bertrand and Mané). I am also suprised there are no more FC's on the list. According to the league table the lack of goals is the problem. Diego Costa has a high price and will ask a high salary, why not try to lure a talentfull striker to the club? The DB contains many, especially in Argentina.

I am also interested in Rodrigo Caio. I don't know this name. How did this player catch your eyes and do you think he got what it takes to perform in the Premier League? If you can get him cheap and he is good, this player maybe a money maker!

Fonté has low scores. Do you still believe he is the right person to be the captain?

samsami
16-12-15, 12:20 PM
If I could pick out of this short list Rodriguez and Götze would be my choices (to replace Bertrand and Mané). I am also suprised there are no more FC's on the list. According to the league table the lack of goals is the problem. Diego Costa has a high price and will ask a high salary, why not try to lure a talentfull striker to the club? The DB contains many, especially in Argentina.
I am also interested in Rodrigo Caio. I don't know this name. How did this player catch your eyes and do you think he got what it takes to perform in the Premier League? If you can get him cheap and he is good, this player maybe a money maker!
Fonté has low scores. Do you still believe he is the right person to be the captain?

Good points!

(1) Götze is my favourite on the list, so I think I will go all out for him.
(2) Other interested FC's are: Harry Kane and Mitrovic. Not sure if I prefer them above Diego Costa, though. What do others think?
(3) Caio showed up on my list of players and seemed a decent option. What I like about him is his flexibility: SW/D/DM RC
(4) Fonté was captain because in this first season I did not want to change anything. Not even the squad numbers :)

After this first year I need to decide which players may leave the club. Any feedback is welcome!

Mark
16-12-15, 12:41 PM
Never in doubt! Would have been a travesty had you failed to beat Sunderland! Well done on securing CL football in only your first year :ok:

Some impressive names on that shortlist! Hope you've got plenty of cash to spend to get them. Rodriguez will be pricey as Wolfsburg never let him go easy. The likes of Gotze and Mangala may be reasonable targets though and not too expensive.

Any players going on the transfer list? Looks like Fonte hasn't been good enough after all and Mane strangely disappointing.

Beardo
16-12-15, 01:05 PM
Well done, some careful decisions to be made on transfers both in and out, you probably need a bit more depth as you had spaces on the bench in a number of games.

samsami
16-12-15, 01:38 PM
Some impressive names on that shortlist! Hope you've got plenty of cash to spend to get them. Rodriguez will be pricey as Wolfsburg never let him go easy. The likes of Gotze and Mangala may be reasonable targets though and not too expensive.
Any players going on the transfer list? Looks like Fonte hasn't been good enough after all and Mane strangely disappointing.

Götze is not cheap but very impressive attributes and still young! We have Ł28.5M right now (mostly prize money) and more income next month when we sell tickets.

I suppose Fonte en Mané would get unhappy on the bench, so we'll have to see about that later.


Well done, some careful decisions to be made on transfers both in and out, you probably need a bit more depth as you had spaces on the bench in a number of games.

Yes, that's right! We did have too few first team players at times. So come to think of it, better keep them all (unless they insist on leaving or we get really good bids)

ebfatz
16-12-15, 05:05 PM
Wanyama's 22 goals is outrageous!

Great return.

Be interesting to see who you sign.

samsami
16-12-15, 05:14 PM
Wanyama's 22 goals is outrageous!
Be interesting to see who you sign.

Outrageous is the right word! But his form has kept me puzzled:

http://s6.postimg.org/rk8lfw8nl/Wanyama.png (http://postimage.org/)

22 goals, 5 assists and 8 times Man of the Match - and yet his ratings have consistently been mediocre lately!

Akitt
16-12-15, 08:04 PM
Based off performance I'd possibly look at starting Juanmi over Mane

kuy
16-12-15, 10:24 PM
Well done! Richly deserved, amazing achievement :ok:

Mark
17-12-15, 02:03 PM
Did Waynama's fitness levels drop at all? Maybe he was started to fatigue too much, 54 starts is a lot of games.

samsami
17-12-15, 02:21 PM
Did Waynama's fitness levels drop at all? Maybe he was started to fatigue too much, 54 starts is a lot of games.

No, except for that final match he always was 100% fit.

samsami
17-12-15, 03:31 PM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints set high goals for 2016-2017 season

It has been confirmed to-day that Saints are set to buy not just one but two world class players!

Mario Götze is said to joint Saints on the 1st July. FC Bayern's highly talented attacking midfielder did not get much game time this past season and he said he would be happy to join Southampton FC and help the club achieve European success this next season and for many years to come!

http://s6.postimg.cc/y8nklglox/Gotze.png (http://postimage.org/)


http://s6.postimg.cc/udk6iw2j5/Profile_G.png (http://postimage.org/)

In addition to Mario Götze Saints also want to sign Chelsea's striker Diego Costa, who only made a few appearances this past season but still managed to score a total of 8 goals in just 5 (+6) appearances.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4w1rzaksx/DCosta.png (http://postimage.org/)


http://s6.postimg.cc/ll37v7he9/Profile_C.png (http://postimage.org/)

The question is, can Saints afford to buy both players? And what about defenders?

In addition, the Southampton Board agreed that the stadium needs to be expanded soon.

http://s6.postimg.cc/r45rcfefl/Stadium.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
17-12-15, 03:49 PM
Great work on persuading the board to expand the stadium!

So you've got at least Ł36.5M in the bank?! Good work there then!

samsami
17-12-15, 03:53 PM
Great work on persuading the board to expand the stadium!

So you've got at least Ł36.5M in the bank?! Good work there then!

Not quite. About Ł30M available for transfers, but still selling season tickets and willing to sell Pellč. Junami will be backup for Diego Costa if we can afford to buy him.

If we don't have enough money on July 1st the question is, who should we get? Diego Costa or Mario Götze?

Mark
17-12-15, 04:04 PM
Gotze, without a doubt. Would be harsh on Pelle to be replaced after scoring 24 goals for you.

samsami
17-12-15, 06:06 PM
http://s6.postimg.org/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Pellč moves to Ajax

Breaking News

With the expected transfer of Diego Costa from Chelsea to Saints on 1st July 2016, Pellč has decided to move to Ajax Amsterdam! The news has come as a big shock to Feyenoord supporters, but in Southampton fans wish Pellč all the best.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4d1qn4zpt/Pelle.png (http://postimage.org/)

ebfatz
17-12-15, 06:21 PM
Which ever one you completed terms on first will come up first.

Would need some sneaky reading of unread messages on 1st July to get Costa through first.

I'd go for Gotze first anyway.

With the stadium upgrades you are going to be broke though either way surely?!

Redknapp69
18-12-15, 01:15 AM
Amazing goal in 1st minute to get you on and well done on CL!

DC needs some fresh faces for me - Inigo has amazing att's and Feyenoord boys would be good as well

'm amazed you can attract Costa and Gotze - brilliant you have deals wrapped up for them!

Suprised you let Pelle go - I would have preferred him as back up than Juanami

Looking at stats midifled av rating were not as good but 2 really big guns coming in now is amazing - i still think the squad could do with fattending up - but always hard to turn down offer of signing the galacticos when offer comes up!

Good luck for next season!

samsami
18-12-15, 09:02 AM
Amazing goal in 1st minute to get you on and well done on CL!

DC needs some fresh faces for me - Inigo has amazing att's and Feyenoord boys would be good as well

'm amazed you can attract Costa and Gotze - brilliant you have deals wrapped up for them!

Suprised you let Pelle go - I would have preferred him as back up than Juanami

Looking at stats midifled av rating were not as good but 2 really big guns coming in now is amazing - i still think the squad could do with fattending up - but always hard to turn down offer of signing the galacticos when offer comes up!

Good luck for next season!

I think Juanmi has even more potential than Pelle - and he's younger! Besides, he's used to sit on the bench and Pelle isn't :)

samsami
18-12-15, 09:09 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints sign Mario Götze

After shareholders dividend payout of some Ł6M we received Ł3.8M for Premier Division TV Rights plus more from season tickets sales while the Board announced some plans of their own!

http://s6.postimg.cc/3z0enjfm9/Undersoil.png (http://postimage.org/)

Not sure what they are thinking, because we did not have any games postponed because of adverse weather conditions this past season. And it makes you wonder how much this is going to cost!?

Nevertheless, these are exciting days, and the biggest news is that on 1st July 2016 we officially completed the signing of Mario Götze!

http://s6.postimg.cc/uhdzz580h/Goetze.png (http://postimage.org/)

Götze is widely considered one of the world's most talented attacking midfielders who can play as left or right winger as well. Fans were more than delighted when they got the news this morning!

http://s6.postimg.cc/r30vg4ixd/Fans_G.png (http://postimage.org/)

With the signing of Mario Götze we have made a big step towards becoming a club to be reckoned with in Europe!

http://s6.postimg.cc/gu8eaauvl/mario_gotze_2015.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Graziano Pellč has already left for Amsterdam on an early flight and we are expecting to complete the signing of Diego Costa later to-day!

samsami
18-12-15, 11:52 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Board cancel Diego Costa move to Saints

Breaking News

Late this morning the Southampton Board have decided to cancel the transfer of Diego Costa from Chelsea!

http://s6.postimg.cc/fmugi34r5/Costa.png (http://postimage.org/)

Saints will now have to find a new striker to replace Graziano Pellč who just moved to Ajax Amsterdam. The club is said to be talking with Aleksandar Mitrović (Newcastle) and Stuttgart's Timo Werner.

Redknapp69
18-12-15, 12:17 PM
Gotze - :party: :dance:

Costa :cry: :frusty:

Wonder why they think it's unrealistic when he is proven

Now left yourself short and panic buying!

samsami
18-12-15, 12:22 PM
Gotze - :party: :dance:
Costa :cry: :frusty:
Wonder why they think it's unrealistic when he is proven
Now left yourself short and panic buying!

Bit unhappy with the board, who are thinking more about a fancy stadium with undersoil heating than about buying new players. That cost a couple million right there! Expanding is one thing, but undersoil heating??

By the way, no panic buying. We have Juanmi and time is on our side.

Beardo
18-12-15, 12:31 PM
Surely with Champions League football on offer there are plenty of strikers available.

Have you tried renegotiating the Costa deal ?

samsami
18-12-15, 12:40 PM
Surely with Champions League football on offer there are plenty of strikers available.
Have you tried renegotiating the Costa deal ?

We already had agreed on the lowest possible price.

ebfatz
18-12-15, 01:49 PM
There are better cheaper options out there.

As a Newcastle fan, I'd be interested to see how Mitro does.

Mark
18-12-15, 02:40 PM
Well, you've shot yourself in the foot there with the sale of Pelle and failing to get Costa in! I'm staggered that you'd sell Pelle after scoring plenty of goals for you!

Gotze is the right man to get in along with new defenders imo.

Undersoil heating?! That's a first for me. Nice to see the board thinking ahead to the future though.

samsami
18-12-15, 02:51 PM
Well, you've shot yourself in the foot there with the sale of Pelle and failing to get Costa in! I'm staggered that you'd sell Pelle after scoring plenty of goals for you!

Gotze is the right man to get in along with new defenders imo.

Undersoil heating?! That's a first for me. Nice to see the board thinking ahead to the future though.

Yes, my foot hurts :) I was counting on Goetze and Pelle obviously.

But then again, Pelle is over 30 years old and I think we need a younger striker who will get better every year.

Redknapp69
18-12-15, 09:13 PM
How much transfer budget left Ł20m or so?

samsami
18-12-15, 09:17 PM
How much transfer budget left Ł20m or so?

Just about Ł20m yes. We will buy a striker and then one or more defenders. For now that is good enough. Götze has made our midfield much stronger! And we need a striker who is at least as good as Pellč plus one or two defenders and a bigger stadium!

samsami
19-12-15, 09:39 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints sign Aleksandar Mitrovic

It has just been officially announced that Aleksandar Mitrovic will be Southampton's new striker.
Newcastle's 21-year old forward cost Saints just over Ł6M.

http://s6.postimg.cc/g14z963m9/Mitrovic.png (http://postimage.org/)

Football analysts predict a great future for the young striker. In fact, some of them think that in many ways Mitrovic is already better than Pellč, even those he misses the Italian striker's flair.

http://s6.postimg.cc/l666qsgk1/Pelle_Mitrovic.png (http://postimage.org/)

Fans seem less than impressed. They had been counting on Diego Costa. But the club is convinced that Mitrovic will become a fans' favourite soon enough.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5ona0tzgx/Mitrovic.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Of course Mitrovic does not have the experience that Pellč has; he is almost 9 years younger. But just like good wine he will get better with age!

All Saints needs now is one or two good defenders and we should be ready for the 2016-2017 season!

ebfatz
19-12-15, 12:06 PM
He will do you well. Provided he gets the service.

Just like in real life.

CMCZ
19-12-15, 04:05 PM
Gotze - :party: :dance:

Costa :cry: :frusty:

Wonder why they think it's unrealistic when he is proven

Now left yourself short and panic buying!

It's a bug. The message should be: 'The board cancelled the transfer due to a lack of transfer budget' or something like that ;)

samsami
20-12-15, 08:37 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

July transfer news

On 19th July 2016 Harrison Reed signed a contract with West Ham. Reed is fairly talented, but we could hardly turn down a Ł7.5M bid!

http://s6.postimg.cc/jys8ykqfl/Reed.png (http://postimage.org/)

Three days later we signed John Terry who was no longer needed by Chelsea. An experienced defender like Terry might just be what we need right now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/dowzbkr0x/Terry.png (http://postimage.org/)

And five days later Shane Long signed a contract with Philadelphia. We have Mitrovic and Juanmi as strikers and Long realised that he would get very little game time at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/543nkegup/Long.png (http://postimage.org/)

There are also persistent rumours that Clasie will move to Chelsea, but Saints will never let the fan's player of the year leave the club! Besides, Clasie is happy to stay with Saints.

http://s6.postimg.cc/lt53gbdg1/Clasie.png (http://postimage.org/)

We definitely still need another defender and we are talking with Feyenoord about Kongolo and Van Beek. Both of them are very talented young defenders and they are just the kind of players Saints currently need in terms of squad depth.

On 1st August we will play Feyenoord in a friendly at St.Mary's.

And then, on 10th August we will play none other than Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League Third Qualifying Phase!! We could hardly have had a tougher draw! Man City will play PSV Eindhoven.

samsami
20-12-15, 02:13 PM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints a bit rusty

On the 1st August we played Feyenoord Rotterdam in a friendly that ended in a disappointing stalemate.

Bertrand seemed to be the only player who was ready for the new season. Götze was more or less invisible, partly because of the yellow card which he received for bringing down Verdonk. Mitrovic and Terry, on the other hand, both played a decent game.

Our best player, though, was José Fonte who replaced Van Dijk in the second half. Fonte is in danger of losing his place to Terry and he obviously wanted to prove himself to-day!

http://s6.postimg.cc/fwf04q0gh/Fey.png (http://postimage.org/)

It was a very mediocre performance and we did not produce a single shot on target! Götze and Ward-Prowse were the only ones who actually produced a shot on goal.

http://s6.postimg.cc/b456ta5sh/Fey_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/qgoxnb4y9/Fey_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

We have nine days to get ready for the first leg against Dortmund and we have some work to do!

ebfatz
20-12-15, 11:08 PM
Terry is an interesting one. Certainly get the experience from him.

Good choice to pick him up I reckon.
Lock up your wives though.

samsami
20-12-15, 11:41 PM
Terry is an interesting one. Certainly get the experience from him.

Good choice to pick him up I reckon.
Lock up your wives though.

Will do that :)

Redknapp69
21-12-15, 01:47 AM
Big price for Reed - although he looks amazing in my save after a couple of seasons so you may hev let one go there!

JT should be good backup - never seems to do that well for me though in last few updates

Long leavin is understandable - doesn't really fit in the formation and not really first XI player

Pig of a draw in CL qualifier :frusty: :cry:

samsami
21-12-15, 09:12 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Southampton 2-2 Borussia

On 10th August we played our first official match of the new season and what an opponent!

http://s6.postimg.cc/lwgjdlpe9/borussia_logo_71.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

And what a crowd!! The fans cheered us on like never before and for about an hour we rose above ourselves and believed we could actually win the match - and possibly even qualify for the Champions League Group Phase!

Wanyama was the first one to unleash a volley at goal, but he put it wide. Götze was brilliant at this stage of the match and in the 19th minute Clasie fed the ball to him in the area and Götze swivelled on the ball and made it 1-0 !!

The crowd was ecstatic, but of course Borussia came back into the game and it was Reus who almost scored the equaliser only Forster managed to turn the ball behind.

And somehow we survived the first half without conceding any goals, but we did we did not create all that many chances, either. Mitrovic was clearly struggling in his first official match and he was shown a yellow card for fouling Kagawa by holding him back so in the second half we brought on Juanmi as we did not want to run any unnecessary risks.

And then, in the second half Wanyama suddenly scored our second goal when he was left unmarked and had the opportunity to hit the ball high and hard towards the goal from just outside the box!!

That was more than our fans had dared to hope for, but then Borussia hit back and Aubameyang scored just two minutes later. Forster managed to parry the ball at first, but Aubameyang went for the follow up and this time he found the net! It was bound to happen, of course, but for two whole minutes we had believed in a miracle!

Of course 2-1 would have barely been enough to go to Dortmund for the 2nd leg and still believe that we could qualify, so we tried to score a third goal and we actually produced quite a few shots on goal. But then Gündoğan made an end to all doubt by scoring Dortmund's second goal. First it was Reus who drove the ball in low and Forster saved, but he could not hold onto the ball so Gündoğan pounced on the rebound and scored!

http://s6.postimg.cc/r4xs693o1/Dort.png (http://postimage.org/)

An exciting match with lots of action. Clasie was Man-of-the-Match while it was good to see Wanyama also playing remarkably well again! Götze had a very good debut for Saints, but Terry and Mitrovic were actually quite disappointing in their first official match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/v0168tmtt/Dort_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/hmy167hzl/Dort_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

In the ten day period between this match and our first League match there was some good news as well. Sven van Beek signed a four-year contract! Van Beek is a very talented central defender who can also play as right defender, so he is just the kind of player we have been looking for!

http://s6.postimg.cc/e5i6y0es1/Van_Beek.png (http://postimage.org/)

And not surprisingly, in the same week Yoshida decided to leave the club and move to Aston Villa.

http://s6.postimg.cc/jsejvhhap/Yoshida.png (http://postimage.org/)

So now it will be Spurs then, in the first League match of this exciting new season!

Mark
21-12-15, 11:24 AM
Good to see Gotze turning it on when it matters. Not so impressive from Mitrovic though.

Plenty of cash being raised in sales now. Reed is indeed one for the future so what a good price it was to get that from West Ham!

Well done on drawing against Dortmund. Such a tough draw though, going to be hard in the return leg with 2 away goals for them.

samsami
21-12-15, 11:45 AM
Good to see Gotze turning it on when it matters. Not so impressive from Mitrovic though.

Plenty of cash being raised in sales now. Reed is indeed one for the future so what a good price it was to get that from West Ham!

Well done on drawing against Dortmund. Such a tough draw though, going to be hard in the return leg with 2 away goals for them.

Well, when we drew Dortmund it was clear to me that we will most likely have to play UEFA Cup again. Dortmund is probably the strongest opponent we could have drawn. But at least it gives our new players a chance to get used to the team. Hopefully we will beat Spurs and I don't believe we will defeat Dortmund in the away game. I am more concerned about the next match, against Spurs. If we lose that we will be in trouble. But we'll see.

kuy
22-12-15, 01:29 AM
Horrible draw in the CL qualifiers, and missing out on Diego Costa is a kick in the teeth! I hope Mitrovic plays well for you - he's always been brilliant for me, but I haven't played this update yet...

Redknapp69
22-12-15, 01:38 AM
Van Beek is awesome and first choice
Terry seems to be terrible in the update
Decent result but poor after being 2 up - thought you looked good enough to deserve the win there but will be tough for 2nd leg (1-1 my prediction)

Yoshida average but feel you are still a defender short

Redknapp69
22-12-15, 01:38 AM
Early days for Mitro

samsami
22-12-15, 09:55 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints defeat complacent Spurs

Last year we drew both League games with Tottenham Hotspur and they eliminated us from the FA Cup by defeating us at St.Mary's (1-2) with Kane scoring both goals, although not until after Davis had been sent off.

But this time we finally beat them 2-0 in our first League match of the season and boy, did it feel good! Having said that, it was also a fact that Tottenham hardly seemed ready for the new season.

We had Van Beek play as right defender, replacing Soares, and we had Terry replacing Fonte again. So the crowd was eager to see our four new players (Götze, Mitrovic, Terry and Van Beek) perform.

But it was Ward-Prowse who stole the show, first of all with his supreme passing and then when he lined up a freekick and struck it through the wall from some way out to find the back of the net!! Like almost our entire team Ward-Prowse had been playing very well, but we needed a goal and he was the one who delivered!

http://s6.postimg.cc/a6779ylzl/ward.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Ward-Prowse scored a freekick against Spurs

We stayed in control throughout the match, but there was always the danger of a Spurs counter so things stayed tense until the very last minute when Götze scored a fantastic goal. He took the ball in his stride and took it forward. He skipped past Davies and continued into the box. Then he dribbled past Bentaleb and hit it in low and found the net!!

It was Götze's second goal already, but Ward-Prowse was Man-of-the-Match, mostly because of his brilliant passing.

http://s6.postimg.cc/md6cds2j5/Tot.png (http://postimage.org/)

We absolutely deserved this important win and it's good to see that Götze is already playing such an important role in our team. Mitrovic seems to be settling in perhaps, even though he has not scored yet, but Terry was disappointing again. Van Beek played well enough in his first match for Saints.

http://s6.postimg.cc/t4wrgmrip/Tot_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/kb5uzj4k1/Tot_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Stalemate in Dortmund does not help Saints

Four days later we played Dortmund again and this time the match ended in a goalless draw. Of course in itself that is an excellent result, but it does not help us after the 2-2 draw at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/rkrfi8j4h/138736.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Another clean sheet for Forster

A much stronger Dortmund failed to score, partly because of Terry's unexpectedly brilliant performance and partly because of a superb Fraser Forster. But if truth be told, we never even came close to scoring and Dortmund seemed happy enough with the draw.

http://s6.postimg.cc/n7svztadt/Dort.png (http://postimage.org/)

Terry played as if he knew that he was about to lose his place to Fonte again. Clasie and Forster were superb again and Mitrovic was holding his own as well.

http://s6.postimg.cc/g3b2qs34h/Dort_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/eqtdow5ox/Dort_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Two clean sheets in one week is encouraging as we are getting ready to play Stoke City in five days time. Like like season, we start out with several home games in a row and that could help us get the good start we need. On the other hand, losing a home game is worse than losing an away game.

Redknapp69
22-12-15, 10:04 AM
Great win and well deserved v Spurs

Unlucky on the CL :frusty:

Incredibly unfortunate with the draw you had

Can Saints get back there in next few seasons?

At least you stay in Europe and can look to go 1 better than last year - maybe blood the youngsters and squad players in the tournament?

samsami
22-12-15, 10:11 AM
Horrible draw in the CL qualifiers, and missing out on Diego Costa is a kick in the teeth! I hope Mitrovic plays well for you - he's always been brilliant for me, but I haven't played this update yet...

That's how it felt, yes, kick in the teeth :)
On the other hand, Mitrovic is younger and much cheaper.


Great win and well deserved v Spurs
Unlucky on the CL :frusty:
Incredibly unfortunate with the draw you had
Can Saints get back there in next few seasons?
At least you stay in Europe and can look to go 1 better than last year - maybe blood the youngsters and squad players in the tournament?

Yeah, we never had a chance with that horrible draw. So now we'll have to see about the UEFA Cup and how seriously we should take that.

Mark
22-12-15, 10:57 AM
Ah, unlucky! Best of luck in the UEFA Cup, probably better offer competing there first while you're building your squad up.

Great win over Spurs, especially after failing to beat them in 3 attempts last season :ok:

samsami
22-12-15, 11:21 AM
Ah, unlucky! Best of luck in the UEFA Cup, probably better offer competing there first while you're building your squad up.
Great win over Spurs, especially after failing to beat them in 3 attempts last season :ok:

Yes, for some reason I did not mind too much last season, but now I really felt we needed to beat them :)

samsami
23-12-15, 08:05 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints escape against Stoke

On 29th August 2016 we played Stoke City at St.Mary's.

Now after we had defeated Tottenham our fans expected a lot from this match but it almost went horribly wrong. Our defence seemed leaky with Terry not playing his best game ever and Stoke created more scoring chances than we did. Tadic and Mitrovic came closest to scoring, but Bojan and Affelay created even more and better chances for Stoke and only Forster's superb saves kept us in the game.

In the second half we brought on Rodriguez for Wanyama and Romeu for Clasie, but the second half was almost a mirror copy of the first half and finally the inevitable happened: Muniesa scored with a low shot! It was his first ever goal for Stoke, but it seemed an important one, with just ten minutes remaining!

The crowd was in shock but they never stopped supporting our lads and when Romeu passed the ball into the area five minutes later, Tadic drove the ball in low and scored the equaliser!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/o4ql0ko29/Saints_stoke_214887.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Tadic scored the equaliser in the 85th minute

Suddenly we believed in a good result again, so we brought on Juanmi as an extra striker and with his very first ball contact he headed the ball to Tadic who found Romeu on his left and Romeu hit the ball towards Mitrovic who scored his first goal for Southampton with a superb header!!

There were some tense moments before the final whistle was blown but we made it! The three points were in the bag!

http://s6.postimg.cc/f1ajj3g0h/Stoke.png (http://postimage.org/)

Stoke had the better chances but Forster was Man-of-the-Match and Van Beek also played extremely well. But no doubt it was Aleksandar Mitrovic who was the happiest of the lot!

http://s6.postimg.cc/a3wyxze1d/Stoke_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/obmnmmqq9/Stoke_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints unlucky against Leicester

After the international break we played our third League match against Leicester with Van Beek as central defender this time and with Soares back as right defender. Terry stayed on the bench.

http://s6.postimg.cc/xnvogam6p/mary.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Saints start the season with three home games

But after just twelve minutes Götze had to go off injured so we brought on Mané again. And he actually did very well in his old role as left winger! Of course he was extra motivated!

We played well enough and we created lots of chances, but we did not score. Ward-Prowse tried twice with a freekick but both times the wall deflected the shot. At other times Leicester's goal keeper showed great skill and so we decided to bring on Rodriguez for Ward-Prowse hoping that would make a difference.

But seven minutes into the second half Okazaki scored for Leicester and after we had brought on Romeu for Clasie it was Dyer who scored their second goal!

Even then there were some good chances for both Mitrovic and Wanyama but they were frustrated time and again by Roberto who must have been playing the best game of his entire career!

http://s6.postimg.cc/6bdgi8yj5/Leic.png (http://postimage.org/)

We should have won this match and Mané did very well replacing the injured Mario Götze but apparently it wasn't our day.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4831akyq9/Leic_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/y2okqcekx/Leic_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Götze will be out of action for about ten days with a bruised thigh. Mané will obviously be filling in for him.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4m8ynx87l/Table3.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/7p53djxsh/Schedule.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
23-12-15, 11:23 AM
We may have lost but we loved Marc scoring!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5zHdlEZ62g

samsami
23-12-15, 11:30 AM
We may have lost but we loved Marc scoring!

Those fans should not have left five minutes before the final whistle was blown! Or perhaps, from their perspective, they did the right thing.

Redknapp69
23-12-15, 06:16 PM
Fair results there - you won one you should have lost and then vice versa!

samsami
24-12-15, 08:43 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints win in Lithuania

We had to play FK Klaipedos Granitas in Lithuania in the UEFA Cup 1st Round and as we had expected they were not such a formidable opponent.

http://s6.postimg.cc/3tsijhzv5/Klaipedos_granitas.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

With Terry for Van Dijk (out for about ten days with a bruised shin) and with Mané for Götze (also still injured) it soon became clear that we had nothing fear. That is to say, we don't score easily and so there were no goals in the first half, but it was obvious that if anyone would score a goal to-day it would be us, not Granitas.

Things got interesting, though, when Van Beek made a dangerous, poorly-timed, two-footed challenge on Birskys and was sent off! And a minute later Ward-Prowse stuck out his leg to bring down Juozaitis and was shown a yellow card.

But before things got nasty Ward-Prowse scored a formidable goal! He picked up the loose ball and moved upfield and when no-one seemed to think about trying to stop him Ward-Prowse progressed with his forward run and moved inside the penalty area and finally blasted the ball towards the top corner and found the back of the net!!

It's nothing short of a miracle that especially Mitrovic and Ward-Prowse and did not score more goals, but at least we won the match and there are no further injuries.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5dk2co441/Granitas.png (http://postimage.org/)

The only question is, why did we not score lots more goals? This should have been Mitrovic's day!

http://s6.postimg.cc/fxpehij81/Granitas_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/rs1qsw6vl/Granitas_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints victorious at St.James' Park as well

With Terry for Van Dijk and Mané for Götze again, and in addition with Targett for Bertrand who is out for a few days, also with a bruised shin, we simply demolished Newcastle!

http://s6.postimg.cc/f4v67v6q9/Newcastle_Southampton.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

After just five minutes Mitrovic already scored his second goal of the season with a fierce shot and even though Tioté cancelled out the opener just three minutes later, it was Rodriguez who put us ahead again with a lovely strike!

In the second half Soares and Mané scored our third and fourth goal. Mané actually seems on fire after a poor season which cost him his place as left winger!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4mrc6w1qp/New.png (http://postimage.org/)

Rodríguez was named Man-of-the-Match. Mané was superb again as was Van Beek. Mitrovic should be happy, too! And in fact, even Terry played well again this time!

http://s6.postimg.cc/g96uu9zo1/New_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/sgalbu5ld/New_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints lucky at Anfield

Liverpool have had a horrible start this season, but they can still beat anyone at Anfield so we knew we would need a bit of luck to-day.

http://s6.postimg.cc/tduspxl8x/anfield.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

We still had Terry fill in for Van Dijk and Targett for Bertrand, but Götze was back from his injury so Mané lost his place again, even though he had played extremely well. Wanyama joined Mané on the bench. For some Wanyama has not played well at all lately so we wanted to give Ward-Prowse another chance.

Now it seemed to be our lucky day because in the fourth minute Moreno already hacked down Ward-Prowse with two feet so the was shown the red card and Liverpool had to play the remaining 86 minutes with ten men!!

Nevertheless Sturridge, who was playing as midfielder now, came close to scoring the opener but the ball went clean over the bar. And a little later it was Götze who hit a fierce shot and found the net! So things looked very good now!

But Liverpool never give up and when Clasie clattered Lallana the referee awarded them a penalty and Sturridge made no mistake! But just when we thought the first half was over Götze managed to pass the ball to Mitrovic in the area and Mitrovic scored with a simple finish!

In the second half Liverpool remained dangerous so we brought on Wanyama for Ward-Prowse and Mané for Tadic. We did not want to leave Mané on the bench and besides, both players are known to score goals regularly. But Liverpool has a solid defence and in the end we were lucky to leave Anfield with the three points in the bag, even though they had to play almost the entire game with ten men.

We do seem to have a bit of a "luxury problem" though, with Götze playing so well and Mané also playing so brilliantly when Götze was injured. Oh well, at least we have some squad depth now.

http://s6.postimg.cc/7sgjau9qp/Pool.png (http://postimage.org/)

Götze seemed to be glad to be back from his injury and he was named Man-of-the-Match. Mitrovic also delivered again!

http://s6.postimg.cc/x8p010pn5/Pool_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/vm4dtj2z5/Pool_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

All in all, three victories in seven days! And not a bad start of the season even though we have been knocked out of the Champions League.

I think we deserve a short holiday now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/c2zsk647l/Table5.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/fwonfkw5t/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
24-12-15, 09:20 AM
Great victories there!

Thumped Newcastle which was very impressive

Had luck on your side at Anfield :)

Good to see Mitro getting some goals

Very 'winnable' games coming up - really need to be taking as many points as you can

Mark
24-12-15, 03:21 PM
Good run of wins there, well done!

samsami
25-12-15, 11:08 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints winning run continues

On 24th September we played Hull at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/px2dxthw1/Hull_Logo.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Bertrand was back from his injury, but Terry still had to replace the injured Virgil van Dijk. Ward-Prowse and Mané stayed on the bench.

We started out well. In the 10th minute Rodríguez roamed forward unmarked and unleashed a volley at goal and found the net! A little later Wanyama hit a hopeful looking shot, but he hit the post. Last year Wanyama scored 22 goals; this season he has not scored a single goal yet!

We were the stronger team, but Maloney scored for Hull just before half-time. This was a bit of a blow and Hull immediately tried to get men forward to support attack when Odubajo pushed Clasie away and was shown the red card!!

So we knew we had a decent chance now and in the second half we brought on Fonte for Terry and of course we were now the attacking team. Götze hit a speculative effort but the ball just clipped the bar before going over and with some 30 minutes remaining we brought on Mané for Tadic and sure enough, six minutes later Mané gathered up the loose ball and hit a fierce shot and found the net!!

Immediately after that goal Robertson was sent off for hacking down Rodríguez with two feet so Hull had to finish the game with nine men now while we were awarded a penalty. Van Beek made no mistake and nestled the ball into the back of the net.

With Juanmi for Götze we continued to attack and Mané scored our fourth goal with a header. After Lenihan was also sent off for pushing Mitrovic Mané scored yet another goal, but it was ruled out because he had strayed into an offside position.

http://s6.postimg.cc/thy9h1mfl/Hull.png (http://postimage.org/)

Clasie was named Man-of-the-Match. Van Beek was superb again and Mané seems better than ever! If he had played like this last season, we would not even have needed Götze!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ift6ilscx/Hull_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/4pyn9t58x/Hull_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints defeat Granitas again

On Thursday 29th September FK Klaipedos Granitas visited St.Mary's for the UEFA Cup 1st Round 2nd Leg.

http://s6.postimg.cc/huml5gqtt/27382867.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Beek was banned for this match because he had been sent off in the first leg, but we actually decided to give many of our player rest and give others, including Juanmi, Romeu and even Martina, game time.

Tadic scored the early opening goal from the spot after and Juanmi scored with a header but after that the game petered out. Unfortunately Romeu had to go off injured and in the very last minute Granitas even scored a consolation goal.

http://s6.postimg.cc/g09qnq3td/Gran.png (http://postimage.org/)

Most our players did well enough but Terry seems to be very inconsistent and not able to deliver week after week.

http://s6.postimg.cc/laepf0o29/Gran_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/pyupa7d8x/Gran_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our next opponent in the UEFA Cup will be Valencia.

Redknapp69
25-12-15, 02:22 PM
Good win against Hull but 3 red cards certainly helped!
Getting the points on the board early tho!

Less convincing in Europe but did enough - very tough draw next! :(
But it's those types of teams that will test out how the team is really shaping up

samsami
25-12-15, 03:48 PM
Good win against Hull but 3 red cards certainly helped!
Getting the points on the board early tho!
Less convincing in Europe but did enough - very tough draw next! :(
But it's those types of teams that will test out how the team is really shaping up

Not sure why we get all of the easy games first, just like in the first season. Sooner or later we'll have to meet the big guns, though. And you're right about Valencia!

samsami
26-12-15, 10:53 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Late goals give Saints win at Selhurst Park

On Sunday 2nd October 2016 we had to play Crystal Palace at the Selhurst Park.

We actually start the month of October with two relatively easy games against the numbers 18 and 19 of the Premier League, but this is football and anything can happen!

http://s6.postimg.cc/cg1akkz4h/Crystal_Palace_vs_Southampton.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

We made the tough decision to keep Wanyama on the bench for this match. It's not clear what's wrong with Wanyama but he has never recovered from his dip at the end of last season when he started so well and scored 22 goals but ended the season with a serious dip in form.

The match was in balance but there were no goals in the first half; just a yellow card for Van Dijk. And ironically Ward-Prowse, who replaced Wanyama, was our weakest link.

So in the second half we replaced Van Dijk by Terry and we decided to bring on Wanyama for Ward-Prowse. We needed goals and hopefully Wanyama would be extra motivated now.

Initially it did not seem to help, though. On the contrary, Wickham scored the opener for Crystal Palace! So we made another change and we brought on Mané for Tadic. Something had to happen - and it had to happen quickly!!

And it did! Wanyama brought the ball forward, skipped past the challenge of Kelly and looked for Götze in the penalty area. Götze controlled the ball well and fired it in low and hard and scored the equaliser!!

And that goal made us believe in ourselves again! Just six minutes later Rodríguez got into the box and scored with a fierce strike! McCarthy was rooted to the spot. And when Götze was knocked to the floor by Kelly we were awarded a penalty and Van Beek sent the keeper the wrong way to score our third goal!

http://s24.postimg.cc/4z3ppjehx/Palace.png (http://postimage.org/)

Götze was named Man-of-the-Match, but actually our whole team (including Wanyama) played very well and never gave up!

http://s24.postimg.cc/m9pj3tgrp/Palace_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s24.postimg.cc/sfvkob02t/Palace_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints finish with a flourish at the Stadium of Light

On Wednesday 5th October we played Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

http://s6.postimg.cc/6gdjgxec1/Sunderland_vs_Southampton.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

This time we had Mané start as right winger and Götze as left winger. We can hardly keep Mané on the bench now that he is playing so well, so it was Tadic who lost his place to Mané. It seemed the best way to solve our 'luxury problem'.

So for the first time we played with both Götze and Mané in our starting XI but as they say, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry and in the third minute Mané already had to come off after picking up a bad knock and Tadic replaced him again...

Still, we were the attacking team and created enough chances but initially we had little luck. Sunderland received six yellow cards but we did not score.

Wanyama also received a yellow card so in the second half we brought on Ward-Prowse and he played more than decently. In fact, our whole team played well, just like three days ago and like during that match, they never gave up.

And so we finally scored a late goal! Ward-Prowse provided the assist and Bertrand found himself in some space and scored the opener! And like three days ago, it did not stop there. Van Beek chipped the ball into the penalty area for Clasie to score our second goal and none other than Fonte scored our third goal!!

http://s24.postimg.cc/6pi5da6n9/Sund.png (http://postimage.org/)

We clearly deserved to win this game. Van Beek was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s24.postimg.cc/fczy519ut/Sund_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s24.postimg.cc/uqtmshaud/Sund_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So what on earth is happening? Several pundits are already predicting a season of glory for us!

http://s24.postimg.cc/y911b4mcl/Pundits.png (http://postimage.org/)

But are they right? We may have won seven of our eight League matches so far but we have not faced any of the big guns yet! And our next opponent will be... Arsenal! Not to mention the fact that we will be playing Valencia in the UEFA Cup four days later.

http://s24.postimg.cc/u00wmp8h1/Table8.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s24.postimg.cc/iotnklc85/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
26-12-15, 11:42 AM
Looks like you had 2 amazing sets of 10 mins in each game which turned it for you

That looks like a proper test in that next batch of games - will be interesting to see where you stand performance wise after that

But as I keep saying you are doing what you should and have the points on the board from games you should win - not all teams do that - and arguably it's more important to do that than win the 'big' games

samsami
26-12-15, 12:10 PM
Looks like you had 2 amazing sets of 10 mins in each game which turned it for you.
That looks like a proper test in that next batch of games - will be interesting to see where you stand performance wise after that.

But as I keep saying you are doing what you should and have the points on the board from games you should win - not all teams do that - and arguably it's more important to do that than win the 'big' games

I agree with you. We lost one out of eight winnable games, though. So that's 12.5%. That means we would theoretically lose at least four games this season to the outsiders. But Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all have a much better squad than we do, so the home games those those big guns are crucial I would think.

That's why I feel that the pundits spoke too soon!

samsami
27-12-15, 11:45 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints brought back to reality

After the long international break Arsenal visited St.Mary's on Sunday 16th October 2016 and that match brought us back to reality!

http://s6.postimg.cc/x4jaej0b5/Arsenal.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Dijk is out of action for about three weeks after he suffered strained knee ligaments in Holland's World Cup Qualifying match against Azerbaijan. Terry replaced him, but Van Dijk was sorely missed!

We were lucky when Walcott hit the post but just before half-time Alexis Sánchez lost Terry and found himself with plenty of room and scored the fatastic opener!

We had to do something so in the second half we brought on Fonte for Suares and Van Beek moved to the right defender position. We hoped to have a more solid defence that way, but it took Ramsey just three minutes to score a second goal for Arsenal after a low cross into the far post by Alexis Sánchez!

We brought on Ward-Prowse for Rodríguez, but that also made no difference. Alexis Sánchez even scored a third goal from a counter to make it perfectly clear who was the better team to-day.

Monreal was shown the red card after he went in with two feet on Ward-Prowse but that did hardly spoiled the fun for Arsenal.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5kvt2xv81/Arsenal.png (http://postimage.org/)

We may have created as many scoring chances as Arsenal did, but our defence was extremely leaky!

http://s6.postimg.cc/l7n2gb901/Arsenal_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/j8b22n429/Arsenal_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So obviously Arsenal is back at the top of the League now and we are back with both feet on the ground.

http://s6.postimg.cc/z2lcys3f5/Table8.png (http://postimage.org/)


Valencia also prove too strong for Saints

On the Thursday we played Valencia in the UEFA Cup second round in front of a capacity crowd.

http://s6.postimg.cc/q2lcsbwpd/valencia.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Mané was back from his injury and with Götze and Mané as wingers we actually created chances and it was Mitrovic who finally found the net again! Götze headed the ball down for him and Mitrovic was left with a simple finish.

It gave our fans hope but in the second half Valencia very quickly put things right. Halilovic showed Soares a clean set of heels and played the ball past Fonte. He then drove the ball at goal and found the back of the net!

Four minutes later Gayá scored with a low drive and it was only because Halilovic had to come off after picking up a nasty knock that there were no further goals.

http://s6.postimg.cc/s4lu6kuoh/Val.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our defence, certainly with Van Dijk being injured, is obviously too leaky when we play the likes of Arsenal and Valencia. Van Beek continues to play well enough, but Fonte and Terry are simply not good enough.

http://s6.postimg.cc/k81cycj81/Val_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/50lddzrdd/Val_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Felix
27-12-15, 12:35 PM
Following this now, what's your aim for this season?

samsami
27-12-15, 12:49 PM
Following this now, what's your aim for this season?

1. Survive the CL Qualification round this season (failed there already!)
2. So now it's plan B: Win the UEFA Cup (Mission Impossible now?)
3. Improving the squad, especially the defence!
4. Qualify for CL football for next season (2016-2017)

We need a much better defence. I spent too much money on Götze even though he is invaluable. Our midfield is good and we have enough backup players, but our defence is horrible :)

Redknapp69
27-12-15, 07:49 PM
1 and 4 is the same?!

And you can still win UEFA?!


Wouldn't worry too much about Arsenal result.
You had a bad day, not much between the teams but maybe the vital factor was quality in front of goal which you will improve upon year on year with player recruitment

Valencia have a good looking team there.

You need to score 2 but can you do that?
And can you stop them from scoring? Will be tough

Hailiovic out of 2nd leg?

P.S - I've always said defence is where you need to strengthen :)

samsami
27-12-15, 09:59 PM
1 and 4 is the same?! And you can still win UEFA?!

I edited 1 and 4 of my post above, to make it clearer.


Wouldn't worry too much about Arsenal result.
You had a bad day, not much between the teams but maybe the vital factor was quality in front of goal which you will improve upon year on year with player recruitment

Valencia have a good looking team there. You need to score 2 but can you do that? And can you stop them from scoring? Will be tough. Hailiovic out of 2nd leg?

P.S - I've always said defence is where you need to strengthen :)

Normally we would not have a change in the return game in Spain, not with our defence, but it's football.
I assume Halilovic is banned but will that even make a difference?

As to our defence, we bought two new players. Van Beek is a real improvement but Terry is hopeless most of the time. In preparation for next season we will need another two good defenders. Fonte, Soares and Terry are not good enough.

samsami
28-12-15, 09:21 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Nervous Saints defeat Cardiff

On Sunday 23rd October we had to play Cardiff at the Cardiff City Stadium.

http://s6.postimg.cc/pukutcfgx/cardiff.png (http://postimage.org/)

Van Dijk was injured so Fonte replaced him. Terry stayed on the bench.

Our lads seemed nervous after last week's poor show. They knew we simply had to win the match and in the first half we were slightly better but Bertrand and Fonte both received a yellow card and there were no goals.

In the second half we did not want to take any further risks so we made a double substitution: Terry took to the field to replace Fonte and Bertrand was replaced by Targett. And much to our relief we finally scored when Götze nodded the ball on and Rodríguez collected it and finding himself unmarked he scored with a fierce strike!

Cardiff immediately made a substitution and the result was that Baxter almost scored with a low drive but Forster got his fingertips to the ball and the corner also came to nothing.

It was a crucial game for us after those two lost games to Arsenal and Valencia, and we were much relieved when we travelled home with the three points in the bag!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/77cqzfqdt/Card.png (http://postimage.org/)

If truth be told, our defence still did not look good, but somehow we still kept a clean sheet!

http://s6.postimg.cc/62iou23wx/Car_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/bj1cofxap/Card_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints advance in League Cup

On Wednesday 26th October we had to play Crystal Palace in the League Cup Third Round.

http://s6.postimg.cc/lk66xradt/crystal.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Dijk and Juanmi were injured and Clasie was suspended for this match so Wanyama played as central defensive midfielder.

We started out with more confidence this time and after just ten minutes Soares sent the ball in the area for Mitrovic who unleashed a volley at goal and scored with a lovely strike! That was his fifth goal in fifteen appearances. (Pellé scored 24 goals last season in 63 appearances.)

There were further chances for Ward-Prowse and for Götze but there were no more goals. Mitrovic received a yellow card so in the second half we brought on Romeu for Mitrovic and we had Rodríguez play as our forward.

And remarkably, it was Romeu who took the team by the hand! Twice he scored with a low shot and suddenly if felt like our confidence had returned! Unfortunately, Romeu had to go off injured so he will be out of action again, but his two goals were important for our team's morale.

http://s6.postimg.cc/wov5j1841/Crys.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our defence was actually decent this time and Soares was even named Man-of-the-Match!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ye48r3ntd/Crys_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/hvghya0cx/Crys_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Now because Arsenal vs Derby ended in stalemate this was not a bad week for us!

http://s6.postimg.cc/qub5p1ump/Table10.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/xw93b8y8h/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

We will be facing some tough opponents next and the question is will our defence be able to stop Man City and Valencia from scoring this time?

And the away match against Everton could also be very tough. We need Van Dijk back from his injury as Van Beek and Van Dijk are our best central defenders.

Redknapp69
28-12-15, 09:25 AM
Brilliant away wins!

Another tough away draw in League cup but maybe playing better on break

You seem unsure of Fonte or Terry and changing a lot there. Worth giving 1 of them a run?

samsami
28-12-15, 09:35 AM
Brilliant away wins!
Another tough away draw in League cup but maybe playing better on break
You seem unsure of Fonte or Terry and changing a lot there. Worth giving 1 of them a run?

We needed those wins badly. Could be another bad week coming up now (City and Valencia)!

Fonte is consistent (his rating is almost always 6 or 7) and Terry in extremely inconsistent. One day he is brilliant and the next match he is horrible. So it's risky playing him but on the other hand, he could win the match for us.

samsami
29-12-15, 08:42 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints and Man City share the points

On Saturday 29 October had to play Man City at St.Mary's. This promises to be a very difficult week again!

http://s6.postimg.cc/jsiqjcea9/south_vs_man_city.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Dijk, Juanmi and Romeu were still injured and we decided to have Terry replace Van Dijk again.

It did not start well. Early on in the match Mané had to go off injured so we had to bring on Tadic. Losing Mané was a bit of a blow for us, but Tadic played well enough and thanks to the support of the home crowd the game was more or less in balance. There were no goals in the first half, both goalkeepers were in top form, but there was an avalanche of yellow cards!

In the second half Clasie was also shown a yellow card, so we decided to bring on Ward-Prowse. We also replaced Terry by Fonte. Nevertheless, Man City slowly gained control of the match and things began to look very bleak in the 79th minute when Bertrand was sent off after he went in with two feet on Kolarov!

Fortunately Fraser was superb, though! He saved us once or twice and when the final whistle was blown everybody breathed a sigh of relief! It was only a draw, but it felt really good after the recent 0-3 loss to Arsenal!

http://s6.postimg.cc/g195x10lt/City.png (http://postimage.org/)

Of course we were very lucky that Man City is performing so poorly these weeks. On the other hand, Forster and Van Beek were superb and helped us keep a clean sheet!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5omvay72p/City_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/njsb5nryp/City_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

The bad news is that Mané will be out for about two months with a torn groin muscle and Bertrand will be banned for three English matches. After our successful appeal the ban was reduced to two matches, though.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ekxnevxox/Ban.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints succumb to Valencia

On Thursday 3rd November we had to play the UEFA Cup 2nd round, 2nd leg at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia.

http://s6.postimg.cc/kw2uvayxd/Mestalla.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Romeu was back from his injury, but Van Dijk, Mané and Juanmi were all still unavailable.

Now nobody really thought we had much of a chance against Valencia who had already won the first leg at St.Mary's (1-2) but they seemed to take it easy in this return match and at half time there were still no goals.

In the second half we brought on Ward-Prowse and when Tadic suddenly scored with a fine strike we realised that we might have a chance after all! And in fact, even after Fuego had equalised with a superb header it was not over yet. But in the 81st minute Tello scored Valencia's second goal and that seemed to clinch it.

However, with six minutes to go Ward-Prowse struck a freekick and the wall deflected the ball in such a way that Abdennour put it in the back of his own net! So that gave us a final chance again! And we very nearly grabbed that chance when Mitrovic took control of the loose ball and hit a fierce shot, only Ryan did well to get his fingertips to the ball which was then picked up by Aderlan Santos.

Soon after that the final whistle was blown. Our European adventure had come to a premature end...

http://s6.postimg.cc/44hjcjyoh/Val.png (http://postimage.org/)

So we almost surprised Valencia after all. But it was not meant to be.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5v0ke1g7l/Val_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/5xkg0vjv5/Val_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And life goes on. Our next League opponent will be Everton at Goodison Park, followed by the away game against Newcastle for the League Cup 4th round. Even without European football we have enough important games to worry about!

http://s6.postimg.cc/enhj1q1ch/Table11.png (http://postimage.org/)

ebfatz
29-12-15, 10:57 AM
Unlucky against Valentin. Nearly pulled it off.
Can concentrate on the good start you have made in the league now.

Redknapp69
29-12-15, 11:31 AM
Incredibly unfortunate facing Valencia and a hell of an effort in 2nd
You can hold your head up high!

Very good point v City. Both 'keepers MOM

League charge is the priority now - top 4 the target surely

Could have a nice couple of cup runs as well though

Arsenal top and 1 goal conceded :eek :shocked:

Felix
29-12-15, 07:23 PM
Highly unlucky with the Valencia game, but at least you can be proud of the boys! It's all or nothing with the league now, eh?

samsami
29-12-15, 09:40 PM
Highly unlucky with the Valencia game, but at least you can be proud of the boys! It's all or nothing with the league now, eh?

Top four or I'll resign! Although there's the League Cup and FA Cup as well, of course.

samsami
30-12-15, 08:40 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints impress at Goodison Park

On Sunday 6th November, just three days after the Valencia game, we had to play Everton at Goodison Park.

http://s6.postimg.cc/k0tcck85t/everton.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Dijk en Juanmi were both back from their injuries, but Bertrand was banned for this match (and the following) and of course Mané is still injured. But at least we have Van Dijk and Van Beek as central defenders again!

Everton set their stall out to attack and Stones was the first one to try a shot on goal but Forster saved well and held the ball. However, there was nothing he could do a minute later when Barkley squared the ball from the left and Deulofeu fired it in low and hard and scored the early opening goal!

That was a blow, but after that goal Everton started defending. Gótze almost scored the equaliser just four minutes later when he struck the ball with fury, even though he was surrounded by defenders, but the ball went just over the bar. We had more scoring chances but Everton managed to withhold the pressure.

We realised that in the second half our team would soon be getting tired, having just travelled back from Valencia, and we were just getting ready to make some substitutions when Götze found the net after Soares put a low cross into the far post! It was the goal that we needed and it gave us new energy - or adrenaline perhaps?

It was Mitrovic who scored next with a great header after Götze had taken a freekick and Mitrovic had the beating in the air of Galloway! This was his sixth goal so far.

We then brought on Romeu for Clasie, who was obviously struggling. And almost immediately after that substitution Wanyama received the ball from a cross from Soares on the right and he did not hesitate but got up to the goalkeeper and finally scored his first goal of the season!!

So what could have been a bad day ended in triumph with the goals, very significantly scored by Götze, Mitrovic and Wanyama!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4kb6oje4x/Everton.png (http://postimage.org/)

So finally we saw Wanyama as we remember him of last season, when he scored no less than 22 goals! And in fact, our whole team played brilliantly to-day! Having Van Beek and Van Dijk as central defenders makes for a much more solid defence even though they also could not prevent Everton from scoring that early opening goal.

http://s6.postimg.cc/g6vapo1g1/Ev_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/kxzrlfjo1/Ev_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints knock Newcastle out of FA Cup

On Wednesday 9th November we played Newcastle in the FA Cup 4th round and believe it or not, Van Dijk is of action again, this time for about a week after he suffered a strained wrist in training on Monday.

http://s6.postimg.cc/f4v67v6q9/Newcastle_Southampton.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Bertrand is still banned and Mané is still injured, but both Targett and Tadic had played well enough against Everton so there is no reason to worry.

We were by far the better team, but it was also clear that our players are in need of a rest and while we did create scoring chances, Tadic, Götze and Mitrovic all failed to find the net.

Deep into the second half we looked to alter things by bringing on Juanmi for Wanyama and Romeu for Rodríguez. But then, six minutes later, Götze had to go off injured and we brought on Davis as well.

It was a major blow to lose Götze, but with three fresh midfielders we finally did score the goal that we needed! Clasie hit the ball towards Juanmi in the area; Juanmi centred it from the right and Mitrovic climbed above Yedlin and headed the ball down for Romeu who applied the finish!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/d1aozgitt/Newcastle.png (http://postimage.org/)

It took us a while to score that goal but it was a well-deserved win. Clasie was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/pv8qssw9d/Newcastle_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/qaolzk7kh/Newcastle_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Unfortunately Götze will be out for about a month after he suffered a calf strain in to-day's match. The good news is that we have no match scheduled for next weekend, so at least all of our players will now get the rest they need.

And after the matches of that weekend had been played, while we enjoyed the weekend off, the table looks like this:

http://s6.postimg.cc/wgq26b1ht/Table13.png (http://postimage.org/)

Felix
30-12-15, 10:18 AM
Good one bouncing back after the Valencia game! Everton away aint a peace of cake!

Of course there are the cups, but they aren't that important (at least for me) and weren't in your goals for the season. Now with the transfer window approaching, have you identified any targets on the defensive side?

Redknapp69
30-12-15, 10:55 AM
Excellent away victories!

Who's the next cup opponent? Could be a chance of an early Wembley appearance

samsami
30-12-15, 12:33 PM
Good one bouncing back after the Valencia game! Everton away aint a peace of cake!

Of course there are the cups, but they aren't that important (at least for me) and weren't in your goals for the season. Now with the transfer window approaching, have you identified any targets on the defensive side?

We don't have enough money but we'll see. In the summer we will have plenty of money if we make it into the top four!
And hopefully the stadium will be expanded soon!


Excellent away victories!
Who's the next cup opponent? Could be a chance of an early Wembley appearance

The League Cup Quarter Final will be against Stoke (away game).

Mark
30-12-15, 04:35 PM
Just caught up on the past week of action! Still doing well in the league really, despite defeat to Arsenal.

Bad luck in the UEFA Cup and in losing Gotze to injury now. The other signings seem to be doing well though.

samsami
31-12-15, 08:50 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints pull Houdini act at iPro Stadium

After a ten-day break on 19th November we had to play Derby County at the iPro Stadium.

http://s6.postimg.cc/mu9zco8cx/Derby_County_FC_May_2015_01.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Bertrand is back from his ban and Van Dijk is back from his injury, but Mané will be out for another month with a torn groin muscle and Götze will be out for about three more weeks with a calf strain. This means that Tadic and Ward-Prowse are our wingers, at least for the time being.

Derby are doing surprisingly well this season and they came out with an attacking formation. And sure enough, it was Ince who found a way past Clasie and scored the early opener with a fine strike! So just like against Everton we conceded an early goal with Van Dijk and Van Beek as our central defenders!

But unlike Everton, Derby remained the attacking team and they created several decent scoring chances. However, it was Tadic who came closest to scoring just before half-time when he picked up the ball and moved in on goal. He looked certain to score, but Grant managed to get his fingertips to the ball and Keogh cleared it to safety!

In the second half we took control of the game, but Mitrovic seemed to have an off-day so with 26 minutes remaining we decided to bring on Juanmi to replace him. However, that made no difference whatsoever. In fact, we never even came close to the penalty area in the next twelve minutes!!

There was not much else we could do, except bring on two fresh players. So we brought on Davis for Wanyama and Romeu for Rodríguez and this time it seemed to have an immediate effect when Soares took control of the loose ball and put a low cross into the near post where Juanmi found himself with plenty of time. He smashed the ball in low, only Grant just managed to turn it behind!

In the 87th minute Juanmi made another attempt. From a distance he drove the ball in with force towards the top corner! Grant could barely parry it, but Kennedy cleared the ball.

So the match seemed hopelessly lost until stoppage time! In the 91st minute Davis began a forward advance and decided to take on Keogh. He played the ball past Keogh and took it past Brough and finally he struck the ball with fury and scored with a lovely strike! So in the 91st minute we had pulled level!

And two minutes later Tadic passed the ball forward to Romeu who passed right to Davis. Davis then hit the ball ahead of Ward-Prowse in the area and Ward-Prowse scored with a fine header!!

So miraculously we had done our best Houdini impression and we left the iPro Stadium with all three points in the bag!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4shnndzkh/Derby.png (http://postimage.org/)

What a match! Of course, we should have scored earlier, but we won! And it was good to see how Van Dijk and Van Beek showed their value again as central defenders.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ggbphxopd/Derby_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/e1jtxi8gh/Derby_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

We are still very much on track for Champions League qualification, but we do realise that have a long way to go yet!

http://s6.postimg.cc/nam07mhch/Table13.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/ppn2jjccx/Fix.png (http://postimage.org/)

The only unhappy person in our first team is Mitrovic. He has never felt good about being the lone striker, a role which has always suited Pellé so well.

So the next day we informed the lads that we will try out a new formation, without a defensive central midfielder but with a striker pair.

So instead of 4-1-4-1 our new formation will be 4-4-2 with Juanmi and Mitrovic as our striker partnership. It's an experiment (at least for the next five games, four of which look more or less winnable) and it could make not only Mitrovic happy, but also Juanmi who has already spent far too much time on the bench this season and in the previous season as well.

Redknapp69
31-12-15, 10:14 AM
Vital 3 points that could be massive at end of season

I'm surprised by tactic change - could upset the apple cart?

Is Mitro unhappy in game? What is his reason?

Flat 442 or diamond etc?

samsami
31-12-15, 01:09 PM
Vital 3 points that could be massive at end of season
I'm surprised by tactic change - could upset the apple cart?
Is Mitro unhappy in game? What is his reason?
Flat 442 or diamond etc?

Mitrovic scores too few goals. Just want to see if he performs better with a striker partner. Also, Juanmi deserves a chance. So it's worth trying it out in the next five games.

It will be regular 442 (not diamond) because we have the wingers for it.

Mark
31-12-15, 01:27 PM
I'd stick with the tactic if I were you, you're 2nd in the league after all. That Mitrovic is just a bit of an arse anyway!

samsami
31-12-15, 01:30 PM
I'd stick with the tactic if I were you, you're 2nd in the league after all. That Mitrovic is just a bit of an arse anyway!

Hmm... you don't like him much, do you? We'll see. Juanmi might become the revelation of the season. One never knows!

ebfatz
31-12-15, 02:27 PM
That Mitrovic is just a bit of an arse anyway!

Shocking assumption!
Young, driven, ambitious. Hardly makes him an arse!

To be fair he is probably just settling in still.

The role of a lone striker in CM and in real life are very different things though to be fair. Has all the real life attributes to play as a lone striker. Don't know if he would have been given those in game or scoring bucketload atts.

samsami
31-12-15, 04:05 PM
Shocking assumption!
Young, driven, ambitious. Hardly makes him an arse!

To be fair he is probably just settling in still.

The role of a lone striker in CM and in real life are very different things though to be fair. Has all the real life attributes to play as a lone striker. Don't know if he would have been given those in game or scoring bucketload atts.

He is young and may become better and may score more goals each year. We'll see.

Felix
31-12-15, 04:19 PM
Some win there, reminds me of the CL final back in 1998 lol.

Is Mitro really unhappy in game, he's playing in his right position.

samsami
31-12-15, 04:21 PM
Some win there, reminds me of the CL final back in 1998 lol.

Is Mitro really unhappy in game, he's playing in his right position.

It's hard to tell. He is quite introverted :)
Time will tell.

samsami
01-01-16, 10:45 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints defeat West Brom

On Monday 28th of November 2016 West Bromwich Albion visited St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/9xjbodtg1/brom.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Both of our wingers, Götze and Mané, are still injured but so far Tadic and Ward-Prowse have done well replacing them. And it's good to have Van Beek and Van Dijk as our central defenders again.

In the nine days since the remarkable game at the iPro Stadium we have been practising our new formation in training and we were keen to try in out in this match. And it went fairly well, too.

In the first half we outplayed West Brom and we created plenty of scoring chances but West Brom have a very good goalkeeper. In the 45th minute, though, Tadic tried to lob Lindegaard who could only parry it and Ward-Prowse was first to the ball and scored!

In the second half we continued to outclass our opponents. We brought on Rodríguez for Wanyama and soon after that Clasie found the net with a low shot!

After that second goal we made a double substitution and brought on Romeu and Targett, but there were no further goals.

A solid win and a clean sheet!

http://s6.postimg.cc/yd9gp14y9/Brom.png (http://postimage.org/)

Even though neither of them actually found the net it seemed that Mitrovic and Juanmi enjoyed playing together as striker pair.

http://s6.postimg.cc/u2ustfzv5/Brom_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/aax87wdox/Brom_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Tired Saints knocked out of League Cup

Three days later we had to play Stoke City in the League Cup Quarter Final.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5pojfms0h/stoke.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Not everyone was 100% fit so we had Rodríguez and Romeu replace Tadic and Wanyama, but it did not help and after already having been knocked out of the Champions League (by Dortmund) and the UEFA Cup (by Valencia) this time we were eliminated from the League Cup by Stoke, even though we were the better team.

After five minutes both of our strikers almost scored. Mitrovic got up to head at goal but the ball came back off the crossbar. Juanmi picked up the loose ball and hit a fierce shot, but it went over the bar!

A little later Mitrovic blasted the ball at goal but it clipped the bar and went over. Then it was Stoke's turn and Waring scored with a long shot which turned out to be the deciding goal.

We brought on Targett for Bertrand and we actually even brought on Tadic and Wanyama, but all to no avail. Juanmi shot with the overhead kick but he got it all wrong and sent the ball harmlessly over the goal. A little later he drove the ball at goal but Haugaard turned it behind. Even Targett tried with a low and hard shot, but Haugaard pushed the ball away. And he did the same when Wanyama blasted the ball at goal.

It was one of those days and there was simple nothing we could do to avoid being knocked out of the League Cup!

http://s6.postimg.cc/uan13p07l/Stoke.png (http://postimage.org/)

We created enough chances but we failed to find the net. Haugaard was (obviously!) Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/pngz1xcup/Stoke_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/pd9giky8h/Stoke_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

At least in the League we have won a remarkably high percentage of our 'easier' matches. But even there we may be in trouble, because we shall have to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next!

http://s6.postimg.cc/y4ghcuhjl/Table14.png (http://postimage.org/)

Včrkűh
01-01-16, 01:52 PM
Maybe it isn't too bad to play league games - besides FA Cup - only for the rest of the season.

kuy
01-01-16, 05:13 PM
Like the others, I'm not sure about the change of formation - you were going very well in the league with the 4-1-4-1. Since Mitrovic wasn't scoring and Juanmi deserved a chance, did you consider keeping the 4-1-4-1 and giving Juanmi a run of games instead of Mitrovic?

samsami
01-01-16, 05:36 PM
Maybe it isn't too bad to play league games - besides FA Cup - only for the rest of the season.

Yes, that might be an advantage. But winning a trophy is nice, too!


Like the others, I'm not sure about the change of formation - you were going very well in the league with the 4-1-4-1. Since Mitrovic wasn't scoring and Juanmi deserved a chance, did you consider keeping the 4-1-4-1 and giving Juanmi a run of games instead of Mitrovic?

That's an option, too. After the five games we can make up the balance.

Redknapp69
01-01-16, 05:59 PM
not too much wrong really - just that bit of luck didn't go your way in the cup

solid win and clean sheet in league - performing admirably there :ok:

samsami
02-01-16, 09:29 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints hold Chelsea to a draw

On Saturday 3rd December, just three days after Stoke had knocked us out of the League Cup, we had to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

http://s6.postimg.cc/wowzoj3v5/Chelsea_vs_Southampton.png (http://postimage.org/)

Rodríguez and Tadic replaced Götze and Mané, both still injured, and our lads were more motivated than ever. The League is where we perform best this season and we wanted to keep it that way!

In the first half we overwhelmed Chelsea and stunned the crowd! Juanmi scored after a perfect assist by Soares and ten minutes later Mitrovic scored after an assist by Juanmi! It's somewhat unusual that our strikers score the goals, but that's exactly what we needed!

As was to be expected Chelsea (and the crowd) recovered in the second half - although they did need Jordy Clasie's help. Clasie deflected the ball from a freekick by Hazard and it went into his own net.

Because Wanyama and Tadic were struggling, we brought on Davis and Romeu and they did a little better, but they, too, could not prevent Hazard from scoring the equaliser. And in fact, Chelsea almost won the match in the final minute when Pedro smashed in low, but Forster saved and held the ball!

http://s6.postimg.cc/rh7b6bxw1/Chelsea.png (http://postimage.org/)

The result was fair and we should not be disappointed. Juanmi was Man-of-the-Match because of his goal and his assist but also because of his superb passing.

http://s6.postimg.cc/f00nj62q9/Chel_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/xw6c304lt/Chel_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints barely defeat nine-men Watford

Four days later, on Wednesday 7th of December we had to play our one and only match in hand, against Watford.

http://s6.postimg.cc/jzy3r48cx/southampton_watford.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

This time Tadic and Ward-Prowse were our wingers. The truth is, we really do miss our star player, Mario Götze, and also Mané.

After just two minutes Jurado was already sent off. First he tackled and knocked Juanmi to the ground and he was shown a red card. Seconds later, when Ward-Prowse lined up the freekick, Jurado was foolish enough to push Juanmi over and was shown his second yellow card!

The crowd were now hoping for a Mitrovic and Juanmi show with lots of goals, but for some reason we still did not manage to find the net. We simply don't score goals easily, not even against ten men.

Then, in the second half, again after just two minutes, Pudil was sent off for taking away Ward-Prowse's legs! Watford now had to finish the game with nine men, but the second half was a mirror image of the first half and if it hadn't been for Soares(!) we still would not have defeated Watford! Eventually Soares scored the deciding goal after a fine low cross by Rodríguez.

The crowd was obviously displeased, but at least the three points were in the bag.

http://s6.postimg.cc/fvx4ymcep/Watford.png (http://postimage.org/)

Even though we scored only one goal against nine men and it was a defender who had to score that goal, Juanmi was again named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/e6sn4am35/Wat_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/n33f88cpd/Wat_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

A strangely disappointing performance, but we are still doing so well in the Premier League that it's really beyond what we had expected! Of course we do realise that there are still 22 games left to play.

http://s6.postimg.cc/npxqk0k7l/Table16.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/s99z5j235/Dec_Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Včrkűh
02-01-16, 07:19 PM
Signs of a big gap opening up behind the two leaders. Good for you!

ebfatz
02-01-16, 09:47 PM
Going very well in the league.

Agree the League Cup defeat is no bad thing. Focus on the league until the New Year when the FA Cup kicks in.

Felix
03-01-16, 12:44 AM
Already 10 points down to 5th place, CL is done, dog!

Redknapp69
03-01-16, 01:40 AM
lovely gap as others have mentioned - great away point v chelsea and did what you needed against the 9 men

samsami
03-01-16, 10:01 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints' struggle to find goals continues

On Saturday 10th December, just three days after the somewhat disappointing performance against nine-men Watford, we had to play West Ham at the Boleyn Ground in London.

http://s6.postimg.cc/bdn2op8wh/West_Ham_United_vs_Southampton.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Rodríguez replaced Wanyama, who is still struggling to find his form back. Last year he was our best player with 22 goals and 5 assists but this year he is literally our weakest link!

Unfortunately our whole team is struggling to score goals and to-day was no different, although Ward-Prowse almost did find the net from a free-kick but the ball hit the upright and rebounded away. And it was four minutes later that Jenkinson scored for West Ham!

We tried just about everything. We brought on Romeu for Rodríguez since Romeu has scored goals before as sub. We even brought on Wanyama and Davis but all to no avail. We failed as a team and we lost our third league match of the season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/uoyz4fqdt/Hammers.png (http://postimage.org/)

Another disappointing performance, although we actually created more scoring chances than our opponents.

http://s6.postimg.cc/m2vpjuedt/Ham_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/3wdv9hjdd/Ham_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So our conclusion must be that the experiment of a 4-4-2 formation with Mitrovic and Juanmi as striker pair has not been very successful. We only defeated West Brom (2-0) and nine-men Watford (1-0) and our strikers did not score in those two games. We played very well against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (2-2) but we lost to West Ham (0-1) and to Stoke in the League Cup (0-1)

Mitrovic's rating: 8, 6, 8, 6, 7 (1 goal).
Juanmi's rating: 7, 7, 8, 9, 6 (1 goal).

In comparison, Mitrovic also scored 1 goal in the five games before we switched tactics (his rating: 7, 6, 8, 7, 6).

So with Götze back from his injury we will revert back to our trusted 4-1-4-1 formation in our next game at home to Man Utd. Götze has scored 4 goals in 12 league matches. Mitrovic has scored 5 goals in 18 league matches.

By the way, it would appear that Van Gaal is not very popular at the FA right now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/aivh5juq9/Van_Gaal.png (http://postimage.org/)

So this could be a very interesting match at St.Mary's on 18th December!

http://s6.postimg.cc/tq9vu1f81/Table17.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
03-01-16, 11:14 AM
Interesting to see the formation change back - wonder if you will be new tinkerman if not!

Mitro looks good in CM but maybe a gamble. I still don't think you have anywhere near enough quality up top and that should be position to focus on in transfer window

samsami
03-01-16, 11:18 AM
Interesting to see the formation change back - wonder if you will be new tinkerman if not!

Mitro looks good in CM but maybe a gamble. I still don't think you have anywhere near enough quality up top and that should be position to focus on in transfer window

A striker who actually scores goals? That would be helpful yes :)
We have enough midfielders now but we could do with an extra defender or two as well.
If we can end as number two then we'll have lots of money!
The top 4 is obviously the most important goal now!

samsami
04-01-16, 09:23 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints nail down win over ten-men Man Utd

On Sunday 18th December, after a good eight-day break, Manchester United visited St.Mary's. A huge challenge for our lads who are still struggling to find their form back!

http://s6.postimg.cc/52hv8a7o1/southampton_v_manchester_united.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

With Götze finally back from his injury we reverted back to our successful 4-1-4-1 formation with Mitrovic as the lone striker and with Juanmi as backup on the bench.

Both teams played very carefully the first fifteen minutes but then Rooney received a yellow card for a trip on Ward-Prowse and less than a minute later De Gea brought down Ward-Prowse in the area (or at least, Ward-Prowse went down) and the Man Utd goalkeeper received the red card for his professional foul!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/mr9lzwjf5/De_Gea.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
The game was decided by what Van Gaal referred to as 'a dubious decision by the referee'.

So De Gea was sent off and Van Gaal brought on Valdés and brought off Depay. Tadic then stepped up and struck the penalty and scored the goal that decided this match!

Minutes later Mitrovic also scored with a vicious shot, but unfortunately for him it did not count because Tadic had strayed fractionally offside.

In the second half we brought on Fonte for Van Beek, who had received a yellow card, and we managed to stay in control of the game. In fact, we only allowed Man Utd one single scoring chance when Rooney unleashed a volley at goal, but it was brilliantly saved by Forster who held the ball well.

We had another scoring chance, too. Tadic almost scored with a savage right-footed shot, but he hit the bar.

Now Man Utd may have had to play with ten men, but they are still a formidable opponent so we our very proud of our lads who played so well as a team!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4fdwln4gh/Man_Utd.png (http://postimage.org/)

A fantastic team performance this time. Is it because Götze is back? Or is it because we are using the 4-1-4-1 formation again, with Clasie as our central defence midfielder? Or was it simply because of the penalty? Time will tell!

http://s6.postimg.cc/qdadffjgx/Man_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/awwt55ett/Man_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

At least our league position is secure again for now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/d2r3znia9/Table18.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our next match will be in Wales against the #4 of the Premier League: Swansea City Association Football Club! And this time Juanmi will be our striker. He deserves a chance and he can fight it out with Mitrovic!

Mark
04-01-16, 12:58 PM
Bad result against Stoke there, that's a second string lineup for them. Waring hasn't even played for us IRL :D

Shame you lost the lead against Chelsea, decent point though.

Looks like you're having trouble killing off games, based on losing the lead at Chelsea and not really being able to capitalise with the extra men against Watford and Man Utd.

Hopefully the change back to the original tactic helps!


Shocking assumption!
Young, driven, ambitious. Hardly makes him an arse!

To be fair he is probably just settling in still.

The role of a lone striker in CM and in real life are very different things though to be fair. Has all the real life attributes to play as a lone striker. Don't know if he would have been given those in game or scoring bucketload atts.

He does come across badly in terms of his attitude and discipline though.

Redknapp69
04-01-16, 08:55 PM
Another important win

Looked a bore fest of a game and arguably you could have made it more comfortable but that is a hell of a Utd team and 3 points is all that matters. Another red card - you bribing the refs :lol:

I predict a loss in South Wales :eyebrows: :whistle:

samsami
05-01-16, 08:42 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints defeat Swansea in fascinating clash

On Wednesday 21st December we had to travel to Wales to play Swansea City, the current number four(!) in the Premier League.

http://s6.postimg.cc/bodfadxzl/swansea_saints.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

This time we kept Mitrovic on the bench, just as Wanyama. Juanmi was our striker.

And what a game it was! Swansea started positively, but it was Juanmi who almost scored after two minutes already when Götze collected the ball and having no space to shoot he fed Juanmi who drove the ball in low, but it hit the woodwork and bounced clear!

Minutes later Juanmi blasted the ball towards the top corner, but Fabianski did well to parry it. However, Juanmi was first to the ball and this time he did not fail!

And after Fabianski had barely prevented Juanmi from scoring a second goal it was Götze's turn. Soares sent the ball into the area, Götze latched unto the ball and floated it over Fabianski and found the back of the net! A brilliant goal! So within twenty minutes we were 2-0 up in Wales!

Swansea came back, though. Ince nearly scored, but Forster did well to turn the ball away. A little later Ince tried again and this time Forster could not gather the ball cleanly but Van Beek cleared the ball. However, when Ayew struck the ball with fury there was nothing Forster or any of our defenders could do!

Juanmi almost scored again just before half-time, but the ball hit the woodwork and bounced clear. And a minute later Juanmi again drove the ball at goal but this time it hit the upright and rebounded away!

The second half began with shots at goal by Tadic and Rodríguez but once more it was Götze who scored our third goal with a superb half volley!

We then decided to give Wanyama another chance, but that was probably not the best possible decision. Ings almost scored, but Forster got his fingertips to the ball. The corner was taken by McLaughlin and Hughes drove the ball in low but Forster did well to parry it. However, ten minutes later Amat jumped above Wanyama and scored his first goal of the season with a fine header!

With Fonte for Van Beek, who had received a yellow card, and with Davis for Tadic we finished the game. And this time we did not give Swansea any further chances. In fact it was Davis who came closest to scoring another goal for us, but he directed his header way over the bar.

http://s6.postimg.cc/937umv8lt/Swans.png (http://postimage.org/)

A great match and a fantastic win! And it would be very hard to exaggerate how important Mario Götze is for our team!

http://s6.postimg.cc/9epazmp1t/Swa_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/k5cxlb2oh/Swan_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Scrappy 1-0 win over Stoke

On Monday 26th December we had to play Stoke City again. They had recently knocked us out of the League Cup so we were extra motivated!

http://s6.postimg.cc/y5jkr6tsh/Stoke_vs_Southampton.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

With Mané back from his injury, for a change everyone was available for this match and it was Mitrovic's turn to be our striker again.

But as it turned out, this was one of the more boring games of the season so far. Rodríguez scored an early goal after just nine minutes, when he first went by the challenge of Shawcross and then brought the ball inside the box and hit it in low on his right to score his fifth goal of the season.

After that opener we simply controlled the match but we failed to score more goals. Of course it did not help that Haugaard played brilliantly again and was named Man-of-the-Match, exactly like in our League Cup clash!

No-one played poorly, but with the exception of Rodríguez no-one played exceptionally well either. However, the three points are ours and ultimately that is what really matters at this stage.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5q47dw4ep/Stoke.png (http://postimage.org/)

Rodríguez was our best player to-day. Everyone else did what they had to do, but we really should have scored more goals!

http://s6.postimg.cc/qyhvvbivl/Stoke_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/xri8rl9ox/Stoke_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Even though we have been knocked out of all the Cups so far, we are doing exceptionally well in the Premier League. The big question is, can it last?

http://s6.postimg.cc/j0s27euz5/Table20.png (http://postimage.org/)

Next we will play Liverpool on 31st December followed by an away game against Tottenham on 4th of January.

Mark
05-01-16, 10:11 AM
In a fantastic position after those 2 wins, 8 points clear of Chelsea. Let's hope you can keep it up!

Redknapp69
05-01-16, 07:28 PM
lucky win over the mighty Swans!

Nah - blinding stuff in the league - Top 4 already looks certain - all systems go to win the league now!

You are wib-wobbing correct? But you mention you have loaded the Harder AI tactics pack as well?

samsami
05-01-16, 09:09 PM
lucky win over the mighty Swans!
Nah - blinding stuff in the league - Top 4 already looks certain - all systems go to win the league now!
You are wib-wobbing correct? But you mention you have loaded the Harder AI tactics pack as well?

Yes, I do and I installed the Hardest AI Tactics: www.champman0102.co.uk/downloads.php?do=file&id=221
Those are all top 20 (80+) tactics. So I am not as optimistic as you are about Saints chances this season.
At least not until we have bought a few more players like Götze to improve the squad!

Redknapp69
05-01-16, 11:25 PM
Got a mid term report on the players - i.e ratings etc?

And where is Gotze's position? Class player!

samsami
06-01-16, 08:32 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Liverpool hold Saints to a draw on New Year's eve

On Saturday 31st December we played Liverpool at St.Mary's. Liverpool may be struggling to find their feet this season, but they have a great squad!

http://s6.postimg.cc/7n2rnyqtt/liverpool.png (http://postimage.org/)

Wanyama is out for about 10 days with a twisted knee, but strange to say, we don't even miss him. And it was Juanmi's turn to play as striker this time.

There was a continuous downpour during the match. We really wanted to win this game and we did create a few scoring chances. However, it was Markovic who unexpectedly scored the opening goal for Liverpool in the 21st minute!

It was not easy to play in the rain, but Götze almost scored when Clasie diverted the ball to him and Götze bent it from long range, but the ball grazed the crossbar and went wide.

Just before half-time we did score the equaliser, though. Juanmi blasted the ball towards the top corner. Mignolet saved and deflected the ball clear, but it was Ward-Prowse who picked the ball up and scored his fifth goal of the season!

The match was in perfect balance in the first half, but in the second half we brought on Fonte for Van Dijk who was struggling in the slippery conditions. And that was just as well because Liverpool was definitely stronger and more dangerous in the second half.

Things got nasty, too. There was an incident between Rodríguez and Lallana and the latter received a yellow card. A few minutes later Clasie was also shown a yellow card, so we brought on Romeu to replace him. And that was also the right decision! Romeu coped much better with the slippery conditions than Clasie and to a large extent he was responsible for the fact that Liverpool did not manage to score a second goal.

Having said that, Liverpool still nearly scored in the final minute when Payet unleashed a volley at goal but Forster saved superbly and Bertrand picked up the loose ball.

http://s6.postimg.cc/xovlwicep/Liv.png (http://postimage.org/)

Liverpool were slightly better and they created a few more chances than we did, but Van Beek was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/dg3mx1npt/Liv_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/51slmpc29/Liv_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Van Beek may have been Man-of-the-Match, but his yellow card means that will will be banned for our next match, against Tottenham.


Saints lucky at White Hart Lane

On Wednesday 4th January 2017 we played Spurs, the current number four, at White Hart Lane.

http://s6.postimg.cc/xwnu6rcr5/Spursv_Southampton.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Beek was suspended and Wanyama was still injured. Mitrovic was our striker for this match while Spurs had Luuk de Jong play as their striker in his debut for Spurs! They have just signed De Jong from PSV. This meant that Kane, who had scored nine goals in 21 appearances, started on the bench!

And perhaps that was not the best decision for Spurs as we immediately took control of the match. We claimed a penalty when Dier barged Bertrand in the back, but the referee turned down all our claims. Two minutes later we scored anyway! Rodríguez had his shirt pulled by Vertonghen and Ward-Prowse struck the free-kick over the wall and found the net!

Spurs were the better team after that and we were lucky to still be 1-0 up at half-time. De Jong had two or three decent chances to score on his debut but once he put the ball well wide and the other times he was frustrated by Forster.

Deep into the second half we brought on Romeu for Rodríguez and Tadic for Mané and that had an immediate effect! Mitrovic picked up the ball and started a forward rush and blasted it towards the top corner and found the net!

After that second goal the match petered out and so we got a little more than we deserved, perhaps, but exactly what we needed!

http://s6.postimg.cc/40scxkv2p/Spurs.png (http://postimage.org/)

Spurs had the better chances, but they failed to score. Perhaps Kane would have done better than De Jong?

http://s6.postimg.cc/a2zzo2jip/Spurs_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/co5kbl8wh/Spurs_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Man Utd are picking up steam; they both won two matches, but there is still a fairly comfortable six-point gap between us and them.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ftq61srip/Table22.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/rl9fyuwr5/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)


Terence Kongolo joins Saints!

The day after our win at White Hart Lane it was formally announced that Terence Kongolo has decided to join Saints as soon as his contract with Feyenoord ends! The transfer has been arranged for Saturday 1st of July 2017.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5da1zgsi9/Kongolo.png (http://postimage.org/)

In an interview on Dutch television Kongolo said that he is looking forward to his big move. He is also glad to be playing with Sven van Beek again soon.

Most football pundits agree that Kongolo is just as talented as Van Beek and they firmly believe that he will thrive at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/9er554ksx/Kongolo_CV.png (http://postimage.org/)

samsami
06-01-16, 08:38 AM
Got a mid term report on the players - i.e ratings etc?
And where is Gotze's position? Class player!

Mid-term report coming up soon!

Redknapp69
06-01-16, 09:13 AM
4 points from 6 is very good from those games (obviously lucky against Pool :))

Cracking signing in Kongolo! And for free!

samsami
06-01-16, 10:44 AM
http://s6.postimg.org/swi4a2q8h/Capture.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
06-01-16, 10:56 AM
Wow - what an improvement in the defence ratings

Still looks like the rest of midfielders (not Gotze or DM's) could be doing more though

Top top strikermight be one to look at in summer as well

samsami
06-01-16, 11:07 AM
Wow - what an improvement in the defence ratings

Still looks like the rest of midfielders (not Gotze or DM's) could be doing more though

Top top striker might be one to look at in summer as well

I agree. We need a world class striker and another world class midfielder!
Especially now that we got a good defender in Kongolo for free as you already pointed out.

One problem this year: Wanyama! One huge surprise: Soares!

Mark
06-01-16, 12:11 PM
Wanyama not hitting the same heights as last season!

Decent results there - Are you keeping an eye on Kane's situation at Spurs?

Kongolo for free, that's a great signing. He's looks great.

samsami
06-01-16, 12:18 PM
Wanyama not hitting the same heights as last season!
Decent results there - Are you keeping an eye on Kane's situation at Spurs?
Kongolo for free, that's a great signing. He's looks great.

You mean an unhappy Kane might be a good signing for us?

Mark
06-01-16, 12:25 PM
Yes, thought he may be a transfer target for you even though you have recently signed Mitrovic.

kuy
06-01-16, 01:13 PM
Kongolo looks quality, free and still young too! Is he a centre-back?

Very impressed by four points from those two games, hoping for four wins out of four in January :ok:

samsami
06-01-16, 02:29 PM
Kongolo looks quality, free and still young too! Is he a centre-back?

Very impressed by four points from those two games, hoping for four wins out of four in January :ok:

Kongolo is a left defender who can also play as central defender.
Van Beek is a central defender who can also play as right defender.
That means our defence is now almost perfect.
(The strange thing is that Soares, who has a low potential rating, is performing so well as right defender.)

samsami
07-01-16, 08:31 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Off-day for Saints in FA Cup

On Saturday 7th January we had to play Huddersfield Town AFC in the FA Cup 3rd Round.

http://s6.postimg.cc/nz4joyo9d/Slide11.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

There is very little to say about the match, except that we had an off-day and very little luck, so we did not score any goals. Not even after the late red card for Wright.

Joanmi had no less than eight shots on goal (five of them on target) and Götze had five shots on goal (two of them on target) but the Huddersfield's goalkeeper was in top form.

http://s6.postimg.cc/j5t28u8nl/Huddersfield.png (http://postimage.org/)

Adam Collin probably played the best game in his entire career, but that is still no excuse of course.

http://s6.postimg.cc/6prr1cpxt/Hudd_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/xu3yjx93l/Hudd_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints in a serious dip?

On Sunday 15th January we had to play Newcastle United at St.Mary's. The perfect opportunity to get back on track.

http://s6.postimg.cc/vt55acw29/Southampton_v_Newcastle.png (http://postimage.org/)

Wanyama was back from his injury and started on the bench once again. Mitrovic was our striker to-day, but somehow this match ended up being even worse than last week's FA Cup game at Hudderfield!

In fact, Mitrovic did not manage a single shot on goal in the entire match! And of course, when we failed to find the net, the inevitable happened. Just before half-time Sissoko powered a header at goal and Forster could only parry it, so Hernandez pounced on the rebound and scored for Newcastle!

In the second half we brought on Mané and Targett, but all to no avail. We simply were not good enough to-day and the result was a totally unexpected loss against a very mediocre team.

http://s6.postimg.cc/z5bpse4pd/Newcastle.png (http://postimage.org/)

Perhaps we were a bit unlucky in this match, but we did not play nearly as well as usual!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4jxg6umhd/New_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/6v03ormmp/New_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

In the meantime Man Utd played Stoke City twice back-to-back and they won both games! And with Chelsea and Arsenal also have won their League matches, things suddenly don't look so bright anymore.

http://s6.postimg.cc/bsdo9volt/Table23.png (http://postimage.org/)

It is hard to believe that just a few match days ago there was an eight-point gap between us and Chelsea!

Redknapp69
07-01-16, 10:22 AM
Still a 10 point gap to the mighty Swans - the good start to season was vital

Superkeepered in cup - classic CM and these things happen

But a poor performance at home v the Geordies - hopefully an off day but wouldn't want to see that continue

Mark
07-01-16, 10:31 AM
Dropped points there :( I blame Mitrovic :D

FA Cup is just one of those things, I'm sure you'll smash them in the replay.

samsami
07-01-16, 02:46 PM
Still a 10 point gap to the mighty Swans - the good start to season was vital
Superkeepered in cup - classic CM and these things happen
But a poor performance at home v the Geordies - hopefully an off day but wouldn't want to see that continue

The good start of the season happened in season 1 as well, because we had easy opponents in both seasons!
So like last season, this will be a tough ending!!!


Dropped points there :( I blame Mitrovic :D
FA Cup is just one of those things, I'm sure you'll smash them in the replay.

Yes, I am beginning to agree with you :)
Actually, Mitrovic is not better than Juanmi so far. So in the summer we'll try and find a super striker!

Coys
07-01-16, 06:52 PM
Hands off Harry Kane!!!

He's one of our own.

Just like Campbell was...

:(

samsami
07-01-16, 07:33 PM
Hands off Harry Kane!!!
He's one of our own.
Just like Campbell was...
:(

http://s6.postimg.org/e5jpop74h/Short_List.png (http://postimage.org/)

samsami
08-01-16, 08:38 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints continue their worrying dip in form

On Monday 23rd Januari we had to play Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, never an easy game!

http://s6.postimg.cc/vm9j7oac1/logoleicester.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Everyone was available for this match, but six of our players are just one yellow card away from an English one-match ban now. Juanmi was our striker again.

Leicester seemed not impressed. They came out with an attacking formation and in the very first minute Okazaki dribbled past Van Beek and tried a vicious shot at goal, but Forster saved superbly and held the ball.

We had our first real scoring chance when Götze took the ball past Huth and tried to score from a distance, but the ball went just over the bar. Minutes later Ward-Prowse found himself in some space and shot on the volley, but Roberto saved well and held the ball.

Because Clasie was struggling we brought on Romeu in the second half. And a little later we also brought on Fonte and Mané for Van Beek and Tadic. Soon after that double substitution Ward-Prowse almost scored a free-kick but Roberto saved the ball brilliantly.

Leicester also created some scoring chances. First of all when James rose above Bertrand to win the ball and head it towards goal, but Forster managed to turn the ball away. A little later Drinkwater tried to find James with a pass into the area and when Ward-Prowse barged James in the back Leicester claimed a penalty, but fortunately for us the referee turned down all their claims.

Finally, we had two more scoring chances. In the 84th minute Ward-Prowse drove the ball in low but he put it wide. And in injury time Götze almost scored when he drove the ball in low on his right foot, but his attempt also just went wide.

http://s6.postimg.cc/t3nu6zolt/Leicester.png (http://postimage.org/)

We played decently and created several good scoring chances, but for the third time in a row we did not find the net...

http://s6.postimg.cc/3toh65sgh/Lec_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/wr3ld1wsx/Lec_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

The good news was that our competitors dropped points, too. Arsenal vs West Ham ended in a goalless draw, just like our game, while Newcastle held Man Utd to a draw (1-1) at St.James' Park. Chelsea, on the other hand, defeated Crystal Palace so we are now just one point ahead of them!

http://s6.postimg.cc/tpuq2ow9d/Table24.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints defeat Huddersfield in FA Cup replay

Just two days later, on Wednesday 25th January, Huddersfield visited St.Mary's for the FA Cup 3rd Round Replay.

http://s6.postimg.cc/q6w7syte9/huddlogo.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Our lads seemed to feel the weight on their shoulders, but Clasie was superb in this FA Cup replay! Still, while many fans were hoping to witness Mitrovic's first hat-trick, they had to wait until the 81st minute before he finally managed to score!

It started with Clasie, who tried to find Mitrovic with a superb pass into the penalty area. Romeu picked up the ball and took it on his right foot, before looking to bury it in the top corner. Collin managed to push the ball away superbly, though. Mitrovic then got to the loose ball first and he drove it in low to score the deciding goal!

http://s6.postimg.cc/48zqz6edt/Huddersfield.png (http://postimage.org/)

At least we finally scored again! Jordy Clasie was obviously named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/erzqoch1t/Hud_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/xfcfvzvip/Hud_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

At least this time we beat them. Hopefully this win has taken the weight off our lads' shoulders. But it seems obvious that we shall have to consider signing a new striker this summer if things don't change drastically!

Our next opponent is Reading in the FA Cup 4th Round, on Saturday 28th January already, followed by a home game against Crystal Palace, who reside near the very bottom of the League.

Mark
08-01-16, 11:18 AM
That Roberto :( Shame you weren't able to close the gap to 4 points to keep pressure on the leaders.

Thought you'd batter Huddersfield this time around. Are you starting to regret the sale of Pelle? Imagine how things could have been different had you signed Costa!

samsami
08-01-16, 01:42 PM
That Roberto :( Shame you weren't able to close the gap to 4 points to keep pressure on the leaders.

Thought you'd batter Huddersfield this time around. Are you starting to regret the sale of Pelle? Imagine how things could have been different had you signed Costa!

Yes, Costa would have been marvellous, but then we could not have afforded Götze.

Did you see the shortlist of potential new strikers? Those three players are interested in joining us right now. Costa not anymore!

Beardo
08-01-16, 02:58 PM
How good or bad is Jamie Vardy ? as he was not in the Leicester squad.

samsami
08-01-16, 04:58 PM
How good or bad is Jamie Vardy ? as he was not in the Leicester squad.

He just turned 31 and is past his prime :gossip:

http://s6.postimg.cc/moyys370x/Vardy.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
08-01-16, 06:55 PM
Benteke doing well in my Pool save and could be suited to your formation
Mixed results again!

Redknapp69
08-01-16, 06:56 PM
Vardy pretty average in the update (well - was accurate before he lit the touch paper this season!)

samsami
09-01-16, 09:08 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints find the net again

On Saturday 28th January, just three days after we had won the FA Cup 3rd Round replay against Huddersfield, we had to play Reading in the FA Cup 4th Round.

http://s6.postimg.cc/aea52dtg1/Reading.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

With the support of the home crowd we wanted to prove that we can still play football and score goals, but perhaps we were a bit overzealous and in the first half we missed several good scoring chances. And then, of course, in the 42nd minute Sá scored for Reading with a fine header!

But it was a very good thing that still before half-time Tadic tried his luck and when Ben Foster beat the ball away Ward-Prowse picked it up and scored the equaliser! That goal was crucial!

In the second half we finally found our form back and Ward-Prowse scored his second goal of the day with a low shot. Just a few minutes later Mitrovic also got on the score-sheet when he powered a header at goal. And finally, Rodríguez scored our fourth goal with a low shot that skidded on the wet surface!

http://s6.postimg.cc/dbydnz39t/Reading.png (http://postimage.org/)

So our confidence seemed to be back, at least in the second half. Ward-Prowse was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/8aqzmlvtd/Rea_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/eutrsy9u9/Rea_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints defeat Crystal Palace

Then on Wednesday 1st February we played Crystal Palace at St.Mary's - our third consecutive home game in eight days!

http://s6.postimg.cc/tknc5k9xt/Southampton_Vs_Crystal_Palace.png (http://postimage.org/)

This time it was clear from the start that we have indeed found our form back and it was Götze who scored the early opener after Rodríguez had put a low cross into the far post. Götze tried a low drive and found the net!

Both Götze and Rodríguez played brilliantly and with Clasie also in top form we never gave Crystal Palace a chance even though it took a long time before Rodríguez finally scored our second goal.

Of course, we cannot draw too many conclusions from these last three home matches against Huddersfield, Reading and Palace, but it is good that we are finding the net again, even though almost all of our goals are being scored by our midfielders.

http://s6.postimg.cc/by6qso40h/Crystal.png (http://postimage.org/)

Götze and Rodríguez were simply brilliant! Perhaps we are back on the right track again, even though Mitrovic can hardly be called a goal-machine. But it is easy to forget that he is still only 22 years old.

http://s6.postimg.cc/f2hepgksx/Cry_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/4w8t6h0ep/Cry_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And as was to be expected, Man Utd defeated Hull. However, at Stamford Bridge Chelsea lost to Arsenal (0-1) and perhaps that is a good result for us. Our goal is to end in the top three this season, to avoid the Champions League play-off stage which proved to be too much of a hurdle for us this year.

http://s6.postimg.cc/o2yd57tqp/Table25.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/ykt0epjyp/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
09-01-16, 01:22 PM
Couple of confidence wins there

Next 2 league games need to bring at least 4 points as a few toughies after that

Mark
09-01-16, 03:12 PM
Excellent victories! Let's hope it's the start of a good run and Arsenal drop some points along the way.

samsami
09-01-16, 03:16 PM
Excellent victories! Let's hope it's the start of a good run and Arsenal drop some points along the way.

I don't think we can win the title until we have a world class striker and another midfielder (and of course Kongolo).
We do well in the League but not so well against the big guns. We lost 0-3 to Arsenal, remember? So we will lose the away game as well, I fear.

samsami
10-01-16, 08:29 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints crush Hull

On Saturday 4th of February we had to play Hull City at the Kingston Communications Stadium.

http://s6.postimg.cc/cqe05lxld/Hull.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Götze was not fit, so Tadic and Mané were our wingers. Juanmi was our striker.

A vicious shot by Robertson for the top corner ended in the back of the net, but this time our lads did not panic! Six minutes later Rodríguez fed the ball to Mané in the areA and Mané found himself with plenty of time and scored the equaliser! And two minutes later Bertrand brought the ball forward and used his skill to go past Robertson and past Shephard and he scored with a fierce shot!!

And before Hull had recovered, Van Beek sent the ball into the area in front of Clasie who lost his man and on the volley, shot and scored an excellent goal as well!

And, finally, just before half-time Ward-Prowse sent a shot in low and scored our fourth goal!

With Wanyama and Romeu we played more defensively in the second half since we did not want to take any unnecessary risks or waste our energy. So there were no more goals, but a victory like this is always good for our morale!

http://s6.postimg.cc/6hsoc100h/Hull.png (http://postimage.org/)

Clasie was named Man-of-the-Match, but actually we played very well as a team, although it remains remarkable how almost all our goals are scored by our midfielders.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ntt0xgtht/Hull_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/81y0af8ep/Hull_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And after the match we heard that Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd had also won their League matches to-day.


Saints defeat bottom team Sunderland

Next we played the Premier League bottom team Sunderland at St.Mary's on Monday 13th February.

http://s6.postimg.cc/6e3g9ijwx/sunder.png (http://postimage.org/)

Both Bertrand and Wanyama were banned for this match. Mitrovic was playing again and we have told him that he will be our first choice from now on, with Juanmi as backup.

Götze was back and at his request he played as central midfielder with Rodríguez playing as left winger. Both players indicated that they prefer those positions so we'll make that change: Rodríguez and Tadic as left and right wingers and Götze and Ward-Prowse as central midfielders. (Not that Götze did not impress as winger!)

And it worked like a charm! At least against the Premier League bottom team. Ward-Prowse scored the opening goal with the assist coming from Götze, who hit the ball ahead of Ward-Prowse in the area.

In the second half Mitrovic scored after a great pass from Tadic on the right and a little later it was Rodríguez who put a low cross into the far post and Soares was left with a simple finish to score our third goal!

This is how we want our team to play every week!

http://s6.postimg.cc/bj02de7gx/Sunderland.png (http://postimage.org/)

A superb team performance, although Targett did not seem to fit in too well. But Bertrand was only banned for this one match. Come to think of it, it is a good thing that we have so few injuries as we are definitely still lacking in squad depth.

http://s6.postimg.cc/dmahl279t/Sun_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/44aql0lld/Sun_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And sure enough Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd also won their matches again! It remains a very tight race for the three places that guarantee direct Champions League qualification!

http://s6.postimg.cc/tpmykv8sx/Table27.png (http://postimage.org/)

Now we have some tough games to play next, but with plenty of time between the matches. At least that's one advantage of having been knocked out of both European Cups!

http://s6.postimg.cc/digo4t1sh/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
10-01-16, 08:52 AM
Phenomenal results there

I thought 4 was minimum needed so fantastic getting 6 points!

What a first half v Hull!

Massive games coming up. If you can snatch 1 win or a couple of draws that should be top 4 sown up
3 losses would tighten things up

Beat Arsenal and league title is a possibility!

Mark
10-01-16, 10:36 AM
And just like that, the goals are flooding in!

Dd Gotze really ask to play in the middle?

samsami
10-01-16, 11:39 AM
And just like that, the goals are flooding in!
Did Gotze really ask to play in the middle?

Absolutely! He made it perfectly clear!

Götze......... Center: 20 Left: 15 Right: 15
Rodríguez....... Left: 20 Center:17

And IRL: Mario Götze (German pronunciation: [ˈɡœtsə]; born 3 June 1992) is a German footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Bayern Munich and the Germany national team. Although his favoured position is that of a playmaker, he can also be deployed as a striker or winger.

kuy
10-01-16, 12:11 PM
Great to see you hitting form just in time for a tough run of games! Luckily you have plenty of time to recover between matches so you should be able to play your strongest XI in all of them :ok:


Absolutely!

Götze......... Center: 20 Left: 15 Right: 15
Rodríguez....... Left: 20 Center:17


This is exactly the kind of thing I use the editor for (that and seeing how good players are at penalties) because I figure those are things that a real-life manager would know about his players

samsami
10-01-16, 01:32 PM
This is exactly the kind of thing I use the editor for because I figure those are things that a real-life manager would know about his players

Exactly! That's what you find out in training, how to best use your players!

Včrkűh
11-01-16, 12:23 AM
Despite the absence of a real goal machine, you're not outscored by any team in the Premier League. Probably that could make a big difference in the (near) future.

samsami
11-01-16, 08:00 AM
Despite the absence of a real goal machine, you're not outscored by any team in the Premier League. Probably that could make a big difference in the (near) future.

None of them score a whole of goals this season. Very strange!

samsami
11-01-16, 08:05 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Ten-men Chelsea hold Saints to a draw

On Saturday 18th February Chelsea visited St.Mary's for the FA Cup 5th Round match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/alldfsf2p/Southampton_vs_chelsea.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

After the recent series of thumping wins against some of the 'weaker' teams, this was a real test case for our lads! And it seemed to be our lucky day when Negredo was sent off after less than ten minutes!

It all started when Soares tackled Diego Costa. Soares received a yellow card and Chelsea were awarded a feekick. Then, just when Modric was lining up the freekick, Negredo aimed a kick at Van Beek and Mr.Ribeiro de Freitas did not hesitate but reached into his pocket and pulled out a red card for Negredo!

Our fans were thrilled and expected us to eliminate Chelsea from the FA Cup now, but Chelsea were not discouraged. The first chance was for Oscar, who flighted in a freekick that went just over the bar. A few minutes later Diego Costa tried a fierce shot but Forster fisted the ball away!

Tension was building and anticipation was growing but it only resulted in an avalanche of yellow cards - and no goals.

In the second half very little happened. Diego Costa powered a header at goal but he put it wide. Mitrovic also tried a header but the ball went flying across the bar. In the end there were precious few scoring chances and a goalless draw was the disappointing result...

http://s6.postimg.cc/gz4y2jwpd/Chelsea.png (http://postimage.org/)

If this really was a test case, it should be clear that we are just not good enough - at least, not yet!

http://s6.postimg.cc/g8c7wruc1/Chel_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/kk0tls18x/Chel_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Now because of their yellow cards both Mitrovic and Van Dijk have been banned for one English match. Normally this would have been the League match against Everton, but our schedule has just been changed and it will be the replay against Chelsea first. So Mitrovic and Van Dijk will be banned for the FA Cup replay at Stamford Bridge. However, they will be available again when we play Everton.

http://s6.postimg.cc/vsjlnb4gh/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

And while we (and Chelsea) had the next weekend off, on Saturday 25th February Crystal Palace held Man Utd to a 1-1 draw, which was good news for us! On Monday 27th February Arsenal simply defeated West Brom, though.

Redknapp69
11-01-16, 08:57 AM
Real chance to go through there

Bad news they are unavailable for replay - will have work cut out there

samsami
11-01-16, 09:10 AM
Real chance to go through there

Bad news they are unavailable for replay - will have work cut out there

Real chance to get through there???

Redknapp69
11-01-16, 10:27 AM
There was a real chance to go through in the cup game vs 10 men

samsami
11-01-16, 10:31 AM
There was a real chance to go through in the cup game vs 10 men

Of course. Sorry. Got it now :)
Yeah, we should have won of course.

Mark
11-01-16, 10:43 AM
That problem of not using the extra man to your advantage rears its ugly head once again. Should be running riot after that, not having 3 shots overall.

samsami
11-01-16, 11:06 AM
That problem of not using the extra man to your advantage rears its ugly head once again. Should be running riot after that, not having 3 shots overall.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34350828

But you're right, of course. It's becoming a problem with us.

Mark
11-01-16, 11:09 AM
It can be harder to play against 10 men IRL but this is CM so it can also be so much easier. Either way, 3 shots in 81 minutes isn't brilliant although I do take into account that it's Chelsea!

samsami
11-01-16, 04:19 PM
It can be harder to play against 10 men IRL but this is CM so it can also be so much easier. Either way, 3 shots in 81 minutes isn't brilliant although I do take into account that it's Chelsea!

The problem is, we don't have a quality striker.

Felix
11-01-16, 09:42 PM
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34350828

But you're right, of course. It's becoming a problem with us.

Sounds like this Swedish ice hockey coach that once said that there's nothing worse than to have a 3-0 lead. Complete bull. :pound:

samsami
12-01-16, 09:24 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Chelsea 3-3 Southampton (3-1 on pens)

On Saturday 4th March 2017 we played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup 5th Round replay.

http://s6.postimg.cc/rxqbeyxxt/47237018.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Now if we could not defeat our rivals at St.Mary's when they had to play with ten men almost the entire match, how could we possibly expect to beat them at Stamford Bridge when we had to play without Mitrovic and without Van Dijk who were both banned for this match?

But this is football and in football anything is possible!

Chelsea seemed keen to get the early goal and initially they outplayed us. Ramires blasted the ball towards the top corner but Forster did well to fist the ball away. Fŕbregas also almost scored when he struck the ball with fury but Forster parried it. And there were more minor chances for Chelsea in the first half.

But then it was our turn! In the 37th minute Tadic jinked past Zouma for the very first time and he squared the ball for Götze who had a great chance with his right and scored the unexpected opening goal for us!!

It certainly silenced the home crowd. However, just before half-time Ivanovic hit the ball high and hard towards the goal and although Forster did well to turn the ball away, it was Matic who picked it up and scored the late equaliser! Chelsea obviously more than deserved that goal but then there was yet another surprise! In injury time Clasie collected the ball and went past Matic and scored with a long shot from just outside the box! So here we were against all odds, 2-1 up at half-time at Stamford Bridge!

But in the second half Chelsea controlled the match and after first Diego Costa and then Matic had already almost scored with a header it was Fábregas who equalised after an incredible solo. First he evaded the challenge of Fonte; then he skipped past Wanyama and went past Juanmi and finally, when Soares also could not stop him, Fábregas scored with a fierce strike!

There were further chances for Chelsea, but somehow no more goals and the game went into extra time! And initially Chelsea were stronger but then, in a moment of madness Matic headbutted Tadic and he was shown a second yellow card and sent off! So suddenly we had a chance again!

However, even with ten men Chelsea remained the better team and in the 115th minute it was Fábregas again who tried a pot-shot at goal and found the net! So with just five minutes to go and all the players near exhaustion, the game seemed lost until Mané scored in the dying seconds and the match went to penalties!!

That's when we could have snatched away the victory of course, but Mané, Clasie and Forster all missed their penalties and so it was all over! Chelsea had won the shootout...

http://s6.postimg.cc/9flyuqg5t/Chelsea.png (http://postimage.org/)

Chelsea created far more chances than we did and with the support of the home crowd they were the better team, but it has to be said that Clasie, Götze and Tadic were superb to-day!

http://s6.postimg.cc/cesvhupn5/Chelsea_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/lrov8840h/Chelsea_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, there was some good news as well. That is, if it even is good news. But Man Utd beat Arsenal (2-1) at Old Trafford. So Arsenal finally lost their first League game of the season to-day!


Saints recover and trash Everton

Just four days later, on Wednesday 8th March we had to play Everton in the Premier League, the only competition we are still involved in and can still be successful in this season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/er5gt6rm9/everton.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Bertrand and Van Dijk were back from their bans so we played in our best possible formation. And with the support of the crowd we succeeded in showing Everton that we had recovered just in time!

Remarkably, for the first time this season Everton started with two strikers: Lukako and Roberto Soldodo, their latest signing! So far Soldado had only spent time on the bench since he joined Everton late January, but this was his debut for Everton!

But because Arsenal had lost to Man Utd our lads were super motivated and it was Mario Götze (who else?) who scored the opening goal and his tenth goal of the season. And with a bit of luck we could have decided the match before half-time but when Mitrovic drove the ball in low it was parried by Ospina. Ward-Prowse also almost scored from a freekick but his shot took a deflection off the wall and the ball went just wide.

However, in the second half Ward-Prowse did actually succeed in scoring a freekick with an excellent strike from 20 yards out! And a little later it was Mitrovic who scored our third goal after Clasie had crossed the ball into the box from the left!

So four days after the disappointment at Stamford Bridge we did what we had to do and we did it with conviction. And so this could still end up being a very good season for us!

http://s6.postimg.cc/rq2oigmz5/Evertorn.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our central midfielders Ward-Prowse and Götze were simply brilliant to-day! But actually our whole team played well above expectation, considering the circumstances.

http://s6.postimg.cc/d5llnms0h/Ever_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/9gvwo5hzl/Ever_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

We are still in the race and Arsenal is not there yet!

http://s6.postimg.cc/lsyt1n5u9/Table28.png (http://postimage.org/)

So after a good long break we will be playing Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday 18th March. And if a miracle should happen and we win that match...?

http://s6.postimg.cc/u8odj58pd/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Fods
12-01-16, 09:35 AM
Everton Trashed and Forster taking pens, whats going on Sammi?

samsami
12-01-16, 10:02 AM
Everton Trashed and Forster taking pens, whats going on Sammi?

lol.... I let them decide who should take the penalties.
I'll never do that again! Mind you, by the time Forster stepped up, it was too late anyway.

Mark
12-01-16, 10:46 AM
Erm, a GK taking a penalty :lol: Do you not pick your own players to take them? The option is always there before penalties get underway.

Another red card against you and you go on to concede a goal afterwards - That's truly been your curse this season!

Great to see you recover and thrash Everton though. A big win after Arsenal lost which sets up that game nicely.

Felix
12-01-16, 12:59 PM
I never change who to take penalties as I've always thought that if I don't do anything, the computer will pick the best takers. That's not the case?

samsami
12-01-16, 01:09 PM
I never change who to take penalties as I've always thought that if I don't do anything, the computer will pick the best takers. That's not the case?

I checked it out just now and Forster's ability for taking penalties is 17 :)


Erm, a GK taking a penalty :lol: Do you not pick your own players to take them? The option is always there before penalties get underway.
Another red card against you and you go on to concede a goal afterwards - That's truly been your curse this season!
Great to see you recover and thrash Everton though. A big win after Arsenal lost which sets up that game nicely.

Yep, the next match away at Arsenal is crucial!!

Coys
12-01-16, 01:34 PM
must have a value of 0 in the editor then surely?

samsami
12-01-16, 01:48 PM
must have a value of 0 in the editor then surely?

That's correct!

Redknapp69
12-01-16, 11:16 PM
Although Chelsea were by far the better side you had a snatch to have a shock result from last min equaliser and penalties but it was not to be :(

Full assault on the league now - with no other competitions to go for plenty of rest should mean you can have a full strength team before every game which gives a real chance at the title

That win for Man Utd has brought them back into it though

kuy
12-01-16, 11:43 PM
Some tough games to come in the run-in, but hopefully you can keep everyone fit and play to your best!

samsami
13-01-16, 08:16 AM
Although Chelsea were by far the better side you had a snatch to have a shock result from last min equaliser and penalties but it was not to be :(

Full assault on the league now - with no other competitions to go for plenty of rest should mean you can have a full strength team before every game which gives a real chance at the title

That win for Man Utd has brought them back into it though

Yes, it could become a four horse-race after all!


Some tough games to come in the run-in, but hopefully you can keep everyone fit and play to your best!

I think that's the secret to our success in the league. We get lost of rest without Cups and without European competitions.

samsami
13-01-16, 08:23 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Clash between Arsenal and Saints ends undecided

After a long international break on 18th March we finally had to play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in what was arguably the most important game of the season for us!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ftk8pgztd/arsenal_logo.png (http://postimage.org/)

No-one was injured or banned and even though Arsenal had defeated us at St.Mary's back in October (0-3) we refused to give up hope as we seem to be playing our best football these days, even without a world class striker!

And indeed, Götze almost scored the opener again when he headed the ball towards goal and Cech could not hold onto it, but Götze failed to find the net in the rebound. And unfortunately it was Özil who scored just three minutes later, when he fired in a freekick from just over 20 yards!

And things got worse seven minutes later. First Van Beek clattered Özil, but to our relief the referee turned down the penalty appeal. However, a minute later Walcott was fouled in the penalty area going past Forster and this time a penalty was awarded and Paulista scored from the spot! So within twenty minutes it looked like Arsenal had already defeated us...

They certainly took things easier after that second goal but try as we might, we could not do anything back and at half-time the score was still 2-0 for Arsenal. The only result of all our zeal and energy were yellow cards for Ward-Prowse, Van Beek and Clasie. And in fact, Özil even came closest to scoring from a freekick just before half-time but the wall deflected the shot and the ball went just wide.

But, as a Swedish ice hockey coach once said, there's nothing worse than having a two or three goal lead. And in the second half Arsenal found out how very true those words are!

We picked up where we had left off with a lot of enthusiasm, and Mitrovic was immediately shown a yellow card. But this time we also scored! And of course it had to be Götze who skipped past Koscielny and continued his run and finally drove a fierce left-footed shot low towards the goal and found the net!!

That goal gave us hope again. And just eight minutes later Mitrovic tried a pot-shot at goal, Cech did well to turn the ball away, but it was Romeu who scored from the rebound!! All of a sudden anything seemed possible again!

And in fact, Mitrovic almost scored with a hard and low shot but Ceck saved well. Bertrand also tried a long shot and Mitrovic tried a header but both times Ceck saved.

In the end Arsenal almost scored a third goal but fortunately for us Walcott sent the ball just wide of the goal. And so eventually the final whistle was blown and this crucial and fascinating match ended undecided...

http://s6.postimg.cc/3ve2xu6oh/Arsenal.png (http://postimage.org/)

Based on the second half we could actually have won the game to-day. Götze was invaluable again and was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/denrrau6p/Ars_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/6go8z3lg1/Ars_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Man Utd trashed Cardiff (0-4) and Chelsea crushed West Ham (3-0) so in theory anything is still possible, although Arsenal are still the bookmakers' clear favourites for the title.

And while we enjoy another long break, Chelsea added yet another three points to their Premier League tally by defeating Everton (1-2) at Goodison Park on Wednesday 22nd March.

http://s6.postimg.cc/89r5nf6mp/Table29.png (http://postimage.org/)

Felix
13-01-16, 09:06 AM
That hockey guy's words must be true then, there IS nothing worse than to have a safe lead. Just ask England's national team in 1970 or Tottenham v Man Utd back in 2001. :violin:

samsami
13-01-16, 10:35 AM
That hockey guy's words must be true then, there IS nothing worse than to have a safe lead. Just ask England's national team in 1970 or Tottenham v Man Utd back in 2001. :violin:

Or the Miracle of Istanbul - the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final between Liverpool and AC Milan!

Mark
13-01-16, 11:40 AM
Ouch, slow start cost you in the end but what a great comeback from 2 goals down. Keeps the title hopes alive at least :ok:

samsami
14-01-16, 08:57 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints defeat Cardiff to stay on track

After another two-week break we received Cardiff at St.Mary's on Saturday 1st April.

http://s6.postimg.cc/9el7sst3l/South3.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

We had a lightning start and somehow it felt as if the match was virtually decided after just seven minutes. Jones made a sliding tackle, but he took the man rather than the ball and Tadic ran up to hit the penalty and nestled the ball into the back of the net! After that goal we took control of the match and it was nothing short of a miracle that the score was still 1-0 at half-time.

In the second half we brought on Juanmi for Mitrovic who had received a yellow card, and Juanmi immediately scored our second goal! The game petered out after that, which was a pity but we did not want to take any risks, either. We have had precious few injuries this season, but Clasie and Van Beek are just one yellow card away from a ban.

Cardiff did not produce a single shot on target in the entire match and this was probably one of the easiest games of the season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/xopok6kpd/Cardiff.png (http://postimage.org/)

It's remarkable how we keep winning almost all of our 'winnable' games this season. One reason might be that we can concentrate on the League and that we have very few injured players this year. And for a change even Juanmi delivered when he needed to!

http://s6.postimg.cc/a6jae97wx/Cardiff_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/lo48jgdap/Cardiff_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Man Utd defeated Man City (1-0) but... Derby County managed to hold Arsenal to a 1-1 draw!

We had the next weekend off, but Arsenal defeated Swansea (1-0) while Man Utd lost to Everton (2-0) at Goodison Park! The race for the title is certainly getting more interesting every week!

By the way, Chelsea had both weekends off as they had to play Liverpool in the League Cup Final, which they lost, and Man City in the Champions League Quarter Final, which they won!

http://s6.postimg.cc/o99t6z2oh/Table30.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/xxn9a3xht/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
14-01-16, 10:44 AM
Good to see Juanmi pulling his weight when you need him :ok: Another poor showing for Mitrovic though.

Arsenal win again, grr! Still, qualifying for CL automatically will surely be seen as a successful season!

Redknapp69
14-01-16, 07:00 PM
Great away effort v Arsenal and solid v Cardiff

2 games in hand and wins could put you 1 point behind but I'd prefer to be in Arsenal's position with points on board

Nice slip up from Man U as well but well bunched up

Any of top 4 playing each other with remaining games to go?

samsami
14-01-16, 07:13 PM
Great away effort v Arsenal and solid v Cardiff
2 games in hand and wins could put you 1 point behind but I'd prefer to be in Arsenal's position with points on board
Nice slip up from Man U as well but well bunched up
Any of top 4 playing each other with remaining games to go?

24/04 Southampton - Chelsea
06/05 Man Utd - Southampton
24/05 Chelsea - Man Utd

So Arsenal seems to have little to fear, although they still have to play Liverpool at home and Spurs at WHL.

ebfatz
14-01-16, 11:27 PM
Just done a 4/5 page catch up.

If I was Mitrovic, I would be handing in a transfer request.
The manager clearly has no faith in him.

samsami
15-01-16, 08:08 AM
Just done a 4/5 page catch up.

If I was Mitrovic, I would be handing in a transfer request.
The manager clearly has no faith in him.

I don't think he reads this blog :)
But I take your point.
And do read on!

samsami
15-01-16, 08:38 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints' winning run continues

After yet another two week break, on Saturday 15th of April we received Derby County at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/j6ot171w1/Derby_County.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Wanyama replaced Clasie for this match as we did not want Clasie to receive yet another yellow card; and Wanyama certainly grabbed his chance!

But this time Mitrovic also did what he had to do and he scored after just seven minutes! Tadic picked up the loose ball and delivered it to the near post where Mitrovic was ready to power a header at goal and find the back of the net!

Unfortunately Van Beek received a yellow card just before half-time. The Dutch defender does seem to pick up too many cards.

With Fonte for Van Beek we started the second half and this time it was Soares managed to score again with a long shot! So the three points seemed in the bag, but the game was not over yet and six minutes later Weimann hit the ball high and hard towards the goal and provided a lifeline for Derby!

This could easily have turned the match around, only it didn't. After Derby scored that goal, they brought on Brough to replace Warnock, but we had them in our grasp and literally nothing of significance happened in the final half hour of the match. Derby certainly did not come close to scoring a second goal!

http://s6.postimg.cc/k3lkz7hox/Half_Hour.png (http://postimage.org/)

So those are three important points, even though this was not the most difficult match we have to play yet.

http://s6.postimg.cc/pqhxwok7l/Derby.png (http://postimage.org/)

A good team performance again! And an important goal for Mitrovic!

http://s6.postimg.cc/7mexc1mj5/Derby_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/7dhcm49qp/Derby_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Man Utd had very little difficulty defeating West Brom (3-0) while Arsenal defeated Stoke at the Britannia Stadium (0-3) and Chelsea beat Swansea (0-1) at the Liberty Stadium. So nothing at all changed at the top of the League.


Mitrovic important as Saints defeat West Brom

Four days later, on Wednesday 19th of April we had to play one of our games on hand, against West Brom, who are fighting to avoid relegation.

http://s6.postimg.cc/3mhfanrrl/brom.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

We had no injured or banned players for this match and Clasie was back as central defensive midfielder. Wanyama started on the bench again.

We were lucky when an early goal by Anichebe was ruled out for offside, but after that we took over and Götze almost buried the ball in the top corner, but Erlandsson did well to fist the ball away. A minute later Berahino clattered Clasie, but the referee turned down our penalty appeal.

We continued to outplay West Brom and Ward-Prowse almost scored with a powerful header, but the ball hit the woodwork and bounced clear. But eventually it was Mitrovic who picked up on the loose ball and fired it in low and hard and found the net!!

We started the second half with Wanyama for Ward-Prowse and Fonte for Van Dijk. Then, after fifteen minutes Rodríguez had to go off injured so we brought on Mané as well. But it did not make any difference. We had no difficulty with West Brom.

Mitrovic tried a header, but the ball went clean over the bar and Götze almost scored with a diving header, but Erlandsson turned the ball behind. Wanyama also got up to head at goal, but he put the ball wide.

And in the end it was Mitrovic again who found the net with a low shot! His 15th goal of the season, from 39 appearances!

http://s6.postimg.cc/6hpgkepg1/Brom.png (http://postimage.org/)

We outclassed West Brom but we received too many yellow cards again. Mitrovic seems on fire and he was named Man-of-the-Month!

http://s6.postimg.cc/cetc186kx/Brom_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/mrfmnb041/Brom_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Rodríguez is out of action for about ten days with a bruised thigh. And unfortunately, Arsenal beat Liverpool (1-0) so they are still on course for their first league success since 2004.

http://s6.postimg.cc/998qb0nyp/Table32.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our next opponent will be Chelsea! A very important match, but there's more to follow after that so we really need to win this time!

http://s6.postimg.cc/sbnik79ld/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Beardo
15-01-16, 10:42 AM
What does Arsenal's run in look like, have they got cup games to play as well ?

samsami
15-01-16, 10:49 AM
What does Arsenal's run in look like, have they got cup games to play as well ?

They have been knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea (in the 3rd round) and they have been eliminated from the League Cup by Man City in the Quarter Final. And they did not qualify for European football last year (they ended 9th!) so they have an light schedule, like we do.

Tottenham A
Newcastle H
Leicester A
Sunderland H

Chelsea and Man Utd have far more games to play then Arsenal or us.

Mark
15-01-16, 01:05 PM
Very good results indeed, it's beating teams like those which will help you in your quest for glory. Shame Arsenal haven't dropped any points!

samsami
15-01-16, 01:10 PM
Very good results indeed, it's beating teams like those which will help you in your quest for glory. Shame Arsenal haven't dropped any points!

Nothing to say about Mitrovic? :)

ebfatz
15-01-16, 01:17 PM
Big Up the Mitrovic!!

Mark
15-01-16, 01:26 PM
All 3 goals were toe pokes into the net, my nan could have scored them! :D

samsami
15-01-16, 01:31 PM
I think we need a vote (poll) at the end of the season!

So far Mitrovic scored 14 goals in 32 appearances; and not just against the 'weaker' teams, either. He scored against: Stoke, Newcastle, Liverpool, Valencia, Everton, Chelsea, Tottenham, Huddersfield, Reading, Sunderland, Everton, Derby and West Brom (2x)

But I'm not convinced yet.

ebfatz
15-01-16, 01:34 PM
Toe Pokes are the way forward!!

As Pat Nevin!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/35314283

Beardo
15-01-16, 01:41 PM
I think we need a vote (poll) at the end of the season!

So far Mitrovic scored 14 goals in 32 appearances; and not just against the 'weaker' teams, either. He scored against: Stoke, Newcastle, Liverpool, Valencia, Everton, Chelsea, Tottenham, Huddersfield, Reading, Sunderland, Everton, Derby and West Brom (2x)

But I'm not convinced yet.

You need a top class centre forward, if the Costa deal had gone through as well as Goetze you might have been Champions.

Redknapp69
15-01-16, 05:05 PM
Can't ask anymore than 6 from 6 - Arsenal remain on the charge though and you have a tough few games ahead

I like Mitro :ok:

samsami
15-01-16, 05:09 PM
Can't ask anymore than 6 from 6 - Arsenal remain on the charge though and you have a tough few games ahead

I like Mitro :ok:

Let's see what happens in the final lap first. And then at who might be interested to join. They need to be world-class to replace Mitrovic. Otherwise he'll do and he may improve. We can always spend the money on another midfielder. I will post the player ratings at the end of the season again.

samsami
16-01-16, 10:08 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Chelsea make aspiring Saints look pretenders

On Monday 24th April Chelsea visited St.Mary's for a hugely important match. The previous day Tottenham had unexpectedly defeated Arsenal with the only goal of the match scored by Kane! So both Chelsea and we knew that a win could be a big step towards winning the title.

http://s6.postimg.cc/45mijxj69/chelsea.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mané replaced the injured Jay Rodríguez. Other than that, we had no banned or injured players. The crowd was ready for it!

Now the slippery conditions made it hard to play, but both teams were highly motivated to make the best of it. Chelsea played with two strikers - Negredo and Diego Costa - in a 4-1-3-2 formation while we used our trusted 4-1-4-1 formation with Mitrovic as our lone striker.

Chelsea had a good start and after a pass by Matic it was Van der Wiel who struck a long range piledriver, but the ball hit the bar and went out of play. Three minutes later Ramires had a go on goal and when Forster pushed the ball away Negredo had the chance and he did not fail but scored his fifth goal of the season!

We simply could not stop Chelsea and at half-time they had already had six shots on goal and we had none!

Something had to change so we brought on Juanmi for Mitrovic, who was not playing well and who had received a yellow card for protesting. We also brought on Wanyama for Mané, who was struggling. This means that Götze played as winger again in the second half.

But after fifteen minutes we received another blow. Götze had to leave the field injured!! We brought on Romeu as we have no more wingers, what with Mané already having been brought off and Rodríguez being injured, and Chelsea responded aggressively. Fŕbregas delivered the ball in from wide and Negredo won the ball in the air from Van Beek and scored with a fine header!

Obviously, that second goal settled it. We simply are not good enough (yet) for a world-class team like Chelsea.

http://s6.postimg.cc/yyamwr87l/Chelsea.png (http://postimage.org/)

Whereas Chelsea had seven shots on goal we had none! Still, our defence played quite well.

http://s6.postimg.cc/yk9ax5o41/Chelsea_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/5yg8grpld/Chelsea_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

The bad news is that Götze will be out of action for about two weeks with a calf strain. Rodríguez should be back in time though for our next match against West Ham.

So all of a sudden Chelsea now have a more than decent chance to win the title! That is, if they can win their games in hand. But their success could also easily become their downfall. They have already lost the League Cup Final to Liverpool and they will have to play Stoke City in the FA Cup Final and FC Bayern twice in the Champions League Semi-Final, so they hardly have the time to play any Premier League games these days!

http://s6.postimg.cc/qhb4lu3ip/Table33.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/6vmnpn13l/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

samsami
17-01-16, 08:32 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints' luck has finally run out

Five days after Chelsea beat us, on Saturday 29th April it was West Ham United's turn to visit St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/76h55oymp/Ham.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Mané is on international duty and Götze is still injured, but Rodríguez was back in time from his injury. However, when your luck has run out, and even the referee no longer helps you, what can one do?

Mitrovic missed a huge chance after four minutes when he directed his header way over the bar and just before half-time West Ham almost scored when Roberts shot on the volley but the ball hit the woodwork.

Those were the only two highlights of the first half, but then Ward-Prowse made a dangerous two-footed challenge on Noble and without the slightest hesitation the referee reached into his pocket and showed Ward-Prowse a red card!

Up to that point we had had five shots on goal and West Ham four. But in the second half we lost control of the match when we had to continue with ten men. It looked good for a brief moment when we brought on Davis for Tadic and Davis actually scored, but the goal was disallowed because Mitrovic had strayed offside. Obviously 'Mitro' did not have his day.

So we decided to bring on Juanmi for Mitrovic, but that did not help either. First Valencia almost scored with a fierce shot, but Forster managed to push the ball away. But with three minutes to go Wanyama caused a penalty and Noble stepped up and nestled the ball into the back of the net!

To make matters worse, Cresswell scored with a simple finish and West Ham could even have scored a third goal if Forster had not saved the ball superbly. Then again, that no longer mattered...

The red card and the penalty sealed our fate so that the question now is, can we still qualify directly for Champions League football?

http://s6.postimg.cc/6qwol6xxt/Ham.png (http://postimage.org/)

Admittedly, West Ham played extremely well; but without Götze we always seem to struggle to find the net.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ly82rt0ep/Ham_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/3lc2uzfbl/Ham_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

To make matters worse, our next match will be at Old Trafford against one of our direct opponents...

http://s6.postimg.cc/vmq48oklt/Table34.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/l7fcm0y1d/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
17-01-16, 11:06 AM
CL is surely a given as you are 10 ahead of Spurs

The tough run in is proving that but still a real chance for 2nd or 3rd

Gotze injury came at a terrible time for you

But this has been s super league season and as long as there is no limping to qualify for CL it has been a big success to consolidate

samsami
17-01-16, 03:55 PM
CL is surely a given as you are 10 ahead of Spurs
The tough run in is proving that but still a real chance for 2nd or 3rd
Gotze injury came at a terrible time for you
But this has been s super league season and as long as there is no limping to qualify for CL it has been a big success to consolidate

Agreed. But third place is a lot better than fourth place. We ended fourth last year and lost in the Qualifying stage of the Champions League this second year.

Coys
17-01-16, 03:58 PM
Your side always seems to have a real lack of attempts at goal. At best even when you win convincingly you are only having a maximum of 10-12 shots.

The last few times you have played Chelsea you have barely offered anything.

Are you the Man Utd of real life?

I hear the saints supporters are becoming frustrated by boring football :ok:

samsami
17-01-16, 04:04 PM
Your side always seems to have a real lack of attempts at goal. At best even when you win convincingly you are only having a maximum of 10-12 shots.
The last few times you have played Chelsea you have barely offered anything.
Are you the Man Utd of real life?
I hear the saints supporters are becoming frustrated by boring football :ok:

But we haven't spent as much as they have yet! :)

samsami
18-01-16, 08:55 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Drama at Old Trafford

On Saturday 6th of May we had to play Man Utd at Old Trafford. A match that we could not possibly expect to win, but on the other hand we could hardly afford to lose this match! At least not if we want to make the top three this season!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ywdq6mngx/man.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Without Götze (injured), without Ward-Prowse (banned) and without Mané and Wanyama (both on international duty) we very much felt like our wings had been clipped.

Man Utd must have underestimated us, though. They played carelessly and after they had just missed a couple of decent chances it was Mitrovic who scored a superb goal after a solo that took him past Jones and past Smalling before blasting the ball towards the top corner and finding the back of the net!!

And in the second half we could have finished them off! First we claimed a penalty after Schweinsteiger had sent Tadic to the floor with a hard tackle, but to no avail. And a few minutes later Rodríguez blazed the ball over the bar. The crowd could not believe their eyes!

But then disaster struck! It started when Pogba passed the ball left to Depay and Van Dijk sent Depay to the floor and was sent off! And less than two minutes later Forster also received the red card, when he brought down Luke Shaw in the area! So suddenly we were down to nine men and Jones had the chance to score from the spot after Stekelenburg had come on to replace Forster. And Jones made no mistake!

With twenty minutes remaining Man Utd had ample time to finish the job - only they didn't! For some strange reason they never managed to score that third goal! We defended vehemently with all nine players and we managed to survive the full twenty minutes plus injury time!

http://s6.postimg.cc/bn0bcvy35/Man.png (http://postimage.org/)

An amazing result, which felt like a victory. But the two red cards obviously don't help!

http://s6.postimg.cc/skzbyq7gx/Man_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/4xtrwvcr5/Man_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And meanwhile, Arsenal beat Leicester away from home (2-3) while Chelsea defeated Spurs (2-1) so both teams are still in the race for the title. Our task will simply be to stay ahead of Man Utd!

http://s6.postimg.cc/r77p3f87l/Table35.png (http://postimage.org/)

The problem obviously is that Forster has now also been banned - for three matches - and Van Dijk has been banned for one match. Fortunately we have Stekelenburg and Van Dijk will be back soon enough.


Boring Saints defeat Watford

Four days later, on Wednesday 10th May we had to play Watford at the Vicarage Road Stadium.

http://s6.postimg.cc/8gjjyhhsh/watf.png (http://postimage.org/)

We had to play this match without Götze, who is still injured, and without Forster, Van Dijk and Ward-Prowse (all three of them banned) but at least Mané and Wanyama are back from their international duties.

This time we were the lucky ones again when Mitrovic was brought down in the area by Gomes who was sent off and Tadic had no trouble scoring the penalty!

However, a few minutes later Rodríguez had to go off injured. As far as injuries go, our luck has definitely run out!

We did not play brilliantly and we failed to score more goals, but we had not trouble winning the match against ten men. We needed the three points if we want to stay ahead of Man Utd to qualify for Champions League football directly and we got what just we wanted.

Rodríguez will be out for about three weeks with strained knee ligaments, though.

http://s6.postimg.cc/nml0boifl/Watdord.png (http://postimage.org/)

An easy win against ten-men Watford, but we should have scored more goals of course! If fans accuse us of playing 'boring football' you can hardly blame them.

http://s6.postimg.cc/guul8ttg1/Wat_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/uebfej7f5/Watt_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Chelsea won their match as well. In theory they could even still win the title if they win all of their games in hand.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ueg0s9wsx/Table36.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/scfje0ytt/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
18-01-16, 09:31 AM
Man U are the main rivals and a draw there was vital

Watford was a great away win - that could be the one that secures top 3 but 2 games left without Forster - time for Stekelenberg to step up again for you!

Mark
18-01-16, 11:04 AM
Just caught up. That was a poor spell of results there at a crucial stage of the season. Bad luck with injuries and suspensions kicking in.

Hope you get to hang on to secure an automatic CL spot!

samsami
18-01-16, 12:09 PM
Just caught up. That was a poor spell of results there at a crucial stage of the season. Bad luck with injuries and suspensions kicking in.

Hope you get to hang on to secure an automatic CL spot!

Yes, poor results, but like Redders said, the draw at Old Trafford was vital. Man Utd still have to visit Stamford Bridge so we may just stay ahead of them!

ebfatz
18-01-16, 01:12 PM
Chelsea's games in hand key here.
I fear it may be third unless they have an almighty collapse.

Swansea love to draw it seems so I predict that result - making the Man C game even more important.

samsami
18-01-16, 01:13 PM
Chelsea's games in hand key here.
I fear it may be third unless they have an almighty collapse.

Swansea love to draw it seems so I predict that result - making the Man C game even more important.

Third place is direct CL qualification though, right?