:saints: Is our recruitment policy to blame?

:saints: Is our recruitment policy to blame?


As Nick rightly asks, what has Gao done wrong?

You have said more than once that the Chinese were here to just asset strip. Again as Nick says, there is zero evidence of this.


There is zero evidence he has put money in that is his as well.
Why is he here?


QPR were punished for overspending to get into the Premier League in their promotion season and that is why they were fined and put under a transfer embargo, nothing to do with dropping out of the league.


And they can’t pay as they’re skint as they dropped out.


So they broke the rules and are now skint and sitting 18th in the championship because poor top level management ran them into the ground financially, hardly a good example to follow. If we did that do you think we could find someone to bail us out again? Probability says ‘unlikely’.


Classic replying to a question with a question (something you like to point to others when it suits).

I will try again. What has Gao done wrong?


I didn’t say it was I simply said you don’t get hammered for it, Bournemouth?


He has allowed Kruegar and Reed to make it their fiefdom and not be accountable for a start.
He hasn’t really done anything and that is the issue we’re facing.


They didn’t get hammered (relatively small 4.75m fine) because of this:

‘‘In reaching a settlement, the EFL acknowledges that the club did not make any deliberate attempt to infringe the Rules or to deceive. All relevant matters were taken into account when determining the quantum of the settlement.’’

QPR and Birmingham were in all probability a bit more deceitful, or in Birmingham’s case full on spat in the face of their transfer embargo.


Good call @saintbletch, I was going to start a “Moneyball v Established Premiership star” thread but this has neatly captured it…


I think Hughes gets off lightly in that article.

He’s not completely at fault but look at some of the teams that have come up in recent years and that have fought and stayed up. Their squads weren’t/aren’t full of perfect signings. They’ve simply been coached, managed and molded into Prem teams.

Our signings this season, which we signed unbelievably early BTW, have played preseason in one formation and played several different formations in the league.

Some, like Armstrong, have also been played out of position and all, given Hughes’ mentality, have been sent on the pitch with a passive approach / formation and told not to concede first and win second.

I like that Hughes is persevering to find his formation and I’ve seen improvements in some game. The problem is that we’ve played mainly non-top 6 sides so far and we still don’t seem to know how to accommodate the best players we have.


Well, I needed a proper stage and question for my customary rant at Hughes.


Bournemouth and Wolves are showing us how it should be done, our transfer policy of the last 2 years has been pretty poor.
Sold great players we obviously couldn’t but have not replaced to a sufficient standard, unless flirting and possible relegation is an aspiration of the board…


For what its worth, I believe that Pochettino’s high press style was a great leveller for Saints. Whilst our players were not necessarily great individually, by making them super duper fit and press in controlled unison as a team, this closed the gap in terms of quality.

We got in people’s faces and didn’t let them play out from the back, forcing them in to forced errors in the final third of the pitch. Allowing us to manufacture goal scoring situations more frequently.

We have lost our edge of being one of the fittest teams in the league. We can barely even play for 90 minutes. Just look at the number of late goals we ship.

Davis, Lallana and JRod were all great at pressing from the front, as is Long. None of them are what I would call athletic lumps though.

Other than that I agree with you that we seem to be producing a lot of small nippers who are unsuited to the modern Premier League.


… and they bought Alli, not raised him themselves.


Is our recruitment policy to blame?

Whilst nothing is a black and white, yes or no in these situations, I believe it is fair to say that in this modern era, you don’t appear to be able to get great value for money anymore. Whilst anybody can throw out the odd example of a bargain player to prove a point, in general there is an argument that says you don’t get the sufficient quality of player for less than £20m - £25m these days. A figure that we have not exceeded yet, presumably due to club policy and the associated wages and fees for such players. Fair enough.

If the club cannot afford better players then this argument is academic I guess. Have we got the best we can afford and they aren’t necessarily good enough? I don’t know.

What I will say is that perhaps our recruitment policy is now outdated. We made hay whilst the sun shined but now everybody else has caught on to tactic of scouring the rubbish foreign leagues for standout players. Couple that with the fact that Celtic haven’t produced any gems in recent times and we are left with a near disastrous recruitment policy.

The first thing Levy did after tapping up Pochettino was tap up Paul Mitchell, our head of recruitment. Spurs then went after all the same players as us for the next couple of years.

Other teams like Leicester and Everton have woken up and joined the party as well and as a consequence are ALWAYS linked with the same players as us. Both will offer bigger wages and have more decorated histories than us so we are immediately up against it.

I am not having a go at the club here by the way, because I cannot offer any other solution to what we perceive to be the problem.

Football is full of double standards. We are slated by the media, pundits and fans alike for selling our best players over and over again. Yet at the same time those same people absolutely cream themselves at the prospect of these players in a Liverpool shirt. Do we all remember John Aldridge’s pathetic Talk Sport plea to VVD to join Liverpool? Equally it ignores the fact that we cannot match the inflated wages of the big boy clubs and the case of VVD also proves that, the alternative, keeping a person (with feelings, emotions, friends, families, egos, and a bank balance) in the club against their will, will not end up well for the team. So what the hell is the answer?


The club stating reasonable and honest aims, acknowledge we can’t keep our best players, we’re a stepping stone club and our aim is to tread water in the Premiership so the investors are happy.


But you don’t want that do you?

Would you be happy if that was the case?


Yes, I’d be happy with honesty, lying or not admitting to your punters is like Comical Ali saying there’s no bombs.


Indirectly they have done though. Krueger called us a ‘small club’ approximately 67 times in a five minute interview with Adam Blackmore not so long ago.

They have also admitted that we can’t keep our best players. Evidenced by the fact that we haven’t yet achieved such a feat.

To me it just seems like we are a little lost at sea and are lacking an overall plan and direction, on and off the pitch. If Reed and Ralph are accountable for this then yes they have something to answer for.