The Southampton Way is the Problem not the Players/Coach - Discuss

Since we were saved from Admin, The Board have had “A Plan”.

A KEY element of that plan is that all levels of the Club “Play” in a similar style.

That style has been set as a mantra and now seems to be 4 - 2 - 3 - 1 and is certainly reflected in U-18’s upwards.

We’ve had Claude and we now have MP and as fans we are moaning about the creation of chances and the lack of goals.

Football in the EPL has changed, we saw Chelsea win it playing 3 at the back.

The debate needs to begin. Should we be playing to a mantra or should we be picking a FORMATION that best suits the players we have? (Think back to the Alan Ball Team Tactic - just give the ball to Le Tiss at every opportunity)



I don’t see the point in sticking to a rigid system. Flexibility is the key. That and using your strengths. Even Poch got flak for not having a plan B. There is no one system better than another. You just need to be adaptable as a team.


I’m not convinced we’ve got much of a problem tbh, or at least if the ‘Problem’ is those twats on saintsweb moaning on about one thing or another, I’m not sure it’s anything to give a flying fuck about.

We’ve only played like 3 games.


Deffo some inflexibility in the modboy system I only pressed the button once and no modboy has been around for like ages to take away the double post!

We like to leave it there for purposes of Public Shaming, and as a warning to others


I’m not sure it is an institutional problem. Koeman reverted to a back 3 in certain games in order for us to get out of a rut. I presume that is why Pellegrino tried 3 at the back in the League cup, so that we had practiced another style of play if it were required.

I am a big supporter of manager’s/tactics that address the strengths and style of the opposition. I hate the old addage about ‘concentrate on your own game’ because that is fool hardy. Last season we didn’t address the way Chelsea play and we didn’t man mark Hazard like Utd did a week or so before with great success. Instead he scored against us within about 5 minutes and it was totally avoidable and poor defending.

So in summary, I don’t think the club’s philosphy is the problem. I feel we just have a collective group of players in the attacking midfield area, who are simultaneously not playing very well at present. The reasons for which have been long debated on here. The personnel is also not especially complimentary of each other right now. Tadic and Redmond are too similar in the way that they play, in terms of neither being especially direct or looking to make runs beyond the front man. Mane did both and his loss his perhaps the biggest to our game that we have had over the years.


Puel also started last season with a 4-4-2, with a diamond in the middle.

When he did that folk complained and wanted us to go back to 4-2-3-1.



Yes, but most of us felt the Diamond was the issue.

A more basic Mike Bassett worked OK for Leicester that same season and matched the attributes of their players.

My “gripe” is that Redmond is too casual (or not clinical) which is a mental failing, Tadic is too complicated (yet has a very high number of assists in his time with us).

But with 1 Striker, and our circular football, Gabby gets pulledinto little triangles meaning we have Redmond & Tadic getting on the end of chances when it surely would be better to have a 2nd Striker iin the box?

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It was fine when we had Mane!!


Look at the chances created and I think it tells us that we simply haven’t been clinical.

The system isn’t the issue. The execution has been the problem.

This might not be popular, but I’d also suggest Claude’s teams created chances too.

Also, systems give you a framework but don’t limit or govern the speed at which you can transition between phases of play.

We are often too slow to capitalise on transitions in the game.


Agreed, he’s a quality player.

Imo, I’d have him over Coutinho any day.

Any team would be worse off for losing him, and it’s always going to be hard for mid-table clubs like us to consistently replace such quality with like-for-like replacements.

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Claude’s team definitely created chances. However, I would argue that they were not that often that clear cut by virtue of the speed (or lack there of) within which we attacked. If you think about it, a ‘chance’ is generally easier when an opposition is exposed or does not have sufficient men back for cover. By definition there is more space and possibilities (borrowed from Claude) for the attacker. Or when our players are running in to empty space as opposed to a congested box with men behind the ball.

Let’s leave Mane out of this for the moment as we are clearly all in agreement over how good he was/is.

With Koeman we did a hell of a lot more counter attacking than we did last season. That was another reason why Shane Long had a great second half to that season. The team and style of play was geared up to counter attack quickly. The home games against Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea away immediately spring to mind.

When he played for Claude he was constantly playing with his back to goal because our build up play was so slow. It was evident to me that he wanted to instil a very calm approach and transition was too cautious and slow.

Bringing Mane back in to the equation, perhaps the fact that we have not replaced his speed and directness has meant that playing in such a counter attack minded way is not so feasible or effective.


If the rumours are true it was the players, not just the fans, who requested we revert to 4-2-3-1. Citing a system they were more comfortable with.

Certainly did. Most shots in a game since man u in 2003.

“Even when Puel’s team tore through Burnley in October and fired off 34 shots – more than any other Premier League team in any match since 2003 – they managed to win only 3-1.”


Its not the system. Our biggest problem is not being able to hit a barn door with the proverbial banjo - sort that and the world’s our mollusc.


Some of us are busy earning money to pay bills.

… and Pelle :lou_sad:

:joy: … so @modboy isn’t @goatboy afterall


Pay Bill’s what exactly? Cosmetic analplasty?


Poch has got a plan B. He’s called Gazzaniga.