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One Win Is All It Takes...

One Win Is All It Takes...
By Patrick Surlis • Issue #5 • View online
Fallin’ in love again
Three points is all we need

We like a musical theme here at Oh When The Saints podcast.
We started with ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ (they got worse).
And we followed that with ‘99 Problems’ (looking like an under-count).
This week it’s Dua Lipa. We’ll see how it goes.
Monday night’s defeat at Everton was not an embarrassment (see: Man Utd, Leeds, Newcastle) but it wasn’t good either.
One point from 27. Eight league defeats in nine. One shot on target. It’s ugly stuff.
And what do we have to look forward to on Saturday?
A trip to bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United.
On the one hand, we’re desperate for this fixture.
We need a win. They are awful. We can do this, right?
Well, if it’s another defeat I don’t want to think about the fallout.
If it’s ugly now, then look out.
But I’m not buying the social media critics who slammed Monday’s performance.
It seemed overboard to me.
It wasn’t good, but we’ve played much, much worse in the last two months.
Newcastle was an embarrassment. The second half at Leeds was pathetic. Man Utd was 9-0.
Everton are a top-seven side chasing a Champions League place. Yes, we barely threatened for 85 minutes but we created two golden opportunities.
We deserved a point. Everton only had one shot on target too.
So, what to do on Saturday?
Fraser keeps his place I imagine. I can accept Ralph’s decision to replace Alex McCarthy but his reasoning seemed strange then and it still seems strange now.
You don’t swap a goalkeeper to change ‘momentum’ when the main problem has been scoring goals - especially when you reference the ‘momentum’ of a clean sheet kept almost a month prior.
Elsewhere, Nathan Tella deserves a start. And Takumi Minamino, who at least brings a viable goal threat, should return to the starting XI provided he’s recovered from a hamstring problem.
So no place for Nathan Redmond, obviously. I’m not going to beat him up any more, what’s been said has been said.
He’s an option from the bench going forward. And we need options.
If Ibrahima Diallo is fit, and I pray to Le God that he is, then Stuart Armstrong returns to his best position. We need him there.
And in that case, it’s Stuart and Taki in the No.10s, with Diallo and JWP in midfield.
That’s a very strong team, only missing KWP as a nailed-on starter.
If Diallo can’t go from the start, I want Armstrong and JWP in the middle again with Taki and Tella further forward.
Up top, Che Adams is running out of chances.
He’s run hot once, and very cold twice. It’s not sustainable and it’s the reason Ralph tried Redmond up front recently.
Is Dan N'Lundulu worth a start at Sheffield United? Possibly, but the stakes are so high now. You don’t take that risk.
I expect to again see Danny and Che, who scored his last goal in the reverse fixture back in mid-December.
Some strikers love playing against their old clubs. Let’s hope Che - who was a Blade between 2014 and 2016 - is one of those.
At the back, it’s clear Ralph favours seniority and experience over playing people in their proper positions.
Kayne Ramsey recently signed a new two-year contract but Ralph hasn’t shown he fully trusts him yet. It’s frustrating but I can’t argue with it too much.
Jan Bednarek still looks like a centre-half out of position but he’s doing better than Jack Stephens, who was a fish-out-of-water at Newcastle.
Needs must until KWP returns. Le God, some good news on Kyle would be lovely too.
And while Mohamed Salisu had a tough game against Dominic Calvert-Lewin, I like the partnership he’s building with Jannik Vestergaard.
All in all, will this game ruin my Saturday? It’s got that energy for sure.
But then again…
…One Win Is All It Takes.
Our Best Ever Month
Thank you to all those who listened to Oh When The Saints podcast in February.
It was a record month for downloads - just shy of 2,000 in total for the month, beating our previous high of April 2020 (the month we interviewed Richard Chaplow, the legend).
Since launching in March 2020 we’ve been overwhelmed by the support from the Saints community.
We just wish we had a few more positive things to talk about recently!
Episode 55 - Talking Points From Goodison Park
Episode 55 - Assessing the major talking points from Everton 1-0 Southampton
Up Next
Saturday 6th March, 3pm GMT
  • Sheffield Utd (away), Premier League, Sky Sports
OWTS Pick of the Week
Nike Brazil Jacket - £28 from Domno Vintage
Up The Saints
Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa - One Kiss (Official Video)
Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa - One Kiss (Official Video)
Thank you for reading!
Did you enjoy this issue?
Patrick Surlis

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