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The Sweet Escape

The Sweet Escape
By Patrick Surlis • Issue #6 • View online
So we expected Ralph to ring the changes at the Etihad. There were far more important battles to come.
But that came under one condition: beat Brighton. Even a draw may have sufficed. But defeat? Not an option.
Classic Saints, eh?
Onto Bournemouth next, something of an escape for us to have a week off from Premier League action.

In previous months we’ve pointed the finger at external factors to explain our tragic form. And justifiably so.
Injuries to key players and dodgy calls from Stockley Park snatched points away from us.
But, looking back to Sunday now, we can only blame ourselves.
Ralph in his post-match presser: “There was no plan and no clear idea during the final 30 minutes”.
actual footage of me watching Saints vs Brighton
actual footage of me watching Saints vs Brighton
To say we looked out of ideas would suggest we’re capable of ideas.
I’m not sure we are at the moment.
And it’s a familiar pattern now.
Wolves, Newcastle, Everton, Aston Villa, Brighton. Any I’ve missed there?
We go behind and we do nothing. We just knock a few passes around then panic.
We look toothless in attack and nervous in defence. A far cry from the Southampton we saw in autumn.
Look at our defensive shape for Trossard’s winner.
The right side of it may as well not exist.
Jan’s got two men and picking up neither. Kyle is jogging back. Jannik is facing the wrong way.
Diallo is *squints* taking a shit?
This is the frame one second later.
You cannot defend like this and win games.
Adam Lallana has hamstrings made of cheese now but he can still pick a pass.
And Danny Welbeck has the first touch of a trampoline but he has five yards of space there.
Piss poor.
Keeper conundrum
Please give a warm welcome to OWTS’ newest contributor, Ben Thompson.
Ben is a Saints fan who is currently studying at the University of Edinburgh.
He’ll be popping up with Saints-related pieces in our newsletters and you may even hear him on the podcast in the near future.
Ben’s first contribution is below - a look at Fraser Forster vs Alex McCarthy in the battle for our No.1 jersey.
You can follow Ben on Twitter here.
Fraser or Alex? It’s not a question I was expecting to ask myself back in November, (cue ‘Stop the Count!’ T-shirts and tweets) but here we are.
After such a dismal run of form the prospect of two established first-team goalkeepers inevitably raises questions about the no.1 spot. Forster provided material for fans and critics alike at the weekend, looking flat-footed in his attempt to deny Lewis Dunk’s opener before brilliantly saving from Pascal Gross. With the team conceding much fewer goals per game with Forster in net, (0.75 to McCarthy’s 1.92 this season) should Ralph stick with him now until the end of the season?
McCarthy proved at the start of the season he’s got what it takes to be part of this team, but his confidence was knocked by a run of conceding so many goals in such a short period of time.
For me, the biggest difference in their game is collecting crosses, where McCarthy impresses and Forster sometimes lacks, especially for someone who makes Jannik Vestergaard look normal size.
A stellar season for Forster last season at Celtic shows he still has the experience to be a consistent goalkeeper given enough game time, and perhaps that’s what we need in a time like this.
It’s not an easy decision but considering the way things are going, it could prove to be a pivotal one in the fight for…a decent league position. Yes, I’m stubbornly refusing to mention a certain 10 letter ‘r’ word at this moment.
Are you happy to continue with Forster or should we go back to McCarthy?
Hit reply and let Ben know.
Game's Gone
A crocodile mascot carrying a crossbow in the Portuguese top flight, because why not?
Tiago Estêvão
is the PT league still bad to watch at times? yes.
is Tondela's mascot a crocodile carrying a crossbow for no apparent reason? also yes.
worth your time, imo
Episode 58 - Brighton take the points
Oh When The Saints podcast discusses Southampton 1-2 Brighton - Oh When The Saints
Up Next
Saturday 20th March, 12.15 GMT
  • AFC Bournemouth (away), FA Cup, BT Sport
OWTS Pick of the Week
RFEF España Adidas Long Sleeve Poloshirt - €34.95 from Impala Vintage
Absolute belter. Walk around Ocean Village like the prime Iñigo Idiakez you are.
A Welcome FA Cup Distraction...
Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape (Closed Captioned) ft. Akon
Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape (Closed Captioned) ft. Akon
Thank you for reading!
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Patrick Surlis

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