Taking Southampton North!

PatrickLFC

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Transfer News...



Three youth team signings, along with Stojnic, arrive on July 1st. Each of them look very promising.



Injury News...
A few defensive injuries I could have done without, Nishimura’s and Lovell’s in particular.



Ney has just joined Rangers on loan but picks up a nasty injury that will see him miss a third of the season. Hopefully it doesn’t damage him too much.


And Andersson will also be sidelined for most of preseason.
 
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PatrickLFC

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The most unlikely affiliation imaginable!!



Asensio has forgiven me after a whole year of being upset! I did offer him out a couple of times but no one has bid yet so that may be why. I’m still in his favoured personnel, as I have been the whole time. Unfortunately, he still “Wants to move to a better division”, even though the Premier League is the top ranked league. Hopefully that disappears too, because if it does then he might sign a new contract!



Transfer News...

Another prospect for the youth team arrives from our affiliate Hoffenheim on his 16th birthday.

 

PatrickLFC

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Injury News...



And a second striker falls to injury, during a preseason friendly in which he scored four goals! Stojnic may have to carry the load the first couple of weeks of the season.



He started well, scoring a brace in the next match, but picked up an injury himself! Fortunately it’s minor.


Transfer News...

An uncharacteristically big fee for a youth team signing. This guy I feel could be something special, and I have such a massive budget that I may as well use some of it.

Persson has started with a bang at Feyenoord, with four goals in his first two matches, including a match winning hat trick.
 

PatrickLFC

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The club ask me if I’d like a new contract. I’m quite happy to accept, and so I expect an offer will be forthcoming soon.


Dragowski signs a new deal after I reject a couple of bids from Real Madrid. He signs almost identical terms, though unfortunately his release clause of 49m was non-negotiable, and remains.

Preseason results were pretty decent, with solid wins in all of the matches. Only 3 goals conceded across the 7 games is a good effort too.
 

PatrickLFC

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Community Shield - Grand Final - Chelsea FC (Neutral)

Our first competitive game is a rematch of last year’s Community Shield, where Chelsea beat us 4-3 in a thriller. Hopefully this year we can come out on top and reclaim the trophy we won two years ago. It’s a very strong lineup, with Chambers and Stojnic the only players not first choice in their position, and each certainly has a strong claim to be. It’s nice to have Gitschier, Doebel and Dimarco back. Chelsea’s new defensive additions, Garcia and the marquee signing De Vrij, both start for our opponents.

Ødegaard’s sensational backheel in the third minute set up Hazard, but Dragowski got a piece of it and it went wide.

In the 12th minute Ødegaard again found the run of Hazard, with a more conventional through ball, and once more Dragowski parried the shot, before smothering the loose ball.

In the 16th minute Saidi netted an open goal on the counterattack, but he was a mile offside and it was chalked off.

In the 66th minute Fontaine and Prins replaced Doebel and Wellington.

Larsson replaced Gasperoni in the 74th minute.

A minute later Dragowski was again required and he again delivered, tipping Ødegaard’s long range effort around the post.

A shootout would be required.

And Dragowski’s heroics were to continue, as he stuck out a hand to deny Ødegaard’s first penalty!

Asensio, Dimarco, Gitschier and Laporte all found the target for us, as did Morata, Hazard, Klaassen and Bale for Chelsea.

Milenko Stojnic then stepped up and netted the winning penalty!

Well Bartlomiej Dragowski more or less single-handedly won us this trophy, making a couple of brilliant saves, before Dimarco and Laporte did what they couldn’t in the Champions League Final and netted in the shootout. Nice to claim a trophy other than the league, hopefully it’s the first of many this season!


POM: Bartlomiej Dragowski (9.1, 6 Saves, Clean Sheet)
 

PatrickLFC

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English Premier League - Game 1 - Sheffield Wednesday (Home)

An unchanged side takes the field for our opening Premier League fixture against Sheffield Wedneday. Andersson is fit enough to take a place on the bench, and Sindelar has just resumed training today so he should be good to go next week, though he sits out today. Hopefully we can get off to a better start this season than last, when we lost our first match of the season to Wolves.

In the 11th minute Doebel released Dimarco on the overlap down the left, and the fullback streaked away. His deflected cross fell to Doebel, who unselfishly played the ball through the box to Asensio, but the Spaniard was denied by a sensational save from Sels.

Two minutes later Shawcross tripped Doebel as they competed for an Asensio corner, and a penalty was given. Gitschier slammed it home to open his and our account for the season.

In the 40th minute Asensio’s free kick presented Jurcik with an open header 6 yards out. It was straight at the keeper, and the rebound fell to Laporte, who also struck straight at Sels! Poor misses there.

In the 48th minute Gitschier played a superb pass through to Stojnic. The striker shaped to shoot, drawing the keepr and two defenders but instead floated the ball across the 6 yard box, presenting Doebel with an open net to volley into!

Three minutes later Stojnic was again the provider as Doebel sent him through, and he crossed to Asensio to head home at the far post.

Larsson, Prins and Fontaine replaced Gasperoni, Wellington and Asensio in the 73rd minute. Fontaine and Doebel swapped wings.

Gitschier added his second of the match in the 80th minute with a bullet of a header from Chambers’ cross.

And Doebel joined his compatriot on two goals in the 84th with a delicious curled finish after picking up on a loose ball when Chambers’ cross wasn’t cleared.

Just two minutes later Stojnic failed to beat Sels from about 4 yards, and an admittedly tight angle, provided by a low Chambers cross.

Sels was determined to deny Stojnic a debut goal, producing a flying save in the 89th minute to thwart him off a Fontaine corner.

15 seconds later he also denied Gitschier a hat trick from a close range header!

It’s incredible that we won 5-0, and that the scoreline didn’t even nearly reflect our dominance! Sels produced a fantastic performance between the posts for our opponents, making 14 saves, and without him we would have been in with a shot of reaching double figures! Nonetheless I’m delighted with our opening day performance, as we looked absolutely lethal, and picked up a clean sheet too! Our front four were unplayable, though Stojnic was missing a finishing touch. Fantastic start.


POM: Sven Doebel (9.5, 2G, 1A)
 

PatrickLFC

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English Premier League - Game 2 - Stoke City (Away)



We’re not the only side to have flown out of the blocks, as Chelsea followed up a solid 1-0 win over Tottenham on opening day with a 6-0 thrashing of Hull City today. All of the other contenders, except City, have dropped points already. Nishimura and Sindelar return to the starting lineup today after absence for International duty and injury respectively, with Stojnic and Chambers making way. Our attacking midfielders will be key against this aggressive formation.


Sindelar’s return lasted just 8 minutes though, as he picked up an early facial injury. His replacement was Stojnic.

And in the 18th minute Dimarco slid on and brought down Ings, conceding a penalty for his trouble. Ghilas sent Dragowski the wrong way from the spot.

In the 25th minute Gitschier squared things up for us, timing his run perfectly to power a header past Krul from Doebel’s cross.

Jurcik had an effort from a 36th minute corner cleared off the line by Ghilas.

Two minutes later we hit the lead as Gitschier first timed a shot from Wellington’s pass which Krul got a hand to, but couldn’t keep out.

In the 44th minute Gitschier released Stojnic down the left with a superb ball, and the Serbian striker jinked past Akanji, but couldn’t beat Krul. Almost a sensational first goal for us.

Asensio put a close range header onto the crossbar from a 46th minute Dimarco cross.

Stojnic once again failed to get off the mark for us in the 57th minute, as Nishimura skipped to the byline and put in a low cross. He turned it goalwards and Krul parried it straight to Doebel, who put away the rebound with ease.

Lovell and Fontaine replaced Nishimura and Asensio in the 73rd minute. Jurcik moved to right back to accommodate Lovell, and Doebel switched to the right wing.

In the 78th minute Doebel played a sublime pass through to Stojnic, who once again failed to beat Krul! An impressive save, to be fair.

Stoke almost scored a consolation from a stoppage time counterattack, but Kelly headed high and wide from close range.

As expected, my attacking midfield, along with Wellington, were the standout players in another very comfortable win. The two Germans, Gitschier and Doebel, have begun the season in electric form and it’s tempting to wonder what might have happened in the Champions League Final had even one of them been fit. Fontaine is looking lively off the bench too, whilst Stojnic failed to score again, but picked up a third assist. Hopefully Sindelar is okay.


POM: Moritz Gitschier (9.0, 2G, 0A)
 

PatrickLFC

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Injury News...



Sindelar’s injury is minor but he probably won’t be ready for our next match.


Transfer News...


An opportunistic signing as this talented fullback was listed at Braga where he wasn’t getting game time. He will go out on loan and may eventually develop into a first team player, but should at least turn a profit.

 

PatrickLFC

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English Premier League - Game 3 - Derby County (Home)



Larsson starts in midfield for the first time since two seasons ago, as he looks to compete with Gasperoni to be first choice for my defensive CM role. Stojnic starts up front, and Chambers at right back as Nishimura needs a rest.


It took a while, but we found our opening goal in the 43rd minute, and it was Stojnic! Gitschier found Asensio, who chipped a diagonal ball in behind the centre back, and Stojnic cracked a first time volley into the top corner! Fantastic maiden goal for the Serbian!

Chambers was forced off by injury in the 50th minute. Lovell was his replacement, and Jurcik stepped across to right back.

Jurcik and Stojnic were involved in the 54th minute as the ball fell to Asensio, who couldn’t beat Provedel from a sharp angle.

Prins replaced Wellington in the 67th minute.

Andersson came on for his Southampton debut, four years after signing, in place of Stojnic, in the 71st minute.

And just three minutes later he was just the width of the post away from a dream debut. He collected the ball only just inside the Derby half, but made his way through four defenders and to the box, before curling the ball past the keeper and agonisingly onto the post!

Dimarco almost scored with a cross in the 79th minute but a flying Provedel tipped it over.

Gitschier sealed the points for us in the 90th minute as Prins won the ball in midfield and fed Doebel, who threaded it through for his compatriot to slot inside the near post. His 50th league goal for Southampton!

Not our best performance, but a comfortable win in the end, with my elite attacking midfield trident once again doing the damage, Derby failing to register a shot on target, and Stojnic netting his maiden goal for the club. Chambers’ injury is the only concern.


POM: Marco Asensio (8.6, 0G, 1A)
 

PatrickLFC

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Injury News...

Chambers has torn his hamstring, and is gone for three months! A chance maybe for a couple of youngsters to make the odd first team appearance?
Not the best draw we could have received for the Capital One Cup, but also far from the worst.



Meanwhile, we’re drawn in a group of death for the Champions League, though by no means the only one. Valencia finished just two points away from Spanish Champions and the world’s most reputable club, Atletico, in last season’s La Liga and are a serious threat, and P$G have an incredible squad as always, including former Saints Vietto and Zivkovic, along with Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne and more. It will be an epic battle to qualify from this group, which is probably the hardest. Groups A and E are also brutal, the latter in particular, and Group C is by no means attractive.

 

PatrickLFC

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English Premier League - Game 4 - Swansea City (Away)



Chelsea continued their superb start to the season with a 3-1 win over fellow contenders Man City earlier today. No significant changes really, as Sindelar returns from injury to start and will hopefully last longer than 8 minutes this time, and Gasperoni, Nishimura and Lovell come into the lineup too.


Sindelar made his presence felt just 3 and a half minutes into the match, when a corner was brought down by Lovell, who squared to him, and he rifled home to open the scoring.

In the 7th minute Gitschier split the defence for him and he fired off a difficult shot, but Butland tipped it over.

Rodriguez and Larsson replaced Doebel and Gasperoni in the 70th minute.

Stojnic was on for Sindelar in the 73rd.

In the 82nd minute Mahrez played a long ball down the left. Engvall chased it down, stepped back inside Nishimura, and nailed it into the top corner! A ridiculous strike, and suddenly we’re looking at dropped points.

And a draw it was. Very frustrating as we cruised through the whole match before conceding a late wonder goal which saw us lose our perfect record and fall behind Chelsea early on. Their only shot on target was a goal, which paints a frustrating picture as we head into the international break on the back of a very disappointing result.


POM: Gustav Engvall (Swansea City - 8.1, 1G, 0A)


Best Southampton Players: Marco Asensio and Masao Nishimura (7.7, 0G, 0A)
 

PatrickLFC

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Transfer News...


Another new signing, who can’t get a work permit, but would have been loaned out anyway. He’s somewhat injury prone but has vast potential, so we’ll see how he goes. He’ll spend the season with Levante.

Gitschier wins Player of the Month, with Doebel also making the podium. Wellington and Stojnic go one-two for Young Player of the Month, and I come second to Mourinho in Manager of the Month after our disappointing draw with Swansea. Ivan Smith has started well with Fulham.
 
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