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Southampton’s De Ridder Riddle

I don’t really want be the first person to cast a stone into the tranquil waters of the Solent where The Saints seem to be making plain sailing of The Championship this season but…

Was Nigel Atkins wearing a patch over his right eye down at Bristol City on Saturday?  From the moment Frazer Richardson skinned the City left back early in the first half, it was obvious that Southampton should be able to exploit the right flank.  Perhaps Nigel didn’t see this, or maybe he just doesn’t have the bottle to do a Mourinho and make a tactical substitution in the first period?

The game was ideally suited for Steve De Ridder to take advantage down the right.  De Ridder has already shown his talent this season, either playing up front or down the right.  When Adkins replaced Chaplow with Schneiderlin, a central midfielder and quite a defensive one at that, it handed the initiative to City who were able to push up and squeeze the Saints defence and put pressure on our silky passing game until we were reduced to lumping high balls up to Lambert which were gratefully swallowed up by Fontaine et al. for the entire 90 minutes.

If we are to achieve our goal this season, then Nigel Adkins must have the bottle to make tactical decisions at any point in the game.  De Ridder must start games on the right and bring us some balance, creating space on the other flank for Lallana to do his stuff.  Remove the eye-patch Nigel!


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