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Saints v Palace: Player Ratings

Please submit your player ratings for the Palace game here:-



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Remember when we won 8-0?

Remember when Southampton beat Sunderland 8-0? Seems like a long time ago now doesn’t it?

With the forward line stuttering now, having scored just once in the last five Premier League fixtures, what can they do to put that right?

1) Be awarded a penalty

Yes. You’ve guessed it. I’m not over last weekend yet. But that wasn’t the only occasion on which Saints have been denied clear spot kicks this season. In fact Saints have been awarded just on penalty so far this season, and predictably, they missed it. Only Aston Villa who would definitely miss it too, have been given less penalties (with zero) in this campaign.

2) Actually shoot

A novel approach I grant you, but I’ve analysed all the available statistics from football’s archives and if one thing has remained…

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WBA v Saints: Player Ratings

Please submit your player ratings for the WBA game here:-



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Predictable outcome at the Hawthorns!

Imagine being surprised that Southampton didn’t score today? To be honest there can’t have been a more easier fixture to predict in all of football today.

You know exactly what you are coming up against when you take on a side managed by Tony Pulis, they will be well organised and difficult to break down. What you definitely don’t want to do is go behind early and give them a lead to protect, especially if you are struggling to convert chances yourselves. 72 seconds. Well done lads.

As soon as Saido Berahino’s neat finish hit the back of the net, even the most optimistic Saints fan knew how this was going to pan out. The team looks absolutely bereft of ideas going forwards at the moment and today’s match could have gone on all night and no goal would…

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Our 4th Birthday!

Blow me readers! georgeweahscousin.com is four years old!

This site has successfully made the transition from a League One site with fewer readers but plucky enjoyable output to Premier League site with far more readers from much further reaches!

As has become as traditional as Saints not trying in the FA Cup, we celebrate this occasion with the awarding of the ‘Ali Dia award for services to Southampton’ sponsored this year by New Squeezy Cheesy Peas.

This is an award unlike any other. It is not awarded to the best player or the longest serving but anyone who has done something that has caught our eye in their duty as a Saints. The first year it was awarded to Oscar Gobern and in 2013 the prize was taken by Billy Sharp  before Guly got the gong last year but who would add their name to this illustrious list?

The jury (Myself, Ali Dia, Imants Bleidelis and Scott Marshall) found it extremely difficult, as it is every year. When it came down to it though only one man really warranted this award based on the last 12 months.

We here at georgeweahscousin.com are delighted to announce that the fourth winner of the ‘Ali Dia award for services to Southampton’ sponsored by New Squeezy Cheesy Peas, for coming out of a Summer where he was drenched in shit smelling of roses and getting £20 million for Dejan Lovren in the process:- Les Reed!

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WBA v Southampton: PPI Preview

West Brom vs Southampton – Saturday 28th February, 15:00

West Brom will be looking to go a fifth game unbeaten this weekend when they face Southampton at home this Saturday. The Baggies are on a good run of form but will need to perform well to beat the Saints.

Saido Berahino, partnered with Brown Ideye, has picked up his performances to return to his early season form recently, and although he didn’t score last time out, the striker now sits on nine Premier League goals. He has scored from exactly a fifth of his shots and has put 48.9% of his shots on target, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Berahino has also played more minutes in the Premier League than any other player in the West Brom squad (1905). Berahino is 21/4 to score first with 888sport.com.

One of Berahino’s main suppliers is midfielder Stephane Sessegnon. The creative playmaker has completed more dribbles than any other West Brom player with 29 successful dribbles to his name, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He is second in the club rankings for assists with four, one behind Chris Brunt.

Craig Gardner has been a key cog in the West Brom midfield this season, both going forward and defensively. Although his contributions have largely been defensive, Gardner has the second most shots on target in the West Brom squad (12) behind Berahino. Defensively, Gardner has made the seventh most tackles in the entire division, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

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Southampton have only won one of their last four games, scoring just one goal in the process, but they are still sat in fifth place, only two points off of Arsenal in third place, and will want to keep the pressure up and possibly leapfrog those above them by recording a win against West Brom.

Nathaniel Clyne has arguably been the outstanding player in the Southampton side this season. The England right back has made 88 successful tackles, the second highest total in the league, as well as the seventh greatest number of sprints, with 1458, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Sadio Mané has also excelled under Ronald Koeman this year and the Senegalese winger is Southampton’s second top goalscorer. Mané has five goals so far this season and has recorded 51.9% of his shots on target, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Mané is 6/1 to score first with 888sport.com.

A big bonus for Southampton this weekend will be the return of Ryan Bertrand from suspension. Bertrand has missed the last three games but is likely to return to the start against West Brom. Bertrand has made the seventh highest number of successful crosses in the Premier League with 21, finding his man 27.6% percent of the time, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

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Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ or with FIFA Ultimate team.

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Justice for Jeff!

JUSTICE FOR JEFF ASTLE

Nine minutes into Saturday’s game a large banner will be unveiled in the Smethwick End (to the left of the Southampton supporters) reading ‘Justice for Jeff’ which starts a minute’s applause – nine being the famous shirt number our dad wore. The two big screens at The Hawthorns will also display a picture of Jeff with the words ‘If in doubt, sit them out’ which refers to the dangers of concussion in sport.

Southampton fans are more than welcome to join in with the applause if they choose, for which we would be very grateful for. If not, we would like to take this opportunity to make them aware of our campaign if they haven’t already seen it via the national media.

The Justice for Jeff banner has been at every West Bromwich Albion home and away game and will continue to be for the rest of this season. Hopefully by then, the promised research into the links between heading footballs and brain damage will be in its early stages and, just as importantly, the research into former players and instances of dementia will have commenced.

We would also like to respectfully ask that if you are aware of any other former players who may have died of, or are sadly living with Alzheimer’s or any other Degenerative Brain Disease please contact us by emailing dawnastle@justiceforjeff.co.uk – this information is vitally important to forthcoming research. Our dad was the first British footballer to have been confirmed to die from CTE but he wouldn’t of been the first and certainly won’t be the last.

You can keep up-to-date and learn more about our campaign by visiting our website justiceforjeff.co.uk or our Facebook and Twitterpages.

Yours Sincerely,

The Astle Family

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ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

The ‘Justice for Jeff’ campaign is dedicated to our dad, Jeff Astle, the countless number of former football players who have died of degenerative brain disease (DBD), and former players and their families who are suffering from the consequences of DBD.

Jeff Astle died at the age of 59 on 19th January 2002. In November that year we attended the Coroners Court. A leading pathologist stood and described how badly damaged dad’s brain was. He found that there was considerable evidence of trauma to his brain that was similar to the brain of a boxer. He said the main candidate for the trauma was heading a heavy ball and it was the repeated trauma that appeared to be the problem. H.M Coroner, Andrew Haigh, ruled “Mr Astle’s type of dementia was entirely consistent with heading a ball and the occupational exposure has made at least a significant contribution to the disease which had caused his death”.

Verdict – INDUSTRIAL DISEASE

Following this landmark ruling the Football Association (FA) and Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) promised to conduct a ten-year joint study into DBD and the medical links associated with head trauma through heading footballs. Thirteen years on, this research has never been concluded or published.

After learning about the FA/PFA and their lack of, well, anything, we contacted a Consultant Neuropathologist based in Glasgow, called Dr. Willie Stewart. Dr. Stewart is one of the World’s Leading Experts in a disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). It’s not a new disease, it’s just got a new name. It’s “dementia pugilistica”, “punch drunk syndrome”, or “boxers brain”. The disease has actually been around for nigh on 100 years. CTE had been found in the brains of former NFL players. It is a degenerative brain disease caused by multiple concussions or, as we now know, in dad’s case, low level repeated brain trauma.

Following his death, Dad’s brain was donated for brain research, it was something dad believed in. We gave Dr. Stewart permission to re-examine dad’s brain to look for evidence of CTE. Dad was originally diagnosed as having dementia/early onset Alzheimer’s. Could they have got it wrong? They had. Dad didn’t have Alzheimer’s. He was now the first ever British Professional Footballer to have died of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Dad died of repeated blows to the head, the type caused by heading a football… just as the Coroner had ruled over 12 years ago. The question is – how many others?

So what are our objectives?

On a personal level, acknowledgement from the game about what killed our dad.

Looking ahead – to create a legacy for past, current and future generations of footballers. We are establishing a charity in dad’s name, ‘The Jeff Astle Foundation’, with 3 principle aims…

  1. SUPPORT - for those in football and their families who have had similar experiences to us, or who are still living with dementia. Dad’s story has had renewed attention over the past 5 months. We have been contacted by families of former players with dementia all with need of support. While we have done what we can to support them, there is a need to put into place a more robust system.
  2. EDUCATION - head injury in sport and its associated immediate and long term risks is a major public health issue, but one for which there is little or no awareness in sport, education, health and allied agencies, never mind public awareness. We would like to see consistent, clear and robust information on aspects of all head injury management, including CTE, and see this information disseminated effectively.
  3. INDEPENDENT RESEARCH - this is a complex and fast moving field and one where there are international experts in research in brain injury positioned to lead. It might be argued that sports agencies, including the FA/ PFA have been guilty of trying to take on research in this highly complex issue, in this highly complex organ ‘in house’, and through their own sponsored research. Invariably, this has failed to deliver its stated aims, as in dad’s case, and /or generated accusations of bias. We support Independent Research.

We quite often get asked “what justice do you want”? Well justice is a powerful word, with many meanings and concepts. The administration of law, reward or penalty as deserved, impartiality, fairness, the quality of being right or correct, to name just a few. The concept of “Justice” in The Justice for Jeff Campaign is again, powerful yet simple. It’s fighting for what is right and fair and importantly, righting wrongs. And make no mistake there have been many wrongs or injustices following the death of our dad, and we make no apologies for doing whatever we can to fight for him, whenever we can, however we can.

We want acknowledgement of what happened to our dad so as to be able to make a difference for those, unlike dad, that it’s not too late for. Those already suffering as he did and those who are, or maybe, a ticking time bomb for the future. We want answers. We need to know. Football needs to know.

No amount of money or compensation can bring our dad back. It is NOT about that. Money may be the first language of modern football and its authorities, it’s not the be all and end all to everyone.

For too long this issue has been the silent scandal of sport, possibly thousands of former players and their families suffering grievously from damage caused by the game they loved.

As a footballer you can expect to get knocks, perhaps ligament damage and even trouble with arthritis later in life, you don’t expect to die of brain damage at 59.

Football should not, and must not, be allowed to shy away from confronting what is an uncomfortable and unsettling reality. The whole game should be united in wanting “Justice for Jeff”.

‘If we could leave you with one final thought it would be that our dad was an ordinary, working class man with an exceptional talent. He was a hero to many but more importantly he was a husband, a father and a grandfather.’

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Schneiderlin could owe Saints a debt of gratitude for blocking his move to Spurs!

Let me take you back if you will to the heady summer of 2014.

Some bands I’ve never heard of were producing some mediocre dreary dross that may as well all be by Ed Sheeran and Southampton Football Club were clearing out their deadwood.

Embarking on an exciting new journey under Ronald Koeman, chairman Ralph Kreuger and director of football Les Reed were slowly but surely ridding the squad of those without the desire to work hard for their dreams, those in search of short-cuts

One of those identified as not being surplus to requirements was French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. With his heart set on following departed Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino to White Hart Lane, Schneiderlin did what every level headed professional does in a situation of vocational disappointment; had a twitter tantrum.

‘6 years of an amazing journey #saintsfc DESTROYED in 1 hour!!’ read the public outburst, proving that when they…

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Who needs enemies with a Friend like this?

Sunday’s game at St. Mary’s will go down in history as one of the most frustrating to watch for Saints fans in a long time.

The home side’s issue with scoring was prevalent again as they dominated the game against a strong Liverpool team, but ended up on the wrong side of a 2-0 scoreline.

Saints were woeful up top and have a serious problem, scoring just once in four games now. Controlling the midfield and dominating possession is great – but they are completely lacking in ideas and ability in the final third.

The visitors on the other hand, when presented with chances, took them.

It’s all you need to do in a game where your opponent looks bereft of confidence in front of goal. Brendan Rodgers could have given Simon Mignolet the afternoon off, his goal would have been no more troubled.

Though the inability to score is no…

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Saints v Liverpool: Player Ratings

Please submit your player ratings for the Liverpool game here:-



Despairing Southampton fan, Blogger for Metro & ESPN, Ex-Squaddie, Hugely Sarcastic, Occasionally Witty, Bert from Sesame Street Lookalike gives his thoughts on all things Saints!