So with just a couple of weeks to go, I thought I'd take a look at where we are at in terms of the new season start.  In spite of a lot of knicker wetting over some of our friendly performances, squad wise we appraoch this season stronger than last. 

Carroll is out, no change there then, but at least we have some ready firepower in the forms of Valencia, Cole, Vaz Te and Zarate.  The board have also indicated there is more to come.

In the middle, it would seem the Kouyate is more than able replacement for Matt Taylor and we've not suffered further losses there.  Indeed, I'm looking forward to Jarvis and Downing having better seasons, with more goals and assits coming from them.

At the back is where there is the most 'risk' – right back is just abouve covered with Demel and O'Brien but left back is currently occupied by the promising new lad Cresswell.  The addition of Jenkinos would be sound and would free up O'Brien to cover the left hand side as well.  The worrying aspect is Winston Reid who has one year left on his contract with little intention to sign for more.  It's a shame as we have stuck with the lad and then he has one good season and decides he deserves something better, what I will now call the 'Southampton Syndrome'.  For me, we should be signing up a good, long term prospect at centre half to provide cover for our injury prone lads and prepare the departure of Reid.

As for Big Sam, his relationship with the fans continues to be fractious.  I maintain he should be given a chance to implement the new attacking philosophy asked of him, but I worry that a couple of poor early results and those they simply don't want Sam there will start to put pressure on him and the team.  a good start is essential and overall I think we are equipped to fulfill that…come on you Irons!

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