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Will Howe Shake Up His Starting Eleven At Southampton?



Eddie Howe was able to field an unchanged squad at Crystal Palace with the miraculous recovery of Bruno Guimaraes. The midfielder made continual progress throughout last week and was able to train on Friday before being inserted into the starting eleven at Selhurst Park.

Howe said the following about Bruno’s quick recovery during this morning’s press conference:

“Bruno said he felt 100% fit to play and the medical team was absolutely convinced he was OK and his performance I think showed that. We’re really pleased that he came through the game fine.”

Guimaraes’s availability took a selection decision out of Howe’s hands. Both Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak have not started in the league since prior to the respective injuries that kept them out of action for lengthy periods.

With Newcastle’s struggles in front of the net, Howe could tweak his starting eleven tomorrow to get more firepower on the pitch. Howe was asked about this attacking duo this morning in their fight for full fitness. This was Howe’s response:

“I’d say they’re both getting there, for sure. I think it’s different situations. With Alex, we’ve had to be mindful of the fact that he hasn’t had a lot of training time.

“With a lot of games, you can’t train the players to the intensity that Alex has probably needed. We’ve backed off his training, and exposed him to the games, but, at some stage, he’ll need that training loan to get back to his very best levels. We’re nursing him in gently.

“Allan’s had more training time. He’s had more fitness work, so I think Allan is in peak physical shape.”

Callum Wilson hasn’t scored since his brace against Aston Villa in late October. The 30-year-old struck a frustrated figure at Selhurst Park over the weekend before being withdrawn for Isak.

Howe recently brushed aside any worries about Wilson’s form. Howe said the following when asked whether he was concerned about Wilson’s goal drought after Saturday’s draw:

“Knowing Callum, no. He’s had very limited training time. He had an illness (after the World Cup).

“With Callum, he’s missed big chunks of training, and I think that always affects your sharpness as a player, regardless of position.

“Callum’s worked really hard for the team, and knowing him as I do the goals are just around the corner.”

Howe has a few different routes he could explore with his team selection tomorrow. He may opt to stay with the same eleven or could insert either Isak, Saint-Maximin, or both into the team and hope their inclusion produces the desired effect of more goals.

Here is Howe’s press conference from this morning in full.

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75 comments so far

  • jimiley

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #41

    We have a decent chance of CL and Chelsea have no chance. Nobody turns them down. It must be the Osgood and Cooke pull of the Kings Road

    0
  • G

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #42

    I did chuckle at some of the media describing the Everton / West Ham game this weekend, as ‘El-Sackico’

    3
  • dazzler

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #43

    Everton fans are dicks on a scale above the norm from experience. I wouldn’t trust their views of players.

    Gordon is struggling in a team that’s struggling, but I’d argue he has all the attributes Howe likes in a winger, just needs someone to harness it. Definitely improves us for £30m IMO.

    5
  • Adamn_92

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #44

    jimiley

    Regardless of this season Chelsea is probably still seen as having a bigger reputation for ‘success’ than we do currently. I mean they won the Champions League as recently as 2021.

    So they probably still have a slightly better pull for players than us, as well as throwing about money carelessly so will be offering higher wages, larger contracts and signings on fees/agent fees.

    We’ll soon have the same pull and be able to offer money well, we’re just getting there sensibly.

    2
  • niafron

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #45

    Don’t know what Howe will do about his starting eleven, but would say we simply need someone to put it in the back of the net.

    Clearly our main weakness at the moment.

    1
  • Adamn_92

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #46

    Gordon is better than Ritchie, Fraser and overall better than Murphy. So he would improve the squad and quality of depth we have. As much as a little shite he comes across as, Howe wouldn’t sign if he didn’t like his attitude. So if he signs i’ll trust that he’s not actually as bad as he comes across.

    4
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #47

    18 months ago if you’d asked fans of other PL clubs about the possibility of signing players like Almiron, Joelinton, Schar, or Longstaff, they’d have laughed at you and said something like “they’re not even good enough for the Championship” (a phrase I really don’t like by the way).

    But just goes to show you can’t properly judge the quality of a player when their club is a mess. Gordon could end up being top class if he joins a professionally run club. Not saying he will, as I don’t know the lad, but just saying let’s not write him off in case he does join us.

    4
  • A Geordie Mongrel

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #48

    Oops sausage fingers posted too soon. Catch up was epic but worth it. This blog is a joy when folks respect differing opinions. We don’t know what the nature of Wilson’s illness was but it seems to be hanging on. A good player doesn’t turn into a bad one and I’m sure he will be back to his normal self. Same with Isak.

    Lots of debate on signings but we haven’t a clue really. I’m a patient man, I’ll wait and see.

    On tickets the only solution is more capacity which I suspect will be easier than stopping the touts.

    Finally AP, you made me laugh out loud at comment #65
    “Worb driving licence has always been like that”

    I’ve still got my original paper licence as well as my photo one.

    Deano, Ap is not Kets. 😉

    4
  • sparky55

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #49

    Not sure why most of the blog have thus hate 5hibgvgo8bgvwith Gordon.

    When he hit the prem 2.5 years ago all the pundits were going WOW!

    That team has been a pile of sh1te and mismanaged for the whole of that period and you wonder why this kid may have lost his way. Two years ago he played an absolute blinder against us.

    He’s ripe and ready to be Howed and turned in a gem.

    This lad can play

    5
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #50

    sparky55 – did you nod off for a few seconds at the beginning of your last post? 😉

    3
  • Toonarmy of Frogs

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #51

    Fair enough blog.

    Don’t like Gordon never will. He’s the opposite character that I want and robably a red card magnet.

    But it not my money.

    Still can’t stand one iota of Gordon.

    1
  • clinath@ed

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #52

    If Isak is not fit enough for our first team starting 11 just imagine how bad Gordon will be.

    0
  • sparky55

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #53

    TDS.

    Fat fingets typing too quick!

    1
  • sparky55

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #54

    See what I nean!

    2
  • Douglas

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #55

    Anyone else hope that Steve Bruce gets the Everton job?:)

    5
  • AnyToon in Indiana

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #56

    hopefully a good start to many two-leggers to come!
    Good entry to get into this mindset a bit.
    😉

    2
  • jimiley

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #57

    Howe would do a job on Gordon but steer clear of DC L. Sick note to rival Wilson. Plus he would cost a load. If we buy him the writing is on the wall for Wilson.
    Eddie has done a great job ? n some of our underperforming players. Some others have not improved so I suppose they will be eased out.

    0
  • Adamn_92

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #58

    Clinth

    What do you mean? Isak was out with a muscular injury for months and has only just came back, with limited training according to Howe due to the number of games in quick succession. Gordon has been training all season and had no injuries?

    2
  • AnyToon in Indiana

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #59

    It seems Eddie may be set on at least one signing with PL experience from his talks around the bushes so….if Maddison does not want to come or can’t who really is left that would make an immediate impact. I think that is where we are at. I don’t think Gordon, DCL, Tielmans etc are the answer or fit the mold. At least we only have about another week to find out.

    1
  • sparky55

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #60

    The only thing I hope Bruce gets is monumental piles and the feeling he’s sh1tting a headgehog backwards for the rest of his sorry life

    9
  • AnyToon in Indiana

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #61

    Out of those 3 though…Gordon probably has the most potential under Eddie and Co.

    0
  • AnyToon in Indiana

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #62

    If they do hire Bruce though they know they are only 1 manager away from progress.

    4
  • DKillers

    Jan 23, 2023 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #63

    I find the inconsistency somewhat frustrating. Isak hasn’t had much training, so he barely plays. Wilson hasn’t had much training, but he starts every match (when fit) and stays on the pitch, even though he’s providing nothing at the moment. ASM is fully fit and training and gets 10-15 minutes per match.

    0
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #64

    DKillers – different players, different bodies, different fitness issues. Why do you find it frustrating?

    I figure Howe and his team know what they’re doing.

    1
  • clinath@ed

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #65

    Adamn

    Something Eddie said earlier, that Isak had been unable to get up to speed with training regime because of amount of games the club has played.
    Gordon may be physically fit, but wouldn’t be ready for our first team imo…

    2
  • DKillers

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #66

    TDS, sure, I understand the premise that Eddie should never be questioned.

    1
  • clinath@ed

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #67

    Sorry Adamn, now I’ve read yours properly, mine makes even less sense

    1
  • scott

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #68

    Adamn92

    I get what you are saying but at the weekend 2-0 down against a very close rival & he still didn’t get a single minute on the pitch!
    Il admit I’m not keen on him as a person but how long do you think it will take to get his head in the game to be the player we require now?

    1
  • Small World

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #69

    sparky55:

    We may already have a blog bard, however let me formally award you with the perceptive purple prose award 2023 for your winning entry

    “The only thing I hope Bruce gets is monumental piles and the feeling he’s sh1tting a headgehog backwards for the rest of his sorry life”

    5
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #70

    DKillers – by all means question Eddie and his team but I was asking you why you find it frustrating.

    0
  • Wor B

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #71

    I feel sorry for the hedgehog.
    😳

    3
  • CLINT FLICK

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #72

    Wor b

    Step back from the hedgehog, mate!
    😉

    2
  • Wor B

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #73

    Lol Clint

    Wasn’t gonna give it a hug!

    1
  • WLtoon

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #74

    I must be one of a very few who wouldn`t mind Gordon in the ranks, this lad can perform and has energy to burn, he would fit into our style of play immediately with his speed and energy absolutely perfect for our high press.
    Do fans really think if Gordon`s attitude was that bad Howe would entertain him?, Every single one of our current signings has a spot on attitude and is a full on team player, and i think with the right players around him Gordon could be perfect for us.
    I don`t give a monkeys what the Everton fans think, they always have something to moan about and it appears Gordon is their go to to take out their frustration of supporting a team who are total pants.
    Give this lad a chance if he does sign, targeting him before he has even kicked a ball for us won`t help in the slightest.

    7
  • DKillers

    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #75

    TDS, I find it frustrating that we are not scoring goals and Wilson has not been contributing, but we continue to sideline ASM and Isak. I think that was clear from my original comment.

    I am under no illusions that I know better than Eddie. My opinion is that we are doing the team a disservice by limiting Isak and ASM to bit player status. I don’t see things clicking right now with Wilson and Joelinton up front.

    Eddie’s reasoning in his press comments was weak. That’s all.

    1


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