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Match Reports
For the latest Home, Away and Cup Games


Reflecting on the so called ‘Big Club’ games
So, Saints have come up against four of the ‘big’ teams this season and lost to all of them. That must mean that a top six finish is nothing but a silly pipe dream. The truth though is a bit more complex than that.

Let’s ignore all the wins and just focus on the four lost games. In order they were - Liverpool away on the 17th of August, Spurs away on the 5th of October, Manchester City at home on the 30th of November and Arsenal away on the 3rd December.

Liverpool was an odd game, apart from being the first match of the season, there was all the hype of Lambert, Lovren and Lallana joining the scousers over the summer and Saints with a whole host of new players. Looking back at the game, it was a cathartic release for the Saints fans, saying goodbye to a hero (Rickie Lambert) and booing a pantomime villain (Dejan Lovren). Lallana was unavailable to play through injury, so there was no chance to boo him.

The game proved there was life in Saints yet and the new players might just enable us to have a good season. Although the game was lost 2-1, there was enough there to make you think that with a bit more self-belief, the game could have been won.

The next game in our quartet is the Spurs away game, which was a 1-0 loss and really should have been a 1-1 draw, but for an appalling miss by Sadio Mané, who simply had to tap the ball into the net, having been put clean through by Bertrand.

That result hurt and Saints over the years have just seemed incapable of getting a result at White Heart Lane.

The third loss was the home match against Manchester City and the only game of the four that I have no problem at all with. Saints were simply beaten by the better side on the day. Although it was pretty even at half time, with both sides having had chances. The second half was a different matter entirely.

From the moment that Schneiderlin had to go off injured and was replaced by Maya Yoshida coming on in central defence and Alderweireld moving into midfield. Although the Belgian was surprisingly good in the role, the City forwards started to make more room and began to over-run Saints. Without wishing to over-simplify things, that was essentially that.

The fourth and final game in our series, was the Arsenal away game. This was a different sort of game to the Man City game, but was one injury after another to key players.

Already without Morgan Schneiderlin (out for a fortnight apparently), in short order Cork, Tadić and Alderweireld went off with injuries which will almost certainly see them all miss one match, or more. Long also took a knock in the first half and ended up having to be replaced when he seemed unable to run any more.

In spite of all this and partly because Fraser Forster chose this match to demonstrate exactly why he is so highly thought of, Saints made a good fist of it and only lost to an 89th minute goal. With a bit more luck (and one, or two fewer injuries) a point would have been achieved.

Conclusion

A point should have been the least that could reasonably have been expected at Liverpool. A point was probably the maximum that could have been expected from either of the Spurs and Arsenal games. The Manchester City game on the other hand was the only one where Saints got what they deserved - nothing.

That makes an additional 3, maybe four points at a stretch. Not a whole heap of difference from where we are at the moment. I guess what I am saying is that, even dropping these points, Saints are little worse off than at present.

What is an issue, is the mounting list of injuries, which will seriously hamper the club over the next three weeks, but hopefully the key players will be back for the Christmas/New Year games. Now would be a good time for one, or two of the youngsters to step up to the plate.

Channonite

4th December 2014

Saints Players Picture Gallery
Schneiderlin and Fonte
Graziano Pellè - 28.08.2014
Goalkeeping Coach Dave Watson and Fraser Forster - 24.08.2014
Florin Gardos - 24.08.2014
Shane Long - 24.08.2014
Toby Alderweireld - 18.10.2014
Dušan Tadić - 18.10.2014
Sadio Mané - 18.10.2014
Harrison Reed - 18.10.2014
Maya Yoshida - 18.10.2014
Jack Cork - 18.10.2014
Emmanuel Mayuka - 18.10.2014
Victor Wanyama - 18.10.2014
Morgan Schneiderlin and José Fonte warming up before the home game against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday 24th August

Click on this picture for more of some of Saints first team players

I intend to expand the number of pictures, as the season goes on to include as many pictures as I can get of the first team warming up, before the matches begin.

Saints 8-0 Sunderland
Clicking on the picture of the St.Mary’s scoreboard below takes you to the Sunderland match report page. There are a whole heap of extra interviews, video clips and pictures since the original report was posted. Go and have a wallow in the matches events!

That was an afternoon that will live with me for as long as I live. Simply unbelievable. As I said in the IBO Forum that evening, I walked down the stairs and out of the stadium in a daze. I was actually incoherent, until we got at least two hundred yards down the road and then I just couldn't stop smiling like an idiot.

In short it is a wonderful time to be a Saints fan.

channonite
19.10.2014
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BigClub-itus
I noticed an odd thing happen this week after the latest win against Leicester City. Normally, I feverishly check the Sunday papers and read all the online stories that I can find to see what is being said about Saints and how their latest win is being interpreted. Not this time.

I have become so fed up with all the condescending comments and those that just ignore Saints and instead say things like, ‘Manchester City are now eight points behind Chelsea’. Yes, they are, but they are also four points behind Saints, but that is an inconvenient truth. Things like that are just not supposed to happen to the so called ‘big clubs’. The unwritten comment is that Saints need to learn to know their place and fall into the middle order.

Gary Lineker’s face said it all on ‘Match of The Day’, after the highlights of Saints v Leicester had been on. Not so much what he said, but the way he raised his eyebrows in mock disbelief that the Saints winning run continues.

The run will come to an end sometime, but I am getting increasingly fed up with the status quo in football. In the meantime, I look forward to going to the Man City game with a ManU fan. I wonder what his take on it will be?

Channonite, 09.11.2014

itsbeautifuloutside was founded in March 2011 to try to give an unbiased, unblinkered view of life as a supporter of Southampton Football Club. We are completely unofficial and have no links whatsoever with the club.