Southampton v Watford
Saturday, 9th September 2017
IBO Match Report
Right, let's get this out of the way, we were fecking terrible.
And it wasn't just down to individual performances, although there were a few really bad ones. It was our overall organisation and game plan, it was just like no one had ever done any research on Silva or watched any of Watford's previous games this year (or Hull's last year come to that).
Any midfield with Stephen Davis in it needs supporting with combative, physically impressive teammates, there were none on the pitch apart from Romeo (who can't do it all and, as it happens, has had a bit of a downturn in form for the last couple of games anyway).
JWP as number 10/wide right/supporting striker is a clusterfeck of biblical proportions.
Forster doesn't seem to understand he's in possession of an enormous muscular body that is capable of undertaking world-class goalkeeping activities. I can't really comment on the goals, haven't seen them on telly yet, so I don't know whether he stood any kind of chance of getting them, although the 2nd one looked potentially save-a-ble from where I was sat, it might not been. However, when your teammates would rather head the ball into touch than trust they could pass it back to the goalkeeper (on several occasions), you know you've got a problem.
I've been a fan of Gabbiadini ever since he got here, today I just felt immensely sorry for the man. He literally had nothing to work with and the tactical instructions he must have been given looked like they were for somebody the size of Pelle, not an Italian greyhound with a good left foot.
Around me there were lots of people slagging off both Boufal & Redmond, maybe Sophie needs to look at himself a little, but I think I'm being overly harsh and just looking back on my feelings of last year and his lack of performances. I think he tried as well as he could with the shit he was being served up with.
As for Redmond, he was obviously trying upfront, mostly on his own, tracking back, and seeming to care, showing fight and desire. People slagging him off need to really look at themselves because he was one of the few players we had yesterday that should have been wearing those classic shirts without embarrassing them.
Our midfield was non-existent, Davis clearly can't play in that role and the fact that Pellegrino persists with the belief that he can, makes me increasingly worried for our season.
I'd like to comment positively on Wesley, he seems competent but it's difficult to pick out his performance against a really appalling team performance which put him under so much pressure, therefore I won't comment overly other than to say he looked okay given the shit he was handed.
I'm not commenting on all the players though, it was just a generally bad performance, centrally, I believe, led by appalling team organisation and tactics.
I can't really understand why we played like we did, it could just be "one of those games", however it seems to me that it was much more a fundamental failure of coaching/management. Pellegrino needs to look at himself here, it was bloody awful and I'm sad to say, the clueless way he tried to get us back in the game (although introducing Tadić initially worked) just exacerbates the original feck up.
This showed no progression, in fact this was the opposite, it seems like, as a club, we have sat back and taken the plaudits our progress has rightfully bestowed upon us and enshrined them as unalterable fact. We have no divine right to be in this division and the lack of imagination, spirit and tactical nous shown against Watford could, potentially, dissipate all of our progress.
Currently, it looks like we have a squad that should not have been worse than Watford, in fact in a number of areas should have been better. However, for whatever reason, and I suspect that it's coaching related, we could not compete with a competent but average team in this division.
That single fact, is ominous when looking ahead to our next home game against Manchester United…
19 Boufal (Austin 71')
16 Ward-Prowse (Tadić 45')
20 Gabbiadini (Long 69')
21 Femenía (Janmaat 62')
4 Kaboul (Mariappa 61')
18 Gray (Deeney 84')
- Doucouré 38'
- Janmaat 66'
Referee : Lee Probert
Attendance : 31,435
- Southampton 53%
- Watford 47%
- Southampton 9
- Watford 12
Shots on Target
- Southampton 1
- Watford 3
- Southampton 7
- Watford 4
- Southampton 8
- Watford 11