Barclays Premier League
St. Mary's - Saturday 13th April 2013
- Ramírez 59'
West Ham 1
- Carroll 66'
There was a minor disaster, in that Crash couldn't attend the game through illness, so I started things off on the Forum, when I got home.
First thing to mention was the continual rain throughout the game, which saw players slipping and sliding. It was very much a frustrating game, which ran pretty much as I feared. Fat Sam's Orcs clearly came to frustrate, with only a passing interest in attacking. They seemed to get their enjoyment out of hacking lumps out of the Saints players. Holding, pushing and blatant tripping came pretty high up their agenda as well.
One moment of magic from Ramírez unlocked their defence, only for the teams hard work to be undone a mere four minutes later. Hooiveld gave away a free kick right in front goal, although he was adamant after the game that it had been a fair tackle. The odious Carroll (Has a player EVER been so overrated?) took the kick and it took a deflection on it's way through, wrong footing Boruc and it was all square again.
Boruc 7 Was his usual eccentric self, but made one instinctive save with his feet and gathered the ball safely. The deflected free kick caught him by surprise, but it did seem to be in slow motion. Apart from that he was in control.
Clyne 8 Had another storming match. Lightening quick and like an eel at times, he was a constant thorn in the side of the Wham left back. MOM for me.
Yoshida 6 Not his best afternoon, but did nothing really wrong. I just remember one attempted header in the second half that he was miles away from!
Hooiveld 7 Had a great tussle with Carroll. Pretty much bossed him all afternoon, with the one notable exception of the free kick.
Fox 7 One of his better games in a Saints shirt. All over the field and still mostly remembered his defending duties.
Cork 7 One half of the Dynamic Saints Midfield Duo. Excellent again.
Schneiderlin 8 The other half. Excellent. Nothing more to say.
Ramírez 8 Best game for Saints since the Villa game months ago. Wonderfully taken goal, albeit with a bit of luck the way the ball bounced back to him. Why have him take free kicks, when Lambert and Fox are on the field?
Davis 7 Like a terrier in midfield, without ever threatening the goal himself. He has improved immensely under Pochettino's guidance.
Lallana 6 Not one of his better games and I bet that he was one of the players suffering from the mystery virus.
Lambert 7* Not a bad game, but he seemed at the periphery of everything, rather than at the centre as normal. The exception was the amazing stop by Jaaskelainen from a close range shot by him.
Puncheon (for Lallana) 6 Gave the Wham defenders a new set of problems to worry about.
Rodriguez (for Ramírez) 8 He might have been ill and hardly trained all week, but when he came on he was amazing. Every time he got the ball the sense of anticipation was palpable. He could even have won the match in injury time with one surging run.
Grief, Wham are a nasty side, but in truth a draw suited both, given the appalling conditions. Saints are edging towards safety and were clearly the better side, but stood up to the bullying well. If only I could say the same about the referee.
Saints can look towards the final few games with confidence. I would guess a couple more wins could yet come and that would leave Saints on 45 points. Heady days.
20 April: Swansea (a) 27 April: West Brom (h) 4 May: Tottenham (a) 12 May: Sunderland (a) 19 May: Stoke (h)
The following is a selection of comment from other IBO Forum members about the game :
"I personally would hate to be a fan under an Allardyce team. Kick, trip, nudge - there's a work-rate in what they do but it's so ugly and no wonder they struggle to score goals (top scorer Nolan=6) when they barely commit people forward and players primary roles are to negate the opposition by tackling, fouling or pushing. It was a shame that the conditions suited them. I'd like to think that with the summer behind us we can add a bit more quality to be able to not let a well-organised black hole like West Ham take 2 points away from us."
"I watched the game on football first.
My God we looked good at times and indeed they niggled and buggered us all through.
I'm absolutely with Choixboix. It's no wonder many of their fans are not happy with his brand of football. In fact, they play like he looks: fat, grizzly, sourly and greasy."
"Was really impressed with our play yesterday. Have to disagree I have seen Ricky's goal on both Sky and BBC and to me it was over the line. Would like to have seen Hooiveld's tackle in slow motion but it was not shown.
Puncheon when he came on looked possessed and gave WHam a massive fright as did JROD.
From the off Wiley took every opportunity to help BFS, I thought this was an impediment we had turned around recently. But obviously not with all refs.
Great goal and pinpoint cross for Ricky from Ramirez, but his spot kicking was abysmal. Do agree that Davis is looking a different player since MP has got hold of him, he works hard.
Something wrong with Ricky, I have never seen him over and under hit so many balls, but again conditions would play a part of this. Perhaps he was touched by the virus.?
Can see us picking up a few more wins along the way and finishing in the top half. Can see much weeping in certain sites for weeks to come."
"Also Gaston's freekicks, fair enough there weren't many great ones but he was a refereeing decision (which they did get right) away from an assist yesterday.
As much as I despise Nolan, he's a very effective player in the Big Fat Sam style of team... But wouldn't it be awful watching them each week!? Ironic that for all our good play and chants of 'we play on the floor' our goal came from a long punt up field and the Hammers defence didn't deal with it at all - you'd think they'd get enough pratice in training!"
"The game really pleased me despite only getting a draw, because a combination of the rain and Sam's WHAM could only result in that sort of contest. But we came through it pretty well with almost everyone who took part doing their bit. A great team performance.
I was disappointed with Yoshida because he missed several headers: missed the ball completely by quite a distance. Was it shirt pulling I wonder.
Ricky wasn't at his usual peak performance and, the free kicking by Ramirez: well, least said the better. But throughout I was happy to accept a point that would effectively cement our place and never really felt nervous that we would lose.
In the past WHAM were always a side I enjoyed watching. But no longer."
"Couldn't separate Cork and Schneiderlin yesterday, both superb! Ramirez worked hard, did everything well except free kicks. His goal line tackle (in front of the Northam) and ball up the line that JRod turned and attacked was one of the moments of the game."
"There were quite a few headers where Yoshida appeared to completely misjudge it and got under the ball. I thought this strange at the time as he is normally very good with his timing of headers. So yes, he was probably being dragged all over the shop by the whinging cnut."
13 Fox Booked
04 Schneiderlin Booked
08 S Davis
10 Ramirez (Puncheon - 78' )
20 Lallana (Rodriguez - 72' )
01 K Davis
05 Tomkins (Pogatetz - 64' Booked )
07 Jarvis (Collison - 58' )
08 Carroll Booked
12 Vaz Te Booked (Taylor - 85' )
09 C Cole
31 Wellington Paulista
- Southampton 58%
- West Ham 42%
- Southampton 15
- West Ham 6
- Southampton 11
- West Ham 4
- Southampton 7
- West Ham 4
- Southampton 9
- West Ham 18