Southampton v Arsenal
Sunday, 10th December 2017
IBO Reporter : THE BEAST
What can I say about this game, it was all about opposites really.
Arsenal were about attack, we were about defence.
We scored at the beginning, they scored at the end.
We got it tactically right early, they got it tactically right late.
We made the wrong substitutions at the wrong times, they made the right ones at the right times.
First off, I would like to say that Charlie Austin was great today, I really think he has improved both his fitness and his hold-up play, all he needs now is a first touch and he might be approaching the kind of striker everybody thought we bought a couple of years ago.
Anyway, enough of that, he worked really tirelessly for the team and took that first goal very very well, there was a couple more Chances for him and he was unlucky, we could have been out of sight in the first 15 to 20 minutes.
Romeu and Højbjerg were very good together, Pierre was awesome in fact, he is looking a lot like the player we bought when we bought Super Mario, I wonder if those two ever play together whether Alpha will ever get another game?
Bertrand was excellent, Forster made good saves and came off his line!!!
Stephens slotted seamlessly into the first team and he was seemingly unfazed by playing one of the world's best players, all right, not on his top form, but nevertheless, Sanchez is no slouch. Jack played him very very well.
Yoshi was the captain and I thought led very well, no one looked more dejected at dropping 2 points at the end of the game than he did.
I actually don't have a bad thing to say against anyone, not everyone can be perfect with every touch but they were bloody good as a team defending and, with a bit more of a clinical edge, we could have walked away with that game without getting out of our half more than 3 or 4 times.
What swung it was the substitutions, we were holding Arsenal reasonably comfortably and you could see there was tiredness coming in on both sides. Then Arsenal brought on Welbeck, that was okay, they coped, then Arsenal brought on Wilshire, that is where we didn't make the right call at the right time.
Our midfield started to get overrun (and no, they weren't overrun during the rest of the match), but instead we decided to take Redmond off and put on a pacey forward/winger kind of player. I understand why he did that, but not to give some additional help in the centre of midfield when Arsenal were clearly going for broke seems a little inexplicable to me. What we were crying out for at that point is Super Mario in the middle, I would say Davis but Davis offers little in the way of tackling effectiveness and Mario should have brought us back to parity again.
Finally, Arsenal brought on Giroud, that thing that modern football managers seem to miss sometimes, about bringing on a different kind of player to do a different kind of thing, brought them exactly what they wanted, the first real clear chance he had he buried the header.
Don't get me wrong, I think in the balance of things Arsenal probably deserved a point, however what surprised me about today was I was really disappointed we didn't actually win because we almost got it just right enough to beat them… But, as so often with Pellegrino, we didn't.
In conclusion I would say that it wasn't the kind of game I really enjoy, one where we go ahead and try to hold on, my nerves aren't built for that kind of shit.
However, that is the kind of game I'm seeing with reasonable regularity under Pellegrino, well, sometimes we don't go ahead but he still seems to play the same tactical game, unfortunately, the most we ever seem to get out that is one point.
We need to win some of these games
I'm not sure this is the place this bloke should be learning how to be a manager.
Seems churlish to be annoyed with only getting a point from playing Arsenal but we should have had them all just like we should have had one from Man City, almost doing stuff, that is starting to grate…
Both Højbjerg and Romeu had good games for Saints
5 Stephens - Booked 82'
17 van Dijk
14 Romeu - Booked 84'
11 Tadić (Davis 88')
22 Redmond (Boufal 74')
10 Austin (Gabbiadini 86')
4 Mertesacker (Welbeck 64')
24 Bellerín - Booked 78'
29 Xhaka (Wilshere 69' - Booked 90')
9 Lacazette (Giroud 72')
- Austin 3'
- Giroud 88'
Referee : Robert Madley
Attendance : 31,643
- Southampton 33%
- Arsenal 67%
- Southampton 6
- Arsenal 11
Shots on Target
- Southampton 3
- Arsenal 6
- Southampton 4
- Arsenal 5
- Southampton 12
- Arsenal 10