Saints At Bournemouth The Verdict Sunday, 21st Oct 2018 11:11
Saints made a statement at Bournemouth according to Mark Hughes, he is right a line in the sand was drawn and hopefully Saints can now move forward after a heartening display.
After three straight defeats in the Premier League and 8 goals conceded in those games there weren't many Saints fans who would have put much money on a sixth placed Bournemouth side not making it four.
The Cherries went into the game with confidence and a great home record that had seen them win 3 out of their 4 Premier League games at the Vitality stadium, the only blip being a draw with Everton, in those games they had scored 10 goals and things didn't look good for Saints.
Mark Hughes shuffled the centre of defence yet again with Jack Stephens coming in to partner Wesley Hoedt and Yoshida dropping to the bench alongside Jannik Vestergaard, Hughes also went with Charlie Austin partnering Danny Ings in a two man attack as he plotted to sort out Saints two big issues, stopping goals and scoring them.
Both problems have similar traits, attacking wise we have had more shots on goal than all but the top four sides, yet only Huddersfield and Palace have scored less than us, in defence we defend well for long periods then give away silly goals, both issues just need a bit more application.
Watching the game I thought Saints were comfortable and from this viewpoint we can take hope going forward, almost a year ago Wesley Hoedt made a mistake at Bournemouth that some supporters can't seem to forgive him for, yesterday he put in perhaps his best display in a Saints shirt to marshal the back four into a solid display, Jack Stephens alongside him also did little wrong as we kept a blank sheet for the first time since we won at Palace with the home sides only real chance that troubled Alex McCarthy being a header from Ake that went straight down the keepers throat.
Up front though the problems persisted, we created the games best chances and really should have netted one of them, in the first half Charlie Austin shrugged off Ake and Begovic did well to come out and force the Saints man to take an extra touch and run the ball out for a goal kick, Shane Long nodded down brilliantly for Stuart Armstrong who just couldn't seem to get a clean touch to force it home and then in the dying seconds Manolo Gabbiadini headed over from close range after Begovic had missed a cross.
We should have scored we should have won, lady luck just wasn't with us in front of goal.
Saints can take hope from this display and although some would sneer and say it's only Bournemouth they are sixth with only Manchester City having a better home record going into this game, it was a toughie and we weathered it well and made it look easier than it was.
There were some good displays all over the pitch and Mark Hughes made substitutions to try and win the game by first taking off Lemina for a more attack minded Armstrong and then switching his front two which saw two great chances created.
We built from the back with Hoedt and Stephens solid and Cedric and Bertrand getting down the wing well.
Can this give us the confidence that we need to win a home game ? We will find out next week when we host Newcastle in what is truly a six pointer.
For this game the team and the fans need to be focused, make no bones it's an important game that will set the tone for the season, win it and we will rise up the table and away from the relegation zone, lose it and it will drag us down.
What we don't need to do is drag ourselves down, it needs to be a packed St Mary's getting behind the team.
The Vitality Stadium was hardly a hot bed on Saturday, their fans were very quiet, our support got behind the team and stayed with them, we need that in every game.
This game showed how little difference there is between Bournemouth in sixth and ourselves, we just need to start showing it a lot more often starting with Newcastle.
Yes - it should be seen as a good point, alright Bournemouth weren't at their best but that was partly because we defended better. The only thing in the verdict I disagree with is the idea that 'lady luck' is to blame for us not scoring. This match as it wore on was set up to be a classic 1-0 away win and it was our long-standing lack of quality up front, not luck, that was the problem.
I fear that Austin is now well past his best and the pressure on Ings is therefore immense. Long and Redmond do not score and Gabbi is the bit-part he has been under three managers in a row. We will have other away games where we get a chance or three to grab a vital three points - how many will we take under the current set-up??
I think most pundits would have had this as a Bournemouth win, therefore for me it’s a strong performance. We stopped them playing to there strengths and created the best chances( unless you’re Eddie Howe).perhaps not Lady Luck but certainly not down to the manager that Gabbiadini has missed that last minute chance.we seem to be so close in games & we just need a real leader to grab the game by the scruff of the neck & really dominate.i think Hojbjerg is probably the one to do this who for me is growing in confidence & stature all the time.of course Newcastle is massive but we all know if a team hasn’t won for a year and a player hasn’t scored for the club ever it usually happens against saints.im but sure if Hughes is the right man but I wasn’t last season when he kept us up but I do know we have to get behind the team next week come what may! I
Encouraging performance by Saints, I thought. Credit to Hughes for trying to win the game with 2 fresh strikers coming on to try to score. My M.O.M. = Højbjerg; he has confidence at the minute and has consolidated his place in the side. He played well for Denmark in his return to the national team last week and he looks increasingly dangerous with his shots from distance. I counted 3 shots by him that all hit the target yesterday (though one of the 3 shots was blocked in the box by a Bournemouth player). One was a great volley after having directed the ball down to his right foot with his chest, and the shot was saved by 2 hands from a flying Begovic (and put out for I corner, I think..).
What an awful game, an absolute snoozefest. We are sleep walking our way to the championship and if it gets rid of Hughes I would be happy too. I would rather play in the league below than serve up this dross every week..
I said a season or so ago we would be celebrating draws soon, yes there were some positives but in the cold light of day we didn't score and didn't win ,it seems we are playing out of our skin as a team really trying hard and still the best we can hope for is a draw, the glaring lack of quality in most areas of the field will catch up with us especially as we keep hold of managers until its way to long, the toon game is massive now but I fear we are two poor teams that cant buy a win so another draw, there are gaps beginning to show in the league table now with little leagues taking shape and guess which one were in , have a word with ralphy or les nick and ask was is the ambition of the club now because we fans have long forgotten coyr
It was the same old. Missed chances not even making their keeper make a save. As last season proved draws aren’t good enough. Goals = wins and we’re 25% through the season with one win. We will be relegated 18 points if this continues. Yes we blunted them but without a goal we will not win. Yes we need to beat Newcastle and another 8 wins after. That means scoring more than the opponents some thing it seems we can’t do.
Isn't it time we came to terms with the fact that we do not have one decent striker on our books including in the U23's. How we have gotten ourselves into this position is anybody's guess but bringing crocked has-been journeymen such as Long, Austin & Ings to the club on big money transfers when their limitations were palpably clear to most fans is beyond forgivable.
It's no good expecting Obefami or Gallagher to offer us salvation they have proved time and time again that they are just not good enough for the PL. The only U23 who looks even half decent is O' Connor and he is another flippin' defensive midfielder, the last position we need to strengthen.
Overall, I think we've already had it and 20th still beckons as the weeks go by and others find their feet.
I am an optimist at the end of the day and think we again will avoid relegation. Huddersfield and Cardiff are worse than us and I think Fulham will prove weaker than us too. Newcastle also, perhaps. We need Vestergaard and Elyounoussi to find their feet in the league and Gabbi finding his goal scoring abilites. This will not become a disaster season; we have too many decent players for that. I hope we can beat Leicester in the next round of the League Cup and then get a good draw in the quarter finals and then anything can happen. I would love us winning a major trophy. The first in my 38 years as a Saints fan.
The sooner we spend money on a decent striker (most likely going to cost £30 to £50 million) and a decent pacy winger along with bringing Boufal back from loan then we'll stay up. Also need to sack Hugh and replace him with Leonardo Jardim or Ralph Hasenhüttl. It's beyond insane we haven't done this already!