Saints V Leicester City The Verdict Tuesday, 27th Nov 2018 22:09
Saints put in a good performance that deserved a win, but ultimately a failure to finish cost us dearly again.
A revamped Saints side put in a decent display that might give Mark Hughes food for thought in his selection on Saturday assuming that he is still in a job.
But it was a case of missed chances especially in the latter stages when Saints saw three good attempts not making the scoreboard, firstly Nathan Redmond capped off a great run by smashing the ball against the bar, the rebound looked a formality for Michael Obafemi, who scuffed his shot in the ground when it looked easier to score.
Then it was Redmond again who ran at the defence but a nudge left him off balance and as Steve Davis crashed the ball home the referee invoked Var and it was ruled that Redmond had handled, I could understand the Leicester appeals, but it looked more accidental than deliberate.
Then in the final minute Manolo Gabbiadini hit the woodwork from a free kick 5 yards outside the box, you just felt that it was not Saints night.
So to penalties, both sides scored the first five each with ease, then up came Gabbiadini, he looked too casual and so it turned out with the keeper saving and it only needed Leicester to net the 12th penalty of the night which they did.
But there were plenty of plus points to take from the performance, Vestergaard looked better at the back than he did earlier in the season, Hojbjerg and Lemina again dominated the centre of midfield and when joined by Steven Davis in the closing 15 minutes that seemed to add a composure that we have lacked of late.
Man of the match according to Sky was Nathan Redmond and it was hard to argue with that, he was at the heart of most Saints attacks and we need him to do that more often.
Yan Valery didn't look out of place and again might make Hughes think after Cedric's stinker at Fulham.
Possibly the only disappointment was Michael Obafemi, he just didn't look sharp, his missed chance was not as bad as some would make out, but it was still poor finishing and had it been Long or Charlie Austin social media would have been full of Saints fans demanding that they be crucified forthwith, Obafemi is a talent but if we are not careful the pressure on him to perform might overwhelm him.
So a disappointing ending to the match, but it showed that our squad is not as bad as some would say, the issue in the main is not the squad but the way it's being deployed.
is was not a full strength Leicester team and if it was we would of lost within 90 minutes, sorry for being so defeatist but as a team we collectively switch off during key moments of games thus conceding goals for fun, maybe we should of won tonight or at Fulham but once again we didn't, something has to give and unfortunately I think the results will force the issue, lets face it as poor as Utd are do you think we will beat them? No,or Spuds? No, so on to Huddersfield lose that and we are fked but I think Hughes will go then and on to the next guinea pig boo
I listened on 5Live and my heart sank when they said "Gabbiadini being brought on with penalties in mind" - there was only one way that that was going to end. I agree with stmichael that Austin would have been a more logical choice.
It seems from the commentary + Nick's report that we were not too bad and the usual problems with finishing and luck with decisions cost us. I know we are all pretty down at the moment but it does have to be said that Saints are DUE A BIT OF LUCK. Let's pray to the gods of chance that it comes against manure.
PS A TUI first - the verdict before the preview !!
So i havent seen the game or any highlights as im from Australia, but another formation change.... Mark hughes keeps talking about all this work their doing but each week he changes the formation.
On a small positive im happy valery got a full game, i was also happy to see vestergaard got a start again. I still dont like mark Hughes and would rather Radhi Jaidi come our caretaker manager until we sign either leonardo Jardim, Paulo sousa, peter bosz who im with those choices. Get them in quick then sell who ever in jan and give the new manager funds to get 3 players in. RB, WINGER AND A STRIKER. Sell austin, long, forster at least to get them of the wage bill. Also i would try recalling carrillo and boufal and reed to get more competition for places
Could and should have won it - but more luck going against us with the handball in the build up for Davis' goal. Hit the woodwork a couple of times and Obafemi missed another great couple of chances, just like at Fulham.
Was expecting Gunn to save a pen and actually thought Redmond would miss for us - but when Gab stepped up, he was so casual and has a poor record of late from the spot, I somehow knew he would be the one. Oh well, I guess it saves us another embarrassing defeat to City !! :-)
A decent performance it may have been, but it was against Leicester reserves. These Cup games mean absolutely FA in relation to the real thing,in essence they have become the reincarnation of the old Combination (reserve) League Cup. I must admit that my normal outlook on Saints is and generally always has been 'a glass half empty' one - but now even the beer that's left is flat.
Ajax secured victory through two goals from former Southampton forward Dusan Tadic to progress to the last 16 for the first time since 2005. One of those goals was a pen. Hope we spent the 10 million well!!!
Nick, how many more defeats will it take to stop you making frankly laughable comments such as "the issue in the main is not the squad" when all evidence points to the contrary? If the squad were good enough we would not have lost to Leicester reserves yesterday evening and we certainly would have won more than eight out of the last fifty three Premiership matches.
I fully appreciate that this is your site and you can say whatever you like but can I ask you a genuine question. Do you really believe what you say about the squad or are you just attempting to cause controversy? If the former then fine, if the latter it's now my opinion that you are starting to lose credibility.
saintmark1976 - I may be wrong in this but I always think that Nick is trying to see things a bit 'glass half-full', otherwise TUI just becomes a bunch of angry people in the pub shouting that all the players are sh1t (I know it was labelled 'witty' but I thought that that "you must be sh1t if we are beating you" song on Saturday was extremely unhelpful when we were 1-0 up).
It doesn't matter to me that Nick says s "the issue in the main is not the squad" to try to look on the bright side (what's the point if we can't hope for a bright side?) but where it is/was dangerous is when the decision-makers at the club believe it. Kruger seems to think we don't need to strengthen in January!! The stats over many, many months show that our team has declined in quality and that the quality of the squad is, of course, a problem (1 home win in a year??) I am hoping that the squad is not quite as bad as I think it is and I am really hoping that Kruger and co come to terms with reality. I suspect that Nick thinks this squad is just about good enough to stay up - I hope he is right...
A typical, physical cup tie played at 100mph in the first half, but with the best football coming after the break. Saints had Leicester on the rack for much of the second half, with a Redmond shot off the bar that bounced down in front of Obafemi who missed from five yards. Again Redmond charging into the Leicester penalty area surrounded by defenders when the ball hit him rather than a deliberate handball, and when the ball came to Davis he finished well. Almost a repeat of the Austin "non goal " v. Watford and it took VAR a couple of minutes to work that one out. Although VAR came to our rescue when Evans "fell" in our area - yet got away without being booked for diving.
I agree with all the others about Gabbiadini substitution. Surely with a minute to go and penalties on the horizon Austin was the obvious choice. Both of them have missed penalties in the recent past, but Charlie loves taking penalties. As it was - Gabbiadini was unlucky to see his 96th minute free kick hit the bar and bounce away. By the time it came to his turn (6th) to take his penalty , his confidence must have been down to nil. It was a very tame effort when everyone else on both sides had hammered in their shots.
Good performances from Redmond (MoM for me) ...Vestergaard and debut boy Yan Valery at RB, who did himself no harm in the hunt for a possible Cedric replacement.
This is one game that we did deserve to win, but in the long run ..NOT having to play Man.City in mid December might be a saving grace after our first meeting against them last month and considering the extent of our fixture list during that period.