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Southampton 1 v 2 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
Thursday, 27th December 2018 Kick-off 19:45
Saints V West Ham United The Verdict
Saturday, 29th Dec 2018 09:44

Having battled hard in an even game and got themselves in the lead, Saints once again shot themselves in the foot twice !

This was always going to be a tough one, a West Ham side who had got themselves into a fine run of form were looking to push their claims for a top 7 finish and there were going to be some questions answered in this one.

In the main Saints answered them positively, but the issues at the back still persist and having got ourselves into the lead we again just couldn't hold on to a lead for very long.

The writing was on the wall in the first half when Perez was left unmarked barely 10 yards from goal but scuffed his shot wide when it looked easier to score.

When Saints opened the scoring though just after half time it looked promising, but they say a side is most vulnerable straight after scoring and this has often been the case for Saints this season and this game was to be no different.

We need to be able to concentrate just after scoring and keep cool heads, but although we have now found a leader off the pitch in Ralph Hasenhuttl, on the pitch we still need one someone who can keep the team focused and going.

The Hammers were level within 3 minutes and 6 minutes after that we were caught completely disorganised at the back on the break and with 5 on 2, something that should never have happened if there was a leader on the pitch organising things, those at the back should never have allowed so many to surge forward and our holding midfield players have to also look at where they should have been.

A disappointing result but not the end of the world, we turn round at the half way stage three points clear of the bottom three and with four of the other seven in the bottom eight to play at home.

There are still things wrong,but attitude motivation and organisation by the manager is not any of them, Saints need to clear some deadwood and use the money to buy a quality experienced central defender who can lead the team and become it's rock.

We can do far better in the second half of the season than we did in the first, this will be a season of consolidation and perhaps not one of success, but it can be one we can build on.

Photo: Action Images

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vanmans added 10:02 - Dec 29
Well I didn't see that coming. Saints were second best all game and to slow all over the pitch. The team returned to its old ways of giving the ball away to easy and to slow in attack. The manager was not good with his substitutions either. where do they get these shite refs from?

bstokesaint added 10:09 - Dec 29
It’s really hard to believe that the team that played last night undid Arsenal on their long unbeaten run. We looked tired and played without any edge. If we play like that against Man C they’re not certainly not going to be worried about three defeats on the bounce! We made West Ham look half decent when the only real difference was MOTM Anderson and a bit of physicality. We should have targeted Antonnio more at right back as he didn’t look comfortable defending, but after five minutes we stopped doing that. There were far too many individual mistakes too. I lost count of the possession given away by Lemina, Romeu and Valery. It was criminal. At least with Valery he can claim inexperience. Romeu and Lemina should know better. We certainly missed Hojbjerg’s intelligence. After a fairytale start Ralph certainly has some things to think about for the next game.

vanmans added 10:27 - Dec 29
I think it might be time to drop Alex McCarthy he could have done better with a few of the goals Saints have conceded lately. Angus Gunn needs to be given a run of games in the first team to see how good he is.

aceofthebase added 10:32 - Dec 29
I saw no evidence of a high intensity, high pressing side, what I saw was a very tired unfit team prepared to play sideways until the opposition was in place. If Hughes was the manager fans would have been screaming for his head.
Leadership on the pitch has a certain value but more important is the Managers system of playing, he coaches where and how they should play and they are all experienced enough to be able to play without a jolly 'come on lads form a line' or whatever.
It's early days, fitness is a big problem and that cannot be solved in a few days, overtraining, and too many matches can produce fatigue.
We lack an inspirational player more than a leader

underweststand added 10:44 - Dec 29
Not quite back to normal, but a few of the old mistakes crept back into some players.
We missed Hojbjerg more than we thought bit I'm glad it wasn't one of the next games that he missed, and with Obafemi out and Ings still not 100% yet, he can still DAJFU for 60 minutes but shouldn't be pressured into full game time yet.
West Ham have always played attacking football with a twist of physicality (as they like to call it nowadays) but the ref. missed seeing Declan Rice pull down Bednarek in the penalty area and the next moment we see the Hammers driving upfield and scoring a second goal. Once again VAR would have sorted that problem, but with the pace of the present day game no ref. can see all 22 players at the same time. Andy Carroll was back to his usual antics although I think his sport should really be kick boxing and not football. His first tackle was worth a red card after which the ref. ingored everything else he did.

Ralph's new training regime begins to take its toll on players who have 3 games in a week and they should have had a more vigourous pre-season build-up, rather than the easy-paced "walk-in -the park" style that Mark Hughes devised in the close season.
Ralph is taking the idea of promoting "Academy starlets" seriously, although we may not see quite so much of them throughout the rest of the season, whilst the "regulars" need a boot up the bac*side if they are to regain their regular places in the long term.

Whoever plays in the next two games will soon learn what playing in the Prem. is about and it will be a good return if we manage one point from each of the games.


Consigliere added 11:27 - Dec 29
The sad reality is that we lost to a better team. All the previous comments are valid and especially the observations about W Ham being a physically strong unit but it was the lack of link-up, especially in the midfield, that did for us. I thought our defence did well to be honest but they were having to work too hard all of the time as we were pushed further and further back into our own half. Radio commentary after the game suggested that the manager will want to bring in a couple of big tough midfielders from the German league and you can see why this is going to be necessary.

saintmark1976 added 11:49 - Dec 29
I was not surprised at the result. Let's be honest it's what Saints have been doing for months now.All overhyped expectation followed by no end product.

The season is half way through and we enter a new year next week so what better time for the owners to accept what most fans have known for months-the squad is not good enough. To survive money needs to be spent and lots of it. West Hams star of the match cost forty odd million.Our equivalent best forward is a loan signing from Liverpool. What more evidence do the owners need before they act or as I rather suspect,they have no interest beyond seeing the club possibly just avoiding relegation thus maintaining their income stream?

KriSaint added 11:55 - Dec 29
It was like playing against a Sam Allardyce team since Andy ****head Carroll came on.

The lines man didn´t see that Perez was OFF SIDE, when Obiang kicked the ball over our defence that Valery put out for a throw in deep in our half, in a duel against PEREZ, just before goal no. 2.

davidargyll added 12:04 - Dec 29
Well what a surprise! We get beaten by a better side and suddenly all the morons on here start up again so how terrible we are!
For Christ’s sake you lot get a grip! If you start a new fitness regime it’s quite clear it’s going to knacker you early doors. We made mistakes of course but that first WH goal was top drawer stuff. I I reckon it would have gone in against most PL teams.
So I reckon we’ve taken Two steps forward and now (only) one step back.
Look at it this way, if in four games is inc vs Man City we take 6 points,I don’t think any of us can really complain given what we were like...

davidargyll added 12:40 - Dec 29
And something all you GAO-bashers seemed to have missed (from the Echo May this year and interestingly well before RH was signed up - or maybe he was being thought about even then):

“GAO Jisheng could invest in another European team to deliver Saints a partner club.”
“The St Mary’s owner is eyeing a potential investment in a side in Austria or Switzerland to enable Saints to develop young players in a set-up that mirrors their own rather than simply loaning them out without much control.
It could also be a stepping stone towards retirement for those leaving Saints and could help the club to bring in non-EU players, something they currently struggle with due to UK law.”

I_would added 12:43 - Dec 29
The goal went in on an unguarded near post. Gunn needs to play and we need a new GK coach so they all don't become like Forster, worse and worse over time.

DPeps added 12:48 - Dec 29
I can't say I'm surprised by the result and performance. Any new training regime will take its toll, and we looked tired throughout. Let's face it, WHU are a considerably better outfit than we are at the moment, which is depressing but hey-ho.

Without getting hysterical, there were two points of genuine concern: a.) WHU were depleted with injuries, and b.) I don't think we have a plan B in terms of how we attack - Ralph's next job is to address this predictability.

Nomaesaints added 11:57 - Dec 30
While I agree with most of the previous posts, the ref had a lot to do with the goals we conceeded. The first goal he was in front of the scorer and therefore McCarthy saw the ball late. Why the ref was where he was was mystifying. The second goal should not have happened as Rice had a hold on Bednarek which should have been a penalty to Saints.

I couldnt undersatnd that Shane Long was brought on to replace Ings. This should have been Austin?

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