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Tottenham Hotspur 3 v 2 Southampton
FA Cup
Wednesday, 5th February 2020 Kick-off 19:45
Saints At Tottenham Hotspur The Verdict
Thursday, 6th Feb 2020 15:24

This result will be seen of typical of this season, exhilarating attacking play all to no avail due to some awful defending, Saints came out of this game with pride and a sense of injustice but sadly nothing else.

Saints had the bad luck to have not one but two setbacks in the first half when firstly the ball struck Jack Stephens and wrong footed Angus Gunn to give Spurs a lead they did not deserve and then shortly after Shane Long had struck an equaliser . James Ward Prowse was the victim of a 50/50 challenge that cut his knee to the bone.

But Saints showed spirit to fight back and completely dominated the second half and when Danny Ings scored a cracking goal after a briliant run by Nathan Redmond had put him through, you thought that only one team would now win the game.

But Spurs rallied in the final 12 minutes to score two goals that really should have been defended better, the second a controversial penalty after Son Hueng Min clearly dived over the outstretched Angus Gunn and with the penalty dispatched there was little time for a Saints come back even if the fight was there.

There was plenty of good things to say about this game, from the great Saints support that drowned out Spurs who are fast showing they have opened a second branch of North London Libraries Ltd alongside one in the Highbury area, to the way Saints counter attacked on the break and caused a lot more trouble to the home goal then they on ours.

But yet again all the good work was undone by kamikaze defending and we can say all we want about certain players, but the fact is we have conceded soft goals all season, going forward we are a top 10 side, defending we are rock bottom.

People sometimes accuse me of being biased against certain players, perhaps I am and it is for good reason, they cannot defend.

There could be exciting times ahead for Saints, but only if we buy the right central defender, perhaps even two in the summer, if we do that then we can challenge for the top 10, if we don't then it will be deja vu, a case of what might have been if we had defended better.

Yes the penalty was an atrocious decision, at the game I'm not even sure it went to VAR, but the fact remained that Son was right through on the keeper and really shouldn't have been, as I have said all season some weeks we get away with it others we don't.

WE have to accept this season may either be spectacular in the rest of the Premier League season or it may turn out to be a damp squid with soft goals conceded all the way, but we can look forward to next season when we might just march forward again.

They have their critics, but Nathan Redmond, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and James Ward Prowse have been magnificent in recent weeks and dragged us up the League table, they can be the backbone of this side, if we make the right additions in the summer then next year it may be different, it has to be !

Photo: Action Images

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halftimeorange added 15:35 - Feb 6
We don't want any defensive howlers against Burnley. That's for sure.

LoisDeem added 15:36 - Feb 6
This will not be seen as typical of this season. If only, we'd be a comfortable mid table by now. Chances squandered -sitters missed SB -and a considerably improved defence, mean we should be able to concentrate on climbing the table -even with our stretched resources.
We're better to watch than the time and money wasting early season, and rightfully earning critical acclaim, so we have to keep working on our goal return. We need JWP back in good fettle ASAP. You don't realise what you've got till it's gone, do you?.

Saintsforeverj added 15:48 - Feb 6
Exactly Nick! So who do you blame for not buying a central defender? You are right - we need 2 central defenders with our 30 million pounds net profit since 2015. I agree that with 2 quality central defenders, we would be an excellent team. This explains the frustration towards our club. A transfer window that saw 4 players leave and 1 come in. A club run on the cheap, that again will get close to being a top team under Ralph. And getting close will be as far as it goes. Then Ralph will leave. And so the frustration grows.

djtsaints123 added 16:04 - Feb 6
poor planning leads often to poor results, when we let cedric go we knew we had no RB for this replay, and although injury to ward prowse was both sad and unlucky we disrupted a successful midfield paring and worse had no sub on bench to resolve rb problem so we then disrupted a defence that was improving. Stephens has finally learnt to play CB and was inline for player of month as proof, however flexible he is not as RB he was poor defensively. Romeo was a great player sadly not this season on subs bench a midfield replacement zero. The moment deli ali came on and spurs attacked at pace we were split open, penalty was soft but one pass and son clean thru not a cb in site.
I understand premiership survival is priority but with a home tie with Norwich what an opportunity to please us fans with cup run wasted, we played great for 70 minutes sadly a game lasts 90

the_saint added 16:07 - Feb 6
Same as liverpool game we create plenty of chances just not converting them.
Should have beefed up defence in January but hard to do deals in January transfer window was starting to believe we were going to do a push for Europe but have now come back down to earth.
Another great performance from our away fans and omg spurs fans where were you 54000 being out sung by 5900 and showing more passion, thought the Emirates was bad

Colburn added 16:13 - Feb 6
We lost because we didn't take our chances. Should have been out of sight by the time Spurs got their second but I expect nothing more than you to blame the defence. Son is a cheat, he cheats all the time and you have glossed over this quickly. He dived to get Spurs through. They effectively scored one goal as the deflection was just pure bad fortune and conned a weak referee who gave them everything and us nothing. Mourinho once again had the officials on his side at our expense. If you think we can go through games against top quality opponents without them creating chances against our defence then you are dreaming Nick. It just wasn't our night.. Very proud of the whole team, we can still finish 7th. UTS!

davidargyll added 16:37 - Feb 6
Such an exciting game - bar the result of course. I wonder whether, with the thrown-away chances by both sides, the score really should have been 4-4! Spurs missed at least two absolute sitters - as did we - and yes the penalty was soft. But hey, they looked a knackered side who had a couple of huge slices of luck but I think will have real problems in the coming weeks. Do they honestly look like a team whose name is “on the Cup”, let alone CL contenders either this year or next for that matter? Not in my book. Whereas we look a wonderfully spirited bunch who can go on and crack the top 10. Pound for pound we are one helluva lot more effervescent squad than they are.
So yes, yesterday was disappointing and arguably a missed opportunity, but let’s go back a couple of months and I defy anybody to say then that they were expecting us to be playing in the style and with the confidence which we are right now. Yes we do cock it up, but then all teams (bar the Scousers) do. But unlike other teams, not only do our heads not go down and we keep going, but we continue to be really exciting to watch, as the tv commentators last night never ceased saying. And as I’ve said before, I think, Increasingly, talented players will be looking at us thinking “Hey, they look a really great fun team to play for, I’d like to join them...“
COYS. The only way is up...!

underweststand added 16:42 - Feb 6
Two scintillating games... we frightened Klopp and Moaninho said " the best team lost ".
We controlled Liverpool and outplayed for 50 minutes but then conceded 4 goals
Last night we outplayed Spurs for 80 minutes yet conceded 3 goals..so that's an improvement isn't it ? ...or is it?
It's easy to blame our defence for their errors - but what about our "strikers"?
Against Liverpool we had 17 shots but scored none. they scored 4 times from 16 shots.
versus Spurs we had 15 shots and just 2 goals...Spurs had 9 shots and scored 3 times.
We can hardly criticise Danny Ings - who has a great return for his efforts, but surely the other 9 outfielders ought to sharpen up their finishing skills .
Is it purely down to blaming the defenders every game. Like many on here I've been advocating better defensive signings , but Danny Ings really needs at least one goal -scoring partner who can put the ball in the net a bit more regularly,
With 32 shots in the last two games we've managed ...just 2 goals. A very poor reward from such exciting performances.

saintmark1976 added 16:57 - Feb 6
Son may have dived but that wasn't the problem. By that time in the match we should have been out of sight but instead we squandered chance after chance and ultimately paid the penalty so to speak.

Assuming J W P doesn't recover in time I wonder who we intend to play at right full back against Burnley? With I believe Bednarek suspended, dispensing with the services of Cedric and Yoshida is already looking to be very short sighted as many on here suggested at the time.


bstokesaint added 17:10 - Feb 6
I’m gutted, I thought a good cup run and top half finish might turn out to be the miracle conclusion to the season. We have yet again messed up the chance to strengthen and will now rely pretty much on good fortune that no one else gets injured. We can’t keep winging this.

On a separate note VAR is a proper joke. Why on earth is it there for anything apart from the controversial? Who cares if a striker’s nose is offside?! You can dive and cheat and still get away with it. All the gear and no idea. Second game in a row we’ve been done.

JoeEgg added 17:15 - Feb 6
"There could be exciting times ahead for Saints, but only if we buy the right central defender, perhaps even two in the summer, if we do that then we can challenge for the top 10, if we don't then it will be deja vu, a case of what might have been if we had defended better."

So yet again we have to ask WHO is to blame for not getting in at least the one experienced defender Ralph promised us at the start of the January window? A few good results and it appears that the pressure was off management to bring someone in and the usual 'do nothing' attitude prevailed.

So by the same crazy logic if we dont get relegated the season will be considered a success and the summer will pass us by with the same lack of ambition and action.

Ralph, the players and the super 'away' fans deserve BETTER!

Centurion added 17:59 - Feb 6
Is Badnarek suspended for Burnley or not?

Conflicting views on this.

the_saint added 18:28 - Feb 6
Davidargyll you should be one of those motivator speakers that big companies employ I've renewed my season ticket already

sandywelsh added 18:41 - Feb 6
Another game that shows just why we should have bought in some better defenders in the transfer window. Son was left unmarked all night. Our squad is so short in defence that we had to start Prowse at right back. To make things worse he got injured and is not likely to play the next game along with Bednarek who will be banned. We have no cover in defence and who will play their in the next game is any ones guess.

davidargyll added 19:31 - Feb 6
Re Bednarek, according to the Sun on 23/9/2019:
“the changes this season will see yellow cards only counting in the competition they are received.”
So I reckon he can play...

claus5 added 20:33 - Feb 6
I was disgusted that VAR didn't overule the penalty decision last night. Now seeing the picture at the top of the page it seems even clearer. He is falling over way before Gunns hand gets anywhere near his thigh. CHEAT plain and simple.

aceofthebase added 20:36 - Feb 6
Boufal has been overshadowed by Son dive, Ings goal and JWPs injury. I thought that he played with plenty of enthusiasm and really got stuck in. I know he had a poor shot but his performance helped a very good Saints team. I do not think it was a good decision replacing him.

mountsaint added 21:00 - Feb 6
I agree that the defence has been wanting all season but all goals scored by any team in the PL is because of a mistake made by defenders or brilliance by the goal scorer.

stmichael added 21:08 - Feb 6
The problem is as much the lack of protection as it is the defence.
Too simple to blame the defence.
By the time the ball gets to them it is already an emergency...

the_saint added 08:01 - Feb 7
The back line just need a leader someone that gives them instructions that's all not a big fix

saintstowin added 09:02 - Feb 7
I thought some of the football we played last night was the best I've see from us in a long time. Yes we could have defended a bit better, I was begging Stephens to turn around and see Son behind him for the non-pen - but he too was playing out of position. We took the game to a good expensively assembled team and should have won. We were still going for it at 2-2 despite the knock back of them equalizing, Redmond's misplaced pass tying to attack led to the opposition getting possession and ultimately getting the winner, but that happens, and I agree it was not a fair decision. I have had fans of 'big' teams saying they wished their team could pass and break like we do.

I really want us to play with this level of dynamism at home, just go for it, faster with the ball than in previous games, as I don't think more limited opposition will keep us out.
So glad JWP looks not as badly injured as first feared.
Let's win the next two at home!

underweststand added 09:56 - Feb 7
Surely no-one disagrees that we need someone "special" to bolster up the defence.
In the last two decades several CB's showed up, DAJFU, and shed blood in the process. Lundekvam, Svensson, Fonte (and for better or worse - even Hooiveld) along with one brilliant season from Alderweireld) played alongside anyone and made them look good BUT there have been some poor buys. Cortese's obsession with buying the Norwegian Forran, and Wanyama - who looked great at the start - but became a liability with his disiplinary record. YES of course ... VvD was the best, but attempts to replace him with Hoedt and Vestergaard have proven a footballing failure and a financial disaster.

Bednarek (whilst ruthlessly ignored by Hughes) has developedwell for someone still so young, but at last we see Jack Stephens emerging from the long tunnel back to his Saints Academy days (where he and JWP played as teenagers) and is beginning to show up.
(Jack's TWO season loan at Swindon helped him adjust to the reality of "the adult game"

Historically good CB's - like goalkeepers - are hard too find at a young age and with no likely candidate in the U23's, we'll have to find someone - with real experience at a high level, not TOO ...and good enough to hold down a regular place for next 3- 4 years.
The idea that we can go out and find "the right someone" who is available and affordable at any / every transfer window - is most unlikely and highly inadvisable.

MRHALL93 added 10:07 - Feb 7
I think what it comes down to is us not having enough players that can play Ralph's high pressing intensive style of football for 90 minutes. We managed to play it for 60/70 minutes on Wednesday and as soon as we started to tire Spurs found gaps in midfield and capitalised, the tired legs pressing made it much easier for Spurs to make fast interchanges in midfield. That's how you end up conceded so many goals in the final periods of play as we have done in the last few games.

I think that Jose got his subs right and in-game changes made a difference.

Peterx added 16:21 - Feb 7
Might be a controversial view, but I think we "punch ourselves out" in games against better opponents. We had these amazing attacking sequences against both Liverpool an, Tottenham and then run out of gas in the last 15-30. I think we need to actually have periods where we pass the ball around the back for a few mins or drop deeper for 10 mins just so we regroup in both halves. Seems like we either press 100% and then as soon as we run out of gas we get overrun. Need a Plan B.

I_would added 16:40 - Feb 7
Romeu and to a certain extent PEH are supposed to help the CB's. Romeu is way too slow to do this and was jogging whilst watching Spurs score. Yes the CB's (all three left) are rubbish, but if they helped out defending (what they are paid to do) then we could cut down on goals shipped, especially as Gao is skint and is not getting any new faces ever.

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