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Southampton 2 v 0 West Bromwich Albion
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 4th October 2020 Kick-off 12:00
Saints V West Bromwich Albion The Verdict
Sunday, 4th Oct 2020 14:40

A comprehensive win for Saints to get their first home win of the season under their belts and push themselves into the top 10 albeit only on a temporary basis, but we should not get too carried away yet.

Saints looked good in beating West Bromwich Albion this afternoon, in the first half they were totally dominant and should have perhaps been 2 or 3 goals up, but had to rely on a goal 4 minutes before the break from Moussa Djenepo to give them a half time lead.

Ironically Djenepo looked the least of Saints players in that half, too often he would not make the runs needed and only looked to contribute with the ball at his feet, when that happened in the 41st minute he took his goal with composure.

All around the team we looked good, although a word of caution in that West Brom looked woeful and rarely ventured forward.

They couldn't be any worse in the 2nd half and pushed forward more, however it was only from dead ball situations that they looked dangerous, on several occasions they delivered a ball that we failed to defend and McCarthy did not come and deal with, luckily on each occasion their man could not seem to get anything on it, otherwise the result might have been different.

But going forward we looked good and after weathering the early storm we got back to a slick passing game and when Oriol Romeu volleyed home in the 69th minute it knocked the stuffing out of the Baggies.

This was a team performance but several deserve mentions.

At the back Kyle Walker Peters was calm and composed and has quick feet, he rarely gives the ball away and uses it well and was a thread going forward.

In the centre of midfield Oriol Romeu looked immense, tough in the tackle winning the ball and using it well, alongside him James Ward Prowse not only got stuck in when needed but passed the ball well and delivered from dead ball situations.

Up front Che Adams deserves a special mention, he has formed a great partnership with Danny Ings and plays a vital contribution in winning balls when he has no right to and using it to create chances for others, like Shane Long who replaced him in the final minutes he is a player whose contribution is often 2 or 3 moves before a goal is scored, something that does not get recorded, but is still vital.

Overall Saints are still a work in progress and it is exciting to think that with the arrival of Diallo we still have two new signings yet to come in and also the likes of Obafemi, Smallbone as well as Jan Valery who sat this one out on the bench.

Like last season if we are to look towards a top 10 finish we have to put the bottom sides away and we have done that against Burnley and now West Brom, last season we beat the relegated sides at home, but in each game it was a struggle, this was a win in which we were never truly stretched.

Even during a short 15 minute spell early in the 2nd half when West Brom tried to get up a head of steam we looked good, we dominated in all departments, but here is the word of caution, good sides will find our soft underbelly, we have to sort it out, we still need another central defender, put an experienced leader in that position and we will be a team to reckon with.

So a good days work for Saints, 10th in the table and now a solid start to the season points wise, but like last season, it is still a question of what if, we gifted Palace their win on the opening weekend and we collapsed against Spurs when we were near to going in at the break 1-0 up, it could have and really should have been a lot better.

Photo: Action Images

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halftimeorange added 14:57 - Oct 4
A fair and accurate report. If the words "it was only from dead ball situations that they looked dangerous, on several occasions they delivered a ball that we failed to defend and McCarthy did not come and deal with" hadn't needed to be written then the performance would have rated "very good" rather than "very satisfactory". It is this weakness of the back line and GK that cost us the Palace game and caused us to ship too many against Spurs. Keep working on it, Ralph.

claus5 added 15:15 - Oct 4
Certainly not as convinced as you are about Adams, to me he misses an awful lot a good chances. I guess time will tell on his finishing. At the back we got very lucky whilst defending free kicks, but overall a good and deserved win.

SaintPaulVW added 15:22 - Oct 4
I thought Vestergaard looked great again. He's looked good in all the games he has played so far this season. KWP looks a steal at £12 million. Ralph seems to have moved back from the fashionable full on high press which leaves the defence too exposed against pace and Romeu, related to the new recruitment?, and JWP have upped their game. JWP's level of legal bite is superb. The proof of all this will come against Chelsea.

I agree that Djenepo seemed to be doing not a lot right until he scored. In fact I had just been shouting at the telly as he had just given the ball away. Next play...... that Cruyff turn. lol.

Side looks more purposeful going forward with Armstrong playing. I've been saying it now for 4 years, If we could only get a bit more end product we would have converted more of the numerous chances we had in the first half. The defence dropping a bollard and letting in the odd goal then doesn't matter. Today due to a poor Baggies side it wasn't an issue. To be that on top of the game and only come in 1-0 up was slightly disappointing.

Overall a good performance. Next game we should get a better handle on whether it has just been the opposition making us look good in these last two games.



AmericanSaint added 15:22 - Oct 4
I agree on Adams, Nick. He worked hard and if it was for the right foot of their keeper, he would have scored in the 1st half. I think it is a bit harsh on McCarthy as of the 3 serious free klicks they had, 2 were off sides and the last one he should have come for. I think Vestagaard had a good game again. I also agree that Djnepo was out of position a lot in this game and if not for his well taken goal, I would have yanked him at half time. Maybe RH was playing as a floater, but he was inside too much and didnt give RB a passing option on the wing. Overall a decent performance and now we have to wait for Chelsea. Finally I hope we get a CB in but if not, then RLC from Chelsea would be good since they are willing to pay 100K of his wages. Onward and upward - COYR.

AmericanSaint added 15:23 - Oct 4
"SaintPaul" - you are right, Armstrong was superb today and made some excellent runs with the ball. Heck even NR had a good second half.

mattthelegend added 15:39 - Oct 4
I like Che and like you said Nick his work rate is immense, the way he won the ball off the Albion defender in the build up to the second goal, he had no right to win it. Good solid result today as AmericanSaint pointed out at least a cool those free kicks Albion players were in offside positions, just the linesman can’t flag now.

highfield49 added 15:55 - Oct 4
The point was made during the match commentary that what has changed in the last couple of matches is that the full backs are being more circumspect when they go forward and leave the central defenders exposed. Playing the defensive line back a few metres has made it much more difficult to play the ball over or through the centre or wings and RH has certainly learnt the lesson from the Palace and Spurs losses. OK West Brom weren't great today, but they did score three against Chelsea, before chucking the game away, so aren't without ability. Absolutely zero complaints about Bednarek and Vestergaard today, Romeu and KWP were absolute grafters, as has been said, and KWP was excellent. Ings and Adams worked their socks off and only their keeper kept the score down. It might just be time to put to bed your desire for an experienced central defender Nick, because from my recollection Fonte was no better than our current players in the middle on today's showing.

Berber added 16:03 - Oct 4
Nice to see the lads win as St Mary's again, and also to see Djenepo score today. He would be so much better if he worked as hard as Armstrong. He could do with a bit of BergKamp ball control practice and learn how to control it a bit better. His schoolboy flicks hardly ever find their man, and mostly he looks like a dog with a balloon unless he is actually running at players.The opposition have stopped backing off as they don't see him as a threat any more.

HythePeer added 16:08 - Oct 4
I agree. But who's the new guy gonna push aside? Romeu is the only decent defensive midfielder there is.

saintmark1976 added 16:11 - Oct 4
A fair and balanced report Nick.

My only other comment being to point out that W B A were very poor except for their keeper. On the basis of their showing today they appear to be a relegation certainty.

Block8 added 16:24 - Oct 4
As against Burnley we sat a bit deeper and benefited as a result. It reduces the gap between midfield and defence, that often occurs with the high press and eases the pressure on our CBs. Romeu looks a far better player when he's not having to sprint longer distances as he doesn't have the pace. Good result with more to come, hopefully 😇😇😇

lemmsy added 16:31 - Oct 4
Although I felt kwp had a good game & was important going forward , I think you should check your stats or glasses Nick when it comes to conceding possession !
I look forward to your reply

lemmsy added 16:32 - Oct 4
Also American saint, I do believe we’ve got a center back in

schatfield added 22:23 - Oct 4
To the writer of these articles, can you stop ending every article with we must buy an experienced defender. WE WILL NOT BUY AN EXPERIENCED DEFENDER. We already bought Salisu who is now being integrated into the team.

Block8 added 23:09 - Oct 4
Just an observation Nick, our THe get a bit of stick but Man U paid £80 million for Maquire!😂

SanMarco added 00:26 - Oct 5
Funny old day - our match was pretty normal and sensible compared to certain others. I don't know why we had to give them quite so many unnecessary free kicks in areas where they could put it into the box - it was, after all, the only way they were going to score.

Other than that I do think the comments about Adams are interesting. We all want him to succeed and the work rate is great but he will need to score some goals. He has gone back to that pre-Man City wonder goal form where he misses good chances. Yes - it is only five games but he needs to get more than four this year and Chelsea would be a great place to start!

All in all a pretty good day with a comfortable win and a new signing! It is a shame we have to have a pointless international break now.

IanRC added 10:15 - Oct 5
I thought Djenepo did well, people have short memories remember him turning the Spurs defence inside out by the bye line and yesterday I thought the baggies gave him a lot of respect. The goal was very well taken too. Just needs to keep his confidence up.

Regarding Che Adams he just needs that first goal again, as Nick says he is a great worker for the team, like Long, and very unselfish. How many other strikers do you know who would have moved aside for Oriel’s shot.

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Letters from Wiltshire #09 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #08 by wessex_exile
Lots of discussion this week on football forums, including here, on two subjects – the petition to lobby parliament to allow limited numbers of supporters back into football grounds, and of course the return of that old chestnut from Man City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano, introducing Premier League ‘B’ teams into the EFL. First off, I don’t mind admitting I’ve signed the petition ( https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552036 ), as have 192,779 others at the time of writing, though I don’t actually think it’ll make any difference. I can completely understand why some do not think this is a good idea, as second-wave spikes of coronavirus infection pop up all over the country (mainly because – let’s face it – some people are dicks and can’t be trusted to sit the right way on a toilet). But to me, the two go hand in hand (not dicks and toilets) – whilst football clubs throughout the country struggle financially without spectators, we are always going to be under threat of this sort of ‘B’ team nonsense as a condition of financial support from the Premier League fat cats. They got their way in 2016 with the EFL trophy, who’s to say they won’t again when the financial squeeze really starts to tighten its grip without paying customers through the turnstiles? Robbie has featured prominently in this debate in recent weeks, and looks like he will again on Sky tomorrow if this tweet from Sophy Ridge is anything to go by -
Letters from Wiltshire #07 by wessex_exile

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