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Arsenal 1 v 1 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Wednesday, 16th December 2020 Kick-off 18:00
Ralph Is Taking The Positives From The Arsenal Game
Thursday, 17th Dec 2020 10:01

Inside Ralph Hasenhuttl must feel gutted that we didn't leave the Emirates with all three points, but in his head he knows that there are a lot more positives to come from the game than negatives.

In the 13th game of last season Saints travelled to the Emirates and came away with a draw, there was disappointment that day as well with an equaliser conceded deep into injury time.

But if we take a look at the table back then, after this game we were 19th in the league with only 9 points and we had also the stigma of "That" game a few weeks earlier still hanging over us.

It was only our 2nd point in 8 League games and as we drowned our sorrows in London afterwards, few Saints fans saw much cause for optimism.

Arsenal were unhappy with a point as well, they were left in 8th place on 18 points, if they had won they would have been 5th.

But here we just over a year later and the positions have been almost reversed, if someone had said on the train home that night that after the same number of games next season we would be 3rd I would have assumed they were drunk and that I certainly wasn't drunk enough to believe them.

But here we are and Ralph Hasenhuttl's job is to keep his team going and in his after match comments he has reminded Saints supporters of what has been achieved and the respect that others now have for us.

Ralph emphasised that it is a sign of Southampton's progress that people are suggesting that they should feel disappointed about not winning against Arsenal.

“We are talking about Arsenal, a team that is normally above us in the table, but they are ten points behind us," he said, speaking to the BBC after the game.

"Let’s not forget where we are coming from and where they are coming from, so it is not normal to control a game against them for 90 minutes.

“It was good for us to see that we can still be competitive towards the end.”

Hasenhuttl believes other sides are now showing respect for his side and what they have done in recent months, that they know they have a game on their hands and will up their own because of that, adding that it is important for Southampton to keep picking up results.

“I know what qualities we have and you can feel now that a lot of teams have respect for what we are doing and how we are playing, and this is a good message for our players.

“I said to my players, heads up, you have played well. Ok we didn’t manage to win the game, but this will come. We have come so far and we want to be clinical and win the game, but I was ok with a point. It is important for us to be getting results and consistently getting points, especially against top six teams and to do it here, it is ok.”

Ralph is right and it is a timely reminder to Saints fans not to get too carried away and to accept that not every dropped point is a disaster, this is a strange season and plenty of teams are dropping points and the League is very condensed.

A year ago Liverpool were runaway leaders on 37 points, our tally of 24 this season would have put us in 5th place a year ago, but we would have been 5 points clear of Wolves in 6th.

Indeed this season Wolves sit in 10th place this term on 20 points, 1 more than they had at the same period a year ago, that shows how tough Saints task is going to be this season, a year ago the top sides beat everyone else bar themselves, this season everyone is getting points.

So a timely reminder to remember where we have come from in just a year, that we are still a work in progress, but there is a clear plan, a clear strategy and there is much light at the end of the tunnel.

It is time to be positive about our club, not turn every little thing into a negative, we have spent far too long feeling sorry for ourselves, we currently have someone in charge of the team and indeed a team to be proud of, lets talk up Southampton Football Club and not dwell on what might have or might not have been in the past.

Photo: Action Images

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Sanguin added 10:13 - Dec 17
A point away at Arsenal is great. It also feels like both this game and the Sheffield game weren't too exhausting, which is a good thing heading into the Christmas break.

It's hard not to look at the table and imagine what could have been with wins against Arsenal and Man United.

I expect us to be competitive against Manchester City, and to maintain our good form over December.

erick added 10:37 - Dec 17
Fact: Southampton have lost the most points from winning positions. Our lucksture to close out games is costing us big. If we could have held leads against spurs, united, wolves and arsenal, we could be looking at all other sides in our rear view mirror. There is, still margin for improvement, we are all in Ralph train.

I do support the five subs rule as it will help the team freshen up and also allow young players to gain some game time

ElijahK added 10:53 - Dec 17
I mean at the end of the day, the main reasons it feels like dropped points rather than gained ones is because of their form and the fact they went down to 10 men! But look we’re now 3rd and if we can get anything out of the Man City game then that’ll be great!

Everyone keeps going on about these dropped points, but the major reason why we drop so many points (as basically all games bar the Tottenham and Man U games weren’t so much comebacks or dropped points) is simply because we pretty much always score the opening goal!

MRHALL93 added 11:43 - Dec 17
Erick, I think it's harsh to look at us as the team who have dropped the most points this factually. On paper, it's a fact. But you look at the individual performances and it's harsh to feel that the draw against Wolves was 2 points lost, that was a very even game.

Spurs put 5 against us in the second half, after we only had a 1-0 lead. I don't think we could have held out for even a draw, they have too much quality.

Then you do look at the United game as potentially 3 points dropped, but to be honest, we didn't deserve the lead in that game. United was a better team than us on the day.

Then the result last night, if Gabriel doesn't get sent off then it's a very open game. It's not like Arsenal went down to 10 men and scored their equaliser in the final minutes of the game, if that was the case I'd say we dropped 2 points. .

SanMarco added 12:19 - Dec 17
The most points dropped statistic is all very well but a side that lost every match 5-0 and got relegated with zero points wouldn't lose any points from a winning position and would be above a side who won 37 games 5-0 and lost the other 2-1 after being 1-0 up. Other less 'extreme' examples show that, although an interesting stat, it has to be used with the caution MRHALL93 advises.

davidargyll added 16:55 - Dec 17
Can I add to the comment about dropped points. What are you trying to say? That we can’t defend a lead? You’re like one of those so-called pundits who can’t stop banging on about how far we’ve come since the Leicester game. In fact I heard that the Club is now demanding a fiver goes in the charity box every time it’s mentioned by a commentator on TV. And it ought to the same about dropped points.
If we were lying 15th in the table you might have a point but hang on where are we? Don’t rush me but aren’t we 3rd?! And don’t say we’d be higher if we hadn’t drop all those points. WE ARE DOUNG DAMNED WELL AND YOU SHOUKD APPRECIATE IT, NOT DWELL ON THE WHATIFS.

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