|Brentford 3 v 0 Southampton|
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 7th May 2022 Kick-off 15:00
Southampton At Brentford The Preview
Friday, 6th May 2022 09:55
Saints go head to head with Brentford knowing that the winner of the game will probably finish above the loser come the final Premier League table, for some Saints fans this is a game to give us a fighting chance, some bizarrely claiming it is a relegation battle.
Things are never simple at Southampton FC, we can never do things the easy way, it has been an up and down season, with good runs followed by bad runs and vice versa, but we are not the only team in the pack between 10th & 17th, most including Brentford have seen a similar pattern.
It is not a Saints thing, it is symptomatic of the way the Premier League is, if you are Liverpool or Manchester City you have the squad to win 10 games in a row, if you are one of the aforementioned pack, you don't have the squad to be able to do that, you win some because you get lucky and win some games you shouldn't and conversely you lose some you should win, it is not a Ralph Hasenhuttl thing, it is a rest of the premier League thing.
This league is becoming more like Formula One where it is no longer about the best driver, but the best car with the best engine and you get that from having the biggest budget.
You could put Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola in charge of Southampton, Brentford or Crystal Palace and the result would not be a lot different from what any of these sides have achieved this season.
As the old adage says God Is On The Side Of The Big Battalions.
So can we raise ourselves for this game, yes the ranter's and raver's have been out in force this week and yes we wont be able to change too much now until the summer, but hopefully we can get some focus and win this game.
There is not as much wrong as some would think, if Wilfrid Zaha had shot far and wide in injury time last week, then we would be 12th on 41 points, we are not the shambles that some would suggest this season.
Of course there are things that need to be addressed, but with new owners and a new era hopefully we can do that in the summer.
But for now we have to get a result in this game, so what does Ralph do ?
Truthfully there is not a lot he can do differently, he has a core of players who are first choice whatever the opposition and then he has some that are not quite putting enough pressure on for a place.
Personally I can't see much past the sides he has been putting out for the past few games, however I find it hard to work out why Adam Armstrong has barely got a kick lately.
Aside from that though what does Ralph do differently, individual players are letting him down with individual errors, players who were excellent two months ago are now awful, as the saying goes, once the players cross the white line then the manager can't affect a players performance level.
Ask the likes of Mohammed Salisu, Armando Broja, Stuart Armstrong and Moi Elyounoussi why they were so good back in January/ February and are so poor now.
It isn't always about tactics or selections or substitutions, it is about individuals being responsible for their own performances.
I am not trying to distract from the problems we have, we have to address them in the summer, but our problem essentially is individual errors and plenty of them.
We beat Brentford comprehensively back in January, we need to repeat that performance this weekend and the players need to put in a shift.
Last weekend's defeat is done and dusted, it is time to finish the season with a flourish, a win shuts up the relegation doom bringers, in two weeks time we can have the post mortem for the season, but for now lets enjoy the last three games, lets see where we are at the end of the season.
Finally be careful what you wish for, 5 years ago some fans were calling for the head of Claude Puel, they moaned about the fact they were not being entertained, Puel was sacked despite an 8th place finish and coming close to winning the League Cup.
Those fans got the new manager they demanded, they got big spending in our terms with money spent, they also got the most traumatic 18 months since we had returned to the Premier League, what hope has Ralph Hasenhuttl got ?
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 31 bloggers
When Monday Comes #37 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes and we reach the end of a topsy-turvy season, much of which hasn’t been that much fun if I’m honest, though latterly considerably improved under Wayne Brown. If I can, I always like to do the first and last game of the season, but sadly a trip to Hartlepool just wasn’t on the cards, not if I actually wanted to get home again tonight, so I had to console myself with a pretty enjoyable trip to the JobServe last weekend – not quite the victory the U’s deserved over Walsall, but a great day out anyway. I know it’ll be too late for the Player of the Year awards, but wouldn’t it be nice to see a Freddie Sears hat-trick this afternoon to round off the season.
When Saturday Comes #36 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes tomorrow, and I will be on a train heading over to God’s own county for my last U’s game of the season. That should have been last Friday’s trip to the Principality, but as posted elsewhere I was more than happy to be pre-booked to dog-sit Emma’s collie Reggie that night and had to be content with one of Nadine’s ‘downstreams’ on iFollow. Given both the performance and the result, whilst I was sorry to miss it in person, I was more than happy with how Friday night turned out in the end. Tomorrow will be a gathering of the clans for us, with at the last count at least 8, possibly more, of the family gathering for the match. Ironically, I’ll see them all again on Bank Holiday Monday for a family birthday, but I’ll be driving over for that one.
When Saturday Comes #35 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes and the U’s have already given us a fantastic start to the weekend, with a stirring and well-deserved 2-1 victory at promotion-chasing Newport County. Yes, the Exiles had lost the previous three at home and are looking like they are going to bottle their chance for the play-offs, and yes with the U’s now safe technically we had little to play for, but don’t take anything away from this performance. If Wayne Brown is still being ‘interviewed’ for the full-time role as Colchester United manager, then last night was the equivalent of having an excellent incisive question of your own lined up for the interview panel.
When Saturday Comes #34 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes and our Easter Bank Holiday programme is already underway, following a dismal 2-0 defeat at St James’ Park yesterday. It’s not so much the result that galls, in truth deep down I suspect we all thought it was going to be a difficult trip to get anything out of, it was the manner of that defeat. To say the U’s were lacklustre is a massive understatement – and it wasn’t as if it was down to Exeter City simply outplaying us, I didn’t think they were all that to be honest. I can cope with defeat, heaven knows the U’s have given me enough practice in recent years, but to go down without a whimper, relying on Man of the Match Sham to keep it from becoming a cricket score against an average Exeter City, was just dreadful.
When Saturday Comes #33 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes and there was a time, not too long ago, when today’s game against the charmless Steve Evans and Stevenage was looking like it might be a relegation 6-pointer. Whilst we’re not out of the woods quite yet, back-to-back victories over Tranmere Rovers and Harrogate mean we go into this game knowing even if we were to slip up against Stevenage, we’ll still be 8pts plus goal difference ahead of them, and only five games left to play. Still, let’s not dwell on negatives, because three wins on the bounce will be the confidence-booster we’ll need ahead of the tough trip on Good Friday to St James’ Park.
[ Vote here ]