DECEMBER 2018 Continued
Tottenham 3 Southampton 1
So – Ralph Hasenhüttl. It’s a brave move by the club to go for a long term solution rather than to press the Allardyce button but I guess in a way, we did that last year.
Back to tonight and Kelvin Davis picked the team and I must admit, when I saw it, I kind of gave up on any vague notion of us getting a result. It seems like he’s picked his team based on loyalty to Southampton and being trustworthy. Of course there’s a place for that but come on - there is no way on Earth that Steve Davis should be in the side. The wide open spaces of Wembley against an impressive Spurs side…. Give me strength
To be honest, we didn’t play that badly but it was the same old story in that it took us a lot longer than it should have done to score a goal and the goals we gave away were so simple – not tracking a runner, slicing a ball across our own penalty area, turning your back on a shot – all straight out of the Under 9’s Playbook of Shite Defending.
Ralph Hasenhüttl was in front of the media the next day and was seriously impressive. No bullshit and a clear message. To paraphrase – we do things my way. If the players can’t cope they will fall by the wayside. We have too many players and some will go and I will be looking at the youngsters. Bring it on Ralph.
Cardiff 1 Southampton 0
After some play on the left, Redmond gives it to Armstrong, who cuts past Camaraso who dangles a leg out and over goes Armstrong. Looks a cast iron one on first watch and on the second viewing it’s one that’s given more often than not. Moss doesn’t get a second look of course, he just waves it away like the fat twat that he is. Armstrong is raging and his next contribution is to lose the ball in midfield and see it lumped forward. No worries as Vestergaard is in control and knocks it back…. Fuck, he’s virtually trod on it… rugby tackle now… nope, falls over and Paterson is through and he scuffs it past McCarthy and into the net. Fucking hell.
The bottom line is that today, we lost to one of our main relegation rivals, like we did against Fulham, because we made a catastrophic error in defence.
If Ralph Hasenhüttl can get this lot playing and get us into mid-table then forget Klopp, forget Guardiola - he deserves the Manager of the Season award.
Southampton 3 Arsenal 2
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s first home game and the splendid chap has bought me a beer.
We have lift off with a move from the back – Romeu finding Armstrong who gives it to Targett who shifts it away from Bellerin and fizzes over a cross and there’s Ings in between Lichtsteiner and Koscielny to bullet a header past Leno. Brilliant cross, brilliant goal. Get in. It’s rocking – the ground is actually rocking. Awesome.
Hojbjerg slides a lovely ball inside the full back to Long and everyone groans as he checks out rather than running at the goal but he floats a lovely ball over the top of the flapping Leno and there’s Austin to nod it into an empty net. Lift off. I’m sure there have been moments like it at St Mary’s but I can’t remember a recent one…. Mané’s winning goal in the 3-2 come back vs Liverpool probably.
What is this feeling? What is this feeling of happiness at the final whistle? If it is your first game in charge and the winning goal is from a combination of Long and Austin, then you clearly have something about you.
Huddersfield 1 Southampton 3
Redmond is already on his bike in front of him and Hojbjerg slots him in as Kongolo comically falls on his arse trying to intercept and Redmond, without a goal all season, smashes it past Lossl and into the top corner. Get in. If ever a player deserved a goal it’s Redders.
Obafemi passes it into the corner of the net for 3-1 and game over. Get in. On the bench, Ralph is giving it the full Monty but not as much as Charlie Austin who is off down the line giving it loads to the home fans. If an opposition player did this to us then we’d think he was a dick but that’s quality shithousing.
And so to Ralph. I was a big fan of Glenn Hoddle as a Saints manager back in the day because he took Dave Jones’ shit squad and immediately made them better just with tactics and organisation. The difference the Ralph has made in the space of two weeks with a failing squad is absolutely ridiculous
Southampton 1 West Ham 2
Redmond hits it, saved, Romeu tries to chip the keeper, saved and then Redmond piles in with a Hammers defender and it goes in off his hand as he’s bundled to the ground. Could be a penalty, could be handball and if VAR was in place it would take about an hour to sort it out but it’s given as a goal and we’re somehow 1-0 up. Can we keep it? No.
The main thing you have to say about this game is that the better team won. West Ham looked quicker and sharper and physically stronger than us and no one can have any complaints about the result. Having said that, we could easily have sneaked an undeserved win. How Craig Pawson can be looking straight at Declan Rice wrestling Jan Bednarek to the ground in the penalty area and not give a penalty is completely beyond me. Of course, West Ham broke from that incident and scored the winning goal. Could have been 2-1 to us, ended up 2-1 to them.
As a team, I think we look knackered from about the 20th minute onwards. The lack of fitness which is been allowed to develop under the last two managers means that whilst there were initial benefits of Ralph’s methods, some players looked absolutely out on their feet today
Southampton 1 Manchester City 3
City’s resolve will also be strengthened by the fact that Liverpool have opened up a seven point lead on them at the top of the Premier League so I would say the chances of getting anything out of the day or somewhere between slim and none
It’s beautiful when all the over-confidence catches up with City and it does when Zinchenko, who is not on the same level as the other City players, turns inside in the left back position and gets caught by Hojbjerg. On marches the captain and lashes it past Ederson who doesn’t move to unbelievably make it 1-1.
And so another advert for the European Super League comes to an end after a second half which was as boring as it could possibly be with the game already decided and neither team being that fussed about anything else happening. Despite all this, Hojbjerg still managed to get himself sent off which was fucking ridiculous.
Match of the Day 2, went out of their way to do us no favours whatsoever in that the edit showed Austin being substituted for no reason other than to show that he flicked the V’s at the City fans as he left the pitch. That was deemed more highlight-worthy than Kompany’s drop kick.
Chelsea 0 Southampton 0
Austin is on for Armstrong as we try to run down the clock. Charlie is ideal for this as it takes him so long to jog onto the pitch. 92, 93 and panto villain Marcos Alonso who hasn’t been a prick today, decides it high time he was and takes a horrible dive under the slightest brush from Long and Fat Jon mercifully doesn’t give it.
There was a cohesion about our defending and a concentration level which lasted for the full 95 minutes. There were no fuck-ups and no people getting caught out of position. We stayed tight and compact and didn’t give Chelsea many opportunities at all. Also, we had a bit of luck for a change because the Morata offside was very very close.
Results elsewhere meant we dropped into the bottom three but it really is no cause for alarm. We are playing better and you can see we are getting better and we will climb the league as the season goes on
Leicester 1 Southampton 2
I know he is deadly with a fantastic goalscoring record and all that but the challenge from Mendy which was to basically jump on his back with his arms flapping about, was amazingly dumb. There are few complaints about the penalty being awarded and up steps JWP and smashes a proper penalty past Schmeichel who did well to get a touch.
Vestergaard headed the corner out to our right and the ball pings around a bit and then Valery clearly pulls Albrighton back. With no second yellow being shown to Chilwell in the incident that I must’ve made up, I am expecting a final warning for Valery but oh no, of course fucking not, second yellow and off you go.
Shane is in. Usually, this is of course nothing to get excited about but from a tight angle on the left he hit it, Schmeichel got a piece of it again but like the penalty, it ended up on the net and fuck me, we were 2-0 up and Shane has scored and this is not a drill.
What a fucking win that is. An absolutely deserved win in the face of adversity.
He (Valery) did go down a bit theatrically but at least there was some contact. Jamie Vardy on the other hand is a fucking 100% cheat. A dreadful attempt to initiate contact with a defender and he even missed that with no Saints player even brushing against him.
Ralph is a fucking legend isn’t he? Already
Southampton 2 Everton 1
With no tackle in coming and Digne backing off, JWP takes aim and smashes the ball past the short one from 20 yards. Brilliant hit.
Half-time and as luck would have it, when I’m on my way out to the concourse, I see my Everton supporting mate who basically tells me that Everton are fucking shit and there is only one team going to win this. I hope he’s right.
A few minutes later, Everton managed to score the own goal they always seem to contribute when they come down here as Redmond runs at them again causing panic and Digne caps a great few minutes by winning the tackle and poking it past the angry dwarf from 25 yards, all the way along the ground. Maybe if he’d been taller, he might have reached it but who cares, 2-0.
Yaaaaaaaaassssssss! Thank fuck for that. How can there be four minutes extra signalled and then you play nine? That means that the initial four minutes was four minutes of time wasting so we had to play another five. Absolutely fucking ridiculous
Ralph has dispensed with some deadwood and by trusting the youth, has freshened up the squad without signing a single player. Players are now playing to a much higher level than before he arrived and we look more committed, more organised and we have academy players all over the match day 18
Southampton 1 Crystal Palace 1
Southampton 1 Crystal Palace 1
The ball is still not finding its way out to JWP and Stephens goes left again to Targett and then, completely out of character for the rest of the game, football breaks out. Targett to Redmond to Armstrong and back to Targett in behind Wan-Bissaka and his pull back is rammed into the net by JWP to make it 1-1. Didn’t see that coming I have to say.
It’s a clear foul but nothing given. Zaha just flips. Then the shithousing starts - Firstly JWP fakes to throw the ball at him and then pats his neck and Zaha slaps him away. Other players get involved to separate them and JWP is just grinning at him. Yellow card for Zaha for the slap and then the pulls the sarcastic applause routine which never ends well and out comes a second card whilst JWP celebrates. Zaha continues to clap the ref as he walks off and then has another go over by the dug out. You have been played like a fiddle you twat.
Burnley 1 Southampton 1
Nathan Redmond 2019 turns and runs at the defence, beats Cork and then smashes it right-footed into the bottom corner of the net past Heaton from 20 yards. What a fucking goal. Nathan Redmond 2018 would not have done that.
Now they’ve gone behind, Dyche reaches deep into his tactical bag of tricks and makes a tactical tweak which basically means launching the ball even more but getting more players over 6 foot 4 in the box.
92 minutes played and just one final launch into the box to survive and it comes towards Crouch and Jack Stephens, for reasons only known to him, jumps for the header with his arm straight up in the air above his head. With his eyes shut, a combination of Crouch and himself manage to head the ball against his own arm
Of course, it’s that prick Ashley Barnes to take it and he drills it to McCarthy’s left and he doesn’t even move and two points disappear down the shitter.
I’m in two minds over it. I can’t help but feel that if Stephens wasn’t so weak in the air, he would’ve just headed the ball away anyway but, it’s a clear foul by the centre forward so Stephens is a little bit unlucky.
Southampton 1 Cardiff 2
Cardiff then have an attack which doesn’t involve a long throw and win a corner. Over it comes from Ralls, Paterson wins a header and fuck off for fuck sake. 1-0 down with Bamba, unmarked, knocking it in from two yards.
Over it comes from JWP, a flick on off of Austin’s pint of Stella and there is Stephens at the back post to apply the finishing touches with an almost identical goal to Cardiff’s opener. With 5 minutes going up on the board we still feel that we can win this.
A big punted clearance and it falls to Stephens on our right. Under a bit of pressure he decides to try and play it forwards but just presents it to Cardiff. Forward they come working it out to our left and panic stations set in. We’re all over the shop with players frantically trying to get back. A cross comes in and Bednarek half heads it away, in again, a scramble and Zohore scuffs at it with his studs and it rolls along the ground and into the corner of the net. Two attacks, two goals. Fuck – just fuck! Full time.
In my opinion, Ralph had a shocker today.
This is Southampton. No one ever said it was going to be easy.
Arsenal 2 Southampton 0
Gunn then has to save from Lacazette with his feet and it looks like we’re going to get absolutely annihilated. Half time and Some changes have to be made with Jack Stephens being put out of his misery.
Obafemi has darted about and started to look dangerous but then he went into full sprint mode and surprise surprise, pulled a fucking hamstring again.
The rest of the second-half is a predictable waste of time
I really don’t know what else to say about Jack Stephens. Basically, he does not have enough desire to keep the ball out of our fucking net. So, with Cardiff’s winner last time out, Stephens has now coughed up three goals in 18 minutes..
Southampton 2 Fulham 0
Bertrand himself takes the corner and the keeper flaps it out to the edge of the box where Romeu meets on the volley. It’s not the cleanest strike but it goes through a crowd of players and ends up in the net so who fucking cares. 1-0
Up the fucking Saints. A comfortable win which is nice. It could, with more ambition in the second half have been a more emphatic win but the bottom line is, until we can find a striker who can score 15 goals a season in this league, we are always going to struggle to even put away the worst of opponents and Fulham were quite possibly the worst of opponents.
Defensively, there was the odd wobble but in the main, the return of Maya Yoshida added that element of calm that has been missing.
Manchester United 3 Southampton 2
Referee Stuart Attwell, well known for being fucking useless, waves it away without any thought whatsoever. I mean, this is instant. He is not giving a penalty even if the replay shows that Bertrand has a knife between the shoulder blades
Redmond passes the ball across to Austin and he’s sends it right to Valery who takes one touch and then bang.... fucking hell... he hits a fucking howitzer into the near top corner from about 30 yards.
Bertrand is in behind the full back and this time both shoulders are pulled by Ashley Young inside the area and Bertrand once again hits the deck. Once again Stuart Attwell is not having any of it
…. and more or less for the first time, Lukaku has kicked it in the right direction all game. Surprisingly, Stuart Attwell isn’t joining in with the United celebrations. I half expected him to be there, whirling his shirt above his head.
JWP takes it and it is perfect, over the wall and swinging away into the near top corner. 2-2 and fucking have that
…and the big fucker turns and smashes it first time into the far corner past Gunn who hasn’t a prayer. For fucks sake
Rashford predictably collapses like a heap of shit. Needless to say there is no way Attwell is not going to give it. Up steps Pogba with his wanky stutter step and chips it down the middle and Gunn dives and boots it away.
Even though United have a very likeable manager now, which as said, is really fucking offputting, they still have some players who are just wankers.
Bring on VAR – it won’t be perfect but it will struggle to make things worse and it will highlight which referees are fucking dreadful – we know anyway but it will be highlighted.
Southampton 2 Tottenham 1
20 minutes gone and we could easily be 4-0 down. The rest of the first half was spent in a kind of drowsy acceptance of what is going on but we dig in and get to half-time just the one goal adrift which is a bit of a result I have to say. Ralph is not fucking about. Romeo is off, probably because he’s been booked and Austin is off as well, probably because he’s been shit.
Kevin Friend – He’s One of Your Own
Hilariously, Danny Rose decides to step over it, not realising that Yan Valery was right behind him.
Up steps JWP and fuck me he’s done it again. Same technique, same corner, same result and another world-class keeper grasping at thin air as it flies past him. Bloody hell, we are winning and there are 10 minutes to go.
Southampton have won this game despite 1) Tottenham‘s goal being offside, 2) Sissoko not being sent off for a combination of deliberately raking Redmond’s achilles, followed by a push in the chest, followed by a head-butt, 3) Walker Peters not been sent off for a very deliberate last man professional foul and 4) no Penalty/free kick being given against Vertonghen for kicking Sims in the head.
Finally what can you say about Ralph Hasenhuttl. Under him, with exactly the same squad of players, we have beaten two of the big boys whereas under the previous three managers, we couldn’t beat any of them
Brighton 0 Southampton 1
We are six or seven minutes into the second half and Brighton are trying to play out of defence on the right hand side. Montoya and Bissouma manage the fuck it up between them and Hojbjerg nicks the ball. Armstrong finds Redmond who runs at the defence and weights a perfect pass into Hojbjerg who has continued his run and the skipper pokes it past Ryan with the outside of his right foot and it’s all gone a bit mental in the away end. A textbook Ralph Hasenhuttl goal – win the ball high, take advantage.
“We are Staying Up, I Say We Are Staying Up” – over come the players for the loudest “Oh When the Saints” of recent times. As the players disperse – it’s Ralph time. He fucking loves it doesn’t he? What a boy.
What can you say about Ralph? The man, the myth, the legend. 1.5 points a game. That’s absolutely nuts considering he has taken the same squad that Hughes had. Again it proves what I have said all along which is that the manager is the most important person of the club. If he knows what he’s doing then it makes an absolutely huge difference
Southampton 1 Liverpool 3
Ryan Bertrand chips it across and Hojbjerg has run untracked from midfield. He flicks it on with his head and a Saints player takes it down with one touch and buries it. Fucking hell, SHAAAAAAAAANE. St Mary’s absolutely erupts with a mixture of jubilation and possibly laughter. Six minutes gone, 1-0 up and probably 89 minutes to hang on.
Liverpool haven't looks like scoring and they get a linesman assisted equaliser which seems to have happened a hell of a lot this season.
Henderson finds Salah. Oh fuck. He’s still got about 60 yards to go but we’ve over committed and only got one back. Bertrand is backing off and you know that Salah is not going to pass it. If you try and tackle him he’s either going to skip past you or dive and get you sent off. On he goes – take him out for fucks sake!!! – bang, goal, fuck off!
…we did not put a dent in their title challenge. They are fucking wankers and it would’ve been beautiful but never mind, it was always a long shot.
Now we’re back in 5 letter word territory - the amount of away fans in the home areas does my fucking head in.
Southampton 3 Wolves 1
I think that in the main Krueger is done a decent job bearing in mind what a chairman is supposed to do and in particular, what he was supposed to do, increase revenue and look after and implement the culture and philosophy of the football club. Some of the Motivational Hockey Guy shit we could’ve done without but at the end of the day he was a positive force and I would say his only real major failing was leaving Les Reed in place for too long at the start of the season.
Redmond, dancing in front of Saiss, gets a foot in and pokes it past Patricio into the roof of the net and fuck me, we are ahead after about a minute and a half. It’s just like the Mark Hughes days isn’t it not.
Get in, another three points towards the target and to make things even more fabulous, Cardiff lost away at Burnley. Apparently they got given a penalty which was then over ruled so imagine Colin Wanker throwing another absolute shit fit
Ridiculously, today was almost a run-of-the-mill victory. There was almost an expectancy to win and we turned up and did the job. Of course it is not as simple as that. I think that Ralph Hasenhuttl must have special trousers because he has balls the size of watermelons.
Talking of goal machines, Nathan Redmond was brilliant today
Newcastle 3 Southampton 1
Yoshida tries to pass the ball into Hojbjerg in midfield but it’s got flashing blue lights on top of it and a siren is wailing as Hayden steams in and wins the ball which drops to Pérez who is kind of half closed down by Bednarek and Yoshida and he fires it across the goalkeeper and in off the far post. Fucks sake. Totally preventable goal.
Pérez has stolen a march on Bertrand, bounces the ball towards a goal and Gunn has dived early and the ball bounces over the top of him and in. Absolute shite
Half time and no doubt Ralph is giving it the big one – at least I hope he is because we’ve been fucking awful.
Lemina, striding forward takes a touch before side footing superbly into the far corner of the net. Brilliant finish and despite being a bit of a shambles, maybe we can get something out of this after all.
No matter how patchily we played, we were beaten by the better side and Newcastle were decent
Watford 1 Southampton 1
Away we go and… Goal, one-nil to the mighty saints. What the actual fuck?
Another cross comes in, a lucky bounce and there is Andre Gray to swing a foot at it and it flies into the roof of the net at the near post. Fuck off. It’s absolutely ridiculous how we’ve managed to do this. There is only a little bit of time left but it’s enough time from Mike Dean to make a dick of himself again
Absolutely fucking infuriating. No doubt people will try out the stats about how many points we lost from winning positions and I don’t really care to be honest. What’s the opposite of clinical? Whatever it is then that is us.
Having started breathing again and calming down, a point at the end of the day is huge in the scheme of things. It puts us six points ahead of Cardiff plus a better goal difference and the last of their three games is Manchester United away and they are basically going to have to win all three of their remaining games to have any chance of overtaking us
Southampton 3 Bournemouth 3
the Feckin’ Goal Machine who drills it goalwards, watches it deflect off some half arsed attempt to block by Ake and nestle in the corner of the net. 1-0 and about time and the Shane has done it again.
Fuck off. That is literally the first time they have got anywhere near our goal
Valery who take son Ake for pace and brilliantly gets the cross in and there is Matt Targett of all people, at the back stick to head the ball powerfully across Boruc and into the far side of the goal.
For fucks sake, we can give a goal away from absolutely anywhere.
Jack Stephens just got the ball. He walks into the centre circle and passes it straight to Bournemouth player. One pass later and Wilson is clean through on goal but luckily, he is not is deadly from further out than 5 yards and Gunn manages to block.
What a ridiculous game that was. Brilliant spells of play from us mixed in with utter garbage with horrific misses and appalling defending
It might feel strange to some to celebrate staying in the Premier League but this time, we got ourselves into such a hole that has become a remarkable achievement to be safe with two games to go.
West Ham 3 Southampton 0
…you’d think that the Feckin’ Goal Machine with four goals in five would just hit it but for some reason he takes an extra touch, Fredericks comes in and Long attempts a pretty crappy dive to win a penalty
Well that was pretty shit and almost as pointless as the Tottenham away game when Ralph had just been appointed after Hughes had been sacked.
It was a tough day for Ralph. On the one hand he has a duty to the travelling supporters but on the other hand he has a duty to think about the long-term.
Southampton 1 Huddersfield 1
The newly crowned double player of the season cuts inside one man, cuts inside another and with no third Huddersfield defender coming to close him down, he smashes it over Coleman and ripping into the top of the net. Fucking brilliant goal.
And then we added another chapter to the “Goals that we managed to throw the opposition when under no pressure whatsoever“ file.
We are then treated to the worlds slowest pitch invasion by one fat bastard
I'm not remotely surprised that the season tailed off a bit in the last few games and it was unrealistic to expect anything different. We have finished 16th and that is where we deserved to finish of course. It took a monumental effort to get safe and as with any monumental effort, you get to the finish line and then you collapse. Imagine running a marathon and when you're on your back on the floor after finishing, someone tells you you have to run another 5 miles but it doesn't really matter. You are not going to attempt the extra miles with the same energy levels.
The last few games aren't important. What is important is the high levels that Ralph Hasenhuttl is capable of getting out of a team and given some of his own players next season and a full pre-season, it promises to be a fun season for everyone.