team 2012-13

Arsenal 6 -1 Southampton (4-1 HT)

Barclays Premier League

Emirates - Saturday 15th September 2012

Hooiveld 11′ (og)
Podolski 31′
Gervinho 35′, 71′
Clyne 37′ (og)
Walcott 88′
Fox 45′
Ref: Friend
Att: 60,097
Ouch, but I can't say that I am surprised. Disappointed yes, but surprised no.

This first run of four games was always going to be an impossibility, but I did harbour hopes that Saints would get a result out of the Wigan game. As it turned out, Saints were just not at the races then.

You can see the direction the club is moving in and Adkins is nobody's fool, The team is playing in a different formation and bedding in the new signings. It may well turn out to be a masterstroke that the experimentation has been carried out in matches that Saints had no real expectation of winning. Except in the Manchester United match they cam within a handful of minutes of actually winning. Closing out matches is something they need to get to grips with straight away.

So, here we are with some pretty depressing statistics. 4 games, no points, 5 goals for and 14 against. If Saints had managed to keep the ball away from Van Persie in the last ten minutes of the ManU game, then no doubt we would be looking at things with a less jaundiced point of view.

What positives can we take from this game? Well, both Ramirez and Yoshida made their first appearances in Saints shirts. Ramirez in particular seems to have caught the eye of the national papers. That leads me on to a puzzling observation. The Sunday papers seemed to be quite kind to Saints in general, even though it was a 6-1 thrashing. Odd. The Saints fans seem to be more down on the team than anyone else.

It was also slightly distressing to see Buttner making an auspicious debut for Manchester United, including a goal, after his on/off transfer saga of the summer. Would he have made much of a difference in this game? Maybe not and in any case Danny Fox (the player most at risk of being replaced) scored Saints solitary goal.

I have no intention of running through a blow by blow account of what happened, but how many times are you going to see two separate Saints players score two own goals in the same match? Just the one time I hope! For those that are interested, the statistics are here to be looked at, but are really of academic interest only.

What is needed now is for Adkins to talk them through keeping their shape better from the start of the match, not just after half-time, when the match was already effectively lost. When that is done, it really needs the infamous blue line drawn underneath and then to concentrate on the rest of the season. We need Ramirez and Yoshida bedded into the side pronto, as the next game, at home to Aston Villa is not the straightforward fixture it looked at one time. Paul Lambert seems to have instilled some self-belief into the Villa side, but I still reckon that Saints will be more than good enough to turn them over.

Onwards and upwards.

Channonite 19.09.2012

Teams

Arsenal

01 Szczesny
04 Mertesacker
05 Vermaelen
25 Jenkinson
28 Gibbs
08 Arteta
15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
19 Cazorla
22 Coquelin (Ramsey - 67' )
09 Podolski (Giroud - 74' )
27 Gervinho (Walcott - 74' )

Substitutes
24 Mannone
06 Koscielny
11 Santos
14 Walcott
16 Ramsey
23 Arshavin
12 Giroud

Southampton

01 K Davis
02 Clyne
05 Hooiveld (Yoshida - 28' )
06 Fonte
13 Fox
04 Schneiderlin
08 S Davis (Ramirez - 45' )
16 Ward-Prowse
20 Lallana
42 Puncheon
07 Lambert (Rodriguez - 76' )

Substitutes
12 Gazzaniga
03 Yoshida
22 Richardson
10 Ramirez
27 Chaplow
09 Rodriguez
24 Mayuka

Match Stats


Possession
Arsenal 70%
Southampton 30%

Shots
Arsenal 20
Southampton 9

On target
Arsenal 12
Southampton 4

Corners
Arsenal 8
Southampton 3

Fouls
Arsenal 4
Southampton 7