team 2012-13

Southampton 3 - 1 Man City

Barclays Premier League

St. Mary's - Saturday 9th February 2013

Puncheon 7'
Davis 22'
Barry 48' OG
Dzeko 39'
Ref: Atkinson
Att: 31,738
The Beast (AKA Crash), covered this far better than I could have done, before I had even got home from the match!

channonite

Match Report

As you will know if you read my postings before the game I was a little worried about this, mainly because we had three first choice defenders out (I thought). Then, I got to the ground and eventually saw the team sheets, there were surprises on both sides (at least for me).

Fox was playing instead of Shaw, not really a surprise there as Batts saw him wandering about in West Quay before the game and reported to us beauties the same, Clyne was playing which was more than a relief to me and Ramirez had been replaced by Davis, not sure what to make of that but I was willing to give it a go.

My biggest surprise though came with the revelation held within the Manchester city team sheet, that being that they actually only needed three defenders and a jobbing midfielder to hold
us at bay, it was at that point that I announced to the entire bobby Stokes that we would smash them and Mancini was a twat for not doing even basic research onus.

There was a few raised eyebrows but let’s see what the players did?

Player Ratings:
Boruc: I like mad Arthur, did I say that before? Anyway, he is looking fitter, still doesn’t exactly fly across his goalmouth but certainly does the job and looks the part that we hoped he would. Apart from the goal, where actually I didn’t think he could have done much more (although I couldn’t really see it clearly I admit), I thought he was very good and his defenders look like they know they can rely on him which is half the job done for a goalkeeper. Not really very tested but when he was, in my opinion, did well enough and was even seriously cheeky without putting us in danger. 7/10, feck Butland, We’ve Got Mad Arthur!

Yoshida: this guy was superb today, a real candidate from man of the match, quick, smart, percentage defensive football at its best, no chances taken and no significant feck ups. He really gets going when he runs, I don’t think I really realised until today the fact that this guy is quite quick. Uses both feet and is aggressive and intelligent, his passing is also getting significantly better and he made some very useful and accurate passes up from the back during this game. 9/10, looking more comfortable with Jos and I think, contrary to popular belief, could prove to be our buy of the season.

Hooiveld: did really well today, didn’t look fazed and coped very well, made a couple of very excellent tackles and looked much more like the Jos we all remember from last year. Saying that, this was agame that suited him, he is obviously one of those defenders that plays well against certain types of forwards, it worked for him today and a really good 8/10.

Clyne: I was incredibly glad to see his name on the team sheet and, after watching Richardson flap about (to be fair to Richardson, he has had very little, if any,first-team football this year and he is clearly not quite on the pace) on the right wing after Foxy got injured I was even more glad. Much more determined and attacking, working very well with puncheon and generally being that extra offensive player that our system demands he is, very good 8/10, especially for swapping over to the left and, with the help of lallana, keeping the Brazilian right back quiet for the last 20 minutes.

Fox: initially looked a bit hesitant, not particularly unexpected with his lack of first-team football, a couple of times played us into trouble but pretty much help to get us out of it again so I will let him off as I’m sure he’s trying to impress with the absence of Shaw.Generally, because he was left on his own against sometimes three city players(I’m looking at you Rodriguez) I think he did okay, a real shame he pulled up and I hope it’s not too serious as we have no real idea about when Shaw might get back. 7/10, he would have got an eight if he had finished the game in the same way he started the second half.

Puncheon: did brilliantly, made his own goal by robbing a dithering city player and then capitalising on a series of defensive feck ups (much more Southampton-esque than city-esque, at least I’m sure it will be when the TV pundits have finished describing it). Provides much more defensive cover than Rodriguez on the other side, consequently also making Clyne and the right side of our defence happy bunnies. 8/10, really good and only substituted because he was clearly knackered.

Steve Davis: started relatively anonymously and then began to get into the game, I can’t help watching him and thinking he’s a player whose game would benefit from him being at least 6 foot but, his lack of aerial prowess notwithstanding, did very well and gobbled up that little Joe Hart cock up nicely. Still room for improvement but a reasonably effective Ramirez substitute, which surprised me mightily I have to say.

Schneiderlin: started off like a feather duster,that lasted about three minutes and then he was just great. There is no way the quality of this guy is going to stay quiet for very much longer, I would be massively surprised if we didn’t receive some serious bids for him in the summer whichever league we’re playing in, and the way he’s playing and the way we’re playing it will be the premier league that’s for sure. I thought he was slightly less influential than I have seen him but, by no means the weak link in our midfield. 8/10, I’m starting to get behind the idea maybe he should be the captain, he was much more voluble to the execrable referee than Rickie was the entire game, Morgan for captain I say.

Cork: days like today make me remember the beginning of the season and the lack of dynamism Southampton exhibited, what a bonus to have a player like this in our midfield, if he could only look even vaguely like he could score a goal he would be first on the team sheet for England let alone anyone else. Very very good, very very effective and, despite obviously being nearly out on his feet at the end, still running and closing down whenever he could. 9/10, ineffective in places but just so influential in our entire game, man of the match for me.

Schneiderlin: started off like a feather duster,that lasted about three minutes and then he was just great. There is no way the quality of this guy is going to stay quiet for very much longer, I would be massively surprised if we didn’t receive some serious bids for him in the summer whichever league we’re playing in, and the way he’s playing and the way we’re playing it will be the premier league that’s for sure. I thought he was slightly less influential than I have seen him but, by no means the weak link in our midfield. 8/10, I’m starting to get behind the idea maybe he should be the captain, he was much more voluble to the execrable referee than Rickie was the entire game, Morgan for captain I say.

Cork: days like today make me remember the beginning of the season and the lack of dynamism Southampton exhibited, what a bonus to have a player like this in our midfield, if he could only look even vaguely like he could score a goal he would be first on the team sheet for England let alone anyone else. Very very good, very very effective and, despite obviously being nearly out on his feet at the end, still running and closing down whenever he could. 9/10, ineffective in places but just so influential in our entire game, man of the match for me.

Lambert: he was very good today, incredibly unselfish and only disappointed me in that he didn’t get his 100thgoal for the club whilst I was watching and willing him to. Clever, insightful,skilful, seemingly even fitter than he was, it’s just such a shame this guy came to the right level of football so late in his career, it’s a shame for him and for England because he is a super player. 9/10, he might be slow (well actually, I think he’s getting quicker) but he is awesome.

Rodriguez: well, I’m kind of torn, going forward he is a much improved article, more attacking and much more acceleration and directness than he used to exhibit. Bottled it when confronted with Joe Hart,good job Punch was there to get us out of jail, saying that, made some brilliant runs and kept going right to the end even though his legs were obviously falling off. 8/10, but only if you please please please learn to cover your left back, it would really help him and us and you will still be the next Rickie Lambert (if you think you are big enough to fill those boots?)

Substitutes:

Lallana: nice to see him back and he looked sharper and fitter than he usually does when returning from injury, possibly a good indication of the effectiveness of pooch’s fitness regime, not sure but looked sharper and ran very well and effectively for the time he had. Obviously hasn’t quite got his Eye for goal back yet as there was a couple of opportunities where he could have had a go but didn’t, he may have taken those previously, I suspect he will in the future. 7/10, a good stint and nice to see him back and playing effectively for the team again.

James Ward-Prowse: came on for a while, absolutely the right substitution giving us the energy we were starting to lose, still learning but looked very good and made a couple of really good tackles at good times. Still couldn’t successfully cut out the threat from the man city right but did well in the time allowed and still clearly one for our future, the next Cork but with scoring ability? 7/10.

Richardson: came on as a substitute for Fox, looked off the pace and desperately in need of game time to even look like he was able to play at this level. Now I’m not saying he can’t, just that he was obviously very rusty, time will tell I guess? 6/10, nothing like as effective as I would have hoped he would be and Kolarov tore him a couple of new ones but, we didn’t concede so I guess you can’t ask for more after that win.

Conclusion:

how anybody playing any team in the Premier league can do this little research on their opposition astounds me,I know I’m not an expert and I’m just a jobbing columnist but even I know more about opposition teams than Man City and their management team seem to.

This was arrogant of them to come here and try to play us with what they did, the system was wrong, the players were wrong and they were clearly not up for it. In fact they did better with their substitutes on than they did with their first team which should tell you how poorly they were set up to start with.
Anyway, enough of their wrongness and some of our rightness, we were set up as always although we didn’t have access to the mercurial Ramirez it didn’t seem to make much difference, we overran them and they just couldn’t cope with the pressure.

We played some lovely football and but for some dire refereeing, and don’t let’s beat around the bush here, it was fecking terrible, if I got paid to be that bad at my job never even see a bus in London let alone be able to get on one! Some shocking decisions, even the five minutes extra time at the end was ridiculous, not because we looked like we were in danger of losing anything at that point, we really didn’t, just because I couldn’t figure out where the hell that kind of time came from?
Anyway, as I said before,arrogance and injuries did for man city just as much as our tactics and fitness did, they gave this game to us and thankfully, we managed to take it with both hands and even say thank you.

Much respect to the Man City fans who were singing that we were going to stay up long before the end of the match, unless they were being ironic in which case they can kiss my arse.

The new Southampton, the press may well say this is Adkins team doing what they did before, if they do they clearly don’t know anything at all about football, this was a completely different Southampton, same personnel, completely different heartbeat, no comparison.

I’m not sure this kind of game will work against everyone but I find myself without any negatives to say about the management or the decisions during the game and that is something I cannot say I have experienced much in the last five years of Southampton football club let alone before that. The Nige is dead, Long Live the King

Crash 09.02.2013

Teams

Southampton

31 Boruc
02 Clyne
03 Yoshida
05 Hooiveld
13 Fox (Richardson - 71' )
04 Schneiderlin
08 S Davis (Ward-Prowse - 80' )
18 Cork
42 Puncheon (Lallana - 61' )
07 Lambert Booked
09 Rodriguez

Substitutes
01 K Davis
15 Forren
22 Richardson
16 Ward-Prowse
20 Lallana
27 Chaplow
19 Lee

Man City

01 Hart
05 Zabaleta
06 Lescott (Kolarov - 66' )
22 Clichy Booked
08 Nasri (Milner - 55' )
14 Garcia
18 Barry
21 Silva (Maicon - 73' )
42 Y Toure Booked
10 Dzeko
16 Aguero

Substitutes
30 Pantilimon
03 Maicon
13 Kolarov
28 K Toure
07 Milner
11 Sinclair
17 Rodwell

Match Stats

Possession
Southampton 51%
Man City 49%

Shots
Southampton 13
ManCity 7

On target
Southampton 7
Man City 4

Corners
Southampton 6
Man City 6

Fouls
Southampton 9
Man City 13