Southampton v Huddersfield
Saturday, 23rd December 2017
IBO Reporter : THE BEAST
So, went along to the ground, was quite looking forward to it, don't know why, but it was certainly a change from most of the season when I haven't looked forward to it at all, due to the bloody awful football and tactical cluelessness of the manager we got in to replace the last boring bloke.
I took my father-in-law, in from mainland Europe to see the glories of the Premier league, this usually means we either get thrashed by Chelsea (Hazard always looking superb against us) or it's a boring 0-0, this day would be neither of those things… Whilst it was change, it wasn't necessarily better.
So we started the game set up with Stephens as the right back and no Vermin Van Dick anywhere in sight. Initially we looked quite bright and then there was a period where Fraser Forster kept us in the game with a superb stop from a header.
That was pretty much Huddersfield done for the first half and then we took over. Austin, after having missed a couple of sitters, scored a back post poacher's goal and we went into the end of the first half looking like we should have been 3-0 up but were not (been there, done that etc).
Second half happened and inexplicably somebody didn't mark the huge centre forward who is good in the air and he had a unchallenged header 5 yards out, he wasn't going to miss that and unfortunately didn't.
That was them level, the game ground on and, honestly, either side could have won it, although I think we were the more likely, if we had a goalscorer I mean.
Other notable things that happened, Austin quite blatantly kicked the goalkeeper in the head and for some inexplicable reason didn't get sent off for it. However, just to make sure that he got Christmas & New Year off, he then went on a sprint (pretty unusual, I think you'll agree) and kicked the ball towards the goal (vaguely) and completely stuffed his leg up. It turns out that's him done for the season but he also got a retrospective three-game ban for kicking the goalkeeper anyway, so I think he just went a little too far in his attempts to have a New Year's Eve party to remember.
A few other notables to mention:
Forster was not bad, he just needs to come out a bit more often.
Stephens is the real deal, I like him and I think he's only going to get better
Yoshi and Hoedt are not the most awe inspiring centre back pairing I've ever seen which is worrying.
Wesley's definitely in need of improvement but there is potential there, you can definitely see that.
We don't play as well without Cedric and Bertie, I guess that doesn't really take a genius to say.
Targett needs to play football, proper competitive football, I think he could make it, I think he can be a Premier league left back but he is rusty as feck.
JWP is a better right back now than he used to be and I was quite impressed but he just doesn't have enough pace to play that role properly.
Mario Lemina is turning into some mincing prima donna that doesn't deserve to be on the bench let alone on the pitch, where the hell is that player that arrived from Juventus in the summer?
Davis is waning, that could be a big problem for us, how do you replace the irreplaceable?
I can't be bothered to talk about the crowds whipping boys, except to say that Redders & Susan have their good and their bad points and you take the rough with the smooth or you don't play them at all.
It ended up being 1-1 and there were people around me thinking that wasn't actually a bad thing (thinking that somebody, somewhere, would finally pull the rug from under this hapless manager, because of yet another missed opportunity where we should have stuffed a poor opposition but didn't).
I kind of see where they are coming from but, as yet, there are zero indications that that is going to happen.
Ultimately, the tactics and substitutions remain a bit of a mystery to me, why anybody would leave Lemina on the pitch and take off Davis instead is baffling, especially as Mario was playing awfully.
Gabbiadini has lost his arse, there is no way in our team he is going to do anything any more, and that is both confusing and profoundly disturbing. How do you take an international quality striker who very nearly won the league cup for us last year and disassemble him so completely that at the moment I don't think he could score if he was playing in league one?
There are some really bad things going on at the club, the players are not playing, for themselves or for the fans, if there are tactics going on, they are the wrong ones.
We should have stuffed Huddersfield town, who were, largely ineffectual except that they could take the only chance they created.
A Premier league team they are not, it's worrying to think that maybe also something we can say about us…
Charlie Austin (right), hero and villian
6 Hoedt - Booked 54'
8 Davis (Højbjerg 72')
11 Tadić (Boufal 72')
22 Redmond - Booked 90'
10 Austin (Gabbiadini 79')
33 Hadergjonaj (Smith 61')
23 Quaner - Booked 90'
17 van La Parra (Lolley 61')
20 Depoitre (Mounie 82')
- Austin 24'
- Depoitre 64'
Referee : Lee Probert
Attendance : 29,675
- Southampton 53%
- Huddersfield 47%
- Southampton 12
- Huddersfield 10
Shots on Target
- Southampton 6
- Huddersfield 3
- Southampton 9
- Huddersfield 1
- Southampton 16
- Huddersfield 9