Southampton pre-match

In the 2001 census Southampton and Portsmouth were recorded as being parts of separate urban areas, however by the time of the 2011 census they had merged to become the sixth largest built-up area in England with a population of 855,569. This built-up area is part of the metropolitan area known as South Hampshire, which is also known as Solent City, particularly in the media when discussing local governance organisational changes. With a population of over 1.5 million this makes the region one of the United Kingdom’s most populous metropolitan areas.

Here are a few miscellaneous pieces of trivia about Southampton.

The Mayflower, the famed ship which brought the Pilgrim Fathers to America, actually set sail from Southampton. There were in fact two ships – The Mayflower and The Speedwell, which left Southampton together in early August, 1620.

However, the smaller Speedwell was soon found to be taking on water, so the two ships diverted to Dartmouth for repairs before setting sail again, only for The Speedwell to spring yet another leak. All the passengers then clambered onto The Mayflower and continued on for Cape Cod in New England that September.

God’s House Tower, on the corner of Town Quay, Lower Canal Walk and Platform Road, was the first dedicated artillery fortification built in England. It was constructed in 1417, as part of the drive to fortify Southampton following the French raids some 80 years earlier. The town gunner was paid sixpence a week.

Southampton played a major role in the success of fish fingers. Clarence Birdseye tested herring sticks and cod sticks on shoppers in Southampton and South Wales. The Southampton customers loved the cod sticks, which then became known as fish fingers and rolled out across the country.

Arsenal and Southampton have played against each other 34 times in the Premier League

The record is –

Away – W6, D5, L6, GF23, GA21

Home – W12, D5, L0, GF41, GA 14

Our home record is most impressive not losing a game and winning 80.4% of the points.

I see no reason for this to change and I predict a straightforward 3-0 win.

My prediction for our starting eleven will be –



Subs – Ospina, Gibbs, Holding, Mustafi, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ox.



67 Responses to Southampton pre-match

  1. chas says:

    Cheers, GN5.

    Was never keen on fish fingers.

    Apologies for the gimpy pitch layout. It was done in a rush.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Love the trivia, Gn5 and thanks for a fine match preview. 😀⚽️

    I like your 4-4-2 formation and wouldn’t mind this one to kick off the game.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks GN5
    Wow, what a pathetic history Southampton has. They may as well have not bothered and simply remained a Bronze Age settlement.

    As for their football team. Equally pathetic. Only good player they ever had was Matt Le Tissier, and he was practically French.
    I expect us to thrash them 😀

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas and Ant
    I’m on a Great Western train. Enormous wing backed faux leatherette armchairs complimented by elegant faux titanium look fixtures.
    What’s the bench like on your Great Northern Bastard choof choof?

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    After a few ciders, does Chas make woo woo noises every time you go through a tunnel?

    Catcha later

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Flying visit.

    GN5. Excellent PM and as you know I enjoy a little history about the town and club.

    Unlike chas, I am a big fan of the fish finger (especially the fish finger buttie) though I have not eaten one for perhaps 40 years!

    I expect Santi to start with Elneny reserved for the away tie at PSG.

  7. chas mobile says:

    Obviously not a big fan of the disgusting little things then, BR. 😃

  8. chas mobile says:

    We’re in the car, Micky.
    Stone cold sober at this time in the morning is site.

  9. chas mobile says:

    Site = shite

  10. Rasp says:

    Thanks GN5, a stylish review of our south coast opponents today.

    I’m partial to the odd fish finger although at school the term was often used as a euphemism 🙂

    Two birthdays to celebrate and a strong squad with quality reinforcements – I’m an optimistic Rasp

    I’m not going to predict the outcome as football is a ‘funny old game’ – let’s just hope the best team wins – Arsenal 🙂

  11. LB says:

    I miss those happy Herring Fish Finger days, things have never been the same since Bird’s Eye changed to cod.

    Thanks for the pre-match GN5

    My team would be:


    Bellerin, Mustafi, Kocielny, Monreal


    ——-Cazorla ———- Ozil


    I expect Wenger’s team to be:


    Bellerin, Mustafi, Kocielny, Monreal


    ——-Cazorla ———- Ozil


  12. LB says:

    With my team we win 36 -0

    With Wenger’s team we make hard work of it before finally bringing on the right players and securing the win.

  13. Eddie says:

    Thanks GN5, lovely bit of history
    I had no idea that Southampton and Portsmouth merged, interesting, given their customary neighbourly dislike of each other. I remember times when Pompey were the better team and their local derbys were something to look forward to.

    Righty o, time to catch the train and see that Perez, Xhaka and Mustafi. They’d better be good today, rain no excuse whatsoever

    PS I prefer LB’s team and Perez – Sanchez over Giroud-Iwobi.

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    I did not do justice to the pre match and rushed to get it sent off – my intention was not a 4-4-2 formation, but on reflection I feel that would work.

    As I was writing my son called to inform me that my 7 year old grandson collapsed at school and was unresponsive in an ambulance being rushed to the children’s hospital.

    The school is over 100 years old and has no air conditioning and yesterday the outside temperature was 33c so it must have felt like an oven in his classroom. He remained unresponsive but breathing for 45 minutes before he opened his eyes and smiled at his dad.

    We feel like a very fortunate family as he has come through his ordeal – so yesterday football pre matches suddenly felt immaterial.

  15. LB says:

    Errrr, yeah, that will do as an excuse.

    That is so serious we have to move things back to the frivolity of today’s match.

    I am sure it goes without saying that I am pleased beyond words that your grandson is alive and healthy.

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Wilshere could manage Arsenal one day
    By Rory O’Callaghan

    Last Updated: 10/09/16 10:06am

    Arsene Wenger has backed Jack Wilshere to one day become the manager of Arsenal despite the fact the midfielder has been allowed to leave the Emirates for Bournemouth this season.

    Wilshere is expected to make his competitive debut for the Cherries against West Brom on Saturday after completing a season-long loan move to the south coast on Deadline Day.

    However, Wenger insists the 24-year-old still remains an integral part of his plans and even hopes to see the England international manage the Gunners later in his career.
    Wenger has allowed Wilshere to join Bournemouth on a season-long loan

    “I hope personally that he stays here his whole career,” said Wenger, ahead of Saturday’s match against Southampton.

    “Certainly one day he will be in my [manger’s] seat. He has a real football brain and understands football. You know really, it’s in his genes. I see him in the future at this club of course. He will spend his life in football, he is a football man.

    Arsene Wenger is looking forward to seeing Jack Wilshere play a more advanced role for Bournemouth

    “He has an eye on everybody, it’s in him. You have that or you haven’t got it, but he is a real football man.”

    Wilshere left the Emirates this summer in search of regular first-team football after seeing his Arsenal career grind to a halt after a number of injuries.

    He impressed for Eddie Howe’s side during a friendly against AC Milan last weekend and Wenger is confident the midfielder will continue to excite Bournemouth supporters as he attempts to rebuild his reputation as one of the country’s best young talents.
    The Frenchman insists Wilshere remains a ‘world class’ midfielder

    “If he plays, he will play really well because he cannot play badly,” Wenger said.

    “But the first person to be happy about that, would be me. I do not try to be right, but if I give him out and he plays, I will be more right.
    Three months half price Sky Sports

    Watch live Premier League football, the Ryder Cup and F1

    “What you want more than anything is for a player with his talent to play. In a selfish way, you want him to play for your club but there is a bigger perspective, you want him to play and express his talent.”

    Wenger insists Wilshere remains a “world class” player despite being unable to offer him a regular first-team place this season.
    Former Arsenal captain Thierry Henry talks about midfielder Jack Wilshere’s move to Bournemouth
    Former Arsenal captain Thierry Henry talks about midfielder Jack Wilshere’s move to Bournemouth

    “He has a great footballing brain, and understands everything that is going on on the football pitch. He is most dangerous when you give him the ball in the final third,” Wenger said.

    “We had a chat together and he himself was concerned that he would not get enough competition early enough, because he feels ready to play.”I couldn’t guarantee that, so that’s why [we took] the decision.”

    Wenger also confirmed that he intends to offer the midfielder a contract extension later in the campaign.

    Wilshere is expected to make his competitive debut for Bournemouth against West Brom on Saturday

    “I want him to extend, yes,” said the Frenchman. “I think [talks will start] around December. When I make a decision it is in the best interests of the player and of his interest as well.

    “I try always to combine the interests of the club and the interests of the player. In this case that’s what I try to do. After, sometimes it doesn’t

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you LB – we are very hopeful that there will be no long term issues and right now it sounds as though all is well.

  18. chas mobile says:

    So pleased all OK, GN5.

    Sorry about the 4-4-2, I misunderstood the hyphens and line spacing of the text I was asked to turn into a pitch layout.

  19. GunnerN5 says:

    No problem Chas I realized when I sent it that it may be confusing but I was about to dash off to the hospital and my mind was already elsewhere. I’d intended to add more meat to the post but……………

  20. Good day all

    On route to Finsbury pk 😃 looking forward to the game. Thank you GN5 for the post, all I can think about are fish finger sandwiches, my local pub does delicious ones.

    Catch up later

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    That was a scare for you, GN5. Glad to hear all appears well again.

  22. GunnerN5 says:

    It sure was a scare TA but even more so for my son – he spent the best part of 45 minutes sitting beside his unresponsive son.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Where are all those MU squad lovers now? Out of their depth against a superior MC, even without Aguero. Maureen is hoping for a large dollop of luck already 😀

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    I can’t imagine how long those 45 minutes will have felt, Gn5

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    They must have been excruciating TA.

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    They always end up getting a suspect penalty TA.

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    Man U have been completely outplayed for the first 30 minutes, Man C look awesome.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Gn5. It’s the theatre of screams for the Mancs right now. 😀

    What a player De Bruine is btw. Best Belgian footballer ever?

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    In the theatre of Dreamers they are down 0-2.

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    There is that Maureen dollop… 😳

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Rooney goes down looking for the obligatory penalty but the ref was wise to him.

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Very different use of subs both teams have made two tactical changes before the hour mark, are you watching Arsene?

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    TEAM NEWS: Mustafi and Lucas start

    Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas have been handed their debuts against Southampton at Emirates Stadium.

    Laurent Koscielny partners Mustafi in the centre of defence, while Francis Coquelin steps into midfield alongside Santi Cazorla.

    Lucas leads the line in attack, while Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain start on the wings.

    Arsenal team: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Cazorla, Coquelin, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas

    Arsenal substitutes: Ospina, Holding, Elneny, Xhaka, Iwobi, Alexis, Giroud

    Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source

  34. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m obviously rubbish at picking a starting 11 – I only got 6 right, I fire myself.

  35. fatgingergooner says:

    Always fun watching United get beat. Great game too.

    £90m for Pogba!? I know he’s going to be a great player but today showed exactly why you don’t pay £90m for a central midfield player. It’s the attacking players that win games and deserve the big bucks. Any workhorse could’ve done what he did today.

  36. Big Lebowski says:

    Don’t ever call Southampton & Portsmouth Solent city. this was mooted in the early 70’s but the people who lived between them Fareham and Gosport certainly would not have it. I know my Family lives in fareham

  37. fatgingergooner says:

    Interesting lineup. Looking forward to seeing how Perez and Özil link up. I hope we have enough physicality as looks a little lightweight to me. Hopefully our passing is on point and we use our pace to get behind the likes of Fonte and Van Dijk. Not exactly speedsters are they.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Man City are the cream of the crop and at this point it’s difficult to see them not winning the PL.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    It is between them and us at the end of the season, Gn5. Both teams have the best squads and the best managers in the league. We have to hope that MC will also drop points at home to Liverpool and away to Leicester..

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    Yea they look really Pepped up TA, I wish I could have your level of confidence, maybe our game today will give us a better idea about our prospects. -Off to watch the game.

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsene needs to be bold and swap Perez for Giroud at half time, Perez is off the pace and is not getting enough of the ball.

    We are fortunate to be tied 1-1 The Saints have outplayed us.

  42. fred1266 says:

    Besides the goal have we even gotten a shot on target

  43. Aaron says:

    Ugly win! Three points is three points.
    Kos got and received.
    Tough call, but rule is pull jersey-penalty.
    Onward and upward.

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    Well done ref! I played junior football with him. He was a decent centre forward as a kid. He’s an even better ref though! Haha

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Only seen the result, not the match. Delighted with 3 points.

    Hope the regulars had a fine lunch and enjoyed the game


  46. RA says:

    Well done with the pre-Match, GN5, and for ensuring we won! 🙂

    S/Hampton were a bit unlucky, like the carrack the Mary Rose which sank like a stone in the Solent, altho in their case it was in the final seconds.

    Who cares – 3 points, thank you.

  47. RA says:


    I think there were 17 goal attempts, of which 2 were on target – that is to say the two from which we scored.

    Chas will explain all in his match report. 🙂

  48. Eddie says:

    GN5@1:03 ha ha ha, so much for getting a dodgy pen in a last minute, ey?

    fred – nope, we didn’t. And in that respect I am already disappointed in Perez, he had a couple of good chances and he didn’t take them, he passed on the ball. Some striker.

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    We’ve had 3 pens in 4 games. I think we had 3 in 38 last season! They do say these things even out so maybe we will get a few this year. The refs seem to be looking for any excuse at the moment to give a pen so I’m sure there will be many more.

  50. GunnerN5 says:


    Maybe the worm has turned in our favour 🙂 🙂 🙂

  51. Eddie says:

    maybe 🙂 glad your grandson is ok, nothing worse than a poorly child, breaks your heart.

  52. Eddie says:

    you know what, never mind the very average game (although Southampton were good), I had a terrific day.

    A gentleman bought me delicious lunch ( in great company), then another gentleman gave me an almond desert and eventually I got a lift home from a third gentleman!! I feel so spoiled!!

    and Koscielny and Santi on the scoresheet. Life doesn’t get much better 🙂

  53. chas says:

  54. chas says:

    I didn’t see any gentlemen at the game today.

  55. LB says:

    I’ve got something for tomorrow, should you need?

  56. LB says:

    What on earth does that chart mean? I really don’t have a clue.

  57. LB says:

    It’s good to see the Mourinho melt down is under way.

  58. fred1266 says:

    With Southampton sitting we needed someone like Xhaka

  59. I was just about to write a comment about the game when I saw LB has a post for tomorrow so I shall wait until then.

    Thank you LB

  60. GN5 – glad to hear everything has turned out well for your grandson.

  61. LB says:

    New Post

    A bit earlier than usual, I am out to ride my bike.

  62. Gööner In Exile says:

    I was having far too much fun at Porkstock (celebration of pig and beer) to worry about football, especially when tucking in to Braised Pig Cheek, Fennell and Seaweed Salted Potatoes my phone popped up with a notification that we were 1-0 down and it was a Cech own goal.

    Only looked again on leaving and having consumed around 5 pints of a selection of Norfolk ales. 2-1 looked like a good result so went to sleep.

    Have just watched MOTD and there wasn’t much free flowing football in evidence. Hopefully it will come.

    Fine overhead kick from Lolo, and Santi was very cool.

  63. Eddie says:

    brrrrr…I don’t like pork, no idea why especially as I was brought up on chops. Just grew to hate it, especially the greasy bits. But I am glad you enjoyed it Gie 🙂

  64. mickydidit89 says:

    Quick catch up here
    GN5 Hope all still well with grandson

    Great to see many yesterday

    New Post time

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