The Saints are Coming – Southampton preview

Southampton come to the Emirates sitting in the bottom three of the Premier League and in desperate need of some points. For Arsenal the fixture comes as the filling in a Moscovian, Europa sandwich. Momentum and confidence are again at stake with League points a bit of an irrelevance.

The Saints’ squad is a bit of a mystery to me (like most of the PL teams, I’m afraid). They still have Shane Long who only ever plays well against us. I also recognise the names of Tadic and Charlie Austin and the ex-chavs player Romeu, but the rest are a roll call of unknowns. Let’s hope it stays that way.

We know all about the Saints ‘new’ manager, the loathsome Mark Hughes. I really don’t understand the home-grown manager merry-go-round. Pardew, Poolis, Fat Sam, Hughes – what is the point of continually employing managers you know will probably let you down in the near future? At least Hughes did play on the South coast when his playing career was in decline, so there is a little history there.

Enough of the opposition, how are we fixed? Mkhitaryan caught a nasty bang on the knee against CSKA and is out for a period. Aubameyang will be keen to build on his recent League form. Aside from those two, it might be a case of shuffling the pack a little to save the more fragile for next Thursday. Chambers will relish playing his old team and Kos needs to rest his dodgy Achilles. Mesut is rarely rested, though the more delicate Rambo may want to continue his recent good run.  Maybe a few others will be rested with Holding, Iwobi, Elneny and Welbeck keen to get some game time. Jack had a really poor night in Europe, but might get another chance in the hope he plays himself into some decent form.


With less pressure on the team we usually perform well, finishing past seasons strongly after all hope of the title has vanished. Some decent finishing to match Thursday’s would be rather nice, though it’s doubtful the Saints will allow us as much space down their flanks.

An Auba hat trick will get the enormous crowd off their feet; though if he scores late on, many will miss it in their rush to get home for Songs of Praise.

Apols for the lacklustre PM (BR is on manoeuvres), though I’d imagine its general CBA-feeling sort of captures the unbridled enthusiasm for this particular fixture. 🙂



139 Responses to The Saints are Coming – Southampton preview

  1. Eddie says:

    CBA feeling, I had to google 🙂

  2. chas says:

    We’re on the train, Eddie, so I’m looking forward to my day.
    As usual, the football is secondary. 🙂

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Motning and thanks Chas

    I’d imagine people leaving at half time to get a front row pew for Songs of Praise 🙂

    Team selection. I would not want to see Mesut play today.

  4. Eddie says:

    Ha ha ha, the binge begins earlier each season 😀 2 pm KO and you are already on the move, honestly
    I’m off to church, speak later

    Post is very funny, mark Hughes and the history had me giggling

  5. Eddie says:

    Oh yeah, the songs of praise classic 😊

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah, sorry Chas, just read you’re a goer today, so for your sake, I hope Mesut starts

  7. VP of Oz says:


  8. mickydidit89 says:


    Steady on, anyone would think this was a must-win-game 🙂

    It isn’t

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    Yikes, what’s the news on Miki

  10. Ant says:

    How are you Freddie darling?

  11. Ant says:

    Eddie has invited you to a party in Cuffley, can you make it F?

  12. Eddie says:

    And how about ‘How are you Eddie darling?’
    I’m fine thank you

  13. Eddie says:

    Eddie is in Poland, 24 degrees already

  14. chas says:

    So, are we all excited about the match?

  15. Ant says:

    Is this you in disguise Fredster?

  16. Ant says:

    How’s Polska oh gorgeous one?

  17. Ant says:

    You’ve scared Fred off Edster

  18. chas says:

    Frederick wouldn’t need to be in the upper tier with a neck that long

  19. Ant says:

    We’re going to the FFB Fredster, do you remember it?

  20. chas says:

    Fred asked everyone in the FFB if they were Ants – apart from us!

  21. Ant says:

    We’re having a train party! Cloudy strongbow, 6.5% ale, magnets, steinhauser german pilsner, Modello italian piss and Jameson’s Irish whiskey from the hip flask so far..
    Partisan nasturtium, Wainwright’s golden, more cloudy and more Jameson’s to come..
    Hi hip hooray

  22. Eddie says:

    Polska is fine, thanks. Strangely though there is hardly any talk of footy. They would show on TV Ronald’s goal, shenanigans in Liverpool, red manc winning last night, but not much of the polish games. It was different – we were only allowed to see local games and internationals. Good old days

  23. chas says:

    Can you put up a photo of your Mum pretending to celebrate a Lewandowski goal please?

  24. Eddie says:

    Get lost, she’s past it. Poor she-devil couldn’t go to church so she is watching on her tablet and singing, I had to leave the room 😀😀

  25. VP of Oz says:


  26. chas says:

    Ah, poor Mamma. Give her our love.

  27. Ant says:

    We love you VP we do..

  28. Eddie says:

    I’ve just asked her is she remembers who’s Lewandowski. She actually joked “ice skater”

  29. Ant says:

    Is that an electronic tablet or a medicinal one Ed?

  30. Eddie says:

    I was disappointed yesterday with red man she win, but I had to admit that football is an amazing game, anything can happen. I guess that’s why we keep on going/watching and hoping. Can we still win the league this season?

  31. Eddie says:

    Red mancs’

  32. Eddie says:

    State of the art Samsung, she loves it. Not as much as Peaches’ mum loves her iPad, but close

  33. Ant says:

  34. Ant says:

    Where’s the Indian beaded lovely?

  35. Ant says:

    And where’s Georgie entertainer watching the game today GIE?

  36. Ant says:

    What’s your mum’s singing like Eddie?

  37. Ant says:

    We’re on the slow train today stopping at East Midlands Parkway, Beeston, Loughborough, Leicester, Market Harboro, Kettering, Mister Bedford, Luton Airport Parkway, Grimsby and London St P. Happy days!

  38. Eddie says:

    Shocking Ant, simply shocking 😂

  39. LB says:


    What time can you get there today, I need to know what time they can kick off?

  40. Ant says:

    I love it when people sing out of tune

  41. Ant says:

    Micky says that ko is at 12.30!

  42. Ant says:

    Excitement on the train..a claustrophobic lady just got stuck in the shitter!

  43. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, I agree, it’s hard to get too excited about today’s game. I expect there will be a few empty seats on such a dreary day but more opportunities for Auba to show how much better he is performing than the dog botherer.

    Enjoy the beer guys and gals, and I hope there is some supplementary entertainment on the pitch for you all 🙂

  44. Rasp says:

    BBC ….

    Arsenal make seven changes from the team that beat CSKA Moscow 4-1 on Thursday. Mesut Ozil is one of those who drops to the bench. There is a first league start for 18-year-old Reiss Nelson.

    Four changes for Southampton as Shane Long leads the line for Mark Hughes’ team.

  45. VP of Oz says:

    ESPN –
    Man City the greatest Premier League side ever? That’s an insult to Man United and Arsenal.
    ManShitty will likely end the season with the title and League Cup, just like they did in 2014, United in 2009 and Chelsea in 2005.

    The greatest Premier League team in history is a straight fight between two sides, depending on your allegiance. Manchester United not only won it in 1999, they did so as part of an unprecedented Treble, maintaining a previously unseen quality at such a demanding level in the three competitions that matter most. Arsenal can quite rightly argue their 2004 vintage tops the list, going through an entire season without tasting defeat, all the while playing gorgeous football that was the envy of England. On what level can this Manchester City side compete with those achievements?

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Chambers, Kolasinac, Elneny, Xhaka, Nelson, Welbeck, Iwobi, Aubameyang

    Subs: Macey, Lacazette, Wilshere, Ozil, Holding, Monreal, Nketiah

    I see Cech has been demoted 🙂

  47. RA says:

    Hi Ant,

    Listen I told you before — “Excitement on the train..a claustrophobic lady just got stuck in the shitter!” — you have to invite them in — not grab any passing claustrophobic lady who happens to pass you like the funnel web spider does to innocent flies minding their own business.

    Anyway — standards are slipping — where are your photos of the booze – sandwiches etc? 😀

  48. RA says:

    Hi Micky,

    Did you mean ‘Ospina has been demoted” — or is playing for Arsenal a demotion for Cech? 🙂

  49. RA says:

    The EL has to be the priority at the moment – but today’s team looks a little lightweight.

  50. fred1266 says:

    Am great ants hoping for a aubameyang hatrick today to help my fantasy side

    How things with you

  51. fred1266 says:

    Of course I can just send me plane ticket

  52. fred1266 says:

    No not dark enough

  53. fred1266 says:

    Yea I remember it ants really small place and very poor WIFI how can I forget

  54. fred1266 says:

    No I think I was in FFB before you came cause a drunk bloke decided to go around calling chas name but off course he didn’t answer

  55. Rasp says:

    RA … Ospina is injured … out for approx. 3 weeks

  56. fred1266 says:

    LB hope you not waiting on chas he is always late

  57. fred1266 says:

    Shouldn’t lacazette be starting to get match fitness

  58. fred1266 says:

    Does jenkinson still play for us

  59. mickydidit89 says:


    You know exactly what I meant 🙂

  60. RA says:

    Afternoon, Rasper,

    I refer your 2:11 to Micky’s 2:23. And he was right. 😀

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    like watching Nelson

  62. Rasp says:

    Familiar pattern so far … we’ve had all the possession … they’ve had all the shots 🙄

  63. RA says:

    The Ems’ looks pretty sparsely populated today — rather proving one of GB’s points — not sure which one, of course.

    Poor old Iwobi is in a trough. He can be a good player but he is playing like a one legged centipede today.

  64. Rasp says:

    This is the way the BBC see it … is it accurate?

    “Southampton are looking really sharp here. Leaving Arsenal no space when the home side inevitably control possession, and already they’ve had three very decent openings on the counter. Impressive start.”

  65. RA says:

    Mustafi the plonker!!

  66. Rasp says:

    Oops .. 1 nil down …. same old, same old ….. way past time for a change 😦

  67. fatgingergooner says:

    Let’s take all our creative players out of the team and watch as we go side to side for 90 minutes.

  68. fatgingergooner says:

    With this line up the last thing we could afford was a stupid mistake for a goal. Absolutely nobody in our line up capable of doing what Özil or Ramsey do for us.

  69. Rasp says:

    Arsenal 70% possession …0 shots

    Saints 30% possession …. 5 shots

    How often have we seen stats like that over the last 5 years

  70. RA says:


    I was watching the slow, side to side, then backwards ‘tactic’ leading to us losing the ball — time after time — until I realised I had been watching the grass grow and I can tell you it grew 1mm in the first 20 minutes.

    It increases my respect for Ant and Duck who go to the games come what may — and now they have an Auba goal to celebrate. 😀

  71. fred1266 says:

    Nice past from welbeck

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s better

  73. fred1266 says:

    Welbeck made a great mesut impersonation

  74. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t care about the deflection, that’s good for Danny. Nice 🙂

  75. fred1266 says:

    Don’t forget the pass from Iwobi who knew he had it in him

  76. Rasp says:

    That’s better …. I get called away for 20 mins and we go 2:1 up ….. how are we playing?

  77. Rasp says:

    Who’s going to do the ‘Cone Report’ when the players come back on the pitch … I want details …. who skipped and who didn’t ….

  78. fred1266 says:

    Someone please call rasp again

  79. fred1266 says:

    Have they forgotten how to pass

  80. fred1266 says:

    Wilshere has been horrible

  81. fred1266 says:

    Thanks danny

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Good lad Danny
    Turning into a purists delight 🙂

  83. fred1266 says:

    Who doing post match please give wilshere a 0

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Well…there we go. 5 goals, three points. Ok.

  85. Rasp says:

    2 red cards 🙄

  86. Rasp says:

    I’m reading that it was harsh on Elneny …..

  87. Eddie says:

    What did elneny do? I couldn’t see it

  88. Eddie says:

    Fred – I’ll give you a zero. Jack had a great assist for a great miss by welbeck

  89. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for the post chas and thanks to those that commented yesterday. Wasnt about later in the day.

    Post match report:

    3 points gratefully accepted in a game that surprisingly produced 5 goals despite really being a rather dire affair punctuated by frequent offerings of sloppy football. Goals aside by far the best entertainment was the bad tempered clashes near the end complete with the Welsh toad adopting a permanent facial expression of someone wanting to start a pub fight.

  90. fred1266 says:

    Yea then he got elneny sent off and before that his poor tackling caused the equaliser probably zero is to much for him

  91. Ant says:

    Another win, another 3 goals.. beer, fun what is there not to like?

  92. Ant says:

    Thanks for your in game comments Fred but where were you in the pub?

  93. LB says:

    Elneny slapped an oppo round the face, no doubt red card

  94. Ant says:

    Cones-tastic – photo to follow

  95. Ant says:

    Bless him

  96. Ant says:


  97. chas says:

    He deserved a slap though, surely.
    I thought it was harsh.

  98. Ant says:

    To more important matters, What about the giraffe Fred?

  99. Ant says:

    And Eddie can provide you with an air ticket, just tell her when you are available?

  100. Ant says:

    And proof that you exist? As she has been caught out before by internet dating and scams about giraffes?

  101. Ant says:

    I missed most of the match as I was having a wee

  102. fred1266 says:

    Was walking around ants

  103. fred1266 says:

    Wasn’t a slap looked more like a push

  104. fred1266 says:

    Peeing for 90 minutes think u should get that checked

  105. Ant says:

    Have you not heard how much I drank Fred?

  106. Eddie says:

    Yuk – giroud on

    Class is permanent. I didn’t know Hernandez was playing for WH. He might be Moyes’s boy, but he can score, what a nice goal

  107. Eddie says:

    Joao Mario leaving the pitch 😬😬😬 had to be pushed 😬 Brilliant time wasting

  108. Eddie says:

    Decking Giroud almost scored

  109. chas says:

    Decking Firoud always nearly scores.

  110. Eddie says:

    No, sometimes he actually does

    How was the game? I watched on dodgy stream. A friend phoned to tell me Welbeck scored – it was on my screen 4 mins later, almost live transition

    How many attended?

  111. LB says:

    Any player in Hugh’s side deserves a slap, dems the rules.

  112. LB says:

    Me, Ant and Chas for sure, there may have been one or two more.

    Good fun game though, smart team choice as it meant something to the players who were out there.

  113. Rasp says:

    Yea ….. but what about the cones?

  114. chas says:

  115. chas says:

  116. chas says:

  117. chas says:

  118. chas says:

  119. chas says:

  120. Eddie says:

    ffs Welbeck! Look at his celebrations after 3rd goal – what do his gestures mean? Look at me, I just cannot help scoring! God!

  121. Eddie says:

    Laurent – face like a slapped arse
    Spider –, what precision!

    Bees are full of tricks too. They find food, take a sample, fly back to the hive for others to taste and if her sisters like the food the dance begins. The foraging girl dances to tell others where is the yummie stuff with scientific precision she guides them using the position of the sun, taking into account time of her return flight

  122. LB says:

    Iwobi did really well for Welbeck’s second, I expect young Alex to start on Thursday in place of Mikhtaryan.

  123. mickydidit89 says:

    I expect young Danny to start on Thursday in place of Mikhi 🙂

    (that’ll be Elneny nailed on then 🙄 )

  124. fred1266 says:

    I am one of the people who criticises, Iwobi yes he had a good game but surely welbeck has to be mkhitaryan replacement LB

  125. LB says:

    The only reason I thought Iwobi was that he can play on the right where as Welbeck can’t.

    I must admit I didn’t think too carefully about it.

    OK, we would have


    Bellerin, Mustafi, Kos, Monreal.



    Iwobi, Lacazzette, Welbeck.

    Looks a bit top heavy……….

  126. mickydidit89 says:

    4-1 up from home
    Now the standard away drill
    Keep it tight. Silence the crowd. Hit them on the break
    Come home

    So LB’s team, with Elneny instead of Iwobi allowing Ramsey a bit higher

  127. LB says:

    I think you are more likely to be right than me.

  128. mickydidit89 says:

    unlikely 🙂

  129. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, Ants is going to have to up his game

  130. chas says:


  131. chas says:


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