Southampton. Match Report and Player Ratings

A few years ago one of our bloggers (I think it was Kelsey) wrote a match report without having seen any of the game. Sometimes this is for the best. The second half of yesterday’s game was certainly a case in point.

At least our game had goals; the two other “Season Defining”  (according to Sky) games played yesterday afternoon were snooze-fests with only one shot on target in both games!! Call that entertainment? The only talking point were the Chav’s hissy fits, which were hugely enjoyable.


So … we kicked off. Played some fine football for 20 minutes. Ramsey made his presence felt, Iwobi entertained. Two defensive lapses, some clinical finishing and we were two up. I could stop here because until Auba came on it was a dull watch.

In the second half it was difficult to tell which team was in the relegation zone, we created nothing, S’ton created nothing. Auba’s arrival saw an injection of pace and he could have scored a couple. Ozil made a few lovely moves – one pass to free Auba, off the outside of his boot, was wonderfully creative.

A calf injury (?) to Licht could be costly. We created nothing down the right with Mhiki making little impact apart from his goal. Who knew that Bellerin was such an important player?

No Suarez. Why did we sign him?

Player Ratings:

Leno: Little to do but made one superb save near the end.   7

Lichtsteiner: Had little work defensively. Created nothing and his link play with Mhiki needs work.     5

Mustafi. Played well. I feared the worst when Austin came on, but our CB’s stopped S’ton from creating a single clear chance.      7

Sokratis:: Another solid game. I love that he is first in when there is a rumpus, almost TA-esque.    7

Kolasinac: His link play with Iwobi improves. Had little work to do defensively. 103 touches – the most in the team   6

Xhaka: Solid. Made 2 key passes at 90+% accuracy.    7

Torreira. Busy as always yet didn’t have his usual influence. Rusty?    7

Ramsey. Deserved the ovation he received when subbed.  Worked hard.     8

Mhki. Not one of his best afternoon’s. Had he not scored I would not have known he was playing. A point for the goal     6

Iwobi. Very pleased he tries the outlandish. He is the one player with a touch of the Kanu about him. Faded in the second half     7

Lacazette. Led the line, battled, scored. 5 shots, 4 aerial battles won.My MotM.  8

Koscielny. Came on for Licht. Ran about    6

Ozil. Just a few minutes but we improved offensively.  He has to start.   7

Auba. Could have scored a couple against a tiring defence. Bad luck or bad finishing?   6

Written by Big Raddy



61 Responses to Southampton. Match Report and Player Ratings

  1. RC78 says:

    Great Post as always.
    I think Leno, Kola, Xhaka, Iwobi, Laca were our best players per line.

    Kola was everywhere and the others fought well.

    An average performance that could have gone wrong if we conceded the first goal but a win is a win and we re back in top 4. Let s keep pushing.

  2. chas says:

    Thanks, BR.

    Like you I loved the first twenty minutes as viewed through my beer goggles. I don’t remember the rest of the first half being that outstanding as seen from the lower tier. (Maybe the full stop should have come after ‘….remember the rest of the first half’.) 🙂

    Sneaked upstairs at half time and saw the lovely Peaches, sat in the row behind her, then had a snooze for the second half. Auba seemed hell bent on passing when in decent shooting positions and then cocking up the passes.

    Had a great day out in the scorching February North London sunshine. A seat outside at the Twelve Pins made a nice change. The right result, three points and 4th place to boot. Lovely.

  3. LB says:

    I see things slightly differently.

    We played pretty well and I kept asking myself, is it us or are Southampton just rubbish but we have played lesser teams and played much worse so my conclusion was that things were better but Why?

    The answer that I came up with was — Mkhitaryan; he was not that special obviously but he did offer something down the right which is more than having just Lichtsteiner down there or unfortunately AMN who has been next to ineffective on that flank, so the bar is very low, low enough for Mkhitaryan to easily jump over and that is what he did.

    What he does that is not spoken about is spread the opposition’s defence; he forces attention to be switched to the right which frees up just that much more space for Kolasinac and Iwobi to become much more effective down the left.

    So, no Mkhitaryan means no Kolasinac or Iwobi, can you see it?

    This is pretty much why when there are posts with polls asking for our first choice of new signing, my answer is aways right sided attacker, not I emphasise right sided wing back, we already have Bellerin and it would be a waste having someone of a similar quality sitting on the bench for the best part of the season, this assumes obviously that Hector will be fit for the best part of next season, which is reasonable and therefore resources should be focused else where and for me the priority is again right sided attack.

    Mkhitaryan is good but he is not that good and we should easily be able to upgrade that position.

    All a bit tactical mumbo jumbo but hey ho

    Thanks for the read BR

  4. Kay says:

    Did you watch the match or listened to commentry? Ramsey 8 and Laca that squandered chances your motm? I guess you watch again.

  5. RA says:

    Well done, Chas, that Post gave the flavour of a beer sozzled fans view of the game — or the bit when you were still awake. 😃

    One point you made about Aubamalamadingdong struck a chord with me. To be honest I cannot quite make my mind up about him.

    On the one hand he is, by Arsenal standards, a goal scoring master, up there with Henry for the goals scored on average per game, while on the other hand he manages to miss so many other much easier chances.

    In some games, like Micky McTarin, he seems to be absolutely invisible and has little impact on play, and his passing is very Theo like — barn door etc.

    And yet, those goals makes him first on the team sheet for me.

    I suspect everyone else will tell me I am talking thru your cocked hat — ‘come in #54’ — and will tell me I don’t know what I am talking about — and if it helps I agree in advance they are probably correct.🥺

    Doh – just realised that BR wrote the Post and I thought I better rewrite the opening of my comment, but Raddy likes his Italian beverages, so I am leaving it on the grounds it is probably not far off 😳

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks very much, Erik

    So glad you included the subs, as I had no idea who was on the bench. I’m with you on the Suarez signing, but to be charitable, I’m going with the “taking time to settle in” line for the time being, although I would add that at age 25 he ought to be better from the tiny amount I’ve seen of him.

  7. mickydidit89 says:


    100% agree with your right sided analysis. Fine point

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Go fuck yourself, you rude bastard

    Happy sunny monday to the rest of you 🙂

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Kay is entitled to his/her opinion even if it is wrong.

    LB. I agree about the right sided attacker and I guess so does UE, which is why he signed Suarez.

    Mhki is our second highest earner and I expect far more from him. Yes, he gives width and leads defenders astray but we have nothing coming from the right especially given the limitations of our RB’s (ex-Hector).

  10. LBG says:

    Thanks BR
    Only significant disagreement for me was grading for Leno, whose three stops/saves were excellent and on another day could have changed the day dramatically. Also Kola was my MOM.
    Agree absolutely about Micky input on the right and believe last three games has had a good first half hour. Difficulty perhaps is sustaining it for full 90, even 60.
    Likewise with your question marks on Aubang. Goalscorer under the right circumstances, but if he had Laca’s drive, competitiveness, would be closer still to real World class. Was interested that both missed chances that could/ should in case of Laca, have been converted because they came to ‘wrong’ foot.

  11. RA says:

    Another thought that occurs to me, partly inspired by LB’s comment about MikiMcTosh is that we have mostly concentrated on pining for an improved defence – on the assumption that the attack is OK.

    The truth is that we could do with a bit of a right sided mid/attack upgrade, and AMN in midfield is not it – at least at the moment.

    That makes me wonder, why we (and other clubs) still try to recruit players in January?

    Auba gets a tick for his goals, but Mikimouseattack does not quite do it for me, Sanchez has been rubbish for Manure, and now one has to ask ‘what is the point of Suarez?’ — in fairness in the latter case it is a bit early to judge, but ……

    Things have changed around a bit at Arsenal — where we used to be famous for playing our promising youth players — that is no longer the case — Iwobi and AMN are not really youth age – and Douzimakusi was not our youth team player.

    Who would I go for? NKetiah (and not just warming his bum on the bench) Nelson, Medley, Bola, Smith-Rowe, Willock, Sheaf and Gilmour.

    Not all at once, but give them their chance — ‘Puddle, Manure and even Citeh have a sprinkling, altho they have better quality senior players than we do.

  12. RA says:

    Hi LBG,

    Glad that someone else agrees with me. Doesn’t happen a lot! 😂

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    My words do not represent the blog and should be read as a strictly personal view. Kay is rude, so I don’t care what its opinion is. No excuse for bad manners

    Apologies to you as it’s your post. I’ll try to behave 🙂

  14. mickydidit89 says:


    And that bloke, Saka?, who looked superb

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers BR, good to have you back.
    That was a very good first half by the team, with a good tempo, concentration levels and lots and lots of attacking movement by Laca, Iwobi, Rambo and Mkhi. But most of all it was a demonstration of central midfield football by our own Laurel and Hardy, Simon and Garfunkel, etc: Xhaka-Torreira. Watch the first 45 mins again and just focus on Xhaka and Torreira, how they bossed a good Saints’ midfield, supported defence and produced through/diagonal balls for fun (especially from the Swiss maestro).It has been a long time since we had such a complete DM-pivot couple, and it is through the full complementation of the Uruguayan and Swiss’ skills and qualities that this duo does so well together.

    But I also like to reiterate that the movement and passing between the four attackers was sublime during those first 45 minutes, and midfielders bloody love this. Iwobi was solid. 🙂

  16. VP of Oz says:

    i watched the game and listened to the commentary. My thoughts at the time was, why is the commentary so shit (which is my thoughts most games).
    As for the game itself, very good, I’d say running on 65%, getting ready for the next 2 games.
    I expect Ozil to start as captain.
    Bring it on

  17. VP of Oz says:

    ok, Ive just unlocked a gravatar. exhausted

  18. allezkev says:

    Saka is quality, he is also versatile having played full back and wing forward for the academy.

    Another who looks very promising is Amaechi, a very tricky right winger who has bundles of ability. Injured for the early part of the season or I think we would have seen him in the League Cup.

  19. LB says:

    I agree with Micky’s view on Kay…….lol

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi Kev

    Re Saka and the right attack area, do you think we’ll recall Reiss Nelson from Hoffenheim next season

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    I wouldn’t agree with me on that one if I were you 🙂

  22. allezkev says:

    Hi Mick

    Not sure, the club needs to raise funds for transfers next summer and if we got a big offer for Nelson, Raul might be tempted to cash in as he knows we have Saka and Amaechi in the wings.
    Also if we sign Suarez, where does Reiss fit in?

    I’d hate to see us turn into Chelsea and Man City in regard of developing youngsters just to sell them, but that seems to be the modern way…

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks for your sleepy game summary Chas.

    If we give either Spurs or United the amount of chances Bournemouth created then it will not be very pretty resul

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas there is a new post in the mail.

  25. chas says:

    Thanks for the post, GN5.

    BR wrote today’s post.

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    Sorry BR – it’s obviously me who’s sleepy…………………nice post.

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, didn’t realise about this week’s fixtures

    Weds: Arsenal Bournemouth and Chelsea Spurs!!
    Sat: NLD

    Could be a big week if things go our way and we do our bit

  28. fred1266 says:

    I know bellerin would be an important plays

    Also you forget to mention Leno superb save on Redmond at 0-0

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s it. Sun time

  30. fred1266 says:

    How come u didn’t rate Wagner

  31. RC78 says:

    We have discussed at length the priority needs of our team and I personally feel that our prioriies in order are (if we play 4321):
    1 DM
    1 Right-Side midfield/forward Player
    1 CB
    1 FB (that can play left or right)
    1 ST
    1 Back-up GK

    Why DM? Because neither Xhaka, Torreira or Guendouzi are DMs
    Why a Right-Mif/Fw? because we need to add width on that side too
    Why a CB? Because Mustafi needs to go and we need to get a solid partnership at CB and use our experienced CBs (Sok-Kos) with more parcimoney
    Why a FB? Because we need real alternatives to both Bello and Kola
    Why a ST? Because since OG’s departure, we don’t have that type of profile in our team that can challenge defenses in the air and with his back to the net
    Why a back-up GK? Because Cech, Ospina and Martinez will pbbly go

    DM – Gueye, Allan
    RCM – Ndombele, Doucoure, D. Costa, Willian
    CB – Akanji, Bailly, Aldewereid
    FB – Gaya or Hakimi
    ST – Haller or Mitrovic
    GK -Lafont

    Leno – Bellerin, Akanji, Holding, Kola – Ndombele, Gueye, LT – Laca, Mikhy (?) – Auba

    Lafont – Hakimi, Sok, Kos, Monreal – AMN, Xhaka, Guendouzi – RN, Iwobi – Haller

  32. RC78 says:

    By the way, I am sure there will be space for Reiss-Neilson next year in our squad.

  33. chas says:

  34. chas says:

  35. LBG says:

    Arsenal much closer to getting Monchi from Roma as Sporting Director. Have agreed to pay £2m buy out clause.
    No such clause for Marc Overmars and Ajax refusing to let him go.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Those stats are damning. Is this to do with playing out from the back which would result in more passes ijn our half?

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    Those stats are the reason that many of the games are becoming somewhat of a bore fest.

    I find myself yelling at the TV over yet another back pass.

  38. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Me too. There was an excellent article in the Guardian last week explaining how the current problems at Arsenal rest firmly at the feet of the owner. If no-one put up the link I can search for it.

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    I would like to see that article Raddy,

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    I still fret over the silence from the management team it must be learned behaviour due to working for Silent Sam.

  41. fred1266 says:

  42. fred1266 says:

    Mine is the third one

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Motning all

    Ah ha, the Guardian 🙂 Probably says how horribly unfair it is that we’re not as rich as just the three teams in all the leagues who have more money than us 🙂

    Now, if it’s blaming Stan for us not scoring more than anyone, with no reference to the defence at all, then I’ll subscribe 🙂

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    I’d imagine those stats are largely down to this constant passing to and fro the GK

    Agree with anyone that finds it infuriating

  45. mickydidit89 says:


    Re your new gravatar…… is it a randomly selected pic from your archive of snaps you take while out and about? 🙂

  46. chas says:

    What’s your newspaper of choice?
    Or least worst, maybe?

  47. LBG says:

    Its his cleaner woman!

  48. chas says:

    How about this?

  49. chas says:

    As opposed to my dirtier woman?

  50. chas says:

    LBG likes the Mirror because he loves being wound up by John Cross.
    I reckon you’re a bit of a Telegraph man yourself, Micky.
    That or the FT.

  51. chas says:

    Here’s my cleaner

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha

    Telegraph? Me? You’ve got to be kidding.

    I don’t read newspapers, follow couple of news feeds Bloomberg etc. Have no interest in politics.

    I get the Sunday Times once a month or so, but I’ll have to be feeling knackered and it be pouring with rain

  53. LBG says:

    Have a great day in the sunshine you two! Good wishes always.

  54. chas says:

    Are you off to walk the hound?

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    As far as Chas’ (cough) photography is concerned, he enjoys baking hot sunshine with sudden and unexpected arctic blasts 🙂

  56. chas says:

    Love your gravatar.
    I presume it’s you rather than one of your kids as the photo looks like it’s from the 70s. 🙂

  57. chas says:

    I’ve got people to see, places to be and photos to take.

    So …………


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