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Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Saints stopped marching in...

Southampton v Man Utd. Quite disappointing. the match was good but Southampton seemed to lack enough drive to go forward. When they defended, it seemed out-of-sorts, distorted, panicky?? Alan Hansen said Utd had the time, space and the ball to play and after the San Siro, a reply was to happen. Carlos Queiroz said the Saints will face a backlash and I thought he would be disproven but there it was. Possession, application, drive, accuracy, passing and moving, Utd had it given to them because Southampton didn't want it.

The second of two matches shown live on BBC1, it brought another early goal for the better away side. The corner is not dealt with properly at all and only one out of several Saints faced Keane, the others stood still. Why did Crouch aimed to flick when he should have used his height to block the shot? After then, VNR and Rooney twisted and threatened and almost making it pay, Ronaldo was quieter than usual. If Southampton broke on the counter, the ball is passed from defence to midfield and it is either dispossessed or aimed over to Crouch, who couldn't control it or hold it up long enough to get assistance. One moment it happened, he was left with five Utd players, and Camara comes jogging in to view as Crouch loses possession.

If Southampton aimed to break forward, they should have been doing it in numbers, not ages. Missing was Redknapp tenacity to get struck in the middle and aim good passes to move the play along. No Telfer or Prutton runs (we know about the latter), no runs at all. I singled ballwasting in Anders Svensson. For Utd's second, Rooney is on a run, left with youth captain Martin Cranie, Svensson takes up position behind them but isn't up with them good enough. Rooney stumbles by the by-line and still gets hold of the ball, manoeuvers round Cranie, pass Svensson and cuts back for VNR, who founded Ronaldo. There were five Saints players in the box and they were lethargic.

The second half was relatively the same. Saints players looked around as Scholes scored his first with a neat finish and then VNR is facing Higgingbottom, gets pass him and aims a cross to the far post, which eludes three other Saints players and Paul Smith and falls for 5ft 8in Scholes to aim his header in, unopposed. Harry Redknapp wont get at the players much but he knows that they did not play at all this evening, not the side who finished Spurs and Liverpool, outfought their rivals Portsmouth and held off Arsenal. They are good enough to offer better opposition and to get out of the relegation spot. If Everton can do it, Southampton should, especially under Redknapp.



Blogger T said...

As soon as I saw the whole Soton defence and midfield retreat to their 18 yard line on Man Utds first possesion, I knew this would be an easy day for Manchester. In football, if you sit back so far, you die.

3/16/2005 1:13 am

Blogger Abdul said...

Thanks for the great review of the match Redsman. I agree that Southampton are a better team than they showed against United and I hope they avoid relegation.

3/17/2005 12:17 pm


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