Tagged: Southampton

Southampton’s production line shows no sign of slowing despite departures | David Hytner | Football | The Guardian

Southampton’s production line shows no sign of slowing despite departures | David Hytner | Football | The Guardian.

Southampton’s youth development is really impressive. Good read here.

Liverpool, Southampton and Barcelona show just how important transfers can be – The Aspirer

Liverpool, Southampton and Barcelona show just how important transfers can be – The Aspirer.

My piece for the Aspirer on how Liverpool, Southampton and Barcelona fared in the transfer window last summer.

Big boys beware: Southampton under Ronald Koeman are here to stay | Squawka News

Big boys beware: Southampton under Ronald Koeman are here to stay | Squawka News.

If Ronald Koeman stays then, yes. The loss of Morgan Schneirderlin and other stars won’t be felt as much. Would be nice for them if they could get Toby Alderweild to stay as well but that’s unlikely. I’m sure we’ll all be watching them this summer with plenty of interest.

 

Schneiderlin’s Southampton stay has been mutually beneficial – ESPN FC

Schneiderlin’s Southampton stay has been mutually beneficial – ESPN FC.

Good article here.

Southampton have benefited from Morgan Schneiderlin’s play to get within reach of a European spot. If they miss it they will still have had a good season. Schneiderlin has had one more season to improve and showcase all his talents which has most certainly resulted in his stock rising. Arsenal’s the team linked with him constantly but with the expected rise in fee will Arsene Wenger be prepared to cough up the kind of cash needed for a third straight summer? If Southampton asks too much he just look at Francis Coquelin as a reason why he need not spend. I mean, Schneiderlin would improve Paris Saint-Germain in midfield as well and a return to France is likely. Guess we’ll see.

Swansea and Southampton: Model clubs of the Premier League – ESPN FC

Swansea and Southampton: Model clubs of the Premier League – ESPN FC.

Huge respect for both these clubs and what they’ve done to get to their current level. Southampton making into the Champions League would be crazy.

But, wait, doesn’t Arsenal tick all these boxes too?

New stadium? Check

Defined football style? Check

Emphasis on youth? Check

Oh, I see. Intelligent transfers are out and the fact that a club with Arsenal’s status should be winning trophies probably counts against as well. Well, we tried. Maybe some consistency in both those areas will change opinions.

Kudos to the two clubs in question though, Swansea and Southampton.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Southampton: Three Wins on the Trot But Still A Long Way To Go

I wonder how, and when, it will end. I mean, if any Arsenal fans want to go head over heels then go for it but this is still Arsenal we’re talking about.

My thing is, it still doesn’t change anything. I say that with less conviction than I have before in the hope that things are changing. I mean it feels like something’s changing right? Damn straight Mikhail things are changing, we’ve won three in a row!

But no, I’ll wait. There’s still plenty of chances for Arsenal to be frustrating before the season ends.  The tale of the game was pretty much the standard Arsenal storyline. Domination, a few chances for the Gunners and a few good ones for the opposition as well, but no goals. Except, this time there was a goal. And I’m sure the first person to pop into your head as the goalscorer was Alexis Sanchez, right?

The Chilean’s been Arsenal’s match-winner since joining, and did his job again, with some help, to get us three important points. Which brings me to this.

How Alexis Sanchez Has Made Arsenal Weaker

If I could reach through the internet and slap this guy I would. I mean, really? I’m all for respecting the different opinions across the internet but this was just s$%t as far as I’m concerned. I don’t usually comment on articles unless they really irk me one way or the other, so I had my own “keyboard warrior” moment in the comments section. Well, not really. See my comments on the article below.

Really?

That’s a great way to spin things but ultimately very weak stuff. Arsenal’s problems have been in the making before Sanchez’s arrival, and if carrying the team while others fail to replicate their previous form, or are out injured, is making them weaker, then I’d like to see what happens if he follows through with your suggestions. You seem to claim he’s a ball hog although you don’t go that far. He is not a one-two pass it around player, and is confident in his ability to make things happen, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a team player by any circumstance.

Everything he does is for the team.

You fail to mention his work-rate defensively. Passing statistics can be used judiciously to make players look better or worse but if you consider his 77% passing completion isn’t horrible when he leads the team in key passes per game. What does that mean? He’s trying to create things. He doesn’t constantly give away the ball in dangerous positions as you suggest. And if/when he does he’s not the only one doing it.

As for the one man team deal. Excuse a player for having the will and talent to score goals when no one else can or will. The situation is different from the Robin Van Persie days or Liverpool and Suarez. Which by the way, did you forget Daniel Sturridge was in that team too and he’s out injured? Quality players will always be missed when they are gone, and relied upon when they are there. That’s why they are world-class. Was he on the pitch against Aston Villa? Did he score the goal against West Bromwich, or open the scoring against Dortmund? And I’m pretty sure the entire team played well against Galatasaray. Just pointing out some of the better results or performances for the Gunners.

Sure he may have stood out, and he dragged the team through some other games but that’s what he was bought for. You don’t think Thierry Henry or others would use their brilliance to take charge of a game if necessary?

You got me to read though.

I’ll say that the Southampton performance was probably Sanchez’s worst performance for Arsenal, not that it was horrible, and some of the reasons for that give the author’s article some credibility. Still, that pass to Olivier Giroud for his volley shows his quality and vision in that aspect plus there was his usual work-rate and that all-important goal.

You know why Sanchez was poorer than normal. He’s starting to get tired. Who can blame him? So this is where we watch if Arsene Wenger runs him into the ground or not, especially with the festive season, which he’s not used to, coming up.

As for the incomparable Giroud. Thank you. This is the role I think he should be playing. Someone who can change the game and give the “plan B” Arsenal has needed as ESPNFC’s Michael Cox states here. I’ll appreciate him so much more in this role. He was unlucky not to get a goal himself but played a part in the winner.

I’m glad for the win, and a few elements within it like Santi Cazorla and another clean sheet along with things previously mentioned, but there’s still a long way to go. The big question is, would we have made the breakthrough if Southampton didn’t go down to 10 men?

In other news, here’s some Arsenal chatter over the last few days.

 

Arsenal vs. Southampton: 5 Things Arsene Wenger Can Learn from Saints

Arsenal must unleash deadly attacking trio of Sanchez, Welbeck & Giroud

Arsene Wenger Is Answering Critics of Arsenal’s Tactics

Emiliano Martinez: Could Arsenal’s rookie goalkeeper become their No. 1?

All of these articles came before the Southampton match but still offer some decent talking points. The five things Arsene can learn from Saints, are a definite must, minus the one about shooting.

The idea of Giroud, Sanchez and Danny Welbeck all starting is interesting, and definitely worth a go on Football Manager but I think Giroud as “plan B” is better.

If getting the team to actually focus on their defensive duties is answering critics tactically then okay. I see what the author means but honestly those defensive issues should’ve been sorted out a long time ago, and they were pretty easy to solve as well. Things would be better with a top-class defensive midfielder but the three clean sheets are also down to the return of Laurent Koscielny. We may have done better before that if there were actually enough central defenders in the team.

Martinez has been solid so far and that article provides a great look at his strengths and weaknesses. Wojciech Szczesny got his chance and took it. Maybe Martinez will do the same.

 

Instant Alexis Sanchez Impact Points to Potential Iconic Status at Arsenal

This piece came after the Southampton match, and it’s a pretty good one. I’m glad the winter break was brought up as it really is imperative Sanchez gets rest so he can continue this all the way through the season. He may still hit a bad patch of form but that shouldn’t detract from what he’s done so far, and what he can do for the rest of the season and, hopefully, a long Arsenal career.

Stoke City up next. Should be fun.

Until next time.