Southampton find themselves in an awkward position at the minute. After a poor start to life under Mauricio Pellegrino, with worrying results and even worse performances, the players finally appear to have turned a corner over the past three fixtures. But while performances are showing genuine signs of improvement, results need to follow suit before cries for change start to be heard again.
This weekend, however, Southampton’s opponent’s will be no pushovers; Arsenal are coming off the back of a 6-0 Europa League win, and will be desperate to get back to winning ways in the league after an unfortunate defeat against Manchester United.
So, to get the inside track on the Gunners, we spoke with Mason McDonagh, an Arsenal fan and writer for Sports Keeda.
How would you summarise your season so far?
Results haven’t really defined how well I think we’ve played. Silly defeats to Watford and Stoke away from home were low points but overall we’ve performed well as a team
What are your hopes for the remainder of the season?
Now, with City already having the title wrapped up by the looks of things, I’d say anywhere in the top four and the Europa League or another FA Cup would be a successful season
How have teams got the most joy out of your defence?
I’d say quick forwards have been a problem for Arsenal for a while now, as Southampton’s fans will remember well from Shane Long’s performance in 2015
Which player has surprised you most by stepping up?
I think Lacazette has been exceptional since his arrival and really lived up to his transfer fee. I thought he was going to be more of a poacher, but he has everything
You’re stranded on a desert island and can only be joined by one Arsenal player; who’s it going to be?
Difficult question, but I’ll go with Cazorla. He always seems to have a smile on his face and I think you’d need that being stranded on a desert island
Southampton fans always appreciate updates on their former academy graduates; what’s the general feeling amongst Arsenal fans toward Calum Chambers and Theo Walcott at the minute?
The general feeling is that Chambers should potentially be given more opportunities, especially after having a good season at Boro last year. But Walcott on the other hand, I think a lot of people think it’s time for him to move on. He’s rarely featured in the league this year and if he wants to play more Premier League football, it’s time for him to move on
Which Southampton player would you take to join your side?
I think like all the top sides in the top 5 it would have to be Van Dijk. I really would have liked Wenger to have gone for him last summer, but I’m not sure if he was even interested
As an outsider looking in, which Gunner would help to improve Pellegrino’s Saints most?
I know Southampton haven’t scored many goals this season so my pick would be Giroud. No disrespect to Gabbiadini, Austin or Long but he would most definitely score more goals
And finally, what do you think the score will be this Sunday?
We don’t have a particularly great record at St Mary’s, but I do think we’re playing well. I’ll go with 2-1 to Arsenal.