Southampton’s season went from a disaster to a full blown crisis following the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. There are now no significant reasons why Mauricio Pellegrino should keep his job, but following Ralph Kruger’s interview to the local media, the long overdue sack still seems far away.
1. Shane Long finally broke his goal drought. As Jeremy Pied slotted the ball into the box, the Irishman struck the ball on the half turn to give Saints the lead. Not only were the fans relieved but so was Long as his tireless work upfront was finally rewarded for the first time since last February.
2. As Saints were searching for the opening goal, they looked to have some purpose to their play especially through Jeremy Pied down the right hand side. However, Southampton were unable to maintain this standard.
1. Pellegrino’s game plan. Once again, the Southampton manager seemed content with holding out for a one nil win. Saints looked good value for their lead at half time but during the second half looked a completely different side. It’s been proven throughout this season that, under Pellegrino’s organisation, Saints can’t hold teams out. So why do we persist in doing so instead of trying to kill off teams?
2. Unable to adapt to opposition changes. Roy Hodgson clearly knew that his sides first half performance was not a reflection of their point gained against league leaders Manchester City. After making changes both in personnel and in tactics, Palace looked a stronger outfit and Saints couldn’t adapt to these changes. Not only were the gaping spaces within our back line exploited once again, but Pellegrino’s substitutions were baffling. This ultimately cost us the game as we stare relegation in the face.
Southampton are now on their longest winless run in the top-flight since 2005 and we all know the outcome of that season. Everything that’s wrong with the club and the teams performances are being repeated each week with more questions being raised. What exactly is Pellegrino trying to enforce on our players? It’s quite apparent he’s too far out of his depth and at this rate, relegation is inevitable.