Toothless and tactically inept would kindly describe Southampton’s performance against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side were completely blown away by Pochettino’s, only further reinforcing worries that the away side aren’t playing for the manager at this moment in time.
1) We scored two goals. Goals from Boufal and Tadic we’re the only positives for the travelling fans.
2) After Spurs scored their fourth, the home side took their foot off the gas which allowed Saints to look slightly better going forward. Yes, I’m actually using that as a positive.
1) Basics and organisation. For Harry Kane’s first two goals, he was simply given the freedom and space to tap home and break Alan Shearer’s Premier League record. Romeu’s marking for the first was comical as he appeared not to care about the inevitable outcome. Now, as we know, Romeu wears his heart on his sleeve but hasn’t been the same battling Spaniard in recent weeks.
As previously mentioned this signifies a real worry that he and the players aren’t playing for the manager or for the powers at be. For the fourth Spurs goal, Redmond was in the opposition box and carelessly gifted the ball to Son as he tried to pick out Lemina. The resulting counter-attack saw the ball find its way into Forsters net. This lacklustre concentration and execution throughout the pitch is costing us goals and the lack of desire to track back tells the whole story.
2) Game-plan. Although the players need to stand up and be counted, the game-plan employed at Wembley was totally incorrect as it played into the hosts’ hands. Trying to play out the back against a high-pressing team set us up to fail. The constant rotation of the team-sheet and trying to place square pegs in round holes only sucks the confidence and belief out of the players.
It’s clear to see that there needs to be a big shake up at the club otherwise we’ll be playing Championship Football in the near future. If the players aren’t playing for the man on the touch-line then a change needs to be made. Not only do we need to see ambition and change on the sideline but from the board. Money needs to be invested in the areas that have been crying out for some time. The argument of “there will be worse teams than us” is almost non-existent as the healthy gap between us and the trapdoor has decreased as the teams below have leapfrogged us. If the club doesn’t wake up, we’ll be sleepwalking back to the dark days that Markus Leibherr and co worked tirelessly to pull us out of.