So, another week goes by and there’s little news on the manager/head coach situation, so we roll on with John Carver and Steve Stone overseeing the first team. I thought we played some decent stuff at Chelsea, we just couldn’t quite see it through to half time, but there were certainly signs of encouragement.
However, as John Carver is doing his best to position himself as a successful candidate, there is not a cat in Hell’s chance of him rocking the boat on the incoming transfers front. As luck would just so have it, we are in exactly the same position we were in at the end of the last transfer window, namely, that we’re a centre half short, a striker short and depending on the formation you’d like to see, need a centre midfielder who can reproduce the ‘Cabaye-esque’ goals/chances from central midfield. So, whilst Graham Carr has Charnley’s lughole, now is a good time to push some of those scouting dossiers under his beak.
So, Southampton are next on Barrack Road. I think most of English football have been very impressed by them. Certainly those ‘experts’ who forecasted their demise following the changes in the summer are looking a bit silly, which is always nice!!
Last weekend’s win at Old Trafford lifted them to 3rd in the table and their away record is not too shabby. They have 5 wins which were earned at Man Utd (1-0), West Ham (3-1), Swansea (1-0), Hull (1-0) and Crystal Palace (1-0). They notched a draw at Aston Villa, but lost at Liverpool (2-1), Arsenal (1-0), Tottenham (1-0) and Burnley (1-0). The Saints played a very good defensive game at Man Utd last week, however, this should be a very different test, as, Manchester United, we are not. They’ll be expecting to dominate the ball, I’m sure. To do so, they may have to retrieve it, frequently, from it’s repeated visits to the far ends of the SJP stands, if our recent home performances are anything to go by. Not having an excited Tiote attempting ‘Hollywood’ passes may reduce the ball flying out of play, but only slightly.
Graziano Pelle is their leading scorer with 11 goals. On some occasions he looks unplayable on others he looks like he has the 1st touch of a sledgehammer. I fully expect that it’s the former who rocks up on Saturday.
Schneiderlin, Wanyama, Alderweireld, Gallagher, Rodriguez are all looking likely to miss this one through injury. Yoshida and Mane are on International duty
Some welcome news from Benton, Siem De Jong, Gabriel Obertan, Mehdi Abeid, Rob Elliot and Ryan Taylor have all began training, whilst Jonas Gutierrez, Davide Santon and Sammy Ameobi have all had outings for the reserves this week.
The African Cup of Nations is about to get underway so, unless Tiote and Cisse have a few tricks up their sleeves, we’ll be without them until the 2nd week of February.
I can’t see the team being too far away from last week’s.
Curtis Good – Groin – No Return Date
Steven Taylor – Achilles – No Return Date
Jak Alnwick – Shoulder – He’s fucking joking? Right??? RIGHT??????
Rob Elliot – Hull City (a)
Mehdi Abeid – Hull City (a)
Ryan Taylor – Hull City (a)
Rolando Aarons – Stoke (a)
Siem De Jong – Stoke (a)
Gabriel Obertan – Man City (h)
Papiss Cisse – Senegal
Cheick Tiote – Ivory Coast
Possible Team (4-2-3-1)
1.Tim Krul: 2. Daryl Janmaat, 5. Mike Williamson, 6. Fabricio Coloccini, 3. Paul Dummett: 4.Jack Colback, 8. Vurnon Anita: 7. Remy Cabella. 10. Moussa Sissoko, 11. Gouffran: 9. Ayoze Perez:
Freddie Woodman, Davide Santon, Masaidio Haidara, Emmanuel Riviere, Haris Vuckic, Adam Armstrong, Sammy Ameobi,
Referee: Rob Madely
History vs The Saints at SJP
1984/85: Won 2-1. With our first season back in the top flight, under Jack Charlton coming to a successful conclusion United Won their penultimate home game, with goals from George Reilly and Neil McDonald. Jimmy Case had scored for them. 20,845 inside SJP.
1985/86: Won 2-1 With United struggling for consistency, Saints arrived ahead of a busy Christmas period, and goals from Peter Beardsley and Glenn Roeder seen us collect all 3 points with Steve Moran on target for them. Paul Stephenson made his debut and almost marked it with a goal but a loose goal kick hadn’t cleared the area before he intercepted and tucked the ball into the net. Pretty sure Danny Wallace was red carded too. Attendance, 19,340.
1986/87: Won 2-0 We were struggling badly, but Paul ‘Sarge’ Goddard had been brought in to help secure us. He was hitting a hot streak when Saints arrived. He and Paul Gascoigne were on the mark for us. Attendance, 22,717
1987/88: Won 2-1. United’s season had got off to a horrendous start. Saints were our 3 rd home game and our first home win. Mirandinha and Paul Goddard on target for us, Northern Ireland striker, Colin Clarke for the visitors, who were now fielding multiple Wallace’s in their team. Attendance, 18,093
1988/89:Drew 3-3. The relegation season. Super sub, Michael O’Neill (2) salvaging a point after Brock’s opener had been wiped out by Matt Le-Tissier’s first SJP strikes and double Wallace trouble. Attendance, 20,103
1993/94 Lost 2-1. Le-Tissier was still at it. His free kick leaving Mike Hooper flat footed and Andy Cole’s equaliser was in vain. Attendance 32,067
1994/95: Won 5-1 We were making a flying start to the season. Steve Watson 2, Andy Cole 2 and Rob Lee scoring for us in front of 34,182
1995/96 Won 1-0. Rob Lee’s early goal didn’t quite bring on the avalanche of goals, but it did inch us along, however, Ian Woan was just around the corner. Attendance, 36,554
1996/97 Lost 1-0, Dalglish was now in charge, but Le-Tissier struck again. Attendance, 36,446
1997/98: Won 2-1 Things were not going well under Kenny Dalglish. Shearer was crocked and John Barnes was playing centre forward. He got 2 (1 an overhead kick) to earn us the win. Attendance was 36,759
1998/99: Won 4-0 Our first win of the season with 2 for Shearer 2, 1 for Ketsbaia and a Scott Marshall OG. Attendance, 36,454
Shearer’s goals are here
1999/00: Won 5-0 Goals were flying in for Duncan Ferguson. He got 2, Nobby Solano and Nicos Dabizas notched, Jason Dryden OG. Shearer even missed a pen. Attendance, 35,623
2000/01: Drew 1-1 After Kevin Gallacher had given us the lead, we were unable to find a killer second and Pahars equalised with time running out. Attendance, 50,439
2001/02. Won 3-1. 2 more for Shearer and 1 for Laurent Robert. We were in good form and blew the visitors away. Attendance, 51,857
2002/03: Won 2-1 After James Beattie had given Saints and early lead, Shola.Ameobi and Aaron Hughes turned the game around. Attendance, 51,812
2003/04: Won 1-0 Again we had managed to struggle at the start of the season and hadn’t won in 6 attempts. Alan Shearer seen to that. Attendance, 52,127
See above Shearer links 19 minutes in.
2004/05: Won 2-1 Shearer and Bramble kept us bubbling along, but Crouch made us sweat. Attendance, 51,266
2012/13: Won 4-2 If I’m being honest, Southampton were the better side, but we took the chance that came our way. Sissoko equalising the early setback, Cisse’s rocket, Cabaye (pen) and another OG. Attendance, 52,259
2013/14: Drew 1-1. Gouffran put us in front, Jay Rodriguez levelled things up. Attendance, 49,164
The ugly inside – Click here
Its beautiful outside – Click here
Tadic, whilst appears to be an absolute, dick, looks a good player. Pelle is a threat and Clyne bombing down the wing is a problem
CHRIS BETTS – Follow Chris on @tfbettsy1892