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Southampton 3

• Barnard 15
• Barnard 55
• Oxlade-Chamberlain 67

Yeovil 0

Just got home from game. It is after 11pm so just a short summary as to how i saw things. Suffice to say I am happy with the result, a clean sheet, KD hardly troubled, apart from some passes back to him, one good save one scrambled 'its a knock out' sort of save. Crowd got a little agitated with him for not clearing the ball quick enough but he was hampered by lack of movement in front of him and the tight marking by the Yeovil lads.

We did not play well in the first half but scored a well worked goal. They outnumbered us in midfield and stifled the runs of Chamberlain. We started the second half in much the same pattern but it was not long before NA changed things by going to the 'diamond' formation dropping Chamberlain slightly deeper and matching them up in numbers in midfield. We reaped immediate rewards with our second goal. Chamberlain and Lallana found more room and we took more control.

Chamberlain scored a good third goal via deflected shot but overall we were plenty good enough to win this game. We had quality where and when we needed it. It is all about results now, the crowd were edgy from early on, some players looked uncomfortable and maybe they felt the pressure - but when it mattered we were able to come out on top. Give Yeovil some credit, they worked very hard at closing us down and not letting us play out from the back whilst ensuring our midfield did not get much of the ball.

Lee Barnard played his first full 90 minutes for some time and ran himself in to the ground and should really have had a hat trick. Lallana, Fonte, and Chamberlain were the better players and what a luxury to be able to bring two of those three off with more than ten minutes to go. I though Martin played well seeing as he has not had too many games of late and Gobern does not look overawed when he comes on. I think both of these will make the grade and are ready to step in when needed. As for Forte, I will reserve judgment, but he seems one for the future rather than one for now!

We will have to play better to beat Bournemouth but I know we can play better. 3-0 is not a bad score when you are not at your best!


And followed this up later with :

I like what Jose Fonte says on the O/S today. He and the team know they are not playing flowing crisp passing football. Their mentality now is geared to winning games anyway they can. In this league teams do their homework and know we have tried to play passing football from the back this season - so what do they do? They work like mad to close us down and give us no time on the ball, this leads to saints needing to hoof the ball in certain circumstances rather than take the risk of being caught in possession.

The better players, Lallana and Chamberlain and to a certain extent Lambert and Gobern are able to lay the ball off better than some in the team. As Fonte says, saints know their own strengths and weaknesses.
At the moment we are not in a position to have skilled players in all positions -neither are Arsenal Liverpool etc. I think saints play good passing football when allowed to, and mix it it up if we have too.

I did Hammond an injustice when i suggested he was on 9 yellow cards this season, in fact he is on 8, just two of an automatic two game ban. I think this limited his effectiveness last night as he did not take too many risks. Very sensible as I am sure NA had done his homework and seen that last nights ref has given more yellows this season than any other ref in this league.

Once Chaplow was booked in that first half we were toothless in central midfield. There is so much more to football these days than going out to play pretty attacking passing football especially at this level. You have to earn the right to play your football and that does not happen in this league until you have matched your opponents fighting spirit.

I came away smiling last night. My team had won 3-0. No grumbles from me or sniping at the manager. This season I don't mind how we win - we must just get out of this league this season.


And another thought later :

( see Fonte's comments below, we had space but not time on the ball) "...........they ( Yeovil) played their game, they came at us and tried to win an open game, but that suited us as well because that gave us space, and I think that our individual quality from Adam (Lallana) and Chambo (Alex Chamberlain) made the difference as well as Lee Barnard, obviously. "They're our key players, that's the truth. Everyone has them, Real Madrid has Ronaldo, Barca have Messi - we have Chambo and Adam."

Jose lined up alongside Aaron Martin at the back whilst Radhi Jaidi was rested, and the former Crystal Palace man felt that the youngster could take a lot from the performance, as the central defensive partnership was rotated once more.

"A clean sheet meant that it was a good day for him. He played, he had 90 minutes and that was important for him. "He still has to learn as I still have much to learn still. I'm still learning, I'm 27 and I still have a lot to learn, but for him to play with people like Radhi and people like me will help him to learn. He's a good player and he wants to learn. He talks a lot during the game which is important, and he's already a very good player I have to say. "At the training ground we get to know each other, and we see where players are strong in some areas and not that strong in others, so we know where to cover. Aaron is a good player, as is Seaborne, and Radhi obviously, so when you play with good players it's easy to make partnerships."



Tuesday, 8 March 2011
Ref: Hill

01 Davis
03 Harding
06 Fonte
12 Butterfield
17 Martin
14 Hammond
20 Lallana (Forte 77)
26 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Richardson 80)
30 Chaplow - yellow card (Gobern 69)
07 Lambert
09 Barnard

23 Forecast
02 Richardson
05 Dickson
19 Seaborne
27 Gobern
08 Forte
32 N'Guessan

13 Henderson
08 Ayling - yellow card
19 Virgo
06 Smith - yellow card
14 Ehmer
15 Russell (Alcock 62 - yellow card)
16 Upson
18 Tutte (S Williams 57)
07 A Williams
10 Bowditch
12 Johnson (Calver 83)

01 Martin
02 Alcock
03 Jones
25 Fitzsimmons
09 S Williams
17 Calver
21 German