I said I would have taken a point before we kicked off and that’s exactly what we got and I think that was a fair reflection of the match. It was a bit of a subdued day, before and at the match, and I was surprised at a sub-50k crowd. I can imagine 3000 mardy people being dragged around Fenwicks against their will loaded with Christmas shopping. Shame on you!
Before the match, I’d probably have taken a draw against a handy looking Southampton side. I don’t necessarily buy into the fact that they’re this great team mind you. They’re a handy side that peaked in October, but they’re not a great side and probably one we should be looking to beat at St. James’.
It was an entertaining enough 90 mins though and a draw was probably a fair result. That said, Remy missed two glorious chances (one in particular at the Leazes End) but it would be churlish to make too much of a big deal about it as he has probably earned us about 20 points on his own this season!
The more Santon plays, the more annoyed I get. He can’t defend and even his attacking ain’t all that. I’ve said this for a long time now, and I’d rather we played a proper left back like Haidara. In contrast, Debuchy was once again superb on the right hand side and I think we’re seeing the real man now after a difficult start with us. Gouffran once again put in a hell of a shift and put in another performance to suggest he is one of the best signings in recent times.
It’s important that we continue to pick up points over the Christmas period if we have any real ambitions of challenging the top 6 or 7.
As a side note, I’m not usually a one for sharing grief on forums like this and Facebook and the like, but on Saturday afternoon, my Granny sadly passed away. She was one of the five or six people that liked reading my nonsense whenever she could and she always supported me. She was a wonderful human being and will be dearly missed by us all.
An enjoyable afternoon at SJP saw the two sides share the spoils after Jay Rodriguez cancelled out Yoan Gouffran’s first half strike. Loic Remy had a gilt edged chances to seal the 3 points after some faffing by the Saints keeper, but somehow managed to smash his effort considerably wide. At the other end Southampton’s Steven Davis’ wonderful volley struck the bar with the scores tied at one a piece and, truth be told a draw, was probably a fair result between two evenly matched sides. Perhaps United should have gone into the break with more than a single goal lead, Remy in particular shooting straight at the man on the line when it looked easier to score. However, when the visitors introduced Lallana and Schneiderlin for the second period they started to look even more impressive. Shola came back in for the suspended Cabaye and reverted to the lacklustre and futile outing that we’ve become so accustomed to, although Cisse was hardly much better when he came on. Sissoko was full of running, but much of what he did failed to come off, while Santon was distinctly average again. The young Italian just doesn’t seem to be progressing and was withdrawn with about 15 minutes left having been at fault for the equalising goal. Tempers began to flare towards the end and a scuffle broke out on the touchline after Schneiderlin went in hard on replacement left-back Haidara. Messrs Woodman and Jimenez subsequently received their marching orders, but that was to be pretty much the last excitement of the afternoon. Credit to the visitors who are a decent side and actually came to win the game, leading to an open contest. A valuable point which keeps us in the top six until tomorrow at least.
Frustration was the order of the day yesterday, as after a good start, and a lead, we couldn’t drive it home like we have done in recent weeks, and only managed a point. Remy’s second half misses will go down as a ‘what the fuck just happened’ moment, but I have got to say, a point was the fair result. Leaving SJP, I couldn’t manage to be angry as they were just as good as us. The second half they came into it a lot more, had a fucking howitzer that belted off the post, scored, which was onside so I’ve heard, I haven’t seen it again yet (Copyright: Arsene Wenger). The first half, we played really well, some excellent slick play in the middle from Anita and Sissoko in particular. Debuchy once again was superb, since his goal down at the dark place he’s come on absolute leaps and bounds, long may it continue. Gouffran is turning into a bit of a folk here in these parts. Does the grafting part of the job that Gutierrez has done the last few years, but his attacking output is far and away on another level to our Argentine midfielder. His pace is a threat, and now he seems to be keeping his cool in and around the box, resulting in more goals. Lovely! In the last month, we’ve scored from a corner, won at Man United, and scored off that mental ‘Long-Ball-To-Williamson-At-The-Back-Post-To-Knock-It-Down-Malarkey’. What is going on with the world?! On Williamson, he once again played well, my mate made a good point at the match. 2011 – Colo/Willo CB pairing (majority of season). 5th. 2012 – Willo not really a sniff bar Europa League. 16th. 2013 – Colo/Willo CB pairing. 6th to date. Coincidence? Certainly a point worth thinking about, from a kid who usually talks shit! Overall, a frustrating point given the chances we had, but probably a fair one. I’m down Palace away next week, so there’s a fair chance that my TIFOSI will make no sense whatsoever.. (As per normal, I hear you scoff…). 3 – Debuchy (Amazing we were comparing him with Simpson last season. Time has done him wonders). 2 – Sissoko (He isn’t a RM, but he’s using his pace and power to excellent effect recently. Same again yesterday) 1 – Williamson (Just producing the solid performances week after week. He won’t be leaving the side any time soon given his current run of form. Amazing turnaround)