Often Partisan

Playing in a Winter Wonderland – Southampton Match Reflections

Here are my reflections on the game against Southampton at St Andrews:

Should the game have even gone ahead?

I know there are a lot of unhappy bunnies tonight because the match went ahead; there were people saying the car park wasn’t gritted and it was a bit of a nightmare getting home on the bus – even I had to walk four and a half miles. That being said, I don’t think there was any real reason that they could have called the game off for – the weather made things tricky but not unplayable and it didn’t realistically worsen enough for it have been abandoned.

Not the worst result

As the game started I thought that it would be a case of who made the first mistake – the weather coupled with the pitch made it almost impossible to play nice football and you could see the ball stopping short on the surface as it was passed about. In fairness, you can see why Blues and Southampton are both at the right end of the table as both teams did fairly well to manage with inclement conditions but I can’t actually remember many chances of note barring the header from N’Daw and a good effort tipped around the post from King.

The wide left problem

The game started with Jordon Mutch lined up wide left, and it didn’t work. Mutch is no more a left midfielder than Keith Fahey is and we looked lopsided until Elliott came on – although he’s not really a wide player either. The only other player we could play there was on the bench – Nathan Redmond – and even he’s right footed. I also suspect Redmond may have had issues today – whilst I think he’d have caused trouble chasing balls dumped behind the full-backs there was no way he’d have been able twist and turn past players. It’s painfully obvious Blues need to loan someone in who can fit in on the left side when the window re-opens; without a proper left midfielder/winger we’re going to continue to be lopsided.

N’Daw

N’Daw today typified for me everything I like about him – and everything I dislike about him. He was strong in the tackle and forceful in midfield breaking up play – but he easily could have been red-carded if he’d have connected with a couple of the tackles he flew in with and his shooting was, ahem, slightly off target. That being said, we could have scored off one of those shanks had someone stuck out a leg at an opportune moment. Let’s hope he’s better for the visit of the Skates.

Let’s hope the weather perks up a bit as I sincerely don’t want to be standing around in snow like that again on Tuesday night, and I’d prefer it if the conditions were a little bit more conducive to the attacking brand of football Hughton has brought to St Andrews. That’s the kind of winter wonderland I’d prefer, put it that way.

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12 Responses to “Playing in a Winter Wonderland – Southampton Match Reflections”

  • Trevor Honnor says:

    I think it was 2 top of the table sides who went out to NOT lose ground on each other, especially in the conditions.
    Stating the obvious, a lucky goal for either side would have sealed it today. But Blues defence was rock solid, even if we were a bit toothless in the last third. We still made more actual chances (Opta will confirm this) even if we had less possession (Opta will also confirm this).

    At the end of the day, this is a game that is now ‘out of the way’ and we can concentrate on beating Portsmouth on Tuesday (a game we should win), hopefully in better conditions (it’ll be murder queuing for a burger if it keeps snowing like this).

  • Jaffa says:

    CH should of played Mutch down the middle.He changed the team to much for me,but with a bit more luck we could of won,and i think that would of been the case had the weather been better.

  • Bromsgrove Blue says:

    Yes – trouble on the left – but Mutch is more creative than Fahey – and Fahey used to play for us on the left and did a steady job – if we don’t get a loan player in I’d prefer to see Mutch in the middle and Fahey wide – however, CH knows what he’s doing. NDaw was a man mountain on the night – he was everywhere and with so much power – he almost won the game for us with the header. Last game I saw like this Ron Saunders was the manager – we beat West Ham 4-0 (phil parkes in goal for West Ham) – the blizzard was so bad you couldn’t see the goals from the Cop. But we used a bright orange ball – bring back the orange ball ! 3hrs to get home from St Andrews to Bromsgrove KRO – 18 games to go – who would have thought we’d have a sniff at an automatic place – CH is the best manager I can recall since Jim Smith.

  • Tony Knight says:

    Well – as a bluenose season ticket holder living in Southampton, I had an exhilarating evening – 6 hour drive home (normally 2 1/2) got in at 0125! – overall a good game made so by the quality of both teams. Probably the right result as if anyone had scored as a result of a mistake, it would have been cruel. Blues just about edged it – please accept my apologies for non attendance on Tuesday

  • John says:

    4 points from Leeds away and Soton at home is a good haul. If we beat Portsmouth we will be 3rd. Now that is a position I never expected at the beginning of the season.

  • parkp says:

    CH knows what he is doin, an excellant coach that brings the best out of what he has available. Once Beau and Ridgewell left it was obvious we needed to strenghen that side, CH has already made that point and lets hope the board give him enough scope to do that during the loan window. As for the game, im a big believer that its 2 points dropped at home rather than a point gained. Even so Southampton were denied the chance to pull away at the top along with West Ham.

  • leigh says:

    As to the weather,I may be getting on a bit….but I can remember a fair few matches played in similar conditions, when I was a regular in the 60s and 70s.
    I only saw the highlights, and as to N’Daw ‘s shooting I cannot say, but he looked to be awfully close with his head.

  • Blue Steve says:

    Have to agree with the comments about Mutch being in the centre and Fahey on the left. That would be more balanced but not a perfect fit. I worry that with Pompeys game being Postponed they will be fresher than us on Tuesday. Hopefully Zig will be fit and we will have too much for them. KRO.

  • Alan Watton says:

    Wade Elliot shoud have played. In fact the side should have remained as for Leeds except King in for Zigic. Elliott is superb playing off the main striker. N daw was good but I would have thought Gomis with a lower centre of gravity would have been better in the conditions.
    Burke was dreadful where he was sensational at leeds. Mutch needs to play the ” Barry Ferguson role bringing the ball out. His younger legs should make him even more effective than even Barry was.

    CH was very ginger like in his approach on Saturday. ie must not lose. Something that I endorse in this case. We have to batter Pompey now no caution then

  • johnclegg says:

    It took some of us 26 hours to get home after the game. Cable theft at Wolverhampton made it impossible to get back North by train. Therefore one Travellodge room and Wetherspoons brekkie later we arrived home at 11.30 today!


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