West Bromwich Albion 2 - Southampton 3
The pre-match tributes to Cyrille were the most moving thing I’ve seen on a football pitch and by the end I can’t have been the only person in the ground with tears streaming. What a super-hero the big man was.
I was such an emotional wreck that the starting lineup only became relevant to me at kick-off and it was a massive concern. None of our players from Wednesday had recovered and I thought we’d be in big trouble.
Looking at it I thought the decision to play Yacob and Barry in the centre in a 4 was very bad. No legs in there at all. Play Field instead of Yacob or play 5 in there to protect us until late in the game.
I also thought it was a bad call to start Sturridge with him so short of game time and with JRod in form and against his old club. Surely start JRod and bring Sturridge on for the last 30.
Despite this we got on the front foot and scored a great goal from a set play.
We kept that up for about 20 minutes with only poor decision making from Phillips and a clearance off the line prevented a 2nd.
But from there on Saints dominated us in midfield to the point where it was obvious we needed to change it, even if that meant Sturridge playing on the wing to half time and shifting Brunt inside.
Unfortunately Pardew didn’t and we conceded two goals before halftime. Predictable the way it was going.
Criminally in my view we came out exactly the same - and not surprisingly a 3rd goal followed with Ward-Prowse doing in one free-kick effort what we failed in 4 attempts.
Pardew at least then changed it, moving Brunt to the middle and bringing on Burke and JRod.
We were better, scored a goal soon after from another Brunt delivery but failed to get anything else or look like it. If anything Southampton could’ve scored more on the break and a pointless introduction of McClean at left back with 10 to go (Field for Yacob surely?) weakened us.
We’re not good enough to win games without our best players and the injuries to Evans, Gibbs & Greg; Livermore as a stand-in midfielder who can move and our long-term losses of Chadli & Mozza were too great.
It’s looking unlikely we’ll have enough to stay up - to have any chance we have to go to Chelsea and win.
I also think Pardew falls to pieces when he doesn’t have the obvious best options available based on the last 2 games.
2 weeks ago I posted on here saying we could have Galactico's up front, but with no one creating in midfield it wouldn't really matter. Some folk had a go.
Today that was shite. But worse, in fact clueless shite. Saints are shite and we made them look great.
Why Rondon over Rodriguez? Why Yacob over the Pole??
Sorry. Rubbish Albion. The table doesn't lie.
[ The Pole was still out injured after being stamped on at the Man City game - Finbarr ]
In which case then, Yacob over anyone else capable of passing in a forward direction. Yacob was the wrong bloke for the job yesterday.
The tribute to Regis was perfect but unfortunately the performance following was anything but! A look at the team highlighted the long and short term injuries.
In truth any baggie with a brain could see we were short once again in having anyone in midfield who could thread a pass through to sturridge and Rondon. Everybody sitting near me couldn't understand why Rodriguez wasn't in the starting line up? JRod should have started and then Sturridge could have come on, easy in hindsight. I thought Higazi was the best of a poor bunch, Philips had a nightmare and Jacob with Barry! words fail me..... Rondon tries but lacks finesse which Sturridge has in abundance, lets hope he can turn on some magic at Chelsea. The Saints midfield were passing nicely all across the pitch and I thought we should have pressed and got at them far more than we did.
I refuse to believe it is all over, we need to get our injured boys back, as they say every game is a cup final! We must get a result in the next two fixtures and there are only hard games in the prem.
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