Southampton boss admits he’ll play kids against Arsenal

Arsenal are through to the FA Cup Fourth Round, and our opponents are our bogey cup side Southampton after their hard fought replay victory over Norwich last night.

The interesting fact for Arsenal fans is that Claude Puel made 8 changes for the Norwich game, of which 6 of them were promoted from the Saints famous Academy, and the manager has admitted that he will likely field a similar side in the Arsenal fixture.

Puel said: “We will see every time. We need to play every three days, just as Southampton have to play all these games, and we will see for the recovery for any player, and we will see for Arsenal.

“We will continue with a good balance between experienced players and young player and it’s important I think for Southampton to continue this work and develop these players.

“All these possibilities gives more opportunities for the future and it is interesting for example to see Jack Stephens in this situation.

“We know with Jose Fonte’s situation particular and perhaps he leaves the club, it is important also to see Jack and other players in this situation.”

With Southampton still not yet safe from a relegation battle, Puel is rightly targeting the League points as a priority, and also have a League Cup semifinal against Liverpool to come, so it is little surprise that the coach feels he needs to make many changes, although his reserves struggled to beat the Championship side. “We are happy because it is always a difficult game against Norwich,” Puel continued.

“It was good management in the first half perhaps without the good result to have other situations.

“I think we can do a good second half with many chances, good reasons, a lot of opportunities without perhaps the clinical, but it was a good management of the game. “Difficult. A packed defence for 90 minutes and I think for one time in this moment all the players can be happy.

“It is important now to play against Arsenal, another opportunity for my players and a mix between experienced players and young players and this is very interesting for us to develop the academy players.

Although Arsenal will have a whole weeks rest after the Burnley game on Sunday, it is certain that Wenger will also be using a bit of rotation next weekend, especially with important London derbies against Watford and Chelsea in the following 7 days, so Le Prof will be relieved that the Saints will not be fielding their strongest side. The only problem is that Arsenal always struggle against Southampton whichever team they put out!



  1. Arsenal_Girl says:

    They will still be tough.
    We didn’t have easy time winning back to back FA Cups and we have lost to worse teams in the FA Cup

    We need to field a strong enough team and take the match seriously if we want to win.

    However, let’s concentrate on Burnley next.

  2. ThirdManJW says:

    I really hope we put everything into the FA cup this season, because it’s our only hope of a trophy. Would be handy, if we win, to get easy draws from now on, like our last FA cup campaign.

    1. Tas says:

      I have to disagree we have to concentrate on the EPL, i think this season we could get knocked out of the top four spot if we are not careful and that will be suicidal because we will definitely lose the likes of Sanchez and Ozil and cannot attract top players to join if we don’t enter Champions League

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        I agree, that for once, I am actually concerned about the top four, what with the Ozil and Sanchez situations. I’ve been wanting us to miss out for a while, because it would give the club the kick up the backside it needs, and help us the next season in the league (like what we’re currently seeing with Chelsea and Liverpool). So I guess I would take the top four over the FA cup, because losing Ozil, and especially Sanchez, would be a huge blow.

      2. Wonder says:

        Pogba and Ibrahimovic joined Man U when they were not even in the Champion’s league. Other players are going to China etc…Its not about that at all…paying up is what these players of today wants. Look at Ozil ans Sanchez, they can all lie but we all know that they need fat cheques…greedy!

      3. marty53 says:

        You don’t need to be in the champions league to attract players…MU aren’t in the CL yet they signed Pogba and Ibrahimovic. Players will sign for a club if they can be convinced they have ambition and are paid enough.

  3. Lol..didn’t Southampton dump us out of the EFL cup? Now we are debating whether or not to play our strongest side against them? jeez…

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