Southampton EPL Review – A massive three points for Arsenal

Arsenal take revenge on Saints and move up to 8th by Konstantin Mitov

Well lovely Arsenal people, we put up a better side and managed to beat Southampton by 3 goals to one! This means we move up to 8th although all the teams around us have games in hand, and it probably won’t last more than 24 hours, but it’s nice to be climbing up the table.

We started the game with a 1 on 1 chance for Laca on their keeper which he missed. Then we were punished from a set piece and were down – just 3 minutes after kick off. I was incredibly disappointed with Pepe on that corner as he let their player have a free shot on our goal and it went in.

Luckily Pepe made up with a good finish after Xhaka slipped him in with another delicious ball just like for Laca, but this time it went in. Then we managed to take the lead, when Laca slipped the ball to Saka, who kept his composure to run past the keeper and pass it in. Incredible skill from the youngster, who was exceptional again.

The second half was nervy, but we managed to score right after a substitution when Cedric played an outrageous ball to Saka, who supplied it on a plate for Laca to wrap it up. I was incredibly impressed with our Portugese full back again. Put on the left, where it’s not his natural position, having to fill the shoes of Tierney, he did it in his own way. Some of the passes he played were spectacular.

The rest of the game saw a lot of sloppiness from us and some good saves from Leno, especially after a double error from Luiz which almost cost us. In the end we took 3 massive points thanks to fine displays from our form players.

Unfortunately Smith-Rowe came off and I don’t know if it’s an injury or a precaution. Same goes for Partey and we can’t afford to lose those 2 players. We don’t have alternatives for those 2 and that’s the real issue in our side. I look at the bench and I’m worried.

True that Auba was missing due to personal issues, but I feel more is needed on the wings and in attacking midfield to cover for Smith Rowe and Saka. I’m not sure if we’ll get Odegaard before Man Utd visit and even if we do, if he’ll be fit enough.

That said we made it 16 points from 18 in the last 6 games, conceding only 2 goals in that period. Another funny stat is that we haven’t lost a game that Smith Rowe has started. Finally this was the first time in 2 years where we’ve won 3 in a row away from home.

Now that we’ve picked up a bit of form, we’ll have the small matter of playing Man Utd who’re currently second and playing some good football, beating Liverpool in the cup as well. This will show where we actually are.

Southampton failed to take advantage today of the sloppiness we had. A better side will hurt us more if we allow some of the chances we gave the Saints on the counter. Hopefully by Sunday we’ll see a well-expected new signing, players like Auba and Tierney return for a really massive game against Man Utd. If we can get a positive result there, then we can truly lift our eyes to something bigger in the league.



    1. Unlike the writer of the article, I’m not worried about Auba, if he’s in the team or not.
      Without him we’ve been scoring and improved so much from last season where we had to depend on him always.
      Now the goals come from different players.
      Also I’m not worried about facing United on Saturday at the Emirates. I can’t recall the last time they won a game against us. Tierney will be back, I personally hope to see the same line up from yesterday, but Tierney for Cedric.
      The united game will be tough no doubt, but it’s a good chance Ro make a statement plus we have more than just a player in form.
      Saka,Laca,Smith Rowe,Holding, Leno, Xhaka since his red card all been in great form… Add Partey’s quality to the mix and we have a huge chance of winning on Saturday.

  1. “We had five players who were not available to play [on Saturday], I want to make that clear. The ones who played today, they were there to play some part of the game. We expect them to play 50 games a season, every game at that age, without a pre-season? It’s impossible and I’m not going to do that with the young players. ”

    That was Arteta’s response when asked about Smith Rowe’s injury.
    I love he has reiterated the fact that he’s not gonna use the players like that.
    Sometimes common sense ain’t common. A whole lot of people were questioning his Saturday selection. I mean do you still blame the manager when he rotates in a cup game and the senior players he gave the chance still refuses to perform?

    Partey and Smith Rowe didn’t even play the full game on Saturday yet yesterday they both came out of the game halfway with cramps. Now imagine the manager keeps trying to satisfy y’all and they both played three days ago, you think it couldn’t have been worse than just cramps?
    They’re both okay, it’s not a serious injury but if at this point people still don’t see that rotating in cup games is sensible then sorry I can’t help you

    1. Eddie I respect you alot but seriously bro you are beginning to sound like a broken record, a bit like the ozil fan boys. We know you want arteta to succeed so do all true arsenal fans but you can’t blame some fans for wanting to win the fa cup, what if at the end of the season, we failed to qualify for any European competition, will you still support the coach decision not to have played his best players in the cup? I also think the coach did well to rest players like Smith and Partey but you shouldn’t criticize fans for wanting to do well in all the cup competition.

      1. Do I want to see us win trophies? Hell yeah I do. Do I like the fact that we’re out of the FA cup? No I don’t as it was a chance to win a trophy.
        But was it the manager’s fault?
        It’s the fact that fans were blaming him for rotating that’s baffling to me.
        Sure we lost, he rested his first team because last night’s EPL game was massive important for our top 4-6 race. Gave the underperforming senior players a chance, they failed to turn up again and everyone acted like he’s dumb and he just threw away the cup.
        I was Emery’s biggest critic, and I’ll ask you this, that one game against Crystal Palace that Emery chose to bench some players in the leagw and went with a poor midfield. When we failed to make top 4, everyone kept pointing at that game didn’t they?
        My point is every competition and game is important, but y’all need to be unbiased when laying blames like the coach selected the team because he wanted to lose.

        Another baffling thing that’s annoying is last night people were complaining Martinelli didn’t start the game last night. I mean do we really expect or plan to run our young players down?

        1. Eddie, I agree with your points regarding running players into the ground, like Martinelli returning from injury and “Saville” Rowe given his injury record. However the issue with the changed line up, similarly to Emery against Crystal Palace, was that there were too many changes to too many positions, particularly along the forward line. Like under Emery, the players selected let Arteta down.

  2. Massive 3 points, glad arteta played Luiz ahead of Gabriel I know some fans really rate him but I really don’t believe in him yet, Leno seem to have cut out his errors, have always said it Leno is a good shotstopper the only issue have always had with him is his errors and his ball playing ability but it’s seems arteta have worked on that. Lacaazette is just Lacaazette, I’m sure if Saka continues like this real Madrid will come calling in a few years that boy is just too good and he knows how to take care of himself, he reminds me of Sanchez. I’m not really scared of Man utd I’m sure we won’t lose that game.

    OT: I love what arsenal official site did for auba, they dedicated the win to him that’s just brilliant, I pray he will be back for the United game.

  3. Log is making for interesting reading, that was a vital 3 points for considering everyone around us has games in hand. Very tight, great season.

    Everton and Spuds have 3 and 2 games in hand respectively and better goal difference.

    It would be arrogant to not have a look over our shoulders at what’s behind us. Just behind us is Villa with 3 games in hand with a much better goal difference and Chelsea have 1 game in hand on us with a better goal difference.

    Taking all of this into account I’d say we are realistically sitting around 9/10 in the table for now. Moving in the right direction COYG!

    I see us ending 6th or 7th this year and then into the top 4 next season.

    4. West Ham
    P20…GD+6…Pts 35

    5. Liverpool
    P19…GD+15…Pts 34

    6. Spuds
    P18…GD+16…Pts 33

    7. Everton
    P17…GD+7…Pts 32

    8. Arsenal
    P20…GD+6…Pts 30

    9. Aston Villa
    P17…GD+13…Pts 29

    10. Chelsea
    P19…GD+10…Pts 29

    11. Chelsea
    P19…GD+3…Pts 29

    1. Don’t forget that Villa’s 2 postponed matches include:

      Spuds, home
      Everton, home

      And Everton also haven’t played:

      City, home

      All these fixtures will pile up for these teams while we actually will have a lot of time to rest. Overall, every team will drop points (look at the slump Pool is currently at). We just have to make sure we keep on winning our matches..

      1. Yeah games in hand don’t mean points I agree but it still an opportunity for points regardless of who is playing who so it cannot be ignored….especially this season.

  4. I really hope Partey and Rowe are fit for Saturday. They fill me with confidence. Odegaard should be announced today, if Rowe isn’t fit, i’d personally prefer Odegaard on one leg to start d man utd game in place of Willian. Martinelli for Pepe, ..if Tierney is fit, he should take his place and then Cedric to displace the unreliable Bellerin. Bellerin seems sooo scared to even move the ball forward.
    We should be good for Saturday.. looking forward to it.

    1. Khadii, I agree except I would start with Pepe, now he is showing some form and have Martinelli (returning from injury) available off the bench. Pepe has impressed Arteta, has the speed and skill set to worry Manchester United on the left and it would be a blow to Pepe’s confidence if he is dropped to the bench. Martinelli can be given an opportunity to refresh the forward line, should Saka, Lacazette or Pepe be fading.

  5. my worry is Luiz starting against United. His distribution is great but his customary loss of concentration like we saw yesterday will likely be punished by United players. Please Mari should be fit and start

  6. I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist. We are 8th now and that’s where I predict we will finish. Things will become clearer when we have all played the same number of games as some teams have played two less than us. Let’s not start predicting top 4 or even top 6 just yet.

    1. Declan I too am a realist and think it unlikely, though possible, we will even make 8th.

      Allowing for other teams who have games in hand we are, right now, effectively 10th -11th. Top six is quite out of the question and top four, as some seem tothink, is for self foolers only!

      Unlike so many fans and as a long term pro bettor, I always evaluate all the factors soberly and without fan bias.

      1. Jon and declan

        Any other season i would say games in hand are worth its weight in gold but this season has been so far… unpredictable and points in the bag are a blessing
        Every team bar city and United are dropping points all over the place
        United I still dont rate but Saturday will tell me otherwise when the dust has settled
        Confidence is a fragile thing this season and as whu have shown they have grown from game to game
        We are on a good run and you can see they are gaining confidence as well with each game so let’s enjoy the ride and see where it takes us
        10 to 8 is not acceptable but with all the crap that’s gone on, it will be a good starting point for next season.
        7 to 5 be over the moon
        4 to 3 be out of this world

        Guys and girls
        We all get frustrated and we all think we can do better, which i am sure some of you can
        Football is all about opinons and that’s we “love it” as Kevin keegan once said
        No moaning..its depressing….

        Onwards and upwards my fellow gooners

    2. Declan, one game at a time. If Arsenal can put a run together in this competition, where anyone not on their game can lose, who knows?

  7. The dip in form we had is something that is going round, we had ours and it now depends on what we make out of it after our comeback. If we are consistent going forward we will shock the EPL analyst who have written us up. Three weeks ago it seems Liverpool are unstoppable , even Chelsea and Spurs but today they are not on top of the league. We can also go top or be amongst the top 4 if we maintain our concentration and focus.

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