Southampton v Arsenal Review – Sad Gunners frustrated by steadfast Saints

As I said in my preview, there is no way Arsenal fans can ever be confident going in to a game at St Marys against Southampton, it seemed like deja vu the Gunners were 1-0 down after just 2 minutes. Everyone was saying before the game that Charlie Austin was the man in form and so it proved as he received a lovely ball from Tadic in behind the Arsenal defence and poked it past Cech, although it was quite close to the big man and I thought he could have done better.

Just two minutes later Austin was one-on-one with Cech again, but our keeper managed to get the better of him that time, and just a few minutes later the Saints hit the post, through Austin again of course, and we could have been three down in just 7 minutes! Southampton were looking very confident and lively, as they always do against Arsenal, and they carried on taking the game to the Gunners.

It took until the half hour mark for Arsenal to get a promising shot in from Ramsey, but Forster was equal to it. Arsenal as usual have two thirds of the possession but Southampton are looking just as dangerous in the run up to half time, with Austin getting behind the defence again but Cech managed to beat him in the race for the ball. The Saints go into the break with a fully deserved lead.

So the second half began and it looked like Pelligrino has set his team up to frustrate Arsenal with totally crowding the defence with a 9-1 formation and the Gunners are camped in the Saints penalty area but rarely getting post the steadfast tactics. They managed to break out once after 12 minutes and a long shot from Redmond went straight to Cech.

As Southampton seemed to stopping Arsenal strikers they started getting a little more adventurous, and tried a couple of breakaways, one of which ended with Koscielny taking down Austin and was lucky to get away with it. At the midway point of the half Wenger saw that he had to try something new and took off the woefully slow Mertesacker and replaced him with Danny Welbeck as he is starting to get worried about getting through the Saints brick wall. Five minutes later we finally got the change that all Arsenal fans had been begging for, and Wilshere came on replace Xhaka, and 5 minutes later Giroud came on for Lacazette

They desperately needed to break though the bus with ten handbrakes on and with ten minutes to go Southampton still looked comfortable. Sanchez had a call for handball denied and immediately Southampton broke away again and Austin (yet again) got behind the defence but luckily he was just offside.

With 5 minutes to go, Alexis got a free kick at just the right distance, and although he hit it sweetly Forster had no trouble punching it away. The Pelligrino decided to slow things down and the goalscorer Charlie Austin was taken off to a standing ovation and was replaced by Manolo Gabbiadini.

But Arsenal finally got the breakthrough with the clock ticking down and a little lob from Sanchez was glanced off Giroud’s head and into the bottom corner of the net. Our supersub does it once again!

There were 4 minutes added for Arsenal to try for the winner but the bus was well and truly parked. Arsene Wenger has been moaning about Southampton’s time-wasting tactics all through the second half but yet again, St Marys has proved not to be a happy hunting ground for the Gunners…

At least we have gone one point ahead of Tottenham again….



  1. gotanidea says:

    Watched the first half and the last ten minutes. Arsenal still have the same problem like what they had in the Manchester United match and the other matches before that, showed the limitations of Wenger and his staffs.

    Mertesacker was tremendous in the last FA Cup final, but he was horrible in the first ten minutes in the Southampton match. Arsenal plan to utilize him as a defender coach after he retires, but I think Arsenal need other defender coach with better ideas than Bould and Mertesacker.

    Thanks to Arsenal’s usual saviour, Giroud, but Arsenal would have similar issue in the upcoming matches, if they cannot change their system drastically. If Wenger leaves at the end of this season, this would be the best season of this decade.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Believe me, no one hates Manchester United more than me, went out on the piss for a week when they got relegated in the 70’s but I’m desperate for them to beat City. Just got to preserve our invincible record

    2. jon fox says:

      Well said!

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Funny Jon, when I get a vote from you, I think it must be a good post to get confirmation from somebody who knows what their talking about

        1. jon fox says:

          Thanks for the flattery Kenny and mostly we certainly do think alike. But on this occasion my answer above was meant to be to the longer post by “got an idea”. I replied to the wrong post, yours, though I do also agree with you about desperately wanting to keep ,our Invincible record. Not too sure we will though. We might know more in around two hours time and the two Mancs have just kicked off.

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            No problem Jon

          2. jon fox says:

            Well Kenny, City have just beaten United and now we have lost the most consecutive wins at 13 which we previously shared. City will IMO now go unbeaten as they are clearly miles better than anyone else. We are watching a truly great team who will win the title by 20 points or more, I believe. They are more than on course to do so already. How hungry and driven they were. And we have Walcott and a bunch of couldn’t care less players fraudulently wearing and walking about in our shirt. AND A CLUB CAPTAIN WHO STOOD WATCHING , PROTECTING HIMSELF INSTEAD OF CLOSING DOWN THE BALL WHEN THEY HIT THE BAR. A TOTAL DISGRACE. How depressing and we know this will never change under Wenger.

          3. Sue says:

            If only we had Pep!

          4. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Who did we share that with Jon? correct me if I’m wrong but I think it was the Tottenham double side of 60/61 And you know who ended Tottenham’s run that year, It was Manchester City, how ironic

  2. muffdiver says:

    2 points dropped . defence an embarrassment , midfield weak, Southampton should have buried game, we belong in Europa- of that im sure- same problems every year-bored of it

    we never learn NEVER
    an that goes for half our fans aswell

    1. Ddog says:

      awww blob blob!

  3. TheArsenalWay says:

    Side pass after side pass after side pass had me screaming at the screen!

    1. Roehahn says:

      Wenger complaining to the 4th official for Southampton time wasting when his own team guilty of time wasting with useless sideways passing.

      1. Muff diver says:


        So on point .agreed

    2. Paul says:

      Yea, where the hell was ozil, yea, busy with his average self, m back again with my ozil analysis
      When you play games after games with side passes and obvious passes, no dribbles, no 1-2s, no shots on goal and you keep possession of the ball in non-threatening areas and people say you are a world class player, well, he’s the poorest world class player I’ve ever seen, so to say.
      Common, ozil is over-hyped and again I say, Sanchez’s output is low compared to the amount of times he spends on the ball, and Wilshere is far far better than ozil
      Ozil is a poor man’s Pires, he’s over-hyped, he’s not world class, he seems to be world class only when the opponents are down to 10men.
      Ozil is not talent, Wilshere, Ramsey, Messi, isco, coutinho, suarez, our Nelson e.t.c are talents

      1. Eat Pie says:

        Lol, don’t know what game you watched.

        Ozil was our best player by a mile, you can’t expect him to carry the other 9 outfield players.

        1. Paul says:

          Best player?………, didn’t you read my comment.
          Did he shoot the ball at all? , No
          Any 1-2 from him?, No
          Any penetrating dribble?, No
          Any through ball behind the defense or to create one on one?, No
          Did he get chopped down cause he was advancing to opponents’ dangerous territory? , No
          Those are the signs of a world class attacker or someone better than the rest.
          So because he kept passing and receiving the ball, because he kept passing to the wings or on the wings meant he was better?, Even if he shot at goal, it was too tame
          I know wenger is the problem but stop saying ozil tried to carry 9 outfield players when it was him that needed carrying, he is and our poorest attacker, at least sanchez tries to hard, Ramsey tries to shoot and he plays through balls, lacazette isn’t getting service, but what thee f**k does ozil do, making stupid gestures around the pitch like the rest are not his level……….I can go on and on to analyze that ozil is our poorest attacker

      2. Ddog says:

        Actually I though Ozil had an alright came in comparaison to the others. For me Ramsey and Ozil were best of a bad bunch. And sanchez, I know he got the assist but he lost the ball way too often, and kept playing these silly little dinks into the box when lacazzette was up top, like no! that doesn’t work. and where was the width when Giroud came on! still tried playing through middle!

  4. John Ibrahim says:

    Bellerin is terrible…

    such game with big defenders….we need Giroud to play instead of Lacazette

    1. Jim A says:

      Wait Giroud can’t run at pace and get behind defenders. The last 2 years he should have not come off the pitch for anyone unless we are playing strictly counter attack football, which is maybe 5% of the time.
      We were sending in crosses to Laca and he was getting close to them. I like Laca but he should be playing next to Giroud and not have Giroud wait 70 minutes or so each game to come on.
      I also love the way Jack attacks with the ball on his foot. H3 should be playing as well.

      1. Break-on-through says:

        Giroud with Lacazette might have done the trick, and would be better than Giroud and Danny/alone imo. Sure we could have used three of them today as Kos was the only CB in the end.

      2. gotanidea says:

        Giroud, Wilshere and OLA playing together? Sounds like a 4-1-3-2 or 4-1-2-1-2 formation to me:

        ……← Giroud……↓…Lacazette →

        Arsenal would have a defensive midfielder in a 4-1-3-2 or 4-1-2-1-2 formation, allowing the creative midfielders like Ozil, Sanchez and Wilshere to play with higher risk.

        1. Ddog says:

          no width, won’t work! Giroud is a waste of time if crosses aren’t coming in the box, and you can’t rely on Bellerin for crosses, Ozil is wasted down the wing as is Wilshere, which leaves kolasinac as the only person putting ball in.

      3. Jim A says:

        Wasn’t getting close to them. Actually he does a good job for his size but against a bus you need more than a Pinto.

  5. McLovin says:

    Let me guess, Forster was world class and we had the possession?

    Deluded Wenger

    1. gotanidea says:

      Forster was “world class”, along with De Gea, Pickford, Butland and other goalkeepers that were famous because of their “performance” against the dull Arsenal.

  6. ThirdManJW says:

    Diabolical performance! Defence was shocking, and attack was laughable at times! We need to score, yet we have about six players camped outside the box, and not one player inside the box, so many times. Then Giroud comes on, and you think Wenger’s going to switch it tactically…no! Let’s just carry on doing what hasn’t been working, and guess what…the very first time we cross into the box, Giroud scores.

    Typical pathetic performance, and zero blame on the players, because it’s the same type of performance we’ve been seeing for a decade now. I thought we’d be in a battle for fifth place this season, but it might be sixth/seventh place now, if Burnley can keep it up.

    1. jon fox says:

      If 6th or 7th place meant Wenger goes next summer , not a year later, I would take it in a heartbeat. I guess most of us would.

  7. Mfenguboysa says:

    Giroud saved the day, but I’m not happy with the draw. To us it’s 2 points lost and it’s not good enough. To be fair, Southampton played well and should have won the match. Arsenal has become weak and we are just good enough to get top four, nothing more

    1. Nothing changed says:

      You really think we will get top 4? I don’t think that is a sure thing by any means.

  8. Krish says:

    We absolutely have to deploy a 4222 or 433/4321
    Debuchy (Till bellerin starts to perform again) Kos Mon Kola
    Ramsey Wilshere Iwobi
    Özil Sanchez

    or a formation with laca and giroud

    1. gotanidea says:

      Any formation would be useless if they still use Wenger’s system.

      I prefer Arsenal to take a high risk, by replacing Wenger at the end of this season. At least we would see some change and new ideas, whether it is better or worse.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        gotanidea, I preferred your side earlier and Wenger out over Christmas

        1. Jan says:

          I prefer a heartattack as a christmas gift for Wenger!

      2. jon fox says:

        I love and agree your thoughts but one question , if I may; how on Gods earth is “replacing Wenger” a risk? A guaranteed improvement , surely! Even my decades long dead Granny could manage Arsenal better than Wenger!

  9. Hands off to the boys for turning a loss into a draw!!! It is quite alarming, however, how our defence seems to wilt under any formidable opposition. Same small mistakes and cheap goals are conceded. We need a coach who understands what to defend means. We need, Diego Simeone ?

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Diego Simeone, gets my vote, Argentinians mix skill with toughness

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        You’ve only got to look at what Porchetino has done for Tottenham

  10. Lupe says:

    That was a terrible performance, lucky we stole a point at the end. I honestly don’t understand why mertesacker is still playing games like this when we have chambers and holding. If wenger doesn’t trust these boys, why did he sell gabriel and not buy someone better, i guess because he likes making stupid decisions. If southhampton were more clinical, it could have been 4 goals against us cos that defence was wide open. Why is xhaka still playing, what is this guy, a Dm or cm Lol. Even kolasinac looked suspect defensively, koscielny was poor again today. Wenger please leave, i am tired of seeing games where we just play so terrible like we didn’t prepare properly or like the players have never been coached defensively.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      What’s Bouldy doing for he’s wages, although under Wenger, he’s probably not allowed to express any kind of opinion

      1. jon fox says:

        When you look at the body language on the bench, they must despise one another. Watch other clubs number two and you see a bond between them and their manager. With Arsenal, nothing. Very worrying!

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          I think that’s what it is Jon, he’s told Bouldy to sit and be quiet and Bouldy hates it

      2. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

        I keep asking the same question!

  11. Break-on-through says:

    Our fullbacks kept hitting it back out into our midfielders, our midfielders kept looking for our fullbacks, no movement up front from the forwards. That was one of the most boring, unexciting, no guts types of games Ive ever seen. We score from chucking it in, so what happens then, we play sideways again.

  12. sanmi.marvellous says:

    For those of us who knew what Arsenal was in and around unbeaten era will agree with me that we are shadows of our past glories.

    And I think some pundits are not against us unnecessarily as we are made to believe. They just analyse the way just see us. But we fans attached huge sentiments and emotions which becloud our sense of judgements.

    Playing draw with southampton and our poor records away to Stoke, away results against traditional 5 top clubs is a shit-bag year-in-year-out.
    How can we add Stoke, Southampton, Watford to the bogey teams like City, Chelsea, Man U, that we cannot beat away ????

    We overrate ourselves too much.

  13. Tatgooner says:

    Seems like we have so many new fans.
    This is how arsenal have been playing for the past 12 years

  14. Kenny Rolfe says:

    How long we got to stand for this Ramsey, weak shots, misplaced passes, was he playing in the second half? I never saw him, side to side passes, Mertesacker a joke, Bellerin doesn’t look the same player, Kos struggling and as for Xhaka, well

    1. gotanidea says:

      Poor first touches from Ramsey, Mertesacker, etc. I wonder what has changed in Wenger’s training programme, that has made the post-Invicible Arsenal play with predictable passes and play?

    2. jon fox says:

      I want to write “Hear , hear a million times. Would you accept just the once and believe what I say though, Kenny!

  15. Couldn't be arsed says:

    Overhyped mid-table team. Thanks for @#*ing up my day

  16. Rkw says:

    Wenger is to football management what johny Halliday was to rock n’roll .., and he needs to take his lead and do the right thing for arsenal fc

    1. jon fox says:

      Well I think rather that Wenger is to football management what Thersa May is to rock n’roll. And Trump is to humility what Wenger is to humility; completely absent of it.

  17. Mitch Connor says:

    Honestly was expecting to lose. But not at all surprised we did not win.

    We won’t finish in the top 4 this season.
    Wenger has made our ultimate goal to equal top 4 but he has made us weaker than even Spurs and Liverpool.

    I believe we will finish 6th. Behind City, United, Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool

    1. jon fox says:

      The betting odds most likely position for us to finish is exactly 6th and I agree that is where we we will finish.

  18. Lord Banter says:

    Jesus Christ! I’m done with Bellerin and Xhaka!! These 2 have been consistently abysmal. They play like they know they won’t be dropped no matter what.

    The opposition defence literally has to put in zero effort when playing Arsenal. We try to embroider passes in front of the opposition’s defence, while they just sit deep, intercept and counter attack. We were lucky we didn’t go down by 3-4 goals down. With the kind of possession that we have why not just launch a couple of balls in giving their defence something to actually work for. And then it takes the manager around 70 mins to actually think about changing things up. Sheer incompetence!!

  19. Wolf says:

    I hope Wenger leaves end of this season. And if not he’s not to buy any players. The club/team as regressed under the Wenger reign everyone can see that and that will include regression of individuals like Bellerin. That’s whats happened to Bellerin and imo Walcott.

    1. jon fox says:

      Actually, I have a very soft spot for Walcott. It is called the Pacific Ocean. Right in the middle!

  20. Gelz says:

    I don’t think Wenger thinks about making sub’s he been using the same note book for the last ten years, always make a substitution on the 70 min and hope for the best.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      He uses the 70 minute mark so he puts it down to fatigue. To take a player off early would be admitting he picked the wrong side. Stubborn Wenger would never do that

      1. jon fox says:

        Stubborn? Wenger? You will be telling me next that Donald Trump is not humble!

  21. Sue says:

    This game just proves we need a gk, cb, dm

  22. Clive says:

    Arsenal has only one problem,Wenger.
    Arsenal will never go close to wining the league with Wenger in charge.

  23. mogunna says:

    if we can’t put righth or 5team on the pitch and keep experimenting the way we do, we will fight for 5th or 6th place. Right now, we were waiting on the Reds and Spurs to come closer since they were not winning for a few games…No we are 4 teams fighting for 3rd et 4th spot. Makes more excitement to the league as MU who can win today and fight for 1st place with MC…Feel strange sometime how games turn and team pick . Betting makes billions, might sound crazy but this all management is strange…Something doesn’t make sense as team on the pitch

    1. gotanidea says:

      Yes, betting is one of theories on why Arsenal often blew it against mediocre teams. It makes sense if Wenger, Kroenke and other executives gambled on Arsenal’s loses, because it would make big easy money for them.

  24. Sue says:

    We’ve conceded so many goals… worst out of the top 6… gk & defence are way too old (except Bellerin)

    1. jon fox says:

      And Bellerin is far too weak mentally and physically and has regressed alarmingly. He must be dropped and told to hit the gym weights and see a shrink. He is like a little kid, outfought outmuscled and all over the place, everywhere except where he should be.

      1. Sue says:

        He has been really average recently

  25. Adam Criniti says:

    Not sure why the masses are so befuddled by this
    performance ,the squad is bang average @ best and by no available metric a top 4 team.

    All of the following are Cup level players.


    Betrer years behind them

    Don’t want to be here

    That leaves Laca and Saed. Lol

    1. gotanidea says:

      What about our Jackie boy, that likes to smoke behind his grandpa Wenger? And the best looking guy in the field, Walcott?

  26. GB says:

    What has happened to our defence? Even Kolasinac was shite today. He’s only got a left foot but doesn’t move forward to byline to even cross with his left. Never uses his right foot. What’s happened to Bellerin and Mert? Also Sanchez needs to go, now! Monreal, Ramsey, Jack and Giroud played well. Even Kos was pants. Let’s not talk about Xhaka, pile of pooh. Ozil played well. Laca played bad. Why can’t we tackle? Why don’t we shoot? Sorry, rant over, I’m gutted what has happened to my Arsenal.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      I’ve always preferred Monreal at left back, overlaps better than Kola, gets behind the fullback. Think they should swap

      1. Declan says:

        I completely agree with you Kenny

    2. jon fox says:

      Answer to your frustrated question: Wenger! He is what has happened and we can’t shift the old fossil!

      1. Declan says:

        Yup so true Jon

  27. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    Excellent performance. We were always in control of the game and took the game to Southampton. Mertesacker wound back the clock with a commanding performance and Bellerin continues to get better and better. Xhaka once again neat in the middle with Ramsey providing the flair.

    Southampton were lucky to score and we could have been 3 up by half time. But these things happen and we just move on to the next game. COYG!!!!!!!

    1. gotanidea says:

      Hahaha, it was a dark comedy movie. We have seen similar film in the last ten years, but I think this season’s film is going to be the worst one.

    2. jon fox says:

      Robin, I don’t know how I do it, call it an inspired hunch BUT a strange instinct is telling me you do not believe what you have written! With such a team of driven hungry players and a fine up to date manager and tactical genius in Wenger, backed by an enthusiatic, financially generous owner and in touch board, all looks set fair for a great future. Oh, sorry, I must go now. There are two men in white coats at the door looking for me! One is holding a straitjacket.

  28. imran says:

    chance after chance after chance. No shooting from D or 20 yards. foolishness and lack of shooting costing points. looks like xhaka, sanchez and kolasanic forgot how to shoot towards goal. Need tactical changes in every game.

  29. Kedar Damle says:

    I think there is only 1 positive from game that Ramsay is injured so we can hope that Wilshere will get start in next game…

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Yes Kedar, thought the same

  30. Ignasi says:

    I’m usually right about everything.

    Today, i can add another one to my ego:

    Lacazette is NOT an upgrade on Giroud.

    And why isn’t Xhaka playing for Brentford?

    1. jon fox says:

      Cos they are too wise to want to buy rubbish!

  31. Adega Olatunji says:

    Who ever that thought arsenal players to be passing ball back has done terrible thing to this football club

  32. kklin says:

    Man city’s unbeaten run may continue. They are a goal up to man utd

  33. Rorie Day says:

    The way I saw the game:

    Losers –

    Mertesaker – Proving to everyone that he should of retired after the FA Cup.

    Ramsey – Offers nothing, is either ahead of the Striker or behind the defense. (Walks around as if he’s the big man of the club, when really he is terrible).

    Bellerin – He was awful today and has been pretty mediocre for the past few weeks, hopefully, Debuchy can put some pressure on him.

    Winners –

    Ozil – Workrate and defense work was on show, even if he wasn’t able to break them down.

    Wilshere – Got some minutes under his belt.


    The Europa League Squad – We may as well switch the two side around, we’ve been that pathetic.

  34. Kenny Rolfe says:

    With City winning, all that’s left for them in reality to overcome is Arsenal , Liverpool and Tottenham, all away. Be a massive game at the Emirates but very difficult for us. IMO they’ll be the second side to go invincible come May.

    1. jon fox says:

      I had money on City to go unbeaten when they were long odds against. I just wish I has staked a lot more money. IMO they are playing the best football I have ever seen from an English league side, including our Invincibles. What puts them apart is their fanatical hunger to win the ball back. All the greats must have that quality. We also had in in 2003-4 and now have virtually none. I thought I was watching Arsenal Ladies today, so physically weak were some . In particular Bellerin and Merts. Also Koscielny looks shot!

      1. Sue says:

        The ladies would probably outplay them!!

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          I think we could do with Kelly Smith Sue, the Dennis Bergkamp of ladies football

      2. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Good bet Jon , think your money’s safe,

      3. Imran says:

        Have you seen our invincibles play… City is just nothing in front of our invincibles… I feel match fixing more than fair play.. they are divers and time wasters… I suggest you to once see the videos of invincibles… I wish I could see arsenal breaking the jinx and showing city no respect..

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