Saints V Tottenham Hotspur The Verdict
Wednesday, 1st Jan 2020 22:24
Saints won at St Mary's against Spurs in a game that was not one for the purists but was pulsating and Saints got the result by their hunger and desire.
Danny Ings was again the hero winning the game with a goal that many pundits described as similar to Paul Gascoigne's strike against Scotland at Wembley in Euro 96, but this was a rare moment in a game that was about winning ugly rather than in style.
Saints knew when the game kicked off that this was a day that would either see them drawn back into the relegation struggle or could see them up into the middle ground and putting distance between themselves and the bottom three.
It was clear from the off that this was a Saints side up for battle, but Spurs were still a side with talent if a little disjointed at the moment.
The game was won in the 17th minute with Ings piece of pure classand from then on Saints fought for every ball, every tackle and every inch, even though at times they seemed to be also up against referee Mike Dean who seemed to give everything he could to Spurs and very little to Saints, how Dele Alli was not booked for a host of various offences is beyond me, but even Dean could not beat VAR that saved Saints in the second half ruling Kane offside and to rub salt in the wounds the Spurs striker went off with a hamstring injury, this being his last kick of the game.
But Saints had to win this game and they were led by the engine room of James Ward Prowse and Pierre Emile Hojbjerg who battled for every ball and again it was hard to pick a man of the match because quite literally it could have been at least 8 of the starting XI
Danny Ings was everywhere and ran himself into the ground and surely will get an England call up this season.
A few weeks ago you could not see Saints not letting a goal in, today they rarely looked like doing so, although there was the odd lapse of concentration that could of but didn't cost us dearly.
When Mike Dean signalled 5 minutes of extra time you could not see Saints giving the game away now after coming so far and they saw it out as they had seen the previous 90, by digging in and not giving an inch, some of the tackling would not have been out of place for their tenacity if they had been performed by Mark Dennis or Dennis Hollywood or any number of our past hard men.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has admitted he had to get back to basics and he has done just that and the last few weeks have seen several players finally get back to form with no passengers and that has given us the springboard.
We finished the day in 12th after Arsenal's in in the final fame of the day, but we are now 5 points from the relegation zone and perhaps 4 wins from safety.
This time last year we were 3rd from bottom on 16 points, three years ago under Claude Puel a season where we finished 8th we were 13th with 24 points at this stage and in that great 2015/16 season we were 12th with 27 points.
Many said this was the worst season ever a couple of months ago, but it could yet prove to be a decent one, Saints are only 5 points off of Spurs in 6th and we could have indeed sat there or thereabouts now but for those late dropped points.
A couple of good signings in January and we could easily look at a top finish again, that would be sweet, but first we need to get the points on board for safety and we have some winnable games in the next month or so to do so.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 31 bloggers
Letters from Wiltshire #28 by wessex_exile
It’s difficult to think about quite how to write this editorial, without appearing mawkish. On Sunday 17th February 671 people succumbed to coronavirus, with the 7-day average creeping just above 1,000 deaths. On that day, one of those was someone very dear to me, who died in Watford General Hospital of Covid-19 pneumonia. Idiots and conspiracy-theorists will tell you there’s no plague, or that masks infringe their civil liberties, or some other form of spurious non-science bullsh*t, so do me a favour – if they say this to you, please punch them on the f’cking nose for me, and say that’s from Wessex – thank you.
Letters from Wiltshire #27 by wessex_exile
Welcome to 2021, and hopefully a vaccine-driven start to a much better year for everyone – which as you can guess was going to be my introduction two weeks ago. From a selfish perspective, hopefully an improved year for the U’s as well that sees us cement at the very least a play-off spot, but why stop there – don’t mess around with the lottery of play-offs, go straight for it with automatic promotion (who am I kidding). First up in that quest is a tough match against Tranmere Rovers Cambridge United, and no longer with Chuck to help us out. Still, set up for Jevani to put one over on his former club.
Letters from Wiltshire #26 by wessex_exile
Well, after a piss-poor Xmas period so far for the U’s, culminating in the Roots Hall horror show on Boxing Day, let’s hope the U’s have burned off those festive calories and are raring to go. They’ll certainly have to be at their best against a Cheltenham side aiming to force their way into the automatic promotion places. In other news, we now finally have confirmation that there will be a trade deal in place with the EU once Brexit arrives in 2021. It remains to be seen whether it’s a good deal or not, and more to the point, who for, but at least it’s not the economic uncertainty of no-deal.
Letters from Wiltshire #25 by wessex_exile
A little earlier than usual, but as we approach the end of what has been a most difficult year for everyone, I’ll keep the introductory editorial brief, as I’m sure you will all be very busy in the coming days rescuing what you can from this pandemic-ravaged festive period. I simply wish you all peace on earth, goodwill to all (yes, even our South Essex cousins), and here’s to a happy, prosperous and most importantly healthy 2021 for us all.
Letters from Wiltshire #24 by wessex_exile
Welcome to our last match before Christmas. With South Essex going into Tier 3, by the time we take to the pitch at Roots Hall, it’ll be another behind-closed-doors match. With the Tier 3 boundary creeping inexorably closer, one wonders how long the JobServe will hold out and still be able to allow fans to attend. Robbie is doing all he can to make it possible for supporters to attend, and I confess I’m seriously considering our January 2nd match against Tranmere. In other news, I’m relieved to read that the FA will not take disciplinary action against Colchester United after a shameful minority chose to boo players and officials taking the knee, in the words of the EFL “as they highlight the inequality and injustice experienced by the Black Community”. I noticed a tiny minority chose to boo at our mid-week match at the Abbey Stadium, but I was pleased to hear they were immediately drowned out by the remainder of the 2,000 cheering and applauding. I admit I’m a little anxious about today…
[ Vote here ]