Ralph Has To Try Something Different
Saturday, 27th Jun 2020 10:21
The defeat against Arsenal was a sense of deja vu as the same usual suspects made the same mistakes they have been making over the last couple of seasons, Ralph Hasenhuttl has nothing to lose by trying something different.
I said after the Norwich game that a better side than the Canaries would have been 2-0 up in the first 20 minutes, yet we learned nothing and Arsenal played to our weaknesses, being blunt a Premier League side should not be getting caught out by the keeper punting a long ball hopefully to a loan man up front, but that is what happened and was only the tiip of the iceberg.
Ralph Hassenhuttl has some breathing space so he should perhaps consider giving a chance to some who have been out in the cold of late.
In goal it is time to restore Angus Gunn in goal, Alex McCarthy was at fault for both goals against the Gunners and although the first was a freak occurrence, the second showed a total lack of doing the basics.
This is not an isolated incident and during his spell as first choice he has made several other errors that have cost us points, in the penultimate game before lockdown he failed to deal with a simple cross that gave West Ham the lead and after a hard fought battle at Manchester City that looked like ending in a draw, a flap at a cross gifted a last minute winner for City.
When McCarthy arrived at the club he was here as the understudy to Fraser Forster, he was not brought in as first choice and now as he approaches 31 he has only started 209 games, 64 of these have been with Saints and another 44 on loan at League one at Yeovil his only season as an undisputed first choice keeper.
Alex McCarthy is a competent keeper, a capable deputy but although he can come in and do a job, he does not have the consistency for a full season.
This being the case then we have to recall Angus Gunn and see if he can show he has what it takes for next season Gunn has had a tough time at St Mary's but he does have some excuse in that as a youngster he was playing behind a defence that offers him no help and exposes him time after time.
Gunn did a decent enough job in the FA Cup games, I think now is the time to recall him and give him a run and find out whether he is the choice going forward or we need to consider other options.
Jack Stephens will be suspended against Watford so there will have to be a change there, Jannik Vestergaard is the obvious choice, but he has not impressed when he has played, so why not try Kevin Danso he seems to be the forgotten man under Ralph Hasenhuttl who has never played him in his natural position which is central defence.
I can't see this happening in that Danso has only played in two FA Cup games since his last Premier League appearance in the aforementioned game at Manchester City back in October, but his appearances have not been that bad when picked and I find it strange we have not given him a chance, perhaps the trip to Watford will see him come in, but I would be surprised.
Up front we have not got a regular partner for Danny Ings, Michael Obafemi has started the last two games but in both he has looked lost, he does not seem to have the footballing brain about him, if he finds the ball at his feet he has pace and will run at players and he has scored a couple of goals, but other than that he has not really contributed as much as he should have, he does not create space or chances for others by running off the ball and he seems unsure what to do when the opposition are in possession. Obafemi flatters with pace, perhaps he will learn his trade and become a great player, but he isn't there yet.
Che Adams has been maligned by some for the fact he hasn't scored, but other parts of his game have been fine, he unlike Obafemi can make runs that create space he can pick a pass as he did against Aston Villa to leave Stuart Armstrong with a simple chance and he works hard.
We paid a lot of money for Adams and he has been linked with Leeds, throw him in for the final games of this season, he will be no worse than Obafemi and if he gets a goal then perhaps more will follow.
The Arsenal game showed that it is time we dealt with a defensive problem that has festered for too long, if you look at the back four and keeper we played ask yourself this question, how many of the starting five would get into another Premier League team ? Ryan Bertrand certainly, Bednarek perhaps, but sadly McCarthy, Valery and Stephens would not and that should tell us something.
WE have to find out if any of the solutions are already at the club, the same individuals keep making the same mistakes and costing us games, they have had their chance, we now have to try something different.
I have nothing against any of them, I base them purely on their performances and the League table of the past few seasons tells us something, the Arsenal game confirmed what we already new, we are the architects of our own downfall too often.
Photo: Action Images
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