Saints At Watford The Preview
Sunday, 28th Jun 2020 10:53
Will Saints get away with it at Watford or will they get punished as they did against Arsenal, the truth is that nobody knows and we should have one aim now and that is to get over the finishing line and plan for next season.
In the two games played so far we have seen the good and the bad of Saints, in the first Norwich could not capitalise on our slack defending, in the second Arsenal certainly did and 2-0 could easily have been double.
This is nothing new I am getting sick of writing the same verdict game after game, not just this season but the last one and the one before that, one thing is clear that the solution is not at the club, we need to buy in and buy in well, the same players have made the same mistakes time and time again and will not change their ways now.
So what does Ralph Hasenhuttl do this afternoon at Watford, the truth is he is not in control of the situation, he knows that he is being let down defensively by individuals and he has no one to replace them with, Jack Stephens is missing this afternoon and so he will probably have to play Jannik Vestergaard so it is out of the frying pan and into the fire for his team selection.
Ralph must be frustrated, he works hard all week and then certain players defend like school boys.
So anything could happen at Vicarage Road, it is going to be a lottery, but whatever happens the underlying problem is still there and needs to be addressed.
Ig I was Ralph I would try something different, I would find out if some fringe players are up to the taske, that means Kevin Danso in the centre of defence, Che Adams up front in place of Michael Obafemi and sticking with Kyle Walker Peters, all three have been overlooked in the main, but they cannot be worse than those that kept them out of the starting line up against both Norwich & Arsenal.
Watford are not in the best of form, a late equaliser against Leicester won them a point but they lost the next game against Burnley, before the break a win against Liverpool came out of nowhere and was the only win in 7 league games before the suspension of the Premier League. so in their last 9 games they have taken only 6 points out of 27.
That came after Nigel Pearson had initially sparked a revivale that dragged them off the bottom of the league, but they still stand only a point above the relegation zone.
Perhaps out of all the four clubs now seemingly vying for the last two relegation places with Norwich now seemingly doomed, Watford have the most fight and Saints need to match that. The Hornets don't score many at home , only 17 so far and three of those against Liverpool, but they don't concede either having let in only 18.
Their home form is good, only 4 wins, but 6 draws and only 5 defeats, they don't lose many at home and they keep going right into the last minute of injury time as they showed Leicester and indeed us on several occasions in recent years.
So from this perspective a draw would be good for Saints, the Arsenal game showed we don't have the quality at the back to get us up into the top 10, but perhaps a few results here and there might nudge us close, we just need to get to that 40 point mark and then concentrate on next season.
A win would get us to that points total and would effectively see us safe, Villa could then only reach that total if they won at least 4 of their last 6 games, Watford would be in the same boat, so today is important to get a result and then build from there.
It has been a frustrating season, but we should take the positives and not the negatives, Ralph Hasenhuttl has shown that he has what it takes to tackle adversity and come back stronger, the past is gone, only the future matters and that means getting this season done and moving on.
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 #48 by wessex_exile
â€śAnd now the end is near, and so we face the final curtainâ€¦regrets, weâ€™ve had a few, but then again, too few to mentionâ€ť. Not quite right Paul Anka, probably more than a few, but otherwise a fair assessment of where the Uâ€™s are today. Itâ€™ll be interesting to see how we perform with the relegation monkey finally off their back â€“ Iâ€™m not expecting miracles, particularly with Tranmere needing at least a point to guarantee making the play-offs, but theyâ€™ll certainly be more nervous than we will be, so can we make that count? This will be my last blog of the season, and not yet sure what I may or may not do for next season, but suggestions are always welcome.
Letters from Wiltshire #47 by wessex_exile
Here we are, at the penultimate game of the season, and our last game in front of the cardboard Uâ€™s faithful at the JobServe. It has been a long, difficult, and definitely strange season, which frankly Iâ€™ll be glad to see the back of. Thatâ€™ll weâ€™ll be here again in August is definitely going to be something to celebrate, but I suspect weâ€™re facing a summer of significant rebuilding both on the pitch, and possibly off it too. I wonâ€™t be the only one, but the biggest oddity for me has been being able to watch every single game â€“ not always easy viewing, but something Iâ€™ve never done before, and probably never will again. But it doesnâ€™t really make up for not being there in person, the long train journey away-days, meeting fellow Uâ€™s and other supporters, and of course sharing a beer or three. Fingers-crossed we can return to the terraces in 2021/22.
Letters from Wiltshire #46 by wessex_exile
That was quite a week for us all then. In the space of four short but remarkably tense days we have gone from having to take shoes and socks off to check how many more points we need to guarantee survival, or whether we would even achieve it, to breathing a huge sigh of relief knowing weâ€™re almost there. But close of play this afternoon, whether by our own actions or the failure of others, I am sure survival will be confirmed. Of course, Tuesday night not only all but guaranteed it, it also virtually condemned local rivals Southend United to non-league football for the foreseeable. Looking at the host of fully professional former football league sides currently battling it out for the two promotion slots out of the National league (including Hartlepool, Torquay, Stockport, Wrexham, Chesterfield and Notts County), it is not going to be a walk in the park for Southend to return any day soon.
Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
Tonight, Colchester United face Southend United in what may not necessarily be the most important game of our respective histories (though itâ€™s certainly very close), but is almost certainly the most important Essex derby ever. However this season pans out, by the end of it thereâ€™ll either be only one team in Essex, or worst case scenario, none at all. If the Uâ€™s win, then Southend will be 9pts behind with just three games to go, and a minimum of a -12 goal difference to overturn if they want to overtake us. Certainly mathematically possible, but that would rely on a remarkable turnaround in their form, form that theyâ€™ve shown precious little sign of achieving so far this season. The stalking horse is Grimsby, with their game in hand, who have rather belatedly shown an improvement in form, so their match against automatic promotion chasing Morecambe tonight is equally important, particularly if we want to avoid the unthinkable, with both Essex clubs dropping out of the league.
Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
So here we are, as the nation mourns the passing of His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh, the Uâ€™s face the first of two season-defining moments, with our late kick-off match at home to Walsall. Before then, no doubt many will have been focused on events elsewhere, not least the early kick-offs for Grimsby (at home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers), and particularly Essex rivals Southend United, who faced a tricky visit to Exeter City â€“ still very much in the hunt for at least a play-off spot. As I finalise this blog, I know that Grimsby have beaten Bolton 2-1, and Southend earned a credible 0-0 draw in the West Country. More to the point, the Uâ€™s will know this too. Whilst I canâ€™t help but feel that will ought to be to our advantage, it surely must also put additional pressure on a squad whose confidence is paper-thin. We must hope that Hayden Mullins, assisted by Paul Tisdale, get their heads right, and send the lads out this evening fired up with self-belief.
[ Vote here ]