Why Southampton Want To Win Against Arsenal In The FA Cup
Thursday, 21st Jan 2021 11:08
On Tuesday against Shrewsbury Ralph Hasenhuttl rested most of his first team regulars to give youth a chance and also to ensure that his squad didn't pick up any more injuries, but when his side runs out against the Gunners at St Mary's on Saturday, the side will look a lot different and for good reason.
Those that complained on social media about the manner of the win against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday, failed to take into account that the team was essentially a reserve side, of the 11 that started, only two Jan Bednarek & James Ward Prowse were considered starters a month ago, yes another two in Jack Stephens & Ibrahima Diallo are currently in the starting line up, but that is only because two key players Jannik Vestergaard and Oriol Romeu are out injured.
Add Fraser Forster and Shane Long and you had experience, but both have barely featured, although on paper it had an experienced side, the truth is that it was a reserve side as we used to call it, in all but name.
Had it been a different situation with injuries, then Ralph Hasenhuttl would have made some changes to give game time to squad members, but he would not have had a team with five players, Jan Valery aside with barely a game between them.
But the manager was taking the game seriously he was just having to adapt to the situation and ensure that he didn't pick up any more injuries, especially in positions where he has little or no cover.
Ralph has always said he takes the cup competitions seriously as he showed last season and indeed this when he put out a full first team against Brentford in the League Cup.
How much he wanted to win the game against Shrewsbury was emphasised in the final 10 minutes when he made his first substitutions, he brought on the experienced Stuart Armstrong and Che Adams, with only a slender lead he was taking no chances and was determined to ensure there were no upsets.
So against Arsenal I think we will see a lot stronger side out, there will still be room for some changes and necessity will play a part in that, but I would expect that the likes of Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong will play as well as a return for Kyle Walker Peters at the back and hopefully Theo Walcott
Danny Ings could well also be fit again, but I would prefer him to starting on the bench, to ensure we don't push him too much after his recent injury and time out with Covid 19.
Saints will want to win this as Ralph Hasenhuttl will feel this is his best opportunity this season for a Europa League spot, firstly because the injury crisis has seen us lose ground in recent weeks in the Premier League and secondly because several Big Six clubs will be absent in the draw for the next round.
Six Premier League clubs went out in the 3rd round and in the 4th round if we beat Arsenal that is them out and they will be joined by either Manchester United or Liverpool who play each other.
With a third all Premier League clash between Fulham & Burnley, virtually half the division will be knocked out.
Not accounting for any shocks, 3 more sides are guaranteed to join them after being eliminated in the 4th round
If Saints get through they travel to Wolves assuming they beat Chorley, in the 5th round and with several other potential all top flight ties in the offing, Utd/Liverpool V West Ham, Everton V Tottenham Hotspur & Leicester V Brighton the competition will be opened out.
That means that after the 5th round 13 of the 20 Premier League clubs will be out of the competition, meaning that in the 6th round only 7 Premier League clubs can remain and that is the maximum, a shock or two in either round could reduce that further.
So the 6th round draw will see over half the numbers made up by clubs in the Championship or below.
This is a great opportunity for Saints if they can despatch Arsenal and then win in the 5th round, there is a path emerging, we have to do our part and win two games and then fingers crossed in the draw for the 6th round.
Not accounting for any shocks, 3 more sides are guaranteed to join them after being eliminated in the 4th round.
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #37 by wessex_exile
On Tuesday night, long-suffering U’s fans, and after such a long wait, finally saw something truly remarkable. Yes, on that fog-bound night we witnessed not one but two miracles – Trevor Kettle making two catastrophically poor game-changing decisions, listening to arguments against those decisions, admitting he had been wrong, and reversing them. Oh my days, as I live and breathe, if I’m ever blessed with grandchildren in years to come, will they believe doddery old me when I tell them what happened that night? Oh, and the U’s finally threw the monkey off their back and won a game…
Letters from Wiltshire #36 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #35 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #34 by wessex_exile
I won’t dwell on Robbie’s latest message to the supporters – we’ve all read it, and we’ve all probably drawn our own conclusions about what it doesn’t say as much as what it does. To me, bottom line, I suspect the clock is now ticking for Steve Ball (at least), turn around this terrible form pretty damn quick, or start clearing out your locker. Regardless of personal opinions on any of the individuals concerned, I would like to think none of us actually wants to see people made redundant in the current climate. But, these are difficult times that require tough decisions. If Steve Ball is up to the job and can turn this around, I’ll be more than happy to support him. If he’s not, he has to go before irreparable harm is done…and we all know what that will look like, we’ve been there before…
Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
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