Covid Firebreak Gives Saints Respite From Injury Crisis
Saturday, 18th Dec 2021 10:50
Ralph Hasenhuttl has spoken of how the fact that having almost 100% vaccination rate in his squad has meant that we have had very few confirmed cases of Covid 19, but that has not left his players immune from injury and the postponement this weekend has come as a relief to the situation.
At Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening Saints were missing several key players through injury, Fraser Forster & Alex McCarthy's injuries left the manager no choice but to bring in an emergency goalkeeper signing with the 40 year old out of contract Willy Caballero joining on a months loan.
But the crisis did not end there, forwards Che Adams & Adam Armstrong would have missed today's game with Brentford as would have Stuart Armstrong.
But at Palace Armando Broja and Tino Livramento, doubts before the game, had been patched up and just about been able to play, some Saints fans condemned Ralph Hasenhuttl for taking off Broja and bringing on Shane Long, but the truth was that Broja had gone to the limit and had to be conserved for today's game and the manager could not take the risk of him being injured further.
That proved to not be an issue with the postponement of the fixture against Brentford, but this game being called off has perhaps come as a relief for Saints who will now have a break of 10 full days between the Palace game and the visit to West Ham.
Perhaps Brentford would have had to field a weakened side if the game had not been postponed and Saints might have cruised to victory, but with so many key players out injured ourselves that would have been far from guaranteed and we would have had a distinct lack of firepower up front.
So I would suspect that Ralph Hasenhuttl would have heaved a little sigh of relief privately when he heard the news that his side would not be playing this weekend.
Hopefully now a period of rest will now give us the time to get some of the injured back as well as a rest to those like Broja & Livramento who being unused to the rigours of a Premier League season could do with a spell of recuperation themselves.
If the fixture at West Ham goes ahead and that is far from guaranteed given the current situation with the new Omicron variant spreading fast then we will enter a short period where the games come thick and fast, we need all of our squad fit and firing on all cylinders.
So this unexpected break could not have come at a better time for Saints.
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
When Saturday Comes #22 by wessex_exile
It’s the 15th of January, and still the U’s are attempting to play their first home match of 2022. Weather looks good (check), players have returned from injury (check), no on-day Covid testing to get in the way (check), so barring fire famine or flood, I reckon we must have at least a 50:50 chance of a game at the JobServe this afternoon. Whether it’ll be three much-needed points or not, and if you’ll pardon the pun, I at least did see green shoots at the New Lawn on Tuesday. We still lost, and the table doesn’t lie, but definitely signs to encourage me that whilst it’s not going to be a comfortable journey, we’ll be alright by May.
When Saturday Comes #21 by wessex_exile
Here we are then, what should have been the first home game of 2022, and I discover seconds before posting this that the game is called off because of a waterlogged pitch. Having gone to the trouble of writing this, even though we’re not playing I’m going to post it anyway – it’s not like you’ve got anything else to do this afternoon.
When Saturday Comes #20 by wessex_exile
Finally, When Saturday Comes…and the U’s (for now at least) have a match to play. Mind you, I’m writing this on Friday afternoon, so there’s still time yet for yet another Covid/ injury postponement, I guess. I certainly hope not, as I’m planning on heading over to Crawley for this one. Mind you, now that the EFL have decreed there will be no on the day testing to eliminate the possibility of last-minute cancellations, I think I’ll defer buying a train ticket until this evening. Needless to say, a repeat of our last visit to Broadfield (The People’s Pension Stadium under the terms of a sponsorship deal) would do very nicely indeed.
When Saturday Comes #19 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes…and the U’s find themselves fixtureless again, following Hartlepool’s request to postpone the game because of positive Covid tests amongst their squad. To heap further fixture congestion problems on the U’s, in short order Forest Green Rovers did likewise for our already rearranged match at the New Lawn on Tuesday night, and for the same reason. They’re not on their own either, with in all (so far) four Premier League and 19 EFL matches postponed today – all for positive Covid tests in their squads.
When Saturday Comes #18 by wessex_exile
A little later than usual today I’m afraid – ‘tis the season to be jolly and all that, so I have just been out for the obligatory Xmas tree – bah humbug. Mind you, I was treated to the sight of literally hundreds of Santas (and the occasional elf) on a charity fun run through Calne on the way, which for want of a better expression was certainly surreal. Officially entitled Santa’s Scamper, the entry fee for participants goes to charitable causes, and to date the organisers have raised nearly £8k for charities such as Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Dorothy House, Hope for Tomorrow, Barnardos and of course their main charity every year, Hannah’s Trees – well done Santas!
[ Vote here ]