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Southampton v Arsenal the teams and final preview

By Bulldog Drummond

The review of recent events, and the league table for 2015 to date appears in the first part of the Southampton Arsenal review.   The referee preview also is here.
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Now moving on…
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The team is most likely to be
Giroud
Campbell Ozil Walcott
Ramsey Flamini
Monreal Koscielny Mertersacker Bellerin
Cech
In fact pretty much the same as before.
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The seven players lazing on the mud banks of the Solent could be Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Gabriel, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide, Oxlade-Chamberlain
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Debuchy wasn’t on the beach for the Man City game, so I wonder if there is an unglueable split between him and the boss and we will see him sold.   There is also a little whisper doing the rounds that Glen Kamara is ready to sit alongside our regulars Iwobi and Reine-Adelaide.  The fact that these two are there game after game, shows just how much Mr Wenger believes in them: Kamara could be joining the elite bunch.
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He’s a Finland under 21 international and the only time we’ve seen him is in the Sheffield Wednesday game, after which the manager was scathing about the youngsters.  But maybe that was their challenge: now show me what you can do, and maybe Kamara is doing just that.  He is also a defensive midfielder… now wouldn’t that be something – to have discovered another Coquelin.

Mesut Özil is of course the dominant force in making the whole team work, and given the weakness of the ref as previewed we might see attempts to cut him down.  But still he is soooooo good with 15 assists in 16 games he is going to be the player the TV cameras will be watching.

But mention must be made of Campbell, another player cited as an example of Wengerian incompetence, but he has been brilliant of late and has really grown into the part.   It has been quite clear that the rest of the league don’t know what to make of him, and you never quite know what he’s going to come up with next.

Meanwhile the media do their thing.  Mark Lawrenson for the BBC has declared that if Arsenal are “going to win the league then they need to win,” which is about the most bonkers of the lot.

So on with the odds and sods…

  • We’ve lost just one of the last 11 games against Southampton: the 2-0 defeat that prefaced this year’s brilliant run.
  • We played Southampton for the first time ever in the league on 26 December 1966.  They had climbed out of the third division in 1960 and now found themselves with the big boys.   We won 4-0 and Southampton missed relegation by a couple of places.  Radford got two and Armstrong two.
  • But they got their revenge the following day in the reverse fixture ending Southampton 2 Arsenal 1, Addison scoring.
  • The last time we played them on 26 December they won 1-0 at the Dell.  Arsenal were champions, and regained their title the following season.

However when it comes to Southampton

  • They have lost four of their last five Premier League games.  The other game was a draw with the mighty Aston Villa.
  • But they have not gone six without a win under the directorship of Ronald Koeman.
  • This time last season they were actually above us going into the Boxing Day games, and they won, to go fourth – quite an achievement since although they had just won their last two games, they had lost four in a row before that.   Here’s how the table looked after Boxing Day a year ago with the “Final” column showing each club’s final position in the league at the end of the season, and “Pts now” showing the current points total.

Arsenal are already six points above where they were AFTER Boxing Day last season.  All the other clubs won’t get to last Boxing Day’s position, even with a win.

And here’s another thought

  • Arsenal have only ever lost one Premier League match on Boxing Day (W12, D5).

Moving on to our regular table of the top clubs in Europe, Arsenal still stand fifth.

60 comments to Southampton v Arsenal the teams and final preview

  • Tony Attwood

    Well well, Leicester lost

  • Josif

    @Tony

    It’s worth mentioning that Martin Atkinson and the rest of his crew had another display of incompetence.

    There was a penalty shout in the first half for Leicester (on my stream it looked like a penalty) and in the final attack Mr Atkinson has proven once more that English referees are not just biased but also incompetent. Liverpool had half of the team offside when Kasper Schmeichel joined Leicester final attack. Lucas passed the ball forward to Benteke who was on the Leicester half when just one defender was between the goal-line and Benteke. It was a text-book offside but it wasn’t the first time this season English referees didn’t show that they know that rule (Chelsea-Bournemouth is another example).

    At least it’s not like Atkinson is going to be awarded with EURO 2016 appearance… Oh, wait.

    Never mind, let’s beat the Saints.

  • Mic

    Wow. What game have you watched?
    It wasnt handball against lLiverpool.
    For the offside, offside rule dont apply if the passer and the reciever are both behind the centre of the court line, and i think both was.
    Learn the rules, will make watching a game more pleasant. We know that refs need video help but….

  • Al

    Atkinson is a complete joke….I know there’s talk of introducing video refereeing but with officials like him that’s only half the job done. Lukaku is going for Vardy’s record, could have won a penalty a few seconds ago but Mason wasn’t interested. Ah well, looks like he’ll have to do it the right (or should it be hard) way..

  • Josif

    @AI

    Absolutely spot on. Video-refereeing will only have success if they teach FA how to turn the damn thing on. 🙂

    Lukaku is not an Englishman with a racist insult in his file. Don’t expect him to get calls in his favour, at least not in this shade of blue.

  • Menace

    The whole damned lot of PGMO are incompetent!!

    The number of fouls on Man United players was appaling but then one can say it serves them right. SAF had infrastructure of PGMO & media all following his bidding. LVG has nothing just his own history. It is sad to see the mighty falling.

    Fouls galore in the toon v Everton & again sad officiating.

  • Josif

    @Mic – watch the video again. Benteke was already in Leicester’s half when Lucas was making the pass.

    And, I’m not talking about the handball (it was a correct call from the ref, from what I saw) but the other incident in the first half when a Leicester player was clipped from the back.

  • Gord

    Courtesy of the BBC:

    33 Cech
    24 Bellerín
    04 Mertesacker
    06 Koscielny
    18 Monreal
    20 Flamini
    16 Ramsey
    28 Campbell
    11 Özil
    14 Walcott
    12 Giroud

    Substitutes

    03 Gibbs
    05 Gabriel
    13 Ospina
    15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
    21 Chambers
    45 Iwobi
    54 Reine Adelaide

    Pretty good predicting I think.

    COYG!

  • Josif

    Mason has done Everton tonight. Janmaat should have been sent off.

  • Tony Attwood

    Yes pretty good predicting

  • Tony Attwood

    Might be worth turning the sound down if you are watching on BT Sport. They announced that Everton scored with the last kick of the match against Newcastle.

    It was a header.

  • Al

    When was a header ever described as a kick, only on BT sport 🙂 🙂

  • Menace

    For some teams there is a God. Last seconds of the game Everton get a goal after the PGMO dumbo allowed fouls galore.

  • Al

    Like this kit, better than the blue one.

  • Menace

    Our away fans are just superb when it comes to audible support.

  • Menace

    Moss using selective vision already. We will win despite the PGMO cheat.

  • Al

    Thought the Southampton player, Davies, was offside

  • Menace

    He was but it is officials discretion – nothing to do with Laws of the Game. The commentators are so happy.

  • Al

    I like the way these commentators are writing us off already. Their opinions change like the wind.

  • Sid

    We’re acting like the games won!!

  • Sid

    Come on Arsenal!!

  • Josif

    A few observations:

    -their goal should have never happened as the Southampton player was offside in the build up of the goal,

    -Moss gave Long a Busacca-like yellow card,

    -we do look like a better team, all we need is a final ball,

    -Monreal and Campbell have done well in spite of a few heavy touches,

    -we’ll make a come-back in the second half.

    Our last victory at St Mary’s happened in 2003-04 when Robert Pires – who really, really liked to play against Southampton – scored a winner.

  • SidBish

    Wasn’t offside, was level. Defence is fast asleep, need to wake up in 2nd half, Mertesacker is woeful today …….

  • Gord

    I got to see about half of the first half. The ball seems to be bouncing away from us a lot today. Moss seems to be out of position a fair amount. Ozil is getting annoyed with his coverage.

    COYG!

  • Al

    Imagine if we had video refereeing, this game would be nil nil. If it ends like this then Andrew’s tally of possible points lost to referee ‘errors’ should go up to 12.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    We are not playing poorly just not quite well, either.

    Their goal was an amazing strike and there is little you can do about a ball from that far out that bends that much…fair play on that.

  • Josif

    Koscielny got away without a yellow card and Van Dijk’s goal was…hm. I didn’t see which part of Van Dijk was offside.

  • Al

    Moss is a joke guys.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    wasn’t our defender pulled back?

  • Al

    2 goals that should not have stood.

  • Menace

    Moss doing his selective vision to ensure Arsenal lose another goal.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    My commentator has remarked that Moss is not covering himself in glory…no kidding

  • Josif

    Moss is a dross.

  • Al

    Header from a corner that never was….just when I was starting to think it couldn’t get any worse.

  • Josif

    Awful refereeing backed with a terrible defending equals a heavy defeat.

    Hopefully guys won’t be knackered before Bournemouth with this one.

  • Al

    Strangen commentary, the BT sport commentators agreeing each of the Southampton goals should not have stood but then go on to say ‘but it doesn’t matter…’

  • John

    Their second goal shouldnt of stood but we have been so far off the pace and have beed second best all night.Southampton to be fair have bossed the midfield.

  • John

    Wanyama in particular.Hes everything we have been missing since coq got injured.

  • Menace

    Bossed? the only boss has been the cheat with the whistle. Long should have been sent off Wanyama should have seen red, but Moss is a cheat so what part of boss has Southampton done?

  • John

    Give it a rest menace its boring now.Weve been crap ,just admit it.

  • Al

    Moss man of the match for me. The three gifts made Southampton play all men behind the ball leaving us no space at all to exploit, then hitting us on the break.

  • Mahdain

    So to sum it up
    1. Offside
    2. Foul
    3. Goal kick
    Beaten by a BENT referee once again

  • Al

    And cue the aaaa coming out of the woodwork..

  • Al

    The wind made that goal look greater than it really was.

  • para

    Come on, leave the ref alone, we CANT blame him at all tonight.

    This was an abject, disinterested, unprepared and disgraceful performance by Arsenal, probably too much xmas dinner yesterday. Well i never….
    No more to say.

    We better get the idea of what the title should mean very quickly after that performance, the worst i have yet seen from Arsenal.

  • andy bishop

    Bad night at the office..move on…..we were poor..end of..couple of bad decisions..win the next two

  • Mahdain

    Riley must see us a threat so he decided to send one of his trusted men to do us in. He really cant stand seeing us win the tittle if he has a say in it. We got totally shafted today by a referee on a mission. How do you let 3 ILLEGAL goals stand? There is having an off day but not like this. PGMOL “break Arsenal momentum” mission complete

  • Al

    Moss is crap, probably explains why we’re getting him so frequently lately. Anyway, we’re still second.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For those interested, match report is on line.

  • Can somebody please shut Savage up.

    Poor result today. We weren’t great and neither was Moss. We pick ourselves up and move on.

    To those looking for scapegoats and writing the team’s obituary, remember that we were ‘out’ of the CL after the 5-1 loss away to Bayern Munich until we weren’t. I am sticking with my team.

    Win, draw or lose, we keep moving forward!

  • Josif

    The referee did his best to kill us tonight. Three mistakes before three Southampton goals – you really can’t make that up. Moss is another man with a 00-licence issued by Riley.

    That being said, our players looked too cocky after the victory over City. Our defence was all over the place. I expect at least one signing in January.

  • para,

    Calm the fuck down!

  • Yassin

    3 goals should not stand

    Now if we get one call in our favor, the whole arsenal fans around the globe would be talking how it should not stand, but when its the other way, lets leave the ref alone?

    another thing, our players should start doing this English way of defending, pushing, holding the player by hand, shirt, and so on…. This is not physicality, this is total cheating!

  • Yassin

    No Josif, our players were not co ky, but when you leave your tired CB alone in the back trying to get back in the match, against a fast player (and cheater) like Long, this is what happens.
    They only got 4 shots on goal, 3 were in. we got 4 none in

  • sleekwhale

    There is no excuse for such game…none at all. We were poor. The ref is not gonna come in with the whistle to raise our game.

  • Yassin

    But he did raise the game for Southampton, didn’t he? Oh yes, we are arsenal, we should not do that… we should just shut up and only blame the players

  • para

    As bad/good as the ref was/is there is really no excuse for that performance. Anyone thinking that is deluded.

    This was one of the “classic” Arsenal games where no one turned up. We looked completely unprepared for the game, the first 10 mins always gives an impression on the mental state of the lads. I knew we were not going to win after 15 mins. But to lose by 4, four goals shows how disinterested we were.

    We were completelely unprepared for them and if we want to carry on to win the title, we need to get our priorities right.

    It’s moments like these that make me wonder if a little too much celebrating went on? Seriously, I thought this unconcentration was a thing of the past now.

    Thanks Arsenal, what a xmas pressie you gave us. 🙁

    And to all those who continue to smile when their house is burning(except the one thinking of the insurance) 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 and some more 🙁 🙁 :(.

    If i hear the phrase “bounce back” one more time, Arrgh.

    OK, rant over. 🙂

  • para

    Bootoomee
    I am calm so calm that i can honestly say i can see the game without rose coloured glasses.

    Anyone telling me the ref was fault better takes their glasses off, or get some, then see the complete disinterest our players put down. We know how the refs behave, it’s nothing new. We’ve proven that we can beat 11 men and a ref, many times.

    But i have to rant (especially when they give me cause to) without being (too) disrespectful in any way else it builds up inside me and causes damage. Just the way it is. 🙂

    There are probably a lot of sealed cauldrons(people who refuse to see negative things) just waiting to explode round about now, hope i’m not near any of them when they do explode.

  • para,

    You are always too emotional during games and after poor results. Learn to see things in perspective and stop posting every negative thoughts that comes to your mind when things are not right with the team. It is called maturity.

    Just take a deep breath on days like yesterday and calm down. Contrary to what you and others who love to wail after poor results believe, your criticisms does not help the team, it only irritates those of us who just want to support them in good and bad times.