I was at St Mary’s on Saturday to witness Southampton thump Newcastle by four goals to nil. Here are my thoughts on the match…
Saints were great
It wasn’t an easy summer for Southampton, losing many of their key players from last season and having to rebuild their squad, but you wouldn’t have thought that based on this performance. Fraser Forster was good in goal, he made a great save early on from Moussa Sissoko, and that’s a really good signing for Ronald Koeman. The back four were solid, José Fonte and new signing Toby Alderweireld looked comfortable and Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand were excellent at full back.
In midfield, Morgan Schneiderlin was absolutely superb, and you could argue that Southampton’s best piece of business in the Summer was persuading him to stay. Jack Cork was equally as impressive and even scored a goal, which is a rarity to say the least. Dušan Tadić and Graziano Pellè were both very good up front and seem to be very decent signings.
The Saints were helped by some truly shocking Newcastle defending, the best goal of the game came from Morgan Schneiderlin, who unleashed a wonderful curling shot past Tim Krul and into the Newcastle goal. Graziano Pellè got the first two goals and Cork got the third.
Newcastle were SHOCKING
If Alan Pardew wants to keep his job he’s going to have to buck his ideas up because Newcastle were appalling.
They were shaky right from the kick-off and almost conceded in the first 30 seconds – fortunately for Tim Krul his kick bounced off Shane Long and went out for a goal kick. It didn’t improve defensively and at least two of the four goals were preventable. Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini were awful, Tim Krul wasn’t much better, and was lucky to be on the pitch after taking out Shane Long.
Newcastle couldn’t string more than five passes together, couldn’t defend and had nothing up front.
The Geordies in the away end were absolutely furious and sang ‘We want Pardew out’ repeatedly throughout the game. There were also a few banners saying things like ‘Pardew is a muppet’ and ‘sackpardew.com’.
I originally thought the criticism of Pardew was a little bit harsh but after watching them on Saturday it’s totally justified. I didn’t see Pardew stand up once throughout the game, it was John Carver, his assistant who was doing all the shouting. It makes the decision to give him an eight year contract laughable, and he’s probably laughing as well, because if they sack him he’ll presumably get a massive pay off.
When Chris Foy blew his final whistle a Newcastle supporter jumped over the barriers and ran straight towards Pardew. Fortunately, after a few slips, he was caught by the stewards and taken away, because I think he would have punched Pardew in the face. That type of thing is totally unnecessary and I hope he gets a lengthy ban. It’s alright to give your manager stick but do it from the stands, don’t make an idiot of yourself in front of 30,000 people.
Finally, just a quick mention for Francis Benali (who made over 300 appearances for Southampton), he completed his mission of running to all 20 Premier league stadiums for Cancer Research UK. He got a brilliant reception at half time and quite rightly so, that is a massive achievement and one he should be very proud of.