Category Archives: Southampton

Portsmouth 0 Southampton 4 …

The eagerly awaited South Coast Derby eventually came last night, as league 1 Portsmouth took on Premier League Southampton. It was the first derby between the two teams since 2012, and predictably enough, went the way of Southampton.

The scoreline might seem a tad harsh on Portsmouth, who fielded a strong side last night. The side bore close resemblance to the team that narrowly missed out on Promotion from League 1 Last season.

Southampton for their part were fresh, following being beaten in another South Coast Derby on Friday night against Bournemouth. That game saw them on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline, so last nights game was always going to be a tall order for Portsmouth

However…

Portsmouth more than held their own for 30 minutes, before making two sloppy mistakes by their standards. These defensive errors, which led to Danny Ings Scoring two goals.

Advertisements

Ward-Prowse called up by England as Delph, Stones and Loftus-Cheek withdraw

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse has been called up into the England Squad for the Euro 2020 Qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro respectively following injuries to three players.

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek alongwith Manchester City duo John Stones and Fabian Delph have all pulled out after picking up injuries during the weekends games for their club sides.

Ward-Prowse has only featured once for the senior side back in March 2017 when he featured alongside teammate Nathan Redmond during England’s 1-0 friendly defeat against Germany when the Saints play maker replaced Jake Livermore in the 82nd minute.

Ward-Prowse wasn’t included in Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate’s original squad for the qualifiers which left some pundits and journalists wonder how he’d been omitted from the squad after a string of impressive performances for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side in the Premier League this campaign.

It’s also good to see Tom Heaton in the squad for the first time since preparations for last summer’s FIFA World Cup in what was one of the best England performances out in Russia.

West Ham’s Declan Rice gets his first call-up after he recently switched allegiancies from Republic of Ireland to the Three Lions.

England’s Euro 2020 Qualifying campaign begins on Friday 22nd March when Czech Republic come to Wembley Stadium before Southgate and the Three Lions travel to Podgorica to face Montenegro just three days later.

Here is the England squad in full for the Qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Dele (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Declan Rice (West Ham United), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)

Brexit: How will it affect the Premier League?

It comes without surprise that all 20 of the current Premier League clubs were against Brexit in the first place. With Britain set to leave the EU on March 29th, and a ‘no deal’ Brexit looming closer by the minute, what will happen to The Premier League and English football in the future? 

 

The first likely outcome of Brexit on English football is the restriction on the movement of players from Europe to the UK, and vice versa. Players will most likely have to acquire work permits when transferring from The UK to Europe. It is estimated that only 60% of all players in the top flight are UK nationals, so there is major potential of future issues within the league. The clarity of movements in the transfer market may be completely hindered, with it being harder for Premier League clubs to sign European talent, and harder for players with UK citizenship to move to European clubs. Furthermore, with the Champions League quarter finals set to take place just two weeks after the March deadline, and four out of eight teams being from the UK, how will the final three stages pan out?

 

Another potential issue Brexit may reveal regards the 1995 Bosman ruling. The Bosman ruling has made a vital development to football around Europe, allowing players to act as free agents once their contract with the club has expired. The ruling came after three separate legal cases between Jean-Marc Bosman and UEFA, The Belgian FA and Bosman’s club at the time – Royal Football Club De Liege. Bosman won his case at The European Court of Justice in 1995. With the UK departing European jurisdiction, and it no longer being a requirement to follow EU law, UK players could potentially be at risk from a lack of free movement. 

 

The FA has already made a pre-Brexit statement regarding all teams in the Football Leagues. Back in November, they stated that every roster must consist of a minimum of 12 players from a UK background. This could have a positive and negative effect on the league; forcing managers to train with a more ‘British’ based team, leading to further player development and possibly lead to a stronger English, Welsh and Scottish national teams. However, it could lead to a lack of European talent in Premier League teams. Talented players such as Van Dijk, De Bruyne, Sane and Hazard may aim to look at joining major clubs in Europe, to mitigate against the uncertainty that Brexit may bring. Premier League scouts will most likely put their focus on British talent, and the number of European players brought to the top flight could be dramatically reduced. Furthermore, more pressure may be weighted on football academies, as there is an increased need for young English talent. This would lead to the increased development of young English players, the likes of Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Callum Hodson-Odoi all generated their success through excelling in their respected football academies. Could Brexit result in a breakthrough for unseen flair?

 

The main question on everyone’s mind is “Can Britain beat Brexit?” Although the outcomes still remain indistinct, it is clear that it could be rough. Lets just hope that it doesn’t tarnish our league and restrict the luminous football we are all so familiar with. 

Should James Ward-Prowse be in the England side?

2nd March 2019- James Ward-Prowse scores a beautiful free kick to level the scores away at Old Trafford. 9th March 2019- James Ward Prowse scores a beautiful free kick to give his side all three points against third place Tottenham, could Southampton have found their new talisman?

The Portsmouth born midfielder has been on the books of Southampton since the age of 8, and has been long touted as the next big thing on the south coast following his 2011 debut at the age of 16. A first team regularly since 2013 and a member of various England youth sides, it was only seen as a matter of time before one of the big sides snapped him up.

The hardworking midfielder has often shown maturity beyond his years, and has a wicked set piece delivery weather that be from corners or free kicks. Strong in the tackle and with an impressive passing range, he has also shown leadership skills, captaining the Saints a number of times.

But manager Mark Hughes wasn’t convinced, and many struggled to see where he would fit into the system. New summer signing Stuart Armstrong was added to an already strong midfield of Mario Lemina, Oriol Romeu, Jordie Clasie and Harrison Reed, add this to the fact he had lost his place at the back end of 17/18, and it looked likely to be a tough campaign for Ward-Prowse.

After being in and out of the side at the start of the season, Ward-Prowse managed to reestablish himself as a first team regular following Mark Hughes’ dismissal and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s appointment, and hasn’t looked back since.

Important goals against Leicester, Everton and Crystal Palace have been followed up with three goals in three against Fulham, United and Spurs, meaning Ward-Prowse is already having the best goal scoring season of his career.

It has taken longer than many expected but it now seems Ward-Prowse is ready to step up to the next level, after a number of seasons of showing flashes of his ability he is now delivering consistently and proving to be a match winner for the Saints.

After making his senior England bow in March 2017 as a 82nd minute sub for Jake Livermore, Ward-Prowse must now have his eye on forcing his way into the side again and staying there this time.

Breaking into this current England team won’t be easy after the three lions have enjoyed a very successful 12 months and are set to contest the Nations League Semi Finals this summer. This could prove to be the breakout season for Ward-Prowse, he’ll have to keep his current form up and hope he has caught Gareth Southgate’s eye, but it finally appears Southampton have another local midfielder to get excited about.

Three defenders that Liverpool should look at in January

After Liverpool started their Champions League campaign yesterday at home to Sevilla there was a sense of optimism among the Anfield faithful. Fast forward to the end of the game and Liverpool lumbered to a 2-2 draw and could’ve lost it in the final moments as Muriel wasted a golden chance after being slipped through.

Liverpool were brilliant going forward but at the back they were abysmal and in particular former Southampton defender Dejan Lovren looked lost as he was at fault for Sevilla’s first goal. After failing to sign Virgil Van Dijk in the summer Jurgen Klopp chose not to bring in an experienced centre-back and it seems to be costing the Anfield club so far this season.

In response to their defensive problems we have lined up three centre-backs that Jurgen Klopp should definitely be looking at to sign in January.

Virgil Van Dijk

The man who was on the name of every Premier League fans lips at one point or another during the summer transfer window. The Southampton defender was close to joining the reds but Southampton made a complaint to the FA over the alleged tapping up of the defender from Jurgen Klopp. Subsequently Liverpool withdrew their interest. However, we think they should have another crack as Van Dijk is exactly the player that Liverpool need at the back. He is strong, powerful, quick and consistent which is everything that Lovren isn’t unfortunately.

Nicholas Otamendi

The Argentinian defender is a big powerful presence in the back line but isn’t suited to playing in a back three for Pep Guardiola. Jurgen Klopps style would be a perfect fit for the Argentine who has a reputation for hard tackles and he works hard for his team. Should Klopp go for Otamendi City may be reluctant to sell especially with the absence of Vincent Kompany becoming an issue. If Liverpool bid well at the start of the window they could land him.

Toby Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld is becoming an ever growing name in world football as he proves to be MR Consistent for Tottenham Hotspur. The 28 year old Belgian centre-back has become frustrated at Spurs as Daniel Levy is reluctant to reward his world class players with higher wages. Alderweireld would be the defender that i would want to be linked with if I was a Liverpool fan as he is a born leader with an excellent defensive pedigree. If Liverpool were to sign him along with their current attack I would make them favourites to bag a trophy come the end of the season.

Do you think Liverpool should be looking at these three defenders? Or should they be going for someone else? Let us know in the comments section below…