Wow, sometimes weeks just go the way you want them to, they can’t go any better and that makes you very very happy. It’s definitely been one of those weeks for Southampton Football Club.
At the beginning of the week we were sat in a deserved fifth place, We’d taken a point off Stoke City, consisting of a fantastic team goal (The other probably shouldn’t be mentioned) And we were playing all round top football, such top football that I was dubbed a “Glory Supporter” at school! That made me laugh.
3 pieces of news made me especially happy last week, lets go in Chronological order, Firstly I have an excuse to visit Wembley, no we haven’t reached the FA Cup Final, however we could well have done by the way I’m feeling. Not one, not two but three Saints have been called up to play for the national team. Our England regular again retains his place. He’s joined by undoubtedly our best player this season Adam Lallana and in my opinion the most underrated player in The Prem, Jay Rodriguez. This is fantastic news, however it could have been five or six. It’s only a matter of time before Luke Shaw gets his first call up, Nathaniel Clyne as we all know is a fantastic attacking right back and If James Ward Prowse keeps performing so well in the first team, then who knows what could happen?
Amazing piece of news number two; In recognition of his fantastic work, Mauricio, has been awarded the prestigious “Manager Of he Month” award. With Adam Lallana also, being shortlisted for “Player Of The Month”. Mauricio becomes the first South American manager to win the award and also the first Non-European manager. The last real Saints manager to win the award was Gordon Strachan in Christmas 2002. I say “Real Football Manager” because wheeler dealing conmen don’t count.
Amazing piece of news number three; It’s 2:30 on Saturday 9th of November and at The SMS, Saints are preparing to take on newly promoted side Hull City, or “The Hull Tigers” as their North African Owner, has decided he wants to rename them, Thank god we’ve got Nicola. The teams are in and Poch names an unchanged team to last weekend against Stoke City. However Dani Osvaldo returned from injury to make the bench along with academy star Sam Gallagher.
Before the game a minutes silence was observed by the crowd in recognition of Remembrance Sunday, or “All The Saints Day” as the club called it.
Hull kicked of in their noble blue kit, on a crisp clear south coast afternoon.
The England trio of Jay Rodriguez, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana were all keen to make an early impression, as the hosts made a strong start to the game. The latter brought the supporters to their feet with a beautiful dummy to get past Maynor Figueroa in the fourth minute, and the resulting cross towards Lambert was narrowly missed by the frontman.
The visitors played with a narrow shape to defend, but pressed well in attack, forcing a chance for themselves in the 12th minute when Yannick Sagbo dispossessed Big Vic before taking a shot which Fonte threw himself in the way of to thwart the Hull frontman from recording a shot on target.
The first goal of the game wasn’t far away though, A beautiful move from The Saints saw RB Clyne, drift in a lucrative cross that saw the ball fall at the back post to SRL who unselfishly knocked it across goal for Last year’s player of the season Morgan Schneiderlin to fire home with a perfect header into the top left corner, 1-0 Southampton after just 16 minutes.
This was Morgans first goal of the season which happened to come the day after his 24th birthday. How nice.
Then, as Clyne, Lallana and Rickie linked up with breath-taking ease again moments later, the home fans paid homage to the ‘England’ team with a few chants usually heard at Wembley Stadium, that were now ringing around The St Mary’s. This was made all the better due to the fact that Woy was in the attendance.
Saints continued to assert there dominance on Hull as Rickie played a bewitching ball through for Lallana to run onto. Harper rushed out and threw himself at the ball. Lallana acknowledged this and wittily knocked the ball away leaving the keeper to completely take him out. The ref didn’t hesitate and pointed straight to the penalty spot. Rickie Lambert and Penalty’s go together like a wink and a smile, and he didn’t let anyone down. Although the keeper went the right way he could do nothing about the powerful strike from the Southampton front man, supplying Rickie with his fourth goal of the season.
Again the next goal wasn’t far away, as Adam Lallana hit then back of the net with arguably the best individual effort this season. He picks the ball up from Lambert 30 yards from goal, goes on a mazy run down the left which sees him bamboozle two defenders, he cuts inside Ahmed Elmohamady and plants a shot across the keeper and into the corner, sending the Saints fans into dreamland. What a goal.
At half time Saints were comfortably in the lead, playing some delicious football, really showing what they were capable of.
After the restart Saints continued to dominate knocking the ball around neatly in the opposition half although to Hull’s credit they were much improved.
But with Saints there is never a perfect performance, and it was there own fault that Hull got a sniff back in the game. Boruc played the ball to Wanyama just outside the area but he failed to control the ball and it fell to Sagbo who fired it past King Artur with a lovely finish from 20 yards.
Hull’s goal definitely brought the Tigers to life and for a brief period they were on top, however Saints dealt with Brucie’s side well and soon normal service was resumed.
From the corner that followed, Fonte managed to draw the ball under control before smashing a volley into the Hull defenders, but the pressure continued as Saints sensed another opportunity.
A delicious one-two between Lallana and Lambert brought a smart save from Harper after the skipper travelled the width of the penalty area to cut inside for a shot aimed at the far corner that was just about pushed to safety.
From another corner, David Meyler cleared the ball off the line from Schneiderlin’s low drive back towards goal from the edge of the area, and Hull hung on further when Fonte headed Ward-Prowse’s free-kick over the bar.
Saints resored their 3 goal lead when Clyne again crossed the ball this time for sub, Steve Davis to take it down beautifully and slot the ball for a fourth time past Harper.
The final whistle sounded and Saints equalled their biggest win since returning to The Premier League, with an out of this world performance out against a decent Hull side, that should comfortably stay up this season. Southampton Football Club are third, and we are over a quarter of our way through the season, we’ve got one of the best defensive records in Europe. We are seriously going places.
So In brief, THREE Lions, One manager of the month and one dazzling win. Not bad eh?