Game 8: Wednesday 24 September 1997
Southampton 0 - 2 Leeds United
(Half-time: 0 - 1)
Referee: S J Lodge (Barnsley)
|« Leicester City
|Manchester United »
|Martyn, Kelly, Robertson, Haaland, Molenaar, Wetherall, Wallace, Hopkin (Bowyer, 71), Ribeiro, Kewell, Halle
|Hasselbaink, Lilley, Harte, Beeney
|Jones, Dodd, Benali, Richardson, Monkou (Maddison, 27), Lundekvam, Williams, Oakley (Bowen, 59), Evans, Davies, Neilson
|Johansen, Todd, Taylor
|Molenaar 36, Wallace 55
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers
|About last night
|About last night
|Fans fear worst for sinking Saints
|Leeds develop taste for away breaks
|The Electronic Telegraph
|Wallace goal takes Leeds up and away
|Links to Reports on the net
|Soccernet match report
|Carlingnet match report
Didn't see any recognisable listers at the game, although I saw someone resembling Betty as we were leaving, Betty were you there or are there two of you ? - I think your public needs to know !!
1st half - we were shit, they were shitter
2nd half - we were less shit they were more shit.
The goal was the only bright thing I saw in the first half really, a few individual flashes, but no cohesive team play. 2nd half Leeds were far brighter, but we must do better if we are to avoid a repeat of the drubbing that we got off of scum last year. Hopefully Lucas will be fit, and Jimmy will be playing and not sulking, across the Dell last night it looked to me as if he had a right strop on about being on the bench.
Haven't the time for a fuller report so heres the Scores on the doors :
Martyn 8 - Hardly had a thing to do
all night, saved by the woodwork early in the game when he was
beaten, but everything else he went for he caught.
Kelly 7 - Steady game, good runs down the flank, spent alot of time in space in the 2nd half calling for the ball only to not get it.
Halle 6 - Largely anonymous, but contributed to the clean sheet so worth a 6.
Wetherall 7 - Solid in the centre of the back line, made a number of important blocks.
Molenaar 7 - Worked hard, seems to have lost the clumsiness that he had against Blackburn, cleared up Robertsons mistakes well. Well taken goal.
Robertson 4 - Very poor. Better going forward than defending, but not by much. Constantly out of position, relyin on MOlenaar and Ribeiro to clear up for him, and very very slow. One excellent run in the 2nd half though which redeemed him a tad, setting up Bruno to blast it over.
Ribeiro 8 - Tireless, as a squad player for the future Bruno has got to be GGs best buy of the year.
Haaland 5 - Barely noticed him all game.
Hopkin 7 - Steady game, well taken free kick to Kelly allowed Gary to set up the first. Subbed for Bowyer,
(Bowyer 6 - Doesn't seem quite with it at the moment, is it lack of games sapping his fitness, or is he p*ssed of at being dropped).
Kewell 8 - Another one for the future, young Harry gets better and better, needs to learn to release the ball earlier when running at defenders, he seemed to want to take everyone on when a through ball for Wallace to run onto would have been better.
Wallace 8 - Didn't see him fall over once. Wallace is a completely different player to last season, and the better for it. Finally getting the hang of the Saints offside trap seemed to do Rod wonders in the 2nd half, lost count of the number of times he was caught offside in the first.
Their fans 8 - Good humoured bunch, gave the Leeds section a round of appaluse after WATC-COE at half time. Took the stick about Palmer well.
Our fans 8 - GOt better as the game went on, lots of Palmer jibes. WATC-COE built up well through half time, the Saints stewards didn't seem sure what was going on.
Highlights of the night.
"We've got Rodney - you've got
"Thank you very much for buying Carlton"
"Thank you very much for buying our sex pest"
"We're shit and we're beating you"
"Time to go" (Heard the first one of these with about 20 mins to go).
"Are you plamer in disguise" (Directed at the Saints mascot)
Their ground 8 - One of the friendliest grounds in the premiership IMO, alright maybe I'm a little biased as its the closest to home at present, but I do like the amos at the Dell.
Lowlight of the night, driving home in the knowledge that we won and Red Scum lost following the scores announcement at the ground, checking Teletext at home and finding the scums had drawn !
Pre-match pub was lively, loads of gods fans singing and chanting, which gave me a buzz and brought me close to thinking we were gonna win.
Into the ground, surprised at the lack of 'shit ground, no fans' chant but then the soton fans would probably have joined in so.. Matched kicked off and team shaped up something like
Martyn Halle Molenaar Wetherall Robertson Kelly Haarland Hopkin Ribena Kewell Wallace Jimmy, bowyer, Harte, lilley, beeney as subs
First ten minutes was typical defending from us this season. sloppy, giving the ball away too often and not closing the strikers down quick enough. shitscot was to blame mostly for this and took his fair share of abuse (deservedly) from the crowd. soton had two glorious chances, one of which hit the inside of the post and bounced out. We started to pick the game up a bit, Ribena linked well with wallace and kewell. The match was fairly balanced (both sides unable to hit a barn door with a banjo), until a clumsy tackle gave leeds a free kick outside the box on the right handside (35 ish minutes). Up stepped kelly and a lovely floated free kick found Molenaar who's header powered past Jones. Suprisingly quiet leeds crowd went bananas and the gods looked as if they had a weight taken off their shoulders. After the goal, leeds picked up the pace a bit and came close a couple of times with kewell and wallace running onto the ball well. Still the dodgy defending was obvious and if it wasn't for Wetherall, we'd have conceeded.
Half time whistle came and an extremely half hearted attempt at a WATC-COE started, Raffe, myself and two other were the only one's in our block singing. After ten minutes the rest of the boring bastards were undecided as to whether they should join in, some did. By the end it had got fairly good, and here's hoping that it's been resurrected !
Second half kicked off and it was obvious from the start that the team had more fire. So great individual performances by kewell, Ribena and Wallace, gave the crowd something to sing about. Shout's of 'ole' rang out as leeds passed around the ball comfortably, (reminded me of another soton game a while back), and we had good possession, that was until Robertson got the ball and immediately gave it away (every single time). Hopkin was subbed for bowyer on 70 minutes (hopkin clearly not fit) and gave the game a little more energy in midfield. Bowyers' still not at his best, I don't know what GG has done to the lad but he seems to be 50% down from last season. A lovely floated cross from Ribena, on the left wing, met Wallace who headed back across goal to score the second. Good goal and good cross. Cue leeds crowd going bananas.
Martyn : B- , definetly not england's no. 1 this season. Seems to have lost alot of confidence. GG's tactic of getting him to hoof the ball upfield to wallace and kewell, every time, seriously pissed me off, when we had Halle, kelly and Ribena in plenty of space down the wing's
Halle : C+ , must try harder. He's not suited for right back.
Molenaar : B+, well taken goal, strong in defence but didn't have a pacey striker to deal with so did OK. Definitely should NOT play against scum.
Wetherall : A+, MOTM, gets a gold star for his rock like performance in defence. We'd have conceeded without him.
Robertson : F, should be expelled. There are not enough insults to describe this guys performance. Should have been replaced with Harte.
Ribena, A-, good wing play, great cross for the second goal. gives away the ball sometimes too much.
Hopkin, C+, clearly wasn't fit. didn't really do much.
Haarland, B-, as Hopkin but was fit.
Kelly, A-, worked well, clearly wanted to score on his 200th match.
Kewell, A-, terrier in attack, ran at players well and was unlucky not to score.
Wallace, A, get's a gold star as well and definetly should be milk monitor. Great performance.
Bowyer, C, Headless chicken, wondered if he'd get booked and almost got into a fight after being on the pitch for 5 minutes,
Crowd, B, started off poorly but got alot better. WATC-COE definetely the highlight.
Chants, A-, best of the bunch included 'Thankyou very much for buying Palmer, thankyou very much, thankyou very, very, very much' to the Roses TV advert. And 'Are you Palmer in disguise' to the soton mascot, who's was dressed up as some sort of dog.
Hampshire Police, B+, amazingly good performance. Joined in some of the anti-scum chants in the pre-match pub and after the game.
GG, D-, should stay behind in class. The team performed well individually but the tactics of the game were absolutley dire. He seems to think we play sunday league.
Highlight - after the match hearing scum 1, chewlseea 2.
Lowlight - getting on the train to hear that scum had f**king equalised.
>Their fans 8 - Good humoured bunch, gave the Leeds section a round of >appaluse after WATC-COE at half time. Took the stick about Palmer well.
Er, I think the applause was for when the members of the Portsmouth Whites (who were waving large flag with PORTSMOUTH written on it) stopped singing. One bloke was fuming when he saw the flag!
Fully agree with you about Robertson though. Being right in the front row it easy to study his game throughout the 1st half, having a pretty shit view of owt else that went on.
I mean, I don't know a great deal about tactics (I bow to KLKOT's knowledge on these matters), and know that playing positions are flexible, but Robertson's supposed to be covering the left side, so why was Molenaar so often doing his job, while Robbo was marking space ('space never scored a goal' (c) Glenn Hoddle) inside of him. Maybe GG should tell him to attack more if that's what he's good at, but he was not good last night.
Wetherall was in fine form - it seemed every ball he went for he won and if it wasn't for him...well Soton would have scored. Anyone know how badly Radebe is injured?
There was loads of long-ball still being played to Rodney, and in the end even he gave up going in for the header. Kewell was playing up front with him (Christ he looks young!) and there's no reason, other than playing too many games at his age, that he shouldn't stay there ahead of Jimmy.
The goals were simple enough. Quickly taken free-kick on the right was passed to Kelly, a cross through the defense and Molenaar comes in at the back post to head in. Second goal was almost the same, a cross from the left from Ribeiro again past a couple of Soton defenders, Wallace completely unmarked headed home.
Voice, maybe you should get yourself to some away games? Goals, singing, you know the things that used to happen at Elland Road. You never know you might enjopy it.
PS. Surely the best chant was 'You're just a town full of se(a)men'.
The score line is very deceptive. Soton could have been three up inside fifteen minutes and I missed the kick off!!!. Monkou blazed over the top when it was easier to score and they hit the woodwork with Martyn beaten. With the exception of Kelly the defence was a shambles, Weatherall made a lucky block, Molenaar was shown up for his lack of pace several times by the bod they bought from Chesterfield.....Davis ?? Halle couldnt keep hold of the ball let alone pass and Ribeiro played but was AWOL for most of the game.
Against the run of play Molly put us infront with a free header at the far post, our second attempt at goal, after half an hour. He met it well but was unmarked and under no pressure from the keeper. Kelly made the cross from the right,( failed to make the byeline) having received the ball from a free kick taken whilst the defence were still back pedalling by Ginger Hopkin.
Convict Kewell looked lively an went close with a couple of drives and that just about sums up the first half.
The start to the second half was a carbon copy of the first, early pressure from Soton followed by another break away goal. This time it was Rodney unmarked and managing to stay on his feet a Ribeiro cross hit his head and went in.We looked better when the Food Critic came on for Ging and went close again with a Kelly free kick that was almost west Ham standard.
Three points at a venue that will feature in the Nationwide next season is pleasing,essential but pleasing. What concerns me is the manner in which they were achieved. We conceded a bucketful of corners and had Le Tiss played we would have done well to finish third. We were out fought and out played for long periods by a side that lacks premiership quality. The locals were more than miffed with the result and tea cups and empty cans were hurled towards the directors box, I had my second narrow escape of the night.
Kelly, excellent performance, back to
his best though I would love to see him do a Gillespie and skin a
defender or two and get to the bye line to achieve perfection
Kewell. A big prospect
The win and the points
My ninth premiership Directors box ,( seventh with an invitation) and the post match buffet.
Hurling abuse at GG during the match and a chorus of OH EDDIE EDDIE within his earshot when at the bar.
The performance as a whole
Not getting to "speak" to GG
No Le Tiss to admire
The ride home
I had quite a good feeling about the game all day at work, nothing compared to how it will be come sat. no doubt. This was a game where we just had to get a result and judging from the way we've played away so far which has seemed less nervous and slightly more composed than at home (understatement?) I thought it shouldn't be too much of a problem (hey, we might even come away with a clean sheet I thought, yes thought!, stupid f**cker I am I forgot to send Jabba my prediction... Later with the result in hand It really pissed me off!). Last time we played Soton away was also one of the more memorable games from last season as listers who were there can wage for. The start up of WATC-COEing grand style which was to set a trend throughout the rest of the season etc.
After finding Sean at the pub just outside the ground (which was to 95% filled with Leeds fans, getting more pissed by the minute) and a couple of quickie pints and a hamburger we headed for the ground. We were sat in the lower tier at the away visitors stand to the left, and we were surprised to see that it hadn't filled up by kick off. Andy told me there were people who wanted to come to the game (Sticky for instance) that didn't get a ticket because they were supposedly sold out and there we were with at least some 50 empty seats around us. This thing about the membership card didn't seem to apply either, we just walked in comme d'habitude.
We were in the ground in time to watch O'Leary warm the lads up, Martyn eventually leaving the goal just for Jimmy to take his place for a couple of minutes during shooting practice. Jimmy seemed to put on a show, laughing, joking and toying about juggling the ball etc. and it was clear to see he wasn't satisfied by having been dropped. Can't say I blame him, a Soton kind of defence would have had big problems with him (if he'd been anywhere near the form he showed at Blackburn).
Anyway, the game kicked off and our line up appeared to be a traditional 442:
Martyn Halle Weathers Molly Robocop Kelly Haaland Hopkin Ribeiro Wallace Kewell
Haaland seemed to have been given a more defensive role in midfield to that of Hopkin. Kewell didn't start as far up the field as Wallace, more in a sort of backing up role (to begin with).
First 20 minutes Soton were all over us, good runs down both wings from their midfielders caused Roboshite and Halle a lot of problems. Roboshite constantly failing to pick up his guy, and more than once Ribeiro and Molly had to step in for the rescue. Our central midfield didn't seem to be anywhere, which led to them easily breaking through to pass the ball down the wings. If it hadn't been for Weathers starting off as steady as a rock, we'd been 2-0 down easily. Molly, despite from having to cover for Rob***te also took his usual 10 mins. to get into 2:nd gear (where he remains for the rest of the game) and looked dodgy to say the least. They nearly went 1 up from an attempted shot after their winger went past Halle and passed it back to someone (?) Shot deflected off Weathers and ballooned over Martyn seemingly on it's way into the net just to hit the upright and bounce out for Ribeiro to clear it upfield.
A couple of more good chances were also missed, and eventually we managed to kick ourselves up the field a bit more. This didn't involve any sort of possession type of football though (as I'd hoped to see some of), more fluky type of passes that at times found Kewell/Wallace down the wings. Wallace was then fouled and we got a freekick 5 yds outside their box in the right hand corridor. Hopkin passed it quickly to Kelly who floated in a nice cross which Molly totally unmarked out to the left met with a forceful header giving their keeper no chance. 1-0! This was totally against the run of play so far, but it was all that was needed to set our crowd on fire. Up until then it had been the usual opening chants and some pisstaking towards them and their ugly mascot along the lines of "are you Palmer in disguise" - towards the mascot and "thank you very, very much for buying Palmer" etc. but then gone quite silent as they pushed us right back.
The rest of the half was really scrappy, with neither team being able to produce anything that looked like moving off the ball, good passing footy. We slightly evened out possessionwise and could control the run of play a bit better towards the end of the half (due to confidence from being 1-0 up) Kewell had a cracker of a shot go inches wide and I started feeling better as Soton slowly tired losing all the imagination they'd displayed at the beginning. Nevertheless it was plain to see there was much more to be done to keep the scoreline in the second half.
WATC-COE stuggled through halftime and it was only us fanatics that kept it up to begin with getting funny looks from some of the rest in our crowd at our sides. Towards the end I'd say 60% had picked it up which must grade it as beeing quite ok!
Second half kicked off, and after a few minutes of better passing from our side it became clear that Jurassic had declared "We must fight". We started battling much better for loose balls and began to win the 50-50:ies we'd mostly lost so far in the game. This enabled us to (at times) pass the ball very neatly up field, and both wings all of a sudden opened up for us to exploit (hey, can you believe it?) Kelly did well once he found more of this space, but over all everyone except for Ro*****te seemed a lot more composed. Molly was finding his feet better, and Ribeiro started paying off the promise he'd shown in the first half. Defensively it became slightly more relaxed as well and Weathers was able to catch his breath.
10 minutes into the half a good passing movement that went down the right hand side with Wallace in posession ended up at Hopkin's feet from some interpassing between Haaland and Kelly. He layed it off for Bruno to the left who put a beautiful first time cross in which was met delicately by Rodney (again totally unmarked) at the back post who nodded it downwards past the keeper. 2-0! Total mayhem on the stands again and now the true vocal power of LU travelling fans became evident (stepped up 2 gears at least) and we started hearing whitty chants like "we've got Rodney - you've got Palmer" (started by Steve S. he told me on the train) and quite some of "Super Rod" and "Marching on together".
It was now clear we were in the driving seat, and our movement off the ball improved. We imposed control but also continued to give away the ball too easily at times, premier culprit (you know who). Christ, at one time he all of a sudden thought he was Romario and started dribbling the ball infields from the corner flag, only to lose it and give them a chance they nearly capitalized on hadn't it been a crap shot. The couple of "better looking" runs he was able to put in towards the end doesn't excuse his performance, and this is something Jurassic has to deal with pronto. The sooner we can get rid of this liability the better. There are options - Harte's there, and I'd even sacrifice Kewell as a mid/frontman to shore up this position. I have no illusions that this will happen though, as Rob***te is one of Jurassics summer signings which he obviously rates...?
What about Jimmy then? Is all he deserves a slagging off in the press, and being dropped?
Anyway the game finished without any major upsets backwards, Kelly took a fine freekick which went narrowly over. Kewell continued his composed play and Wallace always looked a real threat during the second half.
I still have to critisize our play on two fronts despite the second halfs improved performance. 1) Inability to cut it in attack. We're quite good at moving the ball forward (up to their box), but then all imagination runs out. Noone makes any cross runs in the box to drag defenders apart, and at too many times we try the most difficult pass we can find instead of slotting in our frontmen earlier in the move. Eventually we lose posession and are caught numberwise in midfield. 2) Tactics... Long ball hoofing... *#*$*@! Jurassic says - "I really love the long ball myself, and I don't know where the critisism comes from which says it's out of date"?? He obviously thinks it's good tactics to hoof the ball towards Rodney (hoping that he wins at least 5% of the balls, makes me think of Wilko tactics with Tubby) instead of starting the play early by telling full backs to drop back and allowing Nige to throw the ball out. Only on one occasion did I see him doing this all night. I'm not saying we should abandon the hoofing totally - but it really HAS to stop at the rate it's beeing used now!
Lastly - scores:
Martyn 7. Saved anything that came his way, solid.
Halle 6. Dodgy first half, but better second. Does have problems linking with Kelly down the right wing. Likes to move the ball infields, which he should not (not to often that is)!
Weathers 10. A rock! Won just about everything in the air, committed on the ground as well.
Molly 5. Well taken goal, but he is just too clumsy. He MUST be given a rest against SCUM (please...!!) He'll be turned inside out and then over again by the likes of the norwegian Babyface Scummer.
R******te 2. All that needs saying's been said (and I though he looked promising pre season, wherever did I get that from??)
Ribeiro 8. Good movement, links well with defence, really puts in an effort all the way from the start. Excellent cross for the second goal.
Haaland 5. Mostly anonymus. Passed the ball well though. Not really caught in posession either.
Hopkin 6. Fitness?? Was it down to flu? Slightly better than Haaland. Shows good imagination at times.
Kelly 7. A fast little terrier down the wing. Seems to feel uncomfortable at times in this posistion (why isn't he played more as full back?) One of the better performances as right midfielder I've seen him play though.
Kewell 8. Nothing but praise today. Skillfull, imaginative, you name it. Needs to release the ball much earlier at times, but also clearly shows ability to go past defenders.
Wallace 7. Largely anonymus first half. Excellent second half. Well taken goal, good movement. Given even better service he'll score a dozen, maybe more this season.
MOTM - Weathers.
P.S A tip to all premiership managers facing Leeds under Jurassic helm this season. - Don't let Leeds score first, whatever you do. They just might rock n' roll you over!
Southampton stay rooted to the bottom of the Premiership after goals from Robert Molenaar and Rod Wallace either side of half-time consigned them to yet another defeat.
The home side, still missing Matt Le Tissier, started well, with Kevin Davies hitting the post and Ken Monkou guilty of a bad miss. However Monkou was forced off after just 28 minutes, and without him the Saints were increasingly vulnerable at the back. Eight minutes before half-time Molenaar found himself unmarked to head home past Paul Jones from Gary Kelly's right-wing centre.
© Guardian Media Group plc