Southampton put in an abysmal performance to lose 2-0 to visitors Watford.
It was a game Watford dominated from start to finish, as Saints only managed to get one shot on target, the shot being a hoof up the pitch from Cedric Soares.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s side made three changes to the team, as Wesley Hoedt came in for his debut, with James Ward-Prowse and Sofiane Boufal also starting.
The Hornets grabbed the opener after 38 minutes, as a clearance from a corner found the feet of Abdoulaye Doucouré, who scuffed the first-time shot, but the ball managed to scramble its way past the crawling dive of Fraser Forster, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead just a few minutes before half time.
The substitute at half time, Dusan Tadic, almost made an instant impact after the restart, when the Serbian played through Ryan Bertrand, but his shot was well blocked.
But it was Watford the got the next goal, as substitute Daryl Janmaat struck a low 25-yard strike past Forster’s far post to double Watford’s lead and securing all the three points for the visitors.
Here are five things we learned from that awful performance:
One thing that stood out was the absence of new signing Mario Lemina. I do not know why he was dropped in the first place, as he had two great performances in the two starts he has had so far, but his determination alongside Oriol Romeu was sorely missed.
Steven Davis isn’t suited to that position and should be higher up the pitch, while Romeu and Lemina constantly win the ball back in midfield, giving the attackers some freedom in the final third. We missed that against Watford.
Stephens and Hoedt
Despite conceding two goals, I was very impressed with the partnership of Jack Stephens and new signing Wesley Hoedt.
They did very well to keep Andre Gray, Richarlison and Troy Deeney quiet and were hardly at fault for the two goals.
I would probably like to see Virgil van Dijk make a start, but right now, I’m quite happy with our defence.
Despite the goals not being very good ones, the visitors dominated us from start to finish.
Their basic style of play always caught us out, and their discipline and organisation gave us no room to create any chances.
Whenever they were defending, the defence would always smash the ball out of the box, and Heurelho Gomes would always get rid of the ball as quickly as possible. However, with Fraser Forster, he would take so long to kick the ball out, and the distribution would be shambolic anyway!
Watford’s midfield were so physically dominant and was so quick to offload the ball, it gave the quick attackers time to find space in the defence to run into. Simple things that caught us out.
Obviously, their diving and time wasting was very frustrating, but Watford were very impressive today.
Poor decision making
Once again, our decision making was awful, but it wasn’t just when attacking, it was on set pieces too.
Whenever Forster took a goal kick, he would run over to pick up the ball and put it down, but then he would spend forever making sure the ball is at the right angle, making sure his shorts weren’t falling down and kicked the ball into the EXACT same spot, EVERY time.
The same goes for set pieces. When we took a corner, we would always put the ball just outside the near post, but the defence would always head the ball away, so what do we do? Do the same thing, again, and again, and again, and expect a different result.
It’s so simple, but we can never crack it. That needs to improve if we want to get any positive result.
Overall, the performance was awful, we simply weren’t good enough. The problem is that they are the same mistakes that cause us to suffer. Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result, poor decision making and the list goes on.
We have seen this all through our first four games which, really, we should be getting maximum points from, and if we continue like this, we could be in serious trouble.