It was a night and a performance to forget, however – and we certainly all have to learn from the Brentford no-show at St Mary’s on Tuesday evening – I think we all knew that, at some stage, The Bee were likely to get unpicked by a better side again. So it is frustrating to have made life so easy for the Saints. Sara Loewenthal picked the short straw and was on match report duty!
Where do I start? Flat? Insipid? Abject? Pathetic? No desire? Lack of skills? I don’t know. I just want my fighting Brentford back. Everything that could go wrong pretty much did. We couldn’t win second balls, we kept giving the ball away, the defending was virtually non-existent and the midfield, such as it was, did very little to provide many goal chances. As I’ve said in the past, I’m not a pundit so I don’t really “do” proper analysis, just give my own impression as a non-expert fan and that impression is that everyone needs to calm down and trust in the system.
We all looked at that squad last night and thought it looked strong and, on paper, it was. I can’t understand why it didn’t work. I’m not going to go all #Teamslike about Southampton but on paper (again) we should’ve been able to go toe to toe with them. In fact, they were pretty decent yesterday and let’s not forget, they’ve only lost at home once this season, a narrow defeat to Wolves. However, we should’ve and could’ve put up a fight.
I don’t like singling people out but their second came as a result of Toney’s throw in which went straight to one of theirs who went forward and then got the corner from which they scored. The third and fourth were from a misplaced passing. Where’s the accuracy? Just stop giving it away. Think before passing.
Perhaps this will be one of those watershed matches where every player takes a long, hard look at themselves and each other and works out how to make it all work. Like Norwich away a few years ago when Alex Pritchard ripped us a new one and by all accounts the changing room after was blue with everyone’s rage. I wasn’t at that one but I managed to get a stream and it was awful. Another one that makes me shudder was the 3-0 loss at Charlton in 2015. Yes, there was Brighton a couple of weeks ago and Burnley before that but this feels different. I felt deflated in a way that I didn’t with the previous two.
It had better come fast though as a very good Liverpool is looming on Sunday and even without Salah and Mané, It’s a daunting prospect.
My nephew was watching in Australia last night and he said to me “I think with Toney playing in a two with not much creative behind doesn’t suit him all the time. I think we need to play a back four again against weaker teams and that’s probably possible with Ajer and Henty. Also, once JDS is back, it gives us that edge in midfield that we’re missing”. I can’t really argue with that. Something has to happen soon though.
Not really many are there? Janelt of course, Bryan and Baptiste. I’d add Fin Stevens to that. He looked confident and calm in his PL debut. That was one of the few bright moments in an abject night.
Room for Improvement:
Everything needs improvement. I can’t add anything other than everyone needs to step up and take responsibility. Oh, and stop giving the sodding ball away.
A Word on the Opposition:
They were good. They pressed the way we can and often do press. First to everything and were able to do something we couldn’t, hang onto the ball and not give it away foolishly.
I can’t really say much other than I don’t want to experience anything like that again although I probably will. Just leave it for a few more years eh Bees? Onto Anfield and trying to think positive thoughts.