Southampton 1 - West Bromwich Albion 0

Date: Saturday 21st October 2017 Live on BT Sport
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Foster 6.4, Dawson 4.9, Hegazi 6.8, Evans 5.3 (Nyom, 32 5.5), Gibbs 5.9, Livermore 3.7, Krychowiak 4.9, Barry 4.4 (McAuley, 58 5.1), Rodriguez 3.8, Rondón 4.8, Chadli 4.2 (Phillips, 77 4.7)
Unused subs: Myhill, Yacob, Brunt, McClean
Manager: Tony Pulis 1.7
Referee: Graham Scott 6.2
Attendance: 29,947   Home Fans 5.3   Away Fans 6.5


Woefully negative tactics. Totally risk averse. No creativity. We didn't deserve a point, but another one thrown away at the end of the game. Are we not fit or do we lose concentration?

I wonder what Guochan Lai thinks when he watches this rubbish? I am not sold on the importance of the possession statistic, but when you totally surrender territory, by playing seven or eight across your own area for most of the game you are just inviting teams, even those as average as Southampton, to attack in waves. We were totally outplayed in the first half, but did we change anything at half time? Not bloody likely. How did Chadli stay on as long as he did? I'd like to say something positive, but I can't find anything. Oh yeah sorry, Hegazi - he didn't deserve to be on the losing side. Memo to Albion scouts; for creativity take a look at Victor Vasquez of Toronto FC


I have just finished watching the Southampton v Albion game on Bt. Yet again there was one team trying to win the game (Southampton) and one team trying not to lose it (Albion).

The result in many ways was predictable, a superb individual goal from the substitute,Sofiane Boufal,deservedly won it for Southampton. Albion derserved nothing from the game really. Being generous, we had three attempts on goal in the whole game. I have to say that I could not watch the team (which I have supported for 50 years) playing like this every week. Worryingly Johnny Evans was injured, and Craig Dawson too, late on.

Steve Fereday:

How was that for everyone? I can't remember the last time I put a post on here, but after that performance tonight, I felt I should.

I tried to stream the game online, but with the screen constantly covered in adverts, I gave up and listened to the audio commentary. A few things stuck out for me with some of Lee Dixon's comments.

'West Brom are doing nothing to win this game'.

'They are a team of Centre Backs with Rondon'.

'I feel sorry for Rondon'.

Last Monday and tonight, I thought for the first time in Tony Pulis's time at the club, after those 2 performances, it is time to change Tony out. We are not progressing at all, and with the football system Pulis has, we show absolutely zero attacking intent. We deserved nothing on Monday and tonight.

I felt that the transfer window signings were on the whole, very good. The squad we have now (outside of what we had in the late 70's) in my opinion, is probably the best we have had in my 60 years of life.

Hoping the Lord will be my shepherd in another life.

Ancient Baggie:

I've not been up to any of the home games this year yet but watching the last two games on the TV I'm not sure I'll bother any time soon. I don't mind watching us lose, "I've been a supporter for over 50 years so you get used to that" but I do expect something to get excited about.

We keep hearing about the improvement in quality of the squad but it's to old and to slow. We have no creativity and don't look capable of scoring a goal in open play. The negative tactics might keep us up but It's a dire watch. Can't see us getting anything in the next 4 games so we could be looking at a long winter.

Stuart Russell:

I haven't posted on here for a while mainly because I have stopped watching Albion matches live as a personal protest against the kind of "football" we have been playing for three years now. These have been three wasted years. Our West Midland rivals have all been in the doldrums and now was the chance to cement our position as the region's top club. We are much wealthier now than we were three years ago and have a much better squad but the football we are playing is nowhere near as creative or penetrative as it was under Hodgson, Di Matteo or even the scapegoat Pepe Mel. We are boring, negative, unattractive and from being one of the best-loved clubs in football we are now one of the most disliked. This is all down to one man. I won't name him as we all know who he is. The man who regularly sends out EIGHT members of the team in defensive roles, the man who won't give any of our academy prospects a sniff, the man who is very reluctant to sign anyone without his main qualification - they must be over 6ft tall and be prepared to play left back!

The last two matches against struggling teams our defensive set up gleaned us one point - by courtesy of a magical strike from one of the few players capable of any attacking intent. We now have three matches against the top three teams with only Huddersfield away as relief. If we gain no points we shall be in serious trouble. This could be a blessing in disguise if hastens the departure of the man more and more fans want to see go. So let's hope that well before Christmas we see a change.Please God!!!

Pete Cottrell:

It dawned on my while watching this abject rubbish last night. The reason why the Albion's tactics and therefore achievements are so dire and unwatchable is that Tony Pulis is actually trying to get sacked. Following the debacle when he left Crystal Palace he cannot afford to walk out on another club, yet he wants to maintain his record of not being relegated. He believes that there is a good chance of Albion going down this season so he wants to be shot of the club before that happens.

Brendan Clegg:

Can't really describe this as anything other than a terrible performance. Genuinely for most of the game it looked like a defence versus attack drill straight off the "face" Palm training ground.

I'm not sure there is any point in offering individual player markings. We simply offered way too much respect to a very average team but at least Southampton had a go and tried to win it.

Once again I thought our biggest problem was playing JRod out wide or in something like a free role - he simply isn't as good as the other options there and we had no outlet or support for Rondon with Chadli still feeling his way back into the game. To my mind he was purchased to play instead of or alongside Rondon up top as a link man - play him on those roles or not at all. Phillips hasn't had a brilliant start to the season but it's him or Burke on the right surely, or put Chadli there and go for McClean or Brunt on the left?

Secondly, we again had centre midfielders doing the same job again. Whichever 2 of the 3 we pick to do the dirty work (and Yacob shouldn't be discounted from choice for his sheer effectiveness and ability to play decent short passes on the turnover), the other option in the more attacking position should be Mozza, Chadli or JRod.

Once we get 11 players playing in their natural positions and a blend of talents to cover attacking and defending it really would then be an idea to try and get over the halfway line and to press up a bit. Our best results under Pulis have been when the team is pumped up with high pressing and a high tempo. When we do this back 10 rubbish we don't even pretend to keep the ball - it just gets smashed anywhere. We have loads of options but the same sorry garbage keeps being served up. And the substitutions and tactical decisions yesterday were woeful.

I've been fairly anti-Pulis since day one but if we do get rid who are the options out there? I still think there is a decent manager in Moyes at the right club with reasonable resources - it could be us but any change is a big gamble and we could go into freefall.

It looks like we could be in for a really tough season of flirting with relegation when we really should have enough in this squad to be OK.

  • Foster - 6 Delighted he is back so soon.
  • Daws - 6 defended OK but on the ball - deary me.
  • Hegazi - 7 Probably our best player in this game because he did his best to keep them at bay and is better on the ball than he looks.
  • Evans - 6 Was decent enough in terms of what he was asked to do before coming off. He can't enjoy playing like this?
  • Gibbs - 6 Didn't do much or anything wrong.
  • Barry - 5 Struggled - gave us nothing on the ball.
  • Greg - 5 Has clearly got talent but was sloppy, wasteful, took too long to do things.
  • Livermore - 5 At least covered the ground better than the other two but again offered nothing creatively.
  • Jrod - 4 Can't fault the effort but a nothing game.
  • Chadli - 4 You have to work the ball to get him on it in dangerous positions. Nobody was capable of it or saw it as a priority.
  • Rondon - 6 I felt sorry for him as I thought he did his best again with nothing like support.
  • Nyom - 5 A bit ropey.
  • McAuley - 5 A bit rusty. Why bring him on other than to accept a point and hold on so early in the match?
  • Phillips - Too late to do anything, not that anyone really managed to give him the ball.

Kev Buckley:

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse

With both first and second choice keepers fit enough to be considered, Pulis was able to stick Foster back in behind an unchanged game-stifling 451 for the visit to St Mary's, although with the Saints having only won 1-in-10 at home and Albion's travelling record standing at 1 win in 13, it was perhaps no surprise to hear Ian Wright, BeIN's pundit, sarcastically looking forward to seeing a "thrilling 0-0".

Wright was probably feeling his sarcasm to be fully justified when the erratic Boufal picked up the ball deep inside the Albion half with about five minutes of yet another completely forgettable game to go, however, sixty yards and six trailing Albion defenders later, the point that Pulis had arrived with and played for had gone, although yet another game without a win would have been the least of the manager's worries, given that, during Boufal's run, two Albion defenders, Dawson and Nyom had farcically clattered into each other, as a result of which the fill-in centre-back would leave ten of his teammates out on the field to hear the final whistle, compounding the fact that one of the three substitutions already made had seen Evans leave the field to injury.

Evans's withdrawal, around the half-hour mark, told us a little about the pecking order at the back, in that McAuley was left on the bench whilst Nyom's introduction saw Dawson moved in alongside Hegazi. McAuley though, by virtue of being a big, strong centre-back, is clearly far from forgotten and would be Pulis's response, five minutes into the second half, to what had been an ever threatening home performance, when the 451 was swapped to a 541, Barry leaving the three-man midfield shield to make way for the third centre-back. For the record, Albion's other sub, saw Phillips on for Chadli.

Despite the loss, at least one Albion fan, Ernst, from South Africa who BeIN interviewed after the game, was clearly of the same mind as Terry and thought that Pulis was still the man for the job, despite the studio team rephrasing the same question; "so, what's it like to have to watch that every week?", after each reaffirmation of his faith in the manager in response to every damning question.

Talking of faith, it'd be interesting to know, which sides in the division Pulis believes that the squad of players he has, has a chance of beating, as now, in the next daunting run of fixtures, it surely won't be newly promoted Huddersfield that he sets up to win a game against, given that they have just beaten ManU and so now "respect is due".

But be careful what you wish for: should Pulis leave, who knows the club, the players and this woeful style of football better than man currently reliving his glory days shouting "get back, get back" from the sidelines. Surely not?

Alan Davis:

If you compare this season's results with 2016-17 (replacing promoted Brighton with relegated Hull) we're already 10 points down on last season's total, which would leave us on 35 pts, even if we held our own from now on.

It looks like relegation beckons unless we do something drastic like change our manager.

Joe Kennedy:

My dad first took me to the Hawthorns when I was three and I used to potter around under the old Halfords with the other kids, occasionally returning to him where he sat watching the Stiffs. In the following 65 years my loyalty to the Baggies has never been shaken.

But now, particularly after watching the Wolves thrash Villa on TV in that attractive, energetic attacking style that we used to play, I would much prefer to watch the Portuguese down the road than my own team. I never thought I'd say that.


Surely that was a loss too far. Last + this season = failure to survive. Tony Pulis has turned trends around before but what is holding back this team other than stultifying tactics?

The delivery and other skills of Brunt are missing very badly. This is key. He and Gibbs must form the left flank. Central defence perm any two from Evans, Hegazi (first choice pair), Dawson and MacAulay (both on bench or in for injured). Nyom should start - he gives a great deal to the team (including trouble sometimes) and can be subbed by Dawson.

Morrison must start in midfield otherwise no link at all down the middle. Then two of Greg, Barry, Jacob, Livermore. Would be inclined to try Greg (to see if it's really there) and Jacob who reliably breaks up more than most, has a clearly defined role and can play the simple ball. Livermore is a big worry. Barry is fine when his back isn't sore. Why did he play?

Rodriguez must play as a central striker with that responsibility or not at all. Therefore it's Phillips on the right and him or Phillips and Rondon with the worthy Robson-Kanu to come on later. Burke competes with Phillips.

All this requires skills to be shown pushing forward. Excellent "last ditch" 38 year old defenders like MacAulay are not starters but Evans and the splendid Hegazi have the skills. But will the manager encourage the attacking ability of Brunt/McClean (with Gibbs coming forward and trying to get an England recall), Morrison, Phillips/Burke. If so instructed by his employers, he might because he is a good manager but the mind-set must change or we go down. Plonk!