Some Southampton fans are fuming at the club’s defensive record, even though striker Danny Ings has been scoring goals constantly for the Saints this season.
The Saints were pulled back into the relegation scrap this past weekend because of their recent 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United in the Premier League. They had beaten Norwich City and Watford in the last two games, but the defeat to the Magpies has left them at 18th in the table.
Southampton fans: Can you stay up with this defence?
No chance at all
Need a new defender in January
Danny Ings has scored nine goals in the Premier League so far- as many as Harry Kane. Some Saints fans feel that while Ings has been doing well, the defence has been letting the club down this season.
If Redmond could finish, and Stephens, Soares and Bednarek would concentrate and stopped making mistakes , we would have won more games. When will Boufal replace Redmond in the starting line up.
— Mike (@Mikecuell) December 9, 2019
If we can stop the mistakes happy days. But we keep doing it. Now it becomes a must win game .
— Nick Graham (@nicksfc73) December 9, 2019
I wish the defence would start doing their thing! #MondayMotivation
— Hugh James (@HughJames88) December 9, 2019
Just a big shame that the rest of the team doesn’t have the same standard.
— Dean Watson (@Sarcastic_Dean) December 9, 2019
Feel for the lad! Doing his bit upfront and the back line let him done
— Danny K(@DannySaint1) December 9, 2019
He will be gone if we go down it’s in his contact and don’t blame him ever #hopesaintsstayup
— David J D WHITE (@dangerous_j1) December 9, 2019
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was constantly changing his formation and backline towards the beginning of the season. He tried out a 5-4-1 and a 3-5-2 shape, but he also tried a 4-3-3 at some point in the season. But in the last four games, he seems to have settled onto a 4-4-2 formation, with two defensive midfielders.
While playing a three at the back shape, the Saints have been using Maya Yoshida in the centre of the defence. Two of Jan Bednarek, Jannick Vestergaard or Jack Stephens have played alongside him. But in the last few games, Stephens and Bednarek have been playing regularly.
Stephens has played nine times in all competitions so far, scoring once and assisting once. Bednarek, on the other hand, has appeared 19 times in all competitions. He has one assist to his name and that came in the League Cup.
What do we think?
That 9-0 loss at the hands of Leicester has damaged the Saints’ defensive record this season. Hasenhuttl’s men have let in as many as 35 Premier League goals, one more than Norwich and five more than fellow strugglers Watford.
This will determine how good their season will pan out to be. They need to be better at the back, but if it doesn’t improve, the Saints could well get relegated.