Southampton: Alex Crook feels club must add experience or face disaster this term

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Southampton need to add more Premier League experience before the transfer window shuts – especially in defence.

That’s the view of TalkSport’s Alex Crook, who has been speaking following another disappointing start to the season for the Saints as they were dismantled on the opening day.

Only Leeds United, Watford and Norwich City conceded more goals than Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side last season and another worrying trend of losing points from winning positions is continuing, which the Austrian coach will no doubt be hoping to rectify. 

Four of the club’s new arrivals this season are aged 20 or under, including their only recruit in the backline Armel Bella-Kotchap from Bundesliga side VFL Bochum, and Crook feels that further reinforcements are needed having seen Saturday’s performance against Tottenham Hotspur.

Speaking on the TalkSport GameDay podcast, he said: “The defending was appalling and it’s an area of the team that they’ve not really invested in this summer.

“I know they’ve got a young centre-back from Germany, but obviously he started on the bench, so it was Bednarek and Salisu again; they’re just not a great combination, for me.

“I think they’re in need of a little bit more streetwise Premier League experience in that area because the manner of the goals they conceded, particularly the own goal from Salisu – I mean, what are you doing with your feet there? They were too easy to play against, and even the Dier goal, Spurs were given so much time on that left-hand side to pick out a cross. It was embarrassing, really, and they got what they deserved.

“They got a pummeling, I think Ralph Hasenhuttl said ‘we got battered’ in the post-match press conference, and they can’t afford too many batterings, because it’s one win now in 14 stretching back to last season.

“They wouldn’t be the first team to end one season badly and then that form limp into the second and suddenly they find themselves in a relegation battle.

“I still think they need a bit more experience between now and the end of the window.”

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Having also lost the final game of last season 4-1 at Leicester City, continuing that poor form into the next campaign is definitely worrying for the Saints.

Saturday was the seventh time since the turn of the year that they’ve shipped three goals or more in a game and their defensive frailties are clear for all to see.

With games against Manchester United and Chelsea to come at the end of the month following clashes with Leeds and Leicester, Hasenhuttl and Martin Semmens will quickly have to identify a target to rectify their problems or fans’ patience will surely run out.

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  • Norman Cummins says:

    I think that the manager will go in November and his.number 2 will take over. Will this save the only time will tell. Get Martin keogh in for a month to sort out the defense play people in their best position even if they are B team players

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