It was a dreary night midweek against City – not one of the better performances of 2017 so far, so there was the need for a rallying cry to show what we are made of.
Sat afternoons are being increasingly tricking to watch a game live – children, dinner prep and the inability to have 5 mins of peace means that I need to grab what I can, when I can. Fortunately in this case before the madness kicked in, I got to see all 4 goals scored at St Mary’s.
With the absence of the gone Payet, Snodgrass get’s the nod, which is good – I have no idea why he was on the bench midweek.
Gabbiadini’s goal was a little bit special, booting it right past Randolph and making the defence look silly. It was not the start that we wanted, and I feared the worst, that we could be on the end of a right hammering.
But then two mins later, a great through ball by the much improved Obiang allows Carroll to get yet another goal, his 6th of the season. It is no more than he deserves and I think I am now seeing the player that he should be. A clam finish and the exact response which was needed. 1-1, game on.
Obiang was much of a bit part player when signed for the club, but is now forced his way into the side – pretty much like Antonio has done of late – has been on fire and his shot on 44 mins gave us the lead. And it wasn’t for the want of trying, there was lots of pressure up front with the Hammers trying to get other goal. OK, Southampton threatened occasionally but the defensive nerves held well for the break.
I didn’t catch the majoity of the second half, but witnessed the Hammers third goal, a deflection off Davis via a Noble free kick. 3-1 up away from home – as a fan, you do not see that happen often. I still need to watch MOTD for proper highlights, but it seemed that Southampton really tried to press forward and tried to get back into that match. Hammers defence standing firm until the 95 minute.
This was the response I was hoping for – ridiculous results have meant that we have gone up to 9th in the league and 11 points away from the relegation zone. Why can’t we play like this every week? Why crumble against the “bigger” sides, when last season we took them on and won?
It is frustrating being a Hammer at times, but from the press reports, at this game the players followed Slav’s game plan as opposed to ignoring them like the did mid week. With the next game a home one against the Baggies three points will mean that we are nearing that magical 40 point mark and the assurance that Premier League status is maintained for another year.
One theory I do have – was Payet’s performance at the Euro’s last year a factor to the poor start that we had this season and why we have struggled in the latter half of 2016? Who knows……but I like the winning feeling at the moment.
In Slaven We Trust.
Southampton: Forster, Cedric, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand, Romeu, Boufal (Long 64), Davis ©, Ward-Prowse, Rodriguez (Redmond 46), Gabbiadini
Subs not used: Taylor, Clasie, Gardos, Hojbjerg, McQueen
Goal: Gabbiadini 12
West Ham United: Randolph, Kouyate (Collins 71), Fonte, Reid, Feghouli, Obiang, Noble ©, Cresswell, Snodgrass, Antonio, Carroll (Lanzini 56)
Subs not used: Adrian, Fletcher, Calleri, Fernandes, Quina
Goals: Carroll 14, Obiang 44, Noble 52
Referee: Graham Scott
Attendance: 31,891 (3,388 Away)