Match Report 2000-01 - Southampton (a)
Southampton 2 Newcastle United 0
Date: 16th September 2000 3pm
Venue: The Dell.
Conditions: As expected - pleasant outside, then something akin to being tortured with a red-hot poker from 3.01pm onwards.
(normal home): Jones, Dodd,
Lundekvam, Richards, Bridge, El Khalej, Oakley, Pahars (Ripley 66
mins), Tessem, Kachloul (Le Tissier, 88 mins), Beattie (Rosler 82 mins).
61 mins. With Domi seemingly having gone home, Kachloul found himself all alone on the Saints right after having been found by Oakley, and crossed again to find Pahars lurking near goal. The United players appealed for offside while he tapped home the the second goal - TV replays showed that Charvet may have been able to intervene to stop Pahars reaching the ball, had he not been standing motionless waving his arm in the air like a schoolboy asking permission to be excused. 0-2
Full time: SFC 2 NUFC 0
'''Marian nearly came off. He had complained about a
hamstring and that's the reason we brought him off when we did. He
couldn't take his set plays in the second half. We took the gamble of
throwing him out there for the second half and it worked. I'm glad he
wanted to stay on and I think we got away with it. The hamstring is not
torn and he will spend some time with our medical staff. He's not playing
at the top of his form but he's scoring goals. He's in the right position
at the right time and there is more to come from him.''
''While we are obviously disappointed to have lost, it is still only one defeat in our last five games, and the points we already have mean that we are in a better position than most of the teams in the Premiership.
Southampton played the way our assessor said they would. Alan Shearer had two good chances but their keeper made a fantastic save and then their defender does not know much about clearing the second.
''We always felt the first goal would be important and that it would have been a similar story if we had got it, but to concede so early after half-time was disappointing and it seemed to knock the whole team.''
''We thought the second goal might have been offside.
The players thought it was but until we see the video evidence we won't
know for sure. The simple reason for our defeat was that Southampton
played better than us in the second 45 minutes."
Once again a case worthy of the X-Files, as a previously prospering team of sportsmen mysteriously mutated into a shabby set of slackers somewhere near the Hampshire border.Having said that though, the Monopolies Commission, rather than agents Mulder and Scully, would probably make a case out of our perpetual match-throwing at the Dell....
Pre-match publicity surrounding the travel difficulties of the toon army highlighted the distance involved and time (and money) routinely expended by otherwise sane people. While those fortunate ones who booked on to the Carling Coaches at least had a free trip, in retrospect perhaps a better ploy on behalf of the brewers may have been a diversion to one of their amply-stocked warehouses en route, avoiding Southampton completely.
For the rest of us, petrol station shenanigans and
cancelled trains only added to the pleasures of the day, although at least
one London Underground employee may now be off work with a burst eardrum after
daring to question the validity of the brightly-coloured pamphlets that
are now sold as train tickets...
The thing about Southampton is that they aren't a bad side, both Pahars and Kachloul look impressive with the ball at their feet, and as Liverpool recently discovered, being three goals ahead on their home ground is very far from a guaranteed away win position. However, we just never compete and force them into raising their game, preferring to allow them to wander through our ranks seemingly at will.The belated appearance of Le Tissier for once had no effect, as the damage was already done, while Stuart Ripley hobbled on for the second year running, and is apparently on the verge of moving to mighty Brentford. I suppose he wouldn't have so far to travel if he played his football at Griffin Park - from Beamish Museum that is....
Nobody wearing a black shirt really came out with any enhanced reputation, apart from perhaps the unused subs. Even Charvet, probably our man of the match, let himself down with his reluctance to tackle immediately before the second goal, while the kindest thing that can be said of Shearer and Cordone is that they were on different wavelengths. The less said about the absent-minded and fey contribution of Domi the better, but uncle Bobby had a grandstand view of the Frenchman's second half non-performance and cannot have failed to be thoroughly underwhelmed.
I could go on, but none of it would be complimentary, so let's instead gloss over this non-performance and thank the almighty that the Dell will soon join Wembley as a large pile of rubble, and we'll one day run out at both new constructions with a clean slate....for at least ninety minutes.
So why have we played so badly so often at this place ? Like the mysteries of Easter Island, Stonehenge and the signing of Georgiadis, some things will forever remain a mystery. Certainly after 11 fruitless trips, I'm none the wiser.....just grateful it's over for another year.