29 December 2019 20:32
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton applauds fans after the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Crystal Palace at St Mary's Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Southampton took a share of the points in an exciting 1-1 draw on Saturday in a match where they could have taken all 3 points late. The festive fixtures are always a time when you learn a lot about what your team is made of. The matches come fast and there is usually heavy rotation involved when it comes to who plays in the matches. For Saints, this meant players like Che Adams get a stab at starting again and proving to the coaching staff they have a role to play in the coming months.
Southampton, have now gone unbeaten in their last three but that does not mean they have turned the corner as a club just yet. There are lots of questions left to be asked so let us take a look at some takeaways from the draw. Che Adams needs more time to develop Adams, got two bites at the apple this week and started against both Chelsea and Palace but is still without his first Premier League goal. With that said, all is not lost for the youngster. He showed glimpses of promise. He is a raw talent, who needs time to develop a bit more. His first touch at times leaves much to be desired but he shows a willingness to do the dirty work. He is able to hold up the ball well with his strength and he usually has his head up looking for a teammate making a run towards the oppositions net. I do not think he would benefit from a loan spell in the second half of the season as he needs to continue training with Premier League level talent and getting match time when he can. The goals will come everyone just needs a bit of patience. The Right-Back issue Cedric, once again, had a shaky performance on both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball. With the importance wing-backs now play in football this is starting to become a real weak point for Saints. Valery, is currently out with a virus but we are not really sure how Hasenhuttl rates him after that Leicester match. With the January window just days away, we have to expect that a right-back will be brought-in in January. Someone with a little more experience than Valery but an upgrade over Cedric. I am not sure what type of budget Ralph will be working with but I have to think with the recent form Cedric has been in that a new right-back will be the priority. What to do in the midfield Over the last few matches we have seen players like Stuart Armstrong step-up and make a case for themselves starting week-in and week-out. Moussa Djenepo, also raised a case for himself to come back into the starting XI after a spectacular substitute appearance against Palace that turned the match on its head. Hasenhuttl, will have some decisions to make moving forward. One solution, if he wishes to continue starting Redmond, would be to play him alongside Danny Ings instead of someone like Shane Long, Obafemi, or Adams. What this would allow is both Djenepo and Armstrong to start behind the strikers. This group of attacking players could be our best bet at scoring goals and creating chances against any defense they face. They are all good on the ball, make great runs, and unselfish when it comes to finding teammates in the box. This is a good problem to have but a problem nonetheless. It will be interesting to see who gets the nod on New Year's Day against Tottenham.