Saints 0-0 Everton
It’s tempting to speculate that Mr. Adkins’ sacking was decided after conversations with the Chelsea hatchet men over prawn sandwiches at The Bridge. More likely, though, the Chairman has been dreaming it up for weeks, but his hand was eventually forced by leaks in the Spanish press.
Not a move many (any?) of us would have made, but Nicola controls the money, and in the terrace vernacular “he does what he likes” – let’s face it, without that money, we could well be playing Pompey, not laughing at them.
Appointing an unemployed Argentine exile who doesn’t speak Inglés and whose only managerial experience ended in dismissal is one hell of a risk, though: it could all end in tears, and in The Championship as well.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team to face Everton could well have been the same as Nigel would have selected, but Ramirez was given a central role that you sense he has been craving, and he was instrumental in a rousing first half performance. Lambert could have returned to the dressing room with a hat trick, having seen a free kick hit the bar, a shot saved by Howard and a header cleared off the line, as well as a decent headed chance put wide. This was just part of a fair amount of pressure that became furious at times, but Rickie ought to have done better with at least one of those opportunities.
Unfortunately there weren’t many more as Everton soon established themselves as the better team in the second period, and only an ugly miss by Jelavic and a brilliant save by Boruc from the threatening substitute Anichobe kept things level.
Saints were looking tired and were consequently making unforced errors, but it was worrying how Ramirez succumbed to cramp after not much more than an hour. The introduction of Rodriguez and Steve Davis helped Southampton’s cause, but probably most fans were grateful for another hard earned point at the final whistle – the first goal-less draw at St. Mary’s for two years. It was a far better game than the scoreline suggests but once more we find ourselves more distracted by the soap opera than the football.
LSSC Man of the Match: Luke Shaw, the only one of the three half time candidates (with Ramirez and Do Prado) who stayed on his game in the second period.