Battle of the Southampton Silver Supremos! Southampton vs Newcastle United match preview

Posted on November 25th, 2012 | 13 Comments |

Alan Pardew fist pumping.
Another St Mary's fist pump for Pardew today?
Venue: St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton.
Date: Sunday, 25th November.
Kick off: 3:00pm
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
UK TV: None.

This game will see our own Silver Supremo squaring up to his Southampton Silver Supremo successor, Nigel Adkins.

Adkins did what Pardew couldn’t quite manage, get the South coast side promoted from League One and then taking them thorugh to the Premiership the following year. And so we face them this afternoon.

To be fair to Pardew though, he was hobbled by a 10 point deduction through administration, though he did have significant financial backing from new owner, Markus Liebherr, and they didn’t even make the League One playoffs, coming seventh. Pardew did make alot of signings who are still mainstays of the current Southampton Premiership side however, with top goalscorer Rickie Lambert, as well as José Fonte, Adam Lallana and Jason Puncheon all being signed by Pardew before he was fired under mysterious circumstances by Saints Chairman, Nicola Cortese.

Adkins’ usually reticent predecessor had this to say on the imbroglio in a rare interview:

“I was quite happy about getting sacked, if I’m honest. I thought I’d done a good job. And it was proving to be very very difficult to work with the owner. It was a difficult period working with Mr Cortese. We just didn’t see eye to eye. There was no nastiness in there, he just didn’t want me as his manager and I think that was obviously coming through to me.”

Blowing his own trumpet with a hearty blast, he then continued:

“I had a great relationship with the fans and our performances were strong bearing in mind we had minus ten points and didn’t really have a starting XI when I arrived. but the most overriding factor for me was the players I left behind – I’m talking Fonte, Lallana, Calvin, Lambert, Puncheon, who I took to the club. They are all in the first team and I am very very proud of that because they are all terrific lads and have all done really, really well. And I think they have improved this year, probably enough for the club to stay in the Premier League.”

On the other side though, his Saints successor had this to say:

“I don’t think I owe him any debt at all. Whatever situation arose, he moved on. I am the manager of Southampton Football Club. We’ve just had back-to-back promotions, we’re doing ever so well in our forward progression. We’re trying to make sure the youngsters come through the system here at Southampton. To have James Ward-Prowse, Ben Reeves and now Luke Shaw into the first-team is very rewarding.

“I am sure Brendan Rodgers at this moment in time is delighted that he has got Steven Gerrard playing for him, you know? I think at the end of the day you talk about players moving on at football clubs so will the managers. It is very difficult to change a full 11 in a short space of time. We’ve got exceptionally good football players here and some have been with us from the start. Some have moved on but everyone has had a part to play in the journey of Southampton Football Club.”

Wooh, get her!

Moving on from from the silver haired squabbling though, let’s take a look at the current form and previous results between the two sides.

Premiership form this season (most recent first)
19th Southampton W|D|L|L|L|D|L|W|L|L|L|L 8 pts
14th Newcastle United L|L|D|W|D|L|D|W|D|D|L|W 14 pts

As you can see, we may be five places and six points ahead in the table, but scarily, our form over our last six games is the same, with both teams having picked up only five points. Over a whole season, that would give the give the Magpies only 31-32 points, which is two or three points than we had (34) when the club was relegated in 2009! On that bombshell, let move on to previous results at their place.

As we have moved on different circles since 2005, they won’t be highly relevant to today, but let’s have a look anyway!

Southampton’s old ground until 2001, the “Dell,” used to be the worst of the worst bogey grounds for us, so much so that they should have kept it just for playing us! I had to go back as far as 1972 to find a victory there, with 15 games from then until the grounds closure all ending up winless for the Magpies. Of those, four were draws and no less than eleven were losses. Since the Saints’ move to their new ground though, you can see for yourself below that the results have make far more pleasant reading for the Geordie.

Southampton v Newcastle United at St Marys
Date Competition Result
19/09/04 Premier League Southampton 1 (Svensson 53), Newcastle United 2 (Prutton (OG) 45, Carr 57)
12/05/04 Premier League Southampton 3 (Beattie 19, Bramble (OG) 39, Griffit 88), Newcastle United 3 (Ameobi 7, Bowyer 35, Ambrose 90)
03/01/04 FA Cup Southampton 0, Newcastle United 3 (Dyer 24, 67, Robert 39)
14/12/02 Premier League Southampton 1 (Marsden 52), Newcastle United 1 (Bellamy 50)
11/05/02 Premier League Southampton 3 (Svensson 18, Beattie 22, Telfer 90), Newcastle United 1 (Shearer 54)

Squads, suggested line ups tactics etc…

Southampton v Newcastle United suggested line-ups.
Southampton v Newcastle United suggested line-ups.


Southampton’s second Silver Supremo plays a decidedly different game to his predecessor at St Mary’s. Whereas Pardew seems to prefer a long ball game this season, soaking up pressure in his own half, trying to dispossess his opponents and try to hit them on the break with big hoofs towards the strikers, Adkins likes to play with a high line, pressing forward into the opponents half as much as possible and playing a crisp, short passing game.

His most common formation seems to be a 4-1-4-1, hence that is what I have gone for in the image above. However, I certainly wouldn’t completely discount a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1, which he can bring out for special occaisions. Though 4-1-4-1 can be a defensive formation, it is in the defence where Southampton’s weakness may lie. They are somewhat light in the tackle, preferring to pick up balls through swift interceptions rather than getting stuck in Tiote style. Schneiderlin on his own as the defensive midfield “1” in this setup is a very hardworking midfielder who can sometimes find himself run ragged in games trying to chase balls down to intercept. Indeed, he must be just about the hardest running player in the Premiership at the moment.

Another weakness seems to be Adkins’ lack of a “plan B” when things go against him, and looking at the table you can see that things have gone against him quite alot now he is playing at the very highest level. When it doesn’t though they can be a fairly potent, free scoring force in attack with Adam Lallana being a bit of a creative force cutting in from the left flank. He should be a good match for Simpson though, with his style of shepherding attacking players out of harms way rather than going in for the big one and leaving players sprawling on the deck.

Finally, we can also expect quite a few through balls for top goalscorer (5 Premiership goals so far) Rickie Lambert on his own up front. Apart from his goals, many of Southampton’s other goals seem to have come from the midfield and defence from the abovementioned Schneiderlin, along with defenders such as José Fonte, Danny Fox, Nathaniel Clyne and several of the midfielders all contributing with a goal or two each.

On the Pardew side it’s actually quite hard to know what to expect as he is certainly under at least some pressure to change his approach after what has been a disappointing start to the season, though a very full injury list may limit his options somewhat too. If he does deviate, he may well start with a 4-3-3 like last time, possibly with Marveaux playing a role after the odd suggestion in the media, but I really wouldn’t be too sure about that. Of course, there is more to it than merely changing shape too. The side need to cut down on their reliance on long balls and keep possession more if they are to flourish. One exception to this has been the creative play of Ben Arfa, but neither he nor Cabaye will be available this time, so I would expect Anita, a defensive player who is also very good on the ball to make a start in the middle of the park this time.

Team news / Squads.


Southampton FC: Paulo Gazzaniga (G), Kelvin Davis (G), Artur Boruc (G), Luke Shaw (D), Maya Yoshida (D), José Fonte (D), Nathaniel Clyne (D), Danny Fox (D), Jos Hooiveld (D), Danny Butterfield (D), Jack Stephens (D), Morgan Schneiderlin (M), Jack Cork (M), Gastón Ramírez (M), Adam Lallana (M), Jason Puncheon (M), Steven Davis (M), James Ward-Prowse (M), Steve De Ridder (M), Rickie Lambert (F), Jay Rodriguez (F), Tadanari Lee (F), Mayuka Guilherme do Prado (F).

Injured: Frazer Richardson (thigh).

Doubtful: Richard Chaplow (knock).

Suspended: None.

Newcastle United.

In news which spread shock and horror throughout Tyneside, Hatem Ben Arfa’s hamstring was plucked on Thursday. Being thankful for small mercies though, he should only be out for a game or two. The same is also the case with Shola Ameobi (groin). Gabriel Obertan will be out with his toe, Adam Campbell with his knee, and even Papiss Cisse (thigh) will be a doubtful. Sadly, Yohan Cabaye has joined the “knee three” of Dan Gosling, Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic on the long term list as he requites groin surgery, though James Perch (thigh) should be on the eve of making a return to being in contention now,

Though banned from Thursday evening’s Europa clash with the mighty Maritimo, Cheick Tiote will be available for the game. On the other hand, Captain Coloccini, who was of course available on Thursday will have to serve out the last game of his three game Premiership suspension

Newcastle United: Tim Krul (G), Steve Harper (G), Rob Elliot (G), Danny Simpson (D), Davide Santon (D), Steven Taylor (D), Mike Williamson (D), James Tavernier (D), Shane Ferguson (D, M), James Perch (D, M), Vurnon Anita (D, M), Cheick Tiote (M), Gael Bigirimana (M), Jonas Gutierrez (M), Sylvain Marveaux (M), Romain Amalfitano (M), Mehdi Abeid (M), Sammy Ameobi (M, F), Demba Ba (F) Papiss Cisse (F), Nile Ranger (F).

Injured: Hatem Ben Arfa (hanstring), Shola Ameobi (groin), Yohan Cabaye (groin), Gabriel Obertan (toe), Dan Gosling, Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic and Adam Campbell (all knee).

Doubtful: Papiss Cisse (thigh), James Perch (thigh).

Suspended: Fabricio Coloccini (last of three).


NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1093 articles on this blog.

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13 Responses

  1. Please note that we enjoyed having Pardew as our manager and we had a great day out at Wembley for the Johnson’s Paint Trophy under him. My view of him is that he is devoid of tactical imagination and he bought Lambert as a target man for his long ball game. Lambert has become a much better player under Adkins and our football is fast, fluent and imaginative.

    Pardew also messed up our pre season big time in Switzerland with many players unable to start the season because of injuries. There clearly was tension between Pardew and our CEO and of course there was the usual gossip about his messing around with player’s wives.

    One final point Adam Lallana is a product of Academy and therefore was NOT SIGNED by Alan Pardew.

  2. southampton is not the place you want go, when your in a rut.
    it’s probably our biggest bogey team of all time, especially at the old dell, although i dont thimk we’ve had much joy, at st mary’s either.
    one thing’s for sure, we cannot go there and try and defend, because we’ll get beaten again.
    i think pardew is going to have to throw caution to the wind, and try and attack them, with most offensive players, he can muster.

    southampton are dodgy at the back, so he doesn’t want to be trying to contain and control, what they are doing, because they can be got at.
    marveux has to get a start, because he is one of the players with the most flair, we have left, to pick from.

    i still think pardew will bottle it, and try a safety first approach, and containment job, and look to hit on the counter attack.
    you will probably see the usual reverse pass, that they try around the half way line, to try and get in behind, which 9 times out of ten, never comes off, and leads to the opposition cutting it out, and newcastle surrendering possession.

    there are no easy games in the premiership, and we have looked poor with our PURPLES, god i cannot believe i’m typing that tosh!, so far this season.
    i just cannot see us winning, unless we come up with a smash and grab job, and in all honesty, we’ll be lucky to come away with a point.

  3. Partridge is already making excuses.

    This is what Alan Pardew said today:

    “It’s the intensity you need from the players to play on a Thursday night then again on the Sunday.” “That information wasn’t really available to us until three or four years ago when GPS became the norm, and we began getting feedback on players’ performance.”

    “You’ve only got to look at that to know there’s a dip.” “Unfortunately there’s going to be a dip mentally as well. For Southampton it will be a lovely training day for a couple of days. We don’t have a chance to do that and the levels of my players will be a little bit lower, so it will be tough.”

    “I have mixed feelings about the competition. The Europa League format makes it difficult for a Premier League team, there’s no doubt about that. Thursday to Sunday is too tough at this level. The Thursday night is probably the bigger problem. We recovered on Friday and will still be recovering on Saturday.

    “Then we’re straight into a game and there’s really no work I can do on the training ground for the Southampton game on Sunday.” “I’m talking about the energy level we get on a Sunday after playing Thursday compared to a free week. We can measure exact distances players cover, the intensity they work at. It’s the high intensity work that’s the bigger deal rather than the mileage.”

    “I thought it would be a good feeling in the changing room after qualifying on Thursday, but it wasn’t. It was an angry feeling because of the last 20 minutes when we were disappointing. You have to get rid of that feeling and get into Sunday.” “All these things are impacting on the team.”

    “It’s all different to us. It’s all new – and we’ve got to cope with it without 11 senior players.” “Even Manchester City would struggle.” “We will now put it to bed till February. The squad was very, very stretched on Thursday night, more than we’ve ever been since I’ve been manager. I hope in February we’re not stretched.”

  4. I can’t see how the team can be tired physically or mentally after Thursday night it was one of the worst performances I have seen in a while.
    I am sick to the back teeth of Partridge who is way out of his depth managing in the premiership and his negativity must be rubbing off on the team.

  5. TROJAN RECORDS 73 says:
    November 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

    “it’s probably our biggest bogey team of all time, especially at the old dell, although i dont thimk we’ve had much joy, at st mary’s either.”

    See above Trojan. The Dell was terrible, 15 attmepts, 11 losses and 4 draws. St Mary’s hasn’t been too bad though. Two wins, two draws and a loss.

  6. sirjasontoon, his statements there just add the reasons, why people think pardew is a small time manager.
    the fact he’s never been in europe before, and is coming across as a league two manager, bemoaning the fa cup as a distraction for his players.
    it just highlights how crap mike ashley’s tenure is, when in one hand we’re presented as a big club, and then on the other hand, we are nobodies with no resources.

    worky, the dell used to be a cracking little stadium for it’s atmosphere, but it was a nightmare for us.
    matthew le tissier was chief tormenter, and will haunt my dreams, with the goals he scored, although some of them were brilliant.

    i wasn’t too sure about st mary’s record, although i can remember us drawing or getting beat down there, and thinking, here we go again, they’ve got a new stadium, and the results are the same.

  7. Totally agree Trojan,since the Ashley takeover it has been constantly drummed into us that we can’t compete almost on a weekly basis and that we can’t buy players at the going rate or pay decent wages….I think if you run a team on a championship budget,constantly say we can’t compete you start to become that championship team.

    The players can’t surely be mentally and physically drained after what they served up Thursday it was in one word AWFUL.

  8. Under this regime we will never move forwards I have felt resentment to Mike and Owl Heed since day one.
    They have zero ambition that has been proven time and time again,the football being served up has been terrible for ages,the manager is constantly talking either negative or complete nonsense and it drives me mad.

    We should have a manager and team buzzing to be in Europe and trying to compete for all the cups…Pardew said his team was strong enough last window when even an idiot could see that it lacked any depth.

    I think even if Mike handed Partridge blank cheques he would struggle to motivate and organise a good team that could compete week in week out and attempt to win something.

  9. I dont get it, the Maratimo game started well, with the side playing or at least attempting to play a passing game and carrying (passing) the ball out.

    Apart from the obvious lack of fimiliarity with that tactic and losing possession too frequently, they were both the better looking and more dangerous side.

    And then in the second half, it all turned brown.
    We reverted to type, yeah hoofball!

    I believe we as in other games, having gained an early lead, were told to defend that lead by whatever means possible.

    When sometimes the best form of defense is attack that and the fact it’s obvious we have no clue as how to defend and spring the oounter attack, with the other side pressing.

    This is all basic stuff, but our style to me just appears to be a random collection of nothing specific.

    St. Dodders, the S’ampton fan stated something that backs the general attitude voiced on this blog, that in fact Pardew is devoid of tactical imagination.

    Perhaps someone could relay that to our football genius’s
    as they appeared to have not noticed.

  10. chuck says:
    November 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    “I dont get it, the Maratimo game started well,”

    Chuck, Maritimo didn’t play in the first half of that game but they did in the second. That was the biggest difference.

  11. Couldn’t believe the score when i saw it. I was expecting Newcastle to come away with the win but the Southampton surprised us all.