Although The Saints sat 13th, there are plenty of positives to take from their opening fixtures. The stalemate draw with West Ham United has boosted this though they sit slightly lower, in 14th.
Southampton were tipped to be relegated this season after the departure of Danny Ings, the latest player to leave St Mary’s - a club renowned for selling their biggest stars. Although it’s been successful thus far - this could be a difficult season for them. I however feel this has been massive overstated and should be seen as a smart business from The Saints.
Adam Armstrong has signed from Blackburn Rovers to replace the departing Danny Ings. Armstrong scored 28 goals in 40 appearances last season, albeit in The Championship - this is a fantastic date for a mid-table striker. These chances were scored from 29.53xG (a fair rate) even though he may need more chances than Ings, he’s a very good replacement.
Ralph Hassenhüttl has made a number of additions to his squad, some of which have gone under the radar. Tino Livramento was Chelsea’s academy player of the year before his departure, an award held in high prestige at the club - previous winners include Reece James and Mason Mount. He grabbed 13 goal involvements for the u23s, an unbelievable record at the academy level, especially from full-back. Livramento has had a fantastic start to the season and is starting to turn heads.
Romain Perruad is another player that should improve the defensive line massively for his defensive capabilities but also his brilliant attacking threat. He scored three and assisted seven last season as he gained plaudits labelling him as the best full-back in France. He caused The Hammers a few problems and was part of the defence that stopped the league’s top scorers. He handled the frontline excellently despite every shot coming from the right side, this was likely the downfall of The Hammers weekend.
Southampton like to press the opposition high up the pitch, and they do so successfully, scoring multiple times from this already this season. This is supported by the statistics too, Che Adams has won the ball in the final third more than any other Premier League player (six) this shows the tenacity to win the ball in an attacking area and punish the opponents. Although West Ham were let off the hook on this front, he was not involved in the match as an unused substitute.
It’s no doubt been a dull start for Southampton with three draws on the bounce but they have had many good results along the way, this being one of them. They amounted to just 0.68xG this weekend although defensively were sound, conceding just 0.70. It’s set to be a tough one this weekend though with a trip to The Etihad Stadium - the most daunting away day in the Premier League.
There’s not much more to say on this bore draw but The Hammers have a huge European game to prepare for and Michail Antonio will be available, despite his red card.