Sabtu, 29 September 2012

Ox: Saints almost released me

Oxlade-Chamberlain: Almost released by Southampton

The Arsenal winger, who was signed from Saints in August 2011 for an initial 12million fee, has scored five goals in 30 domestic games and appeared seven times for England.

However, he has now disclosed that the South Coast club almost ended his career before it had even started.

Instead, Southampton made the decision to hold back the youngster for a season in the under-14 team until his body had matured sufficiently.

"Southampton were going to release me then," the 19-year-old told The Times.

"They said I was not big enough. It was just because I hadn't grown.

"They said I couldn't cope but they said that I was technically one of the best players, so instead they were going to keep me in the under-14s. I played there for one season.

"I played there for a season and it was really good for my confidence.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has made three starts this season, and scored in the Capital One Cup against Coventry City on Wedne sday.

Jumat, 28 September 2012

Moyes had Lambert on radar

Lambert: Watched by Everton before Southampton move

The 30-year-old has enjoyed a rags-to-riches career having been released by Blackpool almost 12 years ago and has played a key role in Saints' promotion to the Premier League.

But had things taken a different path Lambert, who has scored 82 goals in 137 league appearances for Saints, could have been lining up against Nigel Adkins' side and not for them.

"He was in my attention when he was at Bristol Rovers (between 2006 and 2009)," said Moyes.

"Round that time we were looking around the leagues to see and we took Jermaine Beckford when Rickie was just about to go to Southampton.

"We were well aware of him and his goalscoring and he had done great.

"It is great credit to the boys who come through the leagues - it shows a great deal of hunger and perseverance to get through to the top and he's done that.

"There are a few - (Norwich striker) Grant Holt comes to mind - who have shown that route can be done.

"You can get rel eased and it does not mean it is the end.

"What you have to do is go away and work at your game and what Rickie has done over the years is keep scoring goals wherever he has been.

"He deserves credit from working his way up from the bottom to the top."

Moyes is looking for a reaction from his players after an understrength side exited the Capital One Cup against Leeds in midweek.

And he has already brushed that result under the carpet, preferring instead to concentrate on the impressive start to the season the Toffees have made with 10 points from five matches which puts them in third place.

"We have got to really talk about how well Everton have done," added the Scot.

"We went to Leeds and didn't do well and we went to West Brom (losing 2-0) and didn't play that well.

"But overall no-one can doubt the way the players have played and their attitude and performance has been fantastic and we've started well so we wanted to keep that going.

"We have done okay in 2012 but we are not the sort of people here who get carried away with ourselves and we have to keep going.

"We have Southampton at home and if we take three points from that and then it cements us in a lofty position early on in the season."

Moyes will bring striker Nikica Jelavic, who has been one of the reasons the Toffees have been so strong since his arrival in January, back into the starting line-up ton Saturday.

He missed last week's win at Swansea with a leg injury but got a run out as a substitute at Leeds and is ready to go from the off now.

"He hadn't trained much but we thought it may be the chance to give him time as needed (at Leeds) and he got 25 to 30 minutes so hopefully that will help him," said Moyes.

The Everton boss also confirmed former Aston Villa and West Ham midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, a free agent after leaving Wolfsburg last season will continue to train with the club.

"It is going to be a while until we are able to make a decision," he said.

"He is building his fitness and enjoying doing the football work and we will step his work up next week but there will be no quick decision on that."

Kamis, 27 September 2012

League Cup fourth-round draw

Capital One Cup: Fourth round draw made

United will travel to Stamford Bridge after seeing off Newcastle 2-1 at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. The Blues hammered Wolves 6-0 in the last round on Tuesday.

Holders Liverpool will welcome Swansea to Anfield in a match which will see Reds boss Brendan Rodgers go up against his former club.

Liverpool came from behind to see off West Brom on Wednesday night, while the Swans scraped past Crawley on Tuesday.

Capital One Cup fourth round draw:

Sunderland v Middlesbrough

Swindon v Aston Villa

Wigan v Bradford

Leeds v Southampton

Norwich v Tottenham

Liverpool v Swansea

Chelsea v Man Utd

Reading v Arsenal

Ties to be played week commencing October 29.

Sabtu, 22 September 2012

Boruc agrees Saints deal

Boruc: Left Fiorentina over summer

The Poland international made his name during his five-year spell in Scotland and left Serie A outfit Fiorentina during the summer.

Free agent Boruc has now joined Saints for the rest of the season, providing competition to club captain Kelvin Davis and 20-year-old Paulo Gazzaniga.

The 32-year-old agreed terms at St Mary's after Saturday's 4-1 victory over Aston Villa and will be added to the south coast side's Premier League squad list.

"I'm looking forward to playing in the best league in the world while I'm playing here at Southampton," Boruc told the club's official website.

"I missed football, so I'm really glad that I'm here and I've finally found the club I was looking for.

"My dreams are coming true. I've been talking about this for a long time, and finally I'm here in the Premier League."

Boruc knows he faces a tough challenge for the Southampton number one spot but is looking forward to challenging Davis and Gazzanig a.

"We'll see what's going to happen over the next couple of weeks," Boruc added.

"I'll give 100% and try to get in goal for Southampton. I like challenges and I'm an ambitious guy, so that'll be good for everybody."

Adkins, who today dropped regular number one Davis for 20-year-old Gazzaniga, is delighted to bolster Southampton's goalkeeping options.

"We're very pleased," he said. "Artur has great experience from Celtic and Fiorentina, and from playing for the national team in Poland.

"He now gives us a third goalkeeper in the building, which is important because the potential for injuries and people getting sent off means we have to cover ourselves. He gives us great back-up and competition.

"Paulo is a very young goalkeeper and he did ever so well for us today, and everyone knows how much I rate Kelvin - what a great character he is and how important he's been in what we've done here at Southampton.

"Artur now comes in as a third goalkeeper with a vast amount of experience."

Kamis, 20 September 2012

Yoshida will 'grow' with Saints

Yoshida: Impressed in Japan's Olympic football campaign

The Japan centre-back, 24, was given a baptism of fire as he made his Saints debut in the 6-1 thrashing at Arsenal last weekend.

He was thrust into action at the Emirates following Jos Hooiveld's early injury and admits the Premier League is a tougher proposition than the Dutch top flight.

But Yoshida, who produced a series of commanding displays as Japan finished fourth in the London 2012 Olympic Games, believes moving to England was the logical step in his career.

"I think the Premier League is a much, much higher level than the Eredivisie, so I have to get used to the speed and physicality," he said.

"That's why I chose the Premier League and I think I will grow up more - for myself and for the World Cup in Brazil."

Yoshida, whose nation are already well on their way to qualifying for Brazil 2014, sought the advice of new Saints team-mate, and fellow Japan international, Tadanari Lee ahead of his move last month.

And he is happy with the start to his new life at the recently-promoted South Coast club.

"The Premier League is one of my great targets and, of course, Tadanari Lee is playing as well and I think that will help me," Yoshida told the Southern Daily Echo. "Of course, I asked him many things; about housing, the team-mates, the coach and the culture.

"Southampton is a very nice place. In the south, not far from London and I think I can buy Japanese food. And nearby there's a port, so there will be a nice view, I think."

Adkins relaxed about speculation

Adkins: Unaffected by sack talk

Saints have lost their four first four matches back in the Premier League, leading to talk that chairman Nicola Cortese is getting an itchy trigger finger.

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez and - rather surprisingly - former Southampton and Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp have been mentioned as potential candidates to replace Adkins.

However Adkins, who helped the club to back-to-back promotions from League One, insists such talk does not affect him and believes he will be at St Mary's for the foreseeable future.

"It doesn't affect me," he said. "I don't read the newspapers. I've got a great working relationship with the chairman here at Southampton and we share a common goal.

"We've had a great couple of seasons and there is stability here at Southampton so we don't even think about things like that.

"I have got my own desire to keep winning games of football because we have that winning mentality here at Southampton. There is a desire that we keep being strong and improving.

"I think if you're looking over your shoulder thinking 'Well, if I don't win this one' your mind is going to be affected in different ways so I don't even think about that.

"At some stage in the future, like in every job, there will be a parting of ways a long way down the line.

"All we are doing [right now] is concentrating on what we're doing. There is stability at Southampton, we're bringing the youth players through the system.

"We have just played Man United and Arsenal and they would have had difficult spells, but they kept stability and that is why they have been successful."

Adkins, whose side face Aston Villa this weekend, insists that the bond of trust with Cortese is so strong that he has not even spoken to him about the reports about his future.

"We don't need to talk about it," he said. "We have a really good dialogue, contrary to what many people believe.

"We have a n excellent working relationship and we share the same common goal; we want Southampton Football Club to do well.

"We know there needs to be stability, we know there needs to be support. We drive each other on. There is nothing wrong with that."

Rather than fretting about his future, Adkins' message was one of positivity heading into Saturday's clash with Villa.

Saints have had a tough run of opening games, facing both Manchester sides before last weekend's 6-1 hiding at Arsenal.

A home defeat to Wigan was perhaps more concerning, but Adkins believes the side are well placed to get their first points on board when Paul Lambert's side come to town on Saturday.

"We have got to embrace the challenge of being in the Barclays Premier League," he said.

"This is where the best are and we have to go outside that comfort zone and feel that pain if you want to be the best.

"It has been a great week's training. There is a steely resolve about the players, there is a hunger.

"We have learned some good lessons already and there is a lot of belief about we've done."

Senin, 17 September 2012

Lallana shocked by England call

Lallana: Call to the England squad

The 24-year-old was one of three players called up by Roy Hodgson following a spate of withdrawals from his squad to face Ukraine in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Tuesday night.

Chelsea duo John Terry and Ashley Cole were ruled out over the weekend, and Theo Walcott has gone back to Arsenal after contracting a virus.

Daniel Sturridge was also unable to train on Monday because he felt ill and, although Hodgson expects the striker to be fit, he was left with little alternative other than to draft in replacements.

Lallana was one following an encouraging start to the season, except he did not quite believe it.

"I didn't think the gaffer was being serious when he called to tell me this morning," Lallana told Southampton's official website.

"I was at home about to head into the training ground when he called - I must have asked if he was having me on a dozen times!

"I'm totally shocked to be honest."

Named Saints' skip per this summer on their return to the Premier League, Lallana has represented England at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-21 levels.

And whilst he realises it is a long shot that he will make his debut on Tuesday night, he is delighted with the recognition.

"It's such a proud accomplishment to be called up to play for your country at any level, but to be called into the senior side is probably the proudest moment of my career so far," he said.

"It is every player's dream to represent your country at the top level.

"I'm realistic in accepting I might not be that heavily involved, but the fact that I will be around such experienced international players is something I am really excited about."

Lallana will link up with former team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who featured in Friday's 5-0 defeat of Moldova in Chisinau.

And as Walcott is another Southampton old-boy, clearly the Saints are doing something right.

"It reflects really w ell on the club," Lallana said.

"It shows just how far Southampton has come to have an English player represented at national level.

"We have a lot of talented young English players here and I'm sure that I won't be the last person to represent our country."

Bosses react to Hillsborough news

Former Liverpool assistant manager Steve Clarke paid tribute to the families of the 96 fans who died at the Hillsborough disaster after their 23-year fight for justice finally uncovered the truth on Thursday.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel revealed in a 396-page document that a police cover-up had taken place which had intended to shift blame for the events at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest onto the victims themselves.

Clarke, now the West Brom manager, was at Liverpool between 2011 and 2012 and said he had been struck by the emotion of the cause during his time at Anfield.

"The biggest thing is it vindicates the families," Clarke said. "The families have chased this verdict for a long time.

They are the ones who have suffered when you think 96 people went to a football match and didn't come home. There is something deeply wrong with that.

"For the families to have to chase the verdict they have finally got fo r 23 years, it vindicates the way they have conducted themselves, the way they have conducted themselves, the way they have channelled their anger if you like into getting this verdict in the right way.

"In my time at Liverpool I went to two of the memorial services which are obviously very emotional occasions and you could feel the sense of injustice that was there.

"The biggest over-riding memory for me out of the services is when someone actually reads out the names of the 96 people and how long it takes. That shows the scale of the human cost."

Former Forest midfielder Martin O'Neill, whose Sunderland side face Liverpool on Saturday evening, said: "It's been going on for so, so long, but it is total vindication for those Liverpool people who felt this was worthy, to fight this all the way.

"They always felt they had been maligned greatly and it has worked for them.

"I think everyone is in total agreement that it's a total vindication of their thoughts and their viewpoints at the time, and they must draw some sort of comfort from this, even though 96 people still lost their lives.

"In many aspects, it's rather late, but if there is such a thing as a victory for them, it is that.

"It doesn't bring people back, of course, but they have been totally and utterly vindicated."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez said the deaths were not only a tragedy for Liverpool as a club and a city, but for the whole of football.

"I know sometimes you see things that are away from your football club, but you feel part of it. I think it affects the whole football family.

"In many ways, it's a moment where a bit of truth allows you to have a bit of closure. All of our feelings and sympathies goes to the families of the 96 people."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was happy to see the truth emerge, and is grateful for how far the game has come since the disaster.

"It is sad to hear that suc h a thing that happened at Hillsborough had been covered up for so long but absolutely delighted now for those people that suffered that the truth has finally come out," he said.

"I think safety in football had been taken on by every single football club from there on in and football grounds now are as safe as they possibly can be and I don't think they can be any safer.

"Unlike a lot of clubs abroad who still have lots of hooligan problems we appear not to have any of that type of problem in the grounds anymore so I think from that sad day there have been massive strides made in terms of looking after people's safety."

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins said: "A lot of people have been affected by this situation - I know from my own point of view my brother was actually in the stadium that day."

Norwich boss Chris Hughton applauded the families' persistence in pursuing their case.

"They need to take massive credit," he said. "When we consider i t has taken 23 years it is an awful lot of campaigning and knocking on doors. It takes an awful lot of patience and resilience to do that and they need to be applauded."

He also praised the developments in fan safety since that time.

"It is unrecognisable," he said. "Look at the safety procedures in place at stadia. The magnificent stadia that we do have. I suppose in some way that was a result of this incident and we in the football world have benefited from it where others haven't. The regulations we now have in place are top class."

Ipswich manager Paul Jewell, a boyhood Liverpool fan, was playing for Bradford on the day of the tragedy.

"I was playing for Bradford, ironically against Ipswich that day in a 2-2 draw at Valley Parade," he said. "As I came off the pitch, Peter Jackson [team-mate] said to me that there were people feared dead at the Liverpool game.

"I watched the scenes from the players' lounge and it was surreal what was goi ng on at a football match. They were devastating scenes and it just left you feeling empty.

"I was there with my wife Ann-Marie. She's from Liverpool as well and was pregnant at the time. We just sat there in silence watching what was going on.

"It was very raw to the people of Bradford as well because only a few years earlier they had the tragedy of the fire at the stadium. It brought back some devastating memories for people at the club.

"I later found out that one of the lads I grew up with in Liverpool died at Hillsborough. It was a tragic, horrible, horrible day."

Lambert calls for Saints belief

Lambert: Looking for Southampton to respond

Saints have suffered four defeats in their opening four games, and they are firmly entrenched at the foot of the table.

But after their 6-1 humiliation at Arsenal on Saturday, Lambert says they have to out their rocky start behind them.

"We have learnt a lot in a short amount of time," he said.

"I would like to see what points other teams will get against City, United and Arsenal. We can't be too down.

"Arsenal had a couple of players we couldn't handle. They scored early and got better.

"It was obviously a very bad day and that might happen sometimes. But it's how we react and how we come back next week against Aston Villa. Our season will start now - it's about keeping belief."

Minggu, 16 September 2012

Adkins thrilled by Lallana call

Lallana: Was called up to England squad

The 24-year-old became the latest Saints academy graduate to link up with the senior team after getting the call from Roy Hodgson for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine following a spate of withdrawals.

Lallana follows the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott into the national fold and, while he did not get on the pitch, Adkins believes the move only bodes well for both the player and club.

"He is at a good age now of 24 and that is why he has got the captain's armband here at Southampton," Adkins said on Thursday, speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Arsenal.

"He has got that maturity about him and he has played his games. His standard in training is outstanding every day.

"His performances on the pitch get the supporters on their feet. They love watching him.

"He is a talented, talented football player and he deservedly got the opportunity the other night.

"And, all being well, now he is performing in the Premier League, people can see his talents week in, week out and people can be a little bit more aware of the qualities and abilities of Adam Lallana.

"I think it fantastic when we talk about Southampton having players going to Uruguay, Africa, Japan and all around the world [on international duty].

"And we have got somebody in the senior set-up of England, which is fantastic.

"We had someone away with the [England] Under-21s, someone away with the Under-19s as well and it is just great that Southampton Football Club have now got players in the senior national teams around the globe."

However, it has not all been positive for Southampton this week as Guly do Prado hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.

The 30-year-old was banned from the road for a year and fined 2,500 after admitting drink-driving in the early hours of August 27 in Southampton.

Asked what action has been taken against do Prado, Adkins said: "That has all been dealt with in-house.

"We obviously view the matter very strongly. We've got a high level of discipline here at Southampton.

"The players are all well aware of the role model status that they have and obviously we've dealt with that in-house straight away.

"He understands and all the players are well aware and Guly knows not to do anything detrimental to the club, the team or yourself.

"You face the consequences of your actions and he certainly felt the consequences of his action within the football club, likewise in the public domain."

Adkins did not reveal whether Do Prado would be involved in Southampton's trip to Arsenal, where new signings Maya Yoshida and Gaston Ramirez could be involved for the first time.

The pair were signed late in the transfer window and, while that has now closed, talk has already turned to whether Saints would be tempted to bring in any more new faces.

Premier League clubs are allowed to acquire f ree agents after the window closes - which is something Adkins would not rule out.

"What we've got to do is quickly get the players we've got to become a group," he said.

"There was mass speculation on the transfer window shutting and then it shuts and within a few hours the phone is going again.

"(People say) 'Oh, this player is now a free agent, do you want him?' - this, that and the other. It is never-ending.

"I think the important thing is you can't underestimate the value of team spirit. Winning teams have great team spirit but likewise you've got to keep improving all the time."

Saints annihilated by Arsenal

Gibbs: Got ball rolling for Gunners

The visitors resembled a rabbit in the headlights for most of the first half at Emirates Stadium as they failed to deal with Arsenal's pace and directness - epitomised as early as the 11th minute as Jos Hooiveld accidentally put into his own net.

Lukas Podolski bent in a 25-yard free-kick as the onslaught continued, before Gervinho rifled home and Nathaniel Clyne netted an own goal to make it 4-0 inside 37 minutes.

Wojciech Szczesny's clanger denied the north Londoners a fourth successive clean sheet to start the season as the returning Poland international flapped at a cross late in the first half and Danny Fox lashed home.

It proved a mere consolation, though, as Gervinho and former Southampton winger Theo Walcott netted in a more even second period to condemn Nigel Adkins' side to a fourth league defeat.

Arsenal made three changes coming into the game, with Szczesny the standout returnee after missing recent matches with a rib injury.

Saints, meanwhile, stuck with the same starting team that fell to a harsh 3-2 defeat to Manchester United before the international break, while new signings Gaston Ramirez and Maya Yoshida were named on the bench.

The latter was brought in to shore up a weak Southampton defence that found itself under pressure from the outset in north London.

Podolski tested Kelvin Davis with a stinging effort inside three minutes, before former Southampton winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's dangerous cross was inexplicably scooped over the bar by Santi Cazorla.

The early pressure continued as Southampton regularly gave away possession as they failed in their attempts to get a foothold on proceedings.

Arsenal capitalised on the visitors' early ineptitude as Podolski took possession in the middle and played through Kieran Gibbs, whose low effort squirmed through Davis' legs and was inadvertently turned home by Hooiveld.

The hosts' dominance continued afte r the 11th-minute opener and came close to doubling their advantage soon after.

Davis flapped at a Cazorla corner and had to be on his toes to prevent Per Mertesacker heading home when the ball was played back into the box.

Gervinho was the next to threaten, nodding wide and then bursting forward to send a driven effort just wide of the right-hand post.

The early exchanges made bleak viewing for the travelling fans and Adkins was forced into his first change after 28 minutes, bringing on Yoshida for his debut in place of Hooiveld, who had been struggling with a calf injury this week.

The Japan defender could do nothing, though, to prevent Podolski scoring three minutes later.

After Coquelin was upended, the Germany international exquisitely curled a 25-yard free-kick over the wall into the top corner past the helpless Davis.

However, the Southampton goalkeeper - and defence - should have done much better with Arsenal's third that cam e after 35 minutes.

Gervinho connected with an excellent Mikel Arteta dink over the top and the Ivorian lashed home, finding time and space to beat Davis at his near post.

It was proving a nightmare first half for Saints as they failed to cope with Arsenal and it got worse eight minutes before half-time with a second own goal.

Another break ended with the being ball played out left to Gibbs, who again saw his cross directed home by a player in yellow - this time Clyne the unfortunate party.

It was not just Southampton making errors, though, as the returning Szczesny spilt a high cross from the right under pressure from Rickie Lambert, allowing Fox to lash home on the stroke of half-time.

It was one of a handful of chances for the visitors in the second half, leading Adkins to bring on record signing Ramirez for his debut in a bid to create more going forward.

Saints looked far more confident and composed following the introduction of the Uruguay international, who tested Szczesny five minutes after coming on.

Ramirez soon turned provider as he played through Lambert, but he could only direct wide under pressure.

Oxlade-Chamberlain bundled wide a Gervinho cross as Arsenal looked to extend their advantage - which they managed to do in the 71st minute.

Cazorla, impressing once again in midfield, played through substitute Aaron Ramsey, whose exquisite turn was followed up by a shot that came back off the post for Gervinho to tap home.

Davis was forced into a fine save to prevent former team-mate Oxlade-Chamberlain netting, before substitute Walcott capped a fine day for Arsenal by netting late on after the Saints goalkeeper parried.

Wenger tries to ease Giroud flak

Giroud: Tricky start to life with the Gunners

The trio were the Gunners' big-name additions in a summer that saw talisman Robin van Persie and midfield stalwart Alex Song leave for pastures new.

But while Cazorla and Podolski have taken to life in the Premier League like a proverbial duck to water since, Giroud has not enjoyed the same success.

The France international has yet to find the net since joining from Montpellier and was named among the substitutes for Saturday's 6-1 mauling of Southampton, against whom he failed to make an impact when he came on.

"I felt that he is under much pressure at the moment and sometimes to get a little breather is good," Wenger said of his countryman.

"What I will do on Tuesday [when Arsenal travel to Montpellier in the Champions League] I honestly don't know.

"I just felt that the time has come for him to not be under too much pressure."

It is fair to say Cazorla has not endured the same difficulties since moving to north London, attr acting plaudits aplenty in his short time in English football.

"Cazorla is a player who is just a pleasure to watch," Wenger said. "You want him to have the ball.

"I think he typifies what the midfielders in Spain are today - technically perfect, great vision and a great team attitude.

"We did fight with Malaga at the time [to get him last summer from Villarreal] and they were in Spain, they were quick to do the deal.

"But we remained on the ball, we were quite advanced with him last season already."

Podolski, too, has enjoyed his start to life with Arsenal as he followed up his goal at Liverpool with an excellent 25-yard free-kick against Southampton.

"First of all, Lukas has 101 caps for Germany," Wenger said.

"Once, in our job, you get the ball every time at the right moment, when you want it and with the right quality of the pass, it is easier to adapt.

"So when a team plays as well as it did, the adaptation is easy .

"When you have to fight, and then you are exposed to the real English game, it is much more difficult.

"He is physically strong and he is a fantastic finisher.

"I had a little hesitation yesterday to play him at centre forward because I had played him only once there.

"He gives us a balance on the left and I didn't want to destroy that because he did well at Liverpool."

The victory leaves the Gunners third in the Premier League standings and opponents Saints rooted to the bottom.

There have been 19 goals in the promoted side's first four games back in the top flight, including Danny Fox's first-half consolation at the Emirates on Saturday.

For all that excitement, however, Saints have yet to pick up a point and the Scotland left-back knows improvements are needed, starting against Aston Villa next weekend.

"We need to show more character and believe that we can play at this level because we are good enough to be here, " Fox told Saints Player.

"I think if you look at the squad - Gaston [Ramirez] came on and looked the part and he's only going to get better once he starts to learn English.

"Ads (Adam Lallana) is full of confidence at the minute after being called up to the England squad, Steven Davis is Northern Ireland captain, so the squad speaks for itself.

"The ability is there so I think we just need to be a bit more ruthless.

"We'll work on the training ground this week and the gaffer is always positive, so we'll take the positives from this game and go into the Villa match knowing that we have to win."

Sabtu, 15 September 2012

Arsenal v Southampton reaction

Gibbs and Gervinho: Celebrate at The Emirates

The Gunners dominated proceedings in north London this afternoon and had built a four-goal advantage over Saints inside the opening 37 minutes, before going onto net twice more in the second half.

Gervinho's brace alongside own goals from Jos Hooiveld and Nathaniel Clyne, a Lukas Podolski free-kick and Theo Walcott's late effort did the damage at the Emirates Stadium.

The performance bodes well for Arsenal as they prepare for tough couple of weeks that sees Wenger take his side to Montpellier in the Champions League, before league matches with Manchester City and Chelsea.

"In the first 45 minutes we were at a particularly high level," the Gunners boss said.

"We had a good combination of pace, speed of our passing and quick combinations. The movement was excellent.

"We were quite lucky as well because they conceded two own goals, but overall I think it was a level of continuity with what we have shown at Liverpool.

"The game wa s very interesting to watch. We lost a bit of urgency in the second half, but that is human. We controlled the game and remained serious.

"It is a big week coming up because we go on Tuesday to Montpellier, then on Sunday we play at Man City.

"We have two interesting weeks coming up because we play Man City, Chelsea and Montpellier in the Champions League.

"We know much more about the team. There is a positive energy in this team - a desire to play, a desire to play well together and real team play so it is very exciting."

Arsenal will be boosted by the return of Abou Diaby from a hip problem for those fixtures after a win in which the only negative was the end of the hosts' three-match clean sheet record due to a Wojciech Szczesny clanger.

The Poland international, making his return from a rib injury, spilt a high cross from the right under pressure from Rickie Lambert, allowing Danny Fox to lash home on the stroke of half-time.

"I think he was disappointed," Wenger said. "That was the negative of the day, that we conceded a goal.

"We can dwell over that but you have to concede at some time, but it happened like it happened."

The three points puts Arsenal third in the standings, while leaving visitors Southampton rooted to the bottom of the table.

Nigel Adkins' side have lost all four of their matches since returning to the top flight and were given a hiding today as they failed to cope with the Gunners' speed and directness.

"We just played a very good team and the big thing is - we highlight it all the time - if you have good possession of the football and you turn it over cheaply, the players at this standard are going to punish you," the Saints manager said.

"Obviously Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are two talented football players. They were ruthless today.

"When the fixtures came out, people were looking at Man City, Man United, Arsenal - three gam es that on paper we would probably get a good chasing in.

"Today we have come out on the back of a poor scorelines, but from my point of view it just highlights the standards in the Barclays Premier League and what we have to aspire to.

"When we look at it, I think we actually started the first five minutes all right. We kept good possession of the ball and that is what we looked to do.

"But when you score an early goal anywhere, it gives the opposition the upper hand.

"We'll analyse the goals ourselves tomorrow and there are probably things you think you could do better on."

Southampton's task was made all the more difficult at 2-0 down after Jos Hooiveld went off injured, forcing Adkins to hand new signing Maya Yoshida his debut in the 28th minute.

"We lost Hooiveld after a period of time with a calf injury," Adkins said. "We'll have to see how serious it is.

"Maya has only had one training session with us. He has just been to Japan and he was thrown right in at the deep end.

"I think he did ever so well as he grew into the game but it is not easy as he has got to know his team-mates."

Jumat, 14 September 2012

Adkins proud of Oxlade-Chamberlain

Oxlade-Chamberlain: Former Southampton winger

The 19-year-old graduated from the south coast club's academy and helped Saints to automatic promotion from the third tier in his only full season there in the first team.

Oxlade-Chamberlain's performances saw him join Arsenal for a fee rising to 15million last summer and he could now face his former club at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Adkins is proud of the way the winger has developed since leaving St Mary's and, while he would love him to be lining up for Saints, takes pride in his performances.

He does, though, hope the winger has an off day on Saturday.

"I am very proud," Adkins said. "I think everybody should be proud because he has come through our system.

"We said at the time we would have loved him to have stayed with us because this is where we wanted to be.

"We wanted Alex to be playing for us in the Premier League, but as a League One player he made the decision to then move.

"He has done fantastic the re. I think if we can give them (players) the right principles in life and the right standards in how they conduct themselves, they can improve.

"It is always a joy to watch him play. You want him to do well for England, and for himself and his family at his football club.

"On Saturday, though, it is about us winning so we will do everything we can to get that win.

"We want that winning mentality but it is great to see that Alex is doing ever so well at this moment in time.

"As long as he keeps his feet on the ground, keeps working very, very hard on his game and does not take anything for granted, there is no reason why he can't go from strength to strength."

Saturday's match at the Emirates Stadium caps a tough set of fixtures for recently-promoted Southampton.

After a 3-2 defeat at champions Manchester City on the opening day, the south coast side lost to Wigan and then Manchester United at St Mary's to leave them pointless after three matches.

While that leaves Southampton bottom of the standings, Adkins insists the group remain upbeat and confident of springing a surprise in north London.

"The three games we have played already has given everybody a lot of confidence and belief," he said.

"On paper we probably weren't expected to get anything Man City, Man United or Arsenal.

"We've got a crack at Arsenal, who have not conceded a goal yet. The law of averages suggests the next game they have got a chance of conceding a goal.

"They are a top, top side. Arsene Wenger has done a magnificent job over the years at Arsenal.

"They've not won a trophy for the last couple of years, but they have won the Barclays Premier League, they have got to European Cup finals, they have built a brand new stadium. It is all about finance in football now and they have got some fantastic players.

"From our point of view at Southampton, it is wonderful that we can go to the E mirates and compete against them in the Barclays Premier League."

Kamis, 13 September 2012

Do Prado handed driving ban

Do Prado: Admitted drink-driving

The 30-year-old was stopped by police in Southampton on August 27 while driving his 70,000 black Porsche Panamera in the early hours.

Officers were responding to reports of a possible drink-driver and followed the two-year-old car before stopping it in the city's High Street at 4.35am, Southampton Magistrates' Court heard.

The striker failed the breath test and was found to have 57 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Dressed in a grey suit jacket, grey cardigan and ripped jeans, Do Prado came to court with several minders.

At one point he was told by the court clerk to take his hands out of his pockets.

Philip Somarakis, in mitigation, said: "There is no suggestion that Mr Do Prado's driving was affected. He was respectful and compliant.

"He is very sorry to be appearing before the court and bringing unwanted attention on him and his club."

Mr Somarakis said Do Prado 's club had already dealt with the matter but he did not give details of any sanction.

The player, whose full name is Guilherme Do Prado Raymundo, and who lives in Channel Way, Southampton, was also ordered to pay 85 costs and a 15 victim surcharge.

He was told that if he paid for and completed a drink-drive awareness course he would receive a 25 per cent reduction in his ban.

Minggu, 09 September 2012

Guly faces Saints sanctions

Do Prado: Faces club discipline procedures

Do Prado, 30, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after being pulled over by police on Bank Holiday Monday, before being bailed to appear at Southampton Magistrates' Court on September 12.

The Brazilian, who has been with Saints for two years and last month signed a one-year contract extension until 2014, has already issued a public apology.

"We take this matter seriously and we will deal with it in-house," Adkins told BBC Radio Solent.

"I've got one rule and people face the consequences of their actions if they step out of line."

Do Prado was arrested after his black Porsche Panamera was seen being driven erratically along Southampton High Street in the early hours of Monday.

"The police have been involved in the situation I'm led to believe," Adkins added, refusing to confirmed if Do Prado would be axed for Sunday's Premier League clash with Manchester United.

"I'm not happy with it, but we will deal wit h it and we will get on with it.

"When I make a decision what to do about it, the news will come out. In the meantime, we will deal with it privately."

Following his arrest and charge, Guly issued a statement via Twitter.

"I wanted to apologise about what happened, especially for the club and the supporters of Southampton," he wrote.

"We players are very exposed and we have to be more careful in this kind of situation, controlling every step when we enter public life."

Saints complete Ramirez deal

Ramirez: Close to Southampton move

The 21 year-old Uruguay international is a highly-regarded prospect and has caught the interest of a number of leading European sides.

But he opted for a move to St Mary's and has signed a four-year deal after the finer matters of the transfer were finally put to bed.

Manager Nigel Adkins said: "A lot of hard work has gone in from the football club with a lot of negotiations behind the scenes to get this deal done.

"Great credit to everyone because we have a young, exciting talent joining us who is one of the best around.

"The chairman has gone and backed this deal big-time with the financial outlay, and what we have got is one of the most exciting prospects in world football coming to St Mary's.

"There is a lot of ambition here and we are all delighted that Gaston is going to come and join us."

Sabtu, 08 September 2012

Saints boss in awe of Ferguson

Adkins: Happy with transfer activity

The match between the two clubs will be Ferguson's 1000th league game in charge of the Red Devils, with the 70-year-old collecting no fewer than 37 major trophies during his time at Old Trafford.

Adkins, 47, reckons a managerial spell like Ferguson's will never be seen again in the modern era.

"I think it is going to be a one-off when you look at it realistically," he said.

"Demands are placed in the modern game now for someone to stay at a football club for so long.

"But if you look at the success they have had and the stability it has provided - the successful clubs probably have a consistent basis so maybe it is possible and that is the way to go."

Ferguson and Adkins have previously spoken about how to remain at a club for a long time and the former Scunthorpe manager revealed it has to be the ambition of every manager to attempt to replicate such success.

"I had a good conversation with him a few years ago and I asked him about the longevity of management and it was 'move with the times' and if you surround yourself with younger people you probably act a bit younger as well. I think he is a great example of how to do things," he said.

"I think when you go into something you have got to strive to be the best and keep improving.

"Obviously at the time you think it is a long way away and very unrealistic I suppose for a Premier League club to go and bring a young manager in.

"So the only way you are going to get there is to get a club promoted and we are delighted we have been able to do that at Southampton."

The Saints have been busy in the transfer market and have brought in the likes of Japan's Maya Yoshida and Emmanuel Mayuka from Zambia.

Adkins reckons the lure of the Premier League means foreign imports are inevitable but that they can help the progression of young, English talent rather than stunt it.

"I'm as English as they come and you want to see the English talent coming through, all being well we have some really good youngsters coming through the system here," he added.

"We talk about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who came through our youth system and will be a shining light for the national team.

"We want to be competitive and we want to be up there but we want to bring our youngsters through and if it means we bring in someone from Japan or Uruguay or Italy that will enhance our group of players then brilliant.

"The Barclays Premier League is the biggest one in the world and the richest one in the world and especially now with the media input we have got - it is a global game, a fantastic game.

"I believe we have a great brand here at Southampton everything we are doing, not just on the pitch but off the pitch, is growing.

"We talk about Japanese players or Uruguayan players we have brought Nathaniel (Clyne) in who is an England Under-21 international, we brought Jay Rodriguez in who is English.

"We have several English players at the football club - it is a global market and player we can identify who will enhance what we have got, young, hungry and dynamic players is an important aspect of what we are trying to do."

Jumat, 07 September 2012

Cropper handed Saints deal

Adkins: Another new signing

The 19-year-old, who had spent two years with Championship side Ipswich, has been training with the Southampton youth team for two months.

The USA Under-20 international showed enough during his short time with the Saints to earn a two-year deal with the club.

Clyne explains United snub

Clyne: Knew he would play first-team football at Southampton

Saints play host to United live on Sky Sports 1 HD on Sunday and Clyne could well have been lining up for the Red Devils.

But the 21-year-old full-back instead opted for Nigel Adkins' newly-promoted side when he walked away from Crystal Palace in the summer.

And on the eve of the clash, the England Under-21 international has explained the reasons for his decision.

"I had run out of contract at Palace and there were talks with a few clubs who were looking at me like United," said Clyne, quoted in The Sun.

"I knew if I came to Southampton I would get a lot of game time.

"It is an up-and-coming club and they have a project here. They do not just want to sit with what they have, they want to push forward for European football.

"Our aim is to stay in the league this year but go on after that.

"Southampton is a very professional club and they work hard on every aspect of the game. I am already enjoying my time here."

Hammond calms stormy waters

Hammond: Regrets controversial celebration

Hammond is back with the Seagulls on a season's loan from Southampton, more than four years after he controversially left to join Colchester.

He angered Albion fans at their old Withdean ground by running along the touchline cupping his hand to his ear after scoring for Saints in a 2-2 draw in 2010.

The 29-year-old told The Argus: "It was 100 per cent heat of the moment. Obviously, looking back on it I wish I hadn't done it. I never meant to offend anyone.

"Things went on at the club that people don't know about and I left on a difficult note really. We had just won at Wembley a few days before and I was on a bit of a high as well.

"I regret it now. I didn't mean to do it and I could never envisage myself doing anything like that again."

Kamis, 06 September 2012

Sydney FC confirm Del Piero deal

Del Piero: Sydney move confirmed

The move had been mooted for most of the summer, but appeared to have come under some threat owing to reported interest from Premier League sides Liverpool and Southampton.

But there was relief all round in Sydney earlier on Wednesday when, speaking at a press conference in Turin, the 37-year-old forward confirmed he was heading down under on a two-year deal.

Cropper: A great opportunity

St Mary's: New home for Cropper

The 19-year-old American agreed a two-year deal with the Saints having impressed on a trial after being released by Ipswich.

Cropper hopes to eventually challenge for a first-team place.

He told Saints Player: "It was nerve-racking to come down to a Premier League club having been at a Championship club before that but I think it's a great opportunity to me.

"There are a lot of good guys here and it's place that I can kick on and develop my career so I'm looking forward to it."

Clubs to discuss spending limits

Whelan: Wants to see limits put in place

The league's top executives have produced a discussion paper on financial controls for the chairmen to consider which could eventually lead to clubs being forced to break even every year - or face sanctions.

It would mean a serious blow to clubs such as Manchester City and Chelsea who have return significant losses in recent years.

There is strong support at other clubs for such controls - Wigan chairman Dave Whelan on Wednesday said measures to cut spending were needed urgently, while Manchester United originally sparked the move at the league's meeting earlier in the summer.

No decision will be made on any measures on Thursday - instead two groups of 10 clubs, each with clubs mixed up to reflect size and region, are to be formed to discuss the options in more detail.

Whelan's own club Wigan have also operated at a loss - the Latics returned a net loss for the year ending May 2011 of 7.2million - but even he is in favour of the controls.

Whelan said: "This proposal has come from Manchester United - I think City haven shaken them up a little bit - but I think there should be some controls on spending.

"Some clubs are spending way more than they can afford and get into trouble - look at Portsmouth.

"The Premier League is so big and powerful and there is so much money around that the clubs try and chase it. Something has to be done so we will support these measures."

United's chief executive David Gill has been one of the driving forces behind European clubs accepting UEFA's financial fair play rules for clubs in the Champions League and Europa League to only spend what they earn, and he wants the Premier League to follow suit.

The Football League have also introduced a similar system into the Championship and Gill believes the top flight should bring in similar measures.

Gill said last week: "A lot of clubs would be happy just to introduce the financial fair play regula tions into the Premier League now, some wouldn't, but that's a debate that has to have happened. And it will happen.

"If you look at it we've got financial regulations in the league below us, the Championship, and the competition above us, the Champions League, so we need to do it.

"The Premier League being the best league in the world, the most commercially effective league in the world, I think there's a real opportunity to introduce some sensible rules that effectively improve and enhance the long term or medium term financial stability."

At least 12 of the 20 top-flight clubs ended the 2010/11 season in the red with Manchester City's losses of 197million dwarfing even Chelsea's 68million and Liverpool's 49million.

Critics of financial fair rules argue that it will forever favour those clubs such as Manchester United and Arsenal who make a profit and rule out wealthy benefactors such as Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour putting money into clu bs.

Selasa, 04 September 2012

Premier League: 25-man squads

Manchester City: Made six new signings

The only side whose line-up has not been confirmed is Stoke, who are awaiting approval on their proposed signing of Michael Owen and their squad list will be revealed at a later date.

Each side has named a squad containing no more than 17 players who do not fulfil the home grown player criteria, while rules state the remainder of the party must be home grown.

The teams can name up to 25 squad members, not including under-21 players.

The full Premier League squads for the 2012-13 season are as follows:


Arshavin, Arteta, Cazorla, Chamakh, Santos, Diaby, Djourou, Fabianski, Gervinho, Gibbs, Giroud, Koscielny, Mannone, Mertesacker, Podolski, Ramsey, Rosicky, Sagna, Squillaci, Szczesny, Vermaelen, Walcott, Eastmond.

Aston Villa

Agbonlahor, Albrighton, Bannan, Bent, Clark, Delph, Dunne, El Ahmadi, Given, Guzan, Herd, Holman, Hutton, Ireland, Lichaj, Lowton, Westwood, Marshall, N'Zogbia, Petrov, Stevens, Vlaar, Warnock, Bennett, Benteke.


Cech, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Cole, Luiz, Ramires, Lampard, Torres, Mata, Moses, Mikel, Malouda, Ferreira, Marin, Turnbull, Sturridge, Cahill, Terry, Bertrand, Hilario.


Anichebe, Baines, Gibson, Hibbert, Jagielka, Neville, Osman, Coleman, Distin, Fellaini, Gueye, Heitinga, Howard, Jelavic, Mucha, Naismith, Pienaar, Mirallas, Oviedo.


Schwarzer, Somogyi, Stockdale, Etheridge, Riether, Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise, Duff, Dejagah, Davies, Baird, Sidwell, Diarra, Ruiz, Richardson, Petric, Rodallega, Berbatov.


Agger, Allen, Assaidi, Carragher, Coates, Cole, Doni, Downing, Gerrard, Gulacsi, Henderson, Johnson, Jones, Enrique, Kelly, Lucas, Reina, Sahin, Skrtel, Suarez.

Manchester City

Hart, Richards, Kompany, Zabaleta, Lescott, Milner, Nasri, Dzeko, Sinclair, Kolarov, Aguero, Barry, Silva, Clichy, K T oure, Wright, Pantilimon, Tevez, Y Toure, Maicon, Garcia, Balotelli.

Manchester United

Anderson, Bebe, Buttner, Carrick, Hernandez, Cleverley, De Gea, Evans, Evra, Ferdinand, Fletcher, Giggs, Kagawa, Lindegaard, Nani, Rafael, Rooney, Scholes, Smalling, Valencia, Van Persie, Vidic, Welbeck, Young.


Amalfitano, Ameobi, Anita, Ba, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Cisse, Coloccini, Elliot, Gosling, Harper, Gutierrez, Krul, Marveaux, Obertan, Perch, Simpson, R Taylor, S Taylor, Tiote, Williamson, Xisco.


Barnett, Bassong, E Bennett, R Bennett, Bunn, Butterfield, Fox, Garrido, Holt, Hoolahan, Howson, Jackson, Johnson, Lappin, C Martin, R Martin, Morison, Pilkington, Ruddy, Snodgrass, Surman, Tettey, Tierney, Turner, Whittaker.

Queens Park Rangers

Green, Diakite, Traore, Derry, Ferdinand, Hill, Park, Johnson, Cisse, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips, Mackie, Onuoha, Mbia, Nelsen, Dyer, Fabio, Ephraim, Hoil ett, Murphy, Zamora, Cesar, Faurlin, Granero, Bosingwa.


Church, Cummings, Gunter, Guthrie, Harte, Karacan, Le Fondre, Leigertwood, McAnuff, McCarthy, McCleary, Mariappa, Pearce, Roberts, Robson-Kanu, Shorey, Tabb, Taylor, Andersen, Federici, Gorkss, Gunnarsson, Hunt, Kebe, Pogrebnyak.


Butterfield, Chaplow, Cork, K Davis, S Davis, De Ridder, Dickson, Do Prado, Fonte, Forte, Fox, Hooiveld, Lallana, Lambert, Lee, Mayuka, Puncheon, Ramirez, Richardson, Rodriguez, Schneiderlin, Seaborne, Yoshida.


Bardsley, Bramble, Brown, Campbell, Cattermole, Colback, Cuellar, Fletcher, Gardner, Johnson, Kilgallon, Larsson, McClean, Meyler, Mignolet, O'Shea, Rose, Saha, Sessegnon, Vaughan, Westwood.


Aguestien, Britton, De Guzman, Dyer, Chico, Gower, Graham, Hernandez, Ki, Lita, Michu, Monk, Moore, Obeng, Routledge, Shechter, Tate, Taylor, Tremmel, Vorm, Williams, Rangel.


Gomes, Cudicini, Friedel, Lloris, Kaboul, Gallas, Adebayor, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Sandro, Falque, Sigurdsson, Dempsey, Lennon, Walker, Naughton, Dawson, Dembele, Huddlestone, Parker, Livermore, Jenas, Bale, Defoe, Bentley.

West Brom

Brunt, Daniels, Dawson, Dorrans, El Ghanassy, Fortune, Foster, Gera, Jara, Jones, Long, McAuley, Morrison, Mulumbu, Myhill, Odemwingie, Olsson, Popov, Reid, Ridgewell, Rosenberg, Tamas, Thomas, Yacob.

West Ham

Benayoun, Carroll, Cole, Collins, Collison, Demel, Diame, Diarra, Henderson, Jaaskelainen, Jarvis, Maiga, McCartney, Noble, Nolan, O'Brien, O'Neil, Reid, Spence, Taylor, Tomkins, Vaz Te.


Al-Habsi, Alcaraz, Beausejour, Boselli, Boyce, Caldwell, Crusat, Di Santo, Figueroa, Gomez, Jones, Kone, Piscu, Maloney, McArthur, McCarthy, Pollitt, Ramis, Stam, Watson.

RvP hits treble to sink Saints

Van Persie: Scored hat-trick

Rickie Lambert headed the hosts in front after 16 minutes before Van Persie levelled seven minutes later with a fine strike.

Nathaniel Clyne's inopportune slip cost Saints but the home side enjoyed their own dollop of good fortune 10 minutes into the second half as Patrice Evra also slipped on the turf, allowing Morgan Schneiderlin to head home.

Saints would have been pegged back once again, though, had it not have been for goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, who saved a cheeky penalty attempt by Van Persie.

The Netherlands international looked set to get his first taste of the famous hairdryer treatment from Sir Alex Ferguson, in his 1000th league game in charge of United, only to provide a late double salvo inside the final three minutes that turned the game on its head and saw him rack up his 100th Premier League goal.

Heading into the game, much of the talk was about Ferguson's decision to play Anders Lindegaard instead of regular number one goalk eeper David de Gea.

Rio Ferdinand was also a notable inclusion as he made his first appearance of the season, partnering Nemanja Vidic in defence for the first time since a 2-1 defeat to Basel last December.

The occasion seemed to get the better of the hosts in the opening exchanges and in the sixth minute Van Persie fired a volley just wide.

The attempt awoke Southampton from their slumber and they were soon pushing forward, with Adam Lallana shooting wide after meeting a clever low corner from Danny Fox.

Schneiderlin blazed over from long-range as the hosts continued to push for a goal that came after just 16 minutes.

Saints were getting a lot of joy down the right flank and made the most of it as Jason Puncheon sent a hanging cross to the back post, which Rafael failed to deal with and Lambert headed home.

However, like so often, the goal only seemed to spur Ferguson's side into life.

Shinji Kagawa was first to show the vis itors' intent as he struck a speculative 20-yard effort that Davis could only push wide.

Southampton rode out that storm but could not prevent United drawing level in the 23rd minute.

Antonio Valencia's cross from the right looked like it would be intercepted by Clyne but the Saints right-back slipped and Van Persie took full advantage, controlling with aplomb before firing home.

The Netherlands international almost added a 99th Premier League goal shortly afterwards with a nonchalant 20-yard free-kick which curled just wide.

It was not all United, though, as Lambert fired just wide and then both James Ward-Prowse and Lallana came close with long-range efforts.

However, Ferguson's side were proving adept at exploiting the hosts' weaknesses.

One such example was Saints left-back Fox, who once again let Valencia cross from the right and, following another slip by Clyne, only the quick reactions of Davis prevented Evra netting at the ba ck post.

Fox's torrid time continued in the second half as Valencia beat him to a pass from Davis, although the Ecuadorian's cross was not converted by Van Persie.

Kagawa came close moments before that as United started the second half just as they had ended the first.

That domination counted for nothing, though, as another penalty-box slip resulted in a goal.

This time Evra was the unfortunate party as his fall allowed Schneiderlin to nod home a Lambert cross unopposed to the delight of the vast majority of those inside St Mary's.

It started a spell of dominance for the hosts as Puncheon forced Lindegaard into a smart save at the near post, before Rafael cleared under pressure from Lambert and Lallana had an effort blocked.

Only Ferdinand prevented Ward-Prowse slotting home a Lambert cross, before Paul Scholes and Nani came on as Ferguson looked to turn the screw on the hosts - and it almost had an immediate effect.

After Van Persie saw an effort saved by Davis, the Saints goalkeeper sent a terrible miskick straight to substitute Nani on the left.

The ball was worked into the box and Jos Hooiveld conceded a penalty for a sliding challenge on the former Arsenal striker.

Van Persie took the resulting penalty but his chip was saved by Davis, much to the delight of the home faithful.

Debutant Emmanuel Mayuka was among three changes made by manager Nigel Adkins as he looked to close out the game under immense United pressure.

Javier Hernandez headed across the face of goal in the dying minutes, before he was then denied by a late Clyne tackle.

However, Saints could not stop United grabbing a later equaliser as Ferdinand's header came back off the post and Van Persie directed home three minutes from time.

Things got worse for the hosts in stoppage time as Van Persie nodded home Nani's cross to ensure the three points would go back to Old Trafford.

Saints urged to get streetwise

Schneiderlin: Message to Saints

Sunday's defeat was harsh on Southampton, whose position at the bottom of the table with zero points belies their performance against United and at Manchester City on the opening day.

In both matches, Nigel Adkins' side gave up a 2-1 advantage to lose 3-2.

"We gave everything for 87 minutes and in the final five minutes we lost the game," said Schneiderlin.

"That is what we have to learn, to win a game. It is the second time we have been 2-1 up and lost 3-2 at the end of the game so it is like all the effort we have put in is for nothing.

"But, at the end of the day, we learned a lot from this game and we're going to work very hard on the training ground on the bad things.

"Man United won the game and we're very down, but there is a lot of positive to take out of this game.

"You could say that we missed six points against the two best sides in England.

"I think we did very well against them and now we need to focus on t he next game.

"We have a little break where we can focus on everything and hopefully against Arsenal we can be on top again, but hopefully win the game."

Senin, 03 September 2012

Fergie lets RvP off the hook

Van Persie: Hat-trick hero for United

Van Persie looked set to get his first taste of the famous hairdryer treatment after wasting an opportunity to draw United level with a cheeky penalty attempt that was saved by Kelvin Davis.

However, Van Persie's late double salvo turned the game on its head and earned the Red Devils a 3-2 victory, much to Ferguson's - and the former Arsenal striker's - relief.

"I was surprised because every time I have seen him take a penalty he rattles it in the corners," the United boss said of Van Persie, who has now reached 100 Premier League goals.

"He made up for it, though. He had six attempts on goal and was a real threat.

"His first goal was absolutely magnificent - the control and then to bury it away. It was a really, really good goal.

"His header was excellent too, but he has been a terrific player for us.

"I just thought we started the game so well and went a goal down when we were controlling the game. That puts you on the back foot a bit.

"We got an equaliser at the right time and that gave us time to organise ourselves and make sure we controlled the second half.

"It didn't go that way and I thought Southampton for the first 20 minutes were very good."

Southampton had looked on course for a famous victory after twice going ahead.

Rickie Lambert headed the hosts in front after 16 minutes and they responded well to Van Persie's leveller as Morgan Schneiderlin put them in front once again in the second half.

However, it was not to be for Southampton and, while Van Persie will take the headlines, Ferguson was quick to highlight the 61st-minute introduction of Paul Scholes as the game-changing moment.

"We didn't start playing until Paul Scholes came on the pitch, to be honest with you," he said. "I thought he changed the game right around.

"We worked all week on the strength of Southampton with their back post crosses and they scored two goals from it.< /p>

"We have got to give them credit for that, they are good at it. In that period when they scored the second we were well out of it.

"Paul Scholes came on and brought composure, a consistency of passing and made the difference."

Van Persie admitted to being a relieved man after the game.

"It was a good feeling afterwards," he told Sky Sports 1.

"I got a bit of luck with the second goal, and then at the end...

"I'm very disappointed with the penalty. When that happens at 2-1 down, you can't take a penalty like that. Something went wrong big time.

"I have to say a big thank you to Paul Scholes.

"Every single pass he hit was the right one. It was unbelievable. He is man of the match for me."

While Ferguson's side collected three points, the Scot knows such a performance is not good enough moving forward as they were poor at the back despite the return of Rio Ferdinand alongside Nemanja Vidic.

The once-formidabl e partnership looked shaky in their first game together since a 2-1 Champions League defeat to Basle last December and Ferguson knows they need to improve.

"I think it is an important issue, there's no question [about it]," he said.

"I think throughout the years we've had two centre-backs playing regularly that impacts on the whole team, right from Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister, to Jaap Stam and Ronny Johnsen.

"Last season when we had Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand for a long period our performance was at its best."

While Ferguson struck a relieved figure at the end of his 1,000th league game at the United helm, counterpart Nigel Adkins was left to rue what might have been.

Just like at Manchester City two weeks ago, his side gave up a 2-1 advantage to lose 3-2 and, while frustrated, the Saints boss was keen to highlight the positives.

"For a newly-promoted club we have scored two goals in open play against a Man Utd side packed full of experience," Adkins said.

"Lambert had an exceptional game, Jason Puncheon had a superb game as did Adam Lallana.

"I thought they had worked very hard and we made the substitutions to bring more energy into the side.

"You get punished at the highest level. [Nathaniel] Clyne slips and Van Persie puts the ball into the net.

"In the second half, we were buzzing. But they kept possession of the ball. It's two corners we have conceded from."

Minggu, 02 September 2012

Brighton land Lopez and Hammond

Hammond: Returns to the south coast

The 29-year-old Spaniard Lopez has penned a one-year deal after passing a medical and joins Andrea Orlandi and Scott Dobbie in moving to the south-coast club.

"He is technically very gifted and has great ability," boss Gus Poyet told Brighton's website.

"He is a right-sided midfielder and gives us another option. Ultimately he is going to bring extra quality to the squad and a different attacking midfield option."

Lopez will not be in the squad for Saturday's Championship clash at Burnley and will join up with his new team-mates on Monday.

Also, Hammond has rejoined his hometown club on a one-year loan from Southampton.

The 29-year-old came through Albion's youth set-up and made his senior debut in 2000 before being appointed captain at the age of 23 prior to joining Colchester. He then led Southampton to back-to-back promotions.

"He knows the club, he has experience, he has presence and he knows the division. He's a winner an d he has quality," Poyet added.

"We have a lot of quality in our midfield. We need that presence in midfield. The fact it was Brighton helped him make a decision. It's important that the fans know how much he wanted to come back.

"He is a real man. We wanted that extra experience and presence on the pitch and in the dressing room. He shows what we were looking for. We didn't know he was available and as soon as we knew there was a small chance we went for it and waited for it to happen."

Sabtu, 01 September 2012

Lallana aims to replicate Everton

Lallana: Geared up for Man Utd clash

The Red Devils travel to St Mary's looking to pick up their second win of the season, following an opening-weekend defeat to David Moyes' side at Goodison Park.

Southampton are still without a point after defeats to Manchester City and Wigan but, despite being aware of the threat posed by United, Lallana believes the Saints can come out on top if they play like Everton did.

He said: "You look around the pitch and they have got strength in every area, obviously (Wayne) Rooney was injured but (Robin) van Persie comes in.

"The experience they have got; (Paul) Scholes, (Ryan) Giggs and (Rio) Ferdinand, the list is endless really.

"I think if we concentrate on what we are good at, we are at home I think we have got a chance of getting a result.

"I think Everton proved the other week that if you come out of the traps and press them and get the fans behind you then you can create chances and go on to win games.

"I think we will play our own game...create chances and get crosses in the box and we have a good chance."

With England international Rooney missing through injury it is highly probable that new signing van Persie will continue in attack.

Lallana, 24, knows it will be difficult to stop the former Arsenal frontman but expects boss Nigel Adkins to stick to his attacking philosophy.

"If you stop van Persie then you have done a big part of the job," he said.

"It is a massive, massive challenge and I think if we take him out of the equation they have talent running through the rest of the team.

"It is the manager's choice how we play - if you attack and are ruthless and take your chances they are there for the taking.

"They're a great team and you have got to give them respect, they don't win all their titles and European Cups for nothing."

The last time the two clubs met in a Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton were relegated to the Champion ship.

The seven intervening years saw Saints drop down to League One before Adkins led them to back-to-back promotions.

Lallana insists revenge for that final-day defeat is not on the minds of anyone at the club and is still enjoying the challenge of the top flight.

When asked if the players wanted to avenge the result he said: "Not really, no.

"We have played them a couple of times since in the Cup and we are more concentrating on getting off the mark and getting some points on the board.

"Obviously we have come on leaps and bounds in two years, playing League One football two years ago.

"To have played the two big Manchester clubs in the opening three weeks of the season is great, tough, but I don't think we would have it any other way really."

Southampton completed a club-record deal for Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez on deadline day following the earlier acquisitions of Japanese defender Maya Yoshida and Emmanuel May uke from Zambia.

The club have also signed young English players Nathaniel Clyne and Jay Rodriguez and Lallana says finding a good mixture of talent at home and abroad can prove fruitful.

"The club have been known for bringing good, young English talent through the ranks and I think careful additions, whether they are coming from abroad or not," he said.

"I think getting the right blend will impact on the team getting better."