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Don't Call It A Comeback

Don't Call It A Comeback
By Patrick Surlis • Issue #9 • View online
Southampton Football Club.
True specialists when it comes to chucking points in the bin.
So to pick up all three on Sunday - after going 2 goals down within 28 minutes - felt extra sweet.
To do it against Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
*chef’s kiss*

Let’s talk Danny Ings.
He was back to his 2019/20 best at the weekend.
First up, his assist for Armstrong’s goal.
It came at a crucial time.
We’d just watched Burnley route-one us in the most depressing way.
I was preparing to put the remote through the TV.
But then, out of very little, we’re back in it.
Thanks to Stuart, of course, but also thanks to a bit of ingenuity from Danny.
He knows exactly what he’s going to do before the ball has reached his feet.
Quick look over the shoulder.
He notices Armstrong making the third-man run between the Burnley centre backs.
A flick off the outside of the right boot into the space.
Our coiffured Scot does the rest.
And then the equaliser…
Only the very best in the league have the composure and skill to bag a goal of that quality.
In that situation most players try to pick out the far corner across the keeper.
But Danny recognised the defender was going to over-commit. He did the same to Toby Alderweireld last season.
A cut inside, Tarkowski sent for a hotdog, and the angle becomes much more favourable.
A top class 45 minutes from our talisman dragged us back into a game that looked dead and buried.
The type of performance that should go some way to re-inflating his price tag.
We may not like to hear it, but clubs are watching. Clubs like Man City. Clubs you probably do not turn down.
And the stories are not going away as long as that contract remains unsigned.
In recent weeks there seemed to have been a shift among the fanbase, at least among those I follow on Twitter.
In the past, selling Danny was very much unthinkable.
But this season has been a frustrating one. Fewer goals and more injuries.
It’s led some to suggest we might be best off cashing in.
Sunday was a reminder of what we’d be losing. The type of elite striker we are extremely unlikely to replace in the summer transfer window.
Danny’s ambitious. He wants to play at the highest level for club and country.
And turning 29 in July, time is unfortunately not on his side.
As Saints fans, we need to look at this situation in a positive way.
We’ve got a top striker in his prime, with a clear aim for the remainder of the season: get into Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
And to do so, he needs to score goals.
Well, maybe not, at least according to Gary Neville, who’d take Mason Greenwood to the Euros this summer.
Yes, that is the Mason Greenwood who has scored two league goals this season.
Truly baffling.
Danny’s strike against Burnley was his 10th of the campaign.
Certainly fewer than he, and we, hoped he’d have at this stage of the season.
On our international break pod, we said he’d probably need six or seven more in the final nine games to make Gareth think twice about leaving him out.
It’s definitely an uphill battle, especially if Calvert-Lewin continues to score for Everton.
But Ings was scoring goals for England as recently as the end of 2020, so Gareth clearly rates him.
It’s not impossible.
Anyway, as the legend Nigel Adkins used to say, “control the controllables”.
Let the paper’s talk. Let the speculation unfold.
All we can do is enjoy the football. All Danny can do is score goals.
And with a cup semi final on the horizon, and a hungry Ings up top, there’s reason to be optimistic.
Up the Saints.
A word on KWP
OWTS contributor Ben Thompson is back with his fourth column for Game’s Gone…
Ben is a Saints fan who is currently studying at the University of Edinburgh.
You can follow him on Twitter here.
It was an ugly start vs Burnley, and it all began in the most unlikely of places.
Kyle Walker-Peters has been exceptional for us since joining from Tottenham but he was poor ~ by his own high standards ~ against the Clarets.
Inside 15 seconds his sloppiness gifted Burnley their first opening to Chris Wood.
And then there was the penalty.
Kyle’s social media apology immediately after the game demonstrates how bad he felt for that uncharacteristic mistake.
And I like the fact he didn’t moan about not getting a free-kick for what looked like a pull on his shirt.
Anyway, we can forgive one poor match.
His performances for the team this season have been fantastic, and so important to our better results.
I’m thinking back to Arsenal in the FA Cup, KWP breaking into the penalty area and forcing a Gabriel own goal.
That Vestergaard-KWP switch we see so often.
That performance against Fulham in December (7 tackles and 4 blocks and interceptions).
We also saw how much the team missed him after his injury against Wolves.
We lost that game and took one point from the next three without him.
The only English right back (Premier League and La Liga) with more tackles, pressures or blocks than KWP this season is Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
But he’s basically just a defensive right-back.
KWP can do it going forwards too. He completes more dribbles per 90 (1.7) than any of the same players in his positional bracket.
I’m backing him to put Sunday behind him quickly, and to get back to his best at The Hawthorns on Monday.
Viva The Southampton Dellivery Podcast
One of the giants of the Saints podcast world hung up the mic yesterday.
We’d like to say a massive thank you to Matthew Markstone, host of the SFC Dellivery podcast, for being so welcoming to us.
Game's Gone
Jude Bellingham picked up a booking for this challenge on Ederson last night.
Then one of the officials from this very same game asked Erling Haaland for his autograph in the tunnel after the game.
The game has fully gone.
Episode 61 - Massive win over Burnley
Oh When The Saints podcast breaks down Southampton's 3-2 win over Burnley - Oh When The Saints
Up Next
Monday 12th April, 6pm
  • West Brom (away), Premier League, Sky Sports
OWTS Pick of the Week
Pay homage to Southampton and Roma great Iago Falque in thisDiadora ¼ zip sweater .
His solitary appearance in a 0-2 home defeat to Leicester City in 2012 will never be forgotten.
We've been here for years...
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out (Official Video)
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out (Official Video)
Thank you for reading!
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Patrick Surlis

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