Search

Arsenal must beware Southampton’s new secret weapon

PUBLISHED: 10:35 15 September 2012 | UPDATED: 10:37 15 September 2012

Gaston Ramirez

Gaston Ramirez

EMPICS Sport

Saints’ record signing Gaston Ramirez could be set for Premier League debut at the Emirates

After winning promotion for a second successive season in May, there was no shortage of excitement at St Mary’s when the Premier League fixtures were released over the summer.

Being back among the big boys is what all Saints fans wanted, but there is a sense that maybe they were given too much too soon, having been asked to face Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal – last season’s top three – in the opening four games of the season.

That they have no points from their meetings with the Manchester duo was hardly surprising, but the fact that they led both games 2-1 in the closing moments and ended up losing both 3-2 has been a harsh lesson to learn for Nigel Adkins’s new boys.

In between those games the Saints were beaten 2-0 at home by Wigan, which is the kind of result they need to avoid repeating if Premier League survival is to be achieved come next May.

“We’re going to remain positive, we knew looking at the first four fixtures that they were going to be challenging,” said Adkins after the United defeat.

“[There are] loads of positives. The chairman’s done great to bring a few more players in the transfer window. We want to play football a certain way, we want to pass it about.”

One of those players Adkins was referring to was the Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez, who became Southampton’s record signing when he joined from Italian side Bologna on deadline day for a fee believed to be £11m.

He should be in line for a debut on Saturday, although having faced Ecuador in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night, Adkins may not risk the 21-year-old from the start after his return from South America.

A target of both Liverpool and Spurs over the summer, Ramirez surprisingly chose Southampton and could be just the kind of star addition they need to compete with the big boys in the top flight.

As they showed against United, Southampton like to pass but they also like to get the ball on to the head of Rickie Lambert, the former Bristol Rovers striker who found the net against both United and the champions City.

In Adam Lallana and James Ward-Prowse Saints have two of the most exciting young midfielders around, while the signing of Steven Davis from Rangers also looks a smart purchase.

At the back the duo of Portuguese defender Jose Fonte and Dutchman Jos Hooiveld have struggled so far with Saints shipping eight goals in three games.

Verdict: Southampton have let goals in, but they have scored them too. It’s all set for an entertaining afternoon at the Emirates.

Having scored twice against both United and City, the Saints will fancy their chances of being the first side to breach Arsenal’s defence this season. Wenger will be wary of their threat.

Prediction: Arsenal 2 Southampton 1

0 comments

Latest Islington Sports News

12:36

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is set to sign for Everton in a deal understood to be worth around £20 million.

Yesterday, 22:50

Arsenal’s U23s produced an electric display to thrash Manchester United’s U23 side on Monday night, with Konstantinos Mavropanos making a solid first appearance in red and white amongst a strong Gunners team.

A strong Arsenal U23 side eased past a young Manchester United U23 side at Meadow Park on Monday evening. Read Layth Yousif’s player ratings as new first team signing Konstantinos Mavropanos made his first start for the club with hot-shot starlet Eddie Nketiah grabbing a brace as they joined a number of players who impressed.

Yesterday, 17:25

If you supported Arsenal or had an N5 postcode in 1988, it’s almost certain you’ll remember the “Battle of Highbury”.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Arsenal scored two late goals to overcome a tough Reading side and reach the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup final.

Read Arsene Wenger’s reaction to the defeat at Bournemouth including his take on Alexis Sanchez leaving the club.

Read our Arsenal player ratings from the Premier League match at Bournemouth on Sunday.

Bournemouth came from a goal down to beat an Arsenal side which were poor defensively.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now