It wasn’t quite the Southampton of old on Saturday afternoon as we faced Watford at St Mary’s Stadium but it was arguably an improved performance that would’ve given fans some hope back given our struggles in 2018/19 so far.
Playing out a 1-1 draw on the day, Charlie Austin’s wrongly disallowed goal in the second half proved to be a massive talking point post-game and an animated Austin and a more sombre manager Mark Hughes eloquently voiced those issues in their own interviews following the full-time whistle.
With slight improvements on the pitch, that didn’t go unnoticed by statistics website Whoscored who gave very favourable match ratings to a number of players.
Goalscorer Manolo Gabbiadini took their star man rating with 7.83 and the top five performers on the day were completed by Mario Lemina, Alex McCarthy, Wesley Hoedt and Nathan Redmond.
Maya Yoshida also received a 7+ rating and only two Watford players rated above seven, and again that probably tells the story of the game.
At least it was a marker though and despite plenty of frustration, we have to build on those small positives and run with it now.
With plenty of fair criticism this year, at least Austin’s anger demonstrated the players care and the performance was a reaction. For Gabbiadini, opening his account for the year will hopefully see him kick on aswell.