Date: 25th April 2018 at 7:43am
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Southampton had Jack Stephens sent off in the game against Arsenal which ended with an unlucky defeat for our team. This meant that the Saints had no choice but to give youngster Jan Bednarek his first taste of Premier League football.


Bednarek had been brought in as a prospect for the future. At the time, we had a regular back line but since January our centre-back coverage has been largely sold. We lost Virgil Van Dijk for the princely sum of £75million pounds. Coupled with the £8million sale of Jose Fonte, this was a serious error of judgement in as much as we failed miserably to bring in a replacement.

Well, we did buy a player, but on the manager’s say so we bought a striker and seemed to forget that we desperately needed a good centre back.

Any purchase has to be a good thing, right? Wrong!

We bought the most expensive non-scoring striker that we have ever seen. So bad that I can not bring myself to name him, although if he asked I am sure we could have a whip round to send him home to Argentina.

So, we sell VVD and are left with Maya Yoshida, Wesley Hoedt and Jack Stephens. Bednarek still not thought of as ready it seemed. Jack, Maya and Wesley were not a good fit although they did try. The Arsenal game and Stephens getting a red card changed things dramatically.

Bednarek was selected in a back three for the match against champions Chelsea. The game began and we waited to see how he would handle the pressure. To begin with, he looked very nervous. As the first half went by he began to look more accomplished and seemed to grow ever more comfortable. The second half saw Jan score his first goal for Southampton and a good goal it was as well. Sadly Chelsea overcame our advantage to take all three points as they fought back from behind.

His second league outing was at Leicester City and we managed to keep a clean sheet in a rather boring and uneventful match. Settling more into the game he appeared to grow more confident the longer the match continued. Again he had a steady if not outstanding game.

His next game was at Wembley versus Chelsea in an FA Cup semi-final. Having lost a week earlier we knew that our hopes of victory were much higher than the expectation. The first half saw us hold the world-class front-line of Chelsea at bay. Bednarek made some good tackles, headers and interceptions. It looked as though Maya and Jan were beginning to work well together. Early days but the signs are promising.

The second half saw Chelsea score within a minute of the start. It was a struggle for Saints and if the disallowed goal had correctly been given to us we might have seen a different outcome at the end. As it was Olivier Giroud performed a moment of sheer brilliance to give them a second and decisive advantage.

A very disappointing end to the match but we now have the possibility of Jan Bednarek becoming a fan’s favourite. He is growing into the role as a defensive stalwart and has shown that he knows how to score as well. I don’t know about everybody else but I feel much more confident about the future knowing that we may have unearthed another defensive star.

Early days yet I know but I feel confident that Jan will be a big plus for us. Unless, of course, the Board cash in with relegation hitting?

Let me know if you agree or not.

Writer: KRAZYB


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