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Southampton v West Ham United – St Mary’s Stadium – Premier League – Saturday 5:30pm
Southampton v West Ham United – Preview:
BRIAN DEAR was left as baffled as any West Ham United supporters follow Monday evenings Premier League capitulation against Arsenal at the London Stadium.
A deflected header from Angelo Ogbonna had given the Hammers a first-half lead against the misfiring Gunners. However, a nine-minute collapse saw Gabriel Martinelli, Nicholas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all find the net as the North Londoners ended their worst winless run sine 1977.
“I’m struggling to explain what we saw?” Dear told Yellow Sport.
“We’ve dug out the goalkeeper (Roberto) in recent weeks. But he isn’t playing now and we are still defensively fragile whenever a team puts the slightest pressure on us.
“Arsenal wasn’t a good game, but we seemed to have enough about us to win – especially when Angelo scored. But we didn’t kill it off – again, our forward players look isolated – and then we got picked off. It wasn’t good enough.
“The manager says he isn’t worried about relegation – I think the thousands who left the stadium before the end most certainly are!”
Dear continued: “I was sat with Clyde Best. He pointed out how well Michail Antonio was playing in the first half. But we wondered if he could keep up that volume of work rate for a full match – he couldn’t.
“That’s not a criticism of him. He worked himself to a standstill. The same can be said for Robert Snodgrass and Mark Noble, but too many other players seemed to lack something. Confidence? Fitness? Effort? Take your pick – the supporters have their opinions. We have 60,000 there – they can’t all be wrong, can they?
The former Hammers frontman insisted that Saturday’s visit to Southampton is now a must-win game for Pellegrini and his charges.
“It a match against another side towards the bottom and in trouble – but a side who have improved since that 9-0 beating off Leicester City. It’s going to be really tough and we have to find a way to win.
“At the end of the day, it’s the players who cross the white line, they have a responsibility as well as the manager and coaching staff. They have to find something extra – a way to win, whether that means winning ugly, lucky or rediscovering what made us tick earlier in the season.
“We’ve beaten Chelsea and Manchester United this season, and when fighting relegation in the past, we’ve managed to find a result against one or two of the top sides to keep us afloat. The trouble is, eventually that luck runs out. You get judged on the games you have won against the teams around you. We need to get that on board, starting at Southampton this weekend.”
Southampton v West Ham United – Head to head:
West Ham United: 77
Southampton v West Ham United – Last five meetings (all competitions):
February 4, 2017 – Premier League
Southampton 1-3 West Ham United
August 19, 2017 – Premier League
Southampton 3-2 West Ham United
March 31, 2018 – Premier League
West Ham United 3-0 Southampton
December 27, 2018 – Premier League
Southampton 1-2 West Ham United
May 4, 2019 – Premier League
West Ham United 3-0 Southampton
Brian Dear’s prediction: Southampton 1-2 West Ham United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Southampton 1-1 West Ham United