Friday, August 18, 2017

Southampton’s attacking woes are costing them points in the Premier League

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, English Premier League 15 Jan 2017

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Southampton boss Claude Puel has admitted his players need to be more clinical in front of goal.

Southampton suffered their fourth consecutive Premier League defeat following a 1-0 loss away to Burnley on the weekend, and are now closer to the relegation zone than the European places in the table after 21 games.

The Burnley defeat was the eighth time goal-shy Southampton have failed to score this season – the second-worst record in the Premier League – and such scoring woes are costing them results in 2016/17.

Saints over reliant on Redmond/Austin

Southampton have scored just 19 goals in 21 Premier League games this season, the second-lowest tally in the table. Forwards Nathan Redmond and Charlie Austin have contributed to nearly 60% of the goals under manager Claude Puel, and not enough other players are taking on the burden. Saints have failed to score in eight games in the division, the second-most this season, and until they correct their problems in the final third, Southampton will continue to struggle.

Only three players in the squad have scored more than one league goal this season, and only one player averages one shot on target or more. Southampton aren’t creating enough clear-cut chances in games, and given only the two newly-promoted clubs Hull City and Middlesbrough have been shut out more times than Puel’s men, Southampton should be worrying about their attack. The Saints manager has admitted the players need to be more clinical but also revealed plans to sign a new centre-forward.

Saints setting up striker search

On the rumours of Southampton hunting for a new striker, Puel recently said: “We work with the owner and the chairman (on recruitment). If the opportunity comes to improve the squad, we will see. But at the moment it is important to keep my consideration about this team.” Southampton have been linked with Napoli’s Manolo Gabbiadini and Hull City’s Abel Hernandez among others. Hoffenheim striker Mark Uth is also said to be a Southampton target.

Puel is expected to put finishing ability above athleticism given Southampton have pacey players in abundance but not ruthless centre-forwards, and they may put a lot of money towards getting the player they need. The South Coast are expected to be linked with a host of strikers in the coming weeks and their hopes of a top-half finish might depend on it. Southampton are 1/2 to finish in the top-10 of the Premier League this season.

But can the goal-shy Saints turn their form around? Who will they sign to bolster their attack?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crippy Cooke


Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.

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