Southampton’s disappointing start to the 2018/19 season continued as they were held to a goalless draw by Newcastle United, who went into the weekend bottom of the table, at St Mary’s on Saturday.
The fixtures against the low-on-confidence Magpies seemed like a brilliant opportunity for the south coast outfit to end a run of four Premier League fixtures without a goal and pick up just their second top-flight win at home in 2018, but instead they drew another blank in front of goal despite having 22 efforts throughout the 90 minutes.
Saints, whose fans on Twitter have called for manager Mark Hughes to be sacked now, have only scored six times in 10 Premier League fixtures this term, with Danny Ings getting three of those and the other three coming via captain Ryan Bertrand and two from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Charlie Austin, who is yet to find the net and missed a penalty in the victory against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in September, was given the nod in the XI for the second successive game alongside Ings up top, but the 29-year-old clearly just isn’t at it right now.
The former Queens Park Rangers only had 18 touches of the ball during his 62 minutes on the field before he was replaced by Manolo Gabbiadini, while he completed just 54.6% of his passes, as per WhoScored.
The centre-forward failed to get the two shots that he did have on target, while he even managed to get in Ings’ way when the attacker looked to have a great chance to score in the second-half.
All in all he looked way off the pace and offered very little to his team, and even though Shane Long struggles to score any goals at all he is still currently more useful than his attacking teammate in general.
Austin showed the impact that he can make from the substitutes’ bench when he scored in the 1-0 Carabao Cup win against Brighton and Hove Albion in August, and that should be the best-case scenario for him from now on.