There’s a lot of negativity bubbling under the surface at Southampton, and whilst a defeat at Anfield isn’t a disaster in and of itself, the manner of the 3-0 reverse sums up the size of the job that Mauricio Pellegrino will have to turn his side into one that can compete in the top half of the Premier League.
At the moment, the Saints are looking down, not up, as they sit just four points above the relegation places. They are currently reaping what they’ve sown as their performances have predicted their league position perfectly: too good to go down, but not much more than that. And at the weekend that was summed up quite nicely by the performance of most of the players on the Southampton team, but Nathan Redmond’s stats point to part of the problem.
Liverpool bossed the possession and had the lion’s share of the chances at Anfield, as you’d expect. You don’t go to Anfield and think you’re going to control the game. But that just means that when you do get it you have to do something with it. And that means you need your quick counter-attacking players like Redmond to be on their game.
Of the four attacking players in the Southampton starting XI, Redmond had the most touches, and yet his frustrating pass accuracy of just 56% and the fact that he completed exactly none of the two dribbles he attempted probably show just why Southampton failed to make a mark on the game.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have conceded 17 goals so far this season, easily the worst defensive record in the top six, and also more than Pellegrino’s side, even after Saturday’s game. And that makes Redmond’s inability to do anything with the ball on the counter all the more frustrating.
Defensively, he put in a shift, helping his team out with three tackles. But for Southampton this season, they’ll need to find a way to get their attacking talent to produce with more efficiency, otherwise it could be a long season at St Mary’s.