Tottenham vs Southampton: Saints need to learn from their mistakes

Ask anyone and they will say Southampton were the better of the two teams on Wednesday and should be the ones hosting Norwich in the next round.

So what happened? How did the Saints manage to let another lead slip and find themselves out of the FA Cup when they could very well have made a decent run at the thing?

There are several takeaways from this match that we need to consider so let us get started.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 05: James Ward-Prowse of Southampton is stretchered off injured during the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

We need a proper Right-back out there

Ward-Prowse and Stephens both did an adequate job out on the right but it was JWP injury that forced Stephens to go out wide and have to leave his spot in the Centre. Because of that, Vestergaard had to come into the match and did quite a poor job and was part of the reason for two of the goals the Saints conceded.

It has become quite clear that Stephens and Bednarek are our only Premier League quality Centre-backs and it is paramount for them to be in their proper positions.

Ignoring the injury to JWP for now, the team is missing his presence in the midfield and we need him to be in his natural position instead of Right-back. I am seriously hoping by the time the Burnley match rolls around we have an actual RB filling playing in that position.

Pace will be the death of us

If one thing became abundantly clear from this match is that players who possess a ton of pace are going to cause us a lot of issues. Both Lucas Moura and Hueng-Min Son had a field day running past our defenders and caused most of our issues throughout the match.

Most of Tottenham’s attacking play, especially in the first half, was just Son or Moura latching on to the ball and running right at our slower defenders. Things did not improve when Vestergaard came into the match because he is one of the slowest players on the squad.

It is hard to counter pace but the backline needs to do a better job at handling it or we will continue to give up goals when we are on the front foot.

VAR keeps me up at night

Some matches VAR comes to our rescue; others, it is our downfall and that is exactly what happened Wednesday night when Son dove and was awarded a penalty for his theatrics. The video replays showed there was minimal contact between Son and Gunn and the keeper even managed a touch on the ball before the player.

Next: Ward-Prowse’s injury not as bad as first feared – thankfully

VAR, on the face of it, is a good idea but I think the how it is currently being used is embarrassing and the lack of consistency is what really upsets fans throughout the world. This offseason the Premier League needs to sit down and have a long discussion on how to better use VAR and bring back some of the joy in the game for supporters.

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