Anyone lucky enough to watch Armstrong in the Championship last season will recognise that Southampton have plucked a natural goal scorer from England’s second tier over the summer. That said, he has had a difficult start to life on the South Coast since his well taken goal on the opening day of the season.
The Watford game gave hope that Armstrong was getting nearer to hitting the target but there has been a worry amongst some sections of the fanbase that he could ultimately prove an expensive flop. His pace and willingness to press high caused Villa a succession of problems, especially in a frantic first half where Southampton ran the opposition ragged with excellent movement.
Some supporters were still taking their seats when Armstrong struck a vicious volley past the helpless Martinez in just the third minute. St Marys rose as one to applaud a brilliant strike as their new number nine ran jubilantly to soak up the adulation. One wonders if Southampton’s former nine, Danny Ings was watching on jealously or whether he still believes that Villa can provide him with the European football he so craved.
For Armstrong, the challenge is now ensuring he can hit the target more consistently as his all round game improves. His touch and go style of play works well with natural ball carriers such as Stuart Armstrong and Elyounoussi coming from deep to support and feed him.