Pochettino right to bring out the big guns

Daily Echo: LUKE SHAW LUKE SHAW

AS the rain belted down at St Mary’s, it was obvious that Saints were taking the FA Cup a bit more seriously than some of their Premier League rivals.

Some of the club’s big guns were there in the starting XI against Burnley – Rickie Lambert, Gaston Ramirez, Morgan Schneiderlin, Luke Shaw.

Others were on the bench, like Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez. No day off for them, but in fairness they look like two lads who would always want to play anyway.

Had Saints left Lambert and Shaw out, no doubt it would have led to speculation that they would be sold this month as they would not be cup tied.

Both players have been linked with moves away – Lambert to West Ham, not that it matters much now if he is cup tied! – but Mauricio Pochettino has always swept aside such speculation.

It would also have been easy to bring keeper Paolo Gazzaniga back into the fold against Championship opponents, but Saints kept faith with their most experienced available shot-stopper in Kelvin Davis.

In all, there were six starters against Burnley who had started against Chelsea three days earlier.

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert – roundly criticised for his radio interview comments about the Cup being a ‘distraction’ – actually made fewer changes, just four, than Pochettino did.

But Villa were still on the receiving end of a major upset, losing at home to two divisions lower Sheffield United.

Blades goalscorer Jamie Murphy was fully aware of the old FA Cup magic. “These are the days that you play for ... it is one for us to remember.”

He is right.

When Saints fans think of Bobby Stokes, they don’t think of his 216 league appearances for the club, do they?

Same with Brett Ormerod. Mention his name and you think of the semi-final goal he scored against Watford in 2002.

Elsewhere, Fulham and Norwich made 17 changes between them for their clash. Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen gave debuts to four players, including 18-year-old French midfielder Ange Freddy Plumain and 19-year-old Lasse Vigen Christensen.

Canaries boss Chris Hughton also blooded two teenagers in the shape of identical 18-year-old twins Josh and Jacob Murphy.

Meulensteen said: “The FA Cup ... it gives you opportunities to bring other people into the fold. Four players made their debuts, four young players, which in my opinion is the biggest bonus.”

Saints had two teens on the bench who had been handed League Cup action earlier in the season, Sam Gallagher and Harrison Reed.

But with Burnley staging a late fightback, they were kept in reserve.

Pochettino got his team selection just about right, not that he will have been happy with all aspects of the performance.

He has to keep some of his fringe players as match fit as possible, hence Maya Yoshida and Jos Hooiveld playing together in the centre of defence.

Neither of those have had too many league opportunities this season, and have failed to really impress when their chances have come.

So it was the same at the weekend, a lower division club fighting back from 0-2 down to level and then grabbing a third late on to spark a nervous finale.

Pochettino will not have been happy with his side conceding three goals at home for the fourth time in the last five St Mary’s games.

If the manager didn’t think beforehand that he needs to sign extra cover for Jose Fonte and Dejan Lovren this month, he might have had his mind changed for him.

Reed and Gallagher were in the right place on Saturday, on the bench gaining experience from just watching.

Pochettino was right to play them in the League Cup, but this competition demands more respect.

As I wrote in the Echo on Saturday, Saints have not yet grown too big to treat the FA Cup with disdain.

They could easily go on a long – and memorable – run this season, if handed some luck with the draws and they keep fielding very competitive teams.

Jay Rodriguez, for one, said as much at the weekend. “Every player in there wants to go as far as we can in the FA Cup,” said the striker after becoming the first Saint to hit double figures in terms of goals this season.

“It is a big cup for us and we want to get a good cup run going.”

That’s the spirit, Jay!

Big money signings like Dejan Lovren, Victor Wanyama and Dani Osvaldo must have grown up hearing all about the English FA Cup.

For a variety of reasons, none of them played against Burnley.

But, if fit, should all be considered for a run-out in the fourth round.

Saints again had the luck of the draw previously mentioned when they were pulled out at home to a Yeovil side struggling in the Championship.

The Glovers cannot be under-estimated, but Saints have a great chance to win through to the last 16.

Another decent draw and the fans who remember 1976 and 2003 with such affection will dream again ...

Comments (20)

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11:13am Mon 6 Jan 14

Dubai-saints89 says...

if the draw's are kind to us then i see no reason why we cant go all the way!. this must be one of cortese goal. champions league football or win the F.A Cup. no pressure then! lol
if the draw's are kind to us then i see no reason why we cant go all the way!. this must be one of cortese goal. champions league football or win the F.A Cup. no pressure then! lol Dubai-saints89
  • Score: 8

11:22am Mon 6 Jan 14

NikkkoNik says...

Another home game 3 goals conceded. Kelvin had a number of good saves while making a number of basic errors. Second beaten at the near post while not standing his ground, third not commanding the six yard box. Hoolveld also out classed, much better when Fonte came on. All this is a shame, at the other end we are scoring good goals, while conceding poor ones. Clyne should start every game where possible, constant threat and LaLa different class.
Another home game 3 goals conceded. Kelvin had a number of good saves while making a number of basic errors. Second beaten at the near post while not standing his ground, third not commanding the six yard box. Hoolveld also out classed, much better when Fonte came on. All this is a shame, at the other end we are scoring good goals, while conceding poor ones. Clyne should start every game where possible, constant threat and LaLa different class. NikkkoNik
  • Score: 5

11:46am Mon 6 Jan 14

St Retford says...

I'm not sure goal difference is all that important in the FA Cup.

We won and it was a cracking game. Why analyse it more than that?
I'm not sure goal difference is all that important in the FA Cup. We won and it was a cracking game. Why analyse it more than that? St Retford
  • Score: 13

11:49am Mon 6 Jan 14

Sadoldgitte says...

It was still a weakened team with Yoshida and Hooiveld playing. If we are going to go a long way in this competion we need to play our strongest team. Burnely could easily have got a result and we are conceding goals like we did at the start of last season again. We need another decent centre half and quickly.
It was still a weakened team with Yoshida and Hooiveld playing. If we are going to go a long way in this competion we need to play our strongest team. Burnely could easily have got a result and we are conceding goals like we did at the start of last season again. We need another decent centre half and quickly. Sadoldgitte
  • Score: 8

12:02pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Dubai-saints89 says...

St Retford wrote:
I'm not sure goal difference is all that important in the FA Cup.

We won and it was a cracking game. Why analyse it more than that?
yeah its the FA cup so it dosent matter how we in.as long as we get all the way then it wont really matter but what i think hes trying to say is, no matter who we play, it would be better if we didn't concede like that. we might have won but i doubt its given kelvin, hooiveld and yoshida any confidence. to having one of the best defense in Europe at 1 point to conceding like that to a championship team dosent do the team much confidence, not does it to the management. thank good for our awesome midfielders
[quote][p][bold]St Retford[/bold] wrote: I'm not sure goal difference is all that important in the FA Cup. We won and it was a cracking game. Why analyse it more than that?[/p][/quote]yeah its the FA cup so it dosent matter how we in.as long as we get all the way then it wont really matter but what i think hes trying to say is, no matter who we play, it would be better if we didn't concede like that. we might have won but i doubt its given kelvin, hooiveld and yoshida any confidence. to having one of the best defense in Europe at 1 point to conceding like that to a championship team dosent do the team much confidence, not does it to the management. thank good for our awesome midfielders Dubai-saints89
  • Score: 6

1:32pm Mon 6 Jan 14

mack chinnon says...

Call me old fashioned but I would rather win the F.A. Cup than the Champions league.
Call me old fashioned but I would rather win the F.A. Cup than the Champions league. mack chinnon
  • Score: 7

1:33pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Costa Baz says...

KD being beaten at the near post bothers me less than the easy manner in which Ings got away from Hoover. Hoover was wrong sided and once he realised he had been caught out, he should have, at the very least, leant into the player (when still outside the box) in an attempt to unbalance him, without conceding a free kick.

Near post goals are becoming more frequent, with keepers, in general, expecting shots to be hit across them, or as it appeared Saturday, the ball pulled back across the goal area.

Regarding the young players. That we have given so many a chance in the first team, during the League Cup and Premier League games, there is less need for us to weaken our chances of progressing, in the F A Cup, as other teams are doing, by fielding experimental sides.
KD being beaten at the near post bothers me less than the easy manner in which Ings got away from Hoover. Hoover was wrong sided and once he realised he had been caught out, he should have, at the very least, leant into the player (when still outside the box) in an attempt to unbalance him, without conceding a free kick. Near post goals are becoming more frequent, with keepers, in general, expecting shots to be hit across them, or as it appeared Saturday, the ball pulled back across the goal area. Regarding the young players. That we have given so many a chance in the first team, during the League Cup and Premier League games, there is less need for us to weaken our chances of progressing, in the F A Cup, as other teams are doing, by fielding experimental sides. Costa Baz
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Costa Baz says...

Just a note for those, that keep saying we're not ready for the Europa Cup, but who still want us to win the FACup.
Do you realise what the reward is for winning it?
Just a note for those, that keep saying we're not ready for the Europa Cup, but who still want us to win the FACup. Do you realise what the reward is for winning it? Costa Baz
  • Score: 1

1:41pm Mon 6 Jan 14

pompey in spain says...

baz!................
............memories
.....memories.....br
illiant,brilliant memories!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!
baz!................ ............memories .....memories.....br illiant,brilliant memories!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!! pompey in spain
  • Score: -2

1:53pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Costa Baz says...

Memories of an FACup, won with honour.
Memories of an FACup, won with honour. Costa Baz
  • Score: 5

2:11pm Mon 6 Jan 14

milton road says...

Was quite surprised to see several bloggers who are supposed to be Saints fans omitting Jay from Saints squad as not good enough. He hardly played a part under Adkins, and is still relatively inexperienced at this level, yet he is a young and improving player. As I understand it he has averaged a goal every 2 games this season. He looks likely to surpass RL's 14 goals last season and that is without the help of penalties and free kicks. There are several 30-50m pound forwards who would be grateful for a goal every 2 games.

What is better debate is in the last 10-11 games in all comps Poch has picked up 5 points and conceded 22 goals. This run is comparable and against similar opposition as Adkins first 10 game run where he conceded 28 goals and got 4 points. Yes I agree Saints have had a large injury list but they are more experienced and have a few better players. In Adkins defence it was their first games in the Premiership and he addressed the problems and stabilised Saints. Both managers teams play good football though we seem incredibly naive at the back under Poch at times. A year on is their really much of a difference between the two in performance? Will Pochinetto be able to halt Saints slide now we have a slightly easier run of games?
Was quite surprised to see several bloggers who are supposed to be Saints fans omitting Jay from Saints squad as not good enough. He hardly played a part under Adkins, and is still relatively inexperienced at this level, yet he is a young and improving player. As I understand it he has averaged a goal every 2 games this season. He looks likely to surpass RL's 14 goals last season and that is without the help of penalties and free kicks. There are several 30-50m pound forwards who would be grateful for a goal every 2 games. What is better debate is in the last 10-11 games in all comps Poch has picked up 5 points and conceded 22 goals. This run is comparable and against similar opposition as Adkins first 10 game run where he conceded 28 goals and got 4 points. Yes I agree Saints have had a large injury list but they are more experienced and have a few better players. In Adkins defence it was their first games in the Premiership and he addressed the problems and stabilised Saints. Both managers teams play good football though we seem incredibly naive at the back under Poch at times. A year on is their really much of a difference between the two in performance? Will Pochinetto be able to halt Saints slide now we have a slightly easier run of games? milton road
  • Score: 5

2:22pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Strasbourg Saint says...

mack chinnon wrote:
Call me old fashioned but I would rather win the F.A. Cup than the Champions league.
Call me greedy but I want both.
[quote][p][bold]mack chinnon[/bold] wrote: Call me old fashioned but I would rather win the F.A. Cup than the Champions league.[/p][/quote]Call me greedy but I want both. Strasbourg Saint
  • Score: 1

2:35pm Mon 6 Jan 14

DisplacedFan says...

Costa Baz wrote:
Memories of an FACup, won with honour.
And staying in the Premier League. While it s not the fans fault for all the dastardly dealings of corruptible owners, they are at fault for repeatedly singing the praises of a trophy dishonorably won!
[quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: Memories of an FACup, won with honour.[/p][/quote]And staying in the Premier League. While it s not the fans fault for all the dastardly dealings of corruptible owners, they are at fault for repeatedly singing the praises of a trophy dishonorably won! DisplacedFan
  • Score: 3

2:57pm Mon 6 Jan 14

batesieboy says...

It may be that we caught a few sides out, being a surprise package at the beginning of last season. The opposite is true of the last ten games or so.
It may be that we caught a few sides out, being a surprise package at the beginning of last season. The opposite is true of the last ten games or so. batesieboy
  • Score: 3

4:24pm Mon 6 Jan 14

andygoater1957 says...

Just win the FA Cup for the club fans and Town.Not for Europa Cup.
Just win the FA Cup for the club fans and Town.Not for Europa Cup. andygoater1957
  • Score: 4

8:20pm Mon 6 Jan 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

milton road wrote:
Was quite surprised to see several bloggers who are supposed to be Saints fans omitting Jay from Saints squad as not good enough. He hardly played a part under Adkins, and is still relatively inexperienced at this level, yet he is a young and improving player. As I understand it he has averaged a goal every 2 games this season. He looks likely to surpass RL's 14 goals last season and that is without the help of penalties and free kicks. There are several 30-50m pound forwards who would be grateful for a goal every 2 games.

What is better debate is in the last 10-11 games in all comps Poch has picked up 5 points and conceded 22 goals. This run is comparable and against similar opposition as Adkins first 10 game run where he conceded 28 goals and got 4 points. Yes I agree Saints have had a large injury list but they are more experienced and have a few better players. In Adkins defence it was their first games in the Premiership and he addressed the problems and stabilised Saints. Both managers teams play good football though we seem incredibly naive at the back under Poch at times. A year on is their really much of a difference between the two in performance? Will Pochinetto be able to halt Saints slide now we have a slightly easier run of games?
Even Nigel can't do miracles, if that was the case he would be doing better at Reading, here he had a lot to play with, Poch has taken what he did and raised it to another level, even so you cannot allow for a series of unfortunate injuries or dodgy officialdom which has been responsible for our recent drop in performance. We may not quite aspire to top six after all, it's time to consolidate, get our best player up to speed and get enough points for a comfortable finish, and a Cup run won't hinder that at all.
[quote][p][bold]milton road[/bold] wrote: Was quite surprised to see several bloggers who are supposed to be Saints fans omitting Jay from Saints squad as not good enough. He hardly played a part under Adkins, and is still relatively inexperienced at this level, yet he is a young and improving player. As I understand it he has averaged a goal every 2 games this season. He looks likely to surpass RL's 14 goals last season and that is without the help of penalties and free kicks. There are several 30-50m pound forwards who would be grateful for a goal every 2 games. What is better debate is in the last 10-11 games in all comps Poch has picked up 5 points and conceded 22 goals. This run is comparable and against similar opposition as Adkins first 10 game run where he conceded 28 goals and got 4 points. Yes I agree Saints have had a large injury list but they are more experienced and have a few better players. In Adkins defence it was their first games in the Premiership and he addressed the problems and stabilised Saints. Both managers teams play good football though we seem incredibly naive at the back under Poch at times. A year on is their really much of a difference between the two in performance? Will Pochinetto be able to halt Saints slide now we have a slightly easier run of games?[/p][/quote]Even Nigel can't do miracles, if that was the case he would be doing better at Reading, here he had a lot to play with, Poch has taken what he did and raised it to another level, even so you cannot allow for a series of unfortunate injuries or dodgy officialdom which has been responsible for our recent drop in performance. We may not quite aspire to top six after all, it's time to consolidate, get our best player up to speed and get enough points for a comfortable finish, and a Cup run won't hinder that at all. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Mon 6 Jan 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

batesieboy wrote:
It may be that we caught a few sides out, being a surprise package at the beginning of last season. The opposite is true of the last ten games or so.
Big bucks and class will always beat a good but honest tryer!
[quote][p][bold]batesieboy[/bold] wrote: It may be that we caught a few sides out, being a surprise package at the beginning of last season. The opposite is true of the last ten games or so.[/p][/quote]Big bucks and class will always beat a good but honest tryer! OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Mon 6 Jan 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

Costa Baz wrote:
KD being beaten at the near post bothers me less than the easy manner in which Ings got away from Hoover. Hoover was wrong sided and once he realised he had been caught out, he should have, at the very least, leant into the player (when still outside the box) in an attempt to unbalance him, without conceding a free kick.

Near post goals are becoming more frequent, with keepers, in general, expecting shots to be hit across them, or as it appeared Saturday, the ball pulled back across the goal area.

Regarding the young players. That we have given so many a chance in the first team, during the League Cup and Premier League games, there is less need for us to weaken our chances of progressing, in the F A Cup, as other teams are doing, by fielding experimental sides.
I suppose you could ask Jos why he didn't attempt to foul Ings when he had the chance, I don't remember him ever resorting to a deliberate foul in this type of situation, it may have resorted in a Penalty with same result, and a possible red card creating more problems for the rest, a tough call to take a card for the team, we have seen others do that. Or it may have been that his thought process wasn't quick enough to attempt it, he isn't getting any younger.
[quote][p][bold]Costa Baz[/bold] wrote: KD being beaten at the near post bothers me less than the easy manner in which Ings got away from Hoover. Hoover was wrong sided and once he realised he had been caught out, he should have, at the very least, leant into the player (when still outside the box) in an attempt to unbalance him, without conceding a free kick. Near post goals are becoming more frequent, with keepers, in general, expecting shots to be hit across them, or as it appeared Saturday, the ball pulled back across the goal area. Regarding the young players. That we have given so many a chance in the first team, during the League Cup and Premier League games, there is less need for us to weaken our chances of progressing, in the F A Cup, as other teams are doing, by fielding experimental sides.[/p][/quote]I suppose you could ask Jos why he didn't attempt to foul Ings when he had the chance, I don't remember him ever resorting to a deliberate foul in this type of situation, it may have resorted in a Penalty with same result, and a possible red card creating more problems for the rest, a tough call to take a card for the team, we have seen others do that. Or it may have been that his thought process wasn't quick enough to attempt it, he isn't getting any younger. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

4:36am Tue 7 Jan 14

AucklandSaint82 says...

mack chinnon wrote:
Call me old fashioned but I would rather win the F.A. Cup than the Champions league.
I would take champions league glory any day over fa cup we have at least won the fa cup but champions league is on a different level altogether
[quote][p][bold]mack chinnon[/bold] wrote: Call me old fashioned but I would rather win the F.A. Cup than the Champions league.[/p][/quote]I would take champions league glory any day over fa cup we have at least won the fa cup but champions league is on a different level altogether AucklandSaint82
  • Score: 0

10:22am Tue 7 Jan 14

Beer Monster says...

Shame it's back at Wembley IMO - had a lovely day out in Cardiff. Not that I can remember much of course...
Shame it's back at Wembley IMO - had a lovely day out in Cardiff. Not that I can remember much of course... Beer Monster
  • Score: 0

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