Mark Hughes looks to have turned Southampton into Stoke City in less than a season, and is already preparing for the Saints to face the same Premier League fate as the Potters who are in the Championship now.
After a game in which Southampton’s key game strategy was to kick foot-sized chunks out Richarlison, the Saints were lucky to have Oriel Romeu and Mario Lemina not get sent off and only five of their players picked up bookings.
However, things got even funnier after the final whistle when manager Hughes went on a rant for an incident when Jordan Pickford ran down a long ball outside his box, clearing the ball and running into an onrushing Danny Ings on the followthrough.
Danny Ings' ripped shirt and marks on his back can be seen after the clash at Goodison Park pic.twitter.com/SIMaxhIStI— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) August 19, 2018
“Their keeper should have been sent off for the challenge on Danny. They had a man sent off for less last week (Phil Jagielka vs Wolves).
“You saw the state of Ings’ shirt. He had five welts on his back. Clearly there is contact. The referee was there. The linesman has a lot of experience. My assistant has been in to see the referee. We will look back on it, I didn’t feel he needed to follow through.”
Do you all remember that time when Leighton Baines got booked for a player running into him, and a fan at Goodison questioned the ref if the fullback was expected to disappear metaphysically?
This is a similar situation.
What was Pickford supposed to do? Not clear the ball? Somehow magically clear the ball but make his foot disappear after getting to the ball clearly before Ings? It was a 50/50 challenge that Ings got the worse off, you win some and you lose some.
Hughes even said, the referee was there. Also gaffer, you forget that they’ve been called assistant referees - not linesmen - for a few years now. Neither saw it fit to call anything, not even a foul, and you evidently are trying to deflect attention from how poorly you had your team set up.
Don’t worry, we know the feeling. After all we had Sam Allardyce as our manager, and Mark Hughes is just about as progressive as Big Sam is an innovator.