Two James Ward-Prowse goals and one from super sub Dusan Tadic condemn West Brom to defeat.
Southampton 3 West Brom 0
I finished my last piece with a question: Can the Saints stop the Tony Pulis gang? Well looking at Saturdays results and the fact ‘The Saints’ are Southampton, it seems with the incredible benefit of hindsight, they could!
Two first half James Ward-Prowse goals were enough to contain West Brom, before sub Dusan Tadic took to the field to compound the visitors misery – funnily enough, just like he did on Wednesday. Even though West Brom boss Pulis seemingly changed formation at half-time, bringing on Solomon Rondon for Jonas Ollson and subbing the ever combative Darren Fletcher for winger Chris Brunt, a potential player reaction failed to materialise. Even the later introduction of Saido Berahino, (a much different player to a year ago) sparked nothing whatsoever. Maybe it was a sign that some squads, big or small, could not cope with the previously busy Christmas schedule, as well as two league games crammed into one week, others would say ‘Get over it’. Pulis himself stating afterwards he would like to see which teams that played away twice consecutively, also played and performed well this weekend.
For Southampton the late morning signing of Charlie Austin from QPR for a reported £4m quid, described as a ‘bargain’ by many, seemed more than enough to light the blue touch paper. That signing for me, being yet more evidence that player fees today, are more based on ‘length of contract left’ than the quality of the player. Austin himself, having only six months to run on his.
The Saints move on to a mighty away game at Manchester United next Saturday, looking to repeat their heroics of last year. Maybe Tadic can make it 3 goals in as many games as a substitute as well as two in a row at Old Trafford? For West Brom, they face a massive midlands derby at home to Aston Villa. Both wanting and needing quick points. Only the footballing gods know what is coming next.