COMMENT: Bad night for Saints and their forgotten trio of Cork, Yoshida and Gazzaniga (From Basingstoke Gazette)
When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
COMMENT: Bad night for Saints and their forgotten trio of Cork, Yoshida and Gazzaniga
This was not a great night for Saints, or for their forgotten men. Paulo Gazzaniga, Maya Yoshida and Jack Cork all featured heavily in the club’s first home defeat of the season. None of them did their hopes of progressing beyond the role of fringe player any significant good, though. At one stage last season, Yoshida appeared to have emerged as the club’s number-one choice at centre half. However, he has since slipped down the order. Surprisingly handed his first league start of the season here, in place of José Fonte, he was afforded a rare opportunity to re-establish himself. Yet the ease with which he allowed Gabriel Agbonlahor to turn him for the game’s opening goal will have done little to increase Mauricio Pochettino’s faith in him. Neither, perhaps, will his backing off ahead of Fabian Delph’s stunning winner. Yoshida’s was not the only costly error, though. Cork, who came on at half-time, also committed a crucial mistake that led to a Villa goal, letting Karim El Ahmadi dispossess him cheaply out wide in the build-up to the visitors’ second. The midfielder is a popular figure among the fanbase, having played an important part not just in promotion from the Championship, but also in the team’s enormous improvement last season after the club endured such a dismal start to the campaign. But Pochettino has not been so keen on him, instead preferring £12.5m summer signing Victor Wanyama. Cork’s slip-up here will not have helped his cause. In the build-up to this game, it was Gazzaniga who had been under the spotlight the most, though. The 21-year-old keeper, once described by Nigel Adkins as “the future of this football club”, had seemingly been consigned to the past. Yet injuries to Artur Boruc and Kelvin Davis meant a first start in over a year for the young Argentine stopper. Despite conceding three times, it was not as dreadful a night as it might have sounded for Gazzaniga. There was certainly little he could have done about Villa’s first goal, and nothing about their third. But questions might be asked about their second. Could he have come to collect El Ahmadi’s cross, rather than staying on his line, and should he have done better with Libor Kozak’s close-range header, which squirmed through his raised hands? Gazzaniga did not appear overawed, and indeed showed flashes of confidence – none more so than when he coolly lobbed a pass over Kozak in the second half. But he is still facing an uphill battle to force his way past either Davis or Boruc when all of the club’s keepers are fit.
Comments are closed on this article.