17 min After a slow start, Villa are starting to dominate. Grealish looks especially perky in possession.
14 min “The OED dates bouncebackability to Zanesville, Ohio, in 1961,” writes Andrew Goudie. “The Times Recorder noted that ‘The Tribe demonstrated its bounce-back ability in a three-game series with Washington, taking the set 2-1.’ And apparently it first appeared as one word without hyphens in 1991 in the Economist, of all places. I wonder if Iain Dowie (or Ray Jennings, for that matter) was a subscriber to either of these august organs.”
13 min The free-kick is a fair way to the left of centre. Barkley’s shot hits the wall and goes behind for a corner.
12 min Ward-Prowse is booked for a foul on Traore 22 yards from goal. Villa have had a good five minutes.
10 min Targett finds Grealish in space in the penalty area with a crisp square pass. Grealish takes the ball beautifully in his stride, turns and hits a shot that deflects just wide of the far post.
7 min: Walcott hits the bar! Southampton have started superbly. They worked the ball smoothly from right to left, with Ings finding Walcott just outside the area. He floated a first-time shot that drifted over Martinez and onto the top of the bar. I think Walcott was aiming for the far corner rather than the centre of the goal, but it almost went in.
6 min “Like all right-thinking people I love a sash strip (80s Crystal Palace, 70s Peru) but I always thought it was a called a bandolier strip and not sash,” says Niall Mullen. “Am I wrong (and pretentiously so)?”
It’s not about right and wrong any more, you know that.
NO GOAL! Aston Villa 0-0 Southampton
Adams was fractionally offside. He didn’t touch the ball but he did challenge Konsa.
Ward-Prowse’s corner from the left was flicked on at the near post and hit Konsa before deflecting past Martinez. The issue is whether Adams, who challenged Konsa, was offside when Ings headed the corner across goal.
GOAL! Aston Villa 0-1 Southampton (Konsa own goal 3)
This might be disallowed for offside.
2 min Bertrand slips a good pass into the area for Ings, whose cutback is blocked by the sliding Mings. I thought Ings might take the shot first time, albeit from a tight angle, but he let the ball run past him before trying to find somebody in the middle.
2 min Walcott has started on the left, the role usually played by Nathan Redmond. I can’t remember him playing there too often during his career.
2 min “Good to see Theo Walcott back and playing,” says Charles Antaki. “Southampton may be where he started, but he’s one of those players for whom the stint at Arsenal is the defining one. And few have left and retained the kind of affection reserved for the willing servant, the gifted trier, the obviously nice guy who gave the club his best years – of his cohort, other candidates might be Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky. Not, say Aaron Ramsey or even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who did all too well after leaving…”
And chose to leave. That tends to facilitate a certain clarity among jilted supporters.
Here come the players. Villa are in claret and blue; Southampton are wearing their sashtastic third strip.
“I remember SA cricketer/coach, Ray Jennings, using ‘bouncebackability’ at a few cricket coaching clinics in the early 2000s,” writes Ettiene Terblanche. “Tough nut, our Ray. Not sure he could dent the Dowie forehead, though.”
He managed to dent Graeme Smith’s, albeit with the aid of a cricket ball.
Sure, it’s not strictly related to Villa v Southampton, but it’s Marco van Basten FHS.
Bertrand Traore makes his first Premier League start for Villa, while Theo Walcott replaces Nathan Redmond in the Southampton team.
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1) Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Douglas Luiz; Traore, Barkley, Grealish; Watkins.
Substitutes: Steer, Engels, El Mohamady, Hourihane, Trezeguet, Nakamba, Davis.
Southampton (4-2-2-2) McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Romeu, Ward-Prowse; Armstrong, Walcott; Ings, Adams.
Substitutes: Forster, Stephens, Redmond, Djenepo, Diallo, Long, N’Lundulu
Referee Darren England.
Morning. It was a former Southampton player, Iain Dowie, who added “bouncebackability” to football’s vocabulary. It’s one of the more desirable qualities in sport and life, and the current Southampton team have it in spades. The extraordinary 9-0 defeat at home to Leicester a year ago somehow became a force for good – their win in the return game was the result of the season in my opinion – and they have responded equally impressively to being plugged 5-2 by Spurs in September.
Since that defeat Southampton have picked up ten points from four games, including three clean sheets. In the other match, the madcap 3-3 draw at Chelsea, they showed micro bouncebackability by coming from 2-0 and 3-2 down.
They are an admirable team, brilliantly coached by Ralph Hasenhuttl, and a win today would move them up to third – at least until Spurs play tonight. Villa, who have had an even better start to the season under the excellent Dean Smith, will go second if they beat Southampton. Their last match was a humbling 3-0 defeat at home to Leeds, which ended their perfect start to the Premier League season. There is one small upside to that defeat: it gives them a chance to show a bit of the old bouncebackability.
Kick off 12pm.