It’s hard to remember a worse two-match blip than our last two results, back-to-back — — and it’s left many bewildered, including the head coach. We probably have to go back to 2018, and the latter half of the already collapsing Conte era, with the 3-0 home loss to Bournemouth followed up by a 4-1 reverse at Watford (“The Bakayoko Game”) in early February.
Trust the process, they say. But when that process suddenly stops not only producing the expected outcomes but practically collapses for no apparent reason, it can indeed become a nightmare scenario for coaches.
Do you react by staying with what’s worked or do you react by going back to the drawing board? Do you stick or twist? Do you trust or do you tinker? That’s why they get paid the big bucks!
Southampton are hardly ideal opponents against whom to try to find ourselves again — we’ve won just one of five against them, not counting penalty kick shootouts — but that’s the hand we’ve been dealt. Fortunately, we should have everyone available, except maybe Callum Hudson-Odoi who continues to deal with a mystery Achilles problem (and of course Ben Chilwell, who’s out for the season).