Shearer gets chuckles with Valery gag but Saints defending is no laughing matter

·2-min read
Alan Shearer (Pic: PA)
Alan Shearer (Pic: PA)

PUNDIT Alan Shearer elicited chuckles from showmates Gary Lineker and Ian Wright assessing the goals in Saints’ opening day loss, singing: “Why doesn’t he come on over? Valery…”

The Match of the Day star and English footballing legend watched on as the BBC show played highlights of Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-1 win over Saints in London.

Shearer, the 51-year-old former Saints striker, shared his concerns for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side this season, after their Premier League campaign picked up where the last ended.

Analysing the second goal, in which Heung-min Son was afforded the time by Yan Valery to cross for Eric Dier and put Spurs ahead, he broke into chorus of the popularised Amy Winehouse anthem ‘Valerie’, originally performed by The Zutons.

“The leaks were their Achilles heel towards the end of last season and you can’t give good players this amount of space,” he said. “Far too easy from a Southampton point of view.

Daily Echo: Saints started their season with defeat to Tottenham Hotspur (Pic: PA)
Daily Echo: Saints started their season with defeat to Tottenham Hotspur (Pic: PA)

Saints started their season with defeat to Tottenham Hotspur (Pic: PA)

“The second goal is the same thing, close him down, time to pick the head up – why doesn’t he come on over? Valery…”

Match of the Day host Lineker interjected: “Oh dear,” before Shearer – who made 158 appearances for Saints before departing in 1992 – continued.

“Sorry Gary, but he’s got to get tighter,” the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer added. “Good ball and good header but there’s nobody around them.

“You can’t give them that amount of space. It summed their day up for Southampton and there was no way back.

“It has to be better. I can see them struggling, they’ve got to work on it or it’s going to be a long season.”

Saints have conceded 34 goals in their last 13 Premier League matches, winning only once dating back to the beginning of March.

They were also defeated 4-1 on the road in the very last match of the 2021-22 campaign, with Leicester City putting Saints to the sword in the second-half.

Up next for Hasenhuttl's charges is a visit from Leeds United, on Saturday, August 13, with the Elland Road outfit 2-1 victors over Wolves this weekend.

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