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Hasenhuttl must ruthlessly axe “very aggressive” Saints star vs CPFC, he’s been awful - opinion

Football FanCast logo Football FanCast 11/05/2021 Jimmy Moorhouse
a man standing in front of a crowd: hasenhuttl and jan bednarek © Provided by Football FanCast hasenhuttl and jan bednarek

Southampton face Crystal Palace at St Mary’s on Tuesday night and Ralph Hasenhuttl should axe centre-back Jan Bednarek from his side, as the 25-year-old has been on an awful run of form.

Following Fulham’s 2-0 defeat to Burnley on Monday night, the Saints are now mathematically safe from relegation, which should hopefully ease the pressure on the players and the manager, after a dreadful 2021 thus far.

Results have seen Southampton slip from a potential European spot to relegation fodder and one of the main reasons for this has been the Saints’ leaky defence.

Only Sheffield United and West Brom have conceded more than Hasenhuttl’s side this season and whilst that has been partly due to injuries and a lack of depth at full-back, questions must be asked of the centre-back partnership.

Bednarek and Jannik Vestergaard looked to have formed an excellent duo at the heart of Southampton’s defence earlier in the season but whilst the Denmark international has maintained his form, the Poland international has not.

In his last seven appearances in the Premier League, Bednarek has earned above a 7/10 rating from WhoScored just once, in the 3-2 comeback win against Burnley back in April.

This run of form included extremely poor displays against Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton, yet he is seemingly undroppable in Hasenhuttl’s side, having started all 34 of the Saints’ top-flight fixtures this season.

Despite Mohammed Salisu producing a superb display in the 1-1 draw with Leicester City recently, he was dropped for the trip to Anfield and now that Southampton are safe, surely he deserves a start alongside Vestergaard at centre-back.

Earlier in his time in charge of the club, Hasenhuttl was full of praise of Bednarek, saying:

“He is very aggressive in the one-to-one duels at the back, and also with the ball he is calm and has a good view for the surrounding players.”

However, Southampton have been far from aggressive in their defending for much of the season and they have been out-fought and out-thought on a number of occasions.

Therefore, after his poor run of form, Hasenhuttl should drop the Polish defender for the game against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night.

And, in other news… Linked in 2020, now wanted by CL clubs: Saints missed out on “perfect” gem with 18 G/A

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