Southampton v West Ham: Both sides lack cutting edge, says Matt Le Tissier
Mladen Petric's West Ham debut can't come soon enough for the toothless irons, says Matt Le Tissier.
Last Updated: 15/09/13 9:31pm
Neither side was able to find the net on the rain-soaked South Coast, with Jussi Jaaskelainen scooping the Man of the Match award for keeping Saints' Rickie Lambert and record signing Pablo Osvaldo at bay.
Former Roma hitman Osvaldo had a fine opportunity early in the first half but fired straight at the Hammers keeper before Lambert struck a post just after the break.
The best opening of the match, though, fell to visiting defender James Collins who smashed the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy with a little over five minutes remaining.
Former Saints ace Le Tissier reckons the Londoners in particular must address a lack of spark up front - not helped by a long term injury to striker Andy Carroll - and could do with new arrival Mladen Petric getting up to full fitness as soon as possible.
"West Ham need Petric fit quite quickly," he told Sky Sports.
"[West Ham boss] Sam Allardyce said before the game he probably needs four or five weeks of training and they're going to try and squeeze that into a couple of weeks to get him back as soon as they possibly can.
"They need somebody up there who is going to give them a cutting edge because, as we saw today, they don't create too many chances and unfortunately the one they did create fell to a centre-back and it was a centre-back's finish."
At the other end, Le Tissier felt his former side had carved out enough openings to possibly deserve the spoils, but questioned whether summer recruit Osvaldo has in fact compromised Saints' successful pattern of play, which reaped rewards last season.
"When you look at the balance of play, the balance of chances created, if Southampton had nicked that game 1-0 it wouldn't have been unfair," he said.
"Artur Boruc didn't have a save to make after the seventh minute from Mohamed Diame's shot so, from that point of view, Southampton maybe edged it. But you can't deny West Ham defended pretty well, made it difficult and fair play to them they take away a point.
"However, it seems Southampton have almost made a problem for themselves with Osvaldo.
"Southampton had a shape and system of play before Osvaldo turned up that was working pretty well and since he came into the side, for the past two games, they've altered the formation a little and not managed to score.
"It's maybe disrupted things a little bit - but hopefully that's just for the short term. There were some nice flicks from him today, some good positive play but the disappointing thing was his missed chance in the first half.
"It was a gilt-edged chance to get off the mark for the club and he wasn't able to take it."