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Saints pay the penalty

Saints pay the penalty

Saints solid start to 2006 came to an end yesterday with a 1-0 loss at QPR.

After back to back wins there was hope George Burley's team could push on against a QPR side in poor form.

The game started pretty evenly with both sides having chances, but Rangers took the lead in the 21st minute when Gareth Ainsworth was needlessly fouled in the area by Danny Higginbotham. Richard Langley converted the resulting penalty, sending Paul Smith the wrong way.

Saints pushed forward for an equaliser but the pivotal moment came in the 75th minute when Nigel Quashie was fouled in the box by Steve Lomas.

Quashie stepped up to take the penalty, and although he sent Simon Rogers the wrong way, his shot hit the post and QPR scambled away the rebound.

Frustratingly speculation in the press has been rife this week, with claims this was Theo Walcott's last game for the club, the young striker is apparently close to joining Arsenal.

Maybe Saints stuttering league form won't help persuade Walcott to stay at St Mary's. His future will be decided this week.

The proposed deal of Walcott signing for Arsenal and then being loaned back to Saints seems a ridiculous situation. Why bother ? Theo doesn't need the move, if he's going to be playing at St Mary's anyway he wont be getting any different experience.

The top clubs aren't going to stop coming in for him, so it's not a situation where he needs to hurry to sign for one now - he's only 16. Even if Saints can hold onto him until the summer his value will have risen greatly and he'll still be just 17.

Writer:Stef C
Date:Sunday January 15 2006
Time: 12:02PM

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