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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Ex Arsenal star and 2006's biggest English talent on the brink of relegation

By Alessandro Schiavone at St Mary's

Southampton 0-1 Bournemouth AFC

Theo Walcott and his Southampton flops are staring relegation in the face after slipping to a bitter 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth at St Mary's.

It wasn't a busy day for mathematicians as a deflected 50th-minute Tavernier strike was all the Cherries needed to do the damage. They have now leapfrogged West Ham, who trashed them 4-0 last time around, and are seven clear of a spot of bother. Scotland international Che Adams' spectacular late equaliser did not count after a VAR review spotted his toe in an illegal position. And that moment of bitterness summed up their whole season.

While the Saints are no strangers to dropping down to the Championship, for Walcott it would be a career-first.

And what a fall from grace it would be for one of England's generational top talents.

After all, we're talking about someone who made Sven Goran Eriksson's England squad for the 2006 World Cup aged 17.

Playing up-front alongside Alcaraz, the 33-year-old was Southampton's liveliest player in the opening 45 minutes

First his near-post drive was saved by ex-Juventus keeper Neto after wonderfully cutting inside and outpacing the Cherries' backline.

Then moments later, his flicked header ricocheted off a Bournemouth player before it glanced off the upper side of the crossbar.

But it almost felt as if he was there on his own with the rudderless and clueless Saints lacking inspiration and order.

Walcott faded as the game wore on and couldn't do much to prevent Saints from slipping to an 11th home league defeat.

And finding themselves six points from a healthy position with only five games to go the writing is on the wall.


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