Anyway, that's it. Thanks for reading and emails; ta-ra.

So it's over, and we can all go back to our riveting, fascinating, compelling, thrilling, fulfilling lives. Lucky us.

Southampton ought to get better than that, but were you a person given to worry, and given to worry about those who watch West Ham, you'd worry for those watching West Ham. It might improve for them when Cole returns, and as Morrison gets more games, but otherwise, the next few months are going to be something of a struggle. But then they were quite good in 1998, so who knows - they might just enjoy it.

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FULL-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-0 WEST HAM UNITED

Done.

90+2 min "The best thing about this match...the defensive headers" says Gary Neville - and West Ham have a corner cleared, then Southampton have a long hump cleared.

90 min There shall be four added minutes. Meanwhile the MBM is turning into the OBO: "Please thank Mr Yates,|" asks Karen Brigden. "I owe him my first born child, or something."

89 min "I really wonder," wonders Kiran Kulkarni, "how come people in UK have plenty of time to attend matches like these. Is it just because they have got lot of money to spend than people here in India? Even a rich cricket fanatic in India doesn't watch cricket matches which are awful."

But you don't know whether it'll be good until you've paid - though it's possible to strongly suspect. Football is different, I suppose - it can be less of a treat and more of a grind, and you go because you have to, rather than because you want to. Well, that and to spend the before, during and after sating hunger, slaking thirst and talking nonsense.

86 min Winston Reid, who's New Zealandish, dives over the top of Lambert to win a header, landing awkwardly and jarring a knee. He steps off briefly, replaced in the back-four by Kevin Nolan, but is back now, and still from New Zealand.

84 min Oh, dearie us! Dearie, dearie us! And as for you, James Collins. West Ham bump a ball into the Southampton box, Fonte and Lovren nodding away, before Mark Noble collected, and with everyone expecting another aimless punt, cunningly attempted some control, his first touch taking him down the side of the box and the side of the Southampton back-four. With everyone accepting another aimless punt, instead of crossing, he actually looked up and actually picked out a man, rolling perfectly for James Collins. Who leant back and smote over the bar.

83 min When a hero comes along, with the strength to carry on - and his name's Tom Yates. "The number in the corner of the screen is to stop illegal streaming so they can identify who is sharing it. Key in your computer is for security."

81 min Another free-kick from Ward-Prowse about which to experience excitement. It's again from the right, but farther from the touchline, and again leads to nothing. This game.

79 min Gary Neville is fawning over a free-kick delivery from Ward-Prowse - it's been that kind of afternoon. It came from right of centre, and was between keeper and defence, but Osvaldo, sliding in at the far post, was never really getting a touch. Well, obviously he was never really getting a touch, because he didn't.

77 min Say what you like about this game, but it's had bare substitutions. One apiece at this juncture, Chambers on for Shaw for Southampton, and Taylor on for Morrison for West Ham.

76 min I went to market and bought... - or, alternatively, you know it's a rubbish game when...

You're talking kids' telly.

75 min Mark Judd goes where other fear to tread, emailing in to say yehay ratfans: "Much as Roland Rat saved some morning TV programme that I can't remember the name of, I'm expecting his cousin Razvan to do the same for this match."

Not just Roland, but Error and Kevin, also known as Pink Bucket Man.

71 min James Ward-Prowse replaces Adam Lallana, and immediately seizes a loose ball, breaking from centre-circle towards area. To his left is England's Rickie Lambert, whom he finds, and England's Lambert shapes his body to curl inside the far post. But again, Jaaskelainen is paying full attention, tipping away once more.

69 min Morrison is robbed on the right touchline, and the ball is moved down the line by Loven to Lallana, forcing O'Brien to scythe-scissor in. This prompts a small bout of shoving, and a yellow card.

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68 min Vaz Te on and "Maiga sacrificed" - harsh, rubbish though he's played.

67 min Another proper save. Southampton finding Rodriguez down the right, who clips into the middle, where Schneiderlin awaits. Very deliberately, he watched the ball onto his laces, right leg away from his body, and shoots into the ground, Jaaskelainen flipping full-length to his left to push the ball away

66 min Ravel Morrison overruns the ball slightly, on the right of the centre-circle, which tempts Wanyama into a tackle as the ball is deftly flicked away. He swings a wild leg and is booked.

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64 min Lovren tries a pass between Noble's legs, and when the ball bounces off, the two contest a tackle to which the West Ham man is slightly late arriving. He is booked.

61 min A pair of blocks deny a pair of Southampton shots. Unfortunately, afflicted by a crashing system, that is all the information I'm able to impart. I blame Karen Brigden.

Razvan Rat replaces the injured Guy Demel.

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59 min "Not entirely related," begins Karen Brigden, usually the sign of a good email, and particularly today. "But it's driving me potty and I can't find an answer! While watching the match on Sky (through Virgin cable) a number keeps coming up in the bottom left corner of the screen. Is it subliminal messaging, next week's lottery numbers or the amount of times that Gary Neville opening his mouth makes me want to eat my own face? Perhaps Lost was real and we're all in some kind of whatever the hell Lost was about alternative reality? (Personally I like to think it's the amount of tears that Big Sam has shed for his lost tache.) Numbers are: 1239549971
Please help, you're my only hope
And while I'm at it: keys in the back of computer towers, WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT?"

The numbers appear to appear whatever one's system, but I think they're related to some kind of Mayan thing.

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57 min More nondescript Southampton pressure. West Ham can't really get hold of the ball at the moment and have no real outlet. Where's Fiver-reader Carlton Cole when you need him?

55 min "Am I alone in thinking," thinks Lou Roper, potentially lonelily, "that Roma (whom I support) did very good business in raking in over £40m for Osvaldo, the Italo-Argentine Bendtner, and Lamela, one of the first names on the Flat-Track Bully XI team sheet?"

I'm told by - and get this namedrop - Gordon Watson - that Osvaldo is a real talent. As for Lamela, I like what I've seen, and reckon he's too young to paint as a flat-track bully. I do, though, find it odd that Spurs didn't sign one fewer creative player and one more striker.

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52 min Southampton, who were kept in the dressing room a fair while, have turned it up this half. A long ball is hit towards Osvaldo at inside-right, and he ducks underneath, foxing Collins. It reaches Lambert, who turns inside and feeds into the path of the onrushing Lallana, breaking into the area, but his first touch is a little heavy, and Jaaskelainen is out sharply to place torso in front of shot.

51 min There is raining some excellent rain. Easily man-of-the-match so far.

49 min A headed clearance falls handily for Wanyama, who controls on the bounce,allows another, and hits a half-volley at goal, shoved over the top by Jaaskelainen. From the corner, Lambert houchens in at the near post, his header clattering off the post and away. Wanyama tries another shot, and claims handball when it hits Collins, but nothing doing.

48 min West Ham win a free-kick on the left, 45 yards out, and Noble curls in. Maigi is first to it, controlling on his chest, and for a brief, shining moment, it appears as though something may happen. It does not.

46 min "Between two stools" says Gary Neville, once again proving his eloquence by summing up the game in just three words. It restarts without Victor Wanyama, adjusting his make-up in the dressing room, but we're now all present and correct. Well, present.

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"Would you agree," says Terrence Miles,"that games a bit like this?"

Half-time emails: "In the way Gary Linekar criticised Roy Hodgson's England for being "woeful", so you could argue his Walkers outings are much the same up against these singing spuds," suggests James Mottram. "Perhaps we should send them to Brazil (if we get there) as our mascots."

That would probably prevent the involvement of the Manchester United players, due to the club's tie-up with Mr Potato Head. Swings and swings.

Half-time ad break. They should show this in both dressing rooms, because it's plenty more creative and engaging than anything that happened on the pitch.

HALF-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-0 WEST HAM UNITED

Well, the classic we all expected has failed to materialise. Southampton have had the only real chance, Osvaldo's shot that was superbly smothered by Jaaskelainen, and they've been marginally better. West Ham have created almost nothing, but exerted small spells of what in the context we can probably call pressure - about 0.0000001 pascal's worth.

45+ 1 min Lovely again from Morrison, firing a low, hard ball in between Clyne and Fonte for O'Brien, who stabs a centre into Maiga- but he can't quite adjust and turn to impart a shot worthy of descrption.

45 min There will be two minutes of additional time.

43 min Do Southampton's players called Mauricio Pochettino "Herbert"? It would go some way to redeeming this thundering mess of a game if they did.

42 min Nothing happens.

40 min The first flash of Morrison. Wanyama loses the ball to Demel on the right, and his cross his headed away by Lovren. Waiting is Nolan, who flaps a weak shot, again cleared, by this time to Morrison, loitering maybe ten yards outside the box and fairly central. He takes a touch to control, has a look around, and whips a curler just over the left-hand post.

39 min I (me me me I me I and other pronouns) spent all day yesterday in synagogue. I saw more quality football there than has so far taken place at St Mary's.

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38 min Some running, jumping and fouling.

36 min "Your gaff's too big for you", sing the West Ham fans, but there are very few cases in which that kind of stick can now be legitimately distributed. On the contrary, empty grounds are almost a badge of honour, direct action in action.

34 min Diame knocks the ball past Wanyama, nipping around the other side, and Schneiderlin tanks into a slide, imprinting studs upon ankle. For this he cedes not even a foul, to intense dismay on the West Ham bench.

32 min Osvaldo and Schneiderlin exchange flicks breaking centre-right, Osvaldo ending matters with a backheel that goes nowhere.

31 min Diame wins a header, and Nolan plays someone through - I saw not whom - and Boruc was out quickly to block. But the linesman's flag was up - so that when the loose ball was floated into the empty net - by Jarvis, I think - it was to no avail.

29 min Lallana picks up possession just right of the centre-circle and as he zones away, is fouled by Diame - "A good old-fashioned trip", says Gary Neville, which makes it sound like something Gordon Ramsey would cook. He's booked.

27 min Chasing Demel's throw, Maiga momentarily escapes Lovren, who fights back and tickles his face with a friendly finger. Maiga hits the deck and there follows a brief pause, before things beginagain.

26 min Baby blue shorts are not suitable football attire.

23 min James Collins slips just shy of the centre-circle, and England's Rickie Lambert collects, finding Osvaldo, ahead and to his right. But Osvaldo control is less carefully constructed than his image, and Reid - who's from New Zealand - clears, but weakly. The ball arrives back at the feet of England's Rickie Lambert, and this time he shoots, but Jaaskelainen plunges to his right to smother easily enough.

20 min Nolan collects a loose ball in midfield, left side, and slides square to Diame, in plenty of space but with none of his friends to help. So instead, he tries a shot, from about 35 yards, hitting hard across the ball, which is only a little high and wide of the left-hand post.

19 min This Southampton team is the best for quite a few years, and yet the ground is not full - or put another way, tickets are too expensive. The FA and Premier League should demand that all unsold tickets be knocked out to local kids for fivers and tenners, either through schools or on the gate.

17 min Over the last few minutes, and though they're not dominant, the extra class of Southampton has begun to tell.

15 min Southampton again escape down their left, with Shaw this time, and again skirt around the side far too easily. But the cross is driven straight at Rodriguez, and bounces away enough for West Ham to clear.

15 min Morrison, yet to contribute, slides in late on Lambert as he picks up a ball from Wanyama. The referee twitches pocketwards, but thinks better of it.

14 min An email, from Simon McMahon: "Afternoon Daniel. Apropos of that last clip of Ricky Gervais, I'm actually quite angry now. Thanks for that."

Did it really require a clip? I'd assumed the words would do.

11 min Brilliant save Jaaskelainen! Rodriguez skates down the left and around Demel, who does too little in its prevention, and cuts back, the ball passing through Noble's legs at the near post. It arrives perfectly into the pass of Osvaldo, who opens his body to powerfully sidefoot home, only to find an entire goalkeeper flung into his phizog, somehow blocking to safety. The speed at which he got out there was exceptional.

9 min Nolan anticipates a loose pass from Clyne and chugs forward, finding Jarvis to his left. Spotting Maiga pulling off his man in the middle, he lumps nowhere near him, again prompting his manager to experience upset - probably enough to tempt anyone. 

7 min Diame rustles some space on the right, close to the by-line, running at Shaw and seemingly away from goal before turning awkwardly but effectively, losing his man and making space for a shot. Falling, he welts at the near post, and Boruc gets down and across to tip behind. The corner is headed clear by Rodriguez, and when the ball comes back to Jarvis, he makes a mess, to allardycian consternation.

5 min Things are yet to settle, the ball skittering in various nondescript directions with little purpose. Perhaps the Adidas Tango has been sneakily replaced with Oddball.

4 min Winston Reid is from New Zealand. Did anyone know?

2 min The ball has been backwards and forwards between the West Ham half and the halfway line, before Southampton win a cross on the left, perhaps 35 yards from goal. Lallana curls in, and Reid heads clear.

1 min St Mary's is noisy and windy,and it's a rubbish game so far.

1 min Southampton get things moving.

Allardyce and Pochetino exchange diagonal handshakes, and Southampton then huddle. Is there a stat to show how often teams who do so lose risibly?

The PA man is shouting so that we might all gauge the gravity of the situation. For once, a break is welcome - or would be, were the cash from its salvation not proceeding into the pockets of Uncle Rupert.

The players are upon us. Who wouldn't consider that an excuse to reference Gareth Bale?

Apropos of nothing but the previous nothing of which there was apropos. Ricky Gervais leans in for the high-five. Is ignored, so does unbearable fake laughter instead.

Apropos of nothing. Rio Ferdinand attempts to shake hands with David Haye and entourage. Is ignored.

"How much have you enjoyed his England experience?" Someone just asked Adam Lallana that about Rickie Lambert. Next: was his breakfast tasty?

So, the headline news is that Ravel Morrison makes his Premier League debut - replacing Ste-wart Downing - and so say all of us. He really is a brilliant talent, so let's hope he can maintain his the spotlessness of his schnoz and go on to fulfill it. There's not really any need to compare him, but let's compare him anyway: he's got a little bit of Gazza's ability to run past men from midfield, and some of the same tenacity too, though not the power. But he also has an instinctive understanding of where to be and where and how to pass.

Southampton leave out Fox, Chambers and Ward-Prowse from the defeat at Norwich, their places taken by Clyne, Shaw and Rodriguez respectively.

Thrill me.

Let's have ourselves some teams:

Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Rodriguez, Osvaldo, Lambert.

Subs: K. Davis, S. Davis, Ramírez, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Chambers, Hooiveld.

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O'Brien, Collins, Reid, Noble, Nolan, Diame, Morrison, Jarvis, Maiga.

Subs: Adrian, Rat, Tomkins, Collison, Taylor, Lee, Vaz Te.

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Preamble. Where do we go from here, the words are coming out all weird where are you now?

Questions to bother all of us afflicted with the burden of living, and Southampton and West Ham in particular; both were promoted the season before last and both stayed up without ever really looking like doing otherwise. So, what do they do now: consolidate or speculate?

Southampton have plumped for the latter, booting out Nigel Adkins for no apparent reason, before chucking around as much money as possible. Who didn't value Dejan Loveren at no more or no less than £8.8m, deem Victor Wanyama worth precisely £12,760,000, and Pablo Osvaldo equivalent to exactly £13,288,000? Clearly, no one at St Mary's bears the remotest concern for hospitals, nurses or people who pretend their name is Keith.

West Ham, meanwhile, managed to spend almost the same, whilst giving the reverse impression. The majority of their wedge went on retaining Andy Carroll, with the rest delivering Stewart Downing, who, sure as butterfly follows cement-mixer, would obviously supply him with an inexhaustible stream of unmissable crosses.

But, with Carroll now out until the new year, with an injury to his plantar fascia - what I'm told, can come of wearing high heels too often for too long - they're in something of a situation. As luck chance would have it, Downing is also injured, as is Jawe Cawle, and Mladen Petric isn't yet match fit. Or in other words, even if they planned to speculate, they can't. Apart from RAVEL RAVEL RAVEL RAVEL RAVEL RAVEL RAVEL.

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