Why Southampton’s rise isn’t that much of a fairy tale

Originally posted on Metro:

Southampton’s players celebrate another goal in their fine start to the season (Picture: AP)

Southampton are currently in their third consecutive season in the Premier League.

That’s already more time than they spent in League One back in 2009-2011, in fact of the last 36 seasons, they have spent just two season’s in the third tier, and 29 in the top flight,

So can we stop going on about it now?

Sure, the drop into League One was a wake up call for Saints fans, and really made us appreciate what we had perhaps taken for granted; but make no mistake, the return to the Premier League is no coincidence. This is a Premier League club and back where it belongs.

That doesn’t stop every reflective writer and journalist (I’ve done it myself) state with disbelief at the current position of the club ‘They used to be in League One…

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How Southampton found there is no Stoke without fire

Originally posted on Metro:

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring against Stoke City (Picture: Getty Images)

Not for the first time, one of my Southampton related blog posts that involves Stoke City, found itself the subject of a Potters’ fans forum.

Apparently when talking of their physicality and bending of the rules to win I was ‘talking rubbish’ and ‘picking on Stoke’ which really wasn’t the case. They chose to ignore the positive comments in the article about them being hard to beat and that people often ignore their ability to win football matches and unfortunately they seem to have developed a bit of a ‘victim complex’.

Let’s get this straight, I will condemn any player from any team for cheating if I think that is what they are doing (refer to the stick I gave Jack Wilshere not so long ago).

If you are a Stoke City fan then look away now, as nothing I saw…

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Southampton must be wary of Stoke City’s ‘win at all costs’ mentality

Originally posted on Metro:

Southampton will be hoping to follow last week’s 8-0 win with another victory (Picture: Getty)

When Victor Moses realised he couldn’t part the red sea that was the Swansea City defence last week, his dive to win a penalty was nothing short of scandalous.

In fact the scandal was three-fold, in that it was hard to decide which was the bigger disgrace; Moses for the tumble, referee Michael Oliver being fooled by it, or Mark Hughes for defending it. All three should be fined for bringing the game into disrepute, yet they won’t be. Swansea manager and ex-Saint Garry Monk, who merely stated the facts after the event, will be.

Something seems quite wrong there to me.

Ronald Koeman will need to be ready for the Potters’ ‘do anything to win’ attitude and not react to the antics that have gained them a bad name. It should come as no…

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Southampton v Stoke City: EA PPI Preview

Southampton continue to defy all the early season doubters and will no doubt be overjoyed after last weekend’s emphatic 8-0 win over Sunderland. Southampton sit in third place and boast the best defensive record in the league, having conceded only five goals so far this season.

Dusan Tadic has been a highlight in Southampton’s season so far and the winger is now joint on assists with Cesc Fabregas at the top of the charts with seven assists, after assisting four goals in the win over Southampton. Tadic has attempted more crosses than anybody else in the league with 70, seventeen more than the next highest, Kieran Trippier of Burnley. Tadic’s direct approach is clearly paying off, as reflected by his assist record.

Only six players have covered more distance in a single game than Jack Cork did last weekend, running a total of 12.5km in the 8-0 win and to top things off his tireless running was rewarded with a goal. The midfielder also had an average speed of 7.8km/h last weekend according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

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Graziano Pelle has yet again built on his impressive start for Southampton, bagging a brace last weekend. Pelle has now scored six goals in eight games with 0.76 goals per 90 minutes. The striker has exactly 50% of shots on target, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, and is almost certain to provide a threat against Stoke this weekend.

Stoke won last time out, beating Swansea 2-1 helping them climb in to the top half of the table. Mark Hughes’ side will be hoping to bring some consistency to their results by picking up another three points against the Saints.

Victor Moses has the fourth most successful dribbling record in the Premier League, having completed 19 successful dribbles so far this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Seven of these came last weekend against Swansea, leading to both the winning of a penalty and an assist. Moses was withdrawn after 73 minutes but will be hoping to start again this weekend.

Defender Marc Wilson is in the top ten players in the Premier League for number of clearances. The Irishman has cleared his lines 73 times over the course of the season, averaging out at just over nine clearances per game, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross sits just behind him on 70 clearances.

Shawcross has also made the fourth most blocks in the division too. Shawcross has often put his body on the line and has provided the all-important block on eleven separate occasions already this season, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance.

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“Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars with at http://fantasy.premierleague.com or with FIFA Ultimate team.”

Dušan Tadić: Record Breaker!

Better than Ronaldo?

In Saturday’s 8-0 hammering of Sunderland, our very own Dušan Tadić made history after breaking the weekly points record on European fantasy football game Oulala.

With a points matrix sourced from Opta the midfielder picked up a remarkable 151 points thanks to an excellent performance that included a goal, four assists, creating three big chances and supplying five successful crosses. The record was previously held by Carlos Vela who netted four goals for Real Sociedad last season in a 4-3 victory over Celta Vigo.

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To sum up just how special Tadić’s performance was, Ronaldo’s top score this season was 140 points after scoring four goals against Elche in a 5-1 win and Lionel Messi scored 130 points when he scored two and assisted two in a 6-0 win over Granada. That’s some company our new signing is mixing with.

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More effective than Ronaldo?

Oulala is a free to play, weekly European fantasy football game offering cool prizes to it’s top three managers every week. Oulala offers unique features such as a diverse scoring matrix and live in-play substitutions making it the closest fantasy football has ever got to reality. To register click here https://www.oulala.com/en/register

Chris

Campo Retro Competition Winner Announced!

Our Campo Retro Competition is now closed…..

…and I’m pleased to announce that the winner is……..Lucy Bell!

Lucy now get’s to choose from one of the below shirts:-

Southampton

 

Koeman 94 F+B

 

Never fear if you missed out though, you can still use the discount code ‘FLASH20′ at Campo Retro to get 20% discount!

Better luck next time!

Chris

Why things could still get a whole lot better for high-flying Southampton

Originally posted on Metro:

Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez celebrates scoring against Tottenham last season (Picture: AP)

Much has been made of the Southampton players that have exited the over the Summer, and how the new signings made by Ronald Koeman have come in and in many ways overshadowed them, but something or indeed someone has been forgotten.

It has seemingly slipped the minds of many that Southampton have started the season, not only dealing with the exits of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers but also without last season’s top scorer, Jay Rodriguez.

The perhaps most telling difference though, and one to strike fear into defences across the Premier League, Rodriguez will be back.

As Rodriguez recovers from the injury sustained at the Etihad last season, his teammates have had no trouble scoring, but with an up and coming forward like the former Burnley man chomping at the bit when he…

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Competition: Win a Pair of Savile Rogue Luxury Socks in Saints Colours!

GeorgeWeahsCousin.com has teamed up with Savile Rogue again to give you the chance to win a pair of luxury wool cashmere socks in Southampton red and white.
They’re football-style socks, but are a comfortable, luxurious and discrete way of wearing Saints colours with a suit or jeans.
Southampton socks 2 Southampton socks

To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is tell us this Rogue Saint is:-

RogueSaint
Tweet your answer to @gwcdotcom and @SavileRogue with hashtag #RogueSaint (to win you must be following both accounts).

There is a massive clue on this page! The winner will be picked at random from all correct answers one week from today (28/10/2014). Good Luck!

You can follow Savile Rogue on Twitter  or Facebook.

Chris

How Southampton smashed EIGHT past sorry Sunderland

Originally posted on Metro:

Jack Cork and Dusan Tadic celebrate one of Southampton’s many goals (Picture: Getty Images)

Have you ever seen that episode of ‘The Simpsons’ where the family have to go into witness protection to hide from Sideshow Bob?

There is a scene where the FBI are trying to teach Homer to respond to his new name ‘Mr Thompson’, but he keeps turning to someone else and saying ‘I think he’s talking to you’ in a hushed voice.

This might be the response you will get from any Saints fan if you point out to them that their team won 8-0 yesterday. But they did, they really did.

Going into a game with Sunderland comes with some trepidation, they are a bogey team (no win over them since 2003 until today) and they are managed by a classic Saints antagonist in Gus Poyet.

Initiate smug mode.

Ronald Koeman’s post match interview started with…

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Southampton v Sunderland: EA PPI Preview

Southampton have had a fantastic start to the season and find themselves in third place in the Premier League, which is largely down to them having the best defensive record in the Premier League so far. They will look to maintain their defensive form this weekend with their fourth clean sheet of the season, whilst adding to their 11 goals scored.

One man who has hit good form for Southampton up top is Graziano Pelle, with the Italian striker bagging four goals for the club already. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that his secret is to not be shy in front of goal, with the Italian taking 19 shots at goal already this term. The 29 year old has also grabbed an assist and will be looking to lay on and score more goals in the Saints’ fourth home game of the season. He is 21/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.

In the middle of the park, Morgan Schneiderlin has been in fantastic form so far this season, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has covered 86.4km of ground already this campaign, which is more than anybody in the Premier League. It is this hard work that has seen the French international win 27 tackles and make a further 12 interceptions, whilst getting his name on the score sheet three times already this season.

Southampton’s good work has all stemmed from defensive stability, of which Jose Fonte is a prime example. The Portuguese defender has started the season in prime form, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index statistics. He has won 88.23% of his tackles, made 30 clearances and also made 22 interceptions. He will hope to add to all of those statistics to ensure Southampton maintain third spot in the Premier League.

This week’s visitors to St. Mary’s will come into the game with confidence this weekend, having won their last match 3-1 at home to Stoke, prior to the international break. The Black Cats have lost only one game all season, and will not want that tally to get any higher this weekend, as a win could see them join Southampton in the top four.

In order to walk away with the three points, Sunderland will be relying on in form striker Steven Fletcher to deliver the goods. Fletcher has grabbed two goals already this season, scoring with 33.3% of his shots according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has also laid on another goal, but his focus this weekend will likely be finding more goals for himself. He is 7/2 to score anytime with 888sport.com.

In the middle of the park, Sebastian Larsson will be looking to win the battle with Morgan Schneiderlin, to give the Black Cats a stronghold in the game. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Sunderland midfielder has covered 70.06km so far this season, the most of any Sunderland player. His hard work has seen him grab a goal and two assists, and he will pose a threat to the sturdy Southampton back line this weekend.

With Southampton looking so solid in defence so far this season, it is crucial that Sunderland remain equally as astute at the back, given that the Saints’ have concede an average of only 0.71 goals per game. For this to happen, former Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone will have to be on top form. The Italian has already made 23 saves so far this season, but will be looking for a clean sheet to leave Sunderland unbeaten in five games.