After reading some great buildup pieces yesterday, notably by Sam Dobson and Sean Gonzalez-Lambert, it got me thinking that the whole Adkins/Pochettino/Cortese situation read quite like a Shakespearean tragedy. What do you think?
5th November 2012. Southampton is mutinous. The citizens protesting at their rulers incompetence and a lack of points.
‘What’s the matter, you dissentious rogues,
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourselves scabs?’
8th December 2012. Senator Adkins has appeased the citizens, but rumours persist that behind the scenes that he is a puppet and speaking on behalf of another.
‘They threw their caps
As they would hang them on the horns o’ the moon,
Shouting their emulation.’
18th January 2013. Senator Adkins is banished from Southampton by the King and immediately replaced by Senator Pochettino.
‘His nature is too noble for the world:
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for ’s power to thunder.’
21st January 2013. Senator Pochettino arrives in Southampton, a small (very, very small) number of Southampton citizens protest with the waving of their white hankies (hankies? It’s 2013…).
‘You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o’ the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcases of unburied men
That do corrupt my air,–I banish you.’
9th February 2013. Senator Pochettino’s men defeat the horde of Manchester, repelling them from the city.
‘Would you have me
False to my nature? Rather say I play
The man I am’
30th March 2013. Senator Pochettino’s men, having already defeated the Scouse army, successfully defend the city and points against the conquerers of Europe. The aggressive relentless style of his army gaining praise the land over.
‘Had I a dozen sons, each in my love alike and none less dear than thine and my good Marcius, I had rather eleven die nobly for their country than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.’
6th April 2013. Senator Pochettino will lead his men to Reading to face off against the army of former Southampton leader Senator Adkins. What will be the result?
‘Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.’
Whatever happens on Saturday, my own position on this is that, though as fans we have a lot to thank Nigel Adkins for there comes a time when the ‘period of grief’ has to stop. For me, MoPo has proved now that he is capable of the job and the football we are playing is impressive to the point of unbelievable. He should, no longer, have to fight for our affections with Nigel. He should have them fully.
The three points is vital on Saturday, we can put ourselves on the brink of safety, and that above all else is the most important thing. The club has moved on. We can show our appreciation for Nigel at the Madejski with polite applause when he walks out of the tunnel, but does there need to be anymore than that? And it should be followed by a rousing rendition of ‘Pochettino’s Red & White Army’. We have to live in the now.
Come the final whistle, should we have the three points be in the bag, then why not give Nigel a send off and let loose with ‘One Nigel Adkins’. Closure.
In an ideal world Saints and Reading could both stay up, but the world isn’t ideal, especially in football, and if our safety means condemning the man who brought us a lot of joy over the past couple of years then so be it. The King is dead, Long live the King.
‘What is the city but the people?’
p.s. All quotes from the brilliant Shakespeare play ‘Coriolanus’. Watch the film with Ralph Fiennes. It’s great.