Category Archives: Metro Reblog

Saints stuff Villa and are on the brink of Europe!

Saturday was a momentous day in football. As the world looked on, the sport brought the curtain down on a brilliant Premier League career.

A regular in the top flight since the mid-90’s everyone will be wishing Shay Given the best after his time at the top was ripped to pieces by a blistering Southampton attack.

Not many people were expecting Robbie Fowler’s 1994 hat trick record of four minutes and 33 seconds would ever be beaten, but with some generous assists from the hapless Ron Vlaar (perhaps a lucky escape for Saints fans last Summer) and Alan Hutton and tactical suicide from Tim Sherwood having his back four a ridiculously high line, Sadio Mane smashed it.

It took Mane just two minutes and 56 seconds to end the game with with Villa as a contest, though if you were to only…

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Five Relegated Premier League Players to boost the Saints Squad!

Southampton’s lack of depth this season has seen their campaign fizzle out and, while both QPR and Burnley may not have collectively made the grade at Premier League level, they have both had some standout players.

Here are five who I think could give the Southampton squad an edge.

1) Tom Heaton

If I were in charge of Saints, Heaton would be on my list of priority signings. The Burnley stopper has been exceptional and the Southampton travelling fans saw that first hand on their trip to Turf Moor. With Fraser Forster out for the foreseeable future, having to use Kelvin Davis and Paulo Gazzaniga at this level has cost the club dear. Heaton was, rightly in my opinion, touted for England honours earlier in the season, and he could be just what the club needs to…

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How Serious are Saints about the Europa League?

Around this time of every season, you will often hear journalists and pundits alike joke about how certain clubs are doing everything they can to avoid qualifying for the Europa League.

I never thought Southampton would be one of them.

Everybody knows the pitfalls of playing in the competition that frankly has too many games and includes far too many teams, but surely for an outfit like Saints, both the novelty and the fact that it would be the next point of progression for the club it would be worth the risk?

Everyone associated with the club keeps saying that Europe is the aim, yet performances on the pitch over the last month or so would suggest that it is anything but. Lacklustre, lethargic and largely lamentable, Saints ambled around the pitch in Leicester like a…

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Saints must stop the rot at Leicester!

We are almost at that historic day. The day we find out whether the euro-sceptic blues can keep themselves in the big house, or whether the Red’s can complete a dramatic turnaround from also-rans to trailblazers!

Election you say? No, I’m talking about Leicester City against Southampton.

There may not be a more pivotal fixture in the Premier League this weekend, as the Foxes can all but secure their miraculous recovery, while Saints must win to keep alive any hopes of an amazing fanfare finish to their season and secure European football.

If you had asked me six months ago what the result of this game might be I’d have confidently predicted a comfortable Southampton victory, but while former Saints boss Nigel Pearson has overseen a revival as good as any of our Premier League ‘Great Escapes’…

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The Pochettino Era Laid to Rest

Saturday’s game with Spurs felt like a full stop on the hostilities between the Southampton fans and Mauricio Pochettino.

‘Ronald Koeman Day’ was marked with orange clothing and the chants from the St Mary’s crowd in what was a fantastic atmosphere generated by both sets of fans were more commonly in support of the current incumbent of the top job on the South Coast than vitriol towards his predecessor.

The fact is, Saints have moved on and while the nature of Mauricio Pochettino’s departure stung at the time, you’ll struggle to find a supporter now who doesn’t believe Koeman’s appointment has improved the club’s fortunes further.

The Argentinian, with his surname like a posh Italian coffee did a great job himself in his time at Saints and hopefully now that can be recognised with the merit it deserves amongst the…

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Saints can heap pressure on former boss Pochettino

All eyes will be on Southampton’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s on Saturday lunchtime.

For a neutral it is exactly the type of game you want for a televised fixture.

Two sides who are difficult to separate in terms of form and league position, both going for the same prize, and with the added requirement of ‘needle’ that surrounds the return of Mauricio Pochettino.

I wonder though if the vitriol from the home crowd aimed at the Argentine might be more tongue in cheek than particularly angry, given how the season has panned out.

Pochettino must look at his current position, and then look at Saints and feel pretty silly for his reasoning for leaving the South Coast.

For a club like Tottenham, missing out on the Champion’s League is becoming their ‘raison d’être’…

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The Future is bright at St. Mary’s!

What sets Southampton apart from other clubs these days is their investment in youth.

Enough has been said about it now and it is common knowledge that the Saints Academy is the best in Britain, and has been for some years.

Often people will point out though that the Southampton youth sides don’t win anything ‘so can’t be that good’, but in comparison to the youth teams of say Chelsea or Manchester City, the coaching staff of the Southampton Under 21’s are constantly losing their best players to the first team.

In last night’s Under 21 Premier League Cup final that was evident as Southampton faced off against Blackburn Rovers with nine players who have represented the senior side at some point either in this season or last.

Paulo Gazzaniga, Jason McCarthy, Matt Targett, Dominic Gape, Harrison Reed, Sam…

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An offer too good to turn down?

Another great season for Southampton can only end with one inevitable summer of events.

The vultures that are the ‘bigger’ clubs are already circling as much like last year they look to patch up their own failings by trying to be a little more ‘Southampton’.

The two major focal points of that speculation so far have been Morgan Schneiderlin and Nathaniel Clyne. Both have been linked to the usual suspects, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs in the main, but the most recent rumour regarding Clyne can only be too good to be true.

There is a suggestion that Manchester United would be prepared to offer cash and Javier Hernandez to tempt Saints into a deal. Now, Nathaniel Clyne has been consistently superb in a Southampton shirt, let’s make no mistake about that, but is there a Saints fan around that would…

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Pleasing win, but not performance for Saints!

All every Southampton fan wanted this weekend was a victory.

After the agony of dominance over Everton but no points last time out, the result was all that mattered.

And we got it.

So why was there still a wave of negativity surrounding the game?

On paper, a 2-0 home victory over a side at the bottom of the table sounds like a relatively standard and satisfactory if not unspectacular result doesn’t it?

It does, but it is perhaps testament to how far Saints have come in the last couple of seasons that the manner of the win was not up to our new high level of standard.

In truth Saints were poor in the first half and bang average in the second, ending the game having had six less shots than a Hull City side that you would be forgiven…

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Put up or Shut time for Saints!

A home game against struggling Hull City might be just what the doctor ordered after yet another frustrating Goodison Park experience.

I have taken no pleasure in the fact I predicted the Tigers to be relegated some months ago, and ever since they have set about fulfilling my prophecy and have consistently made their way down the table, now just one place and two points above the drop zone.

Having won only two games in twelve, both of which came at the KC Stadium against fellow strugglers, Steve Bruce’s team should pose no threat to today’s opposition, but if any team knows what the threat of top flight demotion can bring out in a team, it’s the Saints.

We were the kings of it for much of the 1990’s.

Hull have suffered a hangover…

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