Tag Archives: January

I know what you did last Summer….

I know what you did last summer. The title of a horror movie of questionable quality and perhaps a statement that may have seemed relevant for the horror that was the previous transfer window for Southampton fans.

If somebody had said to you then that Ronald Koeman would be cementing foundations in his squad during the January window in the hope that they can maintain their position in the top four and potentially qualify for the Champion’s League you would have shipped them off to the madhouse quicker than a dodgy Graeme Souness signed Liberian legend’s family member. But here we are.

Saints made two signings on deadline day, one that will give Koeman a further option in attack and another that won’t change the look of the squad, but will be a signal of their intentions to their challengers for the top four.

Serbian international Filip Djuricic is a skilful player…

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That’s your Fil! Djuricic signs for Saints!

In what turned out to be a pretty successful end to a transfer window many still feared might see another player exodus, Saints sealed the loan deal for Serbian international Filip Đuričić on loan from Benfica as well as the highly popular move of making Ryan Bertrand’s move from Chelsea permanent.

We all know plenty about Bertrand after his brilliant start to life as a Saint, but what of Djuricic (The English way of typing it). I’ll admit I know little about the player, so as is now tradition for the site I spoke to an expert. Milos, who runs the @SerbianFooty twitter account kindly stepped in to fill the void!

Finally, after lot’s of talk from journalists, Filip Djuricic is finally a Saint! Is this a good move for the club?

M ‘I think it’s a good move, Koeman remembers him from the Dutch league and thinks highly of him, otherwise he wouldn’t have brought him in. He could add another attacking spark in midfield and help Saints earn a Champions League spot.’

How do I pronounce his surname?

M ‘It’s pronounced kinda like Jew-rich-ich. The DJ makes a J sound in Serbian.’

There have been a lot of talk about him being a ‘utility’ player, what would you say is his best position?

M ‘His best position is definitely in attacking midfield just behind the strikers. He can also play on the left wing.’ 

What would you say are his main strengths and weaknesses?

M ‘His main strengths are his speed, technical ability and dribbling. As for weaknesses he definitely needs to get stronger, he is often overpowered by stronger defenders. He also needs to be more consistent and work on his decision masking, he tends to make some risky passes that get his team in trouble.’ 

Oooh Football Friends.
Oooh Football Friends.
He seems to have not made a big impact at Benfica or Mainz, do you see him being a big player in the Premier League?

M ‘Yes he has struggled since leaving the Dutch league, His confidence is low right now but Koeman seems to really believe in him so hopefully that will motivate him and help him return to his old form. I have some doubts about him in the PL but i also think that this could be the right situation for him since he has Koeman and his good friend Dusan Tadic to help him.’ 

What have you made of Dusan Tadic at Saints so far?

M ‘I think overall he’s been great considering this is his first season in a big league. Of course he can improve his finishing as well as his crossing at times but that should come with more experience. Hopefully he stays with Saints for a few more years.’

There we have it! Thanks again to Milos for providing such good answers, let’s hope we can see a winning debut at QPR!

Chris

January Transfer Window: Should we bolt it shut?

Paul Smith

Stephen Crainey   Danny Higginbotham  Calum Davenport   Olivier Bernard

Ryan Smith   David Prutton  Nigel Quashie  Lee Molyneux

Jonathan Forte  Dany N’Guessan

The bad, the very bad, and the ugly.

Not a great team is it? What do they have in common? They are all master strokes by Saints in the fabled January transfer window. I challenge any club to come up with a worse lineup from January signings than that?

If you look at our entire signing history since the January window came about, it is ridiculously unimpressive.

2002/03

Danny Higgenbotham, David Prutton.

2003/04

Paul Smith, Stephen Crainey.

2004/05

Nigel Quashie, Jamie Redknapp, Olivier Bernard, Calum Davenport.

Hands up if you are a competent left back?
Hands up if you are a competent left back?

2005/06

Bartosz Bialkowski, Alexander Ostlund, Jim Brennan.

2008/09

Lee Molyneux, Ryan Smith.

2009/10

Jose Fonte, John Otsemobor, Dan Seaborne, Lee Barnard

2010/11

Jonathan Forte, Richard Chaplow, Dany N’Guessan

2011/12

Tadanari Lee, Billy Sharp

There are some clear exceptions, Jose Fonte, Dan Seaborne, Lee Barnard, Richard Chaplow and Billy Sharp have all made big contributions, and Tadanari Lee hasn’t had much of a chance to show us what he’s got, but when John Otsemobor isn’t making that eleven it shows just how poor it is.

January is the time when managers might panic buy, and looking at some of those names (Anyone seen a worse professional defender than Calum Davenport?) that must have been the case.

Undoubtedly we will strengthen again this season (though Nigel Adkins has surprised a few by saying there won’t be another keeper coming in), but let’s hope they are more the calibre of the last few seasons than the early 00’s!

More Jose Fonte’s, less Olivier Bernard’s please.

The players brought in in the summer look to have been pretty solid so far, so let’s hope the transfer policy continues in the same vein over the next 30 days. You can make or break your season with the acquisitions you make in this window. More quality needs to come in, but not at the expense of the team spirit and unity. Not an easy job.

No doubt we are in for some of the usual bonkers rumours, but we should remember to be patient.

p.s. If this hasn’t depressed you enough, have a butchers at the players that have LEFT us in January transfer windows….. Chris Marsden, Antti Niemi, James Beattie, Theo Walcott…

Chris

As featured on NewsNow: Southampton FC news

B Sharp To End Saints Season on a High Note?

Saints have tonight confirmed the signing of Doncaster Rovers forward Billy Sharp for an undisclosed fee.

In what has been an ongoing saga for sometime, Saints have finally got their man, a move that shows that the club has in no way lost sight of their target of gaining promotion at the first attempt. The transfer window signings of Iago Falque, Tadanari Lee, the prodigal son style return of Jason Puncheon and now that of Sharp signal a clear attacking intent from an already fruitful side.

Yorkshireman Sharp has spent the majority of his career in his home region, starting at Rotherham United, before joining his beloved Sheffield United in 2004. Things didn’t work out at Bramall Lane and he spent his only previous spell outside Yorks with a loan move at Rushden & Diamonds.

It was with the now defunct  Northamptonshire club that his goalscoring exploits were first seen, netting nine times in his sixteen appearances.

Scunthorpe United were the club that took a chance on him in the summer of 2005 and they weren’t to be disappointed as Sharp hit twenty four in his first season. In November 2006 the Iron appointed a certain bespectacled Scouser by the name of Adkins and Scunthorpe never looked back. Sharp hit the net thirty three times in all competitions as he fired them to the summit of League One.

Iron fan Aiden McCartney from The Iron Supplement (check here for an interesting piece on Jack Cork) gave us his take on the striker:-

After much persistence by Brian Laws, a 19-year-old striker named Billy Sharp joined Scunthorpe from Sheffield United for £100,000 in August 2005.

Considered relatively anonymous then, that soon changed especially in a small part of Northern Lincolnshire.

He made himself an instant hero on his debut by scoring the winner against Nottingham Forest but that was just the sign of times to come as Sharp became one of the greatest signings in our history.

In his first season at Glanford Park, Sharp netted 23 times to ensure that the Iron comfortably survived in League One. Starring alongside young Irish forward Andy Keogh in a formidable partnership, he had soon established himself as one of the brightest young strikers in the game.

Despite a decent first campaign in League One, no-one quite foresaw the success on the horizon. However with Billy leading the line anything was possible as the next unforgettable year demonstrated.

After a slow start, the Iron exploded into life and a long unbeaten run took us straight to the summit with young Sharp scoring for fun.  

Laws departed for Sheffield Wednesday but Nigel Adkins stepped up from his previous role as physio. He was a more than capable replacement, improving the football and certainly bringing the best out of Sharp.

Although Billy’s partner in crime Keogh also left, he was soon replaced by out of favour Leeds forward Jermaine Beckford who proved to be the catalyst for the Iron’s success.  

He established a potent partnership with Billy as the Iron romped to the League One title, finishing six points clear of our closest rivals.  

Finishing the season on 32 goals, the highest in all four divisions, Sharp had demonstrated his obvious ability and a £2 million pound move back to Bramall Lane followed but not before leaving a legacy at Glanford Park. With 56 goals in just 94 games it is easy to see why.

Seeing Adkins and Sharp together again today brought back some fantastic memories for Scunthorpe fans. If Sharp and Adkins can repeat history then the promised land of the Premier League should appear just that bit closer for Saints fans.”

Sharp and now Saints Assistant Manager Andy Crosby celebrate promotion.

Sharp’s exploits made him hot property and when his boyhood club came calling it wasn’t a difficult decision to make, but again things didn’t work out with the Blades as he might have liked, and after finding himself out of favour Sharp went on loan to Doncaster Rovers. Sharp again found his feet outside Sheffield and was soon amongst the goals, hitting fifteen and sixteen goals in his first two seasons respectively.

Rovers fan Lewis Ward from Donny blog Vikingsbloggen spoke to us about Sharp:-

“Despite only having been at Doncaster Rovers for one full season, Billy Sharp is truly a Rovers’ legend. He is a fantastic player with one hell of a shot on him, it is hard to see Rovers score without him. He’s scored 25 goals since joining us permanently at the start of last season, where he has also had two long term injuries. Sharp came back to score against Middlesbrough for us in November, only days after the death of his son showing how much of a true professional he is. Billy Sharp is a player that should be a great addition to any team, and one we will be heartbroken to lose.

Doncaster Rovers supporters cannot praise Sharp enough, we wish him the very best in the future – he deserves it!”

Sharp has hit ten goals so far this season for Doncaster, an impressive feat in a side struggling at the foot of the Championship table, he captured the hearts of football fans everywhere when he took the field and scored for Rovers just days after the tragic death of his newborn son Luey and scored the only goal when Saints were defeated at the Keepmoat earlier in the season.

True Courage. Sharp's tribute to son Luey.

Welcome to Saints Billy Sharp.

Chris