The FA Cup Draw Invokes The Spirit Of 76
Tuesday, 30th Jan 2018 10:22
If there is a time when Saints need a good omen it is now and the draw for the 5th round of the FA Cup provided that with a trip to West Bromwich Albion.
Saints and West Bromwich Albion were big rivals in the League in 1975/76 season with both fighting for promotion from the then Second Division back to the top flight.
That season would turn out magical in Saints history, but those that were there will remember that the first half o the season was not the bed of roses that you would assume some 40 years later, it was riddled with supporter discontent after Lawrie McMenemy had taken us down in his first season and then the following had seen us struggle back in the second tier spending most of the season in the bottom half of the table.
That meant 1975/76 was crucial, not just for McMenemy, but the club in general who would not be able to hold on to the big names like Channon and Osgood for much longer.
Although it started well it soon dropped off and by early December we were as low as 12th and the crowd was restless and the manager's head was firmly in their sights.
A rally at Xmas saw us rise as high as 4th in a time when it was 3 promoted automatically, but that form had gone in April and when we travelled to West Bromwich Albion on February 14th in the 5th round of the cup, we were sat in 6th and the season was finely balanced and with West Brom favourites for this tie, it was not a rosy outlook for the club or it's manager.
But something changed in the supporters that weekend, it had perhaps surfaced the week before when thousands travelled to Bristol City, but this tie at the Hawthorns captivated Saints fans in a way that virtually no other game had done in a decade.
For a reason not really apparent then or even now an army of 12,000 travelled, making up a third of the 36,634 crowd and the team played in Yellow and Blue for the first time in the competition.
It was a draw, it turned out that the Saints team were riddled with a virus, it took a late Bobby Stokes goal to keep Saints in the cup and that in itself was prophetical. The replay was won in front of a full house at the Dell a few days later and the dream was on.
But something had changed amongst the fans, the mindset had changed, instead of negativity and moaning about how the team was once again failing to succeed, there was a renewed passion in the fan base, a feeling that things were changing and the rest as they say is history.
So this is a good omen that 42 years after our greatest season we are again going to West Bromwich Albion in the 5th round of the FA Cup (OK I know we also went there in the same round in 78/79, although that was another season we played at Wembley so another omen perhaps) and it can again be the catalyst for a Saints revival both on and off the field.
It is a chance for the team to win games and for the fans to get behind it, show some passion, show some pride and get behind the team, in 75/76 that was the case, as supporters we need to learn from history and ironically repeat it.
If you want another omen this is the second round running we travel to a Premier club and then face them in the FA Cup two weeks later.
So like 1976 this could be a great ending to the season, you are either with the team or against it, the cold reality though is this, we beat West Bromwich Albion twice and the season could just start to get interesting.
Get two free £10 bets by opening a new account at William Hill. Place an initial bet of a minimum of £10 and William Hill will give you two £10 bets. You must enter the promotional code ''F20'' when signing up as a new customer.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 28 bloggers
A Hollywood script plays out in the Spotland sun by AtThePeake
It isn’t always easy being a Rochdale supporter. With the majority of the town’s footballing interest being soaked up by local behemoths Manchester City and Manchester United, the club’s attendances rarely break 3,000 home supporters.
Gylfi Not Irreplaceable- But Not Trying To Directly Replace Him Is Smart by BarneyLW
So the dust has finally settled. In what seemed like the most painstaking saga in living memory, Gylfi Sigurdsson is an Everton player. A man the club were silently resigned to eventually losing has moved on and like so often in the past, the club must plan for life without their star player.
Too many things for a title, but stop with the xenophobia accusations! by waynekerr55
I had planned to write this in a different fashion, but Bob Bradley's departure from the club changes a section of this blog. The conclusion was as expected. A seemingly good man and a tryer who simply wasn't up to the job. In short he should never have been given the job.
A New Hope At the Liberty? by BarneyLW
A feeling of déjà vu rose with the sun over Swansea this morning. Another manager out the door, another few days of links, speculation, supposed sightings of candidates spotted outside Rossi’s sampling the scampi. But for the first time in recent memory, there is hope in the air.
Swans Fans Were Angry- In A Totally Positive Way How a Common Enemy Helped Guidolin’s side pull of by BarneyLW
A return from the international break, which in truth was needed to clear the air around the club. A frustrating transfer market compounded and exacerbated back-to-back defeats against Hull City and the champions, Leicester. Boardroom shake-ups and a tough run of games has given the Jack Army little to be optimistic about.
[ Vote here ]