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Saints Need To Turn Atmosphere Toxic At The London Stadium
Wednesday, 28th Mar 2018 09:53

As news emerged that West Ham Owners David Gold & David Sullivan plan to erect a security barrier in front of the directors box for the clash on Saturday, Saints need to use the situation to their advantage.

Back in the 90's and the 00's we have seen plenty of fan protests at Southampton FC and we know how situations like this can either be used to the advantage of the team if handled in the right way, or can turn the atmosphere so toxic it makes it virtually impossible for the team to concentrate and get vital wins.

Whilst we are not advocating a situation that could turn very violent, something that the owners of West Ham Gold & Sullivan are obviously concerned about with plans emerging to build a security barrier in the are of the directors box to prevent disgruntled fans getting near them, it cannot be denied that a complete meltdon on the ptch for the home side would be very much in our interest.

Back in the 90's Saints fans protested against Ian Branfoot, but the protests were well organised and the fans were united in whilst proving a point to the manager and board, in staying firmly behnd the team during games and turning the energy into a positive during the 90 minutes, that is not the case at West Ham were various fan groups are bickering about what should and should not be done and death threats made to certain fans group leaders.

This has led to the situation they experienced at their last home game that saw multiple pitch invasions by individuals as well as a mob gather in front of the directors box during the closing stages of the game.

As I said it is hard to play in front of a toxic atmosphere for a home side and as much as we don't want to see a repeat of the incidents of a few weeks ago, if we can take the game by the scruff of the next and break the West Ham teams fragile confidence we can certainly use the atmosphere to our own advantage.

From our our own viewpoint we go into the game with a new manager and a new confidence and we have to hope that like other sides down the bottom who saw initial surges in form when they sacked the old and appointed a new manager, we can see the same.

Te reality is this is a very key game, win it and we take a big step towards safety, lose it and it will be very difficult to get out of the mire.

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darthvader added 10:05 - Mar 28
I can see us scoring a couple of breakaway goals so pace will be needed. Sims,long,gabbi has the pace Austin the fire power and able to shoot or head for goal on sight .concentration at the back and the points are ours.
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steve73 added 11:01 - Mar 28
I definitely recall some games under Branfoot where the atmosphere was utterly hostile and full of anger. Felt like things could kick off at any moment. I get nostalgic about the old times too but we were no angels back then. I agree though, turning their joke of a stadium toxic will definitely help our cause and I think it's guaranteed to happen. It'll make it difficult for us too but it's a great chance for a good win.
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SaintNick added 11:40 - Mar 28
You are right there were many games under Branfoot where the atmosphere was very toxic, but the fans getting together with a coordinated campaign channeled the protest into support during games, most famulsy the 2-1 win over Newcastle
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bstokesaint added 12:34 - Mar 28
I can't help but think when things are going against you one player you don't want to face is Charlie Austin. He has a habit of sticking the knife in (no nasty pun intended).
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SaintBrock added 14:42 - Mar 28
I hope your piece is not a conspiracy to encourage a riot Nick. Would hate to see you go down for a stretch.
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BoondockSaint added 15:03 - Mar 28
It appears the Wet Spam crowd have made it toxic enough on their own and don't need our help.
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halftimeorange added 16:39 - Mar 28
Toxic atmosphere or not our players and our fans have got to turn up as one. If we get off to our customary indifferent start there can't be any fall-off in vocal support. Hopefully, MH will have a good idea of who is up for it and who is hoping to move on at the end of the season and picks the right eleven - or McCarthy plus ten. Failure at this game is tantamount to the team giving in and accepting its fate and at least we will definitely know that we haven't got the right mix of characters in the dressing room for a battle. West Ham probably have and I don't see them being relegated even if we win. We have to hope that Huddersfield will prove to be our stepping stone to safety but only if we can take that step. I'm not convinced. I've seen very little to suggest the players have the right mindset. Mark Hughes really hasn't had enough time to give them the belief, even if he has the capability. The problems go back months as we all very well know. Time for a bit of the four musketeers spirit methinks - all for one, etc.
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saintmark1976 added 17:49 - Mar 28
I just can't see that there will be a toxic atmosphere on Saturday.

Even their board of directors are surely not stupid enough to allow a repeat of the scenes surrounding the last game against Burnley?

Expect a massive security increase together with large numbers of police. Added to which the fans have had their "fifteen minutes in the sun" and it has got them absolutely nothing other than a series of stadium banning orders.
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lemmsy added 17:54 - Mar 28
For me it needs a classic away performance,
DO NOT CONCEDE in the first 20,quiten the home crowd and turn them against themselves. Nick a goal on the break and the gradually dominate the game.
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