Saints Fans Greatest XI Revealed
Thursday, 29th Mar 2018 11:44
Saints fans voted earlier in the season for their greatest ever XI, do you agree with the final selection ?
It has to be said that the voting for the greatest ever XI was always going to be biased by age, the fact was that most who voted would not have seen Terry Paine for instance play for the club given that his last appearance was 44 years ago.
Indeed in the starting XI only Ball and Channon made debuts before 1986.
Likewise the inclusion of Nigel Adkins as assistant manager, Lawrie McMenemy would be the obvious choice as greatest manager due to his FA Cup win, but in m opinion Adkins 2 1/2 years at the club were good in the fact that he acheived double promotions, but does that really trump the achievements of Ted Bates who was the architect of the modern day success and spent 18 years as manager.
Peter Shilton as Goalkeeper was surely going to be the choice, at the time he played for Saints he was not only the best keeper in England but the best in the World at the time when there was a plethora of World Class keepers not only in Britain but across the globe.
Right back Jason Dodd was also a worthy winner, no one could argue with his service to the club over a period spanning around 16 years in the first team.
The central defenders were a little more age biased though, Claus Lundekvam and Jose Fonte were great servants and indeed great players for the club, but I do have to ask whether they were really better than both Chris Nicholl and Mark Wright who perhaps lost out because anyone under the age of 40 might not have seen them play for the club.
Wayne Bridge at left back was again a more modern choice, personally I would point to David Peach as his equal and I feel perhaps he can consider himself unlucky not to be included.
No one would perhaps argue with the midfield of Alan Ball, Matt Le Tissierand Adam Lallana, all can lay great claim to the position, however Steve Williams could perhaps be considered a greater player for Saints at least over both Ball and Lallana, the fact that he is not even on the bench shows the problems with votes such as this and how they will be heavily influenced by age
Up front again we have three worthy recipients in Rickie Lambert, Matt Le Tiss & Alan Shearer. But for Saints was Shearer really better than Ron Davies as a centre forward, 134 goals in 239 top flight appearances for Saints saw him at one time described as the best centre forward in Europe by Sir Matt Busby, yes Alan Shearer could lay claim to that same title, but not at Saints were his 23 goals in 105 appearances was not prolific and he left aged only 21 yet to reach his true potential.
The fact that Ron Davies does not even make the bench highlights the age issue yet again.
But the fact of the matter is you can only get votes from who saw the players play, to most Saints fans Ron Davies is just a name and that is why this exhibition at Sea City and indeed this poll is so important, the football club has long neglected it's heritage and that has reflected in the fact that for too long our supporters have not had the pride in our history and tradition that is prevalent at other clubs with both far or less richr history than ourselves.
This will hopefuly be the start of that being addressed, but to do that it needs the fans to engage and get along to this exhibition in droves.
• Peter Shilton
• Jason Dodd
• Alan Ball
• Rickie Lambert
SUBS: Antti Niemi, Mark Wright, Francis Benali, Ivan Golac, Morgan Schneiderlin, Terry Paine, Kevin Keegan.
MANAGER: Lawrie McMenemy
ASSISTANT MANAGER: Nigel Adkins
SeaCity’s exhibition will be open for seven months and will mark both the on and off-field history of the club, including never-seen-before memorabilia from the 1976 FA Cup and 2010 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy wins.
As well as charting the historical highs and lows, the exhibition will also show how the football club runs now, with an exclusive look behind the gates of Staplewood Campus.
Current members of the backroom staff – from sports scientists to academy coaches – give an insight into how the place ticks and what makes it one of the most respected training facilities in the country.
There will be a whole host of other insights, memorabilia and interactive experiences as part of the showcase.
Tickets for the exhibition cost just £3.50 per person or £2.50 for concessions and are available in-person at the SeaCity Museum
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Photo: Action Images
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