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Positivity Needed On Saturday
Wednesday, 11th Apr 2018 09:53

Whilst some Saints fans may find it hard to find anything positive about this season, the reality is we need a stadium full of positive vibes and 100% the home fans 100% behind their team.

There has been an air of negativity in the fan base around St Mary's this season, from the first month of the season many were telling you that the team were going to be relegated under Mauricio Pellegrino and many of those who were depicting doom and gloom back then are queueing up to tell you they were right.

Perhaps they were but with a lot of water under the bridge since then and most of it now up to their necks the time for pointing fingers is over, at least for a few weeks and we all need to focus what we want to achieve in the final games of the season.

Those who stuck up for the manager, board and owners were dismissed as happy clappers and a big section of the club's support has been willing to point the blame at those three areas, even though in the case of the owners at least they have given little evidence that they are doing anything other than back those currently running the football club based on the fact that it has been a successful four seasons previously.

But now is the time to stop squabbling on social media and get behind the team where it matters and that is in the stands on Saturday.

No football club or indeed business can survive when it's core is surrounded by negativity, places like McDonalds have a poor reputation because they are seen as having staff who in the main are surly and disinterested, it gives people a negative attitude about the place because they see that the staff don't even like the Company so why should they, in turn the customers are rude back to the staff and the circle continues unbroken.

Successful business's have employee's who enjoy working for the company because it treats them well and that goes right down the line.

It's the same in life, those who succeed do so because they are positive, they believe that they can achieve their aims and they blame no one but themselves if they don't, when that happens they look at the root cause and don't blame all and sundry.

Those who fail do so because they have a negative attitude from the start, if something goes wrong it is always someone else's fault, they will always have an excuse as to why it has gone wrong and t is rarely their own fault.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule and sometimes things are beyond our control, but those who recover from setbacks that are not of their own making do so because they don't let it drag them down.

Football club's are no different, yes perhaps today's multi millionaire footballer should be motivated without the need of 30,000 supporters to cheer him on, but this is sport and sport is different, that is why we love football the chance of the unexpected.

Our nest two games are against Chelsea, on paper they have more and better paid multi millionaire footballers than us, so there has to be something that happens that changes the game, ours have to get a passion inside of them that gives them that extra urgency, that extra 10% that carries them over the line.

We can either sit back and blame the players, the managers, the board and even the owners, but we also have to make sure that we can't blame ourselves as well.

This is not happy clapping and supporting the team whatever the problems with our heads in the sand, this is about looking as to why we support Southampton Football Club, what it means to us, what it means to the City and what it means for us to avoid relegation and perhaps even get to an FA Cup semi final.

It is about having pride in our team, our City and even ourselves.

In the final games of this season we need to replicate the Great Escape of 1999 when every game home and away was turned into a sea of red & white and a belief that we could pull clear.

That belief wasn't always there that season, but it was in the final few games of that season and the fans knew they had done their part in helping the team.

So every Saints fans needs to look at themselves and ask whether they are doing enough to help the team, not everyone can go in the Northam and sing their hearts out, we all support the team in different ways, for some doing a little bit more is a few more words of encouragement, if a few thousand more do that then it becomes a murmur and then it becomes an atmosphere and suddenly it is no longer a morgue.

For others it is just about turning up for a game or two and that brings me on to Wembley next week.

I cannot believe that ticket sales are so slow, to put this in perspective in the modern era Saints have played in only 2 FA Cup Finals in 100 years, the number of semi finals played in is not much better, this is only the 2nd in 32 years, so why are so many shunning it.

The excuses I hear about entertainment and goals etc surely should have no bearing on attending a semi final, I can understand why someone would not go to a League game against Huddersfield at St Mary's, but this is an FA Cup Semi Final, these things are about finally having something to cheer about, it seems some would rather wallow in misery and keep moaning, yet here is the chance for a little success, it's been 15 years since the last FA Cup semi, the one before that was in 1996 32 years ago, these things don't come round on a regular basis.

I often quote the late great Bill Shankly who once said "If you can't support us when we are doing badly then don't bother when we are doing well" I have always thought that was a fair comment about supporting a football club, we all decry the band wagon jumpers.

But this is the exact opposite, we have many long term supporters that have sat through years of misery and now just when there is a glimmer of a trophy, prefer to cut their noses off to spite their faces by not going to a major semi final.

The same people who were telling everyone a couple of years ao that the ground needed expanding and shouted anyone down who questioned that or even our chances of getting into the Champions League and accused them of being negative are in the main the same people who are now refusing to go to Wembley

I like many have had enough of the bloated Premier League, but I support Southampton Football Club through thick and thin, I have supported the team for over 46 years, most of that time has been in seasons that have been as bad as this one on and off the field, we have seen relegations, near bankruptcy, mediocre seasons and many poor players and managers, we have also seen some good seasons.

But good has usually meant a top 10 League placing and European Qualification, we are withing spitting distance of a trophy, stay at home if you want, but I personally am not going to miss what is essentially one of our biggest games in the 46 years I have been going !

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highfield49 added 10:48 - Apr 11
For me the semi final is a distraction and irrelevant in terms of where we are, give me three points from each of the Chelsea, Swansea and Bournemouth games and no wins for those lurking around the relegation zone and my mood will lift. I'm not a defeatist by nature and still follow the team and support it with passion as I have done since the 1950's but the semi final feels like an unwanted party invite when I have other things more important in life. I have a feeling that Chelsea supporters may also be deflated at present so the atmosphere could be a bit strange this weekend, yes we have to get behind the team but the players have to lift the supporters as well by getting stuck in with real determination.
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DorsetIan added 11:49 - Apr 11
It's been a long time since the last home game, it's Hughes' first home game on Saturday and it looks like the sun might be shining. I think that there will be a bit of excitement and anticipation in the air, and that the atmosphere will be much better for what really is a 'must win' game.

I don't really buy the line that the players haven't been trying and just think that a lot of them didn't know quite how to try, what to do etc. And others (disappointingly) just haven't been good enough footballers. There is no doubt in my mind that they will be up for this game.

And Wembley, yes, it is hard to put your hand so deep into your pocket when the season has been so so disappointing but I took the view that most fans don't get to go to that many FA Cup semis, so I didn't think I could deny my sons that chance.

A couple of good results this week - wouldn't 6 points be nice! - and those unsold tickets will be snapped up.

Marching on...
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SanMarco added 11:51 - Apr 11
I feel that the fact that the cups do not feel as important as they did is something that has been done to us by media and the game itself rather than something we chose. We had a chance of promotion at semi-final time in 76. We would probably play a 'weakened' team nowadays - I can't remember where Palace were in the 3rd division table but they would have done the same thing probably.

Also the atmosphere in football stadiums is volatile nowadays due to EPL hype/media as much as anything - we probably all expect far too much and let's face it we have been badly let down over the past couple of seasons. Add social media to that and it is a volatile mix. The line drawn by fans is that the players need to be seen to be trying and the manager needs to seem to know what he's doing (ie what more vocal fans are screaming at the time)...
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saintjf added 12:19 - Apr 11
I think people are fully entitled to moan at what as so far been a truly terrible season for Saints. I would love to see premiership survival and I make no secret in being far more interested in that and the long term future of the club than in a cup run. We are now relegation favourites and that cannot be ignored even when sitting at Wembley watching a cup semi final.
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LordDZLucan added 12:41 - Apr 11
I think the negativity is due to a sense of having missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity to become one of the big boys. You see a team stuffed full of ex Saints players reach a Champions League semi-final and you think that could have been us if Cortese had been allowed to fulfill his vision. But an owner with exceedingly deep pockets decided that she didn't want to risk a small part of her wealth on something as frivolous as a football club. So 'No' we haven't joined the big boys and instead we've now got a squad that is not as good as we thought it was and which is battling to stay up. It didn't have to be like this which is why the fans are disillusioned.
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SaintBrock added 16:04 - Apr 11
Thanks for the lecture Nick. Maybe you can explain how exactly to express positivity at St Mary's on Saturday.

Buying a burger there instead of calling at MacDonalds on the way?
Clapping the Chelsea players when the ball goes in our net?
Singing "Always look on the bright side"? when Ward-Prowse executes yet another perfect back-pass from the edge of their box to the half-way line?

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redwight added 17:12 - Apr 11
Good piece Nick and hard to argue against, although that hasn't stopped some. Personally I would take a cup win if relegation was the price. Just as no one, then or now, would have exchanged the cup for promotion in '76. And before others say 'ask Wigan fans', well I think we already know their answer.
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