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Time To Be Proud Of Southampton Football Club !
Saturday, 11th Aug 2018 11:46

Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of negativity surrounding Southampton Football Club in the fan base, it's time to give the club a chance.

It's easy to look back four years ago ad see the Ronald Koeman era as a golden period in the club's history, for good reason as well, it was the start of the club truly getting their act together both on and off the pitch, but it wasn't the smooth path that some seem to remember.

The days before the start of the season saw the fanbase in total meltdown, people now talk about the lack of goals from Pelle and Sadio Mane being sadly missed and talk about them in reverential terms, but a significant number of the crowd were on their backs from literally their first kick, on his home debut Pelle was being ironically cheered after only 15 minutes if he won a header.

2015/16 was our best season in over 30 years, but with two months left of it 16th was looking more likely than 6th and Sadio Mane hadn't scored a Premier League goal in 5 months then it all went mad.

What those two whirlwind seasons showed is that in football you have to be patient, you can't win every game and sometimes you have to take a step backwards to go forwards, last season was poor, but it still saw an FA Cup semi final and we have had precious little of that over the last three decades.

So as supporters we should recognise the great strides the club has made in the last four years and the position we are in, last season is over, we are still in the Premier League and we are in a far better position than we have been at most times since the early 80's.

So the message is "Give the club a chance" at the moment there is too much negativity, go on social media and the mere mention of Gao Jisheng's name is enough to bring out a tirade of abuse ranging from that he is asset stripping to that he doesn't know the names of the squad.

What has Gao done to deserve such abuse ? the answer is nothing, he has invested in the club, he has allowed it to continue to run as it has done so well, he hasn't interfered or sought publicity, ask most football fans and they would see that as the ideal owner, someone who lets those who know how to run a football club get on with it and doesn't try to use it as his own plaything to massage his ego.

The only real accusation that could be made is that he is a terrible asset stripper, this summer he has blundered in letting over £50 million be given to other football clubs for players when as many were predicting he would be putting it into his bank account.

Now I am not saying that everything is rosy at St Mary's that mistakes haven't been made , but having been made we can't change them, so we need to stop harping on about them and look forwards, hopefully Ralph Krueger, Les Reed et al have learned from those mistakes and we will be stronger for the experience, certainly for what they have done in the past they deserve a little more respect than a lot of our supporters give them.

So we need to restore the pride back in Southampton Football Club, I am proud to be a Saints supporter, I am in it for the long haul, for me being a supporter is about taking the ups and downs, I am as proud that I was at Swansea last season for a crucial win as I am that I was at Wembley in 1976.

Personally I am sick to death of the negative comments, the sarcastic comments ,yes it is everyone's personal choice whether they have a season ticket or not, but for me and thousands like me across the country, we do not see it as a badge of honour to tell the world on social media that you are not renewing it because we have had a couple of bad seasons.

In conclusion there is too much of deciding that things are going wrong before the actually have, this is a new season it's a clean slate, I don't know whether Danny Ings will be our saviour or a flop, I don't know whether Jannik Vestergaard will be the new Virgil Van Dijk or Vegard Forren, but till I have seen him play a few times I'm not going to decide that they are rubbish and start demanding that Les Reed be sacked.

This summer Saints didn't sell key players they have kept the squad intact and improved it, people say we can't keep selling and buying players, but the reality is we have too, we are light years behind the income streams that the Big Six have so we have to do something different than the rest of the Premier League, we have to keep moving forward, if we are not selling players then we are not succeeding, it shows that no one wants them, we have a strategy in the main it's working.

Last season wasn't our worst season ever, nor was the one before, historically neither are anyway near, they were just poor seasons, all football clubs have them, we are still in the Premier League we are stronger for the experience.

So get behind the team, be proud of Southampton Football Club, lets get rid of this air of negativity that is dragging us down, enjoy what it means to follow a football team, the good times are better when you have been there for the bad times.

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codge added 12:07 - Aug 11
Good points Nick totally agree we have to wait and see how we do, we have to get behind the team and Mark Hughes and go from there. Coyr.
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ashdownlad added 12:18 - Aug 11
Well said, the problem now is that 'everyone's an expert'. A few hours on the play station and they know all about the team! Reality just doesn't work like that! Gao hasn't put a considerable amount of money into the the club to see it wasted. We don't know what goes on behind the scenes and in training, people who are qualified and in the know do and are paid accordingly to improve and enhance our club, which I feel they do admirably!
What do the doom and gloom merchants hope to achieve by constantly deriding and decrying the club and the people who run it?
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BlackAngel added 14:40 - Aug 11
Bang on Nick! We do now have a squad of quality players, and it is a fact that apart from the tactics adopted by a team, the other major element that determines success from failure is the attitude and motivation of the team. We as supporters, affect that motivation directly. Criticism may be necessary, when needed - but not before a ball has been kicked in a competitive game and certainly not booing during a game.

It may take time for the new team to gel on the pitch and our role is to provide our support to help motivate the players, not to berate them. For example I had a guy sat next to me shouting abuse at 'Redmond' last season at nearly every game he played, even though (as I pointed out to him) he was often directing his ire at Ryan Bertrand! How does that help?!
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helpineedsomebody added 15:02 - Aug 11
mark hughes had to be given the job after what he & his coaching staff have done last season .
but his record shows he is only an average manager & tackticks wise he is not very clever but the board have back him with 5 new players
so the board have had 3mths working with him so they must have confidence in him but they will looking at the results in the next 6 /8 games & if they see the same things that went on at stoke under his watch well they will not wait until xmas this time around.
the new owner has morgage the club & the training to a bank in australia so the next 2 years all epl money & season ticket sales have gone to skippy so this time next year he would have paid back the bank £100 million pounds & as long as we stay in the epl he will do it again, its similar to what the glaziers are doing at man utd at leist we dont have to pay back £1.5 million pounds a week in interest charges.
ML cleared all the dedts when he bourght the club , then left the club up to its neck in dedt
thankS ML & JG ps lets hope we stay in the epl ,then we can all go to china to watch the saints play on borrowed money woopee.
so reasons to be happy club in
1 DEDT
2 NO INVESTMENT BY THE NEW OWNER WHATS SO
EVER
3 etc etc ect





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underweststand added 08:52 - Aug 12
NIck !.. firstly I think your headline is a bit "confusing/provocative ? ".
As a Saints fan who was born in the city and watched my first game in 1959 (!)... the idea of NOT being proud of Saints isn't something that came to mind, even when we were bottom of L1. Every club has its share of ups and downs, and I see last season as a blip, rather than an omen of impending disaster.

This site (and a number of others) has its share of "fair weather fans" who think that no "big money signings" means a lack of investment, yet still complain that we spent £20 million on someone like Carrillo. Many of the players who have left in recent seasons were bought for "a song", and were sold for much more...and our overall transfer tally (+/- £ wise) is almost in balance ...it's not our fault that the FFP rules don't allow us to match "bigger clubs" salary levels), although I often wonder about the ownership of other clubs who spend £150-200 million a year - without winning anything at all.

The root of our current problem was seeing Koeman "jump ship" at the last minute, but even the "unpopular" Claude Puel kept us in the top half and got us to a Cup Final, but IMHO it was his tactics that were basically wrong - not the playing personnel. Sadly ... Pellegrino didn't know what he was buying into at this level, and certainly didn't use the squad well ..e.g. by the time he started playing Charlie Austin regularly, we'd already dropped 13 home points, and Forster should have been replaced with McCarthy much earlier. In retrospect, MP was a wrong choice, but you can only appoint someone to a job based on the quality of those who apply, and it was done at very short notice.

Despite "the problems" MH had at Stoke, he is at heart - a striker, (as his own record proves) and I expect to see a more attacking profile this season - even if it does mean we ship a few more goals in the process. As long as we score one more than the opposition it'll be 3 points, because (even after 96 minutes), 4-3 is more exciting than a boring 1-0.

I don't expect a top 6, or 7th finish this season, but a mid-table position will be OK, as we have one of the youngest squad in the Prem. and it will surely take time to improve, but a few more wins and a few less draws will be a good education for both players and fans.





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