Could This Weekend Be The Start Of The Greatest Ever Season For Southampton FC
Saturday, 13th Mar 2021 09:12
Its been a roller coaster ride this season, top of the league and then a record loss and losing run, but all that will mean nothing if Saints can win the next two games and suddenly this could be our greatest season.
Football is a funny thing, it can give you the greatest highs, but it can also give you the lowest lows, in some ways it is rather sad that a whole weekend can be ruined by a man in a Saints shirt failing to pick up his man in the dying minutes of a football match, but when we sign up to be football fans this is the lives we lead.
In many ways I feel sorry for those who aren't football fans or for those who never truly buy in to following a football club other than spouting off on Social Media about a team they live nowhere near and have rarely if at all seen them live, these are the people that irk all of us who actually go to games.
Supporting Saints is not something that we chose, it chooses us, mostly by birth or for some because they have moved to the area at some point in their lives.
But for us Saints fans or indeed any supporter of a club that isn't one of the so called big clubs who attract the armchair fans, we are members of exclusive clubs where we have something in common with 99% of our fellow supporters.
I have been in Madison Square Garden in New York at an Ice Hockey game and seen someone in a a Saints shirt, in situations like this you chat together, of what part of Southampton you are both from and how strange it is for both of you being in New York, or for that matter whatever part of the World you are in.
I feel sorry for the Spurs or Manchester United fans who don't have this local camaraderie, in the same instance two Spurs fans or United fans bumping into each other would probably live 50 miles apart not 5 and would not chat about Bitterne & Millbrook but Basingstoke & Milton Keynes.
Little encounters with fellow Saints fans brings home how lucky we are to support a team that has this camaraderie and is truly unique & special.
So when the chance of success comes we should embrace it, as I mentioned this season has had the highest highs and it has had the lowest lows, but all of those mean nothing when those opportunities arise to have a little shot at glory we have to grasp them.
This weekend sees the start of what could become the greatest season in our history, firstly we face Brighton, a win against the Seagulls would see us all but safe from relegation.
Then next week we face Bournemouth in the FA Cup, we beat them and we are in the FA Cup semi finals and only two games from winning a trophy.
If we can do that this will be my 6th FA Cup semi final, I was present in 1976, 1984, 1986, 2003, 2018, although sadly it looks like this years will be behind closed doors.
The first four were very special in that suddenly the whole City had a buzz, the Saints supporters were looking forward to a game and we forgot all the previous troubles of the past and just looked to the future.
Sadly in 2018 that was not the case, there was too much negativity, the loudest voices on social media were not those telling the World what a great day it was going to be, but those who seemed to take some pride is saying they would not be going because we had been so bad that season, or the ticket prices were so high (most tickets were cheaper than at St Mary's) or they could not justify the cost as they weren't being entertained.
Since when did being entertained matter when a Cup Final place is up for grabs.
This year will be different, but it is time to get behind the team in this shot at glory, I won't care about a losing streak, if we beat the Seagulls and Brighton and go on to finish 16th and win the FA Cup, someone reading the record books will only see the stats that Saints have just had their best ever season.
So now is the time to banish negativity, if Saints win these next two games then suddenly the season will look different, the negative types will suddenly see why Ralph changed the team against Man City to prioritise these two games.
When Saints beat Bradford back in 1976 to reach the Semi's the City suddenly went Red & White, we suddenly realised that we had a chance of winning the FA Cup we knew it was a long shot given two of the teams in the semi's but we didn't care we lived for the semi final anything that happened after that we would worry about then.
If we make the semi's It is time to be positive, time to celebrate what being a Saints supporter is all about, if you cannot find any joy in your team being in an FA Cup semi final, then I think you have to ask yourself why you support them in the first place, what is the point.
This could be our greatest ever season and there haven't been many times we have actually been able to say that in March, as detailed just 5 times since we won the cup 45 years ago, personally I'm very excited about that.
Photo: Action Images
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