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Leicester City 1 v 0 Southampton
FA Cup
Sunday, 18th April 2021 Kick-off 18:00
Some Saints Fans Need To Forget The Last Three Months And Enjoy Sunday
Friday, 16th Apr 2021 09:15

The defeat against West Bromwich Albion on Monday night brought out all the usual suspects with all the usual gripes on social media, but whether some like to admit it or not, Sunday's FA Cup semi is a rare chance of glory in life of a Saints fan, we have to be positive, why not just simply enjoy it !

When we become Saints supporters we don't sign up to support a side that wins the League we realise early on that for Southampton FC glory is about looking to finish in the top 10 and trying to get into and subsequently win cup semi finals.

People harp on a lot about the clubs lack of ambition since 2014 when the summer of that year saw mass player sales and for that matter mass player aquisitions as well and these last 7 years has seemed that even when we were doing well there were those on social media who still liked to find fault somewhere.

These 7 years have certainly been a roller coaster ride and there have been ups and downs, but in terms of where the club's history lies, future generation will look at it as a golden period, we recovered from almost extinction and then had four consecutive seasons starting with 2013/14 where we finished in the top 8, we have also contested two semi finals, one of which in 2017 we won and narrowly lost at Wembley in the League Cup Final.

Yes we had 2017/18 where we dropped like a stone and almost got relegated, but that was a blip on the landscape and aside from that post Ronald Koeman we have usually not flirted with relegation past Xmas and indeed in that tie have had two semi finals and a final, not bad for a club with owners that won't spend .

But some don't see it that way, they seem to think that at every turn of the corner there is a lack of ambition, that we are stifled by the lack of investment by the owner, despite the fact that at the moment due to Covid 19 no one has any money to spend on players.

In short a minority on social media have talked this club down to such an extent that it seems that it is rotten to the core, of course there are still things wrong, but slowly we are getting back to where we want to be.

This weekend we play in an FA Cup semi final, but some don't see that as success in any way shape or form, as they did in 2018, they see us as just lambs to the slaughter, they go into the game almost wanting to be proved right so they can take to social media and tell everyone they just knew it.

But for me it's different, I am no happy clapper and think everything is hunky dory, but I am not a Saints supporter who thinks we should have a billionaire owner and try to spend our way to the top (although it would be nice) I am a realist and I support Saints for days like Sunday when for one we are playing in a game that could see us reach a cup final and when you add it up, after out two FA Cup final defeats in 1900 & 02 we have reached just 4 major cup finals in the last 119 years.

So the chance to make that 5 should not be about whinging it should be about support and more to the point it should be about enjoyment and come late Sunday evening we might just be returning again to Wembley in May.

If you cant enjoy an FA Cup semi final for what it is, what is the point of supporting a football club at all, after all the trials and tribulations that we have gone through, getting to a semi final is surely what we all want, so why are some people so hell bent on putting the dampeners on it and finding something negative to post on social media.

Most Saints supporters are brilliant, whether their support for the club is passive or whether it is about home and away every week, we have a superbly loyal following, but the majority are being slowly brainwashed by the minority and that has to stop, if we keep telling ourselves the club is bad then we will just drag it down.

I have no problem when people have an opinion, it is when they offer only rants but not any viable solutions that I find galling.

Back in 1976 when Bobby Stokes scored those of us at Wembley and indeed the whole City back at home went wild, no one stood there and said, at least he has done something he has been crap all season or words to that effect.

Sadly if we do repeat that success this year I would not be surprised if the person next to be made such a remark about the scorer and that the vocal minority slagged him off for a poor performance at West Bromwich.

So Sunday should be about enjoyment whatever the result, the last three months has been mainly been about injuries, yes we were poor at West Brom and lacked fight, but the same could be said about Leicester in their game at West Ham, perhaps both teams had one eye on the semi.

So have some pride in Southampton Football Club, it is about the club, not the owner, the board or indeed the manager, they all come and go, but the club is always there and so are the fans, we should be proud of our history and proud of what we have achieved this season in getting to an historically rare FA Cup final, we should be positive about that both for Sunday and the future going forward.

This is a winnable game, we have a chance of some glory, we never know how long it will be before we get another shot at it again, so enjoy it whether you are at home or in the pub and you never know, this season might yet turn out to be the best in the Club's history.

Photo: Action Images

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Ripleys_revenge added 10:05 - Apr 16
I think every Saints fan is ready to support the team on Sunday, and we're all very excited about the prospect. That doesn't preclude the team from criticism following the awful display against West Brom - one of the most obvious examples I can ever remember of professional footballers downing tools completely. Given it seems to keep happening, I am not sure what you expect from fans. Of course everyone wants us to win! I'll be screaming at the TV at 2 am here in Thailand and willing the boys on, but I can't stomach the way we keep putting in absolutely shameful performances like on Monday and then turning round and blaming fans for not being sufficiently supportive on the internet...

Ripleys_revenge added 10:07 - Apr 16
Also, Leicester lost 3-2 and we lost 3-0. They put in a genuine shift second half and could even have nicked a point which would have been a superb comeback against a top 4 team, with several first team players missing. In contrast, we had virtually our first team to put out and, well, were playing second bottom of the league West Brom

felly1 added 10:11 - Apr 16
Back in the day every village had its idiot. Now with the wonderful world of social media we've created a platform for the ranters n ravers, the panickers, the paranoid and the down right nasty to club together and it sometimes feels like the whole world is going mad. As you have pointed out Nick we have our fair share who allegedly support our club.
Its best to ignore and scroll on by otherwise if you respond you are giving them the attention they crave.
There is a fine line between fans who are critical of the club and the players but present a valid argument.. Even if you personally disagree with it is fine by me and thankfully the vast majority of posters on here whether you agree with them or not are respectful and thoughtful in their opinions.
As you say though, let's all enjoy Sunday and hope for a fantastic win, its just a shame our league form has so dramatically collapsed after a great start and it's tainted this season for so many fans including myself.


highfield49 added 10:28 - Apr 16
Ah, social media which enables anyone, me included, to type and post any drivel they wish. In the not too distant past most of us used to converse during some sort of social get together or even via a telephone call but now it's frequently a Whatsapp message or similar. Just a sign of changing times Nick and love it or hate it we go with the flow or rant into the void. In my view the televising of every match in recent months has had a detrimental effect on many fringe supporters. Many people who never or infrequently attended home matches, and probably none away from St Mary's, only got to see games on MotD or maybe a couple of times a month can now view every moment of failure without having to move from the sofa. Whilst they are entitled to post any comment they wish on social media far too many of these match followers won't be putting their bums on a seat to support the team when the stadium is open again. Considering how little desire they have to support rather than abuse the team that's probably not a bad thing but I'm hoping that once we can get back to discussing the merits of players over a post match pint their presence will become less intrusive. In the meantime a big fingers crossed for a big performance against Leicester and an even bigger one in the final. Yup, despite my gripes about the West Brom ineptitude there's still only one team I have ever followed and ever will.

Sadoldgit added 10:38 - Apr 16
We have done very well to teach the semi final of the FA cup. We did very well to sit at the top of the league briefly. It hasn’t been all doom and gloom this season and we can beat anyone on the day. If it does go pear shaped then let’s worry about that after the event. For now I am just looking forward to a performance that will make us proud of our team.

Hamnottingham added 10:51 - Apr 16
I think fans were entitled to feel down about Monday's performance (I did) - it was abysmal. Most of them (and me) are gradually building up excitement for Sunday Nick.

One thing you have forgotten to mention is that staying in the PL is a fantastic achievement for any club of our size. The big 6, Everton and now I suppose Leicester have no threat of relegation. That leaves 14 teams to avoid the 3 relegation spots. That's pretty tight, especially after a few seasons. Yet we have managed it for 8 seasons and plenty of other, better backed have not. I live in Nottingham and Forest have had backers that have put much more money into their club than ours (even Markus). Yet, somehow Forest have languished in the Championship for 20 years.

Staying in the PL for 8 years alone is a mighty achievement.

Centurion added 11:13 - Apr 16
I am really looking forward to the Semi Final. In a way it is good to get away from the 'blip' of our league form.
The FA Cup is one off. Win and we are in the final!
Lose and we still have the Premier league and unfinished business.

Hamnottingham added 11:33 - Apr 16
That'll be 12 teams to avoid 3 relegation places. No wonder I'm retired.

SaintNick added 11:46 - Apr 16
Ripleys revenge : Do you get any enjoyment out of Saints, can you not just look forward to the next game rather than harp on about whether Leicester were playing a better side etc etc,

Ripleys_revenge added 12:10 - Apr 16
Nick, as I said I am looking forward to the next game. I get massive satisfaction supporting Saints, as I have done over 30 years. I'm not sure what relevance that has in relation to your article though? You made the point that Leicester put in a poor performance and compared it to our showing against West Brom, I am disputing that.

To throw a game in the way we did on Monday was absolutely appalling. It was the manner of the defeat which I am still finding hard to accept. The reason I find it hard to accept is because I love my team to death! I just can't understand your position here. You're suggesting that people who criticise the team for the way they performed on Monday are not sufficiently supportive?

It's so simplistic to say that fans who knock the team when they play like they did are over the top. Look at how we played that game - absolutely incredible that a professional football team can get away with that sort of performance, and furthermore that you've written an article saying that fans should lay off them a bit!

I'll say it again - I love Saints, have done for all my life and will do until my grave. I'm not a social media keyboard warrior (I think it's a waste of everyone's time to be honest) but I do think it's valid for people to criticise the team when they play like they did. And that has nothing to do with supporting them on Sunday! One minute you're criticising fans for being too critical in stadiums, now you're saying they're also too critical on the internet?

Colburn added 13:33 - Apr 16
Does the same apply for the numerous times you have run Jack Stephens down? Or is that OK? I don't see any difference personally. We all have our gripes and frustrations and are all passionate and emotional about the club we love. Social media, although like a toilet wall at times, can also provide an outlet for debate which is not unhealthy. After a long lockdown and watching players perform in the manner they did at West Brom, the fans have a fair reason to criticise, not the result, but the way the players failed to show up.
Of course we have all moved on from this now and looking forward to Sunday with renewed spirit and hope, so I actually don't understand why this article had been posted today, dragging up the negativity of Monday night when it's time to focus on Sunday. As mentioned, the article seems a bit hypocritical in places as we have all registered dissatisfaction with individuals and the team over the years, as with the previous obsession with Jack when he was in the team. It could be fair to say that using your principle that you were partly responsible for his loss of confidence or form....
But let's just look forward to Sunday and not have any more negative articles about the fans and the players tomorrow or Sunday morning.

PaleRider added 13:39 - Apr 16
Nick. Whilst I agree that we should all be supporting the Saints come Sunday I think some perspective is in order. Meonsaint has an excellent thread on the forum and I think that the issue for many of us is that the current crop of players have no real pride - seemingly either in the club, the badge or even themselves. Notwithstanding that, I'll still be positive on Sunday and preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. COYS

KriSaint added 18:33 - Apr 16
Jannik Vestergaard
Jan Bednarek
Ryan Bertrand
McC, Stevens, Salisu, Redmond, Jankewitz, Tella, Wallcott


saintmark1976 added 18:38 - Apr 16
Nick, The Ugly has previously and I hope always will be, a way of people of differing views coming together to exchange opinions concerning all things Saints.Lately however you do appear to have increasingly lost patience with those who disagree with you. I’ve always found that the best way to attempt to convince people to change their point of view is to convince them of the strength of your argument. Attempting to brand them as “the usual suspects” seldom, if ever, achieves the desired results.

stmichael added 21:40 - Apr 16
Usual suspects🙄
They stank the place out Monday and you should have been brave enough to say so.
They have a chance to make amends but win or lose we will accept it if they give their all.
Not a lot to ask for really is it🤷‍♂️

SanMarco added 22:30 - Apr 16
I don't do social media and I would suggest Nick follows my lead!

It is, of course, perfectly possible (and a fact of life as a Saints fan) to be very down after an abysmal performance and be back up ready to hope for the best in the next match. WBA was the worst of Saints, they owe us the best on Sunday and I think we may well get it. Will that best be good enough? Let's hope so...If it isn't then I will be disappointed but not moan - another fiasco like Monday, however, and I will feel fully entitled to be very angry.

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