|Leicester City 1 v 0 Southampton|
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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Letters from Wiltshire #48 by wessex_exile
“And now the end is near, and so we face the final curtain…regrets, we’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention”. Not quite right Paul Anka, probably more than a few, but otherwise a fair assessment of where the U’s are today. It’ll be interesting to see how we perform with the relegation monkey finally off their back – I’m not expecting miracles, particularly with Tranmere needing at least a point to guarantee making the play-offs, but they’ll certainly be more nervous than we will be, so can we make that count? This will be my last blog of the season, and not yet sure what I may or may not do for next season, but suggestions are always welcome.
Letters from Wiltshire #47 by wessex_exile
Here we are, at the penultimate game of the season, and our last game in front of the cardboard U’s faithful at the JobServe. It has been a long, difficult, and definitely strange season, which frankly I’ll be glad to see the back of. That’ll we’ll be here again in August is definitely going to be something to celebrate, but I suspect we’re facing a summer of significant rebuilding both on the pitch, and possibly off it too. I won’t be the only one, but the biggest oddity for me has been being able to watch every single game – not always easy viewing, but something I’ve never done before, and probably never will again. But it doesn’t really make up for not being there in person, the long train journey away-days, meeting fellow U’s and other supporters, and of course sharing a beer or three. Fingers-crossed we can return to the terraces in 2021/22.
Letters from Wiltshire #46 by wessex_exile
That was quite a week for us all then. In the space of four short but remarkably tense days we have gone from having to take shoes and socks off to check how many more points we need to guarantee survival, or whether we would even achieve it, to breathing a huge sigh of relief knowing we’re almost there. But close of play this afternoon, whether by our own actions or the failure of others, I am sure survival will be confirmed. Of course, Tuesday night not only all but guaranteed it, it also virtually condemned local rivals Southend United to non-league football for the foreseeable. Looking at the host of fully professional former football league sides currently battling it out for the two promotion slots out of the National league (including Hartlepool, Torquay, Stockport, Wrexham, Chesterfield and Notts County), it is not going to be a walk in the park for Southend to return any day soon.
Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
Tonight, Colchester United face Southend United in what may not necessarily be the most important game of our respective histories (though it’s certainly very close), but is almost certainly the most important Essex derby ever. However this season pans out, by the end of it there’ll either be only one team in Essex, or worst case scenario, none at all. If the U’s win, then Southend will be 9pts behind with just three games to go, and a minimum of a -12 goal difference to overturn if they want to overtake us. Certainly mathematically possible, but that would rely on a remarkable turnaround in their form, form that they’ve shown precious little sign of achieving so far this season. The stalking horse is Grimsby, with their game in hand, who have rather belatedly shown an improvement in form, so their match against automatic promotion chasing Morecambe tonight is equally important, particularly if we want to avoid the unthinkable, with both Essex clubs dropping out of the league.
Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
So here we are, as the nation mourns the passing of His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh, the U’s face the first of two season-defining moments, with our late kick-off match at home to Walsall. Before then, no doubt many will have been focused on events elsewhere, not least the early kick-offs for Grimsby (at home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers), and particularly Essex rivals Southend United, who faced a tricky visit to Exeter City – still very much in the hunt for at least a play-off spot. As I finalise this blog, I know that Grimsby have beaten Bolton 2-1, and Southend earned a credible 0-0 draw in the West Country. More to the point, the U’s will know this too. Whilst I can’t help but feel that will ought to be to our advantage, it surely must also put additional pressure on a squad whose confidence is paper-thin. We must hope that Hayden Mullins, assisted by Paul Tisdale, get their heads right, and send the lads out this evening fired up with self-belief.
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