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Saints Far From Favourites For Premier League Relegation
Thursday, 16th Jun 2022 13:15

If you listen to some Southampton supporters you would think relegation would be confirmed sometime during Tottenham Hotspurs first attack on the opening day of the season, however the bookies don't agree.

No one will be surprised to learn that Saints don't feature heavily in betting on who will be the Premier League champions in 2022/23, most bookies are offering 500/1, although if you shop around you could get 750/1 or even 999/1 at one outlet.

Truth is though, unless you are Liverpool or Manchester City the bookies aren't looking much beyond that, Spurs are 3rd favourites for the title and they are 16/1, Man Utd around 25-30/1 and if you fancy Newcastle to spent their millions and storm to the title get on now at 80/1

So to be blunt the table most teams are more interested in is the odds for relegation and if you read Saints fan sites the general consensus is one of doom and gloom, with people saying we are one of the favourites for relegation !

Only we are not !

A look at the market today after the fixtures were released shows Saints as actually 6th favourites to go down, after Bournemouth who are favourites at 8/13, Nottingham Forest at 8/11 & Fulham at 11/10.

After that comes Leeds United at 5/2, Brentford also at the same price and then ourselves at 7/2.

In fact at this point the odds aren't that much different for the next five clubs, Wolves, Everton & Palace are all about 5/1 with Brighton and Aston Villa at 8/1, are all in a similar position to Saints in the eyes of the bookies.

So although some would claim we are dead certs for the drop, the Bookies don't agree.

Where they have us is about our par score for the table, 15th, yes we are in a group of clubs who could struggle, but that same group could also flourish as Brighton & Wolves did.

Truth is perhaps 2 out of the three relegated clubs will go straight down, but this season all three going down looks more certain than most of the recent seasons.

So why aren't Saints being predicted for the drop ?

Perhaps because at this moment we haven't lost any key players, some will scream at me here Armando Broja, but with just 6 goals in the season, he isn't looked upon as a key player in terms of stats.

So in the eyes of those compiling the odds, we are exactly a team we were last season, we will win some games and lose others, those for whom the glass is half empty will point to our form in the final third of the season, but those for whom the glass is half full will point to that mid season period where we looked likely to challenge for the top 10.

The drop in form was worrying, but if we can keep the squad together and make some signings in key areas, ie Goalkeeper, Central Defender & Attack, then we are more likely to be pushing for top 10 than worrying about the bottom 3 and lets be blunt that has been the case for the last three seasons.

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Jesus_02 added 13:57 - Jun 16
3.5/1 to occupy one of three places in a league of 18 is one of the favorites IMO. I expect significant improvement for some of the teams around us last season Newcastle, Leeds, Everton. Unless we keep pace we will be in serious trouble. As yet we have no idea about the new ownerships plans and ambitions . So I'm not panicking just yet but as most of us we are looking for arrivals and hopefully some experience to support up some of our exiting youngsters.

I_would added 14:05 - Jun 16
We are expected to be 15th at best. We need a striker who can actually score goals, two attacking midfielders and a right and left back in the window. Can't see it happening because the owners are investing in new clubs instead of bolstering our squad, but maybe there will be a miracle and Prowsey will go for north of £20m. If so then we'll be ok as he is holding our attack back.

wrathoftazz added 14:27 - Jun 16
In all honesty... take out the newly promoted teams (as they are ALWAYS favs to be relegated) then we are 3rd fav to go down.

To hold a DISTORTED view that we are "far from favourite" is certainly an attempt to remain upbeat about the prospects, however, to the rest of us, we already know Ralph hasn't got a clue and we will get no better whilst he is running the place. That's not based on 1 season but since he has been in charge, his tactical decisions and general behaviour.

dirk_doone added 14:43 - Jun 16
What an inspirational headline. I'm really looking forward to next season now.

SaintNick added 14:47 - Jun 16
How is it a "Distorted" view to say we are far from the favourites to go down, you cant take out the promoted teams they are there as the favourites.

You say Ralph hasn't got a clue, but despite 3 years of no investment in the club from the owners he has manged to keep us out of a relegation battle.

Yes I am upbeat about it, what is the point of following a football club if you actually despise everything about them, i look at the positives instead of the negatives.

Fact of the matter is that there are 3 odds on favourites to go down, then there are 6 clubs maybe 7 ourselves included who could either struggle or do well, Ralph Hasenhuttl has kept us firmly in mid table despite financial constraints, I am not sure what else he could do or who could do better

Peterx added 14:59 - Jun 16
The 5 subs rule suits our style of play shown that we have been a solid cup proposition while RH has been in charge

felly1 added 15:02 - Jun 16
I like to be realistic whilst remaining optimistic.
We definitely need reinforcements but the rate mist teams are improving I still feel like last season they'll be plenty of struggle and disappointment.
I think if our guys play at full tilt we'll get enough points to get over the line.

Colburn added 16:49 - Jun 16
Those odds will be different come the start of August for all teams, depending on recruitment. I can't see our odds getting better based on this as we have already exposed our transfer strategy to the football world and I can't see that encouraging players better than those who will be signing for our competitors in the bottom half. I don't believe we are nailed on to be relegated but neither can I see anything other than a tough battle to stay up, given our lack of ambition compared to the rest. We have players and a squad who, if set up right with the right mentality can finish 10th but we have a negative mindset from the top down when it comes to our vision of ourselves. It may be a different sport but you only have to look at the change in the England cricket team with the same players after changing to some positive forward thinking coaches who encourage the expression of character in their play and to take the field with self belief and without fear. We are playing within ourselves under Ralph because he transfers his fear and negativity on to the players and sets them up to try to avoid failure rather than to win. Southgate is exactly the same for England, hasn't got a clue and carps on about how far we've come, just like Ralph, when it is obvious that a different manager will inspire and develop the players more..

A1079 added 17:13 - Jun 16
As things currently stand (and I appreciate that there is time for that to change) but with the squad we have and the form we had in the final third of last season and the season before, given the situation at the back and in goal and our lack of scoring ability up front it is difficult at this time to imagine anything other than a relegation battle.

That is not being pessimistic but realistic. You cannot say we need to keep our expectations reasonable given what Ralph has to work with and then complain when supporters sense that this could be a relegation battle/season.

I am sure the vast majority of Saints supporters hope that squad additions and better coaching and performances will pleasantly surprise us, but I doubt if any of us - even if we have a good run - will be confident until we have shaken off the shackles that is keeping our team and club in the doldrums.

Not pessimistic at all, just managing expectations. I will still go to games though.

JoeEgg added 18:39 - Jun 16
If you look at the final three months of the season - see the way we played and the appalling results - most Premier League sides will rightly regard us as relegation fodder. Colburn's description of the negativity that Ralph breeds is spot on and in my opinion little will change until we change the manager. Get excited Nick if you must about the glorious prospect of another 15th finishing position, but the early signs are that little is gong to change.

Kenm added 19:02 - Jun 16
all the prem team will enhance their teams but Saints will do very little, bought a keeper ok, but what about the team in front of him ?, no goal scorer at present or 1 being looked at ?, defence needs strengthening again no 1 in the pipe line ?, again Saints are going to wait for the deadline day and get in players nobody else wants !, all the rest will improve their teams Saints will do VERY LITTLE, first game Spurs away don't be surprised if we are not propping up the league after the first 7 games, I'll pray we aren't but can't see it unless Saints put their hands intheir pockets ?, or am I being extremely hopeful ?

JimmyMeliaPhD added 01:04 - Jun 17
Nick's arguments are as tiresome and avoidable as his chronic abuse and misspelling of the English language. (Undoubtably!) Yes, it's true that the club has not been investing in success. But it has been investing in failure...RH.

YosemiteSaint added 06:19 - Jun 17
Having just seen the 2022-2023 EPL fixture list, i'm confident we'll be spending the season's first three months in the bottom five.

A1079 added 08:23 - Jun 17
Where I live and work I am surrounded by fans of other clubs and most have said to me that they see Saints as relegation candidates this next season.

Mind you what was also painful is 2 Liverpool fans (plastic ones because I don't think they have ever been to Anfield) were quick to mention to me as soon as the fixtures came out how they are relishing the prospect of winning the league and sending us down on the final day of the season. Hopefully they end up being wrong on both accounts and I/we get the last laugh!

highfield49 added 12:51 - Jun 17
A1079, I think it only fair to point out to the plastic Liverpool supporters, of whom you have the unfortunate pleasure of working alongside, how much you're looking forward to them losing out to Man City in the title race following defeat in their final game of the season.

LoisDeem added 15:04 - Jun 20
Speaking of odds and favourites Highfield, I don't think A1079 said he actually 'worked' with those 'Liverpool fans', even though that implication on their MO does strongly reinforce their credentials as being of a synthetic polyvinylchloride composition.
Whilst Saints will always be my favourites for most things -and I do admire Nick's optimism -I must say we are looking good for at best an inauspicious start, given our 'current' form and our ability to give away a record number of goals (24 in 3 games) to three of our first six starting opponents. Sports Republic do need to get these components gathered together pre season -so the shopping list is already urgent -before they become too bewildered by Ralph's tactics, and can start playing in a positive manner and on the front foot from the get go. Assuming the goalie reshuffle is more than just a fiscal manoeuvre, we should expect as minimum requirement one viable (or rejuvenated) goalscoring striker, along with a confident, preferably experienced central defender and at least one influential and /or inspirational attacking midfielder. Please.

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