The Pressure Is Starting At St Mary's
Monday, 14th Jun 2010 09:06
There are some who would say that this week marks the end of the post mortem of the 2009/10 season and the start of the build up to 2010/11.
Its certainly the first week of the club's starting its own media campaign with the launch of the new kit on Saturday, a design that seems to have gone down well with most Saints supporters.
Also its the week when the fixtures are announced and the season really starts to take shape as we will be able to see who we are playing and when, in essence it starts to become real rather than just a few numbers.
On the numbers front, just about every bookmaker has made Saints favourites for the title, this is not surprising given the money that Saints spent last season and the rumoured captures in the next few weeks.
However with this dubious honour comes pressure, Saints are notoriously bad starters, we have barely won an opening game in the best part of three decades and Alan Pardew has to reverse this trend if Saints are to turn bookmakers odds into reality.
If he doesnt then the weight of expectation may be too much for him, not to mention the alledged rumour about Nicola Cortese's opinion of him last season, in short the first five games are crucial, if Saints sit anywhere outside of the top 3 then alarm bells will ring, anywhere outside of at least the play off spots and Pardew's position will be tenuous to say the least.
But this isnt how it should be, the Club should be settled and preparing itself for a big promotion push, but it isnt, the unrest surrounding Cortese and the manager is simmering, not to mention the unrest amongst the supporters after this months season ticket announcement, this means that everyone is on tenderhooks, the pressure is already mounting and its still almost two months till a ball is kicked in anger.
The season ticket debacle kicked the lid off the pan and brought resentment out into the open, last term saw it as a cardinal sin to question the Chairman or Manager, however the lack of thought for fans over season tickets has made some supporters realise again, that they are not part of the big family of Nicola Cortese, but merely paying customers, that being the case they want results or else.
A succession of Chairmen at this Club over the past few years has seen how pressure mounts on them if the team doesnt perform, whilst there have been very few calls for the managers head in that time, the Chairman has taken the brunt of the ire of the supporter base, whilst many would counter that in the main that has been against Lowe and there is some truth in that, there was also discontent against Michael Wilde, Leon Crouch and even Jim Hone during their tenure at the head of the club, in short historically Saints fans havent usually blamed the man getting it wrong ie the manager, but the man who is allowing him to continue to do so.
This is possibly not good news, we saw how close Cortese was to sacking Alan Pardew allegedly, so the worry is that at the first sign of pressure the Chairman may take the easy option, but there are often extenuating circumstances for anything and the easy option is not always the right one.
On the face of it this should be the best season in Saints very recent history, certainly since relegation from the premiership, however the pressure is mounting and there are far too many things simmering under the surface for my liking.
Photo: Action Images
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