The Play Off's ! Thank God We Aren't In Them !
Friday, 4th May 2012 11:20
Over the next couple of weeks Saints fans can sit back and watch the fans of four other teams go through hell and think there but for the grace of god go I.
It seems an age ago now, but it has been only five years since we endured the hearbreak of the Championship play off's ourselves, in those five intervening years we have squeezed in so much despair and triumph that it all seems a lot longer ago now.
Back in 2007 on this very weekend we beat Southend at home 4-1 to sneak into the sixth play off spot and face Derby County, the first let at St Mary's saw Gareth Bale kicked off the park and a 1-0 defeat, whilst the away leg saw 6,000 Saints supporters watch a patched up team win 3-2 only to cruelly go out on penalties, history is often changed with the kick of a football, for Southampton that night in the pouring rain of Pride Park it surely was.
This years four teams are West Ham, Cardiff, Birmingham and Blackpool, so just who would Saints fans want to accompany them and Reading up to the top flight.
West Ham who in the first of the play off games went to Cardiff and won 2-0 would perhaps be the least favourite amongst Saints supporters, partly because of our battle with them this season and their big time charlie connotations, but probably mostly because the first thing we would want to avoid next season is relegation, from this point of view we should perhaps want the least equiped of the four to go up and therefore be more likely to be relegated, the Hammers have gambled big time this season financially, if they dont go up then it could spell hard times, if they do then they will have the money and infostructure to re establish themselves in the Premier.
Cardiff have never been a favourite of mine, a shame because I know some great Cardiff supporters, but in general their hostility to all things English when you visit there and the fact that Dave Jones was their manager has meant i have always been a little biased against them, a shame because they do perhaps out of the four, deserve a shot at the top league.
Blackpool has a lot of reasons why we should want to see them promoted, but virtually all of them are outweighed by one, that one being Ian Holloway, his outburst when we beat them in the FA Cup in January 2011 will never be forgotten by Saints fans, of course "who the F8ck is laughing now" is reserved for Pompey, but if someone else deserves a quick chorus sung at him its the odious Holloway, who fits to the tee the balanced personality of having a chip on both shoulders.
That leaves just Birmingham, it pains me to say, but out of the four they are the ones I could just about stomach joining us, again there are plenty of things to dislike about them, but adding it all up they perhaps have a little less odious qualities than the other three, though its a close run thing to say the least and I would much rather have seen Middlesbrough and Hull in the play offs than any two from the four that are.
So we Saints supporters can now sit back and watch the thrills and spills, the face paint, the jesters hats and the tears flowing, usually from a face painted jester hat wearing plum plank bulb, who is attending his fourth game of the season due to a abnormal number of weddings/birthdays/funerals/christenings/barmitzvahs that have sadly occurred on about 43 occasions when he could have been watching his club.
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #48 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #47 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #46 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
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