Our Destiny Awaits
Monday, 30th Jun 2008 18:36
Its uncertain times at St Mary's but can we truly predict the coming season just yet ?
With a little over five weeks to go before the start of the new season, even by our own standards never has Southampton Football Club faced the opening fixtures with so much uncertainty.
The fact is that it is hard to speculate on what the season may hold, mainly due to the fact that we are unsure just who will be at the club by the opening day.
The retained list is only a small part of the problem, whilst the Club continue to refuse to say just who is staying and who is going for some unexplained reason, the fact is that there are few on that list that we would actually be bothered about, no the burning question is who from the players still in contract are going to still be at St Mary's after the transfer window closes.
Departures are inevitable in that not only do we need to offload several players on high wages, but we are top heavy in some positions but lacking in others, whilst Jan Poortvliet might have said that he wont be bringing in any more new faces before the season starts, in reality this is just a front, for a start we dont appear to have either a right or left back at the club.
Amazingly some players seem to be accorded almost godlike status in the frenzy to decry Lowe's every move, take Yousef Safri for example, personally I have always been an admirer of his contribution to the team, but last season I found myself in a minority, many i spoke to felt that his games were extemely average and this was shown by the fact that he didnt score once in 39 appearances, however now he is being held up as a shining example as many claim that he is about to be ousted by Wotton or Schneiderlin or even both.
The truth is Saints could probably do with getting rid of several so called first teamers and wouldnt miss them.
Only once it becomes clear who is staying and going can we start to asses the type of season Saints are likely to have, one thing is for sure though its going to be tough, however if the right blend of youth and experience can be obtained then it need not be painful.
The past few seasons in the Championship have proved that whilst money and a high profile manager can help they dont guarantee success, and it has been the exceptions to the rule that have proved to be the shock packages, one thing is for sure Saints are definately the exceptions this coming season.
Promotion isnt a word that is being bandied around too much in these parts and that is good, what we want to see next season is improvement no matter how small, many may point at Paul Wotton and complain about the standard of player we are signing, but he came from Plymouth a side that only finished six points off the play offs and ten ahead of us, he may be a free transfer from Argyle but they are a better team than us, so he may just improve us.
Of course we are having to eat humble pie, but if this time next year we are still in this division and have taken strides forward both on the pitch and off it financialy then i for one will be pleased.
We start this coming season with the lowest optimism amongst supporters in 55 years, Ted Bates didnt build Saints up in a day, it took him four years to get it promoted from the old Third division and another six to get it into the top flight, sadly in football nowadays success has to be instant, for us at Saints we are going to be disapointed if we expect that.
But from adversity can come triumph and if we dont set our sights too high then next season might just be succesful if not one that brings a promotion charge, I personally support Saints for the long term and realise that we have to get back to basics in order to start moving forward again, our current plight might not be ideal but the rot can be stopped here, if not in the boardroom definaely on the field.
Photo: Action Images
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