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St Mary's Musings: an Introduction.

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The latest in SB Nation soccer blogs. Only this one is for the academy of English football.

Paul Gilham

Well, we're finally live. It's been a long couple of years but St. Mary's Musings has finally hit the internet. It's great to be here.

I originally submitted the blog request in the summer of 2012; two months before our first year back in the Premier League. It's fair to say a lot has happened since then.

Saints battled to avoid the drop in 2012/13 Premier League season and did it: managing to beat the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City in the process. Southampton fan-favourite Nigel Adkins was, rather unjustly, sacked. Relatively-unknown Argentine boss Mauricio Pochettino took control and helped the club to a respectable 14th place by the end of the season.

We then finished an impressive 8th in the league in 2013/14, complete with our highest  ever amount of Premier League points. Despite this, Pochettino walked.

Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw went on to become England regulars, tagging along to the World Cup. Our fans were beaming with pride at the news. Those three World Cup stars, along with Croatian centre-half Dejan Lovren, then went on to orchestrate moves from the south coast to the north-west footballing meccas of Liverpool and Manchester.

I think those few paragraphs encapsulate what it's been like to be a Southampton fan. From the League One lows and giddy Premier League highs; it's never been boring supporting the Saints, if not a little depressing.

Last season, Saints were the darlings of English football with their cavalier playing style, the results, and the continuation of the club's ethos of bringing through young, British talent. The press couldn't get enough. Roll on a few months and we're a laughing stock in football media, following the sales of our star players - who essentially forced their way out of the club.

Southampton were among the press and bookies' favourites to go down in this fledgling Premier League season. And after our spirited defeat to Liverpool, we're now expected to do just fine in the league - even without the core group of players who deserted in the summer.

Dutch legend Ronald Koeman is now at the Southampton helm, and his hastily put-together side have already gone close to upsetting title contenders Liverpool.

The press' opinion of Saints is as bi-polar as the club's fortunes over the last decade or so. However cliched this sounds, supporting the club really has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

So, strap yourself in. St Mary's Musings is a blog that's in it for the long haul. Who knows where this'll go?

What I can promise you is that we'll bring news and views from the match-going fans of Southampton Football Club: the only Hampshire club worth a damn.

Welcome.