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Turning against the Saints

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Paul Johnson explains his reasons for supporting Southampton's opponents, Leicester City, in this weekend's clash, and for the remainder of the season.

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We've all dreamt of our team winning the Premier League. I'm usually slotted in at centre-mid alongside Schneiderlin when we do it, and of course I'm captain, so there's not a huge amount of reality to my dreams. But for Leicester City fans, the dream is slowly becoming a reality. Sitting atop the Premier League, 5 points clear of their closest rivals Tottenham, and with just 7 games left, there is now a real chance that Leicester City will win the league. At the beginning of the season, Leicester were 5000/1 to win the league. Those were longer odds than the 2500/1 odds of Piers Morgan replacing Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager. But now, with only a handful of games left, Leicester are favourites. It has been an incredible fairy tale for football fans of every team, with Leicester quickly becoming most people's second team, as we all cheer them on in the hope of seeing David topple Goliath. But after much deliberation, I've decided to go one step further. For the remainder of this season, I will be supporting Leicester City, including against my own team this weekend.


When Southampton head to the King Power Stadium on Sunday, I'm going to go against everything I've been taught, and cheer for the team in blue. I don't expect it to be easy, and I'm sure I'll forget what I'm doing and get behind Sadio Mane at some point, but I genuinely want to see Leicester beat us. Here's why:


Despite how unnatural it is for us to go against our team, I actually think this is the rational approach to the rest of the season, especially for Saints fans. See, what do we really have left to fight for? We're battling it out for Europa league, which seems like a poor best-case scenario to me. What do we really gain from playing in Europe's second competition next season? We don't have the depth to make it far in the tournament without risking a relegation dogfight, and the reward for our endeavours in the early stages are little more than away days to obscure (meaning shit) places in the back-end of Europe. If I was offered Europe today, I'd be torn as to whether to take it. Ultimately, I think we might be better off avoiding it and continuing to cement our place in the top half of the league next season. So, to my mind, we are playing for very little, and what little we gain from finishing higher up the league might actually be more of a hassle than it's worth.


Compare this to what Leicester are playing for, and the difference is astronomical. Every 3 points takes Leicester one step closer to one of, if not the greatest story in the history of English football, and this isn't exclusively a victory for Leicester fans. Sure, this will be a season they'll cherish for the rest of their lives, and I'm sure every fully grown man in a Leicester shirt will cry his eyes out should the dream come true, but there will be many a 'neutral' with a lump in their throat if they pull it off.


Leicester winning the league is for every fan that has ever dared to dream. Leicester have an opportunity to topple the giants of English football and do the unthinkable, and I'd enjoy witnessing that much more than another 3 points and the possibility of an awful European run culminating in us getting knocked out by a team I've never heard of.


So, at 13.30 tomorrow, I will do the unthinkable, and be a traitor to my team. But I have no regrets in doing this. Let's keep the dream alive. I want to continue believing Southampton can win the Premier League (although maybe I've had my day and will have to watch from the stands). Come on Leicester! Do it for all of us!