New to Premier League football? Wondering who to support, or are you simply interested in seeing a Southampton fan’s views ahead of the upcoming season?
We’ve got you covered with our quick preview of the season ahead.
Everything you need to know about Southampton
Based on the South Coast of England, Southampton Football Club is one of English football’s historic underdog teams and play at St. Mary’s Stadium.
Nicknamed “The Saints”, Southampton have only won one major trophy since the club was founded in 1885 - the FA Cup in 1976, when second division Saints defeated the now-mighty Manchester United 1-0 at Wembley Stadium in one of the competition’s greatest cup upsets.
Now, Southampton is better known for its academy and penchant for producing a number of talented footballers. Recent academy products include Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers.
Even more recently, the club has built a reputation for scouting and buying relatively-unknown, talented players from abroad... Only to sell them for a hefty profit. Usually to Liverpool.
While said players have enjoyed their brief stay at Southampton, they have helped the club punch well above its weight.
Southampton legends include Matt Le Tissier (check out some of his goal compilations on YouTube. You won’t regret it), Mick Channon, Rickie Lambert, Lawrie McMenemy and Marian Pahars.
How did Southampton do last year?
Not great. Southampton finished in their lowest position, 17th, in the Premier League since achieving promotion back to the top tier of English football back in 2012.
For a long time, Saints looked doomed and heading for relegation. However, a couple of important results saw Mark Hughes and his team survive their relegation battle by the skin of their teeth.
What was broken?
The question should be “what wasn’t broken?”. With a porous defence, a largely ineffective midfield, and a goal-shy attack, there were multiple issues with last year’s team.
And that’s not even mentioning the slow-motion car wreck which was former manager Mauricio Pellegrino’s tenure.
What did they do to fix it?
Southampton signed numerous players across multiple positions for fairly large sums of money, relatively speaking, over the summer, while replacing Pellegrino with the aforementioned Hughes earlier in March.
Did they do enough?
Knowing Southampton like we do, there are no guarantees said issues have been remedied during this summer’s transfer window.
How will they line up this year?
This is guess work, but here is our expected Saints line up. Positions starting from right to left:
Goalkeeper: Alex McCarthy
Defence (with full-backs): Cedric, Jannik Vestergaard, Wesley Hoedt, Maya Yoshida, Ryan Bertrand
Midfield: Mario Lemina, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg,
Forwards: Stuart Armstrong, Manolo Gabbiadini, Charlie Austin
Key back-up players include new signing Mohamed Elyounoussi, James Ward-Prowse, Shane Long, Angus Gunn, Danny Ings and Nathan Redmond.
Where do fans expect them to finish?
Southampton fans will most definitely take any position higher than 18th (relegation) in the Premier League this upcoming season, given how badly things went last time around.
Where will they actually finish?
This season, the best-case scenario is most likely seeing Saints finish back in the top 10. This will be no easy feat, given the quality of investments made by Southampton’s rivals around them.