Saints have one eye on summer, not Villa?

Posted by Chris Rann

Adam Lallana solo celeb Southampton FulhamPA PhotosAdam Lallana is likely to be busy this summer.

After last weekend's extremely disappointing home defeat at the hands of Cardiff City, Saints fans and players alike will have been given an unwanted reminder of an earlier disappointing St. Mary's result; the home defeat by Aston Villa.

With that reminder though, comes the immediate opportunity to avenge it as Saints head to Villa Park on Saturday.

This is not going to be an easy game, as it is set up to be a classic end of season encounter. Saints have little to play for other than professional pride, while their opponents find themselves in a position they perhaps hadn't envisaged a few weeks ago. Continue Reading...

Saints fluff their lines again ...

Posted by Chris Rann

Juan CalaGettyImagesJuan Cala hammers home the opener.

If ever a game summed up the bad side of Saints’ season, and highlighted the rough edges of a brilliant campaign, it was Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City.

Saints had the king's share of possession, a plethora of shots (many of which were on target) and looked in complete control of the game, yet managed to come away with nothing.

Yet again it was a game where the history books will show just one statistic, the one that matters: the final score. The rest of the statistics that will soon be lost to the past would have people wondering how on earth Saints managed to lose. Continue Reading...

Saints to give Cardiff the Blues?

Posted by Chris Rann

AllsportGaston Ramirez has made just two starts in the Premier League this season.

Cardiff, Southampton's visitors on Saturday, have had something of a turbulent season, on and off the field.

Many Saints fans disliked the way Nicola Cortese ran the club, but his misdemeanours seem like mere blips in comparison to the actions of Vincent Tan. It's difficult to imagine what it is like to support a team whose owner has been associated with such turmoil.

In a week that saw Hull City chairman Assem Allam rebuffed again in his attempt to change the club's name to Hull Tigers, perhaps the Cardiff fans will be given fresh impetus to battle Tan for their traditional blue colours to return. Continue Reading...

Saints suffer Saturday horribilis

Posted by Chris Rann

In some 20-plus years of watching Southampton I've had some pretty miserable Saturday afternoons, but the aftermath of the 4-1 defeat at Manchester City this weekend is right up there.

- Report: Manchester City 4-1 Southampton
- Report: Pochettino fears worst for Rodriguez

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the defeat itself that caused such a low feeling, but a plethora of frustrations that were nicely packaged by it.

It started with the announcement that goalkeeper Artur Boruc would miss the game through injury and that third-choice youngster Paulo Gazzaniga would start between the sticks for Saints. Continue Reading...

Can Saints put another twist in the title race?

Posted by Chris Rann

Saturday's game at the Etihad Stadium is massive for the home side. Manchester City will not want to hand the momentum to Liverpool and Chelsea by dropping any points in the first Premier League fixture of the weekend. Unluckily for them, they face one of the teams that, while not having been directly involved in the title race, have provided plenty of bumps for those that are.

- Report: Southampton "won't sell young stars"

Southampton have taken points off of Arsenal, Liverpool and City themselves already this season -- only Chelsea taking the maximum six from the impressive Saints. Continue Reading...

Saints maul the Magpies

Posted by Chris Rann

Rickie LambertGettyImagesSouthampton's Rickie Lambert celebrates with his teammates.

Saints have been threatening to totally blitz a team all season. On Saturday, Newcastle United became the unfortunate victims, as the home side romped to a 4-0 victory.

As is so often the case in football though, the scoreline doesn't represent the whole story of the game. It could, and perhaps should, have been a lot worse for Alan Pardew's men. Saints had countless chances, and had this game ended 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 or maybe even 8-0, the Geordies could have had no complaint. Had it not been for the heroic performance from their goalkeeper Rob Elliott, then it would have finished with a margin of at least six goals. Continue Reading...

Can Saints bounce back against the Toon?

Posted by Chris Rann

Rickie Lambert had a galvanising effect on Southampton against Norwich.GettyImagesRickie Lambert had a galvanising effect on Southampton against Norwich.

Saturday's game with Newcastle United is an important one for Saints for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, victory would give them an instant advantage in the race to finish eighth over their opponents. This might not be considered the best position in the world, but in terms of prize money, pride and progression, the higher Saints finish the better the season will have been. Simple logic. It is also the highest position Saints have ever finished in the Premier League era, so would be a decent achievement in only their second season back in the top flight. Continue Reading...

Saints collapse at the Lane

Posted by Chris Rann

Defeat is never easy to take, but sometimes it is acceptable based on the performance of the opposition. Sunday's 3-2 defeat at White Hart Lane was particularly hard to stomach though, due to its nature.

- Report: Tottenham 3-2 Southampton

Saints were in complete control of this game, and at 2-0 up no team should go on to lose. Sadly, for Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino the manner in which Saints capitulated at Spurs is something he will need to address if he is to achieve his ambitions of European football that he so often talks about. Continue Reading...

Saints can keep marching on at Spurs

Posted by Chris Rann

Charlie Crowhurst/Getty ImagesMauricio Pochettino's Southampton seek their third straight win when they visit Tottenham on Sunday.

It was pointed out to me on Twitter on Thursday that Spurs are the only team in the Premier League that Saints haven't taken a single point from since their return to England's top level in 2012. That seems as good a reason as any to want to get a positive result from White Hart Lane on Sunday.

- Report: Saints stun struggling Norwich

It looks like a reasonably difficult game for Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino to prepare for, with opposite number Tim Sherwood chopping and changing his team constantly, but one that Saints certainly won't see as anything less than another chance of a victory on the road. Continue Reading...

Southampton stumble to win over Canaries

Posted by Chris Rann

Morgan SchneiderlinPA PhotosSaints' Morgan Schneiderlin celebrates his goal against Norwich.

As I so often seem to find myself saying after Southampton games, the goal tally quite often doesn't reflect the nature of the game. The 4-2 victory over Norwich City on Saturday is certainly no exception.

Saints were quite significantly better than a two goal victory over the Canaries, despite not really playing well at all.

In what was quite a rare event this season, Saints took the majority of their chances at St. Mary's on Saturday. However, they managed to couple it with some bizarrely sloppy play at the back to make the scoreline flattering to a Norwich team that were up there with the worst to come to the South Coast all season. Continue Reading...

Win over Canaries is long overdue for Saints

Posted by Chris Rann

Saints take on the Canaries this Saturday in what looks a difficult task for the visitors on paper.

With Norwich just four points off the drop zone, they come to St. Mary's having lost their last five away games on the bounce. They've only won once on the road since September, losing twelve in the same period.

- Report: Liebherr won't sell Saints

It's been a disappointing season for Chris Hughton's side all told, having surprised plenty of people with, what looked like, some impressive summer transfer business. Continue Reading...

What Next? Time for Saints to re-evaluate

Posted by Chris Rann

Clive Rose/Getty ImagesCalum Chambers is the latest Saints star to attract interest.

It is a drastic time at Southampton Football Club with the latest transfer "news" suggesting that Calum Chambers, and his seventeen league appearances, is the subject for attention from Arsenal.

Chambers is the latest on a very long list of Saints players that the media would have you believe are inevitably on their way out of St. Mary's this summer. It would be quicker to list the Southampton players that aren't on their way north of the South Coast in the next transfer window than those who aren't, if the national press are to be believed. Continue Reading...