Southampton FC -- End of term report

Posted by Chris Rann

Ian Kington/AFP/Getty ImagesMauricio Pochettino stepped in for the fired Nigel Adkins and guided Saints to safety.

Student: Southampton Football Club

School:Barclays Premier League

Year: 2012-13


Saints were praised for their style all season, especially so in the latter terms. With a keen eye for the aesthetic, the home support has been treated to some exhilarating performances, with some great combinations from the front four. A.


Saints struggled with their English skills after the change of form tutor in January, but improved week on week. The new tutor, Mr. Mauricio Pochettino, gave a speech in English at the leaver's assembly that deserves praise for a commendable effort. D.


Player of the season Morgan Schneiderlin had a superb year that has even prompted suggestion in the French media that Monsieur Deschamps might want to think about giving him a chance at international level. Statistically one of the best central midfielders in Europe it was a truly excellent season. A-plus.


Taking just 16 points from a possible 57 on the road and conceding 36 goals makes this one of Saints' weakest subjects. A marked improvement will be required after the summer if they are serious about pushing on to the Upper Sixth. E.


Saints like making history, and will be proud to be the first club to stay up after losing their first four games. Having gained a reputation for being perennial strugglers the last time they were in the top set, they will need to improve to ensure history doesn't repeat itself. C.


Not as good as last year, but having moved to the top set it was always going to be difficult to reproduce that sort of result. Gaining 15 points from a possible 57, they won six of 19 home games, but also lost six (though only two of those defeats came after the change in form tutor). A decent return, but there will be an expectancy for improvement next year. C.


It looked as if math wasn't going to be a required subject for Saints until the last couple of weeks. In the end the formula to succeed was simple: Relegation = Saints (points from game 1 + points from game 2); Wigan (points from game 1+ points from game 2 + 12 goals); Aston Villa (points from game 1 + points from game 2 + 12 goals) and Sunderland (points from games 1 and 2); Newcastle United (points from games 1 and 2). B.


Under Mr. Pochettino, fitness has been a key element to the Saints' high-pressing, high-tempo game. All pupils have excelled in this area and done so with out getting over zealous (Danny Fox and Gaston Ramirez getting detention against WBA aside). A.


Saints can be thankful for a few of their points this season to 'Holy Goalie' Artur Boruc. The Catholic keeper proved to be a shrewd acquisition for the club and his impact incredible. A.


Biology: The conditioning behind the scenes of the engine room (Jack Cork and Schneiderlin) has done wonders to Saints output, dominating their counterparts in midfield through unrivalled determination and the correct fuel and training.

Chemistry: The team spirit at the club is as good as ever, and the link up play between the forward players is telepathic. Pochettino appears to have found the perfect balance of flair, solidity and stamina.

Physics: Despite having his doubters Rickie Lambert has proved that he is still capable of consistently getting a spherical object into a guarded net amongst all manner of conditions and variables. B.


With an average of 30,874 (94.4 percent of capacity) it has been another good year for Saints and an improvement on last year. They were 12th in the Premier League. B-plus.


Generally acceptable. Only a couple of detentions all year. There was some lateness, most students not turning up until 10 games into the season, and there was an incident that concerned an unscheduled toilet break without permission (at least put your hand up, Jason Puncheon). On the whole though Saints were amongst the better behaved clubs. B-plus.


It's been a decent return to the Saints to the top set, but they must now put their money where their mouth is if they are to fulfill their clear potential. If they want to compete with the more established clubs and aim for the Upper Six,th then they will need to knuckle down, eradicate any habits of previous years and be wary of unwanted distractions. All eyes will be on them next season. B.

Keep the faith.


Follow Chris on twitter @crstig

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