2009-2010 Southampton Survival Report
This time last year we had just been relegated. Added to that was the very sinister fact that we might actually lose our club.
First we had Pinnacle screwing us as they failed miserably to buy the club and bring us safely out of administration.
They had used our hero and legend Matt Le Tissier to bolster their bid in the fans eyes. He was hoodwinked as was the administrator , and very nearly got us even deeper into the mire.
Markus Liebherr and Nicola Cortese saved us in the nick of time and they brought Alan Pardew to the club as our new manager.
The month lost as we dilly dallied with Pinnacle in the end cost us dear. It is almost certain that we could have added the 7 points we ended up behind Huddersfield.
This would have enabled us to make it into the play-offs. That would have been a superb result in my book after the points deduction was taken into consideration.
Even allowing for the deduction we could have been safely involved if Pinnacle had not been such a waste of time.
The season began with the Saints playing with the remains of the failed Dutch experiment. We were bad very, very bad and dropped even further behind the teams at the top.
Alan Pardew brought in Rickie Lambert and slowly we began picking up the odd point here and there. In our position we needed wins but they were scarcer than ice in the Sahara.
Our first league win eventually came at home to Yeovil on 19th September. This cheered the fans and team no end as we struggled to clear our point defecit.
October 3rd saw our best performance so far as we trounced Gillingham 4-1 at St Mary's. This game and win saw us finally have plus points for the first time.
This saw the start of an unbeaten run which helped us to improve our position in the league table. We began to dream the impossible dream.
AP had brought in some players on loans and freebies and as a rule they merged well into the team. Antonio was an excellent addition as was Papa Waigo.
Murty could have been good but got injured and spent most of the season out of the side after a promising start. Radhi Jaidi was a great boost and he helped give some muscle to our defence.
Xmas arrived and we were still mathematically in with a chance of reaching the play-offs. Then in January we brought in some reinforcements.
The players brought in were again improving the overall standard of our squad and our hopes were being raised yet again. The cup runs now were to cause us more grief though.
The new players took time to gel with the team and this can partly be down to our two good cup runs. The FA Cup run was brought to an end by some team from down the road.
Suffice it to say, if we had taken any of our chances from the first halfs superb display we would have won. As it was the Blues beat us 4-1.
Norwich City were beaten 2-0 at theirs in the next game and still we prayed we would make it. A tame draw at Wycombe was followed by a couple of resounding wins at SMS.
Both Walsall and Huddersfield were trounced in style as we hit 5 in both games. Again this enhansed the feeling among some that we were going to get there.
Tranmere was the start of the end. Losing their began a run of in and out performances. Leeds we beat at home in a fantastic game only to lose 3 days later to Swindon. Again at home.
From then on we were always behind the asking rate and we duly failed to reach the play-offs.
A good day out for 44,000 Saints fans was the highlight as we beat Carlisle United 4-1. Lambert again being our star.
Though we failed to make the target we are in a much better position now than we were a year ago. I am looking forward to the next season in a way that I have not done for a very long time.
Right now it feels damn good to be a Saints fan.