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The Definitive Season Review

Another season is over, Saints have once again under performed dramatically after a summer of much expectation. After the ups and downs of the season, one thing now remains...Vital Southampton's player reviews:

Goalkeepers

Bartosz Bialkowski

A promising start for the young pole, brought into the first team after the dip in form of Paul Smith and the departure of Antti Niemi to Fulham. Turned in some eye catching performances, notably some spectacular saves against Newcastle in the FA Cup. His season has been cut short by injury but he should regain his number one spot next term.

Kevin Miller

Veteran goalkeeper brought out of retirement by Burley to great effect. Stood in at the end of the season due to the injury to Bialkowski and was preferred to the out of form Smith. A firm favorite with the fans but may be resigned to the bench with the reemergence of Saints' young pole.

Defenders

Danny Higginbotham

A solid enough season for the former Derby man. One of Saints more consistent performers in a defence that never really settled. Chipped in with a few goals from free kicks and penalties.

Alexander Ostlund

Signed by George Burley in a deal rumored to be worth around 1.0m. An eye catching performance away against champions Reading followed up by a series of all-action performances made him a cult hero with fans. He lost his place to youngster Chris Baird at the end of the season. Will be looking to cement his place in the first eleven next season.

Claus Lundekvam

Captain Lundekvam has had a solid season for Saints once again in a very changeable defensive line up. He was voted player of the season by fans and is one of the club's most loyal servants. Will be looking to lead Saints to promotion next time around.

Darren Powell

The versatile defender was signed on a free from Crystal Palace in the summer. He turned in some solid performances at the beginning of the season but has been in and out of the side in the latter stages of the season. It will be interesting to see what role he plays next season.

Michael Svensson

The absence of Svensson throughout the 2004/05 season has been highlighted by many fans as a major contributor to our relegation. He has been offered a one year extension to his current contract in an attempt to prove his fitness. He played a handful of games in the early part of the season but has since been struck down with a reccuring knee injury. Is sure to have a vital part to play next season.

Martin Cranie

The young defender was an integral member of Saints successful youth team. He has struggled to hold down a first team spot since stepping up from youth level. He is still regarded as one of Saints' brightest young talents.

Chris Baird

The young Northern Ireland international hit the headlines for Saints' after making his debut in the F.A Cup final. He struggled for a regular starting place under former bosses Gordon Strachan and Harry Redknapp. He has been given a chance by George Burley having ousted Ostlund from the right back slot. He was one of the most consistent performers towards the end of last season and will be looking to carry his good form forward into next season.

Gareth Bale

The youthful left back recently became Wales youngest ever international. Made a very encouraging first team debut at home against Millwall. Fans have likened him to a young Wayne Bridge with his surging forward runs and delivery from out wide. Could be the clubs first choice left back next season.

Midfielders


Matthew Oakley

A largely disappointing season for the central midfield man. Some very ineffectual performances against average Championship opposition. He was expected to excel at this level but is yet to prove his credentials. An eye catching performance against Newcastle reminded all fans of his qualities, it is time for Oakley to deliver.

Andrew Surman

One of the positives to come out of a largely disappointing season. Originally on loan at Bournemouth, he made the set up to the next level with ease. He seems to be very ambitious about next season as highlighted in a previous article. It will be interesting to see if he is able to live up to his own high standards.

David Prutton

The all action midfielder turned in some impressive performances towards the beginning of the season, but since faded into obscurity as did the rest of the squad in the middle of the season. Is sure to be one of the most important players next season.

Djamel Belmadi

Arguably the clubs most skillful player. The Algerian international was snatched from under the noses of many Premiership clubs by Harry Redknapp. He scored some magical goals, notably the one against Crewe, but missed a large part of the season through injury. He was sorely missed in a midfield that struggled to create any chances and will be welcomed back to the fold next season.

Nathan Dyer

Opinion is very divided about the latest product from Saints' academy. His blinding pace and skill excited many fans, yet he showed his inexperience and lack of physical presence when he was easily knocked off the ball by strong defenders. He also made a glaring error gifting Reading the opening goal at the Madejski.

Strikers

Ricardo Fuller

I must say I was extremely skeptical about the signing of Fuller after a barren spell for local rivals Portsmouth. At the beginning of the season my view was looking to be justified despite a few goals. He went on loan to Championship rivals Ipswich and came back a changed man, firing Saints to safety. Looks to have struck up a rewarding partnership with new boy Gregorz Rasiak.

Gregorz Rasiak

A 2 million pound signing from Tottenham. Struggled for chances at the start of his Saints career but chipped in with a few goals against Coventry and Stoke, the goal against Stoke was particularly well taken, his partnership with the rejuvenated Fuller is sure to be feared next season.

Dexter Blackstock

Another product of the academy. Will be remembered for his goal against local rivals Portsmouth. Looked to have hit form when Saints badly needed goals, netting against Cardiff and Brighton. Has since struggled for goals.

Kenwyne Jones

The Trinadad and Tabago international made an excellent start to the season with goals against Luton and old club Sheffield Wednesday. Has since frustrated fans with some wayward finishing, yet his physical presence and positive forward running should cause Championship defenses a problem next season. Watch out for him playing against England in the World Cup this summer.

David McGoldrick

The hotshot striker nicknamed McGOALdrick has bagged an impressive 35 goals for the youth team this season. It is yet to be seen whether he is able to make the step up to first team action.


This brings to a conclusion Vital Southampton's season review. The many loan players have been omitted from the review because their appearances have been limited.
Next season I feel that if Saints can keep their squad together, add a few signings and gain some off field stability then next season could be very exciting.




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The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday June 5 2006

Time: 7:38PM

Your Comments

u should do well next season i think u will get into the play offs, i dont think u will make the top 2
green giant 12
 

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