Southampton are a football club based in the South East of England. They are known as the Saints and are a one club city, meaning that many people in the area support them. St Mary’s has been their home for nearly 20 years now, after the club moved to the 32,500-seater stadium in 2001 after many years at The Dell.
Notable former players include Matt Le Tissier, who is arguably their most famous ever player. The man fans called ‘Le God’ is their second highest goalscorer if all time having played 209 times for the club. James Beattie, another legendary figure at the club, is third on the list, but neither come close to Rickie Lambert in terms of goals; the Liverpool-born former striker is unrivalled in terms of this particular record, netting 115 goals in just 165 games. He played a particularly crucial role in the Saints securing back to back promotions from League One to the Premier League.
As a club, Southampton’s best asset is their academy, which has produced a number of key players including Le Tissier, Alan Shearer, who went onto become the Premier League’s record goalscorer with 260 goals, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both of whom they sold to Arsenal and of course Gareth Bale, who signed for Real Madrid in a then-world record £85million deal back in 2013 via a spell at Tottenham. He has gone on to win four Champions League titles with Los Blancos.
Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster, Alex McCarthy, Angus Gunn
Defenders: Cedric Soares, Maya Yoshida, Jannik Vestergaard, Ryan Bertrand, Jack Stephens, Jan Bednarek, Wesley Hoedt, Kevin Danso
Midfielders: Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse, Stuart Armstrong, Mario Lemina, Nathan Redmond, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Harrison Reid, Sofiane Boufal, Moussa Djanego
Forwards: Shane Long, Mohammed Elyounoussi, Michael Obafemi, Danny Ings, Che Adams, Josh Sims
Southampton’s business model was once the envy of the entire Premier League. Gelling a shrewd transfer policy with an impressive academy, they were able to play great football and push up the table under exciting managers like Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman, with their players eventually getting sold for big money. The cycle would then begin again; but the issue the Saints found was it all began to crumble when they couldn’t maintain the quality coming into the club. Having to deal with the pressure of rebuilding every year is tough, and they soon slipped further into trouble. Mark Hughes arrived as something of a firefighter against relegation and when he remained, the club’s identity was lost somewhat.
Top ten finish @ 23/10 with Paddy Power
Top South Coast team @ 13/10
Ralph Hasenhüttl to leave by May @ 5/2