Premier League You're Having a Laugh........
by, 11-02-2011 at 08:40 PM (3004 Views)
"It's an unbelievable turnaround to have their fans singing 'Premier League, you're having a laugh' at us. Well I am having a laugh, I am loving every minute of it because my team has earned the right to be there." - Ian Holloway 8th January 2011
So Mr. Holloway was upset at the "disrespect" shown to his Blackpool side after their defeat at St. Mary's in the FA Cup, and while he may have overreacted, he is certainly right in one aspect. His team do deserve to be there. That cannot be argued. They won promotion to the Premier League fair and square, who are we to argue. We can't. But what is hard to take at times, is the parade of ex-Saints plying their trade in the Premier League, while we sit in League One, that quite frankly didn't look good enough here.
The list seems to grow all the time, and Holloway's Blackpool have the most. Stephen Crainey and Jason Euell are stand out players in their list of former Southampton men that also includes James Beattie, Brett Ormerod and most recently Jason Puncheon(who couldn't hold down a place in our side this season!).
When Crainey and Euell left Saints, I doubt you would find one fan that would have hazarded that they would be playing in arguably the best league in the world and whatsmore two levels above the club they looked so poor for just a few years later. Amazingly for a while it looked like they might be joined at Bloomfield Road by Bradley Wright-Phillips! That would have really been taking the p**s.
With the recent departure of Andy Carroll for mega money, former Saints boss Alan Pardew is looking at another former Saints man Leon Best to lead the line for Newcastle United. Best is what I could only describe as a plodder when he played for us, lazy, disinterested and lacking a natural lethality in front of goal. He will of course be backed up by the "African River Patrol"(copyright Matt Venables) Nile Ranger, I wonder where he started out...
For a while it looked like Stoke City were literally trying to rebuild our Premier League relegation team. They now boast five of our former players. It would be harsh of me to slate Danny Higginbotham or Kenwyne Jones, they both had their moments in their original Red and White stripes, and Andrew Davies showed the potential, but injuries have held him back. That leaves Ricardo Fuller and Rory Delap. Fuller has got be the most frustrating striker I have ever seen and took lazy to new levels, and Delap makes my worst ever Saints XI every time, and we didn't even utilise the one attribute he seems to have.
Wolves added to their squad in January with Adam Hammill a player who had a spell with Saints on loan from Liverpool. His speciality was running the ball out of play, and looking like he liked a pie or two, I don't remember him having a single good game for us!
Another mystery to me has been the successful Premier League Years of Luis Boa Morte, although his West Ham years have reflected his Saints spell more than his Fulham years did!
So why does this happen? Styles of play? Maybe. Formations? Maybe. Face Fitting? Maybe. Saints fans having over the top expectations as usual? Probably.
It's not all bad news and bitterness of course. The success stories of Wayne Bridge, Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale have put our Academy on the map. The likes of Chris Baird has proved his full potential at Fulham, and perhaps the biggest two fingers to come our way would be from Kevin Davies, the man who couldn't get a game back in 2003, has been in the Premier League ever since, and even boasts an England cap for his trouble.
This situation is ten times worse if I were to look at the championship, so probably best that I don't.
Rory Delap Danny Higginbotham Andrew Davies Stephen Crainey
Luis Boa Morte Jason Euell Jason Puncheon Adam Hammill
Leon Best Ricardo Fuller
How many Saints fans would swap that team for ours? Premier League You're Having a Laugh.
* - Harsh on Taylor, but he was the only keeper.
Read more from Chris at http://www.shoot.co.uk.......