One Negative and Five Positives
by, 01-05-2012 at 11:54 AM (2375 Views)
It has been such a wonderful year, before drawing a blue line under this season it's probably a good idea to take a look back at how we have got this far and use Nigel Adkins' own technique to appraise how we have done.
The 1 Negative: We Are Not Going To Win As Many Games From Now On
Since Markus Liebherr purchased us, our league win ratio stands at 56%, when we achieved our best position in the Premier League, 8th, our win ratio was 34%. A typical mid-table side achieves a win once in every 3 games. With the best will in the world we will not have the same winning feeling as often next year, learning how to cope with that will be important. As fans we have been a little spoilt in the past three years with a major event to celebrate in each season, now it is time to get back into a more traditional rhythm.
1st Positive: Our Fanbase
Prior to relegation we could fill St Mary's 90% Full even in quieter types of league fixture. This was at a time when there was a great degree of negativity towards the board, certain players and the management. We now have a wave of positivity flowing through us, similar in style to how Stoke City managed to push on 4 seasons ago. The atmosphere at St Mary's next season will be outstanding and regardless of league position, we will turn up in numbers.
2nd Positive: The Real Nigel Adkins
It comes as a surprise to read that some opposing fans see Nigel Adkins as aloof, even cocky. For those of us who see him week in week out we know that nothing could be further from the truth. His carefully selected 'Adkinsisms' a reflection of the positivity and consistency he aims to provide to his players, those around him at the club and the media, a product of his knowledge of sports psychology, not a mere cheap trick to appear smarter or better then others for the sake of it.
After the final whistle on Saturday, his emotional side came out. His genuine pride at the achivements of HIS PLAYERS, not himself meant so much to him. The guy is an absolute gem, selfless but resolute. Determined without being overtly aggressive and professional yet undoubtably human. An absolute class act to his core, we are incredibly fortunate to have him.
3rd Positive: He Stands Just Under 6ft 3......
Rickie! Rickie! He's taken us to the Premier League you know! No, still can't believe the prophecy has fulfilled itself either. Proof that there are diamonds in the rough in the lower leagues, now he has polished his diet, attitude and manner since his days drifting between Stockport and Rochdale he has flourished. At the peak of his career he will be so desperately hungry to prove himself at the highest level, a level he must surely at some point believed he would never achieve. Here is your chance Rickie, 31 League goals Rickie, Seize it, we are all behind you.
4th Positive: The Foundations
So important. Without a solid base the building above will crumble, won't it Mr Westwood? The academy is being refurbished, the Stadium too in recent times. We are not just sinking money it a first team everything behind it is being built up to a level of being 'World Class.' The five year plan Mr Cortese and Markus put into place wasn't just about league position, it was about stature and resource.
The base that has provided us with a Stadium that, while not exactly unique is more then functional and atmospheric and an academy that has already producted more talent then many more well regarded clubs, including the still young Adam Lallana, a first team mainstay.
We are not treating this as an excuse to burn money, something lasting is being produced here.
5th Positive: We Are Premier League
To Markus Liebherr, Nigel Adkins, Nicola Cortese, Alan Pardew, The Players and Fans. We did it, far sooner then anyone could have expected. An achievement to absolutely savour.
The Future Is Bright, The Future is Red and White!