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Has there ever been a closer knit Saints side........


washsaint

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I cannot, in my 40+ years supporting Saints, remember a closer team. The spirit and camaraderie is stunning to behold and I believe plays no small part in our success this season.

 

Have to say Mauricio just keeps going up and up in my estimation...his words about the team being more important than individuals (no matter how talented, such as Osvaldo) just shows what an amazing job he is doing.

 

I truly hope we can keep hold of him in the summer as he is a class act.

 

I already think this is one of the best, if not best, Saints teams ever (certainly based on playing style) and with Mauricio stays I can only see us getting better and better.

 

Has there ever been a better time to be a Saints fan?

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You think several of this team have come up from league 1 together, probably each one having a chance to move on but they have all stayed. This I think has helped build the Southampton way, probably never to be repeated. Fonte , SRL, Morgan, Adam and Kelvin we salute you.

 

Spot on.

 

It was great to see the magnificent travelling supporters rewarded with another fantastic performance. I expect many of those same loyal supporters were the ones travelling to places like Hartlepool and Carlisle a few years back. They’ve travelled many miles over recent years – literally and metaphorically.

 

That’s why I’m so pleased that players who have shared that journey – K Davis, Fonte, Schneiderlin, Lallana and Lambert – are still contributing so much to the team. The supporters will always be the beating heart of the club, but, for me, those players are the beating heart of the fantastic team spirit within the whole squad; and both – supporters and team spirit – can’t be bought: they have to be forged over many miles and many matches.

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I like the sentiment, but I am pretty sure we have had loads of close knit squads over the years....especially using the OPs timescale of 40+ years. I don't think it's something particularly unique to the current bunch - and unless you are personally involved it's difficult to tell for sure how close everyone is. I do agree that those that were involved in the relegations and subsequent promotions are likely to have a particularly good bond however.

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I like the sentiment, but I am pretty sure we have had loads of close knit squads over the years....especially using the OPs timescale of 40+ years. I don't think it's something particularly unique to the current bunch - and unless you are personally involved it's difficult to tell for sure how close everyone is. I do agree that those that were involved in the relegations and subsequent promotions are likely to have a particularly good bond however.

 

Well it's 35 years for me and I agree with the OP. when you look back to our most successful period in the early 80's, it didn't take much for the big players to jump ship for a few extra quid. Maybe it is a case of the fact we can match some of the offers coming in these days, but I think there is a whole lot more to it than that and MP certainly deserves some credit. This lot are tight, no doubt about it and are seeing the rewards for the work ethic they put in as a team. This will drip feed into the younger players and the youth set up, so it all bodes well. That said we will lose some of these players and its how we manage and replace them that will be the test,

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Well it's 35 years for me and I agree with the OP. when you look back to our most successful period in the early 80's, it didn't take much for the big players to jump ship for a few extra quid. Maybe it is a case of the fact we can match some of the offers coming in these days, but I think there is a whole lot more to it than that and MP certainly deserves some credit. This lot are tight, no doubt about it and are seeing the rewards for the work ethic they put in as a team. This will drip feed into the younger players and the youth set up, so it all bodes well. That said we will lose some of these players and its how we manage and replace them that will be the test,

 

I am not disagreeing that it is a close squad - but I think the years can sometimes cloud your judgement. Who, out of the very close knit team that finished 2nd, "jumped ship for a few extra quid"? I think you are doing the players and management from that era a disservice.

 

EDIT: to answer my own question, maybe Steve Williams thought he would do better at Arsenal... but who knows who might do a similar thing in the coming close season.

Edited by kpturner
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I am not disagreeing that it is a close squad - but I think the years can sometimes cloud your judgement. Who, out of the very close knit team that finished 2nd, "jumped ship for a few extra quid"? I think you are doing the players and management from that era a disservice.

 

EDIT: to answer my own question, maybe Steve Williams thought he would do better at Arsenal... but who knows who might do a similar thing in the coming close season.

 

Didn't Lawrie decide he had to go after a dressing room confrontation with Williams?

 

Agree generally with the comments made and yes, with the benefit of hindsight Osvaldo was a mistake. Which begs the question why we have a HCDAJFU thread trying to identify our replacement striker when (a) Rodriguez was bought to eventually lead the line when Rickie retires (a couple of years yet at least) and (b) Sam Gallagher has shown huge potential for the future.

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The togetherness is a sight to behold, as is our tempo and workrate. The commentators last night were spaffing themselves silly over it.

 

Another related point is that yesterday's starting XI, Rodriguez aside, was very cheaply assembled by Premier League standards. Conversely Hull (billed as plucky underdogs) had two players on the pitch that cost a combined £14m in January.

 

We have built slowly, steadily and sensibly over the past 5 years. I would argue that even our larger transfer fees paid have been justifiable considering the TV money. Yes, there have been some mis-steps, but 'Billy Big ********' behaviour has been dealt with well. If you don't make the effort to fit in at Saints you will lose out, but additions such as Lovren have shown how quickly you are welcomed if you do.

 

Add in our youth output and things are looking undeniably rosy. Meltdown? Us?

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As Rooney says above, mustn't forget Nigel Adkins. Remember the situation we were in when he came in, at the bottom of League One or thereabouts and yet in his time managing us I am struggling to think of any negative comments from him about the team. He exuded positivity, enthusiasm and togetherness for the players from the word go and I can't remember the fan base ever appearing to be so united and supportive of a manager, right up until the time of his departure. His slogan 'Together as one' still adorns the Kingsland.

Having said that, MP has clearly managed to keep that team spirit going and strengthen it further which is great to see. Let's hope that the five year contracts our youngsters are on, are more than just symbolic and that Mopo can keep this bunch of players together and stay here himself for some time yet.

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Did he? I don't remember that. Williams left in 1984 and Lawrie left in 1985. There was an infamous incident between Mark Wright and LM though.

 

Yes, the two incidents were connected. Lawrie mentioned it in his recent (long) Talksport interview. He gave Williams a ticking off at half time in some match for not following instructions. Williams wouldn't have any of it and somewhat saracstically Lawrie said oh just do what you want to do and the rest of the team can follow instructions. Williams left the dressing room and Mark Wright (last to leave) turned round and offered some words in support of Williams which caused Lawrie to erupt and they had a tussle that went back into the showers. Lawrie obviously regretted his own behaviour but concluded that he could no longer accommodate Williams at the club. Before the interview, I had thought it was just Williams trying to better himself. Very talented player even though apparently difficult to manage.

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You think several of this team have come up from league 1 together, probably each one having a chance to move on but they have all stayed. This I think has helped build the Southampton way, probably never to be repeated. Fonte , SRL, Morgan, Adam and Kelvin we salute you.

 

Not to forget Guly and Jonno Quick.

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I cannot, in my 40+ years supporting Saints, remember a closer team.

The spirit and camaraderie is stunning to behold and I believe plays no small part in our success this season.

I already think this is one of the best, if not best, Saints teams ever (certainly based on playing style) and with Mauricio stays I can only see us getting better and better.

Has there ever been a better time to be a Saints fan?

 

 

I was thinking much the same thing, and I 'm going back over 50 years.....

There were times when players really worked well for Ted Bates, and of course Lawrie Mac was famed for his " man-management " methods - whether handling England internationals, or " trouble-makers".

 

The thing that makes this squad different is that most of our success has been achieved from the development of lower league players, " Prem. rejects " and our own Academy lads. The balance seems great.

 

Despite having spent big fees on several players they don't seem to have appeciably prospered the team. Ramirez still hasn't got into the rhythm of things, Osvaldo never did and though Wanyama started quite well, he'll have to start over if he's to make a comeback after his injury spell out.

 

But it is a joy to see the fluency of play, and even if we don't get all the points every time, we always seem to get the plaudits.

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The forthcoming close-season:

 

Top priority is to secure Pochettino here. The rest simply follows from that.

 

Absolutely!! If that is all we do in the closed season I'll be happy. I was an early doubter about MP, but he has converted me.

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Mustn't forget Nige.

 

He was instrumental in bringing this "team spirit" to Saints and this shouldn't be forgotten.

 

Absolutely right. I was thinking the same thing reading through this thread and wondered how long it would run before someone mentioned him.

 

MP certainly deserves credit but a lot of the togetherness is thanks to Adkins' influence. Without that I reckon we would have struggled to get promoted out of the championship as quickly as we did.

 

I'm pretty sure that it doesn't go back as far as his predecessor though.

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Did he? I don't remember that. Williams left in 1984 and Lawrie left in 1985. There was an infamous incident between Mark Wright and LM though.

 

I think it was a half time spat between Lawrie and one of them initially, (half time v QPR in the League Cup sticks in my mind) , and the other got involved. Story at the time that Wright pushed Lawrie in the bath.

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I think it was a half time spat between Lawrie and one of them initially, (half time v QPR in the League Cup sticks in my mind) , and the other got involved. Story at the time that Wright pushed Lawrie in the bath.

 

And the fan that challenged Wright on the pitch and offered him his coat as Wright was stropping for next few games and refusing to run........ Might just get to read this :) :)

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I think the ale house brawlers were pretty close knit as a team

 

That was my first thought on seeing the thread.

 

Perhaps a slight difference is that this lot look 'close knit' on the pitch, whereas the Greats of The Alehouse formed their greatest bonds off the pitch, and mostly at the bar, often "after hours".

 

The Alehouse did not always show the same unity on the pitch as this lot, and performances were often more disjointed than now, perhaps explained (as my late father told me years later) by some of the players being on the p!ss the night/morning before a match.

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And the fan that challenged Wright on the pitch and offered him his coat as Wright was stropping for next few games and refusing to run........ Might just get to read this :) :)

 

Remember seeing that from the Archers Road End. Wright kneeling down doing his laces up when this character appeared wrapping his coat over him as it was raining !

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Remember seeing that from the Archers Road End. Wright kneeling down doing his laces up when this character appeared wrapping his coat over him as it was raining !

 

LOL.....he is on the forum

 

Wright told him to wait for him after the game... so he did.

 

MW turned into a blubbering wreck

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The more academy players that come through to the first team, the more players we have playing for their old school, and with their old class mates. I can't think of any better bonding than that!

 

Luke Shaw tweeted his joy of ending a game this season ( cant remember which one ) with 3 of his " classmates " on the pitch with him - Chambers, JWP and Reed.

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