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[Archived] Rovers 3-0 Saints


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This Saturday, 9th April, we entertain (if that is the right word) Southampton. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend myself, I’m getting married on Friday, and we’re off to Paris for a couple of days on Saturday for our honeymoon. (Sorry, couldn’t get out of it)

I think we can class this game as a 6 pointer, both teams need the 3 points at the moment, maybe Southampton more than us. Recent results have given us a bit of breathing space, however, our lack of firepower up front leaves cause for concern. Also, Harry Rednapp seems to be turning things around at the Saints, and they seem to know where the back of the net is.

Its going to be a close run-in to the end of the season, with 3 out of 7 (that’s my thinking) facing the drop. Southampton have been an ever present in the Premiership, although they’ve had a few close calls, especially 95/96 and 96/97. I personally think they are good enough to stay up, but I thought the same about us in 99. (indecently, it was Southampton that finished 4th from bottom that season)

Brief History:

Southampton Football Club, as it is now known, was formed in November 1885 by members of St Mary’s Church of England’s Young Men’s Association. In 1894, St Mary’s Y.M.A. football club entered the Southern League and became Southampton St Mary’s FC.

In 1898, they took up residency at the “Dell” and they stayed there till the summer of 2001, when they returned to St Mary’s.

Famous Saints players include:

Bruce Grobbelaar

Tim “bottle” Flowers

Peter Shilton

Mark Wright

Mick Mills

Alan Shearer (you might remember him)

Matt Le Tissier

Kevin Keegan

Lawrie “yes boss” McMenemy

Plus most of the Wallace family…..

There have been a number of players who have played for both clubs in recent years:

Alan Shearer

Tim Flowers

Jeff Kenna

Kevin Davies

James Beattie

Mark Hughes

Graeme Le Saux

Stuart Ripley

Results from previous seasons:

03-04

Rovers 1-1 Southampton

Cole - Phillips

02-03

Rovers 1-0 Southampton

Thompson

01-02

Rovers 2-0 Southampton

Duff

Yordi

Then of course we all remember that goal by Le Tissier against Flowers in the 90’s (a bit lucky if you ask me) biggrin.gifwink.gif

So, in my opinion, it promises to be a scrappy affair with little or nothing between the 2 teams. My work colleague and friend (but not this weekend), Danny, has been kind enough to answer a few questions:

Questions to Danny

Now then Danny, the saints have had a poor season, what would you put that down to?

The chairman.

Last season, when Gordon Strachan made it clear he was not renewing his contract Lowe panicked and tried to get Hoddle back. Although I rate Hoddle as a great coach and manager, he cannot be trusted. Such was the public outrage by the fans, that he was forced to back down and appointed Sturrock on a whim. He gave Sturrock a few games with Strachan’s team. Sturrock had chance to mould his side in pre season but was given just 2 games to prove himself, of which he won 1. He was then replaced which is scandalous. Wigley was another panic appointment and once it became clear that Harry was being forced out at Portsmouth, Wigley’s days were numbered.

So is there a general consensus among the fans to get rid of the chairman?

I think because of all his tinkering this season, there are a lot of fans who would like to see him replaced, especially when the alleged Hoddle appointment came to light. All will no doubt be forgiven if we manage to stay up and keep St Harry for next season

Are you confident you can beat the drop?

I feel we’ll still pick up some good results but it’s really down now to how Palace and a couple of the others do, I think Norwich and West Brom are certs for the drop, then any 1 from 5

Who would you include in that 5?

I see it between ourselves, Palace, Fulham, Rovers and Portsmouth, the game on the 9th will be key. If one team wins they will be safe, I feel. We also have to play Palace and Portsmouth away so it’s still in our own hands

Did you welcome Harry to Southampton with open arms?

Yes, I’ve always thought he was a great manager.

Did the hatred between the Saints and Pompey give any cause for concern among the saints fans?

I think had we not been in dire trouble, there would have been a lot more fuss, but his appointment really was last chance saloon !

Was the loss of Beattie a big blow for the saints?

Personally I don’t think so. Rumour has it he was half the reason Sturrock left. I feel he’s and average player who’ got too big for his boots and judging by his performances at Everton so far, I’ve been proved right.

Who are your danger players?

Crouch for his height, Phillips for his finishing and Camara for his pace and directness. I also think Antti Niemi is the best keeper in the premiership and feel he’ll move to Arsenal or United in the summer.

Which Rovers players do you fear?

Dickov always seem to unsettle us, Robbie Savage is underrated and it’ll be interesting battle between him and Redknapp in the middle. Emerton can also be very dangerous when on his game

Its interesting you mention Jamie Redknapp, do you thing he can concentrate on his game when Louise wub.gif is waiting for him at home? (hubba hubba) Seriously though, has he brought anything new to the saints’ midfield?

It sure would brighten up anyone’s day going home to Louise! I feel Jamie has brought confidence to the midfield more than anything, but obviously he can pass the ball, he knows where the goal is and is not afraid to get stuck in !

How do you rate Mark Hughes as a manager?

The jury is still out for me. He’s done ok, and did a fairly good job at Wales, but he’s yet to prove his worth. I certainly think Rovers have a better future than under Graeme Souness !

There’s a lot of us who’d agree with that. Dou you see Rovers as a long term Premiership team, or do you think we’ll be struggling with relegation every season?

Hughesy should bring some stability and I think he’ll do quite well in the summer, wouldn’t be surprised to see Bellamy and possibly Gabbidon (I think the Welsh centre half) in a rovers shirt next season ! I think you’ll be a prem team for the foreseeable future, although it’s hard to see you breaking into the top 6 say.

Before our game against Man U, and yours against Chelsea, (I’ll predict 0 points for us both) we are 5 points ahead of you. This game is vital for both teams. A win for us would surely put us clear of the relegation scrap. A win for the saints would certainly help. Can we have your prediction please?

I can see us getting at least a point against Chelsea, the loss of Robben is a big blow for them, they’ll also possible have one eye on the Bayern game. Plus with the firepower and confidence we have at the mo, I think we can score goals against them.

If we beat Chelsea I think we’ll go on and beat Rovers 2-1 , Any other result against them and your looking at 2-2 Rovers vs Saints

Can you give us a likely line up for your team?

Niemi, Delap, Bernard, Jacobbson, Lundekvam, Telfer, Le Saux, Redknapp, Quashie, Camara, Crouch

Finally, who do you think will make it to the FA Cup final?

Arsenal vs Manchester United, Arsenal to win !

Cheers Danny, may the best team win.

My prediction – 1-0, MGP

wub.gifwub.gif

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What a pathetic excuse for not being at the match jim j! Congratulations and all the very best for the future (PS don't listen to Abbey on the subject of women at the moment!).

This brings a sense of deja vu- I got married the day we played Southampton at home. That day we lost 0-2 and Roy Hodgson got sacked so we don't want any repeat of that.

No Savage by all accounts and I wouldn't be surprised to see Dickov's rest continuing so he is fresh for biting Arsenal ankles in Cardiff.

I expect Southampton to treat it like a home game and attack freely in an unexpectedly open and entertaining game. Rovers 4-5-1 to work out, with either Tomo or Emo to surprise us by playing well and a 2-1 win. Stead to get them both to set up a selection poser for the Semi-Final.

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Thanks for the preview JimJ and congratulations for Friday !

Enjoy your honeymoon mate, I bet you can't tell us much about Paris when you get back rolleyes.gif hehe!

I hate these games with Southampton.. could go either way blink.gif

Prediction? hmmm, heart says 2-0 Rovers.. head says 1-1 draw

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1-1

gamst for us, camera for them. Rovers never play well against the teams in relegation positions, especially after a decent result against one of the big boys. Their defence looks as bad as our forward line though.

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I would lovet o see Rovers win but am happy to settle for a point from this game, we must NOT lose it is as simple as that.

I cant see any of the two teams going all out, both will play counter attack football. Southampton will play lump it to the big fella so Nelsen and Todd need to be on the ball.

An early goal for Rovers would open the game up for the likes of Emerton and Reid, all we need is a goal scorer rolleyes.gif

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Rovers have a nasty habit of dropping points when we all expect to pick them up.

I half expected us to get a decent haul of points from Everton, Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd. However, our run-in on paper looks starightforward. So I'll predict us to make staying in the league as hard as possible. Starting with a 2-0 defeat on Saturday.

I would quite happily take a draw now.

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No Savage, and as we're at home we'll push forward a bit more, so I can see Soton's forwards getting a goal. So the test is whether we can score more than one, which I doubt at the moment, so a 1-1 is the best I think we're going to do with a Pedersen free-kick cancelling out a Crouch goal. I'd be happy with that though as it would keep Soton 6 points behind.

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What is the script with Savage ? He seems to have been out for some time.

Prediction Home win of course although I want 4 points from the Soton and Palace home games so a draw in one of them doesn't bother me.

Not forgetting we owe soton after robbing 3 vital points from us earlier season with that dubious pen in injury time. We should have had a 9 point cushion with them going into this game. Lets hope the swings and rounabouts scenario rules in rovers favour this time.

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Rovers never play well against the teams in relegation positions, especially after a decent result against one of the big boys.

We have hughsey in charge now so hopefully things will be different.

Prediction 3-1 Rovers

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Having got this far I think it would be foolish to throw away our advantage by playing an over expansive game, Southampton need to win this game much more than we do ,

why play into their hands ? At the moment our strength is in our defence, we can strangle the life out of most teams, I know it doesn't put bums on seats or sell season tickets but thats not the issue on Saturday, making sure we don't give Southampton a leg up is.

My team-

Freidel

Neill

Todd

Nelsen

Matteo

Mokoena

Emerton

Reid

Savage/Flitcroft ?

Pedersen

Dickov/Stead?

* Savage and Dickov if fit

Subs

Enkleman

Amoruso ( may need to throw him up front if the worst happens )

Tugay (may need some creativity in midfield --as above-----------)

Stead/Dickov

Johnson

Last Saturdays " performance" puts Gallagher and Thompson out of the reckoning for me.

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