Sunday, August 11, 2013


To Southampton yesterday for the pilgrimage to St. Mary`s Stadium to see the Saints overcome a talented Real Sociadad side 4-3 in an entertaining encounter.   OK, it was the last pre-season `friendly` before the Premier League begins in earnest next Saturday but it was a chance to see how the team is shaping up under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino.

In some ways it was deja vu all over again - Saints were fine going forward but gave away daft goals at the other end, hence the scoreline.   If they can sort that out then a decent season beckons although the portents for next week`s Premier League opener away at West Brom look uncertain as so many Saints players are away on international duty in the coming week.

Amongst those missing will be Rickie Lambert Southampton`s Goal Machine (RLSGM) in the England squad, Artur Boric away playing for Poland, Dejan Lovren for Croatia, Stephen Davis captaining Northern Ireland, Emmanuel Mayuka off to play for Zambia, Victor Wanyama for Kenya and - most extraordinary of all - Maya Yoshida will be playing for Japan in Tokyo against Gaston Ramirez in the Uruguayan team.   There could well be others I`ve missed but it all adds up to a non-existent week`s training which might have ironed out the defensive bugs and finally settled on a starting line-up before taking on the Throstles at the Hawthorns next Saturday.  The price of progress?

At the end of the game, my carer and I walked back to Town Quay where we had left the car, just in time to see the Queen Elizabeth drifting away on the evening tide.  I hope it wasn`t an allegory for the Saints` chances of an encouraging start to the new campaign which may have been diminished by the ludicrous timing of international fixtures. 

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