THE ONLY WAY ?...
An incredible journey for Southampton Football Club, from three years ago at the bottom of the third tier on minus 10 points to third in the Premier League with 22 points from 11 games - just another 19 needed to almost guarantee survival in `the best league in the world (tm).`
In the past week especially, seemingly unremitting praise has been heaped on the club following its excellent start to the season, three players called up to the senior England squad, two to the Under-21s and two more to the Under-19s; other international call-ups for our players from Japan, Croatia, Poland, Uruguay, Northern Ireland, Kenya and Italy; and the manager Mauricio Pochettino being named Premier League Manager of the Month.
It`s all very heady stuff and no wonder they`re dancing in the streets of Southampton as times like these have not been experienced for 30 years, when we finished second in the old First Division to Liverpool.
And yet experienced Saints followers like me are getting worried. Surely it can`t go on like this, especially when the team currently appears at the top of the `form table`:-
You see, we`ve become accustomed to knowing our place, we have lived through years of perpetual struggle, through two administrations, we have suffered under the misguided regime of rogue managers and incompetent chairmen but all the while we have lived with the hope of financial security, inspiring management, beneficial ownership, a successful team and an end to our fears and default anxieties.
And now that the club seems finally to have achieved all of those long held hopes and aspirations, we can`t quite believe it. And we worry that, in true Saints tradition, it will all come crashing around our ears and we will be back where we have nearly always been, knowing our place and dreaming of better times. There is almost a sense of embarrassment with the attention we have been getting and maybe a sense of longing being developed for those good old days of torment and perennial disappointment, for such has been the transformation that we suspect the only way may be down.....but we`ll enjoy these good times while they last, however long that turns out to be.