The Southampton View
Well, the end of the season is upon us and what a Premier League season it has been. Ahead of the trip to the South Coast, we had a chat to Jake from St Marys’ Musings to find out about the season for Southampton and hopes for the summer.
Q. How has your season been since we last met in the Premier League?
Like with most Southampton seasons, there have been a series of peaks and troughs. We played Palace around December and it was not the best timing for us. But since then we have had a great second half of the season, only Leicester City have accrued more points than us since Christmas and we have beaten the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in that time.
Q. This will be the third time the two teams have faced each other this season so what did you make of the previous two meetings?
Well they were not very good for us! As bad as we were, I feel we should have got a draw at Selhurst Park, especially with Shane Long’s late chance he squandered. But I am happy to see your lot reach the FA Cup final. Means we were not knocked out by anyone useless!
Q. There us a chance of European football next season. Do you think that is achievable and of so, how do you think you will fair?
There is all sorts of weird rules which could mean we get to the Europa League even finishing eighth this season. We are currently seventh and I would have felt a lot more confident about European football if Manchester United had finished the job against West Ham United on Tuesday instead of collapsing late.
If we do get a chance to play in the Europa, I just want to see Saints qualify for the group stages at the bare minimum. We could not achieve that this season so it would be another sign of progress if we could do that.
Q. Lots of rumours ahead of the summer including where Ronald Koeman may go. Presume you want him to stick around?
Of course! He is a great guy and has been fantastic for Southampton for these past two seasons. I hope Koeman has still bought into the long-term plans of Southampton and signs a new deal to stay. But, with ‘bigger’ clubs circling around him, I would not be surprised if he were to leave at the end of his current deal.
Q. What expectations do you have ahead of the summer and for next season?
We will likely lose Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama this summer. I am just hoping we can sign some good, established players as replacements to anyone we lose rather gambling on cheap stand-ins working out. It is always stressful!
Q. Which Southampton player has impressed you most this season?
As frustrating as he has been on occasions, it will have to be Shane Long with Virgil van Dijk closely following behind. Long is tireless and does not stop running. He is a constant nuisance as Arsenal, for instance, can attest as he was the real catalyst behind our 4-0 thrashing of the Gooners on Boxing Day. His finishing can leave a lot to be desired but he has seemingly improved on that this season.
Q. What are your thoughts on Palace this season?
Good, solid side. But I cannot for the life of me explain your collapse in the second half of the season! Seems to happen a lot with Pardew clubs.
Q. Name a player from each side that the opposition should be concerned about.
Long and/or Mane will be a nuisance guaranteed. If he is fit, Yannick Bolasie always seems to be a big threat out wide.
Q. Your prediction?
With our great form in the second half of the season and our hopes for European football, I feel like we will get the result at home. 2-1 to the Saints.
Q. Please tell us a little about what you do and share anything that you are currently working on.
Please visit St Marys Musings to see TEB’s response to our questions along with any other Saints related news and opinion articles.
It has been a busy week in the build up to this final league game of the season as I was invited to have a chat with The Ugly Inside about the season for Palace.