Date:Friday March 13 2009
FACTS AND FIGURES
Founded: September 1885
Ground: St Mary`s Stadium - 32689
Manager: Mark Wotte
FA Cup Winners :1976
FA Cup Finalists : 1900, 1902, 2003
League Cup Finalists : 1979
Division 1 Runners Up : 1983/84
Record Attendance: 32,104 v Liverpool (18 Jan 2003)
Record victory: 9-3 v Wolves (02 Sep 1965)
Record defeat 0 - 8 v Everton (01 Nov 1971)
Record Buy: Rory Delap - £4million - Derby County
Record Sale: Theo Walcott - £12million - Arsenal
Record Appearances: Terry Paine - 809
Record Goals: Mick Channon - 227
The year 2001 marked a big change in the history of Southampton FC. They left The Dell, their home of 103 years and moved into a new stadium, St Mary`s, which was looked upon as a "homecoming" as they moved closer to St Mary`s church where the club had been founded.
The manager for the first season at St Mary`s was Stuart Gray who replaced Glen Hoddle who had ensured Premiership safety for the Saints before moving on to Spurs, but after a terrible start to the season he was quickly replaced by former Leeds and Manchester United favourite Gordon Strachan.
Strachan quickly set about revitalising the Saints and they ended the season in a respectable 11th position. In his second season they went even better, finishing eighth in the league and narrowly losing 1-0 to Arsenal in the Fa Cup final in Cardiff.
Near the end of the 2003/04 season Strachan felt it was time to take a break from the stresses of football management and was replaced by Paul Sturrock, who had been doing a fantastic job at Plymouth Argyle.
Sturrock lasted only 5 months and left the club amid rumours of player unhappiness and personal problems. Rather than look outside of the club, Southampton promoted from within by appointing first team coach Steve Wigley, but his tenure was even worse and the club slid dramatically down the Premiership table.and after a run of 1 win in 14 he found himself clearing his desk.
In December of 2004, the club chairman, Rupert Lowe, created a great shock to many in football when he announced that his new manager was to be Harry Redknapp who had resigned from fierce rivals Portsmouth just a few days before. Redknapp was unable to secure Premiership safety, and even with the help of ex England Rugby supremo Sir Clive Woodward, the club were relegated after a 27 year spell in the top flight.
Board room chaos has been ever present since the relegation and many believe that this has hindered the teams fortunes on the field. And the club continue to flirt with relegation most seasons.
Financial problems means that the club has to sell to survive and some nitable products of the system at St Marys include Theo Walcott, Kenwynne Jones, and Gareth Bale.
This season in the championship has seen another year of struggle for the Saints, and in January of this year manager Jan Poortvliet resigned with the club firmly in the bottom three. His replacement is Mark Wotte, who as a defender had a decent career in The Netherlands. Things have looked up at St Mary`s since his arrival and the team recorded some good wins against the likes of high flying Cardiff, Ipswich and Preston. Relegation may be knocking on the door at Southampton but Wotte and his team wont go down without a fight and so Saturdays game will see them fighting hard for the points
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Date:Friday March 13 2009
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