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Haven’t played the big hitters yet…

7 years ago

You know what, I would love it, really love it…if Southampton qualified for the Champions League this season.

After picking up 25 points in their first 11 matches, why shouldn’t the south coast team push on and keep the chasing pack at bay?

The Saints are currently eight points ahead of the fifth place team Arsenal, who have a game in hand, while they are alos four points clear of third placed Man City after their draw at QPR today.

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Since the first day of the season, Southampton have kept seven clean sheets and only conceded three goals in the Premier League.

I wonder who they have in goal…?

Yet after picking up their latest win today (2-0 v Leicester), I saw various comments by pundits saying, ‘Ah but they have got all the big hitters to play still’. Big hitters…who are they?

Southampton have played four of the other eight teams currently in the top eight, the four they still have to play are Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City and United.

I’m not saying they will keep their same level of results up against those four but I wouldn’t mind betting they pick up a reasonable number of points from that quartet.

Exactly what have they got to be afraid of?

Chelsea are clearly a cut above anybody else in terms of consistency so far, but Southampton have already beaten Arsenal away in the League Cup and the Gunners have failed to beat the likes of Hull and Leicester.

After attempting to buy a Champions League place, Manchester United were hit for five by Leicester, lost at home to Swansea and failed to beat Burnley and the mackems.

Manchester City meanwhile have lost at home to Stoke, been a joke in Europe and lost to Newcastle at the Etihad in the League Cup.

As Newcastle fans we are constantly given the message that the Champions League is only for a select group of clubs, a top four finish for Southampton would simply confirm what as fans we really already know, the top spots are open to other clubs who show the right ambition and expertise. In the past Alan Pardew has bizarrely referred to Southampton as a club that Newcastle can’t compete with in the transfer market…

Southampton have shown that ambition in the transfer market and while they banked some gobsmacking transfer fees in the summer, they had already shelled out big net amounts previously, as well as investing over £40m on four attacking players in this latest transfer window plus the likes of Fraser Forster.

The great thing is that as well as super tight defence, Southampton have shown that not being a ‘big hitter’ doesn’t mean you can’t play attacking attractive football, staying in the Premier League shouldn’t be the only ‘ambition’ for a club like Newcastle United.


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