A bit about Southampton
- Founded in 1885
- Play at St Mary's Stadium (Capacity 32,505)
- Southcoast derby against Portsmouth
- One of the founding members of the Premier League
- Nickname – The Saints
- 1x FA Cup
- 1x League One (or equivalent)
- 1x Papa John's Trophy
- 6x English Southern League Premier Division
- 1x English Third Division South
Oh When the SaintsSouthampton had a spell of dominance league wise in the late 1800's/early 1900's where they won the English Southern League Championship on six occasions, at the time this division was a serious contender to the football league though would arguably not be considered as prestigious however as football in the south developed there was suitable arguments to suggest that the standards were not that dissimilar.
By 1920 most of the clubs taking part in that league were absorbed into the football league which over the years has developed into the pyramid and league system we have today.
Southampton spend 30 years in division 2 (Championship) before being relegated in 1953, they would return back to the division in 1960 when they won Division 3 (League One).
The club made its way to the First division in 1966 and stayed there for 7 seasons before being relegated from the division in 1974 one of the first clubs to go down with the then new '3 club relegation system'.
Despite relegation Southampton won perhaps their most important trophy defying the odds to win the FA Cup in 1976 against Manchester United, they would return to the top flight again after the 1977/78 season.
Southampton were founding members of the Premier League with its inception in 1992/1993 however they have spent many of the seasons they have been in it overcoming the odds to stay in the division, they have had a few seasons where they managed mid-table to top half but mostly they have been in and around the bottom end of the table. 27 successive seasons in the top flight came to an end in 2005 when they were relegated to the Championship.
Financial issues impacted the club going forwards, after missing out on promotion via the play-offs 2007 key players had to be sold to stave of administration though this caught up with them in 2009, they were relegated to League One and started that season with -10 points for going into administration.
They managed to come 7th, one place outside of the play-offs however they won the 'Football League Trophy' (Papa John's Trophy) their first piece of silverware since 1976. They came second the following season and returned to the Championship, they achieved back to back promotions coming second again and returned back to the Premier league for the 2012/13 season.
Southampton made a decent start back in the Premier League finishing 14th in the first season back and following that up with an 8th placed finish the season after under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino whom worked wonders with the squad and the younger players, Ronald Koeman took over after 'Poch' left for Tottenham and finished 7th bettering that the season after finishing 6th and qualified for the Europa League proper.
The club continued with top half finishes making 8th after Ronald Koeman left for Everton this now being the 16/17 season.
Unfortunately for Southampton their dog-fights down at the bottom returned after poor performances, and just survived in 17th place with Mark Hughes steadying the ship, he started poorly the season after however and in came Ralph Hasenhuttl whom has been at the helm ever since though their place in the Premier League has not quite been a certainty since mainly due to the lack of quality in the squad.
I mention below that when they returned to the top-flight the recruitment and development of young players had been terrific but with good performances the larger clubs come sniffing and Southampton's replacements have not been up to scratch, with the odd exception such as Danny Ings whom the club relied on so very heavily whilst he was there the squad is not full of massively talented players, they do at least work hard and Hasenhuttl has got them working for each other – this may well be the difference but other clubs have been relegated despite this.
Southampton will need to recruit wisely in January/Summer to ensure that they remain in the Premier League, having a decent manager only goes so far.
So Why Manage Southampton?Southampton are one of a few teams that have been in the top-flight for numerous seasons returning after a relegation, some have pushed on to become a steady mid-table to possible European challengers whereas some like Southampton have not and mainly seem to be further down looking at survival.
Except for brilliant signing of Tino Livramento the rest of their summer recruitment didn't exactly set the world alight, whilst this isn't a slight against the other acquisitions losing your top scorer in Danny Ings and replacing with Adam Armstrong wasn't quite what the fans would have been hoping for in terms of strengthening the squad, having said that he scored plenty in the Championship and he works hard if you can find the right system or strike a good partnership with Che Adams this could bare goal scoring fruit.
Making it your mission to break this cycle of dog-fights, can you do better with the squad than Hassenhuttl and take Southampton up the table, can you do better than rivals Brighton and push into that top half of the table?
Maybe less in recent seasons but Southampton's recruitment and team when they returned to the Premier League has been fantastic.
Signing some top players whom since have moved on to bigger things but by doing so has generated Southampton a lot of money, selling such players as Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Virgil Van Dijk and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to name a few, the current crop of players do not currently look too ripe for profit other than Tino Livramento whom has excelled at right back this season.
If Southampton are going to try and be more secure with you at the helm in FM then the recruitment needs to sharpen up again and securing more prospects may prove to be invaluable in boosting the finances to build the team further, with one of the smaller budgets for clubs in the Premier League you will have to be smart to conjure up more talent for their squad.
The finances may not be good for a good couple of seasons depending on how far you get in the league and cups, working with a smaller budget and not many players to sell onwards unless you want to sell the best you have Southampton will be a decent few season save, whilst the idea of developing other club's players may not be ideal working with some solid loans might be a good stop gap whilst you grow the club.
He has not featured for many minutes however does look like a handful when he takes the pitch, Armando Broja from Chelsea looks like a good talent, a few more loan signings like that or maybe if you can a decent future fee clause in place could aid the cause.
A different take on why to manage now; set pieces – James Ward Prowse is the only player when you start to have 20 in Corner taking and Free kicks, meaning for Southampton these will be extremely important if you are creative enough and can work out routine(s) despite SI nerfing certain exploits so to speak then he will score a hatful and so will the other members of the squad and those extra goals could well be the difference for a larger transfer budget come the end of the season!
I have said for other clubs to develop youth players but Southampton do not currently have an extensive range of players to do so with, the youth players currently not looking like a mass of potential, in the league the best possibly could be Nathan Tella but at 22 it already could be make or break for being a top-flight player.
A different dimension therefore could be to focus on Livramento whom I've mentioned a couple of times now, he does look like a fantastic prospect on the right – England currently seem very blessed with right backs so it might be a challenge to focus on him and try and get him into the England squad firstly and if possible to be the first choice right back, trying to out-do Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and more would be incredibly difficult but if you think you've done it all then why not set yourself this challenge to train up a future England player at a smaller club, if you could then maybe you really are an FM Master!