How Southampton totally ruined Shay Given and Aston Villa

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Shay Given had a day to forget at Southampton (Picture: Getty Images)

Saturday was a momentous day in football. As the world looked on, the sport brought the curtain down on a brilliant Premier League career.

A regular in the top flight since the mid-90’s everyone will be wishing Shay Given the best after his time at the top was ripped to pieces by a blistering Southampton attack.

Not many people were expecting Robbie Fowler’s 1994 hat trick record of four minutes and 33 seconds would ever be beaten, but with some generous assists from the hapless Ron Vlaar (perhaps a lucky escape for Saints fans last Summer) and Alan Hutton and tactical suicide from Tim Sherwood having his back four a ridiculously high line, Sadio Mane smashed it.

It took Mane just two minutes and 56 seconds to end the game with with Villa as a contest, though if you were to only…

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Five relegated players that could strengthen Southampton’s squad in the transfer window

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Burnley’s Tom Heaton has impressed despite playing in a losing side (Picture: Getty Images)

Southampton’s lack of depth this season has seen their campaign fizzle out and, while both QPR and Burnley may not have collectively made the grade at Premier League level, they have both had some standout players.

Here are five who I think could give the Southampton squad an edge.

1) Tom Heaton

If I were in charge of Saints, Heaton would be on my list of priority signings. The Burnley stopper has been exceptional and the Southampton travelling fans saw that first hand on their trip to Turf Moor. With Fraser Forster out for the foreseeable future, having to use Kelvin Davis and Paulo Gazzaniga at this level has cost the club dear. Heaton was, rightly in my opinion, touted for England honours earlier in the season, and he could be just what the club needs to…

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Are Southampton serious about Europa League qualification?

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Football: Southampton’s Toby Alderweireld looks dejected at the end of the match (Picture: Reuters)

Around this time of every season, you will often hear journalists and pundits alike joke about how certain clubs are doing everything they can to avoid qualifying for the Europa League.

I never thought Southampton would be one of them.

Everybody knows the pitfalls of playing in the competition that frankly has too many games and includes far too many teams, but surely for an outfit like Saints, both the novelty and the fact that it would be the next point of progression for the club it would be worth the risk?

Everyone associated with the club keeps saying that Europe is the aim, yet performances on the pitch over the last month or so would suggest that it is anything but. Lacklustre, lethargic and largely lamentable, Saints ambled around the pitch in Leicester like a…

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Fox hunting! Southampton must overcome in-form Leicester City to finish on a high

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Ronald Koeman will be keen to finish the season strongly (Picture: Getty Images)

We are almost at that historic day. The day we find out whether the euro-sceptic blues can keep themselves in the big house, or whether the Red’s can complete a dramatic turnaround from also-rans to trailblazers!

Election you say? No, I’m talking about Leicester City against Southampton.

There may not be a more pivotal fixture in the Premier League this weekend, as the Foxes can all but secure their miraculous recovery, while Saints must win to keep alive any hopes of an amazing fanfare finish to their season and secure European football.

If you had asked me six months ago what the result of this game might be I’d have confidently predicted a comfortable Southampton victory, but while former Saints boss Nigel Pearson has overseen a revival as good as any of our Premier League ‘Great Escapes’…

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How Southampton have now finally ‘got over’ Mauricio Pochettino

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Mauricio Pochettino is now manager of Tottenham Hotspur (Picture: Reuters)

Saturday’s game with Spurs felt like a full stop on the hostilities between the Southampton fans and Mauricio Pochettino.

‘Ronald Koeman Day’ was marked with orange clothing and the chants from the St Mary’s crowd in what was a fantastic atmosphere generated by both sets of fans were more commonly in support of the current incumbent of the top job on the South Coast than vitriol towards his predecessor.

The fact is, Saints have moved on and while the nature of Mauricio Pochettino’s departure stung at the time, you’ll struggle to find a supporter now who doesn’t believe Koeman’s appointment has improved the club’s fortunes further.

The Argentinian, with his surname like a posh Italian coffee did a great job himself in his time at Saints and hopefully now that can be recognised with the merit it deserves amongst the…

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Revenge! Southampton can pile the pressure on Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino

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Tottenham Hotspur’s manager Mauricio Pochettino returns to Southampton on Saturday (Picture: AP)

All eyes will be on Southampton’s Premier League clash with Tottenham hotspur at St Mary’s on Saturday lunchtime.

For a neutral it is exactly the type of game you want for a televised fixture.

Two sides who are difficult to separate in terms of form and league position, both going for the same prize, and with the added requirement of ‘needle’ that surrounds the return of Mauricio Pochettino.

I wonder though if the vitriol from the home crowd aimed at the Argentine might be more tongue in cheek than particularly angry, given how the season has panned out.

Pochettino must look at his current position, and then look at Saints and feel pretty silly for his reasoning for leaving the South Coast.

For a club like Tottenham, missing out on the Champion’s League is becoming their ‘raison d’être’…

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Who are the next stars to emerge from the famous Southampton Academy?

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Southampton captain Jason McCarthy lifts Under 21 Premier League Cup (Picture: Getty Images)

What sets Southampton apart from other clubs these days is their investment in youth.

Enough has been said about it now and it is common knowledge that the Saints Academy is the best in Britain, and has been for some years.

Often people will point out though that the Southampton youth sides don’t win anything ‘so can’t be that good’, but in comparison to the youth teams of say Chelsea or Manchester City, the coaching staff of the Southampton Under 21’s are constantly losing their best players to the first team.

In last night’s Under 21 Premier League Cup final that was evident as Southampton faced off against Blackburn Rovers with nine players who have represented the senior side at some point either in this season or last.

Paulo Gazzaniga, Jason McCarthy, Matt Targett, Dominic Gape, Harrison Reed, Sam…

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This one moment against Southampton proved what a really nasty club Stoke City are

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Toby Alderweireld was stretchered off to the jeers of the home fans (Picture: Getty Images)

Win, lose or draw I always leave the Britannia stadium with a sour taste in my mouth, and it isn’t caused by the locally brewed half time pint.

Stoke City do a very good job of making themselves difficult to like as a club. They have built up an ‘everyone is against us’ mentality that is prevalent from the players and into the stands and even amongst the over the top heavy handed stewarding. It makes for an unfriendly, unwelcoming atmosphere for a visiting supporter and to a point I get it. They have perhaps gained a reputation as a club that at times it is unfair, but for me it seems that have decided to embrace that reputation and in turn let it blind them to when they are actually in the wrong.

They are an aggressive…

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Will Southampton allow Nathaniel Clyne to transfer to Manchester United this summer?

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Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne, right, has been heavily linked with Manchester United (Picture: Reuters)

Another great season for Southampton can only end with one inevitable summer of events.

The vultures that are the ‘bigger’ clubs are already circling as much like last year they look to patch up their own failings by trying to be a little more ‘Southampton’.

The two major focal points of that speculation so far have been Morgan Schneiderlin and Nathaniel Clyne. Both have been linked to the usual suspects, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs in the main, but the most recent rumour regarding Clyne can only be too good to be true.

There is a suggestion that Manchester United would be prepared to offer cash and Javier Hernandez to tempt Saints into a deal. Now, Nathaniel Clyne has been consistently superb in a Southampton shirt, let’s make no mistake about that, but is there a Saints fan around that would…

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Why are Southampton fans so upset with their victory over Hull?

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Southampton’s players celebrate their victory over Hull (Picture: Reuters)

All every Southampton fan wanted this weekend was a victory.

After the agony of dominance over Everton but no points last time out, the result was all that mattered.

And we got it.

So why was there still a wave of negativity surrounding the game?

On paper, a 2-0 home victory over a side at the bottom of the table sounds like a relatively standard and satisfactory if not unspectacular result doesn’t it?

It does, but it is perhaps testament to how far Saints have come in the last couple of seasons that the manner of the win was not up to our new high level of standard.

In truth Saints were poor in the first half and bang average in the second, ending the game having had six less shots than a Hull City side that you would be forgiven…

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