Monday, October 15, 2012

After much speculation about the player

After much speculation about the player, on 10 June 2012, the official club website announced the completion of the £7 million signing of Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez, Saints' first signing of their top flight return. Sony VAIO VPC CW2MFX/PU Battery

This also broke the club's record transfer fee spent on a single player, previously £4 million for Rory Delap from Derby County. This record was then broken by the £12 million signing of Uruguayan winger/striker Gastón Ramírez from Bologna just before the transfer deadline, one of a clutch of eight new signings for the team before the transfer window closed. Sony VAIO VPC S11V9E/B Battery

Another signing, Zambian forward Emmanuel Mayuka, has also excited great interested, as did the signing of Japanese striker Lee in the previous season. The pattern seems to be for Southampton to seek to consolidate their position in the Premiership by looking wider and further for quality players than the Club has ever done before. Sony VAIO VPCB119GJ/B Battery

St Mary's Stadium has been home to the Saints since August 2001. It has a capacity of 32,689 and is one of only a handful of stadia in Europe to meet UEFA's Four Star criteria. In the 2004–05 season, attendances never fell below 30,000, although in more recent seasons attendances have inevitably been in decline. Sony VAIO VPCB11AGJ Battery

In 2012 the Saints returned to the Premier League and in doing so recorded their biggest attendance on 28 April against Coventry City of 32,363.

The stadium has also been host to a number of internationals including England's qualifying game against FYR Macedonia in 2002 where the teams drew 2–2, with David Beckham and Steven Gerrard scoring for England. Sony VAIO VPCB11AVJ Battery

The club's previous home was The Dell, to which it moved in 1898 and at which it remained for 103 years.

The club's training facilities, known as Staplewood are located in Marchwood, on the edge of the New Forest. Sony VAIO VPCB11V9E Battery

They have received significant investment over the last 10 years, most notably during the time Sir Clive Woodward was employed by the club between 2005 and 2006, and are now considered to be among some of the best in the country. However on 8 December 2009, it was confirmed that these facilities would be ripped down and replaced with a new "state of the art" two-storey building. Sony VAIO VPCB11X9E Battery

On 18 October 2011, a record attendance of 32,152 watched the 1–0 victory against West Ham United, beating the previous record set on 29 December 2003 when 32,151 watched the 1–0 Premier League defeat by Arsenal.[29] However, this was broken for the second time in the same season when 32,363 watched the 4–0 victory against Coventry on 28 April 2012. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/P Battery

Originally, the club used the same crest as the one used by the city itself. However during the 1970s a competition was run for fans to design a new one.

The winning design was used for around 20 years, before being modified slightly by Southampton design agency The Graphics Workshop in the 1990s for copyright reasons. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/R Battery

From top-to-bottom, the halo is a reference to the nickname "Saints", the ball to the nature of the club, the scarf to the fans and the team colours. The tree represents the nearby New Forest and the water Southampton's connections with the rivers, seas and oceans. Below that is a white rose – the symbol of the city which is also present on the city crest. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/W Battery

In the mid-1990s the ball was changed from a vintage style ball (such as those used in the 1960s) to the current ball with black and white panels, for copyright reasons.

On 13 May 2010, the official crest for the 125th year anniversary was released: "The black outline and halo feature will now appear in gold, Sony VAIO VPCCW19FJ/W Battery

whilst the all important years 1885 and 2010 are scripted either side of the shield, with the figure 125 replacing the ball". The badge was used on Southampton's shirts for the 2010–11 season.

Southampton runs a highly successful youth academy, with a number of teams from ages nine to 18 years. Sony VAIO VPCCW1AFJ Battery

Recent products of the club's youth system include the England internationals Arsenal winger/forward Theo Walcott and defender Wayne Bridge, Wales and Spurs left-winger Gareth Bale, and Northern Ireland defenderChris Baird. Other players who have come through the ranks are Nathan Dyer, Andrew Surman, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Adam Lallana. Sony VAIO VPCCW1AHJ Battery

Southampton Football Club is a professional football club that was formed in 1885.

The roots of the club can be traced to members of St. Mary’s Church Young Men’s Association, who played their football at various venues in Southampton for 13 years, prior to the move to The Dell in 1898. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E Battery

In 2001 the move from The Dell to the new Friends Provident St Mary's Stadium was deemed to be a spiritual homecoming for Southampton F.C., because of the new stadium's proximity to St. Mary's Church, the church where the club was founded by members of the St Mary's Church of England Young Men's Association. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/B Battery

Their first match took place on 21 November 1885 on a pitch in Northlands Road, where the Hampshire Bowling Club was subsequently situated, close to the County Cricket Ground; St Mary's won 5–1 against Freemantle, with three goals from Charles Bromley and two from Arthur Fry.[1] Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/L Battery

St Mary's Y.M.A., as they were usually referred to in the local press, played most of their early games on Southampton Common, and games were not infrequently interrupted by pedestrian insistent on exercising their right to roam. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Ground, Northlands Road, or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Mary's Road. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/P Battery

The club was originally known as St. Mary's Young Men's Association F.C. (usually abbreviated to "St. Mary's Y.M.A.") and then became simply St. Mary's F.C. in 1887-88, before adopting the name Southampton St. Mary's when the club joined the Southern League in 1894. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/R Battery

After they won the Southern League title in 1896-97, the club became a limited company and changed their name to Southampton F.C.

They won the Southern League championship for 3 years running between 1897 and 1899 and again in 1901, 1903 and 1904. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/W Battery

That success spanned some major changes for the Saints as they moved to a newly-built £10,000 stadium called The Dell, to the North West of the city centre in 1898. Although they would spend the next 103 years there, the future was far from certain in those early days and the club had to rent the premises first before they could stump up the cash to buy the stadium in the early part of the 20th century. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/B Battery

Good omens were quick to arrive though and before the 19th century was out the South Coast was given a taste of things to come as they reached the first of their four FA Cup Finals in 1900. On that day they went down 4-0 to Bury and two years later they would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Sheffield Unitedas they were beaten 2-1 in a replay of the 1902 final, Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/L Battery

but it had given the club a thirst for the big occasion – albeit one that would not be truly satisfied for over seven decades.

After the First World War, when many teams were broken up by the call of National Service, Saints joined the newly-formed Football League Division 3 in 1920 which split into South and North sections a year later. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/R Battery

The 1920-21 season ended in triumph with promotion and marked the beginning of a 31-year stay inDivision 2.

In 1925 and 1927, they reached the semi-finals of the F.A. Cup, losing 2-0 and 2-1 to Sheffield United and Arsenal respectively. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/W Battery

Saints were briefly forced to switch home matches to the ground of their local rivals Portsmouth F.C. at Fratton Park during the Second World War when a bomb landed on The Dell pitch in November 1940, leaving an 18-foot crater which damaged an underground culvert and flooded the pitch.

Promotion was narrowly missed in 1947-48 when they finished in third place, Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

a feat repeated the following season (despite having an 8 point lead with 8 games to play) whilst in 1949-50 they were to be denied promotion by 0.06 of a goal, missing out on second place to Sheffield United. In the 1948-49 and 1949-50 seasons,Charlie Wayman rattled in a total of 56 goals. Then relegation in 1953 sent Saints sliding back into Division 3 (South). Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

It took until 1960 for Saints to regain Division 2 status with Derek Reeves plundering 39 of the champions’ 106 league goals. On 27 April 1963 a crowd of 68000 at Villa Park saw them lose 1-0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VRN Battery

The dream of Division 1 football at the Dell for the first time was finally realised in 1966 when Ted Bates’ team were promoted as runners-up, with Martin Chivers scoring 30 of Saints' 85 league goals. Promotion was a never-to-be-forgotten achievement.

For the following campaign Ron Davies arrived to score 43 goals in his first season as Saints scored 74 league goals, conceding 92. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

Saints stayed among the elite for eight years, with the highest finishing position being 7th place in 1968-69 and again in 1970-71. These finishes were high enough for them to qualify for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969-70 (going out in Round 3 to Newcastle United) and its successor, the UEFA Cup in 1971-72, when they went out in the First Round to Athletic Bilbao. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

In December 1973, long term manager Ted Bates stood down to be replaced by Lawrie McMenemy who was unable to prevent The Saints becoming the first victims of the new 3-down relegation system in 1974 when they were relegated, along with Manchester United and Norwich City. Sony VAIO VGN-SR210J/S Battery

Under Lawrie McMenemy's management, Saints started to rebuild in Division 2, capturing players such as Peter Osgood, Jim McCalliog and Jim Steele and their greatest moment came in 1976, when they reached the 1976 FA Cup Final, playing Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, and surprised all observers by beating United 1-0 thanks to a goal from Bobby Stokes. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

The following season, they played in Europe again in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup 1976-77, reaching Round 3 where they lost 2-3 on aggregate to Anderlecht Anderlecht

In 1977-78, captained by Alan Ball, Saints finished runners-up in the Second Division (behind champions Bolton Wanderers) and returned to the First Division. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

They finished comfortably in 14th place in their first season back in the top flight. The following season they returned to Wembley in the final of the League Cup when they acquitted themselves well, losing 3-2 to Nottingham Forest.

In 1980, McMenemy made his finest signing, capturing the "European Footballer of the Year" Kevin Keegan. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/S Battery

Although Keegan's Southampton career only lasted two years, Saints fielded an attractive side also containing Alan Ball, Phil Boyer, Mick Channon and Charlie George and in 1980-81 they scored 76 goals, finishing in 6th place, then their highest league finish.

1981-82 was another successful season for the Saints, who by December 1981 were looking like serious Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/B Battery

title contenders and finally went top of the table on 30 January 1982 with a 1-0 away win over struggling Middlesbrough. [1] Despite finding themselves on the receiving end of a 5-2 demolition at Ipswich Town less than three weeks later (in which Alan Brazil scored all five of the Suffolk club's goals), Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/H Battery

the Saints hung onto their lead of the league before they were finally leapfrogged by Swansea City on 20 March after nearly two months at the top. [2] They briefly regained their lead of the league a week later with a 4-3 home win over Stoke City [3], but their form during the final few weeks of the season took something of a nosedive and they had to settle for a seventh place finish - not even enough for UEFA Cup qualification - as the title went to Liverpool. Sony VAIO VGN-SR240J/B Battery

Southampton continued to progress well under McMenemy's stewardship, and with a team containing Peter Shilton, Nick Holmes, David Armstrong, top-scorer Steve Moran and Danny Wallace reached their highest ever league finish as runners-up in 1983-84[5] (3 points behind the champions Liverpool) Sony VAIO VGN-SR240N/B Battery

as well as reaching the semi-final of the F.A. Cup losing 1-0 to Everton at Highbury Stadium. This meant that they came closer than any other English team that season to winning the double.

They finished fifth the following year, but as a result of the Heysel Disaster all English clubs were banned from European competition - had it not been for this, Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTH Battery

then Southampton would have qualified for the UEFA Cup once again. McMenemy resigned as manager on 1 June 1985 after nearly 12 years in charge, and was succeeded by former player Chris Nicholl.

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