Saturday, 26 September 2009

Southampton story: 2nd season: The final push!

Hello and welcome to the final part of Southampton’s second season. Gunning for an automatic promotion place was tough in the final 7 games, and I’m sorry to say, we didn’t make it. We did make it into the play-offs though, and as you will see below, we went one better than last season:

Yes, we are in the Premier League! After completely and utterly outclassing Watford in the final (only 1 goal to show for it though) we have won the play-offs! The winner was scored by veteran striker Jean-Claude Darcheville, and he scored 3 goals in 9 games since arriving on a free transfer. Let’s see how the table panned out:

We are joined by Ipswich and Stoke, after they had the closest title race in recent history. Ipswich edged the title on goal difference, but Stoke won’t mind; they’re in the Premier League! The fans must be very happy that Portsmouth are not joining us in the big league, quite different from the situation in real life. Swansea unfortunately did not make the play-off places, and missed out by a long way. 12 points separated them from 6th place, something they will have to work on next season. A small comfort to Liam is that Cardiff got relegated from the Premier League, and by a long way. They finished on 21 points, while 17th placed Fulham got 35. I might poach some of their players if my chairman gives me any money! Anyway, let’s move on to the ratings:

As you can see, everyone is on holiday. And rather surprisingly, in the space of 2 months Jean-Claude Darcheville has moved to be our top rated striker. Saganowski’s form has dropped off unfortunately. Anyway, top scorer for the season is Stephen Appiah, breaking the 20 goal barrier to score 22 in 45 starts. Second place goes to Marek Saganowski, getting 13 goals in 26 starts. Third place goes to Cameron Jerome, with 7 goals in 16 starts. Top assister is Rudi Skacel, with 20 assists in 40 starts. Second is Nathan Dyer, getting 12 in 43 starts and third place goes to Franco Zuculini, with 7 assists in 39 starts. Best rated player for the season is Morgan Schneiderlin, with 7.25 from 37 starts. Second is Stephen Appiah, getting 7.24, and third is Jake Thompson with 7.21 from 11 starts. Top passer is Marek Saganowski, 80% passes completed. Tied second are Morgan Schneiderlin, Ferrie Bodde, Franco Zuculini and Adam Lallana, all having 79% of their passes on target. Finally, 6th place goes to Stephen Appiah, 77% passes completed. Let’s have a look at the Coca-Cola Championship ratings; how well have our players done?

It’s looking really good! We have at least 1 player in every good list. Stephen Appiah is the 5th top scorer in the division, 19 goals out of his 22 coming in the league. Rudi Skacel is the best assister, 19 out of 20 assists coming in the league, with Nathan Dyer also getting on the list, but 6th with 11 assists. Franco Zuculini has averaged 6.55 tackles per game, which puts him 5th on that particular list. Appiah reappears on the Man of the Match list, with 8 in total for the season, which puts him second. Appiah is also on the average rating list, along with Morgan Schneiderlin. Together, they are tied second with 7.22. Finally, 4 of our players got on the pass completion list. Marek Saganowski is top with 80%, and Franco Zuculini, Ferrie Bodde and Morgan Schneiderlin are tied second along with Ricardo Fuller of Watford, all on 79%. A very successful season then, in every sense. Let’s have a look at the board confidence:

I can only give you a summary, because otherwise the post would be ridiculously long, but you can see what’s happening here. The board is very happy with our performance in the competitions and our squad harmony, happy with our wages, and relatively happy with our club stature. The fans are happy with our matches, and indifferent towards our signings and players. Hopefully the club will offer me a new contract soon, as mine runs out next year!
Anyway, that’s it for season 2, so check back soon for transfers and pre-season for season 3! Can I stay in the Premier League? We shall find out. Take care!

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