Sunday, February 10, 2008

Can Southampton Avoid The Drop Again?

Matt Brennan over at FootballFanCast asks the question in the title, can Southampton avoid the drop. Although the way he puts it is more unnerving to me:

Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City, Leeds United and Southampton? Could we be the next in line of collapsed Premier League clubs who have found their way down to the third tier in English football?
I don't blame him for asking. With yesterday's 3-2 loss to QPR at home, Southampton are 5-7 points from the drop zone (depends on how Wednesday does with their game in hand). That doesn't give them a lot of wiggle room over the next 11 matches. Worse, they are 8-10 points from a play off spot. In their 4 games in charge, interm managers Dodd and Gorman have brought the club a win in the FA Cup over Bury and..... well, that's it. They've lost twice at St. Mary's and pulled off a tie at Palace in the last minutes of the game. It's not the sort of thing that installs a lot of hope in the supporters. Can the Saints still get the results they need with Rasiak off at Bolton and Skacel at Hertha Berlin? Can Bradley Wright-Philips manage to look like he's interested in playing? Can Saganowski show the form he had at the end of last year? More importantly can a defense that is still plagued with injuries (Claus' career may be over; Thomas limped off injured in the last match, et al.) start to tighten up and stop bleeding goals? And do this at the very time Gorman and Dodd have been espousing attractive soccer? The squad still has the talent to avoid the drop. But they haven't shown much when it comes to getting clean sheets. And with another takeover bid looming and temporary managers in charge can they actually get the job done and avoid going down to the third division (League One)?

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