Who are Southampton?
Southampton are an English professional football club formed in Southampton, Hampshire. The club were established in 1885 by members of the St. Mary’s Church.
Upon winning the Southern League back in 1897, the side changed their name to Southampton Football Club. In 1898, they moved to The Dell, a home ground which would be their location for 10 years.
Southampton followed up the 1897 Southern League win by claiming five more trophies in 1898, 1899, 1901, 1903 and 1904.
During this period, The club also made two FA Cup finals; however, Sheffield United and Bury would prove to be superior competitions.
They’d finally join the Third Division of the Football League back in 1920, advancing to the Second Division the very next campaign.
In 1904, they became the first British football outfit to make a South American tour. The club would start the tour in Argentine and, in a succession of games winning by a combined score of 29-4 before beating an Uruguayan mixed XI by 8 to 1.
It took them until 1966 to reach the First Division, where Southampton remained for the next eight seasons.
The top-flight gave the team their first taste of European football, with a host of unsuccessful forays into the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the UEFA Cup.
But The club’s finest moment came in 1976, two campaigns after being relegated; in the FA Cup final, Southampton surprised the overwhelming favourite Manchester United 1-0 to grab the first big title in their history.
The club’s second top-flight season (1978-2005) would have far more longevity.
Even though Southampton did finish as runners-up to Liverpool in 1984, the team’s best result in the top league, most of the period was spent fighting to avoid another relegation.
Following one more FA Cup final loss in 2003 and a relegation to League One six years later, the club were surrounded by numerous financial difficulties.
Southampton’s fortunes took, however, a turn for the better after the English side were bought by businessman Markus Liebherr in 2010. It took then only two years to return to the Premier League.
What are the predictions for next season?
Ralph Hasenhuttl looks to embellish a Saints roster that looked desperately thin on the ground at times last campaign.
If the Austrian tactician is showing any signs of frustration with life in Southampton, he is yet to truly show it, but the 2021/22 term has a sense of being make-or-break in the relationship between manager and club.
Keeping Danny Ings at the club once again remains the board’s key objective this summer, but this could be a side in trouble if they do not provide their leading man with some much-required supporting acts.
Southampton – 2021/22 season (odds)
Top-four finish: 40/1. Top-10 finish: 9/4