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Summer Break – Southampton

It has become something of a received wisdom within the present day that the mainstream media exist as the pinnacle of what is possible in sports journalism. Whilst it is not in our interest to reject this assumption, here at A Team of John O’Sheas we believe that some of the most perceptive insight regarding the top teams in the country comes from the fans themselves.

In the course of this podcast series, we will be bringing together some of the most influential fans from across the Premier League to give you the low-down on the teams that they watch week in, week out. We’ll look back over the season just gone, try to get a handle on the transfer activity that rumbles on through the summer months, and look forwards to the next season which, as always, seems to creep up on us with ever increasing speed.

In this episode, we’re back on the south coast and the ever growing enclave of Premier League sides. Southampton, along with Portsmouth, were the original purveyors of south coast Premier League sides. Yet where both fell away from the top division for a while, it is only Southampton who have made it back. Becoming the prototype for football clubs seeking to achieve mid-table security during the nascence of New Football, Southampton are often spoken about with a misty-eyed idealism by fans of clubs hovering above the relegation zone. Yet all is not hunky-dory in the land of fleece sweaters and ice cream cones. For the sellers club, you live by the move, you die by the move. A litany of departures have flowed through Southampton squad, making it seem more like an airport terminal at times. And it is not simply the players, it seems impossible for Saints to hold onto a manager for more than a year these days. With Claude Puel only lasting the obligatory year, Southampton are now headed up by Mauricio Pelligrino. For many of the fans, this cyclicality is tiring. The question on everyone’s lips, then is: will Pelligrino keep the club in its annual orbit? Or is this the season where they will finally break the curve?

Joining us today are two familiar faces from the world of football media: Alex Stewart and Nico Morales. Alex is a creative consultant for uMAXit football, writing tactics and stats pieces. He writes regularly about Football Manager with Iain Macintosh, and has also been published in The Guardian, The Blizzard, and on the BBC. Nico is a freelance journalist and host of the Weekly Rondo podcast. His work has been featured on NBCSN and he currently writes the occasional piece for ESD analysis and his own medium.

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