Podcast: The fourth False Nine Podcast with Alex Stewart and Elko Born

The False Nine return to the Old Red Lion for another live pubcast, this time with Alex Stewart of Put Niels In Goal and Dutch football expert Elko Born.

Talk soon talks to the merits of Jose Mourinho, Louis Van Gaal’s Netherlands and what he could bring to Manchester United, the secrets behind Southampton’s successes of late, and the lesser known link between Kevin Strootman and a certain type of sweet Dutch snack.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/fourth-false-nine-podcast/id784149140?i=308765739&mt=2


Guly do Prado – a Lower League Brazilian at Southampton

Guilherme do Prado-1283664

Southampton fan Rob Orr profiles Guly do Prado, a player who helped Saints secure back-to-back promotions…

Guilherme do Prado, known more commonly to Saints fans as ‘Guly’, first arrived on English shores as a loan signing from Italian side Cesena in August 2010. Being only the second Brazilian to play for Southampton after the great Charles Miller, the man credited with introducing the sport to Brazil, his unveiling was met with much optimism by fans of the South Coast club.

The club hierarchy did their best to float the deal as a marquee signing, promising that Guly’s samba skills would soon be lighting up the pitches of League 1 and might provide the catalyst to propel the Saints out of the lowly depths to which they had fallen. Do Prado did indeed do enough in his five-month loan spell, scoring six goals in 17 appearances, to ensure Southampton exercised their right to purchase him that January. He would go on to have a successful season, playing a major part in promotion to the Championship. Continue reading

Southampton’s Success Built On Solid Foundations


TFN debutant and Southampton fan Rob Orr takes a look at the Saints’ exciting return to prominence in the Premier League…

It has been quite a week for Southampton Football Club. Not only did they finish it in third place in the Premier League but a trio of their attacking stars found themselves selected in the England squad. For many outsiders, the Saints remarkable rise has come as just as much of a surprise as the call up for Jay Rodriguez, an event unpredicted even by the majority of Saints fans. To those within and around the club, however, the ascent to the top quarter of the Premier League has come as no great shock, though perhaps it has occurred a season or so earlier than most might have imagined.

Southampton’s current form should not be considered a flash in the pan. Theirs has been a rapid yet measured and continual rise from the depths of League One, augmented last year by the appointment of a truly gifted manager in Mauricio Pochettino. Yet, despite back-to-back promotions from League One and the Championship, and an impressive first season back in the Premier League, many neutrals are still ignorant of the reasons for Southampton’s resurgence.

A question that seems to come up time and again is “But aren’t Southampton bankrupt?” – the simple answer is, “No”. As of July 2009, when the Saints were bought by Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr, the club have been in fantastic financial health, hence their ability to break their transfer record several times with acquisitions including Rodriguez, Victor Wanyama and Dani Osvaldo. Continue reading

Editor’s Column: The Premier League Season of Over-Reaction, Exaggeration and Paradox


In his latest Editor’s Column, James Dutton surveys the top of the Premier League and tries to make sense of the six-point gap between 1st and 8th…

The third international break of the football season is upon us. This is traditionally the stage where journalists, bloggers and punters share their opinions and observations of the season so far.

In November 2013 though, to make sense of a nascent season that is knocked out of its rhythm week after week is to reckon against its perpetuation. Hindsight makes fools of us all, as those who reveled in Arsenal’s seemingly inevitable demise after their opening-day capitulation against Aston Villa and those who struggled to fathom the Moyesification of Manchester United (guilty) have found out.

That is not to say that Arsenal have both banished their demons of seasons gone by, or been found out by a resurgent Manchester United – who likewise have neither found the cure for their early-season woes or nosedived off a cliff into mediocrity.

This is the season of overreaction and exaggeration; the season of paradoxes.

Eleven games, a quarter of the season gone and six points separate the top eight. As this neat infographic from the whizzes at Sporting Intelligence show, this has been no ordinary start to a Premier League season…  Continue reading

Premier League 2012-13: A Season of Sorrow, Part 2 – Unequivocal Misery


In part two of his dissection of this season’s Premier League woes, James Dutton looks at the bottom half of the final table…

If the top-of-the-table is defined by a mixture of disappointment and regret, then the bottom-half can be viewed simply in terms of unequivocal misery.

All teams below 10th finished with under 44 points, which is an extraordinarily low figure. It doesn’t signify a feisty, competitive mini-league, but rather a large pool of potential relegation fodder.

It remains a great shame that only three of them could go down. Continue reading