Hello lads and lasses and welcome back to the sport maniac .I am back again with a bang and have missed doing this. In case you were wondering whether I had been gone forever, don’t worry. I am not going anywhere. I will be focusing on teams if they had kept their best Xi and see whether they would have won something. Let’s start off with Southampton. By the way, I will be putting together the best XI from when they won back promotion in to the premier league in 2012.So there are no Matt Le Tissiers and Peter Shiltons in this XI.(All images courtesy of the dailyStar.com)-Except Victor Wanyama and Graziano Pelle-Images courtesy of cdn.images.express.co.uk)
I Know most of you will start by saying, “Why is Fraser Forster not starting?Stekelenburg was only at Southampton on Loan!”. The answer is simple. Stekelenburg was a keeper and a half in his prime and his CV just goes to show for it. Stekelenburg began his career at Ajax, playing 282 matches over nine seasons and winning nine honors, including two Eredivisie titles. Stekelenburg was named Ajax “Player of the Year” for the 2007-08 season,He was constantly the first choice keeper there till the 2010/11 season during which he dropped the Eredivisie trophy while celebrating on the coach.Lets not forget he also helped Netherlands to the 2010 World cup final whilst making crucial saves en route.His honours include the Eredivisie titles of 2003-04 and 2010-11,three KNVB cups and two Johan Kryff Shields.
Nathaniel Cline is currently on Bournemouth on loan from Liverpool, which in my view is not a wise decision made by Liverpool considering they are struggling with their right back fitness situations. His career has been injury prone but on his day he is a very superb fullback who at one point was even getting into the England squad ahead of Kyle Walker.
Luke Shaw broke the records in 2014 when he became the most expensive teenager of all time after signing for Manchester United. Shaw is also a decent defender whose career has been hit by injuries. He may not have been best friends with Jose Mourinho, But since Ole’s return as manager at United, has been showing why he was once the most expensive teenager of all time.
Virgil Van Dijk
Virgil Van Dijk is arguably the world’s best defender right now. If you had told him 4 years ago when he was playing against Hearts and St.Johnstone on a regular basis that he’d one day be the most expensive defender of all time, he’d have laughed right in front of your face. They never got to form a [partnership with toby Alderweireld but just imagine if they’d played together.
To this day, I still don’t understand why Diego Simeone let go of this guy.I just refuse to explain this one.
Victor Wanyama is the first ever Kenyan to play in the English premier league. His rise to stardom is just amazing.12 years ago, he was struggling for game time at AFC leopards and Tusker and joined Germinal Beeschoft because of his older brother Mariga.Now he is playing champions league football for Tottenham on a regular basis when he is fit. What a guy.
Morgan Schneiderlin was also an up and coming box to box player at Southampton who even ended up going to the world cup in Brazil with France. His career started plummeting when he joined united in 2015 with an aim to make a solid partnership with Bastian Schweinsteiger but it never worked and he ended up finding himself frozen out of the team by Jose Mourinho.He has since ended up playing understudy to Idrissa Gueye at Everton to date.
Adam Lallana is another one of the numerous players in this list whose careers have been blighted by injuries. He is also one of the many players in this list whop ended up signing for Liverpool. When fit, Lallana is a baller and to this date I don’t think he has reached the heights he reached in the 13/14 season when he was captain.
Another one of the Southampton players who ended up playing for Liverpool. As we speak, Mane is in arguably the best form of his life, scoring 11 in his last 11 matches for the Reds. He is a better player than Mo Salah in my view and no stats will tell me otherwise. Anyway, Mane ended up making his name at Southampton from 2014 before getting the move to the reds. What a player.
Why he suddenly decided to leave Southampton and move to china after only 2 seasons I’ll never know. We however best remember him for the guy who squandered a penalty that would have sent his nation through to the semifinals of the European championships in 2016 when he provoked Neuer by making the chip gesture right before he shot wide. He was a consistent goal scorer for the club though
Jay Rodriguez was unstoppable at the start of his Southampton career . He began his career with his hometown club Burnley, for whom he scored 41 goals in 128 appearances across all competitions from his debut in 2007. In 2012, he joined Southampton for around £7 million, where his form earned him his only England cap, but missed over a year with injury. He could have made the world cup in 2014 but that injury hindered him and in my view stopped him from reaching his maximum potential.
There were genuinely some players I couldn’t have left out but couldn’t have named them in the starting XI so thus decided to name a bench of 7 players in this particular order:
Fraser Forster,Rickie Lambert,Ryan Bertrand,Dejan Lovren,Cedric Soares,Pablo Osvaldo and Dusan Tadic
Would these players have achieved something great together? Let me know in the comments section below. Otherwise if you ;loved the article don’t forget to give it a like, share and a follow and as always, I’ll write for you some more soon.