The season for Saints never really started until a cold November afternoon in West London, however according to the OS it actually began on Saturday the 14th of July, in the one everyone wants to win……. Thats right “The Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup”. Saints impressively welcomed Arsenal, Belgian champions Anderlecht and The Olympic Torch (remember all that malarkey) to Saint Mary’s to battle it out for a trophy in the shape of a polar bear (Don’t ask.) Saints opened the tournament against Anderlecht with a loss thanks to a goal from Tom De Sutter. Next Arsenal faced Anderlecht. In the only non-saints game of the afternoon with Henri Lansbury scoring for The Gunners to give them the win. Then came a slightly disappointing piece of news saying neither The Ox nor Walcott would face there old sides, oh well. On the flip side we beat them on penalties with possibly the highlight of the afternoon, Tommy Forecast in goal! The cup was lifted by Arsenal in the end, with a huge over reaction.
For the pre-season tour it was off to The Alps to face the mighty Étoile Carouge and Évian Thonon Gaillard. In the first game Big-Jos scored his first of four own goals, however a superb second half hat-trick from Billy Sharp, helped saints recover to clinch a 4-1 win over a third division Swiss-side, wow we really must be going places. In the second game however we faced much sterner opposition, une deuxième équipe Française de division (A second division French team.) The change in difficulty showed and we could only manage a 1-0 win. Saints travelled back with a 100% record of games played outside England, which they retained throughout the season.
Back in the UK Saints still had 4 games to play before the season began. One thing that was notable in our opposition had been contrasts, for example one minute we were playing Dutch Champions Ajax, and the next we were playing Bristol or from Udinese to Wolves. Anyhow, So as I said, we had 4 friendlies left, We lost 1-0 to Ajax, beat Wolves 2-0, with Billy Sharp scoring yet another to add to his tally. We drew 1-1 away at Bristol City, and got ripped apart 4-0 by Italian Udinese.
Nigel made 8 additions to the first team squad in the summer, starting as early as 10th of June and finishing at 21:45 on August the 31st.
Jay Rodriguez: J-Rod became our first signing of the summer, and our record signing. The Striker signed for £7 Million on the 10th of June after Saints held of Everton, Aston Villa and Wigan to land the Burnley hit-man.
Nathaniel Clyne: The 21 year old right back signed a four year deal.The defender was out of contract at Palace, who will be due compensation for the academy graduate as he is under the age of 24. If a fee cannot be agreed between the clubs, it would go to a tribunal.
Paulo Gazzaniga:The 20-year-old Argentinian keeper joined from Gillingham club for an undisclosed fee.
Maya Yoshida: Japanese international defender Maya Yoshida agreed to join the Club from Dutch side VVV-Venlo.
Emmanuel Mayuka: Saints signed Zambia striker Emmanuel Mayuka from Young Boys Berne for an undisclosed fee. The 21-year-old has signed a five-year deal.
Gaston Ramirez: The star signing of the summer signed with little over an hour to spare. Saints shelled out £12 million for the midfielder.
Check “Oh When The Saints” regularly throughout the summer for the next part of The Season Review.