Picture the scene, it’s 1-1, there’s 10 minutes to go and your team is looking the more likely to go on and win the game, but then one act of madness undoes all the good work put in place by the previous 80 minutes. It could be a dodgy back pass to the keeper, a flailing leg inside the area or even a needless two footed lunge leading to a red-card, it doesn’t matter in which form it comes, it leads to a undeserved loss or a unjustified draw. This is possibly the most infuriating thing that can happen on a football pitch, “a smash and grab” as Alan Hansen would say.
What am I getting at, you ask? Well It always comes from that same breed of player, That fourth choice centre back, that winger you’ve been trying to get rid of for years, we have plenty of those at Saints. Danny Fox, Guly Do Prado or Jos Hoovield. When the ball gets anywhere near any of the listed a sharp intake of breath can be heard around The SMS, which is normally followed by a very exaggerated groan due to one of the listed making an error, it will usually lead to nothing, but us fans are a fickle bunch and we remember that error and when discussing the game after the final whistle, will bring out the same cliches, about the offending player being the weak link and so on… However if someone like Morgan, Lallana Luke Shaw had committed a similar mistake it would be swiftly forgotten, and we’d go on to say how reliable he was or how he will one day become one of the best in the world. Six months ago one of the members of the previous lists would have been replaced by a different name. That name? Rickie Lambert.
Don’t get me wrong Rickie Lambert is Southampton royalty, the deal that took him to Saints was undoubtedly the best piece of business Southampton have ever been involved in however slowly over the past 6 months it’s clear he’s lost a yard of pace, his passing (apart from a few beautiful moments) has been somewhat sloppy, and sometimes you look at him and he just looks… well, lost? don’t get me wrong, he has Stokes of genius (See what I did there?) and will never ever be forgotten, but I pray that this is just bad-form, something that the best of us suffer from, unfortunately though I think I’m wrong. With Fox, Guly and Hoovield looking like this season may be there last in Saints colours, I desperately appeal to Saints fans not to forget the good he’s done for us, and let him become the next “fail guy” It would be almost revolting If we greeted him with groans when he has the ball at his feet, and I’m as good as convinced that, it will never get to that, but as I said, us fans. We’re a fickle bunch.