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Monday, February 26, 2024

Southampton provide some rare entertainment for their fans on an emotional farewell day


Anger turned into apathy, and indifference eventually turned into sentimentality.

It was a day of farewell and also witnessed the long-awaited entertainment. In a memorable campaign, SouthamptonLast game – 4-4 draw Liverpool — after 11 years Super League is a man worth remembering.

The final day of the season usually produces sticky scorelines and idiosyncrasies, and St. Mary’s delivered.

Supporters are not flocking to the exits. Stadiums are not a sea of ​​red seats, which have become commonplace throughout the campaign. Paradoxically, the atmosphere is at its best and most upbeat.

As players walked out of the tunnel before kick-off, accompanied by their children as mascots, St Mary’s was close to full with only a few empty seats – likely season ticket holders still scarred by what happened before Tired—and basking in the sun.

“Southampton are really a great club,” Jurgen Klopp said after the game. “It’s the worst thing when you see relegated people, you don’t want that to happen and when the atmosphere is like that, it’s special.”

Although tentative at first, players began to walk around the stadium when the full-time whistle blew. They walked towards the end of Northam, applauded one after another. In the commotion and chaos that ensued this season, It appears to be an example of solidarity.

team leader James Ward-Prowse One of the last players to arrive, still lingering in the center circle and hugging the queued staff. Southampton’s club photographers have been focusing on him. It seemed fitting that he wasn’t at the top of the line this time; anyway, he’d done enough over the years.

Full-time Ward-Prowse (Photo: Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

He ends up joining the rest of the team, but keeps himself separated a bit. The supporters sang through all the tracks, switching between “Another Year, Another Year” and “My Lord, James Ward-Prowse.”

Teammates clearly recognized the importance of the occasion and tried to push him to the front. Ward-Prowse shrugged off the attempts sheepishly, but the cameras remained firmly on him as he waved and applauded every stand.

Ward-Prowse was replaced with four minutes left in regulation, an odd blip in any case given his tendency to play every minute of every season. St Mary’s stood up, aware of the symbolism behind manager Ruben Sellers’ decision.

Ward-Prowse scored Southampton’s first goal of the game and, if it was indeed his last game in red and white, he would end it with his trademark display. Never complain, never complain. Low maintenance, high yield. Supporting the attack and scrapping in the middle of the park, controlling a game that threatens, especially when Liverpool score, they will fall apart.

In some respects it was fitting that Southampton conceded a goal through this self-inflicted manner.Liverpool’s second set of goals – twice in a minute – was scored by Cody Gakpo.

Don’t forget, Jacques Po is Southampton’s confirmed player Who can have a transformative impact on their goal fortunes at the start of the season. In the end, he scored at St Mary’s, but for another team.

Although Seles later insisted he replaced Ward-Prowse to give his captain a “special moment”, it was the clearest sign yet that his two decades at the club were drawing to a close. There is no doubt that the 28-year-old will go down as one of Southampton’s greatest players of the modern era.

Theo Walcott He set the tone for a pre-emptive farewell earlier in the day after confirming on social media that he will be leaving when his contract expires on June 30.

Muhammad Ayounusi His contract has also expired and he said goodbye to staff around the Staplewood training campus on Friday. Fittingly, Ward-Prowse, Theo Walcott and Alyounucci all started and went off in the second half.

Elyounoussi has yet to officially announce his departure, but left the home court embraced by his team-mates.when Jordan Henderson Realizing that this was an act of farewell, not a waste of time, his protest quickly boiled over.

Supporters also sang Romeo Lavia, destined for bigger things, when he is replaced. Those who end up on the bench are the ones who may not be at the club next season.

Seles himself came to an end. After finally learning on Monday that he would not be offered the head coaching job next season, he brought forward the coaching staff’s planned season performance review by a few days.

The results focus, as he puts it, on assessing the “configuration of the squad”, key moments the squad failed to overcome and, apparently, analyzing the effectiveness of the “dressing room code” installed during the last international break in March. The aim is to mobilize a fragmented and disenfranchised community.

“The message that we can pass on to those who will work here in the future is the key to avoiding the same mistakes,” Selles said. “If they could find themselves in the same situation as us, they would have this footage and the experience that we did. So we did a technical review together and came to some conclusions.”

Ward-Prowse celebrates his goal (Photo: Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

Before leaving St. Mary’s for the last time as manager, Seles shook hands and thanked reporters in the room. “Goodbye, I’ll be back,” were his final farewell words.

The draw against Liverpool had an out-of-school feel to it, with both teams’ defences letting loose, like putting a tie on your head and having your shirt signed by the head teacher, but it had a nostalgic and emotional tinge to it.

It was only fitting that Theo Walcott and Ward-Prowse, especially Southampton Academy and the crown jewels of history, emerged as standouts on an afternoon that marked the end of an era.

(Above: Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)


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