Anfield, 13:30 Sunday
The 2014/15 Premier League season kicks off at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, with Manchester United hosting Swansea City and six other games following throughout the league later that day. Sunday heralds the beginning of the season for Liverpool and Southampton, who meet at Anfield after a summer of great change for both clubs. After mounting an impressive and unexpected title challenge last season, featuring an eleven-game succession of spring victories, Brendan Rodgers’ side finished close runners-up to Manchester City. Beginning his third campaign with the Reds, and having returned them to the Champions League after a four-season absence, Rodgers really has been able to make his mark on the squad this summer, with eight new arrivals and Luis Suarez the sole major departure. Three of the new arrivals at Liverpool have arrived from Sunday’s opposition, Southampton, who have experienced major change in recent months. After an eleven-year best 8th place, the Saints have parted company with manager Mauricio Pochettino and five key players – Ronald Koeman has arrived though, along with a number of new faces and the millions generated from sales. After impressive seasons, departures have dominated the headlines surrounding both Liverpool and the Saints – supporters will be keen that their sides get off to a positive start to the season in order that their significant sales may be deemed catalysts to stability and further progress into the future.
Continued at: http://www.theredmentv.com/blog/p/15553.
Ahead of Sunday’s opening fixture for the sides, The Redmen TV spoke with Ben Lane of Go Marching In – thanks to Ben for providing his insight and opinion:
Last season’s 8th place was Southampton’s best in eleven seasons – how do you reflect upon your progress since 2009’s points deduction and relegation to League One?
Ben: “Had I been asked this a year ago, I probably would have said that ‘Saints are on a continuously upward spiral, regular European football is only a season or two away’ but the last couple of months have provided a short, sharp shock to us as to where we stand in football’s pecking order. We weren’t so deluded that we felt Champions League football was a realistic possibility in the short term (despite the protestations or our former chairman Nicola Cortese) but I feel that regular-ish Europa League participation was on our horizon either via the league or cups.
Our progress has definitely been checked markedly this summer and I feel that now most fans would accept regular 10th-14th and a cup run here or there. We’re never told the full story are we as fans, but the vision or ambition of the new board does not seem to be where it was.”
The headlines surrounding your club have concerned the departures of Pochettino and a handful of key players – such a mass exodus is a rare thing and must have been difficult to observe as a supporter?
Continued at: http://www.theredmentv.com/blog/p/15543