Saints Departing Trio proves Cut-Throat World
August 3, 2012
Southampton fans should look upon the imminent departure of three senior members of their squad with great satisfaction, as manager, Nigel Adkins, continues to mould his playing staff, ahead of a tough season to come.
Adkins has admitted that three players, Lee Barnard, Jonathan Forte, and Ryan Dickson, can all leave the club this summer.
None of the trio have managed to hold down a first-team spot, and now, with the Saints in the Premier League, their chances of earning one look dismally slim.
Southampton are 27/20 second favourites for immediate relegation from the top flight, according to the Premier League odds on Betfair.
Forte and Dickson, perhaps, have been the biggest disappointments of the trio. Dickson joined the squad two years ago and had a decent first season at St Mary’s.
But his place in the squad was tenable after League One promotion, and the defender quickly found himself back in the third tier with Yeovil and then Leyton Orient.
Forte’s situation has ended just as bad. After signing for the club in January 2011 on the last day of the transfer window, the forward made 11 appearances in the remainder of the season, nine from off the bench.
Again, as Saints went up, Forte stayed down, with loan spells at Preston and Notts Country over last season.
Both players have suffered the effects of rapid club promotion. They were drafted in to provide a boost to Southampton’s Championship push, and succeeded in helping the club reach its goals.
Yet as a club improves, many of its players stay at the same level they always were, and usually find themselves heroes one season and discarded waste the next.
Southampton’s trio have found this out the hard way, and it is a testament to Adkins’ squad strength that, coming up to the Premier League, he can quite easily rid the club of three forgotten members of staff.
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