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Optimus trousers posted this 26 October 2017

Sourced from Southampton FC - Official Site article

Ticket Information: AFC Bournemouth vs Saints

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Saints travel to AFC Bournemouth on Sunday 3rd December (1.30pm) and we have received an allocation of 1,325 tickets. Ticket information is as follows:

If any tickets remain after this point, a further announcement as to sales will be made. Tickets will go off sale at 8.30am each day, before going back on sale at 9am with the new sales criteria. All sales dates are subject to remaining ticket availability.

Tickets bought in person at the Ticket Office will not be issued at the point of sale, and will be posted at a later date.

Included in the allocation are 22 Restricted View seats, which are reduced by £3 for Adults and £1.50 for Over-65s and Under-21s, and 2 Severely Restricted View seats which are reduced by £4.50 for Adults and £2.50 for Over-65s and Under-21s.

Also included in the allocation are 27 Wheelchair tickets, priced at £5 each with the Enabler admitted free of charge. Ambulant Disabled tickets are also available priced at £30 for Adults, and £17 for Over-65s and Under-21s, with the Enabler admitted free of charge.

Please also note that for any concessionary tickets purchased, proof of age will be required on entry into the stadium.

Coach Travel in association with Princess Coaches can be purchased for this game, priced at £11 per person. Coaches will depart Winchester at 10:30, Eastleigh at 10:45, and St Mary’s Stadium at 11:00.

Tickets are restricted to one per Supporter Number. Fans can purchase more than one ticket in each transaction by linking other eligible accounts with theirs using our friends and family function.

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Optimus trousers posted this 26 October 2017

Sourced from ESPN FC article

Claude Puel takes over at Leicester City with much to prove to the fans

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Claude Puel has a tall task to win over both the Leicester City dressing room and Foxes fans. The ex-Southampton boss didn't do a bad job at St Mary's, leading the Saints to eighth place last campaign and reaching the EFL Cup final. If he replicates that feat at Leicester, it will prove a fantastic season.

However, Puel's ultra-defensive tactics didn't sit well with his Saints playing squad. He reportedly lacked communication skills and training bust-ups weren't uncommon. Nonetheless, Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha says Puel is the "perfect fit," but the truth is ex-Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel said no, Sam Allardyce wasn't interested and David Wagner wanted to stay loyal to Huddersfield. Puel was at best their fourth choice, and that's going to make it a lot harder to win over his critics if he doesn't start well.

In the short term, he has five key tasks.

Puel's first challenge is to win over players who remain loyal to Craig Shakespeare and perhaps even believe caretaker Michael Appleton deserved a longer stint after beating Swansea City (2-1) and Leeds United (3-1). Puel's relationship with Kasper Schmeichel, Wes Morgan, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy is going to be vital. These are the big characters at the club, and they are, so the reports say, not afraid to have a quiet word with the owners when unhappy. Leicester have gone through so many managers of late that the opinion of such seasoned Foxes stalwarts holds more weight than ever.

Leicester will surely never find a better midfield partnership than N'Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater. Kante's departure is still being mourned, but Drinkwater's more recent Chelsea exit has caused some pressing problems. Leicester should have never sold the England midfielder unless they were positive Adrien Silva's move from Sporting could have been completed before the window shut. In the end they dilly-dallied (rather than "dilly-donged") and missed the deadline by 14 seconds. As a result, City lack a central-midfield talisman. The now-fit Vicente Iborra could grow into that role and Wilfred Ndidi has shown plenty of promise. Even Matty James (who was ahead of Drinkwater under Nigel Pearson) could prove a regular starter. Right now, though, the central midfielders just don't pick themselves and there is also real lack of creativity. This was most evident in the drab, 1-1 home draw with West Brom, which cost Shakespeare his job. The good news for Puel is Mahrez appears back on form, but he needs support and to be utilised in a formation that gives him as much freedom as possible.

Puel must also get the best out of Kelechi Iheanacho. The forward opened his Foxes account against Leeds in the Carabao Cup, but he hasn't scored in the Premier League yet. Iheanacho began his career as an attacking midfielder, but Pep Guardiola utilised him as a direct replacement for Sergio Aguero at Manchester City. The 21-year-old scored seven goals last season and 14 in 2015-16. He should be more than capable of getting into double figures and if he does, Leicester will be nowhere near the relegation zone. Puel must decide whether to stick with Vardy and the in-form Shinji Okazaki in a 4-4-2, or consider a three-pronged attack.

Puel will certainly arrive with some selection headaches. Being a defensive-minded coach, before he can determine what to do with his strikers, he must decide whether he wants to keep a back four or revert to a back five. The latter is a tempting option when centre-back Robert Huth returns from ankle surgery. With the excellent Harry Maguire undroppable right now and Wes Morgan the captain, Puel could choose to field all three. Ben Chilwell would certainly relish this formation as well, and as a wing-back could end up usurping Christian Fuchs by the end of the season. Fielding an extra defender certainly worked for Pearson during Leicester's so-called "Great Escape" of 2014-15, but doing so will make it harder to utilise all of Leicester's flair players and won't ensure the pacy, counterattacking brand of football the owners crave. Puel's other option is revert to his preferred 4-3-1-2. This would suit Mahrez and allow Leicester's new boss to employ the wealth of defensive midfield options at the club, but it could make width a real problem and force Marc Albrighton either out of position or the side entirely.

Ultimately, whatever Leicester's longer-term European ambitions may be, securing safety is the most urgent aim. To ensure survival, Puel must hang on to Vardy and Mahrez in the January transfer window. New signings are also needed, particularly at the back -- for example, Danny Simpson needs cover -- but keeping this duo is the top priority. Shakespeare actually bought very well in the offseason, so Puel has a strong squad to work with. That's why there is no excuse to get sucked into a relegation battle. If results don't go his way, Leicester's owners surely won't be afraid to sack him before the season is out, especially with survival specialist Pearson working for them at OH Leuven and probably more than willing to return for a third spell at the Foxes. A shock Pearson return is unlikely (the owners may even argue it's impossible) and it is clearly hugely unfair to Puel to be seriously talking about his replacement before he's even taken charge of his first game. But that's football these days, and one thing's for sure: Puel really can't afford bad start or he just may go down in history as Leicester's shortest-ever permanent manager.

Ben Jacobs is ESPN FC's Leicester City blogger. Follow him on Twitter @JacobsBen.

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Optimus trousers posted this 26 October 2017

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

The countdown to #BHAFC begins!

Who remembers #SaintsFC's Kelvin Davis coming up with this vital penalty save back… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/923573327268077569

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Optimus trousers posted this 26 October 2017

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

There's no secrets here...🤐

Robert Crust's mission continues as he infiltrates #SaintsFC's Staplewood Campus:

Retweets: 6

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Optimus trousers posted this 26 October 2017

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

Voted for the Fans' Ultimate XI?

Have your say for the exhibition on #SaintsFC at @SeaCityMuseum in 2018: http://sfcne.ws/SFCUltimateXI

Retweets: 0

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Optimus trousers posted this 26 October 2017

Sourced from Daily Mail article

'We knew he was a dumpling': Souness lifts the lid on bizarre Dia

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Graeme Souness has quashed all claims Southampton were 'tricked' over the mysterious signing of Senegal striker and 'cousin' to George Weah Ali Dia in 1996-97.

Described as 'Bambi on ice' by former Saints skipper Matt Le Tissier, Dia's story is famous throughout top-flight folklore and considered one of the most bizarre Premier League debuts ever.

Looking back 21 years on, Souness has spoken about the bizarre week that saw the No 2 in Sportsmail's worst 100 Premier League strikers list gain a top-flight appearance at St Mary's, claiming they were not 'tricked or conned' as he spoke on Sky Sports.

'This is the reality, not the stories you've seen,' Souness told Sky Sports on Thursday. 'The very first training session, we knew he wasn't the best and wasn't going to be any good to us.

'But we had a lot of players out injured, so we kept him on and let him train with us because our numbers were low and we didn't have a big squad.'

The story goes that Souness offered Dia a trial, on the recommendation of former the FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Weah, who had supposedly called to recommend his 'cousin'.

Hoping he could reignite Southampton's dire season and, after suffering severe injury woes, Souness was forced to offer the striker a place on the bench for their weekend clash with Leeds.

'As the week goes on, others are dropping out,' he added. 'Terry Cooper says to me: "You know we are going to have to include that fool for the weekend." I said: "No we can't do that".'

While Weah, then heading the AC Milan side that went on to claim the Serie A title that season, later denied making such a phone call or recommendation to Souness. But the Saints boss took the bait.

'We had no strikers, so he's on the bench for the weekend. (Matt) Le Tissier was off after 15 or 20 minutes. You're looking down the bench, and we've got full backs and centre halves and you're thinking get him (Dia) on, he can run around and be a nuisance.

'So we put him on and he couldn't even be a nuisance, so we took him off again.'

Southampton went on to lose to Leeds 2-0 and Dia, whose was described as f** useless' by Le Tissier, would not make another appearance again for Southampton.

Despite this though, as reported by the Guardian last year, it was claimed by other managers that they had received similar recommendations by Weah.

Then at the helm of West Ham, Harry Redknapp claims to have been subject to the offering, saying: 'I keep getting phone calls at the training ground from a guy: "Georgie Weah".

'"Lovely George, you wanna play for West Ham?" He said: "No, I have a player for you."  I thought: "This is a wind-up".'

Tony Pulis, then managing Gillingham said: 'I was shocked to receive a call from someone claiming to be George Weah recommending a friend of his. I wouldn't have thought a man like Weah would have heard of Gillingham, but we gave the lad a trial and he was rubbish.'

While other managers were much more hesitant when it came to the forward, Souness insisted there was no foolery involved on his part.

'The stories out there say we were conned or we were tricked,' he concluded.

'We weren’t tricked or conned. Within the first five minutes of the first training session we knew he was a dumpling.'

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Optimus trousers posted this 26 October 2017

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

🎥 ⚽️

Take a look back through #SaintsFC's @Sure Moments of the Month from October! #NeverMoreSure

Retweets: 1

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Optimus trousers posted this 26 October 2017

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Summary of non-mainstream articles: 26/10/2017 21:11:15


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Optimus trousers posted this 26 October 2017

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC


Tickets for #SaintsFC's home clash against #EFC are now on general sale! Buy yours: http://sfcne.ws/EFCGeneralSale

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Sourced from Daily Mail article

Who is your Premier League club's youngest starlet?

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Ethan Ampadu made plenty of viewers feel old on Wednesday night when he became the first player born in 2000 to start for Chelsea in any competition.

Despite being just 17 years and 40 days old, the midfielder looked composed as he helped the Blues beat Everton to reach the quarter final of the Carabao Cup.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at each Premier League club's youngest player this season... and who holds the all-time record for youngest first-team appearance.

The Gunners are renowned for their academy, and Reiss Nelson is one of the most talented players in there. The forward replaced Danny Welbeck for the final few minutes of the Community Shield at the start of the season, and has since gone on to play in the Europa League and EFL Cup this season.

In truth, Bournemouth's youngest player this season isn't actually that young, and has featured in previous seasons at the top level. Perhaps that is due to the club's tough start in the league... Eddie Howe clearly wanting to stick with the tried and tested than give his youngsters a run-out. Lewis Cook is certainly still one to look out for in the coming years, though.

Aaron Connolly is another player to make the majority of football fans feel old... born in January 2000, he made his debut in the League Cup at the age of 17. He came on for the final 15 minutes against Barnet, getting a taste of first-team football at the Amex. The forward has since dropped back into the Under 23s squad, for now.

Charlie Taylor is a name familiar with most football fans, and in truth he's not that young. Burnley, like Bournemouth, have stuck with tried and tested this season, not venturing near their academy for any call-ups. In the past, though, plenty of youngsters have started at Turf Moor and gone on to big things... Kyle Lafferty and Nathan Dyer are just two players who made their Burnley debut aged 17.

Youngest player ever: Tommy Lawton, 16 years 174 days (against Doncaster, Second Division, 28 March 1936)

Ethan Ampadu became the club's first 2000-born starter on Wednesday night against Everton, but he had previously come off the subs bench against Nottingham Forest earlier this season. The central midfielder started alongside Danny Drinkwater this week, helping the Blues through to the quarter final of the Carabao Cup. Keep an eye on him in the next round, where he is likely to feature again...

Jason Lokilo is one of the most talented youngsters in the Palace squad, and regularly appears on the Eagles bench in the Premier League. He made his debut in the Carabao Cup this season, and has been in England for a few years after being brought in from Anderlecht's academy in 2015.

Tom Davies just about beats Beni Baningime to the honour of youngest player this season, as he featured back in July when he was just 19 years and 27 days old. Davies was impressive last season too, as he made himself a regular in the Toffees team, scoring twice in the process. Both he and Baningime are ones to watch.

Jordan Williams burst onto the scene when he was named in the starting line-up for Premier League new boys Huddersfield in the Carabao Cup. He played the full 90 that day, and has since headed out on loan to League One Bury, where he has played eight games already. The Terriers hope that some regular Football League football will help prepare him for life in the big league in the coming seasons.

Youngest player ever: Peter Hart, 16 years 229 days (against Southend, Third Division, 30 March 1974)

Centre back issues at the start of the season meant that Craig Shakespeare called up Josh Knight to his squad. In fact, he came on for the final 10 minutes in the 4-1 victory over Sheffield United. He has since dropped back down to the youth sides at the King Power Stadium.

Youngest player ever: Ashley Chambers, 15 years and 203 days (against Blackpool, League Cup, 20 September 2005)

Ben Woodburn's rise to the top is well-documented, both at club and international level. He is the club's youngest-ever goalscorer, and third-youngest player ever, behind Jack Robinson and Jerome Sinclair. He has also already scored for Wales, and this week signed a new long-term contract to keep him at Anfield for a further five years.

Not only was Tosin Adarabioyo included in Pep Guardiola's Carabao Cup squad against Wolves this week, but he played 90 minutes before being replaced by John Stones for extra time and penalties. That was the youngster's first taste of first-team football at City, but expect him to get plenty more in the future...

Youngest player ever: Glyn Pardoe, 15 years 314 days (against Birmingham, Division One, 11 April 1962)

It's sometimes easy to forget that Marcus Rashford is still a teenager, given his meteoric rise at both club level and with England. The striker has 15 appearances under his belt already this season, with seven goals to boot. At the age of just 19, he is surely going to go all the way to the top.

Daniel Barlaser is another player that not only made it into the Carabao Cup squad this season, but started - and lasted the entire match. The English-Turkish midfielder is 20 years old and was involved on a few occasions last season, coming on in two FA Cup matches and sitting on the bench in the Championship. He will be hoping for more appearances this season, with the Magpies up in the Premier League.

Youngest player ever: Steve Watson, 16 years 233 days (against Wolves, Division Two, 10 November 1990)

Not an academy product, but a £5m summer signing from Lech Poznan, Jan Bednarek is the Saints' youngest player so far this season. At 21, he started in defence in the Carabao Cup in August, but has since not featured again. He did receive an international call-up though, coming on for Poland's senior team to make his debut against Kazakhstan last month.

Thibaut Verlinden is a player that is impressing coaches at Stoke following his move from Standard Liege in the summer of 2016. He has played mostly in the Under 18s and Under 23s, but stepped up to the first team at the start of this season. He replaced Erik Pieters for the final 20 minutes against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup in August.

As with Marcus Rashford previously, Tammy Abraham is not a that will be new to many. This summer, the Chelsea man was linked with a whole host of clubs that wanted him on loan, Swansea and Newcastle among them. In the end, he opted for the former, making his debut on the opening day against Southampton. After this season, he will hope to return to Stamford Bridge for a charge towards the first-team.

Tashan Oakley-Boothe first rose to the senior team at Spurs on the club's pre-season tour of America, and was then on the bench in the Premier League at the start of the season. He made his debut in the League Cup, playing in the centre of Spurs' midfield. The north Londoners have a good reputation for bringing through talent, and he could be next on the conveyor belt.

Something of an unknown quantity when he arrived in England, Richarlison is now flying at Watford as they push towards the upper echelons of the Premier League. The young Brazilian already has three goals in England, and is becoming an integral cog in the Hornets' machine.

Youngest player ever: Keith Mercer, 16 years 125 days (against Tranmere Rovers, Third Division, 15 February 1973)

Tony Pulis put his faith in Rekeem Harper in the first game of West Brom's season, bringing on the youngster for the final 20 minutes against Bournemouth. He then came on in the Carabao Cup, before being sent out on loan to Blackburn. He is only 17 but the young English talent has been tipped for big things.

Youngest player ever: Izzy Brown, 16 years 117 days (against Wigan, Premier League, 4 May 2013)

Domingos Quina arrived at West Ham in 2016, but last summer was linked with a whole host of other clubs including Arsenal. Perhaps that gives an insight into how highly-rated he is. Despite the rumours, he remains a West Ham player, and he came on in the Carabao Cup against Cheltenham in August and then Bolton in September.

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Summary of non-mainstream articles: 26/10/2017 22:11:28

Agent reveals how close Southampton star came to leaving the club in the summer FOOTBALLFANCAST

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