News and Views from the Football League – Saints’ Wembley glory to inspire promotion?

The Football League has dished out its annual knock-out competition silverware following an entertaining fixture at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. A match which saw five goals fly in ended up in favour of Southampton, with Carlisle making the long trip home to Cumbria with their tails between their legs having found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline.

The Saints’ victory at Wembley is their first domestic success since 1976, when Lawrie McMenemy’s side defeated Manchester United to claim the F.A. Cup, and it comes as a welcome boost having struggled since their relegation from the top flight in 2005. The drop to the Championship was followed by seasons of financial uncertainty which ultimately saw the club relegated again and start this campaign in League One with a ten point penalty. However, it was not long before Saints had overhauled their nearest rivals and with the club on a much stronger financial footing, Sunday’s success could be just the tip of the iceberg for what might be waiting around the corner.

Under Alan Pardew’s management, Southampton have thrived on the pitch and boast a wealth of talent that should rightly be on display at a higher level. Rickie Lambert was brought in for £1m from Bristol Rovers (indicative of a new financial start for the club) and has certainly lived up to his price tag by firing Saints up the division since his arrival. The midfield boasts the young talent of Adam Lallana, who broke into the side at Championship level and despite being linked with a move to Wolves over the summer, he remains on the south coast. He will no doubt feature in a higher division in years to come if he keeps developing like he is. Just a quick look at the squad shows why Saints have performed so well this season. The playing staff features a wealth of experience which would be hard to match anywhere else in the Football League. Rahdi Ja

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