MATCH of the NEW MILLENNIUM consists of fans’ reports on the Saints’ 100 Most Memorable Matches, all the way from the carnival-match on 11 August 2001, the first game at St Mary’s v Espanyol, to the carnival-match of 17 May 2016, Kelvin Davis’s testimonial.
The 98 matches in between feature some serious football, contested in three different divisions of the Englishgame and five knock-out competitions. Which means that two Cup Finals are recalled – in the FA Cup and the JPT – while proper tribute is paid to the achievements of the Saints Academy by the inclusion of two Youth Cup Finals, one lost and one won.
Edited by David Bull and Barry Webb, supported by a dozen contributing fans, the book includes accounts of four vs Arsenal and no fewer than five vs Liverpool, as the down-and- up-again Saints achieved two promotions, a trophy (or two if you count the 2015 triumph of the Youth team) and three qualifications for European competitions. They passed numerous milestones en route, such as the first win at St Mary’s v Charlton … an extraordinary 1-0 win at Leeds … wins at Old Trafford and St James’ Park, just eight days apart … the 8-0 drubbing of Sunderland … all culminating in 2015-16, when they finished above Liverpool, the only team in England’s League system who had always finished above them.
This book does not duck the fact that some memorable games ended in defeat – from the first few home games at the new stadium … to the FA Cup Final and the subsequent trip to Bucharest … to the day Manchester United sent the Saints down in 2005 … to a 3-0 home lead surrendered to Leeds … and even the 4-1 horror-show at Portsmouth.
The book’s format will be familiar to fans who have a copy of the 2000 book, Match of the Millennium, but there are four notable differences:
The foreword is not written by an ex-player, but by our club’s owner, Katharina Liebherr, as befits the fact that the book commemorates the sixth anniversary of the death of her father Markus, the saviour of Southampton FC.
The book has many more illustrations and is in full colour, throughout.
Although the book proceeds from selected match to selected match, the match reports include, as and when appropriate, a commentary on developments at St Mary’s, notably in the form of personnel changes, from the dressing-room to the board-room.
While Match of the Millennium ended with a flurry of match-day memories from Matt Le Tissier, this book has such a sound-bite from a player for each of the 100 matches, perhaps from a post-match interview… or maybe from an autobiography… but mainly from an interview conducted especially for this book.
One way or another, readers will hear from Matt Le Tissier, Jason Dodd and Francis Benali on the early games … to Brett Ormerod and David Prutton … to Kelvin Davis, Radhi Jaidi, Dan Harding and several others on life in the lower reaches… to Rickie Lambert on his numerous goals for the Saints and on his Liverpool debut against them … to Sadio Mané on his rapid hat-trick vs Villa and Cuco Martina on his wonder-goal vs Arsenal.
Publisher: Hagiology Publishing
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