EPL: Southampton’s Gutting is Eerily Similar to the 2001 Oakland Athletics
Over the past couple of weeks, the world has witnessed Southampton being gutted by the top teams in the English Premier League. Southampton has basically become a farm team for better teams to prey on and buy their players. If one has seen the movie, Moneyball, this gutting is eerily similar to that of the Oakland Athletics in 2001 by the best teams in Major League Baseball. In the case of Southampton, the teams of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals have been replaced with Liverpool F.C. and Manchester United.
During the 2014 summer transfer window, Southampton has already lost three players and are in jeopardy of losing two more. Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert all have been bought by opposing English Premier League teams and the next two targets are Dejan Lovren and Jay Rodriguez. Shaw was transferred to Manchester United, while Lallana and Lambert have been transferred to Liverpool F.C.
With all these transfers coming out of Southampton, one has to wonder whether or not manager Ronald Koeman will have enough quality players to avoid relegation. With the loss of Shaw, Lallana and Lambert, that’s a huge hit to the defense, midfield and attack. With the potential transfer of Lovren and Rodriguez, it would simply destroy the foundation that Koeman has established in his tenure at Southampton.
Koeman needs to hold strong and not allow any more transfers to come out of Southampton in order to stay afloat in the English Premier League. But Manchester United and Liverpool F.C. have one thing that Southampton lacks — name-brand recognition. Players want to come to the best teams and compete at the highest level and Southampton cannot provide that luxury. After the three signings, Southampton has allocated enough money from the transfer fees to allow Koeman to actively search for adequate replacements.