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In the 1996–97 season, Southampton Football Club competed in the FA Premier League.

Southampton F.C.
1996–97 season
ChairmanRupert Lowe
ManagerGraeme Souness
StadiumThe Dell
Premiership16th
FA CupThird round
League CupQuarter-finals
Top goalscorerLe Tissier (13)
Highest home attendance15,253 vs Manchester United
(26 Oct 1996, Premier League)
Lowest home attendance10,737 vs Oxford United
(18 Dec 1996, League Cup)
Average home league attendance15,099

Contents

Season summaryEdit

For the fourth time in five seasons, Southampton managed to avoid relegation. Manager Dave Merrington had been dismissed at the end of the previous season to be succeeded by Graeme Souness, who brought in quality new players including Claus Lundekvam and Egil Østenstad. A 6-3 win over Manchester United in late October, which saw Ostenstad scoring a brace, was the highlight of the season, and Southampton entered the final game of the season only needing a draw to confirm their survival. Survival was achieved, but it did not prevent Souness from quitting the club after just one season, handing over the reins to Stockport's Dave Jones.

Ali Dia incidentEdit

After receiving a phone call purporting to be from Liberian international and former FIFA World Player of the Year George Weah, Graeme Souness signed Senegalese "international" striker Ali Dia. "Weah" had told Souness that Dia was his cousin, had played for Paris Saint-Germain and had played 13 times for his country. None of this was true: the phone call was made by a fellow university student of Dia's to Souness, suggesting that he should give Dia a chance with the Saints.[1] Nonetheless, Souness was convinced, and signed Dia on a one-month contract.

Dia played just one game for Southampton, against Leeds United on 23 November 1996; he had originally been scheduled to play in a reserve friendly against Arsenal, but the match was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch. In the match against Leeds, he came on as a substitute for Matt Le Tissier after 32 minutes but his performance was spectacularly below Premier League quality. He was later substituted for Ken Monkou after playing for 53 minutes;[2] Leeds won the match 2–0.

Le Tissier himself recalled the story in a television interview, telling that Dia spent only a weekend at the club. He first came down to train with the team on Friday morning; according to Le Tissier he "didn't look very good" and the players thought that they would "never see him again", but the next day Dia was surprisingly named on the bench. His performance on the field after he came on to replace Le Tissier "was unbelievable. He ran around the pitch like Bambi on ice, it was very very embarrassing to watch." Yet, according to the team's physiotherapist, on Sunday morning Dia "turned up for treatment of an injury" and "then he left, and we never saw him again . . . nobody knows where he went."[3] Dia was released by Southampton two weeks later.

Final league tableEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
14 West Ham United 38 10 12 16 39 48 −9 42
15 Everton 38 10 12 16 44 57 −13 42
16 Southampton 38 10 11 17 50 56 −6 41
17 Coventry City 38 9 14 15 38 54 −16 41
18 Sunderland (R) 38 10 10 18 35 53 −18 40 Relegation to the Football League First Division
Source: Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(R) Relegated.
Results summary
Overall Home Away
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts W D L GF GA GD W D L GF GA GD
38 10 11 17 50 56  −6 41 6 7 6 32 24  +8 4 4 11 18 32  −14

Source: Statto

Results by round
Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
GroundHAAHAHAHAHHAAHAAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHHAHA
ResultDLLDLLLWDWWDLLLLLWLLWDLLDWDDLLDWDWDWWL
Position1115171818191918181714141417171718161919191819191919181919202019191617151416
Source: Statto.com
A = Away; H = Home; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss

ResultsEdit

Southampton's score comes first[4]

LegendEdit

Win Draw Loss

FA Premier LeagueEdit

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
18 August 1996 Chelsea H 0-0 15,186
21 August 1996 Leicester City A 1-2 17,562 Le Tissier (pen)
24 August 1996 West Ham United A 1-2 21,227 Heaney
4 September 1996 Nottingham Forest H 2-2 14,450 Dryden, Le Tissier
7 September 1996 Liverpool A 1-2 39,189 Magilton
14 September 1996 Tottenham Hotspur H 0-1 15,251
23 September 1996 Wimbledon A 1-3 8,572 Oakley
28 September 1996 Middlesbrough H 4-0 15,230 Oakley, Le Tissier (2), Watson
13 October 1996 Coventry City A 1-1 15,485 Le Tissier
19 October 1996 Sunderland H 3-0 15,225 Dodd, Le Tissier (pen), Shipperley
26 October 1996 Manchester United H 6-3 15,253 Berkovic (2), Le Tissier, Østenstad (2), P. Neville (own goal)
2 November 1996 Sheffield Wednesday A 1-1 20,106 Le Tissier (pen)
16 November 1996 Everton A 1-7 35,669 Østenstad
23 November 1996 Leeds United H 0-2 15,241
30 November 1996 Blackburn Rovers A 1-2 23,018 Østenstad
4 December 1996 Arsenal A 1-3 38,033 Berkovic
7 December 1996 Aston Villa H 0-1 15,232
21 December 1996 Derby County H 3-1 14,901 Watson, Oakley, Magilton (pen)
26 December 1996 Tottenham Hotspur A 1-3 30,549 Le Tissier
29 December 1996 Liverpool H 0-1 15,222
11 January 1997 Middlesbrough A 1-0 29,509 Magilton (pen)
18 January 1997 Newcastle United H 2-2 15,251 Maddison, Le Tissier
1 February 1997 Manchester United A 1-2 55,269 Østenstad
22 February 1997 Sheffield Wednesday H 2-3 15,062 Østenstad, Le Tissier
26 February 1997 Wimbledon H 0-0 14,418
1 March 1997 Newcastle United A 1-0 36,446 Le Tissier
5 March 1997 Everton H 2-2 15,134 Slater, Short (own goal)
12 March 1997 Leeds United A 0-0 25,913
15 March 1997 Arsenal H 0-2 15,144
19 March 1997 Chelsea A 0-1 28,079
22 March 1997 Leicester City H 2-2 15,044 Østenstad, van Gobbel
5 April 1997 Nottingham Forest A 3-1 25,134 Magilton, Evans
9 April 1997 Derby County A 1-1 17,839 Powell (own goal)
12 April 1997 West Ham United H 2-0 15,244 Evans, Berkovic
19 April 1997 Coventry City H 2-2 15,251 Evans, Østenstad
22 April 1997 Sunderland A 1-0 21,521 Østenstad
3 May 1997 Blackburn Rovers H 2-0 15,247 Slater, Le Tissier
11 May 1997 Aston Villa A 0-1 39,339

FA CupEdit

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 4 January 1997 Reading A 1-3 11,537 Østenstad

League CupEdit

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R2 1st Leg 18 September 1996 Peterborough United H 2-0 14,467 Le Tissier, Watson
R2 2nd Leg 25 September 1996 Peterborough United A 4-1 8,220 Watson, Charlton, Magilton, Dryden
R3 23 October 1996 Lincoln City H 2-2 14,516 Le Tissier, van Gobbel
R3R 12 November 1996 Lincoln City A 3-1 10,523 Magilton (pen), Watson, Berkovic
R4 26 November 1996 Oxford United A 1-1 9,473 Dryden
R4R 18 December 1996 Oxford United H 3-2 10,737 Berkovic, Dryden, Østenstad
QF 22 January 1997 Stockport County A 2-2 9,840 Østenstad (2)
QFR 29 January 1997 Stockport County H 1-2 13,428 Le Tissier

SquadEdit

[5]Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Dave Beasant
2   DF Jason Dodd
3   DF Francis Benali
4   MF Jim Magilton
5   DF Barry Venison
6   DF Ken Monkou
7   MF Matt Le Tissier (captain)
8   FW Mickey Evans
10   MF Neil Maddison
13   GK Neil Moss
14   DF Simon Charlton
15   DF Alan Neilson
16   MF David Hughes
17   MF Paul Tisdale
18   MF Matt Oakley
No. Position Player
19   DF Richard Dryden
20   MF Robbie Slater
22   DF Claus Lundekvam
23   GK Darryl Flahavan
24   MF Christer Warren (on loan to Brighton & Hove Albion and Fulham during playing season)
25   MF Paul Sheerin
26   DF Matthew Robinson
27   FW Steve Basham
28   MF Russell Watkinson
29   MF Eyal Berkovic
30   FW Egil Østenstad
32   DF Ulrich van Gobbel
33   GK Maik Taylor (from January)

Left club during seasonEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
8   FW Gordon Watson (to Bradford City)
9   FW Neil Shipperley (to Crystal Palace)
11   MF Neil Heaney (until November; to Manchester City)
12   DF Graham Potter (to West Bromwich Albion)
No. Position Player
21   MF Frankie Bennett (to Bristol Rovers)
31   GK Chris Woods (on loan from Colorado Rapids)
33   FW Ali Dia (released)

Reserve squadEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
-   MF Duncan Spedding
No. Position Player
-   MF Andy Williams

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Never again..." BBC Sport. 1 April 2003. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  2. ^ Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (2003). In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology Publishing. pp. 248 & 504. ISBN 0-9534474-3-X.
  3. ^ Haberdager (21 August 2007). "Matt Le Tissier recounts the Ali Dia saga" – via YouTube.
  4. ^ Ltd, Statto Organisation. "Southampton results for the 1996-1997 season - Statto.com". Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  5. ^ "FootballSquads - Southampton - 1996/97".