Pretty sickening to see Alan Pardew strutting around Wembley with his best suit on
wasn't it? I had a very good mate Saints' fan at the game texting me afterwards in celebratory mood. The play-off's hopefully are beyond the Saints and they'll need to win at Brighton Thursday night to remain in the hunt but despite Pardew's apparent revival at St Mary's certainly everything is not rosy.
My aforementioned mate is very 'in' at St Mary's, he has money invested and is pretty close to chief executive Nicola Cortese and has been telling me all season that Pardew has not ingratiated himself that well inside the club. The fans have been sceptical and critical of some of his tactical decisions but a Wembley day out and victory plus pushing the play-off race to the final weeks of the season would, one assume, buy him more time.
But that might not be good enough for owner Markus Liebherr, who is expected to go down the well worn route in the summer of chairmen thinking above their station and replacing Pardew with a 'bigger name' particularly as they aim to sell more than the 10,000 season tickets they sold last summer.
From the outside looking in and it makes me want to puke at the thought of it but following the points deduction and after winning just one of their first 10 league games Southampton have shown consistent promotion form, beating Leeds and Norwich and scoring plenty of goals in the process. The facts are though that even adding the 10 points to their current total it would still not put them in the top 6.
No one is surprised that Pardew has splashed the cash (almost £3m mostly undisclosed on Lambert, Barnard, Puncheon, Hammond and Fonte) and brought in a plethora of new signings and loans but remember this is against a backdrop of selling some of their best players in the summer when in administration.
What particularly sticks in the throat is how Pardew can pick Rickie Lambert, scorer of 32 goals this season, but decided on Izale McLeod when he was our manager. McLeod was more expensive too. Or Cheltenham's Michail Antonio over Barnet's Dean Sinclair. I could go on.
Pardew's Southampton if they fail to get up this season will start as pre-season League One promotion favourites, although with potentially Leeds, Millwall, Charlton, Swindon, Huddersfield, Brighton, MK Dons, Colchester, Palarse, Sheffield Wednesday, Watford and Notts County this division will only get harder.
The word down on the south-coast though is that Pardew won't get a chance to finish the job he has started. Mr Liebherr's ego is said to be bigger than Pardew's, hard to imagine, perhaps Roy Keane
could spend his money for him instead?