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COMMENT: Saints' want-away stars should hang their heads in shame
The hammer blows keep on raining down on Saints fans.
Whack! Rickie Lambert, Saints’ talisman during their phoenix-like post-administration resurrection, joins Liverpool for around £4.5m.
Whack! Teenage defender Luke Shaw signs a five-year contract one year, and joins Manchester United less than 12 months later.
Whack! Adam Lallana joins Liverpool for £25m, a year and a bit after he signed a new five-year contract at St Mary’s.
On moving to Anfield, Lallana is quoted on Liverpool’s TV station uttering words that slice through every Saints fan’s heart.
“I’m so excited for the next chapter of my career, coming to a special club like Liverpool.
“It is a huge step. Liverpool has so much history and after the season they had last season I can’t wait to get started and build on that.
“Watching the run-in towards the end of last season was unbelievable.
“It got the hairs on the back of my neck standing up just watching the style of football.
“Deep down I was thinking to myself, ‘One day hopefully I’ll be able to play in that team’.”
It would have been nicer if, deep down, Lallana was concentrating 100 per cent on playing for Saints rather than thinking about his future.
Those quotes were meant to curry favour with his new fans, but have certainly alienated some of his former supporters.
Whack! Record signing Dani Osvaldo fails to return to Saints for pre season training. His excuse? He’s sick. Given his past record, fans have a right to be concerned.
Even if he wasn’t feeling well, he could have turned up at Staplewood and introduced himself to Koeman. That would have shown some nice respect.
Whack! Today’s bombshell news for the St Mary’s faithful is that centre half Dejan Lovren has told Saints he is not coming back to the club as he, too, wants to join the post-Mauricio Pochettino era exodus.
Talk about a total lack of respect for the club that pays your wages.
Saints showed their loyalty to those players by offering them long-term contracts no doubt worth millions.
In return, what have they got back?
Shaw and Lallana didn’t even have the decency to meet personally with new boss Ronald Koeman to see what he had to say.
Lovren doesn’t seem to fancy shaking hands with his new manager either.
Their haste to depart, following their own World Cup exits, leaves a very sour taste in the mouth.
And football fans are like elephants – they have a long memory.
We know there is very little loyalty in the sport any more.
We have got used to players kissing the badge one minute and leaving the next.
That is what annoys the fans, the ones who know what real loyalty means.
But there are ways and means to leave a football club.
Lambert went about it in the right way, though he was helped by the fact everyone knows he grew up as a Liverpool fan. His age also helped, in so far as his best days are probably behind him.
The same does not apply to Lallana or Shaw.
They could have easily met Koeman, listened to what he had to say.
If they still wanted to leave after that, so be it.
But at least they had listened.
At least they would have appeared to care, even if only a little.
To have listened would have shown some respect.
It didn’t happen, though.
That is what leaves the sour taste.
The lack of respect to a football club that had showed so much to players who then showed so little back.