What is going on at St Mary’s?
It’s a mystery with so many different possibilities that it is almost worthy of its own board game.
Players have been flooding out of St Mary’s all summer, so the Echo’s team of super-sleuths have been sent in to investigate the reasons behind all these disappearing acts.
Below we delve into the background of some of the suspects in this dramatic case of the vanishing football team.
But where do YOU think the responsibility lies?
Who was responsible for the remarkable mass exodus of star players from St Mary’s this summer?
Was it ‘Lady’ Liebherr in the boardroom, with Saints’ statement of accounts in her hand?
Was it ‘Colonel’ Cortese in the front row of the directors’ box, with his dream of attempting to create an English Barcelona-type model now in tatters?
Was it ‘Inspector’ Pochettino in the dressing room, i nforming players he was off while last season drifted towards its end?
Was it ‘Major’ Lambert in the dressing room, his quickfire sale just a few days after the ‘Inspector’s own departure setting up Saints for a summer of total unrest?
Was it ‘Chauffeur’ Reed, for a long time sitting next to the ‘Colonel’ in the directors’ box, with his April statement that players asking to leave will be held to their contracts?
Or was it ‘Chief’ Hodgson on the plane to Brazil?
Had he never selected Lallana, Lambert and Shaw in the first place, would they all still be at St Mary’s?
Whodunnit? Was it all of the above, either acting alone or in cahoots, or none of them?
Were the lights on, or off, at the time of the ‘crime’?
In true murder mystery suspense, we do not know the answer.
We do not yet know whether the ‘victim’ has been murdered?
Some fans believe the ‘victim’ - Southampton FC – has ‘died’ this summer, after having its heart brutally ripped out by people in red on Merseyside and Manchester.
Others believe the ‘victim’ is not dead, just battered, but with an injection of new blood – signings – can recover.