Have we made any progress, post-Cortese?

Have we made any progress, post-Cortese?


As the thread asks, really.

Cortese was a massively divisive figure. People were upset with his perceived dictatorial leanings. He caused chaos in the media and the fanbase when he ruthlessly, and quite calculatedly, pushed Nigel Adkins out of the way to make way for Mauricio Pochettino. He was lampooned toward the end of his time for claiming to be the driving force behind Saints revival and operation.

“It’s not his fucking money”, you’d hear many say.

Well guess what, it’s not Les Reed’s fucking money either, or Ralph Krueger’s cash pile. I don’t think they’ve done a very good job of taking up the mantle.

We got lucky with Koeman, lucky because he was in the right state of mind, and had something to prove. Lucky because we’ve seen the other post-Cortese appointments too. I’m convinced that had he stayed around, this thread might not exist.

However, we’ve done less well on the next two setups. I say setup because I’m not convinced its the managers that are necessarily to blame. Since Cortese has done the offs, we’ve replaced him in name with Krueger, who’s never going to be an effective football man, and Les Reed, previously famous for completely cocking his time at Charlton up.

For all the myriad complaints from local tradesman about ridiculous demands, Cortese did have a pull on the players and manager, and under his stewardship, the momentum of the club seemed nigh on unstoppable. Success was something that persisted across managers.

Since then, the momentum of the club has gone in reverse. Yes, we made Europe, but fucked it up at both times of asking. Yes, we did a Cup Final, and what a bittersweet pleasure that was. However, we’re seeing failure persist across seasons too. Failure to get a proven consistent goal scorer. Failure to keep hold of players. Failure to appoint the right manager, or provide the tools for them to succeed.

I don’t want to retrospectively lionise the bloke too much, but I think Cortese would have shielded us from many of the blows we’ve received over the seasons.

Have we made any real progress since he left?

    1. Yes. All Hail Glorious Leaders Les and Ralph.
    1. No. Load Ralph and Les into a rocket and fire them at Portsea Island.

0 voters


Clearly yes if you go by league positions. If you bought the Champions League bullshit then clearly no.

Sadly, teams of our size, without a cash injection of the likes of Chelsea and City, are always going to struggle to get the best players. We did well for a few years but you cant expect to continue to compete with the rest for the best players that escape the top 4 net and win all the time.

As a club we are in a much better shape than before the Leibherrs and the Gaos came along. As a team we are currently very poor.

Cortese was very good at spending other people’s money but isnt it telling that he hasnt had a job in football since he left us, despite hinting that he had jobs lined up in Italy? He also spun a lot of bullshit which most of the regulars on Fiverweb swallowed hook, line and sinker. He did a good job for us while he was here but I am glad he is gone. I never subscribed to the - he might be a cunt, but he is our cunt line. I’d rather be in the Championship and run by someone with integrity.

The momentum was never going to continue without a never ending supply of money no matter who runs the club.

Barry might disagree.


I’m not sure I agree, @sadoldgit .

Under Cortese, we never sold a player that we didn’t want to, got and shipped the right players for the task at hand in each situation.

Having money is one thing. Spending it correctly is another. You only need to look at the latest moneybags on the block Everton. They spent shitloads and still managed to emerge without a balanced team, or much pace and now have Sam Allardyce managing them.


He had it easier getting us up to the Premier League than he would have had driving contant progress over the duration we’ve been here. He was a bastard, but a driven, determined and ultimately successful one. I think we would have gone along similar lines to actual performance for the first few years after we were promoted, but would not have let it slip like we have recently. If he was still here, two things are certain in my mind. We wouldn’t be in the situation we are in now and he wouldn’t have put up with the shit that comes with agents and player demands, particularly those who have wanted to go.

To answer the question - we made a bit of progress, probably from some of the momentum both he and ML left the club with. But ultimately the wind has stopped blowing and we’re now rudderless. Also, I think he would have got fed up as there is only a certain level SFC can get too before it becomes too costly to compete and i think he would have been attracted away to another Club. Probably the bin dippers.


Like Labour in 97, a huge fucking wasted opportunity, we took the limelight for how good we were yet sold all our players and didn’t replace them, we’re fucking serfs to the bigger teams, its not the losing its the manner of defeat, we’re fucing wimps and its shameful, Burnley have half of our talent yet they play with heart and where are they? No hardmen, no bullies, no one who puts their body on the line bar Lemina, no nasty bastards who’d take a red or yellow for the team, just fannies who sideways pass as their clueless boss tells them to.

At least the #wematchon wankers will fuck off, the videos of how good we are will go and so will 50% of the weaklings in our squad.


I agree about keeping players at the time Pap. But if he had stayed, how much longer would have he had been able to keep them when the big clubs and big wages came knocking? I also understand that the reason we let several of our better players leave was because we needed to sort out the financial mess he left us in. I may be wrong but that is my understanding. Recruitment is a bit of a minefield and every club gets it wrong at times. Even The Don fucked up with Osvaldo!

Up until this season I cant see that they have done poorly. For those who kicked off about last season, I am not going to complain about finishing 8th and a great cup run. No one gets it right all the time, it is just a shame that this season so many clubs are in the same place, we dont have the luxury of three being cut adrift when we are having our own problems and have been sucked into the crap where other seasons we might have got through a dodgy season without a full on relegation battle.


Not going toget into the Cortese debate since it just rakes up aload of urban myth vs fan insider gossip vs facts? and no one who has ever posred on a football forum has any real claim to knowing the truth… the whole ‘he is good at spending other peoples money’’ as an insult shows how ridiculous it gets… because that was his job, to spend otehr peoples money to deliver success. The unfortunate situation for us was that sadly Marcus departed and I suspect as well intentioned as she may have been to start with, Kat’s heart was not in it like her fathers, so was always going to look for an out at some stage.

…anyway, the ‘pull’ of our little dictator, was simple. He expected success. An obsessive , perhaps similar to Dave Brailsford, or Ron Dennis, incrementaly tiny things from matresses to ergonic door handles on player lockers… and they expects the highsest standrads to an obsessive level…no surprze to me that he fell out with many local trades… just getting a plumber who can fix a brand new bath waste is prooving trouble enough for me… not paying if it does not meet exacting standards is common in your driven type.

Think not of the individual, but of the way he was determined to drive success. The belief he had in the players and staff was so important to our success. I do thikn that had he stayed with the right financial backing (not stupid money, but a more flexible appraoch) we would still have Poch and seen a much lower player attrition rate.

But it matters not because its history, Progress since has been a bit rubbish, but no worse than expected really given the risks associated with the business model chosen since Cortese left. The gains to 8,7, 6 th etc are only really seen as progress if they become sustainable, but a ssoon a syou start letting 1 or 2 leave, teh rest see it as asign of limited expectation andambition, so impossible to stop the exodus. If there is no youth talent to replace it, or acouple of crap signings weend up where we are.

Its why Cortese also puts such an emphasis in staplewood and youth set up - invested heavily as it was intrinsic to the model working,

So I dont thiknk we have made any real progress, as we dont have the stable foundation.


Okey, I accept that good at spending other people’s money is a cheap shot. I should have said had ambitions much higher than his budget.


Good man!

You know I’m going to disagree with at least a bit of your post though. Wouldn’t be right not to.

I think there’s a strong case to be made for him saving money, especially if we end up dropping through the trap door this season. I’m going to put a Lallana hypothetical forward. What if, when he signed his new contract, he meant what he said about finishing his career here? I know that time and transfer activity has made him a liar, but did he mean it when he said it?

I reckon he’s a number of players that tied their mast to Cortese’s vision. And fair enough, money is money and all that. He may well have ended up going anyway. He may not have.

Cortese might have had the personal pull to keep some of these players, given the ability to get somewhere near the wages that the other teams were paying, and no fan would have begrudged seeing a performing player get a pay rise that kept him in a Saints shirt.

That was the year of the big exodus. Five valued first team players, one manager currently setting Spurs alight and one chairman that we’ve done a piss poor job of replacing.


People may see what I’ve said as having something in it, it may not be particuarly articulate but I couldn’t give a shite, the Southampton Way was amatuer night, how could we keep buying or getting these academy players into the team and then continually selling them?

It was bound to fail, the winners are Libeherr, the Chinese who’ll asset strip if we go down and the hangers on, the losers are obviously the fans, Liebherr will go down as the biggest traitor known to this club if we go down and sell out, the Chinese are merely scavengers.

Name me one good Chinese owned and run club?


I did Google, Bazza.

My man in Shanghai says you’re correct.


I wanted to mention this earlier. This viewpoint, that we’re only so good, guv’nor, and we only want to be that good, is a common one on Saints forums. It’s half SaintsWeb’s content, FFS. It’s not one that I ever liked, and these days, I dunno why it has any credence in this day and age.

Because Leicester, basically. This was a team I went to see Saints play in the Championship a few years ago, a team that was on the verge of being relegated one season and becoming Premier League champs the next.

And it’s not just them, nor is it just England. Atletico are a huge team, but the breaking of the Real Madrid and Barcelona title duopoly was a huge achievement nonetheless. Then there’s Montpellier and going back a bit further, Wolfsburg and Kaiserslauten in Germany. Surprises happen all over the place.

How can we call Cortese’s Champion League aspirations “bullshit” when a team with a rat for a vanguard topped the Premier League?


Leicester didn’t have any CL ambitions as far as I recall, it just all happened for them. The big clubs had a mare and they had players who could crucify you on the break. I seem to remember thinking they weren’t much better than us. It was one of those once in a lifetime things that will never happen again in most of our lifetimes. Tell me which mid table club has said it wants CL football and has got it. Where are Leicester now, or last season? Back to normal. I am sure we all want to be better, but so do all the other teams like us, and we can’t all be.


It just seems to never happen to us.

Largest team arguably with the leats trophies.

Memories thats what football is all about and winning things, we’ve so few we still have 1976 players do every week somewhere and “Macca” givng his knowledge 40 years on in the Echo, its desperate.


Which is it? Memories or winning things? I’ve got plenty of good saints memories, especially over the past few years… so well done saints! Also we won the JPT, so another pat on the back.


Yes the JPT, a great day it truly was, such has been our fucking underachievement we still look back to that great day the World of football and Carlisle said they’ve awoken, I have a framed picture of that great day in my shed, how sad is that, its actually tragically sad we have that as a memory…


I don’t understand what you’re saying. Is it a great memory or not? You’ve called it both “a great day” and said that it’s “tragically sad” that it’s one of our memories. A minute ago you said football was all about great memories.


Its a great memory but it reflects our small time attitude, the mutants went bankrupt and won the Cup, celebrating and remembering that merely confirms we’re small time, why didn’t Chelsea win it that year?


I have a lot a mates who are Palace supporters and we have a lot more to be happy about over the years than they do. There are plenty of clubs our size who would swap our history for theirs. There are (still) a lot more teams worse off than us. It’s only desperate if you have unrealistic expectations.


Name a bigger club with less trophies?