Good, you’re remembering Masters Football, just as you should.
Few things could be more fun than watching former heroes battle it out for the title of ‘still somewhat good at football and just about relevant’.
Before we dig in and pick a fantasy team if Southampton were to compete in Masters Football nowadays, here are the restrictions we’ve placed on participating players.
- Only players aged 35 or over are eligible, and they must not be currently playing, coaching, managing or have any other role at a club that isn’t only ambassadorial
- Where possible, club legend games will be used for narrow selection choices
- If a player has health conditions that would prevent them from playing, then they will not be included
Without further ado, the Saints in Masters Football...
Kelvin Davis (Goalkeeper)
Years Spent at Southampton: 2006-2016
Club Highlight: Saving Robin van Persie’s penalty in 2012.
Club Lowlight: A three-game suspension in 2007 for lashing out at Stoke City’s Jon Parkin.
A Southampton player becomes a Southampton legend if his career and attitude ever resemble anything like that of Kelvin Davis. Simple.
Davis spent a decade at St Mary’s, and his performances earned him one Championship and two League One Team of the Year inclusions. He’d take Masters Football seriously - David James-style serious - and so he should.
Wayne Bridge (Defender)
Years Spent at Southampton: 1998-2003
Club Highlight: Club Player of the Year in 2000/01.
Club Lowlight: Leaving for Chelsea.
Wayne Bridge was a sturdy and consistent fullback.
His TikTok videos are not sturdy or consistent.
He should stick to the football.
Jason Dodd (Defender)
Years Spent at Southampton: 1989-2005
Club Highlight: Spending 16 years at the club.
Club Lowlight: When his direct goal from a corner against Portsmouth was cruelly taken off him and jotted down as an own-goal.
He now teaches PE at one of the most
Anders Svensson (Midfielder)
Years Spent at Southampton: 2001-2005
Club Highlight: A stout solo goal in a 4-0 FA Cup win over Tottenham in 2002/03.
Club Lowlight: Losing the FA Cup final of that season to Arsenal.
Only seven men have made more appearances for European nations than Anders Svensson’s 148 for Sweden. Judging by his Southampton offerings, it’s easy to see why.
If the Saints were lacking stamina and control in the middle of the park, they’d look to him.
Rickie Lambert (Forward)
Years Spent at Southampton: 2009-2014
Club Highlight: Capping off his 500th career appearance with a glorious free kick winner against European champions Chelsea.
Club Lowlight: Leaving for Liverpool.
A plodding journeyman striker that became an
Matt Le Tissier (Forward)
Years Spent at Southampton: 1986-2002
Club Highlight: That 40-yard lob against Blackburn Rovers.
Club Lowlight: Is there one?
If Masters Football existed in 2067, ‘Le God’ would still be a shoo-in for the Saints.
He’s a club legend, and the scorer of some of the team’s best, most famous and most spectacular goals. Southampton would admit it themselves, but their star striker was prone to carrying them through the tough times. The easiest of easy picks.
Claus Lundekvam (Defender)
Years Spent at Southampton: 1996-2008
Club Highlight: His part in that brilliant 2002/03 season.
Club Lowlight: A career-ending injury against Southend in 2007.
Lundekvam is one of the best defenders the Saints have ever fielded, and a squad without him wouldn’t really be a Southampton Masters Football team at all.
Grit and determination are his two middle names (m, and Southampton fans certainly saw them in equal measure across his 12 years at the club.
Francis Benali (Defender)
Years Spent at Southampton: 1988-2004
Club Highlight: A stellar career as a true club legend.
Club Lowlight: His final match, against Bayern Munich in 2004. Southampton lost a cult hero.
Born in Southampton. Played for Southampton. Lives in Southampton. Francis Benali is now acclaimed for his brilliant charity work.
A place on the bench for the 51-year-old is the least we could do.
Matt Oakley (Midfielder)
Years Spent at Southampton: 1994-2006
Club Highlight: Martin Tyler crying 'he has picked his spot' after his powerfully placed long-shot found its way into the top corner against Portsmouth in 2005.
Club Lowlight: The persistent injuries that kept him out for so long.
Oakley collects piranha fish. Odd.
He showed aggression and commitment as an 11-a-side player. So, when called upon, why should six-a-side be any different?