Southampton may not be in the finest fettle at the moment, but fans can take some solace in the fact that it least it’s not pre-2009, when the club faced extensive financial problems, the English football league and little to no hope of improvement. And more so that the general quality of the squad has been vastly upgraded…
While the Saints may want to forget about this desperately tumultuous period in their history, they’d do well to remember the players who passionately battled alongside them to rescue the club from the murky depths of utter misery and dejection.
Bradley Wright-Phillips was one such character. Well, sort of. He did his bit, anyway.
We’ve got to say that things really did look promising for the former Manchester City striker when he kicked off his Saints career with a debut corker over Derby County (it really was a screamer). Fans were excited. Heck – we were excited.
Unfortunately, however, despite the lower quality of Championship defending, the Englishman was never really able to take full advantage of the opportunity handed to him. Scoring just 25 goals in 121 appearances on the south coast was hardly an achievement to write home about, especially when brother Shaun was absolutely dominating back in the Premier League. Nor were the couple of brushes with the law, for that matter.
After spells with Plymouth Argyle and then Charlton Athletic, before a brief spell with Brentford in 2013, Wright-Phillips decided enough was enough.
MLS has long since been the graveyard for Premier League talents to rest their weary heads and see out the remaining days of their professional career on the beaches of Los Angeles etc. etc. but Wright Phillips, still in his 20s at the time, broke that tradition in half when he linked up New York Red Bulls.
We think it’s pretty safe to say that the Englishman has enjoyed an upturn of forming since crossing the pond. In short, he became the quickest player in Major League Soccer history to reach the 100-goal mark. The achievement took only 159 games, surpassing the former holder Taylor Twellman’s record of 174 games.
At the tender age of 34, the Englishman is still doing his thing State-side.
Southampton fans, what are your standout memories of Bradley Wright-Phillips? Let us know in the comments below…