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Rickie Lambert re-ups with Southampton, a club full of ambition

Mar 21, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

Southampton's Lambert attempts to chip the ball over Liverpool's goalkeeper Jones during their English Premier League soccer match at St. Mary's Stadium in Southampton

With his contract due to expire at the end of next season Southampton striker Rickie Lambert re-upped with the Saints, extending his deal until 2016.

Fresh off yet another diss from not being named to the England squad, Lambert secured his status as the fans’ favorite at St. Mary’s Stadium and his giddiness over the deal was palpable. “I’m over the moon to sign with Southampton for another three years,” he told the club’s official website.

Lambert is enjoying a fantastic season and his 13 goals make him the top English scorer in the Premier League. If the striker’s decision to re-sign with the Saints doesn’t give you pause, it ought to because something very interesting is going on at Southampton.

Saints owner Nicola Cortese has undertaken a project to take this small-town team to the top of the Premiership. It’s a lofty goal but one that you’d be foolish to laugh at. Cortese has made a concerted effort to keep his best pieces and bring in new ones that can take the team to the next level. Lambert, who some thought may fly the coup to secure that final big contract before retirement, explained his owner’s influence.

“There is a lot of ambition in this club for the next few years and that is one of the main reasons that I have signed the contract – and that is why I want to end my career here.” The striker went on to explain, “Nicola Cortese’s ambition for this club drives us all on as well, so it really helps the club with where we are now and it will help with where we want to go.”

That ambition has been everywhere recently. It’s what convinced Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez to choose the Saints over big clubs like Tottenham, Liverpool and Inter Milan. It’s what compelled the club’s prized asset, Luke Shaw, to turn down Arsenal. And it’s what made Morgan Schneiderlin (who has intercepted the most passes in the league this season), Jason (‘He went for a sh!t’) Puncheon and Kelvin Davis to all re-sign with the club.

Perhaps most significantly, this desire to be the best is what convinced Cortese to fire manager Nigel Adkins and hire the relatively unknown Mauricio Pochettino. The decision was originally panned by pundits but just two months into it and the Argentine’s suffocating offensive tactics have resulted in the scalpings of Manchester City and Liverpool.

So congrats to Rickie Lambert and congrats to Southampton, a club full of ambition that fans would do well to keep an eye on in the coming years.

  1. goonah4life - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Given the club has produced stars like Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as well as the awkward looking chimp who plays for Sp*rs and has lately been luckily bagging some goals, Southampton could indeed become a force in the Prem were they to retain such homegrown talent.

    Between Jay Rodriguez, your boy Rickie, Gaston Ramirez and Adam Lallana they produce some entertaining football, partially because they are dangerous going forward and downright awful at the back. Makes for entertaining stuff for sure. Their netminder Boruc ranges from absolutely putrid to downright unbeatable on his day which always keeps you on your toes.

    I sure did enjoy them putting the Scousers in their place right when they were getting their panties in a bunch about playing Champions League football next season. Funny stuff!

    • jessedinner - Mar 26, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      That was not nice.

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