11th: David Connolly
Average Rating: 6:71
Former Irish international was key to some good early season performances. Scored in the opening three fixtures against Leeds, Barnsley and Ipswich. Brilliantly linked up play from midfield to fellow front man Rickie Lambert. Saints wouldn't have been able to play the stunning football they did at the start of 2011/12 without Connolly. Netted against former club Leicester on 27th August, before finishing off a great passing move against Middlesbrough on 29th October. Suffered a slight dip in form before being ruled out with injury in November. Saints struggled in Connolly's absence. Returned as a late substitute on Boxing Day in a clash with Crystal Palace. Movement was superb against Forest on 14th January, a match which Connolly scored in. Slightly disappointing in the next few outings. Connolly made a few solid contributions as a substitute throughout February. His final appearance of the season came on 10th March in a 2-0 win over Barnsley. Recently released from the club. His contributions over the last three years shouldn't be forgotten.
10th: Richard Chaplow
Average Rating: 6:77
Scored against Torquay in the League Cup on 9th August, but did himself no favours four days later when he was sent off at Barnsley. Took a few weeks to get back into the side, but thrived when he did eventually get another chance. Used mainly as a substitute throughout September, Chaplow scored in the 4-1 win over Birmingham. Was asked to play on the right and left hand side of midfield throughout October and November, to spectacular results. Chaplow worked hard up and down the line, providing a mixture of energetic forward bursts and tough tackling. Scored in wins over Peterborough and Coventry and looked awesome against West Ham and Middlesbrough. Suffered a nasty injury early on at Bristol City on November 26th. There's no question the team suffered as a result. Chaplow looked set to return in late December, but reinjured himself and was ruled out for another month. Finally made his comeback on 7th February in an FA Cup replay with Millwall. Chaplow took a few weeks to regain match fitness. Bar one decent showing at Leeds on March 3rd, the former Burnley man struggled to replicate his early season form. He was dropped on a number of occasions, until the last month of the season. Chaplow started games against Palace, Reading and Peterborough. The combative midfielder looked good until his season ended with another injury at Middlesbrough on 21st April. Might not be used quite as much in the Premier League next season, Chaplow is still capable of making a contribution.
9th: Dean Hammond
Average Rating: 6:82
Started the season in style, with a fine goal in the opening day win over Leeds. Formed a good midfield partnership with Jack Cork, which kept Morgan Schneiderlin and Richard Chaplow out of the side. Sent off in a poor display at Reading on 22nd October. Form dipped slightly going into late Autumn. Hammond stepped up his game over the Christmas/New Year period when others were underperforming. Played a vital role sweeping up just in front of the back four. Lost his place in the starting line up to the ever improving Morgan Schneiderlin in early 2012. Hammond was still a useful option to bring on from the bench. Started the South Coast Derby with Portsmouth on April 7th, and played in every remaining game due to Schneiderlin's injury. Ended 2011/12 in decent form, before hobbling off injured on the last day against Coventry. Hammond improved his game considerably last season. Will probably feature a lot less in the Premier League, but still a useful man to have around.
8th: Guly Do Prado
Average Rating: 6:86
Skilful Brazilian divides opinion among fans like no other. Helped Saints to the top of the league at the start of the campaign with a series of top showings. Scored in the 1-0 win over Millwall on 20th August, having made a number of classy assists in the previous weeks. Defensive work on the right hand side often goes unnoticed by some. One of the most tactically astute and unselfish players around. Scored great goals against Birmingham and Watford. A reshuffle in the team during October meant Guly was moved from the right of midfield to a more advanced role alongside Rickie Lambert. The former Cesena man thrived up front, netting a double against Middlesbrough on October 29th. Played a role in all 6 of Southampton's goals against Peterborough and Coventry in November. Guly had a shocker at Fratton Park on December 18th. His weak header lead to Joel Ward's equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth. Eight days later he bounced back with 2 goals against Crystal Palace. Guly scored against Forest on 14th January, but missed matches in February with a series of minor injuries. Returned in March, but looked nowhere near as spectacular. There's no doubt the abuse Guly received from fans affected his game. At times he looked too scared to make a difficult pass, for fear of giving the ball away. Was dropped after a poor display against Portsmouth on April 7th. Returned on the final day against Coventry, and was a class act, pulling the strings in midfield. A lot of the criticism Guly received last season was over the top and unjustified. As long as fans get behind him next season he should settle into Premier League life with ease.