For the first time in seven years, Southampton will play Portsmouth later this month.
Saints, now two divisions above Pompey, head into this game as the clear favourites, but as everyone will know: South Coast Derbies are never decided by status.
Ralph Hasenhuttl will need to make sure that his men know exactly what kind of game they’re in for, as it’s not going to be pretty. These matches never are, but this is hardly likely to be a friendly reunion between two bitter rivals.
Southampton will be hoping to secure their first derby victory since 2005, while Pompey will be keen to continue poking fun at their counterparts given their perennial failure to truly claim bragging rights.
Numerous players have represented both clubs over many generations, but there are also some more obscure, unexpected ties that bind the two together.
So, take a look at six men who have either managed both Portsmouth and Southampton, or played for one and acted in a coaching capacity for the other over the years…
Wigley was one of the many managers who Southampton moved their way through during the darker days. He took caretaker charge upon Gordon Strachan’s exit in 2004 and was named as the permanent boss for a short stint later in the year after Paul Sturrock departed.
During his playing days, Wigley represented Portsmouth. He made 120 appearances for the club between 1989 and 1993.
Gray played for Southampton for a brief stint between 1991 and 1993, but most notably, he worked at the club under several different bosses.
He became Dave Jones’s reserve team coach in 1997 before then being named as the first-team coach in the following year. When Glenn Hoddle came in, too, he remained a part of the setup behind the scenes.
Tottenham swooped for Hoddle and, as such, Gray was promoted to the role of caretaker boss in 2001. His post was made permanent in June, but Rupert Lowe wielded the axe after some alarming early-season form.
After leaving Burnley many years later, Gray was installed as a first-team coach at Portsmouth in 2011. After taking various roles, both as a caretaker boss and an assistant manager at Fratton Park, he was made redundant in 2012.
The late Alan Ball is a man who is still held close to the hearts of many Southampton supporters. He played for the club between 1976 to 1980 before returning for two years in 1981.
He managed both Saints and Pompey, with the latter being his final tenure as a boss. His first spell at Portsmouth was between 1984 to 1989, but he returned for a second stint between 1998 to 1999.
Between these two periods at Pompey, though, he took charge of Southampton. He managed the club between 1994 and 1995 and was well-loved during his time at The Dell.
Bond spent four years during his playing days at Southampton. He represented the club 140 times between 1984 and 1988, establishing himself as a reliable defender.
While he never took charge of Saints or Pompey, he did act as an assistant manager at both clubs. Initially an understudy to Ball at Portsmouth, he made a return to the club as Harry Redknapp’s reserve team coach.
When Redknapp made the controversial switch to Southampton, Bond followed and was among the coaching staff before later becoming the manager’s number two. He remained Redknapp’s assistant when he opted to return to Fratton Park soon after.
The elephant in the room… Redknapp is perhaps the most pertinent figure when this derby is discussed.
He initially became Portsmouth’s manager in 2002 after choosing himself to replace Graham Rix. He led the club to promotion from Division One before stabilising them in the Premier League.
Redknapp then plumped for a quiet trip along the coast as he became the new Southampton boss just weeks after exiting Fratton Park. He was unable to keep the club afloat in the Premier League and proceeded to flee midway through the 2005/06 campaign, with talk of his relationship with Rupert Lowe becoming frosty.
Portsmouth, who Redknapp referred to as his ‘spiritual’ home, according to the admittedly unreputable now-Brexit Party MEP Lowe, moved to reinstall the boss just days later.
He remained at Pompey until 2008 and won the FA Cup in this time. He was also given the Freedom of the City, only a couple of days after news of his proposed move to Tottenham Hotspur broke.
Talk about good timing.
Jordan, a striker in his playing days, represented Southampton between 1984 and 1987. He scored 12 times in 48 outings for the club.
He has always been closely linked with Redknapp and was integrated into the coaching staff at Portsmouth in 2004. Jordan proceeded to take caretaker charge in 2005 after he had remained within the ranks at Fratton Park despite the manager’s move to Southampton, with Pompey encountering troubles replacing him.
A similar situation occurred when Redknapp left again in 2008. Jordan, alongside Tony Adams, took temporary charge of the first team as the boss moved to Tottenham, where he would eventually reunite with Redknapp just weeks later.
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