Saints - Realistic League Expectations?
When you look at the last 3 seasons in particular, Southampton have improved and grown in strength. With the likes of the unknown academy players back then, now featuring often and becoming 1st team regulars and the experienced one's improving even more, the Southampton Fans wouldn't be wrong to dream of 8th place or higher next season.
But with the loss of Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham Hotspur and talisman Ricky Lambert leaving for Liverpool do the fans dreams start to disappear?
Pochettino was a manager who bought in a much needed style to Southampton, and certainly improved the fitness of all players. Southampton finished as one of the highest on possession stats in the BPL with 68% overall, and many a fan noticed a vast improvement. The players, with their new bout of fitness, became a very high press team and this certainly allowed the fans for entertaining viewing.
Now, having lost Pochettino for some fans, shows the lack of determination and ambition by the club and for others they believe it was a matter of time and the board did all they could. But whatever the truth is one thing must be sorted soon, The Manager.
Many a high profile manager have reported to have sent in their cv's for the role and whoever is appointed needs to be similar or better to Pochettino in order to match and improve on their continuing rise. The question I have is 'Will fans expect to finish in a similar position next year or will they be happy surviving in the league?'
It's scary to think that each season has seen improvement but this could be about to stop. With a Manager who pushed Southampton on having now left, reported departures of key player's seem imminent and not such a high calibre manager being wanted begs the question as to whether fans need to lower their expectations.
What is realistic?
Some say it's a sinking ship and if you believe the tabloids Southampton won't have any players next season.
If a high calibre manager is to be appointed as reports suggest, a £50m transfer budget made available and key players to stay, I do not see why Southampton cannot achieve great things next season and better expectations, however if the above doesn't go to plan will fans accept that surviving in the BPL is a job well done. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but considering a new manager, potentially new players, a different style of play and formation change with less than a month to go until pre-season starts, there is a lot to do before we can move on.
I know as a Southampton Fan, whatever happens, I will always stick by my team, after all we have been through a lot worse a situation together.
Originally appeared on jamesreading86.wordpress.com.
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