A job well done
When Arsenal ended Wigan's eight year spell in the Premier League, a fair few teams at the foot of the table breathed a great big sigh of relief.
May 23rd, 2013
With their status in the top flight of English football secured for at least another season, some of those teams towards the bottom of the league may look back at the campaign with disappointment, as another year of overspending and underachieving passes by – but Southampton certainly won’t be one of them.
Sure, there were plenty of negatives – an inability to hold on to a lead is one of them (has any other team thrown away more points from winning positions than Southampton this season?) whilst dominating possession for large periods of a game with no end product is another. And should a manager who achieved back-to-back promotions have been sacked when the team was beginning to turn a corner and play good football?
Ultimately, the goal of avoiding relegation far outweighs the negatives listed above. And, even though there will be some who say that Nigel Adkins could have achieved that, the most important thing is that his replacement, Mauricio Pochettino, did just that. The Argentinian now has the summer to work with his players – and any new ones he brings in – to try and make sure the issues outlined above don’t happen again.
That guarantee of top flight football for another season will help Southampton hold on to the fantastic youngsters that their academy is now renowned for producing. It’s been hugely frustrating in the past to have the likes of Walcott, Bale and Chamberlain all sold to bigger clubs. As a team who endorse the ‘if you’re good enough, you’re old enough’ philosophy, the Saints can now offer first-team football against the best that England has to offer – a massive incentive to any young player, when the top clubs come calling.