Saints continue to defy expectations
We may only be seven games into the Premier League season, but Southampton have already turned a few heads with their performances.
October 9th, 2014
However, the number of times their games have been selected for television since the first fixture of the season speaks volumes about how the majority thought we would fare.
Of the games Southampton have played so far, only the season opener at Anfield was picked for live coverage. BT Sport and Sky Sports have decreed that five out of eight Southampton fixtures in the lead up to the New Year will be televised (Aston Villa, Man City, Arsenal, Man United and Chelsea).
With the exception of Aston Villa, it’s easy to see a pattern between the other fixtures picked for TV. The fact that Southampton are now being looked at as strong contenders to upset the biggest teams in the league is only a reflection on Ronald Koeman, and the fantastic work he and his squad have done so far.
Southampton currently sit third in the league despite last weekend’s loss to Tottenham ending a winning run of six games in all competitions. Whilst most people don’t expect the south coast club to hold their lofty position near the top of the league for long, a strong start to the season helps alleviate any early pressure on the team – which can then become a platform for pushing on and playing with more freedom throughout the rest of the campaign.
There is a strong argument that the Southampton squad is stronger now than it was last season. The sheer volume of Southampton players who have been called up to represent their countries only adds weight to the argument that this is a team firmly on the rise.
Amongst those to receive call ups are Nathaniel Clyne, Jose Fonte and Graziano Pelle, who have all been selected for their countries for the very first time. Even though most dislike the international break – myself included – it’s always nice to see players rewarded for excellent form.
Here’s hoping they all come back from the break unscathed and ready to get back to winning ways.