Southampton’s fate is in their own hands
With just eight games left to play in their first season back in the top flight, Southampton players know that their future as a Premier League is in their own hands. Currently sitting four points above the relegation zone, three more wins would see them reach forty points, which should be enough to ensure their survival.
March 22nd, 2013
That won’t be easy though, especially with Chelsea coming to town after the international break this week, but the Londoners will be just as cautious about a trip to the south coast. Under the leadership of new boss Mauricio Pochettino, the Saints play a high pressing game that’s well-suited to upsetting teams who come to St Mary’s trying to play football. The games against Manchester City and Liverpool are perfect examples of this.
While the whole team have turned in excellent performances recently, there are three players who I feel don’t really get the recognition that their performances deserve.
Jay Rodriguez raised a few eyebrows in the summer when he signed from Burnley for around six million pounds. It was a lot of money to spend on a young player who had never played in the Premier League, and it must have been hugely frustrating for Rodriguez to find himself playing out of position on the wing in the first half of the season. Since the appointment of Pochettino, the young striker has enjoyed a run in the first team in his preferred central role with Rickie Lambert. He loves running at defenders, and his direct approach helps keep the opposition on the back foot.
Morgan Schneiderlin is fast becoming the complete midfielder. He tops the league stats for tackles made as well as successful interceptions, and now he’s adding goals to his game too.
His partnership with fellow midfielder Jack Cork should not be understated, either. Since Cork’s return from injury earlier in the year, Southampton have lost just five times from the twenty games that those two have played alongside each other in.
If those three can continue to perform and stay injury-free for the final run-in, Southampton have a great chance to preserve their Premier League status.