It’s very clear that Southampton have come some way since the post-Adkins era at St. Mary’s. You could say it is down to one man alone: new manager Mauricio Pochettino. Coming from Spain, it enabled him to bring a new style and a new set of tactics to the the team. This immediately had an impact on their results and some of the chances they were creating came from great passing moves.
Their results began to swiftly pick up and they are now in a position where they are a lot more comfortable than teams below them in the league. They have since won 4 games; yes it may not seem like a lot, but the 12 points they have gained from those 4 wins has helped them massively in their bid to avoid relegation.
The Saints currently sit in a rather respectable 11th place; 6 points clear of the bottom 3. Saints fans may not have taken Nigel Adkins’ departure very lightly; but they will no doubt be happy with the progress their side has made under Pochettino and they now look as if they are going to remain a Premier League club after this season.
Their performances since Pochettino’s arrival have certainly taken them to a new level and they seem like a team that is capable of beating anyone in the league. They are playing with a new found confidence and freedom which has allowed the likes of Ramirez, Lambert, and Lallana to express themselves a lot more and be more creative with the ball.
Pochettino gets his players to press opponents high up the pitch, knowing that a mistake could occur by a defender. They have also improved a lot on their possession game. They are able to keep possession of the ball for a good few minutes and make it lead into creating a decent goal scoring opportunity.
Another thing which has improved is the work rate of the players. The midfielders are now putting in a brilliant shift to help out the defenders for a full 90 minutes. Something which has worked a treat. It’s not only in the midfield where this happens; it’s everywhere on the pitch.
Southampton players would be willing to cover every blade of grass on the pitch if it meant they would pick up points. The belief and confidence that this Southampton side has is very evident and has helped them along the way this season.
Knowing that 3 of the sides they have beaten this term are Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea will no doubt keep that confidence very high at St. Mary’s and will give the fans much hope of them staying up this season. They will certainly hold off the celebrations until they are mathematically safe, but most Saints’ fans will probably be looking forward to next season and to what could be a very interesting summer transfer window.
Pochettino will no doubt know he will need to add to his squad to ensure they have strengthened for next season, and the way they are progressing, if they continue to do so, they may be looking at a top half finish next season. There certainly are exciting times ahead for the Saints, and their future looks very positive in the Pochettino era.
Written by OneFutbol