Currently showing immense intent to pursue the aspirations of the motivated chairman, Southampton are continuing their journey to rise up the English soccer ladder.
Understandably, the Italian chairman was doubted when he decided to sack Nigel Adkins in January last season, following a run of just two league losses in 12 matches. However, you would struggle to find a Southampton supporter who would disagree with the chairman’s decision to replace Adkins with Mauricio Pochettino having already seen off Liverpool home and away, Chelsea, Manchester City and picking up a point at home to Arsenal since taking over as Saints’ manager.
The new-styled pressing approach was evident from the first match that the Argentine took over against Everton back in January, but it is now becoming obvious that the Saints team have developed and responded to the manager’s aims since coming over to Southampton.
Some would argue that Pochettino’s side failed to pick up a point at Norwich this season, or even beat a weakened West Ham United team at home, but the Saints side of last season had only picked up three league wins before Christmas, losing to West Brom, Wigan and the Hammers. Ian Holloway’s struggling Crystal Palace team head to St. Mary’s this weekend in search of their second win of the campaign, but Saints fans will be expectant of another three points to keep driving the team up into the top 10.
Any Premier League manager would admit that Anfield is one of the hardest places to pick up a result, so when Southampton went and took all three points last weekend for the first time in 10 years, there was certainly something to brag about on the South coast. There is also the last 16 of the Capital One Cup to boast about too, having seen off a resilient Bristol City side at St. Mary’s on Tuesday evening. Pochettino put out a completely different 11-man team compared to Saturday’s line-up at Anfield and still managed to progress into the next round.
The last two seasons have seen Southampton knocked-out of the League Cup by opposition lower than the Premier League with a full strength side out, but Tuesday evening’s fixture saw more youthful talent take to the field at St. Mary’s. Not only have results been going their way, but the club has also got young prospects coming through the system, as they have done for the past decade.