Southampton’s decision to jettison Nigel Adkins in January looked like exactly that kind of dumbass knee-jerk over-reactions that so many teams facing the threat of relegation take just to be seen to be doing something. There were large bowls of humble pie handed out when Mauricio Pochettino guided them to safety with style and more swagger than you tend to see from relegation scrapers.
To add to his burgeoning reputation, the Argentine manager has made a couple of potentially very shrewd moves in the transfer window, going for quality rather than carpet bombing with quantity. Victor Wanyama and Dejan Lovren could prove to be excellent signings, improving an already talented squad. The worry is not every player coming from the SPL or Ligue 1 has been a roaring success in the Premier League (not looking at any James McFadden or Djibril Cisse in particular). If they settle in well, the Saints might well be able to pull even further clear of the trapdoor. If not, they’re probably still good enough to avoid a trip Derby next season.
Overly optimistic pre-season tweet:
Less optimistic Christmas-time tweet:
Bitterly disappointed end of season tweet: