Southampton were in crisis after the departure of key players and their Manager Marucio Pocchetino….
The Ronald Koeman appointment was a masterstroke and it could have been even better if the fans had had little hope at the start of the season. It is barely credible that Southampton are third in the premier league table. Koeman has instilled more self belief in the players and was the key in influencing the stay of Morgan Schniderlin at that club which has so far looked monumental.
Mauricio Pochettino had quit, Rickie Lambert was gone already, Adam Lallana was following and Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers were practically out of the door and Morgan Schneiderlin was at the center of a transfer tug-of-war.
Saints fans were split. Many thought as I did, others pleaded for calm – though quite what shred of hope they were clinging on to, other than blind footballing loyalty was beyond me.
So it’s barely credible that 60 days later Saints are sitting third in the table, and to top it all striker Graziano Pelle has been handed the player of the month award and Ronald Koeman is manager of the month. If ever there was a moment things should fall apart, this is probably it!
Per game Southampton have conceded fewer goals, made more tackles and more crosses than any other team in the league. Only Arsenal have had fewer shots against them.Saints run of games has helped. Liverpool on the opening day was followed by West Brom, West Ham, Newcastle, Swansea and QPR.
Nathaniel Clyne has developed into the player Saints fans knew he would, scoring goals and forcing himself in to the England squad.
The real test of what kind of season this will be, will be what happens at the end of November when over nine games, Saints face Manchester United and Arsenal twice, Chelsea, Man City and Everton.