Southampton’s sustained success means it’s a successful season for club


2014-15 was a very successful season for Southampton as they exceeded expectations. Koeman’s men were title challengers for months and kept themselves in the top 4 for a large part of the season. They eventually finished seventh which might be slightly underwhelming given how well they were playing in the beginning of the season but was a brilliant result considering they lost their manager and a host of key players to the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.


In sport, what is better and unarguably way more important than succeeding is sustaining success. Therefore, Southampton’s season will be deemed successful if they manage to finish in the top 7 once again and by the looks of it, have a great chance of doing the same. I will add that even if they finish between seventh and tenth, their season should still be looked at as a triumphant one.

Some might view bettering the previous season’s efforts as resounding success but it is more important to ensure that the same level is maintained in the coming years because suffering from an overwhelming dip is a huge possibility. Koeman acknowledged this when he said, “The second season is always difficult for players, difficult for a team who did more than everybody expects.”

After Liverpool’s brilliant 2013/14 season, what would have qualified as success in the following season would be another top 4 finish, and decent performances in the Champions League, as well as the domestic cups. The Reds struggled in the league and the sixth placed finish was under par. Similarly, for Leicester and Spurs next season, what is of primary importance is to try till the end to finish in the top 6, given competition will be intense with Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool also possibly gaining more ground. Some might get unrealistic and expect another title challenge but it would be important for the two clubs to try and sustain the level of success they have achieved this season in order to make a promising foundation for the years to come.

For the same reason, I argue that Ronald Koeman has so far done a great job at the club in his second season and now the club supporters can hope that their side makes another outside challenge for European spots next season as well.

In fact, the South coast side could have even hoped for a better position in the league if they could carry on their form at the start of the year. What has been a problem at the club this time is the patchiness in form. Southampton win three or four games in quick succession and perform better than anyone expects, but then end up losing cheaply to an opponent they should be picking up points from. Some players have disappointed particularly. Graziano Pelle went without scoring for a long time and only recently rediscovered his touch in front of goal. Charlie Austin was expected to revitalise things but the winter signing unfortunately ended up on the sidelines quickly after he switched clubs. Many of the players including Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic as well as Victor Wanyama have suffered from a highly erratic season.

Southampton are currently 13 points away from equalling last season’s points tally with six games to play. Their next games are against Newcastle United, Everton and Aston Villa – three ties they can pick up maximum points from. A strong end to the season could see them finish in the top seven spots once again. If the side somehow manage to finish in the sixth place, they would see themselves in the Europa League next season.

Similarly, the aim for next season should once again be sustaining their form and position and with shrewd investments in the summer, trying for a top 6 finish. In case the side do get Europa League this season, they will have a lot more games to deal with which definitely makes case for a much stronger squad with more quality first team players. While the expectations for next season will also be very high, fans mustn’t forget that if Saints can finish in the top ten of the top flight for the third consecutive season, it will be the only the second time they have managed that feat in their history, the last time being in the club’s golden period of the 70’s and 80’s. And even now, if the side finishes back to back seasons in the top 10, it will still be only the fourth time it has happened in their history. Fans are quick to forget where the side was some decades back, hell even just last season’s summer window where there was a massive exodus at the club and even their exciting manager didn’t stay on. It is testament to what Ronald Koeman has already done in his short stint that there is even a debate about how successful the side has been this season.


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