After the pre-season exodus of manager Mauricio Pochettino to Spurs, and many of their finest players to other clubs, Southampton were thought by most to be certain relegation material come the end of the season. However, such doom-mongers are already eating their words. Southampton’s start to the season has been confident and highly successful, seeing them up in third place in the Premier League table. This surprise turn of fortune has been largely due to the new manager Ronald Koeman and the team’s new acquisitions gelling immediately. Graziano Pelle has particularly shone, with a goal tally that’s growing at a phenomenal rate. In Saturday’s match against Sunderland, he scored 2 of the 8 goals that the Black Cats conceded.
As Southampton head north in the table, Sunderland are very definitely heading south. Manager Gus Poyet described their capitulation as without a doubt, the worst embarrassment he’d ever experienced on a football pitch.
So, while it looks like the Saints are on course for a vintage performance this season, one wonders whether it’ll be Sunderland who find themselves fighting for their survival when May comes round.