Two good, two bad: Tottenham v Southampton

Toothless and tactically inept would kindly describe Southampton’s performance against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side were completely blown away by Pochettino’s, only further reinforcing worries that the away side aren’t playing for the manager at this moment in time. 

Embed from Getty Images

The good…

1) We scored two goals. Goals from Boufal and Tadic we’re the only positives for the travelling fans.

2) After Spurs scored their fourth, the home side took their foot off the gas which allowed Saints to look slightly better going forward. Yes, I’m actually using that as a positive.

The bad…

1) Basics and organisation. For Harry Kane’s first two goals, he was simply given the freedom and space to tap home and break Alan Shearer’s Premier League record. Romeu’s marking for the first was comical as he appeared not to care about the inevitable outcome. Now, as we know, Romeu wears his heart on his sleeve but hasn’t been the same battling Spaniard in recent weeks.

As previously mentioned this signifies a real worry that he and the players aren’t playing for the manager or for the powers at be. For the fourth Spurs goal, Redmond was in the opposition box and carelessly gifted the ball to Son as he tried to pick out Lemina. The resulting counter-attack saw the ball find its way into Forsters net. This lacklustre concentration and execution throughout the pitch is costing us goals and the lack of desire to track back tells the whole story.

Embed from Getty Images

2) Game-plan. Although the players need to stand up and be counted, the game-plan employed at Wembley was totally incorrect as it played into the hosts’ hands. Trying to play out the back against a high-pressing team set us up to fail. The constant rotation of the team-sheet and trying to place square pegs in round holes only sucks the confidence and belief out of the players.

It’s clear to see that there needs to be a big shake up at the club otherwise we’ll be playing Championship Football in the near future. If the players aren’t playing for the man on the touch-line then a change needs to be made. Not only do we need to see ambition and change on the sideline but from the board. Money needs to be invested in the areas that have been crying out for some time. The argument of “there will be worse teams than us” is almost non-existent as the healthy gap between us and the trapdoor has decreased as the teams below have leapfrogged us. If the club doesn’t wake up, we’ll be sleepwalking back to the dark days that Markus Leibherr and co worked tirelessly to pull us out of.

Mauricio Pellegrino: the final straw

The words have been on my lips for a number of weeks, but out of fear of becoming ‘that club’, I told myself to dig deep for the positives from Mauricio Pellegrino’s short reign so far.

Embed from Getty Images

Our 1-1 draw with Huddersfield was simply unacceptable – Pellegrino himself labelled it a must-win fixture – but today well and truly tipped me over the edge.

I never came into this fixture expecting to snatch all three points. We’re in diabolical form, Spurs have found their flow and of course, Harry Kane was gunning for yet another goalscoring record. It was the manner in which we faced defeat today that leaves me hopeless in Pellegrino’s managerial qualities.

Even prior to kick-off, there was doubt amongst the Southampton fans in the stands.

Shane Long was given the nod over Italy International, Manolo Gabbiadini, despite failing to score a single goal in his last 33 appearances for both club and country.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (a true favourite of mine) was selected to play as a number 10, rather than being deployed at the base of the midfield.

And then we come to Nathan Redmond, who like Long, has also failed to score a single Premier League goal under Mauricio Pellegrino. We’re halfway through the 2017/18 season…

Embed from Getty Images

But this isn’t just a one-off example from this single game-week. This is a recurring issue that’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Week in, week out there’s a guarantee that one of the defence, midfield or attack will be mindlessly shuffled. When a player shines, they are often resigned to the bench by the next game week. When our frontline finally starts firing again, you know it won’t be long before they’re handed a complete reshuffle. And as for our defence, I can’t think of three consecutive fixtures where we’ve started the same players.

This constant desire to chop and change has created numerous problems for the Saints, as perfectly illustrated today.

Whilst being hounded and chased by Mauricio Pellegrino’s side, our players showed an embarrassing lack of cohesion and understanding of their teammates. In truth, it was amateurish.

When you play with a partner in any area of the field on a weekly basis, you grow to learn their strengths, weaknesses, and the way that you as a pair play best. Through this time playing with each other, decision making can almost become telepathic; you can instinctively play passes, accurately predict what your partner is going to do, and replicate phases of play that have proven effective in previous fixtures.

In years gone by, an example of this would be Sadio Mane working the channel, the moment that he see’s Graziano Pelle hold the ball up. Or maybe even Virgil Van Dijk sweeping up for Jose Fonte, as soon as the captain stepped forward. These instinctive decisions help to give a team a true identity.

I’d love to be enlightened and told otherwise, but what team in the Premier League has ever enjoyed success through rotation methods similar to Pellegrino’s?

Behind any successful team, there’s a manager that knows his squad inside out, understands their capabilities, and knows what his strongest XI is.

Embed from Getty Images

On any given game week, however, you’ve got to be ready to adjust to your opponent. Teams such as Burnley bring different challenges compared to Swansea, meaning other members of the squad may come into play. This is strategical rotation and as you can see, it’s a million miles away from Pellegrino’s pre-game lottery draw.

He’s also shown a tendency to shoehorn players into positions and alter the system just days in advance of the next fixture.

Steven Davis isn’t a defensive midfielder, Nathan Redmond’s ineffective playing off the forward, and as we found out today, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is no number 10. Southampton are yet to find an identity under Mauricio Pellegrino, but a safe place to start would be playing players in their natural positions – especially with so little preparation in their ‘new role’.

Throughout those changes were also adjusting our approach to the game too; we’ve attempted to play as a counter-attacking side, a possession-based side and even gone route one. One week we’re playing a 343, the next we’re playing a 4231, and soon after it’s a deep 451.

This is what fills me with so little hope regarding life under Pellegrino. We’re halfway through the season and he doesn’t know his strongest XI, his sides best formation and he’s still none the wiser about how he wants his team to play.

Embed from Getty Images

And even if he does have a long-term vision for Southampton Football Club, I can tell you now with great confidence that we’re certainly not striving for it.

We’re stumbling along week-by-week, chopping and changing in the desperate hope that we somehow find our winning formula. But you don’t just stumble upon such a remedy – it can only be created through repeated practice, where you ensure that every last member in your squad is capable of meeting your demands.

The large majority of fans had already resigned to the fact that we’d lose today, but what we didn’t expect was to go down without a fight. Especially with not a game plan in sight against a team of Tottenham’s quality, and no acceptance of blame from Pellegrino.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for Pellegrino to go, but we must remember that the dismissal of your current manager is only as effective as the replacement; Southampton learnt that the hard way in going from Claude Puel to Mauricio Pellegrino.

There’s no excuses – our next appointment needs to be spot on or it may well be our last in the Premier League.

Two good, two bad: Southampton v Huddersfield

Another matchday, another feeling of underwhelming frustration at full-time. Saints failed to score more than one goal once again against Huddersfield and also failed to take three points. Relegation alarm bells are truly ringing as the pressure on Pellegrino is mounting. Things must change drastically within the next few weeks.

Embed from Getty Images

The Good:

1) Much like Jack Stephens a few weeks ago, Matt Targett returned to the starting eleven yesterday and was one of our best performers. Trying to shake Bertrand out the side is never easy so when you get a chance through injury to the England international you must take it. He looked composed on the ball and for the most part looked as though he’d never been out through injury himself.

2) We scored! Charlie Austin’s header, arguably against the run of play, was taken very well and it sparked a good spell for Saints where the Home some had some poise about their play. However, we failed to double our lead, more about that later…

Embed from Getty Images

The bad:

1) Shape. During the second half, it wasn’t clear what formation Pellegrino was employing on his side. There’s becoming a pattern during our games where teams are finding and exploiting vast amounts of space left due to the organisation of the side. Whether it’s the players of managers fault it’s costing us goals most weeks and it played a part in Huddersfield’s equaliser. The space allowed the ball to be whipped in to find an unmarked Depoitre to head home.

Embed from Getty Images

2) Not taking our chances. Yes, Again. Clear chances through both Redmond and Austin had to hit the back of the net to give Saints some breathing space, however, they did not and we paid for it. It’s becoming more and more worrying that when chances fail to go in, the players drop their heads and act like it’ll never will. For me, it’s past a joke now and the coaching staff and board need to take necessary action for us to start killing teams off.

The Saints sit only three points outside the relegation zone and with away fixtures against Tottenham and Manchester United up next, there’s a real possibility we’ll occupy a spot in the trap door going into the new year. We can only hope that it won’t be too late before the higher forces make the changes that are so desperately needed.

Preview: Southampton v Huddersfield

If you’d told me at the start of the season that on our second meeting with Huddersfield Town we’d be labelling it a “Must Win” fixture, I’d have struggled to beleive you – yet here we are. The Saints currently find themselves sitting in 12th place – just three points clear of the drop – in desperate need of changing their fortunes, with those around them showing signs of gradual improvement. 

Embed from Getty Images

So to get the inside track on what we can expect from Huddersfield Town, we spoke with Better Than Klopp to find out what we can expect from our upcoming opponents.

For those who are more unfamiliar with David Wagner’s side, what is your typical style of play? And what’s the sides go-to formation?

Under Wagner town like to keep the ball, press the opposition high when they lose it, and win it back in dangerous areas. When on form, the opposition doesn’t get a second on the ball, and it is extremely difficult to play against. The formation has always been a 4-2-3-1 with two holding midfielders and a lone frontman who gives the option of going long.

You started brightly in the Premier League but seemingly dropped off; what do you put that slump of form down to?

The ‘slump’ has only been away from home if you see our results. We’ve only lost at home to Man City, Chelsea and Spurs. The problem away from home was a lack of creativity and possibly being too defensive-minded. But Wagner seemed to rectify that in last weeks 4-1 win at Watford.

How have teams got the most joy out of your defence?

I would say teams that try to play us at our own game have probably got the most joy out of our defence. Press us high and unfortunately we’ve got a mistake or two in us, and we’ve struggled against the real top quality players in the division.

Which player has surprised you most by stepping up? And who’s been your player of the season so far?

Christopher Schindler has stepped up even further than we expected this year. He was a rock at the back in last years promotion season, but he’s shown he’s got another level, and has been outstanding so far. Aaron Mooy has also made vital contributions from midfield.

Embed from Getty Images

You’re stranded on a desert island and can only be joined by one Terriers player; who’s it going to be?

Easy – Aaron Mooy. He can find his way out of anywhere.

As an outsider looking in, which Huddersfield player would help to improve Pellegrino’s Saints most?

You don’t score too many goals of late, so probably either Depoitre or Mounié. Both have been excellent and are a real handful up top.

And finally, what do you think the score will be this Saturday?


Charlie Austin – the simple genius of a traditional number nine

Much to my confusion in the build up to the 2017/18 Premier League season, few fans believed Charlie Austin had a serious future in red and white – let alone that he’d be starting ahead of Manolo Gabbiadini.

Embed from Getty Images

Yet here we are. With 18 games gone in the season so far, we find ourselves in a potential relegation dog fight, in desperate need of rediscovering our identity, confidence and goalscoring ability.

In the form of Charlie Austin, however, there’s at least a glimmer of hope that we’ve re-discovered the latter for the time being.

So why did we have to turn to Austin in the first place? And how has he found form in front of goal so quick, when others were being pardoned for poor service?

The demands of a Premier League forward are going through the roof as each year passes, particularly the further you go up the table. So many top six teams demand their forward to have a sharp turn of pace, the ability to play between the lines, and the technical skill set to be a competent ‘player’ before anything else.

So when Southampton sold their 6ft 4 target man, Graziano Pelle’, in the summer of 2016, I believe that those features were something the club were striving for with the acquisition of Gabbiadini.

That with a player of his style, we could cement our place as the ‘best of the rest’ in the Premier League, knocking of the door of the top six.

As we know all too well though, this hasn’t been the case and much to the frustration of every Southampton fan, there’s no way of knowing exactly why.

Could it be the overly defensive mindset that’s been installed by Mauricio Pellegrino? The boards failure to identify and sign another wide goalscoring threat? Or maybe even complacency within the squad? These are just a number of factors that are often discussed by fans.

The Italian International is a proven goalscorer at just about every club he’s played for, but football is a funny old game, and sometimes someone’s true ability can’t quite be transferred from club to club.

Gabbiani’s talent is there for all to see, but sadly something’s still missing. He’s yet to truly find his place in the frontline this season, failing to build a strong partnership with many of his teammates and often finding himself isolated from play.

But given that the former Napoli talisman is without a doubt our most technical forward, many feared that resigning him to the bench could only harm us.

Embed from Getty Images

But when one door closes, another opens, and with that decision we’ve been able to enjoy Austin’s glorious return to form.

Despite starting just four Premier League fixtures this season (yes, you read that correctly) the Englishman sits at the top of Southampton’s goalscoring leaderboard.

And whilst were on the topic of goalscoring leaderboards, let’s not forget that Austin finished the 2016/17 season as our top goalscorer, despite spending months out with a shoulder injury.

He’s hardly an oil panting on the ball and he certainly isn’t an athlete. Watching the 28-year-old clutch his chest in pain with a stitch the other week was one of my season highlights.

But this is what makes Austin such a remarkable footballer; despite the worries mentioned above and the talk of him being unable to play in multiple systems, he’s got this beast inside of him that comes alive inside the penalty area.

Austin’s one of those players that doesn’t particularly fall under one style of football, but place him in a side that’s enduring a rutt or a dry spell infront of goal, and you can gurantee that he’ll put his body on the line to fashion chances out of nothing.

Embed from Getty Images

I’d go as far to say that he seemingly flourishes when the rest of his team looks down and out. It gives him the opportunity to step up as their knight in shining armour, and my word does he love every last bit of it.

Whereas previously our midfield were hesitant to hit the frontline quickly, hunting for that perfect neat and tidy goal, we’ve seemingly embraced Austin’s more gritty and hard-hitting style. He’s brought us back to basics at a time when we lack an attacking identity.

On top of that, Southampton have now somewhat restored the physical edge that was lost with the departure of Graziano Pelle’ – someone that can take the pressure off the midfield with a simple ball into his feet, chest or head. Admittedly that side of his game is not nearly as effective as our beautiful Graziano’s, but it’s certainly a foundation to build upon.

These actions have helped him to average a goal every 105 minutes in the Premier League this season, with a total of five goals in just four stars.

Gabbiadini’s the more complete and skillful forward out of the two, but when you’re failing to dominate possession effectively throughout large parts of games, just how often can those skills be put into practice? At this moment in time it seems far less in comparison to Austin’s greatest strengths.

But this isn’t about trying to put one striker one-up over the other – far from it.

Our club currently appears to be covered by a blanket of negativity, where, justified or not, holes are being picked in just about every department of the club.

So this is just a gentle reminder that when all things seem doom and gloom, sometimes it’s worth taking a look around and appreciating the positives. 

Southampton haven’t had a better striker than Charlie Austin to ‘fall back on’ since returning to the Premier League.

Virgil Van Dijk: updates regarding Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City

As we edge ever closer to the January transfer window, more and more stories regarding Virgil Van Dijk’s future on the South Coast are making the headlines.

Embed from Getty Images

So to save you the hassle of the searching through the endless ‘ITK’ reports on Twitter and online, we sieved through the latest updates and collated them all here. You’re welcome.

In the last 24 hours the Independent have claimed that Liverpool are cooling their interest in the Dutchman, unless Southampton are willing to lower their asking price.

The report claims that Liverpool are now being forced into looking elsewhere for defensive reinforcements, with Southampton showing no signs of giving in. It’s believed that Liverpool hoped to make their move in the January transfer window.

However, It’s not just the Reds hesitance to meet Southampton’s asking price that’s causing them to look elsewhere. Liverpool insiders are currently fearful that they simply can’t match the financial power that their Premier League rivals boast.

Embed from Getty Images

Meanwhile, the Mirror believe Chelsea are now set to rival Manchester City for Van Dijk’s signature.

During a recent press conference Antonio Conte remained respectful when asked about Van Dijk joining his side, but the Italian didn’t hold back in urging numerous other top sides to challenge runaway leaders City, in the battle for Southampton’s £70M man.

Every team, every club, must pay great attention. Because if a club like Manchester City takes all the best [players], it will be very difficult for us to fight. Not only in England but in Europe.” said the Blues boss.

Embed from Getty Images

Conte went on to defend City’s right to continue spending big, but insisted his own club and their title rivals must try to keep pace.

It seems that the race for Virgil Van Dijk is just as much about securing the talent of the man himself, as it is about denying your opponents of a world class talent.

There’s one consistency throughout all of these reports, however, and that’s that Southampton still appear to be standing strong with the Dutchman.

The club appear to be breaking no sweat over the future of the in-demand centre-back, and are happy to wait for their lavish £70m valuation to be met.


Two good, two bad: Chelsea v Southampton

After Wednesday’s embarrassing defeat to Leicester, it’s safe to say that Saints fans weren’t feeling too optimistic about our chances at Stamford Bridge. Despite an improved performance from mid-week the same inevitability’s from Mauricio Pellegrino’s side were apparent, and an improved performance still left Saints picking up no points.

Embed from Getty Images

Two good…

1) Defensive organisation. After looking to have no shape on Wednesday, Saints were certainly more regimented against Chelsea. The goal we conceded was soft from our point of view as Forster should have done better. However, we were hard to breakdown and apart from the goal, Forster was equal to everything thrown at him

Embed from Getty Images

2) Possession. We looked to keep the ball much better than in the game against Leicester and the players didn’t look tentative whilst on it.

Two bad…

1) In a match against a side with the quality of Chelsea, if a side is to get anything from it, you need to have some flair a bit of pace and a clinical edge. We showed none of these qualities yesterday. Any half chances you get you need to take and Charlie Austin will be kicking himself after not netting when coming on. Redmond and Boufal didn’t provide the width of pace needed to break on the counter attack and in truth, we looked a bit lost.

Embed from Getty Images

2) During the first half, and during most of the season, when playing Gabbiadini as a lone striker, he’s too isolated. He often makes runs in behind the defensive line, but I can’t recall the last time he was picked out. Perhaps it’s our midfield not wanting to take the risk or maybe it’s Gabbiadini himself, but more often than not it almost feels as though we have no attacking outlet.

Huddersfield at home next Saturday is the biggest game of our season, and we must get three points. A relegation fight is our harsh reality with teams below us all starting to find their rhythm after Pellegrino’s time may be up.

2017-18 Premier League cups – Understanding the tough and easiest starts

Presently recommended bets by peers – Chelsea 33 for 1.

In this article we shall provide you with quick fixtures for you to guess a glimpse of season ahead.

In the premier league, each team has to compete against every other team. A team having a tough start can be considered as a winning team and opening fixtures can further accelerate the team towards its winning success.

You can refer to the graphs for 2017-18 season to study the winning pattern of the top rated teams. Let’s highlight some of the winning patterns here.

Southampton and West ham are considered as easiest starts as they both had an opportunity to play 5 weak teams out of 6 in the first of 10 matches. As compared to this, Tottenham played 4 weak teams out of 6 and had around 7 fixtures.

When speaking of toughest starts, Everton is heading the list as they have to play 4 out of 5 to qualify for the league. In the same row, Leicester had to face against 4 strong teams out of 6 initially.

Key numbers talk!

According to past reports for last 18 matches Chelsea has been winning fixtures for opening day. They had to face around 3 draws. They have never been beaten ever since 98 or 99 league. So if you were to place your bets then this team would be ideal for this premier league. They have a much better chance of winning this season as well. It is mostly wise for bookies who are looking to make a profit and lack experience in Sports betting to start with placing free bets. Free bets are bonuses provided by the different online brands that allow bookies to place bets at a minimum risk. Betters can also click on the link to get information specifically regarding free bets on Cheltenham 2018 league.

Next stands Watford on the list as the team has not been defeated this season yet. For their last ten matches the team had managed to win 5 out and had to face a 5 match draw.

Manchester City also has a very good track record as they only had to face a 1 draw match this season and won around 7 out of eight matches. Everton, on the other hand, has only managed to win 1 match out of their 9 fixtures opening. They also have a score of 4 draws in a row.

Stroke are still suffering to have an opening in present season out of their 7 matches played.

According to experts placing bets on Everton certainly is not advisable. Next suggestion would be the Leicester who have had a very tricky start. They have managed to play against five out of six teams that are tough out of ten games. It is also expected that the team has yet to deal with four more tough teams this season in opening matches.

Arsenal is also believed to have a very slow start in the initial stage as nothing much is expected from their gameplay till late September.

Easiest starts teams

Claude Puel can try and win back the victory and faith of the fans, as they may only have to face one from six this season, while all others are almost relegated. In 2017-18 it is also certain that West Ham has shown a very slow and gentle start.

Two good, two bad: Southampton v Leicester

“Are you glad you sacked Puel” was the cry from the Leicester section of St Mary’s as Claude Puel returned to St Mary’s with a potential point to prove; and didn’t he prove it. Leicester showed all the characteristics that’s Saints fans cried out for from the Frenchman last season; pace, power and a clinical edge. Pellegrino was left red faced as his changed side from the draw with Arsenal were taught a lesson at home. It simply wasn’t good enough and without trying to sound too dramatic, I can’t recall a worse performance from Saints since the days of George Burley and Jan Poortvliet. 

Embed from Getty Images

The good…

1) We scored. Maya Yoshida bundled the ball over the line following a corner to give Saints fans a glimmer of hope. Maybe this goal would have been more significant had Charlie Austin tucked home a second just prior to Okazaki’s second and Leicester’s fourth, but at least we saw the ball trickle past  Schmeichel at some point.

Embed from Getty Images

2) Fraser Forster’s saves. Truly scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one, but without a number of reflex saves from Forster, the score line could have been much worse.

The bad…

1) Possession. Saints were so sloppy when retaining the ball tonigt there were countless times where we easily handed the ball back to Leicester. This not only degraded confidence of our players but it allowed the Foxes to execute their game plan expertly. We played right into their hands, allowing them to pick up every second ball and punish us.

Embed from Getty Images

2) Organisation. Passion. Fight. Determination. All the elements that made our performance against Arsenal good were completely void tonight. As fans, we thought we had turned a corner from a slow start to the season, but after tonight it feels like we’re back to square one. We have a massive week ahead of us with Huddersfield at home on the horizon.

In truth, there could have been at least six talking points that could have been included in the “bad” section of this article. Last night’s performance was nothing shy of abysmal and the players and management really need to work together to get us out of another slump. One win from eight games is relegation form, there’s no doubt about that. However, credit must be given to both Leicester City and their fans tonight as both were in great form. The fans were loud from the get-go and fully backed their team. As for the Saints, it’s back to the drawing board.

What is Southampton FC’s average yearly salary? And how does it compare to Premier League rivals?

In the modern day of football, It’s a sad reality that just about any achievement or issue is aided or solved by a clubs financial power, and their ability to use it effectively. As much as we don’t want to admit it, money talks, and it’s as simple as that.

Embed from Getty Images

Scan Twitter on any given match-day for fan opinions, and often you will find a wealth of comments that only further feed into this idea…

“We simply have to invest this January window or we’re going down”

“Our club has all this money from sales, yet the higher forces are choosing to line their pockets with it!”

“£18M for Mario Lemina? That’s the best bit of business Southampton have ever done”

Whether it’s projecting views on transfers, shining a bright light on the club, or even quite the opposite, most opinions within football come right back to the subject of money.

Southampton FC in particular, are a club where numerous fans have questioned the willingness of the higher forces to re-invest. Our ability at finding value for money in the transfer market is impeccable, and on numerous occasions now we’ve commanded eight digit figures for the services of our players; causing some to question the ambition of our club, under the assumption that  were not directly reinvesting the money received from player sales.

But using data provided by the Global Sports Salaries Survey of 2017, we’re able to gain some insight as fans into just how much our club is investing on a yearly basis.

Southampton have been criticised over recent seasons for failing to invest proportionally to their sales, but when you take a look at their respected company in the table shown above, such claims suddenly hold little weight.

The survey claims that Southampton are believed to pay £2,271,286 (£43,679) per player per year on average, placing them in 10th when compared to the other Premier League sides.

When placed alongside NBA, NFL, MLB, IPL and NHL teams, the survey also found that Southampton boast the 110th largest wage bill of a sport club in the world.

Southampton are obviously never going to challenge any of the teams above Tottenham Hotspur financially or domestically, so let’s wipe them from the chart. It should be no surprise that those teams top us in the table.

From there the only teams outspending us on a yearly basis are West Ham by just under £700k, Everton by £530k and Leicester City by £220k.

And to be perfectly honest with you, I’m not surprised that any of these sides have pipped us in the table.

Leicester City have the financial advantage of winning the Premier League back in 2015/16, followed by an impressive season of Champions League football the year after.

Everton have the backing of Farhad Moshiri, as well as the Romelu Lukaku money that they invested into numerous first team players.

And then you have West Ham, who are… well… West Ham. Plenty of money being thrown around, but little sense, direction or strategy.

Embed from Getty Images

These are the teams that Southampton need to be competing with, and at this moment in time Everton and Leicester are just one and five points away respectively.  

Watford are also just three points ahead of the Saints, whilst Burnley are on a one man mission to break the relationship between investment and success in the Premier League.

So what exactly does this chart appear to show us?

In my eyes, two things; the first is that whilst there is a rough correlation between the two, there’s obviously no guarantee of success or improvement with investment.

The second is that Southampton Football Club certainly cannot be accused of under-investing.

Sure, maybe we missed a trick in not signing an additional forward or winger over the summer, but I’d be more inclined to blame that on a failure to identify a clear weakness, rather than a fear or reluctance to invest.

If you wish to read further into the interesting findings of this survey, then follow this link to download the data for free