Once being an established Premier League club, Southampton have just returned to the top flight after a lengthy spell in the lower divisions and their fans will be keen to ensure such a thing does not happen again. Such a tough league to navigate, the club did well to gain promotion from the Championship at all, but now life is really going to get tough in the Premier League.
England’s top division will be harder than ever, with huge amounts of money and top quality teams all scrapping for every point. Southampton will have to win their home games and try to get whatever they can on the road if they even want a chance of staying up this season.
Signing of the Summer –
Left back Nathaniel Clyne takes this coveted title, being the best buy for the club this summer. With pace and more than a little bit of ability this under 21 international will be worth every penny of the £2.15 million he cost the club. A flying start is what Southampton are in dire need of, and this highly rated boy will go a huge way to providing it.
One To Watch –
Much coveted attacking midfielder Adam Lallana is the one to watch this season, with a keen eye for goal and a drive forward that will quite possibly be the difference between the club winning and drawing a game. After being named in the Championship team of the season, Lallana will be looking to carry on his excellent start to life as a footballer and really make waves in the Premier League.
Breakthrough of the Season –
Despite looking like missing the early part of the season with injury, former Chelsea man Jack Cork is certainly at a cross roads in his career in terms of breaking through to become an established Premier League player, not to mention England International. The midfielder was part of the 18 man Olympic squad and will be looking to build on that in terms of his England future, and attempt to break into the first team squad. With Hodgson simply having to look to the future now, Cork has a good a chance of anyone of him being part of just that – providing he shines with his club of course.
What Will They End Up With?
Carling Cup –Much like the other promoted clubs, and indeed a host of other bottom end Premier League ones, all that will matter to Southampton is amassing enough points to stay in the Premier League. Crashing out in the last 32 to lower league opposition is what the Carling Cup has in store for them.
FA Cup – Again, in an ideal world, a run in the FA cup would be amazing but in reality it is survival that will be the focus here, so an early exit after fielding a team of fringe players could well be on the cards, and no one would blame the club for that. The last 32 again for the club.
Premier League – It is one of the hardest things in football to manage to get out of the Championship, yet if possible even harder to stay in the Premier League. Each season there is a surprise package, and said package usually do much better than people expected them to. Whilst most expect Southampton to crash and burn, I am predicting a decent start to the season before falling into the bottom half of the table and relegation fight towards the end of the season, and an escape coupled with a 16th place finish.