This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Before a ball had been kicked in Southampton’s clash against Everton, something potentially agonising was on the horizon for the Saints if they suffered another defeat.
If Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side allowed the Merseysiders to get the better of them, it would mean that the Saints found themselves on the exact amount of points that they had after 12 games of the Premier League campaign last term.
We detailed how such a defeat would ‘signal an agonising moment’ for the south coast side, and as we speak now, such a grim potentiality has become a bleak reality.
Goals from Tom Davies and Richarlison sandwiched a solitary Danny Ings strike to hand Southampton an eighth Premier League defeat of the season, leaving Hasenhuttl’s side just a point off the bottom of the table.
After the 12th Premier League game of the 2018/19 campaign – a 1-1 draw with Watford – Southampton again had just eight points and were sat two places above their current position in 17th.
Incidentally, such form cost Mark Hughes his job just two games later following a 2-2 draw against Manchester United on December 1, with the former Manchester City boss handed his P45 on the third of that month having amassed nine points from 14.
By that logic, can we expect to see Hasenhuttl’s job in danger if he too adds just one more point from the next two games?
Perhaps not, as it has been reported that the former RB Leipzig boss retains the full backing of the board.
However, what you cannot dismiss is the fact that the wheels are truly not in motion at St Mary’s.
Amidst all the doom and gloom on the south coast right now, this detail must be one of the bleakest.