Why Southampton Will Escape Premier League Relegation
Southampton football club will not be relegated this season.
Rather than focusing on why the clubs around them are in more serious danger, it is time we looked at the Saints for who they really are: a strong, Premier League-standard team who are this close to getting it together.
Any one of eight teams are in danger of going down in 2013, but Mauricio Pochettino's charges will escape the drop. Read on to find out why.
As much disappointment as Nigel Adkins' sacking brought the Southampton faithful, the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino should bring them hope.
The guy has pedigree, and any concerns regarding whether or not he can handle a "Premier League relegation dogfight" are moot. He took a relegation-threatened Espanyol and guided them to the top half of La Liga.
He is innovative, he is modern and he demands attractive football. So what if he needs a translator for the first two months?
One of the major reasons this Southampton team clicked so early on was the retention of core individuals who already know each other's games inside out.
Adam Lallana, Morgan Schneiderlin, Rickie Lambert, Jason Puncheon and Jose Fonte have been with the club in the lower echelons of English football and have formed a strong collective spirit while rising up through the divisions.
Championship recruits Jos Hooiveld and Danny Fox are still on the roster, while academy product Luke Shaw has become an important fixture on the first team.
This strong sense of identity overcame Alan Pardew's shocking departure, and it won't allow the boat to be rocked with regard to Adkins' surprise sacking either.
Strong Performances, Results Will Come
Mauricio Pochettino has already stated he plans to build on what Nigel Adkins achieved at St. Mary's Stadium (DailyPost.co.uk).
That's a good sign, because Adkins was a strong advocate of attacking football that looked to outscore the opposition and pile on the pressure.
Pochettino doesn't have the results under his belt just yet, but the performances are more than encouraging.
Goalkeeper Situation Sorted
One thing that will worry a manager the most is uncertainty in the squad.
That's exactly what Southampton have been plagued with so far this season, as the goalkeeping situation was a constant headache for Nigel Adkins.
Kelvin Davis showed his age, Paulo Gazzaniga made mistakes and Artur Boruc forgot how to catch the ball. Throughout consistent rotation, however, Boruc has finally stepped up to the plate.
He is showing his old Celtic form—the form that saw him become one of the premier keepers in world football—and his ability injects confidence into his defence.
If Vegard Forren turns out to be a good purchase, this team is complete.