Many pundits predicted a season of misery to befall Southampton after what seemingly looked like a disaster of a summer transfer window.
No fewer than five star players left the club after a stunning season which saw Southampton finish in a highly respectable eighth place, with Hull City boss describing the Saints as "The best of the rest."
However Mauricio Pochetinno's successor as the Southampton Manager, Ronald Koeman, bought shrewdly in the summer and appears to be quashing the idea that managers need time to settle into English football. Signings such as Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle are also dispelling this ideology that players themselves need time.
Much to the bemusement of many football pundits, Southampton are now flying high in the Champions League places in third place. This is after a particularly unspectacular game against Manchester United. After an exceedingly dull first 45 minutes, the game burst into life when Dusan Tadic came off the bench to replace debutant Eljero Elia, after sourcing a shirt and his shin pads which, laughably, he left in the changing room.
Southampton produced a dogged defensive display, restricting Louis Van Gaal's side to a remarkable zero shots on target, according to official statistics. However Southampton effectively utilised the counter attack whenever they were able to regain possession from United. This led to an intricate passing triangle in the 70th minute and gave Graziano Pelle the chance to shoot at goal while one on one with David De Gea.
The ball struck off the post, much to the travelling contingents agony, but fortunately found its way to Dusan Tadic who gracefully stroked the ball into the net.
Southampton turned to their defensive solidity for the final period of the game to secure the result and see them overtake Manchester United into third place. The last three league fixtures has seen Southampton accumulate seven points out of a possible nine, against rival teams for the top four, Chelsea, Arsenal and now United respectively.
This is the sort of form that would see a team easily climb into the upper echelons that is the Champions League places if they can keep it up.
Morgan Schneiderlin, Southamptons much sought after midfield lynchpin, believes the Saints can "shock the world" and qualify into Europe's premier competition. I think the fans are believing too.
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