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Dhaka Tribune

Saints looking to continue from where they left off

In our series of discussion Tuesday, we will analyze various aspects of Southampton, the underachiever from the south-coast

Update : 01 Sep 2020, 07:40 PM

Dhaka Tribune Sports has decided to discuss last year’s performance, and potential of the teams in the forthcoming English Premier League, scheduled to kick off on September 12, provided the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t cause havoc. 

In our series of discussion Tuesday, we will analyze various aspects of Southampton, the underachiever from the south-coast.

The start of the 2019/20 season for Southampton FC was average.

The Saints began their campaign with two back-to-back losses, before winning twice and drawing once to accumulate seven points from five matches.

But then they went through a horrible run of form, which included being humiliated 0-9 by high-flying Leicester City in front of their home fans at Saint Mary’s.

The Saints did play most of the game with 10 men after losing defender Ryan Bertrand to a red card but that should not be used as an excuse for the shocking collapse.

After a dozen games, the Saints were struggling at 19th position with eight points, and just two wins.

Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was under immense pressure but the club backed him and the risk eventually paid off.

Despite a horrible start, Southampton scripted a remarkable turnaround under the Austrian tactician and finished the season an impressive 11th.

The Saints fans, who were getting worried in November last year witnessing their favorite team in the dreaded relegation zone, were relieved to see saw a change in fortunes at the end of the season.

The Saint recovered from the 9-0 drubbing and ended their campaign in brilliant fashion, remaining unbeaten in the last six games.

Most notably, they defeated star studded Manchester City 1-0 at St Mary’s after the league resumed amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

From the 9-0 loss to the solitary goal win against Pep Guardiola’s City, Southampton’s season can be summed up from being shaky to reaching solid ground.

Sitting 19th after 12 matches, who would have ever thought Southampton would finish 11th in the end?

But they did it magnificently, and Hasenhuttl must get some credit.

Southampton’s high intensity style was enjoyable to watch, and the club can be pleased with themselves after their decision to back him during a crucial point in the season.

On the field, one man was in the form of his life, and lead Southampton’s resurgence, striker Danny Ings.

The English forward had a stunning season, netting 22 goals, and finishing just one goal behind Golden Boot winner, Jamie Vardy of Leicester.

Interesting thing is though, in contrast to Vardy, Ings doesn’t take penalties.

Twenty-two goals in a season, and having featured in every league match can be considered a brilliant achievement for the 28-year old, who has struggled much with injuries in the recent past.

Former club captain and highly-rated midfielder Pierre Emile Hojbjerg had a tough season on and off the field.

During the late stage of the season, he incurred the wrath of the fans after talking about moving to Tottenham Hotspur in search of Champions League football.

As a consequence, the Danish international was stripped from the captaincy role and was eventually sold to Spurs for a reported fee of 15m pounds after the season ended.

For the upcoming season, the Saints are targeting bolstering their defensive options as they have reportedly made several bids for defenders.

The south-coast club have already roped in full back Kyle Walker Peters from Tottenham for 12m pounds and center back Mohammed Salisu for 10.9m pounds, but according to reports, Hasenhuttl is still looking to make more defensive signings. 

An exciting style of play under the stewardship of Hasenhuttl has converted the Saints into an attractive EPL side, and another mid-table finish will be on the agenda for next season.

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