The date 23rd April 2009 will be all but a bitter taste in the memory for the majority of Southampton fans. The club was awarded a ten-point deduction following administration and the south coast club faced slipping down the football league ladder. Two days later and this became a reality as relegation to League One was confirmed after a 2-2 draw to Millwall.
The draw capped a dismal season for the Saints as they fell into the third tier of English football for the first time in 50 years. The management now faced a new task, to return this historic club back from football mediocrity.
They faced the difficult challenge of battling their way out of League One first, whilst juggling off-field financial troubles. Following a poor first season to life in League One, manager Alan Pardew was sacked and the club decided to elect Nigel Adkins.
Flash-forward to the present and the story reads a completely different one. The football world has seen one of the most remarkable turnarounds in recent sporting history. Two back-to-back promotion campaigns catapulted the Reds’ back to the Premier League and they haven’t looked back since.
Southampton are no longer in the depths of English football, they are amongst the elite, battling with the very best for a treasured top-four finish.
Saints supporters must feel on cloud nine right now. With the club currently lying in third place in the Premier League and the introduction of Adam Lallana and Jay Rodrigues to the England team, life as one of the clubs fans has never been so rewarding.
Mauricio Pochettino has brought a breath of fresh air into the Saints side since he replaced Adkins in January of this year. Bringing in the likes of Pablo Osvaldo, Victory Wanyama and Dejan Lovren, Pochettino has won over many supporters concerns after the dismissal of Adkins.
The addition’s that Pochettino has been allowed to make has improved the impressive squad that the Saints assembled under the leadership of his predecessor.
Pochettino has delivered his South American stamp of approval over the side, as slick passing and nimble footwork have become very much apart of Southampton’s style of play.
A quick glance at the league table will give any reader a clear indication of how Pochettino has been able to guide Southampton towards the top, with the Saints currently lying first in the form guide.
An impressive win in the 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield and a 1-1 draw away to Man United, has really turned many experts heads that didn’t believe that the Saints could reach such heights this season.
One has to feel that life will not always been as plane sailing as it currently is for the side however, as they will have to make sure they can match the consistency of the likes of Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal etc… whilst also being able to get the results against the bigger sides.
It has been a remarkable past five years for Southampton, but finally after all the hard work it seems that they are back where they belong, with stability in the Premier League. At the end of the day, this is all a fan can ask for… isn’t it?