For years, Southampton Football Club have been a side admired by many for the subtle way they go about their business. Saints were mainstays in the old style Division One before the Premier League came along in the early-nineties, spending the entirety of the eighties in the top tier before enjoying a successful 11-year long spell in the Premiership. The south coast outfit dropped out the top flight back in 2005, spending the proceeding four seasons in the Championship before being relegated to League One in 2009.
After finishing one place outside of the playoffs in 2009/10, Southampton – then managed by Alan Pardew – finished as runners-up the following season, earning promotion back to the second tier. Another second place finish was to follow for Saints, which saw them reinstated back into the Premier League at the beginning of the 2012/13 campaign. Since then, the 1976 FA Cup winners have seen the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Ronald Koeman and Claude Puel guide them to four top eight finishes in the previous six seasons, with the latter also reaching the League Cup final in 2017.
After dismissing Claude Puel at the end of the 2016/17 campaign – despite the Frenchman obtaining an eighth placed finish and reaching a cup final – things on the south coast started to take a turn for the worse, again. Mauricio Pellegrino was brought in as Puel’s replacement and he flunked, relieved of his duties after nine months having won just eight of his 34 games in charge at St Mary’s.