Southampton barely managed to retain their top-flight status, thanks to the late surge by the players under the tutelage of Mark Hughes who was appointed as their manager in the month of March. The Saints were a side battling for a place inside the top-half of the league table but the scenario changed to a significant extent this season.
Mauricio Pellegrini couldn’t manage productive results on a regular basis and was eventually sacked. It was a tough ask for Hughes to save the club from the drop at the end of the season in such a short period that was handed to him, but he did have some quality players at his disposal. He had to make some bold decisions and at the end of the day, his persistence yielded the necessary dividends.
Having finished in the 17th spot on the league standings, Southampton collected 36 points during the entire campaign which is pretty abysmal for a team boasting of the likes of Dusan Tadic, Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand.
The Daily Echo has stated that Southampton are set to confirm the 54-year-old as their permanent boss after he guided the club towards the rendezvous zone and having learned some lessons, they will be hoping to come back stronger next season.
Top Three Players
Alex McCarthy eventually proved to be one of the best players for them during the season which recently concluded despite having only played half of the season. The 28-year-old custodian collected 3 clean sheets from 14 appearances, making 2 saves per game on an average, and kept his employers in the race for survival in the top flight.
Oriol Romeu also did well at the middle of the park and played an instrumental role in shielding the back line. Dusan Tadic scored 6 goals and registered 3 assists in 36 league outings and though the numbers are pretty low, considering how much creativity was present, his output ultimately helped the club stay in the division. He was used in a wide array of positions but more often than not, he made his presence felt on the pitch.
Worst Three Players
Right-back, Cedric Soares, had a subpar season, having been partly at fault on a number of occasions. Apart from him, the likes of Shane Long and Fraser Forster also flattered to deceive, as the former struggled up front and the latter was hardly reliable under the bar.
Season Rating: 5/10
A 17th-place finish in the league (after their involvement in the relegation dogfight) and a second-round exit from the Carabao Cup isn’t what one would have expected from Southampton prior to the start of the season. Reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup was the only saving grace in what was a woeful 2017-18 season.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored & Squawka