After 11 years in the Premier League, it looks as though Southampton’s spell in the top flight is ending. A dismal season, which saw Ralph Hasenhuttl dismissed from his role as head coach and replaced by Ruben Selles, looks more than likely to end with the Saints bottom of the Premier League.
There have been some bright moments, but ultimately Southampton have not found the consistency needed to compete. Recent seasons have seen the club slip closer and closer to the relegation quagmire, and this time it looks like there’s no escape — you only need to look at the EPL relegation odds to understand their plight.
But perhaps dropping down to the Championship won’t be as damaging for Southampton as many are making out? Let’s look at a few reasons why relegation might be precisely what the club needs to progress in the future.
A rebuilt squad
There will inevitably be departures from St. Mary’s if Southampton are relegated from the Premier League.
The saddest of these will be club captain James Ward-Prowse, who came through the youth system at Southampton to become their most talismanic player. It will be painful for Southampton’s supporters to see Ward-Prowse in another club’s shirt.
However, relegation will offer an opportunity to rebuild the squad and shape a group of players that can deliver success for years to come.
With some of the bigger names and higher earners likely to move on, it’s a chance for whoever is in charge of Southampton, be it Selles or someone else, to build a side in their image that can challenge moving forward.
(See our prediction of the 3 teams to be relegated this season).
A chance to win
One obvious positive of dropping down into the second tier is that it will bring a chance for the team to win games more consistently.
Saints supporters have been starved of victories over the past few seasons, and their home form has been especially woeful in the current campaign, with just two home wins in the league.
Winning games regularly breeds excitement among supporters. It’s been no surprise to see crowds dwindling at St.
Mary’s in recent months as their team has struggled in the football betting tips, but if Southampton can rediscover that winning feeling, you’d expect the stands to start filling up once again.
Once the initial disappointment of relegation subsides, fans may even view a season in the Championship as an exciting adventure.
A change of track
It’s no secret that Southampton have been woefully mismanaged off the pitch. Some shambolic recruitment has contributed to their inability to escape the relegation zone, and it’s clear that lessons must be learned if they go down.
From the likes of Brentford and Brighton, we’ve seen what can happen if a club in the Championship is run sustainably and recruitment is spot-on. The Southampton hierarchy will need to re-assess their strategy and come up with an effective plan to get the club back where they should be.
It’s not that long ago that Southampton were qualifying for Europe and competing in domestic cup finals. Right now, those successes feel far away, but relegation could be the catalyst for better things in the future.