Given the sheer amount of good and bad times in recent years, you’d be inclined to believe that Southampton fans would be used to the roller coaster ride that comes as a package with supporting the club.
However given the recent response to their slight blip in form, losing 2-1 at home to Chelsea and 2-0 at Bournemouth in consecutive fixtures, you’d probably think we were in a relegation battle, on the verge of liquidation and Rupert Lowe was back.
There is no doubt that the Saints were very simply atrocious last night against Bournemouth, as goals from Steve Cook and Benik Afobe helped the Cherries to win their little cup final at the Vitality Stadium. We managed just one shot on target throughout the match, in the 86th minute; a shocking figure and one that needs to be rectified, admittedly.
However, we are currently placed in seventh in the Premier League, which was indeed our highest ever finish in the top flight last season, but of course, the competition for Europe this campaign is closer than ever and Stoke could overtake us in the coming fixture.
Across all social network, I’ve had the displeasure and frustration of witnessing people still asking for Ronald Koeman to be relieved of his duties at the club; I can’t help but find that statement alone quite laughable.
Not only have calls been for Koeman’s head, but there have been suggestions that seemingly all of the players are either injury-prone, lazy or need to be sold. If these fans had their way, we’d be left with no squad and in a considerably worse way than what we are now.
What these fans who claim to only want the best for us fail to realise is that we are not a club of a gigantic national prestige. We don’t have the funds of Manchester City or the attraction of Manchester United; at the end of the day, we’re Southampton.
Of course, we’d all love to see money upwards of £20 million spent on a world-class striker that will pounce on every loose ball in the box, score week in, week out and simply be an outrageous player, but again, we’re Southampton. We simply are not capable of that.
Little do we realise just how far we have come as a club. Although the excuse of “Look at where we were five years ago!” gets chucked around all too often in defence of the team whenever we do lose, we still have to appreciate the heights and the standards of which we are competing at.
As we made it six games unbeaten, with the same amount of clean sheets as games and we looked all set to mount a highly respectable late European charge, I wonder who would have predicted a situation like this among the fans and the meltdown that appears to have sparked.
Two games have passed since that sixth unbeaten game, and we have lost two in a row and admittedly, dropped naive points.
However, we are still in a good position. We aren’t in any danger at all, we aren’t in a relegation scrap and we aren’t still in the treacherous mid-season form that we all had to endure a couple of months ago. Believe it or not, we are doing absolutely fine.
Maybe this short spell of poor performances is not such a bad thing after all, as the Saints can be brought back down to earth from after such an incredible run of form and they can go out against Sunderland on Saturday with enough motivation to win and a point to prove to everyone.
Of course, Europa League does now look a possibly unrealistic goal for the campaign, however, we are by no means in any trouble, nor should we hit the premature panic button, as we all have at least once during our spells of supporting the Saints.
So, instead of dreading the upcoming fixtures against Sunderland and Liverpool due to a minor blip in our season, let’s ensure that we back the boys until the last minute and we do our bit to get back to winning ways.
After all, following Southampton Football Club is just like a roller coaster; whenever we go down, we’ll always come back up again to our exciting heights.