Saints Hit 40 Points For First Time In 3 Years
Monday, 29th Jun 2020 09:29
After two poor seasons, the win against Watford saw Saints hit the 40 points total for the first time since the 2016/17 season, can they now go on and better the total they achieved that year under Claude Puel.
The last two seasons have been poor, no one can deny that, but last season things started to change for the better with the arrival of Ralph Hasenhuttl and real progress has been made the fruits of which we are now starting to see now as Saints hit the 40 point mark with 6 games still left to play.
Last season we ended the season comfortably in 16th position with 39 points and after 32 games played we had totalled 32 points, trailing off in the last run of fixtures to finish 16th, it would have been tough to have caught Bournemouth in 14th on 45, but we really should have overtaken Burnley a point ahead of us.
It was the 2017/18 season that saw us in real trouble, in truth it didn't start too badly, after 15 games we were 11th on 17 points , but then we started to slide, after 9 more games we had amassed only 5 extra points and were now firmly in a relegation battle, at the same stage as now back then we were 3rd from bottom on 28 points, 3 points adrift of 4th from bottom although we had a game in hand.
Mark Hughes didn't so much as lead us to safety, it was more about Swansea being abysmal, but we ended the season safe on 36 points.
Now we have hit 40 points we are now all but safe from any lingering thoughts of relegation, Norwich with 7 games left can only get 42 points, double their current total and one more defeat would put us out of reach.
Likewise if Aston Villa won 4 and drew the remaining 2 of their 6 games left that would only give them 41 points and that is a similar situation for Bournemouth & West Ham although they have a game more to play, Watford are outside of the drop zone but after yesterday's defeat you feel that they could be in real trouble.
So we can look up the table, as I said in the build up to the games against both Arsenal & Watford, we have issues that are still there and need to be addressed, sometimes we get away with them and at others punished, so having hit 40 points we need to just keep going and see what might occur.
Our first target has to be the 46 points that was achieved in Claude Puel's year in which we finished 8th, that points total is highly achievable, especially when you consider that after 32 games we also had 40 points and identical situation to now.
But 46 points is not likely to get us another 8th finish or indeed even top 10, so we have to aim a little higher than that.
In the last six games I would say that we have 4 that we can reasonably expect to get points from, the two exceptions being Manchester City and their neighbours United who have both started well after the break, the hope is that City with nothing really to play for in the League will take their foot off the gas and that United with a league game against Palace later in the week and then an FA Cup semi final at the weekend will also have their eyes elsewhere.
But we are capable of winning the other four and if we are honest capable of losing them as well, we should be targeting 50 points by the end of the season. that is a fair target and if we did so then we would not be far off 10th place.
But I still think to hit that top 10 we would need a little more than 50 points, but I cannot see us realistically getting more than that total, if we did so then we would only be 6 points short of the total Mauricio Pochettino achieved in his full season at the club and that shows you just how much good work Ralph Hasenhuttl has put in to drag us out of the mire.
Ultimately I think this season will be a little bit of if only, in fact it already is, if we had beaten Arsenal then today we would be 9th on 43 points and poised to challenge for 8th, but those 3 points were thrown away and we can look at many more where we were not outplayed but presented the opposition with goals that cost us points.
So I think this season will see us have a few regrets, but overall it has been a positive one, we have a manager who is committed to the cause and building foundations at the club and we have a good squad that with the addition of a defender or two could genuinely be a top 10 side.
We cannot change the past, the last two seasons have been awful at times, but a short period aside earlier this season, since Ralph Hasenhuttl's arrival it has mainly been positive, we need to build on that positivity and stop banging on about selling players under a completely different regime in the past, only when we have done that can we move forward.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 29 bloggers
Matches of Yesteryear - Cardiff v U's 11/4/98 by wessex_exile
Here we are then, after a reasonably solid but distinctly dull semi-final first leg lit up by a moment of sheer brilliance by Bramall, just one match away from a socially distanced Wembley play-off final. We may have a slight advantage, but there is of course still much to do, and I can’t imagine for a moment that Exeter will be that shot-shy again at t’other St James’ Park. It’s all about the result though, performance is irrelevant, so I’ll take an even duller 0-0 every day of the week and twice on Sundays. I hope you’re all keeping safe and well, and for those of you blessed with progeny – Happy Father’s Day!
Matches of Yesteryear - Reading v U's 11/11/2000 by wessex_exile
So, after months of uncertainty, here we finally are at the start of a well-deserved play-off campaign. I say well-deserved, though in truth the play-offs ought to have been our minimum aspiration back in August. But sometimes life throws you a curve ball – no one could have predicted back then what the world was going to become, that hundreds of thousands would perish, and that most clubs today are probably fighting for their very existence. In fact, as already mentioned by MFB and Durham, no one could have predicted that were it not for a stirring 3-0 victory at Carlisle in our last match back in March, we wouldn’t have even been in the play-offs. During lockdown, I have been reassured by the honest and stateman-like announcements from our Chairman keeping us all updated, and never more grateful that we have him looking after the club.
Matches of Yesteryear - Millwall v U's 14/4/99 by wessex_exile
And so here we are, at what would have been the last match of the domestic season, at home to FGR, and almost certainly still in with a shout of making the play-offs – maybe even already guaranteed by now. As I look out this morning, it’s a beautiful sunny day, and I would almost certainly already be on the first leg of a train journey to be amongst the faithful at the Jobserve Community Stadium. Given the location of our opponents, I’d probably be sharing the journey with a few hundred FGR supporters too, but they’ve always been a friendly bunch whenever I’ve met them, so I wouldn’t have been too concerned about that. Instead, we sit and wait to see how and when the season may (or may not) finish – strange times indeed…
Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Accrington Stanley 13/1/04 by wessex_exile
Happy Saturday everyone…well, less of the happy actually, with rain falling freely since yesterday afternoon. Still, good weather to be in lockdown for, takes away that feeling that you might be missing out on some quality time outside. In an open letter yesterday to all supporters of EFL clubs, chairman Rick Parry stated “…with or without spectators, delivering a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season remains our goal to ensure the integrity of our competitions”. If that can be achieved, it appears almost certain these will be matches behind closed doors, streamed live to all supporters – which inevitably will break the long-held Saturday 3pm blackout for televised matches. We all know why that blackout was in place, but this is a difficult time, and it requires an innovative solution.
Matches of Yesteryear - Swansea v U's 7/3/06 by wessex_exile
Good afternoon everyone, I sincerely hope you’re all doing well, and hopefully not going too cabin-feverish! Today would have been a home match against Oldham Athletic, and after our surely guaranteed epic 3-2 victory at Sixfields on Good Friday, it would be just one more victory needed to guarantee a play-off place…think I might have been out in the sun a bit too much over the last few days 😊
[ Vote here ]