Jay Rodriguez
Rodriguez could inspire Saints to a top half finish.

Last season

Premier League: 14th

FA Cup: Third Round

League Cup: Fourth Round

Top scorer: Rickie Lambert (15)

Summer work

Subtle tinkering rather than wholesale changes was the order of the summer for the Saints. The highly rated Victor Wanyama will add steel to the midfield while Dejan Lovren is a welcome addition to a defence which looked lightweight and wafer-thin at times last season. Perhaps the most important signing of the summer came in the form of youngster Luke Shaw, who penned a five-year deal in July to fend off interest from Arsenal and Chelsea.

Manager - Mauricio Pochettino

The Argentine specialises in taking sides from the lower echelons to the mid-table. Financially stricken Espanyol enjoyed Pochettino's midas touch and Nicola Cortese will be hoping he can repeat such feats on the south coast. Having mastered the art of beating those sides at the top of the table, defeating Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, Pochettino must learn to match those teams in and around Southampton - just one win came in his other 13 games in charge. Few summer changes suggest he believes he has the squad to do it.

Key Player - Jay Rodriguez

For all of the superlatives that accompanied Rickie Lambert's performances last season, Cortese's decision to swap Nigel Adkins for Pochettino points towards ridding of the club's Championship, even agricultural guise. Jay Rodriguez represents everything good about the new era at St Mary's. His 26 starts may have only yielded nine goals - four of which came against Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur - but he showed sufficient class to suggest he can be the heir to Lambert's throne.


Pochettino's reputation coupled with the swift nature of the Adkins' departure means Southampton fans won't take kindly to a plateau in the club's results. While defeats over the league's big hitters might keep the home faithful pleased, wins against the teams around them will dictate their eventual league position. Solve that conundrum, and the top half is awaiting.


Pochettino has all the tools to cement Saint's Premier League status and more. 9th