Southampton used to offer up a blueprint for many other Premier League clubs of their size to follow.
They gave opportunities to English talent, played attractive football and were aware enough of their own stature to be prepared for the departure of any of their key figures, including the manager.
It was that attention to detail that allowed for a series of smooth managerial transitions as well as offloading integral players for big money only for them to be replaced by cheaper, often better, players.
Southampton had an identity, which was bigger than the individuals around the club and that allowed them to carry on ploughing forward, no matter who departed the club.
But in recent years, that has drifted away. Claude Puel was the first managerial misstep, although his subsequent success at Leicester would indicated that Saints fans were too harsh on him.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s appointment created the panic that made hiring Mark Hughes on a long-term contract seem like a good idea and now Southampton find themselves as devoid of identity as Stoke were when they slipped out of the top flight last season.
The inflated transfer market has killed Southampton’s purchasing model slightly, but there is still young talent there that can be coached into attractive football.
Southampton must use Hughes’ departure as an opportunity to reset and go back to what made the club successful upon their return to the top flight.