After narrowly avoiding relegation last season, Southampton once again find themselves in a dogfight for survival.
Following the dismissal of Mauricio Pellegrino in March last season, Mark Hughes was appointed until the end of the season with the task of avoiding relegation.
He managed just that, although it took the Welshman until the final day of the 2017-18 season to secure safety.
The Saints had struggled for the majority of the campaign – not least due to the Virgil Van Dijk transfer saga – but just a few years on from the highs that Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman brought the club, being in the relegation zone was a huge disappointment.
The appointment of Hughes came fairly cheap for Southampton, who did not have to prise him away from another club, as he had been sacked by Stoke City in January, leaving the Potters in the relegation zone when he left.
Despite a couple of successful seasons with Stoke, Hughes’ side had stagnated despite the club twice breaking their transfer record, and the manager appeared to be out of ideas on how to turn things around.
Upon replicating that somewhat underwhelming form with Stoke – which was just enough to keep Southampton in the Premier League – Hughes was handed a three-year contract.
The club’s fall from grace can be put down to many things; be it a number of high-profile sales, a drying up of academy talent or poor investment among other factors.
But, six months on from renewing the contract of a manager who has no clear philosophy and few tangible signs of success in his managerial career, the club appear to be reaping what they sow, and it is no surprise to see rumours that a sixth permanent manager in six years will soon be appointed.