Southampton have not started the Premier League campaign this season as well as they did last year. That is a fact backed up by cold hard statistics. However, at this very early stage of the article I would like to take this opportunity to point out that I am not a major critic of Claude Puel and the work he is undertaking at Southampton FC.
It takes time to adapt to the Premier League, and Southampton have had (and are still having) a fairly full on cup schedule to deal with – both in the Europa League and with reaching the quarter final of the EFL Cup. In these competitions, the Saints have proved themselves a formidable opponent, notably with wins over Sparta Prague and Inter Milan – making much lighter work of Europe’s second tier competition than Manchester United are.
That said, Puel’s start to life in the Premier League does not compare favourably with that of previous Saints boss Ronald Koeman. In Koeman’s first season at St. Mary’s after eleven games the Saints sat 2nd in the league, with the division’s best goal difference – conceding only 5 times. But, fast forward to the present day, Puel’s Southampton sit 10th having only won 27.27% of domestic league matches so far this season.
Here are three ways Southampton have worsened under Claude Puel…