A lack of consistency against ‘smaller teams’
A disappointing defeat to Hull City as well as draws against Sunderland, and to a lesser extent Watford, represent missed opportunities for Southampton as they look to establish themselves as a top six side.
Defeats against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are excusable, so long as the Saints can be fairly sure of maximising their points against the so-called ‘lesser’ sides.
Too many points have slipped away from these games, notably in the last fixture at Hull City as three points evaporated into zero in a matter of minutes.
Claude Puel needs to buck this trend as soon as possible to get Southampton climbing the table.