The last person Southampton would want their winning run to fall to would have been Mauricio Pochettino, but the former apple of St Mary’s eye did just that with his new Tottenham side to stab a pin in Ronald Koeman’s ever-inflating balloon.
Rather than pop the Saints’ bubble completely though, the Argentine manager has merely pricked a patchable hole in the enthusiasm on the south coast.
Over the next five Premier League games, Southampton can easily stem the flow of air that’s hissing through the slit, with home outings against Sunderland, Stoke and Leicester offset with trips to Hull and Aston Villa.
All five are very winnable for a side that’s impressed greatly with a new coach at the helm and a core of recent recruits to sit third in the top-flight table with 13 points from seven outings.
If that’s not enough to climb into bwin.com’s 5/1 about the Saints finishing in the top six this season, then Koeman’s history for over performing should add concrete to the confidence.
In his first management role, at Vitesse, the world’s premier goalscoring defender took the side to the UEFA Cup despite being afforded a peasant’s budget.
League titles at Ajax and PSV followed, which perhaps don’t register too highly on the difficulty scale, but a Copa del Rey win at equally cash-strapped Valencia was another feather in his cap.
Then, with Feyenoord, Koeman secured Champions League football in his first season at the helm thanks to a rallying finish of 10 wins in the last 11 games.
So while many might think that a loss to a top-half competitor may signal the beginning of Southampton’s slide, their fixture list and their manager will ensure that doesn’t materialise.