There are a number of Southampton fans who have already written off this weekend’s tie with reigning Premier League Champions Manchester City.
We go into this Sunday’s game with the hosts sitting in top spot, with 27 goals scored and only three conceded. We sit in 16th place, with only six goals scored and 14 conceded
Even the most optimistic Saints fan probably thinks this will be either one of those performances that defies all logic, or the unhappy experience negative fans expect.
With that acknowledged, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson’s prediction for the match makes uncomfortable reading, even if you inadvertantly agree with him.
“What score do you want? Seriously. I’m going to go 4-0. This could be any score. Southampton haven’t scored since I was 11, I don’t think. I’ve watched Manchester City play second gear against a good Tottenham team and win 1-0 away, with a fair few chances too. I saw them playing second gear against Burnley and beat them 5-0.”
A solid City team in third gear is probably going to give the travelling faithful an uncomfortable experience and sadly that just shows how far we have now fallen in recent years with every mistake from the top catching up with us.
The more heady days of thinking this is the kind of game that we can benchmark progress against are long gone.
Who knows, Merse’s prediction might be optimistic!