Southampton lost 1-0 on Saturday at Anfield. It was a relatively well contested encounter and despite defeat they are still showing good signs of improvement in the Premier League. The Saints started the season horribly, picking up just 4 points in their first ten games, they looked certain to go down. However, in their last five games we have seen a real improvement from Southampton, a side who spent a fair bit in the summer. Southampton recorded two wins in this spell, including two good draws, climbing up the table in the process to 18th.
Still in the bottom three though, there is of course cause for concern, but things are looking better than they were previously. Adam Lallana in particular has been in fine form, earning an England call-up in the process. As well as the signings of Gaston Ramirez in particular, Southampton have a strong base of good, young, English talent. Including young full backs Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw, both of whom look to have bright futures ahead of them in English football. Luke Shaw, just 17, has even attracted attention from Chelsea who look to let Ashley Cole leave in the summer. Such attention is demonstrative of what a remarkable season the young left back has had.
Top scorer, with six, Ricky Lambert has also been an excellent performer for the Saints this season. Two goals and one assist in his last five games has been key to the relative revival that the Saints have experienced. A typical British centre-forward, powerful in the air and a good finisher, Lambert has settled into Premier League life brilliantly and will be crucial to the Saints survival hopes this season.
The main issue for the Saints has been individual error and poor defending. Southampton have conceded 32 goals in the Premier league this season, more than any other side and a major concern for Adkins. Four goals conceded in their last five, as well as one clean sheet is indicative of a slight improvement, but they will need to shore up defensively or risk being relegated.
Things are looking better though, with the individual ability of Ramirez, Lambert and Lallana, the Saints could well stay up, which would be an excellent achievement for the club. They host Sunderland and Reading in their next three games, which are really must wins, if they want to remain in the division. If they do, the future could be bright with such a talented young base to the side.