Saints gatecrashed top 4 on merit, rather than status quo degradation

Arsenal boss Wenger points to Southampton's international players as evidence for his claim, while a Saints legend lauds the squad as the best he's seen.

Southampton have already scalped Liverpool this season, held Manchester United to a tie, have a +10 goal differential and have conceded just five goals after 11 match-days. And, coming off the back of their 4-1 devastation of mid-table Hull City, a former club legend has lauded the current Saints squad as the best he's seen.

'In terms of the strength of the squad this is far better than anything I can remember during my time,' the human goal-scoring highlight-reel Matt Le Tissier, now 45, recently told BBC.

Question-marks, though, have been raised over their position in the division. Is it a sign of the falling standards of teams such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, or testament to the managerial and coaching prowess of Mauricio Pochettino?

'Southampton [are] close to the top [and] have three international players in the England squad,' said Arsene Wenger in a well-articulated answer as reported by the club's official website. 'They have Luke Shaw is not far, they have they say [Nathaniel] Clyne is not far.

That means maybe the whole Premier League has gone up. I don't think necessarily players like [Robin] Van Persie are not as good as last season or two seasons ago. It's just the whole quality has gone up.'

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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