Premier League will be on a whole new level next season with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea going in to the battle with new managers and insane amount of money available to spend on transfers.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester would hope to replicate their performance from last season while Merseyside clubs will enter the season with renewed hopes after Ronald Koeman looks set to take over at Goodison and Jurgen Klopp will have his first pre-season as a Liverpool manager.
Amidst all these changing surroundings two of the most exciting teams in England; Southampton and West Ham will need to prove their mettle and cement themselves amongst Premier League elites.
Saints finished 6th while Hammers ended the season with a respectable 7th place finish last season, but it could have been an even better season barring few hiccups along the way. Their top-half finish last season must only act as the platform to achieve bigger things next season.
While West Ham have Slaven Bilic in place to take the club forward, Southampton are in talks with Manuel Pellegrini and Frank De Boer to be their next manager. Either ways, Saints are guaranteed to have a world class manager and a capable squad to take on the rest of Premier League.
While there are signs of greater things to come from both the teams, it also brings a lot of pressure on them to deliver results as well. With almost 6-7 teams fighting for the trophy next season and Everton’s emergence as Premier League powerhouse, onus will be on both Southampton and West Ham to win matches week-in-week-out.
However, if they fade away next season, one must feel that it is now or never for these two household names of English football to punch their way out of mediocrity.
With foreign investors eyeing mid-level EPL teams every season, financial power will play a major role in deciding whether Southampton and West Ham remain as the consistent performers or drift away and be counted as JUST one of the other teams in Premier League.