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SIX O’CLOCK MUSE: 7/10/16

We look at the beginning of the Claude Puel era

Arsenal v Southampton - Premier League
“How’s it going Claude?”
Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

“What have you made of the Claude Puel era so far?”

Dan Noutch: I think it's as I expected it to be; a slow start as both players and Puel adapted to each other. But I think Puel has done very well considering this is the first team he's managed outside of France. After a sloppy start, he's rediscovered Southampton's stern defence with the side not conceding in six consecutive games; a key feature to Southampton teams in the last couple of years.

The only thing we're lacking is that real killer instinct in the final third but that will come. Tenth after 10 games is a very respectable return, for me.

Daniel Vaughan: Slightly better than I imagined, actually. Expected the first few games to be as they were, with the new formation and personnel. Utd were brilliant against us but we did well, and Arsenal were VERY lucky... Then came a run of games with no break and we have looked very good in each game.

The new formation is about control and preserving energy, pouncing at the right times. He's rotating the squad very well, giving youth a chance and letting players rest up for crucial games.

Only issue is the squad - we're short of creativity with Tadic having to work double shifts at the moment (Boufal and Rodriguez will ease that soon) and Romeu is absolutely fundamental to our set up - and currently playing every game. Can Clasie and Reed step into that position if and when required?

Charlie aside, our shot conversion is still the worst in the league! Something I have confidence in us addressing under CP.

Allen Gunn: Definitely been a learning curve, but Claude Puel seems to have the trust of all the players and has shown he is not afraid to make decisions or changes during the match. He was dealt a very tough hand having to replace the contributions of Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane and has handled the situation well thus far.

It will be interesting to see how he continues to utilise the under-23s and with that said, it seems he has their respect for being a forward and open manager, which is something not apparent under Ronald Koeman.

Jake Hughes: It was definitely a slow start but no different to that of recent seasons with all the continuous summers of upheaval. I really couldn't understand the chagrin and discontent directed at Puel just three games into the season from a certain section of Saints fans. I'm glad the faith displayed by most is starting to be repaid - that masterful away win at West Ham was among my favourite ever away days and we seem to handling European football well as well as the Premier League games following shortly after.

We're looking solid in the league and competent in our European campaign thus far. Exactly what I had hoped for before the season had started so no complaints from me!

Paul Johnson: I think it's still too early to tell at this stage. As much as fans seemed keen to write him off based on the first game, it's early days and I think we still aren't clear how he will cope long term.

That said, I think it's at least been promising. A bit of a slow start, but we've put together some decent results recently. Let's give him till christmas and see if we're still doing well.

Tom Williams: I was never worried, but things are looking very promising now. I think the system makes unrealistic demands of the personnel in transitions at times (Austin wheezing his way up and down the touchline), but the manager and players seem to be evolving as they go, the football is attractive and it seems as if there might be a renewed emphasis on youth.

What’s your opinion on the Puel era so far? Comment below or tweet us at @StMarysMusings?