With the game on Saturday finely balanced, with only a Maya Yoshida goal giving Southampton a slim lead over West Ham, Victor Wanyama's lunge on Dimitri Payet suddenly turned what was a solid foundation into a lead drastically in need of protection.
As Wanyama's poor touch gave the ball straight to the feet of the Hammers' star man, what came next is something that wasn't really that much of a surprise. Another game where things weren't exactly going smoothly, another red card for the Kenyan.
And with the midfielder's contract reaching its final year this summer, and a disappointing season with dummy-spitting and daft red cards rather than stellar performances, our writers have debated on what seems like the inevitable.
Will Wanyama be missed this summer, when he departs?
Jake Hughes (@JJHughes_ ): NO
I don't think so. Barring a few games this season - notably against the so-called bigger teams - Wanyama has been pretty average throughout the 2015-16 campaign.
With the benefit of hindsight, to me, it appears Morgan Schneiderlin made Wanyama look a lot better than he actually is and I think Romeu is more than capable of doing a job as well as Wanyama - if not better - judging by the sporadic performances from the Spaniard.
Tommy Scott (@TScottt1028): NO
Victor is a talented player, however I believe we already have a like for like replacement in Oriol Romeu. A Romeu/Clasie partnership is the future of the club, along with good young players like JWP and Harrison Reed as backups.
The best thing about selling Wanyama would be the chance to boost the squad in another position thanks to the fee that we get for him.
Why not read why Tommy's view that Wanyama's replacement is already at St Mary's, available here?
Dan Noutch (@DanNoutch): NO
I don't think so. Wanyama's reaction to his summer transfer saga has been the complete opposite to Morgan Schneiderlin's last season. Like Jake, I think Schneiderlin made Wanyama look better than he is. His best games this season have come against the bigger teams and it feels like he sees those games as a job interview.
Romeu has been a great piece of business and has put in some great performances since arriving, Clasie looks to be getting better with each game and Ward-Prowse looks better in a deeper position. And, we can't forget Harrison Reed who Koeman said was the only Under-21 to be knocking on the first team door. They can provide competition for a strong midfield and, whilst his strength and physical presence will be a loss, I don't see Saints missing Wanyama too much if he was to depart in the summer.
David Williams: YES
Yes he will be missed. I loved Wanyama since the moment he stepped foot on the south coast but others in the fanbase took longer to warm to him. At the start of his playing time here he was much maligned for being poor on the ball and not Jack Cork.
In matches where we are easily dominant he can be a passenger, but against tough opposition he is a necessity. A snarling midfield beast that makes areas of the pitch no go zones as he effortlessly shrugs anyone foolish enough to challenge him off the ball. It took a season but the heathens saw the light. They started singing his celtic song, and this pre-season he got his lion king chant; he had finally become a fan favourite.
Fans never like a player making eyes at a bigger pay cheque and for Wanyama, a player it took many awhile to warm up to, it was all too easy to dislike him again. The qualities he brings to the game are easy to ignore but make no mistake Swansea, Chelsea, Bournemouth, Sunderland and Stoke will be delighted by his ludicrously long suspension.
I'm a big Romeu fan, any player that is hated by Mourinho and embraced by Benitez is alright in my book. But many of the things Victor gets criticised for Oriol does with no backlash. He has made a habit of getting dispossessed in dangerous areas and if you are worried about Victor's card problem, then Oriol has managed the same number of yellows in half the playing time. It won't take him long to join Vic on the suspension list.
Connor Armstrong (@ConnorArmstrong): NO
Make no mistake: Victor Wanyama is an important player. Irreplaceable? No. I think we've all seen the importance of the role Victor has played over the past three seasons, but there's no hiding from the fact that he's not the best on the ball and he can be very rash.
Oriol Romeu has shown this season that he's capable of doing Wanyama's job, with added attacking impetus and greater technical ability. He too, however, needs to calm down and stop picking up needless bookings.
All in all, while I'd be happy to see Wanyama stay at Saints, I won't be devastated if he chooses to leave. I don't think he's been the same player since Morgan Schneiderlin left, and I think he could be replaced much easier than the club have found it to replace Schneiderlin himself.