Remember when Southampton sat top of the Premier League? It was only nine months ago, but you could be forgiven for having forgotten.
If you have, it's probably because the Saints went and found themselves on the wrong end of a 9-0 demolition against Manchester United at Old Trafford in February - less than an 18 months on from Leicester inflicting the same misery at St Mary's.
Finishing 15th may have been an underwhelming end to a season that had begun so promisingly - and Ralph Hasenhuttl's side lost 12 of their last 19 games - but it could have been so much worse.
Still, a good start to new campaign is a must if the Saints are to ensure they don't get sucked into a relegation battle, having found themselves on the fringes of it in 2020/21.
Optimism will have been dampened by the departure of Danny Ings, who signed for Aston Villa in the kind of 'Where on earth did that come from?!' transfer rarely seen these days - although Southampton have moved quickly to replace their primary source of goals, bringing in Adam Armstrong off the back of a prolific season for Blackburn Rovers in the Championship.
The coast isn't clear for the Saints yet. They'll need to plug that gap and fast; three consecutive seasons with 9-0 defeats would just be ridiculous...
Goalkeepers: Alex McCarthy, Harry Lewis, Fraser Forster
Defenders: Kyle Walker-Peters, Lyanco, Jack Stephens, Mohammed Salisu, Jan Bednarek, Yan Valery, Romain Peraud, Valentino Livramento, Thierry Small
Midfielders: Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond, Moussa Djenepo, Stuart Armstrong, Will Smallbone, Nathan Tella, Ibrahima Diallo, Mohamed Elyounoussi
Forwards: Che Adams, Michael Obafemi, Shane Long, Theo Walcott, Armando Broja, Adam Armstrong
PREMIER LEAGUE Everything you need to know for the 2021/22 season
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