From joy to despair and back again. This is one crazy Premier League season.

Leicester five points clear at the top with just 13 games to go, and Tottenham amongst the key chasers tucked in behind them really underlines it. Nobody would have believed it at the start of the campaign.

Similarly, it seemed as if it would be hard for Saints to match what they achieved in the previous campaign with their seventh place finish, let alone better it.

Little over a month ago there was even talk of relegation fears, such was the slump the team found themselves in.

Now, just five league matches later, Saints are only two points off of sixth position in the league, and with a very real chance of qualifying for European competition once more.

It’s hard to actually apply too much logic to the situation. Suffice to say it’s been a great season, where for once in the so often money drive Premier League the underlings are fighting back.

That really bad run of results, just one win in ten, is still so fresh in the memory, and yet it seems a world away.

Ronald Koeman was in a tricky position. It felt as if no matter what he tried it just wouldn’t work.

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Now it seems no matter what he does it works just perfectly.

He’s gone from the Midas touch, to whatever the opposite of that is, right back to the Midas touch again. It is truly remarkable.

The significance of the victory over West Ham on Saturday should not be underestimated.

Though Koeman said before the game that failing to win the game wouldn’t necessarily spell an end to catching the Hammers in the chase for Europe, it would have been mighty hard to achieve.

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Beating them though leaves Saints within touching distance, and with such an incredible sense of forward momentum that they have every chance of doing it.

There is no guarantee that sixth will be enough for European football, but that said seventh could yet be as it was last year.

The various cup exits this season have all been rather deflating, but it suddenly seems like not such a bad thing.

Saints have literally just 13 games left between now and the season ending in May.

That really isn’t a lot, which means they have every chance of keeping players fresh and fit, and having time to work meticulously on the training ground in preparation for upcoming fixtures.

They really do hold a lot of aces.

Saints have that air of invincibility about them. You can sense it. You can tell the players not only believe they are going to win games but that they aren’t going to concede goals.

They have certainly earned that right with five clean sheets in a row, which has catapulted them to 13 points from the last possible 15.

Koeman made a formation switch again against West Ham, his third in three games from back five to back four to back five again. Once more it worked out just perfectly.

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Even when Saints were down to ten men, and West Ham were piling on the pressure, they rarely looked like they were going to concede.

The game with the Hammers was an intriguing tactical battle initially as the London club pulled a surprise and matched Saints’ formation.

It led to a bit of a scrappy first half, but one in which Saints took the lead.

Cedric Soares had already forced Adrian into a good save before Maya Yoshida turned up in the six yard box to turn home from Victor Wanyama’s ball in on nine minutes.

Yoshida was a little fortunate not to concede a penalty as he accidently stood on the foot of Enner Valencia while, inevitably, Fraser Forster had to play some meaningful role in the proceedings, diving to save Winston Reid’s flicked header from a set-piece.

The second half really began on 54 minutes as Wanyama was sent off.

He jumped into a tackle on Dimitri Payet and, though the red card was a little harsh as he never intended to hurt the player, or came close to doing so, there cannot be too many complaints as he gave Mark Clattenburg a tricky decision to make.

For Wanyama the question remains how you harness the tough tackling instincts for which he is invaluable to the side, but calm a record that now reads three cards in little over three months. It’s great to have him in your squad, but it’s not a lot of help if he is suspended for five games, which is the situation now.

You didn’t have to be a footballing mastermind to predict the way the rest of the game would go.

Saints sat deep, with a back five and two shielding midfielders. West Ham had a lot of possession but found it hard to break Saints down, even when they went direct and long with Andy Carroll coming off the bench.

Saints defended superbly, and Emmanuel Emenike heading wide the nearest they came to cracking.

Indeed, it was Saints who actually had the better openings on the counter attack, with Shane Long and Charlie Austin both missing the target when presented with chances.

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This win was another test of character as much as skill, and again Saints passed with flying colours.

Suddenly it seems as if anything is possible again. It’s just the way of this season.