Mauricio Pochettino must decide whether the right thing to do is accept that he was wrong. Southampton's manager thought he could help change Dani Osvaldo. He staked part of his reputation on his ability to do so when the club paid a record £15m to sign the striker from Roma last summer despite knowing Osvaldo's turbulent past, which included twice being punished for fighting with team-mates.
The manager's confidence was understandable – after all, he had worked successfully with the striker for a season at Espanyol in 2010-11 – but his judgment looks dubious in the wake of Osvaldo's latest ban, which was imposed by Southampton after a training ground clash between the striker and José Fonte last week.
When Fonte, sporting a black eye, left the dugout to warm up during this victory against Yeovil Town, the home supporters cheered, showing whose side they are on. Most of Southampton's players also support the Portuguese defender.
Pochettino must now determine whether persisting with Osvaldo could prove damaging to his team's camaraderie and his standing as manager. The wisest thing to do could be to sell or loan out the striker before the transfer window closes. Osvaldo may never play again for Southampton.
Pochettino has got enough right during his year at St Mary's to be able to survive the loss of face involved in discarding Osvaldo so soon after the player's arrival. It helps, in one way, that Southampton have shown they can do without the player on the pitch. Osvaldo may come good but he has made little impact on the Premier League so far, his three goals a paltry return on the club's extravagant investment.
He was intended as a long-term replacement for Rickie Lambert but the 31-year-old remains a far more reliable threat to opponents. Meanwhile, Jay Rodriguez has blossomed this season to become the team's top scorer. Osvaldo has become a back-up player and as such cannot afford to make himself too burdensome.
Guly do Prado and Sam Gallagher gave a demonstration against Yeovil of what is expected from back-up players. Do Prado has endured a harrowing two years with injury and loss of form but his attitude has always remained positive and his popularity within the squad was apparent when his team-mates insisted that he take the penalty awarded to Southampton in the 23rd minute for a handball by Jamie McAllister. He scored.
The Brazilian was later replaced by Gallagher and the 18-year-old produced a smart finish to claim his first senior goal and secure Southampton's win. The last time Yeovil lost here was in 2011, when the last goal in a 3-0 win was scored by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Gallagher's goal and all-round performance showed that the Saints' nursery is not drying up.
"Sam has been training with Rickie and Jay Rodriguez and the other first-team strikers so he is improving," said the assistant manager, Jesús Pérez. "He's still young so he needs to develop his body and abilities but obviously he is a great talent. He has a good future."
Man of match Sam Gallagher (Southampton)