I'd be inclined to be much more pissed off now than before, but Saints fans can't seem to see the forest for the trees. They seem to want to push for Europe, but that isn't going to happen bar the odd fluke season, and Everton are waiting to close that gap before they do. They've been enjoying a cushy Top 8 life on the back of their model, and might be in for a reality check if they break from the mould.
Fans won't want to hear it, but they're actually in quite an enviable position. Their club can only attract gambles, half of which will pay off and another half that won't. Their comfortable top half existence is entirely down to the model they've been employing, which is having the big clubs financing their gambles by taking the breakout star of that season's pack. They use that money to invest in a new set of gambles, and whichever one keeps them mid-table is the one who moves and funds the next round. The cycle repeats.
That's just the reality, the same way teams like Liverpool are, to a lesser degree, this kind of feeder club for the Barcelonas and Real Madrids of the world. There is a clearly defined food chain in football, and clubs are setting themselves up for danger if they try to break from that. What happens when they don't sell Van Dijk? Great, he stays, but their transfer budget is diminished, they can only afford for a lesser quality player, and less of those gambles pay off. All of a sudden, they've swapped their comfortable mid-table existence for a bottom half finish and their 'dignity.'
Now, this is all redundant as I largely believe the Van Dijk stuff is purely posturing, whether it's to maintain credibility with fans or to enhance their bargaining position or both, but sometimes fans would benefit from remembering that you can't always break the glass ceiling. For every Manchester City, there's an Aston Villa. For every Chelsea, there's a Newcastle. Showing ambition doesn't lead to success, and can sometimes end in dramatic failure.