New Reign At St. Mary’s
Today it was announced that Southampton have sacked Nigel Adkins and immediately hired former Espanyol manager and former Argentina defender Mauricio Pochettino. It was a truly bizarre move that left Southampton fans devasted, Non-Southampton fans bewildered and football expert Gulliem Balague excited. I’ll come onto Balague’s reason for excitement in just a moment.
Firstly it has yet again been proven that owners and chairmen of modern football clubs have set their boundaries too high for their managers. It was quite similar to Harry Redknapp getting the sack at Tottenham Hotspur last year, no one saw it coming but a few, Redknapp just like Adkins had taken his club to new heights in the Premier League and for reasons not known behind the scenes was told to clear his desk, kick rocks and pick up his last pay cheque.
After Southampton’s brave display against a malfunctioning Chelsea side, all seemed well at St Mary’s, they were on a good run and morale appeared to be very high. But the owners seemed to demand more from Nigel Adkins, rather than Southampton, if that makes any sense.
Whilst discussing this ill-timed decision with my fellow peers, one came up with a bold sentiment that he saw it coming but maybe not midway through the transfer window. He went onto explain that maybe the ownership at Southampton didn’t like Adkins transfer dealings and didn’t trust him with their funds, however these are all maybe’s.
One ideal fact is that it takes a bold move to sack a manager who managed to claim your side back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League. It proves the theory correct that the only managers who have a secure job at this very moment in English football is Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and Arsene Wenger, sorry for the reminder Piers.
On a brighter note, if Saints fans can look beyond the Adkins sacking, they have hired a worthy replacement in Pochettino. Espanyol looked a decent side under the former Argentina international and were producing some worthy displays in La Liga under a relatively low budget.
In his first campaign in management at the Estadi de Sarria he worked a bit of a Harry Houdini, and took Espanyol from the relegation zone to a comfortable 10th place finish and repeated the same feat the following season.
Can Pochettino emulate Adkin’s successful reign at Southampton? Maybe so. Can he stabilise Southampton and turn them into an attractive Premier League side? If he is the manager I think he is then again maybe so.
All these questions might not be answered within the next month or the next four months even, when the Premier League eventually reaches it’s closing stages.
But I guess that’s what makes the Premier League the most exciting league in the world.
Aidan Fulham (@AidanFulham)