Last Friday Southampton sacked manager Nigel Adkins, it was a decision that bemused most people in the premier league. Including Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier who branded the club “a laughing stock”
Adkins joined the Saints in September 2010 with the club languishing 15th in League One, he completely transformed the club, gaining promotion from league one in second place, 3 points off leaders Brighton. The Birkenhead born manager again worked miracles the season after, earning another automatic promotion to the premier league. The dream had come true for Saints fans, they were back. Back in the big time, with one man to thank, Nigel Adkins.
He invested in the squad in the summer ready for the premier league, signing players such as Gaston Ramirez for a reported 12 million from bologna. Jay Rodriguez from Burnley for 7 million. As well Nathaniel Clyne and Steven Davis on free transfers. It seemed the club was set for a year of consolidation in the premier league. They struggled to start with, they leaked goals, conceding 28 in the first 10 games. The pressure was on the 57 year old Adkins, but he turned it round. The Saints were unbeaten in their last 5 before they sacked him, including a 2-2 draw away at Chelsea coming back from 2-0 down.
So the new man, Mauricio Pochettino, a 40 year old Argentinian. He was sacked from Espanyol in November 2012. His record at Espanyol was a respectable one, winning 53 games, drawing 38, and losing 70 of his 161 in charge. His sides are well known for getting the ball down and playing, they play with a typical Spanish philosophy. From looking at how his sides play, it’s obvious he’s learnt his trade in Spain.
So, was the decision to sack him justified? For me, it’s an absolute disgrace. It reiterates why foreign owners are clueless in regards to football. Surely, the target for Southampton must have to been just to stay up. Under Adkins, they were doing that. A midseason change of manager could jeopardise that. It’s unfortunate because Southampton are good side, they aren’t the biggest of clubs but their fans deserve premier league football. Adkins had given them that, he had developed his own squad, a blend of youth and experience. Adkins had earned the right to build a potential legacy, a side that could compete in the premier league for the next 10 years. But it’s all been taken away from him because of plain idiocy from the owners. It would serve them right if they got relegated but I don’t want that for them, it would be unfair on the fans. After all, football without the fans is nothing.
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