Southampton have dispensed with the services of Nigel Adkins and hired Argentine Mauricio Pochettino as his replacement.
The decision was a surprising one considering that Southampton had just claimed a superb point in a 2-2 draw at big spending Chelsea.
To say that Nigel Adkins was unfortunate to be sacked is an understatement.
The former-Scunthorpe boss had previously helped the club to two consecutive promotions, including last seasons to the Premier League.
Without Nigel Adkins Southampton wouldn’t be in the top flight right now. He built a squad of players capable of making it to the top flight and being competitive. Adkins was given some funds to spend, but it wasn’t exactly a fortune.
Granted the Saints boss brought in the likes of Gaston Ramirez and Jay Rodriguez for big money this summer and they haven’t really yet shown their best form. However both players are highly-rated youngsters.
Ramirez is particularly highly-rated and was believed to be interesting the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool before he moved to the South Coast. Ramirez hasn’t yet fully settled into the English game, but has shown flashes of his ability.
Adkins had shown an ability to bring in quality players for decent prices in the past. I’m sure if he would have been financially backed in this transfer window then he would have strengthened his squad.
The style of football that Nigel Adkins has tried to instil in his team has never changed. Adkins has tried to encourage his team to play attractive, attacking football. This led to a slight lack of defensive solidarity.
The Saints have conceded lots of goals this season, but the attacking style has won the Saints many fans this season. While Southampton are not out of the relegation dogfight they have a fighting chance of staying in the Premier League.
The decision to sack Nigel Adkins has proved to be a very unpopular one amongst neutrals and especially the most important people the Southampton fans. Adkins is a very affable guy, but more importantly he has proved himself a very competent manager.
From browsing forums I cannot find one person that was in favour of Southampton sacking Nigel Adkins. The appointment of Mauricio Pochettino also came as a complete surprise.
The appointment of Mauricio Pochettino was a big surprise. The 40 year-old is acknowledged as a very highly-rated boss in Spanish coaching circles. He did a superb job on a budget at Espanyol, until he was sacked in November with the club rock-bottom of La Liga.
If reports are to be believed the Espanyol hierarchy didn’t give Pochettino their full backing, despite the stellar job he did in the previous few seasons.
I have no doubts that Pochettino has got managerial talent, as he has already proved at Espanyol. However, he is a relative managerial rookie and has no experience of Premier League.
A relegation dogfight is no place for a manager with no experience of the English top flight. With more than half the season gone Southampton are still in a fight for their Premier League lives.
It will take a while for the players to get use to Pochettino’s ideas and it will take the Argentine some time to get to know his players. The timing of his appointment seems strange to me.
The Saints are in a relegation fight and if Pochettino doesn’t get to grips with the league very quickly then there is only one way that Southampton will go. The team have been competitive up to now in the Premier League and Saints fans will be hoping that continues under the Argentinian.
Nigel Adkins was very unfortunate to get the sack. He is a good manager and deserved more time at St Marys. However I very much doubt that he will be out of work for very long. I’m sure he will return to the game very soon.
Where Southampton right to sack Nigel Adkins?