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They are a few words that convey how I feel about the sacking of Nigel Atkins 

The Club would like to thank Nigel Adkins for his service over the past three seasons, and wish him well for the future. – Southampton FC

On the official Saints website a statement was released by Executive Chairman, Nicola Cortese which said

“This decision has been made with the long-term ambitions of Southampton Football Club in mind. Whilst we acknowledge the contribution Nigel has made during the past two years, for the Club to progress and achieve our long-term targets a change was needed.”

After what he has done for the clubs, and the loyalty he has shown to them. To do this is a disgrace.

I am sure Southampton fans will be even more bemused and anger at this than you or me, but I hope that they don’t take it out on their new manager, Mauricio Pochettino, and get behind him.

Southampton have not played bad football, they just haven’t defended well and have leaked goals. Adkins tried to keep their style of play that won them the Championship the same in the Premier League. That may have been a little foolish, but sacking him half way through the season just doesn’t make sense.

That Southampton squad is one that Adkins has groomed. Their style of play, their football attitude is down to him. They play for the manager. Being in a dog fight you need to be able to trust your manager and believe in him. It will be hard for these players to be motivated and trust someone they don’t know. And you doesn’t know them. It is going to take time for him to know who can do what and who players best where. How to motivate that player, and what not to say to them to de-motivate them.

This has come out of the blue also. It isn’t as if the fans have been singing calling for his head and the media hasn’t been on his case either. As much as a surprise as it was too us, no doubt it came as a bigger surprise to the players.

So what about Mauricio Pochettino. Well he is a young manager that most recently was in charge of Espanyol. On the Southampton website the positive spin on him is this.

“Forty year old Pochettino has earned a reputation as one of the most talented young coaches in European football thanks to an impressive spell in La Liga with Espanyol.

The Argentine was widely linked with a future role at one of Spain’s top clubs, but having left Espanyol in November now joins Southampton to continue his top-flight managerial career.”

Well as for leaving Espanyol in November, it was by “Mutual Consent” which normally is a nice way of saying fired. And he left Espanyol when they were left bottom of La Liga with just two wins from 13 games. The previous season he has kept them up and secured a mid table position.

Would it not have been better to keep faith in a manager that knows what he is doing, has a plan and an understanding of the players, rather than bringing in a new, young manager, who is going to need time to adapt to the league, the players and the club.

In the end if he keeps the Saints up then it was the right decision. We will never know if Adkins would have kept them up, so cant compare.

Executive Chairman, Nicola Cortese –

“Mauricio is a well-respected coach of substantial quality who has gained a reputation as an astute tactician and excellent man manager. I have every confidence that he will inspire our talented squad of players to perform at the highest possible level.

“He also shares my belief that the most successful clubs are built by nurturing young players through a development system that provides a clear path to the First Team, thereby creating a culture that keeps them at the Club for the long term. This is an approach he has employed with great success in the past and I look forward to him bringing that experience and expertise to Southampton.” 

Mauricio Pochettino –

“This is the kind of opportunity that any coach would relish. Southampton is a club with great heritage, and an even more exciting future. There is a clear vision to take the Club to a new era of sustained success in the Premier League, and beyond, which I’m delighted to be part of.”

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