Southampton have confirmed the sacking of Nigel Adkins and confirmed his immediate replacement, Mauricio Pochettino.
The news is a massive shock to all, and has made most call the Southampton board “nutters”.
Adkins, 47, had done a remarkable job since taking over the club in 2010, when the club were in League 1. He had steered the side back to the Premier League, with 2 back to back promotions. This season he has also kept the side in a safe and impressive 15th place.
The news comes just days after an impressive 2-2 draw away at European Champions Chelsea. This does suggest the move had been in the pipeline for sometime and that no matter what Adkins pulled off, his future would be in doubt.
According to the Official club website, “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.”, however, most will question how he can possibly be a better option that Adkins at this moment in time.
Pochettino will take charge this week, with his first game at home to Everton on Monday – expect a very interesting crowd reaction then.
Pochettino has been out of the job since November having been sacked by Espanyol following just 9 points in 13 games.
Executive chairman, Nicola Cortese has 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.”
“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.”
It would be fair to disagree with this and say, no, stability and faith in Adkins could have an suitable long-term option too.
Pochettino who will be known to most for his foul on Michael Owen during the 2002 FIFA World Cup has said;
“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.”
Southampton legend, Matthew Le Tissier has said he’s not surprised about the news as the chairman has once again “Made Southampton a laughing stock”.
The news signifies the real madness and lack of morals in the modern Premier League, with yet another baffling managerial switch when nearly everyone would agree Adkins, has and was doing a fine job but has been replaced with an unknown.
British Football commentator, Dan O’Hagan tweeted;
“I’m hearing Nicola Cortese has sacked Nigel Adkins. Yet another disgraceful decision in a league fast disappearing up its own crevice”
And it’d be hard to disagree with him. The most successful team in England, Manchester United, haven’t changed their manager in 27 years, they let him manage and keep a stability. In this case, Adkins was creating that, but has been unfairly cut short.
It is news that will baffle, annoy, and confuse football fans around the globe; but most significantly the Saints supporters who had backed Adkins so deeply.
By Stowe Gregory @stowegregory