We chew the fat on the latest high-profile managerial sacking
IT’S CERTAINLY fair to say that there have been some nonsensical managerial decisions in the Football League recently, but the Premier League got in on the act today (Friday) when Southampton parted ways with Nigel Adkins.
In case you’re wondering, that is the same Nigel Adkins who delivered back-to-back promotions with the Saints, saw his side claim a very creditable point at the home of the European champions (having been 2-0 down) and leaves the club in 15th – three points above the drop zone.
If those are sackable offences then you really have to wonder a) What were the expectations of Chairman Nicola Cortese and the board and b) What planet are these guys living on?
The objective for any club coming into the Premier League, be it for the first time or the 10th time has to be survival first-and-foremost. If you can kick on from their and post a good finish – a la Reading in 2006/07, then more power to you. However, staying amongst England’s ‘elite’ has to be the primary objective for any side promoted from the Championship.
Southampton look on course to do that, they have overcome a tough start – where, if it was ever going to be acceptable to sack Adkins, that was the time – and are now looking more and more at home in the top-flight each passing week.
Once again, this is a decision which smacks of an owner deciding long before actually parting company with his manager that he is no longer up to the task now Premier League football has been secured.
Speaking to the Official Southampton Site, Cortese used the classic ‘long-term ambitions’ line, trotted out by so many before him:
“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.’
Similar words to those used by the Nottingham Forest owners when parting ways with Sean O’Driscoll in favour of Alex McLeish, or the Blackburn Rovers owners when parting ways with whoever it was they last sacked!
Cortese goes on to waffle on about new boss Mauricio Pochettino buying his his vision of creating a ‘clear path’ from the youth team to the first-team – clearly something Adkins has failed to adhere to then, despite leaning on players such Luke Shaw, 17, James Ward-Prowse, 18, and making homegrown star Adam Lallana the fulcrum of his side & his captain.
Lest we forget Adkins also saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pass through the Saints’ first-team during his tenure.
Clearly Adkins has been barking up the wrong tree in this department!
So another manager is lost to an owner with a dubious understanding and appreciation of what it takes to be successful in football, particularly when enjoying such a rapid degree of (unexpected) progress, favouring the ‘sexier’ name over somebody with hard-and-fast credentials in this country.
The piece de resistance? The incoming Pochettino doesn’t yet speak English, as confirmed by BBC South’ Late Kick-Off correspondent, Tony Husband on Twitter:
@TonyHusbandBBC: ‘#saintsfc Am told we will speak to the new manager- via an interpreter this afternoon.’
Adkins vs. Pochettino head-to-head:
Adkins at Southampton:
P: 124 | W: 67 (54%) | D: 25 (20%) | L: 32 (25%)
Pochettino at Espanyol:
P: 167 | W: 55 (32%) | D: 40 (23%) | L: 72 (43%)
You decide! Let us know what you think about this latest sacking by commenting below!