Southampton recently made the decision to sack French manager Claude Puel after just one season in charge, despite finishing 8th in the Premier League and losing to Manchester United 3-2 in the final of what was an inspired EFL Cup run.
The Saints managed to take out heavyweights Arsenal and Liverpool on their way to the final. Things might have been different for Puel had he won the final, however his time at Southampton came to an abrupt end as the season passed.
Puel, 55, signed a 3-year deal when appointed as the Saints boss and a year later finds himself unemployed. Managers not being allowed to see out their long term contracts on a regular basis is an argument for another day.
Second to none recruitment
Southampton’s managerial recruitment has been almost second to none when it comes to finding right man to take the club forward. Nigel Adkins left his role after taking the club from League 1 to the Premier League with back-to-back promotions.
He was replaced during the club’s first season back in the top flight of English football by Mauricio Pochettino, a manager who couldn’t speak English but was an instant hit on the south coast.
However after guiding them to 8th place in his first full season in charge, he left for a bigger job at Tottenham. Ronald Koeman replaced the Argentinian and continued the rich vein of form and led them to 7th and then 6th before leaving for Everton.
Why Saints sacking might have been harsh
The argument for keeping faith in Puel is pretty simple.
Not only had he reached a cup final in his first season, but they also finished 8th, which still appears fairly good for a team that was in League 1 not so long ago.
Of course, given more time and new players managers can put their own style on the club and possibly get better results.
Why I believe Southampton were right to sack him
Since the EFL Cup final, they’ve been on what is almost relegation form and that cannot be allowed to continue going into next season. He had almost lost as many games as he won at the club (W19 D10 L18 in all competitions), which really isn’t ideal.
Puel’s player recruitment doesn’t appear to have been anything special either. I think it was worth admitting that they were wrong with Puel, however their recruitment is formidable and they should believe that the next one will be the right one.
I get the feeling they could do with someone able to keep them progressing, whilst not getting tempted to leave them for a bigger club.
Mauricio Pellegrino, Patrick Vieira, Frank De Boer, Jaap Stam and Ryan Giggs are a few names reportedly in the running.
I’d trust Southampton’s recruitment to make the right call! Do you think any of those are ideal?
Perhaps there’s someone else, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Jordan Hackett
Follow Jordan on Twitter @DevilDart180
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