Southampton have bizarrely given Nigel Adkins the axe as manager. Has he been unfairly treated?
Fair enough Nigel Adkins endured a rocky start to the season as Southampton manager but many would have expected the side to be in and around their current position.
They are 15th in the table, three points clear of the bottom three, play some of the best attacking football in England and he has been sacked for Argentine Mauricio Pocchettino to take over.
It just all seems a bit odd because Adkins was proving himself to be a savvy manager at Premier League level.
He seems to have the respect of his players and the fans wherever he has been the boss and the comeback against Chelsea in mid-week shows that tactically he can make changes which bring his sides back into games.
“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,” chairman Nicola Cortese told BBC Sport.
There are bound to be many Saints fans out there that feel a little angry about this news because it’s seemingly come from out of nowhere.
The club resisted sacking Adkins when they were in a worse position so to do so now is very strange.
What can the club be expecting? They can’t possibly be expecting that Southampton aren’t going to lose another game this season and fly into the European places at the expense of more experienced teams.
Who’s to say that Adkins couldn’t have guided Southampton to a top half of the table finish by the summer ahead of a push for Europe next season.
He has been replaced by a coach that has no managerial experience in England, someone who is coming in over half way through the season which risks jeopardising the team over the next few games and someone who has 49 wins from 146 games at Espanyol, hardly a prolific success rate.
When you break down the figures, Adkins’ Southampton lost only two of their last 12 matches. Something has gone on or happened behind the scenes because when you look at this from a football sense, it will give you a headache trying to figure it out.
We’d love to hear your thoughts Southampton fans, are you happy or not?
image: © mischatuffield