Mauricio Pochettino may have won a few Southampton fans over based on their performance against Everton last night.
Many Saints fans would have gone to St Marys last night planning to sing songs and shout their hearts out for former manager Nigel Adkins.
Those fans would have been delightfully surprised at how well Southampton played in their first game under Mauricio Pochettino despite the clash with Everton ending in a 0-0 draw.
It seemed a little out of order that no mention of Adkins appeared in the pre-match programme but all parties concerned seemed transfixed to move on to the next Southampton era.
There was little change from the attacking way that Southampton normally played at home, they played a slightly higher line which did allow them to maintain pressure on Everton more effectively.
Rickie Lambert looks as though he is going to be a key figure in this Southampton team and his presence in the middle of the attack gave the side extra options. When they needed to stick a cross in or play the ball long, they had that option.
What will also encourage Southampton fans is that, despite speaking little English, Pochettino got very involved throughout the game.
Therefore, we can tell that he’s not afraid of barriers, he’s not afraid of getting his hands dirty, he’s not afraid of attention and he’ll put his neck on the line when it really matters.
Time will tell as to whether it is the right appointment but all of the early signs are good.
The main aim for the Saints this season is to stay up and then push on next year by which time the Argentinean manager will have a better grasp of the English language and will have the team playing his way.
It wasn’t just in an attacking sense where Southampton looked good either. Defensively, they were superbly organised and maintained good shape throughout the match.
Closing down, pressing and winning the ball back as quickly as possible seems to be something Pochettino has stressed straight away and it’s no fluke that it’s one of the main traits of Spanish football, which is where he’s come from.
Were you impressed with Pochettino’s first game in charge?
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