One year in the life of Pochettino at Southampton

One year ago today, Mauricio Pochettino was appointed Southampton manager. We look at the crucial facts during his spell so far.

One year ago on the 18th of January, Mauricio Pochettino became the new manager at Southampton.

He took over from the popular figure of Nigel Adkins, invoking the fury of the press and supporters. What was worse was, for most, they had appointed a coach who had left his last job with his team rock-bottom. Not many Saints fans could honestly say they knew much about him.

Fast forward 365 days and Southampton fans are now breathing a sigh of relief that Mauricio Pochettino has committed himself to the club in the wake of Nicola Cortese quitting his role as Executive Chairman.

Pochettino quickly won admirers for his intense pressing play, complemented by a desire to blood young talent and play in an attacking style.

He defeated Liverpool and Manchester City both by a scoreline of 3-1, before seeing off Chelsea with a 2-1 win at St. Mary's. His stock was rising, and so was his team.

Pochettino pulled Southampton clear of the drop, ending the season 14th in the Premier League. Sir Alex Ferguson even went as far to say they were the best team to visit Manchester United's Old Trafford home last season, when they had United backs to the wall.

This time around, with a pre-season under his belt, his side sat 9th in the Premier League before today's game with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

He made just three summer signings, but used his pulling power to lure former Espanyol star Dani Osvaldo away from AS Roma and to the south coast of England. Dejan Lovren and Victor Wanyama also joined Pochettino's Southampton - to great effect.

They stormed the table, finding themselves in third place in October, as St. Mary's increasingly became a fortress which teams did not enjoy visiting. A 3-2 loss to Aston Villa ended this record in November, though.

His side's performance by the month of October earned him the accolade of Manager of the Month, the first Southampton manager to pick up the award since Harry Redknapp in March 2005.

Pochettino has 17 months remaining on his current deal with Southampton, but has received interest from the continent and was linked with the Tottenham Hotspur job following's Andre Villas-Boas's departure.

After being hit by injuries to key men, including Artur Boruc, Nathaniel Clyne, Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama, Southampton slipped to 9th.

Before today's game at Sunderland, which ended 2-2 and saw Gaston Ramirez and Dejan Lovren suffer severe injuries, he had managed Southampton for 41 games, with a win percentage of 37%.

He has amassed 15 wins, 13 draws and 13 defeats during his spell with the Saints.

His side went out of this year's Capital One Cup with a 2-1 defeat to today's league opponents Sunderland.

They do however remain in the FA Cup after a 4-3 win over Burnley at St. Mary's Stadium. They face Championship side Yeovil Town back at their south coast home in the 4th Round.

A year ago today the fans were up in arms - today they would hold him down if he ever tried to leave.


image: © ingythewingy

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