Southampton hero Marian Pahars lands Latvia manager role

Former Southampton striker Marian Pahars has been appointed as manager of his country at the age of just 36.

Marian Pahars is a name Southampton fans will remember fondly, a pint sized striker with explosive qualities which saw him compared to Michael Owen.

He spent seven seasons with the south coast club between 1999 and 2006, after being bought for just £800,000 and became the first Latvian to play in the Premier League.

In is first three full seasons he scored 13, nine, and 14 goals, and earned himself the trophy of Latvian footballer of the year three years running.

Injuries ruined his latter years at the club, where he remained until his contract expired in 2006, joining Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta.

Since retiring in 2010, after finishing his career at Skonto Riga, Pahars went straight into coaching, taking a role in Azerbaijan before returning to Latvia.

In January he was appointed as coach of Latvia's under-21 side, and has now been fast-tracked one step further after after coach Alexander Starkovs resigned.

Pahars at 36, has a huge job on his hands. Latvia's last two competitive results featured a 1-1 draw with Liechtenstein and a 5-0 loss to Bosnia, although they did manage a 3-3 friendly draw with Turkey in between.

With World Cup qualification already out of the question, Pahars can at least win the fans over against Baltic rivals Estonia in a friendly next month, before competitive fixtures versus Lithuania and Greece in the Autumn.

Pahars' rapid rise to international management will make his story one well worth following.

What are your memories of Pahars at Southampton?


image: © joncandy

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