Southampton sack Nigel Adkins




Southampton sack Nigel Adkins

Southampton sack Nigel Adkins

Nigel Adkins who guided Southampton to back-to-back promotions, who has not suffered a defeat in five Premier League games and who masterminded a draw at the European Champions three days ago, was sacked and replaced by an Argentine best known among English fans for fouling Michael Owen in Sapporo at the 2002 World Cup.

It is a brutal and bizarre episode at S’t Mary’s. Adding the sense of betrayal of Adkins was the revelation from his successor, Mauricio Pochettino that he had been researching Southampton’s squad for several weeks.

He said: “I spoke at length with Jose Mourinho, a good friend of mine, and he said the best football in the world is being played in England. That fully convinced me to come here.”Pochettino is intelligent and a highly regarded coach , but there is inevitable  widespread distaste at the way Southampton’s executive chairman, Nicola Cortese, has treated Adkins. Adkins is loyal, hard-working and popular man, who had Southampton two or three years ahead of schedule in their plans to reach the premier league. He leaves them above the relegation zone.  Adkins was yet sacked with his assistants Andy Crosby, Dean Wilkins and Jim Stannard and the newly-deposed manager was in tears when he left the ground. Cortese then issued a statement containing only 13-words.

He said: “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”. Cortese hailed Pochettino as “a well-respected coach of substantial quality who is a great tactician and an excellent man-manager. Southampton’s sale of players like Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale, Alex-Oxlade – Chamberlain would suggest their strategy is also to fund the club through their academy graduates.

Pochettino knows he has to win over the fans and players quickly which is an exercise complicated by his limited English. Pochhetino said he can do the task without much difficultly and sees Football as an International language and mentioned the example of Pep Guardiola joining the German giants Bayern Munich. Pochettino must get his tactical message through quickly, and sit down privately with the individual players aggrieved at Adkins’s sacking. He spoke to Lallana, Kelvin Davis and Jose Fonte on Friday and may rely on Fonte, whose brother Rui he signed for Espanyol. He named-checked  the “very promising” full-back Shaw and noted that Vegard Forren “a centre-half for the longer-term” had arrived from Molde. Pochettino emphasized that he was a very much a first-team coach, rather than a manager who bought and sold players.

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