Southampton finally got rid of Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday evening and it seems as if the vast majority of the club’s supporters are over the moon about it.
After all, the Argentinian was never particularly popular with the fanbase and you only need to skim-read message boards and Reddit posts to understand the reasons why.
The words “clueless”, “boring”, “passionless” and “delusional” stand out, while the general consensus is the board’s decision to fire him comes about three months too late.
And they’ve got a point, y’know.
Southampton are certainly not world-beaters (especially as they keep flogging their best players to Liverpool) but they’re certainly not relegation-fodder either.
In fact, we reckon a good portion of Premier League club’s would step over their mother to have the likes of Ryan Bertrand, Oriol Romeu, Mario Lemina and Manolo Gabbiadini in their squad.
But somehow, Pellegrino crafted a side that finished in the top eight and reached the League Cup final last season into one that’s rubbing shoulders with the bottom three – and losing out.
The 3-0 loss to Newcastle was the last strawFollowing their dreadful 3-0 defeat to Newcastle at the weekend, Match of the Day pundit Jermaine Jenas summed up their performance by saying: “They were abysmal, shocking and borderline disgraceful at times.
“They didn’t really seem to have any plan in contrast to Newcastle. They were passing for the sake of passing.
“The players just seemed to take the easy option and they were drifting around at half-tempo.”
Southampton's last eight Premier League games
- West Ham (a)
- Bournemouth (h)
- Arsenal (a)
- Everton (a)
- Chelsea (h)
- Man City (h)
- Leicester (a)
- Swansea (a)
So who will replace Pellegrino for the Saints final eight games of the season?
According to the Telegraph, Mark Hughes is the leading candidate for the hot-seat, largely down to his Premier League experience and his ‘immediate ability to galvanise their flagging squad’.
Really? Mark Hughes?
While we don’t doubt the former Stoke boss is the favourite to take the job, surely there’s someone a bit more…imaginative, right?
Unfortunately, Sparky could be as good as it gets, as the Saints are forced to think inside the box and go for a manager who knows what he’s doing and has previously fought off relegation.
After all, they’re now one point above the drop zone after winning just once in their last 17 Premier League games.
And in all fairness, who else is there?
Relegation-avoiding specialist Sam Allardyce has already taken the reigns at Everton and Tony Pulis is at Championship side Middlesbrough.
There’s a few curve-balls, with the still fairly high-in-stock Marco Silva available, as well as former West Ham gaffer Slaven Bilic.
And scrolling through the other names listed on Sun Bets, there’s the usual-suspect in Martin O’Neil and former Man City boss Roberto Mancini.
For a club that were hoping to build on their recent success and maybe break into the Premier League’s European spots this season – all the while boasting one of the most successful youth academies in the top-flight – it’s certainly sad to see them in such a sorry state at the moment.