Tag Archives: Sacked

Have Saints found pragmatism too late? Or will Hughes Spark them into life?

So, the Saints board finally caught up with the rest of us and lost patience with the Argentine Branfoot and gave him his marching orders (#youmarchon) after the frankly diabolical display at Newcastle. Too little too late? Perhaps, but the last couple of days has felt like a fresh start, and for the first time in a long time there would appear to be hope.

Now he is gone, I wish Mr. Pellegrino no ill will, seems like a (too) nice bloke, just wildly out of his depth. I did ‘celebrate’ his sacking though, and I feel no guilt in doing so. This isn’t a bloke on £15k a year who has just been made redundant from the local factory as the result of some Tory inflicted austerity scheme, who now has to worry about how he pays his rent and feed his kids. This is a highly paid man (no doubt already comfortably off from his playing career) who showed incompetence from day one. Worse than that, he didn’t learn and was loyal to the end to his turgid style and failing system. What’s more he didn’t even have the decency to resign when it was plain to see he was taking us down. He will have received a handsome pay off for his trouble and will now be having a lovely holiday in a luxurious resort. With respect Mauricio, I wish you luck in your future endeavours, but I am glad you were fired, please don’t ever darken our door again.

This current Saints board had never been more under pressure. They left the sacking of el confundido far too late, he should have gone after the Leicester debacle and in not removing him sooner have left us staring into the abyss with a very difficult run in. This is self inflicted pressure, and meant the job of replacing him was not an easy one. You could argue the logic behind the appointments of both Pellegrino and Claude Puel, both were employed in pre-season, and both looked like long term options, sadly both failed. Employing someone with 8 games to save the season is a different kettle of fish altogether. Premier League experience is absolutely essential, we aren’t in a position to be letting someone learn as they go, and in Mark Hughes we got the best available.

While Pellegrino floundered on the touchline, it cannot escape attention that the players were not performing to their ability, and that may have been a question of motivation. What we have now in Hughes is someone who knows this league, knows how to organise a team and won’t accept dropping standards of his squad.

To those who I’ve seen complaining about the appointment, I always ask the same question? Who would you have brought in? You can rule out the currently employed. Why would they risk it, when they can wait until the end of the season and see if Saints are still interested, and more importantly what division they are in?

That leaves the unemployed, and risking someone without experience of the Premier League would be one risk too far. The current Saints board are 1 for 2 when it comes to appointing foreign first timers, 1 for 3 would be relegation and their own positions untenable.

Hughes’ record in the Premier League is decent, there is no doubt about that, and despite a poor spell at car crash club QPR and this season with Stoke he would firmly be considered a middle tier manager, and here’s a newsflash. We aren’t a middle tier club at the moment, we are lower tier and in danger of being out of the top flight.  Lest we forget, that in removing Hughes, Stoke have ended up with Paul Lambert. A fate worse than death in my opinion. The point is right now we don’t have a ‘project’ to sell to a fashionable foreign manager like we have had in the past, we are in a desperate situation. We should be grateful Hughes has put his reputation (never having been relegated) on the line for us.

Yesterday’s press conference gave everyone a lift. A football man, talking a good game and not the riddle messr’s Puel and Pellegrino gave us. We need grit and we need fight from our squad, they have the talent. Hughes is the man to get it.

It’s time for the fans to stop the infighting and the ‘woe is me’ attitude to go. This is what being a Saints fan is all about. We had it far to easy for far too long and we got comfortable and we got entitled and we got lazy. On Sunday Mark Hughes will start his reign with a trip to league one Wigan and the potential to take us to an FA Cup Semi-Final and as we know from last season once you get a semi anything can happen. Then it is 8 cup finals.

Get behind the manager, get behind the team and as always keep the faith.

Nigel Adkins: A Tribute

It was the 12th September 2010, there was nothing out of the ordinary about the day, but little did we know that our journey as Saints supporters was about to change  forever. He was tanned, he wore spectacles and his silvery brown hair was waxed into a quiff. Most Saints fans knew little of who he was or what he stood for. Some were bemused as to why this chirpy Scouser with the permanent smile was being given the reigns at our club. His record was that of a lower league manager who could get teams promoted but also relegated again. Was this a ‘big’ enough appointment for Saints?

Soon, the results started to come, and those who had been furious at the removal of Alan Pardew started to come round. Not only were Saints starting to win, they were doing it with a panache, a team spirit and a belief young Saints fans had never previously experienced.

Nigel Adkins was no longer a stranger, and his vision and his passion was inspiring us all. That permanent smile became infectious, his enthusiasm and almost exclusive positivity were worn like an armour in the face of any (though there were few) adversity. We had a team, a team that worked for each other, that stood ‘together as one’ and excited an often melancholy Saints crowd.

It took us a while to get used to it. We were too long perennial losers to find success too comfortable, but Adkins achieved it. His effect on our fanbase probably surpasses that of any other manager, certainly in my lifetime, and the strength of feeling shown at his dismissal will surely offer him some comfort.

na_smile

It is usually the supporters who end a managers tenure. Not this time. This is the last thing we wanted. It feels like we have lost a relative, a friend and a leader all at the same time.

This has been two and a half of the best seasons in my time as a Saints supporter, and perhaps the only time I went into every game believing we could win.

I am sure Nigel will walk straight into another job, and he will be a success. He is a winner, a believer and perhaps a dreamer, but most importantly at all he is a gentleman and a note left for the players at the training ground said it all.

‘Keep Smiling

Have faith & belief that you are doing the right thing.

Keep looking to improve

:-)’

Right back at you Nige.

Thank you Nigel Adkins. Thank you ‘the man in the glass’. You will go down in Saints history as a legend. Time to draw a blue line under it, move on, and control the controllables.

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Chris

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