Southampton’s inconsistent start to the season has left the club languishing out of the top 10 and in the relegation zone in 18th position on the table. As the pressure grows on new manager Mauricio Pellegrino, the Saints will feel that 4 wins in twenty-four matches are far from the start they were hoping for. They have collected 22 points from their twenty-four game weeks and will be hoping to change their luck soon. The club appears to be flirting with danger as they are already a point behind safety zone and will now have to work hard if they want to enjoy the riches of the Premier League next season.
Reports now have confirmed that the Saints’ board is ready to sack Manuel Pellegrino over the next one week, should the club’s fortune not change. The board expects the club to pick up at least 4 points from their two next games and are ready to part ways with the manager should he fail to.
Southampton are ready to replace him with Mark Hughes, who got the sack from Stoke City earlier this month. Stoke City had been guided by Mark Hughes to three straight ninth-place finishes for 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 season, their best place finish since 1974-75 before finishing 13th last season. However, their team, which has added weight by bringing in new players like Jese from Paris Saint Germain, Kurt Zouma from Chelsea and Saido Berahino from West Bromwich Albion last January, have failed to perform this season leading to the sacking of the ex-Manchester City boss.
At Southampton, after a tumultuous summer, that oversaw the arrival of Manuel Pellegrino replacing Claude Puel at the helm of the club and a legal complaint filed against Liverpool over the Virgil Van Dijk saga, the new manager did not get the desired calm and peace required to settle in and implement his philosophy at St. Mary’s. Southampton also oversaw the departure of a few club regulars like Jay Rodriguez, Lloyd Isgrove and Jordy Clasie. Of the new signings, the limelight went to the man arriving from Juventus, Mario Lemina.
The Saints’ star defender Van Dijk has left the club. Liverpool were one of the many clubs interested in securing the Dutch defender’s service but their initial move was a little too aggressive for Southampton’s liking who went on to take legal action against the Merseyside club, thereby formally putting an end to Liverpool’s attempt to sign the defender for the time being. However, Liverpool has corrected their mistake this time around and paid Southampton a monstrous 75 million pounds for Van Dijk.
This has left Pellegrino as the manager at a club who simply has failed to overcome the distractions of the outside world to perform as a unit.