Pellegrino hanging on by a thread at Southampton
Southampton suffered a 5-2 defeat away to Tottenham on Boxing Day, extending their winless run in the Premier League to seven games, and manager Mauricio Pellegrino was the subject of vitriol from the supporters.
Saints fans called for his sacking during the heavy defeat, and with two points separating Southampton and relegation at the mid-point of the season, Pellegrino’s job could be on the line.
Failed to build on a good start to the campaign
Southampton were ninth in the Premier League table after five games this season, having picked up more points than 15 other sides. Pellegrino’s men boasted two wins and two draws, picking up three clean sheets for their troubles, and they looked set for a top-half finish early on.
- 12/8/17: Southampton 0-0 Swansea City
- 19/8/17: Southampton 3-2 West Ham United
- 26/8/17: Huddersfield 0-0 Southampton
- 9/9/17: Southampton 0-2 Watford
- 16/9/17: Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton
However, things spiralled after that, with Southampton managing just one win from the seven games that followed. And now, the Saints have picked up just two Premier League victories from their last 15. They are 14th in the table with 19 points from 20 games, two points above the relegation zone, with only West Bromwich Albion and Swansea winning fewer games this season.
Three defeats from their previous four games has seen supporters start to turn on the manager, and the club’s board might consider a change ahead of the January transfer window. Southampton has a chance to turn their fortunes around in the market, but whether they’ll trust Pellegrino with the money remains to be seen.
Southampton could have a fourth manager in 18 months
After Nigel Adkins was sacked in January 2013, Southampton has operated an open-door policy with their managers, remaining successful in the Premier League despite regularly changing their coaches.
- Mauricio Pochettino – joined in January 2013, left in May 2014
- Ronald Koeman – joined in July 2014, left in June 2016
- Claude Puel – joined in July 2016, left in June 2017
- Mauricio Pellegrino – joined in July 2017
Southampton stumbled int the Premier League last season, posting their lowest points tally (46) since their first campaign back in the top flight. And with the South Coast club currently on course to end 2017/18 with 36 points, the board might be forced to act.
Sacking Pellegrino would see the Saints hunting for their fourth manager in 18 months, with the squad in poor shape and morale low in the camp. There’s still plenty of the season to go, but many will be fearful as the club flirt with relegation going into the new year.
Summer appointment questioned given Pellegrino’s CV
Pellegrino’s appointment over the summer has now been questioned too. Although he was in charge of Valencia in the past, many weren’t happy with his most recent experiences being with Estudiantes, Independiente and Alaves – even though he was a Copa Del Rey runner-up with the latter.
His CV up to this point has left a lot to be desired, having been sacked at Valencia and Estudiantes, and many now feel the 46-year-old out of his depth. A 5-2 defeat to Tottenham has left Southampton closer to the bottom three than the top-half of the table, so it’s hard to see Pellegrino sill in charge when the January transfer window opens.