Southampton have confirmed Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager following the utterly ridiculous decision to axe Nigel Adkins from his position.
Saints’ relegation odds have been cut from 2/1 to 7/4 and there’ll be plenty who feel this is the fate that they deserve after sacking a man who had steered them to 15th in the Premier League after securing consecutive promotions to bring top-flight football back to St Mary’s.
His successor had his contract terminated at former club Espanyol with the club sitting bottom of La Liga which, despite him remaining a highly-thought of coach in Spain, hardly merits him a Premier League position, nor does it instil confidence in his ability to pick up the relegation-battling baton from Adkins.
After a rough start to the campaign, Saints have lost just two of their previous 11 league games and came back from two goals down at Stamford Bridge to earn a 2-2 draw in their last outing. This stretched their unbeaten league run to five matches and with games against Everton and the Manchester giants on the horizon, the new man in charge faces an uphill struggle to preserve it.
Since Dave Jones was relieved of his duties by the club in 2000, only six managers have survived in the Saints’ hot seat longer than 35 games and this lends value to the 5/1 that says Pochettino will be out the door before the season’s end.
It’s unlikely Adkins’ next managerial post will be in the Premier League if the 5/1 Ladbrokes are offering on the issue is to be read into, though there’ll be any amount of Championship clubs keen on his services, while at 5/6, it’s no guarantee that his replacement will be still in the job come next Christmas.
Saints’ first game without Adkins will be when Everton visit St Mary’s and their odds-against 11/10 should be lumped on given the sense of disarray that’s likely to be swirling around the Southampton camp at present.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date