Southampton have appointed Mauricio Pellegrino as their new manager. The deal is for three-years but unlike previous Saints’ managers, will he be the long-term solution? The question will remain unanswered until the manager makes his team play.
We all know what Southampton do best, hire the best prospect in the game – be it player or manager. Their history of producing some quality players is quite evident. But, to everyone’s notice, hiring high prospect managers have been in their trade too. In the recent past, acquisition of Pochettino and Koeman have given great dividends.
Academy Producing Quality Players:-
Players like Sadio Mane, Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne are few examples of high-quality players Southampton academy has produced. The unique thing about their club is how they manage to be competitive in a league like Premier League even after losing players every summer.
This then brings us to the point of high-quality under-rated managers they hire. Pochettino brought stability to the club before leaving for Tottenham, now we are well aware of his success with Spurs. Next up in the recent list is Ronald Koeman, the former Barcelona player who lifted the club to record 6th position in the league back in 2016.
Before these two top managers, Nigel Adkins had brought this team where it should belong – to the Premier League. His work with the Academy was fantastic. Adkins has always been good working with limited resources and he proved it by promoting Southampton back in 2012.
Now, we have Mauricio Pellegrino as their new manager with a squad of players who are capable of performing to the highest level.
Time for Pellegrino to take over:-
The Argentine Pellegrino was an Alaves manager before joining the English club. He began his coaching career with an assistant role at Liverpool before managing Valencia, Estudiantes, Independiente and finally Alaves. He has played 13 times for Liverpool back in 2005, so English game is not an alien thing to him.
If we analyse Pellegrino’s coaching attributes, flexibility is his main asset. Adjusting his tactics according to the squad available to him might be the thing which is more useful in modern-day football. Alaves had 18 new players last season and every player seemed happy at the end of the season just goes to show he is a good man-manager too.
Experience-wise, he doesn’t have too much of them but the fact that he has worked under likes of Rafa Benitez speaks volumes. Playing in England for a year will be added plus point initially to adapt at St. Mary’s.
System wise, his main asset of adapting according to the squad will be on display. At times, he played with high fullbacks and defensive centre-backs in Alaves. Sometimes he played with two strikers and three at back to play direct football. Overall, adapting and maximising the potential of a squad is there to be seen.
Overall, his success rate at a club like Alaves goes to show he will only get better at Southampton. Another good pick by the Saints management, big clubs will have a close eye on this guy if Southampton have a good next season.
If we look back at Southampton’s recent history, it is quite unique. They have basically become the selling club of the Premier League but keep on producing talents on a high level. It remains to be seen whether they can keep their talented squad together when Pellegrino takes over. A good season is on the cards for them, wait and watch!