In the summer of 2017, in classic southampton style the club made the decision to appoint a manager from outside the premier league elite In Mauricio Pellegrino. This is not necessarily a bad thing to do, as a club with such a world class scouting network as they previously managed to find the hidden gem of the similarly named Mauricio Pochettino who has since become one of the best managers in the league and the world. Since the departure of Nigel Adkins Southampton have appointed Pochettino, Ronald Koeman, Claude Puel and last but very much least at the moment….. Pellegrino after his breakout season in Spain with Deportivo Alavés where he built a solid defence utilising a fairly week looking defence excluding the services of magnificent loanee, Theo Hernandez, now at Los Blancos.
However, Since his arrival at the South Coast club he has failed to inspire in games which he really should have been winning. This has given him exactly the same record as his counterpart, Claude Puel had this time last year. Which does not seem too poor until you look at the quality of fixtures overseen by the two. By this time last year Puel had played a total of six extra fixtures, including Europa league games and most of the eventual top six finishers. This compared to Pellegrino who, as previously mentioned has had a fairly easy run of it so far. And when you look into Southampton’s upcoming fixtures you can see why. in their next 12 games they go into over the christmas period: Everton, Manchester city, Bournemouth, Arsenal, Leicester, Chelsea, Huddersfield, Tottenham, Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Watford and Tottenham again. And against those sides it is difficult to see Southampton getting much more than ten points, putting them in serious trouble of falling below the magic 40. This is troubling for the saints because it means that they have not picked up the points early on dropping them like they are going out of style, and against much weaker opposition. This will leave them out of form in major relegation scrap six pointers before another onslaught of games at the end of the season.
Southampton have a history of giving everyone a second chance giving Puel until the end of last season to prove himself, but sometimes you have to be ruthless like Crystal palace, look at the upcoming fixtures and really decide. Is it worth getting relegated by being nice. The answer is probably a no. Southampton are about to go through a very turbulent period and they best bet they have the right man steering the ship. Because right now Pellegrino is taking them towards the rocks.