Southampton fans would have been disappointed and upset when they had learnt the news that Ronald Koeman would be leaving the club to join Everton.
The Dutchman had been setting record-breaking seasons whilst in charge of the Saints, leading them to two consecutive Europa League campaigns after finishing seventh and then sixth, their best ever finish in the Premier League.
However, Everton took note of Koeman’s exploits as they looked to realise their own aims and ambitions and decided to bring him to Goodison Park, leaving the Saints to find someone to continue his good work and try to continue to improve the club.
Claude Puel was the man tasked to try and do that difficult job and helped to guide the St Mary’s Stadium outfit to a League Cup Final, in which they were defeated 3-2 by Manchester United, despite having largely dominated the game and having a Manolo Gabbiadini goal controversially ruled out for offside and saw an effort bounce off the woodwork from Oriel Romeu.
And, despite leading them to an eighth-place finish his first season with the club, the current Leicester City manager was sacked from his role in 2017 and replaced by Mauricio Pellegrino.
A moment in time: Claude Puel’s sacking from Southampton
It was a largely surprising decision to relieve the Frenchman of his duties after what many would consider a rather successful season in terms of results.
However, there is a general consensus that the performances of the team on the pitch was the main factor for his dismissal and subsequent replacement by Pellegrino.
Things certainly have not worked out for the Saints since deciding to make that drastic decision, and it could be argued that they are much worse off for it.
Pellegrino struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League after making the switch from Deportivo Alaves and oversaw just 34 matches in a spell that lasted nine months into a three-year contract.
In that time, he managed to win just eight games and saw the axe wielded on his time at the St. Mary’s Stadium after the side recorded one victory in what would turn out to be his last 17 matches.
Mark Hughes was then brought in to try and save Southampton from what looked an almost certain relegation and managed to pick up a number of crucial points in the eight games he had in charge.
Having guaranteed survival in their penultimate game of the campaign, the board decided to reward him with a new three-year contract, however, going based on this season’s performances that could be about to end prematurely as well.
The Saints have managed to record just one Premier League win this season, having netted just six goals in their first ten matches, which leaves them just outside the bottom three by two points.
Looking back on it, it appears clear that the sacking of Puel could be determined as a big mistake by the boardroom and they are certainly feeling the effects of the fallout.
The Frenchman, as mentioned, is currently at the King Power Stadium, and although there is concerns that the pressure is currently building on him at the Foxes, they are not performing too badly and look likely to improve as the season goes on.
However, for Southampton and Mark Hughes, unless things do not get better anytime soon, then the future looks extremely bleak and Championship football could be a real possibility.
Southampton fans – thoughts?
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