Opinion

Hughes out: And Brendan Rodgers is the perfect man to replace him at Southampton

Hughes out: And Brendan Rodgers is the perfect man to replace him at Southampton

Southampton supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their team suffer a humbling defeat in the Premier League at the weekend.

Mark Hughes’ men went into their encounter with champions Manchester City having won just one of their opening ten league matches, and having failed to score in each of their preceding five. And while they ended that barren run thanks to Danny Ings, they went down 6-1 to Pep Guardiola’s men as a brace from Raheem Sterling alongside goals from Sergio Aguero, David Silva, and Leroy Sane, as well as a Wesley Hoedt own goal, inspired the Citizens to their joint-biggest victory of the season, thus leaving Southampton just a point above the bottom three.

Thus, there have been many disappointed and angry Saints fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are beginning to grow frustrated with manager Hughes given he simply hasn’t been able to take the club forward this season.

And the Southampton hierarchy must seek to make a change sooner rather than later by relieving him of his duties, with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers the perfect man to take over from the Welshman at St Mary’s.

Ultimately, Hughes deserves great credit for steering the Saints away from relegation last season following his appointment back in March, but things have been no better this time round to suggest that the problems still remain at St Mary’s, and he doesn’t look like the man to sort them out.

One win and a paltry seven goals scored is the sign of a team heading only one way if things continue as they are, while the football being played by their side is hardly inspiring Southampton supporters – it’s a complete contrast to the team that finished in the top ten for four straight seasons between 2014 and 2017.

And a change is needed quickly to arrest the slide and give the Saints a greater chance of moving up the division away from the relegation mire, and Celtic’s Rodgers appears to be the ideal candidate to not only do the job in the short-term, but also the long-term as well.

The ex-Liverpool chief has enjoyed huge success north of the border in leading Celtic to back-to-back domestic trebles, while he has even shown another side to his management this term in bouncing back from a very unconvincing start to lead his team back to the high standards they have produced throughout his reign.

And given he took a Swansea City side, upon promotion to the Premier League, to 11th place in his first season with a brand of football lauded by many around the country, there’s no reason why he can’t do the same at St Mary’s.

The Saints may well be struggling at present, but there are plenty of players in that squad more than good enough to move them away from the relegation mire towards the security of mid-table – it’s just waiting for someone to get the best out of them.

Hughes doesn’t appear to be that man, but given Rodgers led Swansea to 11th, led Liverpool to the cusps of the Premier League title, and did something no other Celtic manager has done in winning two successive domestic trebles, the Northern Irishman could well be that man.

How much longer Rodgers has left at Celtic remains to be seen – he was clearly frustrated during the summer at the lack of investment – and a return to the Premier League may well be of interest to the 45-year-old.

And Southampton must seek to give him something to think about by axing Hughes in a bid to lure the Celtic boss south of the border once again.

Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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